The Grind of Aion

One of the things that really irks me about Aion naysayers are the folks who immediately shout out “IT’S A KOREAN GRINDFEST!” as soon as the name Aion is uttered.  Apparently, and this is somethinggrind I do not know firsthand, every other Korean MMO is inflicted with a tremendous grind.  This may be true but it does not mean Aion is the same.

First of all, what is a grind?  Is it killing mobs over and over?  Doing the same instances/Raids over and over?  Partaking in the same Battlegrounds or Arenas over and over?  Or maybe its doing any of the above in order to increase your rep with some faceless faction?

I would say all of these  can be a grind.  Then again sometimes they are not.  What makes the difference, you ask?  Simple.  It’s a grind as soon as it stops being fun.  The second you enter an instance you have done 15 times and find yourself thinking “Oh no, not this again.”.  As soon as that happens it is a grind, not one second before.

In “vanilla” WoW I found myself killing Nefarian in Blackwing Lair about 30 some-odd times but I never considered it a grind.  It was fun, I loved it.  In contrast, I found myself loathing Karazhan after about the third time.  I kept doing it but it was a grind.  I do not mind doing stuff over and over, as long as I have fun doing it.  I do not consider fun a grind.

The same goes for any of the normal MMO activities and what is a grind one night, may not be a grind the next.  I can remember killing Ogres below Halaa in WoW night after night, sometimes it was a grind and I didn’t feel like doing it.  The next night for one reason or another I had fun and it was not a grind.

Secondly, grind can be hidden.  In the aforementioned Ogre grind, one of the reasons it was fun some nights was because I would come across Horde to kill.  This broke up the monotony of endlessly killing mobs and made the experience fun.  Grind can be hidden in a myriad of ways; potential for PvP, interesting quests, even something as unexpected as a well-thought out and artistically diverse zone can hide or lessen the grind.

So how does that relate to Aion?  Simply put it means that Aion can seem to be just as much or as little of a grind as WoW.  Leveling is about as fast as “vanilla” WoW, there are still tons of quests and there are a number of instances to do again and again.  If you enjoy them it won’t be a grind.  If you don’t enjoy them, it will be.

It’s pretty much as simple as that.


5 Responses

  1. Hate to say it but if you really think about it most quests are just a targeted grind with a reward for running places at the end!

    Usual stuff go here, kill that, collect these, take this – thank you very much.

    Aion has a what feels like a good mix, the mobs actually feel worth your time to kill, good experience and chance of great loot.

    That and for some reason the mobs feel more “solid” too so taking on out feels more of an achievement each time compared to other MMO’s ^^

  2. People seems to want everything NOW, it seem like they can’t wait or work for it anymore. But what you said is true, as soon as it’s not fun anymore it’s grind.

    Getting all your character to level 99 in final fantasy 3 on the snes… that’s one hell of a grind…

  3. ur 100% correct. and if u wana define grind purely by the actions needed to get from the start of a game to the end… then every game is a grind.

  4. I agree. People consider it a grind because the international version required people to kill mobs over and over again without quest because they either ran out or they weren’t worth it. I’ve heard that even in our version, some of this still remains but personally I don’t think it’s a bad thing. People just want an easy ride to level cap but forget that having to work for something can sometimes be as rewarding as the end goal.

    In my experience, I’ve found killing mobs in Aion to be more rewarding than any other game I’ve played. Vendor trash sells fairly well, which means something when you have to drop kinah on most basic things you’d like to do. Not to mention, the more “grinding” you do, the better chance you have of finding decent manastones and stigmas.

    Syncaine made a poignant assertion a while back that he thought most WoW players weren’t MMO players. Mob farming may not be the most fun thing in the world to some people but I believe that most people will be able to handle it just fine. Those that don’t are probably better left to WoW where they can do quest until they hit 80 and then do more of the same in the form of dailies.

  5. […] just found something interested (again :p) at AionicThoughts about grinding at Aion. who immediately shout out “IT’S A KOREAN GRINDFEST!” as soon as the […]

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