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First Impressions of Warhammer Online – Part 9: Public Quests

by: J. F. Amprimoz ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Some of the new features aren’t quite there, but Public Quests are a big success.

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    How to Make Friends and Influence Points

    This feature is a complete success. Instead of having to find a group to do anything hard or grandiose, there are Public Quests (PQs) spread liberally through the maps. When you happen across one of these areas, you are immediately informed of that, and the current status and objective of the Quest will be displayed to the left of your Mini-Map. The neat part of a PQ is that the rewards and progress are shared among all players in the Quest area. Participating in PQs gets you Influence, enough of which entitles you to rewards from the Rally Master in every Chapter.

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    Setting the Stage

    The first Stage of a PQ is always kill this many of that. What is nice is people can whittle away at this while they work on normal Quests or are even just passing through, since they get the Influence for it anyways. Subsequent Stages become more demanding and require more players to complete within a set time limit, or the PQ will reset. The good news is that more people will hang around if the first Stage is about to end, so there are often enough people around to move ahead. Finishing a stage gives an Influence bonus to all players involved. Finishing a PQ allows you to roll on the Loot from the PQ, and players are given bonuses to their roll based on their contributions to completing the PQ.

    The most basic PQ structure goes from the first Stage with dozens of normal mobs to a Stage against several Champions then a Stage with a Hero, possibly with a small, but tough, escort. There is some variety that makes things pretty interesting though.

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    Brains Over Brawn

    Blindly killing won’t get you through many of the PQs. Sometimes you have to light things on fire, sometimes you have to put them out. Occasionally you need to collect something and bring it elsewhere. Defending one or more NPCs also comes up, as does healing a certain number of downed NPCs. You may have to smash a certain number of altars, crystals, etc. Of course, there are mobs around that will object to this, so there is quite a bit of combat involved anyways.

    Some PQs are co-located with PQs from the other Realm and the requirements to complete them are mutually exclusive. This allows you to combine PvE and PvP as you try to finish your PQ and stop the enemy from achieving their opposite goals. The only problem is that this opens the door to the Realm balance problem we’ve been mentioning.

    One of my favourites involves lighting several torches in one stage, then having to keep them lit until time runs out while keeping mobs from putting them out in the next. If you can keep pulling and kitting long enough, the torches allow some distant allies to zero in on the area, and some artillery bombardment will thin their ranks and draw out their leader, setting up the next Stage.

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    Public Quests Overall

    There are minor hiccups: the PQs often advance from the first Stage just because you happen to be killing the same mobs for a normal Quest, and there is almost no one around; this requires that you make a hasty exit to avoid getting beat up by the incoming Champion mobs; then you need to wait ten minutes for the stage to fail and two minutes for the PQ to reset before you can head back.