Tag Archives: 2021

World of Tanks reminds me I am bad at World of Tanks

Also, I didn’t exactly play a lot of World of Tanks in 2021.

World of Tanks

Wargaming.net sent me a link to a video that summarized my activity in the game in 2021.  As I noted last week in my 2021 summary post, I only played the last two months of the year (and really mostly in November) and the time spent with the title summed up to less than 1% of my recorded play time.  So it wasn’t a huge surprise to find that I only played 86 matches in 2021.

Battles and victories

That victory rate seems a bit high though, because there were nights when I would go four or five matches in a row without being on the winning side.  But as the number of matches grow, the tendency is to move towards the middle.  My lifetime win rate is close to 49%.

My lifetime stats

I honestly don’t remember the match where I destroyed nine other tanks, but that was a long time ago.

And even when I lose I do have the occasional glorious defeat.

Medals awarded posthumously

The video did confirm what I had said previously about my choice of vehicles.  The KV-1, the Soviet Valentine II, and the Soviet Churchill III were my top three rides. (Also, one two three!)

A one, a two, a three…

Those three account for 56 of my 86 battles.  Later on Potshot and I started playing with the Italian tank tree because it was new (to us) and some place to start where we had parity.  I expect that the Fiat 3000, the first tank in the Italian tree, would be in fourth place.

And then there is my nemesis, which is also the KV-1.

Who killed me most

It is kind of the big boy in the tier V battles, which is where the Churchill sits and where the Valentine tends to find itself.  I have found myself awkwardly head to head against a KV-1 in a Churchill a few times, and it isn’t a story that ends well most days unless I can back up and find cover.

My most destroyed vehicles are kind of random units that the Valentine runs into out in front of the pack.

Things I blew up the most

But out of a total of 28 kills it is hard to see a pattern.  I bet 4th place is also something I destroyed 2 times.  Also, 2 of my kills were from ramming… and I am pretty sure one of those M8A1s was on that list.

If I play some in 2022 and they do the same thing next year, I can see if I improve at all I suppose.  Otherwise, I think we’re finally closing in on the end of 2021 recap posts, unless some other game has a summary for me I have yet to see.

My Five Books of 2021

I am still running an bit behind on my usual end of the year posts, though this time I am going to blame Good Reads because the email reminding me about my year in reading review failed to show up in my inbox.

2020 plus 1

It got lost somewhere along the way, but the report itself was generated and available to view off of my profile page on the site once I realized it had gone missing and went to go find it.   You can look at it yourself if you so desire, of just look at the summary below if you prefer.

My summary for 2021

At this point, like so many other annual posts, I have started to build a history that you can go back and look at for comparison.

But, generally speaking, I read about the same number of books and the same number of pages as I have done in previous years, which kind of surprised me because there were stretches of 2021 where I really wasn’t in the mood.

But I did have a burst of reading at the end of the year that probably made up for the slow points along the way.

The other thing about 2021 was that it involved a lot of returns to books I had already read.  The year started off with the final book of The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, which always feels deceptively short after the first two books, and not just because it is padded out with more than 100 pages of appendices.  The main thread of the story, the fate of the one ring, wraps up fairly quickly and then, in a turn that few authors would bother with (or maybe few publishers would allow), we spend about half of the book with everybody wrapping things up, going home, and getting back to their daily lives.

So now I have to set about picking out my five favorites of the year, which has become the custom around here, and the choices are not easy.  I could very easily list ten or a dozen that I enjoyed, but picking just five makes me consider my choices and juggle often conflicting criteria.

This is all complicated a bit by the fact that, as with the academy awards, more recent titles figure more prominently in my memory than things I read last February or March.  Though, to counter that, anything that I do recall from ten or eleven months back must have been pretty good to still be in my head.  Then again, as I mentioned above, I went through a spate of comfort re-reading of titles for which I had fond memories, so they also loom larger in my brain.

In the end, I picked five, as the title suggested.  But I vacillated on which five a few times before finally landing on this five… though, given another day I might have swapped out four of them for something else.  It has been that sort of year.

The winners in advance

Crete 1941: The Battle and the Resistance

Not the first time Anthony Beevor has come up here on the blog.  As I have said in the past he writes with such a deft combination of depth and accessibility, looking at both individual stories and the overall picture that it is quite easy to become engrossed in the tales he recounts.  As usual, he starts in with how Crete become a focus of the war, the personalities who guided the battle, the pasts that shaped them, and the lead in as to how they came into conflict.  The campaign in the Mediterranean was a British fiasco and a strange cast of characters, from the classical gifted amateurs to the bumbling professionals, wander in and out of the drama.  And then there are the residents of the island itself who resisted the Germans during and after the battle and who paid a price for their stubborn determination.  Crete doesn’t rank up with Stalingrad, Berlin, Normandy, or Arnhem, other battles Beevor has covered, in scope or scale.  But his work is of such quality that tale itself outweighs the significance of the struggle.

De Gaulle

Unlike Anthony Beevor, Julian T. Jackson was unknown to me until I picked up him biography of Charles De Gaulle.  The book is long, detailed, and occasionally a bit frustrating to read, though that is more the fault of the subject than the author.  Charles De Gaulle was a difficult man and, as such, the tale of his life must include him being difficult… difficult, proud, haughty, and more than a bit antagonistic at times towards people you might see as his only allies.  Noted mostly in retrospect for being a proponent or armored warfare before the war broke out, he fled to England when France capitulated to the Germans in 1940, refusing to give up the fight.  Starting with almost nothing in London, where the British government didn’t quite know what to do with him, complicated relations with the Vichy government of France as he did, he became the living epitome of the French nation and its redemption after its humiliation, carried on by ego and determination as much as anything.  He shaped post-war France and his influence is felt even today.  The book charts his career, his many ups and downs, his difficult relationships with others, and his strongly held beliefs that guided him when things were darkest for France.

