sandrian

Gaming Goals: April 2019

March has come and gone and April has started a week ago. So of course it’s time for another gaming goals post!
April is actually going to be a rather weird month for me since it’s the month of me finally moving out on my own. This means that a lot of my time will be spent on the moving from one house to the other, whilst also still having to go to work. I expect to get less game time in this month than I normally would and this is also the final bit of time I will be spending on WoW for the time being.

Before I kick off April though let’s look back at the goals I set for myself in March and how I’ve done in that department.

  • WoW: Level my Nightborne to 120 (currently 114) and catch up to current content
  • WoW: Level my Void Elf to 110 (currently 47) and unlock Heritage Armour
  • WoW: Attempt to get the Onyxia mount, the only mount I’m missing for my achievement.
  • FFXIV: Complete Little Ladies Day on both my characters
  • FFXIV: Level Alchemist and Leatherworker to level 30 and complete their job quests
  • FFXIV: Level Carpenter to 50 and complete all job quests
  • FFXIV: Gear up WHM and catch up to current content
  • PS4/Switch/3DS: Complete a game of choice
  • Steam: Play atleast one game from my library

First off WoW. I managed to get my Mage to 120 and am currently sitting on ilvl 350+. I’ve finished off the War Campaigns on both Alliance and Horde side and apart from a few missed quests here and there I can confidently say that my Mage is up to speed. Of course I’m not done with gearing up yet but I’m on the brink of being able to do the latest raid in LFR mode and honestly that’s all I’m after. Unfortunately I didn’t get as much time in on my Hunter as I would’ve liked. I started up at level 47 and ended it on 65 this month. I really want to push her to 110 though so I will spend a bit less time on the Mage and a bit more time on the Hunter the coming few weeks. As for the Onyxia goal, I literally got bored after two days of grinding for the mount on 5 different characters and then let it fall to the wayside. I may pick it back up at some point but not now.

In FFXIV I’ve made a ton of progress. Carpenter is 50. I finished off the MSQ for this expansion on my White Mage. I leveled all my crafters to level 30+ and I even got in a few levels on my Fisher. I also did Little Ladies day so all in all a succesful month there.
Other than that I’ve not really played much outside of my MMO’s. This will probably change with my move since I won’t have access to my PC but I will have access to my consoles. Maybe I can finally work on some of my backlog then!

Now as I mentioned before I predict I won’t have too much time to game in April. Yet I do want to set a few goals for myself that should be obtainable in WoW and FFXIV. So here’s the list of gaming goals for April!

  • WoW: Level my Void Elf to 110 (currently 65) and unlock Heritage Armour
  • FFXIV: Level Carpenter to 70 and Goldsmith to 50
  • FFXIV: Finish off the Hildibrand questline and the Beast Tribes questlines.
  • PS4/Switch/3DS: Complete a game of choice

So yeah. That’s the only concrete goals I want to work towards. I’m keeping it light but I do want some progress to happen. I’m guessing I’ll be spending more time in FFXIV than in WoW but all in all this should be doable.

Yoshi’s Crafted World: First impressions

There’s a handful franchises of Nintendo that I really enjoy. Mario is the prime one followed closely by Kirby. However since Yoshi’s Woolly World I have to add the Yoshi franchise to the list aswell. In light of this information it should come as no surprise that I picked up Yoshi’s Crafted World aswell when it came out this week. Unfortunately the Switch screenshots aren’t always that good so my apologies for the one heading this post, I just wanted to give an impression of how the game looked.Anyway I’ve played for a few hours now and wanted to give my first impressions of this game and the things I have discovered so far. I am giving a fair warning now, I am going into some detailed things that I’ve found over the first 2-3 hours of playtime so if you want to stay spoilerfree turn away now!

“Story”
The story like in the previous Yoshi entries is a simple one. The Yoshi’s live happily on their island with the Sundream Stone who makes all their dreams come true. Ofcourse Kamek and Baby Bowser caught wind of this and try to steal the sun stone, breaking it in the process and scattering all the Dreamstones across multiple worlds. You are tasked to find the stones and make the Sundream Stone whole again. Throughout the game you are being thwarted by Kamek and Baby Bowser but you also meet new friends and come across some familiar ones!
All in all it’s  a simple setup, nothing too fancy. It’s a very kid friendly story but that’s something I’ve come to expect from the Yoshi franchise thus far.

Gameplay and levels
The gameplay for this game is the standard Yoshi gameplay. You swallow enemies with B and create eggs with most of them which you can then aim and throw at almost anything in the world. Yoshi’s still flutter when you press A for jumping a bit longer and Yoshi has a ground pound. There’s nothing too fancy about the gameplay, I guess to keep it simple for the kids aswell.
Right at the start of the game you are asked if you want to play the game on “Easy” or “Classic” mode. From what I’ve seen Easy mode doubles the amount of eggs you create when swallowing an enemy and it will let you know when a flower, one of the many collectibles in the game, is nearby. I’ve opted to play on Classic mode myself since the game is simple enough as is so I don’t need it to be even easier. You are free to chose the colour of your Yoshi, there’s 8 total, and you can switch colour any time. As seen on the above screenshot I’m currently playing with the purple variant but I’m thinking about switching to Orange or Lightblue next time I start up the game.

