That’s it. *dusts off hands* Year’s done. I would say we can all go home now- but uh, I suspect that’s precisely where we all already are. So… OK, I don’t really know where I’m going with this. But the point is, the next date change will flip day, month and year. So that’s a thing. I’m not really one for New Year resolutions so I don’t have any of those to share with you either.

*twiddles thumbs* Hmm.

Oh! I will be doing a great big games played in 2021 post soon. Belghast has his one out already. Last year, I took the queue from Bel and did one of my own. I haven’t done this already because my list of games may change right up until the last minute! BUT, I have already taken a look at my personal top games of the year.

I also took a look at my year in reading already — unlike gaming that wasn’t going to change before the year stumbled over into the new one. Finally hit a year’s target in my Goodreads challenge, woo!

Looking Back

One Year Ago

Crimson Desert

Well… Not a lot really happened a year ago. Not that I captured at least. I only posted 6 times in December 2020, as occupied with Shadowlands as I was before all hell broke loose with news of Activision-Blizzard’s terrible culture of sexism and abuse.

Although there was one thing…

  • The Game Awards 2020 came to town digitally to a screen near you. I thought I didn’t cover it for 2020 but it turns out I did. Of the trailers of top interest to me, still waiting for two out of three — Crimson Desert and Warhammer 40,000: Darktide. Oh lordy I cannot wait for Crimson Desert. I think I will have to though- no sign of anything new around it in a little while now.

Two Years Ago

Nait as a Druid, commissioned artwork done by Alli.
  • The Game Awards 2019 — it’s almost like this happens every year now. Who knew? In any case, still waiting for a few games from this one, too. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II and The Wolf Among Us 2, specifically. The Warframe update that Empyrean morphed into did come out but I ended up barely interacting with it. I built my Railjack and then just sort of… stopped. Final Fantasy 7 Remake came out though, on both PS and PC now! (Although still waiting for however long Epic’s exclusive is before picking it up — hopefully by then the worst of the performance issues will be sorted out, too.)
  • Looked at my favourite games of the prior decade — This was difficult! Without the same degree of written history behind me that the longer term bloggers had, it required a fair bit of digging to even go back and confirm what released when to even get started. I got there though, and created myself a list of Top 10 games with Dark Souls III, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and RimWorld rounding out the top three spots.
  • Alli completed my last round of Commissioned Art — The Druid version of me persists as my avatar here and in most other places online to this day! Really pleased with the work Alli did for me over the course of these commissions and I’d highly recommend you check her out if you have any art needs yourself. :)

Gaming Goals

December’s Goals

  • Forza Horizon 5: Complete Series 1
    As in, gain both season rewards from all seasons and both series rewards from Series 1 of Forza Horizon 5, not that I’ll necessarily complete every single available point.
  • Implement… a Plan!
    Start one of the two plans mentioned at the top of the post. Doesn’t matter which. Just get one done.

This feels… almost unnatural. I completed both goals. Both of them.

Forza Horizon 5 I have taken a break from immediately upon achieving completion of Series 1 though. I haven’t dipped back in for the seasonal event or for Series 2 (I assume that it has started, at least).

I have no doubt I’ll be back when the first DLC drops for it — but I’m not so sure I’ll have any reason to revisit before then.

As for the plan? Well! Last month I discussed two potential plans. One to start a series of posts based on games that I just simply do not understand the appeal of. The other plan was to just… pick a game at random and actually play it. And post about it.

Funnily enough, I figured the series to be the least likely plan to be put into action. As it turns out, I started it first and have since added a second post to it, on House Flipper and PowerWash Simulator respectively. I don’t expect this to be a long-lived series as the patterns have started to become clear even after just trying those two. But you never know, I suppose.

As for the second plan — I did get as far as making a shortlist and randomly selecting something. Even played the winner, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, a bit! Buuuut haven’t posted about it yet. Not sure if I ever will, as the game hasn’t landed with me nearly as well as its predecessor Odyssey did.

Almost immediately after making the pick, I entered a phase of ‘play all the things!’ You know what though? Not even mad! One of the biggest goals of this particular plan was to break me out of a funk of not really playing much of anything. Welp- mission accomplished in that respect at least!

