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a history of violence (and grinding)

February 1, 2009
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I have another post planned for today in regards to Engineer’s. That’s later though, for now I wanted to reminisce for a spell. You see, I’ve never found questing more fun than grinding. That really isn’t a popular feeling, as I’m quite aware, but it is one that’s always been there. The problem started with MUDs, when I really think about it. I didn’t have this problem playing D&D, or a lot of other games, but it hit hard in MUD.

Here’s the problem: Most quests feel contrived. Let’s take a quest most people have done. We’ll call it ‘Boar Menace’ for convenience. The objective? Kill 20 boars. Alternatives may involve collecting 20 boar hides, or 40 tusks, or perhaps most famously livers. If you’ve never been to Westfall, I’ll spare you the existential thought provoking question that ensues when you realize how few boars have livers.

Honestly, I don’t mind killing boars. 20, 40, 500? That’s fine with me. That isn’t why I feel it’s contrived. Let’s say boars are worth 300 experience, you kill 20 and get 6,000 experience for it. Now you turn in a quest and get 1,500 experience. That wasn’t a quest, it was a kill collection. I got a little bonus for grinding, thanks?

Now let’s take another quest, which you’ve all done. We’ll call this one ‘I’m Lazy’ this quest is essentially where one NPC tells you to go talk to another who is within eyeshot (or possibly right next to them). Now, it’s hard to discount the leveling speed these provide, but why should I get experience at all? Did this person instil great wisdom in me? Teach me some awesome move? No, they usually say, “Oh, Lazybum Fancypants sent you!” Then I gain 750 experience. Why?

Now, back to the first quest I mentioned. I killed 20 boars, getting a bonus of 75 experience a head. So for every four kills, I get a free chunk of experience. I killed twenty, so I got five ‘extra boars’ to my list in experience. Why do I grind (and like it), well… I could go kill some hyena-men over the hill who are also worth 300 experience. However, they’re also packed closer together and die much faster. I can probably get 30 kills in the time it takes to get 20 boars. On top of this, I don’t have to go check in either, which is at least another five kills.

Don’t punish me for grinding… make quests make sense. Make them harder and make them rewarding. If that’s done, you won’t have to nerf AOE grinding, or grinding in general to the point where it feels like defeating ten men at once is a trivial moment in my characters life.

pancakez

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Omelettez permalink*
    February 1, 2009 5:09 pm

    And for those playing the home game, if you ever see a Black Orc rounding up 30+ things with an adorable Zealot following up, making sure he’s not dead, that’s probably us.

  2. February 2, 2009 5:26 pm

    ‘Now let’s take another quest, which you’ve all done. We’ll call this one ‘I’m Lazy’ this quest is essentially where one NPC tells you to go talk to another who is within eyeshot (or possibly right next to them). Now, it’s hard to discount the leveling speed these provide, but why should I get experience at all? Did this person instil great wisdom in me? Teach me some awesome move? No, they usually say, “Oh, Lazybum Fancypants sent you!” Then I gain 750 experience. Why?’

    He’s two feet away! Tell him yourself, jerkwad! But yeah, I feel your pain. Imagine though, if you will, designing thousands of unique and fun quests on top of all the other things Devs have to do to put out an MMO. It seems an overwhelming if not impossible task.

    Furthermore, if the Devs didn’t want you to gind they would have made all the Mobs spawn only when you had the quest or spawn at random points as unpredictable attacks keeping you on your guard as you traveled through a seemingly empty world (assuming you had no active quests).
    -Nosmo King

  3. pancakez permalink*
    February 2, 2009 8:47 pm

    Well, that’s the thing. It would actually take less effort on their part. WAR’s done it slightly with Kill Collectors. Add in a ‘boar liver’ collector, etc and you’re set. As for other mundane tasks, I really don’t think those should reward anything. It would open up developpers to not worry about the ‘little’ quests since you’d have collectors to make up for it. I’m totally in favor of quests like the Ony chain in WoW. Just not the day-to-day chores that random lazy bum wants me to do.

    I actually had one other big gripe though. It falls under the ‘you’ve gotta be kidding me’ quest line. That is, I found a good grind spot on the way between two zones and hung out there for a while until I got bored. I get to the camp and my assignment is to kill twenty of the things I was just killing. No ‘collect ears to prove it’ objective, just go kill twenty. I just killed three-hundred, not good enough for you!? =(

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