[GW2] Boundless Dailies

Most MMOs have some form of “dailies”. Dailies are activities that have a time-limited activity cap. The most common type is a daily quest, which is only available to complete once per day. Dailies are used as a time gate towards progress, or they are used to let casual players maximize rewards for their time. Guild Wars 2 uses a daily PvE achievement based around four tasks to maximize experience points and karma. The main difference from most other MMOs is that the four tasks can be accomplished nearly anywhere.

For a look at a more conventional MMO, let’s take Lord of the Rings Online’s Hytbold content. Hytbold is a personally-phased town in Rohan that has been ravaged by war. It is up to players to reconstruct the village by doing dailies. Each day there are 16 quests split between 4 zones from the new Riders of Rohan expansion. I am not there yet, but knowledgeable guildies told me it would take 40+ days of 16-quest dailies to complete Hytbold. It’s easy to see the direction behind Hytbold. Dailies are centered around content where most players will be. Dailies correspond to a unique reward. And dailies will keep people coming back for quite a long time. While Hytbold is unique in many aspects, its use of dailies is the norm in most MMOs.

Guild Wars 2 turned dailies on its head, for better and worse.

First, Guild Wars 2 dailies can be completed in nearly any PvE area as well as WvW. The four tasks are kill 15 enemy types, kill 60 enemies, gather 20 times, and complete 5 events. For dungeon-runners and WvW, killing 15 enemy types is usually the biggest bar, but I’ve found that the dailies can be knocked out in less than an hour easily. I’ve found that starting areas are actually great for dailies because of the event density and enemy type distribution. A few of the dragons are also good for knocking out event strings while keeping to high-level rewards.

The ancestral Guild Wars 1 has daily achievements centered around specific content scattered around the world with Zaishen quests. Instead of killing any 60 enemies, players had to kill a specific boss. Instead of completing any 5 events, players had to complete a specific mission. This got a lot of players together focused on the daily, but it did not reward players for simply logging on and playing as they deemed fit.

The rewards for Guild Wars 2 dailies are also generic. Each tier of the tasks awards the player with a small experience boost. When each task is filled the player gets a Mystic Coin, a Jug of Liquid Karma, a chance at a Black Lion item, a small amount of silver, and more experience. A Mystic Coin is used for getting pretty skins and other items out of the Mystic Forge. If nothing else the market will suck them up. (The supply is still pretty surprising for a once-a-day item.) The Jug of Karma represents the best karma-per-time ratio because it gives 4500 boostable karma per pop. 4500+ karma in less than an hour of play is extremely good. With experience feeding skill points, which have some monetary worth, it is always appreciated.

Finally, I don’t feel that Guild Wars 2 dailies provide any player drive unless that player is already logged on. Players at the level cap in Lord of the Rings Online will return for a mere hour every day or so to keep working on Hytbold. I don’t think a Guild Wars 2 player deciding whether to play something else will consider the generic dailies a deciding factor. Guild Wars 2 dailies seem be a tool used to give a small boost to players with less time rather than as a driving force to point players towards content and each other.

I think in one part this is great. Guild Wars 2 dailies fully embody the “just play” philosophy. On the other hand, with the exception of the Jug of Liquid Karma, the experience and gold boosts are small and unnecessary. Players do not need experience boosts to slog through the last levels because those levels speed by as fast as most others. On the other hand, I think there is still room to improve Guild Wars 2 dailies to provide more direction and focus.

My idea is to have normal advancement and focused advancement. Normal advancement is the Guild Wars 2 dailies now. “Just play.” Focused advancement would focus on a specific PvE zone or dungeon. Kill 60 things anywhere, or focus down and kill 60 things in Caledon Forest. Focused activities would push both normal advancement and focused advancement, of course. However, a player that has already killed 60 things anywhere with a filled achievement bar could still work on the focused achievement to fill it up (perhaps a multi-colored bar having focused advancement a different color from normal advancement).

Suggestions for focused daily rewards could be a buff that stays the rest of the day, increased magic find chance to the Black Lion daily rewards, or a new reward schema. Collection is after all a strong driving force for players to return day after day. Even having “limited-time seasons” for daily rewards might be something to consider where eventually the neon-green dye with glow shader costing 15 days-worth of focused dailies is never going to be available again.

I feel the rewards is the easier part with plenty of design space, but the main goal is to give players another reason to log on because of dailies because, like I said above, I do not think dailies in Guild Wars 2 are any sort of driving force until after the player has logged on. I feel like this would be a good place to iterate on to focus attention on less-populated zones as well as give players more reason to log on. It would also be a generous nod towards the Zaishen of old, wherever they are.

–Ravious

21 thoughts on “[GW2] Boundless Dailies

  1. darkeye

    I like that the tasks are generic, leaving it up to the player how they want to do them, either heading to WvW or whichever PvE zone, or doing some fractals or dungeons. Would like to see some more dailies added to the rotation because it is missing that sense of surprise of what the daily menu is for each particular day. Keep it random and different for each account, not like Zaishen challenges in GW1, so at least there is the impetus to log in and see what your set of dailies are and if they are appealing. I’ve done that with other games, even if I end up logging back out straight away not having done anything.

