Quests with alignment restrictions

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Cherek
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Re: Quests with alignment restrictions

Post by Cherek » 27 Apr 2019 22:36

Meercat wrote:What if the costumes had a name-tag of the player when examined? Or maybe you could see their real description under the costume when you examine them? Or other players might see something like "Cherek wearing a costume of a pointy-eared one-eyed male elf." Also having the costume disable their steal/borrow and intimate emote commands would prevent most of the issues.

There are a lot of ways to make this work, please don't dismiss the idea too fast. As it is, it sort of feels like the Arch of Balance is totally unconcerned with the lack of balance between different races/factions ability to acquire quest experience. Also, as a player, it is maddening to see wizards acting like the inability to do quests is no big deal even though quest experience is the most valuable thing in the game.

(edited for typos!)
I think we all agree that it would be great if there were no align or race-dependent quests. But I also stand by what I said before, I think players sometimes exaggerate the amount of QXP that is "locked" for some races/align. It's not that many quests, and many of them (not all) are tiny. Also, since most players don't finish all quests anyway (even those open for them), or tend to switch align and/or race several times, for other reasons, I don't think it's a _huge_ deal. Especially since there IS a workaround available, even is it's far from perfect. I am not saying it's not a big deal though, it is important, but I am just trying to explain it's not the end of the world to miss out on some quests either.

Genesis could benefit from fixing all sorts of things, making quests align/race-independent is one of them. I personally think it's important to do it in a good way though, so it makes sense story-wise. If that is by disguise, mirror quests, or simply lifting the alignment restriction probably depends on the quest and will have to be judged on case by case basis. For Minas Tirith it's up to the liege and AoB/AoD to make a decision, and if Arman is against disguises due to the risk of abuse then I am sure there are other ways to do it. For example a similar quest in Minas Morgul, or another storyline for evil players, or even _moving_ a quest, could all work too.

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Arman
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Re: Quests with alignment restrictions

Post by Arman » 28 Apr 2019 02:13

Meercat wrote:What if the costumes had a name-tag of the player when examined? Or maybe you could see their real description under the costume when you examine them? Or other players might see something like "Cherek wearing a costume of a pointy-eared one-eyed male elf." Also having the costume disable their steal/borrow and intimate emote commands would prevent most of the issues.

There are a lot of ways to make this work, please don't dismiss the idea too fast. As it is, it sort of feels like the Arch of Balance is totally unconcerned with the lack of balance between different races/factions ability to acquire quest experience. Also, as a player, it is maddening to see wizards acting like the inability to do quests is no big deal even though quest experience is the most valuable thing in the game.

(edited for typos!)
I wasn't talking about player abuse, I was talking about code abuse. The costumes allowed to more than to just bypass entry restrictions. I don't want to go in to specifics, but Finwe is still fixing up the flow-on effects of the Halloween costumes from the actions of players leveraging those costumes.

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Meercat
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Re: Quests with alignment restrictions

Post by Meercat » 28 Apr 2019 16:57

Cherek wrote: I think we all agree that it would be great if there were no align or race-dependent quests. But I also stand by what I said before, I think players sometimes exaggerate the amount of QXP that is "locked" for some races/align. It's not that many quests, and many of them (not all) are tiny. Also, since most players don't finish all quests anyway (even those open for them), or tend to switch align and/or race several times, for other reasons, I don't think it's a _huge_ deal. Especially since there IS a workaround available, even is it's far from perfect. I am not saying it's not a big deal though, it is important, but I am just trying to explain it's not the end of the world to miss out on some quests either.

