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  1. #1
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    What do you suggest should replace grind?

    Hi all,

    With the first taste of Mordor anticipated on Bullroarer this week I note yet again a large number of pleas that the developers avoid "more grind". So what do you suggest the end-game content should be?

    Specifically the content must be sufficient to keep everyone interested and playing the game for the foreseeable future. It must also appeal to the general player, so cannot concentrate on PvMP for example (please don't fill this thread with saying how good PvMP is - that's not the subject).

    If your answer is, for example, "Interesting repeatable quests" that is probably exactly what the Devs think some of the current content is which lots of players call grind. You'll have to be more specific about what is interesting and bear in mind your definition could be significantly different to that of others, therefore wouldn't meet the criteria that it appeals to the general player.

    Maybe some examples from similar MMOs whose content is not considered to be grind - are there any?

  2. #2
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    For me, it would be giving the option to have non essence armour and jewelry. That is my number one gripe at the upper levels. I just want regular gear. I absolutely hate having to go through the process of working on those essences.
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  3. #3
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    There has to be some sort of time sink, so grind is unavoidable if they are to keep interest for some players. As you say, all players are different, and that includes players that only play a single character. However, Mordor comes with a new level cap, so right off the bat, there's something worthwhile to do. I would expect a lot of quests from an expac, certainly enough to take a character to the new cap and provide all basic gear rewards and full reputation by the end of them. So a player, after running the Mordor's general questing content, should be standing at a place which although basic, is ready to step into any further grinds at that point for character improvement, or be able to park up and start with other alts without having to worry about falling behind on keeping the basic build because it's useless. Whether that improvement comes as repeatable questing, group questing or whatever, I don't really mind, as long as skipping it (for people with a lot of alts) doesn't leave characters in a place where the next lot of content that comes is impossible to do. Basically what I'd like to see is a non grind content that takes all players to the same basic place, which is enough to then be ready for the next lot of landscape content that becomes available after this release, and any grinds are then purely optional, to act either as a time sink for those with only a few chars, or to enhance chars ready for group/raid content.
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  4. #4
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    I largely agree with Arnenna here.

    Because the OP asked for examples from other games...

    Some games replace grind with weekly events. Sometimes, they are just an increased drop rate of this or that for a week. Sometimes, they are special quests. But they are always different, mostly worth doing, and they repeat in 3-month cycles. An example of a lotro equivalent of this would be a special crafting recipe that only drops from landscape mobs for a week or the ability to take a screenshot of your character in the game and turn it into a housing item.

    Another thing some games do is soft caps and hard caps in terms of of character level. In lotro this could be a soft cap of 115 that you can achieve just by completing the content of Mordor once, and a hard cap of 120 that you have to do dailies, warbands, instances, *insert your choice* to achieve. This would replace some of the conventional gear grind, which some feel indifferent about, with a grind that provides a more palpable sense of progression.

    A new class/race is what other games do a LOT, bacuse it makes you re-experience the game in a slightly different way and it comes with new gear grind. The High Elf can exploit this option IF it indeed offers enough of a new experience that's not just cosmetic fluff.

    Other games also do proper "gear tiering", which is something that can't be said of lotro's VERY subversive itemization. A proper way to do this in lotro would be to add white gear to quests, yellow gear to daily repeatables, purple gear to T2 instances with a small chance of teal from challenge, teal gear to raids with a small chance of gold from challenge. Getting gold gear from quests or landscape grind totally uproots everything, it's perverted, it's pathetic. It is very disheartening.

    You could always overhaul crafting amd make people busy that way, you could always introduce new systems that cancel old systems and provide a catch up for upcoming folks. The sky is the limit. Their creativity is the limit. The reality is their willingness is the limit.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flooz View Post
    Hi all,

    With the first taste of Mordor anticipated on Bullroarer this week I note yet again a large number of pleas that the developers avoid "more grind". So what do you suggest the end-game content should be?

    Specifically the content must be sufficient to keep everyone interested and playing the game for the foreseeable future. It must also appeal to the general player, so cannot concentrate on PvMP for example (please don't fill this thread with saying how good PvMP is - that's not the subject).

    If your answer is, for example, "Interesting repeatable quests" that is probably exactly what the Devs think some of the current content is which lots of players call grind. You'll have to be more specific about what is interesting and bear in mind your definition could be significantly different to that of others, therefore wouldn't meet the criteria that it appeals to the general player.