January 2022’s Goals

  • Monster Hunter: Rise — Complete Low Rank
    Given I have nooo idea how much of a time commitment this represents, I could either sail right past this and finish the main story of the game in full or I might get nowhere remotely close.

I also think I’ll make that the only goal for this month, in case it leans toward the lengthier end of things.

The biggest question I still don’t have an answer for is… What weapon?? I’d like to branch out from Longsword which I did all through Monster Hunter: World… Unless I don’t. Because… Still more to learn with this weapon let alone the new aerial moves that Rise will add.

So close now! :D

((Maybe I’ll go super wild and jump in with the Hunting Horn…))

Games Played in December 2021

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1House Flipper12.820.3%
2Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla8.513.5%
3Last Epoch7.812.3%
4Forza Horizon 57.511.9%
5Mini Motorways6.810.8%
6Days Gone4.06.3%
8Remnant: From the Ashes2.54.0%
11Potion Craft1.21.8%
12Gunfire Reborn1.11.8%
13Risk of Rain 21.01.6%
14PowerWash Simulator0.81.3%
15Deep Rock Galactic0.50.8%
17Infinitode 20.40.6%
18They Are Billions0.40.6%
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.

See? I wasn’t joking about going into a sample all the games mode. This is one more game played than even December 2019 where the hyper-focus of the prior Five Game Challenge month.

It probably wasn’t helped any by this, either:

December 2021 Christmas Sale Haul

I was doing so well, too. Hadn’t bought a thing until boom, a few days ago? All the things!

Elden Ring wasn’t even on sale — but there is no world in which I don’t buy and immediately day 1 play it, so I was OK with that.

In any case, despite the number of things played the actual hours weren’t too crazy. Especially not in comparison to last year.

63.1 hours of gaming this past month, without any single game really taking the lions share as is normally the case for me… Or at least, much more of the case than it was this month.

Another few months and we’ll all be able to pretend those crazy Shadowlands months never happened, so far as this chart is concerned!

Books Read December 2021

I finished Cytonic (Starsight #3) and despite a rocky start in terms of engagement, I did come to love it before the end. So for an initial forray into the realm of Young Adult literature, it went pretty well! I still can’t help but remind myself that this is by Brandon Sanderson someone who, while not my favourite author, is still bloody good and thus this might be an exception to the rule.

Perhaps it will open the door to trying out the YA diversions of other authors I like though, rather than being irked by their mere existence. ;)

After that, I jumped to Risen (Alex Verus #12). I wish I had known it was wrapping up the series before I’d read it. Perhaps then I could’ve been a little more prepared for it. The information has been freely available that its the end for some time, too. Even having missed that — it’s right there in the blurb too. As it was, it wasn’t exactly my favourite series wrap-up. And upon reflection since I finished, I think being prepared for it to end only would’ve carried me past that so far.

Which brings us to Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations #1-2). So far? I’m really enjoying it. It’s a complete reversion to old-style epic fantasy, complete with Elves, Dwarves and Wizards. The spin of taking the perspective of a pair of thieves is just enough to keep it fresh while not subtracting from the quality of being a classic setting, the perfect palette cleanser after some time away from this style of story.

The Blog

Including this journal, I hit the publish button 12 times this month. Not bad for me of late! There was also something of a milestone this month and I completely missed it. I crossed the 500 posts mark! It looks like my review of Cytonic had the glory of being the 500th published post. :)

The total published posts on Time to Loot now numbers 511.

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Lost Ark to Launch in Oceania on Release After All
  2. Rolling Credits on Exo One
  3. Deep Rock Galactic: The Solo Experience
  4. [But… Why? #1] House Flipper
  5. Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started

Here’s a thing I didn’t really expect. I started putting some of my ‘Rolling Credits’ links into Steam reviews for games — and they’ve turned into a fair source of traffic. The House Flipper post I also put up over on Steam, and that one has been a little hive of activity given the Winter Sale putting the entire House Flipper franchise on sale.

Otherwise, nothing else too surprising. Lost Ark Oceania news continues to be of great interest with how close we’re getting to launch.

