Gaming

Controllers and Tiny Hands

I told Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut yesterday that I really enjoyed his post about finding a controller that would suit someone who has big hands. Mostly because I suffer from the exact opposite. My hands are, by all standards, tiny. It comes with the total package of being only 1.60m (or 5f3in for my US friends) tall. I have a small shoe size and smaller than average hands. Just to draw an equation: My best friend’s daughter, who is only 7 years old, almost has as big hands as I do.
Having these tiny hands can be very handy in some situations but for someone who likes playing games, a lot, this has caused it’s share of issues over the years in finding what controller and mouse fit my hand nicely without feeling too uncomfortable.
I can honestly say that I’ve not yet found a controller that is truly comfortable to hold for me, but there are a few that come very, very close.

Playstation’s Dualshock


I’ve been a Playstation gamer since I was very young. Their dualshock controllers have therefore always made the most sense to me layout wise and I guess I trained my hands from a very young age to handle this specific controller. Is it completely comfortable for me to hold? No. However this comes closest to taking the cake. It’s one of the smaller controllers out there and ergonomically it’s pretty good to be holding for longer amounts of time. In it’s current incarnation I can reach all buttons, although I have some issues with using the touchpad itself. My thumbs sort of reach the lower bottom corners so I can press it when needed but when I need to use the navigational features I have to take one hand off the grip and navigate that way because my thumbs just don’t extend enough.
Any variation of the Dualshock usually turns out bigger and bulkier and as such I never bought anything else to play with, with the so called “Pro” controllers being completely unusable for me. I currently own two Dualshock Controllers. One that came with my Original PS4 and one that I bought on sale a few years back so that I always have one to use while the other one charges. They’re very sturdy and I think they will serve me well for a few more years atleast.

The Nintendo Switch Joycons

Surprisingly, I really enjoy handling the Nintendo Switch Joycons. I guess this stems from the fact that the Switch has been partly developed to be handled by children and as such the Joycons are pretty small by any standard. I actually really enjoy just taking the Joycons off the Switch and play with holding one of them in each hand. They fit snugly and I can easily reach all the buttons. And even though I show them in the picture with the wrist straps attached I actually prefer playing without those. It’s kind of a shame that Joycons are so ridiculously expensive, €75-80 for a pair. I currently own two pairs. The pair pictured here and the neon blue/red ones that came with my Switch when I bought it.
Compared to the Dualshock the Joycons do feel way more fragile and “cheap” in a way, but then again they are much smaller and still hold all that technology to make them work. For me the small and flat shape of the Joycons is ideal atleast and I have no issues playing for hours with them. I even want to go as far as to say that these are the best controllers Nintendo has made for me so far since the NES/SNES area where controllers were still much smaller. And even back then the NES/SNES controllers were inferior to the SEGA Mega drive (Genesis in the US) controller for my tiny kid hands since the Genesis controller was curved whereas the NES controllers were square bricks and the SNES controllers just made no sense to my kid brain. And as far as the rest of Nintendo contraptions go.. Let’s just say I’m happy that they went with Joycons.
I think the only downside to the Joycons is that they’re miss a bit of grip on the backside of them. If they had a place where I could comfortably rest my fingers they would most definitely take the top spot for me.

And I think for me the list ends here with controllers that I actually use without feeling like my hands cramp up from having to hold them for a longer amount of time. It may be a bit dull but I’ve not really owned many different types of consoles and thus controllers in my lifetime. I was always a handheld gamer, which was pretty nice for someone with small hands. Even there I notice that I can’t really use some handhelds properly though. When I was a kid I got a Gameboy Pocket because the bigger original Gameboy was just way too bulky to hold. I’ve always owned the smaller versions of the Nintendo handheld lines and even though my “main” handheld is a 3DS XL right now it’s actually a bit too big to fit my hands properly and as result I can’t play with it for very long before my hands get tired from holding it.

There’s two more controllers that I can handle okay, but that I don’t really feel belong on this list, and that’s the Switch Pro controller and the Wii-U Pro controller. They’re both slightly too big for my hands, for instance on the Wii-U controller I can’t really reach the Home button well but ergonomically they do work, with the button layout on the Wii-U one being a bit more sensible to me.

