We are crazy close to the end of the year now. There are only seven weeks, more or less, before the company-wide end-of-year break. And boy, oh boy, am I excited for it. Even if Auckland is still in lock-down and we can’t actually go anywhere, I’m perfectly alright with a staycation. Just the opportunity to turn off for a bit. Particularly with how much of a mad rush the end of the calendar year period is, to wrap up as much as possible before the 3-ish week break.

Of course, many of the early 2022 releases I’m interested in come out (at least in one case) precisely on the day we return to work or shortly thereafter. *grumble*

Moving on from that, October has brought some good news!

Hmm.

There was probably other stuff, but those are by far the top highlights for me.

I guess generally, by the end of October, I would have selected five games for the five-game challenge over November. Something which got kicked off right here as a thought experiment, with the very next day seeing me deciding on a whim to put it to the test. Last year, I did it again, at least until things got cut short.

I… don’t think I’ll be trying it again this year. Definitely not the post-every-day aspect. Too much going on for that to even be on the table. But making a five-game selection? … Maybe… Only playing that selection for November? … Also, maybe… We’ll see. :)

Turning our gaze backwards for the moment…

Looking Back

One Year Ago

It seems much like October 2020 carried the theme of ‘broken things’.

  • Wife broke her ankle on a bushwalk — a year later, the aftermath of this is still being felt. She is back up and mobile, but not without pain of varying degrees depending on the day. We knew the recovery on this one would be slow, but hoo boy. Makes my own neck-of-femur break from a few years before that seem like nothing in comparison!
  • Conceded defeat and put RTX 3080 in for RMA — Although as it turned out, despite there being plenty of cause to believe RMA was the only recourse at that point, the issue turned out to be entirely unrelated. But hey, at least as part of the RMA process I got the improved power socket mounts.

Two Years Ago

Well, there was no shortage of things happening in October 2019 — including being when I picked up my crazy 32:9 monitor, shown below, in all its desktop glory. That browser window on the left? That’s taking up a full 2560×1440, or the equivalent of my whole other monitor, in just half the screen.

  • Remember when Blizzard’s biggest PR issue was the Blitzchung response? — Pepperidge farm ‘members.
  • I got my insane 32:9, 49″ 5120×1440 monstrosity of a monitor — I should probably do a revised thoughts piece on this eventually, eh? Short version is, when it’s firing on all cylinders with a game that supports the aspect ratio without severe screen cropping, it is the most immersive gaming experience you’ll ever get without strapping on a headset. Fantastic desktop experience, too. But support is still lagging, so if I was forced to consider a replacement tomorrow I’d think long and hard before getting another 32:9, quite possibly stepping down to a 21:9. Monitors are long-lived pieces of hardware for me though, so who knows where this will eventually land.
  • Humble Monthly announced the change to Humble Choice — Oh how positive I was about the change back then! I apparently even bought into the line that they would be investing more into the games to be included in these bundles. *shakes head* Silly Nait.

Gaming Goals

October’s Goals

New World
  • New World: Get further than I did in the betas.
    Not exactly an ambitious goal — I think the most I ever put into a single beta was 4-5 hours.
  • Returnal: Beat Phrike!
    Not letting this goal go just yet — so carrying it over into this month as well.

Well… I got one of my goals. As I noted, it wasn’t a particularly ambitious one — but I did beat my target metric several times over by getting far enough to do the first dungeon of the game and then a little besides. Ultimately though, that was it — the game didn’t grip me enough to see me go any further.

As for Phrike, the intention may have been there at the start of the month — but I’ve not touched the PS5 at all. So, at last, I’m going to let this goal slide. (Watch as I now do it in November anyway.)

November’s Goals

The Riftbreaker — picked up in October, but then shown very little attention as I worked through my Java course in much of my gaming time.

November is quite up in the air! What if I decide that I will embark on a five-game challenge this month? Even if I don’t, I don’t really know what I’ll be playing. Forza Horizon 5 is out shortly, which will no doubt feature — but otherwise, I’ve put a lot of time into the Java course I’ve been working through. When the need for a break from that arises, I’ve had a taste for quite ‘light’ games that I can play with minimal focus while watching a show or similar.

I think then, I’m just going to let November go with no specific goals in mind.

Games Played October 2021

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1Infinitode 225.242.4%
2New World17.529.5%
3Back 4 Blood8.714.6%
4Imposter Factory4.16.9%
5The Riftbreaker1.52.5%
6Phoenix Point1.42.4%
7Nova Drift1.11.8%
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.

Infinitode 2 had actually been on my wishlist since it was added to Steam earlier in the year. It recently moved to Free to Play, a fact I picked up on only by way of a random scan through my Steam Wishlist. So, I picked it up. While I didn’t expect it to take the top spot of ‘games played’ this month, in retrospect, I’m not surprised.

It perfectly fits into that niche of games you can play with only half attention provided while watching a show or YouTube video.

When I’ve needed a break from Coding, it has slotted in perfectly as what I need. I didn’t include it in this table, as it isn’t ‘gaming’ — but I’ve spent 30 hours with the IntelliJ environment as the actively focused window, and another 4.5 hours in Visual Studio Code testing that environment out before ultimately returning to IntelliJ as my IDE of choice for Java.

Books Read October 2021

I finished The Core (Demon Cycle #5). And with it, this means I finally finished that series as a whole. A fact I’m perhaps overly grateful for, given I did choose to read the entire thing. No one forced me into it. Although I acknowledge that I do have a hard time putting down a series or book once started.

So given my next book choice is somewhat experimental for me — it’s Skyward (Skyward #1), a Young-Adult (YA) novel — I’m going to give myself explicit permission right now to stop the book and/or the series if it ends up being not for me. Which is what I expect given the YA genre categorisation, but Brandon Sanderson is a bit more of a known quantity.

So we’ll see how it goes.

I might love it, I might not — but I don’t expect it will take nearly so long to find out. :)

The Blog

Posting for October picked up a little over last month, with 11 posts (including this one) published, up from 9. This puts the total published post count for Time to Loot at 491! Hopefully I’ll note the 500th post milestone but know me, it’s entirely possible that marking its passing will be retrospective. ;)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Rolling Credits on Tales of Arise
  2. Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started
  3. Deep Rock Galactic: The Solo Experience
  4. Five Game Challenge – 2020
  5. FFXIV May as Well Not Be an MMO

Somewhat surprised to see last year’s Five Game Challenge post pop up out of the blue like that. I guess it’s the right time of year for it, but I don’t really understand why anyone — let alone so many anyones — would be searching it out. Weird.

But certainly encouraging for the prospects of making another list, at least. :)