Syp’s gaming goals for August 2021

July 2021 in review

  • This wasn’t a terrible month for gaming but it did see a significant change in direction following the revelation of Really Bad Stuff over at Blizzard that prompted me to drop WoW Classic like a hot potato. So while I did get my Warlock up through some of Zangarmarsh, there I left her — and uninstalled the game on all of my computers. I think it’s the first time I’ve uninstalled WoW in recent memory.
  • Fortunately, things were brighter for Final Fantasy XIV. I got into a good pattern of playing through Heavensward’s 3.X main story questline while gearing up my Machinist, exploring the Golden Saucer, joining a free company, and enjoying life as a Lalafell. A week before the end of the month, I was already in Stormblood.
  • Another interesting gaming shift was a solid return to Lord of the Rings Online as I picked back up my high level characters and worked through some of the newest content.
  • I also wrapped up my Curse of Monkey Island retro gaming series and said goodbye (for now) to that format. I may do another retro run in the future, but for now you won’t be seeing my weekly post on an old game here.

August gaming goals

  • I do very much wish I had more free income to splash on games, because I’d love to pick up both Wildermyth and Sims 4: Cottage Living, but I’m going to have to save funds for New World. Because I’m SO excited about what’s shaping up to be a pretty good MMORPG, from word-of-mouth and personal experiences, and I’m counting down the days to playing this in late August.
  • Aside from working on whatever beast tribe I’ve picked at the time, my only Final Fantasy XIV goal for the month is to get through Stormblood 4.0. It’s a very tall order — 122 quests in all — but why not shoot for the stars? That’s about four quests a day, which is pretty doable.
  • In Lord of the Rings Online, I want to get my Lore-master through Elderslade and work on setting up a “for fun” alt for an article series. Haven’t decided which yet. Stay tuned on that front.
  • I have a couple of betas I’ll be playing: Ship of Heroes early in the month and Book of Travels at the very end of the month. Quite psyched for both of these.

Trying to figure out my 2021 MMORPG dance card

Having been primarily focused on just a very small handful of games this year — WoW Classic, LOTRO, and FFXIV — I don’t think I realized how insanely crazy 2021 was shaping up to be for releases and events. It’s started to dawn on my just how much is coming and how it’ll be impossible to experience it all. At least I feel that I have some time to get a battle plan put together, to sort out what I want to do from what I probably won’t.

So consider this more far-reaching than my typical gaming goals — and more prone to change and modification.

Currently in July: I see no reason right now not to keep on trucking through Burning Crusade Classic and FFXIV expansions. It’s serving me well and there’s nothing that needs my immediate attention. I’m resisting a very slight urge to roll on one of the new LOTRO progression servers, because I know I need to let interest in that game recharge.

August: This is when things start to get wacky. In early August is Book of Travels’ “Chapter Zero” release, which I’m treating like an early access that might be worth a few days’ discovery and to evaluate how much time I’d want to be spending in this before it actually launches. And then later that month is New World, which I’ll definitely be playing. I’m curious to see if it has legs (for me, at least) and any hook that’ll keep me engaged, as it is currently occupying the same mental space as Elder Scrolls Online.

Fall: LOTRO’s Gundabad will be a big call to come back… but will I? I’d like to think that, yes, I would, considering that I’ve never missed an expansion yet, but right now I’m pretty toasted on LOTRO, so there’s a chance that I continue to keep that on a backburner. If I’m still going strong in FFXIV and have, due to some miracle, finished all three expansions, then I could see getting into Endwalker. Again, that’s largely dependent on continuing interest.

Winter: SWTOR’s news of a new expansion added another strong possibility to my dance card. I’ve got some territory to catch up with there, and Legacy of the Sith will pump some community interest into the MMO that’ll be fun to join. Plus, I always like SWTOR when I go back to it.

Wild Cards: On top of all of the above, there’s always Elder Scrolls Online and DDO floating around as good pitch-hitters if my interest peaks there. I ride those waves of interest when they’re high and jump off when they dip back down. I can’t see any announcement about Guild Wars 2’s expansion (assuming it’s coming out this year) getting me back, so that’s one I can cross off. But if Corepunk launches, I’m so there with fingers crossed hoping for a solid product. Oh! And let’s not forget Palia alpha testing, if that becomes a possibility, because I really want to check that out.

It’s a lot, especially if I don’t ditch my current staples while adding on other games. As always, I take it week by week, but it’s seeming like 2021 is becoming a busier year than most.

