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Dev Discussion #26 - Login Rewards

edited January 2021 in General Discussion

Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!

Dev Discussion #26 - Login Rewards
What are your thoughts around login rewards, whether on a daily or longer-term basis for cosmetic items? What reward systems from other games have you liked and disliked, and for what reasons?


This discussion came directly from community feedback during December's live stream. For some additional context, check out these Discord quotes from Steven after the stream:
Steven: Ok question. What if, everyday you got a cosmetic coin. And each month there was a unique cosmetic purchasable by 30 coins? You could build up coins overtime and by the months cosmetic you want. That way there isn’t as much pressure
Steven: a) Gonna do a community discussion with this topic
b) I think every month would be cool, but am open to community feedback/sentiment on this frequency
c) I think as long as the reward is more a gift than a pressure or p2w tactic, that it is cool
Steven: Some people have less time to play for certain things, and everyone likes to collect things... a login reward is an opportunity to give casual players who may only play a few hours a week something to work towards in addition to their in-game efforts. but thats just my opinion, and thats why it will be cool to hear everyone's thoughts on it

Keep an eye out for our upcoming Dev Discussion topics on archetypes and hybrid combat!

UPDATE: Greetings everyone! Thank you again all for taking the time to comment in this thread and vote in our poll <3 we've put together a quick recap of your top feedback for our team, so check out what you shared with us:

Against Login Rewards
  • Those who disliked login rewards shared that they felt that gameplay should be rewarding enough to incentivize players to log in each day.
  • Others felt that the concept of login rewards went counter to our stance on there being “no daily quests”, and are more of a “chore” that can lead to potential burnout.

In Favor of Login Rewards
  • Those who enjoyed login rewards shared that they appreciated them as long as they were not P2W, and mainly cosmetic.
  • Others felt that login rewards, depending on their implementation, could help players still feel a sense of accomplishment even if they had more limited playtime.

Alternative Solutions
  • Many shared that they felt rewards based on overall subscription length or time played vs. consistent logins were a more amenable option.
  • Others agreed that they would be more open to login rewards if different “catch-up” mechanics were enabled.


  • xenith terrekxenith terrek Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    I like it as long as it's staying non-p2w :D
  • TSGTSG Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited January 2021
    So I've had a long discussion with my community on this topic ever since Steven brought it up, and I'll try to capture as many perspectives as I am able to on the pros, the cons, and the alternatives that we came up with.

    Pros - If the daily login system was going to 100% be implemented:
    1. Consistency:
    This would reward players that consistently log in every day who may not have a lot of time to play in one sitting to earn in-game cosmetics over the course of a month. In this sense, it provides opportunity for this specific type of player, especially if they fall into the category of little time to play and little money to spend on the store cosmetics. However, my suggestion is that the number of days would need to be decreased by a large margin if this was based on a rotating/monthly basis where the cosmetics do not come back. 30 days/tokens is an UNHEALTHY expectation for players to maintain; especially for collectors who will sacrifice time with friends, family, and with themselves in the form of a vacation. My recommendation would be to aim for 15 tokens required per month in order to earn that month's cosmetics. This would result in every month being a possible month that someone can take up to 2 weeks of vacation (standard in many parts of the world) and still be able to maintain the 15 tokens requirement for that month. I think this sets a healthy developer stance on focusing on the player's mental health.

    Cons - If the daily login system was going to 100% be implemented:
    1. Daily List Chore:
    To begin with, right off the bat the feedback that was given was that this would turn into a chore, especially if this involved a player to visit someone or some location in order to retrieve the token. MMOs are notorious for creating ever increasing lists of dailies, and this follows that (in my opinion) unhealthy trend. Even if the player automatically gets the token upon login and didn't require any action at all, then the act of logging in becomes that daily. Now, some may argue that this may not be an issue for players that would be logging in every day anyways, but if the cosmetic is based on 30 tokens earned over the course of a month, and that cosmetic will not be able to be earned again, it sets an unhealthy expectation for players to meet. It basically means that if you want to earn as much as you can, the perception is that you CANNOT miss a day. Unfortunately, there are people that have addictions so strong to gaming that this would interfere with their ability to take time off of being near their gaming setup to vacation with friends, family, etc. Should the devs cater to the extreme cases such as this? I 100% believe they should. 30 days of logging into the game in a row is too much. I'd recommend (as I did in my previous point) that the requirement be lowered to 15 days out of a month to encourage a healthy relationship to gaming and time taken off for personal commitments.

