At the beginning of the expansion there was a lot of backlash against daily quests. They felt too required, too repetitive, not rewarding. Depending on who you are you might have thought one of those things or all of those things. Maybe you might have even said other things about them, the types of things you can not say in mixed company.
Love them or hate them however, no matter who you are there will always be a few dailies you do not mind doing and there might even be some dailies you like to do. Off the top of your head you might not be able to think of any, but trust me, even the biggest daily hater out there had a few dailies they did not mind doing and, god forbid, a daily they actually liked doing.
So what are the keys to making dailies more bearable? Not necessarily fun mind you, but not annoying.
I was thinking about my three favorite dailies and what it is that makes me like those dailies and think I might have found a pattern to what makes a daily enjoyable. At least for me.
So with no more delay, here is the small list of dailies as they should be, and of course, what it is I like about them. There are three, one from wrath, one from cataclysm and one from mists. I'll start at the beginning.
The Wrath Daily, as it should be:
Preparing for the Worst is a daily quest that requires you to gather up 8 Kaskala supplies. With so many daily quests that have you gather, kill, trigger, tag, or what have you to X number of things why does this one quest set itself aside from all the others and make it on to my list of dailies the way they should be?
Could it be the 5 gold it offers, which is considerably less than any other daily of the time? Of course not, why would getting less gold than the normal daily be a good thing. So what makes it so great.
You enter northrend at level 68, you can pick up this daily at level 68. An "end game" daily that you can get as soon as you get there and do it every day to level, or wait and do it every day later for reputation or gold. That is what really sets this simple gathering daily apart from every other daily of its ilk. You can do this one the moment you step foot into the new content.
But that is not all. The mobs in the area are low level, like you are when you first pick up the quest, so when you get there at end game time you could just as easily pick up everything without even aggroing one mob. This makes the daily quick and easy both end game and while leveling. While leveling you can gather all the baskets without fighting, if you wanted to, or you can get a little experience and kill a few mobs while gathering. It is really your choice.
Even the fact the daily offers less gold means nothing in the grand scheme of things. This daily is quick, easy, offered from the get go, and is a reputation giving daily. It is a no stress daily and quest honestly it is probably the only daily I have always done in wrath content on any character that was around back then and since. New leveling characters just blow through there, but every leveling character does this daily every day they are in the area to do so. I can't even say that about the cooking or fishing dailies of the era, and those are supposed to be quick and easy but nothing compares to the quick and easy of this quest.
So Preparing for the Worst makes the list for not only being quick and easy while still offering a reasonable reward but because you can do it from the moment you set foot on that current content and not have to wait until end game where you grind it every day, forever.
A friend of mine called this quest, back when it was current, the easiest 5 gold you will ever find in the game. Oddly enough, he was not alone. When talking quests with people, many others said the same thing. Just another reason to love it as a daily.
The Cataclysm Daily, as it should be:
Thieving Little Pluckers could probably make any list of great quests even if you were just talking about the names of the quests but it was so much more.
This quest gave you a massive hammer and told you to smash some pygmies. Now, if you never did the quest I am sure you are looking up where to do it after reading me say that and will be doing it shortly. See what I mean when I say this daily is awesome? It is just fun, flat out fun.
Sure it was annoying getting caught in battle and having to run away to get out of battle after turning in the daily sometimes but outside of that what is there not to like about smashing three pygmies standing on each others shoulders with a giant hammer and hearing their oogie boogie sounds as they go flying. How can you think of that and not laugh? I know I am giggling a little just thinking about it as I write this.
Like the wrath entry to the list, this quest was one of those daily quests that you did not need to wait until end game to start doing. You enter the zone at 83 and you can start doing the daily at 83. I think we have found a little trend here so far as to what makes dailies good. They are not tied to only something to do at max level, they are something that you can use to get to max level, if you so wish. I believe good daily design might have that do it early and often approach.
Thieving little pluckers is such a great quest and so much fun that whenever I am in the zone, on whatever character I am passing through with, I can not help myself to stop and smash me some pygmies. I've even been known to go out of my way a bit just to smash me a pygmy or two. Yeah, it is worth it.
The Mists Daily, as it should be:
Roll Club: Serpent's Spine upped the ante as a daily quest just like all other mists quests did by not only offering gold and reputation but giving lesser charms and valor as well. But that is not what makes the quest great because it was in no way unique to this quest as all mists quests were like that. What makes this quest great was you roll down the serpent spine at, possibly, super high speeds.
