And really if you don't like extrinsic rewards, you should just sign off on the whole idea of RPGs. Ever since Gary Gygax started rolling some dice, it's been a defining feature of the genre: none of the tabletop RPGs that completely abandoned progression have become all that popular, and nothing on a computer lacking progression was ever labeled an RPG. I don't know why some modern designers, after bending over backwards in most ways to say "good design = what players want," in this realm want to pretend like there is something evil or wrong with what people actually like. It's just important that you don't try to treat extrinsic as a patch for a lack of intrinsic, because really the two work best as complements, not when one is acting as a poor substitute for the other.
I'd disagree with this. If you look at a Second Life, there is no clear path of progression. Certainly, you can engage in all sorts of activities, from social to world creation. The same can be said for something like Minecraft. There's no numerical progression, but there is progressive through activity. Creating the materials you need to create further materials to create your Giant Golden Tower of White Frothing Glory.
Second Life is something I'd hesitantly call a game, but it apparently has an active user base of 600k. Minecraft also boasts a rather huge player-base. They offer no clear direction, nor even any real incentive to engage in any activities., because the activities are apparently fun in and of themselves.
GW2 launched with the concept of World Completion, sPvP, WvW, the personal story and cosmetic chasing. Largely intrinsic, with the exception of the cosmetic chasing, as that required specific actions for specific rewards, but everything else was just out there. Loot and the concept of gear were hold-overs from the previous game generation designed to throttle the player-base from just running all the way over to Orr.
Yahtzee put it pretty clear in his DCOU review:
My interest valve was first shut off right at the starting mission when I arrived at Metropolis, flew to the highest point I could and thought to myself, "yep, that's a city all right. Can I stop playing now?"
There was a reason other super hero MMOs made you wait for good travel powers, and even I had a tendency to stop playing a hero once I had gotten him a travel power.
The problem with this game is that it's a lot harder to appreciate the intrinsic value, even as its added, unless you've coupled it with extrinsic value because of the other extrinsic value stuff.
For instance, with Ascended and so forth, even if they made the new Taco event the best event ever, crafted such that it would live on in memory with the same glory as whatever major event in any MMO... (a lot of people talk about live events from other games)... It would soon become something nobody did unless it dropped stuff that advanced the existing extrinsic rewards with the game.
The game is tainted to a certain extent because of the extrinsic rewards they continue to throw out and promote, in that any intrinsically fun additions had better damn well add to the progression to remain relevant to what players do once the 'ooh new and shiney' factor wears off it, otherwise it will wallow like many zones in the game and other events.
Edited by MazingerZ, 11 September 2013 - 04:52 PM.