Syp’s gaming goals for July 2021

June 2021 in review

  • This is not going to be the year of an adventurous Syp, I can tell already. It’s going to be the year of a Syp who finds a very comfortable lane and sticks to it as long as it remains comfortable. So I’m not coming to you with a monthly report about all of the many MMOs and games I played, because there wasn’t much variety, nor even as much gaming time due to a vacation and other factors.
  • As I anticipated, June became all about Burning Crusade Classic as I split my attention between my old world Shaman and my Outland-bound Warlock. I got my Draenei up into the 50s and enjoyed her combat toolkit while lamenting her slow leveling pace, and only managed to get a few levels in on my Warlock as she finished off Hellfire.
  • The big personal surprise was a return to Final Fantasy XIV toward the end of the month. I wasn’t really thinking of it too much before it just popped into my head as a good idea for a summer project. And so I created a Lalafel Scholar on a new server and took to checking out the streamlined 2.0 leveling experience.

July’s gaming goals

  • My main goal in WoW Classic is get my Shaman to level 58 and push her into Outland. These last few levels are an absolute bear! I also need to get her Leatherworking up to 300 (she’s 268 as of this writing).
  • For FFXIV, I am shooting to get through the 2.0 MSQ at a minimum, and all of the 2.X series if I can manage it. I think I can, as this already feels much quicker than before. It definitely would be terrific if I could be getting into Heavensward by August.
  • LOTRO and ESO remain on the backburner, ready to come out to play at a moment’s notice should the inspiration strike me.
  • My daughter’s also bugging me big-time to buy Sims 4’s Cottage Living expansion, which comes out this month. But $40 is a big ask, so I don’t know…

Syp’s gaming goals for June 2021

May 2021 in review

  • Like most months, this one didn’t exactly play out to plan, but like most months, that’s totally fine. It was a busy month with a lot of projects and a week of vacation, so I wasn’t expecting to be all over the field.
  • When the pre-patch for WoW Classic’s Burning Crusade hit in the middle of May, I was pretty much 100% concentrated on leveling up a brand-new Draenei Shammy. There was no way I’d be able to get her to 58 by today, but I made some good progress. I also worked on getting her Stormwind reputation up so I could use horses instead of elekk for a mount.
  • I kind of abandoned LOTRO (bad me) but spent a few sessions starting to work my way through Dungeons and Dragons Online’s Fables of the Feywild expansion. That was pretty fun, although I certainly didn’t get anywhere close to being done with it.
  • The only other experience of note was wrapping up Curse of Monkey Island for retro gaming!

June 2021’s gaming goals

  • I’m not even going to kid myself: It’s going to be a month dominated by The Burning Crusade. Which is fine — I’m pumped about it and roaring to go in this next phase of Classic. I’m going to alternate days between my Warlock and Shammy. I want to get my Shaman to Outland, and I would love to see some good progress on my Warlock in both leveling and her Outland engineering.
  • My Lord of the Rings Online to-dos are piling up, especially as Update 30 arrives. I would like to get War of the Three Peaks questing done. We’ll see how that goes.
  • There’s the new Elder Scrolls Online expansion, of course, but I’ve got a ways to go before I run out of content to need to buy that. It might be a nice treat for later in the year.
  • I have downloaded a bunch of mobile MMOs to try out for an article, so that’s on my radar.
  • And I’m starting a playthrough series on West of Loathing, which I’m excited to go through again!

Syp’s gaming goals for May 2021

April 2021 in review

  • This was a really strange month of gaming for me. For a good chunk of April, I downshifted hard in terms of game time, generally feeling uninspired to log in. Instead, I worked more on projects and reading books.
  • To help shake myself out of this rut, I went on a two-week Great Game Tour to explore some backlog titles. It was fun and the highlights were Albion Online, Offworld Trading Company, and Daring Dungeoneer.
  • I kept poking and prodding my WoW Classic Warlock forward, getting her within spitting distance of level 58. Some days I would only log in to use up her rested XP and grind the same set of mobs. It wasn’t much of an adventure.
  • By the end of the month, I fell back into typical MMO gaming patterns. I started a new Captain in Lord of the Rings Online and had a lot of fun with that, and I began to document quests I was doing in Elder Scrolls Online.
  • I didn’t really make good progress in Curse of Monkey Island, alas.

May 2021’s gaming goals

  • Until the prepatch arrives, I’m going to keep grinding a bit with my WoW Classic Warlock, to make money if nothing else.
  • When the prepatch arrives — assuming it does in May — then I’ll start up my Shaman and begin a hard push to getting her Burning Crusade ready.
  • My only goals for my LOTRO Cappy is to fully deed out every zone. I have dusted off my Lore-master as well and want to at least stick her nose into the War of the Three Peaks content.
  • One ESO quest or objective per day, documented. This, I swear.
  • I’ve been thinking about giving Wizard101 another go, perhaps as a fun limited-run series.
  • And I am totally going to finish Curse of Monkey Island this month! I want to head into summer with a fresh retro game project.

