Grinding is a divisive subject among gamers. Some love it, others would rather watch their parents have sex with a nails on chalk board soundtrack. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, odds are you’ve done a few hours of good old fashion level or gear grinding. I normally fall into the category of hating the grind, trying to do anything to find my way around such things. Maybe I’m lazy? Or maybe I just don’t enjoy forced longevity? Whatever the case there are 2 games that have broken through this dislike and lead me to hours of hard work to earn…I’m not actually sure what I earned. Destiny and Sea of Thieves, the only 2 games where I have willing parked my ass in front of a screen for hours on end to do the same shit to earn non-descript items and coins!
What is key to explain here though, is that one of these grind-fests, I hate, while the other is an absolute joy. Can you guess which?
Obviously, the bad one is Destiny, good Christ that game. As you can tell from the first paragraph, most grinding I find to be a slog that drives me insane, and Destiny is not the exception, the only reason I keep going is because like the toothless folks of Breaking Bad, I have an addiction. Rather than drugs or alcohol, I’m out here chasing my next hit of engrams like my life depends on it, daddy needs a fix of that purple and gold. I spend countless hours just to up my light level by 2 and I can never even notice a difference to my Guardian’s skill or power. I chase gear like it’ll be the solution to world hunger or something! However, it’s the social aspect of Destiny that keeps me coming back, some of my best friends in gaming were made through this game and I like to keep that going, while others have stripped ahead of me and have become the new gods of the Tower, I sit there just having fun and doing the basic grind for the bare minimum. I constantly feed my addiction for fancy new duds and I’m not sure it’s healthy, but I can’t stop myself!
This is where Sea of Thieves comes into play. The adorable pirate adventures are the perfect salve to my Destiny frustrations. As me and my crew sail about digging up treasure, smashing skeletons and transporting rum we have no need to seek better gear, just fancier stuff! Sea of Thieves has no higher tier equipment, each item is just as effective as the last, it all comes down to exactly how Gucci you want to look. Flaming ship with sword wheel and black sails? Fine. Gold ship with a lion figurehead and crystal capstan? Deal. Will either be better in a fight? Probably depends on the crew! There isn’t much I find quite as satisfying though, when me and my crew have gathered dozens of chests, skulls and crates of fruit to sell and we get to watch that coin count keeps rising! The pressure that comes from carrying all your goods back with a sea full of megalodons, Skelton crews and asshole players! However, even when our vessel is sunk, and our gear stolen, it’s easy to dust ourselves off, wring out the beards and get straight back out to sea!
Grinding will always be a part of gaming. For better or for worse, if its an open world or an RPG, the grind will be necessary in some capacity. It’s easy enough to avoid by simply not playing the games its in! But maybe you want to take a moment to actually give it a try, because sometimes it might just surprise you how much fun you can have standing in front of the same cave for hours shooting the same 3 enemies in the head all for a better pair of boots. Sometimes there isn’t anything much better than setting up a console to grind out on while you run a podcast or series you’ve been meaning to catch up on in the background!