Dark Souls II - Miyazaki Interview @ Edge
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February 3rd, 2013, 10:33
I'm not sure what "grinding levels" has to do with modern MMOs. In your average MMO, you level up through quest content and combat, exactly like an RPG. It might take longer, but you don't "grind" mobs to level up. It used to be that way, however - before WoW.
The grinding aspect is typically introduced at end-game when you're max level, where you're grinding gear, because they can't produce content fast enough and what's there is exhausted.
But grind is a subjective term - and one man's grind is another man's interesting gameplay.
Personally, I consider Dark Souls very grindy because of the respawn philosophy. That doesn't mean it can't be fun - but unless you're extremely good, you will be grinding a hell of a lot.
I call it a grind, because I despise repetition with a very strong passion. For others, they might consider it a natural part of the challenge, and a strong motivator to excel in the game - so it's not a grind in the objective sense.
As for Dark Souls 2 - I doubt it could be anymore obvious that it'll be a more accessible experience. So, fans can kiss the old design goodbye right now.
Still, it might not be a bad thing - it depends on execution and the passion of the developers involved. But if the guy with the vision has a much smaller role, it's unusual to have a new guy with as powerful a vision as the original. The strongest visionaries tend to focus on their own thing, rather than take over the work of another. Then again, we're talking Japan - where it's not uncommon to place honor and dedication to work above the US standard of focusing on the bottom line.