There is a grind. There is almost always a grind in any MMO, whether it be the real-time skill progression of EVE Online
or the slow acquisition of deeds in Lord of the Rings Online
. 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.
Anyone who is having flashbacks to the state of MMOs in the heyday of EverQuest
would not be entirely incorrect. After all, conventional wisdom at the time was that you had
to force players to party early on, or no one would keep playing
. More recent games have greatly streamlined the need for grouping, and the idea of being unable to solo to the level cap in most games is a thing of the past.
So, would you play a version of your favorite game that removed all of the grind? Would you keep coming back, day in and day out, if there was almost nothing grindy left? Or would you lose interest if the pacing was closer to a game like Mass Effect 2,
where any level grinding is almost an afterthought?