Syp’s gaming goals for April 2021

March 2021 in review

  • There’s no hiding it, this past month was all about getting really, really sucked into World of Warcraft Classic. The Burning Crusade Classic announcement and beta lit some sort of scary fire under me, and I worked on leveling both a Druid (20) and a Warlock (44) during this period. I also found a very nice guild and started working hard to make enough gold for epic and flying mounts.
  • In Lord of the Rings Online, I got my Minstrel to level 118 (through Iron Hills), checked out Wildwood, and spent a fair bit of time just running missions.
  • It was a really good month in Elder Scrolls Online, as my Warden hit level 50 and started in on Champion Points. I also did a full zone clear of Glenumbra and did a number of dungeons.
  • I also tried out Magic Legends. Whee.
  • Over in retro gaming, I worked on a series for Curse of Monkey Island.
  • I’ve also been evaluating and deleting a bunch of mobile games that I downloaded over the months and left sitting on my phone. It’s got to hit that polished, pick-up-and-put-down sweet spot to earn tenure.

April 2021’s gaming goals

  • With the Burning Crusade beta happening right now, I feel the pressure more than ever to get a level 60 on my account. So I’m going to buckle down, focus on my Warlock, and see if I can hit that target by the end of the month. I don’t think we’re getting the pre-patch until May anyway, and so I won’t have to face whether I want to start up a Shaman until that happens.
  • In LOTRO, eh, hitting 125 by doing missions would be ducky. I’m not really that motivated to play right now, so I’m throttling back.
  • I will be moving on to a new zone in Elder Scrolls Online, just haven’t decided which one yet. I have a whole bunch of quest strings to pull, so I guess I’ll pick one and hope for the best. Sooner or later, they all need to get done.
  • I am going to set a personal goal to evaluate and blog about two non-MMOs that are sitting in my ever-increasing game libraries, just for variety’s sake and to ease my psychic guilt over ignoring them.

Syp’s gaming goals for March 2021

February 2021 in review

  • Heh, looking back over my previously stated goals for the month, while the games I played mostly stayed true, what I did in them varied greatly across the board.
  • So let’s talk about the biggest change, which is that I stepped away from retail World of Warcraft entirely. I’m not feeling it any more with Shadowlands and don’t want to keep logging in for the sake of getting chores done. Patch 9.1 isn’t calling to me in the least, and I have plenty of other things to do, so I’m fine with this decision.
  • In Lord of the Rings Online, I level-boosted my Landroval Minstrel to 105 and started a madcap dash to get her caught up — at least in levels and through the main epic story. As of this writing, I’m still slugging it out through Mordor, which is just as wearying as the last time I was here. I am also officially done with the progression server.
  • Burning Crusade Classic’s announcement at BlizzConline certainly fueled an already hot streak of WoW Classic gameplay. While I didn’t get my Warlock to 40 (I’m just level 29), at least I made some good progress and have the anticipation of the expansion to drive my enthusiasm.
  • And I certainly did a lot of Elder Scrolls Online. Most nights, I’d log in, do a full quest chain or two as well as a random daily dungeon run. I’ve actually reached the highest level I’ve ever been in this game (38), even though I’m not fully through the first regular-sized zone. There’s so much to do here!
  • I’ll admit that I totally slacked in doing retro gaming this month. I’ve built up such a lead that I can afford to take time off, but still, I felt a little bad about it.

March 2021’s gaming goals

  • I really don’t anticipate changing my current course or the three MMOs I’m playing, but hey, we all know how plans tend to go!
  • For WoW Classic, I really want to hit level 40 at a bare minimum and get my mount. I’m so tired of running! If I can close out the month in the mid-40s, I’d be even happier.
  • For Lord of the Rings Online, getting through Mordor on the epic and at least making good headway through Northern Mirkwood and Dale-lands. Top goal there is to finish Dale-lands (epic book is mandatory, side quests and deeds optional).
  • And for Elder Scrolls Online, I’m gunning for level 50! No other big goals at the moment other than to keep momentum going. I would like to deck out a house, I’ve been putting that off.
  • Over on mobile, I’ve been playing some Cat Quest, so I wouldn’t mind getting deeper into that. Previously I’ve only lightly played it, and it’s such a good action RPG that it deserves more investigation.
  • Finally, for retro gaming, I want to get in at least two more posts about Torchlight II. I haven’t decided if I’m finishing the game or not, but it is a lot of fun!