Bored of the Rings

I am clearly past the serious titles now.  Written by Henry Beard and Douglas Kenney of the Harvard Lampoon in 1969, it is a parody of The Lord of the Rings that derives its humor from more angles than you might think.  The names of most every thing, the attitudes, the flow of the tale, even the forward are all send ups of the original that are both humorous and yet betray an affection for the original work that is hard to describe.  There is even a parody of the map of Middle-earth in the same style as the original.  And, in an odd parallel to the work it parodies, it has remained in print since it was first published.  You can buy a new copy from Amazon today, though I still have two copies of sitting on my bookshelf.

It is also hard to describe the influence this silly book has had on my sense of humor and personality.  It along with Mad Magazine and Catch-22 no doubt combined to give me the rather cynical eye which I posses along with the ability to laugh at the absurdities of life.  The book is also something of a test.  People who get upset about this book because they feel it tarnishes the original on which it was based are clearly too self-serious to be around.

In 2021 I picked up the audiobook version, which has been updated and annotated because some of the humor in the book depends on consumer brand names that were popular when the book was written, many of which have fallen by the wayside.  But even the annotations cannot take themselves seriously and the both educate and add to the humor.

Bill the Galactic Hero

Another oldie, though this one was more difficult to find.  My well worn copy of this Harry Harrison classic is no longer legible after all of these years and it has been out of print for ages.  In addition, a series of very poor follow on titles in the series “co-authored” by other writers (which is to say written by somebody else) are still hanging around, all with Bill the Galactic Hero in the title.  Accept no substitutes, no Planet of the Robot Slaves, which is at times listed as Book 1 (and was the only one Harrison was involved with), or other entries in the series.  Only the original will do.

After quite a bit of digging I was eventually able to find an ebook version of it, and it was worth the effort.  Bill the Galactic Hero is a parody of the then popular jingoistic nationalism that was being portrayed in titles like Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, the pretension of SciFi coming out of its golden age, as well as the general attitude of the US government as it blundered its way into the 1960s.

The tale follows Bill (later reduced to Bil, because only officers get two Ls in their name) who is shanghaied from his life on the farm and inducted into the military of the empire, another body to be expended in the empires war against the Chiggers, a four armed reptilian species that is in a life and death struggle with humanity.  He is fed through the system, manages to show some minor competence in a battle, is decorated, gets lost on the capital planet, is declared AWOL, gets caught, punished, and put through the wringer, discovering the truth about the war along the way.

The Frontlines Series

In a bit of a cop out, my last entry is seven books (and a short story), all of which I read towards the end of the year.  In an age of binge watching I did a bit of binge reading.  The series by Marko Kloos follows Andrew Grayson, who grows up in the welfare complexes of the North American Confederation, the political entity that rules the US, Canada, and at least part of Mexico in the future.  With no hope of work, he applies to the military, which is extremely selective about the candidates it accepts.  Those who are allowed in must pass a rigorous training cycle, from which they can be washed out for any reason.  But the benefits include real food, rather than the soy based rations of the welfare complexes, an enlistment bonus payable if they complete their term of service, and a sense of purpose in their lives.  Grayson makes the cut… he’s the main character, so duh… and ends up in the armed forces of the NAC, which primarily fights against the Sino-Russian alliance or their own citizens when they rise up in protest.

And then aliens show up.  Incomprehensible, huge, and technologically advanced beyond humanity, they start taking human off world colonies one by one as Earth tries to come to grips with this mortal peril.  There is no communications, these aliens just land on the colonies, gas the settler concentrations, then setup terraformers that quickly change the atmosphere into a carbon monoxide mix that is unbreathable by humans.  And, of course, they are heading towards Earth eventually.

The series follow Grayson and his time in service, fighting human as well as alien enemies.  I mentioned in the first book in a post back in 2014 about titles that were kicking off series.  As I said back then, it isn’t hard scifi and it doesn’t get too bogged down in the how or why of technology.  It is, like a lot of good scifi, an exploration of society, trends, and how humans behave under extreme circumstances.  And the series is compelling and an easy read.

Honorable Mentions

Here is where I try and do an end run around picking just five titles, and I am going to pick out two… though which two?  I had a hard time with even that.  But here is what I have.

The first is The World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918 by G. J. Meyer.

I have read a lot of books about WWI.  It was such a seminal event at the opening of the 20th century that at times it seems like every historian feels the need to take a crack at some aspect of it.  But it is difficult to walk the line between too abstract from the horrors of the war and being too mired in the details of battle in crafting a general history of the war.  But, of the attempts I have read, this one threads the needle between the two extremes… managing to get into enough detail, keeping abreast of all fronts, and discussing the politics behind and around the war… better than anything I can recall.

And my other pick, which is also from the military history pile, is Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II by Jeffrey R. Cox.

This is the opposite of The World Undone, mired in detail about what has become something of an obscure campaign at the start of the war in the Pacific.  Lots of facts and tactics and equipment along with an exploration of the personalities and the politics that motivated them.

How good was this book?  Well, on my bookshelf I also have a copy of The Fleet the Gods Forgot: The U.S. Asiatic Fleet in World War II by W.G. Winslow, which is a solid telling of the campaign already, though focused more on the US aspect of it specifically.  I felt like both books together gave depth to the tale the way that two speakers spaced just right give you stereo sound.  They overlap significantly, diverge occasionally, but provide something akin to a stereoscopic view of events.

There is one person who might read this for whom that second honorable mention was for.

And that was it for 2021.  Now we’re in 2022 and I am off and looking for the next title to read.

My Games Played for 2021 and Looking Forward into 2022

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 plus 1

Past Entries

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:

2021 in gaming for me

Overall I tracked time for 20 games, so the bottom half of the list did not make it to the ten hour mark.

