fredag 5 december 2008

About christmas gifts in games and Wurm

Apart from the bugs that occurred last christmas when people just waited and waited half a day in vain for Santa I have some other thoughts about christmas (and other seasonal) gifts in games. There's a lot of discussion in our forums where people really don't want to miss out on the christmas gift in Wurm.

First and foremost I want them to be... well.. seasonal gifts!

To me this means that:
  • They should become available when the seasonal event starts.
  • They should be delivered in a way that gifts related to the seasonal event usually arrive (such as in a colourful package, an egg, or in a pinata par example).
  • A christmas gift shouldn't arrive in april.

Other thoughts
  • You shouldn't just _own_ an account and get the gift. The gift may be worth more than the cost of a monthly subscription. You shouldn't just purchase subscriptions for these events.
  • You should have to attend the event in order to collect the gift. I pity for those who play a lot but just fail to attend but such have been the nature of gifts all over the world since the beginning of time. If you're not where the gifts are you prioritize something else and that is perfectly in order.
  • Putting them on some kind of reimbursement account would be better for business and a lot of players would be much happier. For a while. Until they realize that everyone has that same gifts, resulting in that the gifts loose value.
  • The gifts are not to force people to play on christmas in order to keep the player base active. They can be seen as a reward for sacrificing some time with your family and hopefully as something special for the odd player who actually receives few other gifts during christmas although I admit that that scenario probably is very rare. They are seasonal gifts, handed out during a seasonal event for the same reasons that the same gifts are handed out in real life whatever that is.
  • If we allowed only one account per real life person or could keep track of it we could consider handing them out in your absence.

Also, if we add the gifts to some kind of reimbursement account it would water them out as a feature in my opinion and we could instead hand them out once per three months to everyone who plays and stop calling them easter eggs or christmas presents or whatever. Basically I want the people who do play at the time of the event to feel that it is special and actually means something to attend it.

So the problem is drawing the line when the gifts no longer are handed out. In Wurm this usually means when the real life event is over. Previously this has been on the evening of the 26th of December Swedish time.

However, because a lot of our players do look forward to the gift and I don't want them to push their families too hard and feel stressed about christmas I will prolong that time to the 28th sometime late in some timezone very far out west. Depending on how well I count it may even become the 29th all over the world until Santa leaves Wurm and comes back here to his castle here in Norrland in Sweden.

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Christmas Gifts