Time to Loot Journal: November 2022

Dragonflight released this month. This week, in fact. Already it has consumed a significant amount of my time and I’ve made it to max level on my intended main for the expansion, my Druid. It’s still very early days yet — I was pretty positive on Shadowlands at launch, too, but…

I’m having fun. More than I expected.

Granting flight — Dragon flight, specifically — so early on, without an incredibly arduous rep grind, just feels good. The Dragon flight mechanics feel really good. The races they’ve designed and added into each of the zones of the game are amazing. I fully expect they’ll have a relatively short shelf-life, and I’ve learnt my lesson in expectation levels when it comes to Blizz (e.g., I think it’d be really cool if they gave players the tools to design their own tracks… but… I don’t expect we’ll ever see it). But what’s there is awesome and could’ve come straight from a game that was built solely around the mechanics they incorporate, rather than sitting as side content in an MMO!

And this sort of sets the tone for the expansion so far.

It feels like player complaints, specifically around the horrors of borrowed power, making one aspect of the game mandatory for participating in another aspect, and generally respecting players’ time rather than designing for dragging out player play time at the expense of fun.

If this keeps up, then I have to give Blizzard credit where credit is due. Still- like I said, very early yet. Let’s revisit this space in even a month or so and see if the opinion has held up.

Outside the not-yet-open Raid in the Dragon Isles.

Still, I do find it a little unsettling just how completely the game and the company behind it have slipped back onto almost everyone’s “currently playing” list. Has anything materially changed? Would we even know if it had?

Bhagpuss, “Monday, Friday, Wednesday” (2022)

This stuck with me from a recent post of Bhagpuss’ though. Clearly, I’m back on the train. I acknowledged this a little while ago in the context of Overwatch and I wanted to make sure I acknowledged it, as I think I get where Bhagpuss is coming from. And ‘Unsettling’ is a good word for it, and I felt much the same as I saw creator after creator — some of whom had posted really strong stances and seemingly heartfelt messages — head back without a word.

Right from the start, I’ve thought everyone had the right to make up their own mind on continuing to play or not. That isn’t the problem… Heck, even affected Blizzard employees were asking for players not to go on an extended boycott. But in contrast to the earlier messages? Just… jumping back in, without so much as a mention, just acting as nothing had ever happened is, in a word, ‘unsettling’.

For myself, going back for Overwatch 2 opened the floodgates. Or perhaps more accurately, it was the crack in the dam. I’d be lying to suggest that simply wanting to play Overwatch 2 wasn’t a large part of it. It was. But without seeing how RockPaperShotgun deals with it in their posts, and adapting it for myself, I just don’t think I could’ve justified it for myself.

Looking Back

One Year Ago

  • EXO One released — EXO One is a simple game. Build momentum and fly as far as you can, but the beautiful scenery and the joy of motion made it one I was pretty keen to get my hands on. It was a labour of love from, I believe, just one very skilled individual. So I expect any follow-up will be some time in the making too, but I’m entirely here for it.
  • Arcane, the animated series based on League of Legends, also released — I knew from the trailers it was one I was going to watch. But I never expected just how much I would enjoy it. Generally speaking, I don’t rewatch (or re-read, or otherwise re-consume) media content… But… I feel Arcane could benefit from a rewatch, at least sometime ahead of Season 2 releasing, and I’m pretty keen to do just that at some point.

Two Years Ago

Well, I was still doing the whole Five Game Challenge thing back then, it seems. Albeit for the last time, as I didn’t do it again either last year or this one. Beyond that…

  • I gave my thumb a pretty good chop — needed several stitches and the sensation in the thumb tip were strange for months. Now though while there is a tiny bit of scaring visible if you really, really look, it’s pretty much back to normal.
  • Shadowlands released to the masses — I’d actually forgotten this, but I didn’t take leave for that one either. Interesting to see my first-day impressions were more lukewarm than I remembered, too. So perhaps that says good things for Dragonflight after all.

Gaming Goals

November’s Goals

God of War (PC)
  • Do just one of my previous set goals!
    Doesn’t matter which one. Cities or XCOM, whichever fancy takes me first. Just get one of ’em done!
  • God of War (PC) — Finish the main story.
    I finished God of War back when it came out on PlayStation. It was amazing then, and its still amazing now. I hardly ever finish games. I don’t even remember the last one I finished twice… But I intend to for this, in advance of playing God of War: Ragnarok when that’s out in a few short weeks!

