Gameplay should never feel like a chore.Â I don’t care if it’s grinding, questing, raiding, or going through a story; If the activity feels like a chore it is poorly designed.
Dailies are chores.Â Reputations are chores.Â Â Anything that mimics a checklist of activities that must be done before doing what you would rather be doing is most likely chores.
Please don’t confuse hard work and the sense of ‘earning’ something as a chore.Â I’m not saying that all barriers to entry into all aspects of the game should be removed, just those repetitive and pointless exercises — those activities that make you say “Crap I have to do …”Â It’s the “have to” part that usually indicates a chore.Â Something you feel like you have to do, despite maybe not actually being forced into it — a compelling urge like the game is making you because if you don’t you’ll be at some disadvantage.
I talk a lot about how games can be improved from the ground up, but removing the parts that suck and discontinuing the practice of relying on them for content wouldn’t be a bad start.
This. Precisely what I think each time I log in. It’s even worse when you get older and play games to relax after a long day of doing rl chores only to log in and feel like you need to start grinding in some virtual world that nets you no actual value.
Game activities become chores through repetition.
Your first Molten Core attunement was a special event. However repeating this journey for your guildies eventually grew tiresome and chore-like.
Ultimately this is a highly subjective area – some players love questing, others prefer dungeon crawling and some even rep grinding.
As long as content is gated, there will be a portion of the playerbase that feels â€œCrap I have to do â€¦â€
The difference between chores and earning it is purely in the eye of the beholder. What you view as a chore I may view as fun game play, leading to good rewards.
@UFTimmy: Maybe some people do like doing chores. I think it’s safe to say that most people don’t, though. I’m comfortable in the assumption that for the vast majority of people the repetitive chore-like gameplay can go away and not be missed.
Anything that mimics a checklist of activities that must be done before doing what you would rather be doing ismost likely chores.
1) Work, in general, is a chore.
2) Pre-flight checklist is a chore.
3) Maintaining a marriage/relationship is a chore.
4) Leveling up is a chore.
5) Waking up, taking a shower, shaving, taking medicine is a chore.
6) Exercising is a chore.
You are correct that gameplay should never be a chore. You then unilaterally claim dailies and reputations are chores because… why? You don’t like them?
The process itself can be part of the fun. Remember Dragonmaw dailies for the Netherdrake? I found them annoying after a while, but they nevertheless felt rewarding because they triggered the same progression-response in me that I experienced in other parts of the game. Some people enjoy seeing bars fill up. The labor towards accomplishing a goal is usually more meaningful than the goal itself, at least after you attain it.
I have to agree that daily questing is definitely a chore to me.
I strongly believe that it is subjective though. I personally enjoyed farming savage frond or dark iron scraps or arakkoa feather or clefthoof hides or zaxxis insignia for hours back in the day. Hell i even grinded skettis area for rep.
I just like to know that no matter how much time i have on my hands there will be always something to do. I hate dailies just for that, because after doing them your don’t have anything else to do. Besides the fact that you need to do them every day just to catch up.
Repeatables just did not suffer from that, you only had to invest time and you could catch up.
Back then everything was indeed a time sink. Nobody i ever knew was complaining about it though. Plus you could choose what to push for.
I unsubbed from wow early cataclysm just because there was only dailies to do and the strain from raids and dungeons was too much to handle (meaning that the M&S rly affected your experience more than ever before).
One man’s grind is another man’s content.
For example, this chore mentality is precisely the reason I quit playing Guild Wars 2. All I saw in front of me was a big list of 434/823 world completion and the entire activity to me became a chore… a checklist. No depth to it, I saw it as a thing I must get done. Bleh.
However in World of Warcraft, I LOVE factions. They all have a unique flavor and tell a unique story and I can earn favor with them if I choose to do so – if they seem interesting or have rewards I might like. What Blizzard has done w/ MoP is brilliant – there are SO many things to do it doesn’t feel like dailies at all, it just feels like more questing and storytelling.
