When WoD launched I swore to myself that I would stick to one character this expansion. That I wouldn’t alt too much and that I certainly wouldn’t spend more time than necessary on the game.

Yeah… How wrong I was…

I have alted a bit this expansion. I have 4 characters sitting on level 100. My Priest, who is my raiding main, my Paladin and my Warrior on Alliance side and a Monk on Horde side. Then there are various characters between level 90 and 94, mostly for profession purposes.
I have sunk a lot of time in the game already. Especially on my Priest. Making sure I had the best stuff for raiding, gearing up myself and my followers. Doing all quests there were. Doing achievements now that I’ve done those and, ofcourse, raid two nights a week. Which can get pretty hilarious when you claim to be a divine priest and thus get all sorts of beams stacked on you right before pulling a new boss…

Anyway, the Priest has been a huge timesink. I resorted to just do everything on her, instead of charhopping but I found myself getting easily bored. And then the altoholic inside of me started to whine. And whine. And whine.
 It’s really really hard to stick to one character when your natural tendency is to hop and play whatever you like. So to compromise, and to satisfy my friends who play Horde side and have been bugging me forever to get a Horde char to lvl 100, I decided to get a second raiding main. And so I proudly present to you my Monk: Applebloom. Rocking the Hearthsteed which I finally managed to unlock last week! I’ve joined a small Horde guild on her that raids on Friday and Sunday evenings, which is perfect since I raid on Mondays and Tuesdays on the Priest.

I can still get away with dedicating to two characters right now, simply because I’m unemployed with way too much time to spend. I picked the Monk because I have always liked the class, but never really got around to play it seriously. It also more or less satisfies my inner need to be able to play anything. On my Monk I’m a Windwalker (melee dps) and I will probably get Brewmaster (tank) offspec along the way. On my Priest I am Shadow with a Holy offspec. That way I have all roles covered in the confinements of two characters. 
Unlike the Priest though, who I have been working on since expansion start, the monk is severely behind on all fronts. She only dinged 100 last week and I have been trying to gear her up and sort my garrison at the same time. I can tell you, it’s not working out very well! Only when you more or less have to start over do you realize how much work a Garrison actually takes. How long it takes to level and gear your followers, especially now with patch 6.1, and how long it takes to get all the buildings to the upgrade level you want. It feels a bit overwhelming here and there so I still prefer to spend time on my Priest over my Monk, simply because I have less to do there. But yeah, those are the two classes I play on WoW right now. I hope I can keep it to these two, playing less characters frees up more time for other stuff. Like playing FFXIV and Wildstar. Yeah. Even more MMO’s. Crazy Sandrian!
Oh… And I got the Heirloom mount!

We’re only a few days away from patch 6.1, wednesday here in Europe, and all the exciting new stuff it will bring to the game.

Class balancing is an ongoing thing and with every new content patch there are tweaks to the classes and their speccs. Sometimes there are more, sometimes there are less. Today I wanted to focus on the changes that Blizzard has planned for Priest.

From the PTR patch notes as they are now:

  • Priest
    • General
      • Power Word: Shield now absorbs 10% less damage.
    • Talents
      • Auspicious Spirits (Shadow) no longer cause Shadowy Apparitions to not deal damage. Instead, it now increases Shadowy Apparition damage by 100% in addition to still granting 1 Shadow Orb.
      • Cascade may now hit the same target twice. This results in an increase to total healing, so its healing has been reduced by 35% to compensate (the total healing in a 20-player raid will be slightly higher than before).
      • Clarity of Purpose’s (Holy) healing has increased by 20%.
      • Divine Star (Shadow) damage increased by 20%.
      • Halo now displays an indicator on the ground to make it easier for the casting Priest see where the ability is most effective. Additionally, Halo’s visual effect has been synchronized so a character will receive the effect when the nova intersects with them.
      • Insanity (Shadow) now also affects Mind Sear.
      • Mindbender lasts for 20 seconds (up from 15 seconds).
      • Psychic Scream now has a 30-second cooldown (down from 45 seconds).
      • Saving Grace’s (Discipline, Holy) healing has increased by 50%, but now reduces future healing dealt by 15% (up from 10%). Additionally, the talent is now instant-cast, but its effectiveness is reduced while in PvP combat.
      • Surge of Darkness now has a 12% chance to trigger (up from 10%).
      • Void Entropy (Shadow) damage increased by 80%.
      • Void Tendrils’ health has increased by 30%.

