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Do you prefer overcoming a challenge to get an item, or overcoming a long grind for an item?

I ask this simply out of curiosity. I've played a lot of games and have encountered both methods.

  • I've played games where I needed to learn mechanics, develop a strategy to win, fail many times and keep trying, discuss with friends and share our thoughts, and finally... I was able to overcome the challenge, and was rewarded with the item I wanted.
  • I've played games where I needed to repeat the same, easy task many times. Develop a strategy to optimize my time spent per mission, discuss with friends how to repeat the mission faster, fail to get the item many times due to RNG, and finally... I was able to overcome the grind, and was rewarded with the item I wanted.

For me, often the second game-style makes the time spent longer, and makes the success feel emptier (especially because the item gained generally doesn't actually help for the next challenge). Of course, I don't blame DE for choosing the second method - it's by far the easiest method to make a successful free-to-play game with the immense competition in the market nowadays. [Making a constantly-updated game with always fresh and interesting challenge is a really daunting task and I really don't fault them for circumventing that, in their position I would almost certainly make the same choice.]

For this thread, what I'm really curious about is: do you feel the same way? When you obtain an item you grinded for in Warframe, do you feel weirdly unfulfilled like I do? 

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What you say resonates with me regarding feeling empty after grinding. Especially if the thing I grinded for ultimately didn’t support my actions at the time (namely, grinding faster). So it’s like a… double empty.

I prefer the challenge part. It’s a contributing factor to why I spend most of my plat on slots and other minor things, and have only ever bought a Warframe like, twice; once on Switch, and once on PC. I’m sorely tempted to just up and purchase Grendel because I want him now, but I’m holding off at the moment. 

Also, like playing Halo 2 on Legendary, I found myself asking what I was doing with my time when I ground hard and fast in Warframe via easy street (Halo 2 Legendary is sort of un-fun with how hard it is). There’s a sweet spot between the two, the challenge and the grind, that I try to find

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17 minutes ago, (NSW)Greybones said:

I prefer the challenge part. It’s a contributing factor to why I spend most of my plat on slots and other minor things, and have only ever bought a Warframe like, twice; once on Switch, and once on PC. I’m sorely tempted to just up and purchase Grendel because I want him now, but I’m holding off at the moment. 

Strong agreement here! I also find myself spending plat on slots, and other things including forma, catalysts & exilus adapters (both Frame & Weapon) with the mentality of "I like & enjoy this weapon / frame, so I'll end up using it, right?!" In the end, I do end up using that weapon, and the frame. for the first two or three runs of the newest content. Then I realize that it's going to take 50 more runs of that new content to get what I want, and it's going to get very stale very fast so I swap to a nuke frame or whatever else trivializes the whole thing so I can just do those 50 runs as fast as possible. To me it would feel more satisfying to spend 50 runs figuring out the mechanics and what build to use, what team to go with, etc... rather than just mindlessly doing the missions while I'm mostly watching Netflix. That being said, I know that a lot of players like the fact that they can make progress in the game while focusing on other forms of entertainment (this has been cited many times by the devs) so I'm curious about how everybody else feels!

28 minutes ago, (NSW)Greybones said:

Also, like playing Halo 2 on Legendary, I found myself asking what I was doing with my time when I ground hard and fast in Warframe via easy street (Halo 2 Legendary is sort of un-fun with how hard it is). There’s a sweet spot between the two, the challenge and the grind, that I try to find

I've also played through several Halo games on Legendary, and for me it ends up becoming a trial-and-error situation where you memorize enemy placements to win which is less fun. I find Heroic is the best difficulty for me: I'll fail a couple of times in the most difficult battles (which is a good thing!), but generally feel like I always have a good chance of winning as long as I keep an eye on what the enemies are doing :) That's my sweet spot in those games!

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Unfortunately I’ve played other games where the item in question is locked behind both a set of challenges and multiple tiers of grind. 
 

It’s hard to describe the feeling of finally completing the quest and receiving the shiny, but it is pretty exhausting on both counts. (Then the developers release an upgraded version a few years later, with more of the same challenge/grind to complete in order to obtain your gear).

 

Probably not something you can get away with doing in the modern landscape of gaming, although some are still trying nonetheless.

