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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » In MMOs, leveling is a mindless time sink prove me wrong

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Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 6388

OP  5/21/13 2:34:07 AM#1

This thread discussion about this huge AAA MMO got me really riled up to make this thread. Because its going no where there.

The main argument I see for why "SLOW" leveling is needed, is because it makes people learn their class.

Well thats a common misconception. What if somebody played one spec while leveling, and switched to a new spec once at max level thats totally different. How would any of that level grinding, develop their skill in using those others specs?

We see this a lot in trinity based games. People level as DPS or something like it, but want to play Healer or Tank at endgame, which is a totally different play style.

Group content is the best way to develop Tanking and Healing skills. Not Leveling.


Seem like people also feel that people who dont like grinding, shouldnt play MMOs. Well when did it become set in stone that MMO gamers need to like grinding, and that all MMOs need to be grindy?

I to quit my favorite MMO (rift) during Storm Legion because of the huge level grind. I couldnt bare being locked away from content and features and builds after spending months as a max level already. The Level grind was long and boring killing mobs and mobs, or even Quest and Quest or whatever else in between.

Same thing in GW2. I was bored out my mind trying to level my alts after the big flood of hype wore off. Man that was crazy boring. Events and Hearts just were totally boring for leveling. After my Main got to 80, I refused to do hearts anymore because of how tired I am of Quest Grinding in MMOs. But outside of Hearts there was a hard time gaining consistent leveling exp which also felt slower than it already was with the heart grind.


Why do we need levels in MMO anymore?

All they do is lock away players from content.

Its a huge time sink. Prove me wrong!!!!


Take any Themepark MMO that has level grind. Now imagine how that game would be if it didnt have level. Everything would be endgame content. Imagine that for a moment. That seem like a better game than they currently are.


New MMO games launch with level grind, than when people get to max level, they find out that most of the development resources went into non max level content which become meaningless and outleveled. (SWTOR, Rift, WoW, etc)

But if that same game had no levels to begin with, all that content would be endgame instead of the tiny max level stuff.

Levels Segregate the community.

again Prove me wrong!!

Do you agree that traditional levels are a mindless time sink?

I agree its a mindless time sink
I disagree its a mindless time sink
I agree its nothing but a timesink but I like that
(login to vote)


Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 4391

RIP City of Heroes!

5/21/13 2:43:28 AM#2
games are timesinks


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/13/13
Posts: 193

5/21/13 2:43:30 AM#3
I understand what you're saying completely.  But what you and many others on this forum fail to realize is that levels and grinding thats what mmorps were built on.  Its kind of like going to a basketball game and wanting them to change the rules of the game.  Thats how the sport is played and how mmorps are played are with levels and exp and mob grinding and camping and farming and crafring.  

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/06
Posts: 877

5/21/13 2:44:39 AM#4

That would be interesting .  I guess the game would be a mindless gear grind then .


However what if they had levels but no level cap ?


The content could be randomly generated , the story isn't needed I mean lets be honest no one cares about storyline.


It would be the game that never ends , it goes on and on my friends ... its the game that never ends .




I played a game years ago that basically had a dungeon which had levels , you went down deeper into the dungeon and it got harder and harder , the monsters got stronger , and the loot got more powerful .  I never got to the end of the dungeon because it never stopped getting harder and harder . 




Novice Member

Joined: 4/10/09
Posts: 809

5/21/13 2:48:53 AM#5
Grinding with a party can be used to allow people to get to know each other. "I need you and you need me," they think. If the people play well together they might form some kind of static group. The game would have to be challenging enough for them to want to form a static group. If combat is slow they will get to know each other.

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/17/06
Posts: 199

5/21/13 2:55:39 AM#6

If  you think levlels are worthless timesink - they would be worthless time sink. If you think levels are super great - they would be super great.

The fact is, it is your approach and nobody, be it God or Bill Gates, will change your opinion.

MMOs have to be time sink: quests are for time sinking, leveling is for time sinking, waiting for announced new content is time sinking too.

