Ah carrots. These glorious Daucusi offer such untold pleasures. A perfect crunch, appetizing size, the ability to grow both underground and in cold weather, complete with attractive tops. The root crop even comes in a rainbow of shapes, sizes and colors, most possessing an incredibly high doses of Vitamin A and a healthy supplement of Vitamin C. All ready to be unleashed by your cooking, or eating, method of choice.
Wait, what? This isn’t a food blog? Son of a…One second.
Ah yes, the inevitable carrot on a stick. Game designers have used this ingenious tool for ages, but no company has mastered it quite like F2P developer Perfect World Entertainment. The technique is simple, consistently dangle something in front of the player, any kind of reward will do, so she wants to play “another 10 minutes.” For maximum impact, chain these carrots together to give players sticks of different lengths. Near-instant rewards upon logging in, followed up by tokens that take a little bit of time to earn, capped off with lofty goals that start off as mere pipedreams.
The designers of Forsaken World have taken this leading practice to new lengths (har har). Logging in garners instant rewards, either loot, XP or a boost from your (four times) daily prayer. The easy-to-afk dailies offered by Henry in Freedom Harbor give near-instant gratification. Perfect tasks to accomplish while browsing the Internet for Vitamin-E-laced carrots. Or whatever you use the Internet for. Then I move on to the more normal tasks, general quests, resource gathering and mob killing. All in the name of reaching the appropriate level to dump this ridiculous Justin-Bieber-popular ram. The ultimate goal, at least currently, is the looming task of level capping, which likely won’t happen since this is still beta.
Spliced in these obvious accomplishments is a suspicious looking item in my inventory. This “Magically Sealed Box,” for reasons unknown (magic?), morphs depending on my level. Every multiple of five it showers me with gifts – XP boosters, gear, buffs, a mount – before locking down like Ft. Knox until the next quint occurs.
In the meantime, I’m left to deal with XP boosters, buffs, etc and their affect on my psyche. Use them now and risk not getting their maximum benefit, or save them for a caffeine-fueled marathon session of blinded leveling? But if I use them now that next carrot will be devoured quicker. And it looks so delicious.
Compounding this conundrum further, many of these items disappear after a set time. Rotting away just like the vessels of β-carotene. Making nomming somewhat of an immediate requirement.
I do love carrots. Both kinds. This proverbial crunchy is tailored to destroying my personal productivity. It’s rare for me to be playing Forsaken World and not have something coming to my avatar in the immediate future. Something that no matter how infinitesimal an impact, I must possess!