An objective or intention that exists in perpetuity. Permanent goals, also known as perpetual goals, are on-going tasks that have no end, despite player actions or events. Permanent goals are typically over-arching goals that last the entirety of a game session.
Due to their nature; predefined goals, player-defined goals, prevention goals, continuous goals, and conflict-based intervenable goals can be used as forms of permanent goals.
Unlike ephemeral goals, permanent goals are typically defined early in a game and remain active until the end. It’s not uncommon for permanent goals to play a critical role within the game’s mechanics. As an example, in Super Mario 64, the permanent goal of collecting stars remains throughout the entire game.
In the real-time strategy game Age of Empires II, a multi-player game mode exists called “Defend the Wonder” which requires players to protect a giant monument from their opponent’s attacks for the entire game.
Because permanent goals never go away, using too many could cause an unwieldy build-up of objectives for the player to focus on. Additionally, if a permanent goal is not perceived as enjoyable by the player, with no option to remove or opt-out of it, the player may grow dismayed with being forced to contend with it.