Genesis could benefit from fixing all sorts of things, making quests align/race-independent is one of them. I personally think it's important to do it in a good way though, so it makes sense story-wise. If that is by disguise, mirror quests, or simply lifting the alignment restriction probably depends on the quest and will have to be judged on case by case basis. For Minas Tirith it's up to the liege and AoB/AoD to make a decision, and if Arman is against disguises due to the risk of abuse then I am sure there are other ways to do it. For example a similar quest in Minas Morgul, or another storyline for evil players, or even _moving_ a quest, could all work too.
Here's a list of race/alignment restricted quests:
Quests that good aligned people can't do:

Gondor:
32. Beacon Signal Sabotage
33. Corsair Captain
39. Trust of the Haradrim War Chief

Khalakhor:
21: Potion Quest
22: Paint Dragon
(These Khalhalhor quests can both be done on the sour side of neutral, neutral alignment but evil grin)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quests that evil aligned people and/or goblins can't do:

Gondor:
1: Smuggle the Herb
2: Minas Tirith (Tour 1)
3: Minas Tirith (Tour 2)
4: Minas Tirith (Tour 3)
5: Minas Tirith (Tour 4)
6: Aid Gilraen
7: The Harad Banner
8: The Arraw Horn
13: The Minas Tirith Murder!
19: Pelargrir (Tour 3)
20: The Ranger Trap
21: The Enchanged Seed
22: The Lost Ranger
24: Elfhelms Job
34: Porter Quest
35: Oat Quest
36: Denethor Quest

Krynn:
6: Tour - Vingaard Keep Courtyard
36: Knight Museum Tour
37: Knights Spur Wood
38: Question Draconian
39: Free Draconian

Avenir:
13: Rescue Faerie

Shire:
7: Lost Brooch
8: Writing Quest
9: Imladris Forest

Khalakhor:
7: Eil-Galaith Entrance

Telling people it's not a HUGE deal that they are being gimped by the developers of the realm due to perfectly legitimate decisions during character creation or roleplaying their character is dismissive and condescending.

So you say there's a workaround, let's take a look at that.

Imagine you are a myth sized goblin character who is in an evil guild like Angmar. You want to maximize your quest experience because you believe it's important for growth. In order to complete the 27 quests that are unavailable to evil Angmar goblins you will have to do the following:

1. Spend hours killing evil aligned creatures until your alignment changes and you get booted from your occupational guild, losing skills and combat experience in the process.
2. Kill yourself and change race, losing a third of your combat xp and half your remaining skills.
3. Oops, your alignment is not good enough still! Now you have to temporarily join a neutral guild in order to get some skills and combat abilities to kill more undeads to raise your alignment. This costs more plats for skills that you're going to lose again later and more hours of killing.
4. Finally you get to do quests if you are lucky. OR if you were a good roleplaying Angmar who maybe smooshed a few of your ranger enemies along the way, this is the part where you find out you still can't do the Middle Earth quests because the rangers have declared you an enemy of Gondor. The end. Sorry but all of the hours of killing and dying and losing your guild and skills were for all nothing.
5. Assuming you were able to do Middle Earth quests you must wait until the hour in that realm is just right to do the three holy quests, this could be a few real life weeks, hope you don't mind hanging out in a guild and body that you don't really want until then!
6. Done questing! Time to kill yourself again, lose more combat experience and half your skills when you come back as a goblin.
7. Get evil and reapply to your occupational guild. Hopefully they will let you back in! If not, oops... now what?
8. Rejoin your guild or join a new guild and spend thousands more plats getting your skills back up and start back at the bottom of the totem pole.
9. If you are not a robot, you now are looking at several months, maybe half a year, of recovery and people now think you're a guild hopper/race changer and have lower opinions of you just because you wanted to have the opportunity to grow.

Total cost: 2.5 deaths, loss of ~6 months of real life time, 6000+ plats, reputation loss and potentially permanent guild or rank loss.

Is that seriously your idea of a workaround? This problem has been ongoing in Genesis for over 20 years. At this point it just looks like it's intentional since it's so one sided and has been going on for so long. If this is intentional, please explain to us why? Now if I know this conversation, and I do, this is the part where you'll say that there aren't enough wizards to fix it but I really don't want to hear that excuse because this quest experience disparity has been perpetuated for decades and it still never got fixed despite many more wizards being available in the past.

