Friday, July 3, 2009

Are you feeling guilty for not doing dailies?

First of all I want to state clearly that I don’t intend to name and shame anyone in this post. So please don’t take offence, Anea at Holy Discipline!

I don’t want to point you out as particularly strange or stupid; it’s just that your post hit something within me that put me on fire. It’s not that I’m anywhere different or better than you are. Probably I’m without knowing about it just as guilty of this kind of behaviour as you, and that’s why I’m so touchy about it.

What made me upset
People who haven’t read Anea’s post may wonder what’s up. What’s all this about?

Well, in this post Anea writes about how she feels guilty when she logs in and doesn't grind dailies, in this case the Argent Tournament amongst others. She obviously doesn’t enjoy them, particularly not the mounted ones. She keeps telling herself she’ll do it next day, then she ends up not doing them, and then she gets annoyed with herself for escaping from her duties.

And this makes me shake my head in disbelief. What IS this, really? Feeling guilty, over what? Feeling guilty over doing something else in the game which you probably thought was more fun and enjoyable? Aren’t we escaping into the game to get AWAY from the real life duties, chores, burdens and tedious work? Isn’t the workload in real life enough, do we have to throw ourselves into things that we hate online and then blame ourselves when we do something else?

Seriously, being disciplined is a good thing, probably even in WoW, but save it for good reasons!

Turning my back to it
A little while ago I suddenly realized that I didn’t enjoy the Argent Tournament dailies and turned my back to it. I haven’t looked back yet. Even the information that there will be dailies in the next patch that I can’t do unless I have the crusader title is enough to pull me back to it on a regular basis.

Why? Because for me those vanity items like titles, mounts and pets are what it says: vanity. They’re optional. Not something I MUST have to feel happy about my character progression.

Admittedly Blizzard is planning to add a little bit of usability to one of the pets. He will be upgraded to a portable post box every so and so hour. But seriously, how often do I need that on my mage, which I don’t play much outside of raiding? It would be useful for my druid alt, questing in remote areas, bags about to explode with all those quest items, extra healing gear, cloth from drops and leather from skinning. But for my mage? Not very often.

So unless I’ll find something else that shows that I a crusader title is crucial to me to perform as a raider, I’ll stick to my promise to myself: to only do those dailies when I feel up for it. And I don’t feel guilty about it for a second.

Of course you can set up goals for yourself, goals that sometimes include a bit of grinding, that you’re willing to go through because the sweetness of the reward. But feeling guilty if you're not sticking to the original plan? Isn’t that way out of proportion?

Reasons for feeling guilt
The only reason I can see for feeling guilt is if you’re breaking the social contract you’ve made with other people in game. If I would turn up to raids in last minute, demanding a summon, without being repaired, without having flasks and proper gear, without knowing the tactics. Or even worse, if I’d stand people up, not coming to an appointment, without giving any explanation or making efforts to get in touch with them. If that would happen I’d rightfully feel ashamed at myself.

But feeling guilt over not throwing yourself into the time sinks handed out by the developers to keep us occupied until the next patch? No, just no.

Dear Anea, dear Larisa and dear anyone else who has a tendency to fall into the guilt trap: Get out of there immediately! Enjoy whatever activity you’ve picked instead of the daily grind. Be stronger! You deserve to be happy, whatever you’ve chosen to do with your game time.


Kromus said...

It is my duty, i want to get all the mounts for the mount achivement, as you may or may not know ;) so its in my best interest.

Your right, we shouldn't feel guilty, after all its our choice, if the NPC's start giving you backchat, pull the power :D

The only thing is, when I dont do them i get annoyed at myself, because then i know i have to wait one extra day until a new mount, due to badges, or something similar.

Its a hidden authority.

David said...

I liked the argent tournament dailies the first five times. But jousting can be so touchy and it feels...ponderous. Can you imagine all your abilities on a 3 second GCD? It seems like forever.

I noticed I needed to get exalted with all city factions for the crusader title, so I am actually going through the old world and doing low level quests. I missed/skipped so many, and a lot of them grant 150-250 reputation, as much as a daily quest. So my level 15 quests are now my daily quests - I just log on and do a couple before raid invites go out.