    Maybe some examples from similar MMOs whose content is not considered to be grind - are there any?
    The answer is really simple, actual gameplay. When I first played LOTRO during Shadows of Angmar I could PvMP a week straight and it was so much fun. You could call that a grind because it took forever to rank up, but it was enjoyable throughout the whole process. When I wasn't PvMPing I was running dungeons/raids and again, tons of fun but still a "grind".

    What's not fun is picking flowers, collecting the same thing 1,000 times, and planning/grinding out an extremely confusing essence system.

    As long as they focus on group play, PvMP, dungeons and raids then it won't feel like a grind in my opinion.
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  6. #6
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    I don't mind the grind - its the RNG I hate.

    If I know I have to do an instance 20 times to get the tokens to barter for a piece of gear, I'm happy with that. What I hate is when someone does one run and get an item, when someone else can do it a hundred times and gets zip.
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  7. #7
    Just make content hard and it works as a time sink. When stuff takes over 30 minutes or unbeatable for worse groups because of difficulty instead of 2 minutes its good time sink.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    The answer is really simple, actual gameplay. When I first played LOTRO during Shadows of Angmar I could PvMP a week straight and it was so much fun. You could call that a grind because it took forever to rank up, but it was enjoyable throughout the whole process. When I wasn't PvMPing I was running dungeons/raids and again, tons of fun but still a "grind".

    What's not fun is picking flowers, collecting the same thing 1,000 times, and planning/grinding out an extremely confusing essence system.

    As long as they focus on group play, PvMP, dungeons and raids then it won't feel like a grind in my opinion.

    I would rather have great solo daily zones like DA instances, MT Rammas or even the herbalist dailies or Osgiliath. I also liked the Derndingle instances. The reason why I didn't buy U18 and U20 I the focus on group end game content. I would have far more fun in Lang Rhuven landscape solo area then I will ever have in any instance.

    Solo and group options would be so much better then solo or group. And in equal parts. Landscape should always be solo in my opinion because most players just make big enough groups so they can easily mow down the mobs. Those who really like the questing/exploring experience of a new area can't because that is best done alone.

  9. #9
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    Keep in mind that, aside from small tweaks, at this stage of development Mordor content is pretty much set in stone. Take a look at the development cycle that's stickied at the top of this forum to see when you should actually be posting about stuff like this.

    That being said, grind is necessary in every MMO, otherwise development could never keep up with play hours. It's nice when the grind is something that's thought provoking and interesting, but sometimes that's just not the case. That being said, the best case scenario for any MMO is to have multiple ways to grind that are at least somewhat interesting, so that players have the ability to mix up what they're doing on the day-to-day. This means that rewards have to be somewhat comparable or at least different across separate grind systems. I've made a couple posts about this before, to the tune of rebalancing rewards for certain grinds like Roving Threats, and making some alternatives to Featured Instances for all of our LI needs, but now's not really a good time to rehash those with Mordor so close to release. I'll probably do another post when SSG is in their .update phase, just to see if I can turn some heads.

    Aside from that, I just hope that they don't bungle their chance at a grind reset along with the huge gear reset they're about to unleash. I'm going to bang my head into a wall if featured instances are still the #1 way to gear with Mordor.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by siipperi View Post
    Just make content hard and it works as a time sink. When stuff takes over 30 minutes or unbeatable for worse groups because of difficulty instead of 2 minutes its good time sink.
    I'd find that irritatingly boring on landscape unless it's specific group areas or areas of high difficulty designed specifically (ie small pockets here and there). Having a full general landscape where everything takes 30 minutes to get through would cause some players to stop playing. I like to relax and socialise when I play general landscape for most part. Sure a little bit of difficulty doesn't hurt and having to step carefully is fine. But I'd hate to see all the landscape start to feel more like an instance than general questing.
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  11. #11
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    I'd like all instances and skirmishes to have a common barter currency that can be used to barter for anything NOT considered end game gear.

    All these currencies make it annoying and pointless to bother with doing anything else other than the end game grind.

    Introduce a grind that you can do at any level that has bound to character barter currency.
    Specifically for Gear/Jewellery/Weapons that cannot be traded across the account.

    But other Housing/Cosmetic/Consumable items can be traded across characters.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stigger32 View Post
    I'd like all instances and skirmishes to have a common barter currency that can be used to barter for anything NOT considered end game gear.

    All these currencies make it annoying and pointless to bother with doing anything else other than the end game grind.

    Introduce a grind that you can do at any level that has bound to character barter currency.
    Specifically for Gear/Jewellery/Weapons that cannot be traded across the account.

