Skip to main content

Blog Mitosis - City of Heroes, The Grind

Welcome to my Blog.

I'd like to come up with a better title than that like, "Welcome to Digitally Staving Off Boredom", but fact of the matter is I might just be changing my title and poof - there goes my modularity. Suckage.

Anywho, here on this Blog I discuss things I've been doing while gaming lately, while striving to find something significant about that. For some of you, this may be fascinating, even educational - in a good way, not in ways involving yardsticks across your knuckles. For the rest of you, you won't get the point, don't sprain yourself trying.

City of Heroes

Just to bring everyone up to speed, at the time of this writing I'm playing City of Heroes, a game by Crypic Studios where you can play a hero in a massively multiplayer city. Alternately, you can play City of Villains, a half-sequel half-expansion that allows you to play a villain.

To an extent, City of Heroes can be described and played as a standard EverQuest-like clone. If you've played World of Warcraft, you've played an EverQuest-like clone. There is no goal to the game, merely acquisition of levels and loot. In time, you eventually realize how pathetic grinding for artificial achievements is and wish you had never wasted your time.

I know this because I burned out from EverQuest over a decade ago.

I play City of Heroes because it's not just a grind but an entertaining game in itself. If you play this like EverQuest, which you can do, you're missing out on a lot of the fun. If you play this game in such a way as to challenge yourself and take maximum advantage of your character's powers, you will find that there's a lot more here than the average EverQuest clone.


Psi-Caster isn't my first hero, though he is the one I currently plan to level to 50 with for the first time. Since I've been playing this game on and off since beta, and the game has been out for over two years, you'd think I'd have had a level 50 character by now. Unfortunately, I've a history of starting a lot of alts (alternate characters) in City of Heroes and Villains - leading all the way back to the City of Heroes beta. I take procrastination to whole new levels by procrastinating while procrastinating.

In this case, it's not all me. City of Heroes is a game very conductive to the rolling of alts. What do I get for sticking with the same hero? Access to new content and sloowly new powers to use. What do I get for rolling up a new hero? Instant access to a plethora of new powers! This is cool because the powers and abilities in a MMORPG are like toys, and who doesn't enjoy playing with a new toy? This factor alone creates a problem in the game where many players never escape the lower levels.

What's a Grind and what can be done about it?

City of Heroes later level power acquisition problem is brought about by the "grind". Forget any other definition you've heard of the grind, it's really this, because I said so:

"The grind occurs when the time required to unlock further content and gameplay exceeds the amount of enjoyment the player can get with what has already been unlocked."

However, I've found that one can combat the grind on their own terms as well. One technique to combat the grind is to not watch the experience bar, just play and have fun. It's called "enjoying the journey, not the destination." City of Heroes can be fun that way.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it cer…

Empyrion Vrs Space Engineers: A Different Kind Of Space Race

In my quest for more compelling virtual worlds, I have been watching Empyrion: Galactic Survival a lot this bizarro weekend, mostly via the Angry Joe Show twitch stream.  What I have concluded from my observations is Empyrion is following in Space Engineers' shadow, but it is nevertheless threatening the elder game due to a greater feature set (the modding scene notwithstanding).

Empyrion is made in Unity, whereas Space Engineers is built on a custom engine.  While this does put Empyrion at a disadvantage when it comes to conceptual flexibility, its developers nevertheless have a substantial advantage when it comes to adding features due to a savings of time spent that would have gone into developing their own engine.  Examples include:
Planets.  Empyrion already has planets and space to explore between them, whereas in Space Engineers planets are in the works but still awhile away (so you just have asteroid fields to scavenge).Enemies.  Space Engineers' survival mode boasts onl…

Greasing The Grind: Adding Lasting Appeal To Virtual World Sandboxes

Game design, being about entertainment, is not as much science as art.  We're coming up with interesting things that the human mind likes to chew on that "taste" good to it.  Different people find different things, "Fun," and a game designer is tasked with coming up with fun, appealing things.  As pertains to virtual world sandboxes, I identified three of them.

Challenge Appeal.

Dwarf Fortress and Fortresscraft Evolved have the same end game appeal preservation mechanic: wealth equals threat.  The more money your Dwarf Fortress is worth, the bigger the baddies who will come for you, including a bunch of snobby useless nobles who do nothing but push dwarves around and eat.  The more energy you make in Fortresscraft Evolved, the more and bigger bugs come to shut down your base.  Rimworld does something a little different based off of which AI Storyteller you choose, but it generally adds time to your wealth accumulation when deciding what kind of threats to throw a…