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Getting rid of the grind   (Read 6922 times)
Old Post February 24, 2008, 09:37:09 pm
Shining Sideburns *

Posts: 830

Getting rid of the grind
Since I finally got a new PC that can run games that utilise the mystical "third dimension", I've tried out a few MMORPG's to get some ideas.

One thing that stands out is the amount of repetition involved for any kind of improvement. Experience is gained from killing monsters, and usually lots of them. There's also loads of quests that involve collecting "X of item Y", which seems like a bit of a cop out really.

Now, I'm curious as to if this repetition is really a problem or not. On the surface it sounds dull and tedious, but it seems that the goal of becoming more powerful overrides this. Is grinding a problem with all MMORPG's, or is it more of a problem with "action rpg's" where there are loads of monsters roaming around. I'm not even sure if a turns-based game would suffer the same problem as the battles themselves last a lot longer.

Any thoughts on this?

Old Post February 28, 2008, 12:51:35 am
Administrator Shining Spammer *

Posts: 1,126

Re: Getting rid of the grind
I believe there is always grind of some kind. 
The alternative in a levelling system is a pathway based game.  Where you are taken from one place to another by the story, and generally only have one bad guy you _must_ kill at the end of each quest, or one item to collect.. however along the path there are bunches of monsters.
In this fashion you're not going to the same spots again and again to collect yet another x item.  However it's still pretty repetitive.  The game has to make up for the lack of the grind  you speak of by placing a certain number of monsters in  your way you have to kill to get to the end of the path so that you're strong enough to tackle the next quest etc.  It's still a kind of grind.
There could be alternatives but they would be vastly different to existing games.  time based levelling, puzzle(and in-game knowledge) based levelling, skill with the control system based levelling.

In answer to your question, I don't think some grind is a problem.  However I do think it's a problem if the game revolves around doing this religiously.  Games should also build in caps to stop you from grinding sarah up to level 20 on the second battle of SF2.


Old Post March 26, 2009, 11:23:48 pm
Shining Dude *

Posts: 164

Re: Getting rid of the grind
I know this is an ├╝ber necro post, but really most MMORPGs are like that to suck you in so that you keep on paying your monthly subscription until you've seen the everything.

Another point to consider is the games try to make gamers take pride in their level. Thus have incredibly long grinds (except, perhaps WOW.) Personally, I find this 'pride', 'hardcoreness', or anything to do with grinding to be a load of rubbish. If a game forces you to grind for a few days before you can play with your friends; is it really a game?

Finally, most MMORPGs give no rewards for player skill. For example, a guy at level 50 simply cannot beat a guy at level 60. With a turn based game 'skill' is replaced by strategy. This should be important, especially for the end game/pvp.

So, what you should look at is curving any leveling so that theres a point which is easy to reach for everyone without griding for the end game. After which people can  grind out to a maximum, but the rewards are of little use. If you've played Diablo 2, you'll understand. Simply in D2 anyone can get to level 80, whereupon they can use practically every item and have all their main skills maxxed out. Yet, you can grind to 99, but you're really not much better as you already had all your main abilities maxxed out and have the same equipment.

Insert pretentious signiture here.

New Post June 23, 2009, 03:42:56 pm
Shining Forever *

Posts: 273

Re: Getting rid of the grind
I never used to have a PC when I was young, so the first time playing in 3D environments was really the PS1/Sega saturn after living on 2D carts with no loading screens. In fact, the only loading screen I ever saw before the age of CD's was on Sim City, sometimes in late stages of the game, they actually have a message saying "please wait!" or something similar when you go to save or load. This message lasts about 2 seconds, and at first only flashes without you being able to actually read it.

I was hugely disappointed (and possibly partically jealous as I never had one of these consoles at the time) that you spend quite a large pecentage of your time waiting at loading screens; and hoped it would get better. These games tended to be rather plain environments, with simple maps, almost making the whole idea of being in a 3D environment pointless.

 I've just been playing on a PS3 lately for the first time, and was probably waiting for it to load longer than actually playing it. This was with "Heavenly Sword" particularly and "Metal Gear Solid 4" which had to install more and more stuff onto the HD every few hours (and is crampt with extremely slow cutscenes everytime you move to a new area/screen/map). What the heck is with that anyway? Are the days of being a console running from a game cart/disk over?

SC: dead again, dun dun dun.

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