Tobold's Blog
Friday, March 17, 2023
Taking stock

I have been living in the same apartment for the last 25 years. But we are currently building a new house, and will move house in spring. Both in preparation for the move, and to empty the current apartment in order to make it presentable for selling, we had to go through all of our belongings and decide what to keep. Over the years a lot of stuff accumulates, and the move is an opportunity to take stock and decide what is still relevant.

In other news, my PC has been running more and more slowly lately, so that when I double-click on a desktop icon it sometimes took minutes for the program to start. That turned out to be a similar issue as the apartment: Over many years a lot of stuff has accumulated, and messed up Windows. In that case the solution was to reinstall Windows, but even if you keep the files, the process of reinstalling makes Windows forget what software was previously installed. In some cases, you can recover stuff, e.g. Steam games, without having to download them again. In other cases you need to reinstall your applications too. Which again is an opportunity to take stock, especially of my PC games.

What I discovered was that I had a lot of games installed of which I thought of being good games that I had enjoyed a lot, but which somehow I wasn't playing anymore. I played 138 hours of Against the Storm; it is a really good game, and it gets updated every 2 weeks; but still, at some point it just isn't exciting anymore. My interest in Phantom Brigade just ran out, after about 65 hours. I have played 68 hours of Hogwarts Legacy, and am not sure whether it is worth reinstalling it just to play it to the end of the story. I tend to feel okay about a game if I spend more hours of fun with it than it cost in dollars, which make Against the Storm the best deal of the games mentioned. But between weekly free games from the Epic Games Store and free access to games with the Xbox Game Pass for PC, there are obviously a lot of games to which that rule doesn't apply.

Then there are games that are evolving. I have 124 hours played of Baldur's Gate 3, and the game doesn't even come about before August this year. 78 hours played of Solasta: Crown of the Magister, but there is a lot of DLC content I haven't seen yet. I reinstalled Gloomhaven after 92 hours played, to play through the Jaws of the Lion DLC. I have 78 hours played on Wartales, but will probably reinstall it when release version 1.0 comes out in Q2 of this year. Before the Windows reinstall, I had Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous installed for 18 months, and I swear that every time I started Steam there would be a patch for that game; I only played 37 hours of it on release, but it felt as if I had made a mistake to buy the game early, and should wait until they were finished patching it.

Part of the problem of games outstaying their welcome on my hard drive is the barrier to entry of starting a new game. I do like complex games, but they definitively take a good amount of time to learn and play properly. Of course the learning experience is also a big part of the fun, which makes mastering a game also the point where interest wanes. But then it takes some mental effort to decide to stop playing this and to start and learn the next game. I wish the transition was smoother, but the reality is periods in which I am very much fascinated by one game, interrupted by periods in which I lost interest and can't really find the energy to start the next game.

Exciting times for you, a self given retirement gift?

To me it's similar to reading books. I can be engrossed at one point and sometimes my enthusiasm can wane and I don't finish it. Getting back into a partially read book for me is very hard, just like not wanting to relearn the controls of a game or take the time to relearn the game world. In some cases I've pushed through the initial hesitation like retrying WoW years ago after years away. Most of the time though, I just can bear the thought of relearning what I once knew - that makes no sense to me, but I do it nonetheless.

That's one of the reasons I don't buy more than one game that I plan to play at a time. I know that if I don't play it when I have the initial enthusiasm then I'm probably just wasting my money.
I forgot to add - I did finish the main story in Hogwarts Legacy and I thought it was good. I'm not sure where you left off so you may already know most of it, but I liked it.
The barrier to re-entry into a game is why I've taken to creating notes on how to play the game, including a listing of the keybindings and how I've set things up. I use a Razer keypad for a lot of games so that I can put typical things like movement and interaction in the same places, even if the games vary.

For games like MMOs, I found myself just creating a starting character when I returned after a break, so I started recording the rotations for my characters as well.

I still rarely complete a larger game due to burning out, and thanks to Humble Bundle and free Epic games, I have a ton of games I've never played and many I never will. I have to be really excited about a game to spend money on it nowadays as I look at that library and wonder what I could be playing instead.
Post a Comment

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool