Finding Equilibrium

I really wanted to call this post ‘Restoring Balance’ — but I’m not even playing the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Empire game yet. So it might’ve been a bit on the nose. … Well, even more on the nose. But there is a bit of a tie in. We’ll get back to that soon though.

Perhaps unsurprisingly since the Five Game Challenge wrapped-up, I’ve been like a kid in a candy shop. Sampling some of this, a bit of that. Further, I went so far as to buy two new titles in a sale on Green Man Gaming’s Black Friday sale.

  • Resident Evil 2 (2019 Remaster)
  • Hitman 2: Gold Edition

In fact, looking at my games played just since I published the wrap-up, there is already 3x the number of titles compared to what I played all of last month.

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
2X4: Foundations 3.0 Beta1.720.1%
3Outer Worlds1.619.0%
4Resident Evil 2 (2019)1.012.2%
5Asheron’s Call0.78.2%
6Grim Dawn0.66.8%

I recognise the behaviour. I suppose it’s similar to fishing. Casting the line out again and again to see what catches. Partly I think the return to this behaviour is an over correction to the (relatively) strict limits placed on myself over November.

Understandable then, to an extent. But completely incompatible with the desire to better extract value from the games I have and play. It eschews the idea of ‘playing to satisfaction‘.

The wideshot of this post’s Featured Image. It’s from X4: Foundations 3.0 Public Beta. It looks like it could’ve come straight from a pre-rendered CGI piece — but this is just standing inside a dock. If there is one thing X4 does well — it is scale.

I think there is going to be by necessity a bit of a process to go through, to learn how best to achieve these ends. I noticed the struggle trying to set new goals for the month of December once I went beyond the known quantity of Warframe.

In a setup wherein I can play anything — not just a small selection from a set of predefined games, how does one actually set meaningful gaming goals?

It’d be a lot easier if I was fully invested in an MMO to the exclusion of all else. Warframe isn’t quite to that level (even though I do expect it to be the #1 game by time played again this month), so I needed more.

I was saved this month by having a new title (Transport Fever 2) that I knew I was going to be interested in covering. But that isn’t always going to be the case. Not by a long shot.

Then I had the bonus goal. Going back and finishing The Outer Worlds, which I rather pushed to the side in order to embark on the November Five Game Challenge. Also not a usual case.

So tackling this come January is going to be interesting. I’m sure I’ll think of something. (Either that, or I’ll decided goals aren’t for me. ;))

Oh. Right! Also, I mentioned a tie in to the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Empire game.

With the forced period of not being able to jump in on the initial impulse, and having to let it sit for a while — it has been interesting observing my own interest levels for the title over time. Before it released I was very ‘meh’ about it. The gameplay trailers didn’t really look all that compelling.

Then some of my favourite Streamer’s started playing. And while I didn’t watch a great deal in order to maintain a degree of freshness for the story — I watched enough for the hype curve to start peaking. I wanted to play right awaaaay.

But I couldn’t.

And over a relatively short period of time, the hype returned to a degree of normalcy. Relooking at it with a more critical eye — noting of course I’ve still had zero personal hands-on time — it started to become a little more apparent that maybe the ranting hype drives around this game is just that we’ve come to expect so little from EA as a publisher.

And here we have a singleplayer title. With no microtransactions.

Everyone wanted to support EA in making more of this.

And I do too — but while Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Empire was great in that respect, it seemed very cut back in others. Some might say ‘streamlined’ but I suspect instead ‘made on a budget’. (Although don’t get me wrong, the production values themselves look very high!)

The forced delay tempered the desire to play. Even though I can access it via my Origin subscriptions without needing to pay another cent.

So I think that if I can hold off on a new-game purchase for even a period of a week or two, I can likely much a more rational purchase decision. I think this might be a rule I try apply to myself in an effort to get better value out of the things I already have.

There will be some exceptions — Hai2u Cyberpunk 2077 — but for the most part, I’m going to try apply this rule and see how it goes.


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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