Limit Their Number, Make them Improvable, and a constant source of Quests
Right now we're faced with an awkward problem. We need to have some way to deliver quests to the player, but our current system clutters the map pretty badly. I've attached some examples of such clutter below.
Beyond just the cluttering problem, we also need to figure out a good way to introduce new quest givers to the player without breaking immersion (oh hey, a new inn just appeared, you should go visit it!). To this end, I would suggest a few changes that make inns act in a similar manner to resources.
- Inns should only spawn at world spawn
- Inns can be improved/co-opted by players
- Inns should support multiple quests
- Inns should periodically gain more quests
I will go through each point step by step.
Inns should only spawn at world spawn:
I find that it breaks my immersion to have new inns and quest points appear out of thin air auto-magically from time to time. I would prefer then that Inns only spawn once. This enables us to control how inns appear on the map through the map generation code, which should also help take care of the clustering problem that I've shown in the above screenshots.
Inns can be improved/co-opted by players:
It's a little weird that new inns are springing up in my "territory" but I don't control them in any manner. Since inns are going to be much rarer (and support multiple quests), why not let the player improve them like other resources for some bonus in prestige/gold. This lets the player integrate the "quest giver" into their empire. Additionally, I would like it if Inns could act as connection points for roads and caravans - so a player can send caravans to an inn, and then onward to another city. This helps establish the view of the inn as a "halfway house".
Inns should support multiple quests:
How often is there only one quest at the quest hub in an RPG? I think it would be useful for players to be able to visit inns and choose amongst quests that they can undertake. There would need to be either a popup or some sort of graphical demonstration that an inn had quests which could be activated. This also lets us show the player quests that they cannot take yet due to adventure level, encouraging them to raise their adventuring level. I am envisioning the inn as a place where people from the kingdom can bring problems which don't necessarily require sovereign level intervention to solve.
Inns should periodically gain more quests:
Not everyone knows that they have a problem immediately, and some people take a long time to go looking for help. I think it would be cool if inns provided a semi-steady stream of quests for adventurers and sovereigns to take. Once again, I view the inn as a place where people come with problems to be solved.