RIP: XP Grinding

Let’s all think longingly back to the good old days of grinding in Asheron’s Call and EverQuest. Those were great times. Who didn’t thoroughly enjoy those hundreds of hours spent killing tuskers or olthoi (or whatever they were in EverQuest) ? Just kidding. Back then this was the only form of leveling. We didn’t know any better, and that’s all we knew so we accepted it, and yeah, we were pretty happy and satisfied with it. Sure there were quests, but they were few and far between, and certainly not the main form of leveling. Today this won’t fly. No one (or very few, rather) are going to willingly spend hours on end farming the same creature for xp to get to that next level. Every once in a while this can be somewhat relaxing when you want to watch some tv and not run or fly all over the place. That’s exactly what I was looking for tonight.

So there I was, fresh into level 66, sitting in Blade’s Edge Mountains when I realized that I really didn’t like (or felt the necessity to complete) any of the 12 or so quests that were currently in my quest log. That said, with 18 bars of rest xp to my name, I decided to go to my favorite gold grinding spot. In about five hours, I managed to gain about 500g worth of crafting mats and vendor trash, as well as 16 bars of xp. This certainly wasn’t shabby, and I probably would have gotten about the same amount of xp and 1/3 the gold questing. That was with rest xp, and most people don’t depend on this for leveling, so would I have done this without rest xp? Not a chance. It literally would have taken twice as long, which means that grinding through level 66 would take the average person about 12-16 hours, depending on class and skill.

While this seems horrible, Blizzard being their utilitarian selves realize that those who grind for xp are the great minority, and therefore cater extensively to the questing crowd. They don’t want their quests just sitting there, so they offer excellent xp and gear bonuses for completing them. Virtually every other game out there runs on the same concept now. Even Asheron’s Call is including far more quests and large xp bonuses for completing them to help compensate for all the grinding that is still more or less required. Some gamers are stuck with the mentality that since grinding is more hardcore that it is still the fastest way to level if you know what you’re doing, but why then is any leveling guide that’s decent using almost nothing but quests to level? Because times have changed, and while grinding definitely used to be the fastest form of leveling, its days are over.

So what does this mean? It means that you can grind if you choose, but you better have rest xp or kill creatures with excellent drops or you’re in for a fruitless, boring time. That said, you might just be looking for a little mindless grind like I wanted earlier, and you can certainly still do that, as long as you know that you aren’t maximizing your time. Then again, you are playing a game after all…



3 comments so far

  1. Lars on

    Well, its most efficient you do both. If you’re turning in a quest, you grind the mobs you meet on the way back to the quest giver. If you’re waiting on something to spawn, you grind mobs while you wait. If you’re looking for something, you kill the mobs you meet before you find whatever it is you need to click on. If you have a quest to kill something, you kill everything else you find in the way. Unless, of course, it might make you lose the quest (such as the rare timed quest.)

  2. kanthalos on

    Yeah, you do have to kill mobs, but the point of xp grinding is that you don’t run around getting quests, but rather stay in one spot and continue to kill the same thing(s). Of course there is killing involved in quests, but running around can cost you a lot of time if you aren’t going through your quests effeciently, so this is a lot of the logic that was used before, however it is still faster to quest 90% of the time.

  3. JackDanielz on

    With my protpally (71) i got 90k xp just killing those really fast respawning mobs that usually attack the guards in Howling Fjord (at Valgard), rested ofc.
    That’s 540k/h by just killing mobs that are lv 68 (average)… grinding times are back, i guess.

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