Are we all just here to grind?

I don't often look to the Hollywood Reporter for, well, anything. So when I read an article talking about MMOs, I was a little skeptical. But as it turns out they have some interesting things to say about WoW and the MMO market.

Most of the article is a large advertisement for Mesa Studios' latest endeavor, Stargate Worlds, but being that WoW is the top dog in MMOs today, they spend a lot of time talking about what makes WoW successful. They say that the grinding element is, in part, one of the reasons that players keep playing World of Warcraft. Now, Mr. Ybarra, the gentleman from Stargate Worlds sounds as if he doesn't have much experience with WoW as an actual game when he says this:

The paradigm for customer retention at 'WoW' and most of the other MMOGs is to build a game that takes the player 2,000 hours to reach Level 500...

I would have to partly disagree with this statement. I honestly don't think that grinding is the reason we all stay with WoW as opposed to moving onto another game. And just as a side note, can you imagine what the armor sets will be if the level cap is ever pushed to 500? They would be totally insane!

Anyway, as I was saying, I think the innovation in the game design and the constant new content is what keeps people playing WoW. The depth of story and sense of humor have much more appeal to me than my need to push through to level *ahem* 500. Perhaps it's this kind of mistaken logic that keeps the other games from being able to dethrone WoW as a leading contender. I am continually amazed at the variety of gameplay in WoW, not only is their straight questing and the infinite story lines to follow, there are the instances, each beautiful in their uniqueness. Add to that the battlegrounds and the arenas and the World PvP. There's a lot more to do than just grind in WoW.

But this is just one girl's opinion. Do you think grinding is the reason we all continue to play WoW? Is it our love of repetition that compels us to stay?

[via gamebunny]