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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 Arnenna View Post
    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.
    i like your idea
    i think you should read my post too
    20 years lotr enthousiast, 11 years lotro player, lifetimer, Loyal member of the Spartans Kinship, now in Evernight imigrants from Eldar

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnenna View Post
    There has to be some sort of time sink, so grind is unavoidable if they are to keep interest for some players.
    Yes, some grind is unavoidable. However, based on the progression of the last few updates, here is what I fully expect when Mordor goes live:

    - all new essence armor and jewelry, all of which is gated behind rep and/or deed completion. If there is a raid, there would be an upgraded gear set using barter items available from the raid which only drop semi-reliably on T2 (this last part would be fine with me).
    - Tier 9 essences which will once again require Solvents to upgrade (I could see two Solvents per upgrade, or a new kind of Solvent which is harder to get outside of the store). Once most players have Supreme T9 essences, expect a new "plus" tier of essences just like the Ithilien-Infused/Ithilien-Tempered, thus meaning players who wish to maximize their characters need to rework most or all of their essences. I also expect FI Lost Coins to still be used for the T9 essence recipes, but I would not be surprised to see the cost go up.
    - 9 new tiers of LI legacies and 5-6 new tiers of DPS/passive stats. These would require all-new Scolls of Empowerment and Star-Lit Crystals. Rumor has it that FI's will give a player, at most, 3 SOE's per day per character.
    - Multiple new rep factions which once again require Kindred to access certain gear. I would expect another situation like the Weaponsmiths/Amorers/Provisioners of the Host of the West - ie, no rep through questing, only through barter turn-in. I would also not be surprised to see other important gear gated behind becoming Celebrated with the Weaponsmiths/Armorers/Provisioners. Also expect another price increase in rep accelerators.

    The above is based solely on prior experience, and I would also expect some new grind mechanic to be introduced, as has happened in the last few updates.

    EDIT: and flowers. Can't believe I forgot those. Expect to pick a lot of all new flowers. Also expect some very important upgrade to be gated behind an RNG spin, to which a "ticket" must be acquired via a combination of grind and RNG spins.

    EDIT 2: and of course there will be shortcuts available in the store!
    Last edited by Solien; Jun 21 2017 at 07:26 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solien View Post
    Yes, some grind is unavoidable. However, based on the progression of the last few updates, here is what I fully expect when Mordor goes live:

    - all new essence armor and jewelry, all of which is gated behind rep and/or deed completion. If there is a raid, there would be an upgraded gear set using barter items available from the raid which only drop semi-reliably on T2 (this last part would be fine with me).
    - Tier 9 essences which will once again require Solvents to upgrade (I could see two Solvents per upgrade, or a new kind of Solvent which is harder to get outside of the store). Once most players have Supreme T9 essences, expect a new "plus" tier of essences just like the Ithilien-Infused/Ithilien-Tempered, thus meaning players who wish to maximize their characters need to rework most or all of their essences. I also expect FI Lost Coins to still be used for the T9 essence recipes, but I would not be surprised to see the cost go up.
    - 9 new tiers of LI legacies and 5-6 new tiers of DPS/passive stats. These would require all-new Scolls of Empowerment and Star-Lit Crystals. Rumor has it that FI's will give a player, at most, 3 SOE's per day per character.
    - Multiple new rep factions which once again require Kindred to access certain gear. I would expect another situation like the Weaponsmiths/Amorers/Provisioners of the Host of the West - ie, no rep through questing, only through barter turn-in. I would also not be surprised to see other important gear gated behind becoming Celebrated with the Weaponsmiths/Armorers/Provisioners. Also expect another price increase in rep accelerators.

    The above is based solely on prior experience, and I would also expect some new grind mechanic to be introduced, as has happened in the last few updates.

    EDIT: and flowers. Can't believe I forgot those. Expect to pick a lot of all new flowers. Also expect some very important upgrade to be gated behind an RNG spin, to which a "ticket" must be acquired via a combination of grind and RNG spins.

    EDIT 2: and of course there will be shortcuts available in the store!
    Stop it! That there is like something out of a nightmare lol. It's actually very sad that past update experience means all of that - is actually possible. I just really hope we don't get it. That will be lights out time for me for sure.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnenna View Post
    Stop it! That there is like something out of a nightmare lol. It's actually very sad that past update experience means all of that - is actually possible. I just really hope we don't get it. That will be lights out time for me for sure.
    Well, I just saw a post with the major takeaways from Dadi's interview with Cordovan, and apparently they are NOT expanding the flower system into Moria. Obviously it doesn't really work lore-wise, and hopefully the message was received that this was not, overall, a good system.

    As to the rest of it...yeah, I wish I could say I was being hyperbolic to make a point, but those are, sadly, realistic possibilities.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    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.
    Seconded. I would like to add crafting recipes for normal gear. Gear with no essences, but still with 3-4 variations as we see with Guild recipes.
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  10. #10
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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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  11. #11
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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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  12. #12
    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.

