sandrian

BfA: Almost There

Another day and another BfA themed post. I want to say I’m sorry but I’m not. I’m spending all my free time playing through the expansion and I’m getting close to some important steps.

My first “almost there” is Mining. I’m currently sitting around 137 Kul Tiran skill. I’m enjoying the fact that I get quests from my trainer instead of from random drops from nodes. This means I already have a ton of things at the two star level. I probably will get to max level Mining tomorrow as I finish up Tiragarde Sound. Which brings me to the second “almost there”. I’ve been running around Tirasgarde Sound for the past two evening and bar some sidequests I only have two main quest lines left for the zone achievement. I’ve also worked my way through atleast half of the rare encounters throughout the zone and earned the exploration achievement, so there’s that. I’m kind of curious to see how things will tie together in the end. I know who the big baddie is for this zone, it wasn’t that much of a surprise, but I’m curious to see how we’ll unmask her.
Also Flynn (who is clearly taken from Cpt. Jack Sparrow) is hilarious. Plus I got to drink milk from a skull mug, as you can see on this screenshot in the upper right corner.

The last “almost there” is me being halfway to level 119. I’m kind of expecting to be 119 as I finish up Tiragarde Sound which means I’ll ding 120 fairly early into Stormsong Valley. Seeing as I’m not really in a rush to gear and start doing tons of dungeons I’ll probably opt to finish off Stormsong Valley before I dive into the amazing world that is endgame.

On the first character I level through an expansion I try to do every available quest and I don’t think this time will be different. I love sucking in all the lore and quirky sidequests that Blizzard offers us. I also notice that I’m wandering off and exploring much more stuff than I did in Legion. It’s how I’ve been killing all the rares and finding a lot of treasure chests and hidden sidequests. Nothing punishes me for just going where I want to go while also completing all the main storylines. Although with unlocking my last foothold in Zandalar (the one in Nazmir) I tried to shy away from exploring and just getting my quest objectives done because man, that zone is hella creepy. Drustvar was “horror tropes witch covens” creepy but I enjoyed that. Nazmir is “cannibals in a swamp” creepy and I’m not digging the vibe at all. Which will be interesting when I level up a Horde character through that zone… I can already imagine the nightmares.

BfA: Day Two

A part of me wants to go to bed and a part of me feels like I should atleast write a short blog about Bfa day two. Yesterday I’ve done all of Drustvar in one day and I wondered how long it would take me to finish up Tiragarde Sound. It seems to be an overall smaller zone with less quests and less space to cover. However I’ve already discovered tons of sidequests and finished off a few of the amazing mainquests the zone has to offer. All in all I think Drustvar still has the edge when it comes to storytelling and atmosphere but Tiragarde introduces us to many unique characters aswell. We also get a taste of the Old Gods influence and I got to perform in a jousting show on a horse.

The best part though was this adorable little hunting dog that was bringing me the birds I shot out of the sky during one of many sidequests Tiragarde has. I imagine it’s sort of modeled after a Jack Russel Terrier although I’m not quite sure. He was kind of difficult to get a good screenshot off, especially because it was rather dark in game when I did these quests but the one above should give you a decent indication.

The darkness thing is something that caught me a bit off guard aswell. I don’t think any of the zones get as dark as the ones in Kul Tiras have been getting. I think Blizzard may have amped up the weather or, and that’s more likely, I’m noticing it more now that we are running about in zones that are more open and feel more natural than the Legion ones.

All in all I’m still having a blast and I’m starting to find my way through Boralus as city aswell. I’ve been completing a few Mining quests, I’m really happy these come from the trainer now instead of randomly dropping from nodes, and I’ve been pouring all the ore I’ve been mining into leveling up my Engineering aswell. Although I’m only on 25 skill level at the moment. There’s so many little details that I could go on and on about but honestly it comes down to the fact that Blizzard once again made an amazing zone with beautiful landscapes and good lore. Even the War Campaign makes sense next to the questing in Kul Tiras. I’ve established two camps over at Zandalar right now and I’ve unlocked my Island expeditions. They seem like mini scenarios where you race the opposing factions to get to 500 Azerite per island first. Unfortunately I’ve not really gotten the time to figure that out yet but I will. For now I’m going to focus on finishing off Tiragarde and moving on to Stormsong Valley the next few days and hopefully ding 120 around Friday evening.

