01 January 2005
Twinking and grinding in KOL
Dan Hunter recently wrote about Kingdom of Loathing on Terra Nova, noting that more humour is required in MMORPGs ("It's odd how even boring grinds become tolerable when there is a warped sense of humor behind the design") and wondering if/why there's a higher than usual level of twinking going on in KOL.
I think these two points are related. Kingdom of Loathing is much more about narrative than competitive game-play. If your turns are no more to you than grinding, you're missing the point. The humour isn't there to make the grinds tolerable, the grinds are there to out the humour. There is nothing else. The game is all about enjoying the details of each turn. And given that Kingdom of Loathing isn't so goal driven, there is a lot of twinking going on. Sometimes you'll gift someone some equipment or food just because the absurdity of the item delights you and you want to share that. The same goes for buffs. It's not so much about helping a character advance but even if it was, you're not really in competition with each other, so there's no harm done.
Plus, when the in-game currency is meat it's just too tempting to give meat trays away in trivia nights (see the newbie chat channel).
Sorry for the outburst of jargon.
Grinding: Term used to describe repetitive tasks in order to level up. Generally used in crafting items, but can also be used for running repeated combat missions to gain experience in a short period of time. Usually used in a negative connotation.
Twinking: The act of giving powerful equipment to lower level characters who could not have obtained the equipment at their current level of advancement.
Definitions from this MMORPG Glossary
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