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Author Topic: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.  (Read 10515 times)

Offline Kalika_Had`ke

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"Trading among trainers in the pokémon world is all well and good, but it has its limits. Trading machines really only excel at one type of trade, the one pokémon for one pokémon trade. Beyond that people have to get a little creative. That's where we come in. We couriers are commissioned by people looking for a specific pokémon or object, usually something rare, to find someone with that object and strike up a deal that benefits both. Generally we earn a fee for each trade depending on the complexity, a portion of which may consist of items that will be useful for the couriers journey or that can be traded to others that are seeking them. And that's just the direct benefits."

The pokémon courier service is effectively a quest hub that can easily be placed anywhere from some to every major city, each containing several singular quests or short quest chains with interesting benefits. The big perk of having such a place from a design standpoint, is to have all your generic fetch quests in a single, yet distributed, place for ease of pick up and turn in, as well as making more room in other hubs for

A singular or starter quest could be a simple commission. A new (NPC, although maybe new PC's may be able to take advantage of this) trainer has requested a specific pokémon from their [authority that gives out starter pokémon]. You accept the quest to go where this pokémon is found and find a suitable partner for a new trainer. Mechanically, any time you are in an area where this pokémon is found you have an X% chance to find a lvl5 pokémon of the species in question that you can't run from. Succeed in capturing it, take it to the commissioner, return to any courier-house, and quest complete. Dead simple. Reward: A moderate amount of poké-cash, 2-3 replacement balls of the type you used to capture the pokémon and maybe an antidote two if it say had a poisoning attack or something, and a chunk of trainer-EXP, repayment of resources and cash for the time spent basically. The real reward is the EXP, like most quests.

Let's turn it into a quest chain then. When you deliver the pokémon to the new trainer they tell you about a friend of theirs that is dissatisfied with their new partner, and that they are looking for a partner that would be more suited to the contest circuit than that just wants to get stronger. But they care enough about their pokémon that they don't just want to release them and find them a new home with someone more suitable. Let's add a twist, their not looking for a specific species of pokémon, just a general type, say for instance, a flying type. You accept the commission fee and Yanma from the friend, then not knowing where to look next you go to the nearest courier-house to ask and turn in the last quest for its commission.

The courier in charge there checks their database (a simple explanation for how they seem to know everybody) and finds a suitable Swablu up for trade and gives you a location to inquire about it at. Go and talk to the NPC trainer and...oh wait you just talked to an NPC trainer. Battle-larity ensues, and oh look a suitable level Swablu is on their team, but they're not interested in Yanma. But one of their friends who is looking to be a bug-type gym leader has a female Combee they've been considering trading for for some time now, but have never had a suitable pokémon for. They call their trading friend and set it up for you. Complete both trades and you get a commission from the Swablus original trainer trainer and from Yanma's original trainer, as well as a chunk of trainer-EXP (As always the real reward of questing)

Details can become important in these quests as well, consider the female Combee. Where did the original trainer get it? They're quite rare. A later quest could very well have someone looking for one, and you go ask the trainer from the last quest, which at this point could be several quests in the chain ago, to ask them where they found it. They challenge you to a battle for the information (and you find a Yanmega on their team), after which they tell you about the Combee Hives honey farm out in an obscure corner of the world (honestly who wants to live next to a beehive, let alone a pokémon beehive). Going there the owner tells you that having too many Vespiqueen in too small an area causes the hives to swarm, a dangerous proposition to be sure, so is always looking to sell female Combee before they evolve. Oh look, now you have a place where you can buy female Combee for evolving your own Vespiqueen. So much easier than hatching hundreds of combee eggs to get a female, let alone a female with good IV's.

This post is getting too long, but the premise holds. I invite others to take this idea and run with it, adding their own twists to the basic fetch quest both to make them suitable to the pokémon world, and make them interesting again.
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It was a time when there existed no differences to distinguish the two.
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Offline Yume Tsuki

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 07:37:03 AM »
A very intresting chain of quests, me likes it. ~

Also, very well thought stuff.

Claiming that someone else's marriage is against your religion is like being angry at someone for eating a doughnut because you're on a diet.

Offline Kalika_Had`ke

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2011, 03:49:03 AM »
Thanks Yuki >^_^< I like to think they're good, but individually they're simple. The real gold is in the location itself, the Courier Service is something that makes a logical sense in a pokémon world, and a grand excuse to have not only a distributed quest turn-in location, but a singular place for all the basic fetch quests leaving more room in the world for more interesting things.

As an added bonus, these NPC's don't necessarily have to just be for these quests. Making NPC's you already have part of many quests cuts down on objects necessary, making load times for areas shorter. Never a bad thing.

The quests really all follow the same pattern though, acquire object X from an NPC or in the wild, insert a battle somewhere, trade object X for object Y, return to person that gave you object X, return to quest-giver.

