As I write this post I’ve had a very odd week. Work is utter chaos and I’m noticing that I’m losing my grip on certain things that normally should go naturally. We’re understaffed, it’s the busiest time of the year and I’m missing all the people that left this past year. I’m not really feeling well about the entire situation right now and I’ve mentioned this to my boss aswell. I’m struggling finding my place and feeling like I’m the one to have to make stuff work. Add up that we’re getting an interim manager in January (my boss is leaving) who is only there three days a week and it’s only going to get more chaotic from here on.

I have mentioned this in my last post but I’m buying my first own apartment. It’s still due to be built and I’m not moving untill somewhere in 2019 but still. It’s a huge step in my life and I’ve been having a really rough weekend so far with deciding whether or not I’m taking this thing. I talked to my Dad earlier today about the finances. He’s going to have to help me out because I simply don’t make enough money on my own to be able to afford anything right now and I desperately need to move out. After he assured me that the loan he’s giving me is actually already partly my own money anyway I decided to take the house. How is it my own money? Well my mom died when I was young. In her testament she left me money. This money has been untouched since 2001 and has been gathering interest since then. This all has added up to a reasonable sum and my dad told me that this money is the money he will use to help me finance my house. Which is a huge relief to me because I would hate to be in my father’s debt for the rest of my life. Which I still probably will be but that’s something else.

I thought I was done with my whole University thing aswell but it seems I’ve been enrolled for the wrong Master on accident. This isn’t a huge disaster but it means my actual graduation date will get postponed till February 1st (this is when I can enroll for the right Master). And with my Dad breathing down my neck I feel terrible having to postpone it even further. I know it’s only a month but still. I’ve postponed this so long that I don’t really dare to tell him it’s going to be later because of a stupid mistake. How I enrolled for the wrong master is a bit complicated. When I was still studying they changed the Master system a few times. At first you only had one master but now they’ve split it into three tracks. And the track I’ve done required me to register for a different Master, something they emailed me once about in 2012 or so and I didn’t pay attention to. It’s now coming to bite me in the ass and I’m really stressed about the whole affair. It’s technically not really my fault because I simply forgot. There is no system to warn me that I enrolled for the wrong Master and the Uni is really unforgiving about helping someone out when it comes to this so meh. I know I’ll get my diploma next year but I wish the road to it would’ve been easier than it has been. I’ve made it so hard on myself and even though I’m righting my own wrongs (albeit 3 years late) I feel terrible at how this all played out. I just want to pick up the damn paper and put all of this misery behind me. Because if anything University has been a miserable experience for me and something that I never imagined would happen. But that’s stuff that’s all in the past and I need to look forward if I want to move on.

On the gaming front I’ve been focused on FFXIV and WoW. My Astrologian hit 70 and I’m currently just poking around on my Miner and Botanist in FFXIV. My Raid group has kind of decided to drop the weeklies because the lockout has disappeared and with the new patch coming in January I think we all need a breather. I’m noticing my own performance on Ninja tanking horribly and my enjoyment of raiding in general is going down with it. Focusing on my Gatherers is just the type of casual gameplay I need in there right now and it will help me get stuff to level 70 and maybe attempt some endgame Gathering/Crafting stuff for the first time in my FFXIV history.
In WoW I’m still slowly leveling my Paladin. She’s about 15% off of level 106 and I’ve finished another chapter in my Class Hall story. I’m slowly working my way through Azsuna right now and I predict that I’ll be level 110 somewher in my third zone. Deciding to keep up both my Protection and Retribution weapons for now has been a smart decision. Tank queues are close to non existant and Protection Paladin is still a blast to play, especially with the Crusader elements they added to the class. I’m not going as fast through the content as I hoped I would but I’ve had busy weeks and a busy head and I’m noticing my games are the first to suffer from me feeling stressed. I just can’t get myself to sit down and play and rather lie down in bed with Netflix.

Speaking of Netflix. I know I’ve been meaning to watch the Punisher but for some reason the show just can’t seem to grab my interest. However I’ve been bingewatching “Lie to Me” like mad. I really enjoy shows like that, probably because of my interest in Psychology, and I find myself somewhere halfway through the second season already. I think I might wanna replace my Punisher goal with finishing off this show but I’ll see. December isn’t over yet and with the holidays coming up I should have enough time to get stuff done.

For now the coming week will be mostly spent at work where I hope I won’t be overwhelmed, a Tuesdaynight showing of Star Wars and signing the contract for my house. Atleast I have the last two things to look forward to!

It’s funny how much stuff you can get done in limited time. If you plan well and stick to your planning you can get miles ahead on what you thought you’d be doing.

Yesterday I came home from work and felt exhausted. This is nothing new for me on Fridays. For some reason they hit me harder than any other day of the week and often I find myself sleeping my Friday night away. Normally I would be pissed at myself for falling asleep but by now I’ve recognized that I need that to preserve my energy so I just let it happen. This allows me to wake up relatively on time on Saturdays and start getting stuff done.
Did I mention that I got a new curtain fitted and that my room is dark again at night? Holy moly it has done wonders for my sleep. I can’t even describe the feeling of not waking up the moment the sun rises anymore. I’m lucky that it’s winter and that sunrise is relatively late but still. Not waking up early in the weekends is a blessing and I’ve noticed my sleep improving by leaps and bounds.

