The Smolder Scrolls Online – #DatingSiMonth

Oh, lordy. Zenimax has really done it this time.

If you’ve played through pretty much any of the Elder Scrolls Online base game content, you’ve likely run into Razum-dar, Naryu, or Darien (depending on your faction). At least for the moment, you can try to romance the character of your choice in a super-short dating sim available on the Elder Scrolls Online website.

I have no idea how long the game is going to be around, but you can absolutely play it a matter of minutes per character, so if you’ve ever daydreamed about one of these ESO heart throbs, now is your chance.

#LoveYourBacklog Week 2020


So, I’ve been seeing a lot of entries popping up the past day or so talking about loving our backlogs, so I went back to the source, and then decided I could get on this bandwagon as well.

I actually love my backlog (or library, as I prefer to call it) all the time! What could be better than hours upon hours of entertainment right at my fingertips?

Starting from my GoG Galaxy stats, and adding in my Twitch games, as well as games I have on Itch.io and some others that are on stand alone launchers or that are DRM free, I’ve skyrocketed past 3000 games. Sure, they’re not all backlog titles per se – some I’ve finished, and some others I’m unlikely to ever return to for one reason or another. But they’re there, and I could play any of them at any time.

Nothing wrong with a 10,000 hour library, right?


And with that giant admission out of the way, on to the questions!

A game you’re eager to play, but haven’t yet started:

Ignoring for the moment the 10 games I am planning to dive into during 2020, I am really itching to get into Re:Legend.

A game you’ve started several times but haven’t yet finished:

Bioshock. I am forever getting a couple hours into the game and wandering off. It’s absolutely not because I’ve terrified myself or anything*.

*this is absolutely why I keep wandering off.

The most recent addition to your library:

Earlier today, I was adding games from the February Humble Choice, and the last key I redeemed was for Eliza.

The game which has spent the most time on your backlog:

I picked up a free copy of Portal from Steam way back in May of 2010. Still haven’t touched it.

The person responsible for adding the most entries to your backlog:

Seriously, I have no one to blame but myself. I love all kinds of games, and I cannot resist a deal.


As for #MaybeInMarch? Well, I suppose it could happen.

Changing Direction for #platformonth

I was under the mistaken impression that I could play Ori and the Blind Forest on easy and it would be … well, easy.

Instead, I played it for several days in 10 minute increments, and quite honestly, didn’t get very far. Having been a PC gamer from a pretty young age, I never really worked on my platforming chops as a kid, and now that I’m over 40 and my reaction times aren’t what they once were, it’s really challenging to get to a place where most platforming games, even on easy, are something I can tackle without getting frustrated.

I have to believe this isn’t how MOST folks play.

Instead, I decided to redirect my efforts. Although I’d still like to participate in #platformonth with the Community Game-A-Long, I’d like something that I have a chance of completing before the month is out. So I dug through my Steam library and came up with another option.

Not only is Type:Rider totally my aesthetic, it’s also gloriously simple. Maybe too simple, because it gets reviews like this one.

A very simplistic platformer, with not much going for it. The only "challenge" to it is the controls, as the character follows inertiamore than player input.
A very simplistic platformer, with not much going for it. Sign. Me. Up.

But it’s lovely. And easy. And short. I will ride the inertia and gape at the stunning visuals, and any letters I miss on the way by will stay missed. I’m very okay with that.

Always Running Late

For someone who is meticulous about being timely IRL, I still can procrastinate for the Olympics. I feel like this post has a sort of an Inception-style thing going on for it, because it’s a short story about waiting until the absolutely last minute, and also, it’s written and posted more than a week after I intended to.

Sorry about that, folks.


It seems like it’s been forever since the information about the 15th Anniversary event in WoW came out, and I was pretty sure I was going to reactivate my WoW sub in November to take advantage of it.

Then, I saw that the event was going to be a long one, running all the way through January 7th, so there was no rush. And rush I absolutely did not. Before I knew it, November had disappeared, and then it was December and I was stuck in bed sick for over a week, and then it was the holidays, and that token just never got spent.

At the beginning of January, I again claimed I was going to get my act together and go get that Deathwing mount. Finally, on Sunday, January 5th, a mere 48ish hours before the even was over, I reactiavted my account.

And after approximately 10 months off, I had to remember how to play (thank goodness for muscle memory), scrounge up 10 item levels, and actually get through all three LFR events. Easy peasy.


