Time to Loot Turns Three

And! I am even posting this on the day this time! I’ve been a tad late to my own party for both previous Blogiversaries. First by 6 days, then by 3. So it’s been trending in the right direction, foretelling the arrival of this day. :)

My goal last year was simple: Just don’t stop. Mission accomplished, I say. I’m tempted to say the curse of the short-lived blog is well and truly behind me. Tempted but still hesitant on the off chance that the moment complacency kicks in, boom, it’ll all be over. That would be really inconvenient timing, too, because I just paid for another three years of hosting!

Wasn’t quite as good a deal as the starting out offer but I will confirm it’s worthwhile reaching out to your host. I really didn’t want to have to move provider, I’ve been nothing but happy with Siteground. But the full cost of the hosting plans was just too much and too silly when the hassle of shifting would get another round of starting-out costs. So I’m exceptionally pleased a deal could be reached that meant I didn’t have to.

Naithin’s Favourite Posts of the Past Year

Last year, I included a block on my personal favourite posts from the year going month by month. It was a fun thing to do even if just for the chance to reflect back on what I’d written and what I liked. So I thought I’d do it again!

But this time, I decided to just run through the calendar year rather than Feb to Jan. It’s close enough I reckon. Heck, this month isn’t even completely over yet!

So here we go — my favourite posts from the past year, without too much regard for ‘success’ metrics like views or comments (although to be fair, the two do often correlate).

JanRevisiting Games Gone ByThere was just something… fun… in revisiting these three titles – Anthem, Black Desert Online and Dragon Age: Inquisition and writing about the experience. Each of them could’ve — and probably should’ve — been individual posts. It spawned a revisit to Dragon Age, albeit a short one, and a much longer revisit to BDO!
FebSpending a Day in VeliaSpeaking of that BDO visit, it triggered a series of posts. This was one of the first and reminds me of the incredibly pleasant time I spent just pottering around. Or as I said in the post, ‘I played the way that I imagine Bhagpuss plays’.
MarPlaying to a ScheduleStill just as bemused now as I was then by people who schedule their gaming by type and day. I even gave it a try! Wasn’t for me. Did last a lot longer than I expected though!
AprYour XCOM 2 Succession Game InviteThe second succession game kicked off here, and it’s still going! The first – Civilisation VI – wrapped up after a year, I suspect this one is going to last at least a little longer than that. ;)
MayReal-time Ray Tracing Might Finally Be HereI mean… I haven’t really seen any subsequent evidence to support the premise of the post. But Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition was a revelation and an amazing showcase of what the technology can do while still performing well.
JunContent DiversificationI’d had it on my mind for a while to do something blogging-related with my reading interest. For a brief period of time, I was considering an ill-advised move to having a second blog. Fortunately, with the help of some friends setting a good example, I came to my sense and just brought everything together here.
JulGames as a Story MediaI liked this one largely because it was part of a broader community conversation that started initially with Aywren writing ‘MMO & Story: So, Story Does Matter!‘ which I first replied to by way of ‘FFXIV May as Well Not be an MMO‘.
AugDon’t Post in the Weekend Part 1 & Part 2August was Blaugust. So there was a post every day. I’m already cheating a little by picking both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Don’t Post in the Weekend posts, and I’m going to cheat more before I’m done with this blurb, because it was a close thing. Don’t Post in the Weekend I picked though because it was something different, and a chance to break out some data and analyse it — even if not super scientifically. :)

My runner up — and further cheat for this block — is ‘The Shape of Motivation and Enjoyment‘. Expanding on the individual forms of motivation that might work for us and keep us going is a topic I enjoy digging into, and again, was part of a wider community conversation.
SepRolling Credits on Tales of AriseTales of Arise was my personal Game of the Year for 2021. I even finished it! And this post commemorates that all-too-rare event and reminds me, at least a little, of why I enjoyed it so much overall.
OctLost Ark to Launch in Oceania on Release After All:D :D :D :D :D :D
Oh right, words. Well- I’ve been waiting excitedly for Lost Ark since I found out about it sometime in 2018. To have it confirmed for a Western release and to then — initially — have the Oceania region excluded was… quite the rollercoaster. And we’re so close now! SO CLOSE!
NovRolling Credits on Exo OneExo One is a fantastic, although short, experience of a game. Soaring through the skies of alien worlds, plummeting at super-sonic speeds before levelling out and catching the sight of sunlight above the clouds just *chefs kiss*
DecMy Year in Reading – 2021This post wrapped up my first year (well, 6 months or so) of actively posting about my reading here on the blog. It was also the first year I actually hit the reading target I set myself on Goodreads, even if it wasn’t an overly ambitious one by some people’s measures. xD

Time to Loot Annual Stats

YearTotal postsTotal commentsAvg comments per postTotal likesAvg likes per postTotal wordsAvg words per post
* 2022 as of 20 Jan — and also not including this post! :)

Landing within 500 words of my total word count across 2020 and 2021 is somewhat amusing and entirely coincidental. I don’t see that happening again.

As for the drop in average comments and likes per post — this doesn’t surprise me at all. I’d felt that over the course of the year. Hard to say with any degree of certainty whether it is a reflection of my own writing or not. There have certainly been times when I’ve felt a need to lift myself back up as it were, so it might be. But I also can’t help to wonder whether community engagement as a whole might’ve been down a little this past year.

Despite the engagement taking a dip though, views shot right up.

Jan 2022 stats as of Jan 20th.

Much of the increase in views is of the more transactional, transient type. Particularly people looking up historic Humble Monthly/Humble Choice information, although the spike in views November this year is attributable to the Lost Ark news that Oceania would be included after all, and having the post linked to from Skill Up.

I don’t really have any particular goals when it comes to these sorts of metrics — but it would be nice to think I hadn’t peaked already and entered the downward slide already. And certainly, of these metrics, views are far less important to me than the engagement ones.

So perhaps I’ll see what I can do there. As noted in the Looking Ahead to 2022 post, I’d love to get back into participating more with community themes and discussions. I do struggle from time to time with keeping up with everyone’s posts and it’s all too easy to fall behind. Particularly while in the fever grip of a game of intense interest. If I can make the time to rip myself away from Monster Hunter Rise to do a post like this, though, then certainly I can do it to read a little more that’s out there than I may’ve done over the past year! :)


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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