BfA launch: Obliterating Drustvar

Today was the day Battle for Azeroth launched. I tried getting into the server around midnight when it launched for us EU folk but I couldn’t. I gave up around 00.30 and just went to bed. I got up around 8, encountered more server issues and finally managed to get started around 9 in the morning. In theory I was planning to roll my Paladin. But with all the server issues going on I decided to play my Rogue instead seeing as that server seemed to be much more stable. I’ve not regretted my choice one bit.

As starting zone I chose Drustvar. And boy was I in for a treat. I don’t want to spoil too much but the whole atmosphere of the zone was amazing and I’ve tried to discover every nook and cranny. I managed to track down and kill every rare encounter in the zone, earning me an achievement. I’ve done all the available quests and I’ve explored the entire zone. With a dungeon at the end I completed the questline as a whole and can honestly say I really enjoyed my first day of BfA play!

For some reason there’s empty pairs of boots scattered about a certain subzone…

Even though we had the usual launch shenanigans I managed to play for the biggest part of the day and I log off being level 115 on my Rogue. I’m not really sure how everything works yet. I’m leveling up my Heart of Azeroth necklace and I’m picking traits in my Azerite armor. So far it looks like you want to have multiple pieces of one slot so you can itemize them according to all your specializations and I’m sure PvP itemizes differently than PvE. I’m also sure there will be guides soon about which Azerite armour piece gives the best traits and what to look for and pick. I’m currently rocking a chest or headpiece (I don’t remember which one) that gives me a haste boost when I use Adrenaline Rush on my Rogue and it’s amazing. I’m really digging playing the Outlaw specialization right now as it proves to be nice for leveling but also decent for dungeons. Blade Flurry + Killing Spree is definitely somewhat overpowered on packs right now.

My next zone will be Tirisgarde Sound. Seeing as I took all day just to get through Drustvar I expect not to be done with this subzone in one measly evening. I do think I will ding 120 before being done with all the zones, but the same was true for Legion. It won’t stop me finishing it all off and tackling as much content as I can while doing so. I hope to make it to level 120 around the weekend, because we all know the REAL game starts at max level…

Goodbye Legion

As we’re one hour away from BfA launch I’m reliving the hype from many other expansion launches. I’ve only pulled an all-nighter for one so far (Wrath of the Lich King) but I’ve tried to be around for the midnight launch for most of them. Some where smooth. Others not so much. I’m not going into this one with high hopes, mostly because even if you get through you’ll be fighting so many people over quest mobs it may actually be impossible to get going for quite a while. Instead I opted to take tomorrow off and use that to get some leveling done. I know some of my friends are going to go all night and I say good luck to them. Me, I’m going take it easy, explore, do quests and enjoy the ride. As usual.

Did I get everything done I wanted from Legion? Not by a long shot. I got my 36 Mage Towers done and all my Class Hall mounts but I still miss a lot of hidden appearances for my Artifact weapons. I’ve never properly finished the Chromie scenario. I’ve not taken part in the riddle mounts. I’ve not raided Tomb of Sargeras or Antorus properly and I never got my desired Mythic +15 done. I’m not that fussed though. I can go back for mounts and weapon skins. Pets and toys. Achievements that don’t go away. There’s always content to do and content to go back to with so many expansions.

So right now I’m saying goodbye to Legion and hello to Battle for Azeroth. May your content bring me joy. I’ll see you all on the other side!

