One Destiny player takes time out of the game to try to explain the title’s addictive qualities, with Bungie using a clever scheduling system to keep players hooked.
Destiny may have been released over a year ago, but the multiplayer-focused shooter has continued to keep an extremely strong online following, and has even topped 25 million registered players. According to one gamer who is taking a break from the Bungie smash hit, however, there is a very specific reason for the game’s addictive qualities. This Destiny player has even tried to explain how the game’s design and mechanics make it an extremely difficult game to put down.
Taking to Reddit, a gamer by the name of CarrhaeWhite went into some detail regarding the addictive qualities of Destiny. Breaking the game’s addiction mechanics into different categories, the user started by detailing the title’s use of Variable Ratio Schedule – in other words, the ratio at which a player is likely to get a reward for completing certain actions. A mechanic akin to those used by slot machines, this is used in Destiny in a variety of ways, with CarrhaeWhite using “end of activity loot tables” as an example.
CarrhaeWhite also explained that Destiny’s use of a schedule keeps players in the game, with new activities refreshing each day to force players to log on to take part in Dailies or Weeklies. Finally, the player discussed how Destiny ingrains compulsive desires in players. One such example is the “fear of missing out,” and that skipping out on the game will mean that the player loses out on timed exclusive content such as the Festival of the Lost.
Whatever Bungie’s strategies are, they are certainly working. Recently, it was revealed that Destiny players manage an average of three hours played each day. It’s the kind of dedicated user base that many developers dream of – particularly in a world in which a multiplayer user base can disappear dramatically, as seen with the predicted juggernaut of Evolve.
It’s also in spite of a wealth of complaints aimed at the title since its launch in September of last year. Bungie has come under fire over the addition of microtransactions, whilst there has also been criticism of the tweaked loot system, which falls apart in the game’s endgame. That hasn’t stopped gamers from putting endless hours into the game, however, even taking part in fan-made challenges such as beating Crota solo using a Rock Band 4 drum kit.
The use of addiction mechanics in gaming is nothing new. After all, it’s been used in mobile gaming as a means to keep players hooked, and keep in-app purchase money flowing, by the likes of Clash of Clans and Game of War for some time. Nonetheless, some players may feel uneasy knowing that developers specifically aim to keep players hooked, regardless of the level of enjoyment users are having.