Opinions on proper grind times for an MMO?

Working on an MMO and wondering if anyone has a perspective on this issue:

Currently I’m thinking that the player should get their first level up within the first 5 mins of doing a task, so that its clear doing more of that task will be rewarded. While each level will have slight rewards, every 10 levels will give the player special access to areas and material collection. But I also want there to be some grind to slow the consumption of content too quickly and making the rewards feel worthless.

-I assume getting to level 2 would take 5 mins of grinding.
-Getting to level 1-10 would take a total of about 2 hours grinding total
-Level 10-20 would be 4 hours
-Level 20-30 would be 4 hours
-Level 30-40 would be 4 hours
-Level 40-50 would be 4 Hours
-Level 50-60 would be 4 hours
-Level 60-70 would be 4 hours
-Level 70-80 would be 4 hours
-Level 80-90 would be 4 hours
-Level 90-100 would be 4 hours
Total: 38 hours of specific task

This is the time spent just doing that one task. Most players will be doing multiple throughout the game and thus their perceived level up time may feel 2x-4x longer depending on how hard they try to specialize.

I imagine, that this will mean if the player does 4 hours of skilled task a week they will unlock a new major upgrade each week. I think 1-2weeks of enjoying a specific level appropriate content will be enough.

Does anyone have any heuristics to judge if a game is too grindy and thus no longer fun? Or any way to increase grind time while lowering perceived wait time?

I say death to grinding / crafting honestly! :stuck_out_tongue: Seriously, its just not fun anymore - if ever! :mad:
Its boring (no drama / tension). Its time to create new mechanics, new ways to entertain! :wink:

Actually it can be quite relaxing, depends on what you want to achieve, some more “wholesome” games nowadays only consist out of repetitive tasks, grinding has been also quite relaxing in the past for myself. You could watch videos in the meantime, talk to friends, you could even speed it up by playing together. Its probably not necessary. But overstimulation, or getting everything done too fast with too many options/upgrades is also not always a good thing.

But it probably fits to our society nowadays.
I for myself enjoy grinding, as long as the environment and the controls are smooth and if there is a bigger goal i can work to. 38 hours sound pretty solid for a MMO even though 1 Major upgrade (as i dont know much more of your game) doesnt sound rewarding enough.
If you fit in different environments, probably treasures along the way, or rare enemies maybe a zone specific event once in a while, or a global event/quest you can work for in the same area you have to grind currently, it makes the whole thing more rewarding.
But you shouldnt implement grinding just for the sake of it.

Actually i just realized that this is my first post, so dont mind me ive been working with unreal 3 like 10 years before and just moved back to ue4 from unity for a professional project.

You can find more than enough videos on this topic on youtube

I agree, it just didn’t grow well with time.

I agree with your whole comment. If the mechanics are smooth and can put the player into a “flow” much like some games are entirely based on that “flow” gameplay. It provides the player some time for reflection and planning while doing a task that only requires some minimal mental processes.

I like your ideas about adding content like different areas, surprises that happen with each task(Im reminded of animal crossing trees dropping money bags), access to certain areas, quests and more!

If you have more ideas regarding content that makes the grind less grindy I’d love to hear it!