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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » People say they find the old school "Grind" yet if given the option to skip it, would they take it?

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148 posts found
  Alberel

Novice Member

Joined: 12/02/09
Posts: 1121

3/17/13 7:16:07 AM#61

The only 'solution' to grind is to offer more variety in gameplay. The problem? Everyone wants to rush to 'endgame' and thus ignores any alternatives and does nothing but the single fastest way to the top (which inevitably becomes repetitive). The problem isn't just the game itself but the attitude a lot of players have to games. I see countless people call games grindy despite there being a huge variety of things on offer; in reality they just choose to only do one thing (and this is usually either endlessly questing or endlessly killing mobs).

IMO the true solution to the grind problem is to actually remove the incentive to rush to the top so fast, giving players reasons to play around with the game's other features. This would mean either removing the level concept entirely (although then something else would become the grind) or make the path to the top so long that rushing it just isn't realistic.

Those oldschool 'grindy' MMOs? They didn't actually feel all that grindy... the path to the top took so long that most players stopped caring about getting there and simply played for fun. My linkshell (guild) in FFXI used to do all sorts of crazy stuff besides levelling, in fact we spent most of our time helping each other with missions or job-related quests. We all eventually hit the cap (75 at the time) and we felt amazing for doing it because it had seemed like such a distant goal. None of us felt we had 'grinded' to get there.

tldr; 'Grind' isn't just repetitive gameplay, it's often players ignoring the other features of a game in the interest of rushing to the cap.

  ThomasN7

Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/07
Posts: 6672

"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.” - Mordin Solus

3/17/13 8:59:19 AM#62
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Normandy7
The old school grind was the best because for me it is all about the journey an not the destination. 

Barring the fact that a "skip levels" button is always a terrible idea in a MMORPG, how are modern MMORPGs not about journey?

I log on and do things that are fun.  Grouping, daily quests, raids.  It's all journey until the very end, and virtually nobody's reaching the end.

Today mmos take about a month to reach max level and about 2 months to whine about there is nothing left to do because most mmo devs make shallow mmo experiences. FFXI did it the right way. Sure there was grind but the journey to the end was enjoyable.

  Antiquated

Novice Member

Joined: 3/08/13
Posts: 479

3/17/13 10:14:05 AM#63
Originally posted by jimdandy26
Mario sure is a hell of a grind and that guy sure is not popular! oh wait...

I never lasted more than 10 minutes in any Mario title. Or any Street Fighter title.

Played the hell out of Space Invaders tho, didn't dig Asteroids, hearted me some Joust—and several now-expensively retro classic pinball machines. (Come back to me, Elton! Foosball! Arcades! I have a whole roll of quarters now!)

It's a good example all the same, only reinforces that people have very individual tolerance for the same activities.

 

  Ortwig

Elite Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1093

3/17/13 10:59:32 AM#64
Originally posted by Alberel

The only 'solution' to grind is to offer more variety in gameplay. The problem? Everyone wants to rush to 'endgame' and thus ignores any alternatives and does nothing but the single fastest way to the top (which inevitably becomes repetitive). The problem isn't just the game itself but the attitude a lot of players have to games. I see countless people call games grindy despite there being a huge variety of things on offer; in reality they just choose to only do one thing (and this is usually either endlessly questing or endlessly killing mobs).

IMO the true solution to the grind problem is to actually remove the incentive to rush to the top so fast, giving players reasons to play around with the game's other features. This would mean either removing the level concept entirely (although then something else would become the grind) or make the path to the top so long that rushing it just isn't realistic.

Those oldschool 'grindy' MMOs? They didn't actually feel all that grindy... the path to the top took so long that most players stopped caring about getting there and simply played for fun. My linkshell (guild) in FFXI used to do all sorts of crazy stuff besides levelling, in fact we spent most of our time helping each other with missions or job-related quests. We all eventually hit the cap (75 at the time) and we felt amazing for doing it because it had seemed like such a distant goal. None of us felt we had 'grinded' to get there.

tldr; 'Grind' isn't just repetitive gameplay, it's often players ignoring the other features of a game in the interest of rushing to the cap.

