Flying unlocked (again)!

A day before I thought I would I unlocked flying once again for all my characters in the new expansion. This speeds up so many things in World of Warcraft, especially when it comes to doing quests and gathering. No longer will I have to do everything by ground mount while dodging half a zone worth of mobs, yes I’m looking at you Nazjatar. Honestly I’m still not sold on the whole “pathfinder” achievement and that flying is an unlock way later in the expansion than it’s been since Mists of Pandaria. I do understand how it ties in to keeping people playing by not handing everyone stuff on a silver platter but still. I rather go back to the “buy this tome to unlock flying” and Blizzard actually use their resources to add more dungeons or other content than this silly content gating by achievement.

With this out of the way I can dial back my gameplay of WoW again, like I’ve done with Final Fantasy XIV, and maybe finally spend some time playing Final Fantasy 8. I’ve set up the game via Steam and played for an hour or so but other than that I haven’t really touched the game, and I do want to start making progress there. I will probably also aim to get a few hours of Guild Wars 2 in while I’m at it and maybe during the weekend play Spider-man on my Playstation 4. I’m still determined to complete more goals on the list I set for myself this month but ticking off the whole WoW flying thing has been major for me. I’m also pretty chuffed with the mount you get as you unlock flying, a bright yellow mechanical parrot, and will probably use it as mount of choice on my Rogue for a bit as I delve into other content than just grinding out dailies. I have Mechagon to do as I’ve just unlocked the quest to go there and defeat the final boss with achieving Revered reputation. I want to do the Zuldazar and Aszhara raid and I want to work on leveling Engineering.

Was it worth gritting my teeth and grinding this out? Probably. Would I do it again like this? No. I rather just casually play and unlock flying in a more natural way than grinding for 2+ hours every day just to unlock it as soon as possible. This would probably be the case if I had kept playing the game instead of taking a break. Oh well. Lesson learned.

Establishing routines

The above screenshot has nothing to do with the topic of my post. But I thought it was pretty so I put it as top image. This post will not be very much gaming related but more personal and real life rooted.

I realise that I kind of skipped over the whole “getting to know you” week in Blaugust. I’ve seen some posts here and there telling people’s “life stories” and gaming history. I don’t really feel the need to regale about my life on here dating all the way back to my childhood. Mostly because my childhood was pretty rough and I don’t really enjoy talking about it so yeah. Instead I want to focus on the me of the present and a few big crossroads that are coming up in my life right now.
So where do I begin…

I think the biggest part is that I’m trying to teach myself new habits. Over the last 6-7 years my physical health has been slowly declining. Back in 2012 I was pretty active at University and I was in a dedicated relationship and happy. I had a sidejob that consisted of me being a mail(wo)man which expanded during the summer as I picked up the areas for people that were going on vacation. During that time I was very healthy and very happy with who I was. I wasn’t overweight and I was happy with how I looked as a whole. Fast forward to now and I’m around 30kg overweight (about 66lbs for my US based readers) and it’s weight that I need to shed. It’s bothering me because I can’t wear the clothes that I like, it’s causing me all sorts of minor aches and most importantly I just don’t feel like my normal self. So I’ve been trying to break some old unhealthy habits and replacing them with newer healthier ones. For instance I make sure to go on a brisk 30-40min walk every day after dinner. This helps me digest better and makes sure I don’t become a couch potato for the entire evening after I’ve already had a day of sitting down at work. As added bonus I’m slowly building up stamina in preparation for my Japan trip next year and I can feel the burn in especially my legs when I come home. Next to this I’ve banned sweets and savory snacks from my home during the week aswell as soda pops. I have a weakness for Diet Coke and Coke Zero and even though they are without sugar they’re still bad for you. Because I’m only human after all I indulge myself with a liter of Coke of choice and a snack that I can drink/eat during the weekend. Anything that is left over will go under lock and key untill the next weekend and I have to say it’s surprisingly easy to just not touch anything food related after I eat dinner.
Another thing that I’ve picked up is doing around 10 minutes of yoga in the morning to wake up and stretch all my muscles. It’s just a quick way of getting centered and prepped for the day and I notice that I arrive at work much more awake than normally. Both of these things mean that I’ve had to adjust my morning and after work routines which now look something like this:
Morning: Get up > yoga > breakfast > wash up > dress > do hair and make-up > leave the house
Evening: Come home > cook & eat > walk > do dishes > shower > blog > game/hobby till 22.45 > go to bed
I’ve only started this routine last week but I hope to be able to keep this up for as long as possible. It’s still nice weather out for evening walks and in the weekends I tend to go during the day on Saturday and Sunday is my “lazy rest day” where I skip both the walk and yoga.

