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Topic: The Sidequest Thread

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TheJGG

There isn't a recent thread about it in general so here's a thread about sidequests. I initially wanted to write a post in the Xenoblade Chronicles threads but it might as well have its own permanent home, hence, a thread dedicated to sidequests from any video game under the sun. Please post about good sidequests, bad sidequests, average sidequests, memorable sidequests, and anything else relating to sidequests!

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TheJGG

Sidequests in Xenoblade are strange. Most of them are forgettable fetch quests, or bounties, but beneath that overabundance of filler content lies some truly interesting stories and characters. One of my favourite questlines from Xenoblade was a questline starting in Frontier Village back when you enter the forest for the first time, and ends near the finale of the game. I'm of course talking about the Bana sidequests. In Satorl Marsh you find a starving wounded Nopon in a secluded cave, and he makes you do some odd jobs, before entrusting you with a package; Highmore Caviar. Later you'll get embroiled in a conspiracy, and uncovering this drug ring takes unexpected turns. Then, at the climax of this story, one of the most unassuming Nopon in the entire village reveals himself to be the kingpin of the entire caviar drug trade. And in an epic showdown you take him down to the tune of the same song used for one of the most powerful beings in the universe.

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Dogorilla

I'm playing Xenoblade at the moment and I was thinking it might be better if all the sidequests from non-named characters were cut because, as you say, they're just forgettable tasks like 'get 5 of these items' or 'bash 6 of these monsters', whereas sidequests from named characters are usually more interesting or at least feel like they have some kind of impact on the character you're helping. All the sidequests are optional of course, so I shouldn't complain about the lesser ones being in the game, but they do make the quest list more bloated and overwhelming.

Incidentally, I like how you get EXP for doing sidequests (and exploring new locations) in Xenoblade. It gives you more options when you want to level up than just defeating dozens of monsters.

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TheJGG

I'm very surprised that MONOLITHSOFT phased out and eventually cut out EXP for exploring Locations and Landmarks. The amount of experience from exploring the map, combined with sidequest experience and battles, made for a very balanced experience. In Xenoblade X the EXP-based impact of sidequests decreased significantly, and the most experience you could get from a landmark or FrontierNav site was 400, which was very small especially in the late game. In 2 you don't get any at all, implying exploration is expected when playing the game normally.

EXP caps is also another area MONOLITH fluctuate in. In Xenoblade 1 I assume the maximum amount of experience you could get at once was 999,999 because I remember defeating some Glory / Gloria Slobos twenty levels above me, that would give me experience in six digits. This is significantly cut in Xenoblade X, as when I was power-levelling my lower-levelled party members late game (such as Gwin, Irina, et cetera), they could only get 9999 EXP at once, which slowed me down significantly. Xenoblade 2 has a cap in the middle, which was evident when I defeated the final boss. I got at times 99,999 EXP, which I believe is a good balance. But characters were never able to disconnect from the party as easily as they did in Xenoblade X, so if I were to re-code the games to account for it better, I'd keep 2's cap the same, lower 1's to 99,999, and increase X's to 99,999. That way power-levelling takes less time in X and slightly more in 1.

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Dogorilla

TheJGG wrote:

I'm very surprised that MONOLITHSOFT phased out and eventually cut out EXP for exploring Locations and Landmarks. The amount of experience from exploring the map, combined with sidequest experience and battles, made for a very balanced experience. In Xenoblade X the EXP-based impact of sidequests decreased significantly, and the most experience you could get from a landmark or FrontierNav site was 400, which was very small especially in the late game. In 2 you don't get any at all, implying exploration is expected when playing the game normally.

Ah really? That's an odd decision. After all, nothing beats arriving at a new location and immediately hearing Reyn yell 'ALRIIIGHT!' as he levels up.

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TheJGG

@Dogorilla My favourite level-up quotes from the series are;

"Strength comes from experience. That's true on any planet," from Elma.
"This is the culmination of years of training!" from Mòrag.
"Level up! I think even my cooking got better!" from Lin.
"I'm stronger than this, you know; much, much stronger!" from Nia.
"Guts is all you need!" from Vandham.
"I can feel the power!" / "I can feel the strength!" from Shulk / Reyn.