The first big thing is Power Word: Shield absorbing 10% less damage. Although this change might seem aimed at Discipline priests only it’s a fact that the Shield has been absorbing too much damage across all speccs. In the grand scheme of things it won’t matter much.

From our CC tier it seems that both Psychic Scream and Void Tendrils are getting a straight up buff. Both talents still rely heavily on personal preference, but it’s nice to see them both getting some love.

Shadow
Shadow is getting a few significant buffs. The first one is to Auspicious Spirits. Since the t17 4set requires Shadowpriests to specc AS anyway this is only a cherry on the cake. No longer do we lose our Shadowy Apparitions, instead we get to keep them and the extra Shadow orb.
The Insanity affecting Mind Sear is just a straight up buff to our AoE damage. Helping us become more competitive on fights with multiple targets, think of Blast Furnace, Operator Thor’Gar and Beastlord Darmac in Blackrock Foundry.
Although Blizzard is trying to bring more versatility to the Shadowpriest I personally think the Surge of Darkness and Void Entropy buffs are not enough to make them viable talents. Especially now that all priests are switching to AS and Insanity is still the strongest talent in it’s tier. The same goes for Divine Star, with the fights as they are now Halo will always be a better choice for Shadow…
Speaking of which, Blizzard will make it more clear where the edges of your Halo are so you can use it from the optimal distance. This is really a quality of life change since most raiding Shadowpriests have atleast a vague idea where to position themselves for the most effective damage output but now we’re getting visual aid for this, something I can only cheer for.

Holy and Disc
Cascade. Almost mandatory in the current raid meta, although I do see some priests rocking Halo aswell. I’m not sure what to think about this change. Although it’s nice that it is now able to hit the same target twice, especially in smaller groups, I wonder if that will outweight the straight up nerf the heal itself is getting. According to Blizzard it should heal a bit more for 20 players, but as we all know not everyone runs a 20 man comp. I would have to see this change in action before I can comment on it.
Saving Grace is a different matter. I feel like it fits a very specific niche and with these changes it only goes into that corner more. The talent is an absolute no-no for raiding but could prove to be very usefull in Challenge Modes. I think the reduced effectivenes for PvP was necessary, seeing the amount it heals for and the fact that it’s now instant cast. I still don’t see many raiding Priests picking up this talent but if you run Challenge Modes frequently I would suggest giving it a go.
The Mindbender buff however is one I can only cheer for. The 5 extra seconds of Mana regen are godlike, especially for lower geared Priests. I put this talent under Holy and Disc because you will never ever specc it as Shadow anyway.

The last buff is only for Holy’s Clarity of Purpose talent. Althought it’s a straight up buff to the healing it does I still think the talent itself fits a too specific requirement. It could work on fights where everyone has to be clumped up, like Oregorger, but other than that I feel it’s still not worth taking as talent.

All in all this patch brings good tidings to Priests. It looks like Shadowpriests should see a significant buff to their damage, especially AoE. For Holy and Disc I feel a lot of things stay the same. I don’t feel Blizzard has buffed certain talents enough to make them attractive. How the Cascade changes will play out we will see. The same goes for Power Word: Shield, but I don’t believe it will make that much of an impact.

After some incidents on Twitter over the past weekend I want to write on a bit more serious topic today. Something that doesn’t necessarily has anything to do with gaming, but I feel the need to speak my opinion of it.

The series of events that sparked this post were simple. Someone I followed on Twitter posted a picture of a friend. They had been dressed up as a group from a movie, it slips my mind which one, and one person in that group in the movie happened to be black. Because the guy who dressed up as him was white, and they didn’t necessarily wanted to ruin the whole idea, he painted his face black so people would know who he was. That particular picture, of the guy with the black painted face, got posted on Twitter on an account that has a relatively big amount of followers. So guess what happend? Yup.

