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!

 

 

Last friday one of my favourite childhood games came out as virtual console game for the 3DS: Pokémon Silver.
I’ve talked about my love of the Pokémon games before, I have played every generation (and now I can honestly say that because I have White 2) and sunk a lot of hours into every game that came into my hands. I’m currently at 42 hours played in my Pokémon Moon and I’m only halfway through the Pokédex and I’m still playing regularly and I hope to “finish” the game before Ultrasun comes out. I have atleast 50 hours clocked in almost every Pokémon game and currently the savefile that is longest is Pokémon Black, with over 70 hours played. I’m pretty sure my original Blue playthrough and my original Silver file were atleast 50+ hours aswell, however I’ve saved over Blue and my original Silver cartridge doesn’t work anymore, so I can’t really check.
Out of the entire series Silver has always been my favourite. I really liked the story and being able to catch Lugia. The game was massive at the time and I remember playing it a lot. So when they announced they’d be bringing Gold and Silver to the 3DS I was super happy. It gave me the chance to relive the game again, like Blue, and hopefully capture some of the magic I had as a 11-year old playing this game.

Now comes the really interesting part. Silver is one of the games where the amount of Pokémon is still somewhat manageable. I think the Pokédex consists of 252 Pokémon total, instead of the crazy 800+ we have now. I also want to write more on my blog and I figured, why don’t I combine playing Pokémon Silver again with blogging about it? And thus my new series is born: Pokémon Playthrough. And today will be the first entry. So without further ado…

I’ve only played about 15 minutes so far to get started with the game. You start in your room and talk to your mom. However instead of going out of town you actually go talk to the Professor (in this case Professor Elm) to get your first Pokémon. In my very first playthrough of Silver as kid I chose Chikorita. This time I decided to pick something else and so I went with Cyndaquil. Because I want to get a bit more involved/attached to this game I decided to name atleast my starter Pokémon. I used to do this a lot but the last generation on the 3DS I just couldn’t bring myself to name stuff.
After you talk to your mom and get your Pokégear (which has a phone!) Professor Elm sends you to find mr. Pokémon who has a package. Once you get past the first town and to mr. Pokémon’s house you find a very familiar face… Professor Oak! He chats with you a bit and hands you a Pokédex, followed by mr. Pokémon handing you a mysterious Pokémon egg.
Just as you leave the house Professor Elm calls you in panic. Something terrible has happened at the lab and you’re to return immediatly! On your way back you are stopped by a mysterious redhaired boy who wants to fight and uses a Totodile. After you beat him you get back to the lab and find out that boy has stolen Totodile from the lab. Welcome to your rival (which you then get to name). The police talks to you and goes away, you deliver the Egg to Professor Elm and then your adventure can really start. One of the professor’s Aides gives you Pokéballs, you talk to your mom who offers to save money for you and then you can start catching!
This is the point where I kinda decided to pauze for a bit and think. I know there’s a glitch that allows you to get all three starter Pokémon and I had to decide whether or not I wanted to take advantage of this. In the end I decided not to. I want this playthrough to be glitch free so it stays the way it’s intended to play. I caught a Sentret and Rattata and went to the first town and saved my game there.
I’m aiming to get to the first gym this week and to catch every new Pokémon I come across in the process. I might name some of them, especially when I expect to use them in my endgame team, but we’ll see. For now I’m just really happy to be playing this game again and it’s probably the only non-MMO game I’ll be playing for the moment.

It’s odd when you have too much time to yourself to think about stuff. Even with a job and somewhat of a social life I find myself being very lonely, especially on the weekends. Not really having someone there to confide in, who will make you happy when you’re sad or just simply tell you you’re doing great is devastating at times.
I’m very disappointed with how my life has turned out. If someone told my 18 year old self that I would still be living at home 10 years later and not only that but I still wouldn’t have finished school I would have laughed in their face. Yet here I am, a thousand big and small tragedies later.
Life has not been kind to me. I’ve had to face the loss of a parent very early on and almost the loss of my second one a few years ago. Nothing quite shakes you awake knowing that maybe when you wake up you’ll get a call from the hospital that your dad has passed away. It was a really tough time back then and it really fucked with my entire life. It made me stop my master’s thesis and almost had me fail my Master’s completely. I don’t think I ever really recovered from that properly.
I’ve had my hormones messed with when I was around 20 years old, basically putting me in menopauze because my body was hurting itself. Around the same time I got told that I probably can’t have kids of my own and that if I ever wanted to, I would have to start trying around 25 because when I turned 30 my chances would drop even further. These are not things you want to hear when you’re barely 20 years old and still have your entire future ahead of you.
I’ve been in therapy twice in my life. The first time when I was 16 and was diagnosed with PTSD for finding my mum dead in our house. The second time was two years ago because I was depressed and stuck in life. I couldn’t see a way forward and would spend the entire day in bed staring at my ceiling. I could’ve done many things in that time, like finish my Master’s degree, but I didn’t. I just simply didnt have the energy for it or the willpower. I have struggled for a long time in therpay trying to figure out what was making me so scared of moving on… And it came down to change itself. In the end therapy helped me land my first real job, but I was still stuck in my school situation with no one knowing and no one to help me get through it.

