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For me there was a very nice surprise yesterday with the announcement of a new installment in the Pokémon series. I’ve been a huge fan of Pokémon ever since I was about nine or ten years old, my very first Gameboy game was Pokémon Blue, and I have had atleast one game of every generation bar Black and White 2. I haven’t seen much of the hype surrounding these new titles yet, apart from that there will be more Pokémon added again and that it will come out around December of this year. I guess we’ll see various snippets of information starting to show up soon so I will definately keep an eye out for any information that Nintendo is releasing.

To tie in with the announcement of a new series of Pokémon, today is also the day Nintendo released Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow as virtual console games for the 3DS. Being a huge fan of the original games, and eternally sad that my cardridges have died, I see this as an opportunity to get my hands on some of my old beloved games again. So I headed out to the shops today and bought a Nintendo E-shop card with enough funds to buy one game. Now I just have to make the choice of which game I actually want.
My first ever Pokémon game was Blue and that’s also the one game I almost “finished”. I had defeated every trainer and caught 146 out of 150 original Pokémon. I got Red and Yellow not that long after and even though I have always had fun playing, I never got as invested as I did in Blue (and later Silver). So for me it’s the choice of picking up Blue again and relive my nostalgia, picking Red which is, in theory, the same game but with different Pokémon to obtain OR pick Yellow where I know I will get not only Pikachu but also all original starter Pokémon guaranteed.
I haven’t decided yet, I think I’ll sleep on it for a night and then decide which one I want. One of the few things that will apparently be a feature is that you can send the Pokémon you get from these original games to the Pokébank and then from there transfer them to Sun and Moon when it comes out. Apparently there won’t be a way to send them to X/Y and ORAS, which is kind of sad, but hey.

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Gearing the Classes
Patch 3.2 launched this Tuesday and I’ve spent the majority of my time after work poking around on FFXIV. Seeing that Esoterics gear has become dirt cheap now, I more or less decked out my Ninja completely in ilvl 200 gear with Void Ark pants. She looks awesome now and I almost feel sad I will change this look for the Lore gear. I will probably hang on to it and use it as Glamour if I want to.
I think this week I will finally be able to reach tome cap and I will have dinged my Astrologian level 50 aswell. Now that you can queue up with friends for level roulette I’ve been teaming up with ingame people a bit more and levelling has been very smooth.
I’ve unlocked almost all new content that 3.2 has had to offer, and only really need to stick my nose into the new Alexander wings and the Sephirot fight, but I’m sure I’ll get to do that at some point this weekend or the coming week.
For now I’m just happily running atleast my Expert and Level roulette every day, while also doing the new Vath beast tribe dailies. It’s all I was able to do on work days really, since my game time is short and I was tired.

It’s been another very busy week at work for me. We are seriously swamped with new articles and changes to existing ones. I’ve been trying to not be too tired when I get home but it’s hard. I barely have enough energy to stay up and game, let alone blog about gaming, so sorry about the silence. I feel like I’m adapting to my work pace more though, since I’m not immediatly falling asleep as I get home and I actually get some stuff done ingame. Something that I’ve been trying to do for a while.

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FFXIV Adventures
I’ve been slowly pushing through my Astrologian quests, finishing the level 45 one this weekend. I’m still getting chased by bandits and the intrigues are getting deeper. It seems the Ishgardian Astrologians are not happy with the Sharlayan type of Astrology and I fear poor Jannequinard will pay the price. Although I still don’t trust him and still think he’s somehow involved with the assassination attempts on Lady Leveva. Anyway I opened the fifth heaven’s gate somewhere in Mor’Dhona and got another very pretty picture of “the Ewer”. Flowing water which, as a card, replenishes your mana so I guess it’s very fitting.

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With the patch coming up I’m very excited to start grinding the new tome gear. For Ninja it’s a Leviathan inspired look which looks extremely cool and I can’t wait to wear it. With me running more dungeons I would also get my relic items faster, so it’s a win/win situation overall. I’m currently on 31/80 items, so almost half way done!
Next to that I’ve been poking around on Cactuar again, leveling my Warrior and just taking a break from all the grinding on Moogle. The only downside from playing on Cactuar is that my game times are totally different from all the US folks and I only really see people online in the weekends, so that’s a bit sucky, but well. For now I want to keep focusing on my Moogle character (Sandrian) and switch to Sarella when I’m a bit tired of all the grinding for some lazy Warrior levelling and dungeon giggles. I love being a tank and especially a tank that can also pull some decent DPS numbers. I like setting the pace in a dungeon and not feeling like I have to wait for someone to pull. I just hope that I get healers who can keep me up while I run through dungeons like a madwoman.

