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One Long Term Goal vs. Multiple Short Term Goals: What keeps you attached to a game like GW2?

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#1 Zhaitan


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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:58 PM

One Long Term Goal vs. Multiple Short Term Goals: What keeps you attached to a game like GW2?

While playing GW2 for last 7 months and remembering what kept me playing GW1 for 7 years, this thought always intrigues me. What keeps me attached to a game? What motivates me to log on regularly and play it?

Is it the challenge of a long term goal like a legendary skin that requires a lot of items and gold or is it the desire to complete toons with easily attainable pretty things while learning how to bring the best out of any class in a given situation?

I do not want to discuss anything particular in OP as it generally sets the tone of the thread. I'd like to keep it generic so there is a discussion without OP bias. I'd love to know your thoughts and, if you don't mind, your age group (for example, 10-15, 16-20, 21-25 etc.)

I am almost 41 now. What I enjoyed 25 years ago, probably does not keep me entertained anymore. So, I believe, age also has a great deal of relevancy in this topic. But, please share whatever you'd like to share.
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#2 Digilodger


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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:14 PM

These short term goals are what keep me going: I want to get my toon good-looking armors and good build, and I want to do Fractals scale 40+.

I enjoy these things for some reason, though these are also pretty much why I'd never get my legendary, haha. Map completion/exploring maps is just . . . too much of a pain for me; I don't enjoy it at all.


I'm one of those people who care about aesthetics and efficiency of my toons.

After bringing a toon to level 80, the first thing I do is dress it up. I preview the armors/weapons then start to collect them. This, of course, takes a while because I don't always have dungeons tokens ready on hands so I'd have to farm them.

Next is efficiency. I want to have the best balance possible between survivability and damage for my skill level. This is an on-going process for weeks because my skill level do change as I play the class more and more. But it's (arguably) what I enjoy the most. I don't know why but the idea of being a tiny bit stronger is always so appealing to me.


And I also enjoy high-scale Fractals (40+) because of a few reasons:
- Players up there are generally competent, capable of at least carry our own weight while still supporting the party in some way.
- Players up there also used to Fractals, familiar with all its ins and outs.
- We generally fight everything, very little skipping. I like it this way. I dislike groups or dungeons where we have to run long ways, skipping lots of mobs. :P

Let's put it this way: When you're confident that you can rely on your team, you're more likely to play for the party---utilizing your skills for the benefits of party, adapting to a more selfless play-style---rather than for your own survival. It's great! Even though the content is harder, it's usually more relaxing than doing, says, AC with bad PUGs.

And don't even get me started with bad AC PUGs. The first boss, Queen Spider, is solo-able. Even an average-skilled, casual player like me can still solo her. A whole team of 4 or 5 players have absolutely zero reason to wipe at Queen Spider, yet we still have teams that fail here. It's unbelievable!

(and I'm 20 years old, as of now.)

Edited by Digilodger, 23 April 2013 - 04:21 PM.

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#3 chiclet


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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:31 PM

Easily reached short term goals usually keep me motivated to continue to play a game, because I can see things in close enough reach that a little more effort will earn me something nice.

I like that GW2 has a LOT of short-term stuff to choose from so I can pick and choose each night which thing is going to be the one I try and complete. Finish off a map, do the daily, earn a new achievement, collect an armor, whatever. Leveling new characters is a boost of progress as well as the level dings and the skill points rack up, making me feel like I'm *getting* somewhere. The satisfaction of learning a skill rotation and pulling off some fancy combo move on command during a fight is a real rush. Fractals, in this case, suit me perfectly. Easy to start, harder to master, super short in terms of individual "games" and progressing somewhere in steady steps.

Games which put the emphasis on only a few really long term goals (ultimate stat armor, gated content unlocks, etc) that requires sustained, concentrated effort to achieve frankly leave me bored and unhappy. I could get there, I suppose, but it feel like this massive, unrewarding chore and I have enough real life chores that I don't need imaginary ones too.

I'm in the 40-45 range myself in terms of age.
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#4 Ship Soo

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:41 PM

For me its a mix of the two. I have both long term (legendary) and short term (new toons) goals.

The dailies provide movement towards both of these, either through gold and mats (long term) or experience gain (toons).

Dungeons and fractals are more of a long term goal, but they do provide tokens and weapon drops for new toons.

I'm really enjoying the balance that GW2 offers.

Most nights I log in and rather than "what the Hell do I do?" its more like " Where the Hell do I start?"