What I really wanted to talk about in this post is how fast the progression of the goals I’ve set for myself seems to be going. My Astrologian is just shy of level 69 in FFXIV. I’ve finished my book. My Miner and Botanist are both sitting above level 60. My Paladin is level 103 soon and steadily advancing all her quests aswell. I’m five hours into Xenoblade Chronicles and I’ve been watching some Punisher again. It’s really nice and smooth sailing.
As it stands now I predict my Astrologian to hit level 70 somewhere this week. I’m so close now that I really just want to get it done with. The real question is, what am I going to do afterwards. A part of me wants to keep pushing up new classes but I’m really wondering which ones. I’m obviously going to focus on both Miner and Botanist but if I keep going the way I do they should both be 70 well before the month ends. I want to get the Goddess of Magic title in FFXIV and as such I’m eyeing my Summoner/Scholar already. The class is level 58 and would be a logical choice to level up after I’m done with Astrologian. However I’m also feeling very partial towards Monk right now and I’m pretty sure I can use the diversion from playing healers/ranged to a melee again. Mostly so I can pick up my Ninja easier as well. Another thing that’s been eating at me is the scope that FFXIV has as an MMO. I’m already considering what I want to do when I get tired of leveling and gearing. There is so much to do in this game. I’ve barely touched Gathering and Crafting as it stands. There is the Chocobo racing, the card game and the Pokémon wannabe minion battles. A part of me wants to dabble in all of it and a part of me warns me that I don’t really have the time. It’s a struggle and one I want to put off untill next year. I mean, I’ve kept my December goals to a minimum for a reason.

In WoW I’ve been spending the time I have on my Paladin. I’m noticing that after an hour or so of playing I tend to get restless and shut down. I’m not forcing myself to do anything anymore and an hour of play is fine for me. Obviously it slows my whole level proces down but it’s surprising how much you can get done in an hour. I’ve picked up the quest to get the Protection Artifact weapon and I’m planning to go do it the moment I unlock Halls of Valor in Stormheim. Having to queue for dungeons as DPS is really shitty and I enjoy playing Prot Paladin so there’s that. I remember doing the quest on my Draenei and I remember it being a huge pain in the butt so I’m curious to see how well I fare on my Bloodelf. I should also do the quest for my Holy weapon but it’s not really on my radar yet… Even though it is a barrier that must be overcome if I want to advance in my Class Hall quests.

I’m also noticing that I’m much happier just doing my own thing and not being constantly asked to do stuff by guildies. I’m having a real “einzelgänger” phase now and I just want to be left to my own devices when I’m online. I guess in a way it’s lucky than that I’ve not pledged myself to any groups outside of my FFXIV raidgroup. Maybe this is also why I can finally enjoy some single player games again. No one bothers you when playing them and I can get really submerged, even if it’s only for an hour or so. This has made it much easier to sink some time into Xenoblade Chronicles. I know I’m still only 5 hours in but I’m really enjoying myself. The system is a bit complicated and the quests are hard, after dying 3 times I realized that I probably should makes some more way in the mainstory before I could complete a certain sidequest, but the entire game so far has been amazing. I love JRPG’s and I feel like I can finally sink my teeth into one and finish it.

Another reason for me to sink my teeth into games that I have is that I’m finally making preparations to move out of my Dad’s house. I got a call from a real estate agent about one of the projects I entered. Apparently someone fell through on financing their appartment and I was next on the list. I’m meeting with them next Thursday and then I can start getting my own finances in order. It’s a project that is due somewhere in 2019 so I’ll have an entire year to get the stuff I need for moving. This also means that I have to take a look at my current expenses and start cutting where I need to cut. On the gaming front it’s no more new games. I’m quitting my gym membership (seeing as I’m not going anyway) and no longer have to pay for University as I’ve finally graduated. This leaves me with my travel costs to work, phone bill, the monthly pay I make to my dad and my two MMO subs. All those costs come down to about €300 a month. I’ve reserved about €100 more for work lunches/other foods so that leaves me with about €1200 a month I can deposit into my savings account for my house. I have a big expense in January seeing as I am going to replace my PC (it’s just not working for games anymore) but other than that I should be fine saving up a storm. I’m really excited about this and feel in no way sad that I have to stop impulse buying things. I have everything I need and if I have to play all the games I own back to back I’m pretty sure that would satisfy me for a year anyway.

So yeah. There’s lots of things I’m working on and looking forward to. I really hope I can keep up my motivation to get both my real life and gaming goals done. Untill then I’ll update my blog regularly with news from my gaming adventures and probably also news about my first very own home.

