If you grind, it is time to stop playing
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 August 2014, 4:34 am
I was reading a negative review of Magic 2015 where the author complained that he had to "grind" or pay to get all the cards. I found that a curious remark. For me the game of Magic 2015 consists of playing against all the different computer decks with my own creations. Magic 2015 is so much better than previous incarnations because it allows me to play with decks I made myself. I don't see a grind. If anything I am worried that I am already in the middle of world 4 out of 5, and once I have finished the last world there will be no more new cards to gain when playing. I'll probably keep playing new decks against the computer anyway, but it is always nicer if you get a reward for winning.

Then I was playing Wildstar. I did a shiphand mission I hadn't done before, and that is usually the type of content I like the most. But this time it felt like a grind, in spite of me even gaining a level. So did questing, playing the AH, and everything else I had planned. And then I realized that the only difference between "playing" and "grinding" is whether you are having fun or not. Magic 2015 isn't feeling like a grind to me, because I am having fun. Wildstar has stopped being fun, and now it feels like a grind to me. So I unsubscribed from Wildstar, luckily it was the last day of my second month in the game and I could cancel my subscription before paying for a third month.

For me, MMORPGs are under pressure from two sides: One side is that there is very limited innovation, so even a new game has only a few months of really new stuff before I am back to the same sort of questing or other activity that I already did in many games before. From the other side my time is under pressure from the seemingly endless number of games around. For example besides Magic 2015 on the iPad I am also playing a new and very nice village builder game on the iPad called Adventure Era. A reader sent me a Steam code for Divinity: Original Sin for review. I still have those 71% of unplayed games in my Steam library. And there are games I would love to try out, but haven't even bought the platform on which they are running, like Bravely Default on the 3DS.

MMORPGs are more time-intensive than other games. Which is great if you have lots of time and not much else to do. But if there is lots of other entertainment available, a game has to be special to be able to justify so much attention. The current batch isn't.
Tobold's Blog



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