Blaugust

WoW Classic – The Struggle

A lot of people seem to be over the moon about playing World of Warcraft Classic. My old guild from retail Alliance side has rolled Horde en masse on a PvP server, and are experience the subsequent ridiculous queues, and seem to be having a blast. I see people like Belghast really find their love for WoW again with this experience. Hell one of the friends that I met through Final Fantasy XIV has taken the leap straight back into WoW Classic and is sitting somewhere around level 30 as we speak. All around it seems like most people are enjoying themselves and I find that to be a very positive thing. However…

As I got home out of work today, and I did my daily walk, I was actually quite on the fence about logging onto Classic. I mentioned a few of the negatives I’ve experienced so far in my previous post and it seems like today somehow made these things even more prevalent for me. When I come home and sit down to play a game I want something that I enjoy and that is rather “effortless” to do. In retail WoW I have all my fancy stuff, I’m at endgame level and I can casually level alts when I want to. The same goes for FFXIV. In Classic however I’m starting over at nothing and will have to build everything from the ground up. I don’t have any means of transportation than endlessly running everywhere or taking a flight path every now and then. My character feels very squishy even now that I have a Voidwalker that can tank for me. Since a lot of people have taken the leap to play Classic you really either have to group up with people to get quests done or just try to find a spawn place for mobs and camp that particular place relentlessly in the hopes of getting your quest done. Don’t even get me started on the fact that if you do group up loot isn’t shared and so you often find yourself having to kill way more mobs just so everyone can get their stuff. But the biggest thing for me is that I don’t really have a nice community surrounding me. I joined the guild of my FFXIV friend but they hardly talk in guild chat. I don’t really know anyone else I’d like to join playing Classic since it’s either only knowing 1-2 people or just having to start in a guild from scratch. I just don’t have the energy for that. Classic is not the warm bath for me that it seems to be for a lot of other folks and as such I think that I will just designate myself to logging sporadically to progress as the mood takes me. I may make up some sort of MMO rotation where Classic just gets one day a week and the rest of my time will go to retail or FFXIV… If even that.

I’m happy that I didn’t really hype myself up for this release but rather took the “I’m going to make a character and see how it goes” approach. So far it feels more like a chore to play the game than actual fun although I do appreciate seeing all the zones in their old state again. I just miss too many things from retail to stick around. I want my achievement system, my transmog tab and my mounts and pets. I want summoning stones to be actual summoning stones. I don’t really mind the lack of a grouping tool but shared loot and mob tagging has become so natural that it feels like an insult to have that taken away again. Maybe it’s because I never truly “played” Vanilla WoW. I started playing right before The Burning Crusade came out and didn’t really seriously get into the game untill towards the end of that expansion and the start of Wrath of the Lich King. My WoW “glory” days were mostly in the period from 2008 untill 2013 so my nostalgia goggles are just not that strong for the Vanilla era. Perhaps when they release a Wrath of the Lich King server I will happily jump on board. For now though I’m dialing the Classic back to minimum and will probably go back to playing more retail and FFXIV instead.

WoW Classic… Yeah I’m playing it

As many other people like me I’ve succumbed to my curiousity and rolled a character on the Classic World of Warcraft servers. I guess I don’t have to say what class I rolled because the imp pet is kind of a dead giveaway but I rolled a Warlock. I wanted to be a caster but a bit more beefy than a Mage so Warlock it is. As of writing I have played for about five and a half hours and made it halfway to level 11. I specced my first talent point into the Affliction tree so I can start working towards that sweet instant cast Corruption spell. I have also just unlocked my second minion, a Voidwalker named Juk’mon. He will be the one I will have out the most I think because it acts as a personal tank when questing, which is super nice when you are a caster and not really happy about taking damage. It’s one of the main reasons I picked Warlock but the free mount at level 40, if I ever make it that far, isn’t too bad either.

