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Active Topical Banter - Zen and the Art of RPG Grind

Scott WachterScott Wachter Dread News EditorRPGamer Staff
The word 'grind' gets thrown around too often with a clear meaning. We spend an episode trying to unpack the term for our own benefit, maybe yours too.


Talking Points from the Episode:

-What do we mean when we say it. Somehow we have 5 definitions
-Other flavours of grind, materials/friendship/sunsystems
-Play smart versus play hard
-Cheesing the system
-Quality of life
-Mandatory sidequesting
-Zen of mashing
-Other flavours of grind, materials/friendship/sunsystems
-MMO factors
-If the game charges money skip something it’s a bad game
-Ludo-narrative disco biscuits


  • Winter9Winter9 NorwayFull Members
    Love the theme! Grinding is a weird thing. Sometimes it feels like a chore and sometimes you can't stop. I have a strange connection to Phantasy Star II. It shouldn't be fun to grind in that game, it is very challenging and it requires both grinding levels and for money. ...a lot...And somehow it is great! I think I have found I like a game that needs grinding, it makes me feel like I have worked for every piece of story I can get.

    And I agree fully that grinding while doing other things is the way to go. Like listening to podcasts lol.

    If I had a bathtub who knows what I might do.. But more likely I would clothe my lovely kindle in ziplock and light those candles for a nice long reading session.

    As for the FFXIII.. to be continued...
  • silktailsilktail mild peril Full Members
    I was going to say that I normally try avoid grinding, as I rarely see the small increases in stats being worth the effort...
    And I was going to use FF2 as an example. It takes so long to grind those stats, leaves the character unbalanced & makes the rest of the game more dull to play through.

    ... However I realized that was pretty much a lie, I always seem to be "grinding" for loot, money, extra skills, etc.
    To use FF2 again: I would happily kill multiple enemies for dropped Tomes, to learn new spells, or to just sell and fund my mid-battle Ether addiction (erm.. on my dedicated magic-users obviously).

    Plus I'm probably accidentally grinding all that time I wander around aimlessly. I call it "exploring", but essential I'm just going the wrong way (often on purpose).

    So I guess I am good with grinding, as long as the rewards seem substantial. Or they can trigger my curiosity to disguise it.
  • Winter9Winter9 NorwayFull Members
    edited September 2016
    Might have forgotten to say: all onboard having "Finishing Games" as theme soon!

    Still working on FFXIII (Yes it is as fun to listen through the third time). It looked pretty good up to the episode with fixing Final Fantasy and from there on it went downhill lol.

    Question for Sam: I'm definitely getting very curious about the Atelier games. But there's so many. I'm hoping for a sale, but even with a sale I have no idea where to begin. So which one is the best introduction game.

    Another question: I re-listened to the Pre-order episode. Now say you really like a publisher and you want them to succeed. When is the best time to buy? What is the most beneficial from their point of view?
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