    2. What does this actually accomplish?
    I think every system should have a very specific reason why it was implemented. As in, what need does this daily login system satisfy. One point we've discussed is that it allows players with little time and little money an extra method for obtaining cosmetics. Should cosmetics really be the reward system we are looking to make the standard? My opinion (and that of many of my community's) is that it shouldn't. Our excitement should come from the knowledge that every day we have the opportunity to log in and play the game, not to log in and eventually get a cosmetic for doing nothing. It encourages lazy game play and goes against something that Steven said specifically he did not agree with - PARTICIPATION TROPHIES. Daily login rewards are exactly that, no matter how you want to describe the system.

    3. Operant Conditioning Is Unethical
    It's widely known that most gaming studios rely on psychological profiles of the different types of gaming styles in order to come up with the most addictive game. Daily login rewards is a well known form of operant conditioning that encourages addictive behavior formation without providing any actual growth for the player. It is simply a tool for hooking a player and making them form the addictive behavior of logging in. Is that good for the game? Of course. Is it ethical? I think that is a gray area that needs more discussion. I do not believe that saying the main purpose is to reward players for logging in basically every day is 100% the primary goal. Or maybe it is for Steven, but there are factors on why these operant conditioning systems are frowned upon.

    Alternatives - If the daily login system was going to 100% be implemented:
    If this system was going to be implemented no matter what, THIS IS MY PERSONAL ALTERNATIVE RECOMMENDATION:
    1. Rolling token system w/catch up mechanic:
    I would do away with the cosmetics being a 1 time thing. Instead, I would make it to where players (automatically) get 1 token per day upon login. These tokens stack up until used. Upon reaching the required number of tokens for a cosmetic redemption (15/30/etc) the player can look at the menu for these cosmetics and choose from the cosmetics that have been available since the launch of the game. For month 1, this would of course be limited to 1 cosmetic, month 2 would have 2, so on and so forth. Additionally, during in-game holiday/special events, I would allow players to get 2x/3x coins for the days that those events lasted.

    This would allow players that are not able to login consistently every day a method of "catching up" on tokens. While this may not necessarily guarantee they will get enough for all of the cosmetics (unless the devs wanted this to be the case) they would still be able to earn additional tokens for more choice. Additionally, this would allow the hardcore players/collectors a chance to stock up on extra tokens for a time when they would want to take a vacation/break from the game without worrying about daily login tokens/rewards they need to collect. This falls in line with the concept of mental health and being able to focus on one's self/mental health. They would be able to stock up additional tokens via the special events that would grant the 2x/3x/etc. tokens (whereas those that are not hardcore/play every day use this as a catch-up mechanic.

    How is this different than the current proposed system of 30 days on a monthly basis? Well, since there is a catch up mechanic and a stockpile mechanic, this gives players more choice on when they can take time off the game, whether that is due to their IRL schedule and inability to play, or due to things like a vacation. This is what I would consider the least of all evils if daily logins were 100% going to be implemented no matter player feedback.

    2. Achievement System:
    This could easily be tied into an achievement system based on monthly/yearly sub time. 1 year would be the first achievement, and going up in w/e increments as wanted. Runescape does this in a really cool way, in that they give a cloak (with no stats) that looks pretty cool and has a nice emote attached specific to that achievement. For example, the 10 year cloak would summon an X (10) with a cool emote. This would further reward players in the long term.

    3. Holiday/Special Event Cosmetics Alternative
    This system could take the place of the daily login reward system in that each holiday/special event could come with a fun cosmetic/gear piece (these would have a "fun item" designation and not have stats). I would encourage the Old School Runescape method of this system, in that even if you miss a holiday event, the next holiday you are able to earn all items/cosmetics up to that point. This keeps these events fun and low stress, again with the focus being on player choice and maintaining a healthy relationship between balancing gaming and IRL commitments with family, friends, self-goals. OSRS also has "fun" little quests that go along with each event, not necessary, but it does add a little fun to the events.