Another thing that I need to start thinking about and start making decisions on is where I want to head career wise. I’ve applied for a senior function within my department a few weeks back and I will hear back about it next week. I’m fully taking into consideration that I won’t get the job and then I really need to do some soul searching on what I do want to do then. I’ve been a bit stuck in my department on a job that is becoming less fulfilling over time for a while now. I have my Psychology degree but I don’t really want to pursue a career in that field. Alternatively I can just sit out my time here since I have a steady contract with the company and maybe do some courses or evening school for things that I enjoy. The big question is what is it that I enjoy. As with games I tend to get bored fast of jobs in real life. Once I learn how to do something and am at peak efficiency for said task I get bored and need a new challenge. I’m noticing that I’m just not really having fun showing up at work anymore… And that’s not really a state anyone should be in.

Finally after I lose some weight in the coming months I may want to dive headfirst back into the dating game. Being alone isn’t everything and although I don’t really seek anything serious or long-time right now it would be nice to have someone to share certain things with. I’ve been putting this off since I’m just so unhappy with how I feel right now that I don’t want to burden anyone else with it.

The coming few weeks/months will be crucial for my physical and mental wellbeing and I can only hope everything turns out for the best. If not, it won’t be because I didn’t give it my all!

Accidental Azeroth Progress

After me complaining two days ago that progress was going very slowly in World of Warcraft when it came to the reputation grind, I apparently completed a quest that opened up a very long and interesting questchain. It culminated in the picture shown above where Jaina and First Arcanist Thalyssra open up the way into Aszhara’s Eternal Palace and give me the quest to go and kill her. Because of this, and because of all the World Quest and dailies that I did on the side, I’m suddenly finding myself only 100 reputation away with Revered when it comes to the Waveblade Ankoan. Which means I only have to do two more WQ’s to get there.

I feel like a bit of a weight has lifted off my shoulders here. Grinding for flying is sucky enough but since I gave myself the deadline to obtain it before WoW Classic launches it meant I had to spend a lot of time playing WoW the past few weeks. More than I had anticipated and it was starting to make me resent logging on. Knowing that I’m basically only a few days away of unlocking flying, I’m currently also almost 9/12k into Honored with the Rustbolt Resistance, has made me much more relaxed with my time spent here. All in all it means that I should be soaring over the Battle of Azeroth zones by Wednesday, assuming I play enough every day to get the Mechagon stuff done aswell. Coincidentally this occurs together with me finishing off the Mechagon spider mount, which is only three quests away for me aswell! It will be nice to add another mount to my collection. I’m definitely planning to do the Eternal Palace raid somewhere next reset aswell since I think all wings should be available in Looking For Raid then. Or perhaps I should do the Zuldazar raid first since I completely skipped that…

All in all I’m quite happy the end is in sight for my flying in Azeroth goal. Of course the next step is to get my reputation up to Exalted with both factions, and earn my 90 reputations Exalted achievement, but that should be much easier when I can just fly from quest to quest instead of making my way to flight points and then barreling past mobs hoping they won’t daze me off my mount. I also may want to dabble in leveling up my Engineering more seeing as I got my mining to 175 skill, which is the current maximum, but my Engineering is stuck at 131. It probably has something to do with the fact that Engineering as profession just majorly sucks to level up. You don’t really get many useful things from it and everything just takes so much materials to craft that I’ve kind of thrown my hands in the air at some point after I made myself the helmet/goggles, which weren’t even upgradeable at the time. But I digress. Let’s see if the final two WQ’s I need for the Ankoan spawn somewhere before I go to bed so I can finish off that reputation today and otherwise I will definitely finish it off tomorrow.

