Suggestion: Please don't devalue the grind

[long read, sorry but I thought context was important]

The last time I hard-core gamed was EverQuest in its very first couple years (one of the first MMRPGs, circa 1999). I remember an epiphany I had after a week of playing and having suffered a very unfortunate event common to many noobs at the time. Having worked really hard to develop a warrior to a meager level but just high enough to feel (overly) confident to start to explore, I ventured very, very far out in the icy maze of “Halas” to see what there was to see. Inevitably and eventually I got one-shotted out of no where. Re-spawning naked back in town with the realization that my corpse, along with all the gear I had worked so hard for was now lost, who knows where, and possibly forever! I hadn’t yet learned about /loc function so had no idea where mmy stuff was - devastating! There I was wandering around along for hours naked in a blinding snow storm at night while calling out asking for help via chat like a momma fox that just lost her pup. In that moment I not only realized I had a new quest but this was personal.

I recall this quest unfolded over many, many in-game hours perhaps even actual days but was urgent because my corpse would eventually “expire” and everything would be gone. Eventually other players tried to help and died themselves in the process. I felt terrible as this was a huge sacrifice they had made but much appreciated (i.e. bonds formed). Eventually, a friendly “necro” took pity and helped get my stuff back but was shocked at how far I had actually gotten.

Through that experience I realized this game was special. I had become truly invested in that character, the game and most importantly the community in a way I never had been before. This despite all the broken game mechanics and quest-lines expected of an early game especially one as groundbreaking as EQ. The world was awesome, the community was awesome and we all had our share of triumphs and tragedies to share working through the grind.

After a couple years I stopped playing completely due to demands of work/life. Then, some 10 years later I was surprised to discover the game still existed so I checked it. I was hugely disappointed to find they had, IMO at the time, completely ruined the game by removing the grind (no hate please, just my opinion). Things were too easy now and there was very little actual risk. I had a hunch this was due to the accumulated effect of accommodating player ideas/requests over time of “improving” things like traveling from here to there, MOB difficulty, skill increases, getting your loot back, etc, etc, etc. After a few hours of playing I lost interest because it was just too comfortable. I was no longer invested because they had removed most of the grind and there was less of a sense of “us vs the world” in the community.

I’ll close with my point and some unsolicited advice to you designers and devs: don’t underestimate the value of the grind. You really have something potentially very special here. Myself included, we will all ask for little things to simplify our in-game experience not realizing that some of those requests might be chip away at one of the very things that makes the game so challenging and great. It will be a balancing act for certain but I think if you keep this in mind you’ll have a game that will keep us engaged for a very long time to come.

Keep up the great work!

  • Theta
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EverQuest was my favorite game of all time, that game was actually my full time job when I was 17 years old, I sold gold and items I got from camping rare mobs though PayPal. I remember I stayed up 26 hours straight camping a random world mob spawn for some feather I needed for a quest to get some armor. I remember dying and having to get back to my corpse before it expired, I remember working with a team for 8-10 hours straight camping Rare spawns to get the epic loot. EverQuest was the best gaming experience I have ever had and I have been waiting for a game that might come close to capturing the magic they created.

Big Time reminds me of EverQuest, I have made a suggestion to add Rare Spawns to Dungeons, so 5% of the time when you get to the Boss Room, there will be a Rare Spawn that is named something special and looks different then any other mob in the game and has it’s own loot table, different from the other mobs.

I agree with you, the players ask for convenience, and everything to make the game “Easier”, but the real fun of the game is the challenge and the grind for upgrading items so you can fight harder mobs and get better loot.

Currently it is too easy to buy gear from the shop and get powerful enough o take on level 51 Dungeons at level 25, this should not be possible. I understand this is early access but we don’t want this game to be easy, we want it to be hard and take a long time to upgrade gear to be able to move on to harder dungeons for better loot.

I will be posting a thread on this about with solutions to making sure it’s not too easy to advance, to keep the value of the grind as you have suggested in this insightful post.

-Blazo

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I never played Everquest but I did play Ultima Online and Runescape back in the day and then World of Warcraft later. I agree that the game needs to be challenging to be fun.

I would recommend implementing a meaningful PvP system where people can fight each other and those who die while fighting can lose some of their gear. The PvP system isn’t punishing enough in todays MMO’s like WoW.

The PvP could happen in high level areas where the best loot also comes from high level dungeons. So its kinda high risk high reward when going into those areas

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Agree 1000%. I’ll watch for your post but if you happen to remember please post link to your thread here too.

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Stellar post, and a very poignant reminder of what modern gaming has devolved to.

Grinders are hungry for a big hit again.

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