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Questing and Dialogue systems within a MOBA environment

Investigation into Quests and Dialogue Systems in MOBA Games

Introduction:

Before I begin I would just like to emphasise that this project is massively WIP right now, and I should be adding to this thread as I make significant progress. Also I feel that it should be mentioned that currently my end goal is simply to create a system that works as opposed to a system that looks pretty, so please forgive me if you feel that aesthetically it is not overly pleasing.

As a current university student, I have been tasked with looking at the MOBA genre and how it could be changed and “hopefully” improved. As of late the MOBA genre has been growing rapidly, with a large number of titles being released, some with new ideas (such as Smite) and others that simply fit the classic mould of the genre (League of Legends and DOTA 2).

There is one aspect of the MOBA genre that I have noticed is present in most, if not all games and that is objectives. An example of this would be the Dragon and Baron Nashor neutral minions in League of Legends, or even the jungle camps in Smite. It is these objectives that add to the strategic aspect of the games, which I feel is the most interesting area.

Because of this I have chosen to look at how implementing basic quests would impact the genre and whether or not quests and set objectives could add an extra layer of strategy to the games.

Research:

Before starting work on the practical side of the project I carried out some basic research into existing MOBA games, and other games that use questing within a multiplayer environment. The primary games I looked at here were “League of Legends” and “World of Warcraft.”

I looked at the general idea of League of Legends and how typical games are played. However the main aspect I looked at was rewards and how players are rewarded for completing bonus objectives. For example killing the neutral monster “Baron Nashor” gives the team a large buff to their stats and this alone is enough of an incentive to make players want to kill it. I feel that appropriate rewards are hugely important in MOBA games, as players are very likely to entirely ignore optional objectives if they aren’t rewarded in a suitable way.

With World of Warcraft I looked at how their quests work. I know that as an MMO, many players simply rush to the highest level, and this means that their quest system must be one that is functional, but also basic. I liked the idea of clicking only one or two times to accept quests, and the same for completing them. For quests to exist in a MOBA there must be as little forced interaction with NPC characters as possible as it would waste valuable time that could be spent farming creeps or fighting with the team.

I also liked the way quest objectives were displayed on the side of the screen during quests as it allows players to see what their objectives are at a glance.

What I have so far:

  • Tutorial NPC characters that explain the controls of the game to the player.

  • A questgiver NPC that talks to the player and gives them the option of accepting or declining the quest.

  • Different dialogue when the quest has been completed.

  • A basic quest, requiring the player to collect an item and return it.

  • A reward in the form of a teleporter that allows the player to teleport to a new location.

  • A minimap that gives the player a larger view of the overall map.

  • Current quest objective displayed on the side of the screen.

If anybody has any feedback or suggestions as to what I could add to the project then please feel free to reply. I would really appreciate seeing what other people feel could be added to this idea in order to make it better and I am open to any criticism. If there is any interest in the project then I will be happy to share images of my blueprints and/or videos demonstrating what I have working in engine.

Thanks for reading!