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A Habitican facing obstacles in their quest for self-improvement

As with any game, there are a number of obstacles that the players of Habitica face. Some are designed into the game mechanics themselves to motivate users. Others are contrary and detrimental to the purpose of Habitica.

Motivational ObstaclesEdit

These obstacles are part of the game and are intended to motivate users to complete their tasks and progress toward the goals they have set for themselves.

DeathEdit

Main article: Death Mechanics
Death

The death alert pop-up message

If players perform bad Habits or do not complete Dailies, they lose health points (HP). When they reach 0 HP, they die and are presented with an alert. 

After death, players are revived but lose a level, all of their gold, and a random piece of equipment. A level 1 player loses all of their experience points, their gold, and their training sword. They will be able to repurchase the lost equipment under certain conditions listed in Death:Lost Equipment. For more details, refer to Death Mechanics.

Damage from QuestsEdit

Main article: Quests

Quests are optional and allow party members to cooperate to battle bosses or to collect items. There are rewards for successful completion, but there is also the risk of damage caused by not completing Dailies. The damage is inflicted by all party members, is shared by all party members, and is multiplied by the strength of the boss. Damage caused by the boss can quickly lead to death. This social accountability is one of the most motivational features of Habitica as it projects personal failure onto the community.

Detrimental ObstaclesEdit

Habitica is a self-monitored game that relies on the player wanting to make improvements in various aspects of their life situations. To play the game successfully and thus reap the benefits of Habitica, the player is required to accomplish their self-assigned tasks. Habitica works under the premise that the player receives no advantage by misusing the game, as doing so would only sabotage their real-life progress.

Habitica is designed to support and cultivate the life and habits each individual user is striving for (e.g., health, happiness, productivity, responsibility, etc). Each user joins Habitica for their own reasons and many users face times when their focus on those reasons wavers. This can result in an undue focus on Habitica or apathy toward Habitica and the benefits it offers.

Habitica/Life Relationship Edit

In some cases, users begin cheating themselves out of the benefits of Habitica by placing an undue amount of focus on the game (e.g., foregoing spending quality time with the kids just to level up in Habitica). A more extreme form of this is a user who completely stops caring about the benefits of Habitica and begins to focus only on the game, which could lead to them checking off tasks which were never completed or mass-clicking on a "fake" task just to level up, gain gold, etc. Again, there is no such thing as cheating in Habitica. This player is only cheating themselves and undermining their original goals for joining the game.

Remedies Edit

Take a step back and reassess why you are playing Habitica. Has it begun to dominate your life or to take an undue amount of time and focus? Is Habitica supporting your life or is your life supporting Habitica? As users are brought to Habitica by a desire to better themselves, a bit of self-reflection and assessment is likely all that is needed to refocus.

Avoiding Death Edit

Many players become attached to their character's equipment and do not wish to lose it, but feel they are unable to complete enough tasks to level up, or do not have enough gold to buy a health potion to save their character. Hence, they might feel tempted to elude the loss by clicking habits or checking off tasks they have not actually completed.

Remedies Edit

Potion

If the player performs enough tasks that they either level up or earn enough gold to buy a healing potion, they can prevent death.

A player achieves this more easily by: 

  • Completing Dailies or To-Dos that can be finished before the day ends, particularly dark red dailies which provide the most experience points.
  • Thinking of, adding, and completing tasks that might have been forgotten on their To-Do list.
  • Completing good Habits that can be accomplished within a few hours.
  • Equipping any INT or PER boosting equipment the player may have (e.g., Mage equipment left over after changing classes) prior to completing any more tasks, or using skills to buff these attributes.
  • Avoiding bad habits.

If this is still not quite enough to earn a healing potion, selling a few drops earned by previously performed tasks is preferable to checking off a task insincerely.

Alternatively, it may be possible to evade death by healing with Healer skills. While healers have a self-heal spell, they also have a party heal. Keep in mind that these spells heal a relatively small amount of health and one skill use may not provide enough health to prevent character death.

Dealing with character death Edit

If these methods fail, the player can let their character die to learn the value of loss. When gold, levels, or items are lost, especially ones that the player is fond of, the player may gain more motivation to make sure the death does not occur again by planning and preparing for future days' activities.

Greying-out Neglected Dailies Edit

Players normally attempt this method of evasion when they have neglected their Dailies to the point that they cause more damage than the player can heal via leveling up or healing potions. The player might decide to pretend these Dailies do not exist by un-assigning them from all days of the week, and therefore not receiving any damage by not completing them.

Remedies Edit

When a player begins to feel tempted to grey out their Dailies, it is usually a sign that they need to reassess their Daily task list (see Establishing Your Tasks).

