Sunday, June 11, 2023
Tears of the Kingdom: Is grinding fun?
I am in the middle of my first playthrough of Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. As I mentioned in a previous post, I used a duplication glitch on an earlier version of the game to multiply items that I had already found. Which means that I need to collect a lot less stuff. And armor upgrades that need a lot of stuff to do are much more easily affordable to me. So I am wearing a soldier's armor, where each part has been upgraded to the maximum, now giving 28 armor each (84 total), up from the original 4 each (12 total). And that results in big boss monsters not one-shotting me anymore, but just taking out one or less of my hearts with their attacks.
There are advantages and disadvantages to that. What equipment you have in many cases doesn't affect certain content. For example shrine puzzles or quests that don't involve fighting are exactly as easy or hard, and thus exactly as much fun, as before. But boss fights are obviously affected a lot. And because boss fights are something frequently used in open world game design to "gate" access, I am now pretty confident that with the equipment I already have, I will be able to finish the game. The disadvantage is that some content of an open world game is only there for you to farm stuff and get stronger, and I don't need that content anymore. I have less motivation to explore random landscape for a change to find random materials, because I already have everything I need.
My plan is to *not* do everything in this playthrough, but just play through the major locations and main story events until I beat the final boss. Then I'll delete my save game, and patch the game to the version that has a lot less glitches and duplication possibilities. This year, for various reasons, our "summer holiday" will be 2 months later than usual, in September. And as always, I will bring my Switch, and no PC, on holidays. So I might very well do a second playthrough without using any glitches then. Which would involve a lot more exploration, and a lot more farming and grinding. But some aspects of that exploration can be a lot of fun, especially on a second playthrough. There is less worry about what I am "supposed to do". In the previous game, Breath of the Wild, I only killed the final boss once. I am not a big fan of boss fights, and exploration and collecting stuff can be fun, if you remove the "I need to do this to be able to beat the game" part of the equation.
Basically I think of Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom as a mix of two games: The game described in the main story that ends with killing the final boss, and the open world game. I decided to play these two games one after the other, instead of simultaneously.