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News & Features Discussion  » General: MMOWTF: Teh Grind

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82 posts found
  Guintu

Novice Member

Joined: 1/25/05
Posts: 314

I reject your reality and substitute my own. -Adam Savage from Mythbusters

3/19/07 1:57:09 PM#41
This is a great article, a friend of mine and I have had this discussion many times (yesterday being one).  The grind can be tedious yes but what is life but a grind.  Your in a job, you start out in a low position and you grind and grind until your a manager.  The grind in most games I do feel is pretty hard, for instance in Silk Road I remember being told in a quest to get 100 tiger paws from white tigers, and I ended up killing over 200 to get them, then only to return the quest and be asked to get another 200, thats when I logged off and never returned.  I've played many mmorpgs and they hall have grind. 

Yesterday when I was talking to my friend I had mentioned that if an MMO got rid of "how much XP I need to level bar" the feel of grind may be more untoticeable.  When playing an MMO I notice people saying "how much more do you need to level".  People are constantly looking at their level bar and I find that too and as I get higher level I'm looking at it and watching it slowly creep up and it gets boring.  Without the level bar and you just level, it may seem a little less of a grind.  In real live you don't have a level bar for when you get your next raise or when you get a promotion.

Another thing that kind of makes MMO's feel grindy to me is the fact that you go to an area and see the mobs just walking around in a 10 food area.  I played the free Ryzom for a bit and the thing I found kind of neat is that the mobs would migrate, and if you stand in once place a mob may just come up to you and watch you, sniff you and maybe try to get your attention.  This made the game more realistic which made it more fun, which made it seem less of a grind (reason I stopped is because I like playing games with certain friends and they didn't really care for the game).  

The idea behind Dark and Light really got me interested when reading about it in early beta (now I hear its one of the worse games ever made).  A game with a full eco system, plants dying and new ones growing, migrating mobs, changing land areas, it seemed exciting when reading about it.  I think like making a game more realistic would make a game seem less of a grind.  Make a game where you have to hunt your prey, you have to seek them out a bit.  You may only be able to do that quest in certain seasons because they prey may not be there in the winter time....which means you have to make a game with seasons.  The grind may be a major part of any MMO but the idea is to mask it and make it interesting. 

Maybe the next gen of MMOs will be different.  With computing power getting stronger, and broadband connections getting better and more people having them, I can see a whole new MMO.  I have high hopes for Star Trek online and Stargate Worlds, I think these games will be a HUGE change in the way MMO's are played (or so I hope).  Right now Pirates of the Burning Sea has potential, we'll have to see what happens.  David Perry's secret game (which I'm going to try and work on and hopefully win the directorship) has great potential.  Hopefully games will get more intelligent, have more options and be more realistic.  I think then people will think less about the grind.
  Talyn

Novice Member

Joined: 8/22/04
Posts: 587

3/19/07 2:20:03 PM#42
I'll add a comment to all the prior posts about Guild Wars and levels -- whether you liked GW or not (it seemed like most did) it seems you missed the point. GW has a low level cap, and allows you to reach it fairly quickly because it's not a "levels game" at all, it's a skill-based game. The only thing "Level 20" is for is that it tells everyone else your character more than likely has enough skills (and high enough armor) to survive and be useful in the bulk of the PvE storyline and PvP arenas. Aside from that, GW could just as easily not have levels whatsoever, they're virtually meaningless, unlike 99.9% of other MMORPG's. GW does have some grind, but it's totally voluntary grind such as going for titles, etc. It's your choice if you want to do that, it's not forced upon you.

And that, I think, is where grinding becomes the evil that most people hate. When what you're doing is fun and/or voluntary, I don't think people mind so much, especially if there are other choices of gameplay available for you to choose at any moment. But when the grind is forced upon you and you have no choice in the matter, it becomes very noticeable and the fun factor drops dramatically.

Without jumping on a WoW-bashing bandwagon, I'll give props to Blizzard for making an enjoyable game with plenty to do (even without grinding) from 1-59. Then you hit 60 and there's nothing much to do other than grind for gold, grind dungeons and raids for "phat loots" and grind various reputations for whatever rewards. After doing beta for several months for The Burning Crusade, that was the final straw for me. Mostly the same quests I'd already taken several characters 1-60 through, and a bazillion more reputations to grind, many of which are required to get attuned to a raid instance. 60-70 was pretty much a joke, even casual players were reaching 70 in a month or less, then back to the grind.
  NineSpine

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/18/07
Posts: 54

3/19/07 3:04:23 PM#43

Content takes a vastly larger time to create than to play through unless it is based on some kind of grind. This is the root of the whole problem. It simply isnt physically possible for a company to produce content at the rate which even casual players will progress through it, grinding aside.

There is only one reasonable answer to this issue: Player Driven Content.

There are very few examples of this design style in MMOs and there are zero examples of it being pulled off with the polish of some of the npc driven MMOs. Ryzom Ring is one example where players design their own content and Lineage 2 is one example where players drive the content through a complex PvP system (when you arent taking part in the horrible grind.)

This is the ONLY way to solve this problem and it appears that, at the very least, Warhammer realizes this and is designing their game to be driven by PvP.

