Practicing and grinding: is it worth it to you?

DunDunDunpachi

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Guilty Gear. Dragon Quest V. Ghouls 'N Ghosts. Thunder Force III. These are games from my past that required me to sit down and invest practice and/or grinding in order to make it further into the game. Sometimes it was "fun", sure, but often I had to tell myself to take a deep breath and keep going even though it was annoying or frustrating. Hour after hour of committing moves and routes to muscle-memory, hour after hour of leveling up your character...

Is this an example of taking games way too seriously?

What sort of practicing and grinding do you participate in? Does it pay off?
 

dmaul1114

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No and no to me.

I play games just to veg out, relax, and be entertained and practicing fighting games (trying to sell my fight stick currently) and grinding in things like Destiny or Monster Hunter just feel like work/chores to me.

I stick with mostly easier, narrative-driven single player games, easy experience/atmospheric games like No Man's Sky and easier/charming gameplay focused stuff like a lot of Nintendo games.

Nothing wrong with skill based games that require practice, or grindy/loot games of course. They're just not why I play games anymore. More power to the people who are competitive and play for sense of improvement and satisfaction and those who enjoy grinding.
 

jshackles

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What's weird for me personally is that I can handle stuff like Dragon Quest and RPGs that require grinding, but absolutely can't find joy in games that require practice like fighting games or dark souls.

I think the difference for me is that I like having clear indications of progress, otherwise I feel like my time is being wasted. When I can see my EXP or stats go up in an RPG, I feel like the experience was a worthwhile one. If I die to the same skeleton twenty times in a row because I should have dodged at just the right moment and didn't and have to start over and try again, I don't get the same satisfaction.
 
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No.

Grinding is padding, there is no way around that. Some people enjoy grinding and more power to them but it's still padding.

Practicing is not but good game design leads to the player improving without practicing. Obviously talking about single player games here.

The games mentioned in OP are old school, back when games were mostly "trial and error" so no OP, you weren't taking things "too seriously", game designers didn't respect our time as much as they do now is all ;)
 
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Denton

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I hate grinding, personally. It is simply a waste of time. That said I did enjoy Soulsborne games, but fortunately they do not require that much grinding.
 

Northeastmonk

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I feel like it works out in the end. For example, you're playing an SMT game and you know that you have to attack weaknesses. Someone else might sit there attacking each turn. If you know an enemy is weak to fire you'll hit them with a fire attack. The only real grind is making sure you don't die or run out of MP/SP.

Dark Souls is like that too. Use back stabs, gather the resources for the weapon, find the ring, etc. If you have to level up-you'll find enemies that give off more Souls.

With action games it's easier the more you play. I find it rewarding. I know enough about fighting games to enjoy it. I practice combos because I like training mode.

I will say this: I stopped playing games like 7 Days to Die and a few others because I'm not big into resource management. I put down Monster Hunter World because of other games, but my biggest slowdown was not getting materials for weapons. lol I wanted the gear now without waiting or grinding. I knew that too, but the game is a lot of fun. I'll go back someday.

I used the exploration mode in No Man's Sky and I didn't get very far. I didn't want to farm for stuff. No offense if NEXT is awesome. I might try it, but I just didn't want to put any more time into the original release.

I've hit brick walls before and had to grind. I like the time I can invest into the game. Excessive grinding or grinding for something that isn't really important to progression doesn't interest me at all.
 

ArchaeEnkidu

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It really depends on the *type* of grinding. I don't mind grinding for better gear/loot as long as the game remains fun. If I need to grind for hours just to *barely* beat a boss, then I am not going to be having much fun.

As for practicing, that depends on the game. For fighting games like Guilty Gear or Street Fighter - I find it relaxing and I enjoy seeing my skills increase. For example, a few days ago I couldn't pull of 50 hadoukens in a row flawlessly. Now I can. I have those movements memorized. That is enjoyable to me.
 

ILLtown

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I used to enjoy those sorts of challenges, but these days I lose interest quite quickly.

I grew up playing early arcade games and computer games that were designed around the same "insert another coin" philosophy and a lot of those games were really fucking hard. It was often about repetition and learning patterns to get that bit further each time.

These days I don't play many single players games full stop. I'd rather be partied up with friends playing an online multiplayer or co-op game. I take online gaming semi-seriously, so I always try to win, but the last time I did a private match with the intention of actually practicing game mechanics was practicing stim ejecting and bunny hopping in the first Titanfall 2-3 years ago.
 

