I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects! https://aywren.com/fantasy-fiction-webcomics/
While I’ve been following all the news around Activision/Blizzard throughout last year, I’ve kept my thoughts to myself when it comes to social platforms or this blog. These have never been the places for me to talk this kind of shop, but suffice to say, I’m hoping to see a change in the work environment for the folks who have had to deal with what no employees ever should.
I don’t have a horse in the race seeing that I don’t often play Activision/Blizzard games to begin with. I do enjoy the Diablo series. I have dabbled in WoW just to try it out. But even before all this mess started, I wasn’t a paying customer and I don’t even have BNet (or whatever the launcher is) installed on my machine. So I doubt that I have anywhere as much sway as long-time WoW players do with their thoughts.
That being said, those are the exact folks I went to listen to when this news broke. Specifically, folks who I’ve been more recently following because they left WoW to try out FFXIV and are enjoying their time in a new game.
So far, I’ve seen a lot of hope from this group of gamers that this will be the shake-up needed to not only make a change for those working there, but also to increase the quality of the games released – specifically WoW.
There’s also a strong hope to see Bobby Kotick tossed out of the picture. This seems like it could be a big possibility based on speculation and previous Microsoft response to the Activision/Blizzard situation, though it’s not been spoken outright. It sure is funny that the Gaming Leadership Team image posted on the Microsoft announcement has no Bobby to be seen.
Of course, none of this will go into effect until after the deal is sealed. So we have some time to wait to see the outcome of all this.
Other folks have started murmuring the word “monopoly” about the deal. While I do get those concerns, it’s not really one that I share or worry about. We’ll see what happens once everything comes together, and that’s a while on down the road.
As for my own personal thoughts on it all? I’m on the side of hoping it’ll be a good thing for the people who need it most – the employees and the gamers who want to love and support the games. And if it is a positive change, then I’ll look forward to picking up some Diablo again, or even trying out a few other games I’ve never played, this time on PC Game Pass!
We all need as much hope and positivity as we can get now days. I’d love to see gamers be able to shake free of boycotts and lingering bad feelings and just love the games they want to love because the gamers finally know, in good conscience, the folks who work at Activision/Blizzard are being treated right.
I rediscovered an old post that I’d written about the idea of game subscriptions – this was back when Origin Access (now renamed EA Play) was first announced in 2016. I can see that I was curious about the concept of renting a library of games, and posed the question of whether it would be worth it to consider.
I never did sub to Origin Access, but fast forward a few years, and I’m in love with PC Game Pass right now. As a matter of fact, I fired up a couple games this weekend – one that I enjoyed but wouldn’t have bought due to my own preferences and reasons. It has ultimately been saving me money.
The idea for this revisit also came from the recent announcement that Humble Choice is also providing a library of games along with the monthly choice games. I’ve never subbed to Humble Choice simply because I already have too many games in my backlog to keep adding to it monthly. Not to mention, many of the games I’ve seen in Humble Choice I either wouldn’t buy or I already own if I was interested in it.
In this environment of gaming subscriptions, it’s almost as if Humble needs to step it up for the monthly cost. I’m sure there are folks still happy enough with their random game picks each month, but with options out there like PC Game pass, not having a library is just not competing.
I’ve also been turned on to Prime Gaming lately, thanks to my sister pointing out that it also provides random monthly games you can claim and keep. I already pay for Amazon Prime every year, so I may as well snag free games, right? This system is a bit different in that you must log in to select your games to keep them in your library. It also requires yet another launcher, which is a bit annoying, but it is what it is.
Another service that I didn’t even consider to be a subscription service is Nintendo Switch Online. I mostly pay for it for online gaming, but I’d forgotten that it has perks in providing a library of Nintendo and SNES games, too. So that counts!
My Thoughts on Gaming Subs
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older that I’m less worried about ownership and more into experience. There are some games that, yes, I want to own it and I will go out of my way to purchase that game (physical if possible).
But seeing how many games are in my backlog and knowing my gaming habits, I’ve become less worried about owning those games on the fringe. You know the ones I mean – the games that you’d like to just to try out, but wouldn’t necessarily need to keep forever.
When I was younger, this idea would have horrified me. What do you mean that I would temporarily have access to a game through a sub? And that the company chooses which games are in the library, which can come and go depending on business decisions and licensing agreements?
