Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rustled Jimmies: One Quest at a Time

Ghost here, and thanks for joining me today.

With a brand new year comes a brand new segment that I've decided to call "Rustled Jimmies."  I've called it that because I lack creativity and I enjoy that gorilla meme more than I probably should.  Anyway... basically this is a shorter set of posts that will just pop up randomly when I feel like complaining about things that will, most likely, not be important at all.  It's kind of like Jim Sterling's Nitpick Theater except, also most likely, not as funny.  This doesn't necessarily have to be about video games though I guarantee most of them will be.  Hope you enjoy my informal rantings as often as they show up.


So here's something that irritates me.

You are playing a video game that you are quite enjoying.  You've decided to take your time with it and really soak up the atmosphere of this fantastic game.  As you play, you discover a way to do some side missions for this game.  Since side quests can be an excellent way to gain additional items, gain experience, or lengthen the play time of a game, you decide to take part of the side mission offerings.  You take a look at the message board, wanted list, or whatever format the game may offer this side content and... WHAT'S THIS????  Despite your full intention on doing all of the side missions, you are hindered from taking more than one of them at a time for no foreseeable reason whatsoever.

While this sort of thing has always annoyed me, it came to the forefront of my mind over my Christmas break.  I received a Playstation 4 for Christmas along with several games.  Two of these games were Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth and Final Fantasy XV... and you guessed it!  Both of these games, while being very good games, have chosen to only allow you one case (Digimon) or one hunt (FFXV) at a time. Now you may be asking yourself why this is such an irritation.  Well, I'll gladly tell you!

You know what actively makes for engaging content?  When you actually get to do things that enhance the story, make your life easier, increase challenge, or add to the lore of the universe.  You know what absolutely doesn't make for engaging content?  Wasting precious time walking back and forth across the same exact pathway over and over until my thumbs want to bleed.  Time which could be spent doing literally anything else more fun.  This drudgery is the majority of your experience doing side missions when someone on the development team decides that it's a good idea to only allow you to have one side mission at a time.  Lets talk specific examples so you can really feel what I'm talking about.

In Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth you have a whiteboard which has various cases for you to investigate and take on.  You have to make your way to the detective agency in the back area of the mall, pick a case from the white board in the back of the room, head into the digital space (or wherever the case takes place), solve the case, head back to the detective agency and investigate the white board to close the case... which starts the whole process all over again.  This option was apparently chosen as more beneficial despite the fact that all available cases at a single time are given to you in bulk and can be taken on in any order.  With this being the case, one would think you should be able to grab all of them and complete them at once but apparently that's NOT beneficial for some reason unknown to man.  Similarly, Final Fantasy XV has side content where you must go to various diners, take on one of several monster hunts available, walk all the way to where the mission takes place, walk all the way back to the diner to close the mission and do the process over again instead of just grabbing all the missions and making a singular trip out to maximize time and experience.  The main difference with FFXV as opposed to Digimon is that the monster hunt missions increase in difficulty and many of the hunts available you can't take on when you first encounter that diner.   While that does help with only picking one at a time, that also creates an entirely different problem as now you have to not only take one mission at a time but now you have to remember where every diner is, waste gas to travel across the whole region to get back when you're at a much higher level and then STILL only take on one at a time!

Why is it that I'm having to waste literal minutes out of my play experience to walk back and forth when I shouldn't have to?  I don't get this sort of incompetence with a Bethesda title.  You can pick up as many side missions in Fallout and The Elder Scrolls as you please and are at full liberty to take them on in any order you like.  "Now hang on", you may be saying.  "There's a very real possibility that the side content you are complaining about doesn't get generated in-game until you actually take on the quest hence the need to do them one by one so two quests don't accidentally spawn on top of each other or something."   Yes, that may very well be true, but that doesn't necessarily mean we need to be required to waste our time traveling back and forth to the area of origin to collect and turn back in side missions over and over.  Games should just allow us to collect all of them at once and restrict us to only activating one at a time if they don't get generated until we take the quest on.  This would eliminate the waste of time and make for a better experience overall.

So...that's something that mildly annoys me occasionally.

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If you want to see my other Rustled Jimmies rants then simply click here.

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