Global Chat: Love the farm, hate the farm

How do you feel about grinding in MMOs? What about farming? These questions can elicit a wide variety of answers, from shrieks of dismay to enthusiastic head nods. Depending on the situation, grinding and farming can be something to be enjoyed, to be endured, or to be avoided at all cost.

The Game Freak Show says that he has a love/hate affair with grinding and farming, and it presents all sorts of muddled emotions, especially when gated mechanics are thrown into the mix: “While I have forgiven the grind in many RPGs for sucking away my time, this disturbing trend of games that do not have a harsh grind because they’re flawed or made for a different audience, but to force people to drop more cash on the table is something I can’t.”

Continue on for a look at Kritika Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online’s Ravenloft, the best solo MMOs, and more!

GamingSF: Into the Mists

“New monster types (again to me) are in evidence in Barovia too. So far I’ve seen Vargouilles — creepy batwinged, disembodied heads — and animated scarecrows. The former gave me a real thrill of recognition seeing this classic D&D monster; I can’t remember ever having seen them in a computer game before.”

I Has PC: Home alone in EverQuest II

“The second fun thing I learned is that some are interactive. Rubbing the bottle took me to a genie themed area, where, I have no clue, but I went and interacted with some NPC’s and learned some lore. I had to exit back to Antonica and run my way back to the prestige housing zone in (before I learned you could access your house from your character screen. Upon re-entering my Mansion I made a wrong turn and discovered there was a whole other wing!”

In An Age: Quick and dirty guide to No Man’s Sky

“Seriously though, in the beginning, do not worry too much about anything in particular. A large part of this game comes down to inventory management, and you are never given enough space to collect all the things. If something seems like a super-rare thing, trust me, it’s not. You will find a planet with tons of it later on.”

Beyond Tannhauser Gate: Expedition into ArcheAge

“As I’ve mentioned previously, I started following along with a group of gamers that call themselves the MMO Book Club. These guys are from Reddit and they have a unique way of gaming together — each month they vote on a game to play and they all focus on leveling up characters in that franchise. This month, ArcheAge was the winning selection so they headed into that Trion property — and I went along for the ride.”

Endgame Variable: Snap judgment on Kritika Online

“The game describes itself as a ‘brawler.’ I have no idea what a brawler is, but if this is an example of what brawler combat is like, I find it somewhat lacking in complexity. I played a Gunmage, and I didn’t have to do anything to kill mobs except point in the general direction of the bad guys and click my left mouse button repeatedly. There was no discernible targeting system or crosshair. Just click your left button and things died.”

MMO Bro: The best MMOs for solo players

“In the past, I would have considered Guild Wars 2 one of the best solo MMORPGs, but these days it’s not quite as welcoming to the soloist as it once was. Open-world content has become more difficult and unforgiving, encouraging (though not requiring) the assistance of fellow players, and the endgame has shifted more toward high end raids and dungeons.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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8 Comments on "Global Chat: Love the farm, hate the farm"

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Veldan
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Veldan

I love oldschool farming and I’ve hated every alternative that was implemented in MMOs over time. Mostly this boils down to 3 things:

– linking big rewards to dailies so that you can’t farm them anymore as they’re only obtainable once per day
– putting caps on progress, such as weekly token currency caps, again to stop people from farming more
– cash shops, “bypassing” farming by spending

I understand why these 3 things are there, but I still hate them. They’re a large part of why I’m not even playing MMOs anymore. I want a game where I can log in when I want, to play for as long as I want, and make as much progress as I want. I don’t want to be forced to play every day, or to stop playing after x time, or to spend real money.

So to me, the original model where you farm for hours to level up and get gear, will always be the best. It’s the only one without stupid requirements or restrictions.

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Suikoden

Took the words out of my mouth Veldan. I hate dailies. I would rather kill 3000 kobolds over however long I want to take, get the feat or reward, and move onto the next one. Like you said, you can’t farm them anymore because they cap it. It doesn’t accomplish their goal of getting me to log in every day, it only shortens my play sessions. I am going to log in when I have a chance, regardless of dailies. If I’m out of town I’m not logging in anyway. But if I do log in, and I choose to grind, let me do it. And this doesn’t have to be a solo activity.

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Jeremiah Wagner

This is simple. Do you enjoy playing MMORPG’s? Then you have to love the farm and the grind. It literally embodies everything that makes an MMORPG an MMORPG. If you don’t love to farm and grind then you should not be playing MMORPG’s because all those that try to turn an MMORPG into something other then that are ruining MMORPG’s. Having to work hard and long for the items you want is what makes you feel like you are a part of that world and that the world is somewhat real. Its the entire reason that a game like WoW which was so amazing has now just become another mediocre MMORPG. You now level up super fast and get gear just handed to you. It no longer feels like your a part of this huge amazing world anymore. It just feels like your playing some kind of boring game like most MMORPG’s. Rules and boundaries, work and effort, grinding and farming are the things that make an MMORPG feel like a living breathing world that someday with enough time and skill you could be a great hero inside of.

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Suikoden

You make another good point Jeremiah. It used to be a feat just to get to max level. I’m not saying that the only way to level should be grinding mobs, but I do think there should be more gaps in the leveling process, in which you can do a variety of things, but where the game doesn’t hold you hand. These days if a game doesn’t straight up give you a max level character, you can purchase one. And I don’t even know why’d you’d do that when one can be leveled in a few weeks in any of those games. You also mentioned it’s the same way with gear, and you are right about that too. You don’t even have to go after gear anymore. In almost every game, as soon as the expansion hits, they hand you a upgraded set of gear so you can do the content. I’m cool with discounting the existing set, but to literally hand you a new set that negates the one that you grinded for months for makes it pointless. Like you said, they are taking away the feeling of being part of a larger world.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Right on. I remember grinding ogres like crazy to sell cloth to get the last bit of the 100g I needed for my mount in Vanilla WoW. Was I a happy camper when that happened. Not able to do a quest or get into a dungeon because underlevel? Grind more ogres.

But that’s small potatoes compared to the old The Renowned title in LOTRO, which I acquired on 10 characters. A classic non-stop grind of farming tokens. When that final Rivendell token dropped in Goblin Town, when I killed my last barghast in Enedwaith, that was glorious.

This is what, as Veldan notes above, is missing from dailies and other limits imposed by devs. The joy of MMO grinding.

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pesko

I am in the Life is Feudal open beta. The game is well known for its grind, but somehow its feels ok to me because I know everyone else who has built certain things have done the same thing. Especially in LiF, it fosters a greater sense of cooperation and coordination with the players I play with. If it were a soloable MMO, I would NOT be worth the same type of grind.

Xijit
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Xijit

I love farming: give me something where I can go gather shit & then turn that shit into new shit that I can sell and I will be good for hours.

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Nick Smith

Farming in MMO’s… if we didn’t have it then it would feel more like a single player game in the respect that i have 53 hours of logged in time to Bioshock compared to over a thousand hours in Trove.