2015: My Year in Gaming Review


This may very well be my last blog post this year. I’m going to be road tripping down south to spend Christmas and New Years with family and friends, and I don’t foresee myself finding time to put down any major writing.

In fact, I’m going to avoid it and take some time off. I’ve been pretty consistent with my blogging, even though I haven’t blogged every day. I’d say that the amount of writing I’ve produced has been pretty comfortable in a casual sort of way. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading it.

So what’s happened in 2015?

One MMO to Rule Them All

This has been the year of one MMO. Namely, FFXIV.


Similar to 2014, FFXIV has demanded most of my online gaming time and staved away other MMOs. Part of this is due to the nature of the subscription game. Part of this is due to the efforts to foster a Free Company and a community that I wanted to be a part of.

Heavensward was a welcome expansion with many enjoyable new features. Though I struggled to decide what to do with Zuri for a while, I did push Tai to end game, got him fairly well equipped and even did some light raiding on him. For a player who was always largely casual, honestly, I have been playing quite a bit! I even tried to hook up with other bloggers on Cactaur, but playing three (or four) characters on the time that I have isn’t too viable.

Though I picked up WildStar and ESO during their conversions and sales, I’ve hardly made progress in either of them. That’s not because they are bad games… I just think that I’ve set roots down on Midgardsormr in FFXIV, I’ve made friends there, and it’s the game that Syn seems to be addicted to (even more than me).

I still have tons of things to do in FFXIV with leveling new classes, crafting, gathering and gearing up. I honestly don’t see this changing in 2016.

Survival Games


The other big trend for me is multi-player survival games. I play these with my Zombie Hunting Troop… things like 7D2D, ARK and occasionally H1Z1 (yes, I know it’s an MMO, but I play it like a team survival game).

This started back in 2014 with 7D2D, and it’s a trend that I enjoy. I’ve also explored single-player survival games like Salt, which I really like. I think the whole survival-crafting genre is a good fit for me.

Single Player Games

I’ve noticed that though I don’t pick up other MMOs lately, when I need something new, I’ve been turning to single player Steam games. While I still haven’t broken down my Steam backlog all that much, it’s helpful. I also keep discovering new games that I really enjoy such as Cities Skylines, Kingdom, Child of Light, and Darkest Dungeon.

Sorry about that...
Sorry about that…

Wii U

I also picked up a Wii U this year and have been sampling many new (and old games) on the system. I’d like to put more time into the Wii U since I have games such as Mario Maker, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart and Xenoblade Chronicles X that need playing. I’m hoping to find some time this holiday with friends.

For 2016

Going into 2016, I can’t foresee a lot changing. FFXIV will still probably be my MMO of choice. I may poke around in beta games like Project Gorgon and Shards Online. I still see plenty of zombie and dino survival in the future.

But really, what I want to focus on most isn’t gaming at all. I’ve put a lot of free time into FFXIV and end game goals. This is fine and it’s gotten me a lot of things that I want in game. However, what I really need to focus on is IRL.

The biggest goals I want to set this year is for my personal health. My health isn’t terrible, but I’m not getting any younger. And, I’m sad to admit, that I’m probably more out of shape now than I have ever been. Part of this is gaming habits. Part of this is poor eating and life habits.

In 2016, I need to drastically turn things around. This probably means more moderation and time management. I’m lazy by default and I need to break myself from just flopping down to play stuff after a long day of sitting in front of a computer at work.

So, my biggest goal isn’t end game gear, crafting leveling or anything like that. I want to live a healthier lifestyle and have fun doing it.

Who’s with me?


  1. I’ve actually been thinking I need an exercise plan…

    And I think I’ve found something that will keep me motivated.

    Crypt of the Necrodancer.

    With a dance pad as the controller.

    I’m going to do it. 😀

      1. It’s basically a cross between DDR and a roguelike. You have to move your character to the beat of the background music. It’s playable by keyboard, but… with a dance pad, I’m pretty sure I could call it exercise. 😀

        1. I will have to look into that. I have an old PS2 dance mat I used for DDR years ago that I could hook up most likely. Would at least get me a bit of exercise. XD

  2. I’m with you!

    I guess it doesn’t help that your other main activities – art stuff – are also deskbound. Good luck to you! If you want a (mutual) motivational partner then give me a holler.

    I did notice that you seemed to be quite taken with the open-ended and survival games as the year progressed. Maybe as you divide your time even more finely, you might find yourself seeking short games for busy people? (Hi Pam :P)

    Happy holidays to you, Aywren, we’ll see you next year!

    1. Happy holidays to you, too! 🙂

      Yeah, I’m kinda a lazy person, and my hobbies tend to be creative things that don’t lend themselves to a lot of activity. Motivation seems to be my biggest lack, even though I know what I really need to do and have the tools to do it.

