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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Grinding: Mobs vs. Quests

Posted by MikeB Sunday March 17 2013 at 10:10PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "XP grind. Mob or Quest?" by Arclan. Arclan offers up some examples of games where we grinded out mobs or quests to progress:

In EQ, we earned xp several hours at a time by killing mobs. Much of that time involved joking around with newly met friends. Often, you came to respect their wit and skill and made a game-long friend and in some cases a lifelong friend.

In Vanguard, I earned xp by doing quests. This never involved staying in one place for more than just a few minutes. If you are busy moving or fighting, you don't have time to chat. So no new friends were made in Vanguard.

Most games require xp, and many refer to that as a 'grind.' So pick your poison.

What's your 'poison' then? Read below for highlights.

Theocritus leans towards mob grinds:

I made more friends in EQ than I have in all other MMOs combined...The reason was because of the way we had to gain XP..... Liek the OP said, once we started questing we weren't in any one place long enough to make new friends and often didn't need anyone else anyway.....IMO quests should have been in MMOs only if they involved a great task (like class epic quests in EQ) and should involve other people....Otherwise its basically a single player game with other people in the game world.

For AlBQuirky, it's a bit of both:

It is a matter of a combination for me. Sometimes, I feel like being in a group and tearing through MOBs for hours on end. Other times I feel like following quests, where I can do as I please without worrying about others in my group. It is 2 very different types of gameplay and I enjoy them both.

The "grind" is so variable. With quests, I am engaged in the game. With MOB killing, I am not as engaged. If I get in a good group and we chat, the "grind" becomes less "grindy" and levels seem to come much more quickly.

The downside to EQ for me was the feeling that I could not do much without getting into a group. Even crafting was tough because it costs money and money was much easier to get fighting MOBs in groups. I could get to level 20 fairly easily without the "need" of others to help, but after that, soloing was very tough, indeed.

I do miss the Epic Quests that EQ had, though. They seemed to involve everyone in the group, not just the player doing the quests.

Psychow is a clear fan of quests:

I would rather quest.  Mindlessly killing mobs for no other reason than to gain XP is not a gamestyle I would want to participate in.

I'm sure developers would LOVE it if we did prefer mob grinding tho. Just think of all the costs they can save from having to provide content for it's players!

I'm going to take the easy route and say both. I actually prefer questing as the main form of progression, but I do enjoy grinding on mobs when the mood strikes. I spent a ton of time in my teenage years just grinding mobs in JRPGs and MUDs, so there's a bit of a soft spot for that in there for me, but it can get boring if it's the only source of progression.

Which do you prefer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Dreamo84 writes:

Ya, i'd have to say both myself. One thing that bugs me, is they make the questing the ONLY way to get decent exp. They make the per mob exp so low you couldn't grind mobs effectively at all.

But sometimes I do just feel like killing a ton of mobs and not worrying about objectives. Doing that in a group setting too, sometimes is even better!

Sun Mar 17 2013 11:36PM Report
acidblood writes:

I'd have to go with a mix as well. Quests add a bit of spice to killing mobs (good ones at least), but a good old grind can be good at times too. I never played EQ, but I do remember grinding cloth in WoW for a month to get a cross faction epic mount. It was certainly a different experience, I learnt the most efficient way to take out ogres and there was a gold farmer that turned up from time to time and made things more interesting.. good times.

As Fendel said, it's a pitty most games make mob exp such a small part of overall exp gain (especially when not 'rested'), it should be more like 50/50 imo... i.e. kill 10 mobs, you get 10*50xp from the mobs, and 500xp from the quest... Aion was (almost) like this, and I would often just grind if I needed a bit of exp and couldn't be bothered chasing down quests.

Mon Mar 18 2013 2:39AM Report
JC-Smith writes:

I think where the problem came in with quest grinding is more an issue of soloability and static quests than with the fact that your grinding quests.