Queue shitstorm.

I didn’t get most of the drama but apparently “blackfacing” is a thing that is very offensive in the US. Now before you start judging me, I didn’t even know what blackfacing was. I had to look it up, like the person who posted the picture in the first place. For those of you who still don’t know what it is (thank you urban dictionary): When white actors would paint their faces black to resemble black people. Accompanied by a performance stereotyping them as buffoons. 

I can’t speak for the rest of Europe, but here in the Netherlands and Belgium it’s not a big issue to paint your face black if you’re dressing up/cosplaying as a black person. We view it as something that is part of the costume. Vice versa we don’t frown at darker colored people making their skin lighter for the same purpose. If you want to paint your face, you paint your face in any damn color you want.
Apparently this is not the same in the US. Seeing the absolute amount of shit this person got targeted at him, calling him racist and more, I kind of got mad. He did aswell as first reaction, calling Americans butthurt about this issue. Although I don’t really agree with his choice of words, I do agree with the sentiment. Especially seeing as it’s mostly WHITE people who feel the need to be offended by this.

Now I know that racism is a delicate thing. I know that certain groups of people have been oppressed for a long time and that slavery was a horrible thing. You will not hear me deny that. It was also horrible that non-white people were considered lower beings up untill the 1950’s. I will not excuse that either.
BUT. I am done with tolerating that every little thing you say can get torn out of context and get the racism stamp. I feel that as white person you can’t say anything anymore without someone twisting it to racism.
If you call someone out for being rude to you or for cutting in line and that person happens to be a different skincolor than you? Racism!
If I paint my face dark because I’m dressing up as a dark person? Racism!
If I help a white person before I help a black person (because that white person asked for help first)? Racism.
Everything you say or do lately is racism. The word has lost it’s meaning. It’s something people hide behind and throw around freely without realizing the implications. And the worst part is? You can’t complain about that either because well, that makes you a racist! It’s living in insanity really. And it very much has to stop. Because it’s only fueling certain types of fire that you do not want fueled.

I love all human beings, aslong as they have a good heart and good intentions. But I’m starting to despise a certain group in our population. These are people that hide behind racism to avoid being critiziced and getting away with it too.
If you step on my foot and I say something about it, it’s because you stepped on my foot and not because your black. It does not make me racist. And the fact that you immediatly call me one only makes me think less of you… Or is that racist?

Sundays. I love them. They are nice and lazy and it’s the only day of the week where I don’t regret it if I don’t actually do much of anything. It gives me time to think about stuff, time to spend on my hobbies and, if my club plays, time to relax and watch some football.

Ever since I started therapy I notice that I’ve been looking at my past less. It’s nice to be able to talk to a professional about the things that have been bothering you for ages. It’s nice to have acknowledgement of the fact that yes, stuff has happened to me that should never have happened in the first place. And it’s nice to have a place where I can talk about my anxieties, depression and life struggles without having to feel like I whine or like I take up someone’s precious time. It has had a very soothing effect on me and I notice that I am able to relax more and more.
It is taking tiny baby steps, but I feel like I am starting to get my life back on track. I worry less. I feel like I need to control everything less. I smile more. I get stuff done more. Ofcourse I still have a long way to go… But with some basic tools and advice I got from my therapist I feel like everything is less overwhelming and I am on the right track again.

I’ve discovered my passion for writing again. You can maybe notice it in the fact that I’ve been posting here again. I like to share what is going on in my life. I like to talk about the things I do and the games I play. Especially the games I play. Ingame I notice I want to make more of an effort aswell, being up to date for my Priest, min/maxing her, theorycrafting and generally being the best I can be on the class that I play. It has been a long time for me that I have felt this much at home on a class and that I was willing to put a lot of time and effort in to be the most optimal player I can be.