Swinging High

As I sit down to write this post I’m quite exhausted after an eventful weekend so if it turns into a bit of a ramble please bare with me. I spent most of Saturday shopping for new clothes and not playing games. I spent today hanging out with family on a rather special trip that we spontaneously planned a few weeks ago.

The IJ in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam right across the Central Station there’s a building that used to belong to the company “Shell”. I’m sure a part of the building is still used as office but they’ve also commercialised it where you are able to buy tickets to go to the top of the building and have an amazing view of Amsterdam and surrounding areas. I could even see parts of my own hometown up there, that’s how clear it was and how fare you could see. It was amazing enough to go up there but they also had an experience called “Over the Edge” where you would be strapped into a mechanical swing and swing over the edge of the building whilst enjoying a spectacular view. Ofcourse it was way overpriced and the whole swinging experience was only one minute long it was still a blast and I’m happy that I went.

On the Swing

And because I honestly don’t really know what to write about anymore I’ll leave you guys with a few more pics of Amsterdam as seen from high up 🙂

Blaugust Topic: Getting to know me!

In the spirit of Blaugust’s “Getting to know me” week I guess I could write another more personal post. I talk about personal stuff on this blog from time to time and it always feels a bit weird to tell your “life story” as it were to complete strangers online.

I mentioned earlier that I got my first gaming console, a Sega Genesis, when I was around the age of 6 and my first handheld around the age of 9. I never really was a big gamer growing up though. I was the outdoors girl that was always playing outside with my childhood best friend and her little brother. We grew up in an amazing small urban area with lots of green and lots of places to hang out as kids. We had trees and structures we could climb. There were parks with playgrounds nearby and we had mothers who didn’t work fulltime and thus could take us to indoor playgrounds or the forest to play. It was mostly a carefree time and the only time I really played my games was during the evenings when I couldn’t go out to play or when it was really really bad weather outside. 
At some point my bestie got a Playstation one and we would alternate between my and her house when it was bad weather and just play whatever console (or handheld) was available to us.

Around the end of elementary school I got my own computer and I slowly got into PC gaming as result. My very own computer was really a hand-me-down from my dad but I could play games on it that I loved so I was happy. Back then I really enjoyed the A2-Racer and Redcat games, both published by Davilex, a Dutch gaming studio. Google the titles and be amazed!
After that I slowly rolled into Rollercoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon and then ultimately the Sims. I was blissfully unaware of online games and I didn’t spend that much time playing games at all. I remember getting myself a Playstation 2 near the end of it’s cycle and a Nintendo DS a bit before that. Even though my DS saw a lot of game time, with Pokémon Black taking the cake with most hours played, my Playstation 2 never saw the love it deserved. I still have it together with a pile of games that I always inteded to play but alas. Maybe somewhere in the future I’ll find the time for it.

When I was around 17-18 I was introduced to World of Warcraft by my then boyfriend. I found it a fascinating game. It looked amazing, the world was huge, I could make and customize my own character and I was hooked on it from the first minute. I’m still hooked on it today. WoW has been the high and lowlight of my life. I’ve made friends through that game, even boyfriends, and lost people aswell. As I grew older I kept upgrading atleast my handheld. I still own multiple 3DS today (and 2DS). I also jumped on the Playstation 4 wagon fairly early on and I have gotten some decent gameplay out of that. I picked up a WiiU two years ago and have picked up a Switch last year.
 
I only now realize that I’ve put myself in a bit of a pickle where I just own too many consoles and too many games to really be able to enjoy them. The simple times where I only owned one thing are gone and making decisions on what to play become harder every day. This also has led me to try out multiple MMO’s over the years. Guild Wars 2, Wildstar, SWToR, the Secret World and FFXIV all passed the revue. Only the latter stuck. And even now I find it hard to maintain my presence in both WoW and FFXIV even though if I plan it right I should be easily able to play both. And that’s not even factoring all my single player games in. It’s probably a struggle that will never end for me and I hope that I someday find out how to handle my time better than I do now. And if I don’t well.. We’ll see.

