Daily quests, daily grind.

Now that 2.4 is out, many bloggers are posting their initial reactions to the patch, with most being overall positive. It seems the new area is a hit, and the players are enjoying the new daily quests that contribute to the big server event of opening up the island. All this talk of dailies got me thinking, why do so many people consider them such a great idea?

A daily quest, when you really break it down, is just like any other quest in the game, with the major difference that you can repeat it over and over for xp/gold/rep. Break it down a bit more, and most daily quests are little more than grinding out ‘collect x’ or ‘kill x’ tasks. So why when given the title of ‘daily’ do players so readily accept these tasks and congratulate Blizzard on a brilliant idea?

Is it really something as simple as the fact that dailies are easy, safe, 100% guaranteed rewards that are clearly presented to you? When you do a quest for the first time, you might not know exactly where to go or what to collect, but a daily solves this. A normal quest might also be too tough for you, but again a daily solves this. And some quests you don’t know what the reward will be until you complete it, but not so with a daily quest.

This leads me to believe that most MMO players are somewhat short sighted, or simply tricked into a new form of the same old grind. An xp bar tells me I need 1000xp to level, but it does not tell me how to go and get that xp. I know killing rats gives xp, but again I’m not told that’s the best way. A daily says “it’s a new day, repeat me”. And you accept, get a new ‘quest’ in your log, get a nice counter of how many rats you need to kill, and once you kill the set number of rats, you get a set reward. If you go out and just kill the rats on your own, you have no guidance on how many to kill, for how long, or exactly where to go to kill them. The daily removes all that for you. Plus tomorrow you get to safely repeat the process all over again.

To me dailies represent the exact opposite of what most MMO players generally request from content. We ask that it be new, different, exciting, challenging. We complain when we are given more ‘kill x’ ‘collect y’ quests, yet we cheer new dailies? And we cheer that Blizzard has given us the ‘opportunity’ to now repeat the same exact tasks 25 times a day, rather than just ‘limiting’ us to 10?

15 Responses to Daily quests, daily grind.

  1. jon says:

    While I still enjoy doing Arena teams with friends in WoW, the daily task of doing “dailies” is really making me lose interest in the game. That and there is really no teeth to the game. Everything handed to the player nice and easy. No real challenges. Just keep doing the dailies, endless battlegrounds and what not and soon I can get better gear to make it even easier.

    My first MMO was old school UO, where there was no hand holding and new player quests. You started with 100 gold a few other items and that was it. Good luck to you. If you died for whatever reason, that was your problem.

    I’ve recently started playing EVE Online and while the game is pretty complex, it sounds like it is going to fill the void of old UO quite nicely.

  2. Scott says:

    Also a bit of a double standard when people love, love, love the daily quests in WoW which give the same returns, yet the mere ability (not requirement) to repeat quests in DDO — which has dimished returns with each repetition — is frowned upon. Never mind that DDO’s quests are all fully instanced dungeons or outdoor areas, yet what do people do daily in WoW? Repeat the same instanced dungeons and raids over and over ad nauseum.

    Just something to consider…

    In general, I just stick to my philosophy that we’re all full of shit. The hardcore *say* on forums and blogs they want one thing. In practice, they *do* something else. Players in general say they want fewer Kill X quests, but as soon as they’re provided a means to do them repeatedly, it’s a glorious thing. Complain they want something new, something innovative. Devs deliver it. Players immediately say “different stuff sucks, I’d rather go kill shit.”

  3. Tobold says:

    Good question. I think daily quests are an agreeable compromise between the effort of doing new, unknown quests and the boredom of grinding the same mob over and over for loot. You don’t need to look up quests on Thottbot, because you did the same quest before, but doing 10 (or now 25) daily quests is still a lot more interesting than farming primals for the same amount of time. And probably gives more gold too.

  4. Brandon says:

    I don’t want to wade too deeply into the new/old content argument, but for me (as a player who raids on a semi-regular basis [1-3x per week] and has other RL responsibilities [e.g. job, wife]), the dailies are just what I need to fulfill my goal of endgame raiding.

    In terms of time commitment, I can spend ~1 hour doing dailies each day and get anywhere from 80-100g, which covers repair bills and reagents/mats from time to time when i need them. If i get to do more than 7-8 quests in a given day, that is just cash that I can sock away to buy something on the AH or whatnot or help guildies. I won’t say that the dailies are super duper fun or interesting, but knowing an exact and methodical way to grind out the minimum necessary gold to let me do what I really want to do in the game is something i definitely appreciate.

    My guess is that dailies were probably implemented for players like myself, who can’t afford to grind mobs or primals for hours on end (due to RL time constraints) but still wanted to be active participants in the endgame. Looking at pre-TBC WoW and the forums, you’d think that the hallmark of a hardcore raider is their ability to farm mats and gold for umpteen hours. However, in reality it’s kind of stupid to limit endgame raiding only to players who can sink in 8 hrs/day grinding since being able to farm isn’t a true skill test of a raider. Being able to combine 1) successfully execution of strategies on a group level, 2) knowing your role with said group, and 3) knowing how to appropriately gear yourself is what makes a good raider. Grinding (to the extent that it used to be) shouldn’t be the roadblock to successful endgame participation; dailies don’t remove the roadblock, but make it slightly more manageable.

