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.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”