Loading screen Paladin Class Hall

As I write this post I’m feeling much better than I did before. I finally have Thursday off again and the stress of work has left me completely. There’s still some things that need addressing on that front but for now I’m enjoying my free time and working on some of the goals I’ve set for myself at the start of this month. On a side note, it’s really unbelievable that it’s already December. 2017 has flown by and I’ll be happy to go into 2018 with a clean slate.

So what I wanted to talk about.
I’ve been making steady progress on my Paladin. I’ve landed in Legion and did the first few of my Class hall quests and started off in Stormheim as my first zone of the expansion. The choice to dive into Stormheim first basically came down to two factors. Overall it was probably my least favourite zone to navigate without flying mount and I want to get it out of the way as quickly as possible so it made sense to tackle it first. Secondly I’ve never done this zone from Horde perspective and I was really curious how the whole Sylvanas/Greymane story looks like from the other side, so there’s that. By the time of writing this post I’ve made my way to level 102, gone through the Exodar scenario and am neck deep into my Class hall lore. I have to admit I’m pleasantly suprised by the Paladin Class hall. The only lore I’ve actually finished has been Warrior, Hunter and Druid (and almost Demon Hunter) and nothing feels as organized and military driven like the Paladin story.  I like that I have Lady Liadrin as follower and seeing all these familiar faces from the past 10 years I’ve been playing WoW. The only character to fall out of theme for me is the Tauren Paladin representative simply because Tauren Paladin are still new to me and I’ve never experienced their lore.

Exodar Scenario

I’m also more fond of my Ashbringer than I realized I would be. I know that in Vanilla it was a thing (especially corrupted Ashbringer) and it’s one of the really fabled weapons in World of Warcraft lore. To me it’s just a really pretty sword and it suits my Bloodelf just fine.
Just as a sidenote, I’m using Retribution mostly to level. I am planning to go Protection for dungeons/mythics/LFR and the like. I’ve always been a Protection Paladin on this character, going so far as to tank Icecrown Citadel and I really enjoy the specialisation moreso than I do Retribution or Holy.
All in all I feel like I’m on schedule in my WoW adventures. If I poke in my head a few hours a week I should be level 110 in no time. Then it’s mostly gearing, making my way through the story and Class Hall stuff and eventually get my awesome Class mount.

Another thing I did today was finish reading “Name of the Wind”. I was pleasantly surprised by the book and found it hard to tear myself away from it’s contents. I’ve been reading a lot during the evenings and on the train and took a few hours today to finish up the last part of it. It’s a really well written book with an extraordinary story. Some things may be a bit annoying to grasp, the currency system still doesn’t make sense to me at all, but it’s a good fantasy novel. It has a form of magic, heroes and villains, and mystical creatures. The choice to bring the story in the form of the lead character telling his own history makes things interesting aswell and I’ve laughed out loud and teared up at some points in the book. All in all it means that it’s terrific to me and I can’t wait to start the second book “The Wiseman’s Fear”. However I didn’t plan on finishing so fast and now I’m a bit stuck with a hole in my planning. I still need to finish watching Punisher though and I’m sure I can use the extra time to make some progress in Xenoblade Chronicles or Pokémon.

As far as FFXIV goes, I’ve been running around on my Astrologian getting her to level 67. Only three levels off the mark now and I’m noticing that I’m mostly fine with taking an hour or two to play and then drift off to something else.  There’s not really much to tell there since the level routine mostly exists of doing my beast tribe dailies and some roulettes. It’s a bit boring and grindy but it’s also a nice distraction when I feel a bit down.

All in all I feel like I’m making some decent progress on the goals I’ve set for myself. I may even expand and do more than I originally planned to do, but we’ll see. Work is still being a major bitch with a lot of free days and people taking the holidays off. I’ll be working extra and even though it earns me some extra money to spend I feel like I can do with all the free time I can get right now to replenish my energy and start working on being healthy again.

As I’m writing this I’ve had a very tiresome and awful day at work. It seems to me that these days have grown in number recently and I can no longer deny how it affects me as person.
When I was still in school I always had this idea about my future. What type of work I would be doing, that I would be out on my own or living with a partner and that I would just enjoy life and everything it had to offer. I would have never imagined still living at home with little to no social life to speak of and working a dead-end job.
But this seems to be reality right now.

I’m not enjoying myself at work. I’ve been getting more responsibilities but as time passes I master everything and start to get bored. Everything is oiled and the work, although it’s a lot, is not high in diversity, I’ve basically seen everything this job has to offer and I feel like it’s time to move on. However I’ve just extended my contract by another six months, purely for the financial stability and the promise of a different job in the future. I’m starting to question this decision. I’m no longer enamoured by the people I work with. With a ton of my colleagues (forced to) leaving I’ve been left behind in an empty shell of what once was a great department. Add up the current christmas chaos, the fact that my boss is pursuing another job and I have no idea what the future brings and you have a very volatile mix of ingredients.