Collectability is a big thing in this game. The levels themselves aren’t hard and you can probably rush through them in two or three minutes but that’s not where this game shines. It shines in the collectibles and replayability of the levels themselves.
On your initial playthrough of a level there’s a few things to collect:

  • Flowers. Flowers are hidden throughout all the levels and it’s up to you to find them and obtain them. Some levels only contain five flowers but I’ve already had a level with ten aswell. Flowers are also the main currency needed to open up new sub zones within worlds, so if you lack them you need to go back to your previous levels and collect more of them if possible.
  • Hearts. Yoshi starts off with about half a heart bar. If you play the level right you end up with a full hearts bar which in turn awards you with a flower.
  • Red coins. Red coins, like flowers, are hidden throughout the level. There’s 20 to obtain each level and some of them can be really well hidden. If you obtain all 20 in a level it awards you with a flower.
  • Gold coins. Gold coins are scattered throughout the level and easy to obtain. When you meet a certain amount required per level you will be awarded with a flower. Next to collecting them for flowers Gold coins are the currency needed to obtain costumes.

Yoshi train costume

So far the collectibles have been quite standard. They’re all known from previous Yoshi franchises and shouldn’t surprise you in any way. However in Yoshi’s Crafted World there are myriads of ways to obtain collectibles and they’ve added a few more things to collect outside of the items I’ve already mentioned.

  • Costumes. Costumes are essentially “armour” that Yoshi can wear as you play through the levels with him. There’s three tiers of costumes, with the golden type being the most rare and awarding the most extra armour. Costumes are obtained from a gumball type machine at the end of each world that you need to feed Gold coins. It’s 100 Gold coins per costume and there’s ten costumes to get per sub zone. Luckily for us you’re not dependant on RNG, you can only get each costume once. You can switch between costumes freely and they are registered in your Scrapbook tab in the menu.
  • Crafts. Crafts are another collectible you can find in the levels, once you have initially played through them. You get assignments to find certain crafts within the levels and if you find (all of) them you get a flower for each turn in. They also register in your Scrapbook.
  • Poochy Pups/Flipside. Once you get a few levels into the game you run into an old friend. With this help an extra layer is added onto the levels: the Flipside. Basically it’s playing the original level in reverse. In the Flipside you are tasked to find Poochy pups and if you do that within a certain time limit you get extra rewards. Again the rewards here are flowers. Once you open up the Flipside of the levels you also get more tasks to find Crafts. The normal levels are then called “Front side”. As sidenote, it’s not possible to collect coins or flowers in the flipside of a level, only Poochy pups and Crafts.

Taking all of the above into consideration it makes the replayability of the levels high. Essentially you are sent back to a level multiple times to gather all the collectibles there are to gather. It’s not necessarily needed to complete the game but it adds an extra layer to the simplistic gameplay that is the Yoshi franchise. It also has you actually look at the levels in more detail than you normally would. Lots of things are hidden in the back (or fore) ground and especially Crafts are sometimes hard to spot. It helps you appreciate the amount of detail the developers have put into the game and it also “trains” your brain in a way because you are constantly looking for things.

Graphics and music
As I mentioned before the screenshots don’t really do it justice but the game is gorgeous and top notch as we’ve gotten used to from Nintendo. The colours are vibrant, the structures are pronounced. I can see how the Yoshi’s, who are made of felt, are in stark contrast to the cardboard world. There’s a lot of detail that has gone into each level so it’s a joy to watch and discover everything as you play through. Even the use of focus/blurring is done very well and makes for a natural flow as you move from the front to the back of a level and vice versa.
The music is cheery and simple like in most games. I like playing with the sounds and music on, it doesn’t grate on the ears so far. I’ve only played through four levels though so the music variety hasn’t been super big but so far I’m enjoying it. The sound effects do add this extra touch to the game that I think would be very bland otherwise. Hitting cardboard structures makes cardboard sounds, Yoshi itself sounds very cute and so far the enemy sounds have made sense aswell. It so far has not made me want to turn my sound off so that’s a big win.

Overall first impression
So far I’m quite happy with my purchase. Although the game is on the easy side there’s enough challenge in it to make the purchase worth while as fan of the franchise. The game is beautiful and vibrant and lifts your spirits as you play through it. The replayability of the levels is high due to the massive amount of collectibles that are present in the game. It’s the perfect game to relax to for an hour or two after work ór when you’re feeling a bit glum and need cheering up.
Is it innovative? Yes in some ways and no in others. Did Nintendo lift the franchise to a new level? Maybe, I think it’s on the same level as Yoshi’s Woolly World when it comes to visuals and gameplay even though they’ve put in some interesting gimmicks in this one and added even more reasons to replay levels.

