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Reader Comments (33)

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:23PM Leodehn said

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I'm gonna say it: I, with all of my heart and soul, hate grinding. It's boring, it's awful and it just makes me sad. I thank the gods that GW2 devs had decided to not bring it to the game.

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:36PM Kalex716 said

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@Leodehn

Just keep in mind Leo, its not often a design INTENT to have the playerbase grind. Designers usually provide content that can be done as little as the user want.

It is however, the users, that establish the baselines and the economical "norms" that often stimulate the types of play in order to keep up; that you would call making "grind" a necessary thing.

Mark my words, GW2 will have something people tend to grind one way or another.
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Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:49PM enamelizer said

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@Leodehn Grinding quests is still grinding to me...
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Posted: Jun 1st 2011 4:01PM paterah said

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@enamelizer So you agree with him then? :)
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Posted: Jun 1st 2011 4:22PM enamelizer said

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@paterah I agree in that I do not like grinding, but do not agree (or it remains to be seen I should say) that GW2 will be grind free.

Any level based game will contain some sort of grind, even if it is grinding thru quest content, or dungeon content, or crafting content, or PVP.
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Posted: Jun 1st 2011 5:02PM SnarlingWolf said

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@Leodehn

Believe me when I say those of us who do grind also hate grinding.

We grind to get an edge. That may be leveling faster to have higher skills, grinding to have better loot, grinding to make in game money, grinding to have better craft skills.

The reason is we want to be the best out there (often times due to PvP and wanting the absolute best setup before spending time fighting others but not always due to PvP). When EQ back in the day decided to open a RvR server I logged in the moment it opened and began grinding my levels and my crafting. I did so to hand out crafted gear to people on my side so that we would have an edge over the other sides.

It isn't that people like grinding, they like the result of grinding which typically is more time spent on the top.

The article's author states how he spent his time in UO. I can say I spent my time VERY differently than him. I spent time maxing my mining so I could sell the ore/craft armor. I spent time maxing my snooping/stealing skills so I could rob people hanging out by the graveyard. I spent time maxing my combat skills so I could steal with a death robe over my good armor and then kill the guy who tried to attack me thinking I was one of the standard weak thieves that hung around and then loot everything off his body. I grinded in UO to be one of the best.

There has never been a time where I sat there and said "This repetitive task to max my skills in the most efficient way possible is so exciting!" Instead I typical hate the grind but feel forced to do it in order to be competitive. Even in CoD: MW2 I felt the need to grind out matches in order to unlock the good weapons/skills so that I could be competitive. Until I unlocked those things the game was not fun to me so I was forced to grind in order to get to the fun.
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Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:24PM Khai mann said

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First, how was APB: Relaoded. Second, why doesn't anyone ever talk bout Knight online. that wa my first MMO, and it was a grind fest :)

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 4:26PM Beau Hindman said

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@Khai mann APB is awesome, better this time around. I had a blast in it before, and even bought the game for 50 bucks..then they shut it down. So now I have this, and the cash-shop is good. It sells guns and stuff, but that doesn't bother me at all.

I was just playing Knight Online not too long ago. Didn't get very far in it.

Thanks for all the comments so far, guys!


Beau
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Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:29PM Gamingstjean said

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I personally don't mind grinding it usually gives me some thing to do, however once I hit a certain level or point I get tired of the grind. Game developers need to find a way to balance grinding with the rest of the gameplay. I personally think Aion had it right but the long grind to level 20 is a pain and then the forced pvp is no fun I believe pvp should be a choice, but that's just my opinion.

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:35PM (Unverified) said

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Grinding is as old as time (or video game RPGs). The first time I remember grinding was in the original Final Fantasy. It was the only way to make your characters powerful enough to fight the bosses. Later games streamlined that process to match the flow of the game's narrative. Grinding was just a carry over from those games into MMOs. In order to advance, you had to level. In order to level you needed experience. In order to get experience, you needed to kill things. MMOs didn't have the linear progression provided by a story to hide the grind. Some of the most innovative things to come along from games like WoW were systems (like quests) that did a good job of providing momentum, and streamlining things all over again. But it's always been there, and always will be as long as games require levels and encourage non-linear play.

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:51PM enamelizer said

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@(Unverified)

When I think of griding FF is the first thing that comes to mind for me.

I remember when I think it was FF7 came out and people were talking about taking 40 hours to beat the game. All I could think was "Too bad 35 hours of that was mindless griding to get XP".
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Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:53PM Zethe said

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Grinding isn't as bad as it used to be in games.

