Time to Loot Journal: October 2019

Time to Loot Journal: October 2019

So… *twiddles thumbs* …I’ve kinda done something just a wee bit crazy. Yesterday I wrote about selecting a mere 5 games to last an entire year. I also encourage others to think about what their list might look like, and already there are a number of great responses!

Keep an eye out around the place, as I expect there might be a few more to come yet.

But! Back to that ‘crazy’ thing I mentioned…

That list on the left? … It’s filtered to ‘Installed’.

I… might… sort… of… have… uninstalled everything except the 5 games I picked? Now I’m not talking year long crazy. I’m just going to challenge myself with it for the month of November. For now. Every journey starts with a single step. To hit a big goal, break it up into smaller ones, etc etc.

I still don’t believe for a minute I could hold to this selection for a whole year. But a month? I could probably do that. Then a month after that? Maybe! We’ll see! Right now, I’m only committing to try this for the month of November.

I don’t think I’m feeling up to a full and proper NaNoWriMo this year, so instead I’ll take on a Five Game Challenge. And like Blaugust — attempt to post about it every day. Can I do that? I don’t really know… One thing Blaugust taught me about daily writing is to write a day ahead, to keep a buffer in there.

I suspect that will be more difficult when it comes to writing about the act of gaming itself — but… well… I guess we’ll see! If this had unfolded a little less rapidly, I might even have tried to make a ‘thing’ of this and get some people onboard. Feel free to join in anyway, if so inclined! But maybe next year I’ll make this a little more of an official community event. :)

In any case! That’s all looking ahead into November. For October?

The Blog this Month

I published 15 posts this month (including this one), exactly even with September. Still no real rhyme or reason to ‘when’ I post. I’m pretty OK with that though as long as I’m hitting 2-3 posts a week still. :)

This means a total of 159 published posts. Assuming I get somewhere close to hitting my target next month, then I should cross the 200-post milestone by the end of December! :D I’ll take 200 posts in the first year as a pretty good effort even if I do say so myself.

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started
  2. Exploring the Intro to the Magician and Gunner Classes of Lost Ark
  3. Cognitive Dissonance
  4. Corporate Responsibility for Individual’s Views
  5. Madness! Picking Just 5 Games for a Year

The Lost Ark post almost made it to the very top — late October the Russian Open Beta for Lost Ark kicked off and drove a lot of people to start looking up information on Lost Ark again.

Meanwhile, ye olde Heart of Rage post poofed out of the list again. It wasn’t even remotely close, despite making a return just last month. It isn’t even in the top 20, with less than half the views of the Five Games post, despite that one only publishing yesterday.

Games this Month

RankGameHours% Gaming TimeChange
1Asheron’s Call39.641.6%No Change
2XCOM 2: War of the Chosen21.322.4%New
3Batman (Telltale, S1 and 2)9.09.4%↑2
4Destiny 24.34.5%New
5Battle Brothers3.43.6%New
6Kingdom Come: Deliverance3.43.6%New
7Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice1.61.7%Returning
8Mothergunship1.41.5%↓2
9Hero Siege1.01.1%New
??The Outer Worlds*10.010.5%New

Figure now might be a good time to recall that ‘New’ in this context means only that I haven’t played it since starting this Journal format earlier in the year. None of the ‘new’ entries in this case were purchased this month except for The Outer Worlds.

October saw 95.1 hours of gaming, down 48.6 hours from September. Being down so much is no great surprise though — September was a crazy high outlier month.

I should also note that Manic Time didn’t capture any time for The Outer Worlds. My theory is that this is due to The Xbox Game Pass app installing its games in a highly secured folder. Even as an admin, you cannot access this folder (easily). Casting some doubt on this theory though is that Discord can detect the process as a running game.

So I’ve had to estimate the time for The Outer Worlds and so haven’t put it in the main ranking. If I’ve erred it’s on the conservative side. But I wouldn’t have played over 15 hours of it for sure.

Overall active hours came down to 236.6 total hours. A reduction of 33.6 hours from September.

Found a bit more equilibrium between general PC time and gaming time this month. Posting came a bit more easily as a result, compared to September when it took real effort to push a post between bouts of Asheron’s Call and/or Borderlands 3.

So in the end — October sat with gaming making up 40.2% of all active hours, down 13% from last month.

Asheron’s Call

Level 126. (Well, 128 now.) It still blows my mind a little when I think about finally making that magical threshold all these years later.

I noted this earlier in the games update post; a now already, mere days later, out of date post at that given my decision to try out this crazy 5 game limit thing. But that feeling hasn’t really reduced with time since.

Still — I was starting to drift a little from AC after reaching that threshold. That symbolic marker that once upon a time signaled the end of numeric leveling in the game. So at least for Asheron’s Call, I don’t think it will be too difficult to say goodbye (for now).

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen (+ Mods)

I’m so glad I kept this one on my list. I’m not ready to let go yet. My campaign seems to be going… Quite well at the moment. Let’s hope I don’t jinx it by saying so!

I am at risk a little bit of the Avatar project completing right now, with only one pip of progress remaining. And I’ll admit to flirting with danger a little by continuing to scan a supply drop in order to build the Predator Armor squad upgrade.

