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The Daily Grind: Straight pointers or vague hints?

Eliot Lefebvre

Quests do a lot of good for the MMO genre as a whole, but they do occasionally have the downside of turning the game into a series of flashing arrows from one destination to the next. World of Warcraft shows nearby quests on your map, just on the off chance you might miss them. Patch notes frequently involve telling players where to start the most recent new content. Guild Wars has been taking the opposite approach with its recent War in Kryta content, however -- there are no pointers, just small bursts of content that players can stumble across.

Content without clearly defined start-to-finish markers certainly helps make the game more entertaining and immersive, and gives a stronger feeling of a world instead of a collection of fetch missions. On the other hand, it also runs the very real risk of players flying straight past the additions and never experiencing what's meant to help rope them in. Which do you prefer from a player perspective? Would you rather keep the feel of spontaneous discovery with the risk of missing something, or do you prefer a straightforward experience instead?

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