Friday, February 12, 2010

The Grind

Most people playing WOW spend a lot of time grinding. Right now, at 80, I am grinding Frost Badges. That means a heroic a day from now until about Cataclysm. I really should be grinding 3 heroics, for my 2 80 alts for primal saronite--but I haven't been that motivated.

You would think that I can handle a grind in any game at this point.

But it all depends on the grind mechanic. I finished off Mass Effect 2 (on the 360) finally, and I have to say that I absolutely /hate/ their grind--mining. You need it to customize/upgrade your ship, your weapons and your powers. Mining, prospecting, fits in not at all with your mission as a super secret agent, a Marine and one of the galaxy's ultimate bad-asses. Wait, I will go save the galaxy, but I just need 25,000 more platinum first.

The real problem is the play unit in the ME2 grind, is very simple and boring. It would be no more than a play element in WOW, but in ME2 it--by itself--is a couple of hours of game play. Its like having to taunt a shield bash a training dummy--for hours. And on the 360 at least, you have to keep a trigger pulled the whole time you are scanning. The game design induces finger and wrist fatigue, since controller also vibrates when you find some concentrations of minerals. And finally the initial scan speed for a planet is way too slow and the improved is just a bit too fast (for me at least).

The sheer monotony of the mining "mini-game" has me so turned off I am really torn about doing a second play through.

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