While I think the name “dailies” has done more to make it sound unappealing than anything else, keeping players engaged in meaningful content is the goal. Do they all succeed? Nope.
The bottom line is that if you are engaged in and enjoying to core activity, is it any more of a “chore” than playing any other part of the game?
My kingdom for an edit button!
Just wanted to add, although you bring up reputations they are a separate thing, not necessarily related to dailies at all.
I think games without reputation systems feel emptier and the world feels static and one dimensional. Look at TOR. Look at GW2.
Both of those games, especially TOR (with a galaxy full of aliens and planets), would lend themselves extremely well to small splinter groups you could align with for more varied and deep gameplay.
Well i agree with you its a rather vague and broad statement. I think you are mostly applying it stupid grinds put into modern MMos as a poor excuse for endgame. I wonder however how this same statement looks when put into the context of older MMOs where you will be doing redundant tasks in order to achieve a larger social goal.
MMOs without chores already exist; they’re called MOBAs.
@Azuriel: Careful not to straw man the argument. I went on to explain your exact point.
@qyte: It is subjective, but I bet you 9/10 people have many common beliefs about what feels like a chore in games today.
@Lethality: Keep in mind that something may be a chore in one game because it is implemented or designed poorly. That doesn’t mean another game can’t do it well. EverQuest had an amazing reputation/faction system, and WoW’s is designed like a list of chores you have to complete.
“One manâ€™s grind is another manâ€™s content.”
I agree with this with a caveat – one of the things we’re seeing with modern “MMO’s” (quotes applied out of deference to Keen) is that solo players’ content gets reduced into prerequisites that group players are forced to do. Most of the content is for solo players because most of the customers are solo players, and the studios then do not feel they can afford to let their most hardcore customers (group players) skip all of this material. Then the devs have to nerf “the grind” to reduce the burden on the group players, and ironically this ruins the solo content for people who actually enjoy and want to play it.
I have made the same distinction numerous times before; I believe that people don’t always recognize the difference between fun and compulsive Skinner Box reinforcement.
Although I have no choice but to superficially accept if someone says that they enjoy doing their dailies, internally I still suspect that what they actually like is finishing tasks that leave them with an in intermittently positive reinforcing token reward.
To differentiate between the two emotional states I would propose players be asked the following question “Would you still choose to do the daily activities if rewards were no longer provided?”; I suspect that very few people would answer to the affirmative stating that they are intrinsically fun to do.
I started to realize that this was the case for me when I left WoW back in BC. I would get upset with myself if I missed doing my dailies or a raid night; at that point I tried to get through these activities with the greatest time efficiency so I could log out as rapidly as possible. Although initially it was actually difficult to bring myself to stop playing, as every day that I didn’t log in represented a clearly definable loss of valuable vr commodities that were substantial when multiplied on a monthly basis, this was rapidly offset by a strong freeing sense of relief that I no longer felt bound to a game that I recognized was no longer intrinsically enjoyable.
This can be a hard point to make as some players would likely state that getting the reward is what is fun, which then turns into a cyclical argument as they overlook the difference between an intrinsically fun activity and a positively conditioned habitual response.
@Green Armadillo: That’s a good way to look at it. It’s a chore for the group players, and content for the solo players. Green Armadillo’s last sentence is a great example of why this is a poor design decision.
@Gankatron: If I understand correctly, I think I agree with you.
You do… 😉
@Keen I have to disagree.
What, in your opinion, made EQ’s reputation system “amazing?” How did you feel about them in SWG?
Remember, WoW is a theme park (not that EQ wasn’t) but it’s a very refined version. It’s presenting context and structure in a way that’s digestible by most players. That may not be you or I who prefer something more organic and authentic, but I think Blizzard wraps it up *extremely* well in story and layered interest, especially in MoP.
