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Yeah the goal was to de-emphasize quests and ensuring that people didn't think they were sort of "the game". They're mostly there as bite-sized guideposts for improving skill and exploring everything the game has to offer. Thanks for the catch on the difficulty spike with non-default seed planting!

We were planning on adding some text that hopefully would point to the quest being de-emphasized like "Remember, it's not about the quests it's about getting to the top!" Or something along that line of communication. Does that feel like it'd help?

It also might potentially be a little different for someone who's not already an expert like you? The quest system has been simplified since the do-one-quest-at-a-time thing was a part of it so it's feasible to have them chain together one after another, but the de-emphasis is still somewhat important to me.

I've been thinking about this, I think the text you suggested would be a good idea. Like you said, I'm in a weird place because I got good at the game before quests were even introduced, so I don't really have the proper experience--I'm trying to power through the quests because I want to see what they are, so something like this that gets in my way feels awkward.

I have another idea, and maybe this defeats the purpose entirely (trying not to play backseat game designer here) but I figure I'll suggest it anyway. Maybe you could streamline the quests, but find a way to mechanically emphasize that getting to the top is more important. Like, if a player regularly makes it well past the teleporter quest block they're working on, they could skip straight to the next block. Like if I'm working on the Jungle teleporter but I've already made it to the Desert a dozen times, let's just skip ahead. This is sort of similar to the approach Spelunky had with teleporters. Does that make any sense?

Hmmmm, thanks for the insightful thoughts. I have a bunch of fears with secretly skipping quests

- The game experience will silently vary between players in a way that makes conversations about the game weird

- There's an achievement for doing all the quests

- I'm afraid of introducing complex state into a the game that complicates save files and changes a linear go-from-one-thing-to-the-next into something *more* than that

The case where a player has mastered the game but hasn't unlocked the teleporters is one I hadn't fully considered, but on the same token teleporters are hopefully not very enticing to someone in that situation in the first place.

Super appreciate your thoughts on this. I'll definitely be adding a dialogue bubble that appears after completing a quest that explains.