This was a pretty solid and stable gaming month in which I had fun with my current staples without really going outside of those boundaries.
With the launch of Minas Morgul in LOTRO, I focused on getting my Lore-master through the new expansion. I finished up Mordor Besieged before making good progress into the Morgul Vale and leveling up my character to 125.
Speaking of expansions, I got back to Heavensward in FFXIV and pushed further into that than I ever have played before. While I tried out the Mechinist for a while, I fell back on my Scholar to level both for familiarity and fast queuing. I enjoyed getting flight for the first time in that game and getting into a comfortable — if not exciting — gaming groove. Also found me a good guild there.
I’m probably taking longer than most people with The Outer Worlds, but I had a terrific time this month exploring these frontier planets and dealing with tricksy corporations. Just an amazing game experience.
The gaming surprise of the month was Shop Titans, a silly mobile game in which I play as a fantasy world shopkeeper. It became my go-to game whenever I had a few minutes here and there.
I didn’t get as much time into my retro gaming title, Fallout New Vegas, but at least I made it to the titular city.
December 2019’s gaming goals
I’m going to be ambitious for this month, especially knowing that I’ll have some extra time off work to squeeze in a bit more gaming. So let’s start with Lord of the Rings Online: I want to finish Minas Morgul and hit level 130 with my Lore-master.
I don’t think I’ll be able to do the same — finish an expansion — in FFXIV, but I’d be happy getting most of the way through Heavensward.
I want to wrap up The Outer Worlds and Fallout New Vegas this month so I can go into the new year with some new games.
That’s it. I’m going to laser-focus on those four games and get stuff DONE this December!
This month got really crazy about midway through and derailed a lot of my plans, mainly due to the #BoycottBlizzard that happened after the Hearthstone controversy. So yeah, I stepped away from World of Warcraft for a good long while. That meant that there was a vacancy open for other games, which I sampled.
I managed to get into Fallen Earth for one last romp around the wasteland before tearfully saying goodbye. Fortunately, I had Fallout New Vegas to keep me occupied for most of the month as I made my way through Obsidian’s 2010 cult classic.
I tried out ArcheAge for a few sessions. Wasn’t great, wasn’t bad, didn’t stick… yet. I am not giving up on it, but it wasn’t as instantly amazing as I was hoping from others’ testimonies.
Yes, I did return to Final Fantasy XIV after all. That wasn’t really expected, but what else was this month? I changed my character’s look, job, and free company and then started on the Patch 2.1 content.
I was happy to fully finish Vales of Anduin for Lord of the Rings Online on live and get to the Great River on the progression server.
November 2019’s gaming goals
Until Minas Morgul launches in LOTRO, I’ll see how far I can get in the Great River zone. After that? It’s probably going to be back-and-forth between the live and progression servers. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if I was at the new level cap by the month’s end, of course.
My overarching goal for FFXIV right now is to plow through the Seventh Astral Era quests, get to Heavensward, and switch over to Mechanist. I am betting I can do that by the middle of the month, after which I’ll make a genuine effort to journey through the first expansion.
More Fallout New Vegas. Probably won’t finish this month. Maybe next? It’s a big game and there are lots of side quests.
Even though I have tons of games on my backlog, I really, really want to get The Outer Worlds. I wish it wasn’t so pricey — these days I’m very stingy on $60 game purchases — but it sounds like this might be a good thing that I wouldn’t want to miss.
Continuing to keep an eye on Torchlight Frontiers for a possible (but not probable) 2019 launch.
I knew in advance that this was going to be a far too packed month in my life, especially with exams, so gaming time took a hit with that. Still got some stuff done, just not as much as normal.
WoW Classic was the huge title of the month, and within the span of September I went from being downright obsessed about it to letting it slip out of my hands (at least for now) due to goals I wanted to pursue in other titles. I very much enjoyed hanging out with the guild we formed and revisiting an earlier era of World of Warcraft, however.
