Yep, he still does. In Jeff Vogel Hates RPGs, he ranted about the hours of makework necessary for your character to become competent. Now he takes on cannon fodder.

You know, the endless hordes of “throwaway” critters that exist just for you to kill them so you can advance your character. That goblin den in the hills. The graveyard full of undead. A pack of super rats in the sewers. He calls this “clearing out the trash”.

He’d rather we could just take on the “bosses” instead, having interesting fights instead of the grinding through mobs. To some extent, he has a point.

It certainly does get tedious with all those combats. On the other hand, would players be interested in a game where the fights were not so numerous? That’s one reason, and may even be the main one, that gamers play RPGs in the first place.

Consider World Of Warcraft. There isn’t much more to it than grinding, whether you’re out there solo or with a team on a raid. It’s all about leveling up and finding Neat Items, and wading through “trash” to accomplish those goals (such as they are).

And with what do you replace the grinding? How does the character advance to face these “bosses” outside of combat? Doing a lot of little errands? A lot more?

Even if we allow that the character starts at a higher level, would that help? In that case, it would seem the “boss fights” would yield much more experience points than usual. And there’s still that “what to do in the meantime” problem.

Check out the second part of Jeff’s rant on RPG Vault and see what you think.

Jeff Vogel Hates RPGs Part II