Hopefully more companies will realize this soon.

  wolfmans

Novice Member

Joined: 8/09/06
Posts: 27

Ranger is a lifestyle not a proffession

3/19/07 3:17:43 PM#44
it's an issue and a big one for all of us here and developers a like. I'm sure that the people making the games themselves would like a less 'treadd mill' like approach but finnancial considerations apply. Ok on the bits about accepting buggy games and such yeah as consumers we do but i guess we all hope as a whole it'll lead somewhere one day. Who knows what might be achieved remember the true power in any field belongs to the consumer without them your company or product is dead.
  Wolfrider

Novice Member

Joined: 2/10/05
Posts: 23

Playing
WoW
Scions of Fate
Rose Online

3/19/07 3:29:21 PM#45
Originally posted by heerobya
Originally posted by Wolfrider
Originally posted by Samuraisword
I like grinding, it separates the men from the boys. Boys just lack endurance.
  Either that or have jobs, girlfriend, kids, a social life, etc. Grinding is something that is currently being tolerated by the MMO public simply because the novelty factor of the MMO hasn't quite worn off yet. It's getting there though, the genre is becoming saturated and there is ALOT of garbage out there. RF Online is a key example of a publisher that just didn't give a damn. I played it for 3 months (for an essay I was doing) and though I thought playing a game as homework would be great, it was more tiring than doing the research.

I'm one of those players that hates the idea of XP in general. The whole reason XP exists  in pen and paper RPGs is that there is no objective way to test a players skill. In chess, checkers, go, action games, FPSs, sports, you simply get better with time. Because pen and paper RPGs exist largely in the heads of players, that skill progression has to be emulated. There is no reason (apart from tech restrictions and now, force of habit) to include any kind of leveling system in any RPG. Live combat people. Non fetch-quests that are Zelda and puzzle like in nature, well designed dungeons that make you think. Skills that require player interaction rather than randomly generated output with a few modifiers tacked on. A REAL STORY.

Teh Grind is just about designer laziness. And I get that MMOs require alot of time, money and resources to put together and current technical limitations don't make everything listed above plausible. But at least some of it is.

Of course, players share the blame here. You're the one paying the subscription fees. Speak with your wallet.


People want a single player RPG they can play online. With a massive amount of people. Unfortunately, single player games don't work with a massive amount of people online, hence you have to create content that WILL work with a massive population all trying to do it at the same time. The inclusion of instanced content is a big step forward towards the more "single player" experience, but as we saw with Dungeons and Dragons online, too much instanced content in a supposed massively multiplayer game ruins it.

MMO's are a genre with its own strengths and weaknesses. I think people who complain about the grind are either A)playing a eastern developed game like Lineage 2 or B) unaware that they are not playing an offline single player game.

If you remove the grind, which would create an "end" point in a game, all you now have is a co-op game. Like playing Halo 2 co-op with a buddy and beating it. Remove the grind and you'd just have a co-op game with a frick'n huge player limit.

Now what do single player games do to keep people playing after they "beat" the solo content? Multiplayer. According to the definition of "grind" used by most, any and all multiplayer gaming is a grind. BF, Halo, CS etc. People may not think of it as a "grind" because it's more "involved" gameplay because it's "twitch" gaming. Hence, why most all MMO's have PVP, to give players something to do, something more "twitch" and competetive to enjoy in a true multiplayer experience.

People rush through the great, storied content to get to the "end game" only to realize they have to do the same thing more then once. Ever if you have 50 dungeons and 30 raids and 100 different PVP things to do, you'll end up doing the same thing over and over if you keep playing over a long enough period of time. Then you come to MMORPG.com or the game's forums and complain about the "grind."

What makes every multiplayer encounter different is the people you play with/against. Want to remove the grind? Play with people whom you really enjoy playing with and you have a good time with. You'll then hear yourself saying "what grind?! I'm having a great time."

 

I agree and disagree with you. Although you're right that the single player experience cannot be replicated in an MMO, I disagree that proper story elements can't be implement and that grinding is a necessity. I'm not sure how much experience you have with the MUDs but alot of the really amazing ones had brilliantly intricate plots that advanced continuously over the games life. Alot of MUDs have very deep, complex "adventure style" quests that can take days to complete and don't involve killing 150 rabbits to make a luck rabbits foot.

And lets not forget roleplaying, there are MUDs built completely on roleplaying with very little "game" holding them together. Granted, this is more difficult to pull off with a graphical UI but not impossible and with a little more "design" in the game design process and more frequent content updates as well as creative quest building these problems would be solved. Just look at the latest PS3 game LittleBigPlanet, that's some interesting multiplayer stuff going on there. Yes 70 person raids might be gone out the window, but a 6-8 person team would be perfect for really interesting challenging quests. Just a little brain sweat would be required on the part of the developers.
  Tyrranosaur

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/06
Posts: 283

3/19/07 5:13:14 PM#46
Originally posted by Suplyndmnd
I think the only solution to "Teh Grind" is a complete revamp of MMORPG's in general.  I've stopped playing FFXI recently because it has become so much of a grind (read: repetitious) that I really could just sleep through pressing the buttons.  When your game is that exciting, you're going to get people who drop out. 

I think you've really nailed it here about what Grinding really means: boring repitition. It's also one of the reasons that grinding is something for which different people seem to have different tolerance levels and interpretations of: some find slaughtering endless spiders cool and fun.....for a while at least......while others (myself included) begin to question the point of our actions after spider #10 and the quest objective is complete.

Soooo....I'd say that grinding by definition is really best defined as, "The threshold at which a MMO player is no longer enjoying the experience of the game, and/or is finding the game process so repetitious as to instill boredom."

