Year End Review
One of the weird things that I do is that I attempt to keep track of the games I have played during a given calendar year. I started this madness I believe in 2015 and then have slowly been back populating that list based on a few methods. Essentially I am tracking things on a month by month basis and if I have written about a game or taken screenshots of a game… I log it as having been played during that month. The end result is this weird history of the games I have played over the course of a given calendar year. Seeing as this is the last “weekday” that I will be making a post until the beginning of 2018… I figured it was the perfect time to break out my post talking about the various things I played this year. Without further stalling… here is the data.
Click on the image or here to see the full google sheet.
During the course of the year I played a grand total of 41 different games, which is from 57 last year and 67 the year before that. Basically the key difference is that I mostly played MMOs which tend to hold my attention for larger periods of time than burning through a bunch of single player titles. Lets take a swath of the top ten titles and look at them a little closer.
- World of Warcraft – 10 months
- Destiny – 8 months
- Diablo 3 – 7 months
- Final Fantasy XIV – 7 months
- Horizon Zero Dawn – 7 months
- Destiny 2 – 6 months
- Pokemon Go – 6 months
- Fallout 4 – 5 months
- Guild Wars 2 – 4 months
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 4 months
At first glance the clear king is World of Warcraft with 10 months of play, but if you look back at past years this tends to be the one game that I am almost always at least playing a few days a month. However you notice that I largely took a complete break from the game in March and April and I feel like it is largely due to a few games coming out around the same time… Mass Effect Andromeda, Horizon Zero Dawn and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I feel like the true winner is Destiny and Destiny 2 because if you include those as one game… then I played them every month of the year with some overlap between of two months when I was technically playing both. Granted I am including the time I spent playing various betas of the game but still… I feel like this was the year of Destiny for me personally. I spent significantly less time playing Final Fantasy XIV as I played rabidly during the launch of Stormblood and sorta bounced off otherwise. Another anomaly this year is that Rift did not make the top 10, and similarly odd is how much of a return Pokemon Go has had…. but I largely chock this up to getting a new phone that handles it better. The weirdest part about this years top ten list is that it includes several single player titles: Fallout 4, Horizon Zero Dawn and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. All three of these are games that I keep being able to return to and play again and again in short bursts.
Click on the image or here to see the full google sheet.
Now if we expand out even further… here is the list of everything I have played since 2012. Things get a little spottier the further you go back. Essentially I have back populated this last by going through all of my old blog posts and jotting down which games I talked about playing. Additionally I have scanned all of the screenshots that I happen to have and divided them up by the month the file was created as an attempt to create a somewhat accurate picture of what I had been playing. Generally speaking if I am playing a game I am taking screenshots because I always need images for my blog. I may or may not have almost 30,000 screenshots sitting on network attached storage… and a stack of every hard drive from every machine I have owned waiting for a day when I feel like going spelunking for more screenshots. I am not even sure why I started down this path but now that I am on it… it has become another obsession of mine. Basically from here on we are going to largely talk about the top fifteen games I have played since 2012.
- World of Warcraft – 47 months
- Final Fantasy XIV – 42 months
- Rift – 37 months
- Destiny – 27 months (including D2 31 months)
- Elder Scrolls Online – 26 months
- Diablo 3 – 23 months
- ArcheAge – 13 months
- Guild Wars 2 – 13 months
- Wildstar – 13 months
- Everquest II – 11 months
- Fallout 4 – 10 months
- Star Wars the Old Republic – 10 months
- Trove – 9 months
- Pokemon Go – 8 months
- The Secret World – 8 months
First interesting pattern is that there is only one non-mmo on this list and that is Fallout 4. I am not entirely certain why I keep returning to that game but there are so many nights I will fire it up on the laptop while doing other things and just roam around. Once again Rift has fallen a bit in the rankings as this time last year it was tied with Final Fantasy XIV for the second place slot. Destiny slides up into number three eclipsing Elder Scrolls Online, especially if you include Destiny 2 playtime which I denoted in quotes. Guild Wars 2 and my resurgence into that game caused it to leapfrog Wildstar a bit, and then the tail end of the list is either new because I expanded things out to top 15 or in a similar position. There are some games on this list that are likely to eventually fall out of the ranking. I am not really playing Everquest II anymore in part because the management since the swap to Daybreak has just been pitiful. Its a torn community and just not the environment I remember loving. Trove may or may not see me returning to it, because I have a friend who is super into that game right now… but also playing on the PS4 and not PC which makes the return to play with him more unlikely. Additionally that game has changed so much since I last played it that I would almost need to start fresh to really get back into it. Similarly I am not sure how much more time I will be devoting to ArcheAge because I just don’t find the game nearly as compelling as I once did. As I leveled in the game it felt like the things I wanted to be doing narrowed rather than broadened given that I have no interest in PVP nonsense. I left shortly before they split the servers into veteran and new player experiences, and I am not even sure what the game looks like right now.
As far as the calendar year of 2018… I am not really sure what I will be playing. It is a forgone conclusion that I will be playing World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. In spite of me not really liking the more PVP centric focus, I would be lying if I said I would not be playing it at launch. I predict that I will be playing some more SWTOR in the near future because the release of a Star Wars movie always brings out the nostalgia for all things Star Wars. On top of that with Disney pulling the license for Marvel Heroes… I want to make sure I experience the story content in SWTOR just in case they for some reason decide to do the same thing they did with SWG. I know at some point I will make a return to Final Fantasy XIV and more than likely when they patch in the next step of the Palace of the Dead. As far as new games go… there really isn’t much on the horizon that really interests me. I am not enthralled by Crowfall or Camelot Unchained, because they seem to be creating games that don’t really stoke my interests.
Brad McQuaid will likely bring us some sort of version of Pantheon: Rise and Repeat as I heard someone call it the other day (I believe Wilhelm but not 100% sure). I played Everquest, and Vanguard… and Pantheon seems like more of the same just yet another slightly higher fidelity version of the same game Brad has kept trying to create since the 90s. I don’t have near as much nostalgia as some do for the “you must have a group with you at all times and death must be frustrating and painful” genre. Ashes of Creation looks mildly interesting… but what I have seen of the community tells me it is going to be a game I am not going to enjoy much in the same way that I didn’t enjoy ArcheAge at launch. Monster Hunter World is definitely something I am looking forward to giving a shot, in spite of the fact that I am horrible at Monster Hunter games. Anthem also seems really interesting, but the gameplay footage we have seen reminded me a bit too much of the promises Division made but never quite delivered on. In truth in the 2018 calendar year… I expect to keep playing a lot of the same games I played during the past several years because those MMOs just keep getting better with age.