Also the bottom line is that these things are optional – wether it’s hitting Exalted with a WoW faction or 100% world completion. The onus is on you as a player to decide how it picks at your gaming personality.
@Lethality: EQ’s faction/reputation system (pre-Luclin since I can’t speak to after) was organic. If you were a Dark Elf and killed enough of your own kind or did activities which naturally gained favor with Freeport you could earn entrance. I once met a Troll who earned his way into Kelethin. Imagine if a member of the Horde could act against his own and transition to the Alliance.
WoW’s reputation system has evolved over the year to become camps of NPC’s offering daily quests to ultimately hit a point where you can access some vendor. Unlike EQ, this doesn’t impact how your character interacts with the world. This simply gets you through a gate.
The daily system creates this impulse for the player to feel like he or she has to accomplish a long list of chores in order to access, for example, a dungeon. I hear this all the time: “Crap, I forgot to do my dailies.” That’s a big deal because if they don’t do them today, that puts their goal one day out. No matter how hard they work the next day, because they didn’t do it today they are pushed back.
There is nothing optional about having to gain reputation with a vendor to access needed gear, enchants, recipes, or dungeon access. Whether or not this becomes a chore depends on implementation.
I got to 90 in MoP and promptly lost all desire to play due to all the “chores” I needed to get done to do anything. They went overboard with the reputation in a bad way IMHO.
To be totally honest though I’m tired of the Skinner box/ loot grind endgame so that obviously puts everything wow gives me to do as endgame in a bad light. The gear grind is a shallow and soulless way to extend a games lifespan. Once you see the wizard behind the curtain it’s hard to go back.
If GW2 didn’t come out I doubt I’d be playing any mmo right now. GW 2 is like Dark Souls to me. It’s about the gameplay and playing better to overcome things. It’s about exploring an interesting landscape with tons of surprises. It’s not perfect though.
The point is all MMOs can be broken down into check lists. You ignore the blemishes if you are enthralled with the game. Once you get tired of a certain way of hiding the ‘chores’ you can’t go back. 5 years from now the way GW2 hides the chores may turn me off as much as the way wow does. So either a new model will rise up or I’ll stop playing the genre until something else arises.
I have yet to play a single fantasy MMO that hasn’t incorporated some kind of grind. UO: Grind skills. EQ: GRIIIIIIIIIND experience. DAOC: ..wait. This one was pretty awesome. But, grind RRs maybe? Darkfall: Bloodwall grind lol. WoW: Grind Experience. Then farm mats. Then raid. Then grind reputation. Then grind honor.
I’d venture to say that most newer games, even the latest WoW iterations to an extend, are much LESS grindy than the games of yore. Honestly it’s a unnecessary evil for any game that is based on character strength rather than player skill. For instance, I’ve been playing Planetside 2 a ton lately and even though there is a grind (gathering resources to buy side grade weapons), I don’t feel it. Because 90% of a fight’s outcome is determined by my real skill.
As a small tangent has anyone played the new indie-ish game War of the Roses? Realistic medieval combat. God I would LOVE to see this gameplay translated into an MMO. Where you’re actually swinging your sword, parrying, and blocking. Aiming your arrows, etc. (Mortal Online doesn’t count, it’s garbage) Having gameplay like that would completely alleviate the need for developers to implement any kind of artificial advancement system. As players would be overwhelmed with content. Learning how to effectively use your particular weapon could take months of real practice. But boy would it be rewarding. Moreso than that .001 power increase.
“Also the bottom line is that these things are optional â€“ whether itâ€™s hitting Exalted with a WoW faction or 100% world completion. The onus is on you as a player to decide how it picks at your gaming personality.”
While it is true that everyone should play their game the way they see fit within the rule set, the 2 examples you give are clear Skinner Box token economies.
While an event might be designed to be fun, there is nothing intrinsically fun about gaining a point of reputation or gaining a point of interest, which are most likely the underlying motivations for most players.