As for me - I do enjoy levels, especially if they bring improvements to my toon and see nothing wrong with that.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/12
Posts: 505

5/21/13 2:57:35 AM#7

more grind/farm and time sink game is ... more I like it :) That is how it is



Novice Member

Joined: 3/07/12
Posts: 237

5/21/13 3:11:19 AM#8

Agree'd, this is definitely the most boring part of any mmo by a longshot, though I did at least somewhat enjoy it in both swtor and GW2. It was once used to keep up subs but with subs going away at such a rapid pace it really is completely pointless. There can be ALL KINDS of progression that don't have to involve levels at all.  Like using a sword long enough for instance can increase sword skills, and maybe every 10 levels or so you get with a certain weapon unlocks a new skill only for when you use that weapon. Now put in 100 weapons. Then spells you can buy from an npc or something which can also level it's self up based on usage for certain perks or upgrades.  Then other hidden skills that you have to do something crazy to obtain but are well worth it. You can have gear progression by +ing it up and finding gems to put into sockets or something.  Maybe the gear itself can have a progression to look more and more awesome and gain new stats depending on how much you use it or what you craft into it or which secret item you enchant it with.  Maybe have like 6 completely over powered skills in the game that can only be used by 6 different players at a time that rotates weekly that's extremely hard to get, or better yet make it so that if another player kills a player with the OP skill they get the skill instead.. but I'm going off topic. 


What this would do is provide more progression possibilities than leveling ever could at half the development cost and time also making it easier to add in new content by simply putting in new weapons/gear attachments/spells/etc.  And also leave tons of extra time for them to put in amazing end-game type content in order to get such things and add tons of great pvp options. 

Leveling really should just go away.

If WoW was released today even in its' entirety it would be f2p in 3 months.
Why is it still such a big deal?


Advanced Member

Joined: 9/06/08
Posts: 789

5/21/13 3:11:29 AM#9

I see it like this:


a journey from 1 - max level was the actual content. When you finished it, you got to the end game, that was supposed to be a massive time sink to keep people playing.


a journey from 1 - max level is a mere tutorial, a grind you have to do in order to get to the point where the fun starts (end game). End game is where everyone plays and that only matters.


I really like how this was before. If you ask me, i'd very much like a game with no levels, or at least no level cap. What really matters to me is the progression. If i reach the point in an mmo where my character cant develop any more, i'll lose my interest in a game.

If we look at WoW today, and the revamped quests that came in Cataclysm; they take a lot less time to go through, they are easy to find and do, yet they feel much more a grind than the old ones they replaced, even though it took forever to reach max level in original WoW.

If end game is where the game starts, why bother to design anything that happens before the end game.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/10/09
Posts: 809

5/21/13 3:15:23 AM#10
Yeah with newer games the leveling is definitely nothing but a time sink. In older games it meant something.

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 4540

5/21/13 3:25:57 AM#11

I play games that I enjoy from the start..

if a game feels like a grind and I'm not enjoying it them I simply don't play it.

If the game is fun i don't care how long it takes me to get to end game.. in-fact the longer the better as long as its fun.


So to anyone who thinks leveling is a grind your probably not having fun and its best to move on and find a game that you enjoy. Having insta leveled characters wont make you enjoy the game. There are fantasy games out there like Chivalry, war of the roses, Panzar, forge that will allow you to have instant fights if thats what you want.


As for games being a time sink well that is part of the point of playing a game to waste your spare time.. but its got to be enjoyable..



My 3D models


Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 13403

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

5/21/13 3:39:27 AM#12
Originally posted by MMOExposed

But if that same game had no levels to begin with, all that content would be endgame instead of the tiny max level stuff.

At that point, mobs could be shifted from a means to an end to an actual goal in and of themselves, freeing them up once again to be harder, smarter and more engaging.

There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/13/05
Posts: 1880

5/21/13 3:41:21 AM#13

It was the greatest redeeming virtue of PreCU SWG.

I 'level capped' my character to Swordy/ Ranger doing Ranger things. It had a strange sense of urgency in doing it. There never really was but still, it was something I did.

I would log in and go to each planet, kill a low end creature gather wild, domestic and all meat, bone and hide from leather, wooly, bristly and what ever other material I collected from animals. From there I would figure out the best available resource at the time and that is what I would grind. Because of the imminent despawning of that particular resource if it was really good I could get whole boxes and not even notice. I wasn't looking at the levels. I was looking at the 250K Naboo Wooly I was getting. The levels just came to me. In addition, even if I had dropped all my Ranger points, I could still go get hide or meat. I just got less and that made that sense of urgency even more present because again, the imminent despawn was still there so regrinding my template got faster with the side quest of getting the latest 'uber' resource.


Every new resource was new content and a new thing to grind. Harvesters for passive players, animal for others. It always had a new content and it was so embedded in to the core of the game you got caught up in it. That's what people see when they saw the acclaimed SWG crafting. It was the side game grind of new content that it gave people and the motive to log in and update that list. It was the last time I played an MMO where I had that sense of 'good grind'.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/12
Posts: 388

5/21/13 3:43:39 AM#14

Why single out the leveling?