I propose that all alignment and race restrictions be lifted on quests and quest areas until mirror quests are created to even the playing field. Or maybe allow players who hate questing to put their thousands of plats to use and purchase quest slots. 1000 plats gets you the scabbard quest slot done along with the reward, 100 plats to complete a small quest like Eil Galaith entrance, etc. If you guys don't think quest experience is that important then I don't see why opting out of the quests by purchasing quest experience would be a problem.

Arman, using language to try to end the conversation without acknowledging the problem or trying to think of ways of making it work only amplifies the problem in people's minds. "Not on my watch" reads as the Arch of Balance openly and completely dismissing another wizard who is actively trying to solve problems that are important to the community. Furthermore, it is the Arch of Balance shutting down a conversation about a lack of balance in the realm. What sort of message do you think that conveys?

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Cherek
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Re: Quests with alignment restrictions

Post by Cherek » 28 Apr 2019 18:28

Meercat: I am very open to having a serious and respectful conversation and I have been nothing but respectful and serious in sharing MY views on it. I think it's sad that you feel I am condescending and dismissive, and quite frankly I think that's also quite unfair. I have agreed with you from the start and I have suggested various potential ways to fix the problem. I also said the workaround is NOT a good one (but it does exist), and I also said that is IS important to fix this. Okay?

All I said was that there IS a workaround, even if it's not a good one, and many do use it when they for other reasons decide to change race or/or switch guilds. I have done this myself after leaving a guild. I would not recommend doing like in your AA scenario, then it's most likely better to skip those quests and participate in a few events instead and get your lost QXP that way.

However I felt that there was a misconception about the amount quests and QXP that isn't available as Leti, who started this topic, wrote "I would like to talk with you about align restrictions on most of the quests.". All I am trying to say is that it is not MOST quests. If we go by your list it's 21 evils can't do and 5 goodies can't do. A difference of 16 quests between good and evil. So, a character would logically risk losing a maximum of 16 quests, out of the 300-ish(?) we have. I don't know the exact number, but I think it's in that range. 16 quests of 300 is 5.3%. Many of the restricted quests are also small tours, and none of them is a really big quest, so if we count the amount of QXP lost it's most likely less than 5%.

And again, this IS a problem. I agree. The percentage should be 0% in a perfect world, but I also think we should be clear about HOW big the problem is. I was simply trying to explain it's far from most quests as was stated earlier in this thread. If you think that is dismissive and condescending... I don't know what more to do... Yes, it's a problem, but if someone makes it sound like it's a large number of quests I think I am allowed to disagree, but I am also very open to discuss this. It's great that you have made a list of quests, and I totally understand that you are upset about this. I too think it's unfair. But I would kindly ask you to keep a respectful tone, an aggressive attitude rarely helps. Let's continue talking about it, but let's be nice and respectful towards each other. (wizards and mortals alike!)

I can't answer your question regarding if this is intentional or not. I can only speculate since the majority of the quests on your list were made over 20 years ago and I don't think anyone who made them are around anymore. I don't think alignment-restricted quests would be accepted without a mirror today, but I can't possible answer why those quests were created like that back then. I could make a guess and say they probably started by writing a story for their quest, and usually when you write stories you tend to put the main character (the player) as a hero, setting out to help someone? Which makes the story "good-aligned"? That's sounds like a plausible reason to why more quests are "goodie-biased" I think? Or it could just as easily had been the opposite if whoever created Minas Morgul hade made more quests then whoever created Minas Tirith? Or if someone had made Neraka evil-only and quest-filled? It could simply be a coincidence that things ended up as they did? We can only guess. I doubt there was some big intentional plan, though. Genesis was made by hundreds, maybe thousands of different people. It's a big mix of tons of ideas and visions, and this is how it ended up. Until someone has a new idea and changes something.

