My Top 5 Most Played Games

tracking time in video games

The Numbers Really Surprised Me

What would I do without Google Sheets? I’ve found it harder and harder lately to predict if I’ll like a game. One way I thought might help was to take a closer look at what games I had enjoyed the most. Perusing my spreadsheet of hours spent in various games, I was shocked. I never would have guessed #3, 4, or 5. Of course, #1 and #2 were easy to accept.

#1 World of Warcraft

wow logo

I have over 14,800 hours in World of Warcraft. I’ve never considered myself much of a fantasy buff, but I have always known that World of Warcraft was an exception. I’ve spent over 580 days in Blizzard’s fantasy world. Largely due to the people I’ve met, but if I had to pick one other thing that kept me coming back, it would be the story. Man I love that story. In fact I’m subscribed right now.

#2 Star Wars: The Old Republic

star wars the old republic logo

I’ve been a Star Wars fan for almost 20 years now. I’ve played SO many Star Wars video games, spending untold hours in them. If you counted all the Star Wars card games, roleplaying games, and miniature games, I’m willing to bet it would dwarf WoW handily. SWTOR has never felt like Star Wars to me though. That combined with it’s lack of PvP content updates has really put me off from this game. Still, SWTOR clocks in with over 3600 hours played. With the new expansion coming, there are probably a few more hours yet to come.

#3 League of Legends


I didn’t see this one coming. This game has done some growing up. When I first started playing, it was with a small but dedicated group of friends. I stopped for a month or 16 and came back. When I returned, I found the community much more friendly and accepting. In my on-and-off again experience with League of Legends, I’ve logged over 750 hours. It’s also one of the games I’ve spent the least amount of money on. It’s been great for the wallet.

#4 Total War: Arena

total war arena

Never played a Total War title in my life before this one. I dare say it has had a significant impact on my life. It reintroduced me to my love of strategy games, it got me started in streaming, and it put me on my first airplane. All that in just 6 short months, and over 720 hours of play time. In just 6 months time, this game became my #4 game of all time. I’d imagine it’d be well on it’s way to #2 if it was still available today.

#5 World of Tanks


So the math on this one is a little iffy because I can’t track exactly how much time I’ve spent. What I can track is how many matches I’ve played in, and that’s over 5100 games. I could have been knocked out in under 3 minutes, or I could have spent the whole 15 minutes allowed. It’s impossible to say. Even at 7 minutes per match, which if memory serves should be about right, that’s over 590 hours of game time. Kinda miss playing, but never really had anyone to play with.

Interpreting The Data

Looking at the disparity between time spent in these seems like it should mean something, but I don’t know what. From 14800 to 3100 to 750 is such a huge drop, but then again WoW has been out more than twice as long as SWTOR. I also haven’t exactly stayed consistent with League for more than 3-6 months at a time. I haven’t played in years now in fact, although I’ve wanted to go back and try those ARAMs again. Doesn’t help much in the way of figuring out what I like, although it does bring up some questions that may help. Questions about MMORPG vs. MOBA and subscription vs. free. Suppose that’s a post for another time though.

What’s your longest time spent in a game?

The For Honor Alpha Weekend Experience


For Honor Blew Me Away

I had seen the trailer for this game back when it was first announced. Seemed interesting, so I signed up to play in the Alpha. Then I got the Alpha weekend invite, and got a little more excited. Figured it’d be a fun thing to stream for a day. I ended up streaming it for the entire weekend, and played it even more off-stream. For Honor was a surprise, sleeper hit for me. It was different than the usual games I play. Part capture-the-flag, part MOBA, with a dash of fighting game.

For Honor Shows BIG Promise

There are some new mechanics, at least new to me, not found in other games. The Guard mechanic was probably the most controversial. It’s something new and fun, but at the same time the implementation was just awful. Essentially you use it to block enemy attacks. It was still really clunky and awkward to use, but adjusting the sensitivity sliders helped a lot. Collision detection was  implemented, so it gave the feeling of real physics. You could throw people off bridges, and even push teammates away from ladders.

