All Good Things… – A Look Back On 2017 Through Gaming Habits
I wrote a similar thing a year ago. Our blog was about 8 months old at that time and mostly focused on our Dragon Age run. It has shifted a bit since then, mainly because we finished the DA project but also because of other games taking up space of course. There was a lot going on in 2017, a whole lot of new things and some going back to comfort things.
And honestly? I really feel like I could play DAO again. Soon. No matter how definitive I make my play through there always seems a possibility for more. More defined head canons, slightly changed perspectives and so on. So who knows what I will do in 2018. I also have the strong urge to play the original Mass Effect trilogy again at the moment. I won’t be bored next year.
But about THIS year! At first I was a bit worried bc I can barely remember what I did last week, so how the hell am I going to write about the entire year? Then I remembered, that my screenshot folder looks like this:
So I can see exactly what I played when (on which days even, since I am a compulsory screenshot taker) and even estimate for how long. I may constantly forget to drink my coffee before it is cold but no one can say my computer is not super organised!
January was mostly me still playing Dragon Age. We had our 30 days challenge going on and there was a lot of writing happening. I also played quite a bit of Black Desert around the time. While the game overall is a bit too grindy for me I absolutely love it’s visuals. It is just so damn pretty? Have a look at my elven ranger.
February was mostly the same, with some Overwatch sprinkled in until finally: March was there
I was looking forward to Mass Effect Andromeda a lot and the press was absolutely daunting. None the less I played it at launch and yes, there were a few bugs, yes there were some not so smooth animations but you know what? The original had that too. And the team at Bioware put a lot of work into fixing what was not working right almost immediately. There was definitely some stuff that was rightfully called out (such as the lack of gay/bisexual squad mates for Scott to romance) and you know what? They listened to that and did what they could to improve it. Overall I loved playing ME:A – the story was fun and engaging, some plot points made me super excited and giddy, the environments were beautiful and the combat was really good! Sadly (but this is a me thing) it has not that much replay value for me. I need the option to do things drastically different or play a whole other character/personality in RPGs – otherwise it becomes repetitive for me and ME:A doesn’t have that. None the less it look me over 100 hours to get through the first time and that is an impressive number of hours to not ever be bored in a game in itself already! So for me this was a good game already, but after the patches it became a very very good game with lots of fun. Which made the news about no further single player content very upsetting. The game absolutely did not deserve the shitstorm it got and the subsequent consequences.
April was mostly consumed by the MEA run, but I also managed to finish Inquisition just before Mass Effect came out. Finally. While I was playing through DAO and DA2 on a binge basically Inquisition really dragged along for a while. My own head canon just deviates so much from the actual game it took me a while to motivate myself. But I did it, and finally got my nightmare mode achievement so the completionist in me was happy too. I also created a flickr album for some of the very nice screenshots I collected. Overwatch had it’s first story based update and for 3 glorious weeks we had a PvE story mode. I still want that back! Overall though there is not really much to tell about the game at this point: I’ve played a lot of Overwatch this year – and had a lot of fun with it. I climbed to a new personal high all the way up to masters – and hated competitive with a passion after that so I stopped playing the comp mode since then and focused on the arcade and quickplay. But I had some great moments in this game and I am certain it will stay with me for quite a long time.
There were no noticeable big updates in my favourite current MMO SWTOR this year – they announced 2017 would focus on group and raid content and I can understand why – but it greatly reduced the time I spent in the game this year. Not giving up on it, mind you – the next single player expansion is definitely coming. But until then everything is a bit low key there at the moment.
For the 10 year anniversary around May I went through the tedious process of re-installing LOTRO though and it was, as expected, like coming home. For a decade old game it is still beautiful. Absolutely stunning in some places even. It play much slower than more recent titles of course but it remains the ultimate feel good/coming home game for me. They also released the Mordor expansion this year which was somehow a quite emotional thing. I’ve written something about that here. There was also a lot of Overwatch and saying good bye to my old characters in The Secret World which was announced to be relaunching. So I “got my affairs in order” aka purchasing a bunch of clothes that would transfer over and spending all the useless money I still had on the old account.