All of this has made me feel even more down than I already was about things. I feel like I’m stuck in life and have no one to really turn to. Most of my friends are having their own lifes with or without kids and can only look at me in pity that I just can’t seem to make it work. As far as looking for a partner goes… I’m not happy with how I am right now. I’m quite overweight and as a result of this I feel ugly and unwanted. I know that I can do something about it and I should, but my asthma flaring up last year coupled with extremely long tiresome days at work leave me with little desire to get my ass to any type of sports. I still have my gym membership going and I am planning to haul my ass there atleast during the weekends, just to get some sort of stamina and muscle building again. It’s gotten to the point where I just no longer know how to dress well without feeling like I’m being stared at for being fat. And if I can’t love myself, how am I going to love someone else?
Ofcourse it doesn’t help that so far every love interest I’ve had over the past 2-3 years turned sour. Either they live too far away to make it work, they are completely and utterly not my type or, and this is the best one, they’re already taken. I refuse to do internet dating because I’ve been dealing with too many creeps online already as is and I am not really looking for a casual hookup. I just want to find someone that will put their arm around me in the evening and tell me everything will be okay, even when it’s not at the moment.

I guess me struggling with these issues in real life are also really affecting my hobbies. I’m so low on energy that I just can’t even be arsed to start up a game or pick up a book. All I want to do is lay in bed and scroll through stupid pictures on 9gag because I don’t have to think then. Whenever I do get around to start something up I’m bored fast. I read one or two chapters in my book before I put it away. I play WoW for 30 mins and then I close it down. I log into FFXIV to do my beast tribe dailies and then just stand AFK staring at the screen. I don’t have the energy to do anything else right now.

I know this post is in stark contrast with the previous two I’ve written this month. I’m no abandoning my gaming goals nor am I going to deviate from my planned evenings. But I do have to accept that I’m struggling with many things right now and that it will eat into time that I have reserved for X or Y. Maybe I”ll get to a point where I can motivate myself enough to do stuff again. I’m probably going to have a much easier time when the stress from work dies down aswell. But for now I’m in a very unhappy state and I don’t see myself getting out of it before the end of the year.

It’s odd how much peace of mind you can get from finishing something that has been looming over you for literally 3 years now. I feel like I can think again and function again like a normal human being. This allows me to set goals for other stuff easier and plan my days better now that I have no more obligations to anything than work. And ofcourse I leave that behind at 17.00 when I start clearing out my desk to go home.

Right now I feel like the two major MMO’s I’m playing are in maintenance mode for me. In FFXIV we’ve basically stopped raiding except for the weekly savage clear. As group we’re not attempting unending coil simply because we are not going to make it anyway. Part of that is on me because I’m nothing more than an average ninja who, for some reason, fails to perform in raids yet again. It’s probably due to me not playing as much as I should but well, there’s not that much to do in game anyway. When it comes to WoW I’ve ceased raiding after we killed Gul’dan almost a year ago. Right now I don’t feel the need to get back into raiding either so I’ve decided to set some different goals instead and just take things casually. I can see myself focusing on leveling one character of each class over the coming months and go through all the class related lore because that’s what I really enjoy.

This mindset has caused me to start breaking up my week into planned days for certain games. I want to shove FFXIV to Tuesday evenings because it’s reset day there and play WoW on Wednesday because also, reset day. I am probably reserving my Friday nights for Heroes of the Storm and I’ve decided that Mondays are now used for reading and watching series. Obviously if there are raids happening in FFXIV they get precedence. If I can stick to this planning it’s nice to not really have to think about what I want to do each given evening. I tend to get overwhelmed with all the stuff I want to be doing and then just crawl into bed and do nothing… Which isn’t helpful at all. The December goal thing has already given me some guidance, breaking it up into certain evenings only adds to that.

So with my four working days settled I have the weekends and Thursdays to branch into other things. I don’t really want to assign anything to those days either simply because I never know what mood I’m in when I have time off. For instance yesterday I was feeling rather unwell and spent my time in bed for most of the day, thus not really getting anything done. Today has been mostly filled with chores. I find that I have a better start on Mondays when on Sundays I clean out my room. The lack of clutter makes me happy and helps me be more productive overall. Although I did manage to squeeze in som FFXIV time in the morning, finishing off my beast tribe dailies on my Astrologian and making the final push for Miner to hit 60 (yes I can actually already score that goal off!). Other than that I settled down and made a good start in reading The Name of the Wind.

It does feel odd to set goals for stuff like games that should be used for relaxation. But with so many games coming out these days and MMO’s taking up a lot of time it’s nice to just have something to aim towards and enjoy the process in doing so.

What I’m going to do for the rest of the day is unsure. I could throw in a load of laundry and I should probably put some stuff back on the attic but I’m feeling a bit lazy and unwilling to do to much in the way of chores. With vacuuming, dusting and putting away all the junk in my room I’ve done enough for today. All I know is that whatever it is I pick to do will be a nice relaxing experience and something that’s not riddled with “but I should be doing something else”.

Seeing as I don’t have the shadow of my education looming over me, I finished off my Master’s Thesis and handed it in AND presented last week, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Enough so that I can actually game, read and watch movies without feeling guilty in the back of my mind again.