I’m really taking my time here and just play the game super casually. I put in somewhere between one or two hours a night, ticking off some boxes quest wise and trying to have fun. I have accepted the (in)famous Hogger quest right before I logged off and I plan to tackle that tomorrow when I get home from work. Once I finish that I think I will start setting foot into Westfall and start questing there. I have to admit to installing Questie, a quest helper addon, to make sure that I pick up everything that is around in the zone quest wise. I’m just so used to seeing quest markers on the map from Final Fantasy XIV and WoW retail that I can’t live without them anymore. It has made my life significantly easier so far I can tell you that much.

I do have to say that I miss a lot of the quality of life stuff that comes with the retail version of WoW. I hate having to run everywhere. Of the time I’ve played so far I’m pretty sure that about 25% of that is spent on running everywhere. Going from one end to the other end of Elwynn Forest, the human starting zone, is easily a ten minute run. It’s something I didn’t miss at all. It does slow down the pace of the game significantly, probably one of the reasons why it took forever to get to maximum level back in the day. I do like that people tend to group up a lot for doing quests and that everyone is poor so making 50 silver of a stack of leather is actually kind of awesome. All in all though I find Classic to be quite draining to play. Everything goes slow. You’re really weak compared to what Im used to from other MMO’s and WoW retail. Things just take much, much longer than what they do now. I was complaining about how long it took me to unlock flying on WoW retail but just getting my Warlock to level 10 has taken me three evenings of playing already, something you do in retail in about an hour.
But I digress.

For now Classic is a nice distraction. It has it’s flaws but, for the time being, a very active community and tons of people playing. I will probably keep you updated as I keep playing this game but I’m not sure if I have the patience to get all the way to level 60. I guess time will tell.

Blogging Burnout?

My last blog post was around 5 days ago. I’ve done one attempt since at writing a post and then deleted after I was done with it because it was just utter trash and not worth publishing. I have to admit I’ve been in a bit of a blogging burnout this week. I’ve expressed this on the Blaugust Discord and have gotten some tips on how to beat this and I guess just sitting down and writing about why I haven’t been writing seems like the best answer. And hey, maybe this post won’t turn out so bad as I think it will in my head right now.

I think the biggest reason for me not writing anything is because I feel like I don’t really have anything interesting to say. I’m playing my two MMO’s, World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV, and am quite on track to tick off the goals I’ve set for myself for the month of August. I’ve not really touched Final Fantasy VIII or Spider-man at all this month and I’m just going to let that go. I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and play both of those games and I don’t want to force myself to play just because I said I would. I play games because I want to have fun, not because I feel like I need to. In lieu of this I don’t have much to talk about. Of course there has been some progress, especially in FFXIV, but I don’t really want to post an update every day with “look at what I’ve done in this MMO!”. Mostly because I feel it’s not that interesting to read. Or maybe it is. I don’t know.

I have picked up Oninaki on a whim for my Switch and have been playing enough to form a first impression but I’m not sure how to translate it into a blog post right now. I just want to play the game and not write about it. If that makes sense? It’s also not like I’ve been playing for hours on end, it’s been my “commute to/from work” game and the “I’m waiting in queues or watching League of Legends on the side” game. As such my play sessions are very short, which is actually one of the perks of owning it on the Switch. Of course picking up a new game means some of my other games, who deserve playtime aswell, get put to the wayside. And this is how my backlog grows.

So yeah. This is kinda how my life/days look like right about now. My life isn’t that interesting. I work. I eat. I sleep. I game. I don’t play that many games, truly I’m an MMO addict with a preference for what I know without trying many new things. I just can’t do the “play a ton of games at a given time!” thing like Syp and Belghast can. Maybe that’s fine though. I don’t know. Maybe I should just stick to progress posts for games that I enjoy. I mean it’s still better than a post like this right? I have some thinking to do and as such I’m not sure how many posts I will throw out this next week. Mayb WoW Classic will be the inspiration I need, but untill then I may just step away from blogging for a bit, take a breath and focus on what I want to do and want to be as blogger.

Flying unlocked (again)!

