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What is Grinding? – Looking at Loop Hero and its core mechanics

Gamingtodaynews1f - What is Grinding? - Looking at Loop Hero and its core mechanics
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So, I've sank close to 20 hours on Loop Hero in these last couple of days, and the major gripe I see people commenting on the game is its grind. But is it really a grind, when it explores the core mechanics of the game?

The game is, by its own name, a loop. You don't control the hero, but only the circumstances they face. You decide a deck of cards, and those cards become tiles on the map the Hero trails, each one of them bringing an effect, from passive bonuses to spawning specific monsters.

But as you progress, you realize that resources are obtained in different ways. I would go as far as to say that some need you to specifically create decks to farm it, and makes builds that could survive such a thing.

So an example. There is an orb that can only be dropped from fights with more than 4 enemies. This is not easily achievable in any run you do, and can be done much easier if you put the right cards and combining them correctly so they can spawn a lot of monsters.

And then, you have to play this version of the game to obtain what you need.

Now, the question. Is this grinding as old school RPGs defined it?

Let's take a look on our older, former examples. Games like Chrono Trigger and old Final Fantasy games had very high difficulty bosses and final bosses, which are designed by choice like that. You HAVE to get stronger, to fight, to collect sidequests and sideloot and train to be strong enough.

So you equip the Luck Ring, take the weapon most effective against the creature you need the drop from, and there you go killing a thousand for it.

But does this compare to Loop Hero 'grind'?

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In its nature, thinking what type of game you will play on that loop is already gameplay mechanics. Building the right condition for the drop is much more than going for the spawn base of said beast and slaying it multiple times. It requires correct deckbuilding and understanding of the mechanics, to even create a map where that loot is acquirable. You don't depend on luck, or repetition, as much as in your own ability to create the best map to collect it. Not only that, you need a build to SURVIVE collecting materials that require you to make harder maps on purpose.

So then the player realizes he needs to collect 11 orbs to progress his base with a River. To grind for it would be to mindlessly slay beasts of the same kind ad nauseum until you have it, but instead Loop Hero makes you work with your deck (core mechanic) and mapbuilding (core mechanic) to even be able to try and battle with them.

And what that makes, in gameplay, is genius. You are playing a different game, a different run, a different objective, a different LOOP, and nothing feels similar to the 'main campaign'.

I came here because I feel it is disingenuous to say 'Loop Hero is grindy as hell'. It is literally its own gameplay in action, and nothing is ever given to you. Yes, it's hard to obtain the resources. Yes, you have to go on multiple loops for it. But you are changing everything about the literal stage you are playing to get there, and that involves thinking inside the proposed gameplay mechanics.

Thoughts?

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