Why I hate twitch quests.

World of Warcraft introduced in its second expansion a “bombing run” quest. This was in the first zone players would encounter. It involved selecting targets on the ground with an AOE effect while you flew over. Everybody I knew said, “Wait till you get to the bombing run!” I hated it.

Blizzard cleverly let you repeat this quest, for absolutely no reward, to gauge how much players liked it. Obviously they liked it a lot, because there are more of these quests in Wrath of the Lich King. I’m going to call these quests “twitch quests,” and this is why I hate them.

  1. My character is not involved. The years I’ve spent gaining reputation, building skills, and gathering gear have nothing to do with this quest. I can do it just as well at level 1 as I can at level 80.
  2. The game perspective changes. MMOs are third-person games. I play to watch my character do things. Real-life is first-person, so I get quite enough of that elsewhere.
  3. The controls change. Especially in the newest WoW expansion, with the “vehicle” interface. In an MMO I can spend a lot of time organizing how I want my user interface to look, but twitch games throw all that out the window and give me new buttons I’m unfamiliar with.
  4. A different skill set is required. One of the reasons that MMOs have such a wide appeal is that they don’t require the button-mashing or platform-jumping skills that other games do. It’s like playing Doom and having to stop and play a game of Contract Bridge to open a box of ammo.

From all the data points I can collect, everybody likes these quests but me. However, I think there are a lot of players that don’t want to see first-person twitch games that don’t use their character skills. They’re just not speaking up.

The worst sin with this gameplay is to put in in a quest line where I have to complete the damned thing to proceed. This is the single major flaw, in my estimation, with the excellent Death Knight quest line. It’s a very linear progression and you have to do the twitch quest.


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