A day before I thought I would I unlocked flying once again for all my characters in the new expansion. This speeds up so many things in World of Warcraft, especially when it comes to doing quests and gathering. No longer will I have to do everything by ground mount while dodging half a zone worth of mobs, yes I’m looking at you Nazjatar. Honestly I’m still not sold on the whole “pathfinder” achievement and that flying is an unlock way later in the expansion than it’s been since Mists of Pandaria. I do understand how it ties in to keeping people playing by not handing everyone stuff on a silver platter but still. I rather go back to the “buy this tome to unlock flying” and Blizzard actually use their resources to add more dungeons or other content than this silly content gating by achievement.

With this out of the way I can dial back my gameplay of WoW again, like I’ve done with Final Fantasy XIV, and maybe finally spend some time playing Final Fantasy 8. I’ve set up the game via Steam and played for an hour or so but other than that I haven’t really touched the game, and I do want to start making progress there. I will probably also aim to get a few hours of Guild Wars 2 in while I’m at it and maybe during the weekend play Spider-man on my Playstation 4. I’m still determined to complete more goals on the list I set for myself this month but ticking off the whole WoW flying thing has been major for me. I’m also pretty chuffed with the mount you get as you unlock flying, a bright yellow mechanical parrot, and will probably use it as mount of choice on my Rogue for a bit as I delve into other content than just grinding out dailies. I have Mechagon to do as I’ve just unlocked the quest to go there and defeat the final boss with achieving Revered reputation. I want to do the Zuldazar and Aszhara raid and I want to work on leveling Engineering.

Was it worth gritting my teeth and grinding this out? Probably. Would I do it again like this? No. I rather just casually play and unlock flying in a more natural way than grinding for 2+ hours every day just to unlock it as soon as possible. This would probably be the case if I had kept playing the game instead of taking a break. Oh well. Lesson learned.

Establishing routines

The above screenshot has nothing to do with the topic of my post. But I thought it was pretty so I put it as top image. This post will not be very much gaming related but more personal and real life rooted.

I realise that I kind of skipped over the whole “getting to know you” week in Blaugust. I’ve seen some posts here and there telling people’s “life stories” and gaming history. I don’t really feel the need to regale about my life on here dating all the way back to my childhood. Mostly because my childhood was pretty rough and I don’t really enjoy talking about it so yeah. Instead I want to focus on the me of the present and a few big crossroads that are coming up in my life right now.
So where do I begin…

I think the biggest part is that I’m trying to teach myself new habits. Over the last 6-7 years my physical health has been slowly declining. Back in 2012 I was pretty active at University and I was in a dedicated relationship and happy. I had a sidejob that consisted of me being a mail(wo)man which expanded during the summer as I picked up the areas for people that were going on vacation. During that time I was very healthy and very happy with who I was. I wasn’t overweight and I was happy with how I looked as a whole. Fast forward to now and I’m around 30kg overweight (about 66lbs for my US based readers) and it’s weight that I need to shed. It’s bothering me because I can’t wear the clothes that I like, it’s causing me all sorts of minor aches and most importantly I just don’t feel like my normal self. So I’ve been trying to break some old unhealthy habits and replacing them with newer healthier ones. For instance I make sure to go on a brisk 30-40min walk every day after dinner. This helps me digest better and makes sure I don’t become a couch potato for the entire evening after I’ve already had a day of sitting down at work. As added bonus I’m slowly building up stamina in preparation for my Japan trip next year and I can feel the burn in especially my legs when I come home. Next to this I’ve banned sweets and savory snacks from my home during the week aswell as soda pops. I have a weakness for Diet Coke and Coke Zero and even though they are without sugar they’re still bad for you. Because I’m only human after all I indulge myself with a liter of Coke of choice and a snack that I can drink/eat during the weekend. Anything that is left over will go under lock and key untill the next weekend and I have to say it’s surprisingly easy to just not touch anything food related after I eat dinner.
Another thing that I’ve picked up is doing around 10 minutes of yoga in the morning to wake up and stretch all my muscles. It’s just a quick way of getting centered and prepped for the day and I notice that I arrive at work much more awake than normally. Both of these things mean that I’ve had to adjust my morning and after work routines which now look something like this:
Morning: Get up > yoga > breakfast > wash up > dress > do hair and make-up > leave the house
Evening: Come home > cook & eat > walk > do dishes > shower > blog > game/hobby till 22.45 > go to bed
I’ve only started this routine last week but I hope to be able to keep this up for as long as possible. It’s still nice weather out for evening walks and in the weekends I tend to go during the day on Saturday and Sunday is my “lazy rest day” where I skip both the walk and yoga.