  13. #13
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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.

  14. #14
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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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  15. #15
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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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  16. #16
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishgood View Post
    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.
    This

  17. #17
    I think the 85 endgame content in Riders of Rohan was a great example of how end-game should be. The Hytbold quests allow solo players to do daily quests to rebuild a town and get good armor/cool house decorations as a result, and then the conclusion closed the loop on the ongoing non-epic Rohan storyline. There's certainly grind, but there was enough variety in the dailies that you could do combat, fishing, dexterity, fedex, etc. as you liked.

    The other thing I liked about 85 was the warbands, and in particular Bugud (raid warband) being so close to Snowbourne. All it would take is someone to say "bug is up" on world chat, and every 85 in Snowbourn was jumping on their war steed to take him on. There was always a feeling of community in that region, and the isolated locations of other roaming bosses/warbands makes this harder to find now.

  18. #18
    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.

  19. #19
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    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.
    SoA was a great time for me either
    it was exactly as you are writting
    if they ll keep this essence system i ll suggest to make only a single one for every class, to upgrade all the needed stats a little
    by doing this the current system wont be so confusing anymore
    anyway we all build our characters almost the same.
    20 years lotr enthousiast, 11 years lotro player, lifetimer, Loyal member of the Spartans Kinship, now in Evernight imigrants from Eldar

  20. #20
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    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 don't mind grind all that much - it's the insistence and reliance on group play that I detest.
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  21. #21
    Who says there can't be grind? The problem is there are *many* grinds. Too many grinds. When the game launched, the only real grind was virtues. It's overwhelming now to the point where most people have no interest.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRabbitfoot View Post
    Who says there can't be grind? The problem is there are *many* grinds. Too many grinds. When the game launched, the only real grind was virtues. It's overwhelming now to the point where most people have no interest.
    Yup. This right here. Off the top of my head:

    1.) Featured instances
    2.) Flower picking
    3.) Essences, essences, essences
    4.) LI scrolls
    5.) Faction rep
    6.) Deeds / virtues

    I'm sure I'm forgetting at least a few, and that's just end-game for one character. Lather, rinse, repeat for all your alts.
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  23. #23
    imo a problem with the grinds, which have to be a part of the game or else you'd be done after reaching cap, is that they feel and look like a grind. Look at the flowers for example, without much brainpower you feel after picking 3 or 4 its a grind. You see how the drops are divided (you get either saphires or ambers, but not evenly distributed) that its MEANT to be a long and windy grind.

    I'm not saying go back, but at the days of moria and mirkwood getting the armour was a grind too. But it was gated and locked without the terrible lotro RNG. You knew if you did boss 1 12 times with the same group you'd have at least 1 gearpiece. Now you can go 12 times without a single drop, where actually people having full sets getting 4/5 drops of the item you are aiming for.

    However, this would require creative thinking on dev-side, which they lack on all sides so I'm not holding my breath. But my ideal grind would actually be one where it's not obvious (and yes, the dev thinking of putting in flower picking in mordor should be instantly fired and send to the moon).

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Aineas. View Post
    imo a problem with the grinds, which have to be a part of the game or else you'd be done after reaching cap, is that they feel and look like a grind. Look at the flowers for example, without much brainpower you feel after picking 3 or 4 its a grind. You see how the drops are divided (you get either saphires or ambers, but not evenly distributed) that its MEANT to be a long and windy grind.

    I'm not saying go back, but at the days of moria and mirkwood getting the armour was a grind too. But it was gated and locked without the terrible lotro RNG. You knew if you did boss 1 12 times with the same group you'd have at least 1 gearpiece. Now you can go 12 times without a single drop, where actually people having full sets getting 4/5 drops of the item you are aiming for.

    However, this would require creative thinking on dev-side, which they lack on all sides so I'm not holding my breath. But my ideal grind would actually be one where it's not obvious (and yes, the dev thinking of putting in flower picking in mordor should be instantly fired and send to the moon).
    Stop doing t1. T2 awarded me gear last year in matter of few hours and now days if one doesnt get individual drop you can just barter in cm chest drop that drops fairly often for other piece.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by siipperi View Post
    Stop doing t1. T2 awarded me gear last year in matter of few hours and now days if one doesnt get individual drop you can just barter in cm chest drop that drops fairly often for other piece.
    Stop dismissing my experience by your "better" one. I did t2, did 10+ runs. Champ got 4 pants, lm got 2 items, me zero items. If you read my post then I'm saying they should move away from RNG which is favoring clearly you above me. THAT is exactly how a BAD GRIND DESIGN is set up. And the barter option, great... if there was anything to barter since I got no items, there's nothing to barter for either. Thank you.

 

 
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