Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Period of Repeating Content

What is the ideal period for content that is meant to be repeated?

For example, WoW has quests which you can do once per day. Raid dungeons, on the other hand, can be done once per week. Is one time interval better than the other?

Part of the issue is that rewards tend to map towards how often the content can be repeated. The shorter the period, the smaller the reward is. Dailies in WoW tend to reward about 10 gold. Rewards are balanced assuming that people will do the content as often as possible. This is because there are people who will do the content as much as humanly possible.

Instead of having a daily quest which rewards 10g, would it be better to have a weekly quest that rewarded 70g?

I think it comes back to how people play. Are people (who are working on repeatable content) more likely to log in every day for small amounts of time, or do they log in less often but for longer play sessions? My personal thought is that the second alternative is a better fit for most lifestyles. Balancing around a period of a week might be better than balancing around a day. You could even make the quests a bit more involved.

However, there are two repeatable quests which I think are good as dailies: The daily Heroic Dungeon and the daily Battleground. These quests work best when there is a large pool of potential players, and having a fresh quest each day means that it will be easier to find a group.

To sum up, repeatable solo content and fixed group content are better off on a weekly basis, as this allows players to better make use of the time they have available, without being pushed to play every day. However, repeatable ad hoc group content is best on a daily basis, to make forming groups as easy as possible.

9 comments:

spinksville said...

I suspect it makes the game more sociable if you encourage people to check in every day (although I think the dailies could be less time consuming).

Imagine if you're in a casual guild. If people tend to log in to do dailies, chances are you'll see at least some of them more often than if they tend to just log in weekly.

It may be that giving people the choice would work better. But if you did that, would it be better to try to balance time needed in game (like, if you can do your repeated quests once a week, should they take 7 times as long?)

Rohan said...

I don't think that they need to take seven times as long. The real cap on how rewarding a daily can be is not it's difficulty, but more how much gold (or more importantly, Champion's Seals) could be gained by someone doing every daily every day.

However, I suspect that with a weekly quest, making it a little more involved might be more interesting. Dailies have to be very simple and quick. But a quest you only do once a week can be longer and more interesting.

Rohan said...

The analogy is to raid instances. If you look at raiding, the *amount* of loot is determined by raid lockout and size of raid, not difficulty.

Basically, Blizzard wants the rate of epics or gold flowing into the game to be X per week, and balances around that. If that's the case, is doling out 1/7 * X each day better or worse than simply giving X once per week.

kinless said...

I'd trade 7 days of dailies for 1 weekly, equaly rewards, any day.

It can't take seven times as long, of course, but it would certainly provide more interesting play for me and the wife. That would free us up to try and do some more quests, other dailies, play other characters, craft, farm mats, etc.

And this weekly quest has the chance to be more involved, and interesting, as well.

As it is now I feel guilty (guilt at leaving money on the table) if I don't run a full gamut of the dailies. And once that's done, out of the way, I feel I've put enough "work" in, limiting my "play" time.

Leiandra said...

Honestly, a very interesting topic. They kind of did that with Wintergrasp, but that was more due to performance issues they were having.

There's a huge balancing act that Blizzard has to do. Some people will do 25 dailies every day, and others that won't. (I think I've done that once in my life.)

Spinksville probably have a point with it being social, but they also don't want all the quests being done just on a certain day. Imagine if we had these weeklies... all the people that are too busy during the week would try to get them done on Saturday. Ugh... that might be ugly. I'm talking Hellfire Peninsula on launch week ugly.

Merlot said...

When setting an interval, you also have to consider the reward, which ideally should reflect the effort required to undertake the task. Current dailies are far too easy to translate to weeklies. But if you increase the amount of effort required to justify 70g, you are probably defeating the purpose. I'd argue that daily quests are pitched just right as they are now, allowing a very small amount of effort on an occasional basis to keep you ticking over, but supporting more focused daily efforts for those who want to grind rep, gold or whatever. If the rewards were greater, wouldn't you feel compelled to do them, and wouldn't they then feel more like a grind, not less?

Tom said...

Well I have an infant so I'm not able to play untill she's down for the night (around 9pm) I also have work early in the monring so I'm normally on for between 1-2 hours per night.... I need to fit my wow time into that.

From this perspective I was happy to see Wintergrasp quests go from daily to weekly, letting me spend less time "repeating" the same quest in my limited time frame... I think I'd support the swtich to some quests being weekly even if there was less then 7x the reward

So your typical daily quest gives 40g instead of 10.. .Sure it's not 70 but you're not doing it 7 times either.

Zupa said...

I agree, that weekly quests would be a better fit for a lot of players.

The main thing for me is that lots of people can not, will not, or don't want to play WoW every day. Or if they do, perhaps they have better things to do than the mindless daily (quest) grind.

For me, I play 5 or 6 times a week, 3 - 5 of those sessions are raiding, with little time for anything else.

It's a bloody pain having to try to do dailys as well, thankfully the JC daily, which is the only one I can be bothered with, doesn't take long.

I would much prefer to spend 7 times as long once a week for the same reward and 7 small quests!

Heartless_ said...

Agree.