And for all other controllers out there.. I’m sure I’ve not tested enough to really form an opinion. There is however one controller that is just a HUGE no for me.. And that’s the XBOX one. Sorry Microsoft.
I own a wired 360 controller that I bought before I got my PS4 to play games with a controller on my PC. I managed to make it work but ever since I got my PS4 I switched to the Dualshock and basically chucked that controller into a corner and never looked back. The layout is horrible for my hands. The controller is too big and just so unwieldy for me to hold, I really don’t enjoy playing anything with it at all. This has been true for all incarnations of the XBOX controllers and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

All in all I feel the scope of controllers for people with small hands is rather limited. I know that in the PC gaming world they’ve developed some mice for women, which are smaller, but maybe the console world should start looking into this aswell. Not all gamers are men and there are some of us out there that could do with smaller and less weighty controllers that are easier to wield. I think Google has tried to make an effort with their Stadia controller, which they designed with smaller hands in mind aswell so they can appeal to a larger audience. Unfortunately I don’t think I will ever get to test that controller since I don’t ever plan to subscribe to Stadia but atleast there’s one company making an effort.

So if any representative from Nintendo, Playstation or Microsoft happens to come across this post, design a controller for small hands! You have so many women and girls that play your consoles and I for one would be so happy to own a controller that is truly nice to hold, where I can actually reach all the buttons and that isn’t heavy after an hour of play.

Pad Thai and Samurai Shenanigans

Last monday my Samurai hit level 80. It was actually pretty fast as far as leveling up went, faster than I expected. I’m quite happy that it’s over because overal I’m not a huge fan of Samurai as a class. I kind of miss the logic in the class. The self buffs you put up don’t really time out like the Monk and Dragoon stuff does so you’re not really forced into a steady pattern of attacks, besides activating the right stuff so you can use Midare Setsugekka. I also find that Samurai has a lot of skills outside of the global cooldown and they’re kind of hard to manage. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I doubt I would enjoy this class playing it fulltime at 80. I had the same thing with Black Mage and like Black Mage I will probably put Samurai in a corner and won’t pull it out again unless I’m extremely bored or untill the next expansion drops, either one.
This sentiment may change over time though and I might just do some shenanigans on it but for now it’s another notch on the level 80 belt and I’m moving on to my next class, which is Dancer. I’m kind of enjoying the class, although the scope of it is limited since I’m only level 62. I hope I can level it up decently fast so I unlock more skills and steam to 80 before the month is over. I also decided to grab some nice gear for my Dragoon and take that through atleast the Pixie dailies every day to start slowly leveling that up to 80 aswell. Since I’m max rank with the Pixies that’s actually a nice amount of experience every day.

In real life work has not really let up that much. I’ve worked overtime most days again but I managed to connect with an old friend I met through World of Warcraft this Thursday. He had to be in the area for work and messaged me if I wanted to go out to dinner and catch up. I accepted and we wound up at a local Thai place where I ordered the Pad Thai and was kind of blown away by the true mountain of food I had on my plate.
For reference, Dutch portions are quite small usually. I can order an entree and a main course and be full from that most of the time, with very rarely having room for dessert. These are decent plates of food, nothing to extravagant but enough to fill you up properly. This Pad Thai though was of another level. I ate about half of it and took the other half with me to eat at home today and it was still a full plate of food. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten such a big portion anywhere and it was the first time I actually took food back home. Meeting up with my friend was nice though and we dredged up memories of the good old days of raiding in WoW and the guild we were in. It made me realise that my life looked very different 8-10 years ago and that I’ve grown as a person a lot in that time. Sometimes I miss those days where I had a tight knit community of online friends that I would play with almost every night but life does its thing and you end up getting out of touch with many people over the years. I don’t think I could do the 4-5 days a week raiding schedule anymore now that I have a fulltime job and other obligations and I salute anyone who can. I’m firmly in “casual” gamer mode these days and in some ways that’s probably the best thing that has happened to me.
For now though I’m looking forward to a nice relaxed weekend filled with gametime again and taking my car for a spin, if the weather allows it.

