The Daily Grind: Should MMOs divorce experience from mob kills?


If you look at the wider field of computer RPGs, especially old ones, there’s one very notable difference between their design and MMORPGs: Several older CRPGs didn’t award experience for creature kills. Grinding on mobs was more of a JRPG thing, whereas CRPGs saved the bulk of XP for quest completion.

But ever since the “quests, what quests?” early days of MMOs, it’s been about farming those mobs for XP. As much as I’m a proponent of MMOs giving you as many avenues to advance as possible, I sometimes wonder if this was a bad design that encouraged and rewarded players for the most banal of activities.

In fact, there’s only one MMO I know of that doesn’t really do “XP for mobs,” which is Dungeons and Dragons Online (although there are often “kill 10 rats” style quests within instances). That title saves the bulk of XP for a successful mission.

Should more MMOs divorce experience from mob kills and, say, only award XP from achievement or quest completion? Or is it too late to put the lid on that Pandora’s Box?

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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