>Party: what a dumb quest, we don't want to do that
>GM: okay, you don't have to. the setting is open to whatever adventures you'd like. What do you want to do?
>Party: lol, I don't know
Railroading is appropriate for 99% of groups. Prove me wrong.
You really can't.
I wouldn't put the percentage that high. You don't even need a group full of people with their own vision. You just need one person with both vision and the charisma to get everyone behind him on it.
But then you get groups full of people who think all RPGs are JRPGs. And yeah, then you need some wide gauge tracks.
I wouldn't say railroading is appropriate for 99% of groups. I'd say railroading is FUCKING MANDATORY TO PLAY FUCKING RPGS.
If you think otherwise, it's because you're one of those inbred player-centric "everything has to be a freeform sandbox hug group where everyone is a special snowflake and any form of narrative or story completely invalidates player agency and games should only ever be be plot-free improvfests where the DM just sits back and shotguns adventure hooks at the players because they are contrarian enough to fuck with any sense of a plot because it conflicts with their idea of freedom" faggots.
Sandbox games aren't a real thing stop pretending they are jesus fuck how long will it take you people to realize this?
Railroading is appropriate for most groups.
What you need to do is make it subtle though.
Give them the illusion of choice, and have it impact shit when appropriate, but never just let them do whatever. That means you've failed to engage them.
To use a really shitty metaphor, you guide them to a crossroad, and then no matter if they head towards "Leftville" or "Righttown" the city will still be plagued by bandits.
Half the challenge is not letting them notice this.
>Give players a starting area and an update on recent events. If you want, do this through interactions with NPCs.
>if they bite, start guiding them through the base of the adventure, railroading only instances where there is only one possible path to advance, and the players have made it clear that this is what they want to do.
>If they don't bite provide additional hooks or let the danger come to them, then proceed with step two.
It. Isn't. Hard.
>I'm a bad GM: The Thread
What I usually do is 1) never railroad because I'm not a shit GM, 2) spent a few months on multiple campaign settings I have on paper and online @roll20 and a few other sites so that I can run an open world game. If you can't plan and at least improvise enough to still have a fun game when things don't according to plan then you are just bad at running pnps. It's not for everybody.
Railroading is unnecessary. If your plot and your NPCs is interesting, players will be compelled to follow the rails even if they don't see them. And if they don't they will have to deal with the consequences of their inaction.
>but never just let them do whatever.
I asked this yesterday, but didn't get an answer. I hear people all the time saying "If the stuff you wrote was for Town A, and instead the players go to Town B, you just move the content over and they don't know the difference", but no matter how many times I hear it, I can absolutely not comprehend how a game can possibly be run in a such a way that players have the freedom to just pick up and choose where they want to go in the world, and when and why.
I mean, if the players are going to get on the road and travel somewhere, it's because they have a goal, right? It's because they made the choice to, because there is something urgent they need to do or see in that place they're traveling to, right? Like, there's no gaming group where players just wander aimlessly around the world and come to forks in the road and just arbitrarily pick which path to head down, right? How does that even work? What kind of game would you even be playing?
It makes no sense to me. When you play a campaign, that campaign has a plot. The end. There is no more to discuss on that.
I completely agree anon. Both as a player and as a GM
Sandbox campaigns can work but they cannot be purely sandbox. The GM needs to give you something. Otherwise it is tantamount to "you're in a blank room what do you do"
As a player I need to know what the adventure is like beforehand so I can make a character whose motivations fit that. Otherwise there is no reason for him to be in that adventure and the roleplaying falls apart from there in a chain reaction.
Giving the players a hook or agreeing beforehand that they take it is good; it's restricting their actions after that fact to make them do exactly what the DM wants, that's stupid.
If Harry Potter had left Hogwarts halfway through to become a stripper, it would have ruined the story. Lolrandumb players are similar. As are players with wildly different motivations from the adventure at hand.
I think the implication is that having rails (a plot) at all is inherently railroading.
Like, if I run a pre-written campaign (which I do all the time), and all I do is feed the players info and they choose to follow the plot exactly, they're technically still railroaded. They just didn't need to be forced down the road.
Not necessarily. I'm running a campaign where the PC's are monsters trying to bring back evilness into a world that has been plagued with peace and goodness. My players tell me what they want to do/sack/build and I let them know if they can.