    But other Housing/Cosmetic/Consumable items can be traded across characters.
    Sorry, but the issue with having a single currency for everything is that it promotes farming whichever instance/mob is the most efficient for that currency and doing absolutely nothing else. It's what's happened with featured instances, for the most part. The only way to avoid this happening with a single currency is to balance every single instance in terms of a time investment/reward rate, which is practically impossible to do given that certain groups will run certain instances faster, and any sort of balancing upsets that ratio. It's much better to have different rewards come from different areas of the game. Maybe you haven't been around long enough to experience stuff like Sambrog/Glinghaunt farms for marks and meds at certain levels, but that's pretty much how that sort of thing goes. Everyone does one instance for shared currency and nothing else.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RANA01340 View Post
    Sorry, but the issue with having a single currency for everything is that it promotes farming whichever instance/mob is the most efficient for that currency and doing absolutely nothing else. It's what's happened with featured instances, for the most part. The only way to avoid this happening with a single currency is to balance every single instance in terms of a time investment/reward rate, which is practically impossible to do given that certain groups will run certain instances faster, and any sort of balancing upsets that ratio. It's much better to have different rewards come from different areas of the game. Maybe you haven't been around long enough to experience stuff like Sambrog/Glinghaunt farms for marks and meds at certain levels, but that's pretty much how that sort of thing goes. Everyone does one instance for shared currency and nothing else.
    Soloinstances full of elite and higher npcs which we have to kill.
    And drops out of instances depending to the tier of the instance. like t2c sure drop for eeryone, t2 50% chance, t1 it´s own weaker rewards.

  14. #14
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    I agree with some previous comments about loot. I would like to see more loot being barter tokens, which can be accumulated and turned in. The required number of tokens could be set high enough to allow various sources, with varying quantities of tokens for rewards. So, for example, said tokens could be very rare on landscape, more common for T1 instances and much more common for T2C. These tokens should, eventually, allow access to the best gear available. The Throne raid gear is a good example of upgrading of existing gear. The only problem is with the threshold to acquire the base pieces in the first place.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mukor View Post
    Soloinstances full of elite and higher npcs which we have to kill.
    And drops out of instances depending to the tier of the instance. like t2c sure drop for eeryone, t2 50% chance, t1 it´s own weaker rewards.
    Solo in particularly can't really be balanced well. Certain classes kill at twice the speed as others, and in order to make an instance at a decent level of challenge for the average solo player, the mobs would be trivial for a portion of the player base. Think of a fully geared Champion killing elites vs a partially geared mini. Also, if I want to grind mobs I can go play Black Desert Online.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RANA01340 View Post
    Solo in particularly can't really be balanced well. Certain classes kill at twice the speed as others, and in order to make an instance at a decent level of challenge for the average solo player, the mobs would be trivial for a portion of the player base. Think of a fully geared Champion killing elites vs a partially geared mini. Also, if I want to grind mobs I can go play Black Desert Online.
    But killing challenging mops is far better than picking flowers.
    It could be a dungeon which get harder the deeper you come. After each level a chest with rewards. and the rewards become better too.
    e.g. fisrt stage figth trough groups of 3 elites. 2nd stage 5 elites. 3rd 7 elites. 4th 3 elitemaster and so on. endboss is an archnemensis.
    So everyone can grind the gear for his level of skill. and you need minimum the gear out of stage 4 as starting ewquip for the new t2 raid.
    And while doing the dungeon everyone gets better gear- and skillwise that he can go deeper after a few times.
    This is how a game should be not as now the most parts best gear for no skill needed( picking flowers and crafting)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DKenny View Post
    I agree with some previous comments about loot. I would like to see more loot being barter tokens, which can be accumulated and turned in. The required number of tokens could be set high enough to allow various sources, with varying quantities of tokens for rewards. So, for example, said tokens could be very rare on landscape, more common for T1 instances and much more common for T2C. These tokens should, eventually, allow access to the best gear available. The Throne raid gear is a good example of upgrading of existing gear. The only problem is with the threshold to acquire the base pieces in the first place.
    You should differentiate between landscape,t1 and t2(c) tokens and the rewards you can barter with them. landscape and t1 should never give the same rewards or even better than t2(c).
    Strongness of rewards should be: landscape<crafting/t1 instances<t2 instances/t1 raids< t2 raids. challengemode for droping a special item.

