The Weekly Haul Is a Keeper, but Still Unlikely to Stay
In Module 12 the devs introduced a new system that fundamentally changed how campaign progression works in the game. Before that, the solo content was mostly about tasks that you had to run on each and every day. If you weren’t able to or simply didn’t like the repetitiveness, you inevitably lost progression with every day you passed on. Not only did those systems come with a higher workload, but also with generally longer campaigns. The devs obviously had to make sure that the “hardcores” that would show up every day were still busy for 4-6 weeks. As result some others had trouble getting through stuff within a module, much less on multiple characters. The most painful example of this is Storm Kings Thunder.
Granted, the focus on dailies comes with certain advantages too. It surely ups the incentive to login daily, and that could help with retention rates. On the other hand however players might feel forced to do the tasks, which makes more work than fun. It’s an open secret in game development that players like freedom. Games that dictate what you have to do to achieve certain things are simply less successful. That’s why the devs introduced the “Weekly Haul” system with the Jungles of Chult campaign that pretty much changes progressions to a weekly system instead. Players nowadays can freely choose when and how much of the campaign load they want to do over the course of a week.
Weekly Haul Is a Keeper
Unsurprisingly the Neverwinter community reacted overwhelmingly positive to the change, especially since the game features a casual crowd. In one of our recent polls 36% hoped it stays for good while another 47% were not opposed to the system. Only 17% said they want to get rid of it.
There is another interesting element in the poll however that touches on the topic I’d like to talk about today. Because the 47% that were “not opposed” to the Weekly Haul system still would like to see a change. That’s kind of the curse of an ever-evolving MMO. There can’t be stagnancy, even if you create something that works for your game and playerbase. The risk of it being interpreted as regression grows over time.
Module 15 Will Probably Feature Something Else
Unfortunately even great systems eventually run their course and let me say that this isn’t all bad. You have to mix it up a little to cater to the different kinds of players. Just remember that Underdark (Mod 8) already featured a weekly progression system. So there definitely seems to be a natural cycle to make sure guys always find something they like every once in a while.
I would at least expect that whatever comes with Module 15 is no longer called “Weekly Haul” and sets a greater focus on dailies again. That doesn’t have to be only campaign progression by the way. I like how Makos’ and Eku’s Favor in Omu introduces an optional hourly grind for hardcore players. If you’d make all or some rewards (like the Mounts) unbound, you could introduce an alternate way of farming the zone for progression (Astral Diamonds). I guess that’s what Hunts could be used for in Chult, but players simply like token-based systems that much more.
The Risk of Stagnancy
If the devs stick with a weekly progression, they probably will have to add optional, yet meaningful, daily tasks. Otherwise you unfortunately risk to look stagnant as a game and exclude a certain portion of your playerbase for too long. It’s kind of a weird situation where you have to let go of a highly popular and reasonable system just to not be too repetitive with what you offer. That’s why it would indeed surprise me if the “Weekly Haul” is extended beyond Ravenloft, although I’m personally a fan of it.
What do you think could be “next” in terms of campaign progression? Do you agree that sticking with the “Weekly Haul” system would promote stagnancy? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or the corresponding thread on our message board!
Neverwinter UN:Blogged is always looking for writers to contribute to the blog. If you are an active player and search for a way to spread your opinions, analysis, diaries or reviews to more than 50,000 regular visitors, then don’t hesitate and get in touch with us on our contact page or message board! We are currently especially looking for console and PVP content, but that’s not exclusive. There is no frequency requirement, you post how often you want.
8 thoughts on “The Weekly Haul Is a Keeper, but Still Unlikely to Stay”
I hope you’re wrong.
But everyone said in Mod 3, NEVER again to black ice empowerment. And what happened in Mod 10?
So, maybe Craptrick don’t spend nearly as much time listening to players as some people think they do.
If you don’t like the weekly progression system, you can always pretend that it is a daily progression system by doing only one quest per day, instead of all at once.