June was then the ultimate MMO month. I looked into Final Fantasy XIV and while I had a blast at the start and the writing and story is really, really good I was too thrown off by the lack of voice acting – not just on my character but also on the NPCs. Given that you have to pay monthly for it I stopped playing after 2 weeks I think. I also re-visited Elder Scrolls Online, but again only for a short amount of time. I played the beta for the Secret World relaunch and finally reinstalled a game that I hadn’t really looked at for about 2 years: Guild Wars 2. Since I was mostly busy in the Secret World (I tend to play a game more if my friends are there too) it was the most played game in my summer.
July had Dream Daddy come out – the surprise hit among Visual Novels/Dating Sim for me this year. I expected a parody of the genre at max and what I got was a brilliant game that was self aware, snarky and really, really smart. Also inclusive, heartwarming and just overall lovable. One of the best visual novels I’ve played. LOTRO came out with new character models that look absolutely amazing and gave the game a whole new flavour – a beautiful one. Secret World Legends had me quite immersed in the story – for a while. Sadly, the general game play gets kind of repetitive after a while and the lack of a personality for the protagonist makes the game rely on the occasional interesting NPC far too much. Plus the new gear grind system is absolute hell. A quick trip into SWTOR was necessary because I could finally buy a home on Manaan. Our Imperial Guild got one too, including a very appropriate dance floor!
After a string of not really satisfying MMO flings this some I was ready for something serious and some commitment again. And the Guild wars 2 installation was still sitting on my desktop, promising me pretty landscapes and quite good voice acting from what I remembered. So I went back into Guild Wars and soon friends followed. I relearned how to play my old characters and made some new ones. I have this addiction to alts to a point where I don’t really have a main – I just want to play everything all the time. Also: In a game that allows this much customisation I am very much the “concept” type – I see a colour combination that I like or a nice weapon and I build an entire character around it. So August and September were almost exclusively Guild Wars 2. There was a new expansion out that introduced mounts and I still feel it is probably the best implementation of mounts in a game I’ve seen so far. It just feels good playing and the riding alone is so much fun. I love my Raptor whom I named Gertrud. My Bunny who is names Mr. Hoppington, my weird manta ray like creature that I call Bert and my Sand Jackal who has the wonderful name Hyde. I don’t have the 5th mount yet but she will be called The Marquise Grey.
October was actually golden this year. I picked up a sequel to a little game I played 2 years ago. Divinity: Original Sin 2. And it was hands down the best RPG I have ever played. Yes, better than DAO, better than Baldur’s Gate even. I wrote a bit about what got me hooked here. And it didn’t stop. This game is an absolute masterpiece and I can’t go into too much detail here because I will never stop talking once I do. Just… if you like RPGs – play this!
The rest of the year was a mixture of Guild Wars, some LOTRO, a lot of Divinity (so much replay value I tell you!) and Overwatch. Without even realising it I’ve become a McCree main somehow. Given that a year ago I’d have said this was my worst character this came as a surprise. I actually love playing him by now though.
In not strictly gaming but gaming related things:
We had a holiday giveaway calendar this year that was a lot of fun for us. We got so many great replies and opinions, some incentive to check out a couple of games and lots of great interactions. We are planning to build something on that, in a slightly different format next year so stay tuned for more information on that. (That will come as soon as Julie and I have worked out the details.)
Another thing I’ve been really been immersed into was the Overwatch League after having a blast at the World Cup again. The pre-season in December was so much fun to watch and I can’t wait for January and the actual League to start. So if you wanna talk Overwatch esports with me hit me up here or on twitter. If you want to talk general gaming with either of us you know – same!
And please, feel free to tell us about your year in gaming, highlights, fun occurrences and so on. And if you were a winner of our giveaway and play the game you got – we’d love to hear how you liked it! If you are ever interested in either of our opinions to a gaming related topic also feel free to suggest it to us. We are always open to trying out new things or simply thinking about something from a new perspective.
With all that I wish you all a great start into 2018!