sandrian

Back in Azeroth

World of Warcraft… It really is addictive.
I’ve been back into Azeroth since about a week before the expansion hit and haven’t really left it since. Partly it’s because of current game design. With garrison’s you’re almost forced to log atleast twice a day to keep track of all your missions. The other part is that it’s still addictive as hell. I really like Warlords of Draenor as expansion so far. I had much more fun touring around Draenor than I had in Pandaria and the game pulls me in stronger than two years ago when Mists launched.

I’ve spent a lot of time ingame, and not much time thinking about my blog to be honest. There’s so much going on in my life at the moment that writing has taken a backseat. I guess it’s a recurring theme.
I’m currently following therapy for my insecurities and the depression that has been caused by this. Emotionally I’m still very unstable and I don’t feel very great for most of the days. Everything is too much for me to handle, so I had to give up my officer spot in my current guild and even decided to quit the healing team (I’m maining my Priest still) just so I can just drop my responsibilities. The people around me aren’t helping my case much either, I feel lonely and abandoned in my current guild with my friends not really being my friends and a lot of new faces that I don’t really want to get to know right now. Life feels very hard and unfair and every hour seems to be a struggle.

I’ve tried to pick up Final Fantasy XIV again aswell but I just can’t motivate myself to log two MMO’s right now. My focus is shattered and since I’m raiding on WoW I feel like my priorities should be there.

I hope things will start to look brighter soon and I can commit to some more things, like this blog.

The Big Distinction

A topic that has been in my conversations, and my head, for a while now is online relationships. Specifically online relationships and what they mean to me.
I have met a lot of awesome people during my time playing online games. Some I met ingame, some I met on Twitter and others I just got to know via friends. I’ve met 2 consecutive boyfriends online, one of which I had a relationship with for over 3 years. I’ve met one of my now closest guy friends during my time playing Horde and we meet regularly.
I’ve met lovely people who all live in different countries and who have offered me a place to stay when I ever decide to travel that way and other lovely people who have helped me out with my blog, my stream or my other social media stuff.

Here comes the big “but” though. I find it increasingly complicated to keep up with my online friendships. Some people you just lose touch with over time, some people don’t really turn out to be who you thought them to be and some people I find really difficult to be friends with online because I would rather have them near me in real life. And that hurts.
I’ve been noticing that online friendships for me have a different value than IRL friendships. This is not to be misinterpreted. I have a lot of awesome online friends who are always there for me and who I have tons and tons of fun with. But it’s just not the same as my best friend who lives 3 towns over and who I can visit whenever I want. Who can come over and give me a hug when I need it. Who I can talk to in person, so that I don’t just see text but also look into her eyes and see her body language. These are things I obviously miss in online friendships. They feel more shallow in a way, more distant. Which isn’t weird because most of my online friends ARE distant.

Another thing that has been bothering me is the attitude of a certain friend. We have a bit of history together, we met IRL and explored the possibility of us becoming more than friends but it didn’t happen. I’m still trying to give this a place in my heart and my mind because I felt we had a very strong emotional connection online and when we met we had a very strong connection in real life aswell. I’d like to draw attention to using the word “connection” here. I don’t consider online relationships to be a thing. For me to be in a relationship there has to have been IRL contact of some sort. To me you are not in a relationship with someone you’ve never seen or, if you have, you’ve never even kissed.

A romantic relationship can exist online for a good part. It’s how mine managed to survive. I didn’t get to see my ex that much and WoW and Facebook were ways for us to still “see” eachother on a daily basis. But in my opinion there is no such thing as a relationship when it is ONLY online, without any IRL stuff happening.

