It might seem like an even distribution of games across the entire month, but it was more like a sequential progression of games starting with Morrowind, then Oblivion, then ARK, and then the month ended with Rift and finally Fallout 4 sunk its claws into me big time (again), quite unexpectedly.
* I like to remind ARK that they never bothered to rename the default Unreal Engine project name “ShooterGame.” :) It is indicative of how anxious they were to throw something out on Steam as fast as possible.
First, statistics for December of 2017. I flip-flopped around a lot during the holiday time, as is pretty normal for me.
A surprising addition to this list is EverQuest II, in which I had quite a bit of fun starting a new character, at least until I installed new Steam purchase Divinity: Original Sin, which captured a lot of my attention late in the month. (Said attention waned considerably after two very difficult boss fights in a row.)
I also remembered that I wanted to finish my Morrowind video series (and the game), so I resumed playing that. Then I saw @Braxwolf talking about Oblivion, which reminded me that I also wanted to record a full set of Oblivion videos, so of course I had to fire that game up too. I also want to record a full set of Skyrim videos, so naturally after I bought Skyrim Special Edition I had to install it and start doing some test recordings to set the audio levels. (That game is so quiet compared to other games–a problem shared by Fallout 4, incidentally, almost as if they use the same game engine–I will have to create a custom audio recording configuration just for Skyrim.)
As it turns out, the missing statistics from October would likely have only run up the totals on Final Fantasy XIV and Guild Wars 2, by the way.
Incidentally, speaking of accuracy, sometimes ManicTime counts different versions of the same game as different games, so sometimes I have to kind of eyeball it and add up the numbers manually. I had to do that for Conan Exiles, for example. Each new build of that game had a different total, so it might not be accurate down to the millisecond. But it’s probably accurate to within a few hours.
I played a little Dark Souls III because I still need a new character to finish my The Ringed City DLC blind playthrough.
I feel like it’s been an extremely light gaming month, but when I add up all those hours and divide by 30, it comes out to a bit more than 2 hours of gaming every day. I know there have been many days when I have played nothing, or only a half hour at most. I usually load up a game while I’m watching news on television, so maybe that accounts for it. I wish ManicTime had more detailed reporting capabilities. I need an hour-by-hour analysis. :)
As a bit of a data junkie, I’m nauseated to report that I forgot to re-install ManicTime after I had to reinstall Windows this month. Did I even mention that on the blog? Well, if I didn’t, my SSD failed earlier this month, so I had to reinstall.
That means I am missing game-playing statistics from the period of roughly October 11th through October 28th, rendering my report for the month of October completely useless, and indeed any report I planned to do for the entire year of 2017. Ugh. If the data isn’t perfect it’s not even worth bothering!
But from the best of my recollections, I would say that I played, in an indeterminate order:
Guild Wars 2
Final Fantasy XIV
In fact, since October 11th, those two and a few Steam titles are the only games installed on my PC.
September was a fairly low-energy, chaotic gaming month. I tried a lot of different games but nothing really clicked. Most of my time in GW2 was spent on either Living Story Season 3 or mindlessly working on map completion while watching television.
My Hunter reached level 59 and the famous Bridge of Khazad-dûm yesterday–what’s left of the bridge, at least. I was following the side quest of a dwarf Svanr who was on some kind of pilgrimage to see all of the Mines of Moria, and we got to the Bridge. Then my character took his first steps back outside in seemingly forever. It’s surely been over a year of real time since before my Hunter entered Moria.
Everywhere in Moria seems like a great archaeological discovery. “Oh! That’s where this happened! Oh! That’s where that happened!” I’m a bit of a history buff and even though it’s an entirely fictional history it still sort of presses those buttons.
Again I have to say they did a fantastic job of making Moria look super cool. LotRO is one of the best games for walking around exploring and looking at stuff. This is a game that you simply can’t play in a rush. At least I can’t. I find that I enjoy the game much more when I accept the fact that sprinting to the endgame isn’t going to happen, which gives me permission to wander around and enjoy the ride.
Using ManicTime, I calculated that it took 3 hours and 50 minutes of game time to level from 58 to 59. (A large percentage of that time was spent searching for piles of old weapons.) In an era when it usually doesn’t take more than an hour of game time to level in a modern MMORPG, it’s quite a throwback.
GW2. I did in fact retry Chapter 16, “Hearts and Minds,” and beat it after two more attempts Thursday night, which took another hour. If you leave the instance for any reason, by the way, you have to start all over. So take my advice: Don’t rage quit if you die to the last boss. :) I’ll probably start Living Story Season 3 this weekend although I’m kind of burned out on GW2 already.
LOTRO. I’m continuing to wander around in the Mines of Moria, slowly chipping my way up from level 58 to 59. I’ll probably be working on that today. I spend a lot of time lost, trying to find my way to the quest markers. I have completely forgotten that the Mordor expansion even exists. The “huge MMORPG cultural event” of entering Mordor that I thought would happen didn’t really materialize and everyone is just like, “Meh. It’s Morder. Whatever.”
FFXIV. Nothing much to report. I keep forgetting to login. I only got 360 of the 450 Tomestones last week. The times I do login, I queue up for an Expert Roulette, look at the wait time, then log back off. So yeah, I’m behind on Creation Tomestones. I don’t regret it. The Creation Tomestone Bard gear set looks awful anyway.
Eclipse. I’m not quite in the path of totality but it’s really tempting to jump in a car and drive a couple hundred miles southwest on Monday. Undoubtedly it would be a huge mistake to try. I don’t have any solar eclipse gear anyway. But it’s literally never going to be closer in my lifetime. I’m old enough now to appreciate what “once-in-a-lifetime” actually means. :)
Politics. *deep breath before writing a huge novel* Oh nevermind.