Would I recommend this game? If you want a relaxing experience and if you think hunting for collectibles is more fun than challenging levels this is the game for you. I fear however that the game is “too easy” for the more veteran gamers who will be done with most of it in a very small timeframe. This is a game you don’t want to rush but that you want to enjoy and take your time on. For a Yoshi game it’s an excellent entry in the franchise and a day one/week one pick up for fans. If you’re on the fence about this game however I’d advise you to wait untill it eventually will be discounted and pick it up then.

Another level 120 reached

Darkshore black moon

Ding! Another level 120 done in World of Warcraft. This marks my third character hitting 120 and my first Allied race to max level. I took it really slowly leveling this character up, not spending that much time on it during the weekday evenings. However since it was the weekend and I had more time to play I figured I’d push my way to 120. It helped that an invasion spawned in Zuldazar which netted me half a level yesterday morning. From there it was finishing up the main Nazmir storyline and claiming the final outpost in Kul Tiras that pushed me over the edge to maximum level.
Ofcourse I immediatly hopped into Darkshore to experience that zone story from the Horde PoV, something I hadn’t done on my Paladin yet, and all in all I have to say it’s really disappointing compared what you get storywise as Alliance. I did get two nifty new toys though so there’s that.

Now the big “catch up to current content” road begins. I’m obviously still in rather shit gear having just dinged max level and everything so my priority right now is to try and get my itemlevel up as much as possible. There’s a million roads that I can take to do that though so I’m just going to go ahead and see what works best for me personally. I’ve opened up World Quests, I can do the Arathi Basin battleground, there’s dungeons to do, World Bosses to slay and entry level LFR to achieve. I’m not going to push myself very hard to get geared but I would like to just catch up to a reasonable itemlevel and maybe do some Mythic Dungeons or casual raiding when I have the time.

This also means that I’m turning my sights to my Void Elf Hunter and start pushing that up to level 110, purely so I can get the Heritage Armour. I’m not sure if I want to push that character further up though since I’m already noticing that I’m getting slightly burned out on the whole leveling thing. That’s probably caused by me playing my Mage a lot over the past week just to get her up to 120.

Over at the FFXIV front they’re dropping a new content patch tomorrow, which continues the main story scenario, the Hildibrand questline and a questline to unite the Beast Tribes of Stormblood. Since I’m a huge lore junkie I’m definitely going to spend my night in FFXIV to see what happens next in the main story atleast. I may even be able to squeeze in the Hildibrand quests aswell. This may also be the kick in the butt I need to gear up my White Mage properly so I can experience a few of the content things I haven’t done yet. I did spend some time leveling up Fisher over the weekend, who is now sitting just shy of level 48. Out of the three gatherers it’s by far the most obnoxious one to level so I’ll be happy to get it to 50 at least. I’m also slowly picking my way through some Ixali dailies again so I can get my Goldsmith leveled up, but I’m in no rush since the majority of my attention and focus here will be on “endgame” content for now.

All in all I have enough to do the coming week so I hope I can make some decent progress in both my MMOs.

A Divided Society

I logged onto my blog today to see I suddenly accumulated a ton of fews over the past two days. Apparently my post about me obtaining the Zodiac Zeta Dragoon weapon was referenced on Reddit and it’s kind of exploded my viewers numbers for two days. It’s a nice surprise to wake up to, considering the subject of the post that I’m actually going to write.

I’ve been walking around with the idea of this post since Wednesday after the results of the latest elections in the Netherlands. Waking up to the latest Final Fantasy XIV keynote and people’s reactions to it all over the internet has spurred me on even more to write down my thoughts on a subject that’s been becoming more and more apparent over the recent years: society is getting more divided and harsher. I find this a very worrisome trend and it fills me with a certain unease in regards to the future. Even though I tend to keep my political and societal views to myself and even though I want to keep this blog more focused on games I felt the need to write a political tinted post. Even if only to get the words out of my head and onto a screen.

