Created By: Recon5August 15, 2011 Last Edited By: Recon5September 16, 2011
Troped

Repeatable Quest

A quest that can be repeated.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A relatively recent trend in MMORPGs and one that is still quite rare in single player RPGs, the repeatable quest is a quest that can be repeated with the same NPCs, objectives and rewards. Some can be repeated indefinitely and consecutively, allowing a player to accumulate several stacks of the necessary items (by hunting or shopping) to hand in at once, while others may have a 'cooldown' or a limited number of repeats.

Repeatable quests allow players to obtain the precious chunk of extra Experience Points and cash that usually comes with a quest as often as they please, which in many cases allows them to offset losses from deaths or bypass difficult and tedious 'main' quests by easing the Level Grinding needed for the next area. Repeatables can also be designed to supplement said main quests if both have similar or identical objectives, allowing players to squeeze some extra profit from their first playthrough of an area.

A number of games that use this mechanic present the quests as the day-to-day chores of NPCs or factions and allow players to gain their favor by essentially doing their menial work. As such, savvier writers can flesh out the involved characters through the quest descriptions, which players who stick to the main storyline will not see. Caution is needed as making too many repeatables urgent or assigning objectives that are too grandiose can shatter Willing Suspension Of Disbelief. The use of set pieces is a double edged sword in this area as while they can make the outcome of a repeatable spectacular they also force events to play out in a similar way each time. Finally, there are players who may find that being asked to do NPCs' odd jobs for them is simply demeaning.

At its core, this type of quest is just another way of dressing up the Level Grinding prevalent in many games and more jaded gamers may consider it to be no improvement. However, developers can add appeal to repeatables by providing multiple options from a pool or allowing certain characteristics to change over time. The fact that there is an additional reward at the end can be a psychological draw and of course, good writing and a careful choice of objectives can make the quests entertaining.

Due to the simplicity of their objectives and the ease with which they can be 'meshed' with core story quests and each other, the Fetch Quest and the Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest are often made repeatable.

Do note that most repeatable maps, levels or encounters that enable farming do not fall under this trope but are a near omnipresent gameplay convention. Repeatable Quests must be:
  • QUESTS that follow the stereotypical format of doing something for a NPC.
  • REPEATABLE in that the NPCs and tasks are identical for every iteration or change according to a fixed pattern. Randomly generated minor quests do not count unless there is some way to deliberately or accidentally lock combinations of quest characteristics.


MMORPGs that use this mechanic:

  • World Of Warcraft does this with 'dailies' and may even have been the Trope Codifier.
    • Eden Eternal uses a very similar system except with shorter cooldowns on the quests.
  • Dragon Saga pads the levels between the 'big' main quests with various repeatables. Notably, the Infinity Plus One Sword crafting quests are almost all repeatable and of the unlimited variety.
  • Maple Story did not introduce these until later versions despite growing and rather vocal demand for them in the early days.
  • Earth Eternal is big on these.
  • Mabinogi allows the players to perform part time jobs with the game's vendors, and allows them one in-game day to complete them. A useful means of accruing monetary wealth, especially for characters who are primarily chrafters.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE has a small variety of these, including quests you can only repeat if you pick up uncommon loot.
  • Ragnarok Online and its Bragging Rights Reward hats (among other awards, but mostly hats) can be obtained in Fetch Quests, and can be repeated as long as the player is willing to hunt down the same items.
  • In Guild Wars, many of the quests offered at the annual "Wintersday" festival (which falls around the time of Christmas-New Year's) are repeatable, enabling players to farm huge amounts of holiday items.
  • Online play in the Monster Hunter series consists almost entirely of repeatable hunts, so the quests are naturally repeatable as well. However, the extended preparation required for each task keeps players involved.
  • Final Fantasy XI has numerous repeatable quests ranging from the simple Fetch Quest for fame grinding to redoing major battles in Missions for a different end reward.