Speaking of, I made great strides forward in World of Warcraft on my Death Knight. I finally unlocked flying, finished up Mechagon, and wrapped up just about everything I needed to… at least until Patch 8.2.5 hit. I rolled up a new Kul Tiras Druid that I’m head-over-heels about (you’ll hear more about her soon) as my new project for that game.
I gave full Lord of the Rings Online priority to leveling up my Minstrel through the progression server’s latest expansion. In a month, she went from level 65 at the tail of Mirkwood through all of Enedwaith and into Dunland to be level 70. When news of this month’s expansion hit, I knew I had to get my main finished up in Vales of Anduin, so I started weaving my Lore-master back into the gaming routine in the final days of September.
I finished up The Dagger of Amon Ra in my retro playthrough series. It was fine.
While I had intentions to do some non-MMO gaming, very little came of that due to the time restrictions.
I did try out Apple Arcade on my iPhone but mostly played my trio of Clash Royale, Bloons 6, and Battleheart Legacy while I did my morning stationary biking.
October 2019’s gaming goals
Let’s start with LOTRO here, because that is at the forefront of my mind. Assuming that Minas Morgul does launch on October 29th, I absolutely need my Lore-master to be fully ready to step in there. The good news is that she’s mostly caught up and only has some interlude quests to do. Other than that, I’ll push to see how much I can get done of Rise of Isengard on my Minstrel before the expansion starts sucking my time away.
Over in World of Warcraft, I’m working on getting my bee mount (of course) and then going through the remainder of the War Campaign on my Death Knight. Apart from that, I’ll be leveling up my Druid and enjoying healing for a change.
I’m very seriously contemplating purchasing ArcheAge’s buy-to-play version when that comes out. I’m teetering toward it but still haven’t committed to the thought. It’s not the price tag so much as making internally sure I’ll play it enough to justify the purchase.
Torchlight Frontiers needs to get here already. SWTOR’s Onslaught expansion looks solid but it’d have to get huge word-of-mouth to pull my attention back to it. Never say never, though.
I have a couple of single-player RPGs on deck: Fallout New Vegas for my retro series and The Witcher 3 because I’m shamefully behind the times on playing this acclaimed title.
This was a weird, uneven month that was busier than normal, even for a summer month. As a result, I had less gaming time and several nights where I didn’t get any time to play at all.
World of Warcraft got a lot of my time (and my wife’s). I made a lot of progress toward unlocking flying, finished up the allied races on the Alliance side, and laid down plans for WoW Classic.
I strolled forward in Lord of the Rings Online, pushing a bit more into Vale of Anduin and Mirkwood without finishing either. I feel bad that I haven’t done more, especially as the next expansion unlock for the progression server approaches.
I briefly tried out the new permadeath server in Dungeons and Dragons Online. It’s not really for me, but that is fine. I ran a few other missions, but I feel like it’s time for a break from this game.
Our infrequent City of Heroes MOP group got together to run through Nova Praetoria, a first for me. Was very educational (and fun).
Retro gaming wise, I had some fun with a few RTS titles before getting into The Dagger of Amon Ra. It is an OK Sierra title, but definitely not as good as some have raved. I also finished A Plague Tale, which I feel like putting right here. Good start on that game, but it couldn’t quite sustain my interest all the way through.
September 2019’s gaming goals
I’m kind of anticipating an even worse gaming month, time-wise, for September due to exams and a trip away. Still, there are a few projects that excite me, starting with adventuring through WoW Classic on my Warlock. I’m not rushing or setting any serious goals other than establishing my in-game finances and probably following the leveling guide that I did many years ago.
I want to unlock flying in World of Warcraft retail by the month’s end. I think that’s doable, seeing as how I just have Rustbolt Resistance left. After that, I may roll up a new character or level up my Hunter through BFA.
After some deliberation (especially after last week’s post on the subject), I have decided to stick it out on my LOTRO progression server Minstrel and push her hard to get through the Siege of Mirkwood content.