Heck, I didn’t even buy into Steam until it was established because I feared buying digital copies of games – I mean what happens to my games when Steam folds? Nothing lasts forever.
But after being in a more digital environment and seeing how the games I enjoy come and go over time, the idea of a subscription that allows me to dip into games just for the experience isn’t so scary anymore. In fact, I find a sense of freedom in it.
No longer do I keep filling up a backlog and snagging games on sale because I want to try them – games I often don’t even play until much later, if at all. Instead, I can sample games and decide if they’re worth being on my forever list.
More importantly, I can experience games that I wouldn’t normally have tried because I tend not to buy games (lately) unless I know I absolutely must play it. This allows me to expand my gaming horizons while saving me money. And… if I find my next new favorite game, I’ll be supporting a gaming dev with money I might not have before.
That being said, I am not pro ONLY subscription models for games. What makes it work for me is that there’s a balance between owning what you really want and trying the rest out.
While I have been more diligent at leveling my horses in Star Stable lately – I finished my third and now I’m working on my original starter horse that had been woefully left behind – I’ve been really bad about not leveling my rider.
Star Stable isn’t your typical MMO in that while there is leveling, everything is done without battles. That means that quests are your talk, fetch and escort types. There’s a bit of story sprinkled in here and there, but nothing earth shaking.
Keep in mind this is a game aimed towards young girls. While I don’t find the language talking down to kids/teens or too kiddish, concepts are kept pretty simple. That being said, for a game aimed towards a younger audience, some of the quest directions and instructions could be a bit more clear.
One of the progress markers in this game is unlocking new areas as you quest along. The game forcefully blocks your ability to visit areas outside of the starter town until you complete the quests that clear the way. The world of Star Stable is sizeable – especially given its audience – but this is also a way to limit content for free to play folks. If you want to see the wider world and get quests beyond level 5, you need to be a star rider.
Building a Bridge
One of the more interesting quests I’ve run across was one that rewarded you with a new area. You discover a bridge that’s fallen and you must work through the stages of rebuilding it. You get several construction quests over time to do this – from curing lumber to mixing cement. These are certainly not your average “girly” activities – and I appreciate that!
This could take a handful of days to complete, depending on how much gold you want to invest in it (I went the free route and did all the work myself). Though I was very lazy in working on bridge construction, I finally finished it this past weekend. I liked the idea of the project – it wasn’t too long or tedious – and felt like the payoff was nice!
Once I was able to finally cross into this new area, I was greeted by a broken-down inn that needed some sprucing up. They hadn’t seen any customers for a while due to the bridge being out, you see, and there were quite a number of chores to do – especially if I wanted information on how to find the next town/stables.
Again, my rider was tasked to do very non-girly things such as chainsaw down overgrown brush to make the inn look nicer.
Star Stable makes some use of visual instancing here – once you clean up the place, it remains nice and clean for the player. So while it may not always be the most technologically advanced MMO (I wish it would remember quests after logging out), there are some things that it does!
Once it’s all cleaned up, the inn looks right nice, too!
All of this helped to boost my rider level to 7, whereupon I got an emergency text from an NPC from a previous town. Heading back there, I was whisked along a quest line to find out why the local lighthouse hadn’t been working as of late.
Again, while the story isn’t deep, I found myself interested in figuring out this mystery. The first step was finding and fixing a boat to make the crossing to the island. This was quite a series of fetch/find quests, and the outcome was opening up a new area.
And once again, my rider was right in the middle of doing un-girly things like a champ. There was even a point where an NPC made a comment about these things like: “Of course you know how to fix a boat motor.” I had to chuckle about that.
I really do love the empowering theme of “girls can do anything” that this game continues to support. It’s a nice positive vibe.
Anyhow, new area, new NPCs, a mystery to solve through simple quests. A good chunk of XP without having to partake in fighting or violent activities. Not to mention, I ran across what I felt was a pretty impressive piece of music for the south island.
The music to Star Stable is generally nice, but every now and then, I’ll hear something that really surprises me. Riding along questing to this tune was very laid back and enjoyable.
I’m at the point where I have quests branching out in all kinds of areas in Star Stable now. I certainly don’t have a lack of content, even if I’m not leveling super fast.
I would like to finally reach level 9, however. Not only are there some nice Celtic style cosmetics that I’d like to claim and use, but it seems like most tack with stats require at least level 9 to use. Also, some horse breeds you can’t purchase until you’re level 9 – not to mention that you need to be level 9 to open up the city.
