Yesterday, I saw "the Path to Enlightenment" was available – with no players present – so I joined (spending caps). I have completed this event twice before (I am Level 82) and enjoyed it (with others). But when I arrived, I noticed there was only 4 minutes remaining.
Since the insects and toads spawn slowly, it was impossible to collect all the fluid required to deposit and complete the quest. Then a couple hours after, on another world, the same quest was available – again with no players present – so I joined (spending caps again). And there were only 5 minutes remaining. I sprinted around as quick as I could, slashing, punching, shooting, etc. creatures containing bioluminescent fluid. Still not enough time. I have completed this quest twice as said earlier, but attempted it eight times. Those six failed attempts were all because there just wasn't enough time remaining to gather the material needed to complete the quest when I arrived.
You might argue cutting requirements could balance quests like these – in particular for "the Path to Enlightenment," it is possible to get 20 or so of the bioluminescent fluid in 4 minutes, but this could change the dynamic of some quests (not much for this one maybe, since enemies never come and actually interfere with your efforts – path to enlightenment is a free ride so long as other players don't attack you, and you are lucky enough to stumble into/join the event when there is eight minutes or more remaining). Project Beanstalk is another event that I joined into without adequate time to complete, off the top of my head.
Until today. For the second time, I attempted to complete the Distinguished Guests event (the first time I was disconnected). Of course, I never played under this one beyond a few seconds, so I wasn't sure what it entailed and figured maybe four minutes and some change was enough time. So I sprinted around and located bots and gave them a real talking to, getting them to report back to work. Once all of them were gathered up (with about two or three minutes remaining) the lead bot informed me the next task was setting tables and decorating them. But this shouldn't be a problem, I thought. As I searched for the other bots, and fought off Super Mutants, Scorched, etc., I had noticed the decor – at least four of these. And I only needed six. That would be easy enough.
But then I needed to find 24+ plate settings. I didn't notice many of these while running about. And in the end, I was only able to find about 8 of these with 45 seconds remaining (I had about 3 minutes remaining at the notification I needed to go do this). Then I rejected the quest and moved on.
Still, all that time was wasted, and with no reward. Sure, the enemies killed dropped some loot that could be scrapped or sold, but I can literally go anywhere and kill enemies for loot to scrap or sell. And WITHOUT spending caps to go there, if I wish to travel there on foot. I have suggested before this could be handled at least as such (to avoid abuse):
Player A joins/wanders across an Event. 30 minutes remain. Player A leaves event/world/area at 25 minutes remaining. Player A rejoins 20 minutes later (and no one else came across it). 5 minutes still remain and it starts counting down. Player A joins/wanders across an Event. 30 minutes remain. Player A leaves event/world/area at 25 minutes remaining. Player B joins (not in the same team as/is a friend with Player A). 30 minutes remain and it starts counting down.
But if this can't be implemented in a timely manner, the simple solution is displaying a time remaining value on the map for each event until this can be done. Or at the very least, if you accomplish a percentage of the quest requirement, and fail the quest, you get that percentage of the quest reward. This isn't good as a permanent solution, but until a proper fix is implemented it's better than nothing. I didn't like the idea of displaying the time remaining on the map for all to see because some people can just spot out events which are about to complete, spend a couple caps to join them, and then reap the full rewards (though this could also be fixed). But if this is the worst case scenario, it is worse than legit players spending 20-30 caps+ to join events, see that the events are nearly over, and get no reward for their investment.
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