Another new mechanic was the point system. Generally speaking, 1000 points was the goal. At that point your enemies couldn’t respawn. However capturing a base would grant your team 100 points, and your enemy would lose 100 points. With 3 bases, that’s a 300 point swing. It’s a great recovery mechanic. Our team came back from a 700 point deficit during one match. As far as individual scoring, it suited me well. I don’t know how it worked, but I always got a decent amount of points.

Best Graphics EVER

The visuals in this game were nothing short of incredible. The graphics were just breathtaking, and I never once had any performance issues with graphics cranked up to 11.  The settings were all really detailed, as well as dark and dirty. Nothing breaks the immersion of a 100 years war like clean castle walls and pristine wood fences. I even think the gore was done well. Some blood would fly when you were hit, and your character would get a nasty visual reminder as well. If your character healed, their tunic would still remain stained by blood! Customization was GREAT. It actually mattered too. You can see it quite well on the field of battle. It gets noticed, unlike customization in SWTOR’s Galactic Starfighter. There were lots of customization options, but you were just flying by so fast that nobody could see. There was a huge variety of colors, emblems, and styles available. It was staggering.


Multiple Game Modes

There were 3 different game modes available. 1v1, 2v2, and Dominion (aka 4v4). I gravitated towards Dominion because I almost always had 3 or more in group. Generally I like larger scale combat, but for some reason 4v4 felt perfect. The maps weren’t massive, but designed in a way that made you feel like they were. Each capture point had a big area for fighting. There were also multiple levels of structures, so the up and down added to the battle space. I think the 4v4 was also good because the game gives you a really hopeless sense when getting beat on by four people. I can’t imagine what it would have felt like getting mowed down by more.

The Game Made You Feel EPIC

The little NPCs on your team would all step aside and let you pass if you moved through them. It gave you the true feeling of a hero, leading your forces on the battlefield. The executions were perfect. Literally, perfect. Performing the executions made you feel like you were in the final one-on-one fight of a huge battle. Being executed gave the perfect combined feeling of futility and frustration. While you were dead (because being executed added a few seconds to your spawn time) there was this overhead tactical view that you could see. It wasn’t quite what i’d call an observer mode, but you could see everything that was going on from a bird’s eye view. The perspective gave you the impression of a massive battle. The music was straight out of one of those epic medieval war movies. I’m really, really excited at the opportunity to play it again.

World of Warcraft Legion Review

world of warcraft legion

Legion: A Questing Simulator For World of Warcraft

It may seem a little late for a review, but I personally find it hard to take a review seriously by someone that doesn’t have a level 110 character. How can you legitimately review a game, not knowing what the endgame is like? Well, I have two 110s now thanks to my little speed leveling experiments. I would personally say Legion is a return to the expansions of old. Warcraft’s greatest expansions. The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich king. You can see a lot of these two expansions in Legion. The environment, the music, and the meaningful storytelling.  Best of all though, Worgen have taken quite a prominent role in this expansion. Moreso than any race except humans. I think this is easily the second or third best expansion. Not without its flaws though, and man is there a big one.


I think the story is what makes or breaks an expansion. A good, strong story gives the player a clear direction. Legion’s direction is a dark and serious one. So many of the characters we’ve come to know and love have been taken from us in the blink of an eye. The rivalry between the Alliance and Horde is instantly brought to the forefront in the initial assault on The Broken Shores. This, for me, is a necessity for any good expansion. Like an Imperial Star Destroyer at the beginning of every Star Wars movie, a good fanning of the flames of war is a necessity for a World of Warcraft expansion. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I think it’s safe to recommend you don’t get attached to any NPCs. The next time you see them may be the last. Even the quests begin to reflect the mood. The world is a very dark place right now. One of the rare spawn encounters has you rescue a baby bear cub who is sitting next to its slaughtered parent and siblings in their den. Surprisingly graphic. I think Blizzard has tuned this expansion towards an older audience, and I think they’ve tuned it well.

