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How Bad Are Dragon Age: Inquisition's MMO-esque Fetch Quests?

OricWindstar

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Apr 11, 2014
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In almost every opinion piece I come across, people seem to always bring up that a large bulk of Dragon Age: Inquisition's gameplay is forcing you into performing repetitive sidequests instead of allowing you to just play the story quests. I was surprised to hear this, considering how many people were pleased to see it getting GOTY awards. Hearing multiples sources bring up that you're not allowed to move on to the next story requests because you have to scavenger hunts or fetch quests similar in style to many MMOs sounds like a real slog.

I was wondering if they really are that bad. I ask for two reasons:

A) I'm on the fence about getting the game and am unsure if I should take the plunge.

B) It seems like many games nowadays have these mindless "time-killer" quests that are more about making the game seem longer. Do people actually enjoy these? I get the feeling that a lot of developers just worry people will talk about how short the game is if it isn't some kind of "OMG, IT TOOK ME 90 HOURS TO BEAT THIS" experience.

What do you guys think?
 

JayEH

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Dec 3, 2013
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They're bad. You can skip most but you need to do some for party friendship/grinding some levels. Do not get stuck in the first area or you'll get burnt out quick.
 

JumpJeff84

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Feb 28, 2007
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I don't mind them.

They're optional, that's the thing. There's still a lotta good content, and I had fun doing even mindless stuff. The game has great mobility- I loved running around and jumping (there's a jump button!) and getting into battles while collecting 6 of this and 7 of that.

To me they were never a problem. I did them when I felt like it, skipped a ton, and still ended up getting 70 hours out of the game.
 

kinoki

Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey.
Apr 27, 2006
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It's kinda like an Ubisoft game.
Don't throw around the U-word so carelessly.

Also, they're soulsuckingly bad at times. There are times when I'm walking along the Stormy Coast thinking to myself "Why do I do this? I have things to do. Like take up knitting."
 

Markitron

Is currently staging a hunger strike outside Gearbox HQ while trying to hate them to death
Aug 24, 2010
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I just started playing it the other day. I am in the Hinterlands area now and it seems absolutely massive, every part of the map seems to reveal 3 more quests. I am usually the type of person to try to do everything but after ACU I don't wanna do another map-cleaning simulator.

I have unlocked other areas but haven't visited them, are they all this massive?
 

Grinchy

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Aug 3, 2010
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In a cave outside of Whooville.
They are very fetchy. I'm not bothered by that, though. Sometimes I want to blaze through the story and sometimes I want to grind out a new area. Without all the fetch quests, the areas would be beautiful, empty, and useless.
 

Sykotik

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Dec 5, 2008
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I was pretty disappointed when I realized that's what all the quests were.

I played the game for around 100 hours, and it's been 95% fetch quests through-out.

It's pretty bad. If you don't have a stomach for modern MMO design, you most likely won't like the majority of DA:I, but if you enjoy checking off items on a list, you'll probably enjoy it.
 

OricWindstar

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Apr 11, 2014
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I don't mind them.

They're optional, that's the thing. There's still a lotta good content, and I had fun doing even mindless stuff. The game has great mobility- I loved running around and jumping (there's a jump button!) and getting into battles while collecting 6 of this and 7 of that.

To me they were never a problem. I did them when I felt like it, skipped a ton, and still ended up getting 70 hours out of the game.
I thought you had to do a good portion of them, no? Don't you have to build up your "power" in order to advance story missions?
 

2San

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Dec 11, 2009
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I don't mind them.

They're optional, that's the thing. There's still a lotta good content, and I had fun doing even mindless stuff. The game has great mobility- I loved running around and jumping (there's a jump button!) and getting into battles while collecting 6 of this and 7 of that.

To me they were never a problem. I did them when I felt like it, skipped a ton, and still ended up getting 70 hours out of the game.
Is it clear before you undertake the quest what is good content and what is mindless stuff?
 