No, a plot is what is happening in the wider world. The players could just have decided not to give a fuck and devote their life to freelance criminal endeavours. That is what my second group has done, in fact, and the games are extremely fun too. It os railroading if you force the players to take part in the plot however.
I've literally never run a game with a pre-written "story" to play out. It doesn't work for my group at all. No one wants to sit around and play through my fanfiction at the table.
Make up a few vague "quest" ideas (10-15) before each session and throw the ones at them that make the most sense for their current situation.
Single story-based campaigns are fine, and probably a lot easier, but you can easily go off the rails if you're a good improviser.
Playing a story/railroad campaign is like playing Dragon Age. You can make some small choices but in the end the game is going to be the same.
Sandbox campaigns are like Elder Scrolls games. The story might be a bit worse, but it's more about immersing yourself in the world and finding out what kind of things your character might want to do.
Players are players and sometimes they'll come up with crazy theories, make long winded arguments, or weird rolls will make shit go sideways.
Some variation is good, and ultimately you have to adapt.
Like my players recently had to go to Castle X, but when I told them there was an easy route in that direction, the players started talking amongst themselves and decided to go a more scenic route to avoid whatever defenses the enemy would surely have put in the way.
So I ported some of the content from the other route, changed some things, made up some new stuff, and BAM, they get choice, the story goes on as it was supposed to, and they're being kept on the path I wanted them to.
I'm trying not to be abrasive but this really is just retarded. Let me spell it out to you via a day in the life of a non-shit GM. Let's say the system is 3.5 and we're starting with a party of 4 level one adventures, one for each of the four major roles:
>make setting world map, this includes world map on a 1"x1" diagram, with cities, towns, dungeons, etc., set the scale of each square in miles so you know how long travel takes etc
>map out each city/town on a separate grid with buildings, etc., put in any factions, shops, important NPCs on a legend for each map. you don't have to have a realistic number of locations, it is assumed that there are various irrelevant hamlets and such in the countryside
>do dungeons same way, describe and stat encounters, etc
>also have a random encounters table for unexpected events, and a few generic mook encounters
>while you're doing this, think up the plot with a few alternative arcs and things to fall back on, some side quest hooks, etc
>prepare a pre-game brief for players to read, then they create their characters so that they are familiar with the world, might be part of an existing faction, maybe have family in x town or whatever
>the players know the world, I know the players, so now they start in a town with so many hooks for the main quest that they can't walk 10 feet without running into one
Literally never had a problem with this method. Hell, it should be much easier for most GMs since they don't autistically create their own worlds and use existing campaigns.
I used to think railroading sucked, but only like two people in my group will ever take the lead on anything, and they've done it so often that they don't want to feel like they're railroading either.
Online games are the worst, because everyone's always doing something else.
JUST FUCKING DO SOMETHING YOU FAGGOTS.
I love them, but I want to choke them to death for twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the next guy to act.
My live group is much better about this.
I do spend a lot of time on my settings but once they're done, they're done. I have enough material to just go with a group of players right now and never have to do any more worldbuilding in my life.
But as I said, you could easily do this with a pre-made campaign setting which would take not long at all.
Nothing about your dumb series of steps explains the concept of players being able to aimlessly wander around the world, and somehow find important and crucial things to do wherever they go, as well as not having any sort of narrative to keep them focused on a specific aspect of the world.
You just said "Do a shitload of planning about the dungeons and towns. And maybe create a plot."
I don't really mind railroading to a point. So long as the only choice doesn't feel forced and the GM doesn't get mad when we don't take a lead from an obviously shady character or something.
I find it has more to do with the GM than players if railroading is okay or not though
>Tell players off handedly about a kidnapped scion of a large bank.
>Tell them about the rumors of a cult hiding the catacombs under the city
>Thell them about a bunch of other stuff.
>They react to fucking none of it.
>Later they tell me they just thought it was background fluff.
My players are retarded, yet I love them all the same.
I started making a little "Newspaper" thing for these background goings on, and they can engage with them if they feel like doing it. A sort of buffet table for side quests (Which may or may not lead into the main plot)
100% of the groups I've been in have had at least 1 person who made a character with personal goals that could use a few extra hands and could be pursued at any time. It's called "not having shit players".