I consider myself in the political center when it comes to politics. Dutch politics work a little different than the two party system that a lot of countries worldwide adopt, instead we have a fractured political landscape with 10+ political parties that are scattered from extreme left to extreme right on the political spectrum. I’m sure some of you may have heard of “Geert Wilders”, a well known right politician that is anti-islam or maybe the new rising star “Thierry Baudet” who is on the same side of the spectrum but uses a different angle to get people to vote for him. Especially this latter politician is described as the Dutch version of Trump and for now it seems he has the same “surprise success” factor that Trump had in the US elections a few years ago. On the other side of the spectrum we have the rising stars of the party of “GroenLinks” who identify as being rather extremely left and also very environmentally engaged. They have had their history of extreme left hiccups and, like the parties on the right side of the spectrum, it’s an ideology that I keep myself very far away from. I guess it’s a sign of times and a changing society that these more extreme parties were the winners in our elections on Wednesday. It outlines that our society is getting more harsh and more extreme. The gentle center road with compromises to either side seems to be walked less and less and instead people rally around extreme figures on either side. I don’t think our country has ever been divided this badly and I wonder if it’s a rift that we can somehow heal. Us Dutchies used to be known as being a sober bunch with a clear outlook on the world. We may be considered rude when we tell things how we see them but we are honest and compassionate. Right now though I don’t see these qualities at all anymore. Instead I see a society that is bitter and divided, angry about many things and rallying behind whoever words their woes the best. We don’t want to understand why our neighbour votes the complete opposite of ourselves anymore, instead we condemn eachother and widen the breach, damaging close relationships in the process.

I see the same thing happening in general when I look at online and especially gaming communities. The best example being the decision made by Square Enix to make gender locked races in the new FFXIV expansion. I myself find myself in a position where I wouldn’t have cared either way. I’m happy playing my Miqo’te so the chance of me rerolling to any new race were slim to begin with. A lot of people are enraged though and think this whole gender locking thing is ridiculous. This ofcourse spurs another group to tell them to “stop whining and accept it”. Once again I don’t see that much people voting their neutral opinion. Maybe because they think it’s no use or maybe it’s the people who usually keep their mouth shut and just enjoy/accept what’s coming their way. It still means that the overall tone of debate grows harsher and more people feel unhappy because they feel like they’ve been done an injustice. I feel this has been a long time coming. With the boom of the internet and the ability for people to express their opinons anonymously the overal tone of debate has gotten more toxic. We have gotten more vocal as society, we want to be able to express our opinons and be heard. Social media has made this possible and unfortunately this also means that you get a platform for opinions that people usually kept to themselves because of their content. All in all it’s making the internet an unfriendlier place to be in for all participants, something that is slowly bleeding over into “real” society. As someone who tries to befriend anyone it’s a rather unsettling place to be in. I really hope that at some point we will realize that we are going in a wrong direction in our online and real communities.

I’m no exception to this, we all have things we need to work on. I’m not perfect. I’m unhappy with many things in my life. Some things I can change, some things I can’t. I vocalize some of these things where I probably shouldn’t. It’s a thing I need to work on. I try to be more understanding of people who don’t share my opinions. I try to learn. It’s a bumpy road and it causes friction along the way. Right now though  I just really dislike the intense debate that goes on without people trying to understand the other side of the coin. And I think this lack of understanding may eventually be society’s downfall. I’m just hoping I won’t get to see that in my lifetime.

(Re)Evaluations

Talanji speech cutscene

As the final 24 hours of my WoW sub are ticking down I’m faced with a bit of a dilemma. On one hand I’m fine with just sitting out these last two nights and then not touching WoW for a while. On the other hand I feel like I’m finally having fun in Azeroth again with people to talk to and goals to tackle. I’ve done the calculations and if I do buy another month there will be plenty time for me to play for the duration of that month. I’ve been weighing the pro’s and cons and I’ve been talking to a friend about my motivations to purchase that one extra month anyway even though I told myself I wouldn’t.

A few of the factors that are influencing my decision are the following:
– After I move in a little over four weeks (I want to get out by Easter) I won’t have access to my PC for roughly a month. That’s when my dining table/desk arrives. In the meantime since I don’t want to sit on the floor I’m just going to count it as not being able to play WoW and FFXIV in that manner.
– I am slightly burned out on the grind in FFXIV. Getting my Carpenter to level 50 and doing a ton of hunts to get my speed books have really eaten up my mojo. WoW is essentially the game that I’m firing up in the evenings to relax and unwind. I’m not sure that if I let that drop now that my evenings will be very constructive. WoW is the only thing keeping me out of bed right now and it also leads me to sit down and write on this blog.
– One of the reasons to give up WoW was to maybe make more room for single player games. However I know myself, during the evenings I really don’t have the time or energy to devote to a single player game. I just want something to play that doesn’t require too much thought and that I can play for an hour or so and still feel like I’ve done something to make progress. Both WoW and FFXIV tick these needs.
– Social interactions. Right now I don’t have much of it on FFXIV but I do have a ton of it on WoW. I really like chatting to people as I play and WoW is giving me this fix.