Its fun for me to revisit some out of the way old world places, and I get to do some quests I have never done before! It feels nice to run into a camp of level 20 centaur and activate Starfall and watch them all die in seconds :)

Klepsacovic said...

I used to feel a little bit bad since I wanted the pets and gold and whatnot. Now I don't care enough.

Crucifer said...

I was already exalted with all the Horde Factions so doing the Argent Tournements began to net me 106g every time I did the quests, 30g as a Valiant and the rest as a Champion - now I have the Crusader title I'm happy just to do the dailies every other day.

Now I've begun to do the Kalu'ak and Oracle dailies.

Anonymous said...

Dailies are the bane of my existence... as they tend to be weeklies...

I tend to pick one or two that I try to do each time I log on... but rarely ever more.

If there is one I feel I must do and I can't complete it, I just keep it in my log until the opportunity arises...

Dailies drive me nuts.. people complain about repetitious instances... collecting the same 12 mana berries sends a Gnome insane!

Still, my quest log is filled with half complete quests... I only ever worry about that when my bags and bank are filled with quest items... like they are now...

Tristan Johnson said...

I see every daily i dotn do as a potential waste of either money or progress towards whatever I'm working on. I'm working on 100 mounts and every day I don't do argent tournament dailies, another mount goes further away. Every day I don't go to outlands and do my netherwing dailies is a waste of progress towards my netherdrakes. Every minute without an egg is a potential green protodrake im missing... I'm a weirdo though.

Ziboo said...

I won't feel guilty from a game. Some of the dailies I enjoy, some I'm willing to do and some, I skip.

It's my time and do/will spend it how I want!

As much as I'm working towards certain achievements, I refuse to stay in the hamster wheel longer than necessary. Do them or take a break.

It is hard though if other people are dependent on you to complete them, but an easy ingame chat should solve that.

Tesh said...

I have a job already, and I get paid for it. I don't need another one that I pay to do.

*insert tangential rant about how the subscription model is a prime mover of this sort of obligation thinking*

mute said...

What is end-game WoW (PvE) if you exclude dailies and raiding?

I fail to see how people feel guilty when they skip dailies for a day or two. I also fail to see people doing things in a "game" that they don't like. Seriously how much importance do you give to this?

WoW is failing in a certain point. There are things you may like to have, like a dragon, like a sword, like a title etc. But WoW doesn't provide you sustainable fun on the way to reach what you want. Dailies or most raids are fun for a few times but then it's endless grinding. It probably started with Silithus Cenarion Circle rep grinding. My memories only go back that far.

Gevlon said...

There is a handy goblin rule when to feel guilty: NEVER-EVER!

Larísa said...

@Kromus: don't be hard with yourself. There's really no point in it! And I'm sure you'll reach the mount goal eventually. no hurry!

@David: I did that once because I was so annoyed with my mechanostrider, the sound of it. So I did some quests in Elwynn so I could get a smooth horse instead, and yeah, it wasn't too bad. (But eventually I ended up only using my Alterac Valley ram. Somehow it melts together with Larísa, I really don't need any other mount.)

@Klepsacovic: sobering up, eh? I think it's healthy to get a bit distance to it. So grats!

@Crucifer: well, as long as you think its a FUN way of making gold, but if you start to feel guilt while you're not doing it, something is obiously wrong. I bet you could make more gold following the advice from Gevlon.

@Gnomeaggeddon: I'm glad that you at least are sensible enough not to feel guilty about your half-finished quests!
I sort of keep them sometimes as fillers in my questlog. If some quest turns up that I really WANT to do, I can easily dump the dailies to make place for it. I know I can pick them up anytime I want again.

@Tristan Johnson: don't know what to say... If you can keep up with that scheme and feel happy about it, I wish you all the best. Otherwise I pity you.

@Ziboo: not many dailies are depending on someone helping you. Several classes can solo A threat from above and if you can't, there are always people hanging around there to pug with. So yeah, the dailies don't put much social pressure on you. The pressure you feel is your own, nothing else.

@Tesh: yeah... it is a bit strange how we turn the game to work. Is the subscription model the reason for it? Possibly. I don't quite understand the mechanisms that makes us lose our minds.

