First, I'd like to say that I hope everyone and their families are well and safe, and taking all the necessary precautions to get through this. Had you asked me a few months ago what I thought my life would look like right now, I likely wouldn't have described it as working from home while hoping none of my family get sick. If anyone needs someone to talk to (not just during this, but in general), please don't hesitate to reach out to me.
But, that's not what I started this blog post to chat about! I've noticed that when running some of my reports for work, I have downtime that I could utilize to update you all on my incredible journey to 95%. I know what you're thinking - you're only at 41.5%, you buffoon! At the beginning of 2019, I was at 38.05%, so while this isn't an enormous improvement, I was still able to bring it up from where I was and have continued to increase it (albeit slowly). I certainly could have increased it more quickly, but early on into my goal last year, I made a few decisions that impacted my overall play style - decisions for the better, in my opinion.
First, I didn't stick to a cap of how many games I was going to start, but I actively made the decision to only buy games that I genuinely wanted to play. I spent a lot of years priding myself on the volume of games I've played much more than the content - and there's still a side of me that very much enjoys playing a ton of games. But, for me, I had to start making decisions based on both time and finances. A big part of this became spending a bit more on a game I would really like rather than paying small amounts on tons of games just because it meant I would play a higher number of games. Alongside this, I also stopped buying games at full-price (with a few exceptions) as most of the time, it will be a while before I actually play a game after I buy it.
I know that the above likely sounds so obvious to many people. but these were habits that were ingrained in me for the better part of the last 15 years. I don't regret how I gamed up until now, because I very much enjoyed it, and as far as I'm concerned that's the important part of gaming. It's not a matter of what other people consider to be the right way to play a game, it's a matter of if I enjoyed the time I spent on those games. One piece I keep debating is if I should move my 360 into my primary gaming space, as there are still a lot of 360 games I would like to go back and at least play through the main story. I know I won't make it back to everything, and that my goal of completing games that may not have aged well will be more difficult, but I do want to go back and give those games the chance that I didn't in the first place.
One aspect of my goal that I debated very heavily last year was whether or not I would participate in GTASC, and ultimately I did. I enjoyed it much more this year with the TAD as the scoring method, and I kept one very important promise to myself - I didn't buy games for the sake of the competition, as I believe that was part of what was bringing me down the past few years. I very much enjoyed my team this year, and I think one reason I enjoyed it so much was because there was genuinely not a pressure to game differently than we normally would.
The one thing that I did commit to when allowing myself to start games now is that I want to get at least as many achievements as would be necessary to maintain my current completion percentage (I actually currently shoot for at least 50%, which means it would bring it up a little bit at least), and I've been committing to sticking to games for longer instead of hopping around so much between games. I've found it much more satisfying to put the work into an achievement I thought I couldn't get, which is something I've really struggled with in the past.
I know that a lot of this sounds silly, and a lot of the time I feel silly to be so excited over an improvement of 3.45%. What it comes down to for me is the fact that improving that much took a lot of time and habit changing that I've struggled with in the past, and lately I've actually been improving at a slightly better pace than I was due to taking the time to clean up games in my backlog with sizable achievement lists that I had barely touched. I think most importantly, what has allowed me to continue improving is that I'm getting a lot more satisfaction out of gaming than I was previously.
I recently set a ton of goals for genre leaderboard positions - some of them were for boards that I already have a decent position on, and some of them were ones that I haven't done so hot on (so far
). There were a few reasons I chose the boards I did - first, I chose the genres that I have been enjoying most over the past six months or so. Second, I chose ones that would likely require more time to move up due to the types of games in them, but that will continue to encourage me to work through games that require more time. Finally, I genuinely believe that I set realistic position goals for these leaderboards. It's unlikely that I'll reach all those positions considering how many goals I set (although many have overlap), but I think that if I can reach at least a few of them, I'd feel pretty awesome about what I accomplished.
The final thing I'll touch on that I started considering with my gaming over the past year or so is the inflation that's happened with gamerscore (although this ties in with being willing to work through longer games). I spent a substantial amount of time churning out quick games, and for a while, I found that to be quite satisfying. Then I started to realize that I wasn't getting the same experience and enjoyment that I had from gaming prior to achievements, and this put me in a predicament. I didn't want to give up achievement hunting, because I genuinely love and enjoy it...But how was I supposed to balance the achievement hunting versus getting the most out of a game. Then it dawned on me, and the key to it is a phrase I just used twice - achievement hunting
! I wanted to value my gamerscore personally, not just vault up as quickly as I could (which I have no issue with others doing). The key was to get back to the hunting part, to working on games I enjoy, and to feeling proud of myself for what I was doing.
I know there's a fair amount of redundancy here, and hopefully I'll keep writing blogs going forward and they'll be a touch more thrilling than this one. But, to end, here's a wrap up of what I'm currently playing and where my completion currently stands:
Playing: Two Point Hospital
(3/30 achievements, 10%)
Current completion %: 41.5% (includes all DLC)
Achievements to 42%: 217