Circular quests

For all talk about quests. Creating, testing, bugs, and development progress.
User avatar
Jay_H
Posts: 1524
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:54 am

Circular quests

Post by Jay_H » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:25 am

Hey everyone, this is something I've been working over in my mind, and as far as I can tell, Daggerfall has the capability for it.

Keep in mind this won't be functionally operative until at least 0.5, and more likely quite a bit after that (maybe 0.7). But I want to keep this idea written down for later.

The idea is that this would be an entirely new system of quests in Daggerfall. Random quests can't link to random quests, but we could set up a system of background quests that could check against each other and provide underlying conditions for more complex systems to act.

For example: A questgiver offers a "quest" by saying, "Hey there PC. I'm about to send out a letter on behalf of some of the members of the guild looking for particularly lucrative work. Do you want me to put your name on it and see what comes back for you?" This triggers a timer and a multiple choice action DFU decides, which would branch out into one of multiple scenarios. For example, for the Fighters Guild:

Scenario A could be a civil uprising against the Dark Brotherhood in a particularly oppressed part of the current region.

Scenario B could be a campaign to slay or unmask a group of false "knights" who are attempting to gain legitimacy in the region but are just savage criminals.

Scenario C could be a protection campaign for the regional ruler's family. Strict protection could be more lucrative, but finding the culprits and making them pay could offer other kinds of rewards.

Scenario D could be a survival tournament of some kind against monsters or buffed human opponents. Chulmore Quill and Quill Circus, perhaps?

Scenario E could be a request from a poor rural farmer who's been robbed of everything he has and needs your help in tracking down the outlaws who ruined his life. And if you find out it's actually one of his errant sons and find out why, perhaps there's a greater decision to be made...

After a timer of a few days expires, the PC could receive a letter about one of these quests, with a timed request to meet in person to begin it. Allowing any offer to expire would have no consequences. The trigger to end the "init" quest could occur 30 days or so down the road, so spamming this quest wouldn't be an option. This would probably require the use of a linking intermediary quest, where the questgiver gives you a "quest" that starts the init quest, which then looks for the scenario it'll throw at you. This would prevent the questgiver from staying silent during the 30 days.

Each branch could have multiple choices within them to allow the player to really determine what happens; in scenario A, the player could choose between an offensive or defensive campaign, gaining the Brotherhood's ire or focusing on defensive missions. In scenario B, publicly exposing the false order and killing them all would be two entirely different paths. This would require a lot of effort to write up the branching paths, but hey, writing quests in DFU is not intensive work.

If we patterned it on the Main Quest backbone, we could create a system of complex, semi-linear quests that could provide substantive gameplay and scenarios. New factions, even? Or at least pseudo-factions? Each guild could make this offer when reputation is above 80 or so, and each could lead to entirely different branching options.

I really see this as a way of breaking out of Daggerfall's naturally self-contained quest cycles. I'll probably add more to this idea as time goes on, but there's no way of implementing it for a long time in real terms. Just another thing for the backburner for now.

Mages CQs:

A. A lich has appeared in the region with the ability to return itself to life again and again, striking in villages through the use of teleportation magic. The PC must destroy its ability to revive or fulfill its demands.

B. An ancient volume of powerful magic has been uncovered. The Order of the Lamp wants it, but the King of Worms wants it more. Just imagine if a ghost were capable of stealing it right out from your pack...

C. A wizard is starting a rival organization to the Mages Guild. The PC must decide whether to work to persuade him/her to assimilate into the guild or slay him/her.

D. Something to do with spriggans or giants or centaurs or something else losing their habitat and needing a human ally to transfer to another location or fight the cause. The Tongues spell will be required casting at each encounter with the creature. Could use The Fey.

E. Plague of some sort, such as spider or scorpion infestation throughout the region. The PC must find and combat the cause of it.

F. The Acolyte quest.

G. The Archmagister quest.

H. A group of criminals are looking for a utility mage for a job they're doing, which will require the use of spells such as Paralysis and Charm Mortal.

Knight CQs:

A. Dragonlings are becoming extinct in the current region, and the ruler considers it a duty to preserve them. The PC is given a large sack of dragon eggs and instructions to a wildlife expert who can determine how to best provide a habitat for them.

B. Rumors abound of an illusionist who wants to take the ruler's throne. The PC must find the head of this conspiracy and put it to an end before the plan is executed.