^  Think I am with you 100% on this one.

  xeniar

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/06
Posts: 817

3/17/13 11:19:23 AM#65
Originally posted by Alberel

The only 'solution' to grind is to offer more variety in gameplay. The problem? Everyone wants to rush to 'endgame' and thus ignores any alternatives and does nothing but the single fastest way to the top (which inevitably becomes repetitive). The problem isn't just the game itself but the attitude a lot of players have to games. I see countless people call games grindy despite there being a huge variety of things on offer; in reality they just choose to only do one thing (and this is usually either endlessly questing or endlessly killing mobs).

IMO the true solution to the grind problem is to actually remove the incentive to rush to the top so fast, giving players reasons to play around with the game's other features. This would mean either removing the level concept entirely (although then something else would become the grind) or make the path to the top so long that rushing it just isn't realistic.

Those oldschool 'grindy' MMOs? They didn't actually feel all that grindy... the path to the top took so long that most players stopped caring about getting there and simply played for fun. My linkshell (guild) in FFXI used to do all sorts of crazy stuff besides levelling, in fact we spent most of our time helping each other with missions or job-related quests. We all eventually hit the cap (75 at the time) and we felt amazing for doing it because it had seemed like such a distant goal. None of us felt we had 'grinded' to get there.

tldr; 'Grind' isn't just repetitive gameplay, it's often players ignoring the other features of a game in the interest of rushing to the cap.

This. IMO in order for MMO(RPG's) to become good again, is to put alot less focus on the endgame and more on the world where you play in and the adventure you yourself can create. Im not saying that we have to create our own stuff, but choosing your own path making your own story by meeting people along the way.

I have to say in eqoa we had these bosses also where we grouped up with alot of people to go kill them. but at the same time i was just wandering in a marsh type of area and suddenly found some sort of cave, turned out to be a city of frogloks (GUK) wich was. well i don't even know how deep it is because we really could not make it all the way down. ended up at floor -35ish i think but there where still floors beneath it. We where there for the sole purpose of exploring what was down there. mabey even find a hidden boss nobody knew about, who knows?

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12406

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

3/17/13 1:21:33 PM#66
Originally posted by Ghavrigg
Originally posted by KaosProphet
Originally posted by Ortwig
Originally posted by KaosProphet
Originally posted by Ortwig
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by Ortwig
Originally posted by Vhaln
Originally posted by Ortwig
People say they hate grind, but when it is removed people whine about not having "enough to do."

because what they really mean, is that they hate games where there isn't much to do, except grind.

Actually what it really means is that some people like grind, but won't admit it.

Well if they like the activity, they it is no longer monotonous or unpleasant right?  Therefore it's not a grind anymore.

To some, doing something montonous or repititous is not unpleasant.  

To some, being beaten senseless with a steel rod is a turn on.  And while I am in full support of risk-aware consensual kink, I'm not about to go proselytizing it's virtues to the skeptical.

(Although in fairness, I must admit that I have and likely will do so regarding other analogs...)

Unfortunately, there are more people who like being beaten with steel rods (and won't admit it) than you think.   I'm not one of them, just sayin...

That's not what's unfortunate.

What's unfortunate is when they ask for you to be beaten with a steel rod, and suggest that you're lying when you say you don't like it.

I feel a lot of people love to try to "overcome the impossible." People want to feel special somehow, and whether it's gaming or any other aspect of life, they enjoy being appreciated. If there's no challenge, they have no reason to play, and I believe they ARE lying. They just want an easier way to be recognized, even though that goes against the entire idea. They need to be fucked with, and they need to overcome it, and when they do, they believe themselves better people for it, even if that's not entirely true.

Your entire argument is based on every challenge, obstacle or path of progression being a grind. If that really is the case for you, well...

*hands the guy back his rod*

Have at it, bro.

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17631

3/17/13 1:31:23 PM#67
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
 

I like to work with wood.  The first desk I built was a challenge.  The 10th desk wasn't.  But I still like building them, it's relaxing seeing the wood take shape - but it isn't a challenge anymore (most designs that is).

off topic: I seriously SERIOULSY hope that you have all those desks in a corner somehwere. That you finish them, put tthem  in their places and then start again. And then your wife/girlfriend, etc says "honey, we kind of need to talk about this desk obsession " to which you reply "can't talk, lathing...."

on topic: I think the space invaders example was pretty spot on.