Another thing that I need to start thinking about and start making decisions on is where I want to head career wise. I’ve applied for a senior function within my department a few weeks back and I will hear back about it next week. I’m fully taking into consideration that I won’t get the job and then I really need to do some soul searching on what I do want to do then. I’ve been a bit stuck in my department on a job that is becoming less fulfilling over time for a while now. I have my Psychology degree but I don’t really want to pursue a career in that field. Alternatively I can just sit out my time here since I have a steady contract with the company and maybe do some courses or evening school for things that I enjoy. The big question is what is it that I enjoy. As with games I tend to get bored fast of jobs in real life. Once I learn how to do something and am at peak efficiency for said task I get bored and need a new challenge. I’m noticing that I’m just not really having fun showing up at work anymore… And that’s not really a state anyone should be in.

Finally after I lose some weight in the coming months I may want to dive headfirst back into the dating game. Being alone isn’t everything and although I don’t really seek anything serious or long-time right now it would be nice to have someone to share certain things with. I’ve been putting this off since I’m just so unhappy with how I feel right now that I don’t want to burden anyone else with it.

The coming few weeks/months will be crucial for my physical and mental wellbeing and I can only hope everything turns out for the best. If not, it won’t be because I didn’t give it my all!

Accidental Azeroth Progress

After me complaining two days ago that progress was going very slowly in World of Warcraft when it came to the reputation grind, I apparently completed a quest that opened up a very long and interesting questchain. It culminated in the picture shown above where Jaina and First Arcanist Thalyssra open up the way into Aszhara’s Eternal Palace and give me the quest to go and kill her. Because of this, and because of all the World Quest and dailies that I did on the side, I’m suddenly finding myself only 100 reputation away with Revered when it comes to the Waveblade Ankoan. Which means I only have to do two more WQ’s to get there.

I feel like a bit of a weight has lifted off my shoulders here. Grinding for flying is sucky enough but since I gave myself the deadline to obtain it before WoW Classic launches it meant I had to spend a lot of time playing WoW the past few weeks. More than I had anticipated and it was starting to make me resent logging on. Knowing that I’m basically only a few days away of unlocking flying, I’m currently also almost 9/12k into Honored with the Rustbolt Resistance, has made me much more relaxed with my time spent here. All in all it means that I should be soaring over the Battle of Azeroth zones by Wednesday, assuming I play enough every day to get the Mechagon stuff done aswell. Coincidentally this occurs together with me finishing off the Mechagon spider mount, which is only three quests away for me aswell! It will be nice to add another mount to my collection. I’m definitely planning to do the Eternal Palace raid somewhere next reset aswell since I think all wings should be available in Looking For Raid then. Or perhaps I should do the Zuldazar raid first since I completely skipped that…

All in all I’m quite happy the end is in sight for my flying in Azeroth goal. Of course the next step is to get my reputation up to Exalted with both factions, and earn my 90 reputations Exalted achievement, but that should be much easier when I can just fly from quest to quest instead of making my way to flight points and then barreling past mobs hoping they won’t daze me off my mount. I also may want to dabble in leveling up my Engineering more seeing as I got my mining to 175 skill, which is the current maximum, but my Engineering is stuck at 131. It probably has something to do with the fact that Engineering as profession just majorly sucks to level up. You don’t really get many useful things from it and everything just takes so much materials to craft that I’ve kind of thrown my hands in the air at some point after I made myself the helmet/goggles, which weren’t even upgradeable at the time. But I digress. Let’s see if the final two WQ’s I need for the Ankoan spawn somewhere before I go to bed so I can finish off that reputation today and otherwise I will definitely finish it off tomorrow.

