[GW2] The Daily Grind

I have plenty of goals in Guild Wars 2. Their importance is like some weird slurry of where the wants and pressure change the densities of each goal. Right now I really want a permanent trader contract, as unfeasible as it is, but I am working towards it mostly by playing the market. I can easily create my Ascended back piece now since I finally got some pink goo, but that would cost 5-10% of the amount of the trader contract. I also need to kill Zhaitan, finish the Vigil banner, get another character to chef mastery, finish 4 more crafting professions, etc. I have no doubt I will not even come close to a permanent trader contract before another batch of particles floats to the top of my chaotic slurry.

There is one thing I do almost every day regardless of my goals: the daily achievement. Usually I play how I want to, and then nearing the end of my gaming time I shift gears to efficiently complete the daily. This usually means tracking down another 2-3 events and 6-8 more enemy types. Psychochild comments that, at least with regard to events, it does not bode well how quickly I have turned the system in to a grind. I’ve thought a lot about his comments especially with the daily achievement in mind.

The fastest I’ve ever done the daily achievement was 20 minutes. I still remember that time because I completed it seconds before the server shift to a fresh daily. In Bloodtide Coast I just happened to hit the perfect storm of events, and then I crusaded through the zone barely nabbing my last enemy type before the bell was rung. I am sure people have figured out how to do it in less time, especially using waypoints to hit key areas for the specific daily achievements.

Normally though this time pressure is far from my mind. Yet, the daily achievement is always factored in gameplay somewhere. I will gather materials I would have otherwise no interest in to make some progress towards daily gathering. I might wobble out of my way to snag a flamingo therebefore minding its own business before being sacrificed to the Mystic Coin gods. I also will likely fall into the waylay of an event I would otherwise have no intention of joining. These things just happen in the normal course of play.

Since Psychochild’s comment, I have paid more attention to my gaming patterns reflected upon an alleged grind. Last night I decided I needed to take my foot to the Claw of Jormag’s face, and I spent the time waiting for the ‘zooka-bait to appear by roaming around killing off a myriad of creature types and gathering materials. Seven of those materials were orichalcum and ancient wood, which would have been profitably gathered anyway. On the other hand, without the daily achievement I would not have gone down to kill an errant grawl. It is more likely I would have stood near the cannons dancing with all the other fools.

One night I completed my daily using an alt that is heading slowly towards Vigilism. On Elixabeth’s suggestion I headed back to the Plains of Ashford to clean up some tar elementals and help the scrap yard. Another night I headed back to the sylvari starting area with my sylvari main. A champion risen quaggan event that I had not yet seen was the star of that night, although I did enjoy getting a node of 5 vanilla beans from the jungle. Another night after knocking out my events in no time in WvW, I headed to Southsun Cove for the two last enemy types. I got roped in to farming karka for a good half hour enjoying the rhythmic monotony and drops.

Is this grind? None of these would have happened without the pressure of the daily achievement. I knew where I wanted to go, where it would be efficient to complete it. Yet, from the other side of the coin I was doing completely different things each night. There are of course the issues of places I would not go to complete the daily, but there are plenty of places that are beneficial, efficient, and fun to knock the daily out.

Each night I am sure I could plan a route that would let me finish the daily achievement in no time flat. I could grind it out in the truest sense. I would snag my pound of silver, some karma, and a chance at something else, and then I could work on whatever other goal I had. Or, I could just play. Yes, play with the daily achievement in mind to make sure flamingos get their due. Efficiency of action is not enough to cross the threshold to grind.

Soon enough it appears that daily achievements will be different each day of the week. How will things change if I no longer have to do any events? What other daily activities might take precedent? Later on the flamingo assassinations might stop entirely if I can choose a subset of the other offered achievements besides creature type. Yet, there will always be focus on efficiency. We are MMO players, are we not? But I think Guild Wars 2 daily achievement system is a pretty good way of rewarding just about everybody’s choice of how to play.