  1. WoW Classic – 29.61%
  2. Valheim – 23.10%
  3. EVE Online – 18.73%
  4. Diablo II – 7.18%
  5. New World – 6.67%
  6. Forza Horizon 4 – 3.68%
  7. Forza Horizon 5 – 2.36%
  8. RimWorld – 2.21%
  9. EverQuest II – 1.77%
  10. Pokemon Pearl – 1.21%
  11. World of Tanks – 0.92%
  12. War in the Pacific – 0.56%
  13. MMO Tycoon 2 – 0.49%
  14. The Fermi Paradox – 0.48%
  15. World of Warcraft – 0.38%
  16. Flashing Lights – 0.36%
  17. Runes of Magic – 0.18%
  18. Art of Rally – 0.13%
  19. Hearthstone – 0.05%
  20. 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.

2022 is what we get

Here is what I can see from where I sit this week.

Sure Things

  • EVE Online
  • Forza Horizon
  • New World
  • Pokemon Shining Pearl
  • Stellaris

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.

Likely Candidates

  • EverQuest II
  • RimWorld
  • 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
  • LOTRO
  • Valheim

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.

Unlikely

  • 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.

The End of the Steam Winter Sale with 2021 Stats and Awards

The Annual Steam Winter Sale wrapped up about fifteen minutes ago, if this post went live when I scheduled it.  I sometimes mess that up, so one can never be too sure.

The Tradition Continues

As with last year, I ended no new games.  I bought a few things during the summer sale, but when it came to winter I wasn’t able to warm up to anything sufficiently.  I did buy some of the DLC for Stellaris that was discounted, so I didn’t walk away completely empty handed.  But, in the end my current policy of “don’t buy it now if you’re not going to play it now” won out.

So not much of a story to tell there.

But Valve has some stuff for me to talk about.  They did their usual “Best Of” post for 2021 that detailed what did well on the platform over the past year. (The blog has links back to past years if you are interested.)

On top of the revenue chart were the following 12 games, sorted alphabetically because they don’t give you actual numbers by which to sort them:

  • Apex Legends
  • Battlefield 2042
  • CS:GO
  • Dead by Daylight 5
  • Destiny 2
  • Dota 2
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Naraka: Bladepoint
  • New World
  • PUBG Battlegrounds
  • Rainbow Siege 6
  • Valheim

Some of the old familiar Valve titles made it, including Dota 2 and CS:GO, along with the aging champion Grand Theft Auto V, which will seemingly never die.  But it was nice to see 2021’s surprise hit, Valheim, make the cut, as did New World.  Two titles I actually played!

Perennial Platinum finisher Warframe remained in the Gold category for 2021, which still shows it to be a strong game.  Also in Gold were both Forza Horizon 4 and Forza Horizon 5.

When it came to the Most Played category, nine titles managed to exceed the 200K concurrent player count to make it into the Platinum rank for 2021.  They were:

  • Apex Legends
  • CS:GO
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dota 2
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Halo Infinite
  • New World
  • PUBG Battlegrounds
  • Valheim

Again, it probably helps to be a Steam exclusive, but that category is pretty wide, with some of the titles closing in on a million concurrent at times.

And then there were the Steam Awards for 2021, the categories and winners of which were:

  • Game Of The Year: Resident Evil Village
  • VR Game Of The Year: Cooking Simulator VR
  • Labor Of Love: Terraria
  • Better With Friends: It Takes Two
  • Outstanding Visual Style: Forza Horizon 5
  • Most Innovative Gameplay: Deathloop
  • Best Game You Suck At: Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition
  • Best Soundtrack: Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy
  • Outstanding Story-Rich Game: Cyberpunk 2077
  • Sit Back And Relax: Farming Simulator 22

I voted in the award, though given what I play, it was generally a matter of guessing who would win rather than voting for anything I played.  Valheim was a nominee in a category or two, but did not make the cut.  So the only winner that I played was Forza Horizon 5, which I did indeed vote for.

But I also voted for Cooking Simulator VR and that was just me picking the silliest title on the list of VR options.

Anyway, the sale has come and gone, the records have been declared, and the award have been given out.  Back to whatever passes for normal, at least until we get to the summer sale.

Looking Back at 2021 Highs and Lows

I think the best we can say about 2021 was that at least it wasn’t 2020 all over again.

2020 plus 1

Well, maybe that isn’t being fair, but after the eternity of 2020 and the election and the pandemic and staying at home, hearing that we were going to have a vaccine and a boring old guy as president gave us hope for some normalcy.

And then shit happened and I am worried I have reached that point in life where everything is just going to be worse every year.  But we’ll get to that.  First the usual round up of past years, because this in an annual thing and has been since been for more than a decade.

This year we are back to highs and lows, divided up into categories based on some criteria that represents how my brain sorts things or relevance to the theme of this blog or something like that.

Blizzard

Highs

  • Burning Crusade Classic launched, keeping the nostalgia party going
  • Diablo II Resurrected landed on PC and consoles to popular acclaim
  • Some actual serious talk about doing more with Diablo II Resurrected
  • We got another run at nostalgia with WoW Classic Season of Mastery
  • BlizzConline was a nice, solid online event that was FREE to all fans
  • Hearthstone carried on and came out with a new solo mode
  • The WoW Community Council could help things if Blizzard deigns to listen

