So how many times have you run into these kinds of scenarios? I know that for the most part reading the quest text starts to get a little bit old. Usually by the time I get a chance to sit at my computer and get some game time in I’m working with the last shreds of my concentration for the day. Sometimes though I do get sucked into quest lines.

Reading over at Bio Break today I was reminded of one of the more poignant moments in my early MMO experiences. After getting burnt out on World of Warcraft the first time around I’d picked up Guild Wars. I’d researched it a little and it looked like it’d keep me busy for a bit and hey, the no monthly fee bit sounded awesome.

After rolling a nice wicked looking Necromancer (Strangling Ivy) I started exploring  pretty Pre Searing Ascalon. One of the quests there of course involves helping a little girl named Gwen get her flute back.

Any quest where a little girl asks me for help always gets me. This quest was no exception. Ok it was annoying to battle through everything to get Gwen’s flute back for her. It was worse of course when I had to return a broken flute because the mobs had smashed the silly thing. After buying Gwen a new flute I set out to adventure leaving little Gwen happily skipping about.

OK spoiler warning, if you haven’t played Guild Wars Prophecies, you may not want to read this bit. If you don’t care, sweet.

Anyway, thing is that the green lands of Ascalon were not meant to be. As you progress through the quest series you end up getting thrown into a war torn Ascalon that was destroyed by the Searing. The green fields, the farmers, the lakes, all of it turned into a dusty barren wasteland. Only small outposts of what had once been civilization exist here or there. After traipsing through the green happy fields of Pre Searing Ascalon, the horrors of destruction and war are pretty harsh.

Really though, having a kind of a mercenary attitude toward games, I just looked for the first person willing to pay me for work. Then however, out on a mission I found Gwen’s broken flute. I pretty much just stared at my screen, that one item stopping me in my tracks.

She was just an NPC. A computer program right? It wasn’t as if she had been a real person, she was just a fictional character in a fictional game. Nothing I saw before me was actually real, not the mobs, not the landscape, not even my Necromancer.

Thing is though, that little item, an abandoned broken instrument, left so many unanswered questions. What had happened to little Gwen?

What quests or even random items have you come across that made you stop and wonder?

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12 years ago

I remember a sad quest in WoW, where I had to dive into the lake at Lakeshire. I searched under water in piles of muck for her necklace. After the 10th time doing this I wanted to kick her boyfriend in the butt and have him get it.

I started playing EQ2 and I finally discovered what RPG means. WoW was more like a pinball machine. You flick buttons and watch the ball hit things. Pew pew goes the lights and whistles. Why did it take me so long to find EQ2?

12 years ago

I have been exercising my brain trying to think. I had a very specific example of this not too long ago and now its eluded me. I know exactly what you are talking about though. I think that sense of dismay you are feeling is because you are subconsciously drawing a parallel to a ‘real-life’ idea. Maybe you are even associating Gwen with a real person.