Killing monsters need not be boring.....but if the game treats the process of kill-loot-earn xp-reapeat in to something which is like a chore, then the designers do them a disservice by failing to spruce up the way that their game can be played. I think there's plenty, even at the high-end levels of a game, that can be done to keep a player's interest and avoid boring repetition.

One thing, for example, that I think some developers miss the boat on is the fact that people do this stuff for reward.....so why not reward more often? Leveling in WoW, for example, always generates a new talent point and a bunch of advances,,,,,but what if leveling in WoW happened in smaller stages. If, instead of getting all those increases after 600,000 xp, what if every four bars of experience acquired you "mini leveled" and gto 20% of the total advances leading to the next level....effectively a quarter level's worth of experience earned and paid for. I know it would probably work to motivate my tired, addicted brain....

DDO does this, I think with it's achievement system.....but it doesn't really work, because the bonus is too little and takes too long even to get that. In fact, of all the MMOs I've played, I think I found DDO the most tedious to advance in, partially because I know how the paper and pencil version of D&D plays (and it is nothing as tedious as DDO), and because there simply isn't enough content in the game to escape grinding....you have no choice but to repeat dungeon after dungeon, over and over, to build up that exp bar.

So far, I think games like EQ 2 and WoW manage to balance advancement very nicely in their early levels (1-20), although with EQ 2 I haven't tested it past that point (check back in another week, heh). If they could only sustain the momentum on up to level 100.....sigh....

 

Current MMOs: Rift, GW2, Defiance
Blog: http://realmsofchirak.blogspot.com (old school tabletop gaming and more)

  Tyrranosaur

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/06
Posts: 283

3/19/07 5:17:48 PM#47
Originally posted by Wolfrider
Originally posted by heerobya
Originally posted by Wolfrider
Originally posted by Samuraisword
I like grinding, it separates the men from the boys. Boys just lack endurance.
  Either that or have jobs, girlfriend, kids, a social life, etc. Grinding is something that is currently being tolerated by the MMO public simply because the novelty factor of the MMO hasn't quite worn off yet. It's getting there though, the genre is becoming saturated and there is ALOT of garbage out there. RF Online is a key example of a publisher that just didn't give a damn. I played it for 3 months (for an essay I was doing) and though I thought playing a game as homework would be great, it was more tiring than doing the research.

I'm one of those players that hates the idea of XP in general. The whole reason XP exists  in pen and paper RPGs is that there is no objective way to test a players skill. In chess, checkers, go, action games, FPSs, sports, you simply get better with time. Because pen and paper RPGs exist largely in the heads of players, that skill progression has to be emulated. There is no reason (apart from tech restrictions and now, force of habit) to include any kind of leveling system in any RPG. Live combat people. Non fetch-quests that are Zelda and puzzle like in nature, well designed dungeons that make you think. Skills that require player interaction rather than randomly generated output with a few modifiers tacked on. A REAL STORY.

Teh Grind is just about designer laziness. And I get that MMOs require alot of time, money and resources to put together and current technical limitations don't make everything listed above plausible. But at least some of it is.

Of course, players share the blame here. You're the one paying the subscription fees. Speak with your wallet.


People want a single player RPG they can play online. With a massive amount of people. Unfortunately, single player games don't work with a massive amount of people online, hence you have to create content that WILL work with a massive population all trying to do it at the same time. The inclusion of instanced content is a big step forward towards the more "single player" experience, but as we saw with Dungeons and Dragons online, too much instanced content in a supposed massively multiplayer game ruins it.

MMO's are a genre with its own strengths and weaknesses. I think people who complain about the grind are either A)playing a eastern developed game like Lineage 2 or B) unaware that they are not playing an offline single player game.

If you remove the grind, which would create an "end" point in a game, all you now have is a co-op game. Like playing Halo 2 co-op with a buddy and beating it. Remove the grind and you'd just have a co-op game with a frick'n huge player limit.

Now what do single player games do to keep people playing after they "beat" the solo content? Multiplayer. According to the definition of "grind" used by most, any and all multiplayer gaming is a grind. BF, Halo, CS etc. People may not think of it as a "grind" because it's more "involved" gameplay because it's "twitch" gaming. Hence, why most all MMO's have PVP, to give players something to do, something more "twitch" and competetive to enjoy in a true multiplayer experience.

People rush through the great, storied content to get to the "end game" only to realize they have to do the same thing more then once. Ever if you have 50 dungeons and 30 raids and 100 different PVP things to do, you'll end up doing the same thing over and over if you keep playing over a long enough period of time. Then you come to MMORPG.com or the game's forums and complain about the "grind."

What makes every multiplayer encounter different is the people you play with/against. Want to remove the grind? Play with people whom you really enjoy playing with and you have a good time with. You'll then hear yourself saying "what grind?! I'm having a great time."

 

I agree and disagree with you. Although you're right that the single player experience cannot be replicated in an MMO, I disagree that proper story elements can't be implement and that grinding is a necessity. I'm not sure how much experience you have with the MUDs but alot of the really amazing ones had brilliantly intricate plots that advanced continuously over the games life. Alot of MUDs have very deep, complex "adventure style" quests that can take days to complete and don't involve killing 150 rabbits to make a luck rabbits foot.

And lets not forget roleplaying, there are MUDs built completely on roleplaying with very little "game" holding them together. Granted, this is more difficult to pull off with a graphical UI but not impossible and with a little more "design" in the game design process and more frequent content updates as well as creative quest building these problems would be solved. Just look at the latest PS3 game LittleBigPlanet, that's some interesting multiplayer stuff going on there. Yes 70 person raids might be gone out the window, but a 6-8 person team would be perfect for really interesting challenging quests. Just a little brain sweat would be required on the part of the developers.

