Returning to the round up of 2018.
Most years I have something of a forward looking post in which I try to pick and/or guess at what games I might play in the coming year. It remains a good reason why I don’t do monthly gaming goal posts or the like. My ability to forecast my gaming mood is pretty iffy.
Well, sort of.
If I simply said I was going to play the same old stuff as last year and the year before, I would be pretty spot on.
Instead, these posts are also a way to try and convince myself to go play something new. Sometimes the fact that I played nothing from the list isn’t my fault. Look at the history:
- 2017 – I played nothing from the list, though arguably only two were playable
- 2016 – I played none from the list, but most didn’t ship
- 2015 – literally nothing I listed went live
- 2014 – I played Warlords of Draenor, which was a gimme really
- 2012 – Actually tried most of the items on the list
- 2011 – Tried 3 out of 5 eventually, but then The Agency was on the list
- 2007 LOTRO (shipped!)
- 2007 Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising (Didn’t ship)
There were years when almost nothing I was looking into shipped.
Given the fact that new titles of interest are pretty sparse, my 2018 list, posted back at the beginning of January, was focused on older titles I had not played. I put together a list of “classic” MMOs that I had not played, listed out the pros and cons of each, and figured I should go back and give one a try. The list was:
- Ultima Online
- Dark Age of Camelot
- Anarchy Online
- Silkroad Online
- Maple Story
- Entopia Universe
- A Tale in the Desert
And, to give myself some minimal credit this year, I did in fact go and play Anarchy Online for a few hours. I have the screen shots to prove it. But I didn’t spend much time with it and I didn’t make any attempt to play anything else on the list.
In think the big lesson from that was that nostalgia is necessarily transferable. I’m okay going back and playing EverQuest now and again and dealing with all the archaic aspects of it, but only because I was there when that was the state of the art. Anarchy Online just felt old and awkward without any redeeming happy memories.
So what did I play in 2018? Well, I have a handy chart for that! Belghast does a chart like this, and I have copied him before and am back at it again.
EVE Online was the staple of my MMO year. I’m not as invested in it as I once was, but I enjoy watching it and talking about it still and I am good for a few fleet ops a month.
Pokemon Go is sort of an MMO, and getting more like one as time goes along. It is also the one game my wife and I play together, and it doesn’t take much time out of your day to keep up. It probably helps that my work campus has six Pokestops and a gym.
World of Warcraft ebbed and flowed. I was finishing up Legion early in the year, unlocking flying and all that. Then there was a break before I came back in the warm up to Battle for Azeroth. I still have things to do there, but have wandered off yet again.
Minecraft, despite our world being very quiet of late, still got some attention from me, usually around big public works projects.
I spent some time with Rift Prime. That was nice to go back to for a bit, though it also wore out on me after not too long. But that’s okay, I only feel nostalgia for the base game.
EverQuest II came and went twice. I did have a pretty good run with my berserker up to level 100, at which point the game went back to its coy mode of indicating where I ought to go next.
But EverQuest II crapping out was fine because the LOTRO Legendary server came along and, despite my skepticism, I was clearly into that.
I did take a serious run at Shroud of the Avatar. It is an odd, awkward, seemingly deliberately archaic game. I wanted to like it a lot more than I actually did like it however. As happens with these sorts of things, in the end my subconscious won’t let me log in and waste time playing something that I am not really enjoying. At least not for very long.
Then there was the flash in the pan for both Anarchy Online and Black Desert Online. I played both for about the same duration and then walked away.
So that gets me through MMOs. But I did play some other games over the course of the year. I mean, look at that big empty space in June. I was surely playing something else.
Steam can tell me what I was doing. According to it I spent time playing the following this year:
- Civilization V
- Vietnam 65
- Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
- Bomber Crew
- Fallout 4
- Oxygen Not Included
- Sudden Strike 4
- Hearts of Iron IV
- Train Simulator 2018
Some of those I have written about, like Vietnam 65. Some are games I just return to over and over, like Civilization V and Age of Empires II. There are a couple I should write about, including Oxygen Not Included and Bomber Crew. Then there are the usual tales of buying things after 8pm on Steam because they were on sale despite the fact I could guess these games were not for me. Fallout 4, Sudden Strike 4, and Hearts of Iron IV all got me to fall into that trap.
Lesson there, don’t buy anything with the number “4” in the title.
And finally there is Train Simulator 2018. There is a post about that coming. Basically I said I would do something with it if the right circumstances arose… and they did. So I felt compelled to live up to that past statement.
That is where I spent the bulk of my gaming time in 2018. I think for 2019 my forward looking statement will probably be simply more of the same. We shall see. It isn’t January yet. I often come out of the holiday season rested and optimistic.