I design a campaig; high tech world recovering from ww3, centralized in the pacific around the new japanese empire. I know the plot is going to revolve around setting them up as supercops, then pulling the rug out when eldritch horrors become involved.
I tell the players to make supercops, within the bounds of "you were hired to be a supercop. be damned good" I receive
>A cyborg mercenary
>a hacker criminal pressganged into service
> a wasteland warrior former cop
> a gearhead who happens to be some of the last german on the planet
I then work with the players on how the became recruits. Backstories are solidified. I work in personal details into the story. Specifically the hacker's personal enemies, and the secret history of the W.W.
I then tell the players where their first mission is. They get a directive from their boss, they get a target, and are sent out.
They choose to drop in at nightfall. They take their mecha-battlesuits and arm for bear. They quietly defuse an automate sentry system, and rearm it on the reverse IFF channel. They infiltrate the science base where their target is. They recon, and find guards. They ambush guards nonlethally with zero witnesses, and tazer/subdue them. Hogtied with zipties. They find the target, tazer her too, and black bag her. They then haul the hard disks out of the main databases onsite as extra collateral with their boss.
They fly back to base without further incident.
They had no choice but to go on the mission.
They had no choice on what they would encounter. If they went into town instead of to the research facility? The target would have been in town, behind an automated defense system and some guards.
They had NO IDEA however that they had no choice; they had the illusion of choice presented to them, and they made decisions, sure, but they had no options that would MODIFY THE OUTCOME OF THE CAMPAIGN PLOT ARC.
If you're not a retarded GM you should be able to figure this out.
>let's say there are two major factions who hate each other, it's a colonial frontier with native beastmen versus imperials
>first town is a spaghetti western saloon town
>players are a group of imperials led by a priest of the imperial church on a mission to the colonies bringing the beasties the ol' civilization pill
>racial tensions everywhere, quests by imperials to clear out insurgent camps in the woods, find religious relics, mitigate tribal wars, etc
>there's some major tribal boss gearing up for a huge war which is the main story, will you put down the upcoming clash or join the beastmen and expel the empire?
If you can't tie these together and have conflict literally everywhere and interesting enough stuff to do then . . . why are you running a tabletop game?
Let me tell you a secret:
I run exclusively Pathfinder adventure paths. I don't write my own campaign, I don't create my own shitty homebrew settings, and I will never do "sandbox" crap.
And you know what happens? In the 3 years I've been playing with my group, many times have they sat around after a session talking about how they made a choice that probably derailed the plot, or they came up with a crazy plan that turned the campaign on it's head, or they just did their own thing without thinking about whether it was what the AP "wanted" them to do.
And you know what? It's never happened. Never once have they actually done any of those things. Everything they do is always the thing I planned content for, yet they never realize that. They always tell me they MADE that choice themselves. And it always contributes to a narrative that makes sense, and they can look back on it and say "Yeah, I know how we got here."
Nothing anyone says about "sandbox" or "open world" games will ever be able to say the same thing, unless you're lying about your group.
You still didn't answer my question. Do you really construct your games based on the concept of players just being untethered wanderers with the freedom to change goal, trajectory, and tone on a whim simply because you think this is somehow a way to create games that people are actually invested in?
Because it makes no sense. That's not how games work. No one can stay focused on 20 levels of "I guess we go to the next place and find something to do".
Of course it turns out like that if you don't build the world to actually facilitate sandboxing.
Here's how it usually goes for me:
>Party: what a dumb quest, we don't want to do that
>GM: okay, you don't have to. the setting is open to whatever adventures you'd like. What do you want to do?
>Party: Well, what else is intresting around here? I ask around to see if anything is going on. Who has the sweetest stealable shit around here?
>GM: I have no idea since I banked on you doing this quest, but am too much of a passive-aggressive child to tell you that this game is on rails and instead pretend this is fine.
I've seen situations where the GM insists on that "Yeah, that's fine, you can do whatever you like", only to draw a complete blank when asked what else is going on. Yeah, the player's aren't going to know what they want to do if their sandbox is empty. Since there's nothing to do.
Honestly, if you want to do a railroaded game, be upfront about it. I'm fucking sick of this stupid game we play where everything is supposedly allowed, yet the campaign is not conductive to sandbox style of play at all and then the GM tries to poke and prod me back on track.