Actually, you know what? Since this is end of year — let’s take a look at…

Most Viewed Posts — Over all of 2021

  1. Lost Ark to Launch in Oceania on Release After All
  2. WoW Shadowlands: Changing your Covenant
  3. Deep Rock Galactic: The Solo Experience
  4. WoW Shadowlands: Changing your Covenant BACK
  5. Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started

I was going to go for top 10, but the views falls off a cliff between #5 and #6 — the Transport Fever post has just over 1,000 views for the year. Jumping down to #6 (which would’ve been Damnit… RMA Required on my RTX 3080) and you cut that in half before settling into a pattern of a 100 or so less views for each one from there.

This is of course still entirely ignoring the Humble Choice posts! Although even the best of those — March 2021 for some reason — doesn’t get close to the Lost Ark post which is entirely in a realm of its own. Actually, the 1-3 slots are all ‘properly’ above even March 2021, but there is only 900 or so views difference between DRG and the March 2021 Humble Choice post.

In any case, another month and another year!

See you all next year! (I’m a Dad, I feel like I can get away with this one.)


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.


Krikket · December 31, 2021 at 2:04 pm

That was quite a haul! Looking forward to your thoughts on Timberborn; I was torn between that and The Colonists, and went robots over beavers this time.

    Naithin · December 31, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    The Colonists is also on my list! But I made the opposite choice this time. Haha. We shall need to trade thoughts then. :)

    I’m going away for the next few days, but after that no doubt I’ll dive into it.

Asmiroth · December 31, 2021 at 2:39 pm

For MH:R be aware that LS is even more overpowered than in World… it can counter anything. It does force you to learn the patterns, which makes playing any other weapon easier.

    Naithin · December 31, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    I have heard that Rise is generally considered to be easier than World all-around. The main counterpoint I’ve heard to that so far is that we can’t really know until Sunrise comes out and gives us the G/Master Rank equivalent content.

    Although much of the time, that was responded to with that even an HR to HR comparison of World to Rise seems to put Rise at the easier end of things.

    Depending on just how much that is the case… I might be OK with that. But guess will see soon enough!

      Asmiroth · December 31, 2021 at 3:13 pm

      I dunno if easier is right… World was new to a lot of people and changed a lot of mechanics. Rise simplified some stuff from World, and the wirebug is a massive game changer when you figure out how to use it. I’d say it’s easier only because World trained folks so well.

      Apex anything or a Valstrax will still ruin your day.

        Naithin · December 31, 2021 at 3:38 pm

        Thanks for the info, Asmiroth. :) That sounds pretty promising to me.

        My only regret is that it isn’t coming out with more of my holidays to spare. Haha.

    Naithin · January 1, 2022 at 8:22 am

    I just saw a video of Longsword with Quicksheath 3 and its interaction with Foresight Slash. Holy moly. Vid was from November as well, so I assume it hasn’t been particularly nerfed, either.

bhagpuss · December 31, 2021 at 10:30 pm

The general standard of YA writing is very high. It’s an extremely competititive and highly profitable field so what gets published, at least by the big publishing houses, has to be good even to get listed. Most of my really very favorite writers of the last couple of decades – Ysabeau Wilce, Rainbow Rowell, Frances Hardinge and Philip Reeve – are marketed as YA, although that’s more a publisher choice for maximum profitability than an accurate description of the demographic their work would appeal to if promoted differently. I’ve read some strong fantasy and SF titles and series this millennium but many of those could easily have been badged YA rather than SF/Fantasy – Becky Chambers particularly. I haven’t read anything as strong as the best of the YA titles, though. Not even close.

When it comes to authors known for their adult work dipping their toes into the YA or children’s markets, the results are a lot patchier. It’s a bit like rock stars trying change genres – it works occasionally but mostly it’s a little bit embarassing. Jasper Fforde’s style translates perfectly into 9-12 to the extent that his publisher could probably have put out his Last Dragonslayer series out as a new adult series and no-one would have noticed. I really liked Tad Williams’ Tailchaser’s Song and his Ordinary Farm series (co-authored with his wife) wasn’t bad either. I struggle to think of many other good ones, though, but that may say more about my memory than the writing.

Nimgimli · January 1, 2022 at 4:17 am

Not much to add other than: Happy New Year!!

    Naithin · January 1, 2022 at 8:20 am

    Happy New Year! :D

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