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In this answer, bwarner and I discussed about . The utility of the tag is simple - it applies to questions like the following:

  • What is my next objective in the game?
  • Where do I go to get my next objective?
  • How do I get to my next objective?
  • How do I complete this objective?

Where "objective" is anything from an assigned mission, a side-quest, or parts of the main storyline. It's basically a tag to catch-all for "What do I do and how do I do it?" when you're talking about progress in the game.

But we also have , which applies in a very similar fashion but for a subset. It applies to distinct quests/missions/jobs that you can find in certain games. It's also a very well-known term, these discrete units are exceptionally important to certain games, and even had a recent synonym request. As well, side quests can be an important distinction from objectives in general.

My thought pattern has been that these questions can co-exist - basically represents a superclass that contains all questions about progress (towards the main story or on the sidelines), while can be used to help identify those discrete units that are present and significant in certain games.

This make sense? Or do we have better ideas on how we can manage this?

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  • I'm not clear on what kind of objective cannot be seen as a quest. – badp Jun 17 '11 at 13:42
  • @badp Consider a game like Lethal Crisis. Each stage is its own objective, nevermind what objectives you have while progressing through each one. They don't really fit in with the discrete units that quests usually represent. You could call it a quest, yes, but it's about as awkward as calling World 7-5 of Super Mario Bros. 3 a "quest". – Grace Note Jun 17 '11 at 13:45
  • I'd call it a "stage", or "level", not an "objective" either. – badp Jun 17 '11 at 13:59
  • @badp But a stage has an objective, just like a quest has an objective. You must achieve an objective in order to complete anything - a quest, a stage, a dungeon, many things. I like "objectives" because it allows us to handle scenarios that don't fit in the distinct elements that are stages and dungeons. In Lethal Crisis, each stage is an objective towards the completion of the game, but there are games where there aren't such discrete divisions (say, Bunny Must Die or other Metroidvanias), so really the only sector of it is "What do I do next?" – Grace Note Jun 17 '11 at 14:00
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Just to restate my position, I would like to see the two tags merged, and it seems to make sense to merge toward the superset, so would become a synonym of .

If I'm wanting to learn about a game, I can start with the game specific tag. But let's say its a popular game, and so I need to narrow my search a bit. First I might want to look at to learn how the game works. Or maybe I want to learn a bit about . But for a gamer like me, who wants to figure things out myself, I'd like to avoid the questions that are going to give me spoilers or tell me how to do a specific quest, so I would avoid the questions (unless I was looking for a specific solution).

If we allow both and to survive separately, that wouldn't be terrible, but I find it very confusing when I should use one versus the other, and I feel like I'd end up having to include/exclude both of them anywhere that I would search for one of them.

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I think the two tags are different enough to warrant separate tags.

To put it in the simplest way, a can be an overarching goal, while an can be both a larger goal, or a subset of itself with a singular discrete goal. "Quest Objective" isn't redundant, it is a specifier that focuses on a smaller part of the larger goal.

If you get a to kill 5 boars, your first is to kill the boars, and your second is to return to the quest giver with your spoils.

deserves a mention to, as s that are not related to the main of the game ( "mini-game" might work here too)

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I thought I would have a go at suggesting a wiki summary for one or both tags, but I can't seem to come up with one that clearly distinguishes quest from objective. In my head, I can see what I think is a difference, something like what I think Raven and Grace are suggesting, but when I start to write it out, it seems to be applicable to both.

Roughly, this is how I see it:

A quest is a series of objectives within a game, usually related to a storyline. Completion of the quest typically results in rewards for the player (points, experience, items).

An objective is a goal within a game: the scope may be the entire point of the game (confront and defeat Diablo) or a task within a quest (retrieve the letter from the mailbox).

If those are accurate definitions, then we should use for quests as a whole (where do I open Quest X?) and for specifics within a quest (how do I complete Objective X within Quest Y?) as well as for questions beyond the scope of an individual quest or in the absence of any defined quests (How do I defeat the second mother ship in Xevious?).

Are those definitions distinct, or can we come up with definitions that are? If so, we would probably want to bulk-retag a number of questions. I have a feeling that there are several questions tagged with that are actually about , like this one, which was what put me on this trail in the first place. (I was looking at a F:NV question, then scrolling through others, and I saw some questions with just one tag.)

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I guess I'm old-school, but for me the word "quest" in the context of gaming is a genre, so seeing it used for objectives, or what I like to call "side-quests", is confusing.

I realize using that word for the genre has fallen out of style, but it's still pretty ingrained in my mind. In my eyes, it would have been best if "quest" or "quests" was altogether removed as a tag, to avoid this confusion.

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  • Could you specify what games fall under the "Quest" genre? Off-hand, it makes me think of what is often called an "Adventure" game. – Grace Note Jun 17 '11 at 14:26
  • @Grace yep, "adventure" it is. – Oak Jun 17 '11 at 14:31
  • @Grace and maybe also "point and click"? – Oak Jun 17 '11 at 14:39
  • Interesting, I've always thought of that genre as "adventure", I never knew it was referred to as "quest" – bwarner Jun 17 '11 at 17:06
  • Huh, I've never heard quest used as a genre definition in that regard either. Perhaps this is a cultural difference? – FAE Jun 26 '11 at 8:15
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    I think the issue is that there was a period when just about any adventure game under the sun was released with a formulaic title of THING-Quest - especially if it happened to be developed by Sierra. See also: King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, et al. – LessPop_MoreFizz Jun 26 '11 at 20:02
  • @LessPop indeed, I assume that's the reason. – Oak Jun 26 '11 at 20:31

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