Of course even a basic quest type like a delivery quest can have interesting variables. Some that come to mind are..

- The multi-pronged trade : used to good effect in the second example, that variation used all flying types to explain why different trainers were seeking different pokémon. However a more complicated variation could use multiple types, or even have one prong of the trade be for a rare item (maybe an elemental stone?)

-- The Bypass : Some multi-pronged quests may have bypasses built into them, one that comes to mind is someone is looking for an certain rare pokémon that you already have access to, say the aforementioned female combee, you could make a trade for it and go on through the parts of the quest as intended, or do it quicker if you've already got access to the Combee Hives honey farm and purchase one there.

- Training for trading : One could assume that the trainers involved know the levels of the pokémon their trading. If one were a few levels short of even a courier could be asked to train the pokémon to the required level. (5 levels is a fair bit of training, keeping below this point may be wise.)

- The commissioned capture : used in example 1 it makes for a good start for a chain, or a standalone quest. These could very well be repeatable if delivering the pokémon to say a lab to be given out as a starter, and could even be randomized each day..heck if these are the starts of chains you could randomize them so it's not so easy to get the big end of chain rewards..at least not right away.

- The missing pokémon : best used as a second or third part of a chain and best not to be repeatable, this would involve being given a quest item pokéball and searching for an already captured pokémon to be traded.

- Looking for item : Simple enough concept, sometimes you just need that little bit of a boost. Good items for this type of trade are evolutionary stones, or type increasing items (Blackglasses, Mystic Water, Nevermeltice, et.all)

As I think of more interesting variables (or they're suggested, good ideas are good ideas no matter their source) I'll add them to this post. And may very well add Courier quests in bulk to this thread as I come up with interesting themes or locations to play with.

Hit me if I start giving you team members too much work.  ;)  The Combee Hives alone could be a very odd tileset, akin to Castelia Gym with more organic bits to it.
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Offline Declan_23

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2011, 04:31:35 PM »
I'm very impressed, you've obviously put a lot of hard work into this, unlike some others who post on here. I definitely like the courier service idea, and at the moment we were actually planning on having a network of post offices spread across the region (for long distance trading etc.) I believe that what you have here could be worked into that too.

As an added bonus, these NPC's don't necessarily have to just be for these quests. Making NPC's you already have part of many quests cuts down on objects necessary, making load times for areas shorter. Never a bad thing.

That's true, but seeing as I'm in charge of writing the code for the NPCs, this can get quite complicated.

The quests really all follow the same pattern though, acquire object X from an NPC or in the wild, insert a battle somewhere, trade object X for object Y, return to person that gave you object X, return to quest-giver.

Again, I'd thought of this in advance, and came up with the idea of a notice board in the pokemon centre. Here trainers would write a note if they'd lost something, or needed a specific pokemon etc. From here, many of the quests you suggested could be started. A cool down time of perhaps a day would stop players from grinding.

I'm a big fan of your 'multi-pronged trade' For me, the more complex the quest and story behind it, the better. Anyone can come up with simple stuff.

Whilest I make no promises about including any of this, rest assured I will read this, and use some of your ideas for inspiration when I'm writing the postal service quests.

Hit me if I start giving you team members too much work.  ;)  The Combee Hives alone could be a very odd tileset, akin to Castelia Gym with more organic bits to it.
If you have any pixel art skills, be sure to give some of it a try :)

Offline genbor

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2011, 08:16:55 PM »
 Ah... now that was a good read. I like your ideas, especially since it would indeed make the quests shorter in a sense, since you would have a place of origin to start from.
 
 There were two things that came to my mind. First, sounds a lot like an in-game "non-player" managed Guild. Second, is a sort of Auction house. So it got me thinking, why not have both. Maybe each city could have it's own Courier Office that could be competing with the other ones. To join a Currier Office, you would need to do an Initiation quest, after which you could start working there: hence pick up the quests at the Office. Of course, all Courier Offices can be connected, but their Banners might be different. One could have a flying Pidgey, the other a running Rapidash. That could be shown on the floor (an engraved Emblem inside the Office) and on your badge proving your connection to it.

 About the Auction House part... maybe after a certain amount of quests done, you could advance in ranking at that Courier Office. And with the increasing rank, would come increasing perks. More dangerous but rewarding jobs (quests), and a special Job corner where you can pick up player requests. That would mean that a player places a request on an item/Pokémon along with a reward for anyone who does the Job. So you would go to the Request corner, pick up a request, and head out to solve it.