It was quick, it was fun, and you could go and throw yourself off the side just for the hell of it with ever needing to worry about dying because it was awesome to see how fast you could get yourself and how far you would go. Even if you went straight thru to the end you could effectively launch yourself into the water.
In the end, it was just a fun quest to do. While it was not offered until max level like the others, that was only because max level was when you first encountered it. Perhaps if you could have gotten it earlier it would have been like the other two dailies on the list, available from the moment you can do it.
This does add to the theme the two others started however. It was quick and easy. Well, maybe not easy for some, I had a friend stressing out on vent one time because he could not get it. But you know what? He was still loving it. Bitching he kept going off the edge, but laughing is ass off telling us where he managed to land. Even in failure it was a great quest. Now that is good design.
This quest, just like the previous entry from cataclysm, is one of those quests I always stop to do if I am passing by it even if I do not need the reputation because it is flat out fun to do.
If you do a daily that you have no need for anything from it because you actually want to do it, ding ding ding, we have a winner here on what makes a great daily. < -- Read that blizzard. Twice if you have to.
The Rules of the Great Daily:
So what do all these things have in common that should be used to consider when making new dailies, what works and what doesn't.
- None of these dailies take a long time. Even the collecting one which has the potential to take the longest if there are a lot of people doing it, is really not bad at all.
- There is nothing too difficult about it. Even a character you suck at playing can do them. The only one that would require you fighting any mobs, those mobs are lower in level then most end game sort of daily mobs.
- The supplies are all close to where you pick up the wrath quest. The pluckers are all in the immediate vicinity of where you pick up the cataclysm quest. You are ported to the spine for the mists quest. No quests require you to go half way around the world to do them.
- They all offer something of value. Sure the wrath one can be argued it was of very little value, but as any feral druids will tell you, that fishing pole was BiS preraiding. Yes, a fishing pole. And it is still a pretty darn awesome one at that being it gives you underwater breathing. I still carry it in my bag. But they all offer reputation and in the case of the modern, if that was the same way back then, I am sure they all would have offered valor and charms as well. Oh, and gold of course, who can turn down gold.
- While it is no doubt fun to do the cataclysm and mists one, more than the wrath one, the wrath one was fun in its own right by not requiring you to do anything basically. Walk around and pick up a few things, or fly and pick them up, you do not even need to fight anything. That is fun, in it's own way for some. But like I said, the fun of the cataclysm one and the mists one is undeniable. When you do them just because they are great to do and you need nothing they have to offer, you know you have a great quest here.
- Having some dailies, like ones added later on, being max level only dailies makes sense, but having dailies you can do while leveling is just good design. For someone that speed levels like me it changes little to nothing, but for the vast majority of players that take their time, dailies, even more so reputation giving ones, should be available as they level.
The Daily That Never Was:
As an honorable mention I feel I need to mention my favorite quest of all time, one that should have been a daily but never was. It comes from the same zone that my favorite daily of all time comes from. Thieving little pluckers is without a doubt my favorite daily. Just the sounds they make it worth doing it a million times in my opinion. But there is another quest in the zone I would have loved to have as a daily and it too comes with its own very special set of sounds.
Gnomebliteration was without a doubt one of the most fun quests in all of cataclysm that did not involve smashing pygmies. But you did get to run over gnomes while navigating a giant flaming ball of death and hearing the screams of all the gnomes being set on fire and crushed.
Am I a mean person for really loving this quest and enjoying their screams of pain as I bowl them over? Well if I am, I am happy with that because this quest is just that awesome. I have a character that I did the zone up until that point with it and stopped, so I could always get the quest and kill some gnomes and then abandon it when I am done because it is just that fun.
When you are bored, killing gnomes with a giant ball of death can be something fun to do. When you are in a bad mood, hearing the death screams of a thousand gnomes being burnt to a crisp can surely turn your mood around. When you are feeling sad, nothing say cheer up good buddy like a speeding ball of death killing every thing in its path, as long as by everything you mean gnomes. When you need a break from the daily grind a daily like this just would not feel like a grind, it would feel like fun.
And that is what dailies need, to feel like fun. Why this quest was never a daily is beyond me.