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"In Praise of the Grind"

Mike Schramm

Liz Lawley posted a great piece over at Terranova this past weekend, in which she sings the praises of the grind. She compares it to pulling weeds-- a "mindless" and yet "indescribably satisfying" task. Unlike most players, who seem to be making an end run for 60 as fast as they possibly can, she revels in the grind. She actually enjoys the hacking and slashing of countless unnamed mobs, picking up the loot left over, and moving on... to more of the same.

And I have to say, I agree with her. I play mostly PVE, not because I'm a carebear, but because there's a very Zen beauty to getting in the groove of collecting loot and XP just for collecting's sake. My NE hunter was my first character, and I had grinding with her down to a science-- Mark the mob, send the pet, put on a sting, pour on DPS until the monster closes, and then hack and dodge until it's dead. Finally, mark the next mob, skin the killed one, and send the pet off to start it all over again. I was almost angry when my bags filled and I had to head back to town and break my rhythm.

I will say that having music or television on in the background helps a lot-- I've made it through seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development across all of my many alts, and with the upcoming iTunes controls, listening to music will be easier than ever. But there's still a certain thrill in drinking in the game Blizzard has created all by itself, away from prepubescent gankers, angry guilds rolling on l33t gear, and QQing whiners. Next time you're in Azeroth, give it a try-- close your chat windows, choose a nice secluded glade, and grind, grind, grind away.

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