Thursday, August 16, 2012

Incentives For World Events

My initial take on rumors of a SWTOR world event this month was that it would be a good time to re-subscribe to get characters in order for the free-to-play relaunch.  I'm going to want a couple of races - especially Chiss - that are unlikely to be free for non-subscribers, and they have announced that races for existing characters will be grandfathered at the relaunch.  Then the event actually landed.

Rohan and Werit have some good qualitative impressions of the event, while full spoiler/guides can be found at places like Darth Hater and Dulfy's.  My first - apparently incorrect - impression from the reward list was that this was a daily quest gear grind, in which case I was decidedly uninterested.  In reality, the event is a scavenger event designed to be done once per character - most of the rewards are legacy-bound, allowing players to spread the token farming amongst multiple characters.  In fact, we found out today that the event will wind down on Tuesday, after having been live for a mere week. 

On one level, I respect the willingness to make an event that is NOT designed as a multiple week grindfest.  However, while having such a short event does make for a unique experience for people who happen to be around, I'm not sure if I will have the time to play it, even if I do decide I'm willing to resub for this purpose.  Between this and the Rakghoul infection, one-time events have represented a surprisingly high proportion of Bioware's post-launch content in the game.  I suppose the event may still be a bigger draw than a comparable number of quests in a patch, but it's a tough call whether this is a good use of developer resources. 


Werit said...

The event is probably leading into (spoiler alert) the next Operation. Just a hunch, collecting all sorts of weird stuff seems like it'd be used to open something bad.

Anonymous said...

One week?! I was hoping it would last longer -- but like you said, not to the point it becomes like a multiweek grinder -- maybe just another week so I can get some time to check it out.

I also heard some reports say that one of the particular objectives isn't instanced and in some cases there were long lines of people waiting to complete, and another situation where "you have to do something, but other people around you can screw it up". These were problems I was hoping to avoid by waiting a bit until the initial wave of craziness has passed. I guess now I'll have to try and find some time to log in before Tuesday to check it out.

Bhagpuss said...

It's a difficult call. Some events in EQ, EQ2 and Rift seem to go on forever, to the point where I'm sometimes driven to find another MMO until they finally went away. On the other hand, the same games have popped up very short one-time events on a be-there-now basis which can be frustrating to read about a day late.

I guess a mix of durations is logical but in practice I think if developers create an expectation of inclusion in some events there will be little acceptance among their players of exclusion in others.

Yeebo said...

"but it's a tough call whether this is a good use of developer resources."

Based on what I've seen this was a big waste of resources. The event includes a lot of high quality fully voiced content, and seems to have represented a substantial investment. However, I imagine a week isn't really long enough for a lot of their players to see it all. The oddball reward structure they chose also means most players don't have a ton of incentive to go through it, even if they do have time.

Spending a ton of dev time on content so few players will see seems a bit daft given how little new content the game has seen since launch.