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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: The Grind

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66 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/15/12
Posts: 12

3/19/13 9:09:51 AM#41
Apologies for my typos; the above comment SHOULD read:

What kept me playing my maximum level characters (and not alts) in my fave MMORPG (COH) was  the joy of playing the character.  In that MMO (COH) unlike other MMO's I could "play  down" or be "exemplared" (to use COH terminology) and thus able to partake in my share of loot, scaled appropriately for the team size and level, etc.  Later on City of Heroes developed an Incarnate system for maximum level characters--and like many people I plugged away at it, reaping the rewards.  While the In-Game rewards would be deemed "worth the effort" by many, what really kept me coming back was the fun of teaming up!  Too bad, there's just no other MMORPG on the market today that has even half the creativity of, fun, and puts players in the driver's seat as City of Heroes.

I really enjoyed reading your article, Mr. Miller.  In fact, you are one of the reasons why I read e-magazine.  Since COH ended, I am just not into MMORPG's at all.  Maybe that's just as well, since I do have other interests and hobbies, such as local grassroots politics, and I'll admit an MMORPG as fine as City of Heroes diverted me from RL heroic causes.  Still, I and others sure miss the fun we had in virtual space.  Hats off to you, sir.

/em holdtorch!


Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/13
Posts: 972

cheese cheese wheres da bloody cheese

3/19/13 9:19:44 AM#42
Originally posted by JohnR
Apologies for my typos; the above comment SHOULD read:

What kept me playing my maximum level characters (and not alts) in my fave MMORPG (COH) was  the joy of playing the character.  In that MMO (COH) unlike other MMO's I could "play  down" or be "exemplared" (to use COH terminology) and thus able to partake in my share of loot, scaled appropriately for the team size and level, etc.  Later on City of Heroes developed an Incarnate system for maximum level characters--and like many people I plugged away at it, reaping the rewards.  While the In-Game rewards would be deemed "worth the effort" by many, what really kept me coming back was the fun of teaming up!  Too bad, there's just no other MMORPG on the market today that has even half the creativity of, fun, and puts players in the driver's seat as City of Heroes.

I really enjoyed reading your article, Mr. Miller.  In fact, you are one of the reasons why I read e-magazine.  Since COH ended, I am just not into MMORPG's at all.  Maybe that's just as well, since I do have other interests and hobbies, such as local grassroots politics, and I'll admit an MMORPG as fine as City of Heroes diverted me from RL heroic causes.  Still, I and others sure miss the fun we had in virtual space.  Hats off to you, sir.

/em holdtorch!

/em holdtorch

F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used to
Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.


Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

3/19/13 9:58:04 AM#43

"Then you too can sit back and think, “You think THIS is grindy? Back in MY day we had to...”"

And as a result, to prove to yourself that you were just "better" because you had to "work harder", the inevitable happens...the newer players are lazy and entitled, want it all handed to them...yes, we know these lyrics, we've heard the song before.

My example: 1994--the "janitor" only cleaned the corpses out of your "room" once in a great while, as long as the room segment never "unloaded" (because players were in it).

After a three hour "hunting" party,

>You see (room description)
>You also see: a gnoll (dead), a gnoll (dead), a dagger, an axe, a gnoll (dead), a gnoll (dead), a dagger, an axe, a gnoll (dead), a gnoll (dead), a dagger, an axe, a gnoll (dead), a gnoll (dead), a dagger, an axe, a gnoll (dead), a gnoll (dead), a dagger, an axe, a gnoll (dead), a gnoll (dead), a dagger, an axe... Jimbob, Billyjoe, and Thundercask.

You get the idea. Two or three players standing atop a pile of corpses and worthless, ignored gear. You could gather up all of those dagger and axes (asuming you were low on encumbrance and good at writing gathering scripts), to sell for a copper each (assuming you were good at writing sell scripts)...

This wasn't "grinding" (to my knowledge, that expression had even been invented yet); it was the one and only way to earn experience and progress a character. This was state of the art, there was nothing else.

It took the "Korean Grinders" to teach us what "Grind" really meant, in the mmo universe.

Took another few years to hear "quest griinding". The "badge grinding" "reputation grinding" "daily grinding" et al.

