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Editorial: Give Me Back My Sandbox

Posted on Wednesday, September 17 2008 @ 07:20:24 CEST by

Worse was to come though, namely in the form of 'achievements' and 'quests'. In the early days, games had a score and the aim, if any, was to beat your personal best. Nowadays, the games have to congratulate you for every tiny thing you do otherwise you don’t feel you’re making progress. Well done! You moved the mouse! Have 6,000 platinum points!. Yes, you finished the game, but to meet the marketing departments quota, we would like you to do the whole game on one leg, to get the special 'peg leg' achievement.

For me, (and I do realise I'm alone here) the worst outcome of all this is quests in MMO games. It's pretty much why I don't play them any more. The promise and premise of an MMO is awesome, but often the reality is nothing more than a tedious level grind with neatly packaged quests. No attempt is made to be immersive, or to reward exploration or discovery. You simply go to the town/elf palace/spaceport, non-descript stationary NPC #4, and effectively press a button on the quest dispenser. The quest outlines what object you have to take from A to B, how many of creature X you need to kill to get your reward, and off you go.

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