Before answering take a moment to think about it. Would you rather have to grind 10 hours straight for an item or be sure to get it by inputting 1 hour a day over 10 days? Wich one would suit you more?
If your thinking I’m offering the same thing with both choices then you are right! In both cases you will have to play ten hours to get the same exact item. The only difference is that in the first case you can choose when you play those ten hours and in the later you are limited to one hour every day.
So if it’s the same, why the hell do we have dailies when we only have to pace ourselves??
Once upon a time…
Back in the day when MMOs were new and shiny, game designers created quests, content and progression. They mapped out the road to obtain items and get through the different areas of the game and debated on how long this or that needed to take to complete. They used mechanisms likes random drops to include some variation but in the end they had a pretty good idea about how long everything needed to complete. So if getting access to a raid took 10 hours on average the player was free to complete it at their own pace according to how much time they wanted to put in.
Then something happened… we all discovered we suck at pacing ourselves. Instead of doing the rational thing and play according to how much time we can put in a game we started to race through content. Peer-pressure made sure that we had to do that 10 hours grind asap or risk being called a noob and denied access to all the cool stuff. We, the players, threw common sense out the window pretty fast.
… we lost freedom of choice
It all started so innocently. Back in 2008 Blizzard introduced the Sunwell patch and with it an island full of daily quest wich was aimed at helping out the more casual players get enough gold to afford all the consumables raiding required. Since they didn’t want hardcore and gold sellers to abuse the system they introduced a pacing mechanism known as the daily quest.
Daily quests in themselves had been around for a long time but they had never been used in this way before, as a way to pace endgame content. While it was aimed specifically at getting gold in endgame it allowed control over the flow of player progression. With dailies everyone could be made to progress at the same pace.
So when Blizzard made Wrath they designed the endgame around dailies and lockout timers and tried to pace the game experience for everyone.
Coming full circle
Now that we made dailies the spawn of the devil let’s stop and think about the pros and cons of each.
-Pro: Can be completed at own pace
-Con: Gives way to peer pressure to complete certain parts of the game as fast as possible despite the player better judgment.
-Pro: Pace the game and allows casual players to get to the same place as the hardcore players at the same time.
-Con: Robs players of choice when it comes to the speed of his own progression
-Con: Can turn the game into a chore since missing a day of daily can set someone behind.
Now I know that I put more Cons for Daily quest but I’m pretty sure I could manage to even things out if I put enough time in it. Still, I feel that it illustrate the main point, that no matter how you go about it there’s still going to be peer pressure to get things done as fast as possible and that in the end dailies are a pacing mechanism to force us to slow down.
So I ask of you wich do you prefer. I know I’d rather go back to the old way since I lose quickly interest when I have to play to a certain schedule and loose the freedom to spend my game time how I want. With grinds I could at least spend a good grind session and be done with it instead of having it drag on forever.
But I also understand that not everyone loves grinds and that not everyone wants to go back to the days when raiding involved killing thousands of mobs only to get enough components to make potions. I’m curious, am I the only one who feels that way?