Now that my attitude on this matter is clear, let’s get back to the friend I mentioned before. We had a strong emotional connection, we met up, it didn’t work out then. Since then our friendship has been a rollercoaster, sometimes we’re close and sometimes I feel so distant that I wonder if we’re still friends at all. For him I was the first girl he was romantic with for a long time in real life. He has told me of his ex-girlfriends and I thought they were actual ex-girlfriends. But they turned out to be nothing more than internet girlfriends… Something I consider to be bullshit (excuse my language). Ofcourse it’s possible to have feelings for someone online, but to call it a real relationship? I think that takes it pretty far. Especially since he’s been downplaying what happened between us. In my mind it doesn’t make sense. How can you call someone an ex-girlfriend if you’ve never even been romantic with that person but downplay the only actual romance you’ve had in a long time?
In a way this hurts me beyond belief. In a way I understand. I have had a lot of IRL friends and boyfriends. This person hasn’t. He lives online, has all his friends online and is a completely different man in real life than he is on the internet. Something I don’t understand either. I’m me, whether you see me online or offline, I’m the same person. Maybe it’s the fact that you can get away with more on the internet that draws people to say or act in ways they never would in real life, but in a way you’re just cheating on yourself and the people you call your friends.

All of this (and some other stuff that I might talk about in the future) has made me reconsider my approach to my online friends. I notice that I’m starting to filter. I notice that I prefer to talk to people that I have less of an emotional connection to because it’s easier for me to stay distant then. I’m taking distance to my online friends and I think in a way I’m protecting myself with this. To protect myself from being hurt by people that I technically know everything and nothing about. It’s so very tricky. It’s so easy to trust someone online. It’s so easy to talk to people online. But it’s also easy to get betrayed and hurt online. Especially for someone like me who genuinely likes social contact and who isn’t afraid to express feelings. You think you know someone, but do you really know someone if you never get to see them in real life? If you never get to look in their eyes? If you never have them stand infront of you and talk? If they are never within touching distance?
All these questions are going through my mind. And they’re scary and comforting at the same time.

It’s Dark Outside

Wintertime. I can’t say it’s my favourite time of the year, but as long as it’s not pouring rain (which it usually does here in the Netherlands) I like the quietness that seems to come with the days getting shorter.
People are cold, myself included, and are less likely to hang around on the streets. Living in a relatively big city with frequent trips to our capital I feel safer outside when it’s cold. There is less people around, less traffic. Everyone likes to stay indoors and only goes out when necessary. Normally I really like the buzz of the big city but it can also be very intimidating when you have to travel alone and late at night as a tiny woman.

The other thing I like about the weather turning cold and bad is that I feel less guilty about spending my times inside gaming. When it’s summer and the sun is shining I always tend to feel restless. I feel the need to go outside and do something because it’s sunny and warm. Now I don’t feel that way and I’m perfectly comfortable spending my time behind either my PC, PS4 or 3DS.

I’m still working on getting a job. The hunt seems to be endless, but I’m not letting myself be discouraged. Getting depressed over it only makes me suffer so I try to stay as positive as I can be. I socialize with a lot of people, on and offline, and try to spend my time as good as possible. I’ve started to clean out our very cluttered attic and keep myself busy with working out, watching shows and playing games. Oh and household chores…
I still need to give myself a huge kick in the butt on some points though. For the past 2 months I have been staring at my almost finished Master’s Thesis and time is running out. My father expects to see a diploma soon and the only reason I haven’t finished yet is because I just can’t seem to get started on it properly. A few weeks ago I called in a friends’ help to finish up my analysis part and ever since I’ve just been staring at the unfinished product. In theory all I need to do is just write the final piece of the damn paper, but I feel superblocked whenever I look at it. It NEEDS to be done and I’m kicking myself in the butt very hard but stuff just isn’t happening.
So yeah that’s how my personal life looks like right now…

Another thing that I really want to start up again is streaming games. I streamed some WoW on my Priest when I was raiding in Mists of Pandaria and frankly I want to start streaming again. Ideally I want to get this set up before Warlords of Draenor launches so I can let people see the levelling process with some giggles. I had an old Twitch overlay for my UI which I unfortunately can’t use anymore so I should get my hands on a new one. Next to this I won’t be streaming with webcam on, mostly because I don’t have one. I still hope I will attract some viewers because sharing my games with people is something I enjoy very much.
I’m not really good with editing anything though so I probably won’t start with a Youtube channel. I’ll try to have regular streams, especially on future raid nights, and I hope I can set up my Twitch channel in a proper way for that. (If anyone is still reading, some help or tips are very much appreciated!)

For now I’m going to retreat back into World of Warcraft to prepare for the launch of Warlords and test some Heroes of the Storm since I managed to get into the technical Alpha (thanks Blizzard).