C. Crime is skyrocketing throughout the region, with random thuggery occurring at all hours and all places above ground. The PC is recruited into a larger campaign to find the roots of the problem and resolve them.

D. A noble has begun to suffer a series of assassination attempts. The PC must stay with the noble under a variety of circumstances and move him/her from place to place as occasion requires. Each assassination attempt will have a built-in timer of about 20 to 40 seconds, and if the PC fails to kill all intruders before the timer runs out, the noble dies and the campaign fails.

E. Quest involving The Great Knight, preventing overthrow of Emperor. Illusionist trying to kill his children and take their places?

F. Lord Kain, attempting a hostile takeover of Lainlyn. Request to train knights, lead expeditions into dungeons, raid cities, and prepare for war. Past a certain point reputation with Lainlyn will drop by 200 points. Alternatively, turn against Lord Kain right before a tipping point and receive a reward from Baron Shrike.

Thief CQs:

A. Some of the expert members of the guild ask for your help in abducting and keeping safe a noble's family member for a ransom. You'll have to take the noble to a safe house, and thereafter move him/her around to other locations, as well as doing intimidation tasks. Otherwise, rebel against the members, suffer a hit to Thieves Guild reputation, get a reward from the family, and deal with ambushes for a time.

B. You're invited to take part in a criminal drug ring. Harassment by authorities and some rivals add some difficulty to the work. Or take over the ring by eliminating its current operators.

C. Be informed regarding a kidnapping ring, which you can infiltrate or sabotage through the use of evidence.

D. The Crow needs your help burying a bit of the past. His presence is outlawed in some city where some recently uncovered evidence against him is being held. The PC is told to find out who has the evidence, get it from them, and then go into a dungeon and kill a specific monster and stuff the evidence into its corpse to ensure decomposition.

E. Thaik and the court of Sentinel.

F. Thyr Topfield

G. Whitka

H. The Squid quest in Daggerfll

Dark Brotherhood CQs:

A. Two outlaw bands in the region are warring so violently that they've begun to affect otherwise quiet cities and farms. You must find a way to neutralize both bands so neither gains power.

B. A wizard has begun a cult that teaches its members to call summoned monsters into civilized areas to wreak havoc. You must find this wizard and anyone else who could take his/her place to end this threat. Monsters will be randomly summoned in civilized areas until this matter is finished, or one year has passed to expire it.

C. A daedra, in illusion as a human being, is attempting to stir up a civil war in the current region to weaken it. You must find who this person is, under what disguise, and how to locate him/her to end the plot.

Temple CQs:

A. The King of Worms has begun wreaking havoc and raising the dead in graveyards and cities. The PC must meet the King of Worms in person, who will explain that he wishes merely to watch a contest of strength against some of his most powerful servants, which will take place in various locations in the region on a strict time limit.

B. A person claiming to be the avatar of a deity has arrived in the region, bearing the ability to revive him/herself repeatedly, among other effects. The PC must embark on a campaign regarding this person's background and motives before finding how to end his/her power, or help him/her achieve a certain goal alternatively.

C. Lord Flyte's incurable illness

Miscellaneous people to offer quests in their respective regions:

Baron Shrike (Lainlyn)
Baroness Dh'emka (Lainlyn)
Farrington (Anticlere)
Lord Coulder, Temple of Kynareth (Daggerfall, Lainlyn)
Lady Flyte, Knights of the Flame, Thieves Guild (Anticlere)
Lord Flyte (Ruler of Anticlere, dying)
Lord Harth, Host of the True Horn (Dragontail Mountains)
Lord Kilbar, Dark Brotherhood (Breton)
Lord Quistley, Benevolence of Mara (Anticlere)
Lord Perwright (Anticlere)
Lord Plessington, Order of the Cup (Ykalon, Kairou)
Lord Spode, Thieves Guild (Glenpoint)
Last edited by Jay_H on Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:25 am, edited 10 times in total.
Try over 90 all-new quests in the first Daggerfall Unity Quest Pack.

User avatar
Ziune Wolf
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:55 am

Re: Circular quests

Post by Ziune Wolf » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:59 am

I like your idea. Branching paths would allow for more flexibility and less repetition for players of Daggerfall Unity. And I believe this is completely possible to implement.

