You have no idea how much time I spent pondering this very question. Recently I have tried following the release schedule, that is, I have from Saturday evening to Friday night to root the box, and if I haven’t by the time a new one gets released I will try to look for solution. It’s not a good process by any stretch of the imagination because I feel like I get more out of some boxes than others, and the tight deadlines create more pressure and dare I say anxiety than I care for. This made worse by the fact that “points” are a huge driver for me (they represent tangible progress after all), so I need to focus on more recent boxes, because of the retirement schedule, and also by the fact that there’s no place to discuss current content. I really think HTB needs to stop retiring boxes (what’s the point anyway, the solutions are out there if you really want to “cheat” (yourself)), and provide a space where people can discuss current boxes and challenges. As much as I enjoy ippsec’s videos, by the time they are released I have long moved on to newer challenges.
The problem with trying harder is that at some point it becomes counterproductive, harmful even and gets in the way of progress and I wished people would just stop pushing that idea, or at least adjust it “try harder but”. There’s boxes on here, that I would have never been able to figure out myself, no matter how hard I tried, and its by no means just the insane boxes. This is also where pride gets in the way of making progress. If somebody worked out a best practise template for themselves, I’d be more than happy to give it try, having no process feels like a terrible idea to approach the whole thing.