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It hit me like a brick wall reading the GW2 forums.
People were complaining about lack of "progression".
Now, this thread isn't about GW2, but I was confused.
There's no real progression in any of these games, you don't grow your character, your deal more damage and for balance, the bosses get more health. It's frivilous and pointless.
It hit me then, it's the skinner box.
The subgenre is controlled by it. In fact, all games are.
You get that rush when you do something, when you complete something, when you get something.
MMOs have cheapened it to giving big numbers out like halloween candy, because people can't complete something hard.
To keep people subbed you gotta keep handing out that candy, increase stats, make them feel like they're progressing.
Imagine if they gave nothing at all. You just finished the boss and "poof" you're done.
You think anyone would play it?
The subgenre is built on this, it's a core concept that can't change and that's a shame.