If you want to do a railroad, do it and be upfront so it doesn't have to be a point of contention. If you want to do a sandbox, actually do it. A good sandbox campaign isn't just removing the one plot you had in mind and staring blankly at the players until they draw ideas out of thin air. It requires you to actually have a good handle on things.
>>Party: Well, what else is intresting around here? I ask around to see if anything is going on. Who has the sweetest stealable shit around here?
I'm sorry, should we still be in a group after someone says this? I'd be out the door halfway through that sentence.
...yeah, he gave the players a railroad. The fuck is wrong with you? I'm asking you to explain the fucking concept of a sandbox campaign, and why you think it actually functions when we know it doesn't.
Let's put it like this:
Give them the choices and have them deal with the choices how they want. If their choices make you go down an entirely different path than you thought you would go then adapt and create more choices. RPGs are just a complex CYOA books that take months to even get to the part that tells you to go back.
>Railroading is appropriate for 99% of groups. Prove me wrong. You really can't.
See there is the GMs that get it. Who know it's important to maintain the illusion of freedom while totally railroading player behind the screen.
Then there is GMs who fucking fail at their job (hobby) and instead of improving their smoke and mirrors, just bitch about how they aren't doing anything wrong
>see obvious Rail roading
But they are, and they don't realize it.
>not feinting player freedom.
Your words are correct OP, but you're still wrong, and you likely don't understand why.
The players who whine incessantly about railroading are full of shit. Players love railroading. You just have to be subtle about it in a story-driven game. You can just throw it right in their goddamn faces in a dungeon crawl though. And everyone loves dungeon crawls.
Dungeon crawl for president.
>it's important to maintain the illusion of freedom while totally railroading player behind the screen
Seriously, this is how I've done it for years, never had any complaints about my games.
Well, see. A good sandbox has hooks, points of interest, things going on and stuff like that. Players in a sandbox asking what else is going is completely reasonable. If you just tell them that they can do whatever, and then say that nothing is going on, you're either asking them to start up shit or setting them up to fail.
A good sandbox already has a lot of stuff going on, but no opinion as to what that implies for the party. The party decides that and acts on it. And the stuff reacts to that, which makes things work. It makes stories happen, it makes the game come alive and gives the players and their characters further motivation to actually go around and do stuff.
I did answer your question, and since you can read English I'm not sure how you're missing this. To expand on my example a third time:
>have world as explained in previous post
>players are imperial missionaries
>overarching plot is upcoming war between imperials vs beastmen
>first town has a list of hooks
>if they go in the saloon, a lizardman scout having a rest between towns will tell them of a neighboring tribe that's friendly to outsiders but not him, so he'll pay kindly for an idol they stole from his tribe. going there could be met with hostility and a fight, or diplomacy, or whatever players choose. doing this quest would open further possibilities with beastmen or imperials, depending on what they do
>the priest in town who sent a letter to the cleric in the group before they arrived will greet them in the temple, where he asks them to negotiate the release of magistrate from another town that has been taken over by beastmen. that town has its own hooks once they get there, and so on
>even if they just buck all this and go to another town, they will find things to do there
>all of this connects to larger events involving the economy of the war, who the players have made friends with, what they have done, etc. and other quests. you may need to improvise occasionally, these quests are not hard rules but guidelines
I don't know how I can get any more specific and would wonder if you have autism if you still can't understand this. In cases where players happen upon encounters that they are totally unprepared for, you may need to improvise and scale back what might otherwise be instant TPK, but generally this shouldn't happen often and if it does it's a sign that either you failed to run a compelling game where the party's motivations are logical, or the group is just terminally shit and they decide it's a good idea to start flinging fireballs everywhere in which case there's nothing you could have done with your group of That Guys anyway.
What the fuck am I reading?
>I've been running prewritten garbage for three whole years
>Muh players don't know any better, so they think that the game is a 10/10 masterpiece
>I'm just another faggot choosing to compare everything in absolutes so you can't change my mind!
I've been running homebrew campaigns for over 20 years. I cannot recall a single time where I let my vision of those campaigns become "derailed" by the voices of the players.
In what way could you ever think published adventures were better than the original content of an experienced Game Master?
>I've been running homebrew campaigns for over 20 years.
You mean homebrew garbage, right?
Just because YOU insist your content is somehow a masterpiece doesn't mean anyone believes you. Why would I ever think somehow you're a great writer and your players are fantastic? Just like you greentexteted, your games are shit and your players are idiots.
