[Q1-5-Mis] The Helvor Legacy [Reviewing]

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Infragris
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[Q1-5-Mis] The Helvor Legacy [Reviewing]

Post by Infragris » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:32 pm

OLD VERSION: Vilina Helvor will task the player to retrieve an heirloom of the Helvors, which was lost in a shipwreck some time ago. The heirloom is some kind of item like a vase or an object, no weapons or artifacts. Obviously, this will require some water breathing apparatus: maybe an optional branch of this quest could involve getting some decent underwater gear. We can also put a powerful Lamia or two in the wreck. Upon retrieving the heirloom, the player might be approached by an agent of Victus Pilious, who offers to buy the thing for twice its value. Vilina Helvor hires the player to retrieve an heirloom from a Colovian tomb on the island. The Helvors have buried their dead in the family crypt for generations, but due to the family's precarious political situation it is now necessary to re-emphasize the strength of the old blood. One of the tombs on Stirk is associated with the ancient ancestors of the Helvors. Vilina tasks the player to find anything at all that can be used to strengthen their family's claim on the island.

The quest should be set up so that it can be done immediately with little effort, but the rewards are magnified with a little extra investigation.

(optional) Step 01: player visits Frolix and Pella Verus in the Safe Harbor Inn. These two archeologists can tell more about Colo-Nordic burial customs. For dialogue inspiration, look to this thread. Talking to them results in the following:
  • Either one of them will add a map marker for the relevant tomb (the Val Ansvech Barrow).
  • Pella will give the player a copy of this book (it's already in data).
  • Frolix will say something along the lines of: "While the Colo-Nordic nobility delights in ancient heraldry, weapons and armor of renown, their true obsession lies with blood. The blood of true nobility is thought to be a special substance, capable of healing wounds or striking down traitors -- in the myths of the Colovian tradition, at least. At one point, it was customary to draw vials of blood from the bodies of saints and heroes of great renown. Finding such a relic is not easy these days, but it would serve your purpose well, I think." Basically, this should clue the player in that they have to find this blood vial.
Step 03: player goes to the Val Ansvech Barrow. Mummies and skeletons abound. One relic is easily found: a dagger or gauntlet (something like that) with a name like "Helvor Ancestral Dagger". The other relic is a unique vial of blood (see R-Zero's model) labeled "Helvor Ancestral Blood Relic", and is more well-hidden, guarded by higher-level enemies and maybe a puzzle of some sort. (these relics should be disabled until the quest is active). Theoretically, if the player has not visited Frolix and Pella, they should have no clue that there is a better relic to be found, and just walk out with the dagger.

Step 04: upon exiting the tomb, the player is accosted by a mercenary agent from Victus Pilious,who will try to bribe them for the relic. Several options:
  • Kill the agent (disposition drop with Pilious)
  • Refuse/intimidate (requires high persuasion, otherwise the agent goes hostile. Either way, disposition drop with Pilious).
  • Agree and sell the dagger
  • Agree and sell the blood vial
  • Agree and sell both relics
Step 05: return to Vilina. If the player has sold both relics, they can lie and tell Vilina that there were no relics to be found in the tomb. Naturally, they will receive no reward and a disposition drop with the Helvors. If they have only the dagger, Vilina will be pleased, but the reward will not be great. If they have the blood vial or the dagger and blood vial, Vilina will be most pleased and the reward will be greater.

Optimally, the best solution to the quest would be to sell the dagger to Pilious' agent and give the blood vial to Vilina: this way, both parties are happy with you, and the reward should be the greatest.

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Leon
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Post by Leon » Sun May 22, 2016 11:33 am

Claiming this.

Will make the shipwreck interiors first before I start on this, yay! :D
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Post by Infragris » Sun May 22, 2016 11:59 am

Actually better if you don't: I'm working on a shipwreck model and interior meshes that fit the new flat ship models.

In fact, I think this quest could be rethought entirely now that we have Colovian barrows on Stirk: might be better to set it up as a fetch quest related to one of those dungeons (fits better with the nobility theme of the Helvors). Perhaps a shipwreck quest could be used for Victus Pilious? Say, the pirates have sunk one of his trade vessels and he needs something retrieved from the hold.