1994 me? I wasn't "working" any harder. Still pushing buttons on a keyboard. What I was doing was experiencing the most minimally user-friendly game environments ever concocted by closet coding sadists... And by far the least variety of options (as far as character advancement went). If you wanted to advance in levels, you went out and you killed mobs. Period.

And it was a long, long trip to the cap, too.

Which may explain why we took so much time out to roleplay (and other archaic concepts).


Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/23/13
Posts: 45

3/19/13 11:06:38 AM#44

Agreed, CoH was the best MMORPG I ever played, and it ruined me for other games by raising my expectations to the highest level possible. 

/em holdtorch!



"Well sure, the FrinkiacVII looks impressive - DON'T TOUCH IT - but I predict that within 100 years computers will be TWICE as powerful, ten THOUSAND times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them." -Prof. Frink


Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/06
Posts: 897

3/19/13 2:35:16 PM#45
Originally posted by Jenuviel

> I’d like to pose a question for you all. What motivates you still playing your character when you’ve reached the level cap?


Playing alternate characters is pretty much the only thing that will keep me playing an MMO once I've reached the cap (dungeon runs, dailies and pvp just aren't enjoyable to me in any form). In order for alting to be worthwhile to me, though, the game needs to have enough variety that I'll be able to have a sufficiently different experience leveling up again. Ideally, that means new races to play, new classes or skills to try and new areas to explore.  Realistically, just one or two of those three would probably be enough; the more variety there is, however, the longer I'll probably stay.

Agreed. End game is the end of the game to me, as another poster stated. Time to play an alt, but only if I don't have to retread the EXACT same content. Otherwise? On to another game. There are certainly plenty of MMOs these days to move to.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/31/09
Posts: 90

3/19/13 5:32:39 PM#46

 For me once I hit level cap unless the world is big enough to have a bunch of stuff that I did not get to see on the way or the lore is deep enough that there are other questlines to follow that I missed or the most rare that I found a group of players that are on the same wavelength as myself to make doing group content or pvp worthwhile I just quit and move on to another game until there would be a signifcant content expansion released.

  I really don't understand those who say all the questing and character development are either boring or a waste of time but raiding the same 3 dungeons 3 times a week for month's on end in hopes that enough shinies drop to outfit you character in gear that will be obsoleted as soon as the next raid comes out  makes no sense to me.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/08
Posts: 8

3/19/13 8:20:05 PM#47

What motivated me to play my character at the level cap? 

In WoW it was only do world PvP, or to assist up-and-coming friends.  Otherwise, it was parked in the garage, and I was working on alts.

In CoH, it was different.  Somehow (possibly the heavy customization?) the game allowed me to really connect to my character in a way other games didn't.  So it was easy to get a little lost in the roleplay as I went toe-to-toe with giant monsters or gangs in solo missions because I'd no idea if I'd win or not.  The sidekicking program was great, too, for making me feel my character was young and fresh, and contributing beneficially to my friends and supergroup.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/06
Posts: 822

3/19/13 8:55:28 PM#48

For me the grind (leveling up) never felt grindy. because i was grinding with others chatting role playing. it kept your mind of the grind. I had numerous alts back then.

Right now i cannot bear to actually level another character outside of my main. because the world where u venture in doing those quests again. makes it extremely boring.

Also grindign towards a certain goal makes the grind again alot less grindy. and if u after awhile finnaly acomplished said goal you where overjoyed happy as can be. Now with our fast pace leveling and easy gear mechanics there is nothing to make you overjoyed.

to the question what motivates me to keep playing at level cap. Currently my real life friends. Pull them out of the equation and i will disapear asswell.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/15/12
Posts: 1

3/20/13 11:40:10 PM#49

I played City of Heroes for a little over four years up to the 3 a.m. shutdown time, achieving numerous level-50-capped characters who went through the Incarnate missions, one of whom nearly maxed out what he could of those.  For me, the end-game content meant digging further into the game lore that I'd missed coming up through the quests, and I found it exciting and enlightening.  I also used it as a great excuse to dig into the Architect Entertainment system, writing and publishing 8 separate user-created arcs, the final of which (PENGUIN Part 4: Waddle On) went up at 8 p.m. Eastern US time on the night of the game's close, probably being the final Architect Entertainment arc that went live or close to it.

