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Treadmill 3: Treadmills for Health (healthier ways to play a treadmill-filled game)

If you have been following my blog, and have been doing your homework (yeah, right), you should now have a list of goals. That list should have been modified from it?Euros original form not only so that bad goals are removed, but also so that the ways you reach those goals are more fun-oriented. The current blog contains a bunch of rules you should impose on your gameplay to ensure that this philosophy of ?Euro?fun is more important than virtual wealth?Euro? is strictly adhered to.

1) Recognize the signs of grind-induced fatigue.

Games, especially RPGs and online games, generally have a complex array of addictive mechanisms built-in to keep you playing… if only so that the game builds a player-base via word-of-mouth. If done well, these mechanisms will be invisible to most players. However, it is much easier to recognize signs of grind-induced fatigue (1) playing even though the game got boring, (2) not being able to take a break, (3) feeling your thoughts wander to other things, (4) feeling that you need to stick with your investment, (5) impatience or irritability…

If you feel these, it may be time to take a break… but also to use that break to think about the reasons why you kept playing. Ask yourself ?Euro?what would I be doing if there were no rewards to my gameplay??Euro?

2) Renounce the boring grind.

If you?Eurore doing something that you find boring, stop, and ask yourself… ?Euro?Is there a way I can achieve the same goal but in a way that is more fun??Euro? And when you ask yourself that, do consider that that alternative way may be slower, but that shouldn?Eurot stop you.

Take the Kurzick/Luxon titles for example. Each is very long to complete… but each can be completed using any combination of vanquishing (speed clear or regular), casual PvP (Fort Aspenwood, Jade Quarry, Alliance Battles), missions (via books), challenge missions, elite areas (The Deep, Urgoz?Euros), repeatable quests, and I might be forgetting something. By trying the different ways, you get to experience more of the game. And as a bonus, you can use alternative ways to keep it fresh, or to suit your mood.

Anything that cost money also tends to get people to adopt farming or running as income, but those can get boring fast (not always though, some people enjoy those). Fortunately, almost anything you do in the game gives you gold directly or indirectly, especially if you do it in hard mode. So, although I mainly have gold-based titles left that I care to do, I have decided not to farm beyond the amount of farming I can do while still having fun (which is not much). Sure it takes longer, but I am having fun doing it.

3) Find a way that stays fresh

Sometimes, an activity can stay fresh by itself. For example, I do most of my gold grind by picking zaishen missions or zaishen bounties and doing those. So every day I end up doing something different. Zaishen combat would work too if you enjoy PvP. I am also playing my characters through the campaigns to unlock access, or through quests to unlock PvE-only skills, and that too keeps the game fresh.

Next week, I?Euroll start a topic on how to keep the game fresh… so until then!