B_Signal

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Grinding I can do. It can be boring, Octopath Traveller is killing me because of some of the more spongey enemies, but I can do it whilst watching or listening to something else. If needs be I accept I'm going to spend a night doing it but it should mean progress from then on

Practice, I don't think I have in me anymore. I used to be pretty good at 2d fighters, I could 1 credit Metal Slug, I think Ikaruga took maybe 3 etc. If I go back to those games now, knowing how I used to play them and how much work it would take to get there again, it just makes me feel very very tired. I just don't have it in me.

If I buy a fighter now I tend to run through the story, maybe have a few fights online, then dip in and out every so often for a month, then that's it. I used to sit and play them the way I'd play an adventure game nowadays, just sit there for hours on them
 

DunDunDunpachi

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What's weird for me personally is that I can handle stuff like Dragon Quest and RPGs that require grinding, but absolutely can't find joy in games that require practice like fighting games or dark souls.

I think the difference for me is that I like having clear indications of progress, otherwise I feel like my time is being wasted. When I can see my EXP or stats go up in an RPG, I feel like the experience was a worthwhile one. If I die to the same skeleton twenty times in a row because I should have dodged at just the right moment and didn't and have to start over and try again, I don't get the same satisfaction.
Perfectly fair. What are your thoughts on competitive games?

Just curious, because I'll admit that if I didn't have a local group of friends also learning the game and improving (resulting in what you described: having clear indications of progress) then I probably wouldn't have invested so much time into fighting games over the past 10 years.
 

Spukc

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I hate grinding, personally. It is simply a waste of time. That said I did enjoy Soulsborne games, but fortunately they do not require that much grinding.
I love grinding looking up stats podcast at the background . Wiki on just tinkering for the best build.

Aww man how i love grinding
 

DunDunDunpachi

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It really depends on the *type* of grinding. I don't mind grinding for better gear/loot as long as the game remains fun. If I need to grind for hours just to *barely* beat a boss, then I am not going to be having much fun.

As for practicing, that depends on the game. For fighting games like Guilty Gear or Street Fighter - I find it relaxing and I enjoy seeing my skills increase. For example, a few days ago I couldn't pull of 50 hadoukens in a row flawlessly. Now I can. I have those movements memorized. That is enjoyable to me.
We should play sometime, then. There's a certain zen state to grinding out the motions and it can be more fun if you have a practice partner who will switch between sparring, practicing, and matches. You got GG Xrd or SF on the PS4?
 
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Guilty Gear. Dragon Quest V. Ghouls 'N Ghosts. Thunder Force III. These are games from my past that required me to sit down and invest practice and/or grinding in order to make it further into the game. Sometimes it was "fun", sure, but often I had to tell myself to take a deep breath and keep going even though it was annoying or frustrating. Hour after hour of committing moves and routes to muscle-memory, hour after hour of leveling up your character...

Is this an example of taking games way too seriously?

What sort of practicing and grinding do you participate in? Does it pay off?
What you are describing is my experience with the soulsbourne games. I learned to love Bloodborne but I still haven't beaten it after how many years? I just finally beat Rom the Spider (not sure how far that makes me) and now I am not sure what to do next. Which reminds me, it's time to hit up some walkthroughs on YouTube to figure that out.

I have learned to love the experience though. When I finally beat Rom I bounced off the couch and shouted which spooked my wife who was sleeping next to me, lol! It just felt so damn good!
 

Vawn

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What's weird for me personally is that I can handle stuff like Dragon Quest and RPGs that require grinding, but absolutely can't find joy in games that require practice like fighting games or dark souls.

I think the difference for me is that I like having clear indications of progress, otherwise I feel like my time is being wasted. When I can see my EXP or stats go up in an RPG, I feel like the experience was a worthwhile one. If I die to the same skeleton twenty times in a row because I should have dodged at just the right moment and didn't and have to start over and try again, I don't get the same satisfaction.
While I agree, I have to say once you get to the point where you can kill that boss consistently, it's a much more satisfying feeling than when you finally level up from grinding.

I can actually enjoy both, as long as the game is good enough to justify it. Practicing or grinding in an average game is painful though.
 

ArchaeEnkidu

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We should play sometime, then. There's a certain zen state to grinding out the motions and it can be more fun if you have a practice partner who will switch between sparring, practicing, and matches. You got GG Xrd or SF on the PS4?
I have both! Revelator and SIGN, as well as DBFZ, MKX, and Injustice 2.
 