All in all it’s causing me to come back on my earlier decision to let my sub run out now and instead I’m buying that one month untill I move out. I’m enjoying myself, I have people to talk to and it’s keeping me from sleeping my evenings away for now. Plus it’s giving me stuff to write about on here. Because the screenshot from the start of my post isn’t just any screenshot but the ending cinematic to unlocking the Zandalari Troll race. I really enjoyed that unlock quest, even though it involved less travelling than the Kul Tirans one.
As Talanji prepares to undergo the ceremony to be crowned ruler of Zandalar you as player are asked to quell an uprising against her, instigated by a priestess of the Spider loa. Once you’ve completed this task you are to “help” Talanji get approval by the Loa’s. The ensuing minigames are quite fun and once you get to Bwonsamdi things get interesting. You see I never finished the whole Voljin’s urn questline so I’m a bit in the dark when it comes to that story in this expansion. I do however know that Bwonsamdi really really hates Sylvanas so he asks Talanji to bring her the head of said Warchief in exchange for being released from the deal Rastakhan made with him. She declines leaving Bwonsamdi unhappy but willing to bless her anyway. All of this has made me really curious what Sylvanas role in this expansion culminates to. I really hope we aren’t being set up for Garrosh 2.0 but all the signs are unfortunately pointing that way.

After unlocking the race I immediatly set out to make my Zandalari Troll and I chose to roll a Warrior. I always loved my Warrior back when she was a Troll for a while so it’s a nice bit of nostalgia/flashback to WotLK times to roll a Troll Warrior again. I’m not sure if I can find the time to level that particular character this month but atleast I have it ready to go once I do have access to my PC again.

With this 180 my original goals for March are back on the table again aswell. My Nightborne will probably ding 118 tonight and will be 120 by the weekend. I want to gear her up and get her to current content. I’m also going to spend some time on my Void Elf Hunter again and see how far I get on that before the end of the month. I want to see the Dazar’Alor raid and the mini raid that’s coming in April. I also want to see all the available lore this time and make an effort to get my reputations to Exalted on Horde side.
All in all I will have enough to do and to fill my evenings with. I’ll keep you guys updated on how it goes. For now I’m going to dive back into Azeroth for some more playtime before bed.

More Azeroth Adventures

So I’ve spent the majority of my Friday evening and Saturday playing World of Warcraft. Maybe I got spurred on by the fact that I only have a few days remaining on my sub or maybe I just had this urge to play a comfort game. In any case I’ve been running around on my Rogue and my Paladin and have been making a ton of progress in the Battle for Azeroth story.
I’ve now finished up the War Campaign story for both factions including Tides of Vengeance. This means I got to unlock Kul Tiran humans on the Alliance side and I got a shiny mount for finishing the campaign on both Horde and Alliance side. I’m currently less than 250 reputation removed from unlocking Zandalari Trolls so that will be my main focus this weekend. After that I only have the Draenor Orcs left to unlock but I’m in no rush to do so simply because I know I will probably never play said race.

Having said this I’m probably not going to reach the goals for WoW that I initially plotted out at the start of the month. I may be able to get my Mage to level 120 but I won’t have the time to gear up/catch up to current content. The same goes for leveling the Hunter, she’s still sitting somewhere around level 55 so there is no way in hell I’ll be able to get her to 110 before my game time runs out. In theory I could purchase another month of game time, but with my move coming up in three weeks I doubt I’ll have much time to play. It’s simply not worth the money for me to maintain the sub if I can’t play for half of the time that it’s running. So I’m just going to let it run it’s course and get my time’s worth as my remaining sub time counts down to zero.

Going back to me finishing off the War Campaigns (so far) I’m still more enamoured by the whole Alliance part in Battle for Azeroth than I am with the Horde part. Clearly Blizzard is steering towards some sort of schism in the Horde or maybe we will see Sylvanas depart alltogether in the next patch. I don’t know. All I do know is that most of the quests I’m performing are making me rather unhappy to play Horde side story wise. Turning people into Forsaken isn’t the most fun there is and honestly I’m kind of happy that the Alliance seemed to have come out with the upper hand after the Battle of Dazar’Alor. It was interesting to first see the Alliance point of view, how they set up the trap for the Horde in Nazmir and left Blademaster Telaamon behind to lead the decoy army against the Horde while the Alliance attacked Zuldazar directly. I felt a pang of guilt as I killed said Telaamon on my Paladin because I had seen the Alliance side of the story. His sacrifice was not in vain.

Seeing the time that I have left in WoW I probably can’t see all the current content. I may be able to squeeze in the Battle raid on my Paladin because I’m a tank so my queue will probably be fast. I’m probably not going to be able to see the Alliance side of things so I guess I’m going to just put that on hold untill I get my PC set up in my new home. For now my goals in WoW are simple. Unlock Zandalari Trolls. Get my Mage to level 120 (only 3,5 level to go) and maybe take a peek inside the raid on my Paladin as time permits. We’ll see how far I’ve gotten after my sub runs out.

