I Can’t Wait To Not Do This

February 11, 2012 at 7:24 am | Posted in mmorpg | 24 Comments
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A line up. They must be British.

This is TERA, or The Exiled Realm of Arborea. It’s an action MMORPG that promises less standing around to cast or attack, more active movement, and gigantic…. monsters.

The people in this screenshot have arrived at a bottleneck. They all (apparently) need to separately kill a monster for a quest. Since it’s beta people are being relatively well behaved and lining up in order to get their turn to kill him.

I saw this screenshot on reddit and started thinking. I can’t wait to not do this.

I can’t blame TERA, it’s a common enough MMO problem. I can’t even really say it’s all bad. Some times hanging around waiting for stuff to spawn starts a conversation, a social interaction, a funny anecdote. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

Still. I can’t help but think this sort of quest design was broken from the start.



  1. It can’t possibly be a bad thing when most of the other MMO’s actually all have quests like that, right?! But yeah, it’s definitely a /fun/ thing to do – to stand in a line waiting to kill a monster.

    Though, while in line, we can all dream about the way GW2 is going to handle these things! 😉

    • Anything that brings players together to socialize can’t be all bad, but as a result of bad design, yeah its broken.

  2. My immediate response when I first saw that picture/story yesterday was something along the lines of “D’awwwww. Such a cute, antiquated design!”

    • You have to wonder what the koreans were thinking.

  3. Wow. It looks less like a screenshot promoting another game than it looks like a gag ANet devised to poke fun at the questing system they’ve broken away from.

    • I really hope gw2 proves to be a step in the right direction that inspires other game designers.

  4. No way! Not going back to that. I has always struck me as so contrary to the social part of MMOs to “tag” a mob before anyone else so you get credit. Essentially I have compete with others for a limited resource i.e. the ten kobolds I have to kill out of the thirty that are spawned. Granted the mobs will respawn and you can group-up if people are in the mood but GW2’s model open battles wherein anybody can join and get e credit of their participation is superior in my estimation.

    I’m happy to leave queued monster killing in the dust.

    • I’ve been playing through swtor and rarely coming across this problem. It doesn’t bother me that much but I know intellectually that gw2 should be superior to it.

      • Heh reminds me of a quest I was doing on Tatooine with my Merc. Had to go through this long cave full of elite droids and kill some boss, I know I know sounds like every other MMO quest lol.
        Anyway when I got there, there was like 3 other people waiting to kill the boss, all republic and me the only Imp but everyone was civil. I was considerably higher level than everyone and the first guy got owned, I was like man this is going to take a while so whenever the boss spawned I would let someone tag it then just unload on it, help take it down to speed things along.
        It was silly that it had to be like that and instancing would have solved the issue easily enough, but at the same time it was kinda fun especially when you have the opposing faction thanking you and bowing to you.

        I haven’t noticed any kill stealing in SWTOR in fact I don’t think you can if the mob is tagged. But I have had people run past while I was fighting a mob to go activate or destroy the thing that I was fighting the mob to get to. So then I had to wait for the object to respawn and fight the respawn of the mobs I had just killed to get there.

        • Just the other day I ran into this issue in swtor as well on taris, just missed being able to kill the boss as we got there he wasn’t there and we went past him, only to have him spawn behind us and get tagged by the next group and have to wait 5 minutes.

  5. They’re not even dancing?! What a buncha noobs.

    • At least use the /sleep emote, am i right?

  6. Oh, I’ve always hated those “kill this certain NPC” quests. When I arrive and somebody’s behind me, I usually park my character in a corner and go afk, so they can kill the named mob because I don’t feel like doing a race. SO annoying and bothersome.

    I’m happy to get rid of that!

    • I just hate killing them and making other people wait 5 minutes for the respawn. Any time you show up somewhere and have to wait and wait is a total waste of time.

  7. And this is one of the problems instancing was created to address. There are very few things more immersion-breaking than sneaking your way into the enemy camp, stealthily approaching the enemy leader’s tent, slipping into said tent, and finding three other agents waiting in line ahead of you to assassinate said leader.

    No, you don’t have to instance the whole camp. Yes, you really, really should instance the tent ;^)

    • One of guild wars’ strong points, never having to wait for anything once you’re in an instance.

  8. Ah instancing, you have such a bad name, yet are the answer people always bring up. I was listening to my wow podcast the other day, “I am disappointed with the number of players bliz can fit in one server, can’t they use ‘phasing’ to get more in one place… maybe we could then some how select which version of the phase we want to be in… “. What like a GW town instance? WOW people always whinge about GW instances, but then go off and do 5 mans all day, or raid instances; sure they level up out there (how many do you see out there? its been less and less every expansion – rogues not included they dont add to my gaming), but the real game (“end game”) is all instances.
    Got SWTOR the other day, man it was a grind to 10; hope it improves. Smart thing they did though was send me an e-mail when I got to 10 telling me all the things I should try now. Good move, should be copied, also like the more liberal use of mail in the game for story purposes.
    I know its noob starter area, but I want more life in my game. I am sick of mobs wondering a set path, npcs standing around (except for some random nobodies). Love the story bits, but they are too seperate from the game, just feels like I am travelling an empty world to the next story bit. In fact the two often seem strangly disconnected. Games still have much to learn from the Ultima days which at least seemed to have a functional world around it. I don’t mind the odd anoying hunt for an important npc thats wondered off for lunch.
    To me even GW2 as it looks now still has so much more to do, but I do like that at least now we are moving, people have stopped just copying.
    Good bye queues, hello roving uncoordinated mobs of dps – sort of like lfr is I suspect.

    • I haven’t found swtor to be much of a grind, unless i want to do the bonus stuff in the quests, but the quests seem alright and worth doing in part due to the voice acting giving quests much more of a story.

  9. It made me happy to see people so orderly even if its just a joke, I always wondered why no one has added ‘scaling’ like “there are X extra people on this quest in this area, up the spawn rate” or have a ‘rabbit hole’ instead of pathing like “Burn down this tree to antagonize these guys” which is something SWTOR tries and does pretty well if only implied, this is where GW2 has done but where I’m worried there is that the respawn is to fast, it may just be the demos but in them the mobs seem to come back in less then 5 seconds, Hope my fears are quashed on that.(P.S. Tera is OK to me, the combat seems similar to GW2’s ‘Meaty’ness but is under the ‘Class/Trinity’ model which I think alot of people still enjoy, I hope it does well in the west since its more choices.)

    • I noticed in some demo videos there are fast respawn rates but in most others there aren’t.

      I don’t hold any ill will towards tera, the actiony part of its gameplay looks interesting and i do like their creature design, but there are a few things wrong with that game and traditional quest design is one of them.

  10. It’s a queue… and that rhymes with clue… and that’s what game designers need to get…

    • As far as quests go every mmo seems content to feed us the exact same thing.

  11. btw, gw2screenshots.wordpress.com no longer exists (its in your side bar).

    • Taken care of.

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