  5. syncaine says:

    The DDO thing is a great point Scott. DDO is basically one long series of daily quests, yet that is a huge hurdle for people, when in WoW they love it. (ignoring the combat system and grouping thing here).

    How is doing a ‘kill x’ daily more fun than killing x for primals? It’s the same thing, the daily just has a built in counter and timer for completion, while farming primals you have to set the stop point for yourself.

    It kind of reminds me of EVE really. EVE is basically all daily-type quests in terms of the NPC stuff. If you don’t set a goal for yourself in EVE, you quickly get bored of ‘doing the same stuff’, yet those that do have goals just look at the NPC stuff as a means to a greater end. WoW has no greater end, but does a better job of setting the pace of the grind for you, which seems to be what most MMO players need.

    Best game to babysit wins…

  6. Graktar says:

    I’ve wondered the same thing. I keep seeing bloggers gush on about how wonderful all the daily quests are, and I just don’t get it. They’re pure grind, just in quest form instead of mob form. They are generally more efficient then grinding mobs, but I wouldn’t call them more interesting. At least if you’re grinding mobs you can choose to fight something different each day. If you’re doing dailies, you’re doing the EXACT same thing over and over and over. I can only assume so many people like them because they’re easy and give rapid, tangible rewards. They’re a sugar coated carrot, so to speak.

    The fact that Blizzard’s response to requests for non-raid content has generally been ‘here, have some more dailies!’ is one of the main reasons I finally gave up. Yes, the addition of Magister’s Terrace is great, but it’s too little too late. Blizzard has the capacity to make really great small group content — for some reason they just don’t feel the need to spend much effort on it post release.

  7. Jezebeau says:

    Daily quests are a steady income, where grinding has more of a risk factor. They hit the gratification button each time you turn one in, as the gold pours in, and the new shattered sun packs even feed off the draw of gambling with the anticipation of a badge of honor. They’re less likely to bore you than grinding because you’re always on the move. As for the “opportunity” to do 25, the real opportunity is in having options. 20 people camping the skettis escort? No problem; skip it today, it won’t have a significant effect on your day’s gold.

    Gold really is the key here. The daily quests are Blizzard’s way of maintaining the economy. Every auction, every repair, every stack of reagents, and every respec removes gold from circulation. The resulting deflation can only be allowed to go so far, because vendor prices (also determining auction house deposits) are fixed. On my server, netherweave routinely auctions for less than three gold, fetching even less when the AH’s fee is considered, and three gold is what one gets from vendoring a stack of bandages.

    PS: It’s not that players want less ‘Kill X’ quests, it’s that they want more scripted encounters with special behaviours and situational modifiers. These are great for a play-through or two, but become very dreary on repetition. Quests designed for repetition are better off not having time-consuming frills on either end. That said, ‘Kill X’ quests are generally a poor choice for dailies, as those spec’ed poorly for solo PvE will be at a significant disadvantage. The bombing runs and Apexis Emanations should serve as examples of divergent gameplay.

  8. sid67 says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the popularity of the dailys stems from the fact that much of the 1-70 experience is a solo experience and people haven’t yet adapted to the other playtypes that present themselves at 70. For 70 levels, Blizzard teaches us that we should quest. Then we hit 70, finish off the quests in Netherstorm and SMV and then – what? No more quests other than level 70 attunements? The introduction of the daily quest provided a “grind” with that same old familiarity of “questing” players are taught early on. Of course, it’s just an illusion. It’s still just a grind mechanic that is disguised in a clever manner to make you feel more productive. Still – it does feel more productive than exterminating the furbolgs in Winterspring for rep.

  9. Loredena says:

    I think the thought process behind enjoying the dailies is the same thought process that has me collecting writs in EQ2 — if I’m going to be grinding/farming gold/questing in this area anyway, might as well pick up quests that will reward me for it. And dailies, like writs, are known entities — you know which ones to get to kill the mobs you are going to kill anyway, and/or how many to do to get your target coin for the day. That said, I still think they sound tedious to do more then once each (I’ll do just about any quest once — it’s a quest!).

  10. funak says:

    Also mission running in EVE is like daily quests in WOW. It happened to me, to get the same two missions twice in a row.

  11. Scott says:

    LOTRO’s Deed system in a sense sounds similar to how Loredena describes EQ2 writs — if you’re going to grind mobs anyway, why not also reward the player with something tangible such as a little extra xp, an option stat bonus or a title to display over their head?

    It sounds like WoW’s dailies are essentially doing that: rewarding the grinding you’d likely be doing anyway at 70 and providing an additional gold reward for completion, which is certainly more than you’d get from grinding alone. Any way to shorten the whole “farm for repairs and consumables” is a good thing in my book.

  12. jon says:

    The mission system in EVE reminds of doing missions in Escape Velocity. Sometimes you’d get the same one, sometimes not. Different genre altogether but similar.

  13. Thallian says:

    if you paint something with a different color it is still the same thing but people think about it different. :) I wish these games had player generated quests or at least more variable quests like the ones generated in EVE or EVNova (a very fun game but short on plot.)

  14. Neef says:

    I doubt many people like the quests per se. What people DO like is a way to get rep, or cash, or a new recipe.

    I do the cooking quests religiously, and it keeps me stocked with food and some coin on the side.

  15. Monety says:

    The same thing in other box. :(

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