The one where Xav explains the grind

9 03 2008

There are a few things I hate in games but one of the most annoying is the level grind itself.

Forcing players to play through countless waves of the same poorly designed enemies just so that I can hit Level 50 is an artificial and redundant design in games.

For some games, the grind is the game.

MMO’s are a good example — I’m not pointing fingers but while some people love them, sitting down to play WoW or Guild Wars was a lesson in patience.

Being 24 and busy with work at X3F and other freelance gigs, the only genre I have time for are action shooters. Be it first-person, third, shmups — whatever. So you might think twitch gaming has created this hate for the level grind.

The level grind is a feature prolific within role-playing games for the most part. I remember playing Final Fantasy VII and in preparation for my Weapon fights (Ruby in-particular) I realized I had to max out my character’s stats to win. Scouring data found in magazines, discussing best-practices with my friends, and random luck scored me the info that the best way to ensure success is by grinding out my characters and if I didn’t want to do it myself there was a trick.

I tried the grind myself, but just got bored and frustrated by it until i discovered a small offshore island that, due to it’s awkward shape, allowed players to bound back and forth on the shoreline. Equipped with tape and a turbo controller, I set the game up to do my dirty work for me and after a few days worth of exploits I was maxed.

So the moral of the story is, I hate the grind. Some people love it, and that’s great… but for me it doesn’t work.

I need story, progression and for things to happen … and you typically don’t get that with fetch quests and killing 100 cacti in a row.

So why is my personal blog called The Level Grind?

This is the place where I can shoot-the-sh*t. Talk about what’s going on inside and around my X3F life, gaming experiences, my favorites and hates, and everything in between.

Level Grinding is just filler, and so is The Level Grind.




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