I agree that Grinding is part of the game and I agree that there wouldn't be many ppl playing the game anymore if we didn't have it, however it's the tediousness and ridiculousness of some of the grinding (grinding quests are a good example, I mean how many Zhevras do I really have to kill just to get four hind legs?) that gets me. To me some of the grinding just doesn't make any sense, but that doesn't mean that grinding shouldn't be in the game. It's very necessary, it just needs to be implemented in a way that doesn't bog down the gameplay. Something, of which, Blizzard isn't very successful with on some things.
Grinding is the skinner box, you get better results if you don't get the reward all the time. That's why sometimes the basilisks don't appear to have a brain. (but if I use my mouse to turn, how do I click rend!?)
you've made some really good points in this Weekly Marmot that really hit me, and the only thing i can think off is Starcraft 2
Blizzard made a really solid campaign for Starcraft, making sure that you're not only progressing through the storyline but also upgrading your units and tech as you went along. I got that feeling of dissappointment when i finished the campaign, the same disappointment that you get from finishing a good book, you want more. Everyone i knew that owned Starcraft 2, completed the campaign and then never touched the game again. i've heard that they're adding some kind of levelling system to ones account with HoTS, which im really looking forward to, to keep me engaged in a game i really want to enjoy and play more of.
Mike B could learn a thing or two from that intro....
Greatest intro ever!
Watched the full video now. I 100% agree with everything you said. Not even kidding.
It amazes me that people don't understand this already.
It's called "Replay Value"
I also agree with a lot of what you say: the gear grind in particular is what keeps most people playing WoW for a long time.
But in places you mention progression and grinding together as if they were inextricably bound together. Progression - improving the power of your character - is a big hook for an RPG; story would be another. However, it need not involve grind - repetition. Repetition is almost incompatible with story telling and suspension of disbelief (immersion), for example. Hence most single player RPGs don't have grind in the sense of repeating either quests or specific boss fights.
I think grind is something that is specific to MMOs and other games where income depends on player time played (e.g. via subscription). You could spend 100 hours playing a long single player RPG like Baldur's Gate, for example. But then you would move on and commercially that would be fine for that model. It would be disastrous for a game designed on subscription basis like SWTOR, where a much bigger investment was made anticipating a longer stream of income.
Indeed, I think that's what happened with SWTOR. They padded out the levelling with some grind but essentially it was a very strong story-based experience similar to Bioware single player games. It's just at max level, what was left to do - WoW style end-game grind PvP and PvE grinds - were not sufficiently compelling to retain a healthy number of subscriptions.
I think the game design challenge is to find interesting ways to keep people playing. Some of the dailies are more fun than others (why did no one tell me about the GL wall rolling quest?! I just discovered it this week and it was outrageously fun for a daily.) And a pure grind - like repeating dailies - is inadequate. A nice innovation of 5.1 was interspersing the reputation grind with yellow quests that advanced the story. This was reduced the level of repetition and added a second hook, story telling.
Raiding is also rather nuanced. Farming bosses for gear is grind. But a big hook to raiding is the progression - you repeat a fight, but until you beat the encounter, repeated attempts are not really grinds. They are challenges and each encounter plays often plays out differently (as you often make different mistakes). I suspect most players would not play them without the gear rewards. But interest also tends to wane once a tier has been cleared and it's just farming.
Maybe one problem with daily quests is that they are too unchallenging and easy - if they were more of challenge (like killing a rare elite was in the early days of MoP), they might be more fun. Some of the concepts of challenge mode dungeons might be an interesting model to pursue more generally - gold, bronze and silver rewards for quests depending on your performance (rather like the race quests or the bonus rewards for doing the Argent Crusade daily patrol in X minutes). But perhaps lowering the difficulty so the challenge is not so exhausting and demanding for the mass of player base as apparently challenge modes are tuned now.
I agree, completely. I can understand how the grinds not everyones cup of tea, but I'm baffled how they think that's WoW's fault and not their own - it's like buying an FPS and then complaining about the finger twitching required - it's as synonymous with the MMORPG genre as anything - especially in old dinosaurs like WoW.
I love the grind and make no secret of it.
The race to realm first, the Insane title, the 1% mounts, the guaranteed reward at the end of a rep grind, the 1% drops that you can grind to get your Golden lotus rep up to revered 1 day earlier, thus unlock a few more quests - sure, I ended up needing 8 of those 1% drops, but boy did I kill hundreds of Mogu until I got them.
