Let me start with a well know fact: “grind” is present in every MMO.
Some would say it’s a needed mechanism to keep players busy as no studio has the wish/power to create enough content. Personally I see it as a cheap way to avoid players burning content too fast.
Anyway what would be the definition of enough? I think there is no decent way to prevent hardcore gamers from completing a game too fast. So why bother? There will always be unhappy people. Let them play as fast as they want and well move to new horizons.
Thanks Blizzard for bringing a whole new population to MMO, we now see more and more families and friends playing.
There are millions of persons hooked by MMO and many more that could be, but something’s amiss.
When I read posts on http://www.wowdetox.com/ I have the feeling it went wrong. And I am very sad some people are wasting their life devolving too much time in games that were supposed to be FUN and so bring happiness.
So I ask the question why does players have to “earn” the right to activate a skill, use a transportation system, craft an object? In a way aren’t we reproducting real life? Why not making a (virtual) world in which you can do thing from scratch (or nearly), where everyone’s equal or sort of. Well a FUN environment? The difference would come from how each players use their time not how long they grinded.
In few words, remove or at least reduce drastically the grind. Let players enjoy the game without having to spend countless hours to access to specific parts.
As a final note I don’t bite at the concept that it would make games uninteresting nor challenging. There are many ways to reply to these concerns without the nasty grind.