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General Discussion

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News & Features Discussion  » General: Why Did the MMORPG Become a Grind?

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77 posts found
  User Deleted
7/11/12 11:00:31 AM#41

Money and because mmos were never meant to be able to finish in a weekend like we have today. 


Elite Member

Joined: 11/12/07
Posts: 1967

Crosby P. Jenkins

7/11/12 11:01:03 AM#42

Good read up to:

"On the story side of things, Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the few MMO's to take storylines seriously."



Then I stopped.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

7/11/12 11:06:07 AM#43
Originally posted by saurus123

its all becouse p2p model


devs wanted players to stay as long as possible in thier mmo so they invented grind ;D



F2P & Freemium games are as grindy as p2p ones.  Often even more. 


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/07/09
Posts: 739

7/11/12 11:11:26 AM#44
Originally posted by Caldrin

who knows...


People called Darkfall a grind.. but i enjoyed the amount it took for me to develop my character...


I think for some reason most people that play MMORPGs these days are the instant gratification lot and anything that takes time to do is a grind..

i feel the same way.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/23/10
Posts: 160

7/11/12 11:23:02 AM#45

There doesn't really need to be much said on this topic...The biggest reason is player retention. The cheapest and easiest way to retain players is to create tasks that need to be repeated MULTIPLE times in order to achieve a goal. Want to keep players around for a while? Release about 20 daily quests that reward reputation, but gate them and make the entire faction process take 2 months + (Firelands dailies).


That and technically ANYTHING is a grind. Ever played multiplayer MW or BF? That's a grind. You're repeating the same activities over and over and over again.


Grinds AREN'T BAD! Really, they aren't. HOW THEY ARE PRESENTED matters. It's the same thing with questing. SWTOR, GW2, TSW and TERA all have pretty similar questing content (although TSW does have awesome investigation quests), in that they all have standard kill/collect/talk to quests as one of the primary questing activities. But the quests FEEL different in each game because of how they are presented. SWTOR/TSW do fully voiced directed cutscenes with different styles, GW2 has them appear more organically by "running into" them, and TERA has the traditional delivery method of questhubs and text blocks.


I really don't like how everyone has jumped all over "grinding" as if it's inherently terrible. It's like people jumping over linear endgame progression now (primarily GW2 fans, and before you start raging I've pre-ordered the game and love the hell out of it from what I've played already). There's nothing WRONG with linear progression and "gear hamster wheels". It's a method of delivering content and providing an incentive to continue playing. Is it pointless? Yeah, but so is every other activity if you look at it in a vaccum. If people have fun doing it, who cares?


TLDR: Grinding is fine and there's nothing inherently wrong with it. Just like with questing, it's how it's presented that matters.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/28/05
Posts: 107

7/11/12 11:25:46 AM#46

Best article ever.


This is exactly how I feel. I despise grind in MMO's and especially when developers don't even try to obfuscate the grind with story/immersion elements. All I can imagine are these smug developers laughing at their customers, who are paying them to play their terrible content over and over. And then developers initiating pyramid schemes like Sign up a Friend to mask the fact that the content is not actually fun enough to play by itself. If the content is good, the people will come.


And when did the MMORPG become something you enjoyed only after you hit max level? When did the destination trump the journey? The very concept of an end-game is broken. In a virtual world, you don't have one. You should be enjoying what you are doing ingame from day 1 all the way until you stop playing. No game today has this (some come close), but its an ideal that is largely ignored by developers in favour of the ideal of a Cash-cow.


I like virtual worlds, not repetitive action/arcade games. Else, I'd go and play... a repetitive action/arcade game. They have their place. But this is not it.

PS. To those saying grinds aren't bad: I think you are confusing "repetition" with "grind". "Grind" has a negative connotation precisely because its bad. If a game has a "grind", that means by definition that the repetitive elements are poorly presented. There is no such thing as a positive "grind" anymore than there is a bright-side to a plague.

Novice Member

Joined: 6/06/08
Posts: 104

7/11/12 11:30:16 AM#47

Funny (or sad) when you only have to read the title of an article to know the author has no clue. As mentioned several times before in this thread, grind has been around for ages.

My Signature


Novice Member

Joined: 12/22/11
Posts: 302

7/11/12 11:33:15 AM#48

I enjoy games that make the grind fun.  I would much prefer a year to get to lvl cap then 2 weeks.  I'd much prefer xp parties grinding on mobs then solo questing.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/28/05
Posts: 107

7/11/12 11:38:24 AM#49

apologies double post - every time I refresh, my post seems to randomly appear and then disappear.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 1593

7/11/12 11:58:11 AM#50
Originally posted by tollbooth

I enjoy games that make the grind fun.  I would much prefer a year to get to lvl cap then 2 weeks.  I'd much prefer xp parties grinding on mobs then solo questing.

Couldn't agree more.  And the way you make the grind/mob killing more fun is that each different type of mob drops loot specific to that mob.  No tagging of mobs though, anyone that hits that mob will get loot. This universal loot stuff is getting really old. 


I can't say I agree with much the OP is complaining about.  What the hell is he talking about "grind"?  It's the anti "grind" people that have scared devs into making 1 month long MMO's.  Have any of the newer MMO's had more than a couple months content.  If OP thinks these newer MMO's are a "grind" he has a serious problem. 

They need to stop steamlining everything and bring back a little inconvenience in order to help immersion.  Let me kill my own town guards but then I destroy my reputation and have to go to vendor's under the town ala EQ or I'm booted out of the town until I bring my rep back up though whatever means necessary.  Give players a small bit of freedom again. 


