Daily Mission's or Quest's have been a big part of gaming for a very long time now. When they were conceived, they were originally praised for being a great way to make a player habitual, even if it's only brief, so they never truly take a break from the game. However as the years have gone by, the subject has gotten muddier and muddier, where some can argue that there are more problems it causes than fixes. In this article, I aim to explore this gaming phenomenon, and discuss whether they're still a tool that people want in their development arsenal, or not.
The pro's to a system like these, similar to login rewards, are that it encourages players to at least make some effort towards playing the game every single day. It rewards them for loyalty to their product, and more free stuff for loyal players is obviously good incentive for players to stick around. If you didn't change your playing habits at all, you would see you getting more stuff.
However, many would argue this is a very idealistic view, and practically doesn't have any of the same effects. I conducted a study playing League of Legends, where I asked a few questions to ~100 Co-op vs AI players, this showed me that over as many as 85% of the people I was matched with, were only playing AI to finish their quests for the night. They never played co-op vs AI normally, the question to ask is whether they wanted to play League in the first place, or they were treating it as a job. Doing what they "have" to do, to remain efficient. Another great example that I am familiar with, is Hearthstone. a card game where you have two option's. Try to play everyday and use your meagre gold gain to fund a small collection,or give them money. A lot of free to play players constantly complain that they don't like where the meta is right now, they just play to gain gold for the next upcoming expansion. Is this really the audience you want for your game?
I would argue creating this kind of culture will artificially create players, however when they catch on that they aren't enjoying the game any more, they will stop, find some competition, they will tell their friends, and then your player base starts to dwindle. You can no longer trust your metrics, "this is the most players we've had yet, surely that means the game is at it's best right now, right?" Because of this it makes the game harder to fix. The feedback that would normally be there for you to draw from, isn't there any more, and from there it becomes more and more of an impossible task, leading unfortunately to the death of the game and the community with it.
Personally, I think we'd be better off in a world without them. Video Game Addiction is worth mentioning in a topic like this, this kind of environment is where it thrives. Where people feel like they are being productive playing these game's instead of searching for jobs, or doing their schoolwork. In conclusion, to answer the question in the beginning, I do think daily missions or quest's are a trap that lots of developers don't understand how to use fully. Whilst it is a tool that has potential, I feel it is best avoided unless you are comfortable making it work.