 To avoid useless competition inside the city's Courier Office, a job can be only picked up once and only by a player. If that player is in a party, the reward would be shared. This would mean that two players wouldn't complete the same jobs, which would cause problems. If one got there before the other with the same job, and got the reward, the other would be frustrated for doing the job for nothing. If a player abandons the job, another player could pick it up. This is where Courier Office competition would come in. A player would - due to human nature - place a request to the closest city's Courier Office, instead of traveling back to another city to do the same thing.

 This might change once a player gets Flying which allows it to quickly travel to any city he already visited, but the competition would still be present: a player would generally turn to a Courier Office he knows works fast. So it would be in the members of a certain Courier Office's best interests to work diligently. (This competition of course wouldn't affect NPC quests)

So about the Initiation Quest, I had this in mind:

 - Trainer goes to a city's Courier Office (Bulbasaur Sigil) and signs up at the Head of that City's Courier Office
 - The trainer is then given a quest to be accepted by the leaders of that CO (Courrier Office)
 - Each CO Leader would then require different things from the Trainer
   >One would want a speedy delivery (deliver withing X time)
   >One would want to obtain a document or some other item
   >One would just dump the quest he was supposed to do due to laziness
   >One would test the player by Battling him
(These are just examples, feel free to add something better)

After the Trainer is accepted, he would get the CO (Bulbasaur Sigil) Badge, and be able to take up the city+ quests)
[City+ meaning the quests of the city, region, etc..]

What about CO Ranks? If you like the idea, go ahead and Decide. :D
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Offline Kalika_Had`ke

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 03:58:17 AM »
Oooh, I think your ideas will blend quite nicely with what I've got here and what Declan has got in the works for the postal quests genbor. The post offices would become not only a place for trading between players, but a quest hub and a twist on the auction house with the PC jobs board.

Some limiting factors I'd suggest off the top of my head are a timeout on the PC jobs, so a job could be listed for say 48 hours but you only have 4-6 to complete it once you accept it, or a limit on how many PC jobs you can be on at a time, or maybe both, to keep a single player from sniping all the jobs and thus all the rewards. You might want to cross-post the NPC guild and PC jobs board ideas to the main ideas and suggestions board to get some more feedback from the community. *strikes nice guy pose*

I especially like the idea of having a harder bunch of NPC quests for each office, and to make it even better if like you said you could only be linked to one office and get their harder quests, one could have the more eccentric rewards be unique to each office and potentially thematically linked to it. For example the combee hives quest reward could only be accessible from the office in the city with the bug type gym...

I now have far too many interesting idea seeds based on that train of thought...I'll be back in a while with another chain, maybe for another thread, maybe for this one. Ok this one ran away with me...it's kinda massive, read at your own peril...or come back to it when you have plenty of time...

The big thing I tried to do here was basically two quest chains that influenced each other such that doing them together makes them easier. The first has a built in bypass, the third is a multi-pronged trade with an interesting mini-story and mechanic in it, read that one if you're actually looking for gold, the fourth gives a useful area that's hard to get to, and the fifth and sixth are an intertwined finale that gives a useful area that's just as hard to get to

One thing I thought of while thinking up some type themed quests...much to my chagrin...is that postal quests would be a great place to insert random jokes of varying levels of funny, as these are the quests people do when not looking for big stories and epic stuff.

Enter this abomination of a quest chain. And horrible, horrible series of jokes. I apologize in advance.

This is a double quest chain, both parts come back together before the end and both the last quests have hard to get to areas in them that the knowledge of is part of the reward.

Sheep for Wood?

"I can't believe it, someone is actually trading a Sudowoodo. I've been looking for one for far too long now. But where am I going to get a Mareep? I have a collection of rare stones that I'd also be willing to give up one of as a reward for promptness." (Obtain a Mareep to trade for Sudowoodo, additional reward of a weather enhancing rock, or may find someone to trade a weather enhancing rock for the Mareep.)

If you obtain your own mareep then the next quest is added to your quests rotation, the post office worker will point you at this questgiver which will trade a damp rock for a Mareep as part of the previous quest if you ask.

Operation Sky and Storm!

"Every rocker knows that the source of your amps changes your sound, and for the best sound you've got to have poké-power! Havin' a super cool mini generator to rock along on my shoulder would also make my performance tight as can be! Find me an Emolga and I'll throw in this poké-battery that charges when hit by an electric type attack for your trouble!" (Simple trade, interesting reward, I havn't used the battery before so don't know its in depth mechanics.)

Ore for Wheat for Brick? (best of this bunch)

"I've gotten lucky again (trainer). But I have to request someone I know for this one, I don't want to stall my training, but this item and pokémon are too valuable to me to take a chance on with someone I don't know. Meet me in the basement of {some deep trecerous mountain} to get the item and the details."