Alright… Well; I think I just have to concede the Cities and XCOM goals are dead in the water. I didn’t either start a new blogger-city project or start my own single-player XCOM 2 campaign. And now Dragonflight has me for the foreseeable future.

But! I did finish God of War, not only the main story but a bunch of the optional endgame content too. And uh- then I went and finished God of War: Ragnarok too.

At some point I’m going to have to try collect my thoughts on that and put them together, but in short: Masterpiece. Ragnarok is less a sequel and more a direct continuation of the same story. There are criticisms I could level in aspects of the telling to be sure, and I may yet, but taken as a whole… Such a good experience.

December’s Goals

  • WoW Dragonflight: Be ready for start of Mythic+ Season 1 and Raid Launch, December 12th
    I’ve made good progress on this already. Which is to say, I’m already level 70 on my Druid. But next comes the part I always enjoy most — that early expansion chase for gear. Where it seems every possible avenue of the game will hold something of benefit, and that next upgrade is never too far away. So sure, this is a bit of a loose goal, but I would like to achieve KSM this season, possibly even more than I want to get Ahead of the Curve!

Overwatch 2 has its new season starting in a few days too. I don’t have a particular goal in mind… But I felt it worth noting. Very unlikely I’ll finish the battlepass in the month with WoW going on alongside, but I guess you never know!

Games Played November 2022

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1World of Warcraft (Retail)79.244.7%
2God of War: Ragnarok (PS5)33.619.0%
3God of War (PC)20.411.5%
4Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 215.78.8%
5Overwatch 214.28.0%
6Warhammer 40,000: Darktide (Pre-release)5.63.1%
7World of Warcraft (Classic)2.71.5%
8XCOM 22.21.2%
9League of Legends1.91.1%
10Hell Let Loose1.91.0%
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.

League of Legends is probably the most interesting (to me, at least) return on this list. I’ve not really played since 2014 or there abouts. I think that’s when Season 3 ended in any case, and that was the last time I played. My duo-buddy moved countries and our hours just didn’t line up any more, much to my sadness.

Not even watching Arcane managed to bring back my desire to play… But then, uh, work did. It isn’t the first time work has brought League of Legends back into focus for me, but this time it was more directly around playing it. My time ingame so far has only been vs. AI and in the practice arena though, and, if I can’t find a more long term duo buddy I probably won’t bother pursuing this renewed interest any further, so I guess we’ll see!

Books Read November 2022

Truth be told, I’ve hardly read this month.

Part misplacing my kindle for a few days (left it at my Mother’s), part wanting to not read too far ahead without doing a review of the first book contained in this anthology (decided instead now to do a review of the collection as a whole) and part because I’ve been gaming til a little later at night than usual and eating into my reading time.

So I expect to be using this cover pic in this section of at least the next couple of monthly journal updates. Hah.

The Blog

I hit the big ol’ publish button on 6 new posts over the month of November. Not from any lack of ideas for once, but more from, I think, having settled more into this reduced cadence of posting and prioritising actually gaming a little higher. Like I noted last month… Game hours low? Few posts. Gaming hours high… Also few posts.

Perhaps I’ll find a better balance at some point. In the meantime, once this post goes live, Time to Loot will have 604 published posts.

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started
  2. Book Review: King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist
  3. Deep Rock Galactic: The Solo Experience
  4. Book Review: Queen of Storms by Raymond E. Feist
  5. Catching Up

Inform: (As this post mentions or talks about an Activision Blizzard product, or the company)

While I have chosen to break my self-imposed exile from Activision-Blizzard titles, I still feel it important to acknowledge the troubled status of the company, so you can make your own decision.

Activision Blizzard has become subject to multiple sexual-harassment lawsuits. Of note, in particular, is that it has been alleged that Bobby Kotick (current CEO) has not only been aware of, but also attempted to suppress word of, such incidents — even going so far as to intervene to keep a perpetrator hired with the company.

Even so, support for a long-term boycott was never clear cut, even amongst those affected.

Naithin

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.

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