As for why nobody has fixed it. Well, sure, during all these years there has obviously been plenty of wizards who _could_ have fixed these things. Why haven't they been fixed? Or any of the other oddities and imbalances that has existed for decades? I can't possibly answer that either, but I can guess again. Wizards work on the things they want and find enjoyable, and the things they feel are important. That's just how it is and always will be. I don't know why these quests haven't been changed, but in general when things are not fixed it's usually because of one of the following reasons:

A: There is nobody around to fix it.
B: There is nobody around with the the knowledge to fix it.
C: There is nobody around who thinks it would be a fun project to work on.
D: Whoever is in charge of the area thinks other things are more important.
E: Whoever is in charge and whoever wants to fix it doesn't agree about the proposed solution.
F: Whoever is in charge feels that the original creator's vision should be respected, and does not want to change it.
G: Many wizards like to work on their own creations, and does not want to, or dare, mess with old code.

Or some sort of combination of the above. You can call these things excuses if you want, but this is the reality in a volunteer-run game.

As for your proposed solution, that's not for me to decide. I don't have enough knowledge about for example Minas Tirith, Rivendell, or Vingaard Keep lore to decide if it's okay to open up those places in order to for everyone to finish quests in there, but I think all possible solutions should be considered. However, like I said before, I think we'd have to look at each quest and decide on the best solution for that particular quest, instead of giving them all the same solution. I think many on that list could probably be fixed by moving some things around, or a "mirror" for key locations / items.

About your "pay to solve a quest" idea, I personally do not like that. I think our quests are important, since quests tells a story of the NPCs and areas in the game, and I do not think giving players a way around them would benefit the game, nor the players. That's just how I personally feel though, I totally understand not everyone agrees. But I personally would much rather prefer a solution to the restricted quests. And to be honest I also think it would be technically easier to fix the quests than introduce the pay for all quests idea as it would mean going through the code for each and every quest in the game. Just finding all those files is a massive task alone. Sure, you could do it only for the restricted quests, but... then we might as well just fix the restriction issues instead of spending as much time, or more, working our way around them.

Etanukar
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Re: Quests with alignment restrictions

Post by Etanukar » 28 Apr 2019 18:42

Meercat is wrong.
All middle earth quests can be completed by "goodies". If you can gain access to Minas Morgul, the warden does not turn away your desire to aid him, unlike the denizens of Minas Tirith, Rivendell or the Rangers.... all refuse to even speak to the evil character, even if temporarily good aligned.

Anfalas
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Re: Quests with alignment restrictions

Post by Anfalas » 28 Apr 2019 19:11

Cherek wrote:Meercat: I am very open to having a serious and respectful conversation and I have been nothing but respectful and serious in sharing MY views on it. I think it's sad that you feel I am condescending and dismissive, and quite frankly I think that's also quite unfair. I have agreed with you from the start and I have suggested various potential ways to fix the problem. I also said the workaround is NOT a good one (but it does exist), and I also said that is IS important to fix this. Okay?

All I said was that there IS a workaround, even if it's not a good one, and many do use it when they for other reasons decide to change race or/or switch guilds. I have done this myself after leaving a guild. I would not recommend doing like in your AA scenario, then it's most likely better to skip those quests and participate in a few events instead and get your lost QXP that way.

However I felt that there was a misconception about the amount quests and QXP that isn't available as Leti, who started this topic, wrote "I would like to talk with you about align restrictions on most of the quests.". All I am trying to say is that it is not MOST quests. If we go by your list it's 21 evils can't do and 5 goodies can't do. A difference of 16 quests between good and evil. So, a character would logically risk losing a maximum of 16 quests, out of the 300-ish(?) we have. I don't know the exact number, but I think it's in that range. 16 quests of 300 is 5.3%. Many of the restricted quests are also small tours, and none of them is a really big quest, so if we count the amount of QXP lost it's most likely less than 5%.

