It is that time again, time to look back at what I played last year and maybe try to get an idea as to what I might play in the coming year.
- 2020 – Combined summary and predictions into one post
- 2019 – I played some things that I predicted I would, but not many
- 2018 – Technically, mission accomplished; reality, not so much.
- 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)
Last year I wasn’t really feeling it for what I might play, probably because the list I made didn’t really pan out, so when I made the call for 2021 I kept it short and sweet.
The likely candidates were:
- WoW Classic
- EVE Online
- Retail WoW
- Burning Crusade Classic
I also threw out RimWorld, Civilzation V, and maybe World of Tanks as possible candidates to which I might return.
So now is when I look at what I actually played. I don’t go as into as much detail as Belghast, but my chart is more colorful! The top ten titles, which represent the games I spent 10 or more hours with in 2021, were:
Overall I tracked time for 20 games, so the bottom half of the list did not make it to the ten hour mark.
- WoW Classic – 29.61%
- Valheim – 23.10%
- EVE Online – 18.73%
- Diablo II – 7.18%
- New World – 6.67%
- Forza Horizon 4 – 3.68%
- Forza Horizon 5 – 2.36%
- RimWorld – 2.21%
- EverQuest II – 1.77%
- Pokemon Pearl – 1.21%
- World of Tanks – 0.92%
- War in the Pacific – 0.56%
- MMO Tycoon 2 – 0.49%
- The Fermi Paradox – 0.48%
- World of Warcraft – 0.38%
- Flashing Lights – 0.36%
- Runes of Magic – 0.18%
- Art of Rally – 0.13%
- Hearthstone – 0.05%
- LOTRO – 0.05%
EVE Online was the only title I played through all year, and even that was fairly light once World War Bee ended, which explains why it ranked in third in overall time played.
WoW Classic, which includes Burning Crusade Classic, topped the total time played, but petered out when we were reminded that we did not exactly love The Burning Crusade the first time around. Our WoW Classic time probably peaked in Blackrock Depths, which we ran into a dozen times at least. Leaving was made easier by having Blizzard’s behavior exposed.
Valheim, which came out of nowhere to become our obsession for a few months managed to come in second. We got our money’s worth out of that title, though the content ran out of steam for us and the small team working on it was overwhelmed trying to just keep things going.
Diablo II Resurrected was also a good time for a bit. New World showed up in September, but we didn’t really start playing it in earnest until more than a month had gone by and the login queues began to subside.
The two flavors of Forza Horizon were in there as well. I combined them into one row on the chart, though they would have easily both made it on their own.
RimWorld made the cut when the Ideology expansion hit, giving your colonists their own belief systems to work around.
I wandered into EverQuest II for a bit, as I tend to do, but didn’t make a big commitment.
Once it arrived, Pokemon Shining Pearl was a hit for me, making it into the top ten for time played in just the last five days of the year.
And then there was World of Tanks, after which time played starts to drop off rather quickly on the chart. I suppose my one regret was not being able to get into War in the Pacific, though honestly the biggest hurdle was how tiny the print was on my 34″ monitor. It is a war game from an earlier age of small monitors with large pixels.
So of the four likely candidates, I did end up playing three of them. Retail WoW quickly fell off the rotation for me in 2021 as the Shadowlands expansion turned into a repetitive grind for somebody not interested in raiding. Technically I logged in for quiet a while into the year, but I am not sure you should count the monthly run at Darkmoon Faire as really “playing” the game. I only did that because I was already subscribed and playing WoW Classic.
Which I guess brings us to the 2022 outlook.
Here is what I can see from where I sit this week.
- EVE Online
- Forza Horizon
- New World
- Pokemon Shining Pearl
I already have time logged for all of those this year. I might give up on them sooner rather than later, but they will be somewhere on the list. I certainly have much still to do in Shining Pearl and the group seems committed to New World for the time being. And I just bought some of the DLC for Stellaris, so I’ll play a bit of that I am sure.
- EverQuest II
- World of Tanks
- WoW Classic Wrath of the Lich King
I own the latest expansion for EQII and am subscribed for another two months, I’ll probably play some. Likewise, it is easy enough to pick up World of Tanks whenever.
And, naturally,l I started thinking about RimWorld again since I started writing this, which makes it more likely that I will go back and play it. It happens.
WotLK Classic though, that depends on Blizzard actually shipping it this year, though it feels like that is all the WoW team will manage in 2022, and Blizzard not being a complete shit show that makes me feel bad handing them money. I am biased towards playing it, that expansion representing what is my likely peak in Azeroth, but I am also wary of Blizz and how they might screw it up or just make doing business with them so unpalatable that I’d rather just stick with the memories.
Maybe, Maybe Not
- Age of Empires IV
AOE4 is part of the XBox PC subscription, so I just need to download it. I am just wary of another 100 megabyte download for a title that might not pan out for me. I haven’t liked anything in the series since AOE2.
LOTRO I want to go back and play now and again, but it looks so bad on my big monitor that they have to do something for wide screen support before I will commit. If they do that I’ll give it a shot, otherwise I’ll pass.
And then there is Valheim. I am wary of this because any updates they ship will only apply to unexplored areas, and on the world we build up we explored a lot, including into biomes that should be getting content. So going back for new content means started over again on a new world, abandoning all of our work. That might be too much to ask.
- World of Warcraft
- Burning Crusade Classic
- WoW Season of Mastery
- Diablo Immortal
Okay, I might try Diablo: Immortal when it arrives, having a phone and all that… though I’ll likely play it on the iPad instead. But otherwise the theme here is clearly Blizzard games I would be likely to play in past years not drawing much appeal from me in 2021… and honestly it is as much because of their own lack of merit as much as because of anything Blizzard is up to.
And then there are the new games that might show up. As I have noted in the past, in January of 2021 I wouldn’t have called Valheim, New World, or Pokemon Shining Pearl even being options, yet they all made the cut. So I am open to some new things, but I cannot see far enough into the future to tell what might show up and tickle my fancy.