Progression in games(I remember Soma and Mir) was literally grinding to level 40, grinding mobs for money, doing dungeons that you grind in to the last boss then killing it, some pvp..back to grinding.

This is the type of grind i hate i know there are more forms of grinding now days and most things can be explained as a grind, but they're a lot more fun than killing the same monsters for hours on end for two percent on your experence bar.

Mir was so bad at level 40+ a whole days killing monsters in the same place would give you about 0.02% of a level. Fun pvp, though.

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:55PM Dunraven said

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Grinding was never intended it was a product of gamers who had to have have some sort of progression or "Cheese" no matter the time involved.

Grinding sucks, but there are some folks out there who insist on having it.

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:57PM Borick said

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A grind is what happens when diminishing returns set in. When players feel rewarded, then the energy falls under 'work ethics'. When the players do not feel rewarded, then the effort becomes a grind.

People can become disenfranchised because they lack skill or confidence in a competitive environment. They can become disenfranchised because they are competitive players held down in a noncompetitive environment.

Everyone becomes disenfranchised whenever developers start engineering arbitrary reward systems at the expense of giving freedom and power to the players.

One can say that the grind has remained constant or become more refined, but what about the rewards? Outside of a few 'world firsts' of dubious prestige, what leverage do players gain from the grind anymore?

"The Grind" was far more rewarding and exploitable in the early days -- items with iconic effects or best-in-slot overpowered tweakiness. Nowadays we're just filling in our Bingo card of 'cheevs while waiting to consume the next scripted regurgitation from hackneyed developers.

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:59PM (Unverified) said

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I remember back in vanilla WoW, and playing my original character which has long since been abandoned and left to gather dust. I remember grinding out the levels, killing so many of the same mobs over and over and over again. It wasn't fun, or a positive memory.

But there are "grinds" I don't mind, and even enjoy now, like daily quests or running a certain old-school dungeon or raid hoping for that one lucky boss drop that will net me a rare vanity item or mount.

Grinds aren't bad per se. It's about finding a "grind" you can enjoy in some way, or get something out of it, even if it's just the mental satisfaction of having completed it. :)

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 4:17PM theselfishgamer said

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The grind to me is more of a too slow to lvl problem. If a game lets me lvl at a reasonable rate thru quests so that I can see new zones/quests/content, I am happy. If I just do quests and it takes me 3-5 solid hours to lvl ONCE, that is a grind. See: City of Heroes

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 4:33PM Jef Reahard said

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Interesting article.

I can't stand grind, or leveling for that matter. It's unfortunate that EQ came along and was as successful as it was. Its emphasis on progression, gear, and theory-crafting has infected most MMOs since, and is a large part of why the games are now games instead of worlds.

I also find it depressing that playstyles like Beau's are hailed as unique and different, because really exploration and world/community-building is what MMOs should be about, as opposed to gear porn, loot acquisition, level treadmills, and parsers.

All of that stuff can be and is done in other types of video games, and MMO worlds are wasted on players who want nothing more than number-crunching and whack-a-mole.

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 4:41PM (Unverified) said

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I'd like to say grind doesn't bother me much, but looking back at what I used to tolerate compared to now, I'm not so sure. Ragnarok Online was very grindy, but I think I enjoyed it before more so due to friends to play with. A recent non-MMO example of going back to play a grindy game is Final Fantasy V. I got so far as to start increasing my job levels in the game and then dropped the game cold, I couldn't stand the monotony.

If the grind is masked enough to feel fun, I really don't mind. I think a big problem, as I've pointed out before, is that there needs to be more activities to fulfill your time as a player, more options really. This includes non-combat options, which are sorely lacking in AAA MMO titles.

For goodness sake I am sick of hitting max level in a game and realizing that it's utterly boring at that point. Dailies are evil, I'm so sick of them. And while I enjoy dungeons, I don't always want to have to invest that much time into my gaming just to be able to do something interesting. It's horrid that I find max level for games I thought I'd enjoy to be big grindfests with little else to offer me.

I know games are going to provide what I'm looking for eventually, it's just that the market isn't quite there yet.

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 5:02PM McCool009 said

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@(Unverified)
"sick of hitting max level in a game and realizing that it's utterly boring at that point"

Hahahah, this sums up a lot of my feelings about current mmo's. If it's all about grinding then it's not a good game. Make it an actual fun game to play even if one has finished leveling and acquiring all the godly rare gear they need. Don't make them "finished" at that point. That's when the game should really begin.
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Posted: Jun 1st 2011 4:46PM Ratham said

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1.) Grinding sucks
2.) Asian MMO's are all near 100% grind

In conclusion, all Asian MMO's suck because they are boring as hell.

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