October 7, 2008

It’s been a while — since the virgin days of T1 Ekrund, to be exact — since I’ve met a PQ that made me sit up straight and crack my ever-weakening back. I can understand why the first PQ in each zone is particularly memorable and well-liked: they received the lion’s share of polishing pre-release (especially because this would be the first PQ journalists would experience) and you only have to do them two or three quick times to max out influence and get juicy rewards.

I remember being amazed when a giant burst out of the forest in the Empire T1 PQ, or how funny it was when his twin brother blew himself to smitherines with a sea mine in the Greenskins T1 PQ. The PQs weren’t just a great way for people to effortlessly group together for a common purpose (i.e. a “raid without the bullcrap”) or a path to decent blue gear for PvE players willing to put in the time to do them. They were dynamic stories in the game world that came to life through clever scripting, voice acting and environmental destruction.

Yet what happened? Far too quickly we got out of Chapter 1 and 2 and into the higher chapters that required a lot more time invested to max out that influence bar and degenerated into a very familiar three-act structure (not always in three stages, but I’d submit that there are usually three acts: the solo-able phase, the champion mob phase, and the hero mob phase). With far more trips through PQs necessary to get all the influence needed, with multiple PQs for several chapters, and with the playerbase spreading out, PQs got a lot less fun.

Don’t get me wrong — I really love PQs. I never go through a chapter without maxing out that influence bar, and it’s a special little thrill to go to the rally master and get three choice rewards in one swoop. But I miss that little something, that je ne sais quoi that took PQs from “good” to “wowzers!” Part of that depends on how many people are around to do the PQs with (even sharing influence gained, it’s just more enjoyable to do them with others, and safer as well), but simply having an ever-tougher crowd of baddies popping out at you do not an excellent PQ make. For that to happen, there needs to be a great story told through actions, dialogue and the environment — and last night, Dwarf Chapter 12, I rediscovered a PQ that met those standards.

It was the Hindelburg PQ, which took place in a walled-up town invaded by the Scaven. How did I know this? It’s not because I read the Tome entry (I like the Tome for many things, but I generally don’t sit and read a four-page backstory on each PQ), but because of what I saw and experienced. The first stage was pretty standard — kill a bazillion Scaven — but once our group got into the next stage, we got shaken from our complacency.

Up to the town walks Dieter Vorkwald, a NPC Warrior Priest who thinks he’s all that and a bag of Sigmar chips. Yup, it’s the standard escort-and-protect quest that I tend to hate, but Dieter made it work for me. He projected sheer arrogance, especially through his boasts and snide zings at us protecting him. His attitude actually made it tough to want to protect him — if it wasn’t for the promises of riches, I assure you all of us would’ve stepped aside instantly to watch him bite it — but the fact that he got an emotional reaction out of me was meaningful. He walks around town, purifying buildings while we do the hard work of protecting his sorry butt, and all the while he’s jawing about what a magnificent creature he is.

Suffice to say, he got his comeuppance in the end, and by the time we finished the PQ, our group was a bit breathless with the manic pace and story connection we felt.  THAT’S what I want to see more often in PQs, and I’m hoping there’s a lot more out there like it (without Dieter, the jerk).  Have any post-Chapter 1 PQs told you a great story and got you really involved with it?


  1. I did that exact PQ a couple of days ago just randomly. I told the group “Well atleast he’s humble” but noone got it =\

  2. Dieter Vorkwald is my role model BTW.

    The first time I found a group to do that PQ, we actually had him die because we couldn’t find the darn guy anywhere within the compound. We never did find him and it wasn’t until the second attempt that I looked far down the road outside the walls and found him locked in combat against some champions.

    I’ve seen some crazy things in PQ’s. Things I won’t reveal here because half the fun is in being surprised and delighted by the surprises Mythic has in store for us. But I did do a review on the PVE content in WAR recently on my blog.


  3. The Chapter 11 Elf-land PQs have been pretty good.

    There’s one where a temple has been destroyed, so you need to first run around and pick up the pieces to rebuild it. All the while you’re getting attacked by Chaos Tremors. Once that’s complete, you need to defend the rebuilt altar from chaos attacks for about five minutes. The final stage involves killing a Chaos spawn thing that is trying to get at the altar as well. It was one of the more enjoyable ones and definitely had some nice story going for it.

    The other one involved some beastmen up in the hills. The story wasn’t as impressive, but the final baddie summons up a huge Chaos Demon that you need to defeat before you can go about attacking the summoner. It was pretty cool looking.

  4. My guild did a Guild PQ Farming night and found our way eventually to a Chapter 10 PQ over in Barak Varr (at work, forgive the spelling) and it was a big circle area, kinda like a small auditorium outside and the end boss was a lord. We got an incredible amount of inf each time we did this and I think we only had to do chapter 10 about 4 or 5 times to max everyone out! It was a lot of fun, LOTS of loot, and we are planning on going back even though everyone is maxed out just because we had so much fun, got lots of gold, and I even got a purple!