First level 80 gatherer achieved!

I’ve been ticking off a lot of boxes in Final Fantasy XIV over the past few days. I’ve gotten my Culinarian to 50 and caught up on job quests. After that I got my Alchemist to 70 and caught up on job quests there. Today I sat down for a few hours and decided to grind out the final few levels I needed for both Botanist and Miner. As of right now my Miner is a little over halfway to level 80 but my Botanist made the finish line and is now max level! The Crystarium hand-in quest at level 78 helped a lot with that, seeing as it propelled me all the way to 79 after hand-in. This meant that I had an entire level difference between Botanist and Miner but oh well. I bought a few scrolls to help me level faster and after 2-3 rounds of levequests I finally hit that sweet maximum level, meaning I have one less job to do. I’m fully intending to also get my Miner to level 80 tomorrow… Which should be doable in 4-5 levequests.

Unfortunately I’m now on the gearing part. Seeing as I don’t have any max level crafting jobs (yet) and I’m a poor poor little lass, I own barely 5 million gil in FFXIV, I’m kind of relegated to farming white scrips to gear my Botanist/Miner up with. I can easily get the 240 scrips per week from the weekly turn-ins at Zhloe but, as I found out today, my gear is woefully inadequate for regular white scrip farming. It may have something to do with the fact that I’m still rocking an entire level 70 accesories side… That I can only upgrade with crafted gear. So I may just take it easy and farm the scrips via weekly turn-ins… Which would only take me 10-15 mins each week to do.

With ticking off these two jobs at 80 I’m actually quite close to completing the goals I’ve set for FFXIV this month, not counting the weekly tomestones and relic one. Grabbing them from my initial Blaugust post I really only have one left.

  • Level my Black Mage to 80. Level my Red Mage to 80
  • Level my Alchemist to 70. Level my Culinarian to 50. Level my Botanist and Miner to 80

So with FFXIV I’m mostly turning my attention to leveling my Red Mage, which is sitting at level 72 at this moment, and capping tomestones on my White Mage. I actually got all the upgrades I need from Eden when it comes to healing gear so I can now freely roll on every item when it drops again so I can start gearing up my casters. I picked up healing boots and a ring from the new tomestones and I think I’m going to keep on picking up the smaller pieces of gear first, just to boost my item level. I’m not sure if I want to get the weapon yet since it will cost me 1000 tomestones and I’m not sure if it’s worth it seeing I already have the Titania EX weapon. Once my Red Mage is 80 I need to decide what class I want to level next… I’m leaning heavily towards Monk because I’ve always loved the playstyle of the class and I really want to level something melee based after leveling only casters for the first few months of the expansion. I’ll see. For now the goal is Red Mage and White Mage stuff.

Slow goings: Azeroth Edition

I’ve been slowly picking away at my dailies in World of Warcraft. Overall I feel like Mechagon is easier than Nazjatar but I’m starting to see some progress on both sides. I’m sitting on 7.6/12k towards getting Revered with the Waveblade Ankoan right now and roughly at 5/12k towards getting Revered with the Rustbolt Resistance. It’s not fast going at all and I don’t do everything I should be doing every day but I’m slowly getting there nonetheless. If I keep this up I may actually unlock flying before Classic launches!

I’ve been really trying to make this grind less painful. It’s just doing the dailies every day plus Worldquests gets really boring fast. Catch up mechanics in WoW suck so bad compared to Final Fantasy XIV that it’s not even funny. When I was actively playing WoW I could log in and play for 30 mins to get my stuff done and log back out. Maybe a bit longer if I wanted to do Looking for Raid or a dungeon or battlefront. Now however I’m spending 1.5 to 2 hours per evening just poking away at quests and it’s just not that fun. I know it’s worth it in the end because it means I will unlock flying for all the characters on my account and I will have a much less painful time leveling alts like my Warrior, who I’ve put off leveling because I want flight. So I know what the cake is at the end of the road but I’m really resenting Blizzard for making the road a viking race where I’m way behind the rest of the group.