    **PLEASE DO NOT introduce tradable holiday items that become discontinued. These items should remain untradable, and able to be earned at the next holiday if missed, or simply stick with cosmetics. This royally screwed Runescape Classic/RS2/RS3's economy.**

    Overall, as the system is currently described it needs A LOT to really be worth it. I feel as if there are better ways to incentivize players to log into the game, mainly being the devs should just make a good game that is worthy of that loyal playerbase's time. Hopefully, what my community and I were able to talk through and consolidate here helps provide some differing perspectives.
  • ShinasoShinaso Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited January 2021
    For me is a NO, but if you do it, dont make it 30/30, more like 20-25/30 days
    I would go for a veteran reward, like every year or so

  • It is a chore for those who don't play constantly. FOMO is real. As long as the reward is minor, or isn't log-on streak-based it probably won't bring any psychological discomfort to me. Anything that's daily that's required to be competitive is soul-crushing.
  • Lord CubboLord Cubbo Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Hmm, Loggin reward sounds like a good incentive to keep players playing but as long as they are significant yet not overpowered, people who log in every day will outpace those that don't. Kind of like how eve online offers short-timed ship cosmetics small 10-20 min single skill damage booster, or merely a tiny skill point amount. But I think the last one won't apply to Ashes of creation as skills are set and finite, unlike in eve online where they are vast and almost infinite.
    So to list them out. I would suggest Small timed nonpermanent cosmetics for armor or weapons, like a 10 or 20 min item effect. Maybe a small bundle of typical mats or one or two uncommon mats. And if you feel generous, perhaps for a consecutive log in some ambers.
  • RitchieSHRitchieSH Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I've never liked the idea of Login rewards, Id rather the reward be something you do in the game to earn something daily, even if its a short daily quest that takes 10 minutes to complete. Its a bit more meaningful then signing in, collecting your coin and then signing out. Or even making it a weekly quest so those who only have a few days a week to log in, wouldnt be missing out
    Subscribe to RitchieSH. You know you want to
  • I dont really see the point to login rewards. If the game is good and I want to play I am going to login. I feel that so many games now have just an overwhelming amount of features and cosmetics and it just feels overwhelming and meaningless rather than things that are really hard to obtain and show some kind of dedication and difficulty. Maybe like a 365 day login reward or something, idk.
  • StretchStretch Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited January 2021
    I like login rewards depending on how its implemented. If I just have to log in to claim a reward, great! But on days where I'm busy, I'd hate to have to log in and "collect x" "kill x players" or the like.

    As for consecutive login (log in for 30 days straight) vs persistent login (where it may be a 30 day calendar but you have 32 days to log in to claim it for that month etc) I don't actually mind either way but would lean more towards a consecutive login where you would need to be logged in for the 30 days to get the end reward.
  • CareFreeCactusCareFreeCactus Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    Being able to collect coins to exchange for cosmetic items is a great way to reward players for getting on every day but not making it mandatory.
    Many games make it almost mandatory to sign in and complete dailies each day to progress.

    I am of the option that dailies are a good thing in small quantities. If I can't play long today I can get on for 20 min and still feel accomplished. However it should not over shadow what can be accomplished in the game by just playing. A nice quick bonus.
  • i honestly dont like much that idea .imagine for some reason ,like work ,vacations etc ,i couldn´t log in a day or 2 , i will miss the coins and at end of month i can´t buy the cosmetics. i would prefer something like ,u have a to do list ,like kill X amount of monsters , gather x amount herbs ,do x dung ,sieges ,caravans etc,and in that month if u do all u get the reward.
  • If it's ONLY login, and ONLY cosmetic perks, yes. 100% agree and support this.. Rewaed people who log into the game everyday with something nice, without compelling others who are too busy to commit everyday.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited January 2021
    I don't prefer login rewards. They usually make me feel pressured to login which i don't like and when i don't, i feel left out which can further hurt my motivation to login.

    That said, i get his argument of giving something to casuals and the way it's implemented seems pretty harmless.

    I think it would be nice if it was part of game world in some way and not in menus. Something that you need to go to an npc like an inn keeper or node quartermaster to get.

