Time to Loot Journal: April 2022

You know, even with my semi-hiatus, I did fully expect to get perhaps one or two more posts done this month between then and now. The energy tank has just been run dry though, and so they never happened. I thought I might dive into some of the idle games I’d been trying. For the first time, I’d started playing more than one at a time, as they’re a pretty good means of scratching the gaming itch in a pretty low commitment way. Although I’ve ended up settling pretty firmly on NGU Idle for the time being. It’s an older one, but not one I’d tried before.

When I’ve had a little more energy to spare, Elden Ring has still been there. If I’ve been up for being a bit social on top of that, Lost Ark! Although I have found that even on my ‘off’ nights from taking care of Mum, just catching up on sleep or doing something low impact has been the order of the day. I thought I might get a Glavier under way, as it was one of the classes I was most disappointed to see missing from the western releases’ launch line up. I haven’t even rolled one yet, despite the event that rolled out with it to help.

Ah well. One day!

Looking Back

One Year Ago

Outriders
  • Outriders Launched — Outriders was far from a perfect game, but it was one I enjoyed a fair it. It had no aspirations of being a ‘forever game’, but even so it has enjoyed benefit from some rather major patches over its lifespan. Now, a year on from launch, they’ve announced the coming full expansion Worldslayer too! I didn’t get around to doing a post on its announcement or initial detail, but Belghast did over here.
  • ‘Expeditions’ Launched for No Man’s Sky — Another surprise update for No Man’s Sky; this one initially I took to be one of the ‘minor’ patches. And I suppose, in many respects, it was. It wasn’t a big x.0 patch in any case. However, the addition of Expeditions (aka Seasons) was a pretty big deal and have been worked around for the patches since. We had another patch release this month just been too, Outlaws, which looks to revamp combat more generally as well as putting in a pirate faction you can interact with.
  • One Succession Game Ends, Another Begins — The Civilisation VI succession game ended in success! And very shortly afterward, the invites for the next Blogger Succession Game, this time in XCOM 2 went out. That game is still ongoing, albeit with less players than we started with.

Two Years Ago

Animal Crossing

April 2020 became Blapril! Blaugust that year was brought forward to earlier in the year in order to foster a bit of community spirit just as COVID was really taking off around the world. There is a post for each and every day this month! I’ll still try to keep it to just the highlights though. :)

  • RNG vs. Player Agency came up, with Everwake taking the position that, for the most part, RNG reduces player agency. I took the position that the two can coexist for a better gameplay outcome.
  • The Civilisation VI Succession Game Started — yep; a full two years ago the game was kicked off, in amongst all the general Blapril activity. Another joining of Bloggers for a shared project. :)
  • I played Animal Crossing — but didn’t get on with itI bounced off it harder than a bowling ball off a trampoline. Whenever the strange inclination returns to try it again, this post helps. It also sparked another post, based on comments, on whether or not one can play a game wrong.

Gaming Goals

April’s Goals

  • Elden Ring — Finish First Playthrough of the Game
    I will continue going through the game in full-explore mode as I have been. I know there will still be dungeons and hidden areas to find in future playthroughs, but I’m OK with that. :)
  • Lost Ark — Reach ilvl 1370
    I’m less sure about this one, but I think it’s manageable. I’ve actually stepped back from attempting honing every day to only doing it once per week when I have a decent batch of materials to go on. I won’t make this in the first attempt at honing this month, but depending on how that goes… Maybe second or third?

Somewhat surprisingly, to me, I made the Lost Ark goal but not the Elden Ring one. I’m not much over 1370, I’m around 1380 if I remember correctly. I’ve done Argos Phase 1 a couple of times, but still need to find a time that works to do the Hard Mode versions of Oreha’s Well.

Elden Ring I feel like I still have a long way to go. Without spoiling anything but to still perhaps give a flavour of where I’m up to — I’ve made my way through the capital and into the lands beyond. Although I’ve decided to backtrack from there and clear up some of the sub-areas I’d missed. Character level wise, ~126.