Lows

  • There was the collapse of the WoW Shadowlands expansion as people lost interest and exited the WoW for greener pastures
  • I am pretty sure the big level squish was a sign that Blizz just wants people to get to level cap raiding faster rather than any attempt to make that between content more viable or accessible
  • Diablo IV is still more than a year away
  • Diablo Immortal, which they were letting people play at BlizzCon 2018, still didn’t ship
  • Overwatch 2 seems to be some sort of unsubstantiated myth at this point
  • StarCraft II and Heroes of the Storm are on a shelf in the back room
  • No new WoW expansion announced… or any real tangible public plan for the one franchise that pays the bill
  • Tainted the Burning Crusade Classic experience with the bonus pack, with the lizard mount and special hearthstone that mostly marked people out for scorn, though I am sure it made money in the short term
  • So far the WoW Community Council has been a game of Space Invaders, where suggestions are the descending aliens that Blizzard feels they have to destroy before they get too close
  • And then there was the State of California lawsuit about Blizzard being a hostile work place, which seemed supported by some accounts even as Blizzard tried to deny there were any problems at the company, which then exploded as more and more revelations about the company were exposed, often supported by the social media accounts of the people who were the problem, aided and abetted by senior management and HR who all seemed eager to cover up and excuse bad behavior, tarnishing everybody from Mike Morhaime forward
  • Lots of empty promises to clean things up while ignoring employee issues and making sure to jump on top of any hint of a union with the usual round of anti-union lies
  • Eventually there was some cleaning out of those most obviously complicit, but the company was at odds with itself and began to drift like a ship without a rudder as those in the executive suite made sure that they were not held accountable for anything; leading by example is the most basic form of leadership and Bobby Kotick can’t even manage that
  • As bad as Blizzard and Activision corporate behavior has been, I bet only a small sliver of their fans would even care if the studio actually shipped something new and fun

Enad Global 7

Highs

  • 2021 opened with such optimism about what EG7 was going to do now that it had acquired Daybreak
  • Then CEO Robin Floodin seemed eager to invest in the Daybreak portfolio, though he seemed oddly obsessed with H1Z1
  • Even replacement interim EG7 CEO and former Daybreak CEO Ji Ham admitted that the Daybreak portfolio of games had been neglected during his time as leader of Daybreak
  • We got to see Ji Ham speak and, while he wasn’t a font of insight, he did okay for his first public engagement as CEO of a public company
  • Ji Ham actually admitting on camera that Daybreak had not been investing enough in their game portfolio and saying that EG7 wanted to rectify that
  • New expansions for EverQuest, EverQuest II, and Lord of the Rings Online
  • Continuing new content for DC Universe Online and PlanetSide 2
  • MechWarrior 5 released on multiple platforms
  • Ongoing promise of a revamped LOTRO and a console version of the game
  • An unannounced Marvel IP MMO in development that got more headlines than anything Daybreak has done in the last five years
  • Daybreak taking over running Magic: The Gathering Online also put the company in the spotlight, adding another very visible franchise to their portfolio

Lows

  • Time and reality seemed to crush that initial wave of optimism that the acquisition instilled in us, as it tends to
  • Difficult to find anything real (as opposed to promised) where one can accurately declarre, “This is better today, right now, because of EG7” since the Daybreak acquisition
  • Worrisome feeling of deja vu when Ji Ham replaced the popular Robin Floodin as CEO
  • Some clearly impractical promises like LOTRO on consoles or bringing back H1Z1
  • Even the more practical promises are still out in the distant future
  • Really kind of business as usual for most of the games, which isn’t bad, but we were hyped for more

CCP

Highs

  • Opened the year with another Guinness Book World Record internet spaceship battle at M2-XFE
  • World War Bee proved once again that things happen in New Eden that no other game comes close to achieving
  • Lots of work on the whole new player experience thing and making things within the game more comprehensible
  • Came up with not bad solutions to the endless complaints about warp core stabilizers and interdiction nullification
  • Server upgrades to raise bar on performance in New Eden
  • Return of the Alliance Tournament

Lows

  • Economic starvation policy directly contributed to the stalemate that marked the last six months of World War Bee
  • The economy, the dull end of the war, and the COVID vaccine combined to slam the weekly peak concurrent user count
  • The promise of “prosperity” by CCP turned out to define “prosperity” as “more scarcity”
  • The CCP plan to make capital ships rare by making them expensive after years of them being way too cheap was both way too late to fix the proliferation issue and made capital pilots much less likely to risk their now very expensive hulls
  • The new player experience work has been focused pretty strongly on the initial tutorial, after which new players are still sent into the mediocre and now comically out of date career agents
  • Introduction of NFTs into the Alliance Tournament with the promise that this is just the start of those shenanigans
  • For some reason CCP can’t even ship what seems like a slam dunk improvement, like the new skill management interface, without screwing it up on the first pass and having to go back and fix blatant issues that were reported on the test server… and which should have been obvious to anybody with eyes honestly
  • UI design team philosophy seems to always default to “what if we added an additional UI pane to the game?”
  • I guess EVE Echoes is still a thing… oh, look, it has become a horrible, cash shop focused vision of what might be the future of the main game
  • Weren’t they working on a first person shooter or something?

Amazon

Highs

  • New World was an undisputed success at launch
  • Server queues are bad for players, but they are a good problem to have to solve when compared to server merges
  • Huge player numbers in the first month, with almost a million concurrent at its peak
  • Even when things died down, low six digit concurrent numbers are something many live games would kill for
  • Actually an MMORPG that felt different from the WoW-centric experiences we’ve been having the last fifteen plus years
  • Being skill and not class based means your character can do it all… theoretically
  • Planned for the future with a very obvious server merge path

Lows

  • When you’re getting 5 digit server queues with a game that has a low four digit player limit per server, you have not launched enough servers
  • So many bugs, so many problems that won’t go away, so much time spent waiting for the damn game to load
  • A lot of “nice to have” features left on the cutting room floor
  • You know “Azoth” makes half of us think of “Azeroth” every time we see that word
  • Some very odd UI design choices… beyond the clearly “designed for consoles” aspect even
  • An attempt to forestall players leaving made crafting and high end content so grindy it accelerated players leaving
  • In reality, I desperately want an alt so my main doesn’t literally have to do it all and respec with every change
  • Also, alts aside, two freaking character slots per region?  I remember the EQII launch and being dismayed that they only gave us four character slots, and New World somehow topped that
  • Server merges already as it is a game that has a minimum population in order to be viable
  • Getting to the “so what are you going to do next?” phase in New World
  • Didn’t Amazon have some other games in development?

