A New Year means a new you! Well, kind of, anyway. It means one month of proposed self-improvement before you give the whole thing up and go back to eating cheese for the next 11 months. On a brighter note, though, gaming resolutions are a bit easier to stick to. Here, the PC Gamer team relays theirs.
I will play Star Wars: The Old Republic. I've been putting it off for years, but this will be the year I submerge myself in BioWare's MMO, the reputation of which is a total mystery to me now. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it well-written? I have no idea—but I do know it contains a fat packet of Star Wars story content, so I owe it to myself to try it once. I've had it downloaded on my PC for three years. In 2018, it could finally happen. I've been advised by PC Gamer's Andy Kelly that I should focus on the Sith-related content, because the Jedi are boring. This is no great surprise to me.
I will stop worrying about finishing every game. My original idea for this year's resolution was 'finish more games', but I might as well make a resolution to master cold fusion. It's never gonna happen. There aren't enough hours in the day, and 10,000 games are being released for PC every picosecond. So I've decided to go in the opposite direction. In 2018 I'm going to stop worrying about finishing games. When I have a half-finished one in my library it looms over me like an annoying ghost, slapping me in the back of the head and going "You still haven't finished this!" But I'm just gonna let it go, because if I've squeezed 25 hours of fun out of a game but haven't seen the ending, that's fine. And the genius of this resolution is that it's really easy to keep. I basically just have to keep doing what I'm doing now, but not feel bad about it.
I will stop buying loot crates. I rarely make in-game purchases, but when I do it's usually in Rocket League. I'm going to stop. As much as I want those damn Wonderment wheels that come in the holiday crates, there'll just be something else I want in a month. So I'll take my snowflakes (the in-game currency you get by playing during the holiday event) and see what I get. And in the future I'll trade whatever crates drop for me (you have to buy keys to open them) to get whatever it is I'm looking for, if I can. $10 here and there isn't going to bankrupt me, but I could be putting that money toward something much more useful than pretty animated hubcaps. Wasting money on luxuries feels nice, but so does owning a decent, actually sharp chef's knife so I don't slice my hand open making breakfast.
I will play a round of PUBG. I was also going to say that I'm going to stop buying loot boxes, because I'm absolutely part of the problem. I'm the wrong side of 40, have some amount of cash to spare, and would sometimes rather just spend it than grind for the chance of getting whatever shiny cosmetic bullshit has caught my eye. Instead, I'm going to commit to giving PUBG a go, because a) it's ridiculous I haven't, and b) this seems more likely to happen. As for why I haven't sampled what was, after all, our breakout game of 2017, it's largely based on my experiences paintballing as a younger man. Hunkered behind a tree stump somewhere in Wiltshire, goggles steaming up like a greenhouse in Borneo, I would invariably be overcome by anxiety. Was that movement in the shrubs at three o'clock? Are they flanking me? Is this how I die, or at least acquire some welt-shaped bruises on my inner thigh? Eventually it would become unbearable and to break the tension I'd just rush into the open and get lit up like one of Damien Hirst's lazier efforts. I'm pretty sure PUBG is going to play out the same way for me, but at least in 2018 I'll know for sure.
I will stop obsessing over framerates. I'm the guy that runs benchmarks, which can be a problem. Every time I fire up a new game, I'm looking at the framerate counter, trying to decide if it might make a good addition to my benchmark list, and then find an area that would make for a good benchmark sequence. And then once I find such an area, the chances of me actually finishing the game (or even progressing much beyond the benchmark) plummet. Having an FPS overlay running in a game often ruins it for me, because it means I'm testing rather than playing. So this year, I'm going to actually play some games to completion, because I've missed out on a lot of good games of years past. At least one. Maybe…
I will stream games once in a while. I love to write about the experiences I have in games, especially as diaries, but it might be nice to occasionally share them with other people while they're happening instead of only after the fact. I have no plans (and I definitely don't have the skills) to become a Twitch star, but I like watching people play games while they stream and maybe it's something I'll enjoy doing myself. Not PUBG or anything intense (I'll leave that to Tim), but maybe one of those oddball sims I seem to wind up playing, or something that doesn't take an extreme amount of concentration, since I'm not so good at talking while playing games (or talking while doing anything else, or talking while not doing anything else). I think it would be fun to have some company while playing a game once in a while, and to share the fun stuff that happens in realtime instead of with an animated gif afterwards.