If you’ve ever played any MMO be it fantasy or otherwise than this image should strike true to you. MMOs are designed in a way to keep you at the computer as long as possible, for months and even years. This comic pokes fun at the nature of what is considered the “end game” to MMOs. Developers put up tons of milestones for players to hit, and when players begin to hit these milestones they swoop in and move the end game further back, just out of reach of the player. Although most of us MMO players are aware of this notion, we continue to log in and play despite the never ending nature of the games we love.
Aside from the constant moving of MMOs end game, the carrot on the stick mechanic is also applied to the notion of loot and gear. Developers put tons and tons of goodies into their games and continually add more and more goodies for you to collect. In order for you to stay competitive with in the game, be it in the PvE or PvP scene, you need to continually collect more gear and more items. The reason that this is also a carrot on a stick mechanic is because a lot of those items come from killing enemies that drop said items at ridiculously low rates on long lockouts, thus keeping you there chasing that much needed gear upgrade. This also applies to token based, and other similar systems you would find in Warhammer Online etc. The crazy thing is, it works and we eat it up.
Reproduced courtesy of Oh The Humanity!