I will be keeping my eye on both ArcheAge (for its new business model) and Torchlight Frontiers. If either releases, they’ll be added to my play queue.
I bought Rebel Galaxy Outlaw and am planning on this being my non-MMO of the month. Looks like good stuff, especially to someone who doesn’t have tight twitch skills any more.
I will finish up The Dagger of Amon Ra for retro gaming. Any requests on the next series?
I think that this might be the worst month ever for failing to follow up with any of my originally stated goals for the month. Like… I played DDO and LOTRO, but that’s it from my list.
Part of that reason was that at the start of the month I went on vacation for a week out of the range of the internet, and when I came back, I got into a different pattern than expected.
So yeah, Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online both got a bit of love from me — not tons, but I probably put a half-dozen sessions into each game. Worked my way through more of the Vale of Anduin and Mirkwood in LOTRO and advanced my DDO Artificer to level 15 (or 16, I forget) while going through House J quests.
The big personal surprise was that I got back into World of Warcraft. What was originally a mild bit of curiosity spiraled into a delightful return. I spent a lot of time getting my BFA character into shape after abandoning her a couple months into the expansion. For the most part I stuck to Patch 8.0-8.1 content, trying to exhaust all that and work up reputation for allied races and flying.
Conversely, I wound down my current run of playing Elder Scrolls Online. As much as I appreciate that game, it just never is as sticky as I would like.
I vowed not to buy another game until I finished A Plague Tale (my solo game for the month), and so it was. I kept pushing through that grim but fascinating stealth title over the weeks.
Our City of Heroes group had one particularly memorable adventure that resulted in getting locked into a prison during a bank robbery and then brutally murdered by dozens and dozens of good guys.
I finished Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines for my retro gaming series and then indulged in some RTS titles (Warcraft II, Age of Empires II, and Majesty) for the rest of the month.
August 2019’s gaming goals
As Blaugust is raging this month (starting today, in fact), I’m going to push myself a bit to try to post something every day during the month versus my normal standard of just something per weekday. The weekends might be lighter, but I have some ideas for that.
One weird thing about this month is that I have to spend a good deal of time studying for ordination exams, so I am not going to be pressuring myself to do anything that crazy in the gaming sphere. If I have time to play, fine, and if not, I won’t cry over it.
So what gaming goals do I want to accomplish? Finishing up either Mirkwood or Vale of Anduin in LOTRO would be a fine thing, I think. And the MOP squad has a semi-regular City of Heroes grouping night that I hope we keep going.
If my current momentum tells me anything, I’ll probably stay mired in World of Warcraft for a good portion of the month’s gaming time. I want to explore the new zones and make some decent progress toward getting flying back.
World of Warcraft Classic comes out at the end of the month, so I’ll be there as well. Still haven’t 100% settled on a class to play, but chances are that it’ll be a Shaman or Druid.
Next on my plate for retro gaming is The Dagger of Amon Ra, an adventure game that I have never touched before.
I’d also really like to finish up A Plague Tale early on and move on to another solo game like Bloodstained or Octopath Traveler or perhaps one of the many free titles clogging my backlist.
This month I started a new gaming schedule system that I devised to help me both juggle titles fairly in my play and blogging time. Basically, I line up all of the games I want to play and put three check boxes next to each, with one gaming session (30 min or more) equaling one box. The rule is that once I get to three for any given title, I have to write a blog post on that game right then and can’t play it again until I finish up with the rest of the games on the list. I’ve been doing this for four weeks now and have been very pleased with the results. I feel like I’m more balanced with more games and don’t feel guilty or forced to play titles I don’t want to.
So what have I been playing then? I dove into Elder Scrolls Online’s Elsweyr, first on my Necro and then later switching it back to my Warden (which was a good move). Dungeons and Dragons Online got several quick sessions, although none of them were that memorable. I also kept scavenging Fallout 76’s wasteland, although I soured on some of the uglier areas and urban landscapes.
I finished up Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire (finally), started Eternal Throne, and then walked away after the first chapter. There’s so little stickiness here for me.
