I'm glad to hear you're liking a lot about the game
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by grinding, but don't grind
Figure out what you want to accomplish strategically, find out where you need to go to further that goal, and go do it. For example:
- You want to kill the overlord
- So you want to kill the lieutenants
- So you want to push the wind back from covering the nearest lieutenant outpost
- So you want to get a summon-wind-shelter scroll and an NPC that can use it and the buildings that that NPC needs to do it
- In the meantime, you also want to get up to tier 4 (at least tier 3) to be able to take on the lieutenant and his outpost (which are always at least tier 4), so you'll want to do missions to increase that, _but_:
-- Just cranking up the CP will leave you at a disadvantage because you'll need tier 4 offensive spells to do respectable damage to a lieutenant, so:
--- Pick a couple long range nukes (preferably from different elements)
--- Figure out what ingredients you need to craft them up to the desired tier
--- Pick missions that give you the needed materials
--- Some materials are found out in the wild instead, so check the in-game reference on where to find them and do a targeted expedition to get them.
- And all through this, pick up upgrade stones and enchant containers in the normal course of your exploration, to take advantage of those vectors of customization and gaining power.
But that's just an example; you might want to build towards guardian power buffs instead of focusing on getting the crafting ingredients you need (though you'll always want at least 1 current-tier offensive spell), or you might want to try building a melee (instead of long-range) combatant, etc.
- Bump the action difficulty up 2 or possibly even 3 notches. It may be too much, but you can see when you get there.
- Challenge does go up as you go along:
-- When CP goes up enough to hit tier 3, monsters "migrate" so that you'll find monsters from neighboring regions mixing in as you go through a particular region, increasing the combinatorial chances for disaster
At tier 4 and tier 5 the migration gets wider.
-- At higher CP tiers, monster durability goes up, but that's just something to keep up with by having current-tier versions of your main offensive spells.
-- Also at higher CP tiers, various monsters switch to more advanced (dangerous) behavior types.
-- As you unlock stuff (particuarly by killing monsters), new enemies and (in 1.001) elite versions of existing enemies get thrown into the mix, and some of them are really
Anyway, the first continent on default settings is, frankly, intended to be fairly easy. There's plenty more challenge the game _can_ throw at you, but we didn't think it was wise to unload too enthusiastically early on, unless the player asks for it