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Facing the grind of videogames

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Balancing a videogame can be a rather challenging prospect for many developers. This is why they often resort to grinding mechanics when creating a game. This system has a player perform continuous repetitive actions in order to have something happen.

The Point of Grinding in a Videogame

These mechanics will provide but are not limited to gaining levels for a character, finding equipment, earning gold, and/or reaching a kill count. Often this leads to massive amounts of annoyance to the gamer thus ruining the videogame experience. In this article we’ll look at how a player can alleviate some of their stress when grinding in a game.

Something to Consider Before Grinding

Before battling the same monster a thousand times, first determine what you are grinding for. Do I want levels for a character, do I want better equipment, or am I trying to kill time? The strategy you use to combat boredom in a grind session will depend on what the goal is.

Leveling Up Your Videogame Character

If you are trying to level up, the best remedy is to find areas in the game where the enemies are incredibly tough. Dying will be a common occurrence in these places. A good grinder will accept death as a price they pay for exploiting the game. You should keep in mind that some games will punish a player for dying. In these cases, try to find the toughest area that you are still successful in being safe in. The principle behind doing this is to harvest as much experience points (your game could call them something else) as fast as possible. This turns hours of grinding into minutes of intense survival.

Earning Money for Your Videogame Character

Gold farming is another past time of many grinders. Games like World of Warcraft (WOW) even have people selling in-game currency for actual money. To make this activity more palatable look at what amounts of gold different creatures drop. The ideal is to find a creature that will drop a disproportionably large amount of money. However, the creature that drops the most money may not be the best choice for you. Consider the environment. Is that little money maker surrounded by stingy tight-wade beasts? Many times the best area to get gold is lower levels where you work less and earn faster.

Take for instance the following two examples. Monster A drops 1,000 gold, but is rare and is surrounded by difficult enemies that drop next to no gold. Monster B only drops 20 gold but takes one hit to kill and populates in swarms. Chances are monster B will give you a better return on your time while at the same time let you revel in the power you’ve accumulated thus far.

The Basic Principle That Helps Videogame Grinding

The real trick to grinding is to find ways where the experience can still be fun. This means eliminating as many of the variables that slow you down. For instance let’s say you found a perfect spot to grind in, but there is no town or healing source close by. You can invest in equipment that warps you back, but this may not be offered in the game. Therefore, even though it is a nice spot you may want to reconsider a less ideal spot with easier access to healing.

Get in the right mindset. Many people who attempt grinding simply get frustrated and refuse to play the game. Grinding can be much like martial arts. By performing the actions with your character you can become part of the action. This level of connection will foster better response time and more intuitive playing styles that bring fluidity to your game play. Keeping this mental focus should center you and bring about peace in your playing style. In short, play with the game not against it.

Finally, there will be some cases you can’t avoid the tedious nature of grinding. Specific equipment may only be dropped by a single enemy that is tough to kill. For these instances, you should try varying methods on how you play. Use weapons you don’t normally try, look for new ways to attack the creature, use the monster’s pattern against them, these are just a few ways to bring a new interest into the grind.

Outside the Videogame

Remember, there are other things you can do outside the game to make your experience less stressful. Making sure you are comfortable with a good view of the screen is something many people fail to think about. Also, custom controllers are offered by many third-party manufacturers. These controllers can provide small but noticeable comfort features which help pass the long hours you put in. Even though your character does repetitive actions it does not mean you have to feel it.

Generally if you have problems with the repetitive action stop and ask yourself these questions. What do I find boring about this? What can I do to change these boring elements? Is there a novel way I can approach this? Am I comfortable? By finding these answers, you can not only beat the grind but find the fun.

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