Pokemon

Highs

  • We finally got a remake of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl
  • A great Pokemon Go Fest back in July
  • Pokemon Go keeps adapting and getting better

Lows

  • We will see how well a faithful remake of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl plays in 2022 I guess
  • Pokemon Go Fest was largely a success because they cut the price down to something reasonable
  • Sitting at level 42 in Pokemon Go it looks like a long, long ways to level 50

Other Areas of the Video Game Industry

Highs

  • Valheim came out of nowhere and was amazing
  • Forza Horizon 5 turned out to be the open world driving game I was looking for
  • Hey, Forza Horizon 4 was that also, but cheaper and with all the DLC shipped, so I went there instead
  • World of Tanks, still fun a decade later
  • Raph Koster was telling us about his visions of the metaverse and, while being quite coy with details, seemed at least grounded in the reality of the situation
  • Steam Deck looks like a very promising platform
  • XBox Game Pass for PC is a pretty darn good deal for gamers
  • TorilMUD is still around 28 years down the line and even has an active Discord server
  • Minecraft got some nice updates this past year
  • Final Fantasy XIV was well positioned to grab refugees from World of Warcraft
  • FFXIV also kicked off their highly anticipated Endwalker expansion

Lows

  • Pretty much impossible to buy a new mid-range video card for under $1K
  • Steam Deck delayed until February, so none under the tree for Christmas
  • The biggest problem with Forza Horizon is the integration into Microsoft, which makes tasks like finding your friends surprisingly difficult
  • I am still very bad at World of Tanks a decade later
  • A three person studio was basically incapable of both keeping Valheim going and getting out some updates, so it has stayed pretty close to the launch state for most of the year and new zones are off in the distance
  • As with Minecraft, updates to biomes in Valheim will only apply to areas you haven’t been to, so you if you explored a lot like I did, you’re left having to start over to get to see new stuff when we get it
  • Speaking of Minecraft, it still gives me motion sickness, a rare effect on me, on the big 34″ curved ultrawide monitor
  • If you thought the New World queues were bad, let me tell you about FFXIV and Endwalker
  • Mark Zuckerberg was threatening us with his dystopian metaverse vision, complete with VR mask strapped to our collective faces and forcing his legless, uncanny valley horror show into our optic receptors
  • Too much meaningless NFT and blockchain hype, and it has only just gotten started
  • UbiSoft trying to one-up Blizzard with toxic workplace issues AND getting on board with NFTs
  • Et tu Bungie on the toxicity?

Television, Books, and the Media

Highs

  • The binge watching continued into 2021 and there was a lot to watch
  • Some solid IPs hitting the airwaves with series based on The Wheel of Time and Azimov’s Foundation series
  • A new attempt at a Dune movie, as well as a new Bond and Matrix movies
  • Ghostbusters Afterlife was the sequel the original deserved
  • Actually went out to the movies a few times; the popcorn was excellent
  • Lots of new seasons for things we like previously
  • Managed to get through 28 books this year
  • I did a lot of podcast listening as well
  • Twitter remains a fairly hospitable place for me

Lows

  • The problem with binging TV is that you become very aware of the tropes of the genre and the clues indicating where the plot is going
  • A lot of what I call “next season” fatigue, where I find that shows I liked in past seasons don’t really live up
  • We watched such a breadth of shows that when a new season drops I cannot remember what the hell went on before
  • Some extremely crap “previously on X” 30 second recaps in front of a new season that don’t help at all
  • Not a lot of new movies interesting enough to risk going to the theater, and a couple I might have gone out to see were released simultaneously on streaming, and our couch at home wins by default even if the popcorn isn’t as good
  • The whole Dune “we’re hiding the fact it is only part one until you see the opening credits” thing bugged me
  • Bond should have stayed retired
  • A lot of my reading this year was re-reading books for comfort, so not a lot new managed to get on my list
  • A lot of what I call “podcasts” today, such as This American Life, I would have just called “shows on the radio” 15 years back, while I rarely if ever find time for the amateur affairs that represented podcasts back then

Blogging and Such

Highs

  • The blog, it lives still, fifteen years into the game
  • I once again posted more than once a day in 2021
  • For no good reason I have been on a post-a-day streak since April 2020, which puts me into the mid-600s for days in a row of posting
  • Blaugust was a thing again this year
  • The local blogging community still carries on

Lows

  • Finding something to write about that I also care to put the effort into… ideas are cheap and plentiful, time and enthusiasm are much more rare… is becoming more difficult
  • The backbone of the blog was MMORPGs, which lend themselves to blogging as they are very much progression based and tell the story of your character, and since I am barely playing any MMORPGs at this point, those tales of progression have largely gone missing
  • There is no feature that WP.com cannot screw up on the first three tries
  • WP.com tech support will tell you you’re wrong when you say they’ve broken something, then fix it two weeks later

Just Life

Highs

  • As I stated at the top, at least it isn’t 2020 anymore
  • Still hanging on; my wife and I combined made more money in 2021 than any year previous, so we’re not too worried about the immediate future and doing okay compared to many in these trying times
  • Managed to refinance our house, lower our monthly payment, and pull out enough cash to pay for the last two years of college for our daughter
  • Back to having a boring president is good for the blood pressure
  • Covid vaccines available for most everybody at this point; I got my booster just ten days back
  • Even Donald Trump says you should get vaccinated
  • Managed not to contract Covid myself yet
  • Going to the store was mostly back to normal, save for masks, and there was toilet paper and antiseptic wipes available
  • The news wasn’t one outrage or horror show after the another; we let things slide in 2020 that would have been headlines with two week life cycles in a normal year

