sandrian

What If You’re Not A Gamer Afterall?

Lately I’ve been having doubts, struggles even with the fact that I see myself as a gamer. Because I think that’s not really the case anymore. Over the years I have bought many games and started them all at some point, but never finished. I have a huge pile of PS2 games lying underneath my bed, scarcely touched because after 10 mins of playing a game I get bored with it. It doesn’t absorb me anymore, not the way it used to anyway.

This dilemma has been going on for a while, I’ve had periods before where I didn’t really like any game I played but just logged certain ones because of the people that were online. Sidestep: I have always considered myself to be more of a social gamer, I like interacting with others while I play, it’s probably the big reason why I love any form of MMO so much. Sadly for me most of my IRL friends have stopped playing games alltogether. Real Life has taken over in many situations (too bus with jobs, kids, money, boyfriends/girlfriends etc) and it has left me feeling very alone. Sure there are some hardcore people that still play certain games that I play aswell, but they do what they feel like leaving me to fend for myself in the process. And I hate that. I hate having to run around and farm alone, I hate having no social interactions in games, no one to banter with or to compare things with or have fun with. It makes me cranky and upset and more and more I get the feeling that it’s being destructive for me as a person.

I get moody a lot, I get cranky and annoyed and I take it out on the people that are dear to me. I lash out and whine and behave like a child because I don’t really get what I want. Another side effect is that I can see myself getting more introverted again, a state that I had left behind when I broke up with my most recent ex. My personality is in general one of extraversion, I like having people around and I blend in with any type of personality great. When it comes to friendship I am a huge maintainer, I want to be able to physically touch my friends every now and then and keep extensive contact, because I need that. Not that I need them for my self esteem, I’m perfectly comfortable with who I am, but I need it because that’s who I am. I blossom in social situations with many people and I’m a wreck when it comes to having to deal with being alone for extended periods of time. Sometimes I wonder if I have a case of separation anxiety purely because I just want certain people around me in my life and I get really upset when they can’t be around me for some reason or the other.

Right now my biggest dilemma is whether I should even bother with buying new games anymore. The only games I can truly say I’ve played to pieces are World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and my Pokémon games. The former two were because I always had people to play with, the latter is because that’s probably the only gaming brand that really captures my interest. My WoW sub is running out and I am probably not going to renew it because I just feel like there’s nothing there for me anymore. There’s 1 raid per week (a flexraid) that I can join, but I don’t want to spend money just to do a once per week raid. Not while I’m also playing FFXIV which costs me money on a monthly basis aswell. And even there I’m having doubts of whether I want to keep playing even though I’m having a lot of fun in a game for the first time in a looooong time. I just don’t know anymore right now.

The only thing I do know is that gaming isn’t making me happy anymore… And when something isn’t making you happy anymore, maybe it’s time to move on to something else.

Shooting With Pointy Things

Ranger, Archer, Hunter. Three names for classes in three essentially different MMO’s, but when it boils down to it, they all do the same. Every MMO has one of these, a ranged damage dealer that does it’s thing with either a bow, crossbow or gun (or some of the more exotic weapons you can equip on GW2), sometimes has a pet and doesn’t cast spells. It’s the class that attracts me the most in any game. I “main” an Archer on the Phoenix server of Final Fantasy XIV, I have two high level Hunters on the World of Warcraft (and mained one for a period of time in Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm) and the character I’ve spent most time on in Guild Wars 2 has also been a Ranger.

Even though the differences between games are quite big I love the class in general and think I’m most comfortable playing a ranged dps. It even shows itself in a game like League of Legends where I prefer the role of AD carry, champions that stand from a distance and shoot! On Diablo 3 I also leveled a Demon Hunter but due to the group of friends that was I was playing with already having one I never “mained” it, instead I played a Monk because after Hunter my favourite class to play is some sort of Melee, on WoW and Guild Wars 2 it’s a Warrior, on FFXIV I haven’t really checked yet what I like.