When you go see him, he'll give you a TM94 Rock Smash as a key item (can't be used) and a key item pokéball containing his Rhyperior. He'll tell you about a trainer that will trade the TM for her tropius, if you can best her in battle with his Rhyperior. He's faced her twice before, the first time was a very close win, and the second was an extremely decisive loss. He'll send you along with a note (if you read it it says 'I want our next battle to be as amazing as you, so I sent (trainer) in my steed so I could continue training for it, he has my Rhyperior with him to battle you per our agreement. One on one, if (he/she) wins then you make the trade, if (he/she) looses then I'll just have to find another way then won't I?') Win, and move on to the next part of the trade, lose and you'll have to go catch a Tropius for him.

Continue on and trade the Tropius for a Roggenrola, but not just any Roggenrola. This Roggenrola has been partnered with not just one person, but part of a triple battle team. (which you can come back and battle later if you want to, they will have Tropius on their team, naturally.)

When you go back to the quest giver with Roggenrola, he will tell you that a Roggenrola or Boldore will only evolve if it has worked with many trainers. So a Roggenrola that was part of a triple battle team will certainly evolve into a Gigalith.

This next quest only shows up after doing the last two, and takes you back to the bottom of that forsaken mountain...this had better be worth it. (it will be)

We Will, We Will..

"The best rock comes from the purest source, and for the purest source you need all electric that won't ground out on you. Emolga's great for power metal, but what I really need for the purest of rock is an Eelektross! I hear that Tynamo perfer deep caverns with undergound pools and rivers, but don't know where to go looking for them. Find one and you'll be hansomly rewarded. I'll also give you something else to light your day!" (Additional reward: Absorb Bulb)

The Tynamo in question are way in the back of a stupid deep cavern past the questgiver from the last quest, if you get lost down there he'll give you directions out of gratitude for your help. That's one rare pokémon spot you'll find useful, considering Eelektross has no weaknesses due to levitate, even better if that cavern will evolve Magneon and Nosepass.

While on this quest the guy in the cave will give you another. If you don't pick it up while on this quest it'll show up at the post office eventually.

Seafaring Gold

"Some say the strongest rocks are polished by the sea. I'm inclined to agree with them. Find a Relicanth for me, but not just any Relicanth, I need one that is Sturdy beond any other seagoing stone. Relicanth tend to perfer either deep sea trenches, or when they're not in the deepest parts of the ocean they swim in corsola reafs. I wish I could help you more, but I'm not a seafarer myself..maybe I should expand my horizons."

The answer to this quest isn't obvious, until you get the quest from the electric rocker, which will show up shortly after this one.

I've paid my dues. :(

"The soulful guitar solo, the epitome of the rockers art. Many can do it well, but the best are remembered throughout the ages. And like all things rock it must start with talent. But the best tools, and the best pokémon, can help. I need to speak with you in person and give you something to help you find my new partner in rock!"

When you go talk to him..

"Stupid map! What is the point of having a map to the ultimate rocking partner when you can't get through the blasted desert. Ground types really fry my day. So here, take the map to Pink Pirates Reaf and come back with a chinchou for my rockin' team, and you'll be handsomly rewarded."

The map does take you through a desert, and well hidden in it is the enternace to a sandy cove created protected from the crashing waves by a corsola reaf, complete with Relicanth.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 07:33:33 AM by Kalika_Had`ke »
There once were Pokémon that became very close to humans.
There once were humans and Pokémon that ate together at the same table.
It was a time when there existed no differences to distinguish the two.
--DPP, Canalave Library, Sinnoh Folk Tales

Offline genbor

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 12:46:28 PM »
 In regards to your posts... To be honest I like reading longer posts as long as they are thought out well enough, so no worries there. :)

 -I second your ideas, they sound good. I am mostly a "Quester", not a "Quest Writer" and like in regards with reading longer posts, the same applies to Quests. The longer, more complex/intertwined and fun quests are especially my favorites. So if there are quests that relate back to older quests are especially nice if there's a bigger picture at the end. Like piecing together a puzzle.
 -And now that I mentioned puzzle, I love quests that involve solving them. A puzzle with guiding currents to make it flow towards the wanted destination, or having to go through a maze. It would be nice if there was a quest with a dungeon that involves all of them, puzzle solving, avoiding traps, finding the right route, battling "obstacle" trainers, all that kind of things. Maybe the CO (Courier Office) could have a Dungeon like that underneath, and if you solve it, you could find an easy shortcut between the CO's city and another city with a Courier Office. Or why not connect all of them? It would be an underground dungeon that could connect the cities that have a CO together.

 - So let's say we have 8 COs in 8 cities. The starting point could be your own CO that you joined. You solve the maze that leads to the Center of the dungeon. From there, you can solve 7 different mazes, that lead to 7 different cities. Once you solved a maze, it would be just a simple corridor to you, as opposed to having to redo the maze once more. So it would be worth it for players to solve since: 1. Makes traveling faster (you don't have to cross all those routes, forests, etc) and 2. Would be quite fun in my opinion.