 

ROFL! Lets not forget the inane reasons for some quests: If I kill 150 rabbits to get that lucky rabbit's foot to drop....that's a hell of a lot of unlucky rabbits! Hah!

Current MMOs: Rift, GW2, Defiance
Blog: http://realmsofchirak.blogspot.com (old school tabletop gaming and more)

  Tyrranosaur

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/06
Posts: 283

3/19/07 5:22:17 PM#48
Originally posted by Talyn
I'll add a comment to all the prior posts about Guild Wars and levels -- whether you liked GW or not (it seemed like most did) it seems you missed the point. GW has a low level cap, and allows you to reach it fairly quickly because it's not a "levels game" at all, it's a skill-based game. The only thing "Level 20" is for is that it tells everyone else your character more than likely has enough skills (and high enough armor) to survive and be useful in the bulk of the PvE storyline and PvP arenas. Aside from that, GW could just as easily not have levels whatsoever, they're virtually meaningless, unlike 99.9% of other MMORPG's. GW does have some grind, but it's totally voluntary grind such as going for titles, etc. It's your choice if you want to do that, it's not forced upon you.

And that, I think, is where grinding becomes the evil that most people hate. When what you're doing is fun and/or voluntary, I don't think people mind so much, especially if there are other choices of gameplay available for you to choose at any moment. But when the grind is forced upon you and you have no choice in the matter, it becomes very noticeable and the fun factor drops dramatically.

Without jumping on a WoW-bashing bandwagon, I'll give props to Blizzard for making an enjoyable game with plenty to do (even without grinding) from 1-59. Then you hit 60 and there's nothing much to do other than grind for gold, grind dungeons and raids for "phat loots" and grind various reputations for whatever rewards. After doing beta for several months for The Burning Crusade, that was the final straw for me. Mostly the same quests I'd already taken several characters 1-60 through, and a bazillion more reputations to grind, many of which are required to get attuned to a raid instance. 60-70 was pretty much a joke, even casual players were reaching 70 in a month or less, then back to the grind.

You make an excellent point. I have played WoW two years and refuse to grind for rep and faction standing....but am alarmed at all the quests and stuff I miss out on because I know, absolutely know, my tolerance level for the grind prevents me from ever wasting precious air-sucking living time on something so stupid. I might as well run in circles for a few hours, at least I'll get exercise.

So yeah, if the game actually requires you to grind to have a chance of advancement......baaaad sign.

Current MMOs: Rift, GW2, Defiance
Blog: http://realmsofchirak.blogspot.com (old school tabletop gaming and more)

  Tyrranosaur

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/06
Posts: 283

3/19/07 5:26:35 PM#49
Originally posted by Guintu

Maybe the next gen of MMOs will be different.  With computing power getting stronger, and broadband connections getting better and more people having them, I can see a whole new MMO.  I have high hopes for Star Trek online and Stargate Worlds, I think these games will be a HUGE change in the way MMO's are played (or so I hope).  Right now Pirates of the Burning Sea has potential, we'll have to see what happens.  David Perry's secret game (which I'm going to try and work on and hopefully win the directorship) has great potential.  Hopefully games will get more intelligent, have more options and be more realistic.  I think then people will think less about the grind.

I like the way you think. Unfortunately, I think it'll be a while yet before IPs like those you mentioned get fair treatment.....shortly after Star Wars Galaxies gets fixed, or we all experience a rectal emergence from winged primates......

Current MMOs: Rift, GW2, Defiance
Blog: http://realmsofchirak.blogspot.com (old school tabletop gaming and more)

  Guintu

Novice Member

Joined: 1/25/05
Posts: 314

I reject your reality and substitute my own. -Adam Savage from Mythbusters

3/19/07 5:46:46 PM#50
Originally posted by NineSpine

Content takes a vastly larger time to create than to play through unless it is based on some kind of grind. This is the root of the whole problem. It simply isnt physically possible for a company to produce content at the rate which even casual players will progress through it, grinding aside.

There is only one reasonable answer to this issue: Player Driven Content.

There are very few examples of this design style in MMOs and there are zero examples of it being pulled off with the polish of some of the npc driven MMOs. Ryzom Ring is one example where players design their own content and Lineage 2 is one example where players drive the content through a complex PvP system (when you arent taking part in the horrible grind.)

This is the ONLY way to solve this problem and it appears that, at the very least, Warhammer realizes this and is designing their game to be driven by PvP.

Hopefully more companies will realize this soon.


I agree with you.  I played the face of mankind beta and they tried to make a player driven mmo, but they skimped.  The only missions people were able to make were "secure an area" if you were playing a cop and "take over an area" if you were playing a bad guy.  Now I hear they're making NPC missions because the game tanked so bad.  To rely on just players to make missions may not be a good idea because even though there are a lot of people with good imaginations out there, its hard to come up with good quests in the spur of the moment...unless you lead the people in the right direction.  Give the people enough options to make good quests themselves.  I never played Ryzom Ring, it sounds interesting though.  I'll be cool to see the future of MMOs, one can only tell what may happen.  It takes just one really good idea to sprout up many others. 

The first MMO was a revolutionary thing and now the games are getting more expensive.  Game developers are scared to make a drastically different game and have it tank so instead they keep adding minor changes here and there testing to see what we like and what we don't. 

