I had an idea for a new type of challenge/sidequest that would be scattered throughout the war seas. I’m a bit hesitant to say “sidequest” because it isn’t really a quest, more of an optional challenge that gives you loot.
These new challenges would be time trials. You’d talk to somebody with the symbol of a stopwatch above their head, they would challenge you to complete their course in as little time as possible, and they’ll give you rewards based on how well you do. Time trials will be repeatable quests that will require you to complete one of three different types of courses (detailed later in the post) based on the specific quest. There will also be different levels of difficulty (Also detailed later) that the challenges may have. As well as three (Well, technically four, but we’ll get to that) different reward types based on how you preform.
So, without further ado, let us begin! Oh, and by the way, this is gonna be a bit long. So if you don’t have time right now to read this, then I understand. Now, from the top!
The three types of time trials
Running trials basically amount to running through different gates on foot. The npc you get the challenge from will advise you to equip clothing that gives you an extra boost of speed if you want an edge in the challenge.
The ‘gates’ are usually just two wooden posts set up next to each other, you will need to run through the first gate before you can run through the second one and so on. The final gate will have some sort of indicator that it is the final one, like some ribbon tied on the post or something.
These trials will usually have ledges that you need to jump over, certain boundaries that you can’t cross or you fail, some of them might even have enemies that you need to beat before you can move forward.
Climbing trials are just that, climbing. These trials are usually set up around mountains or other really high places. You would use jump spells and high jumps (maybe some hover spells too) to get to your goal (usually just the top of whatever you climb).
There could be one of these set up in Redwake, since the stone spires look like they’d be a good course for this sort of thing. Of course, there would be little platforms set up on the course so that it’s possible to climb, but as we get to higher difficulty levels (I’ll get to that) these platforms get smaller and less frequent throughout the course. Forcing you to use your climbing skills and abilities in the course.
Basically, you steer a ship through different gates. Like running trials, except you’re in a boat. The npc that gives you the challenge will recommend that you switch to a lighter boat focused on speed over power, since this is a speed trial.
Nautical trials will have different obstacles in the course. Including: Mines that damage your ship and slow you down, boundaries that you cannot cross or you will lose, and sometimes you will be shot at by pirates. If your ship gets sunk at any point, you must start the trial again from the beginning.
Levels of difficulty
Speed challenges will be sorted into four types of difficulty: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Breakneck. These difficulties will have different levels of, well, difficulty.
Easy courses will usually have a generous timer and few -if any- obstacles. Easy climbing trials will have generous platforms scattered through the course. These courses are usually short.
Medium courses give you a moderate amount of time to complete the course, they have a fair amount of obstacles and some might even have weak enemies. Medium climbing trials will have a fair amount of platforms. These courses can range from short to moderate in length.
Hard courses usually have some enemies and a lot of obstacles. Hard climbing courses have few platforms. These courses can range from short to long in length.
Breakneck courses will make you insane. These often have tons of obstacles, short timers, and you might need to do a practice run of the course to find shortcuts or cheats. Breakneck climbing courses often have little to no platforms. These courses can range from short to long in length.
There are three (technically four) levels of performance in speed trials. Each performance level requires you to achieve a different minimal time on the course. For example, the bronze medal on one course will require you to complete the course in under a minute, whereas the silver one will require you to complete it in under 45 seconds, and arcanium demands that you complete the course in under 30 seconds.
Bronze: Bronze is fairly easy to get, and is the bare minimum score required to “complete” the course. It’s more of a consolation prize than anything useful, especially on easy stages.
Silver: Alright, now we’re getting somewhere. Silver medals will net you rewards that make the challenge worth it. If you grind speed trials, then these will be the thing that you aim for.
Arcanium: Arcanium medals require you to know the course inside and out. With strict timers that require you to take most if not every shortcut in a course to acquire the time needed to obtain one of these.
Now you might be thinking, “But Robin! You alluded to a secret fourth level of performance! What is that one?”
Well, my esteemed reader. The fourth performance medal is called ‘failure’. Which is what happens when you fail to acquire the bronze medal in a course. You get no loot if you fail a course.
Rewards will depend on three different things: The difficulty of the course, your performance score, and any unique items that may be exclusive to the course.
Easy courses give smaller rewards, medium will give moderate rewards, hard will give generous rewards, and breakneck will give massive rewards.
Bronze will net you minimal rewards, silver will net you decent rewards, arcanium will net you big rewards, and failure will give you NOTHING.
Unique items should be something like clothing or ship items that give you extra speed. Since, y’know, it wouldn’t really make sense to get a unique weapon for running, climbing, or driving a ship.
Misc things about these missions that I should mention
A timer will appear somewhere on screen showing you how much time you’ve taken to complete the course so far. This would ideally be next to a small display that shows you what time you need to get in order to get the different tiers in medals.
The npc that gives you the challenge could say different things depending on how well you do in the course. For example: “Wow! You’re really good at this!” (Arcanium score), or “Um… Do you know how to walk?” (Failure)
These challenges will be repeatable, but your first completion of each performance level should give you a little bit extra on top of the regular rewards. For example, if you complete the stage with a bronze level time, you’d get a small extra reward just that one time, and if you do the course again and get higher, then you’ll get an extra one-time reward on top of the regular reward for that level. If you do it again, and get the same score as one of your other attempts, then you will get the regular reward, but not the extra reward because you already got it.
I think that this could add a little extra to AO by adding a new type of challenge that tests your speed and quick thinking instead of your pve/pvp skills.