Pokémon Plans
I’ve been poking around in Pokémon a lot again. Mostly playing Pokémon X, but I really want to continue Alpha Sapphire aswell. I had a conversation with one of my little cousins today about Pokémon games in general and how many event stuff I actually have, and I have decided to look into Poké Bank and Poké Transporter to be able to get my old event Pokémon onto my newer games. I have a lot of shinies that you can’t otherwise get and I really want to be able to use those in some of my newer games. Especially considering my cardridges are getting old and I don’t want to lose those Pokémon forever.
I will probably look into it when I have a bit more time off next week or so and slowly being the process of weeding through all my old Pokémon and decide which ones I want to bring over. I think it will mostly be the Shiny event Pokémon I have. But I also want to save a few of the other old rare Pokémon I have like Celebi, Jirachi, Mew and Victini.  I’m also looking forward to the re-release of Pokémon Blue, Red and Yellow as virtual console games for the 3DS. I will probably buy Blue, just because it was my first Pokémon game ever and I have major nostalgia. That said, I’m not actually sure I have the time for all this and if I have to make a choice of what I want to do right now it’s probably finish off Pokémon X. So I will focus on that and then see what else there is out there.

I delved into the Astrologian storyline today. Although I picked up the class fairly early after the launch of Heavensward I never really did decide to level it… Untill now.
Healer wise, Astrologian is a lot of fun. It combines the best of the direct healing from White Mage and adds an interesting twist to the mix in the form of buff cards. I know there is also a Shield or Regen stance (I only unlocked the Regen stance for now) which gives you even more options to play the way you like.

The gist of the Astrologian quests is quite simple. After you rescue Lady Leveva and her grandfather, you are the new super Astrologian that the cards had foretold. From there on your journey begins to open “gates” in the heavens. In the level 40 quest you open the 4th gate: The Arrow.

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But not everything is as easy as it looks. Lady Leveva is being chased by bandits, whose motives are unknown. Meanwhile you have to deal with Jannequinard, a fellow Astrologian who seems to be busier with sucking up to the elite in Ishgard and living a comfortable life, than actually practising his Astrologian skills. I don’t like this figure. The game is making a very big effort to make it seem that he is involved somehow with the attacks on Lady Leveva. I’m pretty sure he is behind them anyway, mostly because he is seen as an incompetent Astrologian and probably feels that his luxury life is threatened.

All in all the quests aren’t too hard and I do like what Square Enix has done with the questline. The representations of the different cards you use (which correspond to the six gates in the heavens) are all very pretty and I’m quite curious how things will go from here. Next quest is only on level 45 though, so I still have a few levels to go (sitting on 41 right now).

Valentine oh Valentine
Unfortunately I’m sad and single and didn’t get to celebrate Valentine’s day. I spent most of the day just doing chores around the house and gaming a bit. Although I feel like the day is very commercialized, it just reminds me that I’ve been single again for a while, and I do miss someone to share my life with. Although I’m not really actively searching for a partner… I just mostly miss the cuddles right now.
I succesfully completed the Valentione event in FFXIV on both my Moogle and Cactuar characters atleast, so that’s a thing. I found the rewards to be a bit lackluster this year. Not counting the furniture you need to buy it’s only two types of earrings and a hat.

For now though I have a really busy week to look ahead to at work, so I need to get my sleep schedule down to not feel like a zombie. I hope I can get some game time in, but I foresee atleast one day where I’ll just be too tired to do anything… Let’s hope it won’t disturb my daily routines too much.

As I logged onto World of Warcraft today, I was poked by someone who I had played with in Cataclysm. This particular Resto Druid was once one of our core members, but he quit WoW to focus on his girlfriend and his studies on university and I haven’t really seen him back online, untill about two to three months ago.
He wanted to raid with us, but unfortunately he came in around the time we cleared Heroic Archimonde and basically stopped raiding… And let the guild die altogether. Everytime I would log onto my account for my Garrison stuff I would see him online and would feel guilty about him coming back to a dead guild. There was not much I could do about it though, I have tried to keep this particular guild alive for a very long time by myself and can just not invest more time in it without completely burning myself out.