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13 minutes ago, Sevek7 said:

Strong agreement here! I also find myself spending plat on slots, and other things including forma, catalysts & exilus adapters (both Frame & Weapon) with the mentality of "I like & enjoy this weapon / frame, so I'll end up using it, right?!" In the end, I do end up using that weapon, and the frame. for the first two or three runs of the newest content. Then I realize that it's going to take 50 more runs of that new content to get what I want, and it's going to get very stale very fast so I swap to a nuke frame or whatever else trivializes the whole thing so I can just do those 50 runs as fast as possible. To me it would feel more satisfying to spend 50 runs figuring out the mechanics and what build to use, what team to go with, etc... rather than just mindlessly doing the missions while I'm mostly watching Netflix. That being said, I know that a lot of players like the fact that they can make progress in the game while focusing on other forms of entertainment (this has been cited many times by the devs) so I'm curious about how everybody else feels!

Yeah. Faced with the next 50 straight runs being done fast, I had to decide if I actually wanted to do that, and was like "Nope", and settled into the idea that Warframe will most likely die before I get everything 😋.  I find that for individual items, it's actually not all that bad if I do a run or two a day, but sometimes it can get a little out of control (looking at you, Gyromag systems).

And yeah, the option to take it chill is one of the things that I think is awesome about Warframe; even though I'd get bored if it was my standard fare, sometimes it can be pretty fun when I'm playing with my partner and enemies are being thrown around or obliterated en masse. I can respect that some players enjoy it, so I'll step aside and let them have their say 👍

13 minutes ago, Sevek7 said:

I've also played through several Halo games on Legendary, and for me it ends up becoming a trial-and-error situation where you memorize enemy placements to win which is less fun. I find Heroic is the best difficulty for me: I'll fail a couple of times in the most difficult battles (which is a good thing!), but generally feel like I always have a good chance of winning as long as I keep an eye on what the enemies are doing :) That's my sweet spot in those games!

Yeah. I basically corpse-dragged my way through Halo 1 legendary, and it became a puzzle game where I knew where enemies were and where they'd spawn. Halo 2 I'm doing on Heroic, since while I sort of got that "Puzzle solving" sense on Legendary, the consequences for bad luck were far too dire; maybe an enemy would poke their head around a corner at an unexpected moment, maybe they'd be facing me randomly when I peek out, maybe they'll land a one-hit sniper shot by chance.

Edited by (NSW)Greybones
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46 minutes ago, Sevek7 said:

I've played games where I needed to learn mechanics, develop a strategy to win, fail many times and keep trying, discuss with friends and share our thoughts, and finally... I was able to overcome the challenge, and was rewarded with the item I wanted.

This can be fun, but is very east to botch. Especially if there really is an item reward. Using my fav example (and I expect people  to disagree), S.T.A.L.K.E.R., you don't frequently need to fail if you plan it out right, and the shinies you're going for can frequently be found in a setting where you can think it out safely. The difficulty is all in the execution of your plan (and if you play on Master, background dice rolls). With these games, being able to know why you fail is critical, and many games fail at it. Heck, I played Halo 4 for the first time and there was a segment I thought was done terribly for this exact reason.

51 minutes ago, Sevek7 said:

I've played games where I needed to repeat the same, easy task many times. Develop a strategy to optimize my time spent per mission, discuss with friends how to repeat the mission faster, fail to get the item many times due to RNG, and finally... I was able to overcome the grind, and was rewarded with the item I wanted.

With grind-heavy games, I actively avoid going for one thing. Only other game I can think of is Pokemon. When I'm down to the last few things for the 'dex, I double down on leveling stuff to a point I"m happy with

 

All this to say: I don't feel empty after a grind, because I set multiple concurrent goals. Getting a shiny is one of a few things to do at the same time. In long term games like Warframe, I prefer neither. I want to be able to get it in a reasonable amount of time, not sink weeks into grinding a single enemy for a single thing (looking at you, Stalker. You and giving me everything but Hate for years), especially if it's going to be power crept into being obsolete. For games you can play and be done (or start again), I don't mind games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or the old Ghost Recon games where you're made of a paper tissue, as long as the solution to failing is something you can work out. Imo, you should never be staring at your screen going "What killed me? How? Where were they?" after ten fails.

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Most games are doing both, regardless of free to play or not.

However, a challenge stops existing to anyone who has experience. The people asking for what ever a challenge is supposed to be are impossible to satisfy without making content that excludes almost the entire player base, and even then, eventually it will be cleared on auto-pilot. Resulting in upsetting people for literally no gain, as the minority just goes back to demanding a new challenge. Given how infrequent the game gets genuinely new content, I find it unlikely DE will be able to output "challenges" in a consistent enough manner. Not even MMORPGs centered around difficult end-game dungeons/raids output new instances quick enough.

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In warframe? Grind.

