For example, in world vs world in Guild Wars 2, enemies drop bags that you have to manually collect. Then you have to manually open the bag which may contain other bags that you have to open.

In Clash of Clans, you have to click on the gold mines to collect the gold. This same principle is in Farmville also.

Why don't these games put the loot directly into your bags or gold storage?

Are the players unlikely to notice that they are getting bags or gold unless they take a physical action?

Is there a behavioral reinforcing that's happening by requiring a physical gesture?

This irritates me but when I see it in multiple games it makes me wonder if there is a gaming concept behind it that is fun for some people (or if not fun, part of the "addictive" nature of the game).

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's so that you come back to the game every day to collect your resources. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 20:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Many of those games you actually loose the reward if you don't return in time to collect it. I believe that is an important part of the (imo very irritating) mechanic \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 20:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ GW2 has autoloot, where it picks up everything as you whack the button. In any way, it's to reinforce that you're getting a reward for something you just did, instead of finding all the crap in your inventory as you got home, far from the action. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 1, 2015 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is pretty much the same as: gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/120150/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Will
    Commented Apr 9, 2017 at 20:31

1 Answer 1

  1. It builds on the primal instinct to gather. Humans used to be hunters and gatherers. Feeling gratification when collecting things is still deeply rooted in our psyche. That's why so many games have a game mechanic which can be described as "collect stuff".
  2. Forcing the player to participate makes the reward stronger because the information that the player received a reward is conveyed using more communication channels. There are three communication channels you can use when you want to convey something to your player: Seeing, hearing and doing. Seeing that their score increased already gives a bit gratification. When it is accompanied by a pleasuring sound effect, the effect is amplified. But when you force the player to interact with the event, it becomes almost impossible to not notice.

    By forcing players to make another click to get their reward instead of giving it to them automatically, the reward is noticed much more intensely.

    By the way: A very simple way of reinforcing an event by forcing interaction is giving the player a popup message they have to confirm. A message "Welcome back! Here are 1250 gold from your mines" would also be a solution.


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