Advanced Member

Joined: 6/27/12
Posts: 500

7/11/12 12:13:52 PM#51

If you like what you are doing then its fun.

If you don't like what you are doing then its a grind.


Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 7124

7/11/12 2:45:52 PM#52
Originally posted by Loke666
Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

The grind came with EQ, Tough we didnt mind grinding back then, as it was the first virtuall 3D reallity 


What? you should really know better. You usually have more MMO knowledge than this. :(

The first MMO ever was already in 3D,it was called Meridian 59 and released early 1996 (I played it). It invented stuff like the trinity and the skills on cooldown thing.

It also invent the grind, but I blame monthly fees.

And OP should also know better, both M59 and the realm (that released mid 1996) were over a year before UO and both clearly MMOs, both had in fact a lot more in common with modern MMOs than UO.

I remember my first MMO quest in M59, I was to kill 10 rats in the moat.... Did that a few times since.

EdiT: Lol, I forgot the whole point.

M59 invented grind, but I think most of it was because of the monthly fees, not anything else. The longer you play the more they earn, singleplayer games never had anything like that.

Agreed.  The grind was a direct result of the monthly fee (which by the way got me everything including expansions in Lineage).  However, grind also kept people interested and playing despite the monthly fee.  There were some severe penalties in Lineage which could set you back weeks or months and eventually succeeding felt great.  If it all had come fast and furious with "instant gratification" then people would not have stuck around; the community would not have developed, and yes people would not have stayed subscribed.

The result of the subscription grind created a more persistent longer lasting world that morphed more slowly over time.

The latter can't seemingly be achieved without the pain those negatives that are associated with grind.  It's a double edged sword, but by removing the pain we've also removed a lot of what is enjoyable about MMORPGs.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/28/05
Posts: 107

7/11/12 3:27:12 PM#53

(Ok, turns out my double post was not a double post and it lost my original post. 


So instead, I'll summarize because I'm not retyping.)


Best article ever. Thank you, I feel the same :)


Advanced Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 1137

7/11/12 3:33:36 PM#54

WoW was the game I was playing when the lightbulb came on, and the event that catalyzed the grind-fest, beginning-of-the-end lightbulb for me was the introduction of Dailies.


Until dailies, you were questing, exploring, maybe RPing, helping guildies, gathering raid mats - all things that were useful or necessary in the context of the way you played WoW. But with dailies, it was really apparent to me that this was a time sink. And honestly, I was floored to discover that some people really like it.


I already have a job that requires me to put in far too many hours. I value my game time and want it to be full of fun things, or at least useful ones. So when dailies were expanded and achievements were added, it was a death knell for me. For all those that love those grinds, more power to ya. But for me, I'm looking for immersion via story and exploration rather than time sink via grind.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/29/12
Posts: 117

7/11/12 3:38:23 PM#55

Grind was awsome whne you were doing it for a purpose or to socialize, like ff11 but since wow intruduced those damned dallies has become a grindfest ...I hate dallies but if you don't do them you lose a stat,ittems, etc


www .getrid lol


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

7/11/12 4:08:10 PM#56

The grind predates MMOs.   Thirty years ago, I was crunching how many d8 hp orcs it would take to reach level 18.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/03/10
Posts: 140

7/11/12 5:55:36 PM#57
Originally posted by kantseeme
Originally posted by Skyy_High

Oh look. Another "Sandbox good, Themepark bad" thread. How novel. 


And sure enough, nothing new or interesting has been said. Different People Have Different Tastes, news at 11!

Ok, actually, I did see one thing new, Meltdown's take on why grindy gameplay fit with the design of UO/EQ. 


Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/26/04
Posts: 217

7/11/12 6:12:24 PM#58

The genre changed because the playerbase changed when WoW drew in non-MMO gamers.

Without knowing number (or having any real evidence) I would be willing to bet a large sum that the majority of UO and EQ players also played pen 'n' paper RPGs.

I'm willing to bet a far larger sum that most modern MMO players haven't and wouldn't ever play such games.

The RPG players were not today's gaming generation of immediate reward and sense of self-entitled wannabes. We were (and are) willing to work for our reward, willing to risk death (there is no risk to death now), willing to help strangers and, importantly, looking for more than jusrt a 'game'...


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/12/04
Posts: 877

Make worlds not stories

7/11/12 6:30:16 PM#59

Every mmorpg or level based game is a grind; grind xp, grind gear, grind tradeskills, grind instances, grind raids.

But grind is a state of mind, and if the game is rewarding enough the grind feels like progressing, while if the game is not quite the thing, grind becomes a bore. I always loved a good grind, where the persistant player is rewarded and the impatient unsubsribe. In these games I meet most like minded players, and what is a game without other people to interact with.

on a side note. OP you failed to mention Vanguard, which was also based on good roleplaying principles, they just couldnt quite meet their own high standards in the end... that was the last mmorpg released trying to be a roleplaying game.

"I am my connectome"


Advanced Member

Joined: 9/13/07
Posts: 1945

7/11/12 6:42:36 PM#60

Fairly bad, flawed article imo. It tries to pass off the "new grind" as if it never happened in MUDS or UO. Which grinding did infact happen in both. Playing a MUD in its own right was a grind.

What the article could have/should have been is WHY he doesnt like the current grind and what he did like about the old grind.

Opinion articles are fine. But there is a fine line between an opinion article and someone trying to state opinion as fact.

I to prefer the old style of grind. But it was a grind all the same.

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