THIS. YOUR PLAYERS CHOOSE NOTHING. IT IS YOUR STORY. THEIR CHARACTERS ARE BUT PAWNS AND THEY ARE BUT SPECTATORS TO YOUR GLORIOUS DESIGN.
THEY ARE NOT PLAYING A GAME. THEY ARE WITNESSING YOUR MASTURBATION. THIS IS AS IT SHOULD BE. YOU ARE SUPERIOR. YOUR PLAYERS' SPIRITS ARE TO BE CRUSHED BENEATH YOUR MIGHTY FOOTSTEPS.
What bothers me is people thinking railroads never have more than one track.
No one said creativity is automatically shit.
I simply said that he asserted that "prewritten garbage" was automatically shit and players who enjoyed it must be idiots.
I pointed out that just because he insists he does better and his players love him for it, there's no reason to believe that. Just because he insists he's super-creative and his campaigns are great doesn't make it true, or likely.
>GM: okay so you don't want to do X? Fine you don't do X. What do you do now?
>Player: Well what else is happening around here?
>GM: That was literally the only interesting thing to happen around these parts for the last month and a half. I guess you can try to hunt wild animals or something while I try to make a new event.
>"Orcs have been harassing the locals whenever they try to go out and hunt, and food has become scarce. You could go investigate, seeing as you're heroes and all."
>"Lame! Anything else?"
>"Well, there's an old mansion about a day's ride north of here that people think is haunted but also claim contains treasure."
>"Now we're talking!"
>three weeks later they go back to the initial town and find that everyone was killed after a group of the strongest fighters in the village were sent out to investigate and slain, leaving the village all but defenseless
>as they look through the wreckage, they see a stuffed dragon that was being carried around by a little girl who was one of the first NPCs they came across
>the little girl nervously gave one of the players a flower because he wore shiny armor like the heroes in the elder's stories, so he must be a hero too, right?
>GM'd homebrew settings for seven years
>First big campaign I railroaded the fuck outta my party because I was inexperienced and couldn't handle them doing stuff I wasn't ready for
>Everyone liked it, but I thought it was shit
>Second big campaign I just worked on their backstories and had them start in one town where they all had jobs/family/friends/property
>I have all sorts of groups and individual NPCs plot and do things from lowly highwaymen to political leaders in far away lands
>They can do whatever they want
>Had tons of adventures that have effected some groups negatively and played to the benefits of others knowingly or unknowingly
>Everyone's happy and I've had a lot of fun seeing where they've taken the game
I mean, railroading works, but it's not totally necessary. It's really more group/GM dependent. My current group is able to motivate themselves and take initiative. For other groups it really isn't so bad to make 'em clear out a goblin cave rather than sit around without a clue. I think as a GM it's way more fun to not railroad though, but that's just my
>sweetest stealable shit
>not being able to come up with something on the fly
>not telling them "I'll be right back to you, Player B, what are you doing?"
>not crafting a thieves guild questline while attending to Player B's asinine request
This is why you fail.
I just tell my group, Hey I've got a story to tell, you want to be a part of it? and they say yay or nay. Then I ask them if they have a story they want to tell with their character. Most of them are content to just sit back and roll dice. That's what my group enjoys so that's what I facilitate.
They like hard combat over picturesque landscape for a good reason, so I give it to them. When they have a story they want to share, like their character's brother coming to town and how there is something wrong with them, I ask for a guideline of what they want and the freedom to use it as I need to.
Simple GMing. Railroads aren't bad, neither is an open world where players just want to do stuff. Hell the first campaign I have in just about any setting is having everyone look at the map and ask where they want to go.
>so, the boat you three were in is near the shore and you hear a ferocious scream
>Hunter who lives in the nearby woods, from your cabin you also hear the scream, what do you do?
>I don't want to fight that thing, I go to sleep
>"ensue epic fight between every other player and some trolls while the hunter is sound asleep"
>You all get 500 xp, except for the sleeping hunter.
And that's how you teach players to follow the flow of narrative. Don't get me wrong, I could have made a troll attack his cabin, but that could have been seen as railroding, and i didn't want to run two simultaneous encounters.
That player never missed a plot hook again... he became investigative, interactive with npcs and ready to spew out what he wanted to do when i didn't throw anything at the party.