And again, this IS a problem. I agree. The percentage should be 0% in a perfect world, but I also think we should be clear about HOW big the problem is. I was simply trying to explain it's far from most quests as was stated earlier in this thread. If you think that is dismissive and condescending... I don't know what more to do... Yes, it's a problem, but if someone makes it sound like it's a large number of quests I think I am allowed to disagree, but I am also very open to discuss this. It's great that you have made a list of quests, and I totally understand that you are upset about this. I too think it's unfair. But I would kindly ask you to keep a respectful tone, an aggressive attitude rarely helps. Let's continue talking about it, but let's be nice and respectful towards each other. (wizards and mortals alike!)

I can't answer your question regarding if this is intentional or not. I can only speculate since the majority of the quests on your list were made over 20 years ago and I don't think anyone who made them are around anymore. I don't think alignment-restricted quests would be accepted without a mirror today, but I can't possible answer why those quests were created like that back then. I could make a guess and say they probably started by writing a story for their quest, and usually when you write stories you tend to put the main character (the player) as a hero, setting out to help someone? Which makes the story "good-aligned"? That's sounds like a plausible reason to why more quests are "goodie-biased" I think? Or it could just as easily had been the opposite if whoever created Minas Morgul hade made more quests then whoever created Minas Tirith? Or if someone had made Neraka evil-only and quest-filled? It could simply be a coincidence that things ended up as they did? We can only guess. I doubt there was some big intentional plan, though. Genesis was made by hundreds, maybe thousands of different people. It's a big mix of tons of ideas and visions, and this is how it ended up. Until someone has a new idea and changes something.

As for why nobody has fixed it. Well, sure, during all these years there has obviously been plenty of wizards who _could_ have fixed these things. Why haven't they been fixed? Or any of the other oddities and imbalances that has existed for decades? I can't possibly answer that either, but I can guess again. Wizards work on the things they want and find enjoyable, and the things they feel are important. That's just how it is and always will be. I don't know why these quests haven't been changed, but in general when things are not fixed it's usually because of one of the following reasons:

A: There is nobody around to fix it.
B: There is nobody around with the the knowledge to fix it.
C: There is nobody around who thinks it would be a fun project to work on.
D: Whoever is in charge of the area thinks other things are more important.
E: Whoever is in charge and whoever wants to fix it doesn't agree about the proposed solution.
F: Whoever is in charge feels that the original creator's vision should be respected, and does not want to change it.
G: Many wizards like to work on their own creations, and does not want to, or dare, mess with old code.

Or some sort of combination of the above. You can call these things excuses if you want, but this is the reality in a volunteer-run game.

As for your proposed solution, that's not for me to decide. I don't have enough knowledge about for example Minas Tirith, Rivendell, or Vingaard Keep lore to decide if it's okay to open up those places in order to for everyone to finish quests in there, but I think all possible solutions should be considered. However, like I said before, I think we'd have to look at each quest and decide on the best solution for that particular quest, instead of giving them all the same solution. I think many on that list could probably be fixed by moving some things around, or a "mirror" for key locations / items.

About your "pay to solve a quest" idea, I personally do not like that. I think our quests are important, since quests tells a story of the NPCs and areas in the game, and I do not think giving players a way around them would benefit the game, nor the players. That's just how I personally feel though, I totally understand not everyone agrees. But I personally would much rather prefer a solution to the restricted quests. And to be honest I also think it would be technically easier to fix the quests than introduce the pay for all quests idea as it would mean going through the code for each and every quest in the game. Just finding all those files is a massive task alone. Sure, you could do it only for the restricted quests, but... then we might as well just fix the restriction issues instead of spending as much time, or more, working our way around them.
Quite right, I was about to post something very similar. Thank you Cherek! I do believe that most if not all wizards agree that there shouldn't be any disparity or at least a major disparity depending on your playstyle. And pointing fingers at Arman I think is a bit harsh. He never said there wasn't a balance disparity, and that it wouldn't be addressed. He simply said the costumes people were using as a work around were causing other issues and they're still working on fixing some of the problems they created. He just said costumes/disguises would not be a solution going forward. I'd be happy to share some ideas for mirror quests if anyone is interested in hearing them.

