Time to Loot Journal: January 2020

This past month has felt like a time-warp. Each individual day has sped by with an unnatural speed and yet when I try to think the span of the month from start to finish, it is a feat made difficult by just how… Stretched, it has seemed to be. I find myself constantly being reminded by various small things that it was still just the first month of the year. And being surprised. Surely by now we should be approaching the beginning of March?

Apparently not!

I suspect the length has something to do with the number of splits January possessed. Work didn’t resume until Jan 13th, since here in the southern hemisphere we are enjoying our summer break. Memories of that break are no doubt rolling up to the greater portion of it which started in December.

But then overlaying pre- and post- work, is of course the different gaming eras. I started the month with finally finishing Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and rolling into a bit of a short-story kick, also completing GRIS. This era ended with the return of Monster Hunter: World, and reaching fever pitch desire to play more. MORE.

But as is often the way — the flame burned bright, but not long. Despite all the intention in the world to make Monster Hunter: World into something as closely resembling a forever game as possible — once the main story was complete, and a few of the easier to reach post-game milestones, I was ready for a shift.

A shift which came in the form of starting anew in The Elder Scrolls Online.

Oh, also in amongst all of this? Time to Loot turned one, resulting in what was perhaps a bittersweet reflection on the journey. Not only for TTL, but also the blogs which went before.

For all that, how did the month otherwise go?

Gaming Goals

January’s Goals

Well, there was just one actually…

  • Finish my Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice playthrough.
    I am perhaps halfway through, maybe a little over. My excitement for the sequel is very high — so it’s probably a wise idea to actually finish the first one before it arrives!

Done! You can read all about it here. Looking over the played data for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a little amusing though. I played it during 3 separate months, but each time with a 2 month gap in the middle. It essentially took me 7 months to finish a 6 hour game. One I was enjoying at that. Eeesh!

February’s Goals

  • Finish the ‘Elsweyr’ story content in Elder Scrolls Online.
    By which, I’m not including the ‘Trial’ (a raid) necessarily, but certainly all the solo and small-group content. I’m almost done with Northern Elsweyr in this regard as I have in fact completed the main story chain for the zone. But I do still have a few more side quests to complete before I run off to Southern Elsweyr.
  • Finish my ‘A Plague Tale: Innocence’ playthrough.
    Probably not quite halfway through, and it appears to be a longer game than Hellblade. Even so, it fell off my play-rotation when Monster Hunter World: Iceborne barged in like a Diablos in heat and destroyed everything else in its path.

Games Played in January

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1Monster Hunter World: Iceborne64.053.1%
2Elder Scrolls Online24.019.9%
3Remnant: From the Ashes9.07.4%
4Red Dead Redemption 25.44.5%
5A Plague Tale: Innocence4.84.0%
6Cities: Skylines4.13.4%
8Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice2.72.2%
9Phantom Doctrine2.11.7%

Here we go — here’s the gaming time bump I expected to see in December. January saw me with 120.6 hours of gaming time on my hands, up almost 39 hours from December. In retrospect, this makes sense. Work broke for the summer break as late as it possibly could, the last Friday before Christmas.

So there was all the family stuff that goes along with that. January gave almost two full weeks in the clear before a return to work.

Still not quite the highest number of hours played in a single month since I started tracking though. That still belongs to September 2019, with a whopping 143.8 hours played. (This was the month I rediscovered the joy in Asheron’s Call.)

Games Played… Since I Started Tracking

This isn’t likely to be one I trot out too often. Likely more an end of year thing. I picked up the concept from Belghast, when I saw his ‘Games Played 2019 Edition‘ post.

Belghast rather smartly, and some years ago, came up with the idea of tracking in which months games were played, in an over time view. This is very much one of those things I wish I had come to earlier, as even looking at the March 2019 onward view — I can see a number of titles appearing that are returning from time past. Even Anthem, quite a cornerstone in my gaming history in that it brought me back to the blogging fold after quite the hiatus, barely appears as a blip, missing Jan and Feb as it does.

Still… By the power of ManicTime powering the blog journal posts since March 2019 and through into the future, I can at least start to create this view like Belghast has.

My only threshold for adding a game to this view, so far, is that it had over an hour played in a single month. I originally thought the threshold might be higher, 10 hours- or 5 at least. But I found this was still cutting out too much that I would otherwise consider important.

Looking at the resulting list, I wonder whether 2 hours in a month might’ve been a better measuring stick, but there is always the chance (even the likelihood) that these will be returned to at some point in the future. And- one of the things I’m quite keen to look at over time, is if there is any rhyme or reason to the spacing between first trying a game and later going back to it. :)

The Blog

Published 12 posts in January, up 1 from December 2019. Publishing schedule was perhaps a bit more erratic this month though I felt, especially when Monster Hunter World: Iceborne had me firmly in its grasp.

Overall, this means 214 published posts (including this one). I’ve been giving some thought to what the next milestone might be. I think in terms of significant ones, it’s 500 posts. But I don’t think I’ll see that before Time to Loot’s second birthday. That would be a crazy target for me. I think I’m simply going to be happy to hit the second birthday still posting somewhat consistently! 300 posts by then would be nice. :)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Humble Choice: January 2020
  2. Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started
  3. Finding an All-The-Time Game
  4. Time to Loot Turns One
  5. No Escape for Tarkov

Humble Choice has certainly been of interest to people. I saw this in last month’s results, too. Speaking of — we should see the February 2020 Humble Choice list soon!


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.