>Like, there's no gaming group where players just wander aimlessly around the world and come to forks in the road and just arbitrarily pick which path to head down, right?
Yes there are.
>How does that even work? What kind of game would you even be playing?
Sometimes sandbox really is "freelance mercenary gang wandering around trying to earn some coin".
Sometimes you can use that technique in more engaged games.
For example, supers game. You need the Evil Organisation to look formidable so you have them attack several (lets say three) places at once. Players get to choose which they go to and which they leave to NPC teams to handle.
But you only properly stat up one team of villains and that team is at the place PC heroes go to. Of course doing so all the time would ruin the illusion, so next time prep a different team. And again three places, with two teams statted up, but you've used one already so now it's time for team 2 to schroedinger. Third time, third team.
After that you have an established rogues gallery and start shuffling villains between teams for future encounters.
A lot of GMing is putting up illusion for the players (for example, illusion of being in danger of TPK all the time, but you don't really want to TPK them because that means Game Over for you too.)
>I tell the players to make supercops, within the bounds of "you were hired to be a supercop. be damned good" I receive [this and that character].
>I then work with the players [etc]
>They choose to drop in at nightfall. They take their [etc]
That's the good approach. Rails of the rollercoaster are laid out before the game, but they get to choose and furnish their train cars (characters) to their tastes.
Then they select game-important stuff about further approach. They can't choose not to get the scientist, but night ghost infiltration vs. for example barging in during the day shouting HALT CRIMINAL SCUM is their choice.
>If they went into town instead of to the research facility? The target would have been in town, behind an automated defense system and some guards.
However, I wouldn't have done that.
In the town I would have had an assistant of the target scientist with fewer guards. They could capture him and shake him down for information that would make infiltration easier.
It is a small detour that is fun gameplay by itself but does not derail the plot.
Good railroading is good
Bad railroading is bad
Good sandbox is good
Bad sandbox is bad
Good GMing is good
Bad GMing is bad
A GM shouldn't blame bad GMing on the style of game.
I'm not a fan of enforced rail-roading but i think that player confusion on 'what to do' comes from a lack of understanding of the world (on the players side).
i made sure that when we started, i was able to tell the players something about everything in our setting, that way if they wanted to explore an area of try something, i had tables or pre-made encounters that helped drive their open world pursuit.
I also prepare quests for the group to go on, which take place all over our campaign area. I leave them open-ended so that at any point, they could become side-tracked and run into something else in the world. I make their options flexible, making sure i always have at least 3 quests ready to go, possibly coming from 3 different NPC or sources in the world
So i'd say that ABSOLUTE rail-roading is necessary when your group is unable to comprehend simple things :P
Railroading/sandboxing only comes to a head in few cases
1)the players and the GM want different plots entirely. The GM tries to railroad, the players cry for a sandbox and everything sucks until they rediscuss the whole game from the ground up.
2)the players are whiny babies that resent being fed plothooks on principle but can't make the game move without them
3)the GM is a control freak that punishes any slight deviation from his vision even if the group is diligently trying to solve his plot
Consider the following. I hunt a cabal of soulless thralls spreading evil grimoires around the world so that I can hunt down my heother and take revenge for pulling an Itachi.
If I try to pursue that, I can accomplish nothing unless the DM puts in these thralls and grimoires to find. Which is in a sense railroading.
My last game got side tracked entirely as the players went into the business of cloned organ trafficking in order to make expendable magic dupes in semi-shadowrun.
It became a game of business, smuggling, and self determined runs.
It worked really well.
I think your philosophy of absolutes could really use some moderation.
I gotta say, the only times I have players being all "I don't know what to do" is early in the game when they don't know the world.
After one, maybe two sessions of light railroading, their character and understanding of the world grows to the point where they can just self direct and adventures will happen. I can just sit back and laugh my way to the bank while players do all the hard DMing work.
>I gotta say, the only times I have players being all "I don't know what to do" is early in the game when they don't know the world.
Yeah, it's just that often after hitting that spot the game dies. The players leading to that also often resist even light rails on reflex.
That is a lot more prepwork for the Gm though. I am blessed to have an amazing one, but he's very busy. A lot of prepwork means that he's also going to get burned out a lot faster in the long run.
You can't pretend that people go through all that hard work for nothing, since us players may very well never explore certain areas...