It’s 6:30 a.m. Still a little too early to be up, but when the kids are running around trying to actively destroy the house, one has no choice but to get up with them.
The author makes breakfast for everyone, takes a shower, gets dressed, and then plops down in front of the computer for some early morning writing. But writing isn’t all he does, because he needs to log into RIFT first to collect his daily gift, see what his minions brought him during the night, and send out minions on fresh missions.
A post gets started, but now the author is going through his morning list of MMOs with determination. WildStar is next up, because the garden needs to be picked and planted, crafting mats need to be harvested, and a daily reward collected. Then it’s Guild Wars 2, because one must keep marching toward the big goal at the end of 30 total logins. LOTRO? Hobbit presents. Devilian? Collect a daily reward and send out friend gifts to everyone on the list, hoping to get some back in return. Marvel Heroes? Why, it’s two login gifts today! Star Trek Online? Need to keep those duty officers busy and not dawdling.
It could get even worse, the author realizes. A half-hour has gone by and he’s done nothing but log in and out of games. He thanks his lucky stars that he’s not part of the World of Warcraft garrison system, because that could tack on another 10 minutes easy. It’s not that it’s fun in the least to keep logging into games first thing, but free presents is free presents — and missing out hits that psychological bummer spot that mentally chafes.
It’s disappointing that most of this couldn’t be done automatically or via mobile app, but that’s not the point of free presents and daily systems, is it? The author knows that it’s shameless incentive to get players to log in and hopefully keep them there (and perhaps tempt them to spend more money). It’s that age-old trade-off of time vs. reward, even in small stints like these.
And so every morning repeats itself. Log in, log out. Wax on, wax off.