I hate dailies. My tolerance for the extends exactly as far as is required for me to access whatever content I’d like to get into and basically no further. It’s the fastest way for me to burn out on a game. The obligation to log in every day and do [whatever] loses me instantly.
At the same time, I understand the need to pace out progression in some sane way. FFXIV has a great system in its daily leve allowances, and I wish that would extend to other things. Let me run a week’s worth of expert roulette on Saturday, rather than needing to log in every single day to max out my currency income.
I haven’t logged in much to FFXIV this week because I’d been grinding every day to reach i170 on my Summoner. I know I can get higher than that, but it’s just not enticing to me. I’ve come to lack the overriding desire to make all of my numbers as high as possible, I’m more than happy with “high enough”, because there’s other stuff I want to do. I appreciate how lightweight the Law grind was in FF, especially right after the levelling process, but I’m not terribly motivated to jump right back into it to chase the gear treadmill a little further, especially because I know my current state is sufficient for what I’m doing and, furthermore, the investment required to move forward to the current “best” tier will drop here relatively shortly. I’ve chased the cutting edge of content before, and I don’t have the interest in doing it again that would motivate me to grind dungeons until I achieve the absolute best [numbers] I possibly can.
What motivates me is interesting new stuff to do. I am, at my core, an Explorer-type, though I don’t fall into the category of Explorer that people tend to think of. Wandering around geography isn’t interesting to me; I want to explore the story and the gameworld and see how everything plays out. I don’t care about finding the secret hidden treasure chest in a cave on a mountainside, but I will jump through nearly any hoops to get all of the possible endings to something. I’ve only played one Kingdom Hearts game, but I did get the ‘true’ ending for it, and I played through enough Chrono Trigger to see every way that game ends (it’s a lot).
Exploration for its own sake doesn’t interest me– I want something to find. In the same vein, progression for its own sake rarely excites me: I want to be progressing in order to see something I haven’t previously seen. It’s something I miss from older MMOs– current games want to make sure you don’t miss anything, so there’s rarely anything to find by wandering off the beaten path. You might get some cool screenshots or something (which other people really love, and I appreciate, but don’t care to chase after for myself), but by and large you’re not going to find anything meaningful at the top of that mountain if the game didn’t expressly tell you to go there.
It was my biggest disappointment with Wildstar– for all it claimed to encourage exploration, I still felt like it was taking me on hikes along well-trodden paths, not rewarding me for forging across the wilderness. The coolest part of the Explorer subclass was finding hidden quest areas that weren’t apparent to other people, but they felt thin; I didn’t really find exciting stuff in there, just a challenge and maybe a single quick quest. It wasn’t the life-changing revolution that was expected.
That being said, I continue to feel like we’re on the cusp of a big sea change in MMOs, but of the various directions it could go, I’m not sure yet which one I think is likely. I hope we get away from games and back towards experiences that feel like worlds. I find I miss the sense of being a denizen of a vast digital world, versus a player in a multiplayer game. The difference is, as always, progression. In worlds, you can make progress in a variety of ways and they’ll all benefit you. In games, if you’re not spending your time progressing in one of a relatively set number of ways, you’re kind of wasting your time. I miss feeling like I could spend my time doing whatever and still be productive.
Source: Digital Initiative