This Molag Bal quest is a great example of the game depriving the player of obvious choices. The game designer just half-asses it and then shrugs, “Well nobody’s forcing you to complete the quest.” If nicest thing you can say in defense of a quest is that the player isn’t physically compelled to endure it, then what you have is still a terrible quest.
This isn’t even that hard to solve. When the player rescues the priest, right now your only choice is to either bring them back to be sacrificed to the dark lord, or just ditch them and leave the quest unfulfilled. But this latter choice isn’t really a choice at all. I mean, you can always come back later. You’re not rejecting Molag Bal, you’re putting him off. And he doesn’t even mind.
Instead of the player just abandoning the priest and ignoring the quest, just add a line of dialog or two. You tell the priest what Molag Bal asked you to do, he thanks you, and the quest is marked as complete. If we really need to reward the player, we can have the priest give the player a trinket before they leave.
There. Not a lot of work, only a couple more lines of dialog, and we offer the player the ability to take an obvious and reasonable course of action.
Quakecon 2011 Keynote Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
Silent Hill Turbo HD II
I was trying to make fun of how Silent Hill had lost its way but I ended up making fun of fighting games. Whatever.
Lost Laughs in Leisure Suit Larry
Why was this classic adventure game so funny in the 80's, and why did it stop being funny?
Juvenile and Proud
Yes, this game is loud, crude, childish, and stupid. But it it knows what it wants to be and nails it. And that's admirable.
Bethesda felt the need to jam a morality system into Fallout 3, and they blew it. Good and evil make no sense and the moral compass points sideways.