Questing for Fun not Profit

Grey quests get a bad wrap. Lots of players don’t understand why anyone would “waste” time on a grey quest since they don’t get any XP or likely any item upgrades, but I think that grey quests can still be rewarding. You still get to experience the content and occasionally you can still be challenged (if you’re into that sort of thing). Plus if you’re MMO offers cosmetic slots, like LotRO and EQ2, you can also still get some use out of any quest rewards that you just like the look of.

Sometimes a quest will go grey while languishing in your quest log because you need a group and can’t find one. Sometimes you move to  another area and forget to come back soon enough. Sometimes you find  an area you missed while exploring. This happened to me in LotRO once with Echad Candelleth. I’m not sure if I just missed it since I didn’t spend much time in the Trollshaws beyond traveling to Rivendell and doing the epic quests there, or if Turbine added it to the game after I had out-leveled the area. Regardless, I was exploring the Trollshaws and saw a quest icon on my map which led me to the camp of Echad Candelleth. All of the quests were grey to me, but I decided to pickup them all up and see where they led me. I’m very glad that I did too, because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have bothered with The White Hart, which starts out pretty generically, but begins a quest chain culminates in the first appearance of Gollum in the game (that I’m aware of).

The epic quests in LotRO are another good example. There is a lot of story told through quest text, in-game cut scenes, and session play (to allow for alternate points-of-view), making it well worth completing at least once, even if you’re 15 levels above the quest level like I was when I finished.

So if you’re the kind of gamer who enjoys lore, story, and experiencing content don’t just skip a quest because it turned grey. You might be missing out.

7 Comments

  1. LongascNo Gravatar says:

    I think the idea of permanent growth has proven to be dangerous and detrimental not only to the economy, but also to games. Long live “horizontal progression” – there is advancemenet at the level cap. Reputation grinds are the usual form, but I don’t see why this could not be enhanced to incorporate more than that.

    And yes, especially the book quests are fun. And in LOTRO, the SoM quests offer a ton of item XP and rep progression besides the usual xp and gear stuff. The quest chain involving Tristan is also highly inspired by medieval literature, and then Gollum appeared as well – I just loved it. This is a good example that quests can and should be more than to do lists where the benefit can be measured directly by the gain in xp, gold and items/stats.

  2. StargraceNo Gravatar says:

    EQ2 takes care of this by allowing gray quests to still give the regular amount of xp as well as alternate advancement (aa) for completion as it would normally give. The only thing you’re “missing” out on, is the experience that the mobs themselves would have awarded you had you done the quest while they conned. Of course you don’t get nearly as much experience because of your level (ie: you need more experience to level when it’s gray and so it doesn’t show a significant amount any more) but the SOE team worked hard to give players a ‘reason’ to do those outdated quests. As well as achievements for quests, and other little ‘carrots’ to entice players.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Nice. That adds to the 1000 other things I like about EQ2’s design. Unfortunately the lore just doesn’t have the same draw for me as LotRO.

  3. YsharrosNo Gravatar says:

    I love grey quests! Most of the time I’m too busy doing something else in level-appropriate zones (no, not THAT! — usually it’s harvesting), and I don’t adventure all that much. That and with me being mostly solo and a slacker, a lot of what I experience in games is grey content. Doesn’t bother me at all, because I don’t give a rat’s ass whether content is challenging or not, since that’s not what entertains me. Actually, I have zero problems being hopelessly overpowered for stuff. 😉

    So count me in as another grey-quest lover!

  4. YeeboNo Gravatar says:

    LoTRO is one of the few MMOs with story lines strong enough to make gray quests worthwhile IMO. Even in LoTRO, I tend to leave gray quests for my alts. I see it as content that will still be fresh my next time through a zone.

  5. xXJayeDuBXxNo Gravatar says:

    I have been going back and finishing those grey quests in LOTRO for the money and the rep if there is any.

  6. AnjinNo Gravatar says:

    I have very different relationships with gray quests depending on whether I’m not my first play through or I’m playing an alt. My first time through a game, I’m more than happy to do everything, even if I out level it, just to experience the story. On a second, third, or more time through, I just want to hit the leveling treadmill as fast as possible.