Questing Tips!

by Iskvarren on April 20, 2015

in Instructional, Iskvarren's Blog, RP Updates

Just a quick blog post with some useful advice for those of you who are pursuing IC quests.  Too often, these mistakes are made, leading to wasted time for you and me.  Quest efficiently!

#1 SHARE YOUR INFORMATION.
People often do not even attempt to tell others what they learned.  While this might work if you were invested enough to do the entire quest yourself, what happens more often is other people go on without you because they think you haven’t done anything.  If I give information out to one person, it’s likely important information that I want more than one person to know, so I’ll give it away freely to anyone else who asks as well.  If everyone would share their information with their friends, I wouldn’t have to do the same RP with different people multiple times, and you wouldn’t have wasted your time finding out information that other people got without you.  Sharing information is a great way to make allies or recruit new clan members.

#2 DON’T ASK THE NPCS TO DO THE QUEST.
Not as obvious as some people think, but if you’re asking an NPC “What do you think I should do?” you’re essentially asking the person running the quest to tell you how to do the quest.  There are variations of this such as NPC #1 needs someone to clean the biting insects out of their shop and then the player asks NPC #2 to do the task.  Instead, you should come up with a way to do the quest and offer it to another NPC if you need their help.  For example, “I’m hoping you can help me make some smoky torches to repel the insects in the shop.”  That way, you’re at least attempting to do some of the quest instead of going from NPC to NPC asking the staff member to do their own quest.

#3 START OUT WITH BROAD QUESTIONS.
If something strange happened, you should start off asking open-ended questions like “What happened?” or “What did you see?”  Then ask questions clarifying based on what the NPC says, such as “What did the man look like?” or “Where did he go afterwards?”  Often what happens is players cook up some plan out of our view and then start off asking highly specific questions, which are confusing because I don’t know what you’re after or you’ve decided on so many specific qualities that all I can say is “I don’t know.”

#4 DON’T BE AFRAID OF UNFRIENDLY NPCS.
Very often, an NPC will greet you with less than a welcome and a smile.  You should figure out why the NPC won’t help you and then see if they can be convinced to help you.  Some NPCs hate you because of racial enmity.  Others may have a history of hating the lawkeepers.  Few NPCs are completely unwilling to help you due to these sorts of biases, so the only thing stopping you is if you give up.  NPC anger or hostility does not mean staff member hostility, so don’t get frustrated and take it out on the staff member.

#5 REPEATING YOUR MISTAKES WON’T HELP YOU.
Now and then, a player wants to ask a peacekeeper about something.  The peacekeeper doesn’t know.  The person walks one room over and decides to ask another peacekeeper.  And then they want to continue until the staff member finally gives in and gives them the answer they want.  Another variant is they try a spell, fail, and then try to do the same spell again without changing anything.  Stop for a moment, think about why the NPC doesn’t know or the spell failed, and change something so it works out the second time.

#6 DON’T FORGET YOUR GOAL.
Presumably, you’re asking the NPC for a reason.  Don’t get distracted asking about nitpicky details unless they’re going to help you figure out what to do next.  If your conversation is no longer giving you information that’s helpful, reassess what you need to know and ask a new question.

#7 MAKE USE OF MAIL.
Along the same lines as sharing your information, mail is a great way to get in touch with someone who is offline.  Most people check their mail first when they log on even if they do nothing else.  If you don’t catch that person online and don’t send them mail, why would they believe you’ve done something plotwise?  Mail doesn’t have to be long.  You can write one in about 30 seconds and fund it by killing goblins.  You can use mail to:

  • share your information you know so anyone else who reads it can pursue the quest.
  • offer ideas for how to pursue the quest.  Mail has been used in the past for clan debate.
  • let someone know you have information to share.
  • schedule a time to discuss the plot with someone.

#8 IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON, ASK.
If you do not know how to get involved, then read the MOTD and any letters sent out before asking an NPC what’s going on.  It is very hard to get involved if you sit around and wait for someone to approach you themselves.  If you get pulled into a group and you can’t figure out what’s happening, ask.  I’d rather you ask questions and clarify any misunderstandings than stand there doing nothing the whole time.  There is no excuse for being uninformed.

#9 BE FLEXIBLE.
Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean an NPC will help you or that it will work.  If you’re the sort to come up with exquisitely detailed plans, don’t stubbornly insist on the plans being followed to the letter.  If an NPC tells you that you can’t cast spell A because of reason Y, then figure out if you can do something to get around reason Y.  Do you need to cast it elsewhere, replace a reagent, find a different sort of spellcaster, or bribe the NPC more?  Do you need to cast spell B or spell C instead?

#10 DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR ONE-ON-ONE RP.
You only need 2 people to RP in an imm quest: yourself and the staff member.  Frequently, we wait for weeks because players want 3+ people to be online for the quest, nobody has used mail to set an OOC time, and we’re waiting and waiting for all those people to coincidentally log on at the same time.  It is entirely okay and often most efficient to do one-on-one quest RP.  Of course, we recommend that you share your findings afterwards.

#11 BEWARE OF MISINFORMATION.
Players often share the wrong information.  Some players mix what an NPC says with what they think, so the listener confuses quest information with someone’s hairbrained theories.  Ideally, the person sharing the information should make it clear what an NPC said versus what the PC thinks.  Check the source of information by asking “Who told you this?” or “Did you see this?” or “Where did this come from?”

#12 PULLING IN INFORMATION FROM ANCIENT EVENTS IS A DISSERVICE.
A quest is run so that anyone, newbie or veteran, can participate with nothing except the provided information.  If you pull up information from a quest 10 years ago, even if it is IC, it is only going to confuse people, especially if the staff member didn’t have that quest in mind or wasn’t around during the quest.  Showing off how old and knowledgeable you are is better reserved for another venue.  Stick to the IC canon from the current quest rather than spewing junk information from 5 old quests that may or may not be useful.

There are probably more tips that are useful, but these are the most obvious places that people get stuck.  Read them and don’t fall into the trap.  Happy questing!

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