Seems there’s races and other daily activities in the city, which I could use to help boost my daily progress on horse training. Then again, I’m in no rush. Just enjoying the ride.
Today, this blog rolls into its 8th year of existence! And what a year the previous one was – we’ll get into that later!
I feel that most every blogger who starts writing wants their blog to last for years and years. I’m grateful to still be doing this across all the time, and through all the fast balls life has been throwing, especially the past few years.
With the rise of the popularity of streaming and video, there’s no question that blogging and the blogosphere isn’t the same as it was when I first started to write. Back then, everyone wanted a blog and they wanted to know how to make money with it! Now everyone wants to stream (and make money with it).
I’m fully a writer, where I’ve honed my skills for most of my life, so I doubt that I’ll ever sway into the realm video and streaming. I feel like there will always be a place for blogs, and fully intend to see this project through for another year, as long as inspiration leads me (I can’t see why it wouldn’t).
Now, with that rambling out of the way, let’s see how last year unfolded.
Some 2021 Stats
I was happy to have a little over 400 WordPress followers when I wrote a post at this time last year. As of now, I have over 500 – which is amazing to me!
Yes, I know, some folks don’t respect this number much because there are a lot of spam blogs and the such in the WordPress.com environment. I agree, and sometimes I do remove followers who I know came in a wave of spambots.
But some of these are legit followers and some of them I follow back. I do make an effort to check out my Reader to see what other bloggers are up to in a daily sense if I can.
That, I feel reflects in the stats I saw last year, which were very much mindblowing to me. This wasn’t the year I wrote the most, but it was the best year I’ve had in terms of visitors to my blog by far.
I always have to note that I don’t have stats before 2016 due to the fact I blogged on a self-hosted platform and stats didn’t carry over back then.
Anyhow, the best I can guess is that due to my focus on FFXIV blogging, and the game doing quite well in the MMO community last year, this boosted my numbers. For certain, of my top 5 performing posts last year, 4 were FFXIV. One was from Black Desert Online, too, so there’s that!
I did see a slump in numbers, strangely enough, starting in October. You’d think closer to Endwalker, I’d see more traffic, but that wasn’t the way of it. So I’m not expecting this to continue to this degree this year, unless I stumble upon a really good post topic somewhere down the line.
And the part that I don’t like to talk a lot about but folks want to know – monetization. Being that this is a WordPress.com hosted blog, Word Ads are pretty much my only set it and forget it option. I don’t do anything to fiddle with how this works, and just let it ride out the way it does.
Seeing an increase in traffic did see an increase in earning last year.
I made a total of $323 from Word Ads in 2021, which as you can see, is a big jump over the previous years.
Again, I see this cooling off and trending down from October into the winter. I don’t know if it’s a traffic thing or if it has to do with who is choosing to advertise with Word Ads – this changes over time and can make your earnings fluxuate even if you have the same or more traffic.
As you can also see, there’s no making a living off of what I make from this blog. I see this as a way to offset the cost of my hosting and domains. I also used some of this money to purchase prizes for a Twitter contest I held this year – so I put it right back into building social platforms and web stuff.
I haven’t done much to shake up this blog the past few years – for better or worse. I did try to consolidate some last year, but chose to break those back out into separate websites later anyhow. I also transitioned away from a blogging focus on some of my sites, which puts this as my foremost blog again.
I’ll see what year eight has in store for me, and hope to catch you here again this time next year! Thanks to all who read, like and comment – I very much appreciate your time and encouragement!
I first started diamond painting in the winter of 2019, and it’s a hobby that I’m working to revive again in 2022.
I was really excited by this new hobby – I even have a website for my log – but as 2020 came around, and shipping/supplies slowed down due to the pandemic, it quickly became harder to pick up new diamond paintings. This was due to much of stock coming from China at the time.
When folks started staying home more due to COVID, diamond painting also took off as a relaxing hobby to keep busy at home. Stocks were often sold out as new crafters came to learn about diamond painting. But this is also when US stores such as Diamond Art Club and Dreamer Designs started to really flourish with the requests for diamond painting in our areas.
In my case, I was quite busy with diamond painting in 2020, and stocked up on kits with lots of plans for 2021. I even bought myself a completely different crafting desk that I was really proud of at the time.
But then… all of that fell through last year. Moving my painting projects away from my computer desk to the crafting desk ended up meaning that I worked on my projects less. That says a lot about me, I guess.
