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?