Mechanical Keyboard: Got!

Today has been a bit of an odd day. It started off with my bra breaking as I was riding my bike towards the station. It’s seriously one of the most annoying things to have happen to you as woman and because I didn’t want to turn around I knew I had to head into town during my lunch break to buy a new one. I finally found a very well fitting bra when doing this though so I guess in a way it’s a win.
However after having bought said bra I realised I left my vest at the store and, not wanting to go back and pick it up, I went into town once more after work to buy a new one because I felt too embarrased to go back to the bra shop and ask if they still had it (this was about 4-5 hours later mind you). Luckily for me I tend to not spend too much money on clothing and this particular vest was an oldie that needed replacement anyway so I’m not too shaken up about losing it.

I planned to eat a bite of dinner and then take the first train home but those plans were ruined aswell with my train not going so I was stuck around town for another half hour before the next train would go. Because most shops had already closed up at this point I found myself wandering into the MediaMarkt (which is a big electronics chain here in the Netherlands/Europe) to spend some time looking at headsets, games and keyboards. Now I had been thinking of getting myself a mechanical keyboard for a while but I found the prices to just be too ridiculous. Paying 150€ for a keyboard? No way. However apparently Logitech has released a budget model Mechanical Keyboard that came down to about €97, which is maybe 20 more than I paid for my own keyboard.
After doubting a bit I decided to pick it up and take it home with me. It’s the best purchase I’ve done in a while. The keys are super responsive and I don’t have to press down very hard to get the keys to register. It’s lighter on my hands and I feel like I already make less typos because the keys simply register faster. It’s also very quiet, it doesn’t make more sound than a normal keyboard, and very sturdy since the body is made of aluminum. This also gives it a really clean, sleek look that I absolutely adore. 

It also comes just in time for the launch of BfA. I can’t wait to play my Rogue or Paladin on this baby!

Simpler Times

Every now and then I get into this weird mood where I feel like I own too much crap and wish I hadn’t bought half the things I own today. Most of this is related to my consoles/games/collectibles. I always feel like I’m buying stuff that I don’t use/play and I tend to buy things on impulse, thus making me accumulate a bit of a collection of things.

Today I’ve been having one of these moods and it’s even made worse by the nagging feeling that things used to be “simpler”. You see when I was a kid I wasn’t heavily spoiled. I couldn’t ask my parents for everything and there were a lot of things that I wanted but never owned. I’m fine with that. It taught me how to appreciate the things that I did have and there wasn’t a toy that I got that did not see a certain amount of playtime.
The same went for my games. When I was 6 years old I remember my dad getting me my first console. It was a Sega Genesis, my dad found the games to look prettier on that compared to the Nintendo systems, and it came with the original Sonic game. The console was in the living room and even though it was connected to my own little TV I was monitored and didn’t spend too much time gaming on it. I didn’t know it at the time but my dad frequently bought me games for the console that would then mysteriously appear, netting me a total of about 20 games in the end. And I played all of them to some degree. Most of them were Disney games but I also own a few sports games, a Jurassic Park game and ofcourse the various Sonic games that were available at the time.

A few years later I got my very own dark blue Gameboy Pocket. We travelled a lot for birthdays and it gave me something to do during the car rides that took up over an hour. When we visited my dad’s side of the family it also gave me something to do over there because there were no kids my age to play with. So I had my Gameboy and the games they gave me for Christmas and my Birthday and I was happy. I played all the games, finished most of them, and never felt like I wanted or needed more.