Gaming Goals: November 2019 In Review

So. In a whim I’ve decided to shake up my monthly goal posts. Even though I really enjoy setting myself some longer term goals I feel like they’re just summaries of all the things I didn’t achieve lately. So instead I want to turn these monthly posts into “reviews” at the end of the month with a short focus on expectations for the coming month instead.
No more detailed goals, no more frustrations over me getting to the goals or not but instead a positive focus on all the things I did manage to accomplish. So let’s start out shall we?

In Final Fantasy XIV…
I’ve had a very productive month. I’ve leveled my Blacksmith, Armorer and Leatherworker all up to level 70/71. This was helped by the crafting/gathering overhaul that patch 5.1 presented and I have decided to take my focus off crafting for the time being since I have achieved the goal that I wanted to at the start of the month. I’ve also completed all the associated job quests for these classes, allowing me to focus fully on those last ten levels when I feel like it.
In a moment of realization that levequests have also been boosted significantly experience wise I managed to take my Fisher from level 48 to 64 in a single hour by just buying fish off the Market Board and handing them in to the levequest people. I’m a bit stuck now though and instead am catching up on all the job quests that I’ve skipped. I’m sitting on the one for level 55 right now which I’m actually trying to complete on my own. I have unlocked Spearfishing aswell and I’m quite curious to see that in action once I’ve caught up on all the job quests.
On the battle jobs front I’ve taken my Monk and Paladin up to level 80 and my Samurai to 77. I’ve deviated from my original plan for this a bit but it has paid off in the end. I finished the last remaining class questchain in Shadowbringers, the Tank one, and opened up the final quest that ties all those class quests together. I’ve gone back and done the level 80 Monk, Paladin and Astrologian quests and enjoyed all the small stories they told.
I’ve also done all the new content that was added with patch 5.1, I unlocked the new deliveries (Kai-Shirr), did the Copied Factory and caught up to the Mainstory. I think the only thing I haven’t properly touched is the Ishgard Restoration but that will probably come up once I turn my attention to crafting again. As for the Pixie dailies.. For all intents and purposes I’ve finished off their story. I am currently not exactly max rank yet but I have the achievement for finishing the “story” and I am the proud owner of a flying pig.
On my White Mage I’ve been slowly getting back into the habit of doing ex-roulettes again so I can start gearing up my other classes and I’ve finished another book for my Animus weapon.
I notice that I tend to play a lot of FFXIV on my days off because it’s just very nice to sit down and get stuff done that way than when I’m tired during the evenings.

On my Nintendo Switch
I have kind of abandoned Link’s Awakening. I managed to get the key to the Angler’s tunnel but I’ve not yet figured out how to get into the dungeon itself. This was around the time that Pokémon released so I shelved the game and instead turned my attention to Pokémon.
In Pokémon Sword I’ve made it past the third badge. My Pokémon are all between level 28-30 and I’ve been sent back into the Wild Area. I have a choice now to backtrack and catch any Pokémon that I missed previously or soldier on to the next town, Hammerlocke, and continue the story and challenge the fourth gym. This is kind of where I left off last week and I’ve not picked the game up yet because I’ve been busy with work and FFXIV.
I am immensly enjoying the game though, in spite of all the negativity surrounding it. I know a lot of hardcore Pokémon fans are really unhappy with a lot of things like a lack of national Pokédex or a very short post game story. Personally I’m just enjoying what the game does have on offer and I am tackling it on my own pace. I do want to aim to complete the Pokédex of this game in earnest so I know I will sink a lot of hours into it the coming months.

In my personal life
I’ve had a really rough month. Work has been an absolute nightmare with me working a lot of overtime and experiencing a lot of stress due to things beyond my control. The only big positive thing was getting my new car last Friday which was everything I hoped for and more. I love the colour and the way it drives. Now I just need to plan a few longer trips so I can take it for a proper spin instead of just driving it around town.
I’ve been watching a lot of tv and reading books. I decided to re-read the Harry Potter series in tandem with the movies that have been showing here every Monday evening. I’m currently halfway through the final book and am rediscovering a lot of things that I had forgotten over time. So a lot of my evenings have revolved around being a couch potato and just staring at the tv, being too tired to really do anything else. I hope the worst has passed though and things will get better from here.

