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The Space Between

Gaming and Life, Rants and Raves, now with 30% more loot!

Author: TesterNGS

The Virtue of the Grind

Posted by TesterNGS Monday December 17 2007 at 4:03PM
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The Virtue of the Grind

People, at least in my slice of the world, seem to find virtue in hardship. They feel an inexorable need to tell those around them of their hardships, just so you know how terrific they are for working through them. Some people think that they are a better person than you because they've had to work though something difficult.
I have found that the same attitude persists in the online world. People who play Vanguard take pride in the fact that VG is a "hard" game, which as you know simply means things take more time to obtain. The masochists who play Final Fantasy XI love to tell you about how long they've been playing and how many hours they've spent forming the perfect party for some quest. Hardcore WoW players will look down upon those who don't spend 20 hours a week preparing for weekend-long raids. Players in EVE brag about the number of mindless hours they've spent mining ore. Even in the online world, people think they are entitled to your undying admiration just because they've chosen to spend their free time with their nose to the virtual grindstone.
Of course, this attitude may not exist in the online world if developers could figure out how to reduce the grind feeling. I think its possible to an extent, but that's a topic for another blog.

Meltdown writes:

But why would the developers remove the grind if so many people find virtue in hardship? It's not just games either, it's sort of a human trait. The old "I had to walk to school in 3 feet of snow uphills both ways" mentality is present everywhere. Ask anyone who was in school for 6+ years and got their masters or doctorate. Or any old person will gladly tell you hundreds of their hardship stories. Hardships make for better stories, they stick in our minds better.

Thats why you have all the old EQ players remembering their corpse runs and wipes. It wasn't the fun part of the game, it was the virtues they obtained through those hardships.

Mon Dec 17 2007 4:41PM Report
TesterNGS writes:

Exactly. While we say we hate the grind, we LOVE telling other people about how hard we have it. Interesting.

Mon Dec 17 2007 5:14PM Report
ValaraukoGR writes:


I totally agree with TesterNGS but that’s only one among the many characteristics of a human being (which is “successfully” used until now by MMOs in order to keep their customers paying/playing)

Mon Dec 17 2007 11:25PM Report
rexkramer writes:

There needs to be a better median between the fun aspect, REAL time and grind in something we call a "game." Dedicating months and years of your life just to attain a virtual status seems almost painful when you stop to ponder it all. Vast lands, worlds, creatures and the 1337est of weapons will never substitute for engaging storytelling. IMHO, I feel that's what most MMOs are lacking.

I have a feeling that as I write this (wishful thinking perhaps), there's a group of devs out there throwing all conventional ideas out the window, making an attempt to do something new with the genre.

Don't get me wrong, I love playing long and hard for rewards just as long as those rewards come with some entertainment attached.

Tue Dec 18 2007 1:14AM Report
Hexxeity writes:

I would feel like a loser if I could brag about this kind of thing.  Fortunately, I'm smart enough not to do things that are boring.

I suppose if grinders were better at having fun (and less apt to brag), they might have actual social lives and no time for grinding.

Tue Dec 18 2007 4:12PM Report
sprites01 writes:

You can have hardships without the need for a grind.  I'll admit, it's a nice feeling getting your toon to cap level, it gives that sense of achievement that we all crave, but let us get one thing straight, a grind is not hard, it's long.  Big difference.  A chimp could grind up a toon given time.  Personally I find no achievement in killing x amount of critters time and time again.  It's just not fun.  Would you brag about watching paint dry?  There are plenty of other hardships to brag about in MMO's and plenty more yet to be implemented.

Grinding is necessary but it should be used as a tutorial tool primarily and a sense of achievement secondary.  It should be there but not the focus of your time.

Wed Dec 19 2007 6:12AM Report
maryxiao writes:

i think it's good for us ,it exist in games world and off-games world.


Tue Dec 25 2007 4:24AM Report
Jenson writes:

I worked really really hard to get to the max lvl and obtain the most powerful gear in the game. people just need to know how to work hard sometimes. You see, I - oh wait, wants me to take out the trash~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mon Aug 11 2008 4:27PM Report writes:
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