Syp’s gaming goals for February 2021

January 2021 in review

  • This ended up being a really weird and surprising month for me in gaming, both in good and disappointing ways. I had originally planned on playing mostly retail World of Warcraft with some Warhammer Online on the side, but my interest in the weekly WoW routine flagged and I only logged into WAR a couple of times.
  • I didn’t even put as much time into CRPGs, like Cyberpunk 2077 or Pillars of Eternity 2, that I expected to.
  • I had a mini-burnout in the middle of the month and stepped away from gaming for a few days to refocus and recover.
  • What helped me pull out was to restructure the month under the theme of “fresh start.” In particular, I started new WoW Classic (Warlock) and Lord of the Rings Online (Minstrel) characters to go through these games anew. That ended up being a whole lot of fun and got me out of my stale routine.
  • I upgraded my graphics card to a Ti 1080 due to my old one being… old.
  • I did have several fun play sessions in Torchlight II for a retro gaming series, so there was that.

February 2021’s gaming goals

  • Since I’m having fun in this new groove, I’m going to keep going for it. In WoW Classic, I would like to get my Warlock to 40 by the end of the month with the ultimate goal of capping her at 60 for a future Burning Crusade transfer.
  • I’ll keep on investing some time into World of Warcraft, probably to finish up my Death Knight’s covenant campaign and then maybe working on getting a different character to 60. But I’m definitely throttling back here. I may just do the bare minimum weeklies for a while.
  • In Lord of the Rings Online, heck, I’d be happy if I got all three of the newbie zones completely done — deeds and all — and maybe Lone-lands too. Yeah, Lone-lands finished by the end of February. That’s a good goal.
  • I’m heading back into Elder Scrolls Online with the goal of finishing up Western Skyrim — really excited to be back!
  • For retro gaming, I’ll stick with Torchlight II for the time being.

Syp’s gaming goals for January 2021

December 2020 in review

  • By and large, a majority of my gaming time this month was taken up by World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. I got both my Druid and Death Knight to 60 and bounced back and forth between them as I started to get into the core gameplay loop.
  • Midway through the month, I realized I did need a second game for variety’s sake, so I picked back up Star Wars: The Old Republic with the limited time goal of finishing up Knights of the Eternal Throne by the end of the month. Mission accomplished!
  • I dithered a little in Octopath Traveler (I’d say four or so sessions) while still in the early game, collecting party member stage.
  • For retro gaming, I dipped into Mystic Towers for a bit to experience a title I’d never seen before.

January 2021’s gaming goals

  • For World of Warcraft, I would really love to get into a good weekly groove while figuring out ways to pursue mini-goals, such as snagging toys and transmog.
  • For my one-month limited project, I’m going to finally pull the trigger on Return of Reckoning and check out this WAR server. The last time I played WAR was (I think) 2009, so it’ll be a real blast to the past.
  • I also want to start picking through my enormous backlog of free and purchased games on Epic, GOG, and Steam. My goal is to at least try TWO of these in the month of January and write up posts on them.
  • I may… I may pick back up LOTRO to work on the progression server. I’m not fully decided on this yet. I don’t want to abandon my Minnie, but at the same time, my enthusiasm for doing Gondor and Mordor is pretty low. I may just put her in stasis and focus on my max-level Lore-master when SSG makes the Three Peaks DLC available for purchase with LOTRO points.
  • I’m most excited about some alternative gaming options. I picked up Cyberpunk 2077 over the holidays and would like to give that a whirl, and as for Retro Gaming, I have Kroz and Torchlight II loaded and ready to go!

Syp’s gaming goals for December 2020

November 2020 in review

  • By and large, this month was a prep month for World of Warcraft’s Shadowlands, followed by a week of actually playing the new expansion. I finished getting three characters to level 50 and geared them up with the pre-expansion event.
  • One goal that I was happy to achieve was to wrap up Helm’s Deep in Lord of the Rings Online on my progression server Minstrel. The new “storied tales” version of the Helm’s Deep fight was much improved over the old epic battles.
  • Apart from that, the only other series gaming I did this month was to invest a few hours into the opening of Octopath Traveler. It’s a very attractive JRPG in a lot of ways and I’m looking forward to exploring more of it.
  • The only retro gaming sessions I did was to wrap up a short series on Maniac Mansion for next spring. It was… fine? It was fine. Fine.

December 2020’s gaming goals

  • I’ve cleared my schedule this month to focus on one and just one thing: Going through World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. At the pace I’m going, I’m estimating about a week, more or less, per zone, so at the least I want to cap out at 60 and get through all the first four leveling zones by the end of the month. Anything past that — crafting, covenants, gearing, dungeons, Maw, Torghast — is a bonus.
  • So that just leaves some side gaming during my lunch break. I want to continue journeying through Octopath Traveler, for sure. I also want to start in on a retro gaming series playing through 1994’s Mystic Towers, which is one of my missed opportunities that I’m looking to rectify.
  • I’m still internally debating which side MMO project I want to tackle for January, so I’m just going to continue to have that discussion with myself until I announce it with next month’s gaming goals post.