If players have numbers neglected Daily tasks, they can:

Fortify

Get a Fortify Potion for 4 gems at the Market

  • Use Fortify to reset all their orange, red, and dark red Dailies to yellow (note that this has a gem cost).
  • Rename their red tasks to something more achievable but relevant to the original task (e.g., rename "1 hr exercise" to "30 min exercise").
  • Use checklists in the Dailies to reduce the damage from a partially-completed Daily.
  • Join a challenge that centers around completing all tasks for a little motivation via competition.
  • Talk to a party or guild member about the Daily. Accountability is a huge reason why parties and, to a certain extent, guilds exist. Players are more likely to keep up a habit if other people are counting on them to do their Dailies.
  • Switch a particularly challenging Daily to a Habit for a while, where missed days are not quite so damaging. It's easy to bite off more than one can chew and working back up to a Daily can help a player fee less overwhelmed and succeed faster.

Procrastination Edit

Procrastination is something many Habitica players experience. It occurs when a player consistently pushes off their tasks to complete at a later date, causing them to build up and resulting in a very long to-do list that seems impossible to reduce. This overwhelms the player and may cause them to give up or restart the whole game.

Remedies Edit

  • Improve your work environment. People procrastinate more often when their work environment is uncomfortable, cluttered, loud, too bright, etc. Usually, something as simple as raising a desk chair or dimming the monitor can make a huge difference in the player's productivity.
  • Use tags to focus on fewer tasks each day and ensure that those tasks are done. This gives the illusion of a shorter and more achievable to-do list, making it less likely for the player to procrastinate on these items.
  • Create deadlines and implement them with tags. Humans have an uncanny ability to believe there are more than 24 hours in a day. Creating deadlines requires a reality check to realize how much time is actually available to complete the tasks. The most effective deadlines have a time and a date (e.g. I will finish _____ by Friday, 6:00 PM.)
  • Prioritize tasks from easiest to hardest and work on the tasks that are easy/fun first before looking at any of the other tasks. Even if the hardest tasks are not completed, the completion of at least one or two tasks is better than none.
  • Choose the most important To-Dos and make them Dailies. Losing health can serve as an impetus to push the player to work. Once completed, delete the Daily and check off the To-Do. (See Poisonous Dailies for more explanation.)
  • Break down a major or difficult task into multiple parts. This makes the task more manageable and less intimidating to complete. It also results in earning more gold and XP. Some ideas are splitting the task into time intervals or splitting the task into separate parts (e.g. splitting a 5000 word paper into 5 sets of 1000 words). Players can either create separate tasks for each part, or use the checklist feature to break down Dailies or To-Dos into multiple parts. Using checklists has the advantage of reducing the overall number of tasks, which otherwise might be overwhelming.
  • Work for only two minutes. The hardest part of overcoming procrastination is starting the work. After two minutes of working, a player will be able to assess how they feel and whether they believe they can continue working. If they do not believe they can continue, then they can take a break until they feel comfortable before repeating the two minute process.
  • Take regular breaks after periods of working to prevent burnout and improve focus. (See: Pomodoro Technique to learn how to work effectively in intervals.)
  • Once working, make sure to avoid anything distracting. A player can use theHabitica Chrome extension to prevent themselves from going on distracting websites. Cell phones and tablets should be turned off or put on silent. If the internet is not required for the task, turn it off. To make this process more pleasant, a player could create a separate Habit titled "Successfully removed all distractions." 
  • Avoid rabbit trails. Even with external distractions removed, internal distractions can still be a problem. These can be either relevant (tangential ideas about the work you're doing) or irrelevant (ideas about other work, worries, fears, daydreaming, etc.) Keep a notepad handy and jot down any distracting ideas, then return to your work; that way you won't try to mentally juggle too many things at once. 
  • Take regular rewards. Behavior that's rewarded is more likely to be repeated. Make your rewards small but relevant, and take them often. Make sure at least some are real world rewards, not just buying new gear for your avatar. 

Apathy Edit

Personal Apathy Edit

Main article: Burnout
This loss of balance can also lead to apathy or Burnout which occurs when players no longer care about completing tasks. This can be due to expecting too much, not feeling there is enough of a challenge, not enjoying the rewards, or missing out on the social elements.  
Background volcano

You can sometimes feel burnt out, apathetic, and not interested in the game.

Burnout lists various methods of combating this.

Self-Imposed Challenges has some user tips for keeping the game interesting.

Party Apathy Edit

Main article: Party

If you enjoy questing, but others in your party are experiencing burnout or apathy, this can hinder your progress and your enthusiasm. Keeping Parties Motivated lists ideas for engaging party members to keep them active and energized.

If your party has still lost interest, you can:

  • Leave the party and find a new one that matches your own goals in the Archery.
  • Create a new party and invite members
  • Create a solo party to complete the quests alone.

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