Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Knights Who Say Grind

We had a long weekend here in the UK so I managed to sneak enough time to grind out to the end of Knights of Pen and Paper. 'Grind' is sooo the operative word there. It was originally made as a mobile title with microtransactions, so the point was obviously that people would use real money to purchase in-game funds to stock up on items in order to blast through the game more quickly. In-game money itself is earned quite slowly in order to encourage players to spend real money to get it quicker - so far, so normal evil mobile game. When the game was converted to PC they rightly removed the real money aspect of it, but unfortunately didn't alter the slow rate of gaining in-game money, so there is a crazy-crazy amount of grinding required to get anywhere. You quickly get to a point where quest monsters are way harder than your current party, so you have to continue grinding for experience to become strong enough to beat them. By far the worst example of grinding is the Blacksmith. The blacksmith starts with a small chance of being able to create upgraded weapons and armor. This chance can be increased by leveling up the blacksmith, and this is done by supplying him with the aptly named Grindstones. Grindstones only show up rarely (I think they're on a timer so you can't farm them) in caves, and even then, you only have a small chance of mining them when you do find them. You need a certain number of grindstones to upgrade the blacksmith, and this number rises exponentially each time you level him up (or maybe linearly...I never was any good at maths!). Ultimately it feels like you need millions of the damned things to be able to level up the blacksmith enough that he'll actually be able to make an item rather than fluffing it every time. Of course, you can also buy grindstones from the shop, but that requires grinding for more money... It's a shame, because the game itself is quite fun initially. The set up is enjoyable, and although there aren't really that many combat options, beating monsters and leveling up always feels good. In the end, though, the campaign is just way too long, with way too many samey quests, and the grind... the grind is just horrendous. I'm very happy to have finished this one. Onwards!

Next up on the randometer is...Legacy of the Ancients! It's an old DOS RPG from the '80s. I don't think it's one I've played before, so should be interesting. I'll keep plugging away at Tomb Raider as well, reckon I'm about a third of the way through.

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