What makes things fun in one game but not another?
Here’s a question for all of you to answer, and I’m genuinely interested in what you think. Why is that I hate running the same dungeons over in WoW, or grinding the same mobs over and over, but I can mine for 6 hours a day in UO and love it? Why do I get absolutely bored of questing to level up, but I can go chop trees for a few hours or craft some items and not get bored at all in UO? Replace UO with EQ; I can sit with a group in the same room in a public dungeon, not leave that room for 10 hours, get no loot, and still enjoy myself. What’s so different about the games?
One conclusion I came to is that the tasks are more like working towards something difficult to obtain, with a higher reward in the end. Maybe that’s why I’ll go through them more willingly, but it doesn’t explain why I actually enjoy what sounds like (on paper) a menial task.
Another is a subconscious drive to achieve something, but that’s present even in a game like GW2; unless my subconscious also realizes the reward in a game like WoW or GW2 means less to me than it does in UO.
Perhaps it’s the lack of a pattern in a game like UO or EQ. A quest is scripted just like a dungeon, whereas an open-world dungeon or working on gathering resources in UO isn’t. It’s more about going out and living your character’s life, which in and of itself is more dynamic than going about your day in a prescribed way because that’s how the game wants you to play: Linear.
So think about it and let me know what you come up with.