Fbh

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Not really. I like the feeling of becoming better at a game as you play, but the moment it's no longer happening in an organic way and you have to sit down for several hours just to practice I lose interest.
I've been playing a lot of Rocket Legue with a friend recently and I think we have reached the point (Gold 2 in Ranked Doubles) where if we want to progress further we'd probably have to start practising, but I can't bring myself to do it. If I have an hour or two to play and there's no one online I'd rather play or advance in a good single player game instead of spending that time in rocket legues practice mode practising how to hit the ball from a certain angle.

Same with grinding, if the game is really good then I can take some grinding, but most of the time it just feels like a tool devs use to artificially make their game longer. There's a difference, though, in games that let you grind as an optional way to make things easier and games that are clearly designed in way that they expect you to grind, it's the later I dislike
 
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Yoshi

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The answer is completely different for both questions for me. If a game does not require any practicing to beat it, it is worthless to me. If a game requires any busywork, i.e. grinding, then it is on a good way to be worthless for me as well.
 

Joe T.

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It's always worth it if I'm learning, adapting and/or improving as I play. Final Fantasy XI is one of my all time favorites and it's one of the biggest grinds ever, while much of that is simply for stat boosts or access to new gear it also helped you get accustomed to the finer details of the game's mechanics, to help you play more efficiently, both alone and alongside teammates.
 

Danjin44

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If I liked the game and the combat is fun then it’s well worth it.
 

DonF

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If i'm having fun, is worth it. If not, I instantly drop the game.
 

belteshazzar

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Practice, heck yeah! This is what makes in my opinion some of the most memorable and fulfilling games! I might've been difficult at first, but it feels so good once you make the game bend to you, as opposed to the other way around. When it comes to grinding, its a mixed bag. Depends on the game and the purpose of its existence. With RPGs, my grinding experience has been very minimal. Whenever I encounter a boss I have troubles with I usually just adapt as opposed to go out and grind a lot until the boss is easy to kill. It seems I am always barely strong enough to kill the boss before they kill me. I find that very enjoyable and exciting! As for games like Destiny, I think grinding is bullshit. The amount of time sometimes required to get materials to get a reward I think its preposterous. In the process you're not getting better, you're not making progress, you're just doing the same crap over and over again in hopes that some random thing will drop. I can do the grinding, since I did it on the first game to get certain rewards, but I find it to be a tremendous waste of time. Never again.
 

Makariel

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What sort of practicing and grinding do you participate in? Does it pay off?
I like games that reward good /smart play and let me experiment with the game mechanics. I hate games where I need to do the exact same thing over and over.

I've spent hundreds of hours playing racing sims, so I'm happy with practicing finding the optimal line around a circuit.

I abhor games where I have to beat the same type of enemy over and over to fill up an XP bar to unlock a skill or to get some random item drop.
 

Montblanc

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I don't mind it and I may even enjoy it at times if I love the game in question (e.g. I don't mind grinding as in mastering vocations in Dragon Quest games).
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I like games that reward good /smart play and let me experiment with the game mechanics. I hate games where I need to do the exact same thing over and over.

I've spent hundreds of hours playing racing sims, so I'm happy with practicing finding the optimal line around a circuit.

I abhor games where I have to beat the same type of enemy over and over to fill up an XP bar to unlock a skill or to get some random item drop.
Racing sims aren't my thing, but I can appreciate the satisfaction of learning a circuit and carving your turns just right and then seeing the results in your lap time.

I feel that way when I pull off a really clean run in a shmup.
 

KyanMehwulfe

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Mostly just grinding for me.... Practicing... I've never taken much pride in skill-based games. It's fine...

It's just my gaming motivations are so rooted in 'crafting stories' or role playing -- story building, and some sense of character or story that I've crafted through the game mechanics -- that 'skill' is never even a part of it. For me, games are ultimately how I craft stories: each save file playthrough is a story that I craft.

What I mean is.... I'll do skilled gaming, e.g. the truck convoy ambush in GTA V as a one-shot headshot: that took me days of memorization to do with no mini-map HUD-less.

But the accomplishment of skill had nothing to do with it. It was purely RP driven. I was making a no deaths, perfect 'head canon' story playthrough for GTA V, where I planned the mission order, exact time to some side missions or properties, when to 'get rich,' even what crimes to commit for each character, and which cars do drive or clothes to wear.

And, a 'perfect ambush' for Mr. CEO TP Industries, became part of that. But the 'skill' was just a hurdle. The motivation and satisfaction was not about the skill, but actually more like perfectly going the whole game driving believable TP Industries vehicles as Trevor, or never committing non-story crimes with Michael.