 

 

  Purutzil

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2912

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

3/17/13 1:45:44 PM#68

Would most people? Yes. Would hitting max be as rewarding? Hell no.

 

A grind exists as a way to make the act of achieving the end more rewarding. Earning it CAN be fun and in cases it is in games when done right, however the fact that makes the grind feel so much more rewarding is the end result. Playing Ragnarok Online with a 'low rate' compared to a 'high rate' of experience, the act of hitting 99 was VASTLY more rewarding on the low experience rate version then the high version. 

 

The grind itselfisn't there to make the act of 'grinding' to it more entertaining, its the end 'reward' that it gives that is why it feels so great. Just compare the feeling of satisfaction of a game that you spent a lot more time on to get a level compared to one that your just practically given it. I'll bet you felt so much more satisfaction and enjoyment out of the one you spent more time working for.

 

In a way having things given to you instantly can make the game boring even faster then any grind, and with no reward about it, it really can make the end experience 'lacking' and just demean the enjoyment of the game. 

  Stug

Novice Member

Joined: 8/23/05
Posts: 400

3/17/13 2:04:55 PM#69

By meaning of the word grind I think it suggests an unpleasant experience. I would suggest a grind only occurs when the endgame moves, e.g. a new expansion pack occurs and you want to start a fresh charactert to get there, starting from 0.

Also, a game's population can also define a grind. How hard is it to level when the 70+% of players are at top level and you are left to run around in the lower area's LFG and finding it much harder to level. IMHO in some ways artifical ways to bump lower players up towards an endgame to avoid a repetitive levelling game are symptoms of the end goalposts moving.

I think grind is an unfair name, used to describe repetition as if it was initally unpleasent, why would people play it?

  Reklaw

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6168

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

3/17/13 2:26:03 PM#70
I actually feel that today's MMO are full of grind, I felt "oldschool" MMORPG had a more natural progression, mainly due to it's many options and feature's it gave it's players. Unlike today where the most common option is either combat or.......combat.
  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19530

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

3/17/13 2:34:29 PM#71
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Quizzical
People who say they want leveling to be slow tend to mean that they want leveling to be slow for everyone else.

There's a lot of truth in that.

No, no, you guys have it wrong, not only do I want the leveling to be slower, but I want to force you to group up and socialize with me while we take our time progressing through the content.. 

(and like it)

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
"People can do with their money what they want. But... that doesn't make it smart" - COORS
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  Incomparable

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/11
Posts: 804

3/17/13 2:50:09 PM#72
Interesting question. I think of course it depends on the MMO as well. If there no grind and the content is just raids, then what is the reward? Or if the game is raids and just instanced pvp where is the reward there? By removing the grind the demand for reward still exists and just having content that us not challenging or a street fighter pvp match with an online lobby but with MMO combat mechanics might not be rewarding enough. And since things like combat animations, balance and classes take a lot of development with raid content as well, a dev would have to consider putting more to game to attract a larger crowd as well. So with a grind can exist, but s progression system in raids would be similar but less of atypical grind. And maybe the raid itself is less about repeating content for gear. The issue of gear can be assumed that every player has the basic requirements to complete the entry level content. The reward of a raid with no grind is that it would be a story told through a raid tiered system. That still may not be enough, since it should be an MMO and not a lobby for raids. So maybe add player made content. Things taken from raids to decorate houses. Open world pvp with out grinds. Duel arenas. Tournaments. Titles. Gambling. Bounties. Assuming there is an open world as well, this implies a sand bix system but even without a grind for that as well. Which is difficult to do. I am not sure a sand box system could exist all too well without some effort to make that risk of losing the effort more rewarding. The goal would be to make the combat the reward and something attained through game participation. Maybe getting more customization. This why player made content would be huge since there is no grind but a lot of different gameplay mechanics using the engine. Then the devs could allow for users to take their customization of characters to other parts of the game such as player made content.

