If you’re like me and well, have been gaming for quite some time, you’ll have gotten used to all the common gaming tropes. Often there are things in games that can’t help but be everywhere as it’s becoming a part of game design at this point.
Then, there are times games break new ground to varying levels of success and offer something fresh for the players to enjoy. I won’t be talking about those games I’ll instead be talking about the former.
An Introduction To Fetch Quests
In every gaming, there are things you’re prone to see repeatedly. Things such as hidden loading screens and scripted fights as an example. But one thing I can’t understand is the incessant need for developers to include fetch quests in their games. Sure, not all games are prone to this thankfully, but a lot still do, and regard it as an acceptable form of immersion or even fun; when it’s not.
And I don’t mean just any fetch quests. If I hated every and all type of fetch quests I’d hate gaming itself. What I hate is when a developer thinks they can get away with multiple lines of fetch quests and serve it as genuine content to us. One game that I notoriously remember for this is Darksiders 2. Death is on a journey to prove his brothers innocence and restore humanity.
But before doing so, he’ll be asked multiple times to retrieve this and that in order to complete just a single bit of progression and this killed the game for me. He is literally death incarnate, yet he’s forced to become a mere errand boy.
Why Fetch Quests Are So Annoying
Some might say fetch quests are adopted earlier on in order to let players adapt to the environment and controls, but that’s BS. Doing that will just bore the new player especially when they’re asked to transverse a large area of the map just to retrieve a bloody necklace or what have you, only for you to go all the way back to the quest giver to submit the item, or you won’t get all that XP you deserve for walking. This design simply isn’t fun. So I’ll advise a better way if doing it. Simply remove it.
If not, add elements that will interest and entertain the player. Let’s say you’re walking off to retrieve that unimportant item and something happen on your way, perhaps you meet an NPC, you see something interesting, or you could tease something that’ll become relevant in the story, later on, just anything that won’t make it a mindless slog fest.
Examples Of Bad Fetch Quests
An example of how not to change the formula, however, is making us fetch that item but in a different way, like placing a bunch of grunts or monsters and think that’ll lessen the boredom, when it won’t. It just makes it boring and tedious. Another bad way to shake things up is having the gall to make us wait to fetch that rubbish item for you, quest giver.
An example of this is in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, there’s a fetch quest that asks the player to collect and donate weapons, but once you reach a different level of donation, it asks you to wait and or do something else before you can donate more and finish the quest. That just isn’t it.
Terrible victims of this trope are MMORPGs. If you’ve played one, you’ve most likely seen your fair share of fetch quest to last a lifetime. Fetch quests include the type mentioned earlier when you have to walk in-game miles with no mount at level 3, back and forth to get the useless item you probably won’t even use.
Or you’ll be asked to go out and kill 50 of this frog type enemy, then you’ll be asked to go out and kill 50 of these even bigger frog type enemies. And when you’re done, you can go out and kill this toad type enemy cause they’re all different and you’ll need each of their materials to create this serum or potion.
Even worse is when these enemies drop the items you require based on RNG. At that point, there’s a thin line between a mission and just grinding. Developers should never bore or make players suffer for the cause of learning or worse, to extend the length of the game.
A Suggestion To Developers
If these quests are so necessary, make it easier for us like giving us the option to earn a specific reward we want. That way we’re working for something worthwhile. If we need to transverse long distances, make it at least entertaining enough to be worth it. And if we must have fetch quests, don’t make it generic copy paste template of a quest we always see. Make it creative, and meaningful to the players.
People who know me already know that as a video game, I’m not a fan of Death Stranding at all. For the premise of a video game setting, you as a deliveryman in an empty, soulless world is not something I’d subject myself to. Of course, Death Stranding is much better and more in-depth than any of the missions mentioned here. however, with the game’s design and obstacles, I can’t imagine the nightmare I’ll go through, or I simply refuse to.
I won’t say fetch quests are totally useless because they aren’t. They introduce the players onto bigger things in the game. But if a fetch quest is there to just be a fetch quest, then that’s pointless and not a good way to a developer to introduce the player to their game.
I know fetch quests aren’t going to disappear after writing this, but the purpose of this article is to present my opinions and express my annoyances and hope people agree with me and that things will change in the future.
What do you think about all this? Do you agree with my opinion or do you think it’s rubbish? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.