So anyway, our Druid poked me and told me he was thinking about leaving the guild to join another guild which was made up of his IRL friends. I was kind of surprised he had waited that long, but as he explained he felt like he wanted to share it with me and our guildmaster before actually departing. He thanked us for the fun times in Cataclysm and we exchanged Battle.net ID’s before wishing him the best in his new guild and him departing.
It has been a very long time since I saw someone actually be so polite and nice when leaving the guild. Most people nowadays leave their guilds or clans without a word at all, or leave bitter with a post of resentment. To have someone be friendly and thankful for the fun times the guild has brought him honestly feels like a breath of fresh air. I know not everyone in the World of Warcraft community is toxic, and that there are enough decent players out there. But to finally experience one of them again has been amazing and I’m truly sorry I couldn’t provide him with a better experience in the guild than I had done.

In turn this has gotten me thinking about my own behaviours in MMO’s. In World of Warcraft, and FFXIV for that matter, I’ve become such a veteran that running any dungeon has become routine. I only say hi at the start and then continue to run the dungeon in silence untill the end. I don’t really get involved with community/server driven stuff anymore and I don’t really organize much myself. This is partly because I don’t have the time to do it but I guess the biggest reason is that I feel I don’t really have anything to offer. In WoW the content lull is kind of big, and seeing as I main DPS again it’s very hard to find/make groups for stuff, especially if your friends aren’t around anymore. In FFXIV all of my high level/max level classes are DPS. I haven’t really pushed myself to level a tank or a healer and I really want to, so I’ve been steadily leveling my Astrologian so that I may take part in stuff easier and quicker. On Cactuar I have decided to level my Warrior so I can provide my Free Company there (Greysky Armada) with someone who can tank content for them, but also so that it may be easier to organize stuff on my own.
I’m also trying to be more chatty ingame. I notice that if I’m focused I barely talk and sometimes feel like I’m in an FC just for being in an FC. I know that FFXIV has it’s content lull aswell and people are a bit bored by it, but socializing can be done anytime, with or without content and I want to try my best to do this more and better.

So instead of hoping to be more active online, I hope to be more engaged online, be more social and make stuff happen more. That’s eventually what MMO’s are about no?

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I spent a big part of my day roaming around Amsterdam, picking up various things from various stores after visiting my uncle. My main goal today was to get help with my taxes.. Which was impossible since the program I need isn’t able for download untill March 1st. So my uncle showed how everything works using the old program and now I should be ready to do my own taxes. If all goes well I get quite a sum back from the government, which will go nicely towards being able to buy my own place to live.
Once I left my uncle’s place, the first station on my journey was Game Mania (big Dutch gamestore) because I needed to pick up a Mew for my Pokémon game and I had pre-ordered a special Disney Infinity figurine: Yoda with a light up lightsaber! There will be a Disney Infinity themed post coming soon where I will show off my light-up goodies. All I can say for now is that it looks seriously cool and I’m very happy with my purchase.

I’m also super excited to get my Mew. It’s one of those Pokémon you can only obtain through special events and seeing as it’s Pokémon’s 20th anniversary they distribute at lot of legendary Pokémon this year. This particular one I had to pick up at the shop with a code. Unfortunately it’s only one code per 3DS so I could only get Mew for one of my games for now. Luckily I have 2 3DS’es so when I go to pick up my other figurine around the 20th I will most likely bring my other 3DS so I can get the Mew for Pokémon X aswell as having it on my Alpha Sapphire game right now.

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Beauty Secrets
Next to being a gamer, I’m also a very girly girl. I like make-up, even though I don’t use it that much, and am especially a big fan of lipsticks and lipbalms. Having chronically chapped lips since a very young age, I always carry some sort of lipbalm around with me, usually a clear one, to keep my lips moisturized throughout the year.
You need to understand that my lips get so chapped that they frequently end up bleeding throughout the winter and that there’s constantly big pieces of chapped skin showing, making it near impossible for me to wear regular lipsticks if I don’t take care of my lips at all.
Luckily for me Maybelline has a line called “Baby Lips” that is a lipbalm and lipstick in one. Some colours are brighter than others and currently I only have the three variants you see above, of which two are pink and one is coral. They do wonders for my lips and make me feel like I can actually wear lipstick to work, without having dried out and chapped lips after. After trying a lot (and I mean a lot) of different lip balms, I can really say I’m in love with this particular brand. I bought my first one in Norway (the white one in the picture) and picked up the two pink ones today because they were on sale. I am planning to go back and pick up more colours now that they are still on sale, since they are €3-4 a piece normally (it’s 50% off now).