First level 80 gatherer achieved!

I’ve been ticking off a lot of boxes in Final Fantasy XIV over the past few days. I’ve gotten my Culinarian to 50 and caught up on job quests. After that I got my Alchemist to 70 and caught up on job quests there. Today I sat down for a few hours and decided to grind out the final few levels I needed for both Botanist and Miner. As of right now my Miner is a little over halfway to level 80 but my Botanist made the finish line and is now max level! The Crystarium hand-in quest at level 78 helped a lot with that, seeing as it propelled me all the way to 79 after hand-in. This meant that I had an entire level difference between Botanist and Miner but oh well. I bought a few scrolls to help me level faster and after 2-3 rounds of levequests I finally hit that sweet maximum level, meaning I have one less job to do. I’m fully intending to also get my Miner to level 80 tomorrow… Which should be doable in 4-5 levequests.

Unfortunately I’m now on the gearing part. Seeing as I don’t have any max level crafting jobs (yet) and I’m a poor poor little lass, I own barely 5 million gil in FFXIV, I’m kind of relegated to farming white scrips to gear my Botanist/Miner up with. I can easily get the 240 scrips per week from the weekly turn-ins at Zhloe but, as I found out today, my gear is woefully inadequate for regular white scrip farming. It may have something to do with the fact that I’m still rocking an entire level 70 accesories side… That I can only upgrade with crafted gear. So I may just take it easy and farm the scrips via weekly turn-ins… Which would only take me 10-15 mins each week to do.

With ticking off these two jobs at 80 I’m actually quite close to completing the goals I’ve set for FFXIV this month, not counting the weekly tomestones and relic one. Grabbing them from my initial Blaugust post I really only have one left.

  • Level my Black Mage to 80. Level my Red Mage to 80
  • Level my Alchemist to 70. Level my Culinarian to 50. Level my Botanist and Miner to 80

So with FFXIV I’m mostly turning my attention to leveling my Red Mage, which is sitting at level 72 at this moment, and capping tomestones on my White Mage. I actually got all the upgrades I need from Eden when it comes to healing gear so I can now freely roll on every item when it drops again so I can start gearing up my casters. I picked up healing boots and a ring from the new tomestones and I think I’m going to keep on picking up the smaller pieces of gear first, just to boost my item level. I’m not sure if I want to get the weapon yet since it will cost me 1000 tomestones and I’m not sure if it’s worth it seeing I already have the Titania EX weapon. Once my Red Mage is 80 I need to decide what class I want to level next… I’m leaning heavily towards Monk because I’ve always loved the playstyle of the class and I really want to level something melee based after leveling only casters for the first few months of the expansion. I’ll see. For now the goal is Red Mage and White Mage stuff.

Slow goings: Azeroth Edition

I’ve been slowly picking away at my dailies in World of Warcraft. Overall I feel like Mechagon is easier than Nazjatar but I’m starting to see some progress on both sides. I’m sitting on 7.6/12k towards getting Revered with the Waveblade Ankoan right now and roughly at 5/12k towards getting Revered with the Rustbolt Resistance. It’s not fast going at all and I don’t do everything I should be doing every day but I’m slowly getting there nonetheless. If I keep this up I may actually unlock flying before Classic launches!

