Grinding is stupid. In the good old days, you gained the necessary levels just going from point A to point B, and they were simply used for benchmarking when you should have gotten what so you didn't have the end of the game in the first half hour.
But the atrocity that is grinding for 2000 hours or something to get one max-level character is just bullshit.
Down with grindcraft.
I am an ENTJ. I hate political correctness but love smart people ^_^
Im all for both. I mean.. I suppose I am more for character building, questing, and such than I am straight up leveling up.. but I think there's gotta be both in there. I get all greedy seeing abilities and such that I COULD have.
Taking a few classic favorites of mine..
Final Fantasy tends to run a good amount of storyline, shiny stuff, quests, world-building, and leveling. I consider leveling part of character development as well though.
Diablo was more dungeon crawlers.. a few quests, with a LOT of killing involved in each... but I was equally happy. The leveling gave me all sorts of new interesting things to use and try out, so I didn't get tired of it.
What I DONT like is Phantasy Star sort of games.. where it's just run into here, kill everything, and then do THE SAME THING AGAIN. I don't mind having to re-do a level because I Personally want something.. but straight up repeating shit tires me of something really quickly.
I like games that let you choose.. Like Taking Kingdom Hearts for example: You don't have to do ANY of the side quests, leveling, or anything to get to the end and potentially beat the game if you're stuck on story. If you want everything, you can struggle for that as well.
I was also a fan of Tomb Raider games.. which involved no leveling up at all, simply solving riddles and shooting a few things.
But sometimes, Yes. I just want to go in, and beat up a lot of shit mindlessly. Sometimes that is just pure enjoyable when you don't have to do any thinking at all.
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Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.
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I tried out a few MMOs, just because I work in the industry, and they're an important genre that I felt I should be familiar with. I could never get into them. I did get pulled into WoW for about two months, but not the 12-hours-a-day kind of into it. And after a couple months, I couldn't stand to look at it again. I even tried it sometime later, and it just did nothing for me. In fact, someone has just contracted me to write a custom WoW add-on, so I had to start my subscription again. I tried playing for a bit when I did, and I still couldn't get into it.
I think "fun" and "keeping you playing" are two separate things in a game. Fun will keep you playing, but just because a game keeps you playing doesn't make it fun. I think the bulk of an MMO, in most cases, hooks into a kind of compulsion in the player's psyche, and essentially strings them along. I actually agree with Jonathan Blow's rant on unethical game design, to some degree (though he takes it to a bit of an extreme). I already feel like I don't own enough of my time, because of the usual life obligations, so the idea of a game just making a lot of time go past for it's own sake is very unappealing to me.
I'm not a procrastinator. I'm a long-term planner.
i like games which are a bit challenging, but in the tactical sense. i don't mind training up a bit to get through the story but what i hate is that giant leap in difficulty when you hit the final dungeon. i have stopped playing so many rpgs because of this, no matter how good they were.
I hate level grinds. I only do them so that I can actually get strong enough to sruvive. For example: in The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, around levels 14-18, the enemies get tougher very quickly. I typically just power level through there so that I don't have to repeat getting my ass kicked in varying states of damage every time I go into a dungeon. It's really bad for me, those levels, because I make my money off of dungeon crawling. The levels where you can face faded wraiths are really disasterous, just like what animenagai said about the final dungeon. It's like the first oblivion gate. You go around Cyrodil, then you go to Kavatch at level twelve, and the game goes to peices as you get your ass handed to you on a daedric sheild by a sworm of clannfears.
Kinda hate the MMO grind style. Reason I started multiboxing.
But there's plenty of rpg's with decent storylines where you might end up grinding a little bit to keep up. (Arcanum, final fantasy games, etc.)
The only game I really enjoyed grinding was diablo 2 lod. The rarity of items make the occasional nice find actually quite rewarding. It adds a sort of layer to it. That makes the grind worth it for me.
But that is the only game I really enjoyed grinding.
The only MMORPG I play is Neverwinter Nights (original, not 2). I play on a special set of servers that allows you to go past the game limitation of 40 levels all the way to 60 levels. There is an element of grinding involved for many of the players, especially at intermediate levels, and there are areas to accommodate this style of play. However, there are so many areas that if you don't want to just grind, you can usually find something to do.