Missions, Quests, and Side-Quests
Towards the end of this guide you will find an Encyclopedia of Quests that lists every quest and includes a description and the actions required as well as any hints that may be useful. Bearing in mind that these quests are also covered in the main body of the guide as they become available or as you do them, as all of that is not really the purpose of this section of the guide! No, this section is meant to discuss with you the missions and quests themselves and key differences in them, as well as what they really mean.
As with any standard RPG game the story is driven by the missions that are part of it. We distinguish between missions and quests (and so does the game) by grouping them separate from each other -- so for example the game considers all of the quests that are key to completing the story elements to be part of the mission to which they are attached. A good example of this is the Titan Weapon Mission, which is the first mission that you flag and begin at the start of the game. Quests and sub-quests that fall within the scope of that mission by virtue of being required actions or elements to the completion of the mission are grouped with it, whereas all of the optional or completely unrelated quests and sub-quests are grouped under the geographical heading for that area.
With me on this so far? Good!
The thing you need to understand is that in addition to the quest that are grouped under the missions, you will also want to complete as many of the optional quests and sub-quests as you can because they are the primary source for both Glory Points and gold in the game. While it is true that you receive a certain amount of Glory Points for the monsters you kill, and you can obtain gold by gathering resources and special items, what you get for completing the quests is on a whole other level, as this resource is not only absolutely necessary to progression in the game, but is necessary to the rapid leveling of your character and expanding their skills and abilities as well as talents!
The game has well over 300 quests in it, and in fact there is an Achievement called "Mr Industrious" (50 GP) that is unlocked for completing 250 quests -- and that may seem like a lot of quests but believe me by the time you get to the end of the game it will have flown by so fast that you will wonder how it ended so quickly!
If you closely examine the game play structure you will realize that the quests and missions are all central to unlocking most of the other Achievements, whether they are the do X actions, kill X beasts, or the Achievements that are awarded for completing specific missions and quests, all of thos is inter-connected.
Even the skill-based Achievements that are awarded for mastery of the different skills and abilities are attached to the questing system, since you obtain the Glory Points that are required to unlock these via those quests!
While we are on this subject, unless you plan to play through the game half-a-dozen times, you are going to have to make a strategic investment in patience early on by only unlocking the upgrades that you actually need. The reason for that is simple: to fully cap-off a skill from Level 1 to Level 10 you will need to spend around 61,000 Glory Points (XP) and around 17,000 gold coins PER skill!
You can do that by playing through the game half-a-dozen times if you really want to, but the wisest method and the most efficient from a time point-of-view is to save up the targeted 61K in Glory Points, and $17K in gold coins, and then intentionally work the system to unlock ALL of the related Achievements in one go! How do you do that?
You will recall that we mentioned earlier that the game tracks your actions separately from the game save system, so when you open a door or dig up a chest that gets permanently recorded as an action whether you save or quit without saving immediately thereafter. It does the same thing for the skills and abilities statistics as well, so what you can do is simply save up the required resources and then cap one skill, quit without saving, cap the next, and rinse and repeat until you have capped each of them separately, and thus you will have unlocked the following Achievements in one go:
All-Rounder 30 Learned each skill once
Blademaster 20 Learned everything about blades
Gunslinger 20 Learned everything about firearms
Rogue 20 Learned everything about cunning
Tough Bastard 20 Learned everything about toughness
Voodoo Wizard 20 Learned everything about voodoo
In addition to the above, the process of obtaining the resources will very likely lead to a number of other Achievements being unlocks, but since we cannot know which as that depends upon the track you follow, we will just generally acknowledge that here.
While it is true that this is a game about a story, it is also true that the process by which you unlock the Achievements that are part of the game are often important to the gamers who play these games. If you had asked me if this was an easy game in which to earn Achievements I would have replied that no, if that is the focus of your interest and how you pick games, this is one I would avoid, but then that is really not the best way to decide on what games you play, is it? Hell no!
Risen 2 is a fun romp through a world of Pirates and plunder, it has a great story (if a bit shallow) and it does not rely upon gimmicks like animated soft port to retain gamer attention -- a choice that I very much respect. In fact other than a few words of wickedness that, let us be realistic, I am sure my teenagers hear a dozen times every day at school, there is really nothing in here that I would be upset about my kids seeing, and that is why I have no worries for them to play this game... Though being realistic I am not all that sure that any worries or concerns that I had -- if I had any -- would be weighed with anything other than anecdotal notice by my kids, because they pretty much prefer to pick the games that they play based upon their own interests, and as their own decisions.
Still I feel lucky to have two great and intelligent, mostly well-adjusted kids who are interested in what I do professionally, as it beats the hell out of having kids who could care less (something I know more than a few of my mates face in their lives). I suppose it does not hurt that all of their friends say that they have the coolest dad, heh.