Anyway back to the subject of me playing the “hunter” type class. I’m not really sure why it appeals to me so much. I like not being dependant on mana, even though WoW Hunters used to be but they had a very proficient system for regenerating this mana, and being able to auto attack while from a distance. It gives me a “safer” feel and I don’t have to worry about having to stand still to cast spells. Next to this for some reason I have always been able to get much more DPS out of my Hunter on WoW than I was able to with any of my other characters. On FFXIV I see the same with my Archer just being ridiculously damage-y compared to some of the other classes I’ve tried so far, the only thing I miss on the FF Archer is the fact that I don’t have a pet. I feel like it belongs to a Hunter type class but I guess you can’t have it all.
Next to this I think I also just like “uniqueness” of the class in most games. It’s a midway between playing an auto attack dependant melee character and a mana dependant spellcaster. Hunters are often also a bit more tanky than the squishy spellcasters so that they survive better when it comes down to it and in the case of World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2 you have a companion on your travels in the form of a pet. The pet can act as tank aswell giving you an extra buffer of safety.

All in all a Hunter/Archer/Ranger just gives me a nice combination of things to make me feel like it’s my favourite class to play in any game. I’ve been levelling my Alliance Hunter (Aylanna) on the World of Warcraft again and gearing her up with some help of the Timeless Isle to see what I can do still on a Hunter before my sub runs out. Next to this I’m also still levelling my Archer on FFXIV and maybe when time allows it I’ll pick up my Ranger on GW2 aswell, for now though I’m still shooting with pointy things and enjoying myself immensly doing so! And I’ll leave you with a look at my three lovely ranged characters 🙂 Kassandri Nobre the Archer, Aylanna the Hunter(Cata screen, pre disallowing Hunters from having a Ranged and Melee weapon) and Vayne Redleaf the Ranger.

Final Fantasy XIV: Meet the Characters!

So, for the past week and a half I have been playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn like crazy. It’s the first MMO after WoW that has really captured my interest and made me addicted again. I have been toying around a bit with making characters and am currently levelling up 2 on 2 different servers. This because on one server I could log more often during the past week, there were many server issues, and some friends of mine are hanging out on the other server.

My first character is Sarella, a Miqo’te Conjurer who currently resides on Shiva EU at level 22 (as Conjurer) and who has just gotten her own little Chocobo! She aspires to be a White Mage in the future but for now enjoys exploring the world and all it has to offer. As far as professions go, she is currently a Botanist, Carpenter and Leatherworker, all low level.

Here she was as a little level 1 Miqo’te in the Miqo’te starting outfit. Isn’t she cute? I really loved levelling on her as Conjurer, it gives me many benefits (mostly instant queues for dungeons and duties) and I like the combination of spells I have making me an excellent Healer but also someone who is able to dish out some DPS. The only downside I am currently experiencing is that I find myself going oom quite fast in solo quests, making me struggle when there are big waves of mobs. Also as Conjurer you do not have much in the way of AOE spells so it can take quite long to get all your foes down… On the second picture you see my Conjurer as she is now, level 22 and on her little Chocobo called Cheri!

I really do love riding around on my mount. It makes it so much easier to go from place to place. Especially when moving to FATE’s or when gathering with botanism it’s nice to not have to walk everywhere.

The second character that I would like to introduce to you all is Kassandri, a Hyur Archer and my favourite race after Miqo’te (I think everyone loves the Miqo’te!). She’s my newest char and situated on Phoenix EU. Type in Kassandri as first name and you’ll find her when I’m logged on! To the left is a picture of her on level 1, the right picture is one on level 10 which is also the level I’m currently on.

So there you have it 🙂 My adventures in FFXIV. I’ll be playing it a lot and maybe hope to see some familiar faces ingame!

Gamescom And Why It’s Bad For Me

So basically the last few weeks/days have been filled with announcements for new games. GamesCom is well under way in Germany and they have been promoting so much good new stuff that it’s just not funny anymore.
The biggest nerdgasm of the day for me was the announcement of the Diablo 3 expansion: Reaper of Souls. It looks hella awesome and I will definately be getting it. Inbetween the announcement at Gamescom and the ones at E3 earlier there are just so many good titles coming out that I need to massively save up to get them all.

There are a few games I’m going to get no matter what and a lot of games that I seriously want to lay my hands on and all in all this makes a massive list, which I’m obviously going to post (and update) here on a new page. For now I’m enjoying everything that Gamescom has to offer and hoping for more exciting announcements!

Tuesday Troubles

So, I recently added a “To Do” page where I highlight what I am planning to do during a WoW reset since it’s the game I still play the most. Unfortunately for me, planning something to do and actually doing it don’t always coincide hence the lack of things crossed off on my to do list. I did manage to level Sanelle a bit and got some time in on Rift.

