I hate daily quests

| Tuesday, June 7, 2011
It's the waiting. I hate the waiting. I don't mind the actual time required, but the waiting, that gets to me. How does a daily quest work? You do something and make progress toward a goal. Then you wait. I don't like that.

In my ongoing and extremely popular series in which I make weak, tangential comparisons between WoW and games to which it bears no resemblance or any mechanical similarities, I proudly present:

Space Race Victories in Civilization are Really Boring
I have a few habits which demonstrate my stupidity. One of them is when getting those not-quite-bowl but not-a-plate dishes from the cabinet. For years they were on the right side. Now they are on the left, requiring a different door. I've been getting it wrong ever since. Or sometimes I read gold-related blogs thinking I'll find something interesting, only to find yet another guide that can be summed up as "waste everyone's time on the glyph market." Related to blogging, I sometimes go digging through blogrolls for more to read, rarely finding anything more, but wasting a lot of time looking at the same old popular but boring blogs before refreshing my comment page to see if there is anyone to argue with.

And then there are non-warmongering civilizations.

Here's how to win a space race: get to 1950s technology, give or take, until finally you can have your Apollo Program and start building colony ship parts, most of which require much more advanced technology that might not actually exist, like Fusion and Plastics*. This means that space race victories take a long time. Unless you're really crazy with your skill, you're going to be pushing the 1800s at least, possibly even into the 1900s, by which point you're getting close to the turn limit for the entire game.

Contrast this with domination or conquest victories. With these you just need to beat up everyone, and you don't even need to be played by Summer Glau. Map size matters, since it takes time to move armies across the world, but even with the second-largest world I can manage it with cannons. Cannons! I might not even have large numbers of riflemen. Muskets and cannons and the world is mine. Somehow my history always ends up imitating the formation of the British Empire.

Lately I've been playing smaller maps and I've had wins using trebuchets. In fact, last win I barely even had large numbers of those. I conquered the world with catapaults and swordsmen. With that you're barely getting out of the BCs, which strangely do not seem to involve Christ, as he doesn't seem to exist, having instead been replaced by the idea of Christianity and theocratic dominance rather than actually following Christ. Maybe that's more accurate.

Conquest is a very active activity that you cannot do passively. You get some guys with axes and you go kill other guys who hopefully have something less effective than axes. Get some new guys since the losers died and go off again for some more killing. Just keep killing. It's like Finding Nemo, but way less violent.

In contrast science is slow. You set a research goal and it happens. Then you set a new one. Sometimes you build libraries. There aren't many active processes to speed it up. Conquering cities can add more areas to research from, but if you're going around conquering everything, why not just do that? Sure a tech edge helps with conquest, but the end result is conquest, not fiddling with books and hoping no one demands technological tribute.

This was something I liked in WoW, before dailies. If I wanted rep, I went and got it. If I was lucky there were outdoor mobs. If not, I went somewhere and killed them in a group, supposedly running an instance as well, but frankly I was too busy with the murdering to care. These days it's all "run this daily, run that daily, run that daily" okay, done, got it, "now wait until tomorrow." WHAT!?

It's not that I hate waiting for rewards. It's that I hate waiting for progress. I like being able to just do. Not all this do, wait, do, wait. Do do do do do dodod dodood dododo DO. Supposedly they're more casual-friendly, but frankly pressuring people to play exactly this amount each day each day doesn't seem very casual to me.

Maybe that's something that got me bored with WoW. Activity become more and more structured. Passive. Wait for your turn to take your turn then get back in line. Why form a group? LFD will do it for you, and faster. Why farm? Dailies get you what you need. Why explore? The quests will tell you to go there eventually.

* Did you know we've been using elephant tusks and tree resin this whole time? Yep. Turns out they fabricated plastics (pun indented) to placate environmentalists and ironically ended up killing entirely different biospheres with oil spills. Global warming is also made up to cover their tracks when they switch to a new fake technology. Did you know windmill blades are made of whale bones?


Ephemeron said...

If you're in the "Do do do do do dodod dodood dododo DO" mode, you can slap on the corresponding faction tabard and force-farm dungeons to accelerate the process.

Dicci said...

True, Ephemeron, but then you're forced to deal with mentally challenged individuals who queue too. I don't know about you, but farming rep through the new dungeons can be pretty infuriating for me; there's only so many kicks per instance until you're stuck with a healer with an IQ of 70.

Hyacintha said...

This is an interesting issue to me. I've informally polled several people about it, and it seems that all of them fall firmly into one of two camps: daily-loving or daily-hating. The people who hate dailies give pretty much the same reasons you do. It's not that they're (necessarily) impatient; they'd just rather be able to progress on their own schedule.

As a daily-loving person, I can sort of understand that viewpoint, but I tend to feel overwhelmed when I am presented with unlimited mobs to grind and no other way to gain rep. Do I grind until I either kill myself from boredom or hit exalted? Do I limit myself to a small amount of time each day? What if someone else starts stealing my kills? I'd much rather have the comforting constraint of a round of daily quests. I know what I have to do each day and how long it will take. I don't have to worry that I'm not using my time effectively.

I was actually sad when I hit exalted with the Cataclysm factions I was working on. Without my little routine I have less reason to log into the game every day and quickly start to feel more detached. I am eagerly anticipating the new daily content that will come with 4.2 because it will give me a new goal to work toward.

As much as I like daily quests, I don't think any less of my friends who don't. From what I can tell it simply comes down to a difference in personality, and right now Blizzard happens to be catering to mine rather than yours. Thank God I didn't play during Vanilla. ;)

Klepsacovic said...

@Ephemeron: The problem there is that my doing is only 20% of the total doing potential.

@Hyacintha: I don't view it as a schedule, but a mood. Sometimes I'm in a mood for killing. Sometimes I'm not. With mobs I can make the most of these moods. Dailies instead allow me to kill/gain rep for a certain amount, then stop, and hope tomorrow I want to do it again.

Dailies make us conform to them, regardless of what we feel like doing at the time. Grinds instead fit what we want to do (or don't want to do).

Hyacintha said...

Addendum: I just thought of a rep grind that might be a best-of-both-worlds type of thing: the Netherwing. I really enjoyed that one because not only were there plenty of daily quests (and even a neato tiered structure so you didn't have to do the same old thing all the way through) but you could knock yourself out gathering eggs if you wanted to speed it along. Admittedly I did it post-BC, so my experience was probably very different than originally intended, but maybe something along those lines would please more people. As Ephemeron says, there are tabards now that kind of do the same thing, but just wearing a tabard doesn't make me feel like I'm doing anything for a faction. On the other hand, gatherables could spark unpleasant amounts of competition, so I'm not sure what an acceptable compromise would be.

Anonymous said...

I love space race victories, and I enjoy doing dailies. I've got 60 JC tokens saved up for when the epic gems drop. I like to go back and solo old (easy) content, and I really like to twink characters for friends. All of these are probably related.

Klepsacovic said...

@Hyacintha: It's not a perfect solution, but the eggs are an improvement. Though I must admit that due to the rarity of them, I rarely bothered to actually look for them. But for someone more focused on the rep, it is something at least.

@Anonymous: About how long does it take for a space race victory for you? The problem could be that I'm really bad and could be winning a lot sooner.

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