  2. Optimus Maleficus

    The daily achievement XP motivates me to play my low-level alts; GW2 doesn’t have a rested xp system, but the daily achievements have a similar effect. It’s a good excuse to play my alts for a little bit and get them into the level 30s and 40s (when the trait trees really start getting interesting) before moving onto something more involved like Orr or dungeons on my main.

    1. Optimus Maleficus

      I’m surprised this haven’t been nerfed yet; I’ve always thought it was an unintended consequence of introducing karma consumables after the fact. With boosters, it’s so much better than any other way of getting karma. Then again, you can buy karma boosters on the gem store…

  3. bhagpuss

    I do my dailies every day on two accounts. To date I haven’t used any of the rewards bar a handful of uses of the Black Lion salvage kit. All my mystic coins, karma jugs and everything else just sit in the bank. So why do I do them?

    Firstly and most important they’re fun. Secondly, they’re great xp. If you’re leveling up eight characters to level 80 as I hope to do, every little counts. It’s actually very easy to do kill variety in WvW, which is stocked with just about every creature in Tyria but mostly I do mine in Plains of Ash field, where on a good day I can finish all parts of the daily in 20-30 minutes.

    I’d be very happy to see more kinds of dailies added – and how about Weeklies or Weekendies?

  4. Ettesiun

    By focusing on one different zone every day, it could help repopulate the lower level zone. “Today where will I went ? Oh today dailies are in Harathi Hinterlands, let’s go there !” For this day you will be guaranteed to see a lot of player in this zone. If this create too much people in the same zone, you can have two or three different daily zone.

    The more I think of it, the best idea it seems ! It went well with the GW2 policy of letting player do what they want, and reusing low level content. To revive dungeon, you could add some dailies like “do this path of Caudecus’s Manor” (story or Explorable).

    You should think about the rewards to not create a zerg of player, but late beginner can discover the “first month of event”.

  5. Lethality

    Generic tasks is a great way to describe most of the game actually but especially the dailies. In WoW, all of the dailies, especially currently in MoP are very much in context with the story, both overall and zone-specific. Yes, you have to travel but it’s a virtuzlied world – that should be seen as a feature, not a hinderance. Unfortunately Guild Wars 2 already devalued the world size and travel with Waypoints.

    GW2′s dailies also do nothing to spur MMO group play and coordination (something lacking in most of the rest of the open world game as well.)

    1. pixelrevision

      I actually like the fact that in GW2 the dailies are more generic and open. The dailies line up with the story in WoW but they always felt manditory and repetative. I also don’t really rememeber anything that helped grouping except perhaps killing 1 elite (maybe this has changed?). I do agree though that we could really use something that encourages more group play out in the open world. The mechanics are in place but the incentives do not seem to be.

  6. Curuniel

    I actually like the fact that GW2 dailies don’t necessarily offer a huge incentive to log in. The effect it has for me is that I don’t feel like I have to play every day – if I come home and I’m tired, or if I get invited out for the evening, I can just give it a miss that night, and not feel like I’m losing out somehow. On the other hand, if I log in for a bit, I often find myself thinking “oh, I’m this far through dailies already, I might just stay and finish them off.” It means that when I do play, I play for a decent length of time, and often end up re-visiting lower areas with various characters.

    I’m a casual player, I would resent it if dailies felt like pressure to log in every day. There’s that prevailing MMO mentality where you know you don’t have to do it, but you know everyone else is doing it, which becomes basically the same thing. I far prefer the incentive to do certain kinds of content when I *am* there.

  7. Asmiroth

    Focused dailies can give you a repeat of the Tillers or Golden Lotus from WoW. Huge bottlenecks due to poor design. Goat steaks come to mind.

    I rather enjoy the freedom of targetless tasks.

    1. Lethality

      Repeat of the Tillers or Golden Lotus? It’s excellent design. There are no bottlenecks… it’s the perfect way to do it. Each there is not only depth, but breadth.

      Guild Wars 2 doesn’t even *have* any sort of allegiance system, which make the dailies even more generic and pointless.

  8. Kirlo

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned that your focused dailies idea is already present, but in the monthly achievements. Those are focused and have been used to direct towards new content. I like how I can skip a couple days, not feel like I missed out on anything, but continue working towards a unique monthly. But maybe focused weeklies would be a good balance.

    1. Ravious

      Good point, but so far I think it’s been complementary instead of a driving force. People were going to kill karka. People were going to run fractals. My goal with the suggestion is to get people doing something else. Nudge them a little bit to branch out as an option and get a little rewarded for it.

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  10. gattsuru

    Probably a good design space for something between Daily Events and Monthly Events (which currently do require specialized gameplay, such as WvWvW kills, dungeon/fractal runs, defeating a specific type of enemy, or consuming a certain resource). A Weekly Event with a focus on a zone or pair of zones, or on a specific gameplay type, or even with a specific quest-stage system, might fill the gap reasonably well.

    I’d say keeping Daily Events unfocused is important, though. 24 hours isn’t a lot of time, and as the game’s recent events have shown, it’s very hard to adapt systems should something go wrong on the backend, or even if there’s just unusual changes in demand.

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