Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 7, 2013

Why do I like grinding?

I’m still playing Rogue Legacy non-stop. There is a ton of ‘grinding’ in the game, yet I enjoy it immensely. Why is this?

I am not sure about the reader, but I have a sort of personality that can get me totally addicted to certain games. The ones I am thinking about are ones like Civilization when it first came out (one… more… turn…). Certain RPGs of course. I even love Final Fantasy 1 despite or because of its grinding. The big, big problem is MMORPG games like World of Warcraft. I have played World of Warcraft twice. When the game came out and during Cataclysm. Both times ended up with me getting addicted (meaning playing the game at the expense of other real life things), and I associate World of Warcraft with the most pathetic moments of my life.

My favorite time of gaming is when you discover a new video game that just takes over your life. I think fondly back at playing games like Warcraft 2 for the first time of Classic Zelda. Remember when Master of Magic and Master of Orion came out? Usually, the pattern tends to go…

1) Play cautiously like I do with any new title.
2) Game clicks. Every free time I have goes into game.
3) Either beat the game or played through most of its depths. Keep playing game but in much more moderate way.
4) Many years pass. Bring out game once every year or two years for a play through.

With sequels to excellent games, we skip step one and go straight to two. Unless, of course, the sequel sucks (as they so often do).

It is OK when a game absorbs all your free-time. It doesn’t last long. Usually a weekend or two. Many older gamers will actually schedule a vacation around a new game they like. There is one guy I know who plans all his vacations around when a Blizzard game releases.

Currently, I’m absorbed in Rogue Legacy. This is the most addictive game I’ve played in a long time. Fans of Zelda 2 combat or Ghosts and Goblins or Metroidvania should check it out.

Currently, I’ve beaten the first boss and can consistently clear the first area and the second area (the forest). I have just unlocked 40% gold boost so I expect upgrades to move faster now. I imagine once I beat the game, I’ll put it to the side and play it moderately sometime in the future such as when the game is updated. This tends to be the pattern with most games.

But why did MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft cause me so much trouble? I don’t think it is because the game has so much more content or is never-ending. I believe a huge difference is that MMORPGs rely on social standing. You have to keep playing in order to maintain your social standing. WoW is primarily a social game with its own political systems of various networks of guilds and people.

It is not addictive games I have a problem with. It is addictive games that depend on social gameplay that wreck me. Even with a recent play-through of Dragon Warrior 1, I still find ‘grinding’ to be fun. As I recall, NES games were nearly all arcade action. One day, I got sick. You can’t really play at a high action level when you are really sick. However, I could play a game like Dragon Warrior where I’m basically hitting the ‘A’ button over and over again. Then I realized that a video game could perform a very different job. These ‘boring’ grindy RPGs had their place. They were extremely different to the typical NES game which made them all the more noticeable. Today, most games are RPG-like which makes me yearn more for the arcade action. With a game like Rogue Legacy, I need to play with a similar skill that required me to finish Zelda 2. The game feels extremely intense and fun which is something I haven’t experienced in a long while (without having to replay 8-bit and 16-bit games for the millionth time).

WoWcrendor expresses the reason why he quit WoW was because of the LACK of grinding and classic role-play adventuring. Why do I want to play Vanilla WoW above any other WoW version? I actually do like the grinding. Blizzard knows that gaining new levels is ‘fun’ which is why they are still in the game. I also do like the old talent tree. It is more fun to upgrade ‘something’ each level even if there is no choice involved.


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