So with this I wanted to make a goals post for the last month of this year: December.
I’m currently invested in a few games. FFXIV is still ungoing and I’ve picked up WoW again. Friday nights seem to be my new go-to for Heroes of the Storm, which is a game I thoroughly enjoy aswell. All in all I’m hoping to create a few planned game nights and stick to them to get stuff done. In the meantime there are some things I really want to get done this month.

In FFXIV

  • Level Astrologian to 70
  • Level Miner to 60 (and maybe 70?)
  • Level Botanist to 70

I want to get back into the leveling game on FFXIV and I want to shift my focus a bit away from the battle classes and onto my Gatherers. My Astrologian is currently level 66 and should have no issues getting to level 70. My Botanist is 62 and my Miner is 58. These are all easily attainable goals.

In WoW

  • Level my Horde Paladin to level 110 and get Argus + Class quests done

I only have one big goal in WoW for now. I’m playing it very casually but I really want to start getting some stuff done. I’ve switched over to the Horde side for the time being because I don’t want to deal with people in my Alliance guild right now. My Paladin is currently sitting on level 99 so it should be an easily attainable goal, even if I only spend a few hours a week doing this.

Other games

  • Make considerable headway in Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • Get off the first island in Pokémon Ultrasun
  • Level atleast 1 hero to level 5 in Heroes of the Storm

I picked up Xenoblade Chronicles 2 yesterday and I’m fully committed this month to make significant headway in the game. I’ve played through the first hour or so and got away from the first city and onto the real first mission. There are a lot of things to discover in this game and I’m figuring them out slowly.
On the Pokémon front I picked up Ultrasun earlier in November and started piddling around in it. I’ve decided I want my team to be comprised of Alolan Pokémon only this playthrough and as my starter I picked Litten. My main goal is to get off the first island.
In Heroes of the Storm I want to work on leveling up heroes to level 5 that I enjoy playing. I have a bunch of them sitting in the level 1-4 range so it shouldn’t be a problem to pick one up and get to level 5, and by proxy learn to play them properly. I was considering picking either Tracer or Genji for this since I really like assassins but we’ll see.

Non gaming goals

  • Watch “the Punisher”
  • Read “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss

When I’m not spending my times on games I like to make use of my Netflix subscription or reading books. Lately I’ve been wanting to do more of both and after finishing “The Ouroboros Wave” by Jyouji Hayashi I feel like I can pick up a series of books again. A lot of people have been praising Patrick Rothfuss and I’m willing to give his series a try so I’m going to start off with “Name of the Wind”. As for Netflix. I’ve watched all Marvel shows up until now so it’s only fitting I’d watch the Punisher aswell.

So these are the things I hope to be doing in December. They are small goals, seeing as we have holidays and what not, but hopefully all of them attainable. I may post my intended schedule later this week but for now I’m going to dive into a book, seeing as I have a really annoying headache today and my eyes can’t take staring at a screen for too long.

Since yesterday evening or so I decided it was time to start working on my gatherers and crafters in FFXIV to break up the monotomy of just running roulettes and doing beast tribe dailies. Since both my miner and my botanist were the most advanced in level (next to weaver) I decided to tackle them first. I had gotten both of them leveled up to level 56 somewhere before Stormblood hit and then kind of let them rot. I never really got into the crafting and gathering game and the whole scrip farm blew right past me. I have no idea what Fokelore books are or when to buy them, I have no idea about Best in Slot or whether or not to pentameld and I certainly have no idea how to combine everything into becoming a crafting and gathering “god”.

Gathering a spider?

Gathering a spider?

So yeah. I bit the bullet and started leveling both classes again and I have to say everything goes better than expected. I have already brought my botanist up to level 62 and my miner is sitting just shy of level 58. I really want to get this Heavensward part of the gathering process out of the way, mostly because it’s quite tedious and it’s old content. I know there are probably some materials still useful from there and if I would do a bit of market/markeboard research I’m sure both mining and botany can be turned into quite profitable jobs to have. But for now I do none of this, I’m focussing on attaining level 70 first and foremost and after that I’ll see. I still have all my crafting classes to get up and also fisher, but I don’t really want to think about that.

One of the ways that I’m making this leve grind, because that’s the route I’m taking right now just spamming levequests, bearable is doing it to good music and making sure that I take regular breaks. Repeating the same levequest 3-4-5 times over is really boring and I can notice I’m zoning out hardcore as I’m doing all this gathering… And that’s just the leves. The classquests that Square Enix throw at you at certain levels are an even worse nightmare. I have to admit that I bought the items that I needed for the level 60 botany quest off the marketboard. I really didn’t want to spend that much time waiting for a specific node to pop and then praying that I can get HQ items from said node, which is never a guarantee. Especially when you’re sitting in shitty gear like me.
The shitty gear is something that will be staying for a bit because I’ve never done endgame and I’m just really dependant on whatever happens to be on the vendors and at the mercy of the crafters in my guild. Luckily they’re nice people and they whipped up a few gathering accessories for me that should last me a while..