I think that upon completion of these goals, whether they be 100% faction favor or map completion, players are unlikely to revisit those activities once accomplished.
Recognizing the difference between intrinsic fun and habituated token rewarded behavior has relevance to the recent topics of how to design non-3 monther games, albeit it may be most applicable to sandbox games versus themeparks.
…I meant to further elaborate that upon completion of these type of activities there is often a sense of relief that one can now move past it.
The problem is, ANY GAME is going to have “best moves” as it were. Is a build order a chore in Starcraft? Some people would say so for sure. But at some level, a game is a GAME, and it has rules and victory conditions and people are going to do the things that give them the best shot as the victory condition within the rules. Even MMOs which blur the lines in terms of victory conditions still at the very least have goals/progression (with perhaps each micro-goal met being a small victory for the player). I just don’t really see how you eliminate this idea from a game. Best moves exist, in order to remove things you “have to do” from the game, they’d have to effectively make all things equal, at which point the game itself starts to dissolve.
Your EQ example for reputation is fine and all, but if you want to the reward (being able to interact with the other race) then you still “have” to do a certain set of things. Sure, there is some more wiggle room, but I think the difference is largely superficial if you really think about it.
What I’m not saying is that daily quests are a great idea, or reputation grinds are unavoidable, but I will say that you are likely to just end up with them being replaced by some other activity that players feel obligated to do. At some level it has to become that it is the game itself you don’t like, not the individual action within the game. Again, trying to move out from the MMO space, “having” to build anti air so you don’t die to a player going air in an RTS isn’t a chore, and if you are someone who for some reason REALLY hates building anti air and therefore begrudge the game for “making” you do it, it isn’t the chore you don’t like, it is the game itself.
Well, Keen, you more or less described every MMO, ever. I think you’ve described every future MMO too. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you are looking for in a game, but weren’t you advocating a while ago for really long complicated quests to even change your talents? Don’t you hate games you complete in three months (because they listened and got rid of all the chores)?
Everything in an MMO is a chore, because you are always expected to do it too much. Even the fun stuff becomes a chore when you have to do it a hundred times, or have to do it by Tuesday to get your points in the for the week. I’ve played plenty of MMOs and I have never seen a game that didn’t demand a ridiculous amount of chore time to succeed at. A lot of that is the other obsessive players making it hard to keep up with the Joneses, but that behavior is encouraged, and when it is discouraged people get upset about how they are dumbing the game down.
Everything is a chore, and that is by design. If catching the carrot was too easy people wouldn’t get obsessed with it.
I don’t know if we just aren’t on the same wavelength, but I really just don’t get what you want at this point. It sounds to me like you are burnt out on MMOs but you identify yourself too closely with the genre to see that it isn’t the games that have changed, it’s you.
Funny thing is, only two or three years ago I would have been cheering the OP. I used to get hot under the collar at the very concept of “Dailies”.
Now I find I really like them. I was blogging about it just the other day. I don’t know whether I’ve changed or the way dailies are presented has but what was once an anathema is now if not a joy then at least a moderate pleasure.
Of course, I love “chores” in real life – always have done. I find them deeply satisfying. I guess the surprise is that it took me so long to realize I would like the same things if they were virtualized and involved goblins.
@Toxic: I think you’re misunderstanding me, but that’s my fault. Working hard to earn something, having to jump through hoops, and something that takes effort doesn’t necessarily make it a “chore”.
Google defines chores:
A routine task, esp. a household one.
An unpleasant but necessary task.
Daily quests where I’m doing them just because that’s the only way to earn the best gear or recipes are chores.
Reputation grinds (usually with dailies) to gain access to gear I can buy (as a casual player!!!) are chores.
I’ll be honest with you: WoW is the biggest *blatant* offender of having explicit chores. Many other games make the gameplay ‘feel’ like a chore. Boring, repetitive, routine, unpleasant but necessary tasks. That’s highly subjective, but I would argue any day that if 9/10 people agree then it starts to move out of subjectivity and into a reality.