I started Ready for the Ride before Christmas of 2020 with every intent to finish it over the holidays that year. I’m still working on it in 2022… and that makes me sad.
Once I realized that separating my project from the computer desk had only caused me to work on my diamond painting far less, I moved it back to where it was before. Don’t worry, though. I did move my crafting desk into a place where I needed a desk (replacing an old rickety desk that needed tossing). So it didn’t go to waste.
So, it’s with much happiness that I write that I’ve picked up the project again and I’m finally at a little over halfway point of being done.
Because I only have a little working space (I really need to do something with this), I usually focus on the bottom half of a bigger project like this first. I have a slanted stand that holds up the light pad that I keep under the project so I can better see the symbols. That folds a project of this size in half like so:
To finish the upper half, I do the same thing. I just turn the project upside down. Yeah, that makes the symbols upside down, too, but I’ve never had too much trouble figuring it out as long as the symbols are clearly marked on the project.
So this is my current upside down view of the work area on this project at this point.
I hope to stick with this and get it done because I have so many projects and kits waiting to work on since I really slacked off last year. Not to mention, I’d love to have this one done to put up in my house come Christmas of 2022! I just have to think of how to frame it – this one might require a good frame.
This was quite the ironic thing, to be honest. Over the holiday, I started to consider learning how to knit. I’m not sure where the idea came about, or why, but I was poking around Amazon looking at knitting kits (and I never mentioned it to anyone).
Then, out of the blue, one of the gifts my sister sends me for Christmas was a Woobles crochet kit! Of course, this sent me out looking for the difference between knitting and chrochet, but all things said and done, I think I’m glad I tried to learn crochet first. This is more than enough to tackle!
The Woobles kit is made for beginners, but being an absolute beginner who had never held a crochet hook in my life, when I started to dive into their very good video tutorials, I quickly got the idea that I was in over my head. Since then, I’ve confirmed that working in circle patterns is a bit more challenging than working in rectangles.
I wasn’t going to let that stop me though! Instead, I purchased a new ball of yarn so that I could experiment and learn on the side.
I ran across a lot of really good YouTube channels for learning to crochet. This is the series I ended up following, learning how to single crochet a chain and then a square.
The outcome of this experimentation was heartening. Not perfect by any means, but I started to get the hang of it!
Once I got a bit of practice under my belt, I came back to my Wooble. Working in circles was still a challenge, but having figured out basic stitching, it wasn’t as daunting as my first attempt at it.
I made a lot of mistakes along the way and had to undo rows several times. But working on it over the span of a few days, the project slowly began to take shape!
The body of the project, which is pictured above, had already been started for me when I got the kit. So I didn’t have to struggle with things like learning a magic circle until I got to the other pieces of the project.
The magic circle bit was undoubtably the hardest and most time consuming section of this project. Especially the smaller parts that only had 4 stitches into the loop! I had to scrap the wings, especially so many times, and even had to discard a wing all together and remake it.
I still feel like the wings are a little too low on the body ultimately, and that it looks more like a random blue bird than a penguin. However, it’s my first finished crochet project and I’m going to give myself some slack on it.
I absolutely enjoyed this first crochet project, and looking online, I can see there’s tons of resources and patterns you can pick up for other cute projects. I certainly want to continue to practice and develop my skills and not forget what I’ve just learned over the past few weeks.
I’m going into practice mode yet – I picked up some cotton yarn, and have decided to work on crocheting some usable dish cloths for the kitchen. This is something that I actually do need, so it will be fun to craft something helpful for around the house.
I have the perfect color yarn for it, too!
I also picked up a crochet hook set that I’m excited to get into using soon.
While I’m a fan of Grand Company turn-ins for leveling Miner and Botanist, I’ve never been much on doing that for Fisher. I guess it could be fine, but if feels like the randomness of the catch would make doing it every day a long process compared to the easy 10 or 20 things to gather for the other jobs.
Again, I’ve not really tried, this is just a hunch.
Because of that, I put off leveling my Fisher. This weekend, however, I thought about all the space I could save if I could get rid of my older set of gathering gear and consolidate. So when Sunday rolled around and I had plenty of time, I decided to tackle the job of getting my Fisher to 90.
What I chose to do was go out Ocean Fishing every two hours and then do the Studium fishing quests in Sharlayan in between. Both gave very acceptable experience for the time spent. In about 8 hours of very casual fishing, I’d leveled from 80 to 90.
