Deciding when to stop doing something can be tricky. When it comes to something you've sunk a lot of time into, it can be even trickier. We've all been there, I'm sure. It's easy to drop something early on; if you decide that The Walking Dead sucks three episodes in, you can dust your hands and walk away without a problem. But if you decide it sucks five seasons in... That's a decision that's more difficult to make. How do you justify the time spent on those earlier seasons if you're not even going to make it to the end?
This is something I'm guilty of a lot. If I start a book, I finish the book. I don't walk out of movies. Basically, if I start a piece of media, I'm going to finish it. It's a compulsion.
That's where I am with The Game of Dungeons v8. I've been playing this game since August last year, and I've probably sunk hundreds of hours into it. I'm not really enjoying it any more. I should give up, and move on to something else. And yet... it's so much time! If I don't finish it, what was the point? You could say that it's a waste of my life to keep playing, but to me it feels like a waste of my life if I stop playing.
As you may have guessed from the above paragraphs, my character died. Again. Joe Average had reached the lofty heights of level 160, and had almost 1,000 hit points. I was in the process of mapping level 29 of Whisenwood Dungeon, and eagerly anticipating the prospect of finishing one of the dungeons off. With extreme caution, surely it was only a matter of time before I completed the game.
That's what I thought anyway, and I had a reasonable cause to believe it. Monsters weren't much of a threat. I was able to escape from the deep levels of the dungeon without much trouble now that I had complete maps. I was ignoring chests and books, so traps weren't going to kill me. There's one factor in this game that always remains a threat, though, and can't really be planned for: the slimes.
You may recall that slimes killed my last character. They killed Joe Average as well, despite his having nearly 1,000 hit points. Once you hit the deep levels, there are slimes that do 400-500 points of damage per hit, so they never stop being deadly. And while you can avoid them by moving carefully, there's always the chance that you'll find one on the other side of a door, and those can't be avoided.
That's what happened to me: I stepped through a door into a puddle of Living Mercury, which ate my sword. Normally this would be my cue to rapidly magic my way back to the surface, but I only had a few squares to explore to fill out a section of the map. So I went through another door, right into some Orange Glop, which dropped me from 700 to 200 hit points. Orange Glop can only be killed with a sword, so I frantically started tapping arrow keys to escape. I managed to get out without taking further damage, but my zealous tapping sent my character racing down the passage, right into a Roving Sludge. So died Joe Average: in the end, he lived up to his name.
(This death is depressingly similar to the one that killed my last high-level character. I need to take a hardline stance, and leave the dungeon straight away when I lose my sword.)
Needless to say, I've started again, and I'm back to grinding for XP during the wrestling. I have a new plan. Slimes are bastards, but they don't get really deadly to high-level characters until you hit level 25 (or thereabouts). So I'm going to ignore those levels completely. I'll map the three dungeons to level 25, and after that I'm going straight to level 30 to look for the goal. There's also a magic rod you can find that prevents you from stepping in slimes. I've rarely found one, but I might just purchase one from the shop for when I get deeper into the dungeon. I need to get smart about buying the correct items.
So, my war continues. Go to hell, Dirk and Flint Pellett! You'll never break me!
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