Monday, August 1, 2011

When Stealth Doesn't Pay

Like many games, EQ2 has a dungeon armor currency.  Unlike some of those games, solo players can do a daily quest to obtain a shard per day - a reasonably generous offer given that prices on tier 2 dungeon armor have been slashed to a mere 20 shards per (if you have the requisite gem to have it crafted). 

In an attempt to try and provide some variety in the quest, there are actually three separate variants, all of which involve sneaking into a keep full of giants and generally messing with them.  The Rambo approach, in which you kill everything, gets you the promised shard, but there's a bonus (50 gold) for not killing the generic guards and an additional bonus (a gem worth 500 rep to the current expansion faction of your choice) for completing the quest without aggroing any of the generic guards. 

It's a good concept, but the execution is a bit flawed.  There are several ways to lure guards into other rooms, but certain random combinations of objectives can force you to summon guards into a room where you're going to need to sneak later on.  More to the point, the quest goes much more quickly if you disregard the optional objective not to be seen, because you can aggro mobs and run until they leash (preserving your 50 g bonus).  The difference is so great - especially if you get an unfortunate combination of objectives - that it's rarely worth taking the extra time.  If you need the rep, you can almost always get it faster by questing for that faction.

Guess this is the catch when you try and make things more interesting for players? 

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