Maybe if game developers had forums not just on the specific games but on what people would like in a game and they read it, they would get a better idea of what the mass' want.  Right now they have a few people reading their forums and most people have the same questions but the devs don't really promote bringing out ideas, using imagination.  I was beta testing Matrix Online and I saw people give ideas but the devs didn't say anything about them.  They would answer the questions about PvP and such, but when someone came up with an idea for the game it just went seemingly unnoticed....same with Face of Mankind.  This is why I think the David Perry Top Secret challenge might be good.  It'll show that the masses have good ideas and maybe devs will listen or even hire unknowns to direct video games.  I know for years I've had ideas for games and would have loved the money to direct one myself.
  Hawkwinde

Novice Member

Joined: 1/05/05
Posts: 19

3/19/07 6:04:41 PM#51

Wolfrider certainly recalls correctly. Content, or rather the lack thereof, is the real reason for Grinding in Role-playing games. In your classic D&D days, the game designers would craft modules that 5-6 people would sit around a table and play from start to finish in around 6 hours. When the first RPGs go put on the early computers, designers ran into an awful shock-- the content of a D&D scenario was playable in about 20 min solo on the computer!  Thus a 100 hour game was potentially equal to 300 D&D scenarios!!!

Now obviously there was not an entire monastery of designer monks hidden away cranking out all those scenarios so "filler" HAD to be added to soak up time.

Might and Magic I designed by the famous  Jon Van Caneghem was the first to smack its forehead on this factor in 1988.  Jon crafted this huge gaming map, it was designed to overawe everyone in its size and hence prompt people to buy his first game. So the map was in all the advertising months ahead of release. The Jon had to fill the empty map with "something"! ROFL, that turned out to be an incredible challenge. One city was only a few squares in one grid section on a map that was something like 12x16 grids. And then he had to populate that city with buildings, people, vendors, and quests. All in all a very daunting project that could have taken years to make it meaningful or even relevant. But in the always driving need to publish so you can eat, the game had to ship. So, 80+% of that huge map was totally empty, just random monster encounters. The grind here was time filling, not character related. Alas, the size of that map so captured public imagination that every RPG afterward was judged on how BIG was their map or how many 100s of hundreds of hours were needed to finish the game.

Now the real problem here is not just time, it is what to do in that time. :)

Computer game designers almost never talk about the thing that none to date have solved; the dreaded Middle Game. They know really really well how to do the intro levels of the games, and many have clear vision of the big blowoff at the end that they have in mind as a payoff to the players. Yet how to get the player from say 12th to 30th level? Grinding became the default no-brainer answer.

 

  kalrar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/13/07
Posts: 32

3/19/07 7:07:15 PM#52

     I have to say personally I like the thoughts you've wrote on the subjects casual gameplay, the grind, etc. MMOWTF..exactly

I've been wanting to put my 2 cents in on the subject as well. Granted this is 21'st century entertainment, and it is evolving. I've been playing for many years...suffice to say...many years..lol. Ok, I had an Atari pong when it came out and was mid teen years. moved up to Intellivision with the audio adapter for B-17 Bomber. ( bandits...6 o'clock ).  Fast forward, to the time of  DOS and the PC, and became quite intimate with Sierra games Kings Quest series. I don't personnally know her but know of her, and I must say Roberta Williams probably has an interesting sense of humor add to the games a phrase of " odds bodsskins". Fast forward some more to delve through various other titles like Return of the Mummy and misc other rpg's.  Bare with me hear as my quick trip down short term memory lane brings me to some 8 or 10 years ago when my then 12 year old daughter came to me with a horrific story of being killed in a game she was playing by some ruthless daughter slaying PK'r. You can imagine my outrage by this. Retribution was the least of what I had in mind. Someone was going to pay dearly in an unsavory manner for even remotely suggesting my one and only beloved would suffer harm . I was instantly immersed into the wonderous, fantastic world of....Diablo. My mission was clear...I would save her at any and all costs, forsaking anything I might need to go through to learn what it would take to max level and forever in that realm be a true hero and Pallidin. I met some good friends to quickly show me the ropes. I explained I would thwart any and all comers. NO ONE would harm my child ever again.  5 YEARS later, victim of several pk's, body poppings, and countless lost duels I found true love of my first MMORPG. Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction is and always will be part of my history, indulgence in escapism, and investment of entertainment, and at 45 years of age and the current rate of what the industry is become, my most loved game of choice.

      I've built up my system to handle anything avialable to date. I anticipate great things from hype, ( thanks alot marketing geniouses ) from the names and titles to come. I've ground ( grind plural ) in L2, DDO, Horizons, Oblivion, Ferentus, RYL, Last Chaos, WOW, GW, Dungeon Siege,  paid useless homage to DnL and being subjected to It's bogus billings, fell into the bogus unfinished hype of Vanguard ( lvl 20 orc dreadknight ) , LOTRO ( jury still out, Turbine has progressed since DDO ) and then lastly scored a beta key to try NCSoft's Dungeon Runners...hmm wierd they jacked and plagerized my beloved Diablo in an off sort of way. Go ahead and call me the disgrundled gamer, but as I see it a day late and a dollar short of what they should've done with the potential of L2. ( long live the memory of Hellsfire alliance ) . But I digress... occasionally...