I’ve been really trying to make this grind less painful. It’s just doing the dailies every day plus Worldquests gets really boring fast. Catch up mechanics in WoW suck so bad compared to Final Fantasy XIV that it’s not even funny. When I was actively playing WoW I could log in and play for 30 mins to get my stuff done and log back out. Maybe a bit longer if I wanted to do Looking for Raid or a dungeon or battlefront. Now however I’m spending 1.5 to 2 hours per evening just poking away at quests and it’s just not that fun. I know it’s worth it in the end because it means I will unlock flying for all the characters on my account and I will have a much less painful time leveling alts like my Warrior, who I’ve put off leveling because I want flight. So I know what the cake is at the end of the road but I’m really resenting Blizzard for making the road a viking race where I’m way behind the rest of the group.

Honestly there’s nothing much else to write about. My WoW dailies are on track. I actually fixed my sleep schedule, yay and life goes it’s normal way.

A little bit of Dutch music

I’ve mentioned more than once on this blog that I hail from the best country in the world: The Netherlands. No seriously. We are.
When you look it up on a world map we are about the size of a pin. 17 million people cramped into a piece of land that’s about 350km tall and 200km wide. I think there are cities out there which are the size of multiple provinces here. Being such a tiny country has many advantages and disadvantages. One of the things we “struggle” with is that basically no one speaks our language. It’s one of the reasons that children here get taught English and other languages from an early age. It’s good because it makes our country more international but on the other side it also means that the proficiency in Dutch is slowly declining with new generations. A lot of our language is being saturated with English words, even when it’s not really necessary.

So today I want to put a bit of a spotlight on our beautiful language through the means of popular pop songs! I know that most of my readerbase won’t understand a word that’s being sung and that my language sounds like simlish to anyone who isn’t Dutch/Dutch speaking but give it a listen anyway. Enjoy! The songs are a mix of “hot right now” and older hits going back to around 2000.

Indecisions in games

Names reserved

I’m starting to find it increasingly hard to keep writing a blog post daily. Mostly because I’ve come to the point that I simply don’t know what to write about. I know I can turn to other people’s blogs for inspiration, but right now I’m just not in the mood.

I’ve been struggling with the “schedule” I set for myself for during the week. Mostly because I come home and am really tired. Work is slightly soul destroying at the moment and the only thing I want to do when I get home is sit infront of the TV and vegetate or just straight up head to bed. Most of my gaming “plans” are falling through because of this. Logging into Final Fantasy XIV or World of Warcraft seems like a chore, unless I actually sit down and start playing. Then it’s fine. It’s more the whole having to sit down and actually start playing part that is bothering me. I have the same when it comes to single player games. A few months ago I managed to (finally) finish Kingdom Hearts 3. The reason I managed to do it was because I forced myself to just sit down and start playing. The moment I did that I had trouble putting down the controller and would clock in 6-8 hour play sessions at some point because I just wanted to see where the game went. But just sitting down, starting up my Playstation 4 and start playing for some reason just took me so much effort… And I may think I have found the cause (besides the obvious being too tired to want to do anything).

I’ve been stretching myself a bit thin when it comes to gaming and gaming goals. Not only am I trying to actively keep up with two MMO’s right now, WoW and FFXIV, I want to casually get back into Guild Wars 2. I want to play two single player games at the same time and am actually playing a third on my way to and from work (Final Fantasy IV on my modded Gameboy Advance). Not to even start about the shows I’m trying to keep up with and the reading I’m trying to get done. Every time I try to decide what to do I’m kind of overcome with this “decision anxiety”. Because if I do my dailies in WoW I probably won’t have the time to do anything else for the rest of the evening. The same goes with pursuing leveling in FFXIV or GW2. When I pick up FFIV or Spider-Man I won’t get any progress in anywhere else, especially my MMO’s. As you can see I’m going in circles. I do X and then I can’t do Y. It’s why I try to set up goals for myself on a monthly basis and then need to step away from said game. Right now I’m doing this with FFXIV. I’ve gotten my crafters to the level I want. I leveled my Black Mage to 80. I’m not touching any new crafters for the time being. That leaves me with doing ex-roulette five times a week and half an hour of leves on my Botanist/Miner when I get round to it. If I want I can just set aside a day and powerlevel those to 80 in an afternoon, reducing the time I need to spend on FFXIV even more. I’m working hard to get into this mindset, that it’s okay to roulette in and out of games. It’s okay to put things aside once I met my goals for the month.

