The infamous World of Warcraft Bonus

I love this story how game designer Rob Pardo made players happy just changing the perception of a bonus.

…when the game launched, players were punished for playing too long by having their experience gain percentage drop from 100 to 50 percent after a couple hours of play.

“Beta players universally hated this idea and were screaming bloody murder,” said Pardo.

The fix? Turning this into a bonus scenario instead. Players now start at 200 percent experience and drop down to 100 percent. It’s the exact same mechanic, but now it’s a bonus instead of a punishment.

Rob Pardo

Source: Gamasutra

Infamous added for clickbait effect.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic motivation: Overwatch

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic is like natural motivation, extrinsic is basically the carrot in front of the donkey. Many people also call it manipulation.

That brings me to Overwatch. I’ve been playing the game on and off since 2016. Every time I reinstalled my wife says:

Oh no… Overwatch again?

my wife

The thing is, I’m a sucker for ranks (extrinsic). So I played ranked a lot. The problem is, if you are not good, you go down the ranks and when you are at lower ranks, it’s like being poor, it’s tough to escape it!

Lately I started playing quick play (intrinsic) and I was never frustrated. The differences I noticed:

  • People don’t get so angry because there’s no visible rank.
  • If someone quits, someone comes to replace them. So, less likely to lose even with quitters.
  • The games are shorter. In ranked it can take 45 minutes to tie and then lose in the next game that takes 5 minutes.

The extrinsic motivations in Overwatch are broken and that is why I think there is so much love/hate for the game.