Next to making progress in WoW I’ve also made a ton of progress when it comes to my house. Most of the things have been arranged now so I will have running water, heat and electricity from the day I get my house keys. I’m insured and I’ve ordered all my furniture. If all goes well I should have the majority of my stuff in the week of April 8th. That’s when my furniture will arrive and when I will go shopping for a washer/dryer and a TV. I expect that that first week will mostly be filled with me cleaning the house from top to bottom and slowly moving my non-essential stuff over. So I can start with putting all my stuff in the kitchen, buying things like a mop, vacuum cleaner and other cleaning items. After my furniture gets assembled I can start moving over other non-essential items like my books, towels, winter clothes, games and consoles I don’t currently use. I hope that by that time the internet is working as well so I can test it out with my PS4 and Switch. All in all I hope to have completed my move around the Easter weekend. Obviously not everything is in my control when it comes to this. Seeing as it is a new apartment I will have an inspection on the day that I get my keys. Anything found that needs to be fixed or replaced will need to happen in the weeks after. I really hope that there aren’t any major flaws but you never know. It would really suck to have my careful plans ruined because my windows need to be replaced or some sort of other big fix that needs to happen.

I also can’t believe that I will be standing in my own house in a little less than three weeks. Time really has flown by because I feel like they only started building on site a month ago while it’s been over a year. A lot has happened in that time and I’m more than ready to leave my old living situation behind and embrace the new one. I hope it brings me a fresh start in life which I can use to turn some bad habits into good ones. I’ve taken some time off at the start of May to just enjoy living in my house but also to start working on new routines. I want to regularly visit the gym again and the plan is to start going every day when I’m off work and then tone it down to 3-4 times a week when I do work. It’s a bit of an extreme step but I hope I’m able to build up a good start in those two weeks that I’m off and work from there. My weight has been detrimental to my health for a while now so I need to start shedding it one way or another and working out is a surefire way to get that started. I also want to figure out a new morning routine where I show up at work a little better looking than I do now. I want to wear more make-up and do more stuff with my hair than just simply brushing it. I also need to fix my skincare and oral care routines because I’m noticing that what I’m doing now is not working. And what better time to do that when you’re starting fresh in a new home?

Sunday Funday

Hildibrand picture

With stress around all my house related stuff slowly declining and with me actively doing less at work I can slowly feel like I’m having some breathing room again. It’s not nearly where it needs to be and I’m still really conflicted about my work situtation and how to handle all of that but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. And for that I’m grateful.
Due to me feeling like I’m slowly getting room to breathe again I’m also more motivated to spend my free time doing things other than lying in bed and sleeping all evening/day. I’ve made some real progress in FFXIV these past two days so I can start pushing things off my bucket list.

I’ve reached my goals for the month of getting all my crafters to atleast level 30, finishing off Leatherworker last. I’m also going to tick off the goal of getting my Carpenter to level 50 tomorrow. I only need about one more round of Ixal dailies to get that done and I’m sure I can even save up a few quests for the next crafter I’m planning to level up this way: Goldsmith. It’s not the fastest way to level up your crafter but it’s a steady stream of experience and it gives you 1-2 levels per day depending on how high your level at the time is. Due to getting fishing dailies aswell my Fisher is about to hit level 45, the nice little push that I needed so Im able to start doing Mor’Dhona levequests for this particular job. All in all I’m happy that I’ve reached a few of my goals this early on in the month and I hope I can hold on to this momentum when it comes to leveling my crafters.

Next to all the leveling I’m also focusing on cleaning up the endgame content that I still have open. One of these was the Hildibrand quest chain. I had started it and did a few quests here and there but never really sat down and just straight up finished all the quests that were available. Since today is Sunday and I had nothing planned for the day except a few chores I figured it would be the perfect time to sit down and grind out those quests. I’m glad I did because once again they are brilliantly done by Square Enix. It’s taken me a few hours but I’m all caught up to the most current chapter and am now having to wait with everyone else untill they release the conclusion to this questchain. The next big thing I want to be working on is completing the Ridorana Lighthouse raid. I’ve never actually set foot in there and it’s about high time that I did. It’s kind of odd going in blind this late into the expansion but nonetheless I don’t want to be spoiled too much on the story or the fights so I don’t plan to read up on stuff before I queue up for it. It’s one of the things that I want to do next weekend when again I will have a bit more time to play than during the week. They may be baby steps but it’s so nice to see the quests go from my quest log…

Finally I’ve been busy completing hunt bills around the A Realm Reborn zones. Having the two-star mount speeds for the zones that I have to do my Ixal dailies in is just too nice to not have. As of right now I’ve attained all the scrolls I needed for that, Mor’Dhona/Coerthas/North Shroud, but I don’t want to give up on buying those scrolls yet. I’m probably going to dial back the amount of time I’m going to spend on gathering Allied Seals but eventually I do want to unlock two-star speeds in all the old zones starting with the Shroud. I’m not sure how much I will get done for the rest of the month but I guess I’ll inform you guys once March is over.