The second definition from google is key: unpleasant but necessary. I see two immediate ways to solve the problem: (1) Make them pleasant, and/or (2) don’t use them as gates.
@Bhagpuss: Well you’re just weird. 😉
Okay, story time.
When I was little we went over to the Grandma’s house all the time. She was infamous for her chores. Entire days were dedicated to chores. There was never a reason to vacuum the floors, dust, or do any of the daily activities she had us do. We would always find ways to get around them or to avoid doing them because they were that annoying punishment-like exercise standing between us and playing video games or getting to the activities we wanted to do.
I see a lot of content in games today as those chores standing between me and the real fun — the real GAME and not just the tedium repetitive activities.
Moral of the story is that my Grandma was trying to teach me the value of work, but she went overboard. Games go overboard today. I don’t know if developers are doing it to extend content and try to hard a grind, or if they’re trying to teach me the the value of work like my Grandma. They can keep these activities but cut them back. Maybe the floors only need a vacuum once a week.
In a somewhat grind related topic, would you say that the outcry over the cost of GW2 legendary weapon precursors definitively answers the question of “will people play for cosmetic rewards instead of stat increasing gear?”
It looks like the answer is yes to me. People do care about cosmetic gear 🙂
@Keen – I agree a more organic season would be an improvement, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Blizzard has put a great framework around the concept. The problem, if there is one in MoP right now, is that there’s just one way to earn reputation (dailies) and no other natural organic ties to them. As far as major content unlocks and things like that, we may be past that in the day of the modern theme park MMO… WoW did interesting things with the Aldor and Scryers trying to address some of this, but… In summary, I think factions and reputation should be an area of these games that should be greatly explored as an outlet for variation in future content – not just “dailies.”
@Gankatron – While there may be nothing intrinsically “fun” about watching a bar progress or a checklist fill up, it is satisfying for some players. But there is still intrinsic fun to be had, for exmaple with WoW’s factions. I feel after I complete their storylines and earned their favor that they’re an ally of mine in the world. A small subset of the people that make the world feel more alive. It’s all about context, and I guess that’s what Keen is complaining about – being sent to do a “daily” to earn reputation isn’t the context he prefers to see it in. But I think if you look at it beyond just the “task” itself, it has as much value as any other quest or action in the game.
I’m certain MMO developers would shy away from the concept of “dailies” if they could… but to do that, they need to find a way to create *some* kind of content or systems to replace it. It’s really not a bad system as it is, but could be better.
What a load of old bollocks, Azeroth has not felt “Alive” since Vanilla.
This is what has already killed MoP for me, being faced with a daunting heap of dailies to feel like I’m progressing. I’m over it.
I’ve found everything in WoW to be a chore. It isn’t really disguised very well and the factions are the worst example of chores in any MMO I have played to date. But WoW has this as it wants to lock you in to your monthly subscription fee.
GW2 on the other hand is very good at making chores fun. They aren’t really chores as the achievements are things you do as part of the gameplay in GW2 every day.
It’s funny reading the last few responses just to see how it’s truly all about the perspective of the player.
What Lethality said. It is also like that for me.
Amusingly enough I enjoy the Tillers dailies, they are not like a chore to me at all, while I would pay to get rid of the Golden Lotus. GW2 was the least fun checklist of chores for me of all time. And last, having a complicated questchain every spec chain seems like a horrible chore.
It is all just ijn the eye of the beholder. Generalising any of the tasks, or self deciding what is a chore and what not for everyone is not something anyone can do.
One little thing that turns stuff from content into a chore in GW2 is the damn status bar. Kind of wish they would just let you play till something happened. Most of the hearts would be far more enjoyable without it. It would turn them from a kill x quest and into a thing done in passing.
