36: The Gaming Grind

Joining Sinan Kubba and Joe DeLia are GamerCrave‘s Jared Newman and GameCritics‘ Brad Gallaway. The pod discusses grinding in gaming. Can gaming exist without the grind? Should we put up with the endless hunt?

3 Responses to “36: The Gaming Grind”
  1. Dits says:

    Great show so far guys, only about 20mins in but had to stamp some MMO’ness on this :) As you know i’ve played as way to many MMORPG’s over the years any many to max level, the ‘grind’ is something that has to be handled very carefully if they want to keep players into the game.

    Bad example – Age of Conan – Terrible Raid system, could raid for 6months 3-4 times a week and would be lucky to get anything worthwhile at all. No system to show your progress, no real incentive to carry on.

    Good example – LOTRO – This is about as grindy as a western mmo can get. Everything is tracked, from how many times you use a skill to how many Orcs you have killed. Each tally and unlock something new (skill/item) over time. There is so much fluff such as costumes and housing that it appeals to every type of gamer. Even the damn weapons level up with you.

    For some reason the ‘grind’ awakens something in me, to know I can get something a little better just for playing the game get me hooked.

    Other genres are catching up, COD’s levelling system is nice and adds something extra to the multi-player but for me there isn’t enough to warrant the effort, some reason I don’t find any satisfaction in just seeing the number, I want the badass armour as well!!

  2. Kropotkin says:

    I can only mirror Dit’s views here, but primarily based on my experiences with World of Warcraft and Star Wars Galaxies (before it turned to crap!).

    In WoW I was a serial raider. I also lead quite a few, which was no mean feat as I played a priest so it was very much leading from the rear! I did it because of the team spirit it generated. In order to get to be in a position to raid i had to grind. So much so that it degenerated into fishing for food in order to give my character a stat boost once they cooked it. A skill I also had to grind! Did I regret any of this time I spent fishing and cooking? Nahh, I just played Puzzle Quest on my DS as I waited for fish to get caught :)

    With regards to Star Wars Galaxies, that was rather broken. The key to the game was resources, without them nothing could be made. Sadly these resources varied in quality. The lower the quality, the poorer the items made from them. I spent days working my way up to Master Armoursmith, only to find the materials I needed to make half decent armour was already claimed by players that had been playing the game far longer than I. Also; resources drifted from one planet to another. No one knew where they were going to be next, which forced the creation of prospectors hunting materials down, soon after which their would be a massive land grab on an intersteller level. I still remember refreshing the SWG Wiki oage waiting for the new resources to be found. *sigh*

    So WoW has grinding but rewards the player for doing so with little nuggets and a justification of a means to an end. SWG tried something new, but failed to understand humanities amazing ability to acquire items at other people’s expense…

  3. Dits says:

    Just hearing your final question, for me every game has a grind mechanic to it, and the best ones appeal to something that effects pretty much every person on the planet, we are creatures of habit, we enjoy and thrive of routine “the grind” 80 million people cant be wrong…damn Farmville

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