I feel like you could certainly do this on Ocean Fishing alone, but it would take a lot longer with the two-hour intervals. Weaving the Studium quests in between voyages was a good use of time, especially since Studium quests rarely gave enough experience to push you over the threshold to the level required for the next quest (every two levels). Usually, one voyage between each was enough to keep me rolling, though.
Fisher did get a few small changes with Endwalker, most specifically the addition of Angler’s Art. This is a stacking buff that you receive when you catch a large size fish. You can then use those stacks to activate a variety of other skills as you fish.
While this is nothing earth-shaking, I thought this addition was nice and gave you more to do while fishing – if you want to. You can completely ignore this little system, but having a skill that restores some GP without using cordials is pretty awesome!
The Studium quests were mostly straightforward, gathering collectables of a certain collectability. Most of the quests didn’t take me very long (I wasn’t trying for max collectability), and none of them required hard-to-get bait. In fact, I think most of them could be caught with the Versatile Lure – though the quest often told you what the fish’s supposed favorite bait was.
I was a little sad they didn’t send me out spearfishing yet – I didn’t finish the level 90 quest, so there’s still a possibility they will. I haven’t yet explored the new spear fishing mini-game, and I really should.
I usually enjoy my voyages in ocean fishing – it’s just nice to have the feeling of a bunch of people fishing along with you on the boat. I still needed the two minions on Ben, so it was another good excuse for doing it. By the time I was done, I did get the gull minion, but not the dolphin minion, yet.
Another perk is that both Studium quests and the voyages give you White Gathering Scrips. You can use these scrips to buy the Fokelore tokens you need for the newest set of gathering Fokelore books. So that’s another thing to keep in mind, especially if you’re leveling all your gatherers.
All in all, it wasn’t very difficult for a character who had finished Endwalker – some of the Studium quests will require you to go to certain Endwalker zones, so I’m going to guess the quests are blocked until you do. I need to do this again on Amon eventually, but I think I can take it slower for him and do it bit-by-bit over a weeknight sometime.
Endwalker released a number of no-trade minions from the last three dungeons of the MSQ. In the past, most (all?) dungeon minions have been tradeable, which means you can gift them, put them up on the marketboard, or buy them off the marketboard if you’re so inclined.
These three particular minions have somewhat spoilery descriptions, so I can understand the want to prevent them from being posted all over the place. But it still makes it a lot harder to get them due to being untradable. Friends can’t even help you with it (aside from helping you farm). The only thing you can do is run the dungeon over and over hoping for a drop.
Thankfully, these dungeons can be done with a Trust. This means that you don’t have to worry about pulling together a party and other people rolling on the goods. It just drops in your inventory after the final boss.
However, it’s also completely RNG. I have no idea what the odds in getting one of these minions to drop – I’ve heard folks get it on their first run, and I’ve heard folks needing over 80 runs to get theirs.
Usually, I wouldn’t go after one of these minions, but Caduceus in particular is directly connected to my RP character of Amon. The moment I was made aware of that, I knew that I would have to make every effort to get this minion.
I called them “Snake Runs” and they started somewhere early December. At first, I was doing just one run of the level 87 dungeon a day to pace myself. Some days, I’d get impatient and run more. I remember one day, I ran it 6 times.
I had a note pad where I kept track of the stats just for kicks. But some times, I didn’t feel so cheerful about it, especially after the number of runs reached above 20.
My poor Free Company were such good sports, even though they had to endure days of me exclaiming, “No snek.” And as the holidays neared (and passed), I took to Tumblr to joke about it and make myself feel better.
In the end, the snake finally dropped on the first run of 2022 after 25 tries. That bodes well for this new year, right?
We’re back at it for another year – I hope it treats everyone well. Very soon, will be this blog’s anniversary again, too! For now, though, I want to do what I do every year and set down some goals to achieve.
Last year, I did well! Let’s see if I can top it this year!
Spend Less on Games
This seems to be a running goal because I’ve set this for the past few years. I want to buy less games, unless I know for sure I’m going to play them right there and then. This includes two parts:
Buy less new games
Spend less in cashshops
I’ve done well about buying less new games – or, at least, the games I buy are things I really want and do spend time with. This has been improved also by PC Game Pass, which allows me to dabble in games that I might have otherwise bought. It keeps games out of my backlog and still allows me to enjoy playing new titles. While it is a minimal monthly sub, I feel like it’s saved me money in the long run.
