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Blapril 2020 – Keep up with the news via RSS

Back in 2018 when I participated, I created an OPML file (here’s the post) and because the topic came up on Discord, here’s the 2020 edition.

So if you have an RSS reader, this is for you. If you don’t, my recommendation is to at least check out what that is and why you might like it, if you read blogs, which you obviously do.

RSS (Rich Site Summary; originally RDF Site Summary; often called Really Simple Syndication) is a type of web feed which allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format.

Please note that these are not final and might (probably will) be updated and/or fixed if needed.

This is Blapril and I got a free post number 2 out of this πŸ˜‰

Bla Bla Blapril

There’s a thing going on and because I had a lot of with Blaugust in 2018 and been following this for a week in the Blaugust Discord I decided to join, on the last day of course πŸ˜›

I plan to not follow the schedule again, only count the posts made in April, and I plan to do more than 5 posts, 15 is a stretch goal.

Oh, and we’re Blaprilists now, not Blaugustans.

2019 in review

The year is ending and so it’s time for a review post. 2019 was an odd year.

What I played a lot:

  • World of Warcraft – Retail
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • World of Warcraft – Classic

Where I spent a decent amount of time:

  • SW:TOR
  • EVE Online
  • Borderlands 3

Played a bit:

  • Shadowrun Returns
  • several Picross titles on mobile, but not really worth mentioning

Gaming expenses in 2019:

  • SW:TOR: 3×13 EUR = 39 EUR for subscriptions
  • WoW:
    • 7×13 EUR + 6×12 EUR = 163 EUR for subscriptions
    • 3x 17.50 EUR = 52.50 EUR for discounted server transfers
  • FFXIV:
    • 9x 11 EUR for subscriptions = 99 EUR
    • 5x 1.40 EUR for retainers = 7 EUR
    • 20+35 EUR for expansions = 55 EUR
  • EVE Online: 1×11 + 3x 13 EUR = 50 EUR for subscriptions
  • GOG: 0 EUR
  • Humble: 0 EUR
  • Steam: 2,50 EUR for Islanders, it’s really cool
  • Epic: 0 EUR
  • Got Borderlands 3 for free for buying an AMD Ryzen CPU.

In total that’s 467 EUR in 2019, at 39.66 EUR per month – I think that’s a record expense for me, because I was indeed subscribed to 3 MMOs except in the summer, but the server transfers made up for that. So again sorry to all game creators who don’t happen to be making MMOs πŸ™
It seems like a lot, comparing it to the last years, even exceeding 2014’s 450 EUR by a bit, but overall I think it’s still a really good figure for your main hobby, if you exclude upgrading your gaming PC – but I don’t do that very often (this year I did).
Also I could subtract ~26 EUR for prepaying EVE and WoW into January, but I paid this year, so I’ll keep it in.

  • Amount of MMO subscription months paid: 29
  • Amount of games purchased: 0
  • Amount of expansions bought: 2 for FFXIV: ShB + SB (actually, 3, but SB included HW)
  • Amount of money for ingame/services stuff: 60 EUR
  • Amount of games I got for free and played a lot: 1 (Borderlands 3)
  • Amount of games I got for free and didn’t play at all: ~10? (mostly Epic Store)

Yeah, this was an odd year I guess.

A final look at my wishlist/winter sales didn’t bring any surprises. There are a few games I might like, but right now I can’t think of anything that gets me really excited, except the new SW:TOR expansion, which I haven’t checked out yet. So I don’t think I will buy anything, as I don’t see myself playing anything in the near future.

Too busy to play games

No post for nearly 4 weeks. I did continue playing Borderlands 3, but got stuck on one boss soon after the last post and then I kinda didn’t play anything for the last 3 weeks, but at least I managed to log in to grab my daily rewards in EVE most of the days.
Christmas stuff happened, was meeting friends and former coworkers over mulled wine, and in general was busy with other things. I just prepared my “Year in review” post and scheduled it for the 31st. Let’s see if I will have time to play anything in the remaining days of the year.

Theme changed for layout tweaks

When I moved this blog off wordpress.com 8 months ago I was only 90% happy with my new theme, trying very hard to preserve the old basic look I’ve had since 2009. My CSS skills are a bit rusty and I really wasn’t in the mood to fiddle with everything endlessly, but I was getting less and less happy with something I couldn’t express 100%.

Something annoys me here

Inspired by Rakuno’s post I instantly noticed what was bugging me most, the author blurb/posted on/meta part.

The meta information about the post is in one line

So as I had a little time I went digging for a theme where I could do this better after spending half an hour fiddling with the CSS on the old theme and overwriting 20 rules. It was close, but not perfect and then I noticed 2-3 other things..

Yes, much better.

Long story short, now I have a new theme, Astra, and I only had to override one thing with CSS and the rest can be configured. Awesome. Let’s see if I stay happy with this evolution of the basic look.

Before
After
  • Kinda missing the dark border
  • not yet 100% sure how to align the site title
  • Maybe get rid of that space before the first post

But overall I think I’m happier.

Spending money on games

An interesting topic I saw going round: How much to spend for games? Paeroka wrote about it, Naithin did, and Krikket started it.

I’ve been summing up my gaming expenses in the end of year posts since 2014, that post isn’t due for 2 months but the current state for me seems to be that I have allowed myself to pay 3 MMO subscriptions at the same time, maybe for the first time ever. I can justify that because I don’t think I bought any game this year, with the exception of FFXIV’s Shadowbringers expansion, if you want to count that. I resisted any sale and I’ve been busy enough to not be lured in by any new release of any games coming out this year. The only things on my current “I really want to play that” list is Horizon: Zero Dawn and Beat Saber (and I’m certainly not buying a PS4 or VR gear for those). Also the Switch sounds nice, but I suppose I should play all my XBox 360 games first before buying another console.

