Thinking about Jeeves

| Wednesday, August 5, 2009
To start off on a light note: I want to be able to have a servant competition between Jeeves and the Barov Servants. Who can cook better? Who can clean down to the last shine and bit of dust gone? And what wins, three undead or a titanium shell held up with saronite?

While farming the schematic, which I still do not have, I started thinking about the fun of it.

First off, do I like grinding? Honestly, it can be fun in moderation. Not fun like exciting fun, but a steady sort of calming pattern. Maybe enjoyable is more accurate. A grind here and there is good.

The grind also increases the perceived value. If I could learn Jeeves at a trainer, I'd value it less. Yes, it's dumb, but it's human nature: we add perceived value to those things which we put more effort into. I like the schematic more because it's not quick to be obtained.

So far all of this makes it seem very internal. I am having fun and that is my fun and there is no influence from other players.

However if after I farmed it, let's say in a week, they stuck the schematic on a trainer for 50g, I'd probably be annoyed. Huh? It makes no sense. I said that the grind makes it more fun and valuable to me and I am certain that my anger is not that other players are deprived of the grind. I don't lose anything since I already have my schematic. So what happens?

Maybe I lose perceived value. The effort I put in changes from added value to wasted time. After all, compare the grind of several hundred kills to the time it takes to farm 50g. Or 100, or 500, point is, gold would be faster. But wait, this is a game, why am I running calculations of opportunity costs for generation of virtual currency? What sort of idiot spends his time trying to figure out he proper way to have fun, to the point that he ceases to actually have fun? I'd keep that sort of person away from my children (if I had any) and society in general (alas, being inhuman is not a crime). Anyway, the added value is lost, pulled down to the 50g value, making the excess just that, excess and waste.

Fine, so I lost perceived value, but does that cover it entirely? Sadly, no. At some point someone, hopefully not me, will mention work. Work? In a game? Yep. Even though I said the grind is enjoyable, it still somehow gets perceived as work. Maybe it is work. Either way, that stupid issue comes up: I worked this hard and someone else didn't, why did they get the same reward?

This seems absurd. Shouldn't a game be fun, not work? If something becomes work, that seems wrong. And yet it is part of that work, that grind, that makes the result more enjoyable. Perhaps it is impossible to have fun without the misery of work; that only by knowing that you are not having fun can you fully realize when you are having fun.

[edit] And in related news, I figured my DK might as well farm the schematic since I had more than enough rested XP to hit 80. Well, he got it, and can't use it because I saw no point in hitting 450 on him. So, too bad for him, I have better uses for the saronite, at least in the short term. Gnomish army knives are green and I have 5 levels to go, I wonder if goggles would end up being cheaper. After I got that, I figured I'd go farm more stuff and at least get XP. He dinged 79. I'm still figuring out how to play as blood, but I have figured out that 1) Dancing Rune Weapon is amazing and 2) I miss having corpse explosion for a runic power dump.


Sankamsu said...

And yet for some work is fun because they love the work they do, so fun is really what they're having even though they are working. So work can be work for one but fun for another, and so work becomes fun and ceases to be work even though it kinda still is work...until, of course, they start to have too much fun and it becomes more work and less fun even though they still call it fun, but it's work. Uh, I'm confused.

Klepsacovic said...

Work: Activities which are not biological necessities (so eating and running from artillery are not work) but which you do in order to survive. Frequently includes activities which you would not otherwise do.

This doesn't mean that work isn't or can't be fun, but that it is likely that if you didn't need to work you'd do something else. After all, how often do you hear of people just showing up for work and not wanting any pay, just for the fun of it? Small business owners don't really count since their business is in some ways their pay, so it's not as if they work extra entirely for nothing.

I might have just made it worse.

Sankamsu said...

No, I think I just confused myself. This commenting business is hard work/fun...oh, I give up.

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