I guess it’s still a small part of me that struggles with MMO addiction in a way. I kind of envy the people who just play one game and are perfectly happy doing so. At times I curse the day I got introduced to WoW because it’s sucked me in to a gaming genre that just consumes so much time… And it’s caused me to grow my backlog of single player games significantly. I’m still trying to find balance in these things and although I’m much better at it than a few years ago, I still feel like I’m quite far off the mark.

Heavensward Mount Bonanza

Gobbiewalker!

Last weekend a friend asked if people were interested in farming some of the Heavensward primal and raid mounts. I jumped at the chance and said yes because I still miss quite a lot of mounts from that expansion. Other people said they’d come as well and in the end we had a party of 4-5 people to tackle old content with.
We did both Alexander part 4 Savage mode and part 12 Savage mode and killed it as often as was needed to get everyone their mounts. This didn’t last that long luckily since for both wings the mount is a guaranteed drop when you kill the boss. There were a few one-shot mechanics that we needed to deal with but once we figured out those it wasn’t to difficult to get some kills in.

Next to the savage Alexander raids we also tackled a few primals and I walked away with the Bismarck ex bird (dropped at the first kill and I was the only one who needed it) and the Sophia ex bird (again dropped on the first kill). We kept farming Sophia and Zurvan ex for mounts for other people but unfortunately nothing else dropped for the evening. All in all I only need two more bird mounts from Heavensward primals now: the Nidhogg ex one and Sephiroth ex. Maybe we will do another farming party later on this week or in the weekend and be a bit more lucky with mount drops from people.

In other news I’ve managed to crank my Culinarian up to level 50 yesterday and I will probably get my Alchemist to level 70 tomorrow after reset. I’m also fully decked out in Eden healing gear for my White Mage so I can start rolling on tokens for caster gear. It feels like I’m getting my goals in Final Fantasy XIV completed much faster than I do in World of Warcraft. I guess because the grind is a bit different and I’ve figured out an optimized route to do most things with. As it stands now I’m going to take a bit of a break from the Ixal daily quests for the coming week and probably only do ex-roulette and some leves to get my Botanist and Miner leveled up. The rest of my evenings will be spent in WoW doing all the dailies to unlock flying.

Speaking of WoW, in about an hour and a half you can start reserving names on the Classic servers… I’m going to roll Alliance on the EU Mirage Raceway server so if you want someone to talk to when Classic hits you can find me there!

Underestimations in Azeroth

When I decided to go back to World of Warcraft somewhere at the end of July I figured I’d sit down for a couple of nights and just grind out the whole flying thing. You see, I’m so used to the Final Fantasy XIV way of doing things that I may have completely forgotten how utterly annoying it is to unlock flying in WoW. I much prefer the system that Square Enix implemented where you sort of organically unlock flying for all the new zones of an expansion as you do the main story. It gives you access to easier travel way earlier on and makes things like Hunts, FATE farms and the like much more beareable.

Cue Blizzard and their approach to unlocking flying. As they’ve done since the Warlords of Draenor expansion flying is tied to achievements. Before that you just had to obtain enough gold to buy flying from a vendor. Now it’s tied to a grind that comes naturally as you keep on playing the game, especially the achievement part, but can be quite frustrating when you are a returning player. I was lucky that I finished off the first part of the achievement pretty early on after expansion launch so I just have to focus on the two new zones now, but I don’t want to think about what a nightmare it would be if I still had to grind out starting Battle for Azeroth reps on top of the new ones. I would drive me quite insane I imagine.

