Saturday, November 3, 2007

Grinding +

Originally Posted by amb:
But what is that?! Isn't it some sort of lame to actually do the same thing over and over again?
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, "Lame is as lame does." :)

In other words, sure, most online gamers say they don't like grinding, and some of them go so far as to say they think a game that promotes grinding is poorly designed. A common suggestion is to make the game watch what players do and give them progressively less and less valuable rewards for doing the same kind of thing repeatedly.

But of course there are also people who don't care about roleplaying or simulation, whose concept of play is that a game is a system of rules to be beaten. These gamers actually enjoy grind-y content because it doesn't force them to think or feel -- they can just do without having to worry about emotional subtext or intellectual consistency. The fun is in the action, regardless of whether or not there's any meaning behind that action.

Don't they deserve gameplay that they can enjoy, too?

A system of team-based tasks could be a way of satisfying all of these concepts of play. If you like the idea of "minigames" that add up to important effects in the gameworld, you might find the "Skill-Based Mini-Games in a Star Trek MMORPG" entry from a while back to be interesting reading.