In this thread, http://www.dfworkshop.net/questing-part ... of-a-task/, Interkarma discusses the idea behind constructing tasks. In that blog post, he discussed and created a task which would simulate the player juggling items, with messages displaying on the HUD.

Knowing that you can make tasks of your own in Daggerfall Unity gives me hope that an idea like this could work. In my eyes, an easy way to implement this would be to add a "quest completion" flag as a variable to be saved and changed after you complete the initial quest. Then sometime later, you receive the next quest via letter or by talking with the original questgiver, which checks if you have completed the first quest. If you haven't, you can't begin the next part.

A system like this must already be in place for Daggerfall, since the main quest line can't be done in a completely random order. There are many flags which determine main quest progression and only certain quests are offered to you as you progress, so the idea of quest chains or "quest lines" is not inconceivable. I'll look later into the main quest line later today and see what command they used to make flags for quest completion.

Your system of branching quests is not so dissimilar to this, although instead of a simple flag, you will need either multiple flags, and which one is triggered is determined randomly at the end of the first quest, or you can use a single flag which stores more than one bit of memory. For example, if you have a quest tree with 4 initial options, you can use 2 bits for a flag, since there are 4 possible configurations for 2 bits of information.

I think this idea of yours is possible when considering this information. We'll see what Interkarma and the others who know the more technical aspects of Daggerfall Unity to see how difficult this would be. To me, the hardest thing would probably just be making a custom task in a quest, but we'll see what they say. :)

User avatar
Jay_H
Posts: 1524
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:54 am

Re: Circular quests

Post by Jay_H » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:37 pm

From what I can see, there won't be technical impediments in Daggerfall's structure once more of it is implemented. It works through two simple triggers: "start quest [otherquest]" and "end quest." By using these in a chain among various quests, it'll be self-propelled after the initial request. There are some more extravagant custom triggers that might need to be invented for more interesting quests, but the base idea is there, and by 0.7 I'd be able to make every one of the quests I listed above to 100% functionality.

This is a little similar to another idea I had earlier of a "revolving quest" that occasionally offers itself to you out of the blue. You'd get letters from people in your region asking for help with all kinds of things, in subject matters unrelated to existing quests so you'd have new material to work with. For example:

"To Gerus Macius:

My name is Theodistyr Hawkwing. I beseech you to visit me in Crossdale some time within the next 22 days, for I am in debt to a scoundrel with no morals and I fear for my reputation. Please visit me as soon as you are able.

Theodistyr Hawkwing, The Emperor's Bijoutry, Crossdale, Shalgora"

All of those variables, such as name, city, and time limit could be randomly generated. These revolving quests could trigger one another every 30 days or so. I wanted Daggerfall to be far more dynamic when I originally played it in a way that it would reach out to you (in fact, I specifically tried to get assassins following me just so I'd have some interaction from the game itself), and receiving unexpected letters for quests was something that was really exciting to me.

So to have a dynamic system where the game reaches out to you, all we'd have to do is write about 40 of these revolving quests and write a system so they trigger back to their init every 30 days or so. And presto, you have a game that's continually reaching out to you :) Thank you for your encouragement.
Try over 90 all-new quests in the first Daggerfall Unity Quest Pack.

User avatar
Ziune Wolf
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:55 am

Re: Circular quests

Post by Ziune Wolf » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:45 pm

Jay_H wrote:There are some more extravagant custom triggers that might need to be invented for more interesting quests, but the base idea is there, and by 0.7 I'd be able to make every one of the quests I listed above to 100% functionality.
Yes. Like I mentioned, the easiest way that I can think of is just having a flag that has more than one bit (or boolean) of information to store the extra possibilities that a quest can go. Then when the next quest begins, you can set a special trigger or "check" that begins the appropriate check based on what value that flag has. The only thing about it that is more complicated is that it stores more information than just the fact that a quest has been completed. I think knowing this will help in the future if a branching quest is added.

With regards to adding a quest that prompts you every now and again, you could add a quest that initiates as soon as the player leaves privateer's hold(like some main quests). That quest could add all the appropriate triggers for sending letters and tasks for the character to do, perhaps taking into account player reputation and level when making the selection process. You could also do this by just appending the appropriate lines of quest information onto the end of one of the main quest line quests that runs in the background, but I don't prefer messing with the main quest, for fear of breaking something.

