Blaugust hasn’t quite come to a close, but the challenge component of it has. For those who either love to write like Bhagpuss or who appreciate looking back at a completed challenge in the rearview like I do, the ‘requirement’ (I use the term very loosely) to post daily has come to an end. Blaugust still carries on through the end of the week, with a theme of sharing lessons learned. I’m reluctant to spill the beans on too many of those here and rob from that post but certainly something that has come sharply into focus for me this Blaugust is just how differently we all tick.

I wouldn’t raise this to the level of a brand new epiphany. I might even struggle to really call this a ‘learning’, as it isn’t anything new. Still- sometimes I think it’s easy to forget when on the inside of a particular community or set of voices that underlying it all people are very unique creatures in approach to tasks and the motivation to complete them.

Examples:

  • Big, Baggy, Billowy, Blogger Pants
    Set off by the assertion that scheduling is a big part of successful blogging, I had to go stick my oar in and say, ‘Untrue!’. At least so in my case.
  • The Shape of Motivation and Enjoyment
    Starting with a strained metaphor involving form- and mass-shifting spacecraft, it goes on to discuss how different people garner satisfaction at different stages of a piece of work and can be motivated by different aspects of the journey. Mostly I wanted to clarify what I felt to be a misunderstanding of my earlier post on motivation, where my advice on dropping anything no longer acting in service to your enjoyment was extended directly to include ‘quitting blogging’ — that may well be the final outcome, and for some the best outcome for their wellbeing but I disagreed vehemently with the idea that it should be the first answer.

Our little corner of the internet would be a far less interesting place, though, if we were all on the same page about everything. So I was actually quite glad to find there are some things with room for discussion and to go looking for that position of common ground. It’s even better still that within our community that process of discovering it is so civil and rewarding.

So if you have still been on the sidelines, for any worried concerned or apprehensive about kicking off your very own blog, just jump in! We’d be pleased to welcome you in. :)

With all that said — time to return to your regularly scheduled Time to Loot Journal post! :)

Looking Back

One Year Ago

Blaugust essentially happened as Blapril last year, brought earlier in the year to bring the community together as COVID really kicked into full-gear around the world. Blaugust did happen still, as a Blaugust Promptapalooza event instead. I participated, but only really for my own prompt. The realities of COVID out in the world was definitely getting to me at the time and energy was at an all-time low.

Even so! A couple of things worth note happened that I captured.

Imposter Factory (To the Moon 3)
  • Imposter Factory (To the Moon 3) released a new trailer — the ‘proper’ more serious one. I didn’t even know Kan Gao had a habit of releasing the more jokey trailers first, I had assumed it was just quite the tonal shift in the marketing materials if not the game itself. Of course, the game at that point was meant to come out Dec 2020 and we’re still waiting now but that’s OK. It’ll get here eventually.
  • News of Lost Ark coming West broke — or at least, we all assumed it was Lost Ark being referred to, despite the fact it was never mentioned by name. Little did I know the disappointment I’d be in for a year or so later when it was revealed that while, yes, Lost Ark was coming ‘West’ — it was for a select value of ‘West’ that did not include New Zealand. (Or Australia. Or parts of Europe.) *sigh*

Two Years Ago

Blaugust did happen in 2019, and was in fact the first one I’ve participated in. I’d been looking forward to it essentially right since I started blogging back here again for Time to Loot. I’d been introduced to the Blaugust Discord community right from the get-go via a mutual friend, so I couldn’t wait!

WoW Classic — a time before we knew what a disgusting shitshow it was internally at Blizzard.
  • I realised something was different (good different) here vs. earlier blogging attempts — more time has now past since I wrote that, than there was between the launch of Time to Loot and that post; but so far it has held true. How much of that is grounded in my ‘why’, my core motivation for blogging this time around vs. how much has simply changed about who I am in the intervening years is still difficult to say.
  • I took a look at why I game — and perhaps even more importantly, why I don’t game as much as a means of true ‘escape’ given my history with taking that into some fairly uncontrolled places in the past.
  • WoW Classic came out — I even played a little of it, loving (for a short time, at least) the fact that decision making was an actual thing right from the low-levels of the game. Something I felt had been missing from MMOs more recently. It still somewhat amuses me too, seeing WoW Classic now as being much closer to the older MMO style than I ever would have imagined, as my major memory of its launch being just how streamlined it was compared to its competitors of the time.