  5. I really like the Chapter 14 Dark Elf scenario House of Cards.


    I walked into the area by myself to see two houses of Dark Elf nobility (Uthorin the player DE side and Arkaneth the ‘other’ side) walking up to a table set in the middle of a field. On each end of the field are two camps full of dark elves from each faction. There, they jabber at one another, which ultimately ends in Arkaneth betraying us! Then all the Arkaneth NPCs turn from neutral to hostile and a wave of them charge at the Uthorin camp. It proceeds fairly regularly from there, kill a bunch of Arkaneth, kill some champion Arkaneth and finally kill Lady Arkaneth herself, head of the opposing Dark Elf faction. The last kill itself was incredibly gratifying because for all of DE T2 you have to deal with these rival Dark Elves.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.


  6. Thank you, someone else is finding the PQs are getting blander as they go. It’s not absolutely horrible, just after it falls into a too-familiar pattern the PQs don’t hold the same joy.

    And then there are the occasional gems, the ones that bring a story back into it, or a new game mechanic.

    I’d guess that Village Vermin (Chaos Chapter 12) is the comparable Destruction PQ to Hindelburg. Skaven as well, with Stage 2 being the interesting change from the usual, where you climb the inside of a tower while bomb-running Champion Skaven run up to you and yell “Die Die!” and exploding. The trick? Don’t actually attack these Champions, because they’re far worse to fight if they don’t blow up.

    It’s the one T3 PQ that I’ve had a blast with so far.

  7. That’s my favourite PQ too! We did it last week and laughed so much.

  8. I only touched on this one briefly while solo questing. So I didn’t make it to third stage, but it did seem interesting enough. Ch7 in troll country. I forget the name but first stage Is a standard kill x many bog trolls. Second stage is to protect 3 wounded troll slayers. I definately plan on going back to that one tonight to check out the rest.

  9. Yup. The last Greenskin PQ in T2. Long Drong and his Slayer Pirates. Plays out quite normally, you just wander a bit of in the wolf infested hills and, shazam!, Long Drongs ship is anchoring there, in front of a cove. Starts pretty normal, just kill 100 slayers. But once they are dead… oh my, dwarfen grudge mechanic steps into the ring and gives you the task to make Long Drong angry. VERY angry. You need to gather 60 grudge points on him, either by killing his fellow slayers (1 point each, so no chance in 10 minutes) with some added veterans (Champion spawns) or steal his alcohol (4 points per crate). And this is where it starts to get funny. Normally you rush into the cove, because there are several alcohol guards and crates, which makes step 2 quite fast.

    And then, out comes Long Drong. No he is not your standard Hero enemy. No sir, he is a custom model slayer pirate… with the title “Lord”. Which means he three-hits well healed, defensive equipped tanks like me. So yes, we died, and it was gruesome… but yet awesome, just because it was such a big bang to end Tier 2 for Greenskins, with something that really is a challenge, that makes you wonder if you will be able to pull it of. And that will fill you with pleasure when you finally see him die.

  10. If Mythic’s scriptwriters are true to the original IP, Dieter Vorkwald will return later on. Either he’s way more arrogant and obnoxious to the point, or -which would be more Games Workshop-like- he has been corrupted to the Chaos side. This would also create the situation in which the players who have been irritated by him earlier would scream of joy and baste in pleasure to make him suffer and die.

    Which would also be so much original Warhammer IP.

  11. Being a more casual player. I am still only in T2 and PQs are pretty much out of the question as far as completing them. There is no one around to be able to finish them with. Sometimes I get 1 or 2 people there with me. But getting the chest to drop has not happened for me since about the 1st week of playing.

  12. I really enjoy them when I can find a group to do them. The problem that I keep running into is the small chance that there will be anyone else in the area (T3 on a low-medium server) to be able to complete the second, let alone the third stage. Even if there are other people you have to hope that the 3-4 of you are the right mix of classes (tank + healer) to be able to get the thing done.

    Guild groups are also somewhat problematic to pull together with travel being such a pain in the rear and many players simply grind out max influence solo and are reluctant to backtrack…come to think of it my chosen has max influence in chapters 10-12 of every faction but I honestly can’t remember actually completing a PQ since I left T2.

  13. If your guild won’t come together in this game to do PQ’s for the bennifit of the group, then you are in the wrong guild. Our entire guild, even some lowbies that died getting there, came on our Guild PQ night and everyone wants to do it again! Even the higher up’s who did the PQ’s already had a blast and stuck around all night long!

    Ulthuan Server

  14. My favorite so far has got to be Dwarf Chapter 9: Agymah’s Lair. A bunch of us were doing the PQ right outside the dwarf camp (Neborhest’s Vanguard) when I suggested to the group that we go try a different PQ. We had all grown so accustomed to the static nature of PQ’s (i.e. stage 1 despawns and stage 2 spawns in at the same loc) that we weren’t quite sure to do in stage 2 when we didn’t see any tomb guardians.

    The cool factor was just the fact that the PQ was taking you on a journey further into Agymah’s Lair culminating with the final confrontation with Agymah himself. Nearly everyone in the group agreed that it was the coolest PQ that we had done yet.

  15. There was a great Chaos Chapter 9 PQ where you had to defend a chosen around a chaos portal, and that was awesome.

  16. […] are some really good Public Quests available in the T3 areas. Syp mentioned a skaven one which we all love. There is one in Saphery which I liked that involved helping an ancient Archmage […]

  17. http://ao-lai.blog.de/2008/10/13/oeffentliche-quests-kritik-4865735

    Instead of a Trackback 😉

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