Tag Archive: grind

Disincentive To Play

I’m struggling with the EA model of “Games as service” as I play through (and largely enjoy) my time in Battlefield V. I know that sounds confusing and bear with me as I try to explain.

Instead of DLC packs BFV went for periodic events, that last a determined amount of time (and that reward many different things). Currently we are doing one that has two sets of rewards – one set for the weekly accomplishments, and 40 XP levels for the over-arching rewards.

It’s simple enough and most branches give you good options so you aren’t stuck on a single path. And for bonus points, you can complete all paths. Each path step can only start to unlock once you completed the one before. For example, the first above is to play Breakthrough – a game mode – three times. This does focus the community and anyone can do this step (win or lose)

chapter rewards take longer

Each of the weeks (4, in this case) give bonus XP for the specific ‘chapter’ of the game, and the XP levels raise in difficulty to obtain. So this is the new system.

The downside is obvious. If you miss a week of gameplay, you can’t unlock anything from the week. EA claims that you will be able to get these in the future in other ways without specifying that “other ways” probably means in the cosmetic pay-for store.

I haven’t even hit max level in the game after 100 hours of gameplay, and the chances of me hitting level 40 for a chapter is remote. Mostly because this kind of achievement based gaming makes me play less, not more.

That may not make sense to you but I now only play when I have easy to reach objectives. Last week, I unlocked everything I could in two gameplay sessions. Since there was nothing left to unlock (outside of a long, chapter level grind), I stopped playing. The new week launched and now I am playing again. I know once I finish off the rewards for the week I will be done again (until next week).

I can see how hardcore players might love this and it IS holding my attention for the quick and easy hits, but I’m not sure if it holds my attention at all when I have to juggle other games that will be doing this (Anthem, looking at you.)

Curious how these gameplay levers and buttons to push influence your gameplay? Do they at all?

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

I am enjoying WAR. It hasn’t quite turned out the way I had supposed originally (or even beta tested) but it has enough good to stick around for a while to see how it all turns out. This little piece is going to comment on where I think WAR went wrong, but not in any micro or specific ways. More of the general attitude and design decisions from the top down which has put the game in a precarious position. A position they put themselves in but am glad to see they are making the move. MMO developers have a giant elephant in the room that they ‘don’t want to compete with’, but rather expand on the space that WoW has made mainstream. The MMO development cycle isn’t much of a mystery – see who is in the market, see what they do, and build from both their successes and mistakes. The mistake that WAR made was confusing what made WoW a success and what makes WoW a failure. They got it all backwards. They developed WAR with the good of WoW for the players, and the good of WoW for the company. These two things are competing resources and a delicate balance is much needed. What is often good for the company isn’t always good for the players – players want change with their new MMO’s. Let me further explain, after the break.

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