Even today’s post got delayed by a day because there is just too much for me to do and too little time to do it in. I’ll be updating my To Do post for this reset but keep things more general. I have been playing games outside of WoW and LoL, it were just not the games that I said I would play in my To Do. Since I’m very very busy again right now I’ll give a more extended update later in the week.

A Few Words on Guild Wars 2

So I’ve been going through my many many many games and stumbled upon Guild Wars 2. I bought this game when it came out last year, played some but for some reason never managed to get really engulfed into the game. I started it up today and saw that I had missed a lot of content, a 2+GB download proved this to me, and after loading in I immediatly saw the changes they had made to the game. It feels like they upgraded the graphics a bit, they changed abilities (I made a Sylvari Ranger since I’ve been out of the game for so long I just want to start anew) and they changed the Achievement system. So far I’ve liked what I saw, especially the chests with goodies you get when attaining a certain amount of achievement points! Unlike in World of Warcraft it really feels like they want you to do things because it earns you bonuses for your characters and I like that.

However, the events in the game just boggle me. I stumbled in halfway through the voting for a new skycaptain with Zephrytes and everything a few weeks back and now it’s Queen’s Jubilee. I’ve done some fights on my Warrior but the event itself kind of eludes me. There are apparently hot air balloons and torches and what not and wow it’s just all too much. And it’s not like you have an event and then have some peace, no the events are being stringed behind eachother in rapid suspension and if you’re still a “beginning” player, I consider myself this because I never made it past lvl 25, all of it can be quite overwhelming.

Maybe I have been dumbed down by WoW, maybe I just need to spend more time on getting back into the game… I’ll let you know if I’m able to do that or not.

Chapter 1…

So a few days ago I finally managed to finish the first part of the Legendary quest chain in Mists of Pandaria. Yes, a few days ago, you read that right. The reason? Well…

I started out in MoP promising with a guild that would still raid and thus gathered some tokens in the first few weeks of raiding on my Warrior. I didn’t really run Looking for Raid because I sincerely hate the system with a passion ever since it came out in Cataclysm so I was already running behind as far as Sigils went. Then my guild ceased raiding entirely and I took a two month break from the World of Warcraft, being completely burned out on the game and all the drama it brought along for me. After coming back from my break I found my Warrior quite lackluster and decided to level my Shaman to have another character at level 90 to play with that wasn’t melee (I levelled her as Elemental). Simultaneously I had started levelling my Horde Hunter to be able to play with some of my friends over on the Horde side, I never even started to do LFR on her however because I didn’t feel like raiding at all when I came back.
I did do some LFR on my Shaman, mainly with my S.O. who also came back to the game around that time, but never gathered enough Sigils to finish off the quest. Fast forward a few months, I levelled my Paladin and raided on her a bit aswell, gathering Sigils but also not enough to finish the quest (gee, while I’m typing this I see how fickle I can be sometimes).

And so we made it to the present where I decided last week that I should atleast do the whole Legendary thing on one character and picked up my Warrior again because she was farthest along with the quest and finally managed to complete it, picked up a Sha-Touched weapon in the process and am now sporting it with a nice +500 strength gem.. And now I’m back to gathering Valor Points on my way to finishing Chapter 2, a feat that will probably take me a while yet since I don’t really feel like raiding… Again!

Gamer’s Outrage: Are We All Addicted?

On my Twitter I’ve seen some posts and tweets flying by about another attempt of the media (the BBC in this case) to put gamers in a dubious light saying that gaming companies need to warn more about the dangers of becoming addicted to games. I’ve seen mixed responses about this, mostly they go into the general direction that gaming isn’t really an addiction, and I felt like I needed to give my opinion in more details about the matter.

