Time to Loot Journal: September 2019
September was a month largely about returning to a sense of normalcy. The spectre of potential health issues being lifted and work returning to a more settled flow after the last round of restructuring being the primary drivers.
Asheron’s Call you won’t be surprised to learn, took much of my usual gaming time. Which ultimately ended up in quite a game-heavy month actually, taking time notably from both blog posting and watching shows.
Here’s to hoping this trend of normalcy carries on!
Also? It struck me recently just how close we are to the Christmas break. Ohhh Lordy, I cannot wait!
The Blog this Month
I published 15 posts in September, down 16 from last month. But last month was crazy. It was post-every-day-or-live-in-shame-forever-Blaugust. OK, no it wasn’t. I mean, it was Blaugust. But no-one was applying that kind of pressure.
In fact the experience of last month had me in a fairly weird and contradictory state of mind for a tiny bit. In my last journal I acknowledged what an absolute challenge it was to post every single day. And just how much it wasn’t for me. Just a couple of days later I had to acknowledge that I was still posting daily and that it may continue a while.
That state of madness was fleeting it appears, as I only kept it up until September 5th after which I returned to my much more regular cadence of posting 2-3 times a week. Although undoubtedly part of that drop off was due to Asheron’s Call coming in and taking over so much of my computer time (as you’ll see shortly). If not for that, would the cycle have continued?
In any case, 145 published posts (including this one) now reside on Time to Loot. Apparently this is already enough that I’m occasionally surprised to find one. Generally I do at least recall doing it when I see it again, but sometimes the specifics of the content within may as well have come from someone else. Hah.
Most Viewed Posts
- Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started
- Travel Down that Ol’ Town Road
- Heart of Rage: Tips for the Monitor
- Exploring the Intro to the Magician and Gunner Classes of Lost Ark
- Thrill of the Hunt
After vanishing completely from the top 5 last month, the Heart of Rage post is baaaa-aaack. I’m unsure if this is a legitimate resurgence in popularity though or whether it is simply a reflection of the lesser views this month as opposed to during August.
Either is possible, as I had 2x the views over the Blaugust event — but I also posted 2x the content.
Games this Month
|Rank||Game||Hours||% Gaming Time||Change|
|4||Remnant: From the Ashes||2.6||1.8%||↑2|
|5||Batman: The Telltale Series||1.9||1.3%||New|
|7||World of Warcraft (Classic)||1.6||1.1%||↓3|
Err. September saw a total of 143.8 gaming hours, up 68.1 hours from August. Asheron’s Call took almost my usual full gaming timing up on its own, and in fact until the Sunday just been — I had thought there would only be a handful of games on this month’s list overall.
Despite the giant leap in gaming time, overall active hours came down with 270.2 total hours. A reduction of 23.5 hours from August.
No days working from home this month, so the reduction in total hours was expected. Asheron’s Call creating a drive to play unlike any I’ve had in a while (on top of Borderlands 3, which I’ll get to soon) resulted in a huge increase in the typical proportion of time spent on gaming.
Or another way — a huge reduction in non-gaming time. I had felt that actually, I had to push a little harder than usual to come do a post. I just wanted to play more! MOOOORE!
Yep. So September saw gaming time making up 53.2% of active hours, up 27.4% from last month.
So yeah. I spent a bit of time with AC this month. I’m still a tad amazed by just how much, especially after my opening experience was almost completely derailed by the changes made to the retail AC experience before it finally closed down in 2017.
I’m still somewhat bemused too, by the fact that actively enjoying WoW Classic — to the point where I could see myself playing it for some weeks yet — is what ultimately signed its death warrant (for me) as it triggered the curiosity for a return to AC.
So yep. I indirectly bought Borderlands 3. I hadn’t intended to. Intention had been to wait for the exclusivity period to end. I haven’t dwelt on it extensively, but I have made it clear in the past I’m not a fan of Epic’s approach re: third party exclusives.
I knew too, that of every game I’d forgone on this principle so far — this would be the most uphill battle as my friend group was extremely excited and in no way willing to wait the further 6-months for it to come out more widely.
One friend in particular just wasn’t having a bar of it and ended up buying me a copy. In turn I couldn’t accept that — it wasn’t a matter of money to me, so I recompensed them for the purchase.
Since then I’ve been a little conflicted on how to approach it. You’ll note not only no review, but also not even so much of a mention of playing it til now. I think I’ll still hold off on going into detail until the exclusivity period is over, but in short?
It’s fun. Provided you enjoyed Borderlands previously, you’ll enjoy Borderlands 3 as well. It is a modernisation of everything that has come before — in movement, gunplay feel and loot generosity philosophies. Inexplicably, and frustratingly — I guess I should clarify that ‘everything’ is a bit misleading.
Intro videos with vendor logos and all cutscenes in the game are completely unskippable. You can get rid of the vendor logo videos by renaming or moving them out of the game file structure — but if you want to make a new character? Go make a cup of tea over the 5-minute intro sequence. It plays every time, with no way to bypass.
The voice acting is great, but the content… Is not. Especially following on the heels of Handsome Jack, the twins and their motivations in Borderlands 3 are just… Ugh. The story is something you get through in this title rather than actively enjoy. It’s a game carried solely on the strength of its moment-to-moment play.
I mentioned my delight and surprise to see Cube World live on to see a full release after all not too long ago.
Well, here it is!
It is verrry different from what we played back in the original Alpha. Although it does still share that same sense of punishing difficulty out of the gate while you learn how you’re supposed to engage with the world.
Now though, rather than an XP grind to level your character — its a matter of finding gear. All your stats — including your health — are tied to the gear pieces you’re wearing. Gear comes in various quality grades as is fairly typical these days but it doesn’t quite end there.
Your gear quality is also a function of the zone it came from. I believe. I haven’t witnessed this first hand yet, as I’m still working through completion of the first region (they’re pretty big!). But how I understand it is that an ‘Epic’ item in the first region might only be considered a blue or even green when you move to a higher level region.
So there is a bit of a stepping-stone thing going on. Layer onto that the artifacts you can find from boats, to reins for riding your pets, to magic flutes which when used at certain points will see you lofted into the air like a Disney-princess by a flock of birds and many more besides and it has almost a metroidvania type feel to the proceedings as well.
I enjoyed it! I sat down to just ‘play a little’ and ended up playing a fair bit. Likely Cube World isn’t going to dislodge AC from my line-up any time soon, but I’m glad I took a look. :)
Poor Remnant. We were doing so well. I can’t recall if I mentioned already or not — but this was a title I was playing exclusively in co-op with my eldest son.
But like so often happens with our co-op endeavours, Fortnite and its various competitions gets in the way. *shakes fist*
As for WoW Classic — I mentioned that already up in the Asheron’s Call section. A victim of its own success in the truest way.
(Dinnerdinnerdinner) Batman! My youngest has wanted to watch me ‘play a Batman game’ for years, but has been a little young in my opinion for the content within. Turns out this one was no different, so I rather quickly decided to put it aside for after he was asleep.
But I’d started by then, so I finished the first episode and will likely play it through now as it was a great reminder of how much I enjoyed the earlier Walking Dead Telltale entries.
And then there was Mothergunship! This is something I picked up from the last humble monthly bundle and it is every bit as preposterous as I thought it would be — and then some. Some of the guns you can construct generate enough force that you can ‘fly’ with them. And this is on top of an already very generous multi-jump.
It’s a game that revels in being over the top — but it hits all the right notes with it to my mind, and might just be my favourite ‘time-killer’ style game at the moment.