Repeatable grind

“Repeatable content” and “grind” are siblings. They’re basically twins. Yet we desire the one and despise the other.

Stating the obvious, the difference pretty much boils down to how much fun we have with it. If it’s entertaining, we call it repeatable; if it’s dull, we call it grind. The Rift was fun, even after a few dozen times, much of it due to the social component. Killing hundreds of unremarkable orcs for the microscopically small chance of a certain drop, on the other hand, gets boring pretty quick.

So, where does this leave lair-raids like The Vile Maw? The social component is mostly absent, because there’s just the fight, no “time in-between”.
Solo-instances? They are mostly trivial (because there’s only so much you can throw at a single player, while still giving all the classes a fair chance of completing it), and even with the new “random enemies” perk, not actually brain-stretching.

But even that aside. I said The Rift was fun. Well, it was – to me (and several of my friends). To other people, it wasn’t. They went in one, or two times, and didn’t feel like they want to return. For them, it was grind. When I went in for the first couple of times, all I wanted to do was return – and so I did, many, many times. For me, it was fun.

So, borders are fluent. Perception subjective. And when we ask for more of the one, we run the risk of getting too much of the other.

Follow-ups on this, soon to come:

  • Does randomness equal challenge?
  • MMO-raiding – the ultimate social experience?
  • Stay tuned!

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    3 thoughts on “Repeatable grind

    1. cygnet

      And when games try to please all, they invariably please no-one.

      I don’t actually feel comfortable with the way the game has evolved/devolved. It’s strayed away from the original elements that were fun and now feels like less thought has gone into it, with a loss of balance.

      Oh, those instances? Fairly straightforward walkthrough even for this fluffy. (“Is that all you’ve got, huh?”)

      Personally I’ve found a balance between skill and chance is the best way for any game, be it MMO, board or card. Elements of both allow the thrill of the win to be that much more, allows the lesser player to compete with the more competent one. But leave it all to chance, and then you may as well just flick coins. Leave it all to skill and the predictability just becomes boring.

      Reply
    2. Rem

      Turbine seems absolutely confident and excited about finally having found a method to keep players busy forever without providing the according amount of content. Everything they develop and add currently seems aimed at and tied to the LI-system. Don’t bother working out more fun stuff, just add another hour or two of daily marginal-improvement-tasks. The day only has 24 hours, so, if we manage to fill all that with repeatables, we’ve won! Right?
      It’s not just the state the game is in, which is worrying; it’s that Turbine doesn’t seem to see any problem with it. They think they found the Holy Grail.

      Those (new) instances? They might have been more challenging, or fun, if there was actually a chance to ever run into more than exactly two mobs at once. Even worse, those packages are placed in mostly identical, well isolated rooms. You end up just doing the very same trivial pull with the ensuing identical attack-sequence about two dozen times, and then you’re done. Of course, you don’t even have to go for the side rooms – you can just run straight through the middle and get pretty much everything done anyway. Now, is it good, when the best thing to do with content is to skip it…?
      In most of those instances, there’s just one junction, where, when you get certain types of mobs spawned and arrive at it at a certain time, you might actually be attacked by two groups at once. I guess that’s all the “challenge” they wanted to concede to us.

      Ah well. I once again sound more frustrated than I am. Not that I’m not frustrated. Just not that much.

      Reply
    3. Anonymous

      I’m not a huge fan of these solo-instancies in general. I mean, this is supposed to be a game to play with other people. And when they become repeatable, I walk away, even when I know I -should- be running through them to boost my own character’s performance. But I rather start again to level from a scratch, to see what suprises a new class can throw my way.

      -I.

      Reply

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