If there is one thing real MMO fans struggle with it’s the acceptance of ‘grind’ to justify progression or rewards. This is often expressed as “remove all the crap and just let us do the fun stuff”, and in that form it almost makes sense. After all, we play games to have fun, right? So anything ‘unfun’ sounds counterproductive. Yet much like anything else in life, working towards something is just as important, if not more so, than the actual result.
The lack of full multiplayer in “Eador: Masters of a Broken World” brilliantly drives this home. In that game, the only multiplayer you have is essentially the pivotal moment of any game; the one big battle between the two sides to decide a winner. Before the game you pick your hero, level him up, and select items and units based on point values. Your opponent does the same, and when ready you fight it out.
What you can’t do is play the hundreds of turns building up that hero/army, finding all the items, and all of the other stuff you do as part of the normal game. That, hopefully, will be patched in ‘soon’.
If we return to the first paragraph of this post, the MMO argument is that Eador removed the grind and let you jump right to the fun stuff. And for a match or two the multiplayer is fine. It’s entertaining-enough coming up with different combos of heroes and units and quickly testing them out. The fights themselves are also generally close thanks to the point system. Perfect right?
Again, for a fight or two. But after that my friend and I were both wishing we could play the full game, because the real fun is in playing to GET to that final fight, even if it’s more lopsided when it happens than the staged fights. And when looking at what makes a game great, the ability to keep playing it ranks high.
A good game will entertain you for 10 hours; a great one can do it for 1000.
GW2 is a cute 3 week distraction; EVE is a 10 year masterpiece.