Exactly. I tend to stack up daily quests from the older Mods and run them all at the same time, anyway, as if they are a Weekly Haul. It’s not quite as “efficient” as doing them each day, as you don’t always get three different quests every day, but it feels a lot faster and a lot more fun. Especially when you get the last 3 Boons from Sharandar in 2 days during the recent 2x Sharandar currencies.
I am playing my four latest Alts atm, and I’ll do Demons in IWD and WoD every day for Underdark, and Safe Keeping in IWD, but I have finished Sharandar and Dread Ring. But I’m not doing Common Cause etc each day as I will run that, Defeating Dragons, Protecting the Portal and Reclaiming the Hoard at the same time as all the WoD quests, as to kill Thayans and Dragonwings, you might as well do Punishing the Oppressors, the Lairs and a week’s worth of Dailies (except maybe the appalling Fetch Quest) at the same time. So that’s a painless 21 or 22 Pages per week in about an hour or two each, plus some Dragon Runs on top. Then I’ll do Biggrin’s Tomb and all the IWD dailies for 9 Dwarf Gold and 9 Auril’s Tears as well. Then, on Monday, start collecting all the quests again.
Grinding is like watching a kettle boil. If you are focused on getting the currencies for boons, it seems to take ages. But if you run them like this, you suddenly realise two characters have 90 secrets and 70 Sigils, so you can buy two Haarl’s Treatise. Then, when there’s a 2x WoD currency, I can run more Alts and get enough Sigils and Secrets to buy several more Haarl’s Treatise. So much less pain than in Mod 5, but getting a Tiamat run seems more difficult, as few seem to want to bother these days.
Love this approach!
You may miss some quests but I find it is better to hit two or three zoned hard here and there.. conversely, doing the same thing every day can be a bore. I do feel it is more efficient to have a stockpile of dailies, as many quests will overlap and you are not making unnecessary trips. 8)
I’m a huge fan of the weekly haul system. I wouldn’t be opposed to a “dailies” system again as long as it was a quick and smooth as River District was. You have your % completion, 1 minor task and a few optional drop quests. At least with that you could finish your dailies in about 15 minutes per toon and keep playable endgame alts up to date for the most part. If dailies returned to SKT or Sharandar with multiple areas featuring multiple quests, I go from 4-5 playable endgame toons to 1-2, maybe. Just not enough time to do all that, especially with 20 people per instance all trying to do the same quests.
the down side to the weekly system is it takes away that carrot to play daily. I do believe that daily activities results in a more active player base. Even if on the surface you calculate the hours played as the same, ultimately logging in daily creates more interactions and socialism.
With alt play being dead due to ad nerf in mod 14 having 1hour a week campaign will be a disaster leading to players leaving or simply just plying 1day a week. Keep in mind though new hunts are fun rewards are crap
I love the weekly haul for a number of reasons:
1) Risk of burnout is minimal while allowing you to grind to a point (unlike EE).
2) Campaign progression is clearer than in older formats (i.e. Tyranny).
3) Pacing is much better and frees you up to do different activities on different days, not being tired to a single campaign.
The latter is key. There is still incentive for daily play but you are not forced to go into different zones just to collect quests you don’t plan on doing any time soon. That said, it would not be a bad thing to have blue/optional daily quests offer something a little extra. That could be the best of both worlds.
As for alt play, Dread Ring and Sharandar still offer good reason to repeat tasks. Making AD farm an account wide thing is the best thing they could have done for the general gaming population as you no longer feel forced to play all your toons. Similarly, weekly hauls allow you to be more flexible and free with how and when you play your alts.
I think stagnation happen when there is a combination of boring repetitive tasks and lackluster rewards. Now that Mod 15 is in full force, we see that a lot of these concerns have been addressed. The focus is shifting away from optimal salvage runs and AD farm to enjoying the game with friends and getting excited about loot drops again.. plus Neverember Incentives to drive momentum from event to event!
Overall, I think daily quests by themselves is more stick than carrot. Having the ability to choose when and how you progress is huge. It is also more fair to those that may travel or have other responsibilities, thus preventing them from having optimal daily hauls.
Comments are closed.