But I got it! And I have some Avatar Project facilities lined up in areas I control (or at least have access to) ready to knock down. :)

Batman: The Telltale Series (Season 1, and Season 2 Episode 1)

Reeaaally big letterboxing going on.

Not finishing this before commencing this challenge does irk me a little. Mostly because I could have.

As the screenshot above shows — the letterboxing effect is very real in this game on the new monitor, but it quickly fades into the background as an irrelevance. Until you want a screenshot at least. Sure, I could crop it. But eh. Effort. ;p

The Others

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

I talked about a large number of the others already, in the not-at-all confusingly titled ‘Long War of the Chosen‘. I diverted the first half of that post to talking about some of the titles I’d tested expressly for the purpose of seeing how they worked at the odd 32:9 aspect ratio.

Battle Brothers I last spoke about in my May Journal.

The Outer Worlds I gave my initial impressions on when adding it to the list of games.

Hero Siege is new to the blog though. I noted Season 8 had recently started, so I jumped in for a quick look. Boy has it changed. I’m not entirely convinced its all for the better either.

The ability to rush waves to increase difficulty and challenge is gone. However as a positive trade-off, it is no longer necessary to start right from the beginning of each Act and get back to where you were when you die.

It plays like more of a traditional ARPG now, rather than some sort of arena-ARPG-battler like it did before. An interesting set of changes to say the least.

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9 thoughts on “Time to Loot Journal: October 2019”

  1. Good luck with the 5 games only in a month challenge!

    I’d join in and try it too but to me it would be too easy. I mean, depending on my mood and circumstances I could play just one game in a month easily. For example, during October I played Fallout 4 almost exclusively due to my attempts to change my mod list and testing things out. The only reason I didn’t do so is because I play a couple mobile games (which pretty much require daily login) and the Halloween event in Final Fantasy XIV.

    In fact just those last 3 would take 3 of my alloted games slots and they can be quite time consuming if there is an event going on (which more often then not there is always one going in the mobile games). For the other two slots I could easily find some other deep, time consuming games to keep me entertained through a whole month.

    • I’m hoping that a single month will be easy even for more. I think the challenge part of it (other than attempting the post-a-day thing again) will be in that if I had actually picked my games for a month (and the next month at that) I would’ve made different choices than I had for something to last me an entire year. I uninstalled a number of titles I would’ve picked instead in the context of just a month.

      But even with that being true… Just a month? I’m pretty sure I can do that… … … Pretty sure. ;)

  2. He’s gone and done it. What an absolute madlad. Good luck with the 5 games challenge. Will be interesting to see your progress. 1 month shouldn’t be too bad though.

    • Yeah, I agree — 1 month *should* be pretty easy. What makes this more difficult though is that if I had been picking games for just a month — and the very next month at that — my choices would’ve been quite different. I uninstalled a few things I would’ve probably chosen instead under that context.

      So we’ll see how it goes! :)

  3. I wish I could sort out what the heck Game Pass is doing. I add most of my PC games to GeForce Experience and use that to stream them to the Nvidia Shield in the living room (idea is to get the comfort of console game with the flexibility of PC gaming) but I can’t figure out how/where Game Pass launches games so I can’t add them to GeForce. (Usually I just add the .exe. to the GeForce manually.)

    • They get installed to a WindowsApps folder which is *super* locked down. You can’t see any of the content in it or do anything with it, even if signed in as another admin — the folder is owned by ‘TrustedInstaller’ or similar.

      I get it from a security angle, but still *super* annoying if you want to do basically anything with it.

  4. Do you use a program to keep track of your playing time in game? Steam seems unreliable on non-Steam games and you seem to be able to output your data in a way you can turn into graphics.

    • Yup!

      ManicTime, it’s a free app for personal use. Just runs in the background and will pick-up your time spent actively focused on something. e.g., if I loaded an MMO but then alt-tabbed out to a browser, it’d be tracking the time against the browser until I tabbed back.

      So it gives a much more accurate view of actual active played time than Steam does which just tracks the open time. Of course if you open a game, leave it active and then walk away — it can’t fix that. But it’s better!

      The actual graphing though I’m doing fairly manually in Excel, but using the real data from ManicTime. :)

  5. I was about to call you crazy when I saw your “Day 4” post just now and decided to read through the three days that I’ve missed but – oh, just a month. Good :D
    Well, it’d be interesting for me to do that as well but I actually mostly play League of Legends nowadays and some occasional Indie titles for review-purposes. If I were to attempt a challenge like that, I’d mean no new reviews for quite some time or posting about only five games for a whole month, which isn’t quite do-able for me. There’s also the problem that I don’t exactly have all that much time to game on, mostly, Wednesdays. Wednesdays are my nemesis, so gaming time is practically non-existent there and I don’t know what your challenge would mean if there’s days without gaming spent, hehe. But it’d be interesting once semester-break kicks in :)

    Will be looking forward to those Rimworld, Xcom, Skyrim and Warframe posts :D Mostly as those are games I’ve played as well and RimWorld – which I just like. Good luck with your challenge! I’m facing a challenge of sorts as well over here right now. :[

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