Post-game battle quotes are not exclusive to Xenoblade, there's a bunch of other games with them; Persona 5, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Dragon Quest XI... some from there include;

"The Great Sylvando grows even greater!" from Sylvando.
"DA DA DA.. DA...DA... DA.. DA DAAAAAA" from Barret.
"I could kill for a shower... / I could really use a shower..." from Tifa / Sharla

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Dogorilla

@TheJGG I've yet to play Xenoblade X or 2 but the cheesy battle quotes are one of my favourite things about the first game, so I'll look forward to hearing more like those in the sequels

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BruceCM

Well, all the characters have quite a few, @Dogorilla ..... You'll probably be fed up with them by the end, though!

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TheJGG

@BruceCM I'd say less "cheesy" and more "energetic".

The dialogue for the most part in Xenoblade has been pretty well done. Shame there haven't been many voiced sidequests in the original game, though Affinity Missions and Blade Quests heavily compensate in the latter two games.

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BruceCM

Oh, yeah, it's just the number of times you'll hear all their battle stuff, @TheJGG .... I loved both Xenoblades they brought to Switch, so if they'll bring the other one, I'll get that, too!

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WoomyNNYes

The don't-step-on-the-flowers lady in botw is great. I don't know if that counts as a side quest, though.😆

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judaspete

Forza Horizon 4 has a series of stunt driver missions, where you are shooting action scenes for a movie. Those are my favorite. Remind me of the old Stuntman games.

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RR529

@TheJGG, I could swear you still get exploration EXP in XC2. Isn't it just automatically placed into the optional EXP pool you can draw from at inns?

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Magician

You say sidequest and the first game that comes to mind is The Witcher III. One of the few open world games where the side content is on par (if not better) than the game's main campaign. For years Ubisoft open world games (Far Cry, Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon, etc) taught us that side quests are little more than checkbox fetch quests, with content to pad a game's time to completion. TW3's world isn't one that's filled with frivolous "collect a 100 of these" meandering distractions.

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Zuljaras

My most memorable side quest is "Sisters' Burial Grounds" from Diablo 2 where you have to kill Blood Raven (the Rogue hero from Diablo 1 now corrupted!).

Edited on by Zuljaras

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TheJGG

@Magician I read the book Blood, Sweat, and Pixels and one of the primary things I learned about The Witcher 3 was how much CDPR stressed internally that side quests had to be good. Imagine if every named NPC Xenoblade side quest was beefed up, and were fully voiced, that’s a typical Witcher 3 quest.

I liked Horizon Zero Dawn’s questing because it was packed with so much story, and character moments. It was never a delivery or fetch quest, it was usually something like: track these guys down, or rescue this woman, or otherwise. It reinforced Aloy’s Hunter skills greatly and gave me more reason to do the side quests.

@WoomyNNYes It does, according to me at least! That was a very strange side quest. All the named NPCs in Breath of the Wild have some kind of irritatingly stupid character trait, that sometimes literally mock you, the hero, in very tongue in cheek. Magda has an annoying trait and that is loving flowers.

God I hate her.

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Magician

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Mr-Fuggles777

For Side quests look no further than Kingdoms of Amalur, that is pretty much the gameay experience.

A side quest that has stood out recently was the Hand to Hand side quest in Ori and the will of the wisps. It was really fun and had you bouncing all over the map trying to remember who had asked for what item and where to find them again.

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TheJGG

Having watched that video I've realised that Majora's Mask has absolutely incredible quest design. It reinforces the three day cycle really well and the characters' scripted events not only enhance the worldbuilding, making Termina a living and breathing organism, but also enhance the three day cycle as mentioned. Being at the right place to execute a quest is a very satisfying feeling personally.

They need to remake this game for Switch, it'd really profit from a facelift.

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Mr-Fuggles777

@TheJGG I love Majoras Mask, my only gripe is that once you have worked out the sequences for everyone and completed the game, subsequent playthroughs become really linear.
I picked it up again on the 3DS and just blasted through as I could remember most of what to do and the rest came back to me as I was playing.

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