I’ve not been so good at keeping my cash out of cashshops, however.
I have way too many alts in FFXIV and my desire to skip past Stormblood is just too strong not to plunk down skips for them. I think, however, I’ve gotten all the characters where I want them right now – with the exemption of one or two who might get a name change or a fantasia (I’m waiting on female Hroths). But even if I only do that, it’ll be far better than what I spent in a cashshop last year!
I wasn’t exempt in BDO, either, but I’ve severely cut back playing that game since last year. I mostly just log in for dailies and to try to awaken my next dream horse (many failures).
Steam Backlog – Get to 65% Played
This is not a huge jump in backlog progress, but I’m making this number low on purpose. If I can go beyond 65%, I’ll be really, really happy!
This actually has a couple of sub goals within it:
Finished all games in CLEAR list
Start playing gifted games
I’ve talked about my CLEAR list several times now – this is a list of games that I got as part of bundles or something like that. Games I’m not interested in playing at first glance, so I basically want to install the game, poke around in it for a short while, and if my hunch is correct, I’ll just uninstall and mark it off.
I want to get that category out of my Steam backlog for good this year. I’ve held off on some of these games because they’re just so dang BIG in terms of install size. But this is the year I’m going to finish my CLEAR list.
From there, my focus will be on actually playing games I own. I want to start with my Gifted list. If someone buys a game for me, or if I buy a game using a giftcard someone sends, I add it to my Gifted list so that I know this was from someone else. The idea was that I would pay more attention to these games since they were gifts, but while I have played some of my gifts, others I’ve failed to pick up.
I want to address that this year, and I’m going to start with my copy of Final Fantasy III that was gifted to me a couple years back. I’ve played into the game a bit, and really do want to play it more to see the lore that links to the FFXIV crystal tower. Since I’ve already got it started and installed, I might as well keep playing.
Focus Time on Games
More than just throwing things out of my backlog from a CLEAR list, I want to try to put more focus time on the games I’m playing. I’ve had a bad habit of picking games up and putting them down because of distractions.
While I still do this to an extent, last year, I got a lot of quality focus time playing certain games that I enjoyed – Valheim, Wildermyth, No Man’s Sky, etc. While there’s still plenty for me to explore in these games, the time I put into learning them and figuring them out makes me feel satisfied with them.
I want to do that with more games this year – be it games on my Switch or games on Steam. I’m going to start that with my copy of Final Fantasy IV. I’m halfway through the game, and it’s one that I’ve finished many times in the past on consoles. So this shouldn’t be hard at all to focus through and finish.
From there… don’t know? I’ve got Switch games to focus and then the Gift list to focus.
Get My Switch Backlog Under Control
Based on what I entered in Deku Deals, I have 97 games in my Switch library. Keep in mind, I got a slew of free games over the holiday due to giveaways, so I didn’t buy all of them! And when I do buy games, it’s usually on deep discount!
Anyhow. Based on the stats I’ve entered into Deku Deals, I’ve only played 24 of those games. Played doesn’t mean I’ve done a deep focus on the games, but just that I put some time into them or checked them out.
Because I suck at math, I entered these numbers into a calculator and now know that I’ve played only 24.7% of my Switch library.
Yuck. Here we go again.
Here’s the actual breakdown of the categories:
Completed – I’ve played a game to the end or I’ve played it as much as I’d like, and have moved on.
Currently Playing – What I’ve actively put time into lately, or want to come back to pretty soon.
Want to Play – Games I’ve dabbled in a little bit, or have at least tried. These are games I started but got distracted from and will likely have to start over again.
So yeah. I need to make these numbers better this year.
More Gaming Blogging
I had an uptick in number of posts I wrote last year here, and actually had some nice stats overall for the year. It’s also the year that Wordads have performed best for me – though that dropped off a bit at the end of the year.
I want to continue the upward trend. Hopefully with all these games I’m playing, I’ll have lots to write about in 2022!
What gaming goals do you have in mind for this year?
It’s the last day of 2021 – where did this year go? And that means it’s time to look back at the goals I made at the start of the year to see how well I did in sticking to them!
I didn’t keep monthly gaming goals after a certain point in the year, but I still feel like I made progress where I wanted to despite that. I’m not sure if I’ll go back to monthly gaming goals or not next year. I’ll just play it by ear.
