I will break a quest’s format and offer my retrospective of what you should do in a certain case. This might turn out to be a long post since I also wish to offer a few examples.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Quest Title | Self explanatory it’s the name your quest will have.
Pick the title first — I don’t do this often, but it’s simply my preference. If you wish to do this however it will influence your quest text, you choose a theme and will write the text so that the essence of the title is prominent.
Quest Text | This can either influence a title or be influenced by a title and creating a connection between the title and the NPC with text is something very important. You -don’t- need to be a lore expert to write good text, simply visualise what your character would say after you’ve given him a slight backstory and a few traits that make him unique.
Will your quest have breaks in them, will the character stutter? Would they have a slight accent, would they get another NPC’s or location’s name wrong simply to give more creativity to the quest?
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I wouldn’t ever see myself doing anything other than working the fields, <class>, it’s my humble imprint I leave upon this world of ours. Especially during harvest season, to grow your own crops from beginning to end and having enough to help us over the cold season is a pride that makes every farmer’s heart pump with excitement. <NPC clears his throat.> Oh but I am ever so thirsty, today has been more productive than the days before but it seems to have brought me to my knees. Would you be so kind as to fill this bucket with water from that well over there? I will greatly appreciate it. Skip the title, if you think you have an idea that might change while you’re writing your text a title is simply just a thorn in your sides, simply write the text first and pick a title at a later time, sometimes it could generally be a phrase from the quest text itself.
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Quest Title: For Darkshire and its People Quest Text: When I first joined the Stormwind Guard I didn’t think I’d be stationed in Duskwood, this dreadful place is full of unspeakable horrors. But considering all the Night Watch has been through, a few of us were sent to make sure the place is well defended and none have to fear for their life. I am aware of the worgen, the undead and everything else that there is to deal with here and even if I am utterly terrified I will stick by them since this is the job I signed up to do, in any case, enough of my boorish banter. I need to take this official report from Stormwind to the mayor, I am asking you to since I am more than sure I won’t be welcomed with open arms, and please tell the mayor that we are here for Darkshire and its people.
Quest Giver and Quest Ender:
Considering the Giver and Ender may differ I will put them in the same category. Here’s how I usually do things.
Existing NPC: If you plan to use an existing NPC that already has a few quests of its own or even a small gossip as a greeting you should try to match up its personality while writing the text, yes, just like the title the NPC will influence the quest text. You can even go as far as doing some research on the specified character, for that I usually look their name up on Wowpedia, make sure you read only the WC3 + Vanilla parts as future expansions don’t matter.
New NPC: If you plan to create your own character you should start by visualising and fleshing out your character, try to give them a small backstory (you usually won’t have these in the quest texts although it’s not necessarily a rule) and a personality. Make the NPC feel as alive as possible, they can have emotions, as this is influenced by racial aspects. I recommend doing some research before you pick a name and race for them. Will it be a quick to anger Dwarf, an arrogant Elf or simply an emotionless Forsaken husk?
Incomplete Text or Turn-in Text:
I try to be very neutral with these, and keep it short. For example the NPC wants you to kill an x amount of y creatures.
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“Any progress?” “Back so soon?”
This is the rewards menu, after completing a quest the NPC will respond accordingly to your aid or if it’s a simple turn in quest they’d be surprised by your appearance.
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“You have done me a great favour <name>, I wish to pay you back, you may choose from these particular items.” “Oh? And who are you, how can this old dwarf help you?”
Items | I usually look for a quest of the same level and take inspiration from their items and make my own. Refer to Dragunovi’s Item Making Guide if you wish to do your own items.
Experience and Money | As above you should find an already in game quest that looks exactly like yours. Be it a kill, turn-in or gathering object x quest, there are databases that offer you this opportunity and you should definitely take it.