Hope this helps. I'd honestly like to speak with Inter karma and see if there is a way that we can get a comprehensive tutorial of how to create custom tasks for quests. I think that would help me a lot, personally, and it would allow us to expand the functionality of quests in Daggerfall Unity beyond what classic was capable of, like what you are suggesting here.

User avatar
Jay_H
Posts: 1524
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:54 am

Re: Circular quests

Post by Jay_H » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:55 pm

Tealy Wolf wrote:With regards to adding a quest that prompts you every now and again, you could add a quest that initiates as soon as the player leaves privateer's hold(like some main quests). That quest could add all the appropriate triggers for sending letters and tasks for the character to do, perhaps taking into account player reputation and level when making the selection process. You could also do this by just appending the appropriate lines of quest information onto the end of one of the main quest line quests that runs in the background, but I don't prefer messing with the main quest, for fear of breaking something.

Hope this helps. I'd honestly like to speak with Inter karma and see if there is a way that we can get a comprehensive tutorial of how to create custom tasks for quests. I think that would help me a lot, personally, and it would allow us to expand the functionality of quests in Daggerfall Unity beyond what classic was capable of, like what you are suggesting here.
I prefer two minds to one, thank you :) If Interkarma's too busy, then I have the bearings to make a custom quest tutorial. I'd have to hammer out a few of its defects as people follow it but doing it would not be so hard. It would use my quest element progress topic as a handbook to determine what can and cannot be done yet.

If you're saying that you want to make custom quests and don't know how, I'll start working on it today :D

The revolving quest would probably require altering the Daggerfall Main Quest Backbone or the Brisienna quest, which are the only two quests which require no player interaction other than entering the overworld. So that would be a requirement, but replacing that quest file should be trivial, assuming it doesn't resist alterations.
Try over 90 all-new quests in the first Daggerfall Unity Quest Pack.

User avatar
Ziune Wolf
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:55 am

Re: Circular quests

Post by Ziune Wolf » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:01 pm

That would help me immensely. I saw a blog post that discussed how to make some custom actions/tasks for quests, and that got me excited. I know some code, but if I'm being honest, that blog post overwhelmed me a bit. Of course, I don't want to overwhelm you with work on adding tutorials and everything, take your time if you intend on doing that. I can wait, and in the meantime, I can think of more customary things to add to quests. :)

User avatar
Jay_H
Posts: 1524
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:54 am

Re: Circular quests

Post by Jay_H » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:04 pm

If you know code you know more than me :D I'm actually out of ideas for quests right now, since I'm starting to run into some of this build's limitations. I'll post a topic later today and start to grow it out, and see if I can explain things meaningfully.
Try over 90 all-new quests in the first Daggerfall Unity Quest Pack.

User avatar
Ziune Wolf
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:55 am

Re: Circular quests

Post by Ziune Wolf » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:09 pm

Thanks for your help! It'll be fun to write some unique quests once we get the capability. :)

User avatar
Jay_H
Posts: 1524
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:54 am

Re: Circular quests

Post by Jay_H » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:16 am

I've written the introductory dialogue for each of the joinable guilds for circular quests. Right now I'm storing a ton of plot steps and trying to find meaningful ways to organize them, so that when functionality for these quests is present I can have some ready to go. What I'm planning will be far, far beyond the scope of ordinary Daggerfall quests, and I hope to make it an entertaining experience each step of the way that keeps the player interested as they go along.
Dark Brotherhood: "%pct, we now offer you a great opportunity. We have a short list of clients who pay us well to send them especially skilled members, of the kind who do not fail. Your previous work in the guild has inclined me and some of my associates to include you on this list for now. This means fame, wealth, and the opportunity to impact lives innumerable. Does such a line of work interest you, disciple of Mephala?"

"Then your name will be added. Our clients' couriers will look for you within %reg, likely at some point in the next several weeks. Our mutual understanding is that your acts will be considered your own. The Brotherhood will not be held responsible for what you do, for good or evil. Do your work with pride, and remember the roots from which you sprang."
Fighters: "Hey there %pcf, I've got an offer for you. Some of our long-time members are about to send out a letter across %reg, posing as experts of monster killing or what have you. It's not really a guild-sanctioned business but I figure I'd do a little favor for some of our useful members, getting them organized so this doesn't look like a two-bit job, you hear? I've got the letter here and I talked with 'em about it, and they gave me permission to add your name to it if you're interested. What do you say?"

