Your opinion on how to make grinding as less boring/frustating as possible?

Hello there.
So for the past months I’ve been developing a survival gamemode for GMod (with RPG elements, so some actions will take more/less time depending on level), and now that I’m approaching the beta stage (and maybe I should’ve asked myself this question before) I’m worried that the grinding part may be too boring.

I remember playing GMStranded and while the grinding was obviously kinda tedious, it wasn’t so much that it would make me stop playing, in fact, I spent a ton of hours in that gamemode.

Obviously I’ve placed more elements into the game so grinding is not everything you have to do, but it’s still a big part of it, since it’s the way to obtain resources and advance.

In a nutshell:
I have a mining/chopping wood mechanic which insists of hitting a tree/rock with the correct tool and eventually you’ll get a drop. I’ve tried to make this as satisfying as possible by trying to give less resources but more times. Trees can obviously get completely cut down and will drop a log, which can be used to craft wooden planks.

The thing is, that I’m worried that this system might be either not well balanced enough, or it’s simply rotten from the base. In my eyes is not that bad, but obviously if I’m releasing this to the public eventually, I need to know the opinion of other people.

What do you think that it’s a good grinding method/strategy?
I’m not asking for specific mechanics (if you want to tell it, do it then) but more abstract/general aspects of grinding.

If you’re going with an RPG styled survival gamemode, I’d suggest you add passive skills that require a medium or big number of skill points to earn and evolve. For the grinding part I would add the Treasure Hunter or Researcher skill, which increases the rate of bigger chunks of a commonly found object such as copper or iron or a 25% chance increase on finding rare material (This is where the treasure hunter comes in).

Now for the Researcher, it would have effect on items obtained by overall breaking stuff apart, but it’d increase it’s durability and expanded crafting with said material. For speed grinding, I’d say there could be a Miner or Lumberjack skill, which could be boosted if you have the Treasure Hunter (Miner) or Researcher (Lumberjack) skill.

I think what improves grinding monotony is that you should be able to grind for multiple things at the same time. This way you don’t feel like you are grinding just one thing, one part of it may be more enjoyable than the other one.

Just my opinion, but adding puzzle games on top of your game is a decent way to fool people into not-griding. Even if you’re solving the same kind of puzzle over and over again. Not only that, but there’s plenty of puzzles out there that people have “figured out” if you just want to port the code.

You could also do something Runescape has done in their games. I play OSRS and I don’t mind grinding too much as I know that it’s required to achieve other things. For example I do it for a pet drop in game or to get better equipment and money.

As Apickx has said you could do puzzles. Runescape has also implemented many puzzles in their Clue Scroll system.

Holy shit I didn’t expect so much feedback at the same time.

As for now I have:

  • Specialized skills for different kinds of grinding (mining, lumbering, etc.)
  • You can get different materials on certain grinding sources, like rocks, that allow you to get multiple minerals depending on the tool being used.
  • Random spawned plants that can be found and harvested for other kinds of resources.
  • Some resource sources (like trees and rocks) can be searched without the need of a tool in order to get some special resources.

I’ll take in consideration every piece of information suggested here, since there are really interesting concepts here.

Thank you so much everyone!

[editline]14th December 2016[/editline]

I really like this one, I could give the Shovel a better use by burying rare items/resources and giving people a clue on how to find them.

[editline]14th December 2016[/editline]

I could try to change the behaviour of tools towards resource sources (since now act like melee weapons) and place some kind of puzzle where you need to fill a bar till x point or something.

Or a minigame which people have to click on the right time when the moving bar match the static bar
And the static bar will changed size randomly each time you press so there will be a chance to fail