 I have a career. I have alot of spare time. I also have cash to throw at 21'st century entertainment, 50" big screens are the shit. When dissatisfied or bored or a good new movie comes along, I find that entertaining as well. The similarity between movies and games is astounding, it's the way our history of entertainment is, and will be going for some time. Both have a mix of interest to the masses, but you cant alway please everyone all the time. You don't have to subject yourself to something you find objectionable. But the classics should get the respect they deserve. The patronage of the following should prove that, and it does. So my long winded point is: During the time we invest / spend for our entertainment / escapism should be reciprocated in the return for it.  When I run off to ( fill in the blank, name of world you enjoy ) I DO NOT want to think of car, mortgage, utility, taxes or any other real worldly responsibility. I DO NOT want to remember I work to Iive and choose freely not to live to work!  I want to escape, to be alone and conquere or siege opposing wrongdoers with an alliance. I want to be GODLY. I want to have riches beyond imagination. I want to find the mystical magical powerful sword / armor of ludicrous potential .  FFS it's a fantasy, let us have it so that is should be just that. I don't know what to tell all the people that want to simulate real world hardships, grind, and mediocrity in there gaming experience...maybe try getting a job?

  qombi

Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 1187

3/19/07 7:26:41 PM#53
This is my view on it and I have friends that feel the same way. I miss EQ 1, I do not enjoy being forced to solo and quest in WoW. There is no reason to group up as it would hurt peoples experience points and the stuff is so easy solo only makes since. Grouping up on all quest is an overkill. Questing also makes it feel less like a real world with freedom. In EQ you made your own adventure. You also usaully had a party and didn't have to run all over the freaking world while questing.

You were able to relax and chat with friends and new people a like. WoW has no community because grouping only exist for instances. I hate the immature kids that roam WoW. I see why they are there as the game is easy and you do not need an attention span to play it. The levels fly by and you can solo the whole game. MMORPGs should be about coming together to accomplish things. That was the beauty of EQ. The only ones that hated EQ are the ones that are antisocial or just arrogant jerks that really couldn't handle being in a social environment. EQ was nice as it weeded out these people early on. You are a jerk equals no leveling for you. At higher levels you didn't see too many WoW children.

Quest makes the game feel to mapped out. I prefer a big world  where you go out and decide what you are going to kill. I don't need npcs telling me to hunt rats. Just put loot on monsters and chances for decent items to drop off certain creatures and let people group up and decide what monsters die by there swords that day. It is freedom people. For people saying games are grind what do you want? To be max level in a week? Where is the accomplishment in that? Why buy a MMORPG that you blow through in a week? To me it sounds lazy and just like everything else now days  ... everyone wants instant gratification. I am sorry the best things in life are things you work for.
  Endemondia

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/29/05
Posts: 232

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king - LAST OF THE MOHICANz

3/19/07 7:32:41 PM#54
Originally posted by blaam
Originally posted by Endemondia
A great article that acknowledges the limitations of the business design for MMORPG but also hits the nail on the head - DA GRIND can be a waste of our time on this planet. I loved Guildwars for the very reason that to max level only took a week and so gaining levels was no longer an issue. The game play (playing not grinding) and most important the pvp is 2nd to none. Voted the best game last year i see. However the article does touch on the solution. With spawning and no perma-death DA GRIND is inevitable. Bring in perma-death and leveling will not be the key issue but simply staying alive will. XP will still be important but role playing in a game where life and death is the key aim (i.e. don't die!) will alter the sense of grind - of course it should be perma death for the monsters too - but it does not take a genius to recognise that monsters are respawned but with a new skin.... In other words grinding is inevitably boring because if you die you just respawn just like the monsters/enemy. Imagine if every time you risk gaining experience you also risk losing it all. Not for the faint hearted but certainly will inject the so called GRIND with an infusion of intensity never seen before in an mmorpg. I am not here to labour the point just to say Dan has stumbled  across (or deliberatly dropped a hint about) the answer. Lets hope a publisher or games company grows big enough balls to try it because in evolutionary terms it is the next step for mmorpg...gladiator style! lol

has been tryed before..  do you realise what this suppose ?

the answer have already been posted in sevarls posts above... and you point out too the MAIN reason people complain about grinding in your post  (oyou reference to GW lvling).

The grind, in most of the games, is an issue BECAUSE people aim for the last lvl  and dont take time to even enjoy the world between lvl 1 and whatever lvl max is. for instance take WoW ( since it kinda became the  mmo "reference" :() how many people dont even know why they have to kill XX spiders.. how many people just quest-grind to get to 60 ( 70 now) withotu even bothering reading the quests  ? yet the same people complain about the quest grind but they have no idea why they been asked to do so.

its jsut a matter of play style , and  people whilling to rush the max lvl right ahead but yet complain because its too muhc of a grind while they didnt even bothered with what the game have to offert are jsut not playing  the right game imo.

most of the mmorpg's out ther give options , you are not forced to grind.. you decide to do so.. the only one that doesnt give you much of an option that come to my mind (P2P) is lineage 2 most of others dont have that. ( i played a lot of different but not EVERYONE so might have a few more)

