I just signed up here yesterday, or the day before.
The game had been recommended by two members of my gaming clan, and since a public alpha test is coming around by the end of the week, I was interested to check it out for myself.
My clanmates had posted regular links - not invitation links - because they wanted their endorsement to be genuine and honest - and not appear self-serving. I knew nothing about the recommendation scheme when I signed up.
After creating my account, I was greeted by a text saying "LEVEL 0" in huge letters, and a list of rewards for higher levels shown underneath. The best rewards for the very high levels, were cosmetics lootboxes/lockboxes.
Normally, at this point, I would have started to browse the website, and read up on a few topics that seemed of interest to me. But not this time. The game had successfully activated my FOMO. You don't have to be a math genius to realize, that the sooner you start collecting daily points, the better.
I spent the next hour and half grinding points. Clicking through the website without reading anything, spamming a post in daily-post thread, pushing some shares on my rarely used facebook and twitter accounts.
Then I had something else to do, and left. I still hadn't learned anything on the game. I was too busy grinding some shallow "daily" quests, which also were a marketing ploy to inflate facebook shares and tweets - so I would not miss out on some lootbox reward later on. But I still knew next to nothing about the game itself.
At least that's what I thought at first. But then it came to me, that maybe I had learned way more about the game, than I imagined.
Account management was pretty slick. The achievement and reward system appeared robust and updated instantly. Forums, news, newsletters - everything was fully integrated. This was convenient and highly polished. Obviously a fair amount of effort went into getting this invitation reward system right.
So, did I learn anything then?
Well obviously a lot of effort has been put into activating my FOMO, making me grind shallow "daily" quests for points by sharing on social media, so I might earn some random lootbox reward.
What are the chances, that someone who uses this strategy masterfully and successfully for their website, will use the same strategy in their game?
Pretty darn good I good reckon!
Therefore I do have learned something about the game:
.) FOMO based grind
.) shallow repeating quests for arbitrary points
.) no engagement with the actual content
.) lootboxes and similar rewards to drive player behavior
And that's actually a lot more than what I might have learned from actually reading some materials on the website - right?
I know, it's only first impressions, and such might always be off or outright wrong. But it's definitely the first impressions I got here.