“Write bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble”

  azmundai

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/18/10
Posts: 1424

3/17/13 2:59:35 PM#73

humans are creatures which by and large strive for efficiency. goto a university campus with a nicely grided sidewalk system and you will see long brown paths cutting across the grass. when given a more simple option a human will naturally gravitate towards it in most cases.

in games people want to get more powerful. when they gain a level they feel more powerful, they feel rewarded which reduces endorphines or something into the blood stream making them feel good. they naturally want to repeat this process as much as possible, because it feels good.

as such it then becomes an equation of limited content. the rate at which these games are force feeding you rewards these days is not sustainable by one game. as such players need multiple games that they can chew through quickly. thus there is no longevity to the game and this is most likely what the "old school" as you call them, crowd wants, longevity.

unfortunately there is no going back at this point unless, like Camelot Unchained for example, (not a fan of the game, but I like the direction) a developer makes a stand and understands that the stand he is making is one that is not going to bring in 10 million players, probably not even a million.

its not that players want a game where the only way to level is to kill mobs. they are looking for the lasting experience that games like UO, EQ and even to an extent vanilla wow offered. vanilla wow began the slippery slope though. and it's a double edged sword. if they had taken vanilla wow and stuck with the original formula, and even gone more towards their predecessors I think MMOs would be much better games, but they wouldn't have 9 million subs.

by making games easy and more rewarding they are making the games more addictive to a larger population of people, thus the term lowest common denominator. so what we have now is: play game for 2 months, then play another game while waiting for an expansion. what a lot of us want is a game that we don't have to stop playing. a game that won't have the ridiculous amount of turnover that games have these days, like SWTOR which broke records for sales and thus initial subs .. and then plummeted. for many of us playing a game like that is a waste of time because it will never yield a lasting experience.

LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  Cephus404

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

3/17/13 3:19:12 PM#74

There's a difference between grinding that is transparent and grinding that is obvious.  Most people hate grinding that is obvious.  Sitting in one place, killing the same mobs over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...

You get the point.  That sucks.  Having to repeat the same activities for hours every day to have any hope of advancing is absurd.  If it's invisible, if it's hidden in a wide variety of different activities where you can move from one to another quickly and easily, that's bearable.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
Now Playing: None
Hope: None

  Cephus404

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

3/17/13 3:20:11 PM#75
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Quizzical
People who say they want leveling to be slow tend to mean that they want leveling to be slow for everyone else.

There's a lot of truth in that.

No, no, you guys have it wrong, not only do I want the leveling to be slower, but I want to force you to group up and socialize with me while we take our time progressing through the content.. 

(and like it)

 

Yeah, but most of us live in the real world and realize that's just not going to happen.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
Now Playing: None
Hope: None

  Stug

Novice Member

Joined: 8/23/05
Posts: 400

3/17/13 3:20:13 PM#76

I gues another thought about the word grind is it is the social factor connected to it to make it a non-grind.

Social interactions reduced the grind, that is you always saw crafters sitting around a forge nattering whilst they where crafting. So I think if they decide to discard the grind it may because the social interaction required to make that a less uncomfortable task was no longer present, e..g the aforesaid issue with there being a reduced number of low levels to make th grind less effective on a fun (social) and functional level.

 

  xeniar

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/06
Posts: 817

3/17/13 3:22:20 PM#77
Originally posted by Cephus404

There's a difference between grinding that is transparent and grinding that is obvious.  Most people hate grinding that is obvious.  Sitting in one place, killing the same mobs over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...

You get the point.  That sucks.  Having to repeat the same activities for hours every day to have any hope of advancing is absurd.  If it's invisible, if it's hidden in a wide variety of different activities where you can move from one to another quickly and easily, that's bearable.

that is YOUR opinion.

i have to say i enjoyed my 48hour sraight Grind to get from lvl 48-49 in EQOA pulling gryphons the entire day while chatting with my group. i enjoyed that much more then dungeon running heroics in WoW to get gear...