Etanukar: I could be wrong, it's been a while since I tried to do Mauhur's quest for the gem. But does he not engage anyone that is not of a certain alignment? Pretty sure he is aggressive towards elves, no matter their alignment. I do not believe he will give his task out in those situations either...

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Shanoga
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Re: Quests with alignment restrictions

Post by Shanoga » 28 Apr 2019 19:37

It seems we are all on in agreement that change is needed and we're trying to come up with an idea that we all agree is a solution.

Meercat, you make a good point in suggesting a temporary patch and I think something temporary is the best result from the current discussion. I have yet to write a quest, but I have patched up some bugs in various places (including getting some of these align-restricted quests working again). 27 quests is quite a bit of content past wizards have spent time creating that players are possibly unable to enjoy. As for how many this is in the grand scheme of things...without pulling back the curtain and looking at the actual amount of experience for each and every quest I can't say how significant these are.

Additionally, quests are an important component of speeding up and maximizing growth. I haven't looked through these quests to see how much growth they realistically limit/prevent/etc. And while growth may not be the primary goal of the game, it is a way that a significant portion of the player population chooses to spend their time in the realms. Cherek, I'm glad you point out that it's not so much xp that it prevents players from growing...but in an attempt at parity and fairness I'm glad we all agree something needs to change. Bad idea: Maybe we should just limit the maximum amount (or maximum brute benefit) of quest XP players can receive? Max allowed is the max that can currently be attained in doing ALL quests. Events can supplement the race/align restricted ones?

I, for one, don't want to waste my time in Genesis. I imagine everyone agrees. I want to make sure that the time I spend is well-invested and brings about changes that are good for the game's health/longevity/consistency and that the changes are something that players will enjoy. From that first perspective I am trying to think of options for these quests that I can practically implement without putting a burden on players. It's unreasonable for me to expect myself to create mirror quests for each of these, especially since that would require creation of new areas (to mirror Eil-Galaith or Rivendell, for example). Even if we did introduce these quests now, I would think that it would be best for the mirrors to be solved simultaneously so players can't do both...otherwise the problem in just exacerbated. In that case, more content is being created that players can't enjoy.

Cherek: I agree you that the pay for quest XP idea is awful, but I also took it to be hyperbole. Also, thank you for facilitating this discussion. You are officially excused from AoP, AoB, and AoD duties and could just put your head in he sand regarding things outside of events, but you choose to engage and help players as needed. I greatly appreciate it.

TL;DR: I don't have a good solution yet, only thoughts and feelings. Sorry!

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Re: Quests with alignment restrictions

Post by Etanukar » 30 Apr 2019 19:12

Anfalas, you just have to get hacked on a bit, but dont kill him because he is so small. If you stand there and ask for the quest while he is attacking you, he will give it, at which time you exchange the item for xp and off you go. No one said it was safe, I just said all quests were doable by goodies.

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Re: Quests with alignment restrictions

Post by Anfalas » 30 Apr 2019 20:35

I didn't think he still gave it out while he was busy trying to sacrifice you to the Dark Lord! Thanks Etanukar.

Shanoga, there are already mirror quests in the game. So it is possible to have them setup so people aren't able to do both sides.

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Shanoga
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Re: Quests with alignment restrictions

Post by Shanoga » 30 Apr 2019 21:27

Anfalas wrote:Shanoga, there are already mirror quests in the game. So it is possible to have them setup so people aren't able to do both sides.
Indeed. That's why they aren't listed above. But mirror quests were designed as mirror quests in the first place. To go back and try to design mirrors into the existing system isn't really any easier than creating new quests. It's just another layer to consider when it comes to not only making sure there is quest xp parity for players now, but also how it might affect players who have already completed some of the quests. It's messy, so I want to make sure we are keeping as many factors in the discussion as possible.

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