Having missed at least a couple of patches, making up that iLvl was far easier than I could have hoped. One random world quest for a trinket, and several quick upgrades while opening up Najatar (not to mention the hella boost to my necklace), and I hit 380.

All in all, it was easier than I anticipated all around. Monday evening, my husband and I started queuing up for the LFRs (I know, I know!!!) – Outlands was flawless, Northrend was … less flawless (stupid dance, stupid defile, stupid old person memory for mechanics), and we only had one wipe on Cho’Gall in the Cataclysm content. The whole shebang, including figuring out how the heck one gets to The Caverns of Time these days, took about two and a half hours.

So, let’s say that this mount took approximately 5 hours of effort, and about two months of procrastination.

As it stands now, I have not logged back into WoW since then – I still have 20 days remaining on my sub – and yet, I’m still thinking about going back for real for Shadowlands.

Steam Winter Sale Purchases and Gifts Received

If I had given myself an actual budget for this winter sales period, I would be so very far over it. However, my gift purchasing came in under the $50 I allot myself, and my person purchases on Steam proper did as well.

So what did I buy?

Crest: The Indirect God Sim – $2.99

The reviews may not be stellar, but actual indirect control god games are hard to come by, and I’d rather spend $3 than drop than $22 to pick up Godhood, which I still expect to drop or be bundled in time. Kind of an impulse purchase, but it’s been on my wishlist for a long time, and it was at an all-time low.

Peace, Death + Hand of F DLC – $2.38

Somehow, I have it in my head that this will be sort of like Papers, Please, but less depressing, despite the fact you’re playing as a grim reaper. A low investment pick-up, to be sure.

Varenje: Full Game DLC – $1.44

I probably should have tried out the free episode first, but for under $2, I’m down to test drive the full game. The art looks fantastic, and even a mediocre hidden object puzzler is usually worth a few hours of entertainment.

The Atomic Breath Pack – $2.00

Three little time-wasters – one focused on destruction, one on parkour, and an arcade shooter. Nothing super exciting, but a cool little package I hadn’t noticed before and grabbed on a whim.

Lost Dimension – $7.49

One part tactical RPG, one part find-the-traitor, this really sounds like it’ll be something I’ll be able to put some serious hours into.

Lobotomy Corporation – $11.74 after $5 coupon.

This one hadn’t quite hit the price I was hoping for – until I took into account the $5 coupon I earned (primarily from buying gifts for others). I’ve been looking forward to this one for awhile, and again, I expect it to be the kind of challenge I soak many hours into.

Re:Legend – $13.29 after coupon on Fanatical

The difference in price cut between Steam and Fanatical was too much to ignore, and even though this one also didn’t QUITE hit my target price, I decided to go for it. I didn’t want to wait another whole year to get a shot at this life sim with a side of Pokemon.

Total Spent – $41.33


& then, my friends came through with a few titles that I was still too … ahem … frugal to pick up myself just yet. I’m super excited for all three!


In the end, I picked up almost everything I planned to, and I have SO MANY very lovely games waiting for me to set aside some time for them. I hope your holidays (and Winter Sale season) treated you as well as they have treated me.

Impulse Purchases and a Last Hurrah

My plan for a low-spend 2020 is weighing on me. A year without buying anything new suddenly seems SO VERY LONG INDEED.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve picked up a handful of things, some of which were planned purchases, and others that really really weren’t.

I did finally pick up The Witcher 3 GOTY during Black Friday sales, and I grabbed a copy of Sunset Overdrive for my library when a physical copy was available on Amazon for around $10. So far, so good.

However, in the last week, I’ve also picked up a handful of things that caught my eye that weren’t anything I had been looking to closely at before catching a good sale. Anthem was only $6 on Amazon – it’s a physical copy and I haven’t opened it yet, but I’m going to hold onto it in case the big changes that are rumored actually make an appearance. I grabbed FTL and Where the Water Tastes Like Wine on a Humble Store sale, and Rocwood Academy and Master of Pottery were an impulse purchase on Steam, but all in all, I dropped less than $20 on the whole batch.

And then today, Chrono.gg put the Plantinum collection of Civilization VI on sale for under $30, so I scooped that up, and then I grabbed Autonauts on Nuuvem for $5. Somehow, I’ve managed to spend about $50 before even looking at the Steam sale, which is supposed to be my last spending hurrah until 2021.


Which is, I guess, both good and bad news, because the Steam sale isn’t really blowing my skirt up this go around. I’m not saying there aren’t any good deals, but none of them are ah-mazing. Originally, I had planned on picking up a couple of bigger titles, and now, the more I look, the more likely it seems that I’ll grab a couple of smaller ones (Crest is looking particularly appealing at the moment) or skip buying on Steam altogether this time around.

