Thursday, January 13, 2011

Details of WoW's Public Quests

Tobold predicts that WoW will get public quests in its next expansion, sometime in the second half of 2012.  Here are some details about Blizzard's implementation of PQ's:
  • The system has been in development since at least 2009, and perhaps was started in response to the original PQ system in Warhammer at its 2008 release.  
  • The system will feature an incentive structure that rewards players for teaming up to tackle scripted content that cannot be soloed.  Similar to Warhammer's "influence" system, every mob killed will award progress towards some rewards, which are handed out to anyone who accumulates a high enough "influence" score.  The most desired items will only be awarded if the group successfully completes the PQ, and only to the player(s) who wins the "vegas style" roll. 
  • Players will not need to manually invite others to their group, the system will handle that for them.  
  • The system will allow players to teleport to the PQ area, so that travel time is minimized.  
  • To ensure that players earn their rewards by facing appropriate difficulty, rather than zerging down the content with too many people, the system will cap groups at five players.  
  • The big issue that Blizzard is struggling with is class distribution.  A previous version of the system was highly popular but a bit too easy.  In the iteration of the system that Blizzard is currently testing, high difficulty is leaving tanks and healers reluctant to risk wasting time trying to complete PQ's in PUGs.  This leaves DPS waiting for an hour or more before there is room for them in a PQ group.  
PVD can confirm that Blizzard's top secret answer to the public quest has the code name "dungeon finder".  Blizzard appears to have screwed up their legendary secrecy, as an internal post by lead systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street describing the current testing woes was accidentally posted on the official WoW blog this week.