Crystal Dreams

On game events…

I spoke about it briefly on my Twitter, but I really wanted to talk about it a lot more.

One of the things I’ve noticed a lot of games will do, especially mobile games, is essentially barring things off to a later time. You can only do so much a day and need to wait another day to be able to continue. And I… kind of hate this. A lot of people chock it up to impatience, but personally it’s more about the general stress of constantly feeling like I’m going to run out of time and that is not a feeling I enjoy. Most of my stress and anxiety comes from the idea that there is only so much time to accomplish anything. And especially with recent events in games, it’s a lot more highlighted.

I’ll talk about a few recent games I’ve played that have brought up this system in a few different ways. For starters, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (I promise an entry about Lottie’s Event and the new villagers + essence will be coming soon). The game works almost entirely on timers which isn’t necessarily terrible for the most part, but it is a large difference from a more traditional Animal Crossing game where you essentially have the full day to work towards things rather than worrying about missing out because you didn’t check every 3 hours.

While I’ve gotten a bit more used to the requests and quarry and rarely use my tickets to speed up much there beyond getting newer villagers in, I still tend to freak out a bit with amenities as if I don’t manage to build a tier fast enough, I could end up maxing out a villagers’ level too quickly and lose out on getting them up.

Those who know me know I kind of hate games where I need to balance resources a lot. It’s very tiring to me as it’s just too repetitive gathering the same stuff over and over. And while I wouldn’t mind as much if there wasn’t a limit so times where I DO feel like roaming around and catching as much as I can could work out, constantly running into inventory limits (and yes, I maxed out my space with Leaf Tickets too….) is pretty discouraging and means once I’ve done my requests for that time table, I don’t have much of a reason to keep playing.

With the events especially, there’s a lot of waiting around. Waiting for things to craft, waiting for new requests, waiting for flowers to grow… And then the RNG plays a part in those latter two activities to see if you even manage to get what you need. And the problem here is that the only way to really speed things up is paying. While the Gardening events have been kind enough to give a good amount of Flower food, I can say that not only have I completely used up all the flower food I had, but I also ended up using Leaf Tickets as well due to that same feeling of worrying I wouldn’t have enough time.

Even if I calculate the entire probability of everything, it doesn’t always lessen that same worried feeling and when it comes down to it, some times even if I know how much I can do a day, I can’t always manage that. Some days maybe I can go 18 hours with no breaks dedicated into something, but other times I’m lucky if I can even log in for the day. This also makes things like with the Gardening Event where half the event is locked until a few days before the event ends especially frustrating. There’s no guarantee I’ll be up to it and there’s less time to hope to be.

Things happen. Whether it be an issue with other things I was working on or something more personal, I can’t guarantee I can put work in every single day of an event which is my other big issue with barring things off. When I was still in school, I missed roughly 35 days a year. That is a lot of absences–7 weeks of school. This was due to a combination of my own health (Allergies can vary anywhere between a mild cold to a severe flu in just how bad they are) and my own family’s with sometimes, nobody feeling up to actually being able to take me.

Despite this, I always made up my work and I always got straight A’s on my tests. I had perfect grades outside my attendance and always completed my homework. I’m a quick learner and a quick reader so despite being absent, it was very easy for me to take care of. While this wasn’t as big of an issue in Elementary School, Middle School was a bit harsher about absences, and High School flat out didn’t want to let people graduate if they didn’t have a certain amount of attendance–despite my grades, which lead me to do homeschooling and take my GED instead. Because I was smart enough, I just couldn’t always make it there.

And that’s part of what makes barring off event progress so frustrating. While the idea is to get people to keep logging in, it’s honestly stressful to the point of completely contradicting the reason for mobile games–to relax and take it easy.

Abyssrium as well has done quite a poor job with their most recent event with it requiring you to check in every 3 hours along with spending 500 event currency OR spend $10 to check in every hour and deal with their huge RNG game in hopes to complete a special coral before time runs out. I think the Valentine’s Day Coralite is really beautiful and I do like the idea, but I think the execution is terrible. Trying to keep up as much as you can when even a minute can throw you off sucks. Similarly, the RNG is a pain. I have all the Valentine fish from last year already so it’s very frustrating when one comes up instead of, well, something I actually need. It’s tiring and very repetitive and incredibly expensive to speed up and you could still fail.

That said, as mentioned, this isn’t something entirely done on Mobile games, but also other games as well that may be considered more relaxing. One thing that’s happened more often with PC games are patches/updates that implement timed events. And I don’t mean things like Overwatch where sure, I can buy some, but I can also put in a lot of time playing to hopefully earn a bunch of boxes too, but things like Slime Rancher’s Christmas event. They had a different ornament each day that could be found in boxes. I’m… pretty directionally challenged in games, to say the least so whenever I play Slime Rancher, even with the new map system, I tend to get very lost.

I spent a few hours the first day where I could, but I wasn’t able to find a single box to even try. And I didn’t have time many other days as December is a pretty crazy month for me. In the end, I gave up without getting any ornaments and as someone who loves the Holidays and Christmas, it was pretty discouraging.

And the thing is, the more I miss because of the stress of events, the less likely I am to keep playing in the first place. There’s not really a good reason to bar people off. If someone wants to spend 10+ hours on your game working hard at the event, they should be allowed to without being punished for it or having to pay because they didn’t “wait”.

Some people just want to relax. It shouldn’t feel like a job they constantly have to check into.

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