Oh and I'm 35-40
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#5 Porkchop Sandwiches

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:42 PM

I have some goals, but it's not what really keeps me playing. But, I'll start with goals first. I've already completed a legendary...
  • Making a mist axe for my ranger and finding a decent looking war-horn.
  • Helping out my server with WvW (every day).
  • Leveling at least 2 more professions to 80 (I have an 80 ranger and guardian).
  • Completing all the dungeons.
I keep playing this game because I enjoy the GW universe and the GW team (for the most part). I like the lore, the music, the characters, the events, etc. I feel the lore is not your typical MMO fantasy lore. I started playing MMOs more than 10 years ago with EQ and then EQ2. The EQ universe is pretty huge, so I think it says something about this game that I enjoy it's lore. So, what I'm really looking forward to is the continuation of the GW story. I like the living story updates (similar to the GW1 WiK type updates) and am anticipating their continued addition.

I'm in the 25-30 age range, although I don't mind giving my exact age. Which is 28 :)
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#6 Feathermoore



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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:42 PM

I don't play games with goals in mind. Not sure if that is unusual or what.

What kept me playing GW1 was my friends and the stories. I never really aim for a set of armor or anything. If I like the way something looks, I check to see what it takes to get it, then go about my time as I normally would and check every once in a while. (I can't do this for most things in GW2 thanks to there being dozens of different currencies)

GW1 kept me because of my friends and our adventures but it also made me feel like I always had something to learn. EVE kept me around for the exact same reason. Starcraft and LoL stuck around mainly due to me always being in a state of learning, but the stories I got to tell friends was a plus.

GW2 keeps me around with nostalgia. It isn't anywhere near as effective as past games. I have no stories to tell from playing GW2 currently.
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#7 Lightrayne


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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:06 PM

You could probably describe my attachment like a roller coaster.

At the start of the game, I'm shooting for huge long term goals like getting my first 80, getting a legendary, learning to play every profession, and optimizing equipment/traits of every profession to my liking.

After all that is over, it's like a huge weight has been lifted, and I can shoot for a lot of short term goals, while hanging out with my friends in-game, doing whatever they want to do. This way, I feel like I'm making progress every time I play, whether it's working on an achievement/title, doing my dailies, purchasing a skin, or making coin from a few dungeon runs. When I reach this point, I'm mainly waiting for new content or meta changes that come with the monthly patches. I personally love being at this point because I don't really have too much time to play, but I make progress whenever I do get the chance. Having several short term goals combined with limited playtime makes it so the content technically never ends for me because the patch will likely introduce another batch of goals that I can reach slowly.

Aside from the goals, playing with friends is what keeps a game like this interesting for me. We have our own core dungeon crew, and it's always interesting to watch the videos of our early gameplay and compare it to how much we have improved since then. Now, we're getting into more serious PvP, so the learning process will repeat itself once more. I just love working with such a cooperative team. :)

I'm 23.
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#8 El Duderino

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:12 PM

I have always been a casual player that probably thinks I am more hardcore than I am. that being said, I have also never really played a game for goals. They either draw me in or they don't. I rarely finish video games or even do "story content" in most.

The things that usually keep me playing a game are competition or challenging content.

In GW1 I mostly played PvP, but also had a great deal of fun just doing solo farming stuff, but not the easy stuff. I preferred the stuff that was challenging. Once I learned how to do something well - I often moved to the next thing.
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#9 Raagar Deathclaw

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:21 PM

I play for multiple reasons, yes I eventually want a legendary weapon (twilight to be exact) I also want to hit high lvl fractals, get full pre-infused trinkets (only 500 more fractal tokens to ascend back piece XD) I also enjoy the community I'm a part of as well as just hanging around in LA helping new players not to mention I desperately want the anomaly focus. I'm 19 btw
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#10 Ojikes


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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:37 PM

Mostly playing to have something to do and i enjoy the game, I have a legendary and spent alot of gold on other skins.. t3 Wintersbark etc. Trying to do dungeons with guildies for fun.. and it is really fun when you dont have pugs that complain about dps etc.

Im 29 yrs old with a kid and another on its way. But unemployed for another month and then ill work so less game time. :)

Edited by Ojikes, 23 April 2013 - 09:38 PM.