I AM ANGRY

Furious, mad, steaming, fuming… That’s how I feel right now. At people I know, at myself, at the great big world… There’s so much anger in me these days.
I have no tolerance for bullshit anymore, I have no tolerance for “friends” that are dicks to me anymore. I hate how the companies treat me, a freshly graduated girl. I hate how university treated me, like a number.
I hate my lazy attitude, how I can’t seem to stick to things I like and want to be good at. I don’t want to give up halfway anymore, I want to achieve.
Hate, hate, hate… So much anger and hate in my head. And not sure what to do with it.

Screenies Galore!

It’s Halloween in FFXIV! So ofcourse I had to participate to get the cute outfits AND the new chocobo barding. Don’t both Sandrian and Sarella look totally ready for the spookiest day of the year?

But wait! There is more…
I have picked up World of Warcraft again and have been enjoying the game for the past 2-3 weeks. The new character models arrived last week and I have to say that Blizzard really made an effort on this.
At first I didn’t really like the new human female model but it’s slowly starting to grow on me so for now I don’t thik I will racechange Sarelly, my lovely female human Priest… Who is back in Aeternus and residing on Dragonblight!

On the other side we have Chosen, the bloodelf. Unfortunately they are the only ones without their models updated. I do hope Blizzard won’t mess them up when they do.
I did manage to get my hands on the Horde Chopper though. “Warlord’s Deathwheel” it’s called and it’s looking quite spectacular. I can only hope the Alliance version turns out this good aswell!

So yeah, this is basically what I’m mostly up to now. I play some Destiny off and on still, but I notice a huge player drop there… A lot of my gaming buddies have stopped playing it aswell, quite a shame really. But I’m rather enjoying myself in WoW and FFXIV at the moment so I think I’ll keep on doing that for now.

Handheld Gaming… Oh and the Shooty!

A friend of mine bought a Nintendo 3DS XL after being turned down by the girl he has liked for ages. Funny how comfort shopping works eh? He got the Super Smash Brothers bundle and two Zelda games and has been hooked.
In response to this I dug out my own 3DS and have been playing Pokémon X and Bravely Default again, both games I had started but didn’t put much time in.

In Bravely Default I just killed the first boss pair Barras Lehr the Monk and Holly Whyte the White Mage. Naturally I immediatly made Tiz a Monk and Agnes a White Mage. So far I’m having a blast on the game, it’s obviously based on Final Fantasy but I don’t mind (no surprise with Square Enix as maker).

I’ve also picked up Pokémon X again. A friend of mine sent me a bunch of Pokémon from his Y verson a while ago, including Yveltal, and I haven’t touched it since. I was only at the Perfume palace right after the first Gym and I’ve made my way to the second Gym with a lot of awesome Pokémon now.
I’ve been pondering if I should get Pokémon Bank, purely to get a shitton of Pokémon over from my older Pokémon versions. I have a lot of event Pokémon on both my Black and Heartgold versions (Jirachi, Celebi, Mew, Shiny Giratina and Dialga and the 3 Shiny Dogs from Heartgold and Latios), some double, which I really want to put on my Pokémon X. With a Shiny Gengar and Diancie event coming up it just feels right to have everything on one game. Plus in my humble opinion from the entire series so far Black (2) and White (2) have been the weakest games so I wouldn’t actually mind emptying out my Pokémon Black into X.
It will probably be even more relevant with the new Pokémon games around the corner, I’m totally getting Omega Sapphire, to get the Pokémon Bank but also to finally finish up X.

Next to playing my 3DS I’ve also been playing Destiny a lot. A whole damn lot. I’ve clocked in over 40 hours already on my Warlock and I’m still loving it. I’m currently level 26 and have just unlocked my first Exotic weapon bounty. So excited!
I picked the Toland’s Legacy bounty which will give me a Pulse Rifle: Bad Juju.

