Roger of Contains Moderate Peril has a post about Need vs Greed. He contemplates whether loot should go the way of gathering nodes, and be given to all characters in group content. Reading the post reminded me of a frequent complaint I and friends have had in recent retail World of Warcraft play sessions: that of competition over quest objectives.
MMORPGs have a bit of a weird, almost random, relationship with quest objectives and group play. Grouping out in the world while questing is generally possible, even on face value encouraged it seems in more recent expansions. In modern WoW, zones have areas with elite monsters, world bosses and world quests (plus ‘callings’ in Shadowlands) that promote these harder to clear areas.
Naturally, players will group up to clear it faster, you can use the group finder tool in game to look for others doing the same content for a social-lite experience. For world bosses there are pick up raids forming regularly to take out the piñata for loot. That loot is personal, you get something or you don’t, without resorting to the need vs greed lottery of half-buried social conventions.
Quest objectives seem to be one area of the game that remains very mixed in how it works. I see three broad categories in evidence:
- The good – quest objectives ticked off by any nearby party member count for all.
- The bad – quest objectives ticked off by any party member count individually only, so multiply the objective counts by the number of friends you play with.
- The infuriating – quest objectives may or may not count for all when updated for one -no clear pattern of proximity is clear, items that update it may or may not drop with each kill or click, and party members can be wildly out of sync with progress.
Playing as a small group for quests is a pretty mixed bag, I have no hard evidence but it feels much worse than in previous expansions. I’m sure Battle for Azeroth had its fair share of problems, but I’d feel like Legion dealt with group questing better overall.
Of course, it could be worse, we could be faced with splitting the party or repeating the same content for each character in the group because it’s forced solo. Equally, it could be better though, for the years that I played Guild Wars 2 exclusively as a duo or trio, I can’t remember any major problems with quest objectives not updating consistently. As is often the case WoW is in the middle of the scale when it comes to this issue – not the worst but not the best either. I can’t help being a bit disappointed with the apparent inconsistencies in this regard.