Looking ahead to December…
It will still be a busy month at work and we have holidays to boot. I don’t really have a real vacation to speak off, but I did manage to get the two days off between New Year’s Day and the weekend so there’s that. My Christmas is already booked so I don’t have to worry what I will be doing then and I think I’m going to spend New Year’s Eve at home by myself to enjoy welcoming the new year in my own house for the first time.

I think I will still put the majority of my gaming time into FFXIV to level up more classes and slowly start to gear them up aswell. I really want to find some time to dedicate to World of Warcraft and their anniversary event and Guild Wars 2.
I will definitely have made progress in Pokémon Sword, I may have even defeated the champion if everything goes well.
Maybe the Kingdom Hearts 3 expansion will come out this month aswell and if it does I will set some time aside to buy it and play through whatever they added to the game, even if it only takes me an afternoon.
Other than this everything is up in the air. I realize that I want to blog a bit more often so I may start taking daily notes of what I’ve been up to and turn those into 2-3 weekly posts per week. I guess we’ll see.

Final Fantasy Fever

Today is always a weird day for me. 18 years ago my Mum died on this day and I’ve made a habit of taking it off every year. I never know how I am emotionally. Some years I have a bit of a breakdown and I spend most of the day crying and listening to the wrong songs and other years I feel quite calm and centered and able to enjoy my day. Today has been the latter, but I’m glad I took the day off nonetheless. It’s given me a bit of respite from work and allowed me to have a day to relax and get back into a calmer state of mind. I made sure I did all the stuff I needed to do in the morning and as a result I’ve had most of the day to catch up on a ton of things in Final Fantasy XIV.

I’ve not really been into a proper gaming mood during my evenings after work but that has made me even more eager to pick up my controller and play during my days off. I made a ton of progress last weekend on my Paladin, which I managed to ding 80 Monday evening, and that has set me up for a nice session today. I did roulettes on my Samurai, climbing up to level 71.5. I finished up a lot of job quests that I hadn’t done yet after getting to max level, Paladin, Monk and Astrologian, and I finished up the Tank class quests from Shadowbringers. By doing so I opened up an extra questline that only becomes available when you’ve cleared all the class quests. It ties the stories together neatly and shed light on an unexpected character.. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. All of this though tends to take up quite a bit of time and it was nice sitting down and just getting all that stuff done and getting bits and pieces of additional story and lore along the way. It’s one of the many things I love about this game and seeing as I still have a ton of jobs to level I’m sure I will get to see much more awesome story bits for the coming few months.

As it stands now I still have to level 9 battle jobs. Three tanks (Dark Knight, Warrior, Gunblade), three melee (Samurai, Dragoon, Ninja) and the ranged physical DPS classes (Bard, Machinist, Dancer). I have started on Samurai because it shares gear with Monk and it means I can get rid of all the sub level 80 gear once I’m done leveling. After that I may switch to a ranged class to keep things a bit more interesting. I’m really digging Dancer right now so it may actually be the class I’m going to focus on after I’m done with Samurai instead of Dragoon which was the original plan.
Next to my battle jobs I’ve also made leaps and bounds in leveling my crafters. Right now Leatherworker is the only job that isn’t level 70 yet, but I’m sure I won’t be too far off. Right now it’s sitting at level 66 and about two-third of the way to level 67. All my other crafters are level 70 or 71 and I’m quite content with that. Once my Leatherworker hits the level 70 treshold aswell I may start looking into the whole Ishgard crafting thing while simultaneously doing the quests in the Crystarium for the massive experience boosts that they give. After that the only classes/jobs that I still need to level are Fisher and Blue Mage and I think I will get to those in due time. Fisher is sitting at level 48 and Blue Mage at level 10.