So for me, ultimately skill is actually a lot like grinding -- just a means to an end. A way that I can craft RP stories, and I almost never do it for skill's sake or accomplishment sake, but just if it somehow benefits the story I am telling in my playthrough.
 

ael85

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I'm pretty sure we all played a grindy game and loved it and we all played a game that required some amount of practice and loved it too.

When you grow older you find out that you don't have unlimited time anymore so that F2P MMO that you were installing goes to the recycle bin in no time. It's just a grind, you say. Ten years back I would've played the shit out of it. In regards to practice I'd say there are two kinds: games that require practice to beat and competitive games that require practice to beat other players. Practice to beat would be souls games, tricky platformers like Megaman X, etc. Those I love and are the ones I mostly spend my limited time on now. The other kind, the ones that require practice to beat other players I really just play them if they got a skill requirement that I already kinda got (FPS that I learned to play well thanks to Counter Strike for instance). I never learned fighting games so I stay away from those.
 

_Justinian_

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Practicing makes sense in a racing game or MMO because you are honing your skills in preparation for a major event. In order to be successful, you would have to be serious (or "git gud" as they say). Dying multiple times in a challenging game isn't something I consider to be practice. That's just playing the game to me. Minimal grinding is fine as long as I'm doing it to achieve a particular purpose like earning money to acquire specific items or gear to make the next battle easier. However, grinding and practicing for the sake of achievements, trophies, high scores, and speed running don't appeal to me because there is no in-game payoff. Only exception would be for a game that I thoroughly enjoyed and want to play repeatedly.
 

Noboru Wataya

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Sometimes.. I love SFV but I have practised to the point where i can compete in Gold league and have accepted that there are way to many people out there who have a lot more time and skill for me to ever get much better. Sea of thieves is a good one for me at the moment. All the skill comes down to just learning the systems available and through trial and error. I can see myself improving every session and I always learn from my own mistakes. I was unable to get far in the beginning because I was losing my stuff sinking every time I got more than a handful of items on board. Now im sailing around solo taking out entire galleons without breaking a sweat. I play both games for fun and maybe I grinded in SFV but I have relaxed on playing online and have opted to just play offline. Although with sea of thieves I am always getting better by casually playing so it never really feels like im trying too hard.
 

Mr Nash

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Grinding XP in an RPG just because is a giant waste of time. Putting the time into a game to get better at it like an RTS or fighting game not so much. The former is the result of a game that doesn't respect the player's time, while the later is just a path to improvement. It's not for everyone, but the increased skill at the end makes feel worthwhile to me at least some of the time if I'm really into that game.
 

Wunray

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I like grinding, when it is fair and respects my time. As long as I am improving, getting stronger and getting new gear I am fine with grinding.
I don't do practicing, I would hope the game design would lead the player to eventually getting better.
 

Ahjumbie

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Yea..It's my main hobby , so why not? Having been to Next Level and beating people I never thought possible and seeing myself get better is quite satisfying . Having taken rounds against probably the best Laura in the world (Idom) and the best Rashid in the world (JB) is a great feeling ..the rounds weren't in the consecutive so I can't honestly say I won a match ...but hell I'll take it! Then Capcom decided to keep buffing Cammy while nerfing others that didn't need it (Alex? Like fucking really? ) and I stopped playing all together ..
 

Redshirt

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I don't mind grinding. I've been grinding BL2 for years, and we still have a great time. I actually have a BL1 session set up for Saturday night.

I'm not sure I like the "padding" criticism. It's one half dozen or another. We're all playing video games.

If you don't like it, you should probably be furthering your career, nurturing your family or whatever. In downtime, I don't want to judge or be judged.
 

Mochilador

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I only grind when it's fun and rewarding. Destiny is one example: fun gameplay and you get rewards for beating enemies /events.
 

RokkanStoned

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I don't mind grinding or practicing. It all depends on the game whether grinding or not practicing is "worth it". A lot of MMORPGs usually are designed to reward you for spending time and thus allowing grinding to be rewarded. Grinding also makes you spend a lot of time in the game or organize, that feeds back into other systems. Again, it really depends.
 

Dargor

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Depends on the reward, for both. If the reward for practicing or grinding isn't something actually worthy of my time, nay, if they are, yes.
 

ipukespiders

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I may change my mind on my deathbed, but for now it's worth it. I don't mind investing time in my main hobby.
 