As final note I’m finally sure of my move date. I get my key April 5th and I hope to be all settled around Easter (which is two weeks later). I’m not sure when I will have internet then and I can’t use my PC for a while since I simply don’t have a place to put it. So this month will be the last month of my WoW subscription for now and I’m not sure when I get to play FFXIV again after I move. This means that most likely for April I won’t make a gaming goal list and I will be blogging much less aswell due to not having access to my PC. All of this is still a few weeks away though so untill then I hope I can make a ton of progress in WoW and FFXIV aswell as retain this blogging mojo and keep you guys informed.

Gaming weekend

Double Dragoon ultimate

Above picture has little to do with the contents of this post but I thought it was pretty. I guess it ties in to me talking about FFXIV so there’s that.

I’ve had an odd week this week. I was planning to play a lot of games during the evenings but those plans were quickly foiled. On Tuesday evening we went out to dinner after having the day off and afterwards I was tied to the TV all evening watching the Real Madrid-Ajax game. On Wednesday I managed to play for an hour or so but on Thursday I spent my evening watching Grey’s Anatomy and Violet Evergarden. Yesterday night I watched the Leaving Neverland documentary so all in all I’ve been watching more TV and shows than I have been gaming.

Nonetheless I want to spend this weekend making some progress in my two MMO’s: World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV. I have the time and the motivation now. There’s no appointments or birthdays this weekend, only some chores. I have the house to myself and no-one to bother me while I will immerse myself in either Azeroth or Eorzea. I’m making small weekend goals for myself to attain and this weekend I’d like to focus on the following things.
In FFXIV I want to get the 2-star speed book for North Shroud. I’ll have all the 2-star speed books I need to make my Ixal dailies go faster. I also want to get Carpenter as close to 50 as I possibly can so I will make sure to do the Grand Company turn-ins next to the Ixal dailies and I may even do a levequest or two. I’m also planning to do the Little Ladies day event on my alt, just to get the flower crown for transmog. It’s a short event this year so that should be doable.
In WoW I want to focus on my Nightborne Mage and start the slog through Nazmir. It’s not like I actively dislike the zone but it’s a rather dark and disturbing story that plays out and it’s big with lots of running back and forth. Not really something I’m looking forward to but something I will have to do to get closer to level 120. I know I could’ve gone to Vol’dun instead but out of the three Horde zones I like that one the least. Deserts are not really my thing and I’m not very enamoured with the zone story there. I know I’ll have to do it at some point, especially if I want to make this Mage my “main” Horde character for the forseeable future. You need to finish off Vol’dun to progress all the stories. For now though the focus is on Nazmir and getting through that as soon as possible.

A big part of this gaming will be done with League of Legends in the background as usual. I really hope Misfits wins their game today to keep playoff hopes alive. Otherwise I’m hoping to see G2 in the finals in Rotterdam, but at this point in time it’s anyone’s game.

All Crafters: lvl 30!

Achievement all level 30

I’ve been pushing through MMO content this weekend and my persistence has paid off. Today I finally got Leatherworker to level 30 and am now sitting on all my crafting and gathering classes at atleast level 30 or above. After finishing off the level 30 Leatherworker quest I realized I didn’t get the achievement for completing all level 30 crafter job quests. A quick glance showed me I skipped out on the Culinarian one so I ported over to Limsa Lominsa and quickly finished it off, earning me the achievement  that you can see in the above screenshot. I’m quite happy with this progress and I can stripe it off my goals list for March aswelll.

At this moment my main method of leveling my crafting classes is doing all possible Ixali dailies every day. This nets me about 1.5-2 levels per job when I hand all of them in. It’s not the most proficient way to level and I know that if I were to sit down and just push through levequests I would probably get this whole leveling thing done much faster. However this means I would have to either buy stuff off the market board or take time to gather my own materials and craft everything myself. Even though I prefer the second option I’m not quite in the mindset for the mindless grinding that comes along with that so for now I’m content just doing the dailies and a Grand Company hand-in every now and then. I prefer to hand in items marked with a star because they give a really big experience boost to a job, almost up to a level at times. It’s a decent way to level up and it will suite me fine for the coming weeks.

Of course this dynamic completely changes once I get all my crafting jobs to level 50. From then on I can access not only the Moogle daily quests from Heavensward but also the hand-in options for Zhloe. These hand-ins provide a big chunk of experience aswell and would help to boost my crafters from 50-60 in no time at all. I would like to say that the same goes for level 60-70 but I’ve not really looked into M’naago or other hand-ins for crafters of that level. I did play around with gathering hand-ins, and got a nice botanist weapon for it early on into the expansion, but it’s all unfamiliar territory for me right now. It’s not really something I want to commit to at the moment either, my priority lies with just leveling up all the individual crafters and my final gathering class fisher.

