**Disclaimer** The following blog is a parody. For avoidance of doubt, Otto von Quarzis is NOT a prophet and his former Rules Firm is NOT a law firm, does not provide legal advice, and, you know... isn't real. Carry on.

Monday, June 23, 2014

In Defense of Grinding

Grinding... camping... farming... whatever you want to call it, it seems to be a staple in many computer role-playing games.  I recently read an article about a World of Warcraft player that achieved level 90 by picking herbs and mining.  Now THAT is some serious grinding right there.

There are entire industries created around farming - for you.  You pay them a small fee, they give you a level [x] character.  People complain (I have no link for that... that is just my experience admining a MUD for 10+ years), people write articles about how it leads to wide spread societal abuse... yet, game designers keep grinding in the game mechanics.  Why?

I believe the answer is simple - and something I would have fought tooth and nail against as a "creator" until I stepped back and became a "player."  The answer is... it is fun!!

It never occurred to me before I loaded up Darksiders and began to grind away at zombie after zombie after zombie.  It was fun.  It was exhilarating.  It really didn't matter the score - I gathered my 500 souls to progress... I didn't care.  I wanted to go smash cars on more zombies. Yeah... they are easy as heck to beat. Made it even more fun.

So, I thought back to my days actually playing MUDs (as opposed to creating them), and I realized I loved grinding.  I would camp out at the easy level and grind away.  Did I raise myself up much... no.  But, there was something extremely satisfying with racking up the vampiric butterfly body count.

Am I saying just create a game where you grind and nothing more? No.  But, I do want to put in a defense for senseless violence.  Sometimes, a game... needs to be just a game. Wacking things on the head - repeatedly, is just plain fun.  Don't take that out of your game.  You can drive yourself mad trying to figure out the perfect progression algorithm.  Instead, go camp-out and slay some level one zombies.  Your blood pressure (and your fans) will thank you.

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