Gaming Goals

August’s Goals

Final Fantasy XIV
  • Finish the Heavensward expansion.
    Yep! At least all the 3.0 content. I don’t have any inkling how long the post-HW content is, but I’ll mark completing that too as a stretch goal.

I did it! I completed Heavensward 3.0 content — not all the post-HW content though, although I did knock down a couple of the patches at least. I’m not quite sure if I’ll carry the stretch goal of this into a brand new September goal or not though.

The Elder Scrolls Online has sort of entered stage-left and upset the FFXIV apple-cart a little.

September’s Goals

The Elder Scrolls Online: Inside a Delve in Blackwood
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Get current character higher than my previous character!
    Which won’t be terribly hard — my Elsweyr character only made it to level 23, which surprised me to no end when I saw. I could’ve sworn I’d got further than that. In any case, the new one is already level 16!
  • Returnal: Beat Phrike!
    I really need to get in a few more concerted runs — ideally equipped with the Astronaut relic — and get this bugger down. I’m so close, but I’ve only been playing a run every so many days which is hardly the best way to develop the necessary muscle memory reactions for a fight like this.

Games Played August 2021

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1Final Fantasy XIV22.335.3%
2Aliens Fireteam Elite9.515.1%
3Elder Scrolls Online8.513.4%
4Returnal (PS5)7.311.6%
5Ghost of Tsushima (PS5)5.58.6%
6Back 4 Blood (Beta)3.25.1%
7Mortal Shell2.23.4%
8No Man’s Sky1.62.5%
9Path of Exile1.42.1%
10Hardspace: Shipbreaker1.21.9%
11XCOM 20.71.1%
Links are to posts about the game in question which were made this month — where multiple posts were made this month about a game; may link to the category or tag instead.

The decision to throw the plans to the wind and just go where whim and whimsy took me was evident this month in the scattering of hours spread across a range of games without really anything acting as a solid anchor game for the month.

Possibly The Elder Scrolls Online would have taken that position though had it been picked up earlier in the month.

FFXIV I find myself in a rather interesting position with — I haven’t really stopped being interested in how it goes onward from the end of Heavensward, yet I also haven’t jumped into it at all for several days now.

I’m going to have to try and take stock and assess where everything on my ‘Current Games of Interest’ widget sits now. XCOM 2 is really the only safe one, as the Succession Game continues! Dark Souls I think occupies a similar spot to FFXIV. My interest is nominally still there — even if I no longer want to necessarily document every 30-minute segment of play — but it does seem to have also fallen victim to not ever being chosen when the option to play something presents.

Still; overall I’m just surprised how high the gaming hours ended up being (63.3 hours gaming) — it held relatively flat with previous months when it seemed like the total was going to be way down. Perhaps it just felt that way with the lack of a primary game to really focus on and get sunk into.

Books Read August 2021

I finished reading Peter V. Brett’s ‘The Skull Throne’ (The Demon Cycle #4) but didn’t end up putting together a review for it. It seemed an odd place to start reviewing the series given I hadn’t written any for the first three books (which I’d read prior to starting up book reviews here!).

I’ve also been working my way through ‘The Core’ which is the fifth (and I believe, final) in the series.

Therefore, it seems to make much more sense to me to hold off until I’ve completed this one as well and then do an overview of the series.

Great plan, in theory, but I seem to have hit one of my slow reading patches. I’m falling asleep to a show or movie rather than reading myself to sleep at the moment which eliminates probably a good 70-80% of my reading time.

Spoiler: I think this is as much a symptom of not particularly enjoying what I’m reading as anything else.

The Blog

This Journal marks the 32nd post of August; I did two posts on August 1st1 and then managed to maintain a pace of one per day since. Phew!

Most Viewed Posts

I skipped this block last month because it was overrun with solely Humble Choice posts. Same again this month, but rather than skip the block I think I’ll just skip those posts!

  1. WoW Shadowlands: Changing your Covenant BACK
  2. Rolling Credits of FFXIV’s Post-ARR Content
  3. Deep Rock Galactic: The Solo Experience
  4. FFXIV May as Well Not Be an MMO
  5. WoW Shadowlands: Changing your Covenant

And there we go! Another month down. A Blaugust month, to boot. Time for a little rest. :)


This was posted during Blaugust 2021, the annual blogging event hosted by Belghast. Blaugust is an event aiming to welcome new blogger blood into the fold and revitalise those who’ve been at it a little longer.

The Blaugust Discord is still available to join in, year-round!

Footnotes

  1. Completely not because I even forgot to connect the dots between August 1st and the start of Blaugust. *cough*