My Gaming Year 2022 Recap

Gaming remains to be my major hobby and pastime during out-of-work hours and weekends, and 2022 remained as such. During this year it also served as an important sanity anchor in the turmoil of non-stop madness IRL, and escapism from the news – but well, the games also matter on their own.

So, what I was busy with?

FFXIV

It’s no secret that FFXIV has firmly settled as my major game this year – and will hopefully remain as such for a long, long time. The narrative is the best that I’ve seen in a long time not only in games, but in media in general, and I can never wait for another chapter.

I like the complex, thoughtful combat and encounter system that requires precise execution and planning, not rapid mashing of buttons. I like the classes aka jobs, and each of them is precious to me. I like how the grinds are almost non-existent, and if there are any, they make sense.

I like that there’s no pressure at all: after completing the main story questline you’re free to engage in any activities you feel like doing. I like the most friendly and helpful community where you never meet an asshole, and if you do, it’s something you remember for months, yes it’s that rare. Finally, it’s very palpable – you almost physically feel how developers care about their game and players, and they never, ever disappoint.

I’ve finally leveled 3 toons: the Big One (Roegadyn), the Smol One (Lalafell) and the Cat One (Mi’qote, my main and my personal canonical Warrior of Light). I split all combat jobs equally among them, for roleplay and glam reasons, leveled them all to level cap, and keep them updated while weekly farming the current raid content.

What do you know? After a year and a half of active gameplay I’m still in a catch-up mode, as I’ve recently dived deep into leveling crafting and gathering that I shunned before. Mid-Stormblood on my main and at the beginning of Heavensward on the other two, it’s gonna take at least January to level them, then we’ll see what to do next. Crafting/gathering is complex, and could actually be a game in itself, it’s that thorough and cool. It’s separate classes, gear, rotations and action buttons – nothing auxiliary about it.

There’s plenty of things to explore yet, so I’m positive that I’ll have multiple things here for the year to come, apart from current content. There’s no lack of options here – pick your poison!

Cult of the Lamb

It’s an interesting indie (?) project, available at Steam that combines roguelike/farm management genres. Basically it’s cute animals doing satanic things, and you, a lamb and a leader of the cult, manage your camp, and go on solo crusades.

I didn’t play it a lot, as cult management kills me (keeping followers happy and all), but I think I’ll return and play through the story at the very least when I have time.

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

It’s the best thing that happened to TMNT franchise since 90s. They took the classic all-star 80s cartoon series’ heroes, villains and design, they took the best from NES and Sega beat’em-ups and multiplied it by 11, and removed all the outdated negative stuff, while adding lots of cool features of their own.

I don’t know how modern kids would take it, but it’s a nostalgy must for gamers of 80s and 90s, trust me. I walked through twice on different characters (Leo and April), I keep it installed, and pop in from time to time to run a couple of levels on other characters. Highly recommended!

An Elephant in the Room: WoW

The cure from altoholism and WoW was found, and it’s not one of its competitors, it’s: WoW itself and its current developer team. I’ve resubbed for 3 months of 9.2. launch, hated its guts- Sepulcher was the first raid since Cataclysm that I dropped mid-first wing, and didn’t even experience it in LFR, and the final zone was ridiculous, meaningless, stupid and super boring. A final headshot to the worst expansion ever. I simply let the sub to quietly die out, and I didn’t even need a couple of pre-paid months.

Dragonflight announcement in May looked like a lot of PR, fanservice and harassment scandal mitigation rather than a path forward, so I felt zero hype during its presentation, and didn’t feel like I wanted to play it. Come November 25 and reviews/comments from social media and fellow bloggers/players, and I decided I give it a roll. The idea was to pick one alt, and simply experience the content.

Well, I dinged 70 Dragonflight and took the quest for a raid boss kill. It appeared to be everything as I feared: disgusting dragonriding that doesn’t replace flying mounts at the very least, because they missed the flying mount point by a mile, and a constant annoyance with every summon, a pathetic, boring story, and a lot of fanservice slapped on an empty place – they copied the shell of WoW, but they don’t have a clue what makes it cherished and loved.

The only thing I liked was the side stories that I managed on my leveling way, and most of them are still waiting for me, so that’s where you’ll find me during holidays. I plan to gear up just enough for LFR, run through it, and probably this is WoW for me for the remainder of the expansion.

I don’t plan to resub when my 4 months run out, as Dragon Isles are not inspiring at all, albeit pretty, and the story’s just pathetic. Even Shadowlands had a better narrative, mindfucked, but at least it was interesting and touching in several moments. We’ll see what Metzen will manage for the next expansions, but this… this is not WoW anymore, it’s funeral home beauticians making its corpse pretty enough to try and sell it. I felt zero magic, zero interest and zero desire to login in between and after main story – in fact, I didn’t after my last quest yet.

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This year wasn’t optimistic or pretty – who could have told that covid years would seem like a fun time from the top of December 2022? I hope for all the best in 2023, and let all the good guys win IRL and in games. Happy holidays to everyone!

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