    I also think it should be 20-24 logins for the big reward.
  • I'd be fine with the monthly cosmetic as long as we don't lose our log in coins. Maybe other types of cosmetic gears also cost less than 30 coins? Such as getting a full armor set would be 30 coins, but getting a helmet would be 5 or 7 coins and the chestplate would be 13 or 15 coins. Also if the cosmetic items stayed on the shop for 90 days and as you go into the new month just replace the oldest set in the shop and bring in the new ones. So for those who aren't able to play everyday can still atleast buy something from the previous set.
  • realblankspacerealblankspace Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Daily rewards always feel the best when they are not part of an incentive system that increases the pressure to log in daily just to pick it up but instead feels like a reward for simply logging in every day.
  • irrigatioirrigatio Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I normally like daily login stuff but I agree that it should be more around 20-25/30 days logins needed to get it as it otherwise could force certain types of people (myself included) to login every day even if we do not plan on playing that day just to get all possible cosmetics even if we might never use them. Which in turn could quickly turn into just logging in everyday instead of actually coming to play the game on some days. Which usually ends in my experience to dropping of said game after doing a slog of dailies for a few weeks that are not really forced but feel forced to the specific player.
  • NeflarionNeflarion Member
    edited January 2021
    I like the way that FFXIV does their "login" rewards. They have it set up to give a few rewards based on how long you've been subscribed. Logging in isn't required, as long as you are subscribed it counts every month and based on how long you've been subscribed you get rewards.

    Edit: I feel I should also mention that this is a cumulative reward not a consecutive one.

    I like this for the simple fact that sometimes things happen beyond the players control to be able to log in to get the login reward for that day.

    I live in California. Fires are part of life here unfortunately. If a fire happens in my area, I may be forced to evacuate and have no ability to log on to access my account. Or because of a wind event in the area they may shut off power. Both situations beyond my control that prevent me from even being able to log in. With a reward tied to the subscription instead of the act of logging in, it prevents random acts of nature from interfering with a player getting rewarded for the time and effort they can put into the game.

    It also removes the pressure from players of feeling like they have to play.
  • ultraredultrared Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I love login rewards. So long as it's cosmetic(!!!)(Pet skins, clothing skins, furniture?), not a grind and can't be sold. Log in every day and get a reward at the end of the month? That's an awesome gift to your community. The coin idea is also nice.
    "Crafters make the best shit" - Steven Sharif
  • I think I prefer the idea of a cosmetic-type reward based on how long you've had an active subscription (this could be either a continuous sub or just cumulative, depending on how generous you want to be). You could have cosmetic sets/titles/pets etc that are rewarded for 1 month, 3 months, 6m, 1yr... of active subscription. That way you can still show off your veteran status to other players, and have cool incentives to be playing the game, but not feel forced to log in everyday.
  • terminal09terminal09 Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited January 2021
    My recommendation, stay away from login every day and/or daily tasks. As an example of bad implementation that has frustrated the main player base, Retail WoW and GW2. Too many things to do and it distracts from the main game itself.

    On the topic of strictly login rewards, I would stay away from getting something every day for 30 days like Lineage 2 Classic has on occasion. If an implementation were to be actualized then do it in small form to give more freedom to players without "punishing" players who go on a weekend trip, vacation, or travel for a week out of a month for work. To solve that issue while still appeasing those who want the some form of daily cosmetic login tokens, my recommendation is, each month, log in for 15 days getting 1-2 coins a day. Doesn't matter if you log in 15 days straight or 2 here and 3 there with a day or 2 off between. Meeting a 15 day login out of a 28-31 day month is much easier to do for casual players and it won't "punish" them for not logging in for whatever reason.

    Edited for poor grammer.
  • ZettrexZettrex Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    For me login rewards have to be a top 20 days of a month limit max, and they should be "coins" or "tokens" you gain per day and dont loose if not used that month.

    But i personally dont like the login rewards, but i 100% see the reason to have them and dont mind them as long as those rewards are not unique and only avalible oce and never again from login reward. But add a item desc of time or something for the collectors, and allow people to optain more then 1 of the items so they can have it on multiple characters.

    The items should never be a p2w thing, not cosmetically unique, and should be easy to optain for people, and if its out of rotation the item someone wants they have the possibility to wait for it to come back into rotation for a less sum then on release.