In the months before the game's close, I also had one other goal in mind for my highest level "toons," and that was to go through hunting down badges and tweaking out stats to get them as close to perfection as I could.  I wanted my heroes to be the best that they could be, so simply reaching the end of the game's content didn't mean, for me, that I was through playing.

Contrast this with the PS2 version of The Godfather. When I finally beat that game through grinding out missions and endlessly saving, reloading, saving, and reloading to get the shortest, least-damaging run through the game that I could, the game gave me infinite ammunition for my weapons but nothing to challenge me.  I was out of missions to run, so all I could do was street sweep all I wanted, or I could rob banks all day long and make general mayhem, having to deal with police chasing my Mafia don around town until I could go to a safe house. . . and sit there, waiting for the game's heat meter to drop so I didn't get obliterated on stepping out of my apartment in-game.  Fun?  Hardly.  There was nothing to keep me engaged, sadly, so for me, the only recourse was to quit playing for a space of a couple of years before I wanted to roll up a new character and replay the game's campaign.

  User Deleted
3/21/13 7:14:02 AM#50

City of Heroes was my mmo of choice. Once my character of choice hit the level cap, or "end-game", the only thing that made me continue to want to play them was the fun I was having with other players. You hit "end-game" and there's no reason left to continue, that's why it's called "end-game". You've gotten to the end so there isn't much left to do except grind over and over for rare drops you can sell on the market for boat-loads of cash, if you even need that anymore.

To me, the character I was playing and the interactions I had with others made it all worthwhile. When I max'd-out I simply made a new character and enjoyed the experience all over again in a new way. In an mmo like CoH "replayability" was the name of the game. That's how I had my fun and really, if you aren't having fun then what's the point of playing?

If you make a game based on fairness, reasonable balance and respect toward the player then you're gonna reap the rewards. I hope the next City of Heroes follows those ideals.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/14/12
Posts: 505

3/21/13 7:16:47 AM#51
More grindy/progressive/timeconsuming/hard mmorpg is, longer I play it and more fun I have.

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/09/06
Posts: 695

3/22/13 2:41:28 PM#52

Great article.  I think it highlights pretty well what is wrong with the majority of MMORPGs.  Once a player doesn't feel they are accomplishing anything, they quit playing.  Does that seem like a major game design flaw to anyone else?  What it means is that such a game is not fun, but rather brainwashes players into doing horribly boring tasks with the promise of a reward. 


Character progression has its place in an RPG but when that is the entire reason for playing then the game becomes a colossal waste of time.  Leveling to level just to level and get gear to get more gear to get more gear?  Cringe-worthy.  And how do you get levels and gear?  By doing boring dungeons over and over, or killing 10 rats a billion times. 


If an MMORPG was actually fun to play then progression could be relegated to a secondary aspect of the game, and people would play it for fun and progress their character as they did so.  What we have now in the MMORPG industry is a Pavlovian Nightmare of players doing horribly boring things over and over to get their reward.  It's conditioning and brainwashing.  WAKE UP PEOPLE!  Ask yourself if you would enjoy the mmorpg you are playing if there were no more levels to get or more gear to obtain!  If the answer is 'No', then you need to find a game that is actually fun!  Stop supporting all this crap on the market!  STOP THE MADNESS!


Are you a Pavlovian Fish Biscuit Addict? Get Help Now!

I will play no more MMORPGs until somethign good comes out!


Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/12/07
Posts: 450

3/23/13 10:34:27 PM#53
Without wading through all the replies what makes me continue to play my character after reaching max level is mostly the fact that I enjoy playing that character. Even if it's grinding I can still team with my friends and play with them or just cruise around enjoying myself. The fact there are rewards, even of "lesser" value, for grinding at max level is a bonus. There's practically always a way to improve the character a little bit.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/12/07
Posts: 450

3/23/13 10:40:03 PM#54
Originally posted by FrinkiacVII

Agreed, CoH was the best MMORPG I ever played, and it ruined me for other games by raising my expectations to the highest level possible. 

/em holdtorch!

I see a post like this and I relive the shock of losing CoH again. It's like finding out one of your best friends is moving away.

/em holdtorch!


Novice Member

Joined: 11/11/05
Posts: 259

3/24/13 12:59:24 AM#55
Originally posted by newchemicals
This is a reason why I like EVE Online, no levels.

