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June 25, 2016

Habitica: Fighting Monsters with Productivity

Technology
The player in Habitica

That’s me!

My productivity has been at an all-time low due to the senior slump. I have tried to motivate myself to fill out job applications as I’m in my last semester of undergrad currently. I would always find myself on Hearthstone, Overwatch, or any other game that I could play to avoid committing to real life goals.

That’s when my buddy Slow Wolf posted on social media that he’d been using Habitica. Habitica is a RPG flavored to-do list that has been helping him become more productive. I figured, why not? As he had gotten one of my other friends to try it at the same time.

I only started on this past Wednesday, but it has seriously helped me. Maybe it is the fact that it’s a fun game where I get rewards and build a character based on how much of my goals and daily chores I complete, or just that I really needed a way to organize my chores and work in order to hop on them. Regardless, it’s worked and it’s part of the reason why I’m writing anything on here again.

The Basics

So essentially you start off with a character at level 1. You do a quick tutorial that explains how you make and record three different types of goals that you set for yourself. Completing your tasks will grant your character experience and gold to purchase equipment/rewards with.

You can also determine how difficult each task is by tagging it as trivial, easy, medium, or hard. The more difficult the task, the more rewards you earn, but also the more damage you will take if you don’t complete the task! I’ll just give a quick run down here of the different goals to help explain the game.

Habits

The first type of goal that you set for yourself is called “Habits”. Habits are things that you want to get yourself to do on a regular basis. For instance, I want to start watching what I’m eating better, so after every meal I want to start logging my calories. I’ll hit the “+” button when I remember to do that, but the “-” button when I forget or don’t. I get a small amount of experience and gold when I complete a habit, but I will lose health if I do not complete the habit.

I have a list of some of my habits below here. Most  are sanitary things like remembering to clip my nails and floss, but they can be just about anything that you need to remind yourself to do more often/want to do more often.

Habits in Habitica

Dailies

The next type of goal, the “Dailies” are the real “meat” of Habitica. These are tasks that you want to complete on a regular basis. Be it every day, every week, or every x day, dailies are the lifeblood of you earning experience/money and completing other fun tasks which I’ll touch on a bit later.

Regardless, at the end of each day if you  have any incomplete tasks in the Dailies category you will lose health for each task left incomplete. This is a very high-risk high-reward section as well. The more you challenge yourself to do on a regular basis, the quicker you will grow and explore the content in Habitica, but if you bite off more than you can chew you’ll be penalized a fair amount for it.

dailies in Habitica

To-Dos

The last category is the “To-Dos” category. This is generally used for large chores or upcoming projects that have to be completed. This section is great for me as a student since I have quite a few projects, homework assignments, and tests due so I can put those in here. This section is more of an “investment” section. The larger the task/the longer you take to complete these tasks, the more you will earn.

Todo list in Habitica

Classes

There are four classes in the game: Warrior, Mage, Healer, and Rogue. Everyone begins the game as the Warrior class, but later on you can change to a different class!

I don’t have much experience on this as you do not get to pick a class until level 10, but regardless each apparently has special abilities to use on boss fights and buffs to help their party members with.

Party Up!

As I mentioned earlier, my buddy Slow Wolf got me into this with a couple of mine and his friends. We all formed a party and are able to complete quests and battle boss monsters together. We just started our first boss fight today, actually!

Habitica boss fight

Here’s what it looks like to be in a party. The black square is where the party chat is.

Quests

Quests are essentially just collect X amount of item. At the end of each day the system will randomly generate an amount of item based on how many Dailies and To-Dos you have done and contribute it to the quest. Each player contributes some items to the quest. Once the items have been collected the party gets a reward of money, experience, and special loot such as armor or pets.

Boss Fights

Bosses are a bit more interesting, but essentially the same idea as quests. At the end of the day each player deals damage based on how many dailies and todos they have done. Stats and equipment also affect how damage is dealt to bosses. However, during boss fights if a person misses any of their dailies, the boss will deal damage to each member of the party.

Essentially, the party system provides a system of accountability for your party. If you slack off everyone sees that they took damage because you failed to complete all of your tasks!

Conclusions

I am seriously enjoying Habitica, and so is everyone else that I’m playing with. I’ve felt a lot more productive since I started this week and I hope that continues even once the “newness” of it wears off. Seriously though, I’ve had the motivation to apply for jobs, work out, and floss every night. It’s been great!

Actually, it’s the reason that I’m even writing on this site again! I made it a personal challenge to complete at least 2 posts a week. Maybe I’ll also make it a challenge to spruce up the site a bit and make some changes.

Try it out! There’s even a phone app for it!

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