Now I've found pet battles - originally I figured I'd just grind out the achievements, since hoh boy do I love achievements - I hit the 75 pets I needed for that achievement, but the grind is delicious. Closing in on 100 lvl 25 pets and enjoying every moment of it - but I don't think I'd enjoy it a fraction of what I do if they had no leveling system to pet battles, or the hunting for that elusive rare quality bucktooth flapper, or the 5k pet battles won achievement.
The grind is intoxicating, it's gotten to the point that I look at modern games and very few appeal.
The intro was simply amazing... best Marmont to date.
You are correct, if the grinding was eliminated I would stop playing.
Grinding Golden Lotus was painful.
Now I am doing dailys that are actually fun again. My gear grind has concluded, now I am grinding for fun stuff.
Loved the intro; and I've said since they announced GW2 (and heard about its sideways gearing system) that grindless games couldn't survive. I knew that from watching every geared player in FFXI quit the second they got the last item they were after (that game was miserable, but the endless grind kept people hooked).
Also, DS was an odd choice to bring up when saying, "imagine if you were done in a week, you'd quit." :( the problem with DS was that people finished in a week then quit.
+1 for this episode Lore!
I genuinely hope this episode would be picked up by blizzard, and used in some manner so the entire playerbase (wishful thinking I know) would see it.
Not that there's anything new and revolutionary in it, but it might still serve as an eye opener for some of the players, that constantly flood the forums complaining about how unfair life is, if they don't get their weekly pixels!:)
I think this video was preaching to the converted. The vast majority of WoW players or anyone capable of switching on their PC have the intelligence to understand why a grind is required in this type of game and why elements of it are enjoyable.
That is not the issue. No one has really complained about that.
The issue is with the design of the grinding activities themselves.
One that comes up often is the annoyance of daily quests which can be incredibly frustrating because of the mob tapping issue. I quite happily perform many far more repetitive tasks than dailies without complaint because those activities are no were near as annoying. Fly around in circles competing with other players for scarce mobs/items is not as much fun as if there were a glut of mobs/items (or shared taps) and we could unleash the power of our toons and blast away. 90% of the time I spend doing dailies is spent mounted flying around in circles. That is not "game play" IMO let alone good game play.
In other cases there may not necessarily be an issue with the content itself but the way in which the grind is rewarded. The topic that came up recently was the RF loot system. Blasting away in a meter race (or just AFK'ing and watching TV) in RF each week isn't really that bad, but some of the issues with the way in which you are rewarded reduce the satisfaction. Weeks upon weeks of winning nothing or duplicates is for example less satisfying than winning 50VP per boss would be. Indeed I'd find the grind more tolerable if all the loot drops were removed and the VP quantities were buffed.
"Do job - get reward" is fun and exactly what Lore was talking about.
"Do job - get screwed over" is not fun and is why people complain. When you get shafted in RF you lose that link that lore talked about where you behave like a good little girl/boy and get the gold star. Behave like a good little girl, do your chores and then the naughty kid gets the gold star whilst you get nothing?! What?!?!
When people say "it feels like a job" I believe that is due to the nature of the job or the nature of the reward (or lack of) and not that it is a job per say. We all already knew it was a job when we re-subbed.
I wish quest coulds be setup where you are getting the plans, gathering mats, and making a piece of gear a little more often either as a part of the dailies, or leveling quests. Fine there is raid gear, there is arena gear, what about some sort of world gear or crafter gear? I would not have a problem with Daily gear that looked like rehashed firelands teir stuff either, I know the designers are not gonna spend a lot of time developing for "Niche" play. If it had stats that brought me up to 80/90% of raiser top teir I would have no complaints.
My job has me on an opposite time schedule, and servers with low lag in my area are not populated to allow me to do that stuff. The ones that are on, I recognise, and I already will not play with them. (Ripped off too often). So that leaves me with a game I like/love, but no way to progress all that much.
Isn't that LFR Gear?
LOL That was a good intro. Good job!
Totally agree. I think it is a damned if you do or damned if you don't argument. Of course no one likes doing the same thing over and over again on the surface but in total reality it is the foundation of everything we do in our lives. We are creatures of habit. Not to mention it obviously works because WoW hasn't collapsed.
For me it just boils down to the internet being the internet. A door is open for a complaint so it is delivered. The same people that complain about doing the grinds are happy when they are first to have that mount or item but then would complain if you just logged in and it was in everyone mail box. Then when they hear this particular argument they complain that it should be somewhere in the middle. Once it is in the middle they want it to go to one side or the other. Not trying to say their isn't a sweet spot but people just have to realize that it takes time and money to create content so what is current has to last and get dragged out.
Bah.. damn you internet. But I love you.
The ironic part is that it's quite likely that those people complaining the most are the ones who feel compelled to do every single daily every day for the sense of accomplishment they get from doing them all.