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It seems like every game has a few people going on about how it's a gear grind at the end. Don't they get it? If you have gear in your MMO there's going to be gear grinds. It doesn't matter if it's level based or not, if you have some form of equipment or bonus you're going to have people doing everything they can to get the best bonuses they can. So why all the hate? More importantly what else can a game do as a reward once you hit max level? The more you play the more points you get, that's the core of every video game. These points take on different forms, leveling, story progression, etc. For an MMO you get gear.
Seriously, do you want to put in a day's worth of work into a game and have your only reward be a badge?