Lows

  • 2021 would seem like a pretty bad year if it hadn’t followed 2020
  • The price of the final two years of college for our daughter is easily going to get into six figures
  • Oh, and everything else is more expensive, so we’re not actually gaining any ground, just holding on
  • Everything is still worse than before Covid; prices are up, quality is down, portions are smaller, supply is unreliable, and the chip shortage remains
  • I didn’t catch Covid, but I got an inner ear infection that made me deaf in my right ear for about a month, and I have still not fully recovered my hearing there months later
  • Delta and Omicron variants have made it clear than Covid isn’t going away any time soon
  • Covid boosters are likely to become like flu shots, something we’ll need to get every year it seems, and masks in enclosed public spaces are going to be a thing for the rest of my life it seems
  • Apparently the ONE thing Donald Trump’s fans cannot abide is him endorsing Covid vaccines
  • We have reached a point where billionaires have their own space programs like Bond villains
  • I’ve really had trouble recalibrating to a news cycle that isn’t one insane thing after another, so when the top story of the day is about Biden’s dog or Kamala Harris buying cookware my gut reaction is “who gives a flying fuck?”
  • Remember when we were worried about Democracy in Hong Kong?  Yeah, China stomped that idea out of existence
  • China is starting to seem impatient about bringing Taiwan under its control
  • Russia is still working on reconquering the old Soviet/Imperial Russian empire, with an invasion of the remaining unoccupied parts of Ukraine as a distinct possibility, and we know how well wars in Europe work out for everybody
  • Boring presidents don’t actually do much it seems, so the new James Buchanan we have now is just forestalling conflicts to come
  • The November 2022 elections could very well decide whether or not democracy is a thing in the USA
  • We’ll be close to 8 billion people on earth soon, well up from the 3.3 billion who were around when I was born; Thomas Malthus would be telling us, “told you so” if he were still around today

Anyway, I had better stop there before I get myself too down.  Bad news does tend to push out anything good, so I should be happy that the bad news hasn’t been as frequent or as close to home.

Tomorrow is the last day of the year.  Enjoy it.  2022 is coming, and I am sure it is keen to leave its own mark on our collective hides.

My Time with Twitch in 2021

Yes, I have another post about another online thing that decided to tell me all about what I did in 2021.  This time it is Twitch, which sent me an infographic about what I spent my time watching.

tl;dr – I watched EVE Online related stuff.

I mean sure, the recap mentions a few other things in my top five.

Twitch categories I watched the most in 2021

But I am pretty sure most of that is a lie or because I walked away from a stream and it ended and the streamer I was watching sent traffic to another channel that was playing something else.  I cannot recall ever watching Phasmophobia or Final Fantasy XIV ever.

Just look at my top five channels.

The Top Five Channels

Imperium News in entirely EVE Online.

Mind1 is the DJ for Saturday Night Swarm in EVE Online.  I sometimes tune in to watch him at other times, but it is 99% EVE Online related when I do watch.

Rampage Incorporated is Merkelchen, Brisc Rubal, and Innominate roaming in EVE Online most of the time, though they do play other games and I am pretty sure I watched Merk playing WoW Shadowlands back in January when people were still playing that.

CCP is the studio with only one game, EVE Online.  I watch the dev broadcasts, a bit of the alliance tournament, and occasional Carneros when he does a chill stream.

And TheDoctorUK is… can you guess?  An EVE Online player.  We were corp mates back in TNT, before I defected to KarmaFleet.  He was streaming the Jita protests at one point and sometimes does the DJ thing for the Euro time zone edition of Saturday Night Swarm.  I am actually kind of surprised he came in ahead of ZehPando or New Eden Post, both also EVE Online streams, but I suspect I left

So, as with Reddit, I have been known to watch things other than EVE Online related shows and streams, it is pretty rare.

Here is my summary inforgraphic from Twitch.

What I did on Twitch in 2021

The top three channels changed a bit from last year’s summary, Rampage Inc took third place from CCP.  They also didn’t include the total hours watched, so I can’t tell you how much more of one than I watched than the other.  But I suspect that aspect of the summary last year probably raised some eyebrows when people found out how much time they spent with their top three channels.

Anyway, something else about 2021.

My Year in EVE Online 2021

As has now become the custom, CCP put together videos for players of EVE Online in order to sum up what they did in 2021.

As it went last year, they tried to consolidate my alts into one report, though they are five alts shy of the mark by my count.

My and my droogs

Judging from the stats, they excluded my main combat alt account, which is on a different email address.  That would have added another 18 titan kills, which would sum up to at least another trillion on top of what the video for Wilhelm shows, plus a lot more fleets.  My alt sat in a fax waiting for the word to jump quite a few times.

There are some details about the video creation process in the forums.  The data presented is from December 1st 2020 through November 30th 2021. (Though the news post says January 1st 2021 through November 30th… because CCP… but that isn’t correct because my big kill below is outside of that date range.)

Unlike past years, my main alt did not get his own video, probably because that account is now unsubscribed, though the forum post said he should get one so long as he was Omega for at least one month.  Anyway, nothing for him so far.  I should probably simplify this and just put all my accounts on the same email address, since that is how they group them.

Anyway, getting to the point at last, here is the video.  As before I uploaded it to YouTube because it will disappear from CCP’s site at some point next month.

 

Some of the numbers from the video:

  • SP gained: 37,437,792
  • Stargate jumps: 1,860
  • Systems visited: 539
  • Market transactions: 460
  • ISK value sold: 1,506,619,735 ISK
  • ISK value purchased: 1,041,174,000 ISK
  • ISK net gain for the year: -7,261,166,571

Skill points is clearly across multiple accounts, while stargate jumps and systems visited are a bit down from 2020, though by December of 2020 we didn’t have to go very far to find a fight as World War Bee was on our doorstep in Delve.