May’s Goals

None. I’m not going to set any for the foreseeable future. It’s possible I’ll finish Elden Ring regardless, I’m just not going to commit to it.

Games Played April 2022

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1Lost Ark19.271.6%
2Elden Ring4.316.2%
3Vampire Survivors3.312.3%

NGU Idle should probably be on this list too, but so little of any idle game’s active time is actually active that I typically leave them off. It still surprises me looking back on this how little Elden Ring time there is. Although thinking about it, there were week plus lengths of time where I didn’t touch it.

So yeah… Gaming time took a bit of a dip! Not all of this is from time spent at my Mother’s. That has settled into a pattern of one night in three. A lot of the remainder transferred into watching more shows. I rewatched S4 of Better Call Saul for example, then S5 in preparation for S6 which is coming out now. I’ve been enjoying Halo a lot more than I thought I would, although I’ll freely admit I have no real ties to the existing lore that it is probably running roughshod over. Picard S2 has been, IMO, better than the first.

So I’m definitely still getting some R&R time in — it’s just different from how I might normally do it.

Books Read April 2022

I finally finished Heir of Novron, the last volume in the rereleased format of Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations series.

Despite the time taken to actually get through it and the lack of a review following my completion? I’ve really enjoyed it. I will, without a doubt, be jumping into Sullivan’s wider Riyria works in the future. As I understand, there is a prequel series going into Royce and Hadrian’s earlier relationship and another that goes way back to the time covered as distant history in this one.

I won’t lie, I’m a very character-driven reader. I don’t mind, sometimes, when ‘very little happens’ if that very little is still interesting from a character perspective. As such, the early days of Royce and Hadrian interests me a heck of a lot more than the more historical series. However, I’m sure given half the chance, that will win me over too.

That said, I still took a bit of a left turn in picking what to read next.

I don’t read a lot of Sci-Fi, but Peter F. Hamilton is an author I’ve come to trust in this space. So to find he had a new (to me) series was quite exciting!

I’ve… struggled… to get into it though. In part because my reading time presently consists stubbornly reading the same paragraph several times refusing to believe I’m too tired to finish the page, and in part because I also wasn’t exactly enamored with the writing style and prose this time around.

So given that Mark Lawrence’s Girl and the Moon (Book of Ice #3) is now out, it’s entirely possible (likely, even) I’ll put this one to the side for the moment and jump over to that instead.

Heck, who knows? Maybe I’ll even get a review out for that one!

The Blog

Oof. Well. Not a lot going on here to be honest. Even less than I expected. If not for this post, I couldn’t really blame you for thinking my semi-hiatus was really more of a full on abandonment.

I kept up with other blogs for a bit, but then let that too fall to the wayside a bit.

So in sum total; there were 2 posts published over April and one of those was March’s Journal.

I can’t really promise that May will be any better; but we’ll see how it goes. I had intended to get this post out yesterday but the tyrrany of the blank page defeated me then. Thankfully, today, I’ve got past it.

That aside…

Most Viewed Posts

To start, April 2022 saw the least total views since March 2020. Not surprising with so little published, I guess, and I’m aware there is going to be some serious effort required to rebuild once my life situation changes again. That’s OK though and definitely a problem for another day. Out of the views I did get this past month, here are the posts that captured the most of them.

  1. The Variable Difficulty of Lost Ark Abyss Dungeons
  2. Semi-Hiatus
  3. Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started
  4. Rolling Credits on Exo One
  5. Deep Rock Galactic: The Solo Experience

The Lost Ark Abyss dungeon post is still pulling in views well ahead of anything else, but the interest is certainly waning. I haven’t even touched the new South Vern content in Lost Ark yet, so I can’t yet write about that either. Soon though. Soon! (Alright, maybe ‘Soon'(tm).)

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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