 

I'm an avid player of devil may cry genre -bayonetta, sekiro, dark souls, old god of war titles, tracing all the way back to ninja gaiden -and yes i play all of them in hardest difficulty possible. For my GaaS i play monster hunter world.

So warframe is my vacation island, my happy place before i have to deal with aesir in infinite climax aiming for Pure Platinum rank again. i never been forced to lift a finger in warframe and i intended it to stay that way. I love the grind, warframe gameplay is top notch, and that comes from a guy who played every Platinum Game's works -the ultimate masters of videogame combat. Flippin slashin and explodin space ninja is fun, the notorious review from josh strife hayes himself said: having to battle again and again is not a punishment, it's a treat. Because space ninja is friggin fun.

horde shooter is only fun until the zombies started to run and learn to pick up automatic rifles.

Edited by Soy77
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Repetition would probably be a lot more palatable if it wasn't RNG-based and there was some visible, constant progression. Being handed an item because some imaginary dice came up just the right way doesn't feel like a reward even for endurance: I don't have any measure of progress, no real idea how long I've been doing it (or how long I've yet to go), and success or failure feels divorced from my control.

That said, I do usually find challenges more rewarding. But there are also times where I don't want to invest a ton of mental resources, so a grind is the better choice - ideally Disruption, because it also comes with "mini challenges" in the console defenses. The alternative is burning out on something too difficult for my current state, at which point any reward I get feels about as unfulfilling as an RNG roll. I got through it but dissociated so hard I was more a passenger than the pilot.

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I think the elite players would find 'Challenge' being a walk in the park (well, it is harder now to walk in the park though...). So I would say Grind. But instead of random drop, it would be great to have random drop + item exchange coming with it. If you are lucky you may get it as a drop. But If it didn't drop for you, you can exchange it after you have collected the item that guarantees drop from the same mission.

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It depends on the quantum of the grind and challenge, but most importantly it depends on if i am having fun doing it.

Doing the exact same thing over and over is insane, but being able to do it in multiple different ways with varying challenge can be fun.

I think a good middle ground would be monster hunter gameplay , you can do the exact same thing , but it can be varied enough (weapons, gear , tactics , maps) to be fun. You can also multitask while you are doing a hunt and focus on breaking/cutting specific parts to get the drops you want. You may not always get what you want , but you can still utilize what you get down the line and never feels wasted (usually).

i wish we could skew our drops based on active agency of the player than leaving most of it to RNG.

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I dont see why you wouldnt want both.

I say this because i like games that require a thought investment which is both a challenge and a grind. Skill based games but not like an MMR system. Im talking like Magic the gathering, and other strategy games.

Its a grind for self improvement  with gradual challenge hurdles that must be overcome with time/theorycrafting/deeper understanding of game interactions.

IM pretty tired so ill likely have to revisit this thread to remove circular sentence structure.

I dont react differently to a reward stimuli if its a long grind or a tough challenge. My initial thoughts are almost always "thank god thats over with". But with say magic the gathering or the other games i play being WoT and WoWs i can see my progression over time. And if enough data is available i can usually pinpoint a point in time where i learned something that completely changed the game for me and made me better just from gleaning new information. As to what this looks like in magic is how my decks are constructed. I dont take apart decks unless i dont like playing them. This allows me to use them as time capsules as well where i can see what i thought was important and how i viewed the game.

I would say being able to observe personal improvement/progression is significantly more exhilarating/rewarding than any number of long grinds and/or tough challenges.

 

Edit: i suppose i forgot to directly answer the question. In regards to warframe its a little more difficult to define "challenge" and "grind" as far as reward stimuli go. For example i was super excited to get the Kuva Hek and when i did it just wasnt what i was hoping for. But then again the last time i Hek'd around was with rainbow builds before dmg 2.0. I recently hit MR30 and i just didn't really care. There was a moment of excitement when i finally cheesed the test (i tried a while with banshee but ended up just cheesing the test with octavia) and i could move on to actually playing the game. While grinding for MR30 i was collecting Kuva weapons for mastery fodder and ended up falling in love with the ogris which was totally unexpected ( last time i used and Ogris was when it was released with its placeholder box model).

That all being said i would find the overall experience of warframe to be rewarding. While some challenges and grinds leave me empty or apathetic; discovering a new way to do something or finding a fresh flavor of the game to experience is very rewarding. IMO warframe is rewarding through its "progression" from not even owning a mod to slap in your braton up to the point where im effectively an immortal.

