As the Earth has completed yet another trip around it is time for the annual post celebrating the arbitrary passage of time that makes ten orbits for this blog.
As you have probably noticed the blog has been pretty quiet. That’s because most of my time has been devoted to running my business (although that’s about to change.) The last couple of years have been fairly stressful there. Small services B2B operations tend to run on the feast or famine model. You’ll either have so much work you don’t know what to do with yourself, or you’ll be spending all your time looking for new business. And of course making the time every now and again to play a game.
In any case I worked like a maniac for the last few years and it was looking like the famine period was ending with me landing a new client that was promising an ongoing web project. But then…
In June I caught a strain of the flu that I hadn’t vaccinated for, which led to pneumonia, and landed me in hospital for a week. Oh, and that combo did a number on my kidneys which has put me on dialysis. The docs stuck a couple of tubes in my chest to allow dialysis and proceeded to extract and filter my bodily fluids (the red one) three times a week.
Kinda puts the kibosh on the business.
So, ten years of the blog concludes with a major life shake-up. I’m not sure what the future will bring. I’ve lost clients including the new one because there’s just not enough time to service them, and they like to have reasonable guarantees on delivery schedules.
Oh well… on to the gaming stuff. That’s what you’re here for, isn’t it?
This year has also seen a bit of a continuation in a decline of MMO play. Apart from a few MMORPGs, I’ve spent most of this year playing single player games.
MMORPGs Played This Year
- Black Desert
- Star Trek Online
- The Old Republic
- Everquest 2
I decided to bite the bullet and buy Black Desert. I played it for about a month on and off during that time, but it never really popped for me. It’s a very comprehensive game but it still felt very linear to me.
Over the last couple of weeks I reloaded both Star Trek Online and The Old Republic. In STO I created a new character and started again, but in TOR I’ve continued the journey of my old character. Not sure what prompted me to get back into these. Perhaps the 50th anniversary of Star Trek has played a part. Or perhaps I’m really hanging out for some decent SciFi MMO play.
Single Player Played This Year
- No Mans Sky
- Cities: Skylines
- Bioshock Infinite
Prior to June my old computer started acting a little crazy. Had lots of weird audio issues that seemed to lock up the computer when playing YouTube videos. Everquest 2 had an odd video corruption (that continued when the game was shut down) that indicated the video card was either seriously outdated or on its last legs. So I bit the bullet and bought a bunch of new components (Skylake i6, 8GB Ram, 1TB Drive, GTX 950) and put them together in a quality old case I had salvaged. It’s not a top of the range system but it plays games like Bioshock at top resolution which previously played on my old system at 3 FPS. It’s good enough to play anything I want to at this time at the level I want it to play at.
As I mentioned this gave me the chance to play some of the single player games that I owned but couldn’t really play effectively (like Bioshock) as well as a few that I hadn’t bought but wanted (Cities: Skylines.)
No Mans Sky deserves a special mention here. It’s certainly an interesting game, but it’s also very limited.
I bought it a little after release which gave me a chance to work out that the best way to play it is not to overdo it. It’s very easy to overdose on this kind of game since playing too much means everything starts to look the same. Playing in small doses seems to make the experience work for longer.
It’s a very pretty game but ultimately shallow. I agree with the sentiment that it probably needed at least another year of development to give it the depth that it needs. Hopefully the devs will continue to add new systems over time to do this.
The Gamey Future
In the short term I’ll continue playing Star Trek and The Old Republic. As long as I’m enjoying them, I’ll keep playing them.
I reckon single player games will still hold sway over my time. There’s a bunch, both released and unreleased, that I’m interested in getting my hands on once I get some spare funds. A quick list below.
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Fallout 4
- Torment: Tides of Numenera
- Offworld Trading Company
As for MMORPGs. Since Black Desert Online I’m not really aware of any upcoming games, even on the far horizon. I think there are a few Asian MMOs, but that style doesn’t really do it for me. Maybe I’ll do some research. Upcoming blog post maybe? 😉
The Bloggy Future
What does the future hold for Stropp’s World?
Well, at the moment I’m not sure what the future holds. Focusing on getting my health under control is my top priority, of course.
But, the bright spot is that now I appear to have more spare time on my hands. So for the time being, more gaming. I find it’s a good way to relax and after the last couple of years I could use some of that. And for the blog, well I’ll have more time to write too. So I expect to be posting a bit more over the next few months. And there’s not a lot to do during dialysis, so time to come up with some post ideas.
May all your gaming be good gaming.