  3. I’m with you, though I think my lifestyle is pretty healthy already. I don’t think there’s much I can say on that which you haven’t already heard, though Al’s idea of an exercise plan is worth repeating. And ideally, you have someone or something else enforce it on you (a trainer, training partner or even simply opening hours of the location).

    Whatever form of exercise you’re looking at, I am cheering on you! (Unless, of course, it’s something like ‘going and swinging a sharp sword at people’. Swinging a blunt sword at people, on the other hand, is totally fine and something I do every friday).

    1. You are quite active and healthy, so keep it up! It’ll serve you well as time goes by. I used to be a lot more active and even fairly fit when I was first in college. But then I discovered the Internet and…

      I have lots of tools for exercise, I just need to find the motivation to organize my time and use them. Blogging about that can probably help keep me accountable, too!

  4. Me! Personal health has been something I’ve been taking random stabs at this year, and I want to try and be a teensy more consistent with it next year.

    I’ve actually found little bits of nano-exercise that I don’t mind or even like doing, and have been working on trying to fit those bits into an already busy daily schedule – climbing a couple flights of stairs during lunch, bodyweight squats now and then, and a fairly clever bit of genius, I bought a DeskCycle and chucked it under my computer desk, so even MMO gaming time (doing simple activities) can be mixed with some stationary bike pedaling.

    What I’ve been really struggling with right now is being so out of shape that I feel exhausted after a couple of minutes. I start worrying that I’m triggering some kind of latent heart disease or exercise-induced asthma and wondering if progress will ever be made at a worthwhile enough rate, and before you know it, I’m back to being sedentary.

    I really need to work on just doing it (whatever I can), being kind and patient with where I’m at, and getting my mind comfortable with long term goals.

    1. I am right there with you and I know how it is to get discouraged after doing so little and feeling so worn out, or even a little achy! I’ve come to terms with the fact that starting out, what I need to work on is endurance. So rather than working out hard, I need to work out in a way to strengthen my stamina.

      The start is always the hardest. I remember when I first came to the job I have now after spending two years freelancing from home and leading a pretty sedentary life. They opened a new walking trail for employees to use, and for the kick-off, everyone got together and walked it.

      Where all these other people were walking and laughing and talking without effort, by the time I got halfway down the path, I was in true pain. My poor walking muscles were so out of shape I had to sit down (embarrassing) until I was able to get up and finish the walk (we were out in the forest, I had no choice).

      I knew I needed to do something about it at that point. So I started walking just a little each day around the short loop of the trail. And it hurt. But every day I did a little more – two laps. Then three laps, then four. And it was less painful.

      A month or so later, I was able to walk the whole long path of the trail that had previously left me in so much pain. But I really had to be patient with myself, strengthen my muscles, and stick to it.

      Embarrassing story done!

      1. Embarassing story? Perhaps if you had given up or never tried at all.

        The thing with exercise is that if your muscles don’t ache the next day, you’re not really getting stronger. As your ’embarassing’ story points out so well, pain is progress.

        When I started doing rock climbing, I hadn’t really exercised upper body strength in 6 years or so. Could not do a single pull-up (and with my lightweight body, that’s pretty embarassing).

        But going from ‘I cannot even complete this exercise’ to ‘I can do this multiple times’ is not embarassing. It’s the sweet taste of victory. 🙂

  5. Nice recap. You got me thinking about my own gaming this year and I too realized I spent a ton of time on FF. I think it might be a good idea to completely change things up in ’16. Maybe I’ll give the Wii U a shot like you did. I do miss Mario.

    Enjoy the holidays with your family. I’m currently down south and it’s still pretty warm, to pack accordingly.

  6. I’m with you on that! My own health has deteriorated a bit, even though I lead a rather healthy lifestyle. I don’t overeat and watch what I eat… with the occasional treat here and there. Can’t fight the call of Pizza sometimes ^^;

    My most serious issue is lack of exercise… Sitting at the PC while working and then at home when I game or write has me shut in at home almost all the time… aside from the trip to and from work. Not really good for my body weight. I kind of gained a few pounds v.v

    Fortunately it’s not as bad that I can’t do daily things, yet I feel tired or muscle pain from things I had no issues doing maybe half a year ago. I should start going on long walks through the woods again. Walking tires me out really fast, but I can walk for quite a long time. Maybe I should again, would give my dogs some exercise too.

    Worst thing s that I get lazy and distracted easily, sometimes I don’t even know what I did the whole day. I mean I sit at my PC and start a project, like a story for a friend or other… and my day is virtually gone in what feels minutes. I really need to make a timetable or something… would maybe help.

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