@mute: I think it could be more into it than dailies or raiding. I guess dedicated roleplayers can find ways to amuse themselves without grinding stuff. But yeah, there's certainly a lot of grind in the game and its odd that we accept it to that extent that we feel bad and guilty if we don't do our daily "duties".

@Gevlon: fair enough! I'm not as extreme as you are tbh. But I think we're on the same side when it's about feeling guilty for not doing dailies...

Vigorless fragmentary said...

I'm not sure how serious the 'guilt' feeling of thisplayer is or whether the term is chosen wrong - but if anyone truly feels guilt over not playing certain aspects of the game then thats a whole new level of unhealthy commitment to gaming (do i dare call it addicition already?).
it's irrational and maybe it's time to stop playing for a while and ask yourself if the game is still a pastime for you ( = relaxing and fun) or something more like a reallife substitute. there's enough duties and unavoidable chores in everyday life usually without having to look for more of them in a game / hobby?

Klepsacovic said...

@Vigorless fragmentary:
Think of it as virtual procrastination with all the negative feelings attached. Imagine something you want to get done, maybe it's getting cooking badges or maybe it's remembering to plan a vacation IRL. Either one, if you don't stick to the plan, you're going to feel a bit bad. This doesn't indicate addiction as much as just normal human reaction to failing oneself. The extent of the negative reaction is influenced by how much we care or are involved, and I'd imagine many people are very involved in WoW and care a great deal. That doesn't mean it's bad, but they should be sure to check where it falls on the care meter compared to RL.

Fitz said...

There's a group of 4 IRL friends who play this game in my circle. One has over 25,000 gold, and he does dailies every day for an hour or more a day on 2 characters. That level of dailies may make you virtually rich, but it doesn't seem nearly as compelling as soloing dungeons and such, which is what I do on my main in free time. But who am I to say whether he's having fun or not doing that many dailies each day?

I just know I will not feel guilty about lacking some virtual goods and achievements. When I do, I'm calling intervention. There's a reason the title for grinding the hardest reputations in the game is "insane." Just sayin.

Stabs said...

I've been feeling a bit guilty for not doing the Sons of Hodir dailies on my newest alt.

If I were to evaluate myself for a raid guild recruitment I would be thinking slacker who isn't working on the best shoulder enchant.

Tesh said...

I don't think the sub model is the only reason for this sort of mentality, but it certainly reinforces and fosters it. It has to, to keep making money for the game.

Temitope said...

I totally understand the "guilt" thing actually. I think it's an odd choice of word, but it's that sense of wasted time and opportunity you get when you know you could be doing something that will have a direct benefit for you.

It's that headspace you get into where there's something you feel you "should" be doing and the knowledge of that stops you enjoying anything you do instead.

It's a particular problem in MMOs because they *are* so progression based - it's probably less of an issue if you're already rolling in resources, but my main is actually chronically short of gold, and in dire need of new Enchants so I do actually feel like I'm wasting time if I do something on my main that *isn't* grinding dailies. It's one of the many things that damages my enjoyment of endgame.

Copernicus said...

I have way too many things I want to do, before I'll feel guilty for not doing dailies. If it's strictly money making, I prefer mining in Wintergrasp, where the occasional horde encounter keeps things lively.

Kristine said...

We are of course playing to have fun, and if you don't want to do something - don't do it. It is game where we can choose, but we should really get used to the idea that its ok that we aren't always having fun. Wanting to do something, is not the same as having fun.

There are many things we do cause we wish to have the reward (from completing Argent Tournament dailies to killing KT for the 40th time). Accepting that some "work" is required to achieve goals in game, helps me at least to avoid the guilt as after some self analysis (or blatant ignorance) I realize that the guilt doesn't stem from spending my time doing things that are boring (boring is often connected to things that are useful and full of virtue like going to the gym, doing the dishes etc.). - The guilt has to do with "boring" happening in "a game".
If I am doing boring things its like I am going against the whole point of playing. And then I feel guilty. Even though I actually want that thing at exalted rep, or really wish to have all the vanity pets in game (or whatever requires tedious repetitive tasks).

Sometimes the ends justifies the means, and the journey there is best forgotten :)