I’m really wondering how the gearing process looks like for gatherers at max level. I saw that you could essentially buy a level 70 set of the vendors but I’m sure that scrip gear is better. M’naago should really help with this seeing as she’s the new Zhloe. Not having a weekly cap on scrips is also extremely helpful so in theory you could be geared in “no time” when you ding 70. I just hope that I can stay interested in this gathering spree untill then.

Another thing that I would like to do (even though I’m waaaaay to late really) is work on the various gathering related achievements. The rewards may be outdated but a golden pickaxe and botany tool still look really pretty so I might just do it for the glamours. It really comes down to just doing the gathering log for both classes and spend a ton of time gathering in the old continents. At heart I’m a collector and achievement hunter and it would fill me with immense accomplishment to just start ticking off “easy” to obtain achievements. Because while logging 1000 times from 21-30 nods in the various regions seems like a huge task, it’s really just tedious. I can’t really be attacked by wildlife anymore because I simply outlevel them, it’s more a question of careful planning and executing. Going for 1000 gatherings in one sitting is pure madness so I figured I’d break it up in chunks of 40. The average amount of gathering attempts is 4 and you’d have to do 10 nodes to get to that number 40. This way I can just keep track of what I’m doing and decide when to take breaks. Every 10 or maybe 20 nodes. Just to keep myself from going insane.
Next to that I want to “complete” the gathering log for both miner and botanist. Again this awards with a slightly outdated primary tool, but it’s pretty and it’s an achievement to work towards. This one will be a bit more difficult seeing as some of the stuff is locked behind timed nodes and I will have to figure out how everything works exactly, but I’m sure I’ll get there.

With dedicating even more time into FFXIV I will probably not be working on my backlog after all. I’m making this choice conciously right now. I just can’t seem to find the motivation and time to really play anything else anyway and the only game I’m really enjoying besides FFXIV right now is Super Mario Odyssey, which has turned into a “find all the moons” grindfest aswell. Maybe the release of Pokémon Ultrasun next week will change my mind, but for now I’m 100% focusing on FFXIV and obtaining as much as possible in there.

Seeing as I’m having a mellow day today, I didn’t fall asleep untill 4 am last night, I figured I’d talk abit about my progress in FFXIV and how much hype I have for the stuff announced at Blizzcon.

So first up: FFXIV
I’m still firmly planted in Eorzea for the time being. My static has the Savage content on farm and we may be looking at doing Unending Coil, although the mere thought of having to go in there is already giving me anxiety. Not because I don’t think I can do it, but more because I’m worried it might kill my static alltogether… Although this is something for a different blog post.
When Stormblood launched I had set the goal of getting every possible class up to 70. I’ve never had everything max level before and I don’t plan to quit for most of the expansion like I did in Heavensward so here I am on the leveling bandwagon. With the addition of the Alliance Raid roulette and the new Kojin beast tribes it’s actually not very complicated at all to level your battle classes up these days. Especially when you’re focusing on your healers and tanks that get instant queues for everything… I’m pretty sure I can get a character from 60 to 70 every 2 weeks or so. So far I’ve brought up my Ninja, Bard, Red Mage and White Mage and my Astrologian is currently sitting on level 66. I’m really enjoying healing again and just casually running stuff as healer somehow feels very relaxing compared to doing it on a DPS. I really want to get the “Goddess of” titles and seeing as I only have Summoner/Scholar and Black Mage left after I finish leveling Astrologian I will probably go for the “Goddess of Magic” title first. After that I’ll have to see. I’m really enjoying Monk again so I may just want to pick that up, even if it means having to spam Palace of the Dead to get to level 60 first. The only downside to leveling DPS is that queues for roulettes are quite a bit longer than for healers and tanks but I can live with it.

Yesterday I also decided to start working on atleast my gathering classes again. My Botanist is currently sitting on level 58 and my Miner is level 56. The goal is to get both of them to 60 atleast over the coming two weeks and then hopefully do the final push to 70. Even though it’s quite tedious to level these gatherers, especially when you go the Levequest route as I am doing, it’s nice for when you feel hungover and don’t really want to think about playing much. It’s relaxing and you can just stop and take a break and do something else for a bit and come back and do the next Levequest without worrying if you might miss out on a queue pop or anything else. After I get my Miner and Botanist to 70 I may want to look into some crafting classes but I’m not sure yet how I’m going to tackle those. The majority are still below level 30 and spamming leves isn’t my favourite part of the game. But if I want to get into the crafting game I need to bite the bullet at some point… So we’ll see how it goes.

