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Reader Comments (24)

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 8:13AM Miffy said

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Never made it to end level in any MMO, always get bored of the repetitive grind by level 20. I remember Everquest 2 everyone quit when they got to the 20s cause the grind suddenly got really slow and the content in Nek and TS sucked. WoW I got to level 40 but then I just played on my mates level 60 Shadow Priest instead cause I was really good at PVP and he wanted me to get him honour.

Star Wars Galaxies and Planetside were the only games I maxed out but SWG had that amazing skill based system that was really fun to grind and Planetside you were just playing an FPS so you didn't notice the leveling.

Playing games like WAR, Lotro and AoC I just feel like "been there done that" and I got bored of them before level 5 and quit. They feel exactly like the start of WoW and I got bored of that with WoW, when I get the feeling of "here we go again", then I just stop.

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 9:16AM (Unverified) said

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Conversely, LOTRO is the only game I HAVE reached end level for, as it seemed a lot fresher and more interesting than the others I had tried and abandoned. Horses for courses I guess!
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 9:44AM Azlew said

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The 20's content still sucks in TS and Nek. BBM is a little better and goes up to 35. This problem hits also around the 60's unless you can find some good instance groups.

I personally found that outside of those ranges, there was very little grind. The only repetitive factor was that I picked up a quest, did whatever I needed to do for the quest, and handed the quest in, but each quest managed to be different enough to hold my attention and make me keep on playing. Even now that I am Level 90, there is something different to do every day - unfinished high level quests, collections, making spells for people etc. Good fun :)
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 11:00AM nomoredroids said

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LOTRO gets more fun as you level, I promise.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 9:27AM Wisdomandlore said

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Let's see, if you removed the grind from a game like LOTRO or WoW you would be left with...nothing. Actually LOTRO would have a handful of solo, instanced story quests from the Books. The rest of those games, though, are pure grind. Each quest is a grind X. The crafting is a grind. Reaching top level is a grind. And then the REAL grind begins. Raiding, running dungeons, and PvP are usually longer grinds than anything before.

That's not to say that the grind is a problem; it's that the gameplay is a decade behind the rest of the industry. Combat is boring. In any given fight in LOTRO, WoW, or AoC, you will use the same skill rotation 95% of the time. Enemy AI is braindead. There is no challenge. No need for thought. Even a lot of dungeons in these games are straight up tank and spank.

If the gameplay were better, if enemies (even solo enemies) could actually make you think and adopt new strategies; if crafting were deep and not just click, click, click....the grind would not be a problem.

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 9:45AM Aetrix said

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I stopped reading when you called EvE's set-it-and-forget-it skill training a grind.

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 9:48AM dudemanjac said

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Why? You disagree with the fact that you start a skill and then it finishes on it own? You grind out some mining or combat missions and the get another skill that completes on it's own. What's wrong there.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 10:42AM Aetrix said

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"You disagree with the fact that you start a skill and then it finishes on it own? "

No, I disagree that such a thing is a grind. A grind is a repetitive, monotonous thing. Choosing a skill to train and then going to do whatever you feel like is the exact opposite.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 11:02AM nomoredroids said

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Then why did you even post a comment?
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 11:24AM (Unverified) said

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Heads up, chief: I'm about to blow your mind...

Eve's grind isn't skills, it's money.

You grind money.

In Eve.
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Posted: Jun 6th 2010 2:16PM Aetrix said

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obviously...
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 9:54AM dudemanjac said

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I wanna say that I would like to play a Mass Effect type game where lvling is kinda secondary, but I just prestiged in MW2, so I can't honestly say that. For those who don't know, once you hit lvl 70, you have the option of getting rid of all your weapons and starting from lvl 1. Essentially you lvl up again and again with the only differences being a different rank marker and the opportunity to get some other accolades.

I love to ding. Doesn't make me a bad person.