I still have my old console and my old Gameboy and every now and then I turn them on for the nostalgia. The games may not look as good as I thought they did and some cartridges require a few good blows before they work. But they remind me of a simpler time when I was a kid who only had what she was given and who was happy to have just that. And right now I would give up everything I own just to recapture that feeling again. Sitting with my Gameboy in the back of my parents’ car, glued to a game and hoping we weren’t there yet so I could keep playing…

I can’t roll Horde

A few months ago I decided I was going to roll Horde for Battle for Azeroth. Most of my friends play there. My Alliance guid is kind of dried up and I dislike raiding with them. I had this plan firmly set in my mind. Even if I knew that the Horde would burn Teldrassil, I didn’t care.

Blizzard has been dripping us more and more lore over the past few weeks. We got our Warbringers shorts, we got our quests and scenario’s. I’ve read Before the Storm and all the comics leading up to this.
Today Blizzard released the novella’s that came with the Collector’s Edition of BfA to the general public. Me, as Alliance diehard, decided to read the Alliance story first. I knew it would describe the events as they were happening ingame. I thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong.

By the end of the novella I was crying. Crying because the story is just so sad and crying for all the fictional characters who suffered. I didn’t think I would be this sappy yet here I am. I always thought that I could look past the lore and past the stories and everything and just play the game on the character I want to. For the first time in what seems like forever though I just can’t bring myself to look past things anymore.

I know it’s a fictional world. And I know that I shouldn’t care but I do. And so I decided today that I am not rolling Horde in BfA… yet. I may be able to do it later, when the story has advanced a bit more, but for now I’m staying with my Alliance roots and will take a Night Elf to the new world first. I’m still debating which one it will be, my Warrior or my Rogue, but my heart bleeds blue and I will march into Battle of Azeroth for the Alliance.

When Gaming is Unhealthy

Today I took of my mother’s wedding ring. I’ve had this ring on my left middle finger for years. I’ve never taken it off. Yet today I have. Because today I realized that if I don’t take it off now, they may have to cut it off my finger in a few years if I keep going the way I do.

I’ve never been an extremely skinny person. Well maybe as a kid. I used to be a gymnast and would train two times a week followed by competitions on the weekends. I also swam and played outside a lot during those days. I was skinny then. Healthy, happy and pretty strong for a girl my age. 
When I hit puberty I started getting curves. I had, and still have, above average breasts. I suddenly got hips and I started to get a bit chubby. However with our mandatory gym classes and me dancing two times a week you didn’t really notice. During high school I’ve never once felt fat. I’ve never once felt the need to lose weight or to look at myself in the mirror and feel like my clothes didn’t fit me right. I was normal, or as normal as you could expect any 16 year old to be. I also didn’t game.

When I started University I also started to gain weight. I spent a lot of my time gaming and quit sports alltogether. I managed to get back on track around the end of my education when I was working for the Dutch National mail. Especially the two months of summer where I would be delivering mail 5 days a week. I walked 3 hours a day then, atleast, and was at a healthy weight which made me happy. I didn’t game as much then and was much more focused on my social life and being healthy.

Right now however I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. So heavy infact that it’s starting to give me issues. I have a lot of backpains. I’ve developed asthma. My legs, and calves in particular, hurt a lot when I have to walk for an extended amount of time. My feet have gotten wider and I have painful spots on my toes that I’ve never had before. All in all I am in the worst shape of my life and I have no idea where to start breaking this circle. A large part of it comes down to me not getting enough movement in during the day. Especially on the weekends where I like to sit and game a lot I notice that I should be up and about instead. It’s hard and it’s affecting my health. I’ve always noticed a correlation that I become unhealthy when I spend more time on games. Games are a way for me to escape the harsh reality that I should not sit on my ass all day and evening and instead do something more healthy with my time. It’s hard to motivate yourself though, especially when just sitting down and gaming is so easy.

I’m trying to take more breaks from my games. I try to spend more time on the crosstrainer we have in the attic. I try to spend my lunch breaks walking in town so that I get a bit of movement in. I don’t really live in a very wooded area or an area where you want to go outside and walk. Yet I think I’ll have to find some way to enjoy myself outside and away from games more. Before they do actually have to cut off jewellry…