"All right, I wrote your name on it. Wait around for a few weeks, or at least make sure you don't leave %reg. Give 'em a chance to find you and see if someone bites. Good luck, %pcf. If what I'm thinking is right, some serious stuff's gonna come out of the woodwork once they see this offer come by. Watch yourself. The guild won't be able to help you."
Knights: "Good %pct, a knight of such reputation as yours merits special commendation. I should explain that we have something of an informal inner circle, composed of some of our most stellar living members who have served %reg in all faithfulness. Our brethren already consider you to be one such servant of the crown, and as such extend to you a particular opportunity. %ruler will soon send forth throughout %reg a proclamation that includes a few of our best knights as meaningful examples of what youth should aspire to become. We wish to include your name in this proclamation, and I do not doubt there will be all manner of disadvantaged and needful people who reach out to you for help. Such work will be considered your own affair, %pcf, and the consequences of your actions will fall upon your own head. Will I ask %ruler to include your name in the proclamation, if only that you might serve the people of this land?"

"It is done. Once it has been sent out, remain within %reg for a few weeks if you want others to contact you. Some use this as a method of finding new ways to serve the poor and downtrodden of %reg. May you be honorable in all your dealings with the citizens of our fair region. Best of luck to you, %pcf."
Mages: "My good %pct, there comes a time when our students feel the need to stretch their wings and expand their horizons. We, by which I mean the administrators of the Mages Guild, have no great desire to cut short the aspirations of our fellow guild members, so long as they return alive and continue to do meaningful work with us.

To get to the point, a few of our higher-ranking members are sending a circular across %reg to solicit work of a more gregarious and perhaps lucrative nature than what we permit within these halls. I have the document here this day and am willing to include your name on it, that the various peoples of this region may call on you for matters which the guild in general is not equipped to resolve. Is that something that interests you, %pcf?"

"Very well, I will have it sent out later today. Be certain to stay within the limits of %reg for the next month or so, to give them time to find you once more should an offer for work surface. Grow in power and influence, and then return here to share your insights with myself and others."
Temple: "Dear child, %pcf, we sometimes find that our members have great desires to serve throughout Tamriel yet feel themselves confined within the four walls of this temple. We wish each of our members to learn and grow from a variety of experiences, that they may return and serve the divine ever more efficaciously. To be clear, we sometimes receive special petitions from the needy of %reg, who request the aid of a champion who will sacrifice for their cause. Our past experience in this matter has been very positive, insofar as we have recommended the right person for the job. We wish to set you forth as one such champion due to your zeal and sacrifices on behalf of our order. Do you grant us leave to do this?"

"Then I will put forth your name as one who can do the impossible. And make no mistake, some of these people will require this of you, but I do not doubt in your ability. Dedicate yourself, and see if you do not impact the lives of the people of %reg for generations to come. Should you be interested in more such offers, return again after a month has passed. I periodically withdraw the names from the rolls to ensure they are not overwhelmed in their desire to do good, and as such you must inform me when you are ready once more. Now go, and keep your heart open to that service which you will provide."
Thieves: "Hey %pcf, come over here. A few of our best members are working on this letter that they're gonna send around %reg and maybe get it into the hands of some more exotic clients. They do this every once in a while when they get bored of ferrying gems around or breaking into houses. Some people might feel like it's a sort of competition scheme that works against the guild's interests, but I figure it's reaching out to a different audience, the kind we don't deal with here. There's a couple more spots on this thing. You want me to add you to it and see what comes of it?"

"All right, you're on there. They're gonna send it out in the next couple of days or so. Just stick around in %reg, 'cause they're not sending it out farther, or so they say. Who knows where this thing could reach, really. And watch your back. You won't be dealing in guild-sanctioned business. Anything could happen out there."
Try over 90 all-new quests in the first Daggerfall Unity Quest Pack.

User avatar
robot_cousin
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:08 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Circular quests

Post by robot_cousin » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:10 pm

Hey all, I just read through this, and really, REALLY hope that it comes to fruition. I think it's a fantastic idea, and I would love more interactivity from the game.

Please do this, obviously when the game allows for it; I can easily see it becoming a defacto addition, or 'must have mod' for anyone playing DFU.

<3

Post Reply