End of Year: 2018 Edition

Things were going pretty excellent last year, and this year was even better. On the personal front, not the gaming front. Gaming has been pretty bad. Or perhaps just more recently bad.

My gaming goals from last year:

  • Complete the vanilla, HoT, and PoF story content in GW2. [only HoT complete]
  • Play through some of those PS3 games I bought five years ago. [Errrm]
  • Embrace the notion of shorter, possibly more frequent posts. [Not really]
  • Use my Blizzard balance to pay for all my Blizzard gaming. [Success]
  • Clear at least 40 games from my Steam backlog. [Success]

Guild Wars 2 has been an interesting experience, as I have played it off and on all year long. I feel like not very many MMOs could work this way, even if they didn’t have subscriptions, but somehow it does. It also helps that the Necromancer is a class I enjoy playing. While I finished the HoT story and stopped, there’s a good chance I’ll get back on the horse at some point and finish out PoF and maybe even the main storyline.

I’m just conceding the PS3 game situation as a moral failing and moving on. Well… maybe. It’s been a useful cudgel in preventing myself from buying a PS4 or other gaming system. One day, though.

The shorter posts thing definitely didn’t work out, or at least it doesn’t feel that way. There were more entries in 2018 than in the last two years, but 10% less than the 2012-2015 time period. I prefer writing articles to quips anyway, but quips are generally better at generating comments, clicks, and all other metrics that demonstrate traffic. Luckily, I have no need for traffic, and would be shouting into the void regardless. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the company down here in the void.

I got in relatively early on the Battle for Azeroth gold train in WoW, and so all my Blizzard activity can be financed for the foreseeable future. Provided, of course, I were still interested in playing any Blizzard titles. As it stands, my balance is around $90 and will continue to be at that level probably through 2019. And possibly beyond, unless I run out of other games to play.

My final goal was clearing 40 games from my Steam backlog. Looking at my Recently Played stats, I can see the following titles listed in 2018 with at least a few hours on them:

  • Homefront
  • Furi
  • Lone Survivor: Director’s Cut
  • Closure
  • Scanner Sombre
  • Warhammer 40k: DoW 3
  • Salt & Sanctuary
  • Talisman: Digital Edition
  • QUBE 2
  • Darkwood
  • SuperHOT
  • Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut
  • The Banner Saga 2
  • Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
  • Monster Slayers
  • Galactic Civilization 3
  • Clustertruck
  • Guild of Dungeoneering
  • Dark Souls
  • Metal Gear Survive
  • The Long Dark
  • Nier: Automata
  • Slay the Spire
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Civilization VI
  • Dead Cells
  • Subterrain
  • RimWorld
  • Stellaris
  • Conan Exiles
  • Stardew Valley
  • Nuclear Throne
  • Hollow Knight
  • The Forest
  • Oxygen Not Included
  • Fallout 76
  • Subnautica
  • The Division

I tried to put the more substantial games in the right-hand column. The above 38 do not include the ~7 Visual Novels I cleared, nor the games from 2017 I’m still playing (e.g. Starbound), nor the games I played for about an hour and uninstalled (e.g. Dead Rising 4), so I’m well past the 40 mark.

As I sit here thinking about gaming goals for 2019, I’m a bit at a loss. It almost feels as though an inflection point has been reached beyond which “clearing the Steam backlog” is less a Sisyphean task and more… an irrelevant one. I used to find value in doing so not because of sunk cost fallacy, but with the hopes of finding the diamond in the rough. In a similar fashion, I used to download an Indie-Rock playlist with hundreds of crap songs just for those rare moments of discovering a new band I liked, and the joy of experiencing their whole discography. Never heard of the band Sleeping At Last until this year, for example, and now they’re one of my top favorites of all time. If I hadn’t put myself out there in the weeds in the first place, I may never have had them in my life.

But when was the last time that happened in a gaming sense? Something like Slay the Spire might have qualified, had it not been the fact that I already knew the game was awesome and confirmed the game is awesome. I feel reasonably in tune with my own gaming preferences these days – including the realization that survival games push all my buttons – so most things seem figured out.

It might also be fact that I’ll be a father around May and will thus have less gaming time. Either/or.

For fun though, let’s write some stuff down:

  • Seriously, dude, play some of those PS3 games
  • Clear at least one story path from SWTOR
  • Finish up the PoF story content in GW2
  • Clean up Steam library by removing titles not likely to play
  • Be a (passably) responsible gaming dad

Five months is plenty of time to get everything done, right? Easy. Yep. No problem.

Narrator: It wasn’t.

Posted on December 31, 2018, in Commentary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I tend to actively avoid playlists. It seems too easy, somehow. I like to type random keywords into youtube with “song” or “band” attached and see what pops up. Found a lot of interesting stuff that way. That’s how I came to my belief that the word “pony” is an indicator of interest in music. Lots of animals work, and flowers, minerals, textures and materials, certain adjectives and adverbs…

    I also like to pick a part of the world and attach “indie pop” or just “indie” to see what comes up. I’ve done most of the countries I can think of as well as a lot of states and regions. I’m doing cities and towns nowadays, which is how I came to discover the amazing Vancouver punk scene of the late 70s, early 80s.

    Doing that, on average I reckon to find at least half a dozen new-to-me bands or performers that I really like each week. The original search term is just the seed, of course; most of the actual discoveries come from the things YT algorithm’s reccommends. The number of bands/performers I end up liking enough to buy CDs/Downloads of is a lot smaller, of course, but over the last half-decade or so almost everything I’ve bought, from Superorganism and Starcrawler to Lee Hazelwood and Dory Previn have come to me that way.


    • That is perhaps the most bizarre way I’ve ever heard to discover new songs… but if it works for you, it works.

      I don’t ever end up listening to the radio – it’s just NPR on my short commute to work – so it’s tough to even encounter new music for me. Jumping down a Youtube hole though… that could work.


  2. Bwahaha, way to casually drop that bombshell there at the end! Congratulations on the impending fatherhood; may it go swell. :)


  3. First kid isn’t that big a change to gaming from my experience, especially early. They sleep a ton, and when awake don’t actually ‘do’ anything. Once mobile its a different story, and then the second kid increases the time commitment seemingly 10x.

    Best advice I can give is, above anything else, focus on getting them into a good sleep routine. Same time for naps, same time for bed. Be a dick to others and say you have to be home to make that happen, don’t cheat. If you establish that, its like half the battle.


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