The little things matter. One of the solved problems in multiplayer online gaming is that 1/day timers should use an 18- to 22-hour day rather than a 24-hour day. I call this “solved,” but I still see many games using 24-hour timers. (Feel free to debate the merits of individual timers versus “everyone and everything resets at midnight.”)
If you play everyday, you probably start around the same time, usually before/after work/school. A 24-hour timer gradually shifts your activities unless you are clockwork-perfect and can consistently complete X exactly 1,440 minutes later, and may the server gods help you if some blip renders the timer slightly off. More likely, you cannot begin whatever quest or instance has the timer until the old timer resets, so if it takes you an hour to complete it, you effectively have a 25-hour timer. There might be some merit to keeping people from building up a daily routine (use a 28- to 32-hour timer in that case), but these games tend to encourage that daily habit. The best mechanics are invisible, not pulling the players out of the game world to check whether the group is waiting on Bob’s reset timer because he hit traffic on the way home last night.
- City of Heroes alignment missions reset every 20 hours.
- League of Legends gives you the “first win of the day” bonus every 22 hours.
- Spiral Knights (from the makers of Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates and Bang! Howdy) refills your “energy” every 22 hours.