Agree 100%, Keen. We need less chores in our games.
However, chores are unavoidable in MMORPGs due to the nature of the beast. Anything repetitive is going to become a chore: crafting, resource gathering, etc.
However, we can certainly do without the deliberate implementation of chores. Daily quests are definitely a primary offender here. Quite often, these would be fairly mediocre to begin with even as one-time quests, but then to force players to do them over-and-over ad nauseum… weak, lame, boring, unimaginative design. Reputation grinds to unlock gear are right there as well; typically there’s only one or two things you can do to increase reputation, and you have to do them over and over for days on end. Chore.
Caldaren, you’re missing the point, or you’re the sort that just wants everything handed to you, or both. Some of us want our progress to be earned and therefore meaningful. More importantly, however, we want our progress to be immersive and connected to a world, not just some checkmark or pip on a bar. Rather than automatic “dings”, I would prefer an intensive quest/story every time, something that pulls me further into the world setting. (Of course, the quest can’t be the same every time, or it becomes a chore.)
Finally: Chores are work, but work isn’t necessarily a chore — work can be fun. So yeah, I don’t mind work in MMOs as long as it’s fun. I despise chores in MMOs.
@Xenevore: Well said!
Addendum: I’d say grinding and doing chores are the same thing, but given the choice, I’d rather grind mobs all day EQ-style than grind Dailies WoW-style. At least with EQ-style grinding I’m actually doing something. With WoW-style Dailies you’re mostly just wasting time running around between Dailies: this Daily here, that Daily over there, another Daily over there, etc. At least that was my experience with it — I spent more time on my mount running/flying around, than actually doing anything useful. (This was back in the day with WotLK; YMMV with the newer expansions.)
For me ANYTHING you do over and over again turns into a chore, I don’t care how good it is. I need variation. Sometimes I don’t mind doing dailies. Sometimes I’m in the mood to grind. Sometimes I want to work on professions, pet battles, PvP, Arena, dungeons, dominate the AH, wreck some alliance questing (get wrecked in return, lol), etc, etc.
You state, “Please donâ€™t confuse hard work and the sense of â€˜earningâ€™ something as a chore”. If player A takes 20 hours doing dailies to achieve the reward and player B does a long story driven quest that takes 20 hours for their reward, what’s the difference? For me having to listen and pay attention to a long drawn out story sounds HORRIBLE! Are some MMO stories good? I guess, but most aren’t. It’s only a chore if you hate it.
I guess I just don’t understand this post. But I’m also not the type of person that will focus on doing something I’m not enjoying just to increase my DPS by 1%.
Overall a very interesting read I must say.
@Howdy: I think you do understand, but you’re just on another side of the spectrum because you have very particular preferences.
Your first paragraph is exactly what I’m saying. Anything repetitive can definitely feel like a chore — done well or not. Taking that a step further, if the content is agreeably dull and the act repetitive, why should it even be in the game? Why should it even be standing in the way between the player and the gameplay he or she wants to reach?
I think people should still have to earn something. Grinds can be okay. Someone can’t say “I want the best arena gear” but not be willing to win to earn it. They should have to put in their games, beat other players, and earn that stuff.
Putting in a daily that gives points where someone *must* do that daily every day to get the benefit is a chore. What if I didn’t feel like doing Arenas on Tuesday? Like you said, you sometimes don’t feel like doing an activity. The game is designed with a laundry list of daily activities you ‘have to get out of the way’ before you can focus on what you want to do.
I hope that makes more sense.
@Keen “The game is designed with a laundry list of daily activities you â€˜have to get out of the wayâ€™ before you can focus on what you want to do.”
Keen, take a step back and look at what you’re saying. The only person who is putting that limitation on you is… yourself (or maybe you guild, but that’s a team environment so it makes sense.)
Don’t feel like doing Arenas on Tuesday? Don’t do em. Don’t feel like searching one more creature to kill for your daily kill variety? Then don’t. It only becomes an issue when players impose upon themselves that they are “required” in any way.
