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.

Autumn and Winter Sale Shopping List

Look, I know I just talked about Low-Spend 2020, but there are TWO major Steam sales between now and then. Do I need any more games? Not even a little. Am I going to buy some more games? Absolutely.

However, I want to put some real thought into my purchases – including the price point at which I’m willing to take the plunge, hence the shopping list.


Almost Certainly Going to Buy

The Witcher 3 GOTY Edition

70% off ($14.99)

This one is kind of a no brainer. It’s been 70% off pretty much every recent sale, and I fully expect it’ll hit that price again. I’ve resisted buying because I probably don’t have time for a 200 hour RPG, but I feel like it’s time to take the plunge.

Sunset Overdrive

25% off ($14.99)

This feels a little ridiculous, but I haven’t enjoyed a game this much in a really really long time, and I need to own it. To be fair, I’ll probably buy it before the year’s end with no discount at all.


Probably Will Buy

Utomik 6 Month Subscription

25% off ($28.35)

This might be cheating a little, but there’s still enough stuff on Utomik I’d like to spend some time with that this seems like a great deal (and frees up 6 months worth of paid subscription slots).

Heartbound

0% off ($9.99)

Sure, I’d love for this one to see a discount, but I’m optimistic that it will be completed sometime in 2020, so if I want to support it at full (or at least close to full) price, this is the time to pick it up.


Unlikely to Be Discounted Enough

Disco Elysium

50% off ($19.99)

As much as I’d like to get my hands on this one, it’s probably too new to get the price drop I’d be looking for, and it feels too likely for eventual Humble Choice inclusion to spend full price on it, especially considering how long things tend to sit in my library.

Lobotomy Corporation

50% off ($12.49)

I’ve been eyeing this for awhile (and I can see it being a game I spend a LOT of time with), but it hasn’t had enough of a discount yet for me to pick it up.

Re:Legend

50% off ($9.99)

It’s probably too new to Early Access to hit 50% this year, but I’m super intrigued even though the early reviews are less than stellar. I’d absolutely scoop this one up for $10 or less.

Low-Spend 2020: Putting a Halt to Impulsive Game Purchasing

I’ve known for awhile that I have a problem with impulse purchasing, but I try not to think about how big of a problem it actually is.

I have not actually played anywhere near that many games – I do tend to idle for cards, which makes at least that portion of my calculator very very wrong.

Of course, bundle buying absolutely throws the account value out of whack. On the other hand, this is only games I own on Steam, and it’s still way too many. So I’ve decided to slow my roll next year, and stop buying things just because they’re cheap or they look interesting or I’m having a bad day.


Low Spend 2020 – Allowed Spending

Subscription Spending

I’m allowing myself the full 12 months of Humble Choice, as well as one paid MMO subscription and one paid gaming subscription service at a time.

Non-Subscription Spending

I am allowed to spend up to $50 gifting games to others during the Summer and Winter Steam sales, and I am allowed to purchase non-Collector’s Edition expansions for World of Warcraft or Elder Scrolls Online. Additionally, I may elect to purchase one new co-op game or MMO to play with my husband if something comes out he’s excited about.


Other than what I’ve indicated above, I will not be purchasing any new games, or making any cash shop or micro-transaction purchases in 2020. This includes purchasing any bundles other than the Humble Choice subscription.

While I acknowledge that I’m still allowing myself a massive budget, I still feel like this will be an improvement over what I’ve been doing – which is just making game purchases without a whole lot of thought behind them. It’s not really about the money – although I love to shop, I don’t spend to the point where it strains our budget. But by always chasing the next great deal, I am not really enjoying the things I buy.


While it’s not restricting myself to only five games for an entire year, I am hoping it’ll encourage me to play through some more of my library, as well as better evaluate the worth of the various gaming subscription services that are out there.

One Year / Five Games

Oh, this is diabolical.


I might have missed this one entirely if Naithin hadn’t posted about it (and I read that right before bedtime too, so you bet I was thinking about it while I was waiting to fall asleep). Let’s be real – I probably couldn’t stick to this and would just take my beating. And I’m not so organized as to worry myself about categories – I’m just going to look at potential play times here.

Game One: World of Warcraft

I would definitely want an MMO, and this one was super-close. Like, I had already started writing about the Elder Scrolls Online close. But every time I’ve take an extended break from WoW (like, for example, now), I come back recharged and excited and ready to Do Stuff. Plus there’s pet battles. I can spend a LOT of time on pet battles. And I haven’t seen the Horde side of the last three expacs, so I probably wouldn’t run out of stuff to do, even if it wasn’t always the most exciting things.

Besides, I have a guild that’s been around for a good 10 years, and I miss those folks like whoa.

Game Two: Rimworld

I’ve been away from Rimworld a long time, but I haven’t forgotten how easy it was to lose myself in. Sure, all the changes since I played last would be overwhelming at first, but I don’t think it would take me too long to get caught up. Plus, I’m pretty sure there’s like 80 bazillion new mods I haven’t even looked at since I played last.

Game Three: RollerCoaster Tycoon Triple Thrill Pack

Another building game, you might be thinking. Yes. Another building game. There is SO MUCH content in this game, and I may even someday learn to build my own coaster that doesn’t kill people. This has the added bonus of being extremely low spec, so if something happened to my regular gaming rig, I wouldn’t be left game-less.

(this is where it gets really hard)

Game Four: Tales of Maj’Eyal

I’ve played enough of ToME to know I enjoy it, and there are currently over 1700 achievements to strive for. I can see this one holding my attention for many many hours.

Game Five: The Sims 3

Replayability and longevity have to be considered, and what game has more to do than Sims 3? I’ve played hundreds of hours already, and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. Add in a whole bunch of self-imposed challenge modes like the ones here, and I would probably never get sick of it.


Well, that was uncomfortable. My interests are so varied and my library so vast. Cutting down to a single MMO and giving up all manner of mobile gaming were probably the biggest sacrifices.

Thank goodness this isn’t a thing I actually have to do, although it certainly makes me less apprehensive about my plans to seriously limit my gaming purchases in 2020 (more info on that soon).