 - The quest could be started in the CO library, where you find a book on the layout and construction plans of the CO building, and you find a secret passage leading down to somewhere. The quest's name could be "Underground Pass" or some such.

 Well since I like solving them more than writing them I'll stop here. Tell me what you think about it.

PS: The other type of quests I like are the witty ones, with Puns for their names and such. I liked your "Sheep for Wood" quest name :D
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Offline Declan_23

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 07:30:43 PM »
Trust me when I say that the puns and jokes i've incorporated are much much worse than anything I've seen here :P

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 07:46:48 PM »
Trust me when I say that the puns and jokes i've incorporated are much much worse than anything I've seen here :P

We didn't doubt about that, Declan. ;)

Offline genbor

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 08:17:44 PM »
I hope so... I love 'em! :P
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Offline Jerry

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 09:15:11 PM »
This is turning out really good, besides the insignificant spelling issues :)
No one can go back and change a bad beginning; but anyone can start now and create a successful ending.
If a problem can be solved, no need to worry about it. If it cannot be solved what is the use of worrying?

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Offline Annafu

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 07:43:55 AM »
You sir, seem like an amazing quest writer. I would gladly do any of these quests.

Offline Kalika_Had`ke

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2011, 01:36:15 AM »
I'm back..well I never really left..I just got smacked around by real life a bit. Regardless I've finished one of the quest chains in my notes from when this thread was last updated. Pardon the threadomancy but I don't see the point of a new thread when this one will do.

As a side note...I broke the character limit with this one. So please wait for the second post to go through before replying.

It makes sense, to me at least, that some quest chains should be started by the post office/courier service, but not actually use it as a hub. Especially if that quest chain has an exceptional reward and is meant to take an exceptionally large amount of time or have an incredibly high difficulty.

What constitutes an exceptional reward in a pokémon MMO though? The first thing that comes to mind is starters, consistently good for their generations, hard to obtain at best, and having more than one is a well known mark of dedicated and/or strong trainers. Even considering the re-balance that's going on the shear cool factor of having a few on your team is worth it to many. Having a chance at even random starters would make an exceptional reward for a dedicated trainer who has gone through the ranks of a PO and earned the privilege to do such a job.

This chain is a good example of that, it should probably be the last quest chain available through a PO (excluding player quests of course), reputation should likely have to be earned with the PO, and maybe even a number of player quests completed through a PO requirement would be a good idea.



'To the plantation'

"You're lucky (player), you've been noticed as one of the best of us and got lucky enough to be selected to work with the plantation for a while. Emerald Plantation is in one of the deepest parts of {something something jungle}. You'd never find your way there without this map, which I might add is an office secret. Also, the jungle is too dense to fly in or out of, you're going to be stuck there for a while. I would heavily stock up on supplies if I were you."

"Initially you'll be going out with this shipment of antidotes, full heals, max potions, revives, and in case of emergency full restores. However while you're working for the plantation the shipment is for the more permanent staff there, not to bail out an over-eager courier. Don't expect their help even though you'll be working closely with them for a while."

"On the other hand the area around the plantation is a treasure trove of natural cures, rare plants, and even rarer pokémon. The pokémon that live in that area of jungle though are as powerful as they are rare. Always be on your guard, take nothing for granted, and watch your partners backs. They're all that's keeping you from becoming part of that jungle, if you catch my drift."

"If you want some free advice (player), here it is. You'll definitely need the ability to cut down obstacles in your path out in the jungle, strength to move boulders out of your path is a good idea, the ability to navigate the river could also be considered a necessity, and a way to navigate rapids and waterfalls would certainly be a plus. A fire type would be damn handy out there if only for the multitude of grass and bug types that are to be expected in the jungle, and if navigating the river frequently something to deal with the water types found there in would be a good idea. OH! And if you have a pokémon that knows the move thief it might be a good idea to take it along to take the berries from the jungle pokémon before they use them."

"Keep your eyes open, do what they need you to do, and take advantage of the opportunity while it lasts. Good luck (player), don't die out there."


A simple, if not long, introduction to the quest chain that lets the player know exactly what they're getting into. The lack of ability to fly in or out of the plantation both explains the need for couriers to get supplies in and out, and accentuates the remoteness of the location. This quest can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Personally I'd opt for hellishly complicated with a heavy dose of screw-you added for good measure. The scale of the effort should match the scale of the reward after all. A fallen tree on the marked path forcing the player to go through several patches of grass no matter which way they go and a maze of one sort or another would be a good start. A mob of uncatchable grovyle (aka several back to back battles) would be a good follow-up and a hint of what can be had at the end of this quest line.

And of course the map shouldn't have everything marked on it from the get-go, that would just be too easy.

