Okay so there is no difficulty setting in this game, but I have found ways to make it harder, and thus, more interesting to play. I also found that when I made the game harder, it became a more realistic vehicle for self improvement. So here is how to play Habitica on HARD MODE!
Set up punishing Habits!
Besides doing something extraordinary like going through the trouble to buy ice and make an Ice Bath for recovery from training, I’m primarily keeping track of things that kill me. An unmade bed, a burrito at Moe’s, a cup of coffee… No easy way to mindlessly rack up points and level up here. Only pitfalls and barriers.
Create more difficult Dailies!
For me, motivating myself to film anything is difficult. So that would make a great Daily,
Increase difficulty of your Dailies!
Start with quantifying some of your Dailies,
And then increase them,
Compound your Dailies!
Instead of having separate Dailies like this,
Combine them into one Daily like this,
What does compounding Dailies like this do for me? Well, in order to get any XP or Gold I have to do every sub-item in the compounded list. If I miss just one sub-item I get nothing at all, and actually lose HP instead. OUCH! Besides being less forgiving, this also makes XP and Gold accrual much slower. Especially since I set just about all my Dailies to the easy difficulty even if it is hard for me.
Here’s one of my compounded Dailies.
Please note above, I haven’t had my daily dose of Ground Flaxseed today. Do you think I’m going to miss it? Absolutely not! It’s the only thing left I have to do to get my XP and Gold for this compounded list. If I don’t do it then I get nothing and lose HP, despite the fact I did EVERYTHING else on that list! I’m not going to miss my daily dose of Ground Flaxseed, I assure you of that.
Create way too many Dailies!
This is where it gets really fun! Create several sets of compounded Dailies so that it’s almost impossible to do them all. This way everyday you lose HP slowly. Here are a couple more of my Dailies.
So today I spent a lot of time with my friend. I didn’t make time to do all the things on my Hygiene / Preparation list. So I’m going to lose HP tomorrow because of this. All I can do now is pick off a few of the easier items on the Hygiene / Preparation list to reduce the damage dealt to me tomorrow. But because this is HARD MODE, and I have several more compounded Dailies like this, everyday I’m slowly dying because I cannot do everything everyday. My only salvation is to finish some of my compounded Dailies to full completion everyday. Because as I finish some of them, I get some XP and Gold. And XP gets me closer to leveling up. When you level up in Habitica your HP bar goes back to full.
And gold helps you buy the Potion to restore HP. Playing on HARD MODE like this makes the health potion in the market actually useful. Also, playing on HARD MODE like this makes you appreciate armor more. Anything that boosts your CON (Constitution) becomes that much more valuable (increasing your CON helps reduce the damage missed Dailies take). Ultimately, playing on HARD MODE adds a strategic element to this game. Much like a traditional RPG game.
Create only Extraordinary To-Dos!
I use my Habitica ToDos list exclusively for extraordinary things. Challenges and mini quests. Examples:
- Release this website (Acrobolix).
- Train at midnight at the gym with squats and film it.
- Do 100 Hyperswipes this summer.
- Don’t use caffeine for 1 week.
- Go on a 3 day road trip.
- Find 8 new tricking locations by end of Summer.
- Secure a better working arrangement with boss.
These things are infinitely more difficult and rewarding than:
- Buy batteries.
- Do laundry.
- Pay cell phone bill.
Making your ToDos list into a list of Challenges that do not expire keeps you from mindlessly racking up points. And it also ensures that you don’t get too locked into a robotic routine of trying to battle your Dailies. I can stay alive and level up by jumping outside my daily routine and conquering challenges and mini quests instead. I usually set my ToDos to hard difficulty so they are more rewarding too, this way I’m encouraged to do them instead of Dailies given the opportunity.
Start Boss Quests
Here’s me and my 3 friends who formed a party,
When we play a boss quest we all get to fight a boss together, such as the Ghost Stag,
Everyday we complete our Dailies we do damage to the boss, and when we don’t, every other member of the party suffers. Here’s a damage log,
Ghost Stag has done 4.7 points of damage to the party in the past two days according to this log. That’s 4.7 points of damage MORE than would be accrued if you were playing alone. One’s party members are responsible for one another. So, unless you want to be an ass, try harder to complete your Dailies, else your friends suffer. Here’s an example of my party member AidenBloodaxe being a jerk:
Aiden come’on man!!! Ok ok. In Aiden’s defense he’s the party Mage, so he is the one that deals 85% of the damage to the boss. Without him Boss quests would last months instead of weeks. So anyway, Boss quests make Habitica a lot harder, and more fun! Also, you can play Boss quests by yourself if you want. When you do this, any damage you would receive at the end of the day would be higher than normal. Fight Bosses!
Don’t make Habitica too hard for you!
The tricks above for increasing difficulty should be implemented slowly. It’s easy to make this so hard you simply can’t win. Don’t do that, be realistic. To be realistic, just ask yourself whether or not the way you have set the game up for yourself is encouraging you to do things that will help you reach your goals. I’m often tempted to add lots of extraneous things into the mix that seem like good habits to do everyday, but if they become too numerous or so distracting that I can’t do the bread’n’butter of what is going to make me level up in real life (for real) then it’s not going to work. Who cares if my bed is made, if my teeth are brushed and if my room is cleaned if I’m not training in new places with new people, filming awesome videos, and helping people reach their training goals? I always work backwards from my life goals. Work backwards from your life goals when creating your Habitica setup.