Throne of Darkness: The Point of Tedium

I underestimated the amount of game left. There’s a fairly substantial dungeon to be completed before tackling the central castle. The thing is, I don’t think there’s anything left to learn about the game. While the motivation behind gaming is (for me) largely about the sense of accomplishment, much of the actual pleasure comes from mastering new systems, and now that I’ve mastered magic and crafting, there’s nothing new left. I’ve reached the point of tedium.

It seems to me that CRPGs are particularly prone to becoming tedious, because progress in a game is based on developing the skills of the player characters, not on developing the skills of the player. There is one skill that the player learns: how to advance the characters efficiently. Mastery of that skill means that the PCs will be ahead of the difficulty curve from there on out, robbing the game of challenge. When this happens, the game can either end, or throw some new wrinkle at the player that forces them to revise what they’ve learned, or it can become mindless and repetitive. The last option is surprisingly popular among both developers and players.

A reasonable person just would stop playing at this point and get on with things that are either more enjoyable or have practical merit. But this blog is not about being reasonable. I will finish this game. I won’t do it right away, though. It’s high time for a break.

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