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Grind, in the context of MMORPGs, refers to long, repetitive, and monotonous activities required to access or complete certain portions of the game.
It is usually used to mean killing a large amount of mobs (often the same types and by using the same tactics) for the express purpose of gaining experience points, levels, and items to eventually have access to more difficult quests and more powerful equipment and skills. In most MMORPGs, maximum levels are high, and grinding is sometimes necessary to reach maximum level.
Guild Wars is designed with a philosophy of minimizing grind. The maximum level is 20, which is relatively low. The player is intended to reach maximum level quickly compared to other MMORPGs. Many missions in the Prophecies campaign and nearly all missions in the Factions campaign are designed for teams of level 20 players. Furthermore, the PvP side of the game allows instant creation of characters at maximum level with max equipment; this evens the playing field for competitive players.
Grind is not entirely absent from Guild Wars, however. The following are often cited as sources of grind in Guild Wars:
- Gathering wealth to be able to purchase expensive items, i.e. farming.
- Getting collector drops. Although players can get most collector drops simply by playing through the game, sometimes they sell the drops without realizing they need them. Some drops, such as Dune Burrower Jaws are rare, and require extra playing time to get enough for a collector.
- Obtaining skills and weapon upgrades through PvE quests and adventuring, purchasing them with money and Skill Points from Skill Trainers, and redeeming Faction at a Priest of Balthazar.
- Obtaining the 10,000 Luxon or Kurzick Faction to complete the main storyline of the Factions campaign. This requires grinding through a long sequence of quests that have no direct bearing on the main story at least once per account (faction is account-wide). Subsequent characters on that account can rush through this phase because the game can be finished without needing to spend any Faction.
- Getting to Sunspear Rank 7 to get through the storyline in Elona. This requirement was removed from foreign characters, but native Elonian characters are still required to build up sunspear points to advance in the storyline.
- Levelling heroes and pets when they are received/tamed at a lower level than the character.
- Controlling a town in the Factions campaign by redeeming faction for alliance standing. Because standing degrades over time, alliance members must continuously generate faction if they wish to hold these towns and gain access (or allow non-alliance members to access) to Elite Missions.
- Obtaining Norn, Ebon Vanguard, Asura, and Dwarf Reputation points so as to be able to buy armor of the corresponding type.