Mob grinding has taken the backseat when it comes to EXP gain in the current mmo market. The mistress on the side that slowly ticks up your shiny EXP bar. While you(the hero) have the privilege of running from quest hub to quest hub becoming the spangly new rentboy of each appropriately spaced apart village. Not so far that you get bored of running and not so close that obtaining a mount would seem pointless.
So when you do reach each new oasis, a paradise of EXP, you get the pleasure of fetching each brightly lit NPC an assortment of ass meat and butt fur from a variety of monsters. I call them monsters but each mmo seems to give us the same boar/wolf/goblin routine that it has become a stagnant predictable shopping list. Then they think oh I know how we could spice up this seeminglessly bland experience throw in some big mobs that need shrinking down with some gizmo, feed a cow or wake up some drunk blokes. But the pinnacle of the quest hub experience is when you look over your journal and see the [PARTY] precursor and you think “oh yea time to solo this bad boy...” and then you do.
Now I want to talk about how it should be done. The very simple, AoE mob grinding extravaganza! On the surface its a simple concept, use a tanky class or possibly a pet to round up 20 mobs ball them into a death pit and “light their asses up”.
Now we get to talk about the juicy stuff what this actually accomplishes from a gameplay point of view. The first 2 things that should pop up instantly is exploration and partying.
Exploration - because you want to find that juicy EXP gold mine.The hidden quid stuffed down the side of a sofa. Take a left then a right, follow the zone wall down about 100 meters swim across the water and you’ll arrive. The mecha of mobs. Camps stuffed to the brim with mouth wateringly tasty EXP morsels.
Partying - because you want that super efficient killing machine that runs on the blood of goblins and the tears of pixies. Trying different combinations of classes balancing your support and healing(2 different things, take notes) against nuking power. Cutting the fat from your party till you’re left with a death squad. Oh look through your meticulously good party organisational skills you have a spot in your party still. Hello Mr community I see you hiding there.
Community - because you have a spot left in your party you could invite a low level guild mate, a friend who missed launch by a few days who you could help catch up. Maybe even a person in general chat who would pay for the privilege of being in the mmo equivalent of Inglourious basterds.
Well this has gotten out of hand, maybe I’ll leave it at that for now. Obviously AoE grinding needs a solid massive open world behind it with a good class structure but thats a different topic. As is how it could potentially isolate the solo player. But maybe thats a good thing.