Fast forward to the present and I’m still suffering in my own way. I’ve been (eventually) diagnosed with a persistant lung infection after visiting two different doctors and taking 6 different kind of medicine to treat my cough and my breathing troubles. I’ve had heart palpitations and I’m still tired 24/7. I’m still struggling with school and I can slowly feel myself slide into a state again where I just want to lie in bed and stare at the ceiling.
Everything is costing me energy and everything that isn’t going my way is causing me major frustrations. Frustrations that I can’t air well and that has been giving me trouble mostly in my online life. Right now I really just want to crawl alway in a little corner of existence and not have anyone bother me for anything. I don’t want to talk to anyone, deal with anyone or even see anyone in my immediate vicinity. I want to be left alone and I want to cry and kick and scream. But most of all I don’t want to go back to the dark pit I crawled out from two years ago. Because I’m scared that when I do go back there I might not come out again.

Things have been weird for me lately. Both ingame and in real life. I can’t really describe it properly and I’m noticing I have a very difficult time expressing myself properly in English about this. I’ve been playing around with the idea of having a Dutch blog on the side that I can mostly just talk about my personal life on and the struggles I am having in day to day life with various things and talk a bit about my opinions on hot topics these days.

For now though I barely blog here and I know I probably won’t do much on a new blog once I make it so I’m holding off on the idea untill I’m a bit less occupied.
A few areas of my life have not been going well at all. I’m still struggling with uni stuff and I’m kicking myself in the head over it because I should’ve been done over the summer. For some reason just sitting down and writing has been hard and I’m not sure why I just have this wall when it comes to finishing this project. I’ve worked so hard on this twice now and I really want it to be done. I want my diploma and move on with my life. At this point the diploma doesn’t even mean that much to me anymore, I’m purely getting it out of spite and because it looks good on my resumé.
At work I’ve come to the point where I want to move on and look for something more challenging. I love the department I’m on now and I get along with a lot of my coworkers but I’ve hit my ceiling and the challenge and fun of showing up for work four days a week has been more or less drained. I can’t really develop here and because I know the department is going to be gone soon I’ve started thinking about what I would really want to do. For now I either want to go the direction of Support/IT or maybe something in commerce. I like being the spider in the web, connecting departments together and fixing problems so I hope I can find a job that will be exactly that.
I still live at home with no real option to move out anytime soon and I’m still depressingly single. Partly this comes down to me not really actively searching for a partner and partly it’s because my self image is at an all time low. I feel fat and ugly and tired and I’m not really sure how to change this around. I’ve not felt this down in a very long time and it’s costing me a lot of energy to just do my normal day-to-day stuff, let alone start getting my stamina and muscles up to a certain level again.

Next to all of this I’m slowly realizing that I need to spend less time looking at screens in general. It feels like I’m always looking at a screen of some sort and it’s making me shallow. If it’s not for games it’s for work or constantly checking my phone. Then there’s the tablet and e-reader which are both screens aswell. It’s slowly making me, and everyone else around me, antisocial. During lunch everyone stares at their phones. You plan a meeting with someone and phones are on the table. I stare at a screen at work for eight hours a day only to get on the train and stare at my phone screen and come home and stare at a monitor. It’s kind of driving me nuts. The actual social connections are becoming hard with this. Even visiting my best friend there’s not a single time that the phones don’t come out to message people or look at stuff. It’s kind of weird and it’s making me, and a whole generation with me like this, very unhappy. I notice that my concentration is taking hits. I used to be able to spend all day working on an embroidery project or reading but now I keep taking breaks to check my phone or start up a game. It’s become an addiction and I’m starting to notice the bad side effects that come with this.
Now obviously breaking the trend in a smartphone heavy world is hard but it’s something I feel like I need to do. I don’t want to go through live like this anymore and the only person that can change this is me.