@Lethality: I just can’t agree with you. If gear is gated, and gear matters, then getting through that gate quickly matters. It matters by design. Your ability to dismiss what matters doesn’t change the fact that it still matters.
The game imposes the penalty of pushing your goal a day ahead of you if you miss a day. Avoiding that penalty creates the “I have to do this to get it out of the way” feeling.
So Keen are you saying that if you wanted a piece of gear but it required you to do the greatest most fun epic quest ever, BUT it only let you do 1 part of it everyday, that is the same thing as a daily?
@Howdy: No, not at all. A fun quest that lets you do 1 part of it every day sounds to me like throttling something fun. I don’t know if that’s a good idea or not, but that would be an entirely different subject.
I’m talking about removing all the tedious, repetitive, daily grinds that stand in the way of getting to what you’d rather be doing — but you do the stuff that feels like chores because they lead to some outcome you desire.
I honestly think the majority of activities spent in the old school model was more chore like then hard work like. Everything from walking everywhere to forced grouping were IMO the spitome of chore like game design, luckily WoW did away with most of those old school design principles but what it did wrong was putting new chore like activities in its place.
I think this viewpoint can be summarised as:
1) I don’t enjoy doing certain activities in game
2) However pressures to optimise my playtime for progression give me a sense of obligation to do them
3) So I do them but don’t enjoy it
@ Xenovore: I think it is more where you put you emphasis. I personally do not find respeccing relevant or an indicator of progress in any way, and as such making it annoying would be a huge chore for me. Adding a questchain to (taking wow as example)unlock a new talent tier would be fine.
What is a chore and what is fine will always depend on individual preference. As a sidenote: claiming I do not get it or want everything for free is rather assuming of you, just because someone finds something else different does not make them scrubs by default. I like attunement quest chains, but quests for respeccing waste my time.
I think Bernard summed it up well if that’s the thinking. Where I have issue is I never get past number 1. If I don’t like it, I find something else. I’m not that addicted to the min/maxing.
@Caldaren: I don’t think we’re on the same page here. For one thing, you never said anything about respeccing; quoting again:
My response was directly to that. Also, I never said anything about making things annoying; I don’t want anything annoying either! I just want something fun and interesting to do that makes getting the skill/ability/feat/whatever feel worthwhile, rather than handed to me on a silver platter for absolutely free. For example, if you’re familiar with the WoW druid, it was fun getting the Bear and Raven forms, but rather boring and dull getting the Cat and Seal forms.
@Bernard: Not to speak for Keen, but I don’t think that’s the viewpoint at all. What he’s getting at is that game designers are deliberately (or lazily) designing game-play to be simple and repetitive, and for no good reason. For example, reputation grinds are there only to waste time, artificially extending game-play. Ditto for Daily quests; they are usually there to artificially extend game-play beyond a level cap, after “normal” progress has halted. This type of design is really just an easy scapegoat for designers, “We can’t think of anything new and interesting for players to do, so yeah, let’s just make ’em do stuff over and over again.”
At any rate, sure there’s always going to be some grindy, repetitive tasks in games, but I think they can be kept to a minimum, certainly better than in current MMOs.
Repetition is an inherent part of MMOs, particularly ones with a level cap and ‘endgame’ progress model.
Keen is asking to be able to skip some repetitive aspects (reputations, dailies) and only participate in others (dungeons, PvP?). The repetitive parts he doesn’t like are called “chores”, the others are fun.
A lot of MMO players I know enjoy reputation grinds/farming and other activities that are simple and repetitive. They can do these while watching TV, or babysitting. So there is no unanimous agreement on “chores”.
In any case, the fact is that you CAN skip these activities in WoW if you are not min-maxing. There are many ways (crafting, Auction House, Heroics, BGs) to get better gear without reputation grinds or dailies.