Look at it! It looks absolutely badass and I really really want to have it. Too bad they don’t come easy. To obtain this weapon I need to do a Weekly Heroic or Nightfall Weekly strike followed by 25 more strikes. Once I’ve completed those I need to buy a weapon of Xúr, the weekend vendor, for one Strange Coin and finally I will have to obtain 10000 points from kills in PvP. I think the last bit will be my bottleneck, since I absolutely suck at PvP. The rest should be easily doable.
The Queen’s event ended today on Destiny aswell. Luckily I managed to get to rank 2 just in time to buy my awesome glowy Warlock class armband and pink weapons. Yup you read that right, PINK WEAPONS. How to make a girl in an FPS happy eh? Throw Pink/Gold gear and Pink weapons her way.

I’ve also made an alt Hunter on Destiny, so I can get more Strange Coins/Motes of Light per week. It’s currently sitting on level 6, mostly because I have some issues with the playstyle. Warlocks are very spellbased with their Gernades, Super, but also Melee. And I’m so used to being a right handed Melee class that playing a left handed one just confuses me a lot. Not to mention having Double Jump instead of Glide! For now I will have to focus on getting my Bad Juju though and maybe take a peek in the Vault of Glass…

Randomness

I don’t know what’s worth fighting for, or why I had to scream.
I don’t know why I instigate, and say what I don’t mean.
I don’t know how I got this way, I know it’s not allright
So I’m breaking the habit, I’m breaking the habit… tonight.

To quote Linkin Park (from their better days), I don’t know what has gotten over me. I lose my temper very fast. I say things I shouldn’t. I take everything personally. I want to change, I try to change. Must be the stress?

A Healthy Mind In A Healthy Body

Health is important. No matter what you choose to do in life, it’s easier when you feel healthy, physically and psychologically. It’s also difficult.

I’ve gained about 10-12kg in the past year. I went up from 57kg to 69kg. For someone who is 1.60m tall this means that I’m overweight right now. I’m not proud of it. Partially it has to do with switching from a very physically demanding job, I used to be a mailman, to a psychologically demanding job namely addiction care.
When I was still delivering mail, which is done walking here in Holland, I felt fit and had great stamina. I made one big mistake however. When you walk for 3-5 hours a day you burn a lot of fat, but once there is no more fat to burn you star to burn muscles. To counteract this you ideally want to do strength exercises, something I neglected to do. So when I stopped working for the mail and started to get a desk job, my metabolism while resting was really really slow because I’d burned so much muscle tissue. And what happens when you essentially sit on your ass all day, even if you don’t eat more than normal? Exactly you gain weight.

It also didn’t help that my time working with addicted patients was probably one of the most stressful times of my life so far. These are people that are very unpredictable so you always need to have your guard up. I have had to deal with aggressive clients myself and when I was working there a coworker of mine go physically assaulted, leading to a burnout on her end and a big warning sign for the rest of us. Do Not Trust the clients. They are unpredictable, aggressive and unstable.
Next to this you also get to hear the most emotional, heartbreaking tales and it takes a lot of effort to steel yourself against this. I’ve heard so many things that almost reduced me to tears and I always had to keep up a mask because I was the professional, it sucked.

Stress does funny things to the body. I was perpetually tired. I would come home and go straight to bed untill dinner. I slept for over 10 hours whenever I had a day off and still feel tired. My energy was as good as gone and everyday became a chore. I never felt really relaxed. I never felt like I could really enjoy anything I did. Food started to taste bland and I felt hungry at absurd times. All this led to me being in the state I am now.
I won’t say I’m obese, because I’m not. I won’t say I’m really fat, because I’m not. But when I look in the mirror I see the extra weight and it makes me sad. Trying to get it off again has been hard. I am still low on energy in general and motivating myself to work out is a challenge all on it’s own. I try to go to the gym atleast 2 times a week, but some weeks I just can’t bring myself to go.

I hope I can somehow get some motivation to work out again. I have a few dumbells lying around that desperately need using and a steps machine that is looking at me accusingly. Maybe I’ll get on it later today. For now I’m just going to wallow a bit and kick myself over being so lazy.

Destiny… my Destiny?

It’s been a bit quiet on my end again. I’ve been consumed by games, finishing my Master’s Thesis and trying to find a job.
The job part isn’t really coming along well yet tho…

As it stands now a lot of things have happened. My Final Fantasy raid group has fallen apart. There was too much tension and we were carrying one person way too hard. Our main tank quit and that was it for me. I haven’t touched the game in weeks. I feel like I’ve burned out on it completely.