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#11 AKGeo


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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:46 PM

My short term goals pay for my long term goals. Getting achievement points by doing dungeons, JPs, map completion, WvW, and fractals on multiple characters accumulated a significant amount of non-TP-grinding wealth that I've translated into my three legendary gifts and will soon be funneled into crafting rare hammers to gamble in the forge until I get the precursor.

It's amazing what you can end up accumulating over time just playing the game rather than farming specifically for that one type of item.
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#12 ScorpioSpork


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Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:40 PM

Long-term goals keep me interested, but I don't mean chasing a legendary. Leveling and gearing all eight classes is my goal right now, but I'm having to slow down and focus on gear now that I have five 80s.

I break up my long-term goal into lots of little short-term goals. Each of my characters has a little .txt file on my desktop with all of the gear (both stat-wise and cosmetic) listed out with all of the associated costs. I won't lie, I enjoy making those lists a little shorter each week.

Playing lots of different classes also helps keep GW2 "fresh" for me. I just don't have time to get bored of a class, and if I do, I just fire up someone else. Unfortunately, this means I probably won't ever get a legendary. Maybe once I've "finished" all of my characters I can consider one.

I'm 23 and female.
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#13 Dasryn


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Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:29 AM

i posted this in another thread but it seems to fit nicely into this one:

i work 40 hours a week, and due to this and other real world commitments, my play time is significantly lower than many others. due to the limited play time i still have many things in GW2 that i have not completed things like:
  • WvW - i have yet to step foot in there
  • 100% world completion - highest on any character is 62%
  • all jumping puzzles - ive completed 4
  • Fractals - ive completed 1-4
  • spvp - im a level 5?
so as you can see, i have something to do every time i log into GW2. EVERY TIME.

so for me, the game is fantastic and fun. i love the combat, no seriously, i love the combat i went back to swtor recently to see what f2p was like for it and i was in physical pain when it came to hotbar crap. i love the graphics, i love my characters, i love my server's community.

i am 26 and i am a male. i work a third shift job. i have a child on the way thats due in october so i have a feeling my playtime will decrease significantly but idk due to my working hours being opposite to when the baby is "active"

and unlike Feathermoore, i feel like i have many stories to tell about GW2. mainly from my experiences in dungeons (because dungeon content is almost always dynamic due to the difficulty and different types of groups that ive been paired with) and DEs because they are somewhat dynamic in of themselves.

i have two level 80s a guardian and a ranger and im working on my thief. the professions are so different from each other that they all bring something new and exciting to the table.

GW2 is the best mmorpg ive ever played and ive played 14 of them.
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#14 pumpkin pie

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:15 AM

no goal what so ever, it is simply a game that lets me have fun, a hobby, a pass time, something i irritate my friends with, worse case scenario, an addiction.
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#15 zwei2stein


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Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:37 AM

Super short term:

Complete daily, Grab meta-event boss chest(s).

Short term:

Complete storyline steps for currently level character

Mid term:

Complete monthly, Complete "stuff that goes away soon", Level up character, Equip my existing L80s, Zone completition.

Long term:

Level up all classes to 80
Complete storyline on all characters
Cap all crafting disciplines.
Complete L68+ Zones on all characters
Discover all cooking recipes.

Super long term:

Fancy skins for my characters.
World completition on main character.
Make all the crafting discoveries.

Likely never term:

Stockpile resources for legendary.


How can ANYONE say there is not enough to do is my constant wonder.
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#16 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:49 AM

How can ANYONE say there is not enough to do is my constant wonder.

Why would it be hard to understand that 3/4 of the things you listed are boring as ♥♥♥♥ and people just don't want to do them?
I mean, not only do you have activities that one really shouldn't assume people will be interested in (Why would we assume that people who bought an action game in which they run around and kill shit would be interested in hunting down cooking recipes? I am absolutely certain that some people will be interested in both, but I don't think these two activities are similar enough to assume that everyone interested in killing shit will also be interested in cooking.), there's also the implementation of the remaining activities that's causing problems. (We bought the game to run around and kill shit, but even the activities that involve running around and killing shit, such as world exploration, are sometimes implemented so poorly that even the people that enjoy the activity in question on a general level, don't want to do a specific version of that activity.)
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#17 Pyrea


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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:53 AM

I enjoy setting goals for my toons, always have done be it completing a dungeon, acquiring an armour, finishing story quest, dailies, makes it more interesting :)
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#18 DarkHorseKnight


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Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:17 AM

I prefer having large number of short terms goals. I find that if you keep accomplishing short term goals eventually your long term goals tend to get taken care of aswell.