Market transactions are likewise not too far off of last year, though the value of what I purchased and what I sold are much lower than last year.

And then there is my net ISK gain for the year… and I was down more than 7 billion ISK, which is a lot for me.  But 5 billion of that was put into Imperium war bonds.  Still, that put me down 2.6 billion ISK for the year, 1.5x what I was down last year.  I suspect that the 2.6 billion ISK went into  ship contracts for hulls that are still sitting in my hangar.  I invested in backup ships for the final battle that never came.

So, from a view of assets, allowing that my war bonds are worth the 5 billion I paid for them, 2021 was a bit of a wash.  I’ll just have to lose all those ships in my hangar so I can claim SRP in order to get my ISK back.

Then there are the fun bits of the report.

Ship kills and value

I was on 902 killmails in 2021, including 39 structures.  That was up from 834 in 2020, though I was on 44 structure kills that year.  The total value of the killmails I was on though… two trillion ISK.  That was up considerably over the 240 billion ISK I was on in 2020, largely due to the two battles at M2-XFE I am sure, though clearing out PAPI structures at the end of the war no doubt help some.

This, of course, doesn’t line up with my zKillboad stats for the same time frame, but the system is fallible.

Time to Fleet Up

I was in 201 fleets in 2021 for a total of 982 hours.  That is 4.8 hours per fleet.  I suspect that the M2-XFE hell camp inflated the total hours considerably as I would spend all day working from home in one of those fleets with the overview just peeking around the side of what I was working on.

Still, even with almost a thousand hours in fleets I am only in the top 17%.  Some of you people just log in, fleet up, and hang out all day long I guess.

As for largest fleet joined… fleets can only have 256 players.  I should my in a many thousands tie for first place.

On my kill mails

My nemesis this year was Vanock Alland who I suspect, from looking at their killboard, is just somebody in the Spartan Vanguard corporation in TEST Alliance who goes on a lot of fleets.  They have been on almost 54K killmails  (about ten times my total count and they’ve played EVE about half as long), so seem a likely person to get shot by in any given battle against TEST.

Most valuable killmail

The priciest killmail I was on was for TScan’s Erebus, which I managed to hit with the ECM Burst module on my Rokh early on in the first titan battle at M2-XFE.  I am a bit surprised I made it on that killmail as I docked up the Rokh, jump cloned back to 1DQ1-A, got into a Damnation, and spent most of the fight boosting for one of the super fleets.

Also, the replacement value today for that Erebus today is at least double the 106 billion listed there.  I hope he got his hull replaced quickly.

Fire for effect

Damage doesn’t equal kills, and double so when it comes to structures, where you have to go through the shield, armor, and hull attacks on three different days.

But I still want to divide out damage per kill.

For ships I hit for just 600 damage per kill when spread over the 902 killmails I was on in 2021.

When it comes to structures I put out 129,511 points of damage when spread across the 39 structure killmails.  That put me in the top ten percent, no doubt because I am good at remembering to recycle my guns after they have reloaded.  I know on most shoots there are the people vying for top damage in their polarized fits shooting T2 ammo.  I generally just shoot T1 rounds, cheapskate that I am.

Dynamic duo

And the person I shared the most killmails with was fellow Reaver (look at that jacket and pose) Rathbon.  I guess we must be in the same time zone, or at least play the same hours.

So it goes.  We shall see what 2022 brings.

Addendum:

Using the video finder linked in the forum post I was able to find the video for my main alt, which I will paste in here.

Not as exciting as my main, though he did get another 1.8 trillion in kill mails thanks to being on the line and shooting at the first M2-XFE fight.

For those interested, you can find my posts about past videos below:

 

No BlizzCon for 2021

Blizzard announced today that they will not be hosting the annual BlizzCon event again this year.  Instead they will have another BlizzConline with additional events early in 2022.

BlizzCon in Blue

As with last year, uncertainty around the pandemic at the long lead time for planning such an event has been given as the reasons for not holding the huge, in person affair.  I suspect the cost of such an event and the relative success of the online (and completely free) BlizzConline back in February also played into this decision.

Personally, I am fine with the online only event, especially since all the panels were just put up on YouTube to be viewed at your leisure, but I know that many, both fans and people at Blizzard, enjoy the big get together at the Anaheim Convention Center.  Speaking before thousands of cheering fans… and being in that crowd… is not something that can be reproduced with an online experience.

The message from Blizzard:

Greetings Blizzard community,

I hope you’re all staying safe and well. As guidelines in California around in-person gatherings continue to evolve and the status of the pandemic fluctuates around the globe, the teams across Blizzard have been discussing what this means for one of the events we miss the most: BlizzCon. We know some of you might be wondering about your own plans to potentially cross the country—not to mention oceans—and meet your friends, family, and fellow community members in California, so today, we wanted to give you a heads-up that we’ve decided we will not be holding BlizzCon this year.

Building an in-person BlizzCon is an epic and complex affair that takes many months of preparation—not just for us, but also for the many talented production partners, esports pros, hosts, entertainers, artists, and other collaborators we team up with locally and globally to put all of the pieces together. The ongoing complexities and uncertainties of the pandemic have impacted our ability to properly move forward on many of these fronts, and ultimately we’re now past the point where we’d be able to develop the kind of event we’d want to create for you in November.

But we don’t want to let too long go by before we connect with everyone again. So in the meantime, we’re planning a global event for the early part of next year, combining an online show along the lines of our recent BlizzConline with smaller in-person gatherings, and we’ll share more as our plans come together.

