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Jason Winter Posted:
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Daily rewards are getting another makeover! Feel the hype!!

OK, so maybe dailies aren't exactly the first thing on anyone's wish list to be revamped. Still, despite their relatively small impact, they're something you encounter every, uh, day, so they're still important – important enough for ArenaNet to tinker with them for a third time since the game's launch.

Group think

Dailies will now be grouped into three categories – PvE, PvP, and WvW – and you'll need to complete three in any one category to get “credit” for doing your dailies and earn 10 achievement points. You'll also get individual rewards for each daily you complete, but you'll only ever earn those 10 AP once per day.

The dailies will be tiered by challenge level, with the example of “Kill 3 players in WvW” given as “easy,” with “Win 1 match in PvP as a mesmer” or “Defeat the Shatterer” as “challenging.” I'd say those are less “difficult” than they are “inconvenient.” Anyone can defeat three players in WvW at pretty much any time, but you'll need a mesmer (I don't have one) or need to log on during the Shatterer's time frame to achieve those other two. A glance at the sample panel in the article also seems to show three “easy/convenient” and one “hard/inconvenient” achievements.

I suppose this makes sense, since people can get away with doing just the three easy/convenient achievements to earn their daily. If the list could expand to five, then maybe it could feature three “easy,” one “inconvenient,” and one “actually challenging or at least time consuming” one, with rewards commensurate for each – and maybe the hard one could count as two achievements or something like that.

(I'm also still mystified at people who feel the need to do all dailies, every day, to max out their achievement points, which appears to be a not-insignificant reason for the revamp in the first place. Grinders gonna grind, I guess...)

I'll miss monthlies, too; they always felt like a larger, longer-term goal that I could strive for every month, a little like making a legendary weapon, but on a much smaller scale. I was never one of those people who insisted I had to get it done after four days (when you got your Monthly Completionist finished) and rather liked seeing the regular progress tick up slowly but surely. I suppose they must have been an even more onerous task for the “get all achievements” crowd, though.

Natural log-rhythm

The second big part of the dailies revamp is the implementation of log-in rewards. Lots of games have them, and my feelings regarding them are mixed. I don't hate them, per se, but I'm also aware that they're less of a system to reward you and more of a system to fuel one's addiction.

MMO developers are greedy. I don't mean that in the sense of wanting to take your money – well, they want to take some of your money – but in the sense of them wanting to monopolize your time. Daily log-in rewards are the simplest way to ensure that you're always thinking of them and that you'll always be back. Not planning to play today? “Oh, that's too bad. I guess we'll see you tomorrow... but then you won't get your free loot. Look, it's right here, all you have to do is log in. Come on, it'll just take a minute. And hey, if you decide to stay for a while and craft something or run a dungeon or just chat with your guild or hey, has it really been four hours, gee, how did that happen? /innocentlook”

I'd like to say I'm mostly immune to this sort of thing – I already skip days when I don't feel like taking the 20 minutes or so it would take to do my dailies – but I did log in every day for three weeks to craft the mats with a daily cooldown I needed to make my Mawdrey, which only took me about a minute each time. And I know that, while no game with a daily log-in reward has ever been my “main” game, I've occasionally gone through spurts in some where I make sure to log in every day to claim my goodies, even if that's all I planned to do. I'm almost tempted to log in to Guild Wars 2 less once this is implemented, just to be obstinate. “You don't control me, game! /shakefist”

There's also the perception that Guild Wars 2 is, as one of my colleagues once called it, a “feel-good slot machine.” We already get plenty of loot thrown at us all the time; now we'll get loot for just showing up, without any need to actually do anything. I'm not one of those “back in my day, you had to earn stuff in 53-man raids that took 14 hours” types of MMO players, but I'll feel... I don't know, almost guilty that I'm getting rewarded for doing so little. Maybe Ho-Ho-Tron can open up a gift donation outlet for people who feel bad about getting too much loot. (No, you can't have it, so don't ask.)

All that being said, I was relieved when I got to the end of the log-in rewards description and it said that I wouldn't have to log in on consecutive days or risk losing my progress. That would have been... well, maybe not the last straw, but one pretty close to the bottom. It's bad enough that they make me want to log in every day, but feeling like I need to or I'll lose my precious progress... yeah, thanks, I don't need that kind of compulsion.

It's an interesting place I find myself in with regards to the changes. They're nothing I'm going to get up in arms about, and they're probably good for ArenaNet, in that they'll draw more people to the game and get them to play more. And to clip one line of thinking before it starts: no, they're not doing this because “omg teh game is dyin anet needs to bribe players lol.”

A month from now, it'll probably all seem natural and we'll almost have forgotten that it used to be any different. But what do you guys think? Do you like the new dailies? Hate them? Or are you like me and are adopting a sort of “ehhhh, maybe” attitude?


Jason Winter