It may sound a bit odd but having all these leveling goals is what is making me have so much fun in the game right now. I may be a bit of a machine when it comes to leveling, I get very single minded and focused on getting things to maximum level but for some reason this helps me relax and wind down. It also helps that the game rewards you with titles and gear and apparently mounts for getting everything to maximum level so that’s an extra boost to my motivation. Sometimes it feels like I’m feverishly playing the game. Pushing myself to my limits in how much experience I can cram into one session and being exuberant when I get to where I want to be. I may even label myself as a bit obsessed sometimes, especially on days like today where I play for hours straight to get things done. I don’t consider it a waste of time though since I gain so much satisfaction from my play sessions, and that is what is enjoying your hobby is all about right?
I have thought about what I want to do once I do get everything to level cap. I guess the next thing in line is to gear up all these jobs by running ex-roulette, raids and primals. I feel pretty confident in my ability as White Mage to dare to join pick up groups and it’s nice to kit out all my classes in the best gear possible. I think I also want to start doing crafting and gathering related achievements to earn even more titles and gear. Then there are tons of things that I’ve not actively participated in yet. Golden Saucer stuff like Chocobo Racing and Triple Triad, PvP, getting one of the Stormblood relic weapons. There’s just so much to do!

For now though I’m going to end my post here and boot my Playstation back up. All dailies have reset about an hour ago and after spending some time cleaning and typing I feel renewed for another session in the lovely world of Eorzea.
Untill next time!

Sandy’s Sunday: A dash of FFXIV

It’s a bit ironic to title my post after Final Fantasy XIV and then open with a screenshot from Pokémon Sword. It’s deliberate though seeing as I’ve made it past the third gym today and am progressing nicely through the game. I’ve been sent back to the Wild Area to make my way to the next big city: Hammerlocke.
I have two choices now. I either power through to Hammerlocke and take on the next gym or I start backtracking and catching all the Pokémon I’ve missed in this first part of the game. As of right now I’m still undecided on what I want so I’m just gonna sleep on it for a night and decide then. All in all I’m really enjoying this new Pokémon game and I’m doing my best to keep a party full of Galar Pokémon. It feels nicer to play that way for some reason. I hope I can get a few more badges, and some more Pokémon, the coming week and make a big push through the game towards the Pokémon League. I really can’t wait to beat Leon and his stupid Charizard. I need to see how Bede, Marnie and Hop work out throughout the story and I’m quite curious as to when I get to catch my Legendary. I guess the only way to find all of that out is to just keep playing.

In other gaming news. I managed to get a few proper sessions of FFXIV in over the weekend and my Paladin is now sitting at level 79. If all goes well it should be level 80 tomorrow evening and I can return to leveling my Samurai and get that pushing up. I know I’ve deviated from the plans a bit but I really wanted to see the Tank story line and so far it hasn’t disappointed, like all of the other storylines.
I’m also still slowly leveling my Leatherworker. I’ve not yet used the whole restoration of Ishgard to level anything yet, preferring to stick to my Beast Tribe dailies. This has taken me to level 59 Leatherworker though and I’m positive that I will ding 62 tomorrow once I’m done with all dailies and job quests. I’ve been desynthesizing a lot of my old gear from my Armoury chest, freeing up a ton of space and leveling my Desynth skill on Weaver, Goldsmith and Blacksmith respectively. I may start diving into Ishgard once my Leatherworker dings level 70 aswell but for now I don’t think I want to spend time on that.
For now I’m still in full leveling mode. I can’t wait to get all my classes to level 80 and be “done” with that part of the game. Then I can start working on properly gearing them and keeping up with other things like Achievements, Golden Saucer and getting my hands on silly amounts of collectibles.

Finally last week has been brutal to me on a personal level. For some reason work has decided to crank things up past eleven and as such I come home completely exhausted every day. Having sick coworkers doesn’t help either and for some reason I find myself in the middle of a struggle between coworkers about how to properly do our job. It’s giving me a headache really and I try to stay away from all of it as much as I can. Alas being in my current function I seem to get dragged into the middle of everything. Let’s hope that next week won’t be the same. I have Wednesday off, it’s my Mum’s memorial day, and my car arrives on Friday meaning I will only work 3.5 days this week to begin with. I guess the only way right now is up.

