The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite MMO bonus for not-playing?

    
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So I’ve been playing a lot of City of Heroes lately, and I’ve roped in my son to play with me, which is always a treat – watching him go between flashy modern games and antiques that were old when he was born and sunsetted before he could talk. I recently tried to explain the concept of Day Jobs to him. Day Jobs in CoH are basically a fun way to rack up badges for your character while you’re logged out (i.e., while your superhero is at her Clark Kent-style day job): log out at the bank, earn a currency bonus when you log in; log out at a hospital and snag a health regen bonus when you’re back. Some of them take dozens of hours of being offline to confer those bonuses in full, which makes it perfect for cycling through a fleet of alts.

But of course, these bonuses and titles only accrue while the character is not being played, which struck my son as very weird, and in so doing stood out to me. Login rewards make sense to him, but logout bonuses? Vets are used to MMOs having things like rested experience for so long (hell, I remember Ultima Online’s first go at “power hour”), but isn’t it weird to reward us for not playing?

What’s your favorite MMO bonus for not playing? What games do this sort of reward the best?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Neurotic

“cycling through a fleet of alts” — my MMOG life in a nutshell. :D

I might facetiously say that Guild Wars 2 seems to reward me more for not playing it by continually filling up my bags with boxes-within-boxes of… things, and stuff. But then logging in again and sorting it all out feels like a punishment too, so, eh.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I can’t think of any game I currently play that has a system like this.

Turing fail
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Turing fail

So do any farm simulators pay subsidies for not growing stuff like IRL?

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Not sure if serious. o.O

But I’ve got Farming Simulator 15. It doesn’t have any feature like that. You *can* just build a bunch of wind generators and leave the game running overnight/while at work. Assuming it doesn’t crash, the next time you’re ready to do something it’s fifteen game years later and you’re a wind-farming multi millionaire.

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Techno Spice

I am not interested in offline rewards even though I have a full time job and real life responsibilities. I just want a game balanced so A) you don’t need to farm for hours to raid and B) you don’t have to log in every day to stay competitive. Dailies are the bane of my existence in MMOs. Not everyone has the time to log in every day and do 2-3 hours of things they need to do to stay relevant.

Instead just don’t cap what people can do within certain time spans. Instead of dailies, cap how many times a player can do repeatable quests or contributions weekly so if someone has no time to play during the week but has all day Saturday, they can do it all Saturday.

If your game has plenty of fun stuff to do it won’t discourage the people who CAN and WANT to log in 16 hours a day to play.

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Minimalistway

The only game i played and provided such thing is Age of Wushu, the jobs offered for the player depend on where he or she logged off, in a town the player can dance! or sweep the street or be a guard, the player becomes an NPC which other players can see and kidnap if wish to do so.

For VIP players they can open a stall to sell goods while being offline.

I want to see this and more from other MMOs, make being offline fun.

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Techno Spice

I never played this game but being able to set your character as NPC while offline would be awesome.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Depends on the game. I could be mistaken, but I think a feature of Age of Wushu was that it was a full PVP gankbox. And it was completely intentional that other players could kill you (or enslave you, or even permanently cripple you) while you were logged out.

Considering that I play a stupid amount of game time and still can’t put more than 2 hours into it per day, that would be 2 hours where I can defend myself vs 22 where my character is limited to whatever derpy AI any other NPC has. This does not sound like a desirable situation.

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styopa

If we’re just talking that endorphin hit of “oooh!” when you see it, has to be BDO.
I go long whiles between efforts to like that game, so coming back with a STACK of incoming emails (the server was down for an hour, here’s some stuff; we had some login issues on Wednesday, here’s some stuff…they’re pretty consistent with their materialist mea culpas for any player inconveniences which is pretty cool) all with stuff attached is neato.

Not to mention the TENS OF MILLIONS in silver you get after a long hiatus makes you feel – however briefly – like OMG MONIES! until you realize that people are regularly counting their wealth in that game in BILLIONS.

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Bryan Correll

I’ve roped in my son to play with me

You tied him to a chair and said “Mommy needs a dps partner while she levels a controller?”

Turing fail
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Turing fail

Child Protective Services says NO.

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Fisty

Not quite the same, but RIFTs mobile app that gave u scratch-off tickets where you could get shinies while not playing, was cool.

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Schmidt.Capela

Bonuses for logging off are a good thing because they provide an incentive to stop playing after a while, and in so doing help keep players from playing so much they tire of, or even burn out with, the game. AFAIK they were proven to increase retention.

As for my favorite, just a plain rested XP bonus (or something similar if XP isn’t relevant anymore). I’m not interested in anything where I have to manage my offline time in order to maximize my gains.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Skills progressing offline