WoW BfA logo

Now to the second part of my post: the future of World of Warcraft.
I have to honestly say that I wasn’t very thrilled about Blizzcon this year. My interest in WoW has been waning for a while and I’ve not been subbed for a long time. I returned for 2-3 weeks to see the Argus content but after that I drifted back to FFXIV again with no real intent to return. After seeing the announcement for a new expansion, and the vanilla servers, I can’t say I feel motivated to return anytime soon. I think ideally I’d want to return at some point just to see Legion through to it’s end. I’m still a sucker for WoW lore and I do want to know how stuff ends so I will probably purchase atleast one month of playtime at some point to live through the final moments. After that I don’t really know. I’m not a proud player on any faction although I heavily favour Alliance and the whole Alliance vs Horde story doesn’t appeal to me much. The only thing I am quite pissed about is that they’re destroying Teldrassil. Night Elves are by far my favourite race and they better come up with a damned good incentive to why this happens.
As for the vanilla servers. I never played true vanilla WoW and I don’t think I could go back to something that has been dubbed a “grindfest” time and time again by the people who did play in that era. I feel like the nostalgia pull is very strong but only for the people who actually played back then and even then I think some caution is adviced. All the QoL stuff that we’re used to won’t be around there and I think that’s a harder pill to swallow for many people than they realize right now. If anything I’m staying away from the vanilla server alltogether unless they end up making it a sort of progress server after a while. I would like to live through the different expansions again, but for now I’m not hyped.

All in all this has pushed me even deeper into playing FFXIV, even though I can feel the burnout slowly coming there aswell. I need to start playing some other games because spending all my time in an MMO has proven to be bad for me before and I don’t want to quit and not come back for a year again. I am planning to start playing Horizon Zero Dawn, even though I’ve been saying this for a few days now, just to break up the leveling grind in FFXIV. Another game I want to play is Xenoblade Chronicles on my 3DS. This is mostly due to XC 2 coming out in less than a month and I do plan on picking that up at some point… It would be nice if I atleast knew what the story and setting is about before I commit myself to the sequel of a game that I’ve never finished in the first place.
Then there’s Pokémon Ultrasun coming out next week and I’m definitely picking that one up aswell. Luckily I don’t have to invest that much time into Mario anymore, now that it’s just the grind to get all moons and coins, which leaves me with an “open slot” for atleast one single player game. I just really need to learn to plan my time to accomodate all of this!

Odyssey completed

After cleaning out over 300 spam messages I finally found some time to sit down and write again. I know I’ve not been active but I feel like I have to write about the game that has taken over my life for the past week: Super Mario Odyssey.
It’s funny how a game that I wasn’t even that hyped about has become the most fun game I’ve played in the entire year. From the moment I picked up the game on October 27th untill the moment I had beat Bowser I had a hard time putting it down. Nintendo did such an amazing job with this game and I’m so happy that I was able to pick it up and play it straight away. I don’t intend this post to be a review of sorts, I intend it to be a story about my journey through Super Mario Odyssey with a few screenshots added in here and there.

So where to start. I picked up the game on Friday last week and immediatly started playing it. The story for this game is obviously the classic Mario story, Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser and it’s up to you to save her. Only in this game you get a bit of help from Cappy, whose sister Tiara is also kidnapped to serve as headdress for Peach. You see, Bowser kidnapped Peach this time with the intent to marry her.
What follows is a crazy chase by Mario and Cappy through 13 kingdoms to save Peach from Bowser. Each kingdom is meaningful in it’s own way and contributes to the final wedding theme. What makes this game “unique” is mostly the Cappy capture mechanic. You can take over creatures in the world by throwing Cappy on top of them, which often leads to hilarious results. I’ve done obstacle courses as bullet Bill. I’ve built Goomba towers. I’ve taken over frogs, birds, hammer guys and in the end (SPOILER!!!!) even Bowser himself. This mechanic is important because you need it to cross levels, defeat bosses and get to moons and other collectibles in every level. Moons are the replacement of the usual Stars/Star coins and you need a minimum amount to be able to finish the game.

All of this sounds simple enough but Nintendo really overdid themselves with the level design for this game. All of the levels are 3D (with hidden 2D parts!), crazy big and open to exploration. You’re completely free to go almost anywhere and explore everything. Nintendo put in so many secrets and fun crazy little things that you won’t be done with this game for a long time if you decide to chase everything there is to get. You can collect outfits and give Mario different looks. You can collect stickers to put on your ship “the Odyssey”. You can collect interior decorations. All of this with regular coins and special currency tied to each level. And then there is the Moon chase game. There are a total of 800+ moons to collect in the world. Some will only open up post-game and there are even some worlds that are only accessible post-game. I’ve spent hours and hours just wandering through different worlds trying to discover all the secrets they had and I’m not even close (I’m currently sitting on 300 moons).

The worlds themselves are incredibly gorgeous. Obviously it’s not as realistic as say the new Assassin’s Creed but Nintendo really did their best. There are so many details. The lighting, the structures, the shadows. The water physics are gorgeous and you can take some amazing screenshots along the way.

Screenshot Mario Earth

The bossfights are innovative. I’ve had so many crazy mechanics thrown at me throughout the game and they all were a blast to play through and beat, even though I wanted to throw my Joycons through my room out of frustration sometimes. I really want to applaud the team that came up with these ridiculous fights because they ooze creativity and love for the game. It wouldn’t be a Mario game without them.