MMOs are mindless time sinks. That's what they are all about.

It's fun, but it won't save the world from war or hunger.

MMOs are fun mindless time sinks, and so is the leveling.


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/06
Posts: 1419

5/21/13 3:44:35 AM#15


Yes, it is because games are designed that way now. You are saying that shit stinks, of cause it does (to most people there are always exceptions). 

It's like saying driving to work is a time sink prove me wrong. Of cause it is and would be much better if we could teleport there.

You are trying to make an argument for something on the basis of something else that has nothing to do with it and is known to be below standard for most products on the market. Just because leveling in the current generation of MMO games is bad does not mean it has to be like that and whatever you propose as solution for "end game" is the ultimate answer.

It's rather silly if you think about it, is it not?


"Give players systems and tools instead of rails and rules"


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/12
Posts: 534

5/21/13 3:48:03 AM#16

Beside Guild Wars 2, all other MMOs rely on heavy exp grind so that you would be "forced" to group up with people, be it random PUG or friends, doesn't really matter. Let's face it ... would you group up with random people and pass content while not receiving anything beside items which may or may not drop. I'm not saying this is the right thing to do, I'm saying that it's necessary for all those end-game crybabies that think a game ends when max level is reached. Trust me that crowd is big. Although IMO such people should go and play korean grinders and leave the good games alone but that's just my opinion. 


Bottom line is, its a cheesy game mechanic which people accept because there is no real alternative (beside eve online with it's simply different skill system and it took people 10 years to start appreciating it!!). I'd say Gw2 has the most "forgiving" exp grind, every action throwing you scaled exp so that the time it takes you to go from 39-40 is the same as 79-80 which is a good step forward but yes, I do agree that exping is tedious and those games (MMOs) should break those shackles too. It's just ... there's nothing to replace leveling with atm. Nothing to make you feel "forced" to group up with people and "socialize" (LOL) because if its not for exp or superb items, nobody would care to do anything. I did Arah in Gw2 only because shitload of people were crying that it is too hard and I took the challenge and beat it. But I wouldn't have if it wasn't the personal challenge. I even soloed it before the shameless nerfs :< 


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2968

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

5/21/13 3:48:45 AM#17

Its not that leveling is a time sink, its people MADE it into one. Back in the day, people LEVELED as the main form of 'end game'. There was no 'max level' being the norm as end game wasn't meant to really be achieved. Levels were meant to be rewarding as you gain strength through them and can do more. 


In mmos today, a lot just don't do this. The systems are far weaker then they use to be and the 'reward' a lot less noticeable if at all. In Ragnarok Online, when you leveled you felt it. Your stats changing would start taking effect and you the skills played part in making you better. There was no 'end game' (unless you count WoE), a lot of the gear you could use through your career, some being level locked but nothing being 'you must do such and such dungeon to get this' as it is today.


Leveling itself WAS end game, unfortunately, its evolved to make leveling practically just a chore instead of a 'journey' it use to be. I feel so guilty in games needing to 'hit max' making the task tedious when I could once enjoy it a lot more. Its not leveling that makes it a mindless time sink, its just the fact END GAME is the goal we all strive for so its naturally made that way. Unless you hit max, you just don't get much out of it in a lot of cases.


Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

5/21/13 3:51:01 AM#18

You've got the burden of evidence backwards in your title, MMOEx.

The burden of proof always lies on the person making the assertion (you, in this case).

Up to you to prove yourself right.

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.


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/29/12
Posts: 534

5/21/13 4:31:25 AM#19

People try to run to endgame, to stay relative!! The OP quitted Rift because he wasn't relative in a day while there were people with higher level/gear/stats that sucks. It's like getting the toy out of a kid. I don't like when some jerk has more than me just because he plays 14 hours every day. That's why I don't play korean grinders anymore. They have decent PvP but you have to be nolifer if you want to be relative. And relativity is what matters, not end game. If everyone is on lvl 20 and I feel powerful myself, I wouldn't mind being lvl 20. 

P.S: I'm not counting the botters/cheaters/exploiters which EVERY mmo has. What's worse is that in some MMOs developers simply doesn't care. They just want to keep you on the spinning wheel. 


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Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

5/21/13 4:34:13 AM#20
It's hard to disprove an opinion.
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