I dipped into the World of Warcraft Classic stress test just to sate my curiosity (and whip up a fun post).
Lord of the Rings Online delivered a one-two punch of great content, with Update 24: Vales of Anduin on the regular servers and Siege of Mirkwood on the progression one. I spent the rest of the month divided between the two.
After spending some time soloing through the storyline in City of Heroes on my Mastermind, I rolled up a Dark/Dark Controller for a Massively OP run and fell in love with that combination. All hail Crash Corpse!
Non-MMOs that I played included The Outer Wilds, The Last Door, and SteamWorld Quest.
In my retro series, I moved through the middle portion of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. That sewer level will give me nightmares forever.
I picked up a number of heavily discounted titles in the GOG.com summer sale, including Ethan Carter and Warcraft II for future posts.
July 2019’s gaming goals
With my new gaming system and the current lineup of MMOs, I don’t anticipate changing things too greatly. There’s plenty to do in ESO, LOTRO, City of Heroes, and DDO at this point, so full steam ahead on all of those! Other than spending time in each respective game, I don’t have any specific goals to achieve. We’ll see how far I go and what I get up to in each.
In the post-apocalyptic corner, Fallen Earth and Fallout 76 might get some time from me. That NPC patch for 76 could be a turning corner for the game, but we’ll have to wait and see.
I do fully hope and anticipate wrapping up Vampire Bloodlines by the end of July so that I can move on to a different retro series.
I don’t NEED to buy any more games, that’s for sure, but Bloodstained and Octopath Traveler are both looking mighty tempting. Both come with heftier than normal pricetags for what I’m usually willing to spend on games, so that’s holding me back.
My main goal this month was “gaming diversity,” and I think I very much accomplished that as I ranged across a whole host of titles.
This was probably helped by less time spent in both LOTRO and DDO. The former was due to a lack of content to be done (still on hold for a new patch or expansion unlock) and the latter because I’ve just needed a bit of a break from dungeoneering.
I spent a few days trying — once again! — to get into Final Fantasy XIV, eventually declaring (once again) that I’m simply done with this game for good. It’s just not for me. I need to let it go.
I actually had a lot of success pushing deeper into Fallout 76 than I ever had before. Explored a wide chunk of land, built up a serviceable base, and had a few fun adventures. Still doesn’t feel like anything approaching a social online game, but it’s better than it used to be.
Of course, getting back into City of Heroes was a wonderful treat that I hadn’t expected to have, and I had a good time experimenting with some classes and jumping into group sewer runs.
Star Wars: The Old Republic intrigued me with its content additions and suckered me back in for a few play sessions. I got a couple more chapters done and resolved to try to catch up. Try.
I didn’t do so much in experimenting with new Try It Tuesday games (the backlog, she sits there), but I did progress further into Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, beating Santa Monica and making it downtown.
June 2019 goals
I feel like there are a lot of solid possibilities for this upcoming month but no certainties.
For example, Elder Scrolls Online’s newest expansion is here, and with it the Necromancer. Assuming that I’m okay with dropping the cost and starting over, that might be a great game to get back into.
If LOTRO gets Update 24 online or unlocks the next legendary server content chunk ahead of schedule, it’ll give me something to do in that game. Otherwise, I’ll be doing little more than waiting.
I want to get in more DDO dungeons than I did last month. I’d also like to keep in touch with Fallout 76, even if it’s only once in a while and to keep hacking away at SWTOR’s last couple of expansions to see if I can catch up.
I probably won’t be done with Bloodlines for a few more months — perhaps not until the end of summer! — but if I can wrap up Downtown and push into the next area, I’d be happy with June.
Probably my main daily focus will be on City of Heroes, as I take my Mastermind through the story content (something I don’t recall ever doing before).
Here’s a good Try It Tuesday candidate: Dawn of Isles. This actually looks like a good mobile MMO, but we shall see! Also I’m definitely buying The Outer Wilds, which looks really amazing.