Welcome to your night cap, for Monday September seventeenth, star date two zero one two. Daily activities are a great way for MMOs to keep their communities interested and playing. From a design stand, it directs the more casual crowd to a list of chores that can be completed even if the person doesn’t have much time to play. They can also introduce players to certain features that they might not have found or tried on their own.
Take Guild Wars 2, for a recent example. Every day players are tasked with killing x number of mobs, x type of mobs, collecting x number of materials and completing events. With fast teleportation, the entire daily list can be completed in a half hour or less, and offers a nice reward for completion. By spacing out the events, players are essentially pushed into exploring the world.
Daily quests are especially nice in sandbox games, where the player might be overwhelmed by the vast number of choices of activities, but don’t have much in the way of guidance. RuneScape is introducing its own list of daily activities, to give the player a set of tasks to get them going, offering bonus experience for participating.
And yes, daily quest timers are also used to herd players and place artificial limits on content. Certain MMOs place timers on when you can raid dungeons, or how much experience you can obtain in one day (Final Fantasy). Some titles limit how many times you can pull a reward from a boss. This is a controversial, and well disputed issue among various communities.
A developer would tell you that the reason is wealth difference, and that they don’t want a player who can only raid once or twice a week to feel at a disadvantage to someone who has the time to raid ten times a night. The player’s side is that they pay the subscription (or whatever the model is) and therefore should be able to raid as much as they want. Another argument by the community is that MMOs are a time investment, therefore the players with more time should naturally have an advantage over those with less.
So dailies aren’t perfect, but they do aid people like myself who often quit MMOs not out of bad quality, but simply because they lose our attention. On the other hand, having dailies linked to multi-day events can result in an alienated player if for some reason they miss a day and have to start over.
How do you feel about dailies?