@Jayde, the problem with the marks and quests is basically that firstly, even when I did! explore and look at the area the bloody quests didn't work out (on one occasion I was told to go to a completely different area), and secondly if I don't get marks there really didn't seem much to do besides wander around and slay random wildlife.
It actually annoyed me, the game has a list of features half a mile long, pretty good writing and descriptions, lots of potentially really interesting systems like multiclassing, ships and random wilderness, and yet once out of Lasler basically it seemed to boil down to wandering about and hitting things over and over again for no reason, and the few things that actually seemed to have a point to them besides grinding I'd already gone past.
It's not that I mind things which are not possible on first remort, cleft of dimentions and Aardwolf actually account for this by having too many quests to do at one ru n through, however you still get enough quests on the way through to actually keep the game interesting, (well I assume you do in cleft of dimentions though when i tried I had a little trouble finding the quests theree).
Basically it seemed with materiamagica that unless you stood there with the wiki open all you could ever find to do was grind grind grind and then be told you'd ground too much to get other stuff, which is frankly just plain depressing. Compare this to alter where you can these days just quest your way through the game to the point it doesn't even feel grindy, and you'll see what I mean.
I did think though that some work had been done on this a little more recently, with other stuff to do, commands to find marks without going past them and some changes in quest timers, so if someone who is playing now could confirm if there are! actually more things to do besides slay monsters and then be punished for slaying too many monsters that would be good.
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