  18. #18
    I used to level and get gear for alts. The current end game grind makes that unfeasible.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RANA01340 View Post
    Also, if I want to grind mobs I can go play Black Desert Online.
    Or my personal favourite, Dolmens in ESO. Nothing quite like 50+ toons riding from wayshrine to Dolmen back to wayshrine, charge of the light brigade style

    What i do like though with some modern MMO's ,but maybe to late in the day to implement with lotro, is their attempts to tackle boring grinds. ESO in particular has the ability for you to go to any area and have that zone/rewards/mobs scale to your level. you can start anywhere on the map and complete the quests etc then move to a completely new area, meaning alts could in theory lvl in a completely different way/zone all the way up. I also like how each zone has their own storylines and plots but tie into the overall story of the game, so you never feel as though your compelled to quest in a particular zone or that you have missed anything significant. It also automatically scales players of different levels together so they can all benefit from the many public dungeons, dolmens, general landscape content at different levels to each other while grouped up.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mukor View Post
    But killing challenging mops is far better than picking flowers.
    It could be a dungeon which get harder the deeper you come. After each level a chest with rewards. and the rewards become better too.
    e.g. fisrt stage figth trough groups of 3 elites. 2nd stage 5 elites. 3rd 7 elites. 4th 3 elitemaster and so on. endboss is an archnemensis.
    So everyone can grind the gear for his level of skill. and you need minimum the gear out of stage 4 as starting ewquip for the new t2 raid.
    And while doing the dungeon everyone gets better gear- and skillwise that he can go deeper after a few times.
    This is how a game should be not as now the most parts best gear for no skill needed( picking flowers and crafting)
    You're missing my point.

    A) Any difficult solo content in this game is either trivial for some classes or impossible for others. Wardens/Champs constantly faceroll Roving Threats solo, while classes like Mini/RK/Hunter/Burg/Captain/LM/Bear/Guard either can't sponge enough damage, don't have sustained DPS output to kill things before their mechanics go off, or take FOREVER to kill things. The difficulty level in this game has NEVER been balanced around solo content. Ever. Skill has nothing to do with the fact that Wardens and Champs are extremely good at soloing things while other classes lack the combined survivability and dps. Designing a solo instance in LOTRO that's challenging for all classes is impossible. All the trash in Skoi has been soloed by a champ, and I'm fairly certain a warden could solo the boss.

    B) Solo content serves a function, which is to gear the player base that isn't getting gear through other means. Anyone who's interested in challenging encounters is already getting their gear through T2C group content. They don't need challenging solo content. Flower/Crafted pieces are for people who don't want to do any of that stuff, so why force them into poorly designed, "challenging" solo encounters?

    C) In almost every LOTRO update we've had either 1/3 or more of best in slot gear come from landscape. Get used to at least some of the best gear coming from stuff like flower picking and crafting. As long as a greater portion comes from running raids/group content, that's good enough.
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  21. #21
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    To be honest, the grind of getting new gear with yet another level cap raise, has pretty much sealed my fate as a vip player. I've played Guild Wars 2 for several years now and the thing that has always impressed me is the lack of level increases. I haven't had to change my gear once since I hit cap and got geared up. In much less time and with much less grind than here, I've been able to level cap and gear up 5 different classes giving me more time to be sociable and play with others.
    I've struggled to gear up just three cap leveled characters here and ended up having to spend three months of my Lotro points on solvents for my essences. That does not set well with me and there is much I would have rather spent my points on. Last I heard we were not supposed to be getting another level cap increase and had I thought differently, I wouldn't have bothered to gear up at all until that last increase came. I'm rather unhappy now. All that time and effort to try and get raid ready has been for naught. Perhaps that is my own fault for not following the forums here more but alas, it is done.

    In Guild Wars 2, each new update or expansion has only added a tremendous amount of new and mostly fun content since I started playing it.
    I would like to see something like that in Lotro. Why spend all that dev time on calculating new stats for a level increase? I cannot help but think that all the time and resources of the dev team could be better spent creating new content, cosmetics, store items, working on the Pve and PvMP content and balancing, etc. (keep in mind, I don't pvp but changing to a format like GW2 would certainly give the devs more time and resources to help the PvP folks as well). Or working to clean up the code so the game isn't so laggy or reworking the virtue traits system so each character doesn't have months of grinding to get their virtues up to a proper level for raiding.

    Maybe we need Lotro light, half the grind, twice the fun.