Spend Less on Games
Goal 1 is broken into two parts:
spend less on buying new games
spend less on in game purchases
So did I do this? Yes and no.
On Steam, I only bought about 9 games this year:
The two I bought in May were from a birthday gift card, so they don’t count. I also did well in playing the games I bought. The only one of these I haven’t tried yet is Green Hell.
However, this isn’t including the games I bought on Switch – I know I picked up at least Monster Hunter Rise and the DLC for Animal Crossing. I can’t remember if there was anything else.
My hopes that PC Game Pass would help curb game purchases did happen – but I’ll talk about that later in this post.
As for spending less on in-game purchases, I could have done a lot better in this area. But there were FFIV minions to buy and new bunny fellows to fantasia to. Also, before the expansion, boosts and story skips are cheap in FFXIV so… yeah.
I need to do better next year.
I made this goal before we had any news of Endwalker release. I just wanted my Amaro mount on my main – and I did finish this!
I also went through and did a lot of content that I’d skipped on my main – things like trials and raids – before Endwalker dropped. Overall, I’m happy with where my main is sitting in the game.
I also got most of my alts in a good place for the expansion – either they completed Shadowbringers or they’re just starting Shadowbringers due to a job change I want to make. I’m not sure how many will get all the way through Endwalker, but so far, I’ve made it through twice and am pushing my third character through.
This is far better than I could have hoped, and MUCH better than my backlog has been in years.
Much of this was done through playing some of the games I know that I’m just never going to get into just to mark them off the list – I call these the CLEAR games. I still have a handful of games on the CLEAR list, but nowhere as many as I used to. Once those are gone, well, I’ll actually have to play games I want to play to make progress.
Much of this was also a matter of playing the games I got when they were still new. I did a great job at that this year, in fact.
I put a lot of quality of time into new games such as Valheim, Wildermyth and the Hobo game. I feel pretty good about the time I spent on all of them – not to mention going back and putting time into games like No Man’s Sky, which is a title I’ve wanted to explore more for many years.
Here are my top played Steam games as of today:
Obtained: A big yes!
Get My Switch Backlog Under Control
It’s scary when your console has a backlog. I’ve maintained information about my Switch backlog on Deku Deals consistently since I found the site. And that’s a HUGE help. But I haven’t been doing as well as I’d like in playing Switch games.
I wanted that to change this year, and I did make and effort towards it at the start of the year. But as my year in review shows, I floundered as the year wore on. It’s a shame because I have a lot of fun with my Switch! It’s just my PC consumes so much time.
A new year is coming, and I once again want to tackle this goal. During December, No Gravity Games was giving away a number of little games for free, which I picked up. I’m not sure that most of them are something I’ll enjoy, so I will be treating them like a CLEAR list on Switch.
This year, I also want to put time into some of the active games – like Ring Fit, Boxing, Just Dance – to try to get myself moving more. I have a bunch of them, and I need to start using them!
Utilize Xbox Game Pass
This has been recently renamed to PC Game Pass, which is much nicer, IMHO.
I can’t say enough good things about PC Game Pass. In terms of having games I want to try, some of them brand new, it has been a treasure trove.
Has it saved me money and backlog? Yes, it has.
I can think of about 10 or so games that I tried or want to try on PC Game Pass rather than purchased on something like Steam. One of those games ranged in the $50 price point, and I decided after putting time and effort into it, it just wasn’t for me. But I needed a lot more than just a few hours of time spent to know that.
Overall, this has been a money saver and I’m excited to see what titles are coming for the new year! Definitely a keeper.
Do More Gaming Blogging
I recognized that over the past few years, my attention has been divided between online projects. It still is, to be honest, but I’m putting more effort into writing more content here on this blog again. Here’s the proof!
Still not up there with years like 2015 and 2016, but much better than in 2020 when my blogging dropped to a real low. Note: the content in this blog was migrated from a previous self-hosted blog in 2016, so that’s why there’s weird numbers of likes for the first few years.
There’s always room for improvement, however. At this point, while I have lots of smaller web projects going on, I’m focusing on this as my one main blog again. I hope this means I’ll write a lot more next year – it’s time to at least get back into posting in the 200s again!
And there you have it! My goals for 2021 and how well I stuck with them. I’m happy about a lot of things, and not so happy about others. I certainly have more goals to reach for in 2022!