ashmaw cub den

Order Halls

I’m kinda meh on the Order Halls. I think they’re a good idea, but terrible in execution. You get to hang out with random strangers now instead of by yourself. So it’s almost exactly the same as Garrisons in other words. I think if it served as a quest hub instead of a gathering place it’d be better. I don’t really care about the lore for my Warrior’s Order Hall, but it’s better than most. Some of the Order Halls have atrocious stories and lore, and it’s really depressing to have to play one of those classes. It really feels like getting a participation trophy, instead of feeling even remotely special or important (Poor Hunters). Blizzard continues to miss the mark in the player-housing arena, which is really boggling to me. Garrisons looked amazing, but the solo experience was pretty awful. Order Halls are only slightly less awful.


As far as leveling up, the questing is superb. Fun quests, funny quests, and some story-driven quests. I never got bored with one particular quest type. Kill X mobs, gather Y goat bladders – there was very little of that. One particular questline has you dancing your little hind-parts off! CUKKAW! You’ll know what I mean when you get to it. Another let’s you assume the role of a Night Elf wisp. I liked the variety available in quests. Quests also scale to whatever level you are. You can quest in any zone, at any time. Got a higher level friend? No problem. Mobs and Quests scale to everyone’s level at the same time. It’s like magic.

fun legion quests

Unfortunately though, the questing never stops. Ever. Want to work on your professions skills? You do that by questing. Want to unlock all the relic slots in your artifact weapon? More questing. Ready to unlock World Quests? Cool, go do questing IN EVERY ZONE. And of course once you unlock World Quests, you’ll do more questing. Blizzard has shoved questing down everyone’s throat this expansion. The continual questing is overbearing, oppressive, and the worst part of this expansion. At no point do you ever get a hint that it might be over soon either. I have never had such a feeling of frustration after hitting max level in a game. All the questing robs you of any feeling of accomplishment. I love so much about Legion, but just cannot stand all the questing. It’s a roller coaster of emotion. While I stop short of not recommending this expansion, I would seriously consider your willingness to continually quest before you buy it. Once you get 110, you literally have to spend another several levels worth of time just getting ready for endgame. It’s probably more like 112 or 113. The worst part is that it is forced upon every character you level, and the class campaigns are identical so far. Enjoy doing the same thing over, and over, and over. And over.

World Quests

I know I ranted about questing above, but I have to admit that I love World Quests. I can get my World PvP fix, as well as upgrade my gear, farm gold, and generally goof off all at the same time. World Quests are scattered across the Broken Shore. They each have different timers, and when the timers run out, they are replaced by something else. You have 3 slots on your map to tell you which World Quests you need to do. Each slot is a different faction, and is replaced daily with a new faction. You have to do 4 quests for each faction to get the reward. Some factions are tied to a zone, so you can knock out two quests at once by doing a quest for one faction, in another faction’s assigned zone. None of them are too complex, and some of them are actually fun. I actually find myself enjoying moving zone to zone to complete them when I have a backlog. You can gear up through world quests too. Some quests will offer gear, and your gearscore affects what level the reward is. The higher you go, the higher the reward goes. This implementation of questing gets my seal of approval.

 Artifact Weapons

I love the implementation of artifact weapons. They are one of the shining stand-outs of this expansion. Essentially you get a skill tree specifically for combat. It does require you to know your class very well, but a little research and extra planning time is all that is required to catch up. What I love most about Artifact Weapons is the storylines that go with them! Even the mediocre stories so far have been great. The Ashbringer, Frostmourne, Alleria Windrunner’s bow! THE SCYTHE OF ELUNE! Legendary weapons that we’ve all read about and stared in awe over, now in our hands. I’ve recorded several of them and put them on my YouTube channel, with definitely more to come.

creation of worgen

More To Like About Legion Than Not

Overall, I am excited for what’s in store for Legion. There seems to be a fair bit more lore being provided throughout, which is World of Warcraft’s biggest draw for me. Hopefully in the future they address the abusive questing. Maybe with heirlooms, consumables, or something we haven’t seen yet. The universe of World of Warcraft is alive again for me. Some of my friends are even back to share the experience. The stage has been set, and Blizzard looks to be delivering some powerful stories in the future with this expansion. I’m glad to be here to see it.

