Quest pools and quest line stages

This simply outlines a way to avoid having the same exact fetch-this quests over and over again in each game.

I’m almost tempted to suggest “Why not design quests like mutations?” but that might be a whole other book yet to be written.

So let me go with a simpler version. As we know, quests/missions currently proceed from one to the next in a linear fashion. Fetch this, fetch that, kill those guys. What I’m suggesting is holding a pool of quests, and from that pool a single quest would be presented to the player, including a random chance of allowing the player to choose which one he would complete.

Instead of quest line being like

  1. Fetch two-by-fours
  2. Fetch blankets
  3. Fetch nails

We’d have like
(Stage #1 quest pool) Fetch two-by-fours OR Fetch nails (30% chance of allowing the player to choose)
(Stage #2 quest pool) Fetch salt OR Fetch blankets (20% chance of player choice)

In case the player gets a choice, the dialogue would then go like:
“We desperately need someone to bring us [two-by-fours]. Meanwhile, I have other teams scavenging us other supplies. Speaking of which, the team I sent to get us [blankets] hasn’t reported in a long while. I fear the worst and I have to assume they’re not coming back for whatever reason. So, I have two emergencies on my hand… feel free to choose which one you’d like to tackle.”

And the dialogue choices would then be like

  1. Haven’t done any carpentry in a while. I’ll get you the two-by-fours.
  2. No blankets means no fun. I know just the place where to get them.
  3. Sorry, actually I have to go.

In case the player does NOT get to choose a quest, the dialogue would simply go like:
“We desperately need someone to bring us two-by-fours. Meanwhile, I have other teams scavenging us other supplies. Will you accept the job?”

In the next playthrough, the quest could as well be “We need nails”. A pool would offer at least a CHANCE of variety, and would likely guarantee it in the long run.

If we assume we start building a settlement from scratch, we would likely build one construct/project at a time. If we start out at a ranch the pre-determined build order could be like

  1. Barn
  2. Infirmary
  3. Workshops
  4. Starting the crop fields

Or something like that. So the stage 1 of the settlement would be to complete the barn, which could present a quest pool like
Stage 1: Fetch two-by-fours OR fetch nails OR fetch tools OR fetch food (workers need to eat) OR fetch whatever.
So that would then be the stage 1 quest pool for the ranch quest line. From that pool we could then present 2-3 quests for the player to choose, should the luck favor the player. Also, later on various other items could be added to each stage to increase the pool, such as ropes or sheet metal for the presumed large barn doors.

Furthermore, upon returning with the asked items, the ranch foreman could have a 10-40% chance of saying “I haven’t heard from the team that I sent to fetch us tools. We’re pretty much stuck if we don’t have the right tools. Could you…?” So in order to move on to stage 2 quests, all the stage 1 quests would have to be completed. Mostly they would be automatically and invisibly completed.

And in case of a missing team, that could be another separate one-time or two-time job as well. Just have the game pick a valid land spot from the map, place a few human/zombie/animal corpses there, along with some gear and possibly some amount of the items they were sent to fetch in the first place. And signs of combat - empty shell casings, blood splatter.

One final thing would be create a list of appropriate substitutes for each quest item. Down-filled blankets should be just as a good as blankets. 2 logs and a wood saw could be just as good as 200 two-by-fours. So it’d be much like with the crafting recipes. There would be multiple possible “ingredients” to get the same result (=successful completion of the quest). Could the crafting recipe framework be used for creating quests? So a blanket fetching quest could show up like

Fetch 25 blankets OR
Fetch 25 down-filled blankets OR
Fetch 50 sheets, 2500 feathers, 1 sewing kit and (500 threads or 20 long strings)

You did a great job here and I actually like the idea behind questing and building some settlement. Just to see it burns when wandering horde comes. YEAH!

Definitely a +1 from me on everything except this

Don’t suggest we make them like mutations. Mutations have a lot of horrible backend code, so much so that I’ve had 2 attempted reworks fail under their own wait as I struggled to find good places to chop it in to small enough pieces to fix. :stuck_out_tongue:

That said yeah, conceptually I’m in agreement with pretty much everything here, and the crafting recipe parallel is probably a fairly nice idea, though it would need at least a handful of changes to make it applicable.