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Sweet. thanks for the PM; let's try to meet up on PSN and do some practice. EVO is coming up (I spectate and geek out, nothing more) and so I've been wanting to get back into the swing of playing fighting games.
I love me some fighting games as well. I've been particularly enjoying DBFZ as of late. If you guys are in EU and would like a sparring partner, hit me up. Same name here as PSN.

I love practicing in fighting games. To me its akin to sports, except its more about hand eye coordination and mind games. I love playing these games competitively and putting my skills to the test against other strong opponents. Practice is what makes it feel great when you overcome your previous limitations or beat someone you couldn't beat before. There's just a sense of accomplishment there you just don't get in mowing through mobs of enemies with little effort.
 

MetalRain

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It really depends on the *type* of grinding. I don't mind grinding for better gear/loot as long as the game remains fun.
I think this is pretty much it. I don't really grind for improving skill. How fun grind is has to do with how much variance grinding situations have, how many ways can you solve them and how well you are rewarded.

While Ubisoft open world games have their fair share of grinding, I've enjoyed a lot games like Far Cry 3 and Ghost Recon Wildlands.
 

cormack12

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I like mastering the game's mechanics, and I like chasing better loot provided it's not astronomically difficult. I prefer say DIablo III's incremental gear and point progression as opposed to 40 man raids and waiting for a drop.
 

sublimit

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DQV had a very early difficulty spike that required some grinding which annoyed the hell out of me.However that was the only time in the game that i got out of my way and the rest went fairly smooth.Was it worth it? Well DQV ended up being one of my favorite JRPGs of all time so i guess it was worth it. And anyway all DQ games require at least some minimum grinding so i'm always prepared. But with DQV it was the fact that it happened very early in the game that surprised me.
I think that if a game attracts you due to its core gameplay and art then it's worth it to invest some time to both get some levels and get more the hang of the combat if there's no other way to progress.
 

Makariel

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One thing I forgot to mention in regards to my love of racing sims: after the initial shock and confusion, there comes a certain moment of "zen" with mastery of a virtual car on a virtual track. When I just stop thinking about what gear for which corner and how to best hit the apex, and instead am just being in the flow. This level of concentration and bliss is something I simply don't get from games that are not challenging, respectively require very little effort from my side. And this is what I consider "grind", doing something mind-numbing and simple over and over, which just dulls my senses, in contrast to doing something very challenging over and over, which gets me in the zone.
Practicing makes sense in a racing game or MMO because you are honing your skills in preparation for a major event. In order to be successful, you would have to be serious (or "git gud" as they say). Dying multiple times in a challenging game isn't something I consider to be practice. That's just playing the game to me.
The process of dying is not practice, but learning from the mistake and not dying again at the same spot is practice. There are now plenty of games where the avatar dying is not "stopping" you but just integral part of the game. You don't need insert a coin into your console every time you die and start in level 1-1. The only way to "fail" the game is not continuing to play. Dark Souls makes specific reference to that: since the cursed undead just come back every time they die, death itself has become meaningless, and money has become meanigless. But what distinguishes the player avatar and various NPC from other undead is that they haven't given up (yet).
 

Turnip Truck

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Not a fan of grinding myself, nor backtracking. I don't really like difficult games either. I like a game that continues to move forward with good music, exploration, and maybe story without a lot of frustration. I get the "grind" from work and stuff, I don't need it for my gaming/relaxing time.
 

Whataborman

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It really depends on the game.

I've got 200+ hours played in Path of Exile just this season so I clearly don't mind grinding but I started Dragon Quest VIII on the 3DS last week and got really annoyed that I had to grind a bit before beating the 2nd boss. I think the key is being able to drop in and out of grinding at will. With PoE, I can fire up the game and run one map or 50 and feel like I accomplished something. I can also start and stop whenever I like and there's always the chance that something awesome is going to drop. In that respect, the grinding itself is the reward.

With games like DQVIII things aren't that simple - I have to grind to advance the story and that leads to impatience. Each monster killed equals a certain amount of XP so I'm constantly thinking about the minimum amount of monsters I have to kill in order to get to a point where I can advance. Grinding isn't the game, it's a means to an end. Something you have to do to actually get to the game. Does that make sense?
 

thequestion

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Grinding to get further in a game.... don’t have the time or patience.

Exceptions: dragon quest series, Souls games, and Lunar. No one talks about Lunar sliver story anymore, but I still have a soft spot for that game. Never played the second one :(
I probably should at some point...
 

KAOS

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Yes! I unlocked the non existent easy mode in Dark Souls 3 by grinding and leveling up my character!