Linearskillz

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May 17, 2011
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They're pretty bad and the endless searching and looting (with long animations) is tiresome, but the story missions are top-tier. I don't think I ever felt like I was forced to do them to progress since I always had more than enough Power.
 
Dec 26, 2009
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I don't mind them.

They're optional, that's the thing. There's still a lotta good content, and I had fun doing even mindless stuff. The game has great mobility- I loved running around and jumping (there's a jump button!) and getting into battles while collecting 6 of this and 7 of that.

To me they were never a problem. I did them when I felt like it, skipped a ton, and still ended up getting 70 hours out of the game.
This is where I come down. I enjoyed the combat and the environments so I would just explore and grind out a couple of side quests between story / companion missions. Probably only ended up doing 50% of them.
 

Sanctuary

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Feb 10, 2012
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It's kinda like an Ubisoft game.

But the really awful thing is running around, clicking in the left stick all the time looking for fucking plants.
That, and there's zero incentive (that I've found and I've finished the game) to ever use a mount if you're a Mage or Warrior. The "sprint" looks ridiculous too due to the fact that there's always this rushing wind graphic to indicate speed, while the horse is moving at what would be a normal horse's regular gallop speed. You can't ping on a mount, gather on a mount and they move ridiculously slow. Purpose?

Okay, I guess BASE jumping is one use...
 

LeBart

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Aug 24, 2009
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I don't think it's ever quite as bad as some MMOs that have you gather 10 bear pelts or whatever, and then only 1 in 5 bears actually drop the fucking thing...

But it is fair to say that Dragon Age: Inquisition is a game that totally doesn't respect your time. They were clearly trying to make the biggest game they could possibly make and a lot of that transpires in the quest designs.
I think it's by far one of the best games to come out this year but you will flat out hate it if you try to marathon through it.
 

JumpJeff84

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I thought you had to do a good portion of them, no? Don't you have to build up your "power" in order to advance story missions?
Well yeah, but if you focus on closing Fade Rifts that'll get you the power you need to advance the story. You won't be stuck doing fetch quests for very long if you don't wanna. The thing is, in this game exploration is fun, and some of the fetch quests go hand it hand with that.
 

kingocfs

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Dec 17, 2006
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I don't mind them.

They're optional, that's the thing. There's still a lotta good content, and I had fun doing even mindless stuff. The game has great mobility- I loved running around and jumping (there's a jump button!) and getting into battles while collecting 6 of this and 7 of that.

To me they were never a problem. I did them when I felt like it, skipped a ton, and still ended up getting 70 hours out of the game.
+1 on the mobility comment, I feel like you are booking in this game so it doesn't feel as laborious.
 

MMBosstones86

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Feb 7, 2012
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if you are enjoy the world and want to explore more : do them.

If you are getting bored and want to finish up the story (and ignore a handful of areas) : don't do them.

You aren't really forced to do any of them. I didn't find them too annoying until later in the game. The world was a joy to explore, so it wasn't too much or a hassle to run around to do some stupid shit.
 

PFD

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Jun 1, 2012
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They are terrible. The worst part is that they aren't optional, you have to grind them out to get power and exp for the story areas.
I disagree. I was overleveled for most story content even though I skipped half of the side quests. I never touched the shards or astrariums either.

Also, discovering fast travel in this game (from one point to another within the map) was a revelation. It completely changed how I played
 

OricWindstar

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Well yeah, but if you focus on closing Fade Rifts that'll get you the power you need to advance the story. You won't be stuck doing fetch quests for very long if you don't wanna. The thing is, in this game exploration is fun, and some of the fetch quests go hand it hand with that.
Hmmm, good to know.

Still on the fence, but the posts so far are not that promising. I'm just really wanting some of the old Bioware magic and this was sounding like it might have it. It's been a while since I've played a good RPG.
 