We very much look forward to celebrating with you all again. Until then, we’ll see you in Azeroth, Outland, Sanctuary, and all the other worlds we call home.

–Saralyn Smith, Executive Producer of BlizzCon

My Games Played for 2020 and Looking Forward into 2021

I am a little behind on my usual end of year posts with this.  Generally I have a wrap up and a looking forward post at some point in late December… but then I found a bunch of other things to write about.  I was only reminded of it when Belghast posted his charts.

2020 banner by my daughter

There is a history here, as there is with so much on this blog.  It started with something akin to goals, a list of games I wanted to play, often very specific games.  Then it became games I was likely to play.  Then it turned into something like a long term weather forecast with some easy calls (it will be warm in the summer) and some possibilities.

And so it was that I wrote a post way back when about what I might play in 2020.

The list was broken up into several categories:

The Sure Things

  • WoW Classic
  • EVE Online
  • EverQuest II

The Likely Candidates

  • WoW Shadowlands
  • RimWorld

Possibilities

  • Civilization V
  • Stellaris
  • World of Tanks
  • Minecraft
  • The Witcher

The Long Shots

  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • EverQuest
  • Diablo III
  • Elite: Dangerous
  • New World

I Should Make Time

  • Project: Gorgon
  • Grim Dawn

So, now that the year has gone by, what did I actually play?  ManicTime has some numbers for me.  I am only listing the top ten because after that the times drop down to mere minutes played.

  1. WoW Classic – 33.33%
  2. EVE Online – 32.69%
  3. World of Warcraft – 14.02%
  4. EverQuest II – 6.03%
  5. Minecraft – 5.25%
  6. EverQuest – 2.16%
  7. RimWorld – 2.08%
  8. Diablo II – 2.02%
  9. Pokemon Sword – 1.24%
  10. Minecraft Dungeons – 0.75%

At the top is a close race between WoW Classic and EVE Online, with a gap smaller than ten hours played total between them.  I guess Azeroth wins over New Eden overall, since retail WoW is in third place.  Everything else shakes out from there.

As has become the custom of the neighborhood, I have a chart.

2020 games timeline

At the top are WoW Classic and EVE Online, both of which I played throughout the year.  I also put Pokemon Go on the chart.  It isn’t tracked by ManicTime, being on my phone, but I played every day in 2020.

Technically, looking at my times, I also played retail WoW every month, but there were months where that did not represent a significant investment.  I have made those months where I pretty much just did Darkmoon Faire and some pet battles as a narrow streak.  And once the level squish came and then the Shadowlands expansion launched, I spent quite a bit of time there.

EverQuest II and Minecraft had their runs.  The former was me finishing up the Blood of Luclin expansion to the extent I felt I needed to, and Minecraft was a bit of a pandemic diversion setup by Skonk.  I played a bit of EverQuest after the anniversary gave us another heroic character boost, though I ended up mostly tinkering with the Overseer feature.

RimWorld had an update that I wanted to try out.  That was good for a bit of a run, though like so many build and conquer games, it suffers from the mid-game malaise once you get your base setup well enough.

I had a great run through Diablo II to celebrate its 20 years.  The game still lives up to its legend, though I would like it to run at a resolution higher than 800×600.

I received a Nintendo Switch Lite for my birthday with a copy of Pokemon Sword, which I played for a stretch.  I just wasn’t that into it.  For a Pokemon game to grab me I have to be in the right mood and have a real goal.  I couldn’t quite get either this time around.

And then there was Minecraft Dungeons, which is a serviceable and solid but shallow ARPG whose main attraction is being set in the Minecraft IP.  I played through the story, but it doesn’t have a lot of replay value save to boost up stats so you can face harder monsters that drop gear that let you boost up your stats further.

So that was 2020.  What of 2021?

As with last year, there are some sure things this year, games I am actively playing right now so that has already been decided.  They are:

  • WoW Classic
  • EVE Online
  • Retail WoW

And, given the news, we can add one slight variation to that list:

  • WoW The Burning Crusade Classic

After that, however, the future is a bit fuzzy, and part of the problem is hardware related.

As I wrote about last year, I have a 34″ 3440 x 1440 wide screen monitor now, and I love playing games on it full screen.  But not every game I have plays nice with it.  The three titles I am playing now all happen to work great with it, but others struggle and have issues or won’t run at all.  I actually tried to play Grim Dawn, which was on my “should make time” list for 2020, but it was not having it at all.  It would not even launch correctly with the new monitor hooked up.

And there is a further constraint, which is my video card.  I currently have a EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB card and, given the price of college and my wife being somewhat under-employed for the last year, spending a few hundred bucks on a new one is way down the priority list right now.  So whatever I play needs to work on the big screen with that video card.  WoW Classic and retail WoW both manage very well, with a few settings dialed back a bit, and EVE Online works like a champ, all settings maxed out, save for fights where the ships on grid get past the 2,500 mark.

But most newer games require a lot more horsepower to drive all those pixels.  There is no way I am getting something like Cyberpunk 2077 or Red Dead Redemption II or Black Desert Online or anything like that to run well.

Meanwhile, a lot of older stuff is a bit shaky.  As I wrote back when I got the monitor, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and LOTRO all sort of work, but have some issues, while Minecraft gives me motion sickness on the wide screen unless I dial back the field of view so far that I might as well just play it on my phone.

First world problems, I know.

Another angle is strategy games.  Things like RimWorld not only run fine, but the large screen improves the experience.  Maybe it is time for a bit of Civilzation V again. (I’m, betting Civ VI has too much going on visually to work with my video card at that resolution.  It is the way.)  Maybe I’ll pick up World of Tanks again when I need something fresh.

Of course, the lack of desire for something fresh is part of the problem as well.  I’ve been kind of okay playing the same stuff all year.  We shall see how I feel in 2021.