I finished my legendary cloak on World of Warcraft just in time. I will probably main Shadow Priest in Warlords of Draenor and I’m happy with my decision. My old guild on Dragonblight is getting back to raiding again and I want to be a part of it.

I decided to roll with a Wizard on Diablo 3 for the season. I started out on a Barbarian, but for some reason I just get really annoyed with dieing a lot as melee and as Wizard I can dash in and out while surviving most, if not all, monsters. I dinged Paragon level 200 and am having a blast.

I’ve also purchased Destiny and leveled to level 20 on a Warlock. I’m the Voidwalker subclass and absolutely adore playing it. I also finally could say no to levelling a new character simultaneously with a friend. I want to focus on one character per game now and not get sidetracked by new characters/jobs/classes all the time. I feel like I’m too indecisive as a person in general. I get sidetracked by people and things and don’t really focus on one thing at a time.
“But Sandrian, you’re playing four games at once!” I know, I know. But I prefer playing four games at once where I advance one character than playing one game where I play four characters and not really get anything done. Which is what happened throughout most of my gaming career.

Tied to this comes the decision to blog more regularly. I want to have atleast 2 blog posts a week, one on Friday as set day and one random, whenever I feel like writing. This also means that the variety of topics for my blog will be bigger. I will sometimes talk about personal stuff instead of gaming, but I think that will help me grow as a person. And no I’m not really ashamed about who reads my blog, this is my little space where I can get stuff of my chest.

Expect a next post coming in soonish where I tell a bit more about Destiny and why I’ve chosen to drop Wildstar as a game for now.

Opinions Opinions

Although I consider myself to be a gamer I’m not really into the gaming culture. I don’t own every game in existence, I don’t feel the need to discuss in’s and out’s of games and I don’t really know many people who game outside of the people I actually game with.

I follow a few people on Twitter and got a whim of “Gamergate”. Something I decided to stay well away from even though apparently I should be interested because I’m a girl.
I also unfollowed a few people on Twitter because of this whole thing. Sexism is one thing I’m more or less used to on MMO’s by now, but the new wave of feminism is something entirely different. I have seen/experienced many statements now that made me shiver. New wave feminism doesn’t have anything to do with equality anymore, it’s just sexism against men now and that is scary.
Not only that, but people who call themselves “feminists” now seem to have an attitude that if you don’t agree with them, you’re trash. Even if you’re a woman.

You’re either with them or against them. There is no middle ground. And here is where it starts to get disturbing. This has nothing to do with “feminism” anymore. This looks more like terrorist groups like we’re seeing emerge in the Middle East. If you’re not with them, you’re against them and they will shoot you.
Although these extreme feminists haven’t actually physically harmed someone, they can be found verbally abusing/harrassing many women/men for disagreeing with their view of the world. I don’t even want to mention how far they go in their insults, but it get’s pretty extreme.

I know that inequality is still an issue in the world. Men and women aren’t equal on many fronts. But I refuse to let this dictate my life. I get that there are women who are fighting for equal opportunities/rights for all and I support that, but living in a modern, Western, country I feel like a lot of the battle has already been fought.

There’s only a few male bastions left and one of them happens to be gaming. Personally I know that when I make myself known as female on an MMO I will get harassed by a few men. It’s something I’ve gotten used to and that I’ve learned to dismiss. There are however many women who feel like they should be totally accepted into a mostly male world without any fuss or issues. Newsflash: that’s not how it works. Getting angry about this won’t help either. It took many many years before women were fully accepted into the workforce, a change like this won’t happen in a few days or years.
There are however a lot of men online who are nice and completely accepting of girls in their little gaming world, who think women are equal and have just as much rights to play as they do. These are not “white knights” but just normal men where you can have normal interactions with. And I feel like they are mostly the victims of the new wave feminists.

In short, because I’m losing coherence, I feel like the new wave feminists destroy more than they accomplish, I unfollowed a few ladies on Twitter because of this (yes ladies, you aren’t infallible, you can’t just say anything and get away with it because you’re “feminist”) and I feel like extreme people like that should keep their nose out of the gaming world.