VeryGooster

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It's weird because it's my one pet peeve that's turned me off to the last few Ubisoft games. Here I mind a bit less, but at the same time the context of some of the fetch quests is just dumb ("Hey important person, please wrangle up this Druffalo I lost!"). But they're optional unless you're hurting for influence/power.

The Hinterlands is pretty bad about this, and since it's the first area of the game it's a pretty poor first impression of DA:I despite the area being gorgeous. But I think overall so far the good has far outweighed the bad the rest of the way.
 

pseudocaesar

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Well they are practically entirely optional. So if you dont like them, skip them. Also, I found that whenever I went to a new area I just picked every plant and mined all the ore whenever I came across it. It doesnt take any inventory space, and then whenever I came across a requisition or a "fetch" quest, 9 times out of 10, I already had everything required. I dont mind them though, I'm a bit of a completionist so I think they're cool, gives you a reason to explore the entire map.
 

Sanctuary

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speak for yourself. I think it's easily the best combat of the trilogy.
How does that refute that the combat is still not very good? Anyway, in some ways it's a lot better than what Origins offered, but in most ways worse combat wise. It's about on par to DA2 as far as combat mechanics go, not counting encounter designs.
 

III-V

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They range from good to boring. They typically reveal some lore, so I like them.
 

Coxswain

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Feb 27, 2008
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If you're the sort of person who can't ignore things that are marked on your map, or you get bothered that they're on there, then it'll be a goddamn nightmare and you should skip it.

Otherwise, for the most part you can just not do things that you find tedious or un-fun, and get through the game just fine. You need to do side objectives to advance the game's plot, but there are more than enough actual, proper sidequests and combat challenges to get the Power you need to unlock all the new areas and main story missions.

(Disclaimer: I'm probably only around 50-60% of the way through the game, but I'd be shocked if there were any drastic changes to the formula.)
 

Lingitiz

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I disagree. I was overleveled for most story content even though I skipped half of the side quests. I never touched the shards or astrariums either.

Also, discovering fast travel in this game (from one point to another within the map) was a revelation. It completely changed how I played
Even doing about half of them is way way too many. You can go really long stretches without doing any meaningful content. It would be fine if they were totally superfluous but they are not traditional "side content". They are pretty much the meat of the game.
 

Ralemont

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Mar 26, 2014
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Hmmm, good to know.

Still on the fence, but the posts so far are not that promising. I'm just really wanting some of the old Bioware magic and this was sounding like it might have it. It's been a while since I've played a good RPG.
I guess that depends what you mean by the old BioWare magic. Inquisition's closest BioWare sibling is easily Baldur's Gate 1. That game had a lot of the same issues with its side content and - at times - zones without much story content.

If you mean later than BG but before the last few years, everything that makes BioWare games notable is still here in force. It's just surrounded by much bigger zones that have a lot more collectible style quests. There are still plenty of story-based sidequests, but due to the sheer size of the world they are necessarily in the minority.

It really doesn't take a whole lot of time to get enough Power to unlock more story quests. However, if you don't enjoy the exploration and combat, then it's likely to seem a hell of a lot longer than it actually is.
 

Liquid_Bike

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I think they are really really bad. That being said the story missions and the supporting cast are awesome. So its really a toss up.
 

Sanctuary

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Even doing about half of them is way way too many. You can go really long stretches without doing any meaningful content. It would be fine if they were totally superfluous but they are not traditional "side content". They are pretty much the meat of the game.
Maybe by the time DA4 rolls around Bioware will finally understand what balance means.

"People bitched about the recycled areas and lack of quests in DA2, so let's fix that!"

(adds in a bunch of somewhat unique, yet repetitive maps with a TON of filler "content")

"See look, the game is now 100+ hours long, they will love it!"