I recently finished forma-ing my Sevagoth 20 times (10 in main, 5 in claws, and 5 in shadow) and ill need up to 3 more unless i alter the build. After hours of solo steel path missions im finally  happy and excited i got the build and frame to function like i wanted. Which was quite the trial and error and learning process.

 

 

TLDR  progression and/or self improvement > challenges and/or grind

Edited by Zhoyzu
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3 hours ago, Sevek7 said:

Do you prefer overcoming a challenge to get an item, or overcoming a long grind for an item? ...

I'd prefer the former, but I'll make do with the latter, because we can't have that around here.

Or have a mix of both, at least. But Warframe is only grind these days.

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   This depends on a specific challage and the type of grind tbh, sometimes it's one, sometimes the other. Although, I don't really look for "fulfilment", I just wanna have the thing and if I find the way of obtaining it unacceptable, I just ignore it or buy it with plat. Tenet melee is a good example, with my luck it'd take me ~6 hours of constant RJ per weapon, I do not enjoy RJ, so I ignore tenet melee after getting one. On the other hand, the burning step ephemera (when it dropped in ESO) I farmed for a few days, and this is knowing from the start that I'm not even going to use it, I just wanted to have the thing and I enjoy ESO, so I farmed for it.

   Hard to say anything about challanges here, I really don't see much of them, aside from maybe Jupiter Bird and Emissary on SP, and even then it's mostly just bullet sponge aspect that makes you pick specific loadouts, nothing's difficult in the fight itself. And if we talk about other games, the best example from me would be Lineage 2 raids, they generally required specific team composition (with a few options) and a good deal of team work (aside from a big goatman near Dion, punched him down with 2 dwarfs, ah the good ol' days) but I wouldn't expect this from WF with how much of a Sheev our party system is, not to mention you can pretty much solo anything nowadays and you can't really make a challage since if it's a difficult thing for solo we'd just bring 3 more dudes and roll it, and if it's a difficult thing for a team of 4, all the solos are effectively locked out of doing it.

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Most of the players here doesnt want challenge, if you want challenge play dota or csgo. i play warframe for chilling and fun, but lately the grind its kinda heavy or im just tired. So the answer is short grind

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I like grinds, but only if the grinds have progression and those rewards have value later on to tackle other systems/grinds. If it's just farming reputation/resources for a vendor, I find that rather boring.

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5 hours ago, Arezael said:

Unfortunately I’ve played other games where the item in question is locked behind both a set of challenges and multiple tiers of grind. 
 

It’s hard to describe the feeling of finally completing the quest and receiving the shiny, but it is pretty exhausting on both counts. (Then the developers release an upgraded version a few years later, with more of the same challenge/grind to complete in order to obtain your gear).

 

Probably not something you can get away with doing in the modern landscape of gaming, although some are still trying nonetheless.

PoE is facing this issue currently.  The devs of that game have stated that, “top players are doing fine” with the most challenging content, and that means no changes.  So now anyone not playing it like a job for the last 8 years is left out of endgame content.  
 

Challenge plus grind is a sword that cuts both ways.

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I do prefer a grind over challange with  a grind there is a chance I will get the item at some point. With a challange if it fail 5+ times its big chance I never touch it again and that way never able to get the item. 

I gave up raids and stuff in mmorpgs for 2 reason 1 was  the pain to find ppl to run it (this is ages again before auto finder match making stuff). The second is that 90% of the time they wipe out and you wasted 1+ hours for no loot and got to wait 1 week for next try. In that time I could been out fighting solo stuff and getting loot improvements that way.

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In the perfect game I'd say both. Targetted challenging grind with lower RNG involvement along with "world drops" that have low drop chance but can be obtained pretty much anywhere. It can be the same item dropping from both sources to achieve the "play the way you want" idea of a game. In WF however the thought of challenging content is just soooo far away. I think the chance of the Sun colliding with Earth is higher.

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7 hours ago, Sevek7 said:

Do you prefer overcoming a challenge to get an item, or overcoming a long grind for an item?

The former, every day of the week.

Long Grind for me is a VERY hard line to walk, things like FF14 that have token systems to prevent the "500 runs with no drops" problem, but even then it has things like the 24 person raids where if you're looking for one specific drop you wind up having to run it over and over again because a limited amount of gear drops after each boss (tank gear in particular is hard because of the 1-2-5 Tank/Healer/DPS ratio also skewing what even drops in the first place).

Long grind can only be viable if the light at the end of the tunnel is worth it, but in Warframe we have things like the Ambassador behind multiple 20 minute Survival C rotations and the gun itself is a bad joke, that's where grind becomes flat out offensive to me.

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