For example right now Im going out and getting every weapon and armor type I think it could ever possible want for my warrior. Weapons with all the sigils I can see a use for, Armor pieces with several different stat break downs for different situations or just with slightly different runes.

In doing so I am running dungeons alot and making a lot of money. If I have money I may then be able to get a legendary eventually.
This is basically how I operated in GW1 and it eventually worked out.
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#19 Kaukomieli


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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:57 AM

I was just reading about Hofstede's cultural dimensions and Long term vs. Short term orientation in particular so I nearly laughed when I saw this thread - wonderful break from theory... or not. ^^

Personally I work on an incredibly short term orientation, meaning "do whatever the kitten you want to do atm" - mainly meaning that I do whatever is in front of my nose and/or on my mind. I have a couple of longer term goals such as world completion (25% on highest level character, so definitely taking my time), acquiring certain armor skins, and hopefully, at some point, getting at least one character to lvl 80, but those are all optional things and I don't work actively and systematically towards them at all. These things probably end up happening almost by accident while I'm paying attention to something else. :)

I guess my biggest motivation for playing Guild Wars 2 is that I enjoy the world and the lore and the view. I'm 22 and a university student/circus teacher, and treat the game as a way of escaping deadline stress, adult stuff, and so on, and not something I need to "beat" or complete, so to speak. I think that's partly why I usually get motivated more by short-term goals such as 'completing this event' or 'getting to that vista' instead of long-term goals - creating those bigger goals and actively pursuing them would bring the stress and the pressure into the game, which would be counter-productive to the reason I play in the first place.
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#20 nerfandderf


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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:14 AM

Nothing else out there for me right now. Sad and sorry to say but that is how I feel right now.

WvW and giving a good showing for my server is about it. Oh the only other driving factor is my ability to give my money away to guildies. I have done and do very well and since I dont like legendaries or even most armours in the game I have nothing to spend money on so I give it away.it isnt a lot but about 100g a month is what i try to maintain.

Rather give it someone who can use it than just sit on it and make more. Other than those 2 things nothing is keeping me attached right now. A bunch of my guildies are the same way.
I hope Anet steps up the game soon becuase apathy and boredom arent good.
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#21 Cube


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Posted 02 May 2013 - 03:59 PM

Age: 20

What kept me playing in GW1 was when I befriended some people in AB and I joined guilds. The PvP community IMO in GW1 was and still is(actually it is probably worse) shit but when you first found some people you clicked with AB was extremely fun.

Goals just don't keep me in games, I log in only to have fun. Goals can be fun of course, but in GW1 i had no goals. I was so lucky to be able to get everything cosmetic I ever wanted through PvP(Zkeys) and as such only have fun doing so, never saw it as a goal.

In GW2 it is a bit different, I kind of stay because I'm hoping to see changes that will make everything I don't touch(cause I find it boring) more fun, or appeal better to me? I guess? I am not enjoying the feel of this game being more of a action game, so the PvP and often PvE is not so satisfying. Anyway, what I do is dungeons, short term goals like when I find an armor mix and I'm like: I gotta get that! But in the end I never feel like I'm reaching for goals, I'm reaching for the fun I'm not having and I guess, the people I wish was around D:

I was not quite sure how to answer the question as I feel like I'm one of those people who rarely play for goals such as astetics or titles, or whatever.

Edited by Cube, 02 May 2013 - 04:00 PM.

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#22 The_Kaizz


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Posted 02 May 2013 - 04:37 PM

I've always loved the Guild Wars lore. I remember falling in love when I got the GW Prophecies box, opened the manual, and started reading the story. Ever since then, that's what's really kept me going in general. Add that I'm absolutely in love with the Guardian class (it's literally perfect for me and my playstyles), and I pretty much have the original Pokemon theme song in my head lol.
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#23 Xunlai Agent

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:23 PM

I love the Guardian, the Mesmer, the Warrior, and the Thief classes. Thus I am working on gearing up those characters and working on their crafting professions. Giving how ridiculously grindy equipping your characters with max. gear has become in Guild Wars 2 this will be quite a drawn out process. I wish they had made maximum armor and weapons as available as they were in Guild Wars 1. Other than that I am focusing on earning enough money to work on my crafting which is pretty pointless given that there isn't even a financial incentive to do so (see Gamasutra article for more information on that). In the long-term I would like to work towards the higher level of fractals and engage in WvW when my characters are finally geared up to do so.
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