Legions of Content Coming

blades of the fallen prince

Artifact Weapon Storylines in Legion

I just realized that I hadn’t posted the content I’ve been creating for Legion here. Probably my personal favorite has been the Artifact Weapon storylines. Blizzard has done an incredible job creating stories for each and every weapon, giving players the feeling that they are on they’re very own legendary weapon quest. The Ashbringer, the Scythe of Elune, and the rebirth of Frostmourne are just a few. Even the less well known ones are given pretty interesting quests. As someone who appreciates the lore of Warcraft, I haven’t been let down yet. Initially I had no idea just how unique and fun they would be. The quests all have some built-in mechanic that forces you to be in the appropriate spec for the weapon you are trying to obtain. They were pretty challenging too. I died more than once on some of them. One final note worth mentioning is that each quest takes you into the old world. Most of these places are in the original classic World of Warcraft zones! Some places are hidden in plain site, others are quite familiar, and hold a lot of nostalgia.

You get your first weapon as soon as you make it to new Dalaran, and you can grab both of the others at level 102. I cannot recommend doing these quests enough. They are some of the best quests Blizzard has created. I still haven’t finished them all yet. For those people that don’t have active subscriptions, or don’t play certain classes, or are just plain bored, I have recorded several of these storylines. I kick myself to this day for not recording the warrior arms artifact weapon quest story. It involves the very first King of the humans! They run from 20 to 40 minutes long each. There’s going to be a lot of Legion content available on my YouTube channel over the next several weeks!

Fast Leveling Tips In World of Warcraft Legion

speed leveling world of warcraft

Leveling From 100 to 110 Quickly

It’s that time again. The servers are blooming, the XP bars are empty, and your to-do list went from zero to full in literally a split second. The Legion expansion for World of Warcraft has arrived, and with it new stories and experiences. The story is REALLY good right now, but I hate leveling. I hit 110 on my Warrior in approximately 33 hours. That’s grouped with a friend, going at a moderate pace, and an hour or two of idling in there.With my Death Knight, I hit a pace of a level every two hours for the last several levels. Leveling involved a lot of PvP, a lot of solo questing, and a little group questing. So now, just like my guide for fast leveling 90-100 in Warlords of Draenor, I have a new leveling guide for Legion. I spent three days taking notes of all my mistakes, and put them into a new guide. Here are my tips for leveling 100 to 110 as fast as possible in Legion! Just in time for the weekend!

Roll With Your Tank

While this isn’t mandatory, it makes such a difference that it’s worth noting. If you’re stuck on which class to play first, I highly recommend a tank. Playing on my Death Knight as Frost, I was killing groups of mobs. Playing on my Death Knight as Blood, I was killing GROUPS of groups of mobs. I really struggled playing on my warrior, but whatever I couldn’t handle as Arms was almost always doable as Protection. Tanks enjoy a (more) comfortable leveling experience!

Rested XP

Use and abuse your rested XP. It’s like getting double the XP reward for doing things. You get rested XP by being in taverns, capital cities, and your class hall. Always log off for the night in one of these playes. You will gain 5% of your level every 8 hours. Also, be sure to log in and out of all your characters to start the rested XP timer. The rested XP timer doesn’t start until your character’s first login after the Legion expansion starts. To maximize your efficiency, swap to other characters when all rested XP is consumed. I missed a days worth of rested XP because I didn’t know this. I randomly found out searching for something else.