Another side goal I’m planning to work towards is upgrading my mounted movement speed in a few areas of Eorzea. Due to me doing the Ixal dailies I’m spending a lot of time running/riding around in Mor’Dhona, Coerthas and a part of the Shroud. It would be really nice to have two star movement speeds there instead of one star, especially in Coerthas and Mor’Dhona. So next to leveling up my crafters I want to dedicate a portion of my time to get hunts done and consequently get enough Allied Seals to start buying speed upgrade books. It’s 250 Allied Seals per book, you get 100 Seals from killing your weekly B-rank hunt and 64 seals if you do all the daily hunt marks. This would mean you would get 548 seals per week if you do your weekly and daily hunts every day. Which in turn means that you can buy about two upgrade books per week. That’s not really a bad turnover at all and I’m hoping that by next weekend I will be in possession of my first to speed upgrade scrolls.

All in all I’m quite happy with the way I’m progressing. I’m setting small goals for myself every day that should be attainable with the hours of play that I have available to me. Leveling obviously isn’t the biggest brain activity, especially considering I’m doing it via dailies that I completely outgear on my level 70 Weaver. I’m therefore confident that I’m able to complete the crafter leveling goals I’ve set for myself for this month and probably even more.

Zuldazar Sightseeing

Zuldazar: The Great Seal

When taking my second Horde Character through Battle for Azeroth content I specifically decided to tackle Zuldazar first. It was the zone I had up last for my Paladin and therefore I never really finished it. I was 120, I wasn’t that interested in the Horde side of the story and I felt the Horde zones all had to bow to Drustvar which, in my opinion, is the best zone in Battle for Azeroth so far. I still stand by that opinion, Drustvar is just perfect in zone story, atmosphere and level paths. It is by far the zone I enjoyed the most so far and if I could just do Drustvar only and get from 110 to 120 that way I would. Alas this is not an option and definitely not when you play Horde. So this time around I decided to pick up the zone I didn’t get to finish last time and boy am I happy I did.

Zuldazar on it’s own is a beautiful zone. I really enjoy the whole ancient Mayan thing Blizzard has decided to go for and even though Dazar’alor is a real tough cookie to navigate I think it’s very pretty and perfectly designed when it comes to aesthetics. It really is the golden city and the views of the city and anywhere from the city are spectacular and all of them screenshot worthy. So since I’m not really paying attention to the quest text this time around I really opened my eyes to the zone that is Zuldazar and I’m enjoying the view. The dinosaurs, the jungle, the beaches. They’re all extremely gorgeous and I can just run around for hours without getting bored. Unfortunately I finished off my final sidequest chain of the zone today so I will have to say goodbye to the exotic jungle and hello to the creepy swamp.

I sing praises to this zone but there’s also a lot of issues with Zuldazar. It’s a zone with a lot of vertical content, like Highmountain was in Legion. This means it’s kind of annoying and hard to navigate. I think once flying becomes available this zone will be much easier to navigate and it will be much easier and much faster to level that way. This also goes for the troll capital itself which is very vertical and hard to navigate. Although the totems of Gonk, which give you movement speed, help a lot it’s still a rather big pain in the butt.

I think Zuldazar is a perfect example of how much developers can do for an aging MMO. World of Warcraft may not be the best MMO looking out there, the underlying code is simply too old for that. Visual bugs are common and textures aren’t as pretty as they are in say FFXIV. However the developers still craft amazing zones that you can completely lose yourself in if you want to. I really hope that the future patches that bring new zones are just as gorgeous as the initial BfA zones have turned out to be.

Next to poking about in World of Warcraft almost every weekend I’m ready and perched to watch the LEC and LCS which are the European and North American League of Legends leagues respectively. I’ve purchased tickets to go watch the Spring Split European Finals in Rotterdam with a friend and I hope it’s as good as it was last time we went. We probably have a bit better seats this time and maybe we can meet up with some of the players and casters after the games, provided they don’t go on for too long. I’m a huge League of Legends fan and even though I don’t play the game myself I enjoy watching it and cheering for my favourite teams. This year it’s Misfits for Europe and Team Liquid (I’m a Doublelift fangirl) for North America. With Europe getting better and better as region I really hope we have an even better chance the coming World Championship. But a lot can change in six months so who knows. It’s a nice way to get through the weekend evenings though as I struggle sometimes with making my nights meaningful. These days I just make sure that I have League on and even though I may not actively watch it, it makes sure that I stay out of bed and engaged with something I enjoy. I get a lot of things done with League in the background and the games I want to see provide a nice break from whatever I’m doing at the time. So next to following my teams it also makes sure that my room is cleaned, that I make progress in games and that I relax where need be. It’s basically the perfect distraction when I’m at home alone to make sure I get through the evenings in a good way and to make sure I don’t sleep my time away instead.