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Wavinator

Average leveling game mission or open play length?

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If you've played either games that have a leveling/shopping/configuration component (like space trading games) or RPGs (whatever genre)...
  • For mission-based games (single or cooperative): What's the maximum and average time you'd say you've spent on a mission/quest before you've wanted the story, game world or gameplay to advance? (That is, wrap things up and start something new, introduce new equipment, or otherwise create a change in how you have to play)
  • For single or cooperative open ended games (like GTA, Fallout, Freelancer or Morrowind): What's the maximum and average time you've spent in free play achieving your own goals (or just horsing around) before you were ready for a change (in story, or to take on a mission/quest, or go to another level/land/system)?
  • How long would you spend "grinding" in an MMO before you felt the need to take on a mission, face new challenges or enter a new area?
My off the cuff estimate is that people play somewhere between 1 and 10 hours before they feel a need for closure and a significant change, but I'm pulling that out of the "guess-stalt" of gamer mags, player comments and gut reaction. Thoughts?

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Original post by Wavinator
If you've played either games that have a leveling/shopping/configuration component (like space trading games) or RPGs (whatever genre)...


  • For single or cooperative open ended games (like GTA, Fallout, Freelancer or Morrowind): What's the maximum and average time you've spent in free play achieving your own goals (or just horsing around) before you were ready for a change (in story, or to take on a mission/quest, or go to another level/land/system)?


My off the cuff estimate is that people play somewhere between 1 and 10 hours before they feel a need for closure and a significant change, but I'm pulling that out of the "guess-stalt" of gamer mags, player comments and gut reaction.

Thoughts?


Well, I didn't do too much horsing around in sinleplayer Freelancer--the world (or galaxy, as it were) was a bit too boring for that. In Privateer, however, I spent about a good long while (a few weeks?) before even starting the story in earnest.

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For mission-based games (single or cooperative): What's the maximum and average time you'd say you've spent on a mission/quest before you've wanted the story, game world or gameplay to advance? (That is, wrap things up and start something new, introduce new equipment, or otherwise create a change in how you have to play)

I'd say it depends heavily on the quality of the non-story components of the gameplay compared with the narrative quality of the plot.

For example, in the X-Wing series of games I liked dogfighting the other spaceships (and I was pretty good at it), so I'd first finish the mission objectives, then finish off all the small fighters in a massive dogfight, then take on all the medium-sized spaceships, then destroy all the capital ships. I'd leave the mission only if my ship was critically damaged or when I was alone in empty space with all enemy craft destroyed (or with the ones the designers annoyingly made invincible).

However, in most RPGs I fight my way as quickly as possible to the next story milestone, because the plot elements are usually reasonably interesting and the combat is usually boringly repetitive.

Quote:
For single or cooperative open ended games (like GTA, Fallout, Freelancer or Morrowind): What's the maximum and average time you've spent in free play achieving your own goals (or just horsing around) before you were ready for a change (in story, or to take on a mission/quest, or go to another level/land/system)?


The first time I played Morrowind, I forgot that there was a plot. I played for weeks trrying to get to the head of various factions. I usually quit when I'm bored that the game world doesn't really react to my progress.

However, in the 3D GTA games I usually do the missions, because driving around the city or acting like a random hoodlum isn't that fun for me.

In Fallout, I'd usually ignore the main quest for ages, but I'd always be on a side-quest of one kind or another.

Quote:
How long would you spend "grinding" in an MMO before you felt the need to take on a mission, face new challenges or enter a new area?


I don't play MMO games, but I don't like "grinding" at all, unless the gameplay elements of the grind are fun in and of themselves (but I wouldn't call that "grinding", I'd call the "playing the game"). I think the only game I've ever "ground" is in Pokemon, and that was also partly looking for new types of monsters, and to get from point A to point B (why do RPGs have to keep throwing endless random battles in there? I hate that! It just puts a penalty on exploring!).

I'm afraid I can't provide a solid time limit on how long I'd stay in one area, except that if your low-level gameplay happens to be very well designed to be entertaining, it would be somewhere near infinity. I do tend to replay the game I like, after all.

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I don't think anyone really 'likes' grinding, it's just a matter of psychology. The game sets you up in a position where you are rewarded for certain actions, humans like rewards and so the grinding starts.

For me, like Trapper Zoid (lo Trapper), if the gameplay is fun I'll spend a lot of time outside the story. I think it almost comes down to the Tetris vs Interactive Movie scenario. If you get the basic gameplay down (like tetris) there is no need for a story. However, if you want to be entertained (movie) you will play through the story. If a game does both right, you can do both.

For me, if they get the gameplay right I can play for ever, otherwise I'm only in it for the story.


I will play these game for hours at a time with no need for story advancement

GTA: San Andreas, Postal 2


These games have a 50 / 50 story game ratio

EV:Nova


For these games I need the story

Fable, Diablo 2


I think the easiest way is to see how long the game can be played after it's finished. If you have to start again, the story is probably good. If you can keep playing for ages then the game mechanics are good and if you really don't want to touch the game again then it's all bad.

Mission Based Game
Average: 15 minutes
Maximum: 10 hours

Open Ended Games
Average: 1 hour
Maximum: lots ~10 hours due to time constraints

RPG Grinding
Almost however long it takes to be the best, but reason may intervene

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Original post by Wavinator
For mission-based games (single or cooperative): What's the maximum and average time you'd say you've spent on a mission/quest before you've wanted the story, game world or gameplay to advance? (That is, wrap things up and start something new, introduce new equipment, or otherwise create a change in how you have to play)


Mission based. I usually forget about the overall plot and get lost in the missions themselves. But, then again, that's the meat of the game; the plot is just some weak excuse (because that's all I really need) to shoot things. I liked the Serious Sam route: Mental's big, evil, probably smells bad, and you get to shoot things (eventually, we hope one of those things will be Mental).

Time: When I get around to it.

Quote:

For single or cooperative open ended games (like GTA, Fallout, Freelancer or Morrowind): What's the maximum and average time you've spent in free play achieving your own goals (or just horsing around) before you were ready for a change (in story, or to take on a mission/quest, or go to another level/land/system)?


I remember, at one point in Fallout, you say something along the lines of,"Quest? Oh, right, I'm looking for the GECK, but most of the time I just wander aimlessly from place to place or going into people's houses and rummaging through their things... Ooooooh, look! Shiny!" It made me laugh, because I'd actually forgotten that there was an overall goal.

Time: When I get around to it.

Quote:

How long would you spend "grinding" in an MMO before you felt the need to take on a mission, face new challenges or enter a new area?


Depends. If I can find a group, then I can grind forever (insert sexual reference here). If I can't find people to group with, then I usually grind under the guise of looking for/completing quests or exploring some "dungeon". But that's only to get a character that's more attractive to group with.

Time: With group: indefinitely. Without group: At most 30 minutes if it doesn't seem to be helping, at most, maybe, 5 hours before I need a group.

Of course, I'm not the sort who feels the need to complete a game. Maybe that makes a difference?

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