I think EVE is one of the most complex and amazing MMO's out there. In a certain way it is very close to what Matt said to be, for the developers, the perfect MMO which would have no level cap. EVE has no levels, however even after 5 years playing I am still training and learning new skills.


In regard of the question, what motivates me after reaching level cap, well there's a lot of things. Upgrading my gear, beating the hardest bosses and dungeons, acumulating game currency, going after the best loot, exploring the most dangerous regions and of course PVP.


And by the way I really dislike instanced PVP, open world PVP ftw. I know It can be hard for some but there's alternatives like EVE has for PVErs, high-sec where you can not be attacked, or the good old SWG where you had to be overt or flagged to be vulnerable to players. GW2's WvW is nice too, the only problem I see is that it is not  persistent, I mean no matter how much effort, gold and skill points you put in it, it will all be lost in a week. I don't like that very much.

paulocafalli Xfire Miniprofile

Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 6169

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

3/24/13 4:18:18 PM#56

"What motivates you still playing your character when you’ve reached the level cap?"

definitely not the grind. I dont rush to level cap because i dont care about the glorified end game, i will keep playing and making new alts as long as i am enjoying the world and its story differently with each character i make, at a slow pace.

At level cap i expect to make a new alt and have a totally different experience from evel 1 to cap again (this worked for me with varous character in WoW and GW2 without feeling the heavy grind in WoW because of the good story and GW2 i feel like theres no grind at all while leveling but it can still be improved). Thats important to me. I prefer alts over end game grinds because of that phrase, end game grind. You dont progress, you mindless grind until theres more content added to keep mindlessly grinding. Thats Not fun to me.


Also, i personally believe that people (not all but maybe most) who dont care about the game, just want to kill kill kill and get powerful loot, this are the ones who usually support pay to win practices. I believe this because its obvious thats what they want, power and only power, and when companies offer them power right from the cash shop they see the light at the end of the tunnel, powerful loot without moving a finger. These people are actually the reason why mmos havent evolved beyond the archaic mechanics that arent fun anymore. Even in mmos that dont have p2w or cash shop at all. They do the same in every mmo they play.

my opinion


EDIT: also the near perfect game wouldnt have any level (or class limit) at all.

  User Deleted
3/25/13 2:36:22 PM#57

CoH continually captured my interest with each new powerset.  I knew the game enough that leveling was not a grind but just fun to get more powerful.  Grinding for purple recipes was a little off-putting but it was a major rush when you got the drop.  I never really got into Incarnates.  Not sure why I don't enjoy other MMOs as much because objectively I can see they are small variations on grinding but subjectively just not as fun.

I guess I was just a fan of the great visceral effects(sound/animation/particles) of each powerset.  I didn't read the story much so for me that says a lot about just the mechanics of CoH to keep my coming back over 8 years.  I also enjoyed just accumulating as much stuff as possible.  My only regret was there was not much to use all that 'loot' except to pass it to other characters or just sit on it like a dragon.  I was always hoping to gather enough resources to create an awesome base and play it like a sandbox game(PvE raids by some arch enemy)


Aion Correspondent

Joined: 8/07/09
Posts: 19

3/26/13 10:29:31 AM#58

When I hit the end game, there's usually two things I want to do:  try out another character or do something "fun".  The former works great when there's lots of ways to build characters and make them play different from each other, as well as available character slots to do that.  It's not so great when there's a massive constraint on slots or customization (or worse, both).


The latter varies, but I do not want to feel like "Yay, I spent 2 months getting to the cap, now to spend 2 more months per item that I want."  Especially if said items are pretty much required to participate in other end-game activities.  Rather, I want to just go out and have fun and I want whatever I do to work towards whatever piece of gear I'm looking at.  I want to be able to group up with some friends, regardless of what they're playing, and go play whatever content we find fun or interesting, regardless of whatever level it's at.  PvP and RP are also great options too.


But yeah, essentially, I need to bring up CoX again (which I seem to do in every one of your articles).  That game did it right for me during the pre-incarnate days.  Once I hit 50, I wasn't forced to run this instance ad nauseum for this piece of gear and this one ad nauseum for this piece of gear and then these dailies for that piece of gear and so forth.  No, I could take my character and go run with my friend's lowbie alts on a Posi TF, then go with them on their level capped alts and run the STF, and then rush over to redside (being a Vigilante) and help them with the villain Respec Trial.  And, all the while, I'm earning Reward Merits that can get me most anything I want with time.  And the stuff those couldn't get, there was Inf I was earning as well to buy them off of Wentsworths.  In fact, I could earn useful inf no matter what I did, as well as drops I could turn into inf.  


