Warhammer Online's Public Quest System
We need to do what?! Us and what army? Oh... that army.
By Brock "Brokain" Ferguson
Waiting around or hunting down enough people to do a massive raid quest with is never fun. Having to bail out of the raid before completion is even worse (any gamer with kids has had this happen before). The former is time consuming and the latter is just plain annoying to both you and the group you're attached to. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to join a large quest without a set time for being there or if you did have to bail out early, still be able to get in on the rewards? Well fellow gamers, never fear because EA Mythic has heard your cries for help and they have come bearing tidings of joy in the form of a unique quest system called Public Quests.
Public Quests are area based quests that you trigger by crossing over into an area where a Public Quest is taking place. Unlike most quests, it's not initiated by speaking with a specific NPC or finding/ looting a random item that has a quest attached to it. As you move into this zone a message flashes onto your screen. The message informs you that a Public Quest is taking place and what you would need to do to be a part of this quest. These quests have huge goals that would be daunting for even an average group to accomplish in the time frame provided. This is where the word "Public" comes into play. The quests are geared for everyone of the same army in that zone to participate in. So, as an example you may have a quest to kill 500 or so Squigs in a 5-10min period of time. Impossible for a few people, but very possible for a multitude of people involved.
|Public Quests will take you to different zones in each chapter|
Public Quests, much like the other quests in Warhammer, are broken up into chapters. However, there are no one shot Public Quests. You start off in one area and when you're finished with the quest there, you move on into the next area. Each chapter of the quest moving a storyline forward until it usually culminates in a battle with a final boss type monster.
One of the best things about Public Quests is that you can walk in on one at any time during the quest and still get involved. So even if the quest has been going on for 30min, you can just show up and start doing whatever it is that you're needed to do. No having to wait for the quest cycle to start over. No planning your schedule around the starting time of the quest. You just walk in and *BAM*, you're involved in the quest from that point on.
Another aspect that I particularly like about the Public Quests is how it rewards for all levels of participation. Let's say you walk in on a Public Quest. It sounds like a lot of fun so you join in. Fifteen minutes into the quest, you friend calls and tells you that the band Lamb of God is playing a special one night showing at his house and afterwards you get to hang out with the band !( Ok, ok... so for a more realistic scenario replace "Lamb of God" with "Your kid(s)", "Playing a special one night showing" with "screaming in their rooms when they should be asleep", and "You get to hang with the band" with "Hanging out in front of the kid's room making sure they quit getting their butts outta bed and GO TO SLEEP!!"). Normally you'd have to abandon the quest and pick it up another time in order to finish but with Public Quests you're rewarded for any amount of participation in the form of influence, even if you can't stick around to finish it up. How awesome is that? However this totally destroys the age old "but honey, I'm already involved and people are counting on me to be here. I can't let them down" excuse you normally use to get out of visiting your mother in law on the weekends.
|You may have to fight and end boss at the finale of the quest|
Public Quests are great as they offer multiple levels of rewards. I just heard the $$ signs light up in everyone's eyes, so let me explain how this works. There's three different types of rewards. The first is experience, but this is pretty much standard in all MMOG's so that's nothing new. The second type of reward is influence. Each chapter has an NPC that acts as the hub for that Public Quest. As you progress through the quest you'll be gaining influence with that NPC hub for your participation in that chapter. At the end of the quest, you can use your influence gained to get rewards from the NPC hub. Obviously, the more influence you have, the better your rewards will be for that chapter. Since there are multiple chapters in a Public Quest, you'll have the opportunity to get multiple rewards. The last type of reward is Contribution. If you manage to stay all the way to the final completion of the public quest, you'll get an additional reward. What you get will be based on your level of contribution during the entire quest. So it won't have anything to do with how long you were in the quest, but how much you actually did during the quest. This is great because it keeps people from trying to cheat the system by being in a group but letting the one or two strongest people in that group do all the work while they just stand around.
Worried that there may not be many Public Quests to participate in? Well, dry those tears Sally Sobsalot because EA Mythic has already stated that there are roughly 300 Public Quests to participate in, meaning that you could possibly just make an entire career out of doing Public Quests alone! What's even better is that they won't all be overland. They've placed some of the Public Quests in dungeons as well for all you dungeon crawlers out there.
Public Quests. Bringing together the Forces of Order or the Forces of Destruction, for a better tomorrow through unrelenting havoc. Just the way the Warhammer-philes like it. Thanks EA Mythic.