This section of jungle should be an 'instanced' area that is only accessible with a 'key', in this case the map. For those unfamiliar with the term an instanced area is unique to the player  or group that is in it and can change depending on the completed quests in the area. No PvP should be possible in this area, nor should there be any actual trainers, the wild pokémon and obstacles on top of the size of the area should be bad enough.


One thing I'd do if I were designing the area is that every few quests part of the main path is un-blocked by the camp workers, making it easier to get in and out, but that's me. Upon (finally) reaching the campsite and making their delivery they should be put to work by the camps inhabitants. The camp will function as quest hub for the duration of their stay.


'Securing the camp'

"So you ran into the Grovyle did you? Now you see why we only request that only very strong trainers deliver our supplies."

"The pokémon in this jungle act rather differently than your average pokémon. They work in groups, not just hunting in packs like canine-like pokémon do, but accosting trainers in groups as well. The Grovyle are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. We need to secure the camp against them, but securing anything from a Grovyle is difficult at best, let alone against a pack of them."

"You'll likely be attacked several times by them while you're helping out the scientists stationed here. Driving back 5 consecutive groups before coming back to camp should make the point that the humans here aren't to be trifled with."


'Collecting Samples'

"The Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, and Venusaur in this area weave a peculiar white vine with green leaves into their leaves and around their bulbs. The Grovyle have also been observed wearing some of it as bracelets, the more bracelets a Grovyle has the higher its standing in its immediate group seems to be. Adornment behavior is extremely peculiar in wild pokémon to say the least. We haven't been able to find the source of this vine as of yet, but need samples of it to determine if it has any purpose or peculiar properties."

"The Grovyles bracelets seem to be dried out for the most part, but the 'saurs vines are usually quite fresh. Find and battle enough 'saurs to get at least 6 samples of this vine. I know you're not a botanist but try to document your interaction with the 'saurs and collection of the vines as best you can with this digital camera."


'Rare Nuts'

"The local Turtwig and Bulbasaur lines seem to have some sort of tribal organization, beyond anything we've ever seen in populations of wild pokémon. We've even observed them trading food and known medicinal herbs and berries for a strange sort of nut we can't identify. Here's an image of one such trade, enhanced so that we can see the details of the nut in question. It seems ordinary enough, despite being an unknown species. We have never seen either line eating these nuts, and are puzzled as to why they use them as barter."

"Procuring samples of these nuts will be difficult, like many things in this dense jungle we haven't found the source of these either. The best way to go about this may actually be to trade with either the Bulbasaur or the Turtwig. As young members of their tribes they may be more inclined to trade with a human that observes their method of trading. To trade with a Bulbasaur or Turtwig go down to one of the sandy parts of the riverside, draw a circle in the sand, and place a natural medicinal item inside it. If you wait long enough a pokémon should come to trade with you. I would suggest trading for whatever they offer to garner some goodwill with them and learn the values of different items in their barter system."


Some fun bits that could be added these quests. Sometimes after fighting a grovyle mob you may find a fresh sample of the white vine, and sometimes the bulbasaur will trade for them as part of the rare nuts quest. Also the mechanics of the rare nuts quest never have to go away, even after the quest is complete, so you can trade with the bulbasaur and the turtwig to your hearts content. They may even have some rare items like elemental stones or rare berries if you offer the right things in the right amounts. This means that 'collecting samples' can be completed without ever battling a 'saur. This could be important later. And yes the camera (I wouldn't even list it as an item) is a Chekhov's gun that will show up again and again throughout the quests.

Another pair of quests sheds even more light on the culture of the grass starters.


'Preserving the greenhouse'

"Hindsight is 20-20 as they say. We've been having problems with raids on our greenhouse, samples we've been growing to research and foodstuffs we grow on site have been going missing for some time now. We've never been able to find tracks of whatever was raiding us, nor were we able to catch it on video, until now. And it makes sense that we couldn't find tracks, a serperior doesn't make any."

"If you hide out in the upper level of the greenhouse during nighttime you should be able to ambush it. That'll help both the scientists and the cooks, two groups I don't think anyone wants to annoy in a place like this."


'Meganium, and their place between the tribes.'

"The few times we've observed a Meganium in these jungles it has always been in the company of other species or at one of the beaches bartering. Your insights into the barter system however seem to make Meganiums behavior more confusing, not less. The one individual we've seen from a distance seems to draw a circle around itself, or accepts circles seemingly without any trade."

"We would like to examine this behavior further, try to trade with Meganium and find out what they offer."


Serperior will show up, and will try to raid the greenhouse. But will leave as soon as it spots you. A simple dialogue box of 'Serperior moves carefully away from you. But something seems odd about it, so you take a few pictures to see if anyone knows what's going on.' Taking these photos to a scientist will reveal that Serperior is one female, and two very, very gravid. Tell this to the site administrator and they'll decide to set out what they can for her as a goodwill gesture.