  • WinslowWinslow Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Subscriber rewards are better than daily login rewards like every korean/mobile MMO. Same effect, less feeling of being forced to login.
  • FlyshleeFlyshlee Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    The coin system seems like a simple way that everyone can benefit from. I do think having them cost 30 coins each month would be a lot for players trying to get all skins. Not that they need to be easy to get, but it would be nice if maybe they cost 25 coins or some days you could get extra coins. This way if you need to take a few days away, out of town, emergency, etc, you can still benefit from that months cosmetic.
  • AthorithAthorith Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    I do not like login rewards systems that are limited to logging in 30/30 days in a month.

    The best implementation of this that I have experienced is the one used by Warframe where it's a cumulative reward spanning out to 1000 days with milestones at 50, 100, 150, etc. And minor rewards between those.

    It gives the incentive to log in, but you don't feel like you're missing out on something just because you had a day where your internet or power was out during the month.
  • The worst part of BfA was the pressure of having to log in to attend to dailies. While a simple log-in reward is less difficult to achieve, I still think it will end up feeling like a chore.

    Add these rewards on top of the enormous pile of cosmetic packages you guys are releasing, future gear drops, etc, and I also can't help but feel like you begin to make everything feel less valuable. Intrepid seems to understand the concept of scarcity creating value for things like flying mounts and legendary gear, but they are ignoring the value of cosmetics as a similar tool.

    That said, it may be too late. You've already committed to an enormous amount of cosmetic packages and a cash shop — so I suppose no one will get that true feeling of standing out.
  • Quinny_WinnyQuinny_Winny Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited January 2021
    I've been speaking with a lot of guilds and community creators and I've come to a conclusion that a Cosmetic store is broken and should probably not be part of the game. At very least Non-cosmetic servers should be launched to test the theory.

    On the topic of daily log in reward it is a nice idea for casual gamers to have an incentive to jump on and see what is going on even if they cant or don't plan to play very much.

    One thing I would suggest is putting login rewards behind a daily question so you can pull the active player base and get metric data from them to help steer the direction the game is going. Out of Game pulls are often ignored by people who just want to focus on enjoying the game.

    To make daily login rewards more unique from other games you should have a social reward where a player is given a coin that represents their character and can trade it to other players. When you have like so many different coins you can turn them in to level up your social ranks.

    Being able to hide your trading coin on other players corps would also be fun for PvP like leaving a calling card.

    Whatever Ashes does in the released game, just have fun with it and remember that people log in alts to collect daily rewards, but the biggest reward we can have in an MMO is sharing an experience with friends.
  • I'm used to daily logins but based on some people commenting on how FF14 does their reward system I think I would prefer it that way. Or just have one easy weekly quest you can do alone or with friends and that counts as participation for that week, something that ties into the gameplay loop of the game.
  • I think it would be a nice idea to add some sort of coin to things tied to in game progression instead of a daily, so then the people that play the game get rewarded for actually engaging with the game, instead of having a bunch of people log in for 1 min just go claim the reward. I think having a daily reward doesn't really add much to the game or make people feel rewarded if all they had to to was open the game every day of the month.
  • arsnnarsnn Member, Intrepid Pack, Alpha One
    Only as a catch-up mechanic for certain things, so that casuals have a easier time to reach threshholds.

    Not a daily login reward that is supposed to be stacked as in the cosmetic coin example. This just forces you to be online when you dont actually want to be.
  • AnkhAnkh Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    Cosmetics can't be the answer to everything!

    That said, tokens for things like the cosmetic of the month or dyes would be nice. Personally, I don't see the problem with including things like consumables, materials or currency as everyone has equal access to these rewards. If someone wants to pay an extra subscription to get double the pots, at least they're supporting further development...

    Log in rewards are a great way to get people to build the habit of logging in, even if they occasionally do so just to obtain said reward.
    “Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves.” ― Nikola Tesla
  • LutoLuto Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Rather than a daily reward I think it'd be better to reward players on subscription status. So... if you sub for 1 month you are rewarded x. Subbed for 2 months you get a 2 month reward, 3 months and so on... This way veteran players who have been subbed for more months can kind of "flex". This also allows those who take a break for a few days but still sub the chance to take a break with no pressure on potentially losing out. Players subscribe, and stay subbed to get cooler rewards. Good for business and good for players. :)
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