So any ladies (and gentlemen, they have clear lipbalms too!) that have issues with chapped lips.. This is the product for you. I almost feel like a commercial, but I feel so much better when I don’t have to worry about my skin, whether it’s on my face, my hands or my lips, that I really feel like this is one of the products in my life that deserves some recognition.
I really think a healthy mind in a healthy body is the best way to live your life, and taking care of how you look and being comfortable with how you look is a big part of this. I might do a few more articles on stuff I use from day to day for myself to make me feel healthier and better. Because a happy gamer is a good gamer!

Work has been terribly busy this last week. I’ve wanted to blog a bit sooner, but after I got home I was just too tired to do anything but either mindless gaming or heading to bed. We’ve been really overwhelmed with stuff to do and ever since we had a teamday on Friday there has been some friction between colleagues.
I won’t go into details but there’s one woman who I just don’t get along with and tensions rose quite high yesterday… That I have never been so relieved to have  the day off today. I really have issues working with her, especially on days where it is extremely busy and yesterday was more or less a culmination of well, everything.

Thyrus Zenith

Today though has been a really nice day so far. I’ve gone back and forth to the dentist, did some groceries with my dad and then proceeded to plant my ass infont of my PC (after starting a laundry) figuring out what I want to do first.  The only real downside is that I feel extremely cold. The weather has been odd here over the past weeks, Dutch climate sucks, so I’ve been cold often and today is one of those days. So I’m wrapped up in a big vest, comfy pants and a blanket. I feel like a burrito… But at least I’m sort of warm.

On the gaming front it has been uneventful the past few days. I’ve mostly been logging into FFXIV to do my roulettes and get my beast tribe dailies done, all working towards advancing my Dragoon relic. I’ve been partying up with a friend of mine a lot and we had a few good laughs while tackling the dungeons together.
Levelling up classes has gone by  mostly unnoticed. My Astrologian dinged 40 yesterday and my Bard dinged 57 today, so I’m slowly but steadily working towards my Gaming Goals for FFXIV. I also managed to grab my White Mage 2.0 Relic (Thyrus) so I only have three of those left to do.
For the rest I have decided to cancel my WoW subscription for a while. I’ve only been logging in to do some Garrison missions every day and then log back out again… It’s not really something worth paying money for. So my sub will end the first of March and I don’t think I’ll renew it untill I know what the release date for Legion is. I hope Blizzard can push it out sooner, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t see the new expansion untill September.

With me dropping WoW, I hope to have more time for my other games, mostly Heroes of the Storm, but also a lot of the single-player games I have lying around that I still want to finish. I’ve really gotten back into Pokémon X again and I’m picking up a special anniversary Mew tomorrow for both my Pokémon X and Alpha Sapphire, so I’m really happy about that.  I just hope I can stick to the game for once and actually play through it properly… Instead of giving up somewhere past the second gym.

No picture today, because there is no real “progress” to show.
Which is weird, because I feel like I’m losing weight, and my colleagues are commenting on me losing weight… But my scale still shows 70 kg. So either my scale is broken? Or I’m not losing weight at all.

I have been keeping my calories in check and have had a few days where I went over my budget. But nothing serious enough to nullify all the days I have been able to stick to my diet, so I’m not really sure why I’m not seeing any improvement. I was losing 1kg per month so far and it seemed to have stalled a bit. I guess one of the reasons is that I still haven’t been able to motivate myself to go to the gym regularly.  I had an excuse for one week since I had to sit with my foot up, but for the rest of the time I don’t really have an excuse other than “I’m dumb and lazy”.
Which causes me to kind of get into this spiral of feeling tired because I don’t do anything but if I don’t do anyting I feel tired. It’s hard to break out of and I’m really trying my best, but I feel like I’m stalling and I’m not sure how to get out of it.

