You know it doesn’t bode well when the first images of an image search for “missable quests” comes up with multiple games in a franchise. Frankly I generally go to a dark gloomy place in my mind when I hear the term missable quest, it feels like something that by all logic shouldn’t exist and really has no reason to. Why oh why is there content in my games that I can miss if I don’t scour the world for any new quests every time something happens? Who is sitting there devising various quest ideas for a game with the knowledge a decent handful of them aren’t going to be played because of “reasons”?
Okay so instead of just being upset let me take a second here and try to fathom a legitimate reason to have a quest that you can miss in your game. If you miss content and you are the occasional achievement hunter, you’re gonna play the game again to get the quest activated and tick off that achievement or what have you so….I guess it is padding of sorts. Wait, what if it is the worst kind of missable quest, the ones that not only disappear at a certain time but can be forfeited if you move into the story too far? I know I’ve had a few of those because either the next step was unclear or the required item or what have you seemed too good for this area.
I was told that if I wanted to make sure I don’t miss quests on my playthrough I should just use a damn guide. Yes, the optimal solution to a stupid problem is a dumbass solution. Just have a map for the entire game to do everything, ruin any attempt at discovery as the developers thought you should either have efficiency or exploration, not both. I wouldn’t mind a simple available quests list as well as whether or not they are missable or not, it wouldn’t be particularly difficult to implement.
God forbid if I ever get into this industry I become the one making all the quests and side missions. I have absolutely no qualms with the concept but if I end up making anything that turns out to be a missable quest I am going to be quite upset my work has gone ignored due to mindless constraints upon the player experience. I can’t imagine the sinking feeling in a persons chest when they put effort into something that goes ignored y the bast majority, it isn’t something I’m particularly familiar with and would rather go without thank you very much.
The missable quest phenomenon is bad enough when it is a medium sized adventure, something you might miss in a 50-70 hour romp through say a JRPG. When it becomes the greatest hindrance is when it is found in the massive roleplaying games, your Inquisitions, Skyrims and the like where it can dig into your side as that one *missed* on my quest log, destroying my enjoyment of the game because it decided I should spend more time running around no mans land in hope of finding a quest that may or may not be here.
Some games use highlighters to mark a character who has a quest for you which can make finding them a bit less of a hassle. Some other games forget that and you just have to talk to every person in town like some sort of creeper off the prairie looking to see if the little girl and her dog need one of these damn ribbons I keep collecting. Oh but then there are the quest style like in Dragons Dogma, my PS3 nightmare for quest completion when I was so close to that glorious Platinum I could taste it.
6th runthrough of the game as I was still trying to beat all the quests and end up with a love interest that wasn’t the little girl of the man I sent to prison (he deserved it but I don’t feel right romancing his daughter) along with beating quests. I knew the game had missable quests sure, what I didn’t know was that some people won’t actually have their quest giving dialogue open until you talk to them a few times….something I didn’t know for quite a few playthroughs. This concept baffles my mind as to why it exists, it serves no purpose than have people spam chat to everyone they see as to exhaust all their dialogue options.
Oh and let us not forget the dreaded split choice quests that then go on the list of things I have to go back and do, quests that have a choice to make that makes it impossible to get both quests done. Not only are these a pain as someone who wants to do a bunch of quests, sometimes the rewards differ based on your decision, who wants to find out near the end of the game that they could have had a great item or a fantastic merchant on their side had they gone the other way? The quality of gameplay shouldn’t rest on whether or not a decision with no definition of its rewards for either path.
When I pay for a game I generally expect not to have content cut off from me. This seems to be a common opinion among many consumers yet missable quests still linger. I still have to scour the lands everytime somebody sneezes in case that was the requirement for unlocking the dungeon to the far east, 20 minutes from here. Can we just remove this awful concept from the development dictionary already? It is just causing strife for everyone involved.
What games have you played that had missable quests? What is your general opinion on missable quests in your game? Do you have an idea of how they came about in the first place? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you later.