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Diablo 3 Quest Subversion

I know, I know, I’m all over the place.

But I’ve been trying to tease out what makes a game quest enjoyable. Or a game storyline. Why some games I can’t play, and others really connect.

So far, I think I’ve narrowed it down to: be a reasonably moral hero, and if forced into choices which go against that, have the chance to correct them.

This probably correlates with: “don’t punish the kinder choice”.

On the other hand, there are also some very predictable narratives, especially if a game uses them over and over. For instance, I remember quite a few times in Diablo 3 when there’s something luring the player in, begging for help, promising rewards, whatever. You help the ghost/spirit/person, and…

…they summon allies and jump you.

It was so predictable that I’d mutter, “OK, and when will you attack?”

Then there’s this one random quest in the post-storyline, where a ghost asks for help. It’s so obviously and predictably a trap that your follower even comments on it.

Then you set the remaining ghosts to rest, and…

…the ghost just thanks you. It always gives me a warm fuzzy, weirdly, and at the same time, it undercuts the pattern that’s been established. (I think the follower’s comment is intended partly to lampshade the obvious path, and partly to remind the player of the pattern so the difference is more stark.)

It’s a variation on the idea of “beat, beat, subvert”. Establish the pattern, then subvert it.

(This works well in a narrative, when looking for a twist — make sure the twist is a twist by establishing the pattern it’s twisting from first.)

Anyway. Just a fun moment in a moderately dark game.


Published inDiabloVideo Games

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