So this morning my friend Bel posted a blog entry talking about what he calls “Maintenance Gaming”, which basically is only logging in to a game to do some daily task and then logging back out. I pretty much agree with this assessment, in that there are a lot of online games lately that this form of mechanic.
I will say that I have not played many of the games that have something like this. The closest I think I have gotten to this was the week or two I played the free to play Neverwinter MMO. I would log in once a day to send my minions on missions and collect rewards and then log out. I know that WoW has this mechanic now with garrisons, but I have yet to get to the point where that’s the only reason for me to log in.
I’m perfectly fine with this mechanic being in a game, as long as it isn’t there to act as a “I have nothing to do” buffer. I don’t mind managing minion missions when I’m logging in to do other things, or if there is some meaningful reward for it. If there is nothing else to do in the game I doubt I would continue to pay a monthly subscription just to do some meaningless chores.
I wouldn’t say that minion missions are the only things that I would consider a chore either. I would also consider logging in just to farm materials for a raid to be a chore, as well as any other tedious task that would make me feel the same way. This is what really drove me away from raiding, there was a point where all I was doing was grinding materials for food buffs and enchanting materials which took away from being able to enjoy anything else.
Whenever I get to this point in a game I feel like I have hit the end of the line and don’t feel like playing it anymore. Unfortunately this seems to be the underlying mechanic of any MMO once you get to end game all there is to do is raid or move on to the next game.
From what I’ve heard Final Fantasy XIV seems to be consistently updating their game with new content. I would hope this helps to alleviate some of the end game tedium. I feel like I would want to play again to experience this content but feel without raiding it would be just another MMO that pushed me in to logging in just to farm for raiding.
I feel like this leads in to another discussion about how quickly you can burn through content versus actually stopping to smell the roses.