Saturday, July 27, 2013

Are We Having Fun Yet?

It's the scab you can't stop picking. You know you should leave it alone but it itches so. Jeromai and Ravious both gave it a good old scratch and then came back for moreJ3w3l  got mad and ripped the plaster right off.

The infection is spreading. This week it reached EQ2 although so far it looks like a mild case. The symptoms are familiar - very familiar. Identical, you might say. A checklist of things you were doing anyway pops up invitingly uninvited right there, where it draws the eye. What are you going to do? Ignore it?

Easier said than done. We learn a hard lesson in soft power. A push in the direction of momentum. Just a nudge.

MMOs were always experiments in social engineering, more or less but the old, crude techniques were easy enough for a wily lab rat to spot. The maze walls had holes, were low, you'd clamber over. The levers tipped rewards that tasted dry. Tastier pellets lay unguarded in the open. Smart rats laughed.

Conditioning takes time. Data refines technique. Tools improve. This water feels so warm, so comfortable. Lie back, relax, enjoy it.

What's an evening, anyway? Gather twenty of those. Craft ten of these. Oh, Blue's catching up - take five camps, why not? And look, a laurel! Well that's done, now what? Some Spiremarks for emoting? Free money, who says no? Norrath calling? I'll just pop my head in, oh well if that's all it is, that won't take too long...

Now the weekend's here, time enough to get to the meat. Those two and a half thousand survival points aren't going to score themselves. And on and on and round and round and will it ever stop?

Do you want it to stop? Aren't you having fun? Doesn't this feel good? You like it, don't you? It's okay, you don't have to pretend. This is what you wanted, isn't it? It's what you said you wanted, don't you remember? Do you even know what you want? Would you know it if you got it?

Really, it's so much easier when someone else does the driving. Sit back, relax, enjoy the view. Be a passenger for a while.

Are we there yet?

Shhh, here's another sweetie.


  1. That screenshot just makes me twitchy. Chief Inspector Dreyfus twitchy.

    A list of possible things to go do, can be fun.
    A list of possible things to go do, WITH DEADLINES, can go die in a fire.

    The wages you're offering had better be more than those my current real-life employer pays me, for me to sit still for that.

    That when the deadline expires, they'll be another identical list along in a minute, does *not* make me any less likely to exit stage right.

    1. I'm ok with deadlines in general but usually once you've met one that's the end of it. With dailies, and with the Living Story bi-weekly installments, it's a rolling deadline that never ends. That can get wearing, and quite fast.

  2. I finished my first daily in Norrath yesterday without even looking at the damn thing (I was in Tinkerfest). Later, I visted the relevant vendors, reviewed the wares and prices.


    Elsewhere, my engineer dinged 80 in wvw later that evening and was rewarded with a full set of Rabid gear and Ascended ring bought with badges and laurels. Seemed a good deal.

    Perfectly happy to blow up more erratic drones to get the title "The Explosive" rather than be taken in by the daily shiny comparitively dull.

    1. The new EQ2 dailies are fine, I think. You only need two and unless you just log in and sit in your Guild Hall chatting and moving the furniture about you could hardly avoid completing a couple. So long as they stay this way it'll be fine. I haven't been to look at the vendor yet but I'm curious to see what he has.

  3. Achievements are pretty obnoxious. But then can a game keep places populated without that psychological hook on you? I think we can assume that, despite the general dislike of achievements by everyone, it still pushes people toward content and makes it much more lively.

    I dunno, after thinking about it a while, and witnessing all these "SIGH just 10 more races to go," it certainly seems to be effective at getting people to DO things they otherwise may not want to do. And an area that's bustling with activity is, in the end, much more fun (for me at least).


    1. I just posted a long comment over at Healing The Masses in which I clarified that I really *don't* know what I think or feel about all this. There's a lot of irony in the post above, but also a lot of rhetorical questions, for many of which I genuinely do not have an answer. Not to mention that so much is mood-based and something that really annoys me one day I might thoroughly enjoy the next.

      I agree that whatever you or I or J3w3l might think of the current approach, however, it is demonstrably working in spades. GW2 has rarely seemed busier or livelier, I've seen loads of names I haven't seen around for a while plus a LOT of players patently new to the game. Like it or not I expect to have to get used to it, and not just in GW2.

  4. Sorry, could you repeat that last bit? I got distracted trying to run six loads of supplies to Zephyr Sanctum in one event.

  5. This post is a work of art


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