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19530

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

3/17/13 3:38:39 PM#78
Originally posted by Cephus404
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Quizzical
People who say they want leveling to be slow tend to mean that they want leveling to be slow for everyone else.

There's a lot of truth in that.

No, no, you guys have it wrong, not only do I want the leveling to be slower, but I want to force you to group up and socialize with me while we take our time progressing through the content.. 

(and like it)

 

Yeah, but most of us live in the real world and realize that's just not going to happen.

LOL, c'mon these are fantasy games afterall....... that's OK, you can be taught still hope yet.

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
"People can do with their money what they want. But... that doesn't make it smart" - COORS
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17631

3/17/13 3:47:23 PM#79
Originally posted by xeniar
 

that is YOUR opinion.

i have to say i enjoyed my 48hour sraight Grind to get from lvl 48-49 in EQOA pulling gryphons the entire day while chatting with my group. i enjoyed that much more then dungeon running heroics in WoW to get gear...

However, I think you prove his point.

You were talking with friends and engaging in a group activity. You "might" have thought differently if it was just you. So in fact the event was you talking and interacting with friends.

It goes back to my "Elder Scrolls" example. For the most part, people in an elderscrolls game don't really complain that they are grind fests. that's because their goals are to "explore this cave" or "retrieve this item".

the mobs that are in the way of the objective are bypassed in some way. Many times they are killed and of course your combat skills advance. So you might kill 20 mobs exploring. but at no time does someone say "man I had to go and kill 20 mobs. Going to go to another cave to do it again."

And rarely to people go into a cave thinking "oh, I have to level my skills".

Though I did once "grind out" some destruction skills in morrowind after cleaning a cave/dwemer ruin of bandits. I realized my destruction was constantly failing so in the darkness I repeated casting fire ball and resting and repeated the process until it raised a bit. For me it was a very immersive experience as it felt like I was sequestered in the dark, hidden away so I could practice my arcane arts. A rare occurence but but it "felt right" because of how I was thinking of it.

However, usually players are just playing the game and not just killing mobs for the sake of killing mobs.

  Aeolyn

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/23/08
Posts: 139

3/17/13 4:08:38 PM#80
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by xeniar
 

that is YOUR opinion.

i have to say i enjoyed my 48hour sraight Grind to get from lvl 48-49 in EQOA pulling gryphons the entire day while chatting with my group. i enjoyed that much more then dungeon running heroics in WoW to get gear...

However, I think you prove his point.

You were talking with friends and engaging in a group activity. You "might" have thought differently if it was just you. So in fact the event was you talking and interacting with friends.

It goes back to my "Elder Scrolls" example. For the most part, people in an elderscrolls game don't really complain that they are grind fests. that's because their goals are to "explore this cave" or "retrieve this item".

the mobs that are in the way of the objective are bypassed in some way. Many times they are killed and of course your combat skills advance. So you might kill 20 mobs exploring. but at no time does someone say "man I had to go and kill 20 mobs. Going to go to another cave to do it again."

And rarely to people go into a cave thinking "oh, I have to level my skills".

Though I did once "grind out" some destruction skills in morrowind after cleaning a cave/dwemer ruin of bandits. I realized my destruction was constantly failing so in the darkness I repeated casting fire ball and resting and repeated the process until it raised a bit. For me it was a very immersive experience as it felt like I was sequestered in the dark, hidden away so I could practice my arcane arts. A rare occurence but but it "felt right" because of how I was thinking of it.

However, usually players are just playing the game and not just killing mobs for the sake of killing mobs.

Immersion, something that is sadly lacking in many mmorpgs these days. 

Harking back to UO, it may have been arduous but it also seemed right to have to learn inscription and magery before you could train to mark runes or write spell scrolls or even cast spells with any success.  Heck, the higher level spells you had to learn from fighting mobs with those abilities as they cast them on you(not sure if that's changed over the years, it's been awhile). 

In most "games" now you just have to choose that class and lo and behold you suddenly know pretty much everything there is to know and as your character gets older(levels up to 10, 20, 30, 60 whatever) and the few advanced skills you didn't get at "birth" are often just bought from some npc vendor, no need to actually learn or train it.

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