I also plan to keep any eye on Epic’s daily freebies, and take a closer look at some of the bundles Fanatical is dropping as part of their winter sale. There are some really fantastic deals out there – but I am already finding myself saying “But you don’t need that!”

Less than two weeks before I have to depend on Twitch Prime, Humble Choice, and sheer will power for a whole year.

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

Since I’m not going to be buying much in the way of new games next year, I decided that I’d use at least some of that time to tackle some games that have been lingering in my library that just seem too damn long or overwhelming.

Now, I don’t actually expect to finish all of them, and it’s possible I won’t even start all of them, but what I am doing is getting myself prepped and making sure things are installed. I chose ten games with some pretty significant potential play times, because really, the only better time to play these monsters than during low-spend 2020 is if I had played them when I actually bought them.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

[How Long to Beat: 29 – 81 hours]

Received in the May 2019 Humble Monthly

I have a weird relationship with the Assassin’s Creed games. Weird, in that, I buy them but I don’t really play them. After my third or fourth attempt to get into the first game, I decided that playing them in order was overrated. Although there are some earlier entries in the series I want to spend some more time with, I decided to go for Origins.

Borderlands

[How Long to Beat : 22 – 63 hours]

Purchased Jan 3, 2013 for $4.99

I have played a little bit of Borderlands quite a few times, but never really stuck with it. Rumor has it that’s it’s better in co-op, but that’s not really my thing, but I feel like my recent interest in shooters filled with mayhem and destruction mean it’s time to give it another go.

Crusader Kings 2

[How Long to Beat: 65 – 291 hours]

Purchased September 2013 in a Humble Weekly Bundle (total bundle price: $6.00)

Crusader Kings 2 is another game that irks me – I should like it, I want to like it, I keep buying more and more DLC for it, but I don’t actually play it long enough to get up and over the learning curve.

Dying Light The Following Enhanced Edition

[How Long to Beat: 20 – 83 hours]

Purchased July 6, 2018 for $15.99

I really have no excuse for not diving into this sooner (except maybe that I keep going to back to the Dead Rising series whenever I feel the need to get my zombie killer on).

Fallout 4 GOTY

[How Long to Beat: 34 – 208 hours]

Purchased November 25, 2018 for $19.98

Here’s another series I had to finally give in and tell myself it was ok to play the later iterations without having completed the early games. I still probably SHOULD start with 3 or New Vegas, but I think I want to go into this one with very low expectations if I want to actually get my money’s worth.

Far Cry: Primal

[How Long to Beat: 14 – 36 hours]

Purchased August 22, 2019 for $5.50

I have no idea if I’ll even like this one – I’ve never played further than half an hour or so into any Far Cry title, but I love the concept, and I just kind of want to mess around and be all prehistoric and make my tools out of sticks and stones.

Grim Dawn

[How Long to Beat: 22 – 106 hours]

Received in the October 2016 Humble Monthly

This one I’ve dabbled in, but never really gotten into for no real reason I can fathom.

Slay the Spire

[How Long to Beat: 10 – 234 hours]

Purchased July 5, 2019 for $12.50

True confession: I’m worried this one is going to be too good, too addictive, and I haven’t had space for that kind of game in my life. Guess we’ll see how it goes.

Starbound

[How Long to Beat: 21 – 192 hours]

Received as a gift June 2017.

As one of the half a dozen people worldwide who couldn’t get into Terraria, I’m afraid I won’t like this. Or, more precisely, that I won’t get it.

The Witcher 3

[How Long to Beat: 52 – 191 hours]

Not yet purchased.

Will the hype machine kill this one for me? Will I finally discover that I no longer enjoy long & meaty RPGs? Will I finally understand what Gwent is all about? I suppose we’ll find out.


Honorable Mentions

  • Bioshock Trilogy
  • Call of Cthulu
  • Divinity: Original Sin
  • Endless Legend
  • The Witness

These didn’t quite make the cut, but if I wanted to leave them here in case I nope out of any (or, god forbid, all) of my top 10.

Because I really struggle with giving myself permission to play even one massive, life-eating game – actually listing out a bunch I really want to spend some serious time with feels kind of overwhelming. However, since I’m also not restricting myself to these titles only, I’m hoping to open myself up to a good balance of intimidating titles, with some lovely little palette cleansers from my library in between.