It's only really beneficial to grind quests in a group if:

a) Your on the same quests as your groupmates.

b) The quest requires a group (in which case people often bypass them unless they are max level becuase it isn't worth the time commitment).

For the most part quests arre soloable in the modern MMO, which hurts the social aspect of them because your often slowing down your progression when grouping.

The solution is to stop making quests linear situations, and make them easier to share the experience with a group.

Mon Mar 18 2013 6:51AM Report
BadSpock writes:

I'd prefer meaningful gameplay without any need for grinding either way, but the genre hasn't quite figured out how to do that yet.

Mon Mar 18 2013 7:40AM Report
WellzyC writes:

i miss the old days of group grinding, mmos are are all solo gameplay, they just arrnt even mmos anymore, just single player games with chat boxes

 

Mon Mar 18 2013 9:18AM Report
Tsumoro writes:

I don't mind either, as long as it provides relevance. I find grinding mobs a bit tedious, but with the right motivation I don't mind it. Leveling up isn't too much of a motivation for me, I know I will always get to where I am meant to be heading by playing the game. 

I would agree that having xp parties did create a sense of community and you made friends. Times have changed since then, the community almost feels 'toxic' in some regards, the hate and spite I see people say is just unacceptable. 

I would like new ways for people to be able to cmmunicate and get along with each other. But, it appears in most games only guilds and raiding form this type of 'bond' which is always best served in the end game. This makes a very lonesome journey through out the game, especially if your a new player. 

Mon Mar 18 2013 9:23AM Report
Ramonski7 writes:

If the two ways to progress could have separate benefits it could go a ways to correct both misconceptions. For example:

  • Questing could be the best way to gain gold
  • Grinding could be the best way to gain exp
Please note I said best not only. Of course this is not a perfect solution but could be the grounds to expand from.
Mon Mar 18 2013 9:23AM Report
WereLlama writes:

I think the key is adding assynchronous social opportunitys for every quest, linking what many players want:

Social connectiion and progression without the delay of waiting at a bus stop.

 

Mon Mar 18 2013 10:51AM Report
Psychow writes:

There are usually plenty of mob grinding while questing. If I have a quest to kill 20 bandits and obtain 10 bandit headbands...I'm grinding mobs to compete the quest.

 

Thankfully....with some purpose/lore for doing it.

 

The pure mob grinders on the otherhand...just kill mobs to earn xp/hour and level as fast as possible. If that is your only option, then fine, and people have found ways to make that boring, tedious process fun for them. But I wouldn't choose it if I had a choice...

Mon Mar 18 2013 4:19PM Report
Ozivois writes:

grinding mobs works for me in that it is a quest of sorts, and a job of sorts, when implemented properly.

Just like a quest gives a loot reward plus exp, those grind mobs give a steady experience with the rare drops waiting to happen to act as a quest reward.

I think quests should educate and guide players throughout the world rather than act as the meat and potatoes of the experience. Dungeon/mob grinding while leveling up is really just like end game anyways, isn't it?

Dungeon crawling in EQ was always the most fun for me

Mon Mar 18 2013 4:39PM Report
Khayotix writes:

Id say a mix but in favor of Mobs over quests. My experiences in Both Everquest and EQ2 are why. EQ1 Mob grind make friends takes alot of time. Quests: No where to be found really, but your EPIC Quest was one hell of a quest Weeks long! through trials of blood, strategy, Mirages, Fervent rage! Quests should be LONG, Difficult and rewarding. EQ2 went sort of in the route of wow, but they kept those amazing Quests like Signature quests and Epic Quests.

I would Like to see Mob grinding, and mobs that can kick your butt. I was on EQ on Fippy Darkpaw server yesterday, and I was level 4, as were my 2 friends. We tried to take on a Bear that was level 5. It nearly destroyed us. THAT is how it should be. With all mobs. Solo is possible, but HARD. Grouping is still Hard. and Quests should be few and far between but when available they should be LONG Difficult, Stressful, and the reward should reflect that effort.

Tue Mar 19 2013 9:26PM Report

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