Choose Talents Carefully

Some of classes get useful bonuses from talents. Specifically, look for movement speed and self healing talents. Movement speed just lets you walk and run around faster. Whether that’s to chase down a mob, or run from a mob, every second counts. If you’re not a class with healing capabilities, any little self-healing you can muster will be helpful. This may seem small but when you combine a lot of small changes, they aren’t so small anymore are they?

Read the Quest Stupid

Often I would just take a quest, then turn around and start killing whatever mobs nearby. Bad idea. Several minutes in I discovered I didn’t need to kill mobs at all. My leveling buddy made the same mistake. Take the time to read the quest so you know what you are doing. Pro tip: When taking a quest, read the section just above the reward. That generally tells you exactly what you are doing.

Guild Standard

Time to dig it out of your bank! The guild standard increases your XP gains by 15%! It has a huge 10 minute cooldown, but still, something is better than nothing. I dug it out while Isle of Conquest was giving crazy good XP. 6500 XP became 7150 XP. Yes please!

quickest way to 110 in WoW

Do Area Quests Last

First off, area quests are NOT as generous as they were when leveling in WoD. Still, they are a good amount of XP for something you’re mostly doing anyway. When you get to a quest hub, do all the quests first. THEN if you have anything left on your area quest, go back and finish it up. I made the mistake of finishing one area quest, only to learn there were more quests to do in the area. After finishing each quest hub, I generally needed ~15% more to finish the area quest, so you’re probably safe to leave it for last.

Order Hall Missions

Starting at level 102 you will start to get missions in your Order Hall. These are your new garrison missions. Unlike garrisons however, they appear to be brimming with XP quests. I was literally able to chain XP quests for several days. I’d recommend doing only these XP quests at first. Resources will run thin if you start doing other missions, and you will run out easily if you are blowing through missions. The Blizzard Legion app is GREAT for leveling when you’re on the go! It’s practically a non-stop stream of XP, and it’s free.

Loot all at once

If you’re killing several mobs in a nearby area, don’t stop to loot each one. Pull all the mobs to one place and kill them, then loot. You will save time by looting once. Make sure you have auto loot turned on in your game settings. Menu – Interface – Controls – Auto Loot

Kill Like The Energizer Bunny

Random trash mobs are your friend. Never let the XP stop flowing, even for a minute. If your partner goes AFK, find random trash mobs to kill. If you’re waiting for a queue, go find random trash mobs to kill. Just keep killing and killing and killing…

Gathering Professions

If you REALLY wanted to burn up the leveling, you could take two gathering professions. Gathering resources gives XP, so at least take one.  Blizzard is supposed to be remaking professions so they are relevant again, so it’s something you may eventually need too!

Do Dungeons Once

Another change from WoD, dungeons just aren’t what they used to be. In Legion, you will get a quest to do a dungeon at the very end of a zone questline. It’s worth doing the dungeon one time to finish that quest – but that’s it. Running dungeons alone for XP isn’t as efficient anymore.

For Variety, Just Add PvP

While PvP is definitely not as good as questing, Arena Skirmies are close. Even losing Arena skirmishes put me at a pace of 2 hours per level on my Death Knight. Who knows how good you could do if you were in a premade, winning consistently. I was moving slightly faster at 1 hour 50+ minutes per level while questing. As you can see the difference is negligible. Plus breaking up the monotony sometimes helps.

Final Notes For Leveling In Legion

It seems Blizzard is forcing players to quest as the best way to level from 100 to 100 in World of Warcraft: Legion. They hotfixed Isle of Conquest because it was giving too much XP compared to questing. As I mentioned above, there are significant XP nerfs to area quests and dungeons. Why they are doing this is anyone’s guess. Who cares HOW people get to 110. The whole point is to do what you love doing. That’s just my opinion though. Bottom line is, expect questing to be the fastest way to 110 in Legion right now. If you have any tips for getting to 110 quickly, leave them in the comments! I’ll add them above. Good luck with your leveling and God speed!