With Patch 1.9 we’ve seen the introduction of IA into the zones of Silverwood, Freemarch, Gloamwood and Stonefield respectively. Even though it provides an alternative way of levelling, there might be some kinks in this new system that do not sit well with people. Especially with Storm Legion on the horizon, this complication might be worth looking at.
Now let’s face it, levelling by IA is superior to ordinary questing for the levels up until 50. Having levelled my mage up in record time in comparison to some of my other characters shows this. This, in turn, leads to IA being very popular among levellers. However, at the same time its biggest detriment is the lack of story.
An example, the story in Stonefield culminates in researches playing with an old Titan Gate which accidentally summons Centius, an ancient Titan. When levelling in Stonefield through quests, one slowly but surely finds out about the researchers and about Centius and where he came from. However, when a particular player is teleported to the Titan Gate and told to kill 10 ‘Centius Spawns’, he really has no clue what’s going on story-wise.
Of course, there is the age-old discussion of: ”Who really cares?”. Without a doubt, there are people who don’t care about story at all. However, there are some individuals who carefully navigate every single book they can find. Between those two extremes, there is an infinite amount of ways you can care about story. Therefore it does make for a valid discussion.
For everyone doing random IA now and then, we can all agree that the story during IA is mostly non-existent between ‘kill X mobs’, ‘Collect Y pencils’, ‘here’s a farm, water some plants!’ and ‘It’s a named monster with loads of health, kill it!’.
This is somewhat troublesome, for when we look at the average player, we can safely say that we won’t traverse the entire world for it but we like a good story here and there. How would we go about putting more story back into the game. Especially seeing the possibility that Storm Legion levelling will be largely IA-based, how would we know who Volan is, where he came from, what that bridge is he just crashed and what the big floaty thing in the sky is.
One way is to make Instant Adventure somewhat more trivial, making the speed comparable if even slightly lower than regular questing. This to turn it away from simply being the best way for levelling to a nice change of experience in your levelling curve. This method would use the regular quest system to convey story and give IA the chance for people to do unique-type adventures.
Another way is to simply greatly improve upon the IA feature and let it convey more story. At the moment the Instant Adventures in Ember Isle and Stillmoor/Shimmersand are superior to those in the low level zones in terms of storytelling. However, this improvement can and will hopefully be pushed further. How this will be executed exactly is hard to say since there are a lot more variables involved, however one way could be to simply involve more monologue or dialogue for certain characters in the IA. An example would be the Life Raid Rift in Stillmoor which depicts a certain emotion of a son trying to impress his uptight father but dies in the process. This carries a lot more story than a farm having dry plants. Simply a suggestion!
In conclusion, Trion hasn’t been known for letting us down in terms of storytelling even though the low level zones have been lackluster in that area. Despite that it is something to take notice of and to keep in mind during beta testing. At the core of the game, it is based on its story and that is something that should not be neglected, even in a feature such as Instant Adventure.
Do you have any ideas for increasing the quality of story in Instant Adventures, now and in the future? Be sure to place your ideas in the comments below!