    Anyways, that's my opinion for what its worth.
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Emere View Post
    To be honest, the grind of getting new gear with yet another level cap raise, has pretty much sealed my fate as a vip player. I've played Guild Wars 2 for several years now and the thing that has always impressed me is the lack of level increases. I haven't had to change my gear once since I hit cap and got geared up. In much less time and with much less grind than here, I've been able to level cap and gear up 5 different classes giving me more time to be sociable and play with others.
    I've struggled to gear up just three cap leveled characters here and ended up having to spend three months of my Lotro points on solvents for my essences. That does not set well with me and there is much I would have rather spent my points on. Last I heard we were not supposed to be getting another level cap increase and had I thought differently, I wouldn't have bothered to gear up at all until that last increase came. I'm rather unhappy now. All that time and effort to try and get raid ready has been for naught. Perhaps that is my own fault for not following the forums here more but alas, it is done.

    In Guild Wars 2, each new update or expansion has only added a tremendous amount of new and mostly fun content since I started playing it.
    I would like to see something like that in Lotro. Why spend all that dev time on calculating new stats for a level increase? I cannot help but think that all the time and resources of the dev team could be better spent creating new content, cosmetics, store items, working on the Pve and PvMP content and balancing, etc. (keep in mind, I don't pvp but changing to a format like GW2 would certainly give the devs more time and resources to help the PvP folks as well). Or working to clean up the code so the game isn't so laggy or reworking the virtue traits system so each character doesn't have months of grinding to get their virtues up to a proper level for raiding.

    Maybe we need Lotro light, half the grind, twice the fun.

    Anyways, that's my opinion for what its worth.
    Thats all true. But if level doesnt raise with expansions, there shouldnt be levels at all. What is it good for to have levels, if everything stays the same forever? I'd be fine with both options: not having levels and any other type of progression or raising them every now and then. Suddenly stopping at lvl105 doesnt make sense. imo, it would be better for an mmorpg with interesting story to not have levels, as its better for discovery, if you can go whereever you want, but thats just my opinion. for mmorpgs that have progression as their main objective, obviously there should be resets every now and then. I just dont see this in case of lotro.
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  23. #23
    How about a persistent and dynamic battle that anyone could join at will. The Black Gate would make a good example.

    Let's say a 3-man team could hold the ground in front of the gate, with a variable stream of mobs always headed their way. Low percent chance of looting anything of notable value.

    It might take a 6-man team to move just inside the gate and handle a greater stream of enemy. Tweaked percent chance of looting anything great.

    A raid could push well inside Mordor. As real estate is cleared, unique crafting elements could be harvested, unique pieces of gear could be found in lootable chests, etc. A kin may want to hold the enemy at bay while harvesters defend/work the land for extended periods of time.

    Perhaps pushing far enough towards Mount Doom would gain the party access to dungeons or other side quests. But if too many leave the front lines to attend to side quests, their escape route may collapse behind them.

    As the raid loses steam, the bubble they've created would pop and the push would begin again from outside the gate.

    It would be lovely to have this as a non-layered, non-instanced scenario, where we could feel the entire community working together. If the tech isn't there, instances would still be fun. There would just need to be a persistent PUG instance always running so all could join (and drop out of) at will.

  24. #24
    I am not sure on what would fix the grind or how to. I do like the idea from Storyoftheghost. I do have 1 request though. PLEASE watch the landscape raid farming. Either keep it in or don't allow it in the first place. This either helps or hinders grind.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RANA01340 View Post
    Get used to at least some of the best gear coming from stuff like flower picking and crafting.
    When was the last time any of the best gear in the game came from crafting? 2+ years ago? I'd be OVERJOYED if we could even craft on-level gear at endgame.


    Back to the actual thread, I'm going to second what a few others have said: The best way to replace the grind is with well-written and well-programmed content that makes it FUN for people to login and play. Even if it's repetitive, content that is fun, enjoyable and/or challenging takes a lot longer to seem old and boring. "Pick 2000 flowers" or "Kill 3500 mobs" content combined with the gift-that-keeps-not-giving RNG gets old really fast. Many of the quests are well-composed and fun...if you're going to have us playing in the same area grinding rep for hours on end, make more of them repeatable as dailies with guaranteed rep item drops. At least then, players would have a choice between:

    1.) I can login, play a few hours, complete these 10 or 12 quests, and get "x" amount of rep.
    2.) I can login, play for as long as I want, and hope these mobs I'm slaughtering drop enough rep items, and I can keep accumulating rep.

    The more options you can give to achieve the same goal, the more chance there is for players to find some variety and enjoyment.
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