Singleplayer games and RPGs that use this mechanic:

  • In Majora's Mask, all sidequests are repeatable in a manner of speaking as the game's three day cycle allows them to be retaken during each iteration.
  • Quests in the Monster Hunter series tend to be repeatable offline as well as online. It would be hard to get all those rare materials otherwise.
  • Final Fantasy XII has only one repeatable quest, and it's very modest, and available very early. By visiting the Giza village and running around in the Giza Plains area, you can create multiple Sunstones, which sell for what is a moderate bonus for the player at that part of the game -- but the player could get the amount from just killing wolves and selling the loot, and on the side get both EXP and LP.
  • In Megaman ZX, Rose and Huguet will request you to go to Area Lin order to gather some supplies for them. After going to three diferent sections each time, Rose will give you a sub tank. However, you can only obtain two sub-tanks for this and any subsequent attempt only nets a token thank you and a few Energy Crystals.

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • August 15, 2011
    X2X
    Compare/contrast New Game Plus.
  • August 15, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    Very thoughtful description, I never thought I'd think about Repeatable Quests with new perspective.

    A good page picture might be of a Blue question/exclamation mark from World Of Warcraft.

    I'm not a big MMO gamer, so I can't supply that many examples, but I have a few

    • Mabinogi allows the players to perform part time jobs with the game's vendors, and allows them one in-game day to complete them. A useful means of accruing monetary wealth, especially for characters who are primarily chrafters.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE has a small variety of these, including quests you can only repeat if you pick up uncommon loot.
    • Ragnarok Online and its Bragging Rights Reward hats (among other awards, but mostly hats) can be obtained in Fetch Quests, and can be repeated as long as the player is willing to hunt down the same items.
  • August 16, 2011
    AmyJade
    Most of the non-story quests, IIRC, in Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords.
  • August 16, 2011
    Bisected8
    • All of the maps in the Disgaea series can be repeated. Plot critical ones usually replace story related enemies with mooks.
  • August 19, 2011
    Recon5
    Bumping for more discussion and refinement.
  • August 19, 2011
    MrInitialMan
    In Diablo II, you can repeat The Countess. While much of the reward treasure is removed, the gold on the floor respawns, and the Countess drops a LOT of loot in her own right.
  • August 22, 2011
    Koveras
    ^ Can you repeat the actual quest or just fight the boss again? Because you can fight all bosses an unlimited number of times in D2...
  • August 22, 2011
    peccantis
    • Final Fantasy XII has only one repeatable quest, and it's very modest, and available very early; by visiting the Giza village and running around in the Giza Plains area, you can create multiple Sunstones, which sell for what is a moderate bonus for the player at that part of the game -- but the player could get the amount from just killing wolves and selling the loot, and on the side get both EXP and LP.
  • August 26, 2011
    Recon5
    Bump.
  • August 31, 2011
    Recon5
    Bumping one last time for discussion. Any suggestions/changes? Do we have this already?
  • August 31, 2011
    jadmire
    The dungeons in Guild Wars Eye of the North are repeatable, as are the elite missions in Factions and Nightfall. Also, many of the quests offered at the annual "Wintersday" festival (which falls around the time of Christmas-New Year's) are repeatable, enabling players to farm huge amounts of holiday items.
  • September 2, 2011
    deuxhero
    In Lost Kingdoms 2 while most maps can be repeated after finishing them, the bonus cards can normally only be obtained once (some maps have a 2nd, also 1 time, reward for finding a hidden exit), but one, throwing the switch to the border keep's gate, may be repeated. It may be a bug, as all other missions have bosses or items to collect and this is the only one that doesn't.
  • September 3, 2011
    HandsomeRob
    All the quests in Monster Hunter Tri are repeatable.
  • September 3, 2011
    MiinU
  • September 8, 2011
    Rishfee
    Final Fantasy XI has numerous instances of repeatable quests ranging from the simple Fetch Quest to build fame to redoing major battles in Missions for a different end reward.
  • September 12, 2011
    Recon5
    Right. Going to launch this very soon so I'll bump it again for final discussion.
  • September 12, 2011
    Damr1990
    Non RPG Example
    • On Megamaman ZX, [[Dandere Rose]] and Huguet will request you to go to the Area Lin order to gather some supplies for them, after going to three diferent sections each time, Rose will give you a sub tank, however you can only obtain two sub-tanks for this, after that you only get a token thank you and a few Energy Crystals for it, considering the fact that the area L is quite large and dificult, and that there are easier ways to grind money is not very likely that you'll want to repeat this one

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