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Asian Players Like The Grind, Stereotype?

Posted by AndyLee Sunday August 31 2008 at 10:06PM
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Why do Asian Players Like The Grind? I found this article on MMOSite and its opinion is quite controversial. I hate people stereotype Asian gamers to grinding freaks. However, to some extent, I have to agree the part about how Asian game companies make the MMOs. Just have a look and share your opinion.

Why do Asian Players Like The Grind?
Many people are curious about why do Asian players like the grind so much? Indeed, nearly most of Asian-style MMOs have been a grind-fest. Little or no story lines, no emphasis on role-playing. No plots, hardly any meaningful quests. Just be endless grinding. Grinding used to be regarded as a drain on people's time, wallet, and emotions. So bored, but why do Asian players like it? Many people could not get their head around it. Here, we attempt to analyze the reasons led to this situation. If you think we are insane, share your opinions.

With so many companies alike, obviously there is a hard competition to make the better game at a faster speed. There just isn't enough content if there wasn't grind. The first Asian MMORPGs were massive grind, influenced by games such as Dragon Quest. Developers in Asian MMOs market are going for the easy way to earn money. If any of Asian games happen to go global, without a deep/complicated storyline, translation is faster and easier. Since gfx cards are constantly improving, instead of competing for better storyline, companies are competing to get better graphics.

Someone thinks it has something to do with cultural differences, people reared around the world boasts a wide variety of customs and mores. And someone once mentioned that it was because they are more community based. Grinding builds up community. They love to grind in the same time talk about stuff with other players. This kind of gaming style increases the interest of other people not playing the game. Sometimes they talk about the hardship they went through just to get a rare item and laugh because they upgraded it and failed to do so. This kind of attitude towards failure makes other people more enthuse iasts. It is like an adventure of achievements and failure. Moreover, In order to level up faster you need to group, which in turns gives more exp per players. Unlike World of Warcraft, Lord of the ring that makes you share your exp when in group, which makes players want to solo more unless you are in end-game raid.

Some people argue that most players even if they are not Asians don't even care about the story of the game, if there is one. They like the feeling of progression and accomplishment and wanted to max out their characters and get the best gear. Grinding is usually the most efficient way of leveling and players tend to get good drops off of mobs when they are grinding them for hours. They think that it's a waste of time doing quest to level. Every players' goal is to be number one in the game he/she is playing after all if they can't do it in real life at least they were able to accomplish it through games.



StinkyPest writes:

My understanding of this, is that many Asian market games are F2P. Conserving money is a priority in some countries more than others. If you look at some facts, Americans will buy things such as computers at a faster rate than China (comparing one person to one person). Not necessarily because of the lack of cash, but the want to have some savings left over.

P2P games have a shorter grind time on average, because developers and publishers do not need you to play an extensive amount of time. Their subs are enough (in most games) to take care of the fees, and have money left over.

F2P games, especially those without a cash shop (using adds instead) to earn cash need you to play much longer. Thus the grind in 'Korean' MMOs are so great.

Most Asian countries find that spending money on things you can not control, and things you can not hold in your hand is, frankly, ridiculous. US/Europe players seem to not worry about it nearly as much.

Don't want to flood your comments, so I'll stop here. Nice blog post btw.


Sun Aug 31 2008 10:39PM Report
craynlon writes:

pure stereotype, longnose :)

but i think your analysis is right. producing a game costs money.
people expect from an mmo far more as from any other game that can be played for 40h then put into the recycling bin. people expect from an mmo to virtually live inside it spending countless hours.
to come up with content for these countless hours there are only few options:

- pve stories : to expensive to produc. people will complain that they have to repeat the same stories if they play hardcore (see ddo)

- pve grindfest : spawn mobs, let them be killed, repeat (see lots of games)

- pvp centered : let the player provide their own content by fighting each other (see upcoming warhammer, eve and sportsgames)

- pve random generated : not sure if this was done to the liking of the players yet (maybe see diabolo series)

in short, in a competitive market (as i believe the asian market is/was far more competitive then the western market in the days of eq/uo) you need a product that binds the customers to pay monthly fees and on the other hand keep him entertained without spending to much on developement. a classic combination in my mind is lineage2 wich combines heavy grind and pvp and kept me entertained for 4 years.

Mon Sep 01 2008 2:14AM Report
Kurai3 writes:

Actually, on kind of a side note I don't think they like it at all, it's just a side effect of the fact that many of the Asian developers are just now starting out, so they don't have much experience, nor do they have much money. (At least this is the reasoning I've heard out of the mouths of more than one far east grindfest) And it seems (To me at least) that as time goes on that the products on the asian F2P Market are becoming markedly better.

Mon Sep 01 2008 2:32AM Report
redavni writes:

Asian developers have long had a better grip on how to make better games than their western counterparts. Unfortunately all the good game programmers are probably hired by console developers, so their software quality sucks. I don't see this changing until the Asian companies start buying into more western development practices and software. Poor management is also an issue in asia...see L2 and their inability to stop botting.

Call them grind-fests if you want, but Asian MMO's stay true to their core gameplay values (shallow though they may be) where western MMO's will compromise the gameplay in search of more subscription money. Just because selling crack is more profitable than cocaine, doesn't mean it's better.

Western games do have one big advantage with the subscriber model in that it allows the developer to create scenarios where the player has to sit back and think for a bit. I imagine, someone who is paying by the hour, or paying for set time duration potions is going to be annoyed if a particular problem forces them to slow down their progression.



Mon Sep 01 2008 7:05AM Report
alakram writes:

In my opinion Asian games are based on player's adicction to the game. You dont need a story to make it adicctive you need, well, an adicctive game: A lot of short term goals, some long term goals and fun and easy gameplay.

Fri Sep 05 2008 6:18AM Report
DocSpencer writes:

Most people seem to think Asian MMos are grind-fests as far as I have read in the comments, and I agree. I remember playing Diablo 2 at 3am and all the asians grinding in their areas the entire night, they seem to love grinding. My new game is done installing though so I will leave this post unfinished XD

Sat Sep 20 2008 6:42AM Report
DustyBallz writes:

Asian grindfest games are not fun, they are not interesting, and the player has no sense of accomplishment, which is why we play games, isn't it?  To have fun, to accomplish something, even if taking place in some virtual world, gives a feeling of satisfaction.

To grind endlessly for days just to maybe gain one level, is not an interesting aspect of any game.  F2P or not, the game needs to have something interesting.  To gring endlessly just because you have absolutely nothing else to do is a complete waste of time and life.

North Americans want something in return for their "work."  North Americans don't work for free, and paying $15/mo to play a MMO is worth it as long as the player gets some sense of accomplishment after a little time.  Remember, it's a game, not a job.

Tue Oct 20 2009 1:25PM Report writes:
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