In games I’ve been struggling aswell. My static is still going and they’re a great bunch of people but I’ve been frustrated with my performance on Ninja so much that I bitched about everything to people and now apparently they leaked this back to the static. Things have gotten complicated. I’ve said stuff I didn’t mean and I’ve been grumpy about things that have nothing to do with them but with myself and it’s not really something I can easily discuss with them as group. I don’t want to be taken pity on because I’m not in a position to be pitied. I picked a class to play this expansion and although I’m enjoying it greatly I’m not on the performance level I should be and I’m having a really hard time adjusting. In hindsight I probably should have switched to Bard when I had the chance but I’m determined to make Ninja work and clear O4S. I just really hope my static will give me another chance at doing this and that I can keep my cool about all of it.
I don’t want to be angry about games. They need to be fun and a way to get rid of frustrations, not create them. I’m really desperately finding a way to make it so they are but I’m not there yet. I know partly it’s because I’m having a rough time in my personal life right now that I can’t really seem to find the peace in the games I play that I so desperately want. I’ve used gaming as an outlet for so long now that I don’t think I’ve learned proper coping mechanisms for stuff and it’s impacting everything now, including the games I love so much. And I need to break out of this.

The only question is… How?

Wow. I can’t believe it’s September already. Time really is flying the last few weeks and I’m struggling to keep up with it all.
First off, let’s start with some good news! I passed my first Web Specialization course: Introduction to HTML5. I got a shiny certificate from Coursera and I’m quite happy with my progress overall. I’ve started the second course now, which is an introduction into CSS and I hope it goes as fast as the HTML one. I’m really motivated to finish this specialization, mostly because I know it will give me a little boost on the job market. Which I’m starting to need because my current contract only goes untill the end of the year.

I”m still struggling with my thesis. It’s hard to sit down and work on it while being very tired. I am making some progress and I hope to be done very soon. In the meantime I’m plowing along at work and at life. Health wise I’m actually starting to slowly feel better. I have a bit more energy and I’m planning to spend my weekends trying to get some exercises done. We have a hometrainer upstairs and I have a few weights lying around so apart from feeling very dead there’s nothing really stopping me to start working on getting back in shape again.

Games wise I don’t actually have much to tell. I’m playing FFXIV still and had gotten my Bard to level 70. I’m working on leveling my White Mage in the battle class department and I’m leveling up Botanist and Miner together. All these classes are coincidentally at level 56. It will be nice to finally see a bit of “endgame” on my gatherers early on in the expansion. It’s nice to just run around and mine things when I don’t really feel like doing anything else and, aslong as I’m still leveling, I’m slowly working towards my goal of getting every class to level 70.
I am looking forward to the Destiny 2 launch on Wednesday. I can’t really play due to having to raid but I have Thursday off and I will have the entire day to dive into the game and play the sequel of the only FPS that actually ever got me hooked hard.

So yeah, for the next week next to FF raids I will probably spend most of my time in Destiny 2, playing the story and leveling my warlock and exploring endgame.
I know it’s a bit of a short post this way, but I don’t really have much to talk about.

It’s rather odd for someone who owns a blog to write so little. I’m not really sure what goes on that I can’t really push myself to jump on and write but I just don’t. It’s not that I don’t do anything in my games, to the contrary, I’ve been doing plenty.
However it feels like I can’t convey my thoughts into words or I just can’t find the motivation to sit down and write a proper piece. I’ve been taking screenshots of my adventures in FFXIV and GW2 and I’ve been meaning to post them so maybe I’m just going to make this post a sort of screenshot dump to show you guys what I’ve been doing over the past weeks, because I’ve certainly not been sitting still.

First off a few screenies of the Fireworks during the Moonfire Faire event. I did it on both my characters but took the screenie on my Au’Ra.

Moonfire Faire Fireworks Moonfire Faire Fireworks Moonfire Faire Fireworks

There’s also some pics of Costa del Sol daytime that I took during the event. I really like the tropical vibe.

