As we are not doing a Roman blog this weekend and do not yet have official news for the Halloween Event, I thought it might be a nice moment to give you all some insight on some other areas some of us are focusing. Please bear in mind that I have not run posting this through the Lead Developers, so everything I write here are my own observations and opinions. I can't speak for anyone but myself. This week, a few of us (with particular help from Wout) have begun a small project to analyze some raw data on how the player base engages with quests. In broad strokes, the server automatically collects an awful lot of data, but at least as far as my awareness as a regular developer (and not a lead developer), we have never studied that data in our development decisions. My personal approach to quest development has been to focus on the post Level 40 endgame. This is based on my observations that the original developers did an outstanding job of creating way more quests for leveling up than anyone could possibly finish and still be below Level 40. That was the case originally, and then midstream during the original run of the game, the Developers made some changes to increase experience points to speed along progress to get players to Level 40 faster. (The called this the Fast to 40 plan, or something like that.) So rather than have us spend our limited resources on more low-level quests, we have focused far more on additional Legendary quests and other end-game content (such as more Legendary gear, Seasonal Events, Legendary Advisors, etc.). But, again, I formed my opinions by observing the game as a player and not based on crunching data. I just sort of assume that players like Legendary Quests. They seem to be very popular topics of conversation on the discord and chat and forum, so creating more Legendary Quests has always seemed pretty obvious. Exactly how many players play different quests has always been an area of interest for many of us, but it is only recently that we have taken a stab at looking at it. Recently, one of the lead developers handed us a cache of files containing every single quest that every single player on the server started, completed, and/or turned in from mid-August to early October (about 8 weeks). This is a colossal amount of data that could keep us busy for weeks digesting. And we are just now beginning to organize it and bite into it. But we thought it might be interesting to some of you to see some preliminary observations. So first, a few words on the data set. These logs track every single quest, so it is important to remember how the game defines that term. Not only are quests the traditional quests (such as campaigns, alliance quests, repeatable quests, legendary quests, etc.), but quests also include a ton of other things (such as those tiny quests where you get a 5 coins for visiting a certain Quest Giver, those Global Quests where you are rewarded for killing a certain number of wild animals, or all the various Home City quests where you are rewarded for building the Advisor Hall or something similar in your Capital City, War Effort-like quests where you turn in materials. When you add up all of these things together, our data showed that in those 8 weeks, there were 658 different quests that at least one player completed. (There are actually more quests than that in the game -- we believe there may actually be about 900 total, and we are looking into that.) At any rate, according to our data, during those 8 weeks, our player base combined to complete and turn in those 658 quests a total of 291,366 times. As you may imagine, that number is very unevenly distributed across those 658 quests. For instance, the Top 30 most popular quests were completed about 105,000 times. (And of those, only about 44,000 were actual quests – the rest were Global Quests such as turning in materials, visiting Quest Givers, etc.) Many quests are barely ever played. For instance, the bottom 200 quests combine for as many playthroughs as the most popular quest (A New Pharaoh’s Challenge, which was played about 9500 times, which works out to someone finishing ANPC about every 8 minutes, 24 hours per day.) You can get lost in the data, so to try to chew on it, we cut it a number of different ways. Here’s a list of some observations: Bear in mind, our data is unfortunately right during the Summer Event, so the numbers are super skewed. We also still need to go through all 658 quests and are barely there, but roughly, this looks like the most popular types of quests. Personally, I am pretty surprised to see so many players doing Elite Quests and the Trade For Quests (like Trade for Giza Limestone, etc.) I don't think I ever see anyone asking for coop partners for Elite Quests. I bet a lot of solo players are using them to chase gear since they are not strong enough yet to solo Legendaries. This seems like an interesting demographic that we as Developers may not be catering to. One theme we are going to see here is the popularity of very short quests that have good rewards (that's not terribly surprising, I suppose), but we haven't been catering to that, either. Most of our quest packs have been focused on longform build-and-destroy Marion/Soloi/Paphos style quests. I am just amazed to see people willing to mess around with those Trade For quests. They must be really deadset to hunting those rare materials for their capital cities. I am pleasantly surprised to see that. These types of capital city decorations-based incentives for quests is another completely foreign area that we at Celeste have never catered to. Other than regular in-game quests, global quests involving turning in materials are huge. The popularity of War Effort is wild, especially since we nerfed it awhile ago. These quests have 6-day cooldowns, and players are apparently still faithfully turning their materials into EP. You can see here that the Summer Event is really messing with the data. But you can also see the absolute hold that those short, profitable quests are having on our playerbase. They are addicted to the rush of chests and coins. For better or worse, we have not penetrated that market with Celeste Quests, which, again, tend to be longer Legendary quests. Part of me wants to nerf the hell out of ANPC, but there would be riots. I also want to highlight that Race Race Vemundr is so damn popular. Again, we are not making quests like that, and maybe we should. I actually play this quest pretty frequently, especially to level up civs. The data doesn't tell us why quests are popular. I find Race Race Vemundr to be pretty fun, but I also am attracted to it's fairly decent experience points compared to how long it takes to complete. Meanwhile, even though the timing of our data during the Summer Event skews things significantly, at least we know that the Event was a resounding success. You guys played its one Legendary Quest more than about the top 4 other most popular Legs (and this data includes plenty of time when the Summer Event was not even available). This list stands for the obvious truth that the bigger the payout, the more popular the Legendary Quest. Setredet, More Mad Medians, Marion, Cataclysm, and Mileto have some of the highest rewards in the game. However, I am pleased to see Muspelheim, Holy Man, and Niflheim so popular, since there are a number of quests below them with far better payouts. Also, it is heartwarming to see so many Celeste quests on the list, too. This is an interesting list for me. I haven't drilled into figure out why these quests are so damn unpopular, but they almost totally ignored. I assume their rewards are very low. Those Even More quests are Crete quests, right? They haven't caught on. I can't say I have played one. Other than Lots of Rogues (another short, profitable quest), there's not much to report here. Losing Your Religion is similarly short and profitable, too. However, Elite Quests are still far more popular than I thought they would be (other than Elite Lots of Rogues, about 1 Legendary Quest is completed for every 4 Elite Quests, which really isn't that bad at all given how rare people talk about playing them). But it looks like players are all over the map on which Elite Quests they enjoy. My last list: A lot of these are the first or second quests in a Quest Line, so no big surprises. But I have to say I am super surprised to see so many playthroughs of Bella and Peepaw. I think these Rare Building Quests are such a cool idea with untapped potential, and it looks like people use them, even though those two quests are utterly ridiculous. We are presently going back through the list to classify every single quest (by Quest Type, Rewards, etc.) and will be continuing to analyze the data. We hope to possibly find some hidden information that doesn't get picked up. We are curious to see if we can detect how new players interact with the game. How frequently do players begin quest lines compared to how frequently they finish them? Are there more types of quests that lots of players play that we haven't paid much attention to? Are there types of new content we can add to the game to engage with different play-styles. (Maybe some players love grinding unique materials to build cool capital city decorations? Maybe players are intrigued by unique quests available exclusively through special buildings in a capital city? Maybe there are certain types of quests with curious objectives that players seem to enjoy?) Obviously we also rely on human feedback, such as conversations and surveys. But sometimes when you ask a human about what choices they like to make, you get a very different answer then when you observe them actually making those choices. But please know that we are listening, we are curious, and we are busy. Thanks so much for reading.