About this blog

What’s up for 2020?

Posts about the future are rare on this blog, but there are actually a few things I am looking forward to this year, not necessarily releases:

  • WoW Shadowlands
    • I’ve been playing a lot of WoW recently and while I’m happy to take advantage of the XP (and rep) buff to reach my goals, I’m looking forward to a new expansion.
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn on PC
    • When I bought my new PC last year I stuck with my 2016 RX470 and told myself I’d upgrade it when HZD came out. I was really looking forward to it. Now I’m already a bit meh again, I really hate stuff being announced more than half a year in advance, I can never keep momentum. But we’ll see, maybe I am lucky and not totally busy with other things. I WANT to play it.
  • more of EVE Online
    • Not looking forward to a specific release, but I’m in full swing right now and having a blast.
  • Final Fantasy XIV – Shadowlands
    • The grind of the MSQ got to me and I never reached it. Good job, SE, someone gets converted from a “ah let’s try” to buying all 3 expansions, but then burning out 4 levels shy of the last expansion…
  • Cyberpunk 2077
    • Not sure I’ll play it, but I love the fact that it exists and maybe reading and seeing more will tempt me.

Of course there’s also a list of unrealistic expectations:

  • Guild Wars 2 – finish Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire
  • have a look at TESO again, maybe properly this time

And finally a single player TODO list:

  • Finish Forgotten Anne, it’s awesome and should only be a few hours
  • Get to Level 50 in Borderlands 3

It’s Blapril and this is post number 14.

Blapril Topic Brainstorming Week

I’m not exactly active in taking part in the theme weeks of Blaugust/Blapril, but for this week I actually have an opinion. You could call it an advice, if you like.

Not everyone writes a blog for the same reason. Sure, you seem to be keen on publishing something, otherwise you wouldn’t have started one or thought about starting one. Naturally if you did, you want to put something there, that’s the whole point, right? I’m not sure. In the early days blogs were ridiculed a bit for being “just a diary, but online”. I’ve never written a diary in the classical text form, and still most of my blog posts are just diary entries of what happened. Sorry, dear reader, I’m not actually writing this for you. I’m mostly writing this down because I have a bad memory when it comes to remembering specifics, but I’ve had enough positive comments to encourage me to make it available publicly. The upside of this is that I don’t have to post with a certain frequency, I post when I want something written down or when a milestone is reached, or sometimes just to let off steam because something didn’t work out.

You don’t need to brainstorm topics if you don’t feel the need to publish regularly, or often. Just write what you want to write, whenever you want to write. It’s your blog.

Obviously this doesn’t help you if you do want to publish regularly and attract a big readership, but then you shouldn’t be taking advice from me anyway πŸ™‚

It’s Blapril and this is post number 8. And of course Blapril is motivating me to post more, but I’m not actively brainstorming, just reading other blogs and sometimes it’s better to create a blog post than a very long comment.

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.