Costa Del Sol daytime Costa del Sol sea daytime

And then ofcourse I did the Rising event as it was available where I got to meet up with Yoshi-P again and unlock a neat little game called the Cheap Dungeon. I think Square Enix did a wonderful job this time around with the event. It wasn’t terribly long but nice to see the devs thanking us again for our continued support of the franchise.

Found a bug! Me and the Minstrel The Rising Fireworks

As bonus some GW2 screenshots I’ve been taking as I’m leveling up.

Cya next time!

Hmm. I skipped my weekly sunday post last week. I had a terrible weekend where I was feeling absolutely crap so I couldn’t get myself motivated to do anything, let alone write a blog post about what I’ve been up to.
So instead I’ll just continue telling you about what I’ve done this week, in games and in real life and what I’m planning to do the next.

So first off… Life
Yeah I normally rather talk about games but right now I’m going to take the chance and talk about some IRL stuff. I’ve been having a bit of a hard time the past two weeks. I’m in one of my more depressed moods and thus I can’t handle a lot of things very well. Part of it is caused by continuously feeling tired/sick and part of it is caused by stress over my thesis. I’m still not done yet although I have been taking some steps towards finishing it off. Tonight I’m going to send my final research proposal and then turn my attention to the beefy stuff: results. I downloaded and installed SPSS and it really shouldn’t take me more than a day to grind the numbers.
Next to my thesis I’ve also started an online course teaching me the basics of HTML5, CSS and Java. Seeing as I’m somewhere in no man’s land concerning work and I’ve always had some sort of attraction to IT I decided to bite the bullet and just enroll. It’s a five course specialization that in theory takes place over about 6 months time. However you can work ahead if you want and finish up the courses faster, earning yourself an official certificate from the University of Michigan. Which in turn looks good on my resumé and linkedin. I really feel like I want to head more in the direction of IT and being able to understand atleast the basics will help me with this. I’m not sure if I’d want to be a full time programmer, but it’s nice to know how stuff works atleast. I might even experiment with some things on my blog, who knows.

Now to the more interesting part… Games
This week has seen a mix of various games on my part. I played FFXIV and raided on Sunday and Wednesday. I also committed myself to Bard and finally managed to get her to 70. Due to the class sharing accessories with Ninja I instantly reached ilvl 320 as I dinged, which is quite nice. I also won the Susano bow yesterday evening in an FC event so I’m all ready to play Bard! I really like the AF3 gear so I’m totally going to use it as glamour. I may default to Bard a bit more for my roulettes aswell since I really miss the ranged gameplay and the class is just seriously fun.
Next to FFXIV I also reinstalled Guild Wars 2 this past week and got playing. Due to me being completely out of the game I rolled up a new character, Norn ranger, and just headed off into the Wayfarer Foothills. Which by the way is a really pretty zone. I think this is an ideal game to just run around in a few hours a week for some casual and story driven gameplay when I get overwhelmed or bored with FFXIV. A post with some GW2 screenshots and a post with my Bard to 70 screenshots will probably appear later this week.
On the non MMO front I’ve finally finished Ducktales Remastered and I’ve started a new adventure in Pokémon White 2, which I talked about a bit already yesterday. It’s probably going to be my go-to game on the train next to some fiddling around in the Pokémon Moon postgame. I also jumped in on the I am Setsuna sale for the Switch and may break that out after I finish the whole Pokémon grind. I’m not 100% sure though but we will see.

All in all I’ve done a lot of gaming related stuff this week, which mostly revolved around FFXIV and GW2. Next week I don’t plan to deviate from this a lot except I will have to find a new class to level in FFXIV. I’m doubting between Dragoon and Red Mage purely because I’ve been getting Dragoon gear from my Savage runs and Red Mage is just an exceptionally fun class to play. I know it’s another DPS after I’ve already leveled two, but I don’t really care anymore at this point. The queues are manageable and during the time inbetween I can easily farm FATEs and hunt marks for additional experience. It’s how I did it on Bard and it worked out just fine.
I will also poke around in GW2 a bit to get my ranger up. I want to finish atleast the Wayfarer Foothills this week, which shouldn’t take me too long. I also want to make some progress in Pokémon White 2. Not sure how much time I’m going to spend on it but I hope to be able to beat atleast the first gym there.

In real life I’m going to focus on my thesis and on the IT course. I’m not sure how much time I will actually spend on it but the pressure is starting to really turn on to get this stuff finished and I’m really motivated to do so. It’s about time I’d be done with Uni once and for all.