First off, I know a bit more about how the human brain works and because I’m running an internship at an addiction care facility I can chime in here with a touch of professionalism. I’d like to make clear first off the bat that anything CAN BE an addiction, this includes social media, games, books, watching television, eating, drugs, alcohol but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it IS an addiction if people spend more time doing a certain thing than what is normal in society.
An addiction is a psychological disorder and the most important quality of a psychological disorder is that it disrupts your daily life and routine so badly that you can’t function properly anymore. This means that you are unable to hold a job or go to school, are unable to keep social contacts and are neglecting your basic needs as human because you are not able to meet them anymore.
We all know the image of the drunkard that wakes up with a glass of Vodka and goes to bed with three bottles of wine and the cocaine addict that needs to have his lines or else he’ll go into physiological distress. The big question is, can this state of mind happen for games? And my answer to this is yes, it can happen and it has happened and it will happen. There are cases, although very few and far inbetween, of people being really addicted to games and the act of gaming. People that lose their jobs, their schooling, their family and friends because the only thing they want, the only thing they need, is to play games. The need to play games overrides any other thought or compulsion the person may have and the most extreme cases of this have been in the media: the stories about men/women/children dying after a marathon of gaming where they wouldn’t eat, drink or leave the room. These are prime examples of gaming ADDICTION and unfortunately for the people mentioned it cost them their lives.

However, what the media portray as an addiction is something that is simply not true. I have been a gamer myself for a long time, sometimes I would be more enthusiastic and more willing to spend all my time on a game while sometimes I wouldn’t game for weeks while feeling perfectly happy about it. I know many people like me, spending a lot of time on games, getting called “addicted” by your family and/or friends because you spend a lot of time on it. But are you addicted then? I still go to school, I still meet friends, I have a job, I have a boyfriend but I prefer to spend my free time on gaming. For me it is a hobby and I would be bored out of my mind if I couldn’t game. This sometimes leads to gaming sessions of 10-14 hours on the weekends. Does this mean I’m addicted? No. Does it mean I spend a lot of time on doing the thing I enjoy, even though it can be frustrating? Yes.

And here is the crux: Why is it normal to take a weekend off to go fishing but not to go gaming? Why is it considered normal to watch TV the entire day, but not to play games? Why is a 40 hour gaming marathon considered pathological but a contest who can sit the longest on a pole considered an achievement?
Because society needs a scapegoat. It’s how we work and that will never change and unfortunately gaming is and has been the scapegoat for a while and will be for a long time. Games are made to capture your interest, being them MMO’s, FPS’s, RPG’s, Strategy games or whatever you want to play. Even mobile phone games like Candy Crush can be very time consuming, but that doesn’t mean they are addictive nor that they are bad. Personally I have had some gaming marathons with the release of new WoW expansions, were they bad? No, they haven’t harmed me in anyway apart from the fact that I was very sleepy after staying up for near 40 hours. If it doesn’t affect your normal life, if you still go to school or work, if you still have friends and if you still eat and drink normally, why not have a gaming marathon every now and then?

However if you prioritize your gaming over everything, start abandoning your school, your work, your friends and family and neglecting to take proper care of yourself I urge anyone to seek professional help, because when you crossed that threshhold your hobby has become an addiction and that is not a place where you want to be.

A Quick One

Since I have been working a lot and have been attending family Bbq’s I haven’t had much time to game, let alone write a post on this blog. There are a few things that I want to talk about and among them are Guild Wars 2 and how it could have been superiour to World of Warcraft and my discovery of the fact that there will be coming a Final Fantasy MMO which I will definately buy because I have been a Final Fantasy fan since forever. 

Right now however I am on my way to another all you can eat family fest and I’m already dreading it… See you soon!

So I Went on Safari…

Since my significant other is on vacation and I don’t really entertain myself well I decided I would turn my attention to the pet battle side of the World of Warcraft to see if it could keep my attention and if I would enjoy it as much as I enjoy playing Pokémon.

Most of my pets so far have come from achievements, vendors, drops and the pet store and I hadn’t spent much time catching pets because I felt like it was boring, however since I’m bored on WoW now anyway that I don’t raid I figured I might aswell set out on a quest to catch them all! And so I started yesterday with the Northrend Safari, one that doesn’t really require too many pets to catch and if I was lucky I could get my hands on an Unborn Val’kyr, one of the more rare spawns in the game.

And now here we are, about 24 hours later and I have completed my Northrend Safari and… got my hands on an Unborn Val’kyr!! How lucky am I huh? I was also lucky enough to have it snow in Storm Peaks so the Arctic Fox Kit would spawn and so this was probably one of the fastest Safari Achievements that could be done. And doesn’t my Paladin look cool with the tiny Val’kyr at her side?

Next up: Outland Safari