Posts Tagged ‘time

26
Jul
12

Stop Wasting My Time, CCP

A blog I discovered recently is by Ryan Shwayder, ex-Game Designer at ill-fated 38 Studios. His site features a regular ‘MMO Development Lessons‘ series of articles, and the latest one struck a nerve with me.

Time is a player’s most precious resource. Use it wisely. Do not create time-sinks for the sake of taking up their time. Don’t make them waste their time doing things that aren’t fun in order to get to things that are. Don’t arbitrarily create timers that will be likely to spend a player’s time. […] This is a fairly straightforward lesson, but it’s easy to violate if you aren’t careful.

Some time-wasters are fairly obvious. […] Some are a little more subtle. For example, if you make a daily instance run/quest/whatever have a 24 hour no-repeat timer, you’re going to waste a player’s time. Why? If I complete the quest at 8:00PM on day 1, I can’t do it until 8:00PM on day 2. It takes me 10 minutes to do it, so on day 3, I can’t do it until 8:10PM. I might also fail to start the quest instantly, so I will slowly push the time I can do the quest later and later. How do you solve it? Either make the daily timer actually correspond to once a day (e.g. you can do it on Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and so on) or adjust the timer back from 24 hours (to something like 22 hours). […]

*cough* Jump Clones *cough*

As a player with not a lot of free time, the absolute last thing I want to be doing is waiting around pointlessly because I’m stuck in high-sec after jump-cloning to inject some skills after yesterday’s playing time. The strict 24-hour jump clone timer is a prime example of bad game design.

It doesn’t even need a lot of work to fix. Just add a skill like

Infomorphic Resilience (4x)
Reduces the jump clone cooldown timer by 2% per level.

and you’re done.