Honestly there’s nothing much else to write about. My WoW dailies are on track. I actually fixed my sleep schedule, yay and life goes it’s normal way.

A little bit of Dutch music

I’ve mentioned more than once on this blog that I hail from the best country in the world: The Netherlands. No seriously. We are.
When you look it up on a world map we are about the size of a pin. 17 million people cramped into a piece of land that’s about 350km tall and 200km wide. I think there are cities out there which are the size of multiple provinces here. Being such a tiny country has many advantages and disadvantages. One of the things we “struggle” with is that basically no one speaks our language. It’s one of the reasons that children here get taught English and other languages from an early age. It’s good because it makes our country more international but on the other side it also means that the proficiency in Dutch is slowly declining with new generations. A lot of our language is being saturated with English words, even when it’s not really necessary.

So today I want to put a bit of a spotlight on our beautiful language through the means of popular pop songs! I know that most of my readerbase won’t understand a word that’s being sung and that my language sounds like simlish to anyone who isn’t Dutch/Dutch speaking but give it a listen anyway. Enjoy! The songs are a mix of “hot right now” and older hits going back to around 2000.

Indecisions in games

Names reserved

I’m starting to find it increasingly hard to keep writing a blog post daily. Mostly because I’ve come to the point that I simply don’t know what to write about. I know I can turn to other people’s blogs for inspiration, but right now I’m just not in the mood.

I’ve been struggling with the “schedule” I set for myself for during the week. Mostly because I come home and am really tired. Work is slightly soul destroying at the moment and the only thing I want to do when I get home is sit infront of the TV and vegetate or just straight up head to bed. Most of my gaming “plans” are falling through because of this. Logging into Final Fantasy XIV or World of Warcraft seems like a chore, unless I actually sit down and start playing. Then it’s fine. It’s more the whole having to sit down and actually start playing part that is bothering me. I have the same when it comes to single player games. A few months ago I managed to (finally) finish Kingdom Hearts 3. The reason I managed to do it was because I forced myself to just sit down and start playing. The moment I did that I had trouble putting down the controller and would clock in 6-8 hour play sessions at some point because I just wanted to see where the game went. But just sitting down, starting up my Playstation 4 and start playing for some reason just took me so much effort… And I may think I have found the cause (besides the obvious being too tired to want to do anything).

I’ve been stretching myself a bit thin when it comes to gaming and gaming goals. Not only am I trying to actively keep up with two MMO’s right now, WoW and FFXIV, I want to casually get back into Guild Wars 2. I want to play two single player games at the same time and am actually playing a third on my way to and from work (Final Fantasy IV on my modded Gameboy Advance). Not to even start about the shows I’m trying to keep up with and the reading I’m trying to get done. Every time I try to decide what to do I’m kind of overcome with this “decision anxiety”. Because if I do my dailies in WoW I probably won’t have the time to do anything else for the rest of the evening. The same goes with pursuing leveling in FFXIV or GW2. When I pick up FFIV or Spider-Man I won’t get any progress in anywhere else, especially my MMO’s. As you can see I’m going in circles. I do X and then I can’t do Y. It’s why I try to set up goals for myself on a monthly basis and then need to step away from said game. Right now I’m doing this with FFXIV. I’ve gotten my crafters to the level I want. I leveled my Black Mage to 80. I’m not touching any new crafters for the time being. That leaves me with doing ex-roulette five times a week and half an hour of leves on my Botanist/Miner when I get round to it. If I want I can just set aside a day and powerlevel those to 80 in an afternoon, reducing the time I need to spend on FFXIV even more. I’m working hard to get into this mindset, that it’s okay to roulette in and out of games. It’s okay to put things aside once I met my goals for the month.

I guess it’s still a small part of me that struggles with MMO addiction in a way. I kind of envy the people who just play one game and are perfectly happy doing so. At times I curse the day I got introduced to WoW because it’s sucked me in to a gaming genre that just consumes so much time… And it’s caused me to grow my backlog of single player games significantly. I’m still trying to find balance in these things and although I’m much better at it than a few years ago, I still feel like I’m quite far off the mark.