Thursday, July 22, 2010

ROM's Take On The Daily Quest

As you can see, I've currently got 70 of a daily quest item I need 10 of.  The teeth, sandals and pelts are also worth daily quest turnins.  The scary part is that I got most of those items in the course of doing routine quests in Runes of Magic. What exactly are they trying to accomplish?

Self-completing daily quests
WoW uses daily quests as a way of delaying players from completing endgame rep grinds.  Because you pay Blizzard by the month, they'd much rather have you spend 20 hours over 20 days than even 30 hours over a weekend.  So, the daily quest offers larger payouts in exchange for limiting players' income.

By contrast, ROM offers its version of daily quests starting at level 1.  Unlike daily quests in other games, these dailies can be completed more than once a day - the limit is 10 daily quests per day, and that can be 10 different quests or the same quest 10 times.

Also unlike typical MMO quests, the items for these quests will drop from the relevant mobs whether or not the player is on the quest (or has already farmed enough drops to complete it).  It seems that there are daily quests pointing at most quest areas, and it's not hard to hit ROM's cap of 10 daily turn-ins in an hour or two of normal gameplay.  If you're playing more than that, or find yourself farming mobs that happen to drop daily quest trash for other reasons, you might end up with more tokens than you can turn in.

ROM Daily Quest Incentives

ROM daily quests do award exp and TP (skill upgrade points). As Indy points out, players who don't like playing the optimal secondary class for their preferred role can instead farm up the daily quest tokens on their main and switch over to the secondary for the turn-in credit.  Even so, the real draw to the system seems to be the "Phirius Tokens".

With perhaps a few exceptions, each daily quest awards 10 tokens regardless of what level the quest itself is. The system appears to be designed so that players who spend 1-2 hours per day online will be pulling down most or all of their daily allowance (up to 100 tokens, some group dailies excluded) every day. These tokens can then be used to obtain effectively free samples of cash store items.

The token shop carries exp potions and consumable item enhancement tools, and, most intriguingly, a 30-day rental of the famous $10 mount for 1400 tokens. In other words, if you complete 50% of the maximum daily quests every day (or 100% every other day), you can avoid paying for the mount, which many people view as the one nigh indispensable item in the shop.

Do the devs win?
I'm guessing that the developers' theory is that impatience will win out over frugality.
  • Perhaps players won't want to set aside such a large portion of their tokens (and wait two weeks before securing their first mount rental). 
  • Perhaps players will get in the habit of using the other consumables like teleport runes or item enhancers with the other half of their tokens. 
  • Perhaps the knowledge that you've got a stack of monster pieces that you can turn in right now if you pay to reset your quest limit is more tempting to some players than getting the same bonus via paying for an exp bonus potion. 
  • Perhaps the sheer quantity of drops will clog player bags until they give in and pay to rent additional bag space.  

Then again, all of these scenarios revolve around the assumption that the player is looking to play normally every day. Without the monthly access fee, that's not necessarily a safe assumption. If you're the type of player who spends different amounts of time online each day (or juggles multiple MMORPG's), it's easy enough to farm up several days worth of turnins in advance and sign on each day for just long enough to collect your tokens.

I do see a decent number of the more exotic looking mounts, which are only available via the real money side of the item shop, in game, so clearly some players are opening their wallets to pay for these prettier, slightly faster rides.  For that matter, I'd be willing to pay not to have to do daily quests every day just to retain mount access if the daily quests weren't literally throwing themselves at my feet.  I wonder what this does for the game's bottom line, though, because it seems like I can have the one thing in this game so far that I would have considered paying for without going out of my way to pay for it. 
Oh hai, naked chick on a flying ferret courtesy of the item shop.


Longasc said...

Sounds rather fair, that model. It offers you the quick and easy way through $$$ but it is also not too inconvenient or absurd to do the dailies instead.

Xaxziminrax II said...

>it seems like I can have the one thing in this game so far that I would have considered paying for without going out of my way to pay for it.

I'm feeling this way, too.

Do you think you'll keep playing for a while? I only just started up yesterday (thanks to your informative posts!), did all my starter-zone dailies, hit 10 and got a dual class... and am hating the warden/warrior combo.

I feel like I'm going to want to re-roll as fast as possible if it's a game I'm going to want to keep playing, because of those tokens. Thankfully it is available through cash, which means I don't have to start up an alt today to make sure I maximize my tokens.

Ysharros said...

Freaking naked chicks are everywhere! Poor flying ferret.

(Yes, that was what I took from your post. (Ok, kidding.))

Green Armadillo said...

@Xax: If you're "hating" the Warden/Warrior (my two least favorite classes from my early impressions), my advice would be to re-roll first and ask questions later. Taking a day or two now and losing out on a few hundred tokens won't kill the character if you decide to come back to it. By contrast, you won't be able to recover any time you invest in the character now if you switch later.

Also, if you're trying to keep both classes leveled, you're going to have to clear most or all of the leveling content in the game. That means that even your first alt will be repeating stuff.

I got a pretty good feel of how each class played as a primary by level 4 (the main reason why I stuck it out til 10 on each of my trials was to see the dual classes in action). If you're planning to play both sides of your character and you're not liking what you see by level 4, I'd suggest trying one of the others and maybe coming back later.

Also, depending on how much time you spend each day, you might even find that it's more time efficient to have two characters and play each on alternate days (farming up excess daily quests to turn in on the "off" day for tokens).

(Incidentally, I don't know how much this matters to you, but the Warden gets very very poor reviews on the forums and in-game chat. The most common answer to "what subclass should I take on my Warden" is "re-roll". It seems like the kind of class that would struggle to find a niche in endgame, because no one like to be out-tanked or out-DPS'ed by a pet.)

huntersinsight said...

when i was playing RoM, and I admit things may have changed, warden was the worst class. no debate. couldn't tank, couldn't dps, virtually useless for groups and slow to level solo.

the best healer was priest/knight, because even though both classes suck to level, the elite skills made it worth it.

warrior and scout are completely neglected by developers in mid game, pretty much from level 1 to max. they do excellent in end game but you have to spend a fortune.

if you want to dps and have a fairly easy time of it, rogue is the way to go, scout out-dps rogue in end game but its much easier to play. I was a rogue/knight.

ok i'm rambling here but getting to your actual post, the goal of daily quests is pretty clear, get people to endgame as quick as possible because thats where they make money. forget xp potions, or the plethora of other useless items, purified fusion stones, transmutation charges, armour drillers, the + modifiers, those sell like crazy.

Indy said...

I don't recommend playing RoM, and I emphatically urge any who do not to waste money on it. Everything you have in the game is subject to loss by Frogster's profligate use of the ban-hammer, and they don't want to spend any effort on correcting mistaken bans.

You know how EULA's state you can be banned for any or even no reason? Well, they really mean it there. You may think you're actually buying something, but you have no rights... it's more like dropping cash in a panhandler's cup.

Yeebo said...

I have to say this series of posts is reviving my interest in ROM. I am not sure I ever really gave it a fair shake, and I haven't seen the elf starter area at all.