I have been thinking about an alternative to grinding

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Monty Burns
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I have been thinking about an alternative to grinding

Post by Monty Burns » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:54 am

and wonder whether this idea would work (ie would it stop people grinding).

The short version is quest books, in EQ2 there are areas where you can buy or loot books that contain a series of quests which boost one faction or another and help you get experience, would this idea transfer over to Star Wars Galaxies?

For example:
At level 1 you get a requisition form to make certain items and deliver them to NPC-A, once done it opens a second requisition from NPC-B who has heard from NPC-A and would like another item made etc. etc. (The idea at low levels is to make certain items relevant to the profession chosen and to see the galaxy through deliveries of said items).

As you level up the quests become more complex requiring higher quality resources, factory runs etc. to give greater understandings of the crafting process, how resource stats affect final products etc. etc.

This was just a basic outline of a very vague idea to teach people about crafting without requiring mindless grinding.

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Re: I have been thinking about an alternative to grinding

Post by Savacc » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:31 am

"Grinding" is probably everyones least favorite aspect of MMORPGs. The game company that comes up with a way to eliminate the "grind" will have the next big hit, IMHO.

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Monty Burns
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Re: I have been thinking about an alternative to grinding

Post by Monty Burns » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:39 am

Savacc wrote:"Grinding" is probably everyones least favorite aspect of MMORPGs. The game company that comes up with a way to eliminate the "grind" will have the next big hit, IMHO.
I agree which is why I think that developing a "legacy" quest line for each profession is the answer.

Oddly enough I don't have any issue with grinding myself but I can see (as most people do) that there has to be a better way, a couple of us even talked about dropping leveling for crafters and entertainers completely and starting all crafters/entertainers at 90 but requiring them to complete tasks (quests) to unlock their expertise.

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Re: I have been thinking about an alternative to grinding

Post by wrackspurt » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:44 am

That's why TOR is pushing the "story-based" thing. We'll see how they do.

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Re: I have been thinking about an alternative to grinding

Post by Zimoon » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:39 am

Me too chime in, just to say that either those "books" or terminal quest-series is perfectly fine with me, just not the silly grind. On a side note, I guess books are better named "contracts" in SWG.

My kid, when he was about 9 years old he played Tibia. One day I found him hammering on a wooden pole, just hammering. nothing else. One hour later he still did it and I asked, "why are you doing that?" "To level up the faster," he said. And of course, there was this "feature" to allow players to level up the faster. The ugly thing was that AFK-play was forbidden so if any passing player chatted and got no reply they reported the AFK-er and a GM banned the AFK-er, sometimes as fast as going for a pee could take.

All games have this kind of "feature" in one disguise or the other, just perhaps not in the ugly fashion I just told.

After reading Theory of Fun, by Ralph Coster (I think that he at that time was working with SWG), I have though a lot around the dilemma all game developers have, at least in the world of MMOs: A game must be fun and its content must last for a long time. These two are hard to combine, and as soon there is a loophole players will exploit it.

However, an MMO such as SWG also has other aspects that make it last the longer, but only for those players that appreciate that kind of features: sandboxed housing, decorating, trading, event planning/managing, etc. I believe most Traders end up in this category and thus they are instantly put back the priority queue since they will stay anyway, grumbling and ranting but they still have their "content". Fast paced combateers that jump from one MMO to the other, shooting every new quest/whatever to pieces before seeing that "game-over" sign and taking off for the next game, they are harder to please and make to stay. To make them attracted resources are put into more content, which will just be shot in pieces once again 8)

Yupp, it is a dilemma to decide on where to put the most resources, on those jumpers or on those that will stay anyway.

Grinding is a pain but still, in some form or the other, a necessity. Or put differently: The Legacy quest series was quite some fun the first time you did it (except for the spider part that some summer intern must have made up). But doing it the 3rd, 4th, or more time, nah, it ain't that fun anymore. So, suddenly even that quest series is a grind, and the same can be said of any contract or contained quest, having done them a few times they become a grind.

But one thing is for sure, it must be much less expensive to put together small contained contracts than huge and long-winded quest series, or new expansions. So I still favor the idea about contracts.

/Zimoon

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Re: I have been thinking about an alternative to grinding

Post by NaeBliss » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:57 am

i Also noticed both in Vanguard and AOC that the ppl who complain the most ARE in fact the speed grinders, they lvl up so fast that in a week they are max lvl and then what : surprise no more things to do then........ grind for better equipment.

When i started SWG just before the NGE i used to go out with Bol-hunting groups , a big grind aswell but it was fun doing it together and talking and get to know ppl., so grinding can be fun.
But the only reason i did it was because i wanted to be lvl80 and get to meet the old man before the NGE would hit. still was fun though.

I hope TOR will be good, but i still heard nothing about crafting /harvesting/space.
And will it be as good as in SWG, AOC and Vanguard didnt even come close , maybe crafting in vanguard was not so bad.

anyways cya all!

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Monty Burns
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Re: I have been thinking about an alternative to grinding

Post by Monty Burns » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:11 am

The longer this discussion has been going on (in guild ventrilo) the more I have moved toward the idea of a profession based legacy quest system for each profession with side branches to unlock various expertise boxes (which could be completed as stand alone quests).

There is no doubt that it would be a large undertaking to develop but I am not certain it would be an impossible undertaking nor would it be anything more than a supplement to the system we already have ie you can still grind out the xp, choose to follow a quest line or a mixture of both but I would suggest that rewards for completing the quests should be class related schematics (even the lesser known schematics such as the seafood harvesting tool).

This system would have the over all advantage of killing off the grind structures to 90 then respec process as even though you could still do this you would still have to do the quests to unlock the expertise.

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Re: I have been thinking about an alternative to grinding

Post by fridge33sam » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:07 pm

I think it also comes down to the definition of grinding. Someone above mentioned that the Legacy can be a grind after the 1st or 2nd time you do (The only reason I only have 2 active toons, I REALLY don't want to do the the Legacy again.) The combat toons now have a way around this by using the various terminal missions, and collections. Although that can be considered a grind if you do it more than once.

I firmly believe that the Devs did give us the short end of the stick as Traders or even as Entertainers. Our Legacy quests begin and end in Mos Eisley as far as I was able to follow the story when I created my Trader. I definately would be all for a system that would have been more effecient at teaching us our wares, be it a series of 'contracts' or even terminal missions that require certain things to be accomplished.

I will have to give a /tiphat though to the sandbox system that we have, even folks like me that don't really have the time to seek out the most excellent resources can find a niche making things that others don't want to. I've become known for my pet food and pet resources. It's a grind to have to make it all manually, and definately time consuming, but I can't keep my vendors stocked anymore!
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fridge33sam
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Re: I have been thinking about an alternative to grinding

Post by fridge33sam » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:43 pm

Zimoon wrote:...
After reading Theory of Fun, by Ralph Coster (I think that he at that time was working with SWG), I have though a lot around the dilemma all game developers have, at least in the world of MMOs: A game must be fun and its content must last for a long time. These two are hard to combine, and as soon there is a loophole players will exploit it.

...

/Zimoon
Thanks for the link. That is a very complete way to look at MMOs and games in general. I'm a philosophy major in college, this was really well put, and hits the issues spot on.
Iron Chef Slakkarr CEO, Fishboi Industries

Guild Joker Nagurra CFO, Wookhunter Enterprises

All Vendors located in Ft Revolt, 800 Meters from the Rebel Outpost on Rori, Flurry Server.

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