Tobold's Blog
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Getting over idleness

If I look at my Steam account, the game I played the most is Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms with 1400 hours, way ahead of XCOM 2 with just over 200 hours (I played World of Warcraft more than that, but it isn’t on Steam). However that number for Idle Champions is completely fake: I have had my computer running with Idle Champions in the background for that time, but that isn’t really the same as “playing”. Idle Champions is comparatively tactical for a clicker game, your choices especially on formation matter, but it is still an idle game that runs best with very little supervision. It just is inconveniently set up in a way that the game needs to be running to reap rewards, you only get a fraction of the rewards when offline.

On the PC that isn’t much of an inconvenience. The operating system is called Windows because running several things at once is the main thing Microsoft wants you to know it can do. “Playing” Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms on the PC does in no way stop me from actually playing other games at the same time, or doing other things with my PC, like 3D printing. When run in full screen the alt-tab switching to another program has some weird bugs, and of course you could count the amount of electricity it uses as a cost, but other than that the background operation isn’t much of a problem. But I have the same game on my iPad, and because it only runs when it is in the foreground, that makes Idle Champions for iOS basically unplayable if you have other uses for your tablet / phone. And on a mobile device, electricity use in the form of battery drain is much more of an issue.

So in spite of a constant stream of new content and events being released for Idle Champions, I will stop playing the game on all platforms and uninstall it. It really isn’t a bad game, but for what it does it is nevertheless too much of a resource hog. I just guess it will keep its place on top of my Steam played list for a long time, if not forever.

What game is on top of your Steam list? Do you regret those hours played?

How much did you played World of Warcraft ?
No Idea about Steam. I don't use it all that much and I only look at the statistics if I need them for a blog post about something.

As for "idle" gaming , though, for me, playing on PC, just about any game is an "idle" game. I habitually play MMOs in borderless full-screen and leave them running in the background when I'm doing other things. Where possible, I have them set to let the sound play even when the screen is hidden. I write many of my blog posts to the sound of GW2's music, for example. If the game senses I'm not active and kicks me to character select I usually tab back, log in again, then tab back out. Sometimes I just leave the game running at character select, particularly if there's music there.

Consequently my "played" time for many MMOs is absolutly immense. My played time for GW2, for example, on my oldest account, is just under 7,000 hours. That's more than a thousand hours a year or 291 days. Obviously I haven't really PLAYED that many hours, especially when you also consider I have three accounts and play each of them every day! I just tend to log in as soon as I switch the machine on in the morning and only log out if I switch the machine off or do something with it that requires the same resources (some games clash with each other when played simultaneaously, even if one is only idling).

I always thought being able to leave everything running at once was the whole point of Windows...

@GoA: Last time I checked I had played over 6,000 hours of World of Warcraft.
622 hours for Crusaders of the Lost Idols, also by the same designers of Idle Champions. I still prefer it more, but I play it in spurts. I've mastered the art of just forgetting about a game when I'm not currently interested. Otherwise I'd go crazy with the number of dailies and "do this or you'll miss out!" busywork tasks that nearly every social game these days employs.

Beyond that one idle game outlier, the rest were all actively played. Terraria at 255h. No regrets. I still haven't caught up with all the past few year's updates and would like to do a proper start to finish run at some point.

Trove at 156h, some regrets, mostly because their servers started acting up for me. Unplayable latency means unenjoyable game - the past time investment has no more future payoff, I can only muse on the experience enjoyed then.

143h Don't Starve, 121h Warframe (and still rising), 112h Skyrim. No regrets. All good games. All very much still playable if I ever found the time to do another run through.
Clicker heroes...

For wow I probably have around 5000 hours...
I've got a good dozen idle/clicker games sitting in the top of my Steam list, but the game which trumps all but one (the first one - Time Clickers) is Warframe.

907hrs in Warframe. Actual hours. Criminy. The next few all come in around the same'ish mark.

EU4: 497hr
Witcher 3: 428
Fallout 4: 411

The system is clearly unreliable. Skyrim - 93hrs, Skyrim SE - 35hrs. I've played a LOT more than that. I couldn't say how much, but significantly more than those other titles.
My top Steam game is Skyrim. Can anybody regret playing Skyrim? Don't think so.
Before going back to the standalone client, PoE had almost 450 hours registered on Steam. I've been playing since 2014 on and off, so I'm probably closer to 1k - 1.2k by now.
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