After a crazy week last week, I’m trying to settle down in my normal work routine. I don’t have that much IRL appointments coming up so I can start putting some more time into games again.
I am hitting a wall in the sense that first off I really need to unlearn the habit  of lying on bed after dinner. I often fall asleep for an hour or two, causing me to wake up groggy and deciding to either go to bed completely at a very early hour or it makes me awake for the rest of the night which causes me to have issues falling asleep later on. I also feel like I’m wasting my evenings doing this and I have so much to do in so many games that I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting even a minute of my time.

Yoshimitsu Zenith

Last weekend I’ve been mostly consumed with playing FFXIV. I pushed through my Ninja 2.0 relic quests and obtained the Yoshimitsu Zenith in about two hours of work. Immediatly after I picked up the White Mage quest for Thyrus, which I plan to complete today. It’s really not that much work to do and it gives me a sense of completion, so I’m happily ploughing away at the quests again. It also helps there’s an achievement for getting all the relics done, and seeing as I’m a completionist… It’s right up my alley.

Next to doing the old relics I’ve been doing some work on the new relics too. I’ve tried my best to do my beast tribe dailies every day, which makes me able to obtain a few more of the items I need today. I tend to skip FATE dailies though because either they aren’t up or people do them so fast I can’t even participate to get the item I need. The “spare” quests this leaves me with I’m using to level to the last rank I need with the Ixali… Which in turn benefits my crafter levelling. It’s a nice routine that I’m easily able to keep up after work. Doing all the beast tribe dailies takes me about 1-1.5 hours, it’s relaxing and rewarding and it doesn’t involve me having to wait in queues for god knows how long.

Valentione is Here!
Events Everywhere

It’s that time of year when most games turn their attention to Valentine’s day, and the Valentione Event has come around on Eorzea again aswell. I don’t remember previous years, but this year requires you to party up with someone to complete the quests, which is both fun and mildly frustrating. On Moogle I have a friend I can party up with to do the quests, on Cactuar however not so much… And I want to complete the event on both my characters. I could probably make a Party Finder party for it and complete it that way, but I’ll see what I do over the course of today or maybe the weekend.
I decided that the best times for me to do these events, or anything not daily related, on any of my games is during the days I have off. Then I don’t have to rush stuff and can focus on one thing at a time without feeling so tired. I hope to atleast finish the Valentione event on Moogle today, as I do like the rewards that are obtainable.

On another Isle in MMO land, Blizzard has released the Lunar event for Heroes of the Storm this year. It comes with being able to obtain a special ingame portrait and a 50% chance to spawn an Elder Monkey every game, that drops an envelope with 100 gold if you kill it. It’s a nice little way to get an extra 100 gold every day and I’m always a sucker for obtaining new portraits, so I’m definately partaking in the event this year.  Coinciding with the Lunar Festival, Blizzard has introduced a new hero: Li Ming the Wizard from Diablo 3. She came with an awesome skin/mount bundle… And I caved and bought it.

Li Ming the Star Princess

I tried her out a bit last night and my god is she fun to play. Her gameplay reminds me a bit of Lux in League of Legends. She has a talent that makes it so that one of her damaging spells “marks” people for extra damage. Like Lux’ passive. And would you look at the amazing skin? I literally get to play as Sailor moon. I love it so damn much and she’s so much fun to play that I see myself spending more time in Heroes of the Storm than I have been spending for a long time.

World of Warcraft will swing around with their usual Lunar and Valentine’s event. I don’t think they added anything or much new to these, so not going to discuss that in detail. What I do however want to bring up quickly is the recent Hearthstone changes that have been announced by Blizzard.
Personally I can see the pro’s and con’s of Standard Mode. For someone like me, who has been playing catch-up since last year, it’s nice to be able to “skip” the old adventures now. I don’t have any of the OP cards like Dr. Boom anyway so I really don’t care that much that they are leaving them out. On the other hand I can empathize with the people who feel like they are pulled out of their niche decks and that they will become impossible to play, even in Wild Mode. Assuming Blizzard will no longer balance the old cards with the new, it feels like a lot of people will have invalidated collections which they may have paid a lot of money for. And it sucks for them. I guess we’ll see how it works out when it actually goes live. For now I’m still truding through the Adventures, purely for completionist purposes.