Every evening when the family heads off to bed, my gaming time usually starts with a quick round of “log in to a half-dozen MMOs to grab daily rewards.” Even if I’m not playing those games at the time, I hate passing up on free stuff and like the idea of stockpiling goodies for possible future use.
The psychology of daily rewards is pretty evident in that paragraph: It’s hard to pass up “free” stuff, and if that gets people to at least log in, then there’s a good chance that they’ll stick around to actually play. It’s not a dumb idea, even if it is straight-up bribery.
Anyway, going through this routine made me think about the MMOs I play or have played that feature daily rewards. Which are the best out of them?
Neverwinter – I just log in once a day to activate the celestial blessing, which comes with some experience and astral diamonds bonuses. But the real reason I do it is to get that one token a day, which can be saved up and then spent on something really nice — such as a free pet. I think there’s a purple-ranked angel at 365 days, so I’m playing the long game with that.
Elder Scrolls Online – Definitely one of the best daily reward systems, although you do need to stay on top of it to move through the calendar month. There are usually some good rewards at the two- or three-week mark, including pets, costumes, and piles of gold. I never miss this.
Lord of the Rings Online – Hobbit presents are… fine. At least we get some free virtue XP every day, and that’s almost always useful no matter what level you are. Once I got a ton of mithril coins, that was pretty great. But it’s not that thrilling for most days.
Dungeons and Dragons Online – Both the silver and gold die rolls have the potential to pay out big. Getting free experience is always welcome, and I’ve leveled up my character a couple times just by logging in. On top of that, I’ve gotten stat tomes, costumes, and all sorts of useful potions and buffs.
Guild Wars 2 – I appreciate that this daily reward system doesn’t reset unless you finish the 30 days, so there’s no pressure if you go on vacation. Some good rewards here, like mystic coins or laurels, but I can’t recall ever getting something that really made me excited. A lot of times the rewards just get translated into gold somehow.
Star Trek Online and RIFT – I wanted to mention these because instead of a straight-up rewards program, these games skew to a mission system that serves much the same psychological prompt to log in and get free stuff that’s on a timer. STO’s duty officers got me to many levels back in the day, and I always liked getting free housing decorations in RIFT.
What’s your favorite daily reward system and what’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten from it?