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Post by Leon » Sun May 22, 2016 12:04 pm

Infragris wrote:Actually better if you don't: I'm working on a shipwreck model and interior meshes that fit the new flat ship models.

In fact, I think this quest could be rethought entirely now that we have Colovian barrows on Stirk: might be better to set it up as a fetch quest related to one of those dungeons (fits better with the nobility theme of the Helvors). Perhaps a shipwreck quest could be used for Victus Pilious? Say, the pirates have sunk one of his trade vessels and he needs something retrieved from the hold.
Sure, no problem. I will wait when you have rewritten this quest. If you want to have a (new) separate quest for Victus Pilious you are mentioning, maybe that would be quest [Q1-6-Mis] ?
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Post by Infragris » Sun May 22, 2016 3:07 pm

I've updated the OP with a rewritten quest. I've tried to make it somewhat more interesting than just a normal fetch quest. The shipwreck idea will be transposed to a new Pilious questline.

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Post by Leon » Wed May 25, 2016 4:25 pm

Finished.
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Post by Infragris » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:03 pm

I finally found some time to crack this open in the CS. Apologies that I haven't been very active in reviewing these quests.

First of all, the structural changes vis a vis the main quest: to avoid conflicts of interest and due to the high potential of casualties among the Helvors if the main quest goes south, it would be best if Astoria Helvor is the main questgiver here. In general, these misc. quests should be handled by third parties of entirely new NPCs, so that they can be consequently available before, during, and after the main quest. Likewise, the agent trying to claim the items should be more covert about this affairs, and not be so ready to admit he is working for Pilious. Perhaps he should present himself as an independent agent for an unnamed third party.

Structure-wise, the quest appears to be sound, though I haven't run through it in game yet. Content-wise, the language is a bit stilted. The NPC motivations feel too flat and unambiguous: the main questgiver shouldn't feel the need to explain her position in detail to an outsider, for example, and Pilious' note is also a bit too didactic. I'm also not too fond of the name of this mercenary chap.

Leon, would you mind if I take this off your hands for a bit? I'd like to do a quick rewrite of some of the dialogue.

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Post by Leon » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:51 pm

Infragris wrote:Leon, would you mind if I take this off your hands for a bit? I'd like to do a quick rewrite of some of the dialogue.
Yeah sure, by all means, go ahead. :)
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Post by Infragris » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:54 am

Here's a WIP reviewupdate thing. I've rewritten the dialogue, changed (I think) all entries from Vilina to Astoria Helvor, and exchanged the model and icon of the blood relic with R-Zero's new Colovian reliquary bottle. I've also changed the agent to look more like a private mercenary (to my taste, at least). Three things I want to note:
  • When making NPCs, don't forget to assign them a T_Cyr class, not the vanilla class. This mainly affects dialogue.
  • While I admire the thoroughness of having the agent present in Pilious' manor, I also think it's a bit too much work and complications for a minor quest. These minor NPC's don't need to have consistency: for all we know, this guy came from off the island or some other province. I noticed the same thing with the unique responses you gave in the Didactive quest: that's a lot of fun, but also a great amount of work and possibility for conflicts that 99% of the players will never notice.
  • There is a dirty edit to the "Background" topic.
  • Last, a question: I was thinking about removing Pilious' unique responses to the "heirloom" topic, but I'm not sure if it's worth the effort/caution. What do you think?
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Post by Leon » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:41 am

Infragris wrote:While I admire the thoroughness of having the agent present in Pilious' manor, I also think it's a bit too much work and complications for a minor quest. These minor NPC's don't need to have consistency: for all we know, this guy came from off the island or some other province. I noticed the same thing with the unique responses you gave in the Didactive quest: that's a lot of fun, but also a great amount of work and possibility for conflicts that 99% of the players will never notice.
Nah, I want players seeing different stuff and talking about the different stuff they saw and experienced. This way we can please everyone.
P:C is miles long, but I don't want it to be deep as a puddle.
Infragris wrote:Last, a question: I was thinking about removing Pilious' unique responses to the "heirloom" topic, but I'm not sure if it's worth the effort/caution. What do you think?
Keep it, players who will read them will be surprised that we added so much depth into these characters.
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