sorry! Are you defending Da Grind because gamers should be more imaginative when they grind? i.e. if one plays  in a style that makes grinding fun it will be????It is acknowledged by most people here that Da Grind is one of the worst aspects of mmorpging and any one who says take WoW for instance is like saying well if you eat food, Macdonalds is a really good example of eating food....it is poor game design - pure and simple. WE know why - due to the limitations of the games industry and market forces. So what if WoW is popular. It does not justify grind. Macdonalds is popular but I would not take a date there unless she was retarded. (YES..i am saying playing WoW is for retards by the way! }:). Good gaming..online or other wise is about having agonistic, aleactic, ilinx and hopefully mimicry entertainment (I quote my games lecturer here!) I can't tell games designers to stop making easy money off of the 6 trillion idiots who grind to level 60 (i got to 15 before recognizing what a turd WoW is) but as a paying customer I would like the games designers to recognise that they have to stay one yard in front of the herd to keep making money - pioneers such as myself and my illustrious scriber Dan are suggesting at a higher echelon of gaming experience and remedies to the malady that is DA GRIND. N.B. I loved the guildwars journey to level 20 because there was a point to the story line....ascending among one of them and did it with about 6 characters -although the first time was the best. Sadly I spend most of my time grinding on D&D online so I am as big a bitch as any one for sucking up DA GRIND. so point taken I have stylized my play to enjoy the grind some what! But i still think perma death would take it to the next level - e.g. give more meaning to the gaining of  experience points/staying alive is the chief goal and not hiting a certain level be it 20 or 70! make killing x number of monkey spiders a seriously worthy experience as your charcter's life is on the line (mimicry)

  Endemondia

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/29/05
Posts: 232

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king - LAST OF THE MOHICANz

3/19/07 7:49:16 PM#55
Originally posted by Razperil
Nice way to mispell "The".....columnist.. Anways, Most games involve a grind. You either accept it or you don't. Get over it and be a man for a damn change. My god, how many columns do we need on this crap? The old days are gone.. no used complaining about it. And for your information, WoW has always been a grind. Guess the weed helps with that huh? No more comments!
I get it now! WoW is a stoners' game! cool 'cept i gave up weed 20 years ago - "the brain is a terrible thing to waste!" - who said that?
  qombi

Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 1187

3/19/07 7:50:37 PM#56
I think MMORPGs will always take time to max out your character. I really don't even like how fast you max a character out in WoW but it at least takes a little time. I really hope people on here are not calling WoW a grind because it isnt at all. If a game feels like a grind to you at any point you should quit it. I honestly would not play a game I wasn not enjoying. I myself enjoy character development which sadly many MMORPGs don't allow much of. WoW does a little with talent points which is okay. I enjoy more freedom myself.

If anyone has played Rubies of Eventide you would know they have some awesome ideas there but also some major issues. Let me just extract what they are doing right. Rubies have wonderful character development. This is because you as the player do it. They give you the points from leveling and you place them where you want. Sure you can really gimp yourself but it is all up to you. You have complete freedom. You can create a pure melee character and give him all points in magic if you wanted. Would it be a good idea? Heck no, but you can do it!

I love this freedom and I wish it would be mimicked out there in the MMORPG world. Unfortunately Rubies is also plagued with a original battle system which is horrid and limited content. For the people talking about grind, think about what a MMORPG is. The game is about interacting with people. You guys are losing yourself in trying to be the best or have the best gear, be top level the fastest. All these things is why you feel the grind. Quest and solo are removing why EQ was such a fun game. It didn't have all those quest to remove the freedom to choose what to do. The players socialized, they talked about what monsters they were going to hunt. They hunted in parties mainly and it was the most fun I have ever had in a game. Was it because of the awesome content and flashy graphics thrown at me? No. It was about the community and the fun I had playing with them. The players made thier own content and it was better than anything WoW could offer. WoW feels like they are leading you through a stale static game. EQ felt like a breathing living world where you could do anything.

I say less content and more socializing. Throw us a world out there with creatures and secrets, let us find them not some quest giver. Make each class have seperate skills that complete a party to kill monsters. It requires coming together to take down the baddies. People are missing what made this genre.
  vajuras

Novice Member

Joined: 1/20/06
Posts: 2857

3/19/07 8:16:47 PM#57
Originally posted by blaam
Originally posted by vajuras

Blaam you have a good point but Guild Wars absolutely does not have grind. You must not have played it. You can create a max level character from the start and jump right into pvp! Please, please play Guild Wars people before you try to diss it lol

If you choose to go PvE route you can stick to the main RPG storyline complete with cutscenes. You hit level 20 automatically upon completion. No grind whatsoever. I know, I did it with 3 toons.


i actually did :) played during beta.. didnt like it.. bought nightfall and had lot of fun with my heros.. so i bought the 2 first addon and did all campains ;) 

i was jsut pointing at what  was said  about getting to lvl 20 in a week and have fun, too me it reflects well what happen in mmorpg's in general i means rush themax lvl  like if only the high lvl  content was worth it  and THATs what  takes away lot of fun un a MMORPG imo ;)

 ps : i ll  jsut add that nightfall has  lot of grinds farming titles is a pain and  you have to od it if you whillling to lvl up some important titles that give you a huge hedge in the elite areas (spent a month grinding it off jsut to have the pleasure to be able to do it with my derviche and my heros ;))

my bad I just reread your post and I see what you were trying to say my bad
  Endemondia

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/29/05
Posts: 232

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king - LAST OF THE MOHICANz

3/19/07 8:20:38 PM#58
Originally posted by qombi
I think MMORPGs will always take time to max out your character. I really don't even like how fast you max a character out in WoW but it at least takes a little time. I really hope people on here are not calling WoW a grind because it isnt at all. If a game feels like a grind to you at any point you should quit it. I honestly would not play a game I wasn not enjoying. I myself enjoy character development which sadly many MMORPGs don't allow much of. WoW does a little with talent points which is okay. I enjoy more freedom myself.

