The Daily Grind: Is there MMO busywork you enjoy?

    
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Down in the comments beneath the Marvel Heroes column we first published this week, a Massively OP reader expressed annoyance with online action RPGs and Justin’s advice for quick leveling. “To level for the pure sake of leveling!? Seems to me only exhausting busywork using typical addictive mechanics as in browser games or gambling, but less obviously implemented!” Thus began an interesting conversation on grind.

Our commenter isn’t wrong; the idea of just leveling characters one after another, as fast as you can, without really stopping to enjoy the content? That should be grindy and horrible. It sounds like working in an MMO sweatshop!

And yet, there’s a certain euphoria found in playing that way. It’s not every game and not every person, mind you. I couldn’t stomach leveling 100 characters to 100 in World of Warcraft myself. But I had no problems rolling character after character and using fast leveling tricks in City of Heroes. I enjoyed the creation of new personae, the rhythm of play, discovering new combos, and frankly, just having a ton of characters to pull up whenever I needed them. It didn’t feel like grind or busywork as I leveled, even when I leveled as quickly as I could and never stopped to smell a single rose. (Of course, that wasn’t the only way I played, either!)

How about you? Is there MMO grind or busywork that you enjoy?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

 

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Loyheta
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Loyheta

Busywork? As in unneeded activities to keep busy? Exploration and collecting. I loved exploring azeroth before flying was added and had it done on multiple characters. I also enjoyed collecting pets before they added pokemon battles. I also collected mounts and some armor sets.

Craywulf
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Craywulf

Nreff Haven’t played Diablo 3 and have absolutely no desire to. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, but I hazard a guess that you’re saying D3 isn’t gated by levels? Not the first game to have leveling continue beyond the initial “endboss”. While I did state in my post that leveling is gating mechanism, it’s also a cost-effective way to recycle existing mobs by giving diverse threat assessments. It takes the guess work out of surviving.

I really don’t see any benefits for the consumer to want the leveling mechanic. It only serves the developer’s agenda.

Craywulf
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Craywulf

I’m going to offend a few people with my remarks here so I apologize in advance. Anyone who is actually entertained by “busywork” “grind” or just plain “leveling” is a sucker. You shouldn’t be enjoying it, and you’re being toyed with if you actually find it enjoyable. I have never found a legitimate reason to have leveling as source of entertainment. I think it has literally destroyed the roleplay in supposedly roleplaying games. 

Leveling is a development tool. It’s the most cost-effective means in slowing the consumption of virtual content. A game can have 5 zones or 25 zones and the developer can level gate them to prevent you from exploring them in short time span. It’s a safest and surest way to slow players down. It’s far too costly and time consuming to develop and cultivate real challenges. Make a game too hard and you lose out on a very large audience, make it too easy and nobody spends any money in the cash shop for convenience items. 

MMO game development is entirely ruled by cost efficiency in order to survive. So Leveling isn’t going away anytime soon unless some developer proves that a game without leveling and be a financial success.

Maggie_May
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Maggie_May

I don’t mind grinding once for an item ….. But over and over is soul destroying to me. I worked really hard to grow my first crop of thavarian onions in Ffxiv but once I did it, I had not desire to repeat the procedure. When personal houses became a thing in the game I was a couple of million short, but I could craft. I knew all the small houses would sell fast so I crafted like crazy and sold everything on the MB, got enough in 5days and bought the last one in Lavender beds. I furnished my house, started the books for my weapon, grinded a number of beasts got my Goobbue and a few others rep mounts…. Then looked around and saw that everything save the upper post 50 dungeons which require a lot of waiting for pugs and running the same high lvl nodes, repeating a lot of the same dungeons, fates etc……. The most fun I had in the game was exploring and taking pics when I was low lvl, hanging with my guildies and joking around, doing the quests while lvling to 50, and running dungeons for thee first time with my guild …..

Cyberlight
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Cyberlight

Trying on new outfits for my characters. Sometimes I can log in, visit the auction house for some window shopping, and never do anything else in a play session. :)

Maggie_May
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Maggie_May

I had over 50 k items ….. Took forever to load and I knew ppl who had over 100k

Sutter Cane
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Sutter Cane

Pandalulz Sutter Cane Suggestion.  Only pick up the main story arc for the planet in the hanger.  Just do those and the class missions.  You get the overall story without the grizzle.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Update: It appears many of the issues have been fixed! And pigtailed yays for that! <3

Pandalulz
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Pandalulz

Sutter Cane Pandalulz Probably won’t do any endgame.  So the question is exactly HOW MUCH story am I otherwise willing to absorb?  I’ve been doing all the sidequests up to this point, so I’ll probably continue that, but man they do involve a bit too much running around, and I’m only on the third planet.

Sutter Cane
Guest
Sutter Cane

Pandalulz Depends, do you want an end game ready character quickly? Do you want the class story to be more cohesive, due to no delay in dialogue? I would pick one character on each side to see all of the content later.