Broadly speaking, dailies are repeatable quests or activities that are designed to keep you engaged and busy within the MMO genre. They are a supplement to main story quests and often offer a long-term goal and reward or provide barter tokens for a range of gear. They can sometimes be used as an alternative means of gaining high-end gear for players who cannot or will not raid. Dailies also offer an additional means to level an alt, for players who are tired of repeating primary content that they are over familiar with. Along with log-in rewards, dailies are designed to entice players into regular play. They offer quick, repeatable content along with a clearly defined bauble or trinket, making them ideal for players who have a limited amount of game time. Hence, you’ll find variations thereof present in most MMOs.
Dailies are more often than not, just busy work. By their nature they are additional game content and not mission critical to the player. The central narrative of an MMO usually only links to dailies tangentially, so if you elect not to do them you’re not missing out on a major plot point. Skipping a day means you simply postpone your reward date by another 24 hours, but as the dailies often feed into a long-term goal, such delays are not deal breakers. In some cases, dailies are simply a means of generating specific currencies and once you have maxed out a particular skills line you can still repeat the content and gain the designated reward. Furthermore, in some MMOs, dailies do not even require your alt to undertake any direct task. They are carried out by companions, crew or automated resources. You simply assign the correct assets to the task in hand and return at a later date to see if they successfully completed it.
Due to limited leisure time, I am currently only playing Star Trek Online and doing so by logging in across five alts and undertaking dailies. This involves either sending duty officer on time-based mission or ships on admiralty missions. Both sets of dailies draw upon card-based assets and can be set and forgotten. By choosing specific missions that offer Dilithium as a reward, I am using five alts to farm this resource and in-game currency. Dilithium can then be stockpiled and spent next time Cryptic make Phoenix Prize Pack available in the game. The Prize Packs offer a range of rewards, many of which can be bartered and traded in so that the player can get specifically what they want. For me the most valuable item obtainable is the Phoenix Tech Upgrade Kit. Upgrading gears sets is a key aspect of STO and these upgrades apply 51,200 Technology Points and have not further Dilithium costs. With the recent increase in gear cap from Mark XIV to XV, I conservatively estimate I need about 200 or so to fully upgrade my ground and space gear to Gold level.
Dailies are often viewed in most MMOs as arbitrary, dull and repetitious. It is fair to say that they don’t always have the depth of writing as other main quests but let us not fool ourselves as to their purpose. Dailies are to a degree filler. A way of stretching game content by providing a relatively simplistic task with an extended deadline. The MMO genre has proven time and time again, that the player base always consumes content quicker than it can be produced and so dailies are one of many ways of providing content that slows player progression while still providing them with something to do. Dailies, love them or loathe them, are a necessary evil. One we all too often bitch about while paradoxically still carrying out. They are the gaming equivalent of the clip show, which were a convenient way of padding the length of a season on TV, back in the sixties and seventies. They’re also a way of keeping you connected to a game, during times when your patience is running thin. I’m sure they could be replaced with something better, but until that comes around this is all we have and sometimes that’s just enough to keep you playing.