I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted to finish the mainstory and do all my collecting post-game or if I wanted to collect as many things along the way on my first time through. It eventually became a mix. Some of the smaller realms I decided to just get as much as possible when I was there the first time. For the bigger realms I decided to go for all the obvious collectibles and get back to them later for the rest. I was afraid that if I would lose myself in the collection objective that I would never see the end of the game. So I made pushing through the story, and seeing the credits roll, my main priority. And I’m glad I did.
I’ve seen all the beautiful levels, I’ve fought all the wacky bosses and I was rewarded with one of the best escape sequences I’ve seen in gaming history. I know that I’ve dumped some screenshots and some movies on my Twitter and I’m currently uploading everything to an album on Facebook aswell. I’ve taken a ton of screenshots. Shot some great movies but above all I had fun. The most fun I’ve had in a game for years. And all thanks to Nintendo and their amazing developers who made this journey a worthwhile one, and one that I won’t be done with for atleast the coming months. Because yes, I want to collect everything that’s out there in the game.

I could go on and on about this game and how great it is and go into every single detail but I won’t. I just want to tell everyone who owns a Switch to go out and get this amazing game and write of dozens of hours of your life in it. Because it’s worth it.
Especially when you meet the most adorable puppy postgame! And discover that he also can help you out in your quest towards more moons.

Mario and Dog desert world

One of the fun things that Pokémon Silver introduced was the day/night cycle. This concept also introduced Pokémon that were only obtainable during certain times of day. One of the examples is Hoothoot the owl who only shows up at night but also a Pokémon like Ledyba who would only show up during the morning hours.
I’m kind of sad they have mostly let go of this concept in later generations. Ofcourse Sun & Moon have a day/night cycle of their own and it influences the Pokémon that spawn. But night exclusive Pokémon or morning exclusive Pokémon have become a thing of the past.

Another thing I had forgotten about this game is how grindy it actually is compared to the last few generations. Pokémon take way longer to level up, everything hits you harder and there is no party-wide experience share to be had early on. I’m now a little over 2.5 hours into the game and I’ve just cleared my way through the Bellsprout tower in Violet City aswell as beating the first Gym leader: Falkner.

Bellsprout tower is kinda fun. It’s basically a tower which has a swaying pillar in the middle and is filled with monk trainers who all use.. Bellsprouts. It’s really the place you want to go before you challenge the Pokémon Gym to train all your Pokémon to around level 10. It’s also one of the few places in the game where you can catch Ghastly, which I did. After defeating all the Bellsprout using monks you end up at the head monk who has just battled your rival. You see a bit of dialogue, your rival disappears and you can challenge the guy so you can earn your first HM of the game: Flash.
Bossmonk (that’s how I called him atleast) uses three Pokémon: two level 7 Bellsprouts, who were easily dealt with by my Pidgey and a level 10 Hoothoot that I killed with my Cyndaquil (Quill). He hands you a HM for Flash and you can use an Escape Rope in the corner to get out of the tower faster than when you’d have to walk back through all the rooms.

After I was done there I headed to the Pokémon Gym to earn my first badge.
Falkner uses Bird Pokémon and, especially if you’ve chosen Chikorita at the start, is quite a tough cookie to beat. You don’t have any reliable Bird Pokémon counters at this point and really have to brute force your way through this Gym. Make no mistakes, this isn’t the stomp that you expect it to be even if the Pokémon used aren’t over level 9. The first trainer in the Gym uses a level 9 Spearow who easily 3-shot my Sentret if I had allowed it. Peck does ridiculous amounts of damage at this stage in the game and I almost lost a Pokémon to it, even though it was on the same level. The second trainer has two level 7 Pidgeys and is a bit easier to take on. Falkner himself has a level 7 Pidgey and a level 9 Pidgeotto (yes I know, he cheats!). He doesn’t use any potions on his Pokémon and I used Quill to beat the Pidgeotto at the end.
Once you’re done and defeated Falkner you get to use your newly obtained HM and he gifts you a TM to teach one of your Pokémon Mud-Slap. I’ve chosen to hold on to this TM for now seeing as it’s a one time use still in these games and I wouldn’t want to teach it to the wrong Pokémon.
Stepping outside of the Gym I got a call from professor Elm. He discovered something new about the Pokémon Egg you delivered to him at the start of the game and he’s sent his assistant to hand the Egg over to you. They want you to hatch it and then report back.
I wonder what Pokémon will hatch from it…

Pokémon Silver team after 1st Gym

My team after beating the first Pokémon gym!

I stopped playing after that but I did want to share my current team with you guys. As you can see 5 active Pokémon. Sentret the Sentret, Quill the Cyndaquil, Flycatcher the Bellsprout, Duiffie the Pidgey and Ghastly the Ghastly. I actually forgot to give my Ghastly a new name. There is a chance I will later on in the game and change it to “Spookster” just because I can. Personally I feel like I’m starting to have a well rounded team. There’s a Fire and Grass Pokémon, a Ghost Pokémon and a Normal and Flying. I want to get atleast a Water Pokémon in as replacement for Sentret later on and after the Egg has hatched I need to think about what I want for 6th Pokémon. I’m doubting between an Ice, Electric or Rock for now. I guess I’ll see how the game evolves.

See you next installment!