Year Fifteen Retrospective

This site is fifteen years old today! It’s still kicking, and though the updates are still infrequent, my figure purchases continue unabated, as the photo above attests – most of the figures contained in the boxes haven’t appeared on this website yet.

2023 was an odd year for me, but I think I’d say it was quite a happy one. After a period of uncertainty regarding my job, I’ve fell (in a rather unplanned manner) into a really good situation, taking a role I like with colleagues whose company I enjoy very much, and I get paid way more than I probably deserve. It’s also the year that I knew I was no longer in love with Epic Seven, the game I’ve been playing for a large chunk of the last five years.

I also managed to procrastinate for an entire year on building a new computer:

I really do want to put the machine together since there are a lot of games I want to play that won’t run on my current computer. I’m not sure where I’m going to find the time, however, since I’m now a degenerate, inveterate gacha game player. Here’s a few of the ones I play regularly:

Azur Lane was the first gacha game I ever played and I think I would say it’s the one I’m most fond of, even though I don’t actually play it that much these days. I’m very glad to see that it’s getting so many figures, and I’m particularly happy that the Eagle Union – my favorite faction – is getting a lot of stuff from Alter and Apex.

Epic Seven is still the game I play the most, but I regard it with mixed feelings, much the same way as I felt about World of Warcraft when I knew it was about time to quit. There’s still a great game in there, but inexcusably poor unit balance and a general lack of content have me wondering how much longer I’m going to stick with it.

Strangely enough, the same company that publishes Epic Seven also publishes a game called Outerplane, which is incredibly similar to Epic Seven. It might seem incongruous that I’m playing an Epic Seven clone at a time when I’m contemplating quitting Epic Seven, but I find that Outerplane’s early and mid-game experiences evoke a lot of the positive feelings I had for Epic Seven, before I become jaded about it. The character designs are also pretty good in that they lean very heavily towards the waifu side of design philosophy.

If I could only ever play one gacha game, it might be Counterside. Unfortunately the game isn’t particularly well-known, but I hope it finds more success in the future. In particular I wish it would get some figures, since I really like the character designs, but it seems like it’s not that common for Korean games to get figure adaptations.

I still technically play Arknights, but I admit that I’m terrible at tower defense and I almost always have to go look for a Youtube video on how to beat a stage. However, Arknights did contribute one positive thing to my outlook on both itself and my view of figures; anyone who might have looked over my figure collection might notice that I own very few with animal ears or tails, and that’s by design as I’ve generally not liked those things on anime girls. However, having played Arknights for a while, I think I’ve mostly gotten over that dislike.

2023 was also the year that I believe I spent the most money on figures, and being that this site is still a figure website, here are some figures that I’ve photographed but haven’t yet completed their writeups.

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10 Responses to Year Fifteen Retrospective

  1. Aya says:

    Year 15 so where is Tier’s Man Cave Tour ? no way those boxes all inside right XD I expect 15 detolf full of figures

    • Tier says:

      Ahahahaha, hopefully I can such a post this year – which is to say, I really hope this is the year I can buy a house. I’m not that hopeful but if I can, maybe I can actually show most of my figures in one place.

  2. LadyLaika says:

    I resonate with your feelings on Epic Seven. I was at the brink not too long ago, and I’m still balancing poorly on the edge.
    I’m looking forward to reading your upcoming figure reviews.

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! 😀 Yeah, I’m not feeling too positively about the game, and neither are a lot of my friends. There’s not a lot there to feel positive about, which is a huge shame since so many other gacha games appear to be doing very well. Not to mention that there’s a ton of really good non-gacha games being released.

      Also, thank you for hitting your expos 😀 So many people post their expos without hitting them and I just delete them.

  3. Shashin says:

    Damn, we’ve been in this hobby a similar amount of time, and you’re the one that got me into it, for sure. It has been an interesting 14-15 years.

    • Tier says:

      Man, it has; it’s kinda funny looking back at my dakimakura collection and thinking about what characters and series I liked back then versus what I like now. Or what I was willing to pay for them; I seriously never expected to commission one myself. I ought to write a post about that.

  4. WhitewingsLemoN says:

    I was influenced by friends to play gacha games.
    The three I am still play right now are Monster Strike, FGO and Nikke.
    Problem with these games is the ‘fun’ is not really from the game play. I found my fun in these games from getting good characters without paying while seeing my friends spending hundreds/thousands trying to get them, very toxic.
    My self control for not paying comes from knowing that I don’t actually own anything. When the server shuts everything is gone.
    This problem has extended to affect PC games as they are now mostly ‘online only’ as well.
    I have also started playing board games and card games (damn one piece is a money sink) however, still nothing beats unboxing a new toy, posing (i mostly do action figures) taking photos etc.
    15yrs is a long time but I guess certain things just can’t be replaced doesn’t matter how technology advance and changed our daily life.
    Congratulation for your new job. Hope to see reviews of those figures soon.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I still really like collecting physical things, too. It brings me a lot more happiness than buying digital files; I like being able to look at things on a shelf. That said, I guess I don’t have a problem with spending on gacha games as long as I’m not spending excessively, but I still prefer not to, since it doesn’t bring me much happiness for the money. Even though I play a bunch of gacha games, I don’t think I spend very much on them (recently, I’m spending the most on Azur Lane skins; I like Azur Lane a lot and I don’t mind supporting the developers there).

  5. Just dropping by to say Happy 15!

    I still lurk the site from time to time but I’m glad you’re still going. I’m always impressed by your photography skills.

  6. Phil Brownlee says:

    It’s really been that long? I remember stumbling on this site after following a site called Foo Bar Baz. I starting reading a few months after your debut. I used to be glued to Danny Choo back in 2008. Man. Time goes fast.

    And after spending a little under $20K on Azur Lane, may it reign eternal!

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