Sandy’s Sunday: Pokémon time

Last Friday Pokémon Sword and Shield finally launched worldwide. I had pre-ordered the dual pack version which contains both games, a steelbook and apparently a special code together with a friend. I already picked Sword, he picked Shield and we did a coinflip for the steelbook case, which I won.

So far I’ve been having a blast. I’m about 4 hours into the game and am on my way to the first gym. The Wild Area is amazing and terrifying. I wandered a bit too far and suddenly got matched up with Pokémon way beyond the levels of my own team. The Dynamax encounters are actually pretty neat and they drop a lot of useful stuff like experience candies. The story so far is okay I guess, but that’s never really been the highlight of Pokémon games. My rival, Hop, is annoying as usual and the game is still quite hand-holdy but you can opt out of a lot of explanations and just progress through the game at quite a nice pace.
The region is set in Britain this time and it shows. From the absolute weird Pokémon names, a fox called Nickit, to the generally British terms for things that are quite obvious. Hell even team Yell, who are sort of the bad guys?, are a sort of punk-rock style opponents that you can only expect in a British themed game. You can cook curry’s with your Pokémon at your campsite and the towns have a thorough British feel to them. So far I’m really enjoying this, more so than X and Y or Sun and Moon who were supposed to mimick France and Hawaii respectively.

Apart from latching onto Pokémon Sword for the last two days I’ve been feeling a bit detached from gaming. I’ve still not explored everything patch 5.1/5.11 have to offer in Final Fantasy XIV. I’ve not touched anything Warcraft related except to pick up the anniversary pet. The only game I’ve been putting time into has been League of Legends. I’ve been playing a lot of ARAM’s so I can complete the Worlds missions that are still open. I have been having a blast doing this so I guess I can’t say it’s a waste of time.
I have been putting a lot of time into re-reading the Harry Potter series however. This was mostly spurred on by the fact that they’re showing all the movies on TV here and I’ve been watching those on Monday evenings. Tomorrow they’re airing the seventh movie or the first part of book seven. Coincidentally I’ve just started reading that so I’m in full Harry Potter mode for the time being.

So yeah. I’m still feeling very detached from the whole blogging stuff right now. I can’t seem to get myself to write anything besides these weekly mini-updates. I’m also still very much not reading other people’s blogs, sorry! I really should get back into that but I’m just not in the right mindspace right now.
As far as games go, I really should start checking out the Ishgard content for crafters because apparently it’s an amazing source of experience. I’m sitting at all my crafters at level 70 right now, with only Leatherworker at level 50. On the gathering side only Fisher isn’t 80 yet so I hope that Ishgard can assist in that. It would be so nice to just get everything to level 80 for completion purposes. I also really need to do the mainstory content… I may just hop on today and make my way through that.

Sandy’s Sunday: November 10th 2019

A lot has happened since I posted my November goal post. Blizzcon has come and gone, patch 5.1 has launched in Final Fantasy XIV and I’ve made the decision, and started the process, to buy myself a car. I’ve been pretty busy with real life stuff so gaming has gone onto the back burner a bit right now. Having said this, I still managed to find time to churn through tons of crafting dailies and take advantage of the hefty experience boost that Square Enix has implemented with the latest patch. As such I’ve gotten both my Blacksmith and Armorer to level 70 and my Leatherworker is currently somewhere in the 40-50 range. I’ve also managed to get my Monk to level 80 the past week so I’ve been dutifully working through my FFXIV goals. Instead of picking up Samurai straight after I decided to level my Paladin instead, purely because I want to see the tank story line from Shadowbringers. As a friend of mine put it I’m “bumrushing” the process and am currently sitting at level 73 after two days of doing the new Pixie beast tribe dailes, a ton of FATE’s and roulettes which provide me with very nice instant queues. I may even push to 74 after this post goes live and I do Mainstory roulette.

On the flipside there is the World of Warcraft where I’