Likewise trading with Meganium won't necessarily go as planned. Trying to trade with Meganium will cause a short over-world cut-scene where Meganium seems confused at your trade and you'll get an option to send out one of your pokémon to talk with it. If the pokémon you send out doesn't meat the requirements for the quest you'll get a short cut-scene that suggests you should send out a different pokémon and an option to do so. The 'trick' to completing this quest is to send out a member of your party at 75% or less HP, or for them to have a status condition. This will trigger a short scene of Meganium using Heal Pulse or Aromatherapy on your teammate as needed then 'charging' you an appropriate amount of 'rare nuts' (you were using rare nuts to barter with right?), 5 for heal pulse, 10 for aromatherapy. The point is that the Meganium are healers for the other tribes, so can travel freely between them.



This would be the place to insert more quests dealing with the structures of the starter tribes, odd plant life (maybe berries that can't be gotten or easily gotten anywhere else?), barter quests for interesting things like unknown useful plants or even pokémon crafted tools, other rare grass and jungle pokémon, maybe even put a Moss Covered Rock to evolve eevee into leafeon somewhere in the area. OOH! Hidden cavern behind the waterfall, that's a classic. As this post is passing massive and getting into ridiculous I'm going to cut to the good bit in the next post.
There once were Pokémon that became very close to humans.
There once were humans and Pokémon that ate together at the same table.
It was a time when there existed no differences to distinguish the two.
--DPP, Canalave Library, Sinnoh Folk Tales

Offline Kalika_Had`ke

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2011, 01:37:20 AM »
Post 2 starts with a completely evil quest that is required to move the story ahead. After turning in the last chunk of quests you get the next major quest in the chain.


'Scientific Babysitting'

"I swear. Scientists are all bloody insane. I get that to find new things you have to range farther out from camp. Do they get that the further they range the more likely it is that they don't come back? Scientist Lara wants to go to the top of the waterfall, see what is there, and potentially get a better survey of the area. I think she's nuts for wanting to range that far. But what can I do? It's really her expedition, not mine."

"Take Scientist Lara to the top of the waterfall, you'll be responsible for her and her team while she's with you. Lara's Lapras knows surf and waterfall so can get both of you to the top if needed."


Yes, it's an escort quest. Once you get to the top of the waterfall Lara will occasionally say she wants to go look at something and wander off to go look at something, take samples, etcetera. And all battles either you or she gets into will be double battles. As if that wasn't bad enough, several times during this quest you'll be ambushed by either groups of ivysaur or grotle along with a venusaur or torterra leader respectively.

Yes I'm a jerk. They're all scripted events, so uncatchable. Just like every other scripted event in this place.

After a few groups, getting well into the upper area of the jungle, finding the hot spring that feeds the river, and crossing a living vine bridge over a canyon which Lara comments on (some of those cool bits of scenery every area should have), you come to what looks like a conflict with the serperior and venusaur on one side and the sceptile and torterra on the other, with meganium playing mediator.

Observing this for a while, you come to the conclusion that the camp has landed itself in the middle of a giant starter turf war.

Lara will want to get back to the camp before you're discovered. More mob encounters are entirely up to how evil or ambitious the quest coder feels while writing it.

After turning in the babysitting quest you can take Lara into the jungles with you anytime, as well as have her help in getting back to the top of the waterfall.


'Root causes'

"OK, we know what's going on now. But not why. Our behavior expert thinks that there may be more information at the site you found above the waterfall. One would think the gathering would be over by now. Take Lara with you if you want, she'll take any excuse to get out of the camp for a while."


This one's simple, go out and go to the gathering site. Immediately behind it and out of sight of your vantage point from before you'll find a wilted flower garden. If you're alone it'll strike you as strange to find anything wilted in a jungle this lush so you'll document, take samples for the scientists, and head back to camp. If Laura is with you she'll do much the same thing but comment on the initial findings now.

Regardless you'll find out either right then or when you get back that those flowers aren't just any ordinary flowers. They're gracidea flowers. And here you thought this quest line would just be a commentary on how pokémon tribes could work. I think the payoff is big enough that I can justify the legendary card here.

The equipment at the camp isn't good enough to find the reason for the wilting of the gracidea. And regardless the scientists here only have a minimal understanding of it and Shamin's biology. Hence..


'Priority package to (starting lab town)!'

"Alright, with this turf war going on we're in over our depth here. The gracidea being wilted  means that shaymin can't safely come here without risking not being able to leave, there may even be one or several shaymin trapped here without any reasonable way to get to the next flower patch. I think it's safe enough to say that if we restore the gracidea then the shaymin can take care of the war that's on."