That average playtime figure is oddly high

Compared to the others I linked above my number of games is ridiculously low, and I still played only half of them, but I think I can also pull the bundle excuse – for example the complete idSoftware-Pack. I did play those games, before I bought the bundle, even have some of the CDs somewhere. And I have zero regrets for that purchase, as an example.

Does anyone I know have a lower value here? πŸ˜›

So the final tally is still out and I’m too lazy to do the math now, but I guess I’ll come up with the same ballpark as every year, roughly 30 EUR per month for games, which is 1 EUR per day – quite cheap for a hobby that takes up a major part of my spare time.

And yes, overall I feel quite bad to always just buy games on sale and only support MMOs that seem to do well anyway, but I don’t really see why I should hand out money for games I’m simply not really interested in playing. Sometimes I get the urge, but nothing but MMOs seems to really stick in the last years. There simply wasn’t a major release that has me pumped and excited in a way where I could reasonably guess I’d even spend 20 hours on a full price game for 60 EUR. Maybe Cyberpunk 2077 is the first one in years. Maybe.

And in conclusion, maybe I should look up my /played times of various MMOs, that would certainly justify being subscribed there. Marvel Heroes said just shy of 65 days, that’s 1554 hours.

It’s been 10 years

10 years ago I posted for the first time on this blog (back at the URL it had for 9.5 years).

I was still studying (but already working part-time) and in my spare time I was mostly playing WoW (in that years-long stretch where I didn’t play a lot of other games, sometimes none at all). Wrath of the Lich King was the current expansion and I was raiding. The Crusader’s Coliseum and Onyxia’s Lair had been released in the months before and Icecrown Citadel would hit live 2 months later. I posted about my latest Level 80 char (a shaman) that would go on to be the only toon that ever would see me healing heroic raid content.

I would stop blogging after 6 months for a 3 year hiatus. I’m not sure why, maybe because working full time changed something. I’m pretty sure I didn’t play and raid less. Then the blog would go on with a post every 1 or 2 weeks on average (with a few bursts of activity) from 2014 to 2018, when I cranked up the posts just before Blaugust and apparently I was more active since then – averaging more than one post per week. Not very prolific, but I’m not trying to build an audience here. Thanks to all of you who did and do read from time to time.

  • 2009: 12 posts
  • 2010: 8 posts
  • 2011: 0 posts
  • 2012: 0 posts
  • 2013: 5 posts
  • 2014: 28 posts
  • 2015: 43 posts
  • 2016: 23 posts
  • 2017: 24 posts
  • 2018: 84 posts
  • 2019: 80 posts so far

Welcome to Battle Stance

When I started this blog 9.5 years ago I didn’t know yet if I would stick to it. Time and again I debated whether a domain made sense or not. Now I decided it’s time to do the jump and not wait until the 10 years are full, so here it is. Battle Stance, formerly known as Armagon Live. The content won’t change, the history is fully imported, just the URL is different. I guess I’ll have to tweak some of the CSS because I’m not yet 100% happy with the theme. Happy reading.

2018 in review

As is customary I am writing a “year in review” post that shows my exploits and ignores the rest of the world, there are better writers for this kind of stuff πŸ™‚
What I played a lot:

Where I spent a decent amount of time

Played a bit:

Gaming expenses in 2018:

  • SW:TOR: 7x 13 EUR = 91 EUR for subscriptions
  • WoW: 1x 35 EUR for Battle for Azeroth, no subscription yet
    • Oh my, just checked the Blizzard store. It’s on sale *again* for 25 EUR. Stupid me for buying it, but I really had planned to play around this time. Is it selling so badly they need to have it on sale twice in the first few months? Wow.
  • Games on Steam: 24 EUR for Quake Champions, 0.42 EUR to complete 2 Card sets
  • Games on GOG: 3.90 EUR for Torchlight 2
  • Games on Humble Bundle: 20 EUR for Dead Cells, 1 EUR for Shadow of Mordor

This means: 176 EUR in 2018, at ~15 EUR per month. WTF, this is a new low I guess.

  • Amount of MMO subscription months paid: 7
  • Bought stuff in the ingame shop: SWTOR, but with no additional cash
  • Full price games: 2 (Quake Champions, Dead Cells)
  • MMO Expansions: 1 (WoW: Battle for Azeroth)

So (and this is new this year) some analysis:

  • I’m still mostly playing one MMO at a time
  • Although I have 4 mobile games up there, this was only a few minutes at home this year, mostly while waiting for something
  • Depending on how much public transport commute I have, I play some mobile games. Usually I read RSS feeds, this winter I preferred gaming
  • I guess I didn’t buy so many games that I won’t play then. Yay.

There are still a few Steam games on sale I’m thinking about πŸ˜›

  • The Flame in the Flood
  • Convoy
  • Tooth and Tail
  • Cat Quest
  • Prison Architect
  • Another Brick in the Mall

Christmas shenanigans

Did I already rant how I hate December and all the stress about Christmas? Probably not here (at least this year) but it’s real. I stopped playing Destiny 2, I still haven’t resubbed to WoW.
Torchlight 2 was on sale the last days, so I finally bought it after some nudging. It’s fun, although I didn’t play a lot yet. The only game I was playing a little was SWTOR – but I’ll have a separate post for that, maybe sooner. At least now the real part of my vacation time starts, all the Christmas stuff is over now.