So far I’ve managed to more or less keep up with doing dailies in both Mechagon aswell as Nazjatar. I find Mechagon to be a bit more doable due to it being a smaller surface plus, if you’re lucky, you can pick up a jetpack on certain days that allows you to fly for 20 minutes at a time. This is huge to someone who hasn’t unlocked flying yet because it means I don’t have to pull half the island to get to something and instead can just fly over it. Unfortunately Nazjatar doesn’t have something similar but I have unlocked all the flying points there, allowing me to cross from one end to the other end of the zone pretty “fast”. Still it’s pretty annoying to have to cross all of it on a ground mount. As Rogue I can dismount and stealth past a lot of the mobs but that slows me down even more.

Nevertheless according to my calculations I should be hitting the flying unlock right before WoW Classic goes live. You get around 1-1.5k reputation per day per faction if you do all the dailies and world quests. I need 11k untill I’m Revered with the Ankoan Waveblade and about 17k untill I hit the same with the Rustbolt Resistance of Mechagon. If I manage to find time to do the dailies every day, without it hampering too much time for other games, it will take me a maximum of 17 days to get flying unlocked. Obviously I hope that it will be sooner than that, especially since the Ankoan are on the roulette for WQ completion bonus, which in itself nets 1.5k rep alone. Plus if I can drop having to do dailies in Nazjatar and only have Mechagon left it’s much less time spent so there’s that. All in all I’m still on track to unlock flying before Classic so here’s keeping my fingers crossed!

A short book review: Tales of Lunis Aquaria

Tales of Lunis Aquaria as shown on narratess.com

So I don’t think I’ve ever done a proper book review. Mostly because the books that I’ve read are all bestsellers in their own right and I don’t think the authors really need a gaming/hobby blog like me to shower them in praise. They received that enough. However after reading this book I feel compelled to write a post about it. So let’s start with the basics.

Book title: Tales of Lunis Aquaria
Author: Tessa Hastjarjanto
Publishing date: 8th of April 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Book type: Short stories
Format: E-book (but there is a paperback available aswell)

Tales of Lunis Aquaria is a bundle of nine short stories set in a fantasy world. Each story involves different characters although there are a few reoccuring ones. It’s an entry book in what will be a bigger universe expanding on the introductory short stories written in this book. There are a few main characters, the ones depicted on the cover of the book that play a big role in the universe. They are however only featured in two (or maybe three if my guess is correct) of the short stories.
It’s a relatively short book, only 104 pages long in the e-pub format that I use on my Sony e-reader and as such I was able to read through it in a relatively short time. The fact that I didn’t put it down once I started reading it should say enough about the quality of the stories. I was immediatly sucked into the world that Tessa has crafted with her writing. All the stories are very pleasant to read through and are short enough to fit into small reading sessions for when one is traveling or when you want to read something before going to bed. I enjoyed all of the separate stories, enough so that I can’t wait untill the continuation comes out for all of them. I don’t want to spoil too much of the stories but I can definitely say that the one titled “Moonflower” was my favourite one. The premise is as followed (as written on narratess.com): To win the heart of a girl, a young man sets out to find the most beautiful flower there ever was. He faces the dangers of the mountains, looking for a flower that might not even exist. The tale has a twist at the end and I so want to find out what happened! All of the other stories are written just as well but specifically this one has me hungering for more.

As mentioned the flow of the book is good. Tessa crafts a very compelling world and everything fits together nicely. I’m quite curious as to how the stories continue. With setting up nine different ones she’s given herself quite the task of expanding this world. If anything that’s the one thing I may nitpick on. The introductions are written so well that I really can’t wait to read how they continue. Seeing as how this is only the entry in a far bigger series I expect a ton more books to come out and patience isn’t one of my strongest virtues when it comes to things I enjoy. I hope she can write a compelling universe with this as starting point and I can’t wait for the next book to come out.

If you’re looking for a light book to read during some travel time or a saturday afternoon sipping a cup of tea and you like fantasy this is the book for you. But know that if you’re hooked you might have to wait a bit to see the stories continue!

Tales of Lunis Aquaria is available at Amazon, Kobo, Nook and Smashbooks and if you’re Dutch you can get the e-book from Bol.com or the paperback from boekenbestellen.nl