If anyone has played Rubies of Eventide you would know they have some awesome ideas there but also some major issues. Let me just extract what they are doing right. Rubies have wonderful character development. This is because you as the player do it. They give you the points from leveling and you place them where you want. Sure you can really gimp yourself but it is all up to you. You have complete freedom. You can create a pure melee character and give him all points in magic if you wanted. Would it be a good idea? Heck no, but you can do it!

I love this freedom and I wish it would be mimicked out there in the MMORPG world. Unfortunately Rubies is also plagued with a original battle system which is horrid and limited content. For the people talking about grind, think about what a MMORPG is. The game is about interacting with people. You guys are losing yourself in trying to be the best or have the best gear, be top level the fastest. All these things is why you feel the grind. Quest and solo are removing why EQ was such a fun game. It didn't have all those quest to remove the freedom to choose what to do. The players socialized, they talked about what monsters they were going to hunt. They hunted in parties mainly and it was the most fun I have ever had in a game. Was it because of the awesome content and flashy graphics thrown at me? No. It was about the community and the fun I had playing with them. The players made thier own content and it was better than anything WoW could offer. WoW feels like they are leading you through a stale static game. EQ felt like a breathing living world where you could do anything.

I say less content and more socializing. Throw us a world out there with creatures and secrets, let us find them not some quest giver. Make each class have seperate skills that complete a party to kill monsters. It requires coming together to take down the baddies. People are missing what made this genre.

They have already made it. It is called Dungeons and Dragons Stormreach online. Still as it has been mentioned in this thread it is not currently an option to avoid DA GRIND - except in certain experimental games like Real Life and possibly skills based games like Project Entropia (you can actually travel to a nightclub on a satalite planet  and dance to real djs (who own the satalite  planet and charge you accordingly but it is possible to play the game with no attempt at enhancing character skills=no grind just pure pleasure). EQ is on a par with the monstrosity that is WoW...solo grind fest brought to us by Gary Gygax and the Asians! I only say this because I don't need/want/like to work and grinding is an experience closely related to that other human pastime  called "a job". These are my personal opinions and I actually don't really mind if people want to play grindy games that mimic their grindy jobs - although I thought EQ was  an online game for housewives and kids with ASBOs?
  Yeebo

Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/05
Posts: 1360

3/19/07 8:40:05 PM#59
Someone above posted that a "grind" in any game can be defined as being forced to repeat the same activity over and over again when it is no longer fun to advance at some goal.  I think that's a pretty good definition.  

"Fun" is pretty subjective, but whenever I get to the point in a game where I don't se any way to advance besides doing activities that I consider to be a "grind" I put it down, MMO or offline RPG.  If you aren't having fun in any game, or any hobby for that matter, it's time to move one.

And I don't know how the hell some posters got the idea that if you don't like "grinding" you secretly want an offline RPG, but that's completely bogus.  First of all tons of offline RPGs have "grinds" that I've never been able to get past.  Dragon Quest is a perfect example.  Never made it more than a third of the way into any of them.  Having 90% of your playtime consist of mindlessly killing over and over again for no other reason than to see some skills improve or a level bar move a bit is an archaic and lazy design convention.  It shouldn't be tolerated in any game, online or off imo. 

Quests tend to make the grind a lot more palatable to me.  A deep engaging plot even more so, but that may be a standard MMOs may never be able to reach (although many games have chains of quests that together do tell an interesting story).  You can argue that questing (or fighting your way to the bottom of a puzzle filled dungeon to get your next cut scene, for that matter) is merely a candy coated grind (a turd with wax on it, in the words of the OP).  But I am pretty damn sure that it takes a hell of a lot more skill and planning to fill a game with quests than it does to fill a empty field with monsters and say "here you go, kill these guys until your butch enough to take down those slightly stronger guys over there."

There are other ways of making the grind more entertaining.  For example,  leveling via PvP.  I have leveled toons entirely via PvP before, and it's a very nice change of pace. There are also some games that give you alternate advancement routes.  For example leveling purely as a crafter in EQ II.  I'd love to see developers do better than this, but so far it seems like quests, PvP, and alternate adavancement routes are about as good as it gets.

Conversly, For everyone that thinks "being forced to grind" = totally sweet MMORPG....there's  this  free MMOPRG called MANGband. 

mangband.org/


There is literally nothing to do in the game but kill stuff, get loot,  and chat.  You'd probably really like it.   It also has all ASCII graphics, so you can also get a big hardon about detailed graphics being a crutch for those that lack imagination.  As for me, I'll do the best I can with my current "waxed turd" of choice, and hope that something better comes along eventually. 

I don't want to write this, and you don't want to read it. But now it's too late for both of us.

  kabana

Novice Member

Joined: 10/21/06
Posts: 34

3/19/07 9:24:42 PM#60

 

 The problem I see is that the MMO's forget why we are playing online.  Interaction with other players is the key. 

   People are willing to spend insane amounts of time and energy in these games because the pay-off is bigger.  All the other players can see the results, and benefit from them or even die by them.  Hardcore and PVP players are the extreme proof of that.  But casual players like me start asking questions after a while.  Why am I spending so much time on this?  What's the point?  What am I getting out of this?  The fun factor starts slipping away.   Being online with people around the world to kill rats for X hours a week gets old.

   The game that has the right mix of leveling mobs, content, sandbox activities, immersive story, and social elements will be the next gen MMO :)  A game we can "play" and not "try to level".

  I'm keeping my eye on "Fallen Earth". 

And Yeebo, great post!  Also love your Turtletamer Avatar, I'm currently an Accordian Thief.

 

 

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