Global Chat: Are login rewards actually evil?


What could be evil about game studios giving out daily treats to its players? Settle back, folks, because Going Commando is going to tell you why these systems are actually from Satan’s bowels as they head to SWTOR:

“Login rewards are a road to resentment and burnout, as I’ll feel compelled to collect them every day to maximise my gains, but at the same time don’t really feel like playing every day, making the whole thing feel like a chore.”

Agree? Disagree? That’s what the comments section is for, but before you head there, read some other MMO essays from around the MMORPG blogging community, including a look at Genshin Impact’s nefarious design, City of Heroes’ inherently weird setup, and more!

Let's get hacking.

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MMO Juggler: Healing through the pain in FFXIV

“I tried to contribute more DPS, but somewhere about halfway through the fight, I lagged to another death. I respawned, took the shortcut, but that still left a lot of ground to cover before reaching the boss. One by one the group succumbed, and I felt bad about that but I couldn’t really do much.”

Contains Moderate Peril: Revisiting LOTRO’s landscape soldiers

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“It does beg the question — why would anyone want to be a cop in Paragon City?  In a place where even the common street criminals are necromancers or in league with demons, and the Capes get the credit for everything anyway, there’s surely got to be an easier way to make a living.”

Swordroll’s Blog: Wizard101 Karamelle Zeke quest guide

“Zeke’s quest in Wizard101’s latest world – Karamelle – requires tracking down the Lemon-Heads, which is perhaps a dual reference to the band of the same name (a staple for Zeke quests) and to a type of candy. It’s a perfect fit for Karamelle! Here’s where to find all of the Lemon-Heads so that you can grab your training point from Prospector Zeke in Karamelle!”

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Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.

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David Goodman

I’m not sure if I would call them evil per-se, but they are clearly the result of a higher-up asking the question: “How can we generate the most engagement (and thus income) from our players for the absolute least amount of effort and cost?”

It’s a design decision made by people who look at financial analysis spreadsheets and investor relations reports, not a developer who wants to create fun games for people to play, stories for them to read, and worlds for them to experience.


“Login rewards are a road to resentment and burnout, as I’ll feel compelled …”

On a deeper level, how is this the dev’s (implied) fault?
They’re a road to YOUR resentment and YOUR burnout. The idea that “this thing compels me” sounds more like a passive way to excuse your own personality failing.

Cope with your own OCD/addictive behavior, and I expect you find a lot of things get better, with no need to blame externalities that you honestly can’t control anyway.

I like free stuff, to be clear.

A Bellow From Below

Login rewards are the reason I bowed out of Black Desert Online after mere half a year. It started feeling too much like a trap. In addition to normal log-in rewards, there was some event or another running almost constantly, often overlapping each other, and to maximize the gain, you had to stay online for several hours to unlock all the “free” stuff. And just when you were about to get the main log-in reward of the month and take a break, they’d launch a special set of “seasonal” rewards that would keep you logging in for another week. I couldn’t figure out their monetization model, because their cash shop offered nothing I would desire to have; but it was fairly obvious they are trying to keep me on for as long as possible. Are they using the clients to mine crypto, or what?

Now I’m back in LOTRO after ten years. They have login bonuses too, but at least they hand them out randomly, instead of FOMOing you into logging in daily by showing you a “calendar” of rewards.

Robert Mann

Login rewards feel more like an attempt to hook the player on store items than anything else. “Look how useful spending your money can be. Don’t you want to buy more stuff?”

They aren’t ever great, but they are usually instead like a gamblebox. Set up with a few useful things, and enough trash to get you used to disappointment while hoping for that bigger payout.

Simply put, it feels like an attempt to get people used to using the items, while accepting the gamble-esque nature of the boxes.


It might depend on the game and the specific rewards being offered. Star Trek Online’s events mostly offer a single, fairly valuable item as an account unlock. (Or they do now – the original form of the events required you to do the event mission every day on every single character that you wanted to have that reward. OnO ) Usually it’s something like an alien faction ship, or some/all of a set of ship or captain gear.

It almost certainly is an attempt to hook people into looking at the store (see how awesome this T6 ship is? Look at all those other ships you don’t own yet!) But it’s at least a different kind of hook than handing them a pile of resource or xp boosters. As you say, probably in the hopes of getting them acclimated to the boosted rates.

My issue with STO’s events is that they’ve gone from a handful a year, separated by weeks or months of downtime to recover, to constant back to back events. The missions themselves also seem to be getting more an more irksome and tedious. The most recent pauses for the NPCs to monologue at each other at least twice, including nearly a minute and a half at the start where you’re not permitted to do *anything,* and again halfway through. It feels less like a necessary part of the mission and more and more like they’re trying to annoy players into just throwing money at the “early completion” option so they don’t have to slog through it every day for almost a month.


I’ve always seem login rewards as a bonus but almost never something I’m going to exclusively go log into a game to collect. Like I’m either already playing that game on a regular or semi regular basis to the point I’ll collect those rewards or I’m just not playing and I’ve never seen rewards that will force me to log into a game I’m not playing just to collect them.


I strongly dislike them, and agree that they’re a recipe for burnout. Star Trek Online is treading this path. They’ve been running basically non-stop events for almost a solid year. Those events are crafted so that it is necessary to log in nearly every single day. Miss more than a handful, and lose the reward. (Or pay real money to make up the difference.) Made even more irksome by their relatively recent (and extremely unpleasent) habit of allowing those rewards to return… in their cash store, for nearly $100 each.

I can’t speak for anyone else. But eventually I’m going to hit a point where I decide I just don’t care. And once I miss the “one time only” reward once, the next one has even less hold. So yes… they’re getting me to login. Every. Single. Day. Right up to the point where I stop logging in at all. Probably for good.


Pretty much exactly what happened to me. Missed one, then just stopped caring, and it’s so annoying to log in and get bombarded by all these time limited things… just… whatever!

Kickstarter Donor
Richard de Leon III

Depends on the log in set up and whats available to claim. I do like the log in bonuses where you dont have to do 30/30 log-ins but 20/30 like rift. You can miss a day or two and not feel bad. ESO is close since the last 5 are usually skippable items with the big ticket items on day 15 or 20 (with a few exceptions like that 100k gold).

Bruno Brito

Evil is a heavy word. They are between useful ( GW2 ) and utterly annoying (ESO, AoC, etc etc ).

Sarah Cushaway

I don’t like them. If your game is good enough, you don’t have to bribe me with useless junk when I log in to get me to play.

Kickstarter Donor
Richard de Leon III

Agreed, if they are willing to give log in bonuses why not just give some sort of bonus for actually playing rather than just looking through the window so to speak.

Vanquesse V

I don’t mind login rewards as long as they are neither time limited nor depend on login streaks.