Sticky like quicksand is “sticky”

Not like molasses at all. More like a really big bowl of oatmeal.

What I like about many games is the grindiness – the good grindiness – the meaningful grindiness – of something important to me that is gained by the time invested or a repetitive activity endured. However, if I am not growing, more specifically learning, through that activity, then it’s not really meaningful.

I don’t like things to be handed to me. I like to earn them and to understand the cost and benefits in the process. I’d rather make a corpse run over and over until I understand the timing or synergy of my abilities, than have a buddy or well-meaning stranger “help” me take out a particularly tough mob. That’s what makes something a game for me. That’s why I can get engrossed for hours. I’m just working on this one little goal and I’ve almost got it.

Unfortunately, that’s also why I’m not good at grouping. I’ve tried. I’ve really tried.

So the past couple of weeks, I’ve been spending a little time in Project: Gorgon, anticipating the upcoming Animal Husbandry skill addition. I’ve also returned to OSRS where I had started playing as an ironwoman last winter. Have I mentioned I like grinds?

However, now I’ve added WoW and WoW Classic to my personal game roster. Since they’re somewhat unfamiliar territory for me, I’ve been giving them most of my attention. When I first re-subbed in mid-April, I had intended to try Classic. After the first night with a my new dwarf hunter in Coldridge Valley, I had second thoughts. By the second day, I decided to give Retail a look. I hadn’t played for a couple of years, but remembered having fun the last time I played.

And, yes! I really have had fun. With the double XP boost, I’ve been able to take my little Alliance toons to zones I’d never visited before and finally to Outland. Yeah, I finally made it to level 60. So trying new zones and using the achievement panel as a guide, I’ve been sampling story lines, seeing the sights, and trying to understand the lore, a thing I’d never done before.

The only problem is the flip side of the XP-bonus-coin. I out-level the resource nodes for my professions too quickly. It’s boring (non-meaningful grindy) to go back to completed zones or to double up gathering professions on other toons, just to get enough of the right ores and leathers to properly advance my production professions. Those are still all far behind the corresponding combat levels of my toons.

So my initial enthusiasm for Retail has begun to flag somewhat. Much I read disputes the utility of the professions in the current game. I probably should just set them aside and play for the zone stories and the class mechanics. The little internal character RP I do is based on these, of course.

So…I have returned to Classic, and find I can savor that grindiness, after all. Engineering is helpful and easy to keep on level.  I’ve just gotten my pet. There’s a bounce in my step, but the ground is sticky enough to keep me faithful…for the moment.



2 Responses

  1. That’s a very insightful take on a topic that goes around and around the blogosphere, the grind and what it means. I vary between something close to what you’re describing, where the effort put in is a factor and the opposite, where the smoother and easier, the more compelling I find it. When it comes to gathering resources for crafting, the less resisitance, the finer the pearl.

    I also meant to thank you for the links to Peggy Sheehy and Lucas Gillespie. Hadn’t seen that project before. Very interesting.

    • I’m pleased you found the links interesting. Spending time with Peggy, Lucas, and their cohorts in the early days of both my classroom career and my gaming exploration has forever colored my approach to both.

      I’m still regarding the superior quality of the pearls. I’d been so busy, I may have overlooked them. Hmm.

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