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Does anyone else sometimes hate side missions?

#1KevoCSCSPosted 11/26/2012 4:05:05 PM
They are implemented well in some games like Dishonored and Mass Effect 3 but more often than not they feel like pointless filler, tedious busywork and padding to artificially lengthen the life of a game.

It's especially problematic in games where story plays a huge role since sidequests often feel disjointed. Like if I'm on a quest to save the world from the Templars why would I be spending the majority of the game collecting feathers, finding crap for some old pirate, or skinning rabbits? These tedious side quests just cause the game to lose focus in my opinion.
Also, sometimes they're extremely repetitive like those terrible security camera side quests in Sleeping Dogs.

The games that have good side quests in my opinion are the ones where the side quest seems integral to the overall focus of the game. Like in Mass Effect 3 there are several side missions but you want to do them since they are connected to the main plot so the narrative doesn't lose focus.
In Dishonored it works well too since doing side quest will provide you with advantages you can use for the main missions such as the alternate route in the Golden Cat mission.
#2nihilist212Posted 11/26/2012 4:07:37 PM
Well the point of sidequests is in fact to give more play time to the game. I for one like them no matter how tedious.
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#3KevoCSCS(Topic Creator)Posted 11/26/2012 4:19:33 PM
I don't mind the idea of adding life to games via side-quests but I think the way they're implemented in most games just sucks.

Like in the original Mass Effect you literally visit the same place dozens of times over and do pretty much the same thing except you read different text-messages. Dragon Age II is like this as well.
#4MantisoPosted 11/26/2012 4:20:37 PM
I guess it never hurts. You can take them or leave them. If they don't grab me I ignore them and stick with the main missions. AC3 for example. I really couldn't be arsed learning about these side quests that play little role in the main story. If they made it relevant or helpful to progress, maybe but they felt worthless. I wasn't a big fan of the game anyway so I was glad to get it over with quickly.

Part of it could be the fact I've been gaming for near 20 years now and side quests have become very repetitive, predictable and tedious. I remember enjoying it back in GTA3 for example. The game did a great job of making you feel like you were getting somewhere and rewarding you for the effort. And they were often just as entertaining as the main missions, sometimes moreso. You got to explore otherwise unseen areas and unlocked new stuff. And it felt achievable. Now games are too damn big, the idea of wandering the endless virtual dust to tick a box is no longer my idea of fun. It's easy for them to become tedious chores. There was a time I'd have done them regardless, but not anymore. I don't have the time or patience. If I get frustrated and feel like a game is wasting my time with filler, I'll ignore them.
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#5KevoCSCS(Topic Creator)Posted 11/26/2012 4:23:22 PM
Yeah, I know how that is. I think another problem is it sometimes feels like you're being punished for not doing side missions since in many games it's one of the only ways to obtain money and or experience to get new weapons and abilities.
#6KevoCSCS(Topic Creator)Posted 11/26/2012 6:49:30 PM
Another problem with side missions in huge games like Assassin's Creed III is that there is way too much time simply navigating. It's gets so boring just walking from point A to point B.
Feels like such an utter waste of time.
#7NicodimusPosted 11/26/2012 6:54:00 PM
As long as they're not escort missions, they're fine.

I hate escort missions. Seriously.
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#8generalwimpPosted 11/26/2012 7:04:45 PM
If it's a good game i dont mind, if its a horrible game i hate sidequests. im OCD on alot of games so i will punish myself to do everything in a game IF possible =P
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#9Ben_ShinobiPosted 11/26/2012 7:17:07 PM
The problem with AC3's sidequests is that it doesn't present any incentive or sense of accomplishment for beating them, even less than previous games in the series. There's no point in trying to upgrade your equipment, as the basic tomahawk can already steamroll every enemy in the game, and for your other troubles the rewards you get are either pointless or unnecessary. Why would I want to hunt around the city for those almanac pages when all it gets is a decoration in the manor? What was the point of the absurdly elaborate trading system? I kept waiting for its purpose to present itself at some point, but when the credits finally rolled I realized that there just wasn't one. AC3's sidequests are lifeless and thoughtlessly implemented. The Homestead missions were the only ones I bothered to finish - I eventually just gave up on the others.

Compare that to other games that implement side quests well, where you get backstory and character development (Mass Effect 2, Arkham City), some sort of reward/opportunity worth going out of your way to find (Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy), or best of all, both. Those are the sidequests that actually mean something.
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#10kel25Posted 11/26/2012 7:20:15 PM
Of course. There are a lot of side missions that can be tedious or extremely annoying to complete but there are also ones that can be a lot of fun.