It really doesn't take a whole lot of time to get enough Power to unlock more story quests. However, if you don't enjoy the exploration and combat, then it's likely to seem a hell of a lot longer than it actually is.
This game is hell on completionists though. Some people like exploration as well as not skipping content, but this game has so much content that just demands being skipped after a point. And no, you don't need to do all of them to complete the game. I had 146 power left over by the time I finished it the first time, and I quit doing much of them around 2/3rds of the way through. They also went overboard with the lore. The average person, hell not even the majority of "hardcore" RPG players are going to keep reading every damn conquest point. For those that actually care, it's nice I guess, but it feels like it was something worked on by a seperate team.
 

Neuromancer

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I enjoy them a lot, some times more than the main story missions. Some are fairly run of the mill but others are funny, or weird, or tell you more about the world than you knew before. If you were to strip them out it would be a worse game for it, for sure.
 

JumpJeff84

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Hmmm, good to know.

Still on the fence, but the posts so far are not that promising. I'm just really wanting some of the old Bioware magic and this was sounding like it might have it. It's been a while since I've played a good RPG.
This is a great RPG, and it definitely has that Bioware magic
 

OricWindstar

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I guess that depends what you mean by the old BioWare magic. Inquisition's closest BioWare sibling is easily Baldur's Gate 1. That game had a lot of the same issues with its side content and - at times - zones without much story content.

It really doesn't take a whole lot of time to get enough Power to unlock more story quests. However, if you don't enjoy the exploration and combat, then it's likely to seem a hell of a lot longer than it actually is.
I'm thinking the original KOTOR or Mass Effect 2, where I feel my character to be significant to the plot and my party members are all interesting. I can deal with sidequests if they provide at least some character development, but if I'm going to be spending most of my time just walking from A to B, I'd get bored really fast.
 

Daingurse

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There's a lot of shit that I ignore. It really has mmo/open world quest design, weakest part of the game in my eye. I definitely enjoyed Dragon Age Inquisition a lot, but it felt padded with content that I didn't find the least bit compelling. So I just did what I felt like doing, and progressed. Cleared the game in around 60ish hours, and I can easily see where the 90-100+ hour play thrus are coming from, there is a lot of content. The question is whether that content has much value to you, and for me a lot of that side-content just doesn't.

My recommendation is to simply not do all of them. I see no reason doing side-content to your own detriment.
 

Wulfram

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You really don't have to grind the genuinely bad quests, bar maybe a couple of quests . Just take over the keeps, grab the camps and close the rifts that are convenient when you're doing main quests and do the quests for the area that you get on arriving in an area and you'll have more than enough power.
 

rexor0717

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Three is a surplus of quests to give you the power necessary to push the story quests forward. I like that you don't really need to do all of them.
 

ZehDon

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There are definitely MMO-esque in their nature, however I found that I was able to do a great deal of them simply moving from one good side quest to another. Stopping a few second to press "A" didn't bother me at all, and I really enjoyed some of the flavour text that you got.

I do agree that the "Collect 10 Ram Meats" bullshit needs to go, though. MMOs use these type of quests because they're repeatable by every player in the shared space. Dragon Age doesn't take place in a shared space, so there's no excuse for these dry quests, really. Collecting or finding stuff is fine - it encourages exploration, and can reward you with cool stuff.
 

Lingitiz

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You really don't have to grind the genuinely bad quests. Just take over the keeps, grab the camps and close the rifts that are convenient and do the quests for the area that you get on arriving in an area and you'll have more than enough power.
The problem is that even those are just rote and uninteresting. They make every area feel the exact same. There's no story to tell, no characters to interact with. It's just Assassin's Creed level map marker design that doesn't do anything but take up all of your time. Also, the combat is awful, mindless, and clunky as fuck.
 

Yasae

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Jan 1, 2009
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How many times are we going to apologize for cruddy quests making up too much of this game? They're in the game, you can skip (some but not all of) them if you want, BUT THEY'RE THERE. Things which are in a game tend to be open to criticism from all angles.

Always with the "skip it".