16/02/2012

One thing that bugs me about heroic quests

I've mentioned repeatedly that I love love love The Old Republic's group content. However, I've discovered that I have one small gripe with the heroic quests out in the open world. (Gasp!) Namely, I wish that Bioware hadn't put any of them at the very end of a planet's story progression.

You see, when I just got started on a planet and I run into a group quest... I'll give a quick shout-out about it in general chat, but if nobody responds at the time, it's not that big of a deal. I'll just continue on my merry little way and keep an eye on chat for when someone else inevitably ends up looking for a group for it. It's no real problem to hop on the nearest taxi and backtrack a bit. Basically, I have a pretty big time frame to find a group between when I first get the quest and when I'm done with the planet.

However, the further I've progressed along the planet's main storyline by the time a heroic quest first shows up, the smaller the window of opportunity for group-finding before I leave the planet again. The issue is exacerbated by some people presumably leaving without actually completing all the quests, meaning that the pool of players even looking at the early heroics is bigger than the number of those picking up the later ones.

In practice this means that I haven't had any trouble getting groups on the alts that I'm levelling solo - except for when a heroic 4 quest is thrown at me more or less at the same time as the very last storyline quest on the planet. I end up doing a quick "LFM" in chat, if nobody responds I just do the single-player quest - and then I'm done with the whole planet. Even if someone contacted me via LFG later, there is little appeal in going back just for that one green heroic quest. And I think that's a shame, because I really would have liked to help that lady retrieve her invaluable records from the heroic area!

Of course, one way to sort of circumvent this problem is to respond to any shout-outs for heroic quests in chat, even if you don't actually have the heroic in question yet. Bioware was clever in that regard and made sure that all the heroic stories are stand-alones that can be shared, so it's technically not an issue to jump ahead a bit for a group quest.

However, this system still has multiple downsides:

1) You miss out on the dialogue with the NPC, as quest sharing just gives you a brief written summary of what you're supposed to do. This is not a big deal if you're on an alt who has done the quest before, but if it's your first time the thought of missing out on the context is kind of unappealing. The conversations are after all one of the game's main selling points.

2) While it's technically not a problem to jump ahead for a quest that you haven't picked up yet, geography can kind of get in the way, if the quest is on the other end of the planet and you haven't discovered any of the taxi routes yet.

3) To a new player, agreeing to join for a quest they don't actually have yet is simply completely counter-intuitive. Putting "quest can be shared" into your LFM request helps a little, but not much.

Fortunately I haven't had this problem too often yet... but still often enough for it to be noticeable.

3 comments:

  1. Imperial Hoth is a nightmare in that regard. The bonus series contains multiple Heroic 2+ and 4 quests and the bonus series starts a few levels after you are done with Hoth. Good luck finding someone for that.

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    1. I'm not sure putting heroics inside the bonus series was a good idea to be honest. I like them, but how many people are really going to bother with doing the optional group quests as part of the optional bonus chain? The player base is already going to be spread a bit thin at that point as it is.

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  2. I've started looking at the reward vs. time. If I haven't completed the heroic by the time I leave the planet I'll check the reward and see if its better than what I have. If it is I'll try to solo considering I'm probably out leveling the heroic anyways, or I'll try to form that last minute group.

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