–Ravious

10 thoughts on “[GW2] The Daily Grind”

  1. I’m apprehensive about the changes to the Dailies. As they stand I find they are extremely easy o complete in just about any map with any character while doing anything I happen to be doing. I only go to specific places (Plains of Ashford or Wayfarer Foothills) to do my Daily if for some reason I am in a tearing hurry. There I can guarantee to get the entire thing done in 20-25 minutes, painlessly.

    As I read the admittedly vague proposals for the new-style change-every-dailies, we will be sent to specific maps. That has to be more coercive, which I consider to be de facto A Bad Thing. I may be reading it wrong but how else would you interpret “We’ll add support so daily achievements will be different each day of the week, which will help drive players to different areas of the world and play together” ?

    There’s a lot in the “Months Ahead” statement that worries me. More than pleases or excites me, that’s for sure. I’d be writing about it in depth if it hadn’t appeared in the middle of my busy work period and I didn’t want to play GW2 more than I want to write about it.

    1. ^^ THIS is why I refused to do Dailies in WOW. I don’t want to be forced into different zones that may be of no value to me other than completing that check list. I surrendered to the crafting dailies for cook and fishing only during my last brief visit to WOW.

      I enjoy how the dailies work now. I get close to completing them doing other stuff then make a concerted effort before logging off if I’m close. Granted, I don’t need anything from the dailies. I have Karma out my ears that i haven’t decided what to do with so even the potions aren’t being used. The coin is a drop in the bucket and the XP comes so easily in GW2 even that from dailies means nothing to me. However, I like completing them without the hassle of a checklist that has to be analyzed and executed in a very specific manner. It still feels like content to me.

      I hope they don’t over think this system. It’s a small achievements and content I can continue to do at 80 when dungeons are out of the question.

  2. Grinding for me implies a requirement, and if not done you are penalized – no gear, buff, upgrade etc. I can only compare dailies to what I knew in WoW. Between the two I’ll gladly take the GW2 version for a simple reason – I don’t have to do them. I don’t need to accomplish something daily to build reputation for a piece of gear or to get a key, etc. Granted, my toons are still in the 30s so I tend to get them while I’m in my normal playing routine of roaming around where ever I want and doing whatever I want.

    1. Permanent merchant that you can summon to buy/sell from like the NPCs in the game world with coins over their heads. Without portable crafting, I personally am not dying to have a merchant. My bags empty out easily sending crafting materials away and salvaging what I wouldn’t or can’t sell. Maybe if I did dungeons it would be more valuable. But perma Merchant + Broker + Crafting station, now that would be pure win for my end game crafting business.

  3. I have my main character, but I also have one of each other profession. The grind in GW2 for me is interrupting my story to level up for the next mission.
    So I’ve taken to doing the dailies on my alt in Wayfarer Foothills as a way of levelling them quickly. My record so far is about 14 minutes. (If you happen to catch the start of the Maw meta-event, you can get all 5events in about 5 minutes.)
    So my play regime is to login and pick an alt to level, tear through the daily (primarily for the XP) and then I switch over to another character and do whatever I want, however I want.
    Once my alt has gained about 9 levels, I can play through the story missions uninterrupted. For me, this works well and feels less grindy than running around doing hearts to level up.

  4. I tend to finish off and start each daily between the hours of 11pm and 1am in the morning. It means that when I log off at 1am, I don’t feel pressured because I’ve done about half the cheeves already, and when I log on again at night I only need to continue playing as I was before and I’ll usually hit the threshold pretty early.

    I agree with the peeps above that I hope the daily stays relatively open – not “kill ten flamingos in Gendarren Fields” rather “Kill 20 birds” or “defeat a champion”.

  5. To clarify my previous comment, I was talking about optimization and not about the dailies feeling like a grind. The thing is, though, that optimization becomes grind in time.

    Perhaps instead of writing a monster comment here, I should go post about this on my own blog. ;)

    1. Indeed! The comment was really good and had me thinking for days. I just kind of extrapolated for the reason I was “grinding” events in the first place.

Comments are closed.