Updating the Questing system

I have a lot of plans for the questing system in The Wastelands; maybe more ambition than sense...

Truth be told the old quest system wasn't very modular. It's very static and hard to easily reuse for other NPCs or other quests; and it plays the #1 role in why quests haven't really changed from the initial offering. Because the plans I have for the future involve LOTS of NPCs and quests, I needed to rework it all. Mark your calendars, because today is the end of the old quest system as you know it!

In the coming months I will be pushing out more quests and more NPCs. My ultimate goal is to give the player some choice in the rewards they really want to work for. At the same time, this work is required preparation for a (still secret) bigger change to how NPCs work overall.

Starting today, Aldens quests will change! Right now the categories of loot he dispenses as a reward will remain in the same vein as his old rewards. These are temporary categories until more NPCs have quests, and then those updated NPCs will take over the categories. For those who don't quest, his categories were food, items, and Trader Scrit. Previously you always got some Trader Scrit for completing a quest, this has changed so that you only get it if you get the actual scrit rewards. As I mentioned earlier, in the future you will get to choose your category of rewards by choosing which NPC to visit.

Category Food Rewards: Lots of good food here, and enough items for some diversity each with quest.

Category Item Rewards: I spent a weekend studying what was most used, and most needed in the game. I've put a lot of those things to the items rewards list, and doubled up the chances of getting certain items like Chem A, Cinderblock, Medkits, etc. I've even added ammo as a reward!

Category Scrit Rewards: Scrit reward got the only nerf out of this whole system. While going over everything I took time to re-examine how useful scrit is as a reward, and I've balanced it out to what I think is fair.

In general the BV amount of reward you get has almost been doubled, except for scrit, which has been halved. There's a lot more diversity in rewards, so you might not get exactly what you want, or you might get exactly what you need. Hard quests reward a LOT more than before -- but are now genuinely hard.

Rewards may still be tweaked. We'll start with this though and see how it goes.
Quest Difficulties have changed drastically! I've heard your lamentations about how sometimes a quest will pop up at the bottom of The Great Fissure, or an easy Quest in Cormac can redefine what difficulty really means. So I've added a whole new category of difficulty, changed how crates spawn, among many other things! And I'll even outline how the new difficulty system works!
Distance: There are two categories of distance. Based on the home location of the NPC, the destination region could be near or far. This plays a factor in how difficult a quest is.

Crate Difficulty: This is what you're familiar with. I have not changed how crates function much, but Crate Difficulty will help determine the overall quest difficulty.

Crate Difficulty + Distance = New Quest Difficulty: Standard crates that are near are considered easy quests. Standard crates that are far, or difficult crates that are near are considered medium quests. Crates that are both far and difficult are considered hard quests.

You get more rewards the more difficult a quest is, and a bonus reward for completing a hard quest on top of the already phat loot of a hard quest.

In order to help new players understand the game, the first quest for any new player will always be an easy one.
Under the Hood stuff (Everything has been changed):
A new quest object spawning system has been developed to ensure quest items spawn and reach their destination. Previously there was about a 1/30 chance that a quest crate would not reach it's destination due to a region being offline, or parcel settings being wrong. A significant part of this update is ensuring that the destination region is online, the crate spawner is responsive, and that the crate has actually spawned. If none of this works, your daily quest timer will be reset so you don't miss out. I'll also get an IM about it.

Reward delivery has been changed to the same system the crates and bartering use, that way I can keep track of any errors that pop up, and hand-deliver rewards if there's an error that's been logged. And, that way you don't accidentally decline a whole folder of items.

For now I've removed heavy crate quests, they are once again broken.

All regions are now available for Aldens Quest Crates and for your own sanity, they don't include the extended areas like the caves or far out places in The Sand Seas.

This is a bit of old news, but how the quest crates spawn has changed. Basically they should spawn in less "insane" places, for instance at the bottom of Burnt Oak, or on the edge of a cliff in The Great Fissure. The tradeoff is that quests are now 15 minutes instead of 20.

p.s. Aeg is next on the list of NPCs to get an update.