"Take these samples to (starting lab town) and tell (professor insert name here) to call anyone they can think of that can help us figure out how to make the gracidea bloom again."


You heard 'em. Get going! Oh wait, you can't fly into or out of here. *trollface*

Regardless, this quest is simple enough. It's just going to take a while to get where you're going. Once there the samples are evaluated, and you get the next quest.


'Ingredients of hope'

"The samples you've brought back are...odd to say the least. There's definitely something wrong with the soil that the gracidea are growing in, but we've never seen the likes of it before. Gracidea flowers dislike being transplanted or I'd suggest moving the flower patch, however the soil seems plenty fertile enough to support the gracidea most adequately even when taking their abnormally high requirements for many nutrients into account. More testing will be required before we understand the problem, let alone have a solution."

"Regardless we have to do something, and quickly if the research outpost is to stay in place for any length of time. The camp being caught up in a pokémon civil war would cut the expectancy of getting anyone back out dramatically. My..contact in the Sinnoh region has suggested a potential solution, even if scientifically it makes little sence...but then most researchers that study mythology and local lores rarely make any sence..."

"Anyway. She suggested a purification ritual that in sinnoh lore is supposed to revive wilted plants, including a 'documented account', and I use the term loosely in this case, of reviving a patch of gracidea."

"Regardless of my thoughts on the matter, she thinks it's worth trying at the very least. I can't argue with her. More often than not such rituals hold a grain of science in them, even if we don't understand it yet. Here is a list of ingredients and notes on how the ritual is performed. I wish you luck in the endeavor."


Yup, epic fetch quest. I kept the list of ingredients ambiguous on purpose, the intent is to drag the player all over the region gathering random bits and bobs from various places, talking to NPC's that were assumed to be in the game solely for flavor, and generally dragging them around high level areas by the nose. This is another great place to insert random quests of various levels of absurdity with rewards of quest items needed for this quest. One chunk of ingredients that come to mind is "Combine the sweetest honey available with a seed indigenous to the area into an incense to burn over the flower patch." Requiring sweet honey (as in the item normally slathered on trees), rare nuts (like I'd ignore an excuse to use them for something else), and an old incense shop located in an out of the way old-timey town. If it's not a Fly point all the better. An incense burner blessed by a Slowking shaman/priest/guardian (ala the second movie) would be a nice touch. Standard ritual stuff, bells, salt, candles, little totem statues, run with the theme.

Head back to the flower patch and perform the ritual. No you still can't fly into the jungle, shaymin are small and can maneuver like hummingbirds. One on map cut scene later the gracidea are revived. Quest complete.

Oh wait, how do I get my starter reward you ask? Well first you have to get a bit of wrap-up data from the major parties. The shaymin that will show up (and consequently shift into sky form now that it is able to) will agree to make peace between the tribes before leaving to find its kin. Talking to the various scientists and such around the camp will reveal some interesting bits relating to the quests you've gone on, including that the rare nuts are almost valueless, they have little nutritional value, don't help with status conditions, nothing. Talking to the behavior expert from before (you'll find him at his desk in one of the tents frantically writing) reveals that they weren't using the nuts as barter, they were using them as _coinage_ due to their slow growing cycle. They have no intrinsic worth, only perceived worth (consequently he's busy writing a paper on the subject). When you next hit the lab the professor will muse at you about the effectiveness of the ritual and the potential applications once the mechanism behind it is discovered. All that good flavor that lore-nerds like me love. The important bit is from the camps manager who tells you that since the attacks have stopped they've been able to get on good terms with the tribes and trade with them, and that the more they've traded in goods and services the more fascinating things that they've found in this jungle.

And that's the kicker. All those quests were a prerequisite to trading your way into being considered an honorary member of one of the tribes. As part of that ceremony you'll be offered an egg containing one of the tribes newest generation in it. It's carries the same importance as getting your first pokémon and starting your journey. Once you're part of one tribe you can't becomes part of the others, so choose wisely. Also, every once in a while depending on how much time you spend in the jungle and how much you trade with the tribes you'll be offered more eggs to take care of. Your addition to the tribe brings them prestige and prosperity the more you're around, but every population has its limits. They're trusting you to find good homes for their children so their kind can continue to grow elsewhere.


In conclusion. Not only am I an evil quest writer, but I'm a sappy, evil quest writer as well.
There once were Pokémon that became very close to humans.
There once were humans and Pokémon that ate together at the same table.
It was a time when there existed no differences to distinguish the two.
--DPP, Canalave Library, Sinnoh Folk Tales

Offline St. Jimmy

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Re: Just one quest? Thinking bigger: The pokémon courier service.
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2011, 04:23:21 AM »
Good show! Good show!  I simply love this idea and hope to see some of your quest in the game!

sup