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