Basically, it was fun.  There wasn't a "specific end-game task" to do and that was fine.  I didn't care because I could do whatever I wanted.  I wasn't forced to repeat certain bits of content just to get a new shiny that'll enable me to repeat certain bits of other content.  If I repeated a certain piece of content, it was because I found that piece of content particularly fun (The ITF being the most notable example).


And if I didn't feel like doing that, I had a dozen or so alts I could play who, even if they were the same AT or even had similar powers, played nothing like either my mains (I had two characters who I considered to be my mains) or my other alts.  So, even if I had played a mission arc before, playing it with an alt was often a very diffierent experience.


Damn, I miss that game way more than I thought I would.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/23/13
Posts: 45

3/27/13 8:55:54 AM#59

In response to all the "don't bore me with dailies" posts, I just want to state for the record (and this is in direct response to the question of "What keeps you coming back to your main after hitting the cap?") that I liked the Inacrnate Trials in CoH and the Weekly Strike Target, and the seasonal events.  The Weekly Strike Target in particular was good, because they published what they were going to be in advance, so you could plan for it.  Previous to that, there was nothing worse than trying to form a Task Force and coming up one or two people short of critical mass, after like half an hour of begging people to join.  Having a more organized "flavor of the week" made it easier to plan out when you were going to try to hit which Task Force with which toon.  I also liked that occasional very rare ("purple") drops.  I can't say I ever played my main just for purple drops, as he was a Defender, and thus not really able to plow through massive amounts of mobs in a hurry like my Mastermind was, but I did generally do the daily 5 tip missions on my Mastermind when I was soloing, because it gave me something to do while soloing on my low-population server (Triumph) and I got a lot of great swag in the process.  That gets old after a while, but then CoH never really ran out of content (for me) by the time it was 8 years old, because there were like infinite Architect missions you could try and you generally never ran out of stuff you wanted to do (go to Bloody Bay and get more Shivan jellomen, go to Warburg and get another Nuke, do tips for Hero Merits, do a Task Froce for a badge, etc etc).   I guess what I'm saying is, I never felt like any of my toons were "done" because I used to alt enough that I could switch to a different toon when I got bored.  I also never abused the market to the poiont where I was able to get all the goodies I ever wanted, not even for just one toon.  To some extent this is like the difference between just buying a Standard-legal Magic tourny deck as opposed to drafting to acquire cards the fun way and then building your own deck.  The BYO approach generally does not lead to as many tourny wins as the former, but it's the journey not the destination (at least for me, I'm not a competitive gamer, I play for fun, and by fun I do not mean "win at all costs, by any means available, even if it turns the games into a grindy frustration-fest for all involved, including myself").  I was never really trying to "break" the economy in CoH, so as such all of my toons were in a constant state of "not really finished, and probably never will be", which was fine by me.  The rules changes that they would roll out to try to close loopholes and rebalance the powers never really bothered me (although it was somewhat too little too late when they FINALLY fixed the HamiOs to work like they were originally intended).  Honestly though, having as many alts as I did was a big part of the draw for me.  I would not have stayed on CoH, or any game, if I were only allowed one toon.  The fact that there were like 14 different archetypes and loads of different powersets was a HUGE part of that game's appeal, that and the nearly-infinite avatar configurability.  Heck, by the end, they were letting you change the colors of the POWERS to match your concept.  That was awesome.


"Well sure, the FrinkiacVII looks impressive - DON'T TOUCH IT - but I predict that within 100 years computers will be TWICE as powerful, ten THOUSAND times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them." -Prof. Frink


Novice Member

Joined: 1/23/13
Posts: 45

3/27/13 8:56:40 AM#60

Oh, and another thing:

/em holdtorch


"Well sure, the FrinkiacVII looks impressive - DON'T TOUCH IT - but I predict that within 100 years computers will be TWICE as powerful, ten THOUSAND times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them." -Prof. Frink

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