I’ve also been trying to be my nice self ingame again. I believe that an MMO is a social game and that, since you play with others, you atleast need to make an effort to keep a good atmosphere going. It can be the small things like keeping a conversation going in Guildchat or being social in raids. This also extends to loot and who to give it to. I’ve made a bit of a pact with some of the other players in the guild that we would keep an eye out on what loot benefits who the most and need on it accordingly. I personally have disgusting loot luck (no really, I mean it) and my Priest was geared incredibly fast. But I don’t raid alone, we are with 15 people and although I might be super geared I can’t carry the group on my own. We need to do it together. So I’m not too fussed anymore when there is a piece of loot that I want but that would benefit someone else more. I’ll happily pass, I will also get a chance on the same piece of loot on a later date and if my passing means we can down a boss extra, it will all be worth it.

All in all I feel like my life has been looking up. I don’t feel so bad all the time anymore. I feel better when I’m just my nice self. I also noticed that taking time just for me has benefitted me greatly. My life doesn’t have to evolve around others 24/7 and I find myself enjoying some alone time. A part of me will always want to devote time to others, it’s in my personality to be helpful and caring. But I noticed that this works much better when I set limits for myself. I don’t have to fix everything, I can’t help everyone and sometimes people just want to be left alone… And that’s ok.
Baby steps they might be, but for me they are already making a huge difference.

Alternatively I wanted to name this post either “Why World of Warcraft crafting sucks bigtime right now” or “Stupid guildies and why I want to smack them in the face”. Since they were both a bit long and rude, I decided to keep it nicer. But I did want to share.

As you may have guessed, this post is mostly about crafting/professions in World of Warcraft right now.
With the coming of Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard has completely redefined professions. Gathering professions have become a bit obsolete, everyone can now herb and mine in their Garrisons and if you need leather you can get a barn and trap animals. There is an abundance of mats and you can easily have multiple professions going on one or two garrison mines.
As far as crafting professions go, it’s very hard to make a profit on some of these. Seeing as mats are all soulbound and you are tied to a daily cooldown it takes a while to get the stuff you need to craft the item you want. Don’t even get me started on the ridiculous mats requirement for upgrading your crafted items or the fact that you can only use 3 crafted items at a time. I will rant untill eternity and that is not the meaning of this post.
Professions that can still have a decent profit are mostly Tailoring (hello Hexweave Bag), Jewelcrafting and Enchanting… And Alchemy up to a point. People still want the few enchants that Blizzard left in the game and if you roll a socket on your gear you still need to gem it. Flasks and potions are still wanted for raids, so there is still a market for that aswell.
Ofcourse you can still try to make a profit with other crafting professions, but it’s much harder than with the ones I just mentioned.

Skip forward to the issue that I really want to adress. Having a crafting profession that someone else doesn’t have and that person’s desire to use your profession. I’ve had people ask me to make Glyphs for them on my Priest. I have no issues with this. I’m a scribe and I’ve taken the time to research many new glyphs so it’s reasonable that I get requests for them. Glyphs also don’t use the cooldown mats but rather inks made from pigments which I can freely mill from herbs.
Yesterday however I had a guildie ask me how many Hexweave Cloths I had. He wanted Hexweave Bags and would give me the fur I needed as compensation. First off, I’m very reluctant to use my BoP cooldown restricted crafting mats for anyone else. You might call me anti-social for doing so, but they are MY mats, I have been using my base mats and daily cooldowns and work orders to get them. Secondly: in a Hexweave Bag there is 100 Hexweave Cloth. For 100  cloth I would need 200 furs and 100 Gorgrond Flytraps if I only use my cooldown to make them. I’m not even talking about the furs that go into my work orders. Next to that one bag also needs 10 Sorcerous Earth. To make that one bag I would have to “waste” a lot of mats and 10 days of cooldowns just to get the cloth I need.
When I explained to my guildie how many mats actually go into the bags it suddenly went quiet. Yeah dude, there is a reason why they are so expensive on the AH… Because it takes at least a week and a shitton of mats to make one bag.
Now I know that I have more than enough cloth to actually make the bags. I’ve been hoarding it and not really using it due to raiding upgrades which replaced my crafted gear. It’s not that I don’t want to make something for a guildie, it’s more that people think they can just ask for it with the promise of “I’ll give you the furs it takes” thinking there is way less mats involved than there actually are.
I’ve had the same issue with people asking me to make them an upgrade item for their Darkmoon Faire trinket. Only Scribes can make these items and they require War Paints… Which are the cooldown items. I politely declined at the time saying I wanted to upgrade my own trinket, since you know… I kind of would like to have my Best in Slot aswell. The reaction I got then was one of “why won’t you use your mats for me?! You only have to give up the War Paints, I have the rest”. I’ll tell you why. Because they are MY mats that I want to use for MYSELF to gear up MY gear. Is that so hard to understand?