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 4:09PM (Unverified) said

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Honestly, I would have preferred a bit MORE grind in ME2. While I don't like required grinding in my games, having the option to go level-build to stomp the enemy that's giving me trouble is nice.
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Posted: Jun 4th 2010 10:13AM Miffy said

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EVE is a money grind, you can't do anything without it and the more money you have the better you are. The other traditional MMOs you don't need money to do anything, it just lets you buy things that help.

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 10:30AM (Unverified) said

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Leveling and after-thought with no grind, yep I think I would like an MMO like that. I tend to get bored by the grind. If it starts to feel like work, then you got a problem. Some game designers seem to be designing for the hard-core and forgetting that some people have lives.

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 11:17AM (Unverified) said

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Most of the time I don't really notice or am bothered at all by grind. If I have to go mob, it's fun to me. I love wiping out hordes of enemies! Plus, I level slow because I end up doing lots of stuff at once, like I go out and gather materials and ores to sell in the auction house, or I'll work on my crafting. When I play MMOs I'm managing another, less complicated life of mine, not trying my hardest to see what's at the end of the game.

Most of my XP comes from when a group in my Faction wants a tank!

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 11:18AM (Unverified) said

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All MMOs contain grind, but that doesn't mean you can't play an MMO and not do any grind.

As people have pointed out, EvE Online doesn't make you grind for skills. You can fly your noob ship around and fight NPCs, craft, or PvP at your leisure. You get to do whatever you want from the get-go. If this was a grind-game, you'd be useless in PvP for 40 levels, and you'd need to spend hours botting on asteroids to get your mining skill up.

World of Warcraft has all but eliminated mandatory grind. You can log in from scratch, and immediately start questing. You can group up, do PvP in a battleground, run instances, or just wander about exploring - all the game's major content is made available pretty much from the outset. The grind only appears if at late game you decide you want to try your hand at raids to extend the life of the game. Many players, myself included, choose not to participate and still leave WoW with fond memories and feelings we got our money's worth. If WoW wanted to be a grinder, it'd make the first instance start at level 40, and make it so that the only battleground is at 80. It doesn't. This is good game design, but so many developers just don't understand it, or can't be bothered to evolve beyond typing in progressively bigger numbers.

The tired phrase "All games have grind" is uttered by only two people, players who want to mindlessly pound keys until they have enough XP to gank anyone they choose at no risk, and developers who don't want to bother putting any thought into developing meaningful, original content.

Once MMO developers realize that grind is filler to put at the end and not the game itself, we'll start to see more enjoyable titles filter in and the genre will progress.

-SirNiko

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 11:27AM (Unverified) said

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"Conventional wisdom shows that the grind has to be there, that slowing progression is what keeps you playing, and removing it entirely would result in players leaving the game in short order."

This kind of thinking is EXACTLY what's holding the industry back. For the life of me, I can't figure out why developers just can't make regular combat more like boss fights and make boss fights more like epic encounters.

Really, is it that freaking hard? I know asking for more content is pointless, since that requires actual work. I just don't understand why the stupid game devs can't figure out what the word GRIND means.

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 12:04PM karnisov said

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actually the grind is the cause of burnout. why do you see alot of people posting in the comments for other articles "i'm not playing anything at the moment, just waiting for X game". because the grind burned them out.

Posted: Jun 4th 2010 1:08PM (Unverified) said

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Thank god I'm not the only one. There is no need for grind at all. Look at Diablo and Diablo 2. People played and enjoyed those games for years. You can get to high levels in those games in ~25 hours but nobody complained because they were too busy making alts to try out new skill builds. It almost wasn't about attaining the perfect build, it was about developing the "perfect" build.

Sure the Diablo games had end game loot grind but that was optional. The route up to 40-45 in Diablo and 75 in Diablo 2 was grind free.

WoW could do the same thing except with quest lines. You can spend time finding the "perfect path" through WoW's different racial questlines. They'd just need to extend them past level 20.

I think Mabinogi's rebirth system would go a long way in combating grind too.

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