I’m normally more than happy to help out with anything when it comes to friends and (most) guildies. But crafting stuff for others has been a sore spot. I have taken the time to max out my professions, make sure I do my cooldowns and keep up with my work orders. If you are too lazy to do this or claim you have no time to do it, that is your problem. Doing a daily cooldown and making sure your work orders keep on flowing takes about 10 minutes of your time.
Asking me to craft something for you will only get a “yes” as answer if it’s mats that I don’t currently need and if you compensate me for them on an equal footing. And not throwing a handful of furs at me and call it even.
This is how crafting has become in WoW. It’s a rather egoistic endeavour now. I wish Blizzard would atleast drop some of the restrictions on it so I wouldn’t feel so reluctant to say yes to a request. Instead of now where I resort to lieing and just say I don’t have the mats they need.

After yesterday’s long and heavy post I feel it’s time for some lighter reading today. Although I have to say writing up all of my troubles has given me a bit of air, so that’s nice.

As I’ve said before, I rolled Priest for the Warlords of Draenor expansion. It’s a class I have a long history with, almost as long as Warrior, and it’s the class I was liking the most when the time came to pick a new main.
We are now almost 4 months later and I regret nothing. I love my Priest. I love doing everything on her, even if it’s boring grinding. It’s a pleasure in a character I haven’t had in WoW since Wrath of the Lich King days. I even bother to do my fishing daily on her!

I’m currently playing Shadow after being Holy for the guild for the first two months of raiding. I realised that with the healing team we have I started to despise having to heal. Our healing “leader” is a Resto Druid who has a very bad attitude. He is a meter whore and heals like he is the only healer in the raid… And then complains about being out of mana all the time. Couple this with the stress I already feel on a daily basis and I asked if we could recruit a new healer to replace me so I could just go back to playing Shadow and melting faces. And it has paid off too!

We managed to get Imperator Mar’gok down on heroic level before Blackrock Foundry was released and thus the entire raidteam earned the “Ahead of the Curve” achievement. I’m so proud! It’s my first achievement like that since I barely raided in Mists of Pandaria. Our team works well and we have around 15 people showing up for every raid, so that is very positive. With the flex system it ensures that everyone can have a spot, something I really like.

Ofcourse not everything is sunshine and daisies. We have a few slackers in the guild that are slow with fixing enchants and gems. We are also carrying atleast one person through most encounters. I have a hunch this is because said person is playing the wrong spec for the gear right now, but it’s not really my job anymore to stick my nose in that sort of stuff. It used to be but I have decided to give up my officer spot in the guild for my own wellbeing. It saves me a lot of headaches and responsibilities so it’s not a choice I regret making.

On another note, with Blizzard’s new policy of having everything simply cost gold (or gold and apexis crystals) it’s been much much easier to make money in WoW now. As a scribe I had a lucky streak the first few weeks of the expansion. I sold a lot of Darkmoon Cards for rather high prices and easily made 20k gold in one day. Right now I earn around 2k gold per day without actually any effort. There’s so much gold income from missions and salvage crates, especially if you have three max level characters, that you don’t even have to play the AH game to slowly but steadily get rich.
And since I was more or less swimming in gold anyway… I decided to treat myself.

Vroom vroom!

Yep, that’s right. I bought the 100k gold Alliance Chopper. It looks better than the Horde one in my opinion and I’ve been cruising around in it throughout Draenor, feeling mighty cool.

I’m back in FFXIV aswell, Seeing as they too have an expansion upcoming I figured I wanted a fresh start there. After some doubt, and some discussion with a friend, I decided to main Dragoon. It’s one of the classes that can easily be played with a controller and it’s so fun and flashy to play compared to Bard. There’s also the thing that I absolutely adore Dragoon armor, so the choice was easily made. The only thing is that my Dragoon isn’t max level yet, so I’ve been working my way up to level 50 for the past week or two. I’m currently sitting on level 42 but I hope to be 50 as soon as possible.
Other than that I’m spending most of my time in WoW, adoring to play my priest and raiding for lootz.

It’s been a tough month for me. I’ve started therapy for mostly anxiety and insecurty issues and it’s not going as well as I would have liked it to go. I’m making baby steps forward, but it’s hard to talk about emotional things and things you keep hidden in the depths of your thoughts. I’ve had to face a lot of things that I succesfully suppressed for many years and it’s not done wonders for my stability and mood in general.
I’ve been very frustrated and had a super short fuse for the past weeks and it has cost me dearly. After a huge argument with one of my closest friends we are no longer on speaking terms and I don’t know if we will get through this at all. It makes it even harder because I still see him online almost every day (we are in the same WoW guild) and we raid together. Not talking to someone who has been your best friend for the past 3-3.5 years is probably one of the hardest things I have had to deal with so far. I want to tell that person many things and share many things and I can’t, because we aren’t speaking. And I can tell you, it’s very hurtful.

I’ve fled into games even more. Even though I managed to get some volunteer jobs going I notice I spend more and more time doing silly things in World of Warcraft of Final Fantasy where I should be working on my master’s thesis or looking for a paid job. I just can’t. Right now the games are the only reason I get out of bed in the first place. I have completely lost interest in anything else and have had days where I would just lie in bed all day and stare at the ceiling or sleep.
It by all means hasn’t been a pleasant time for me and I’m struggling. I am retreating into my own little world and am pushing away my friends. Honestly I don’t really want to hear how they are doing in their jobs and with their SO’s. It only reminds me of how miserable I am myself.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with this blog for a while. If I wanted to use it as outlet for my personal stuff or use it as gaming blog solely. As you can see from my post so far I’ve chosen to do the first. I need some sort of medium to express myself and maybe the relative anonimity of the internet is a good way to do so.
I live with people who don’t understand how crippling it can be to be mentally unwell. I haven’t received an official diagnosis, and being a psychologist myself I know I don’t have it “bad” enough to get one, but I still feel horrible. Insecurity is eating away at me. I have days that I want to break all my mirrors because I can’t look at myself. I have days where I starve myself because I want to lose weight so I just don’t eat. I’m grumpy and emotional and scared. It sucks.
It affects me in more ways than I thought I would ever be affected. I used to have a lot of hobbies besides gaming. I used to dance, draw, read and do embroidery. I’ve stopped doing most of that. I can only read for very short periods of time before I lose focus. There’s a lovely embroidery packet staring at me… And it’s just lying there, not getting used at all.

Taking care of myself is something that is slipping away aswell. Now that I have cut my hair relatively short I don’t even brush it anymore, even though I should. I’ve stopped using make-up going out, something I normally always do because I have a very red skintone in winter due to dryness and sensitivity. Now I just don’t care anymore. I look in the mirror and see raw, red skin and shrug. I feel like no one would find me attractive me anyway, so why would I bother to look decent? I am not eating healthy or working out as regularly as I should. The only days I can haul my ass to the gym are Thursdays and Sundays and even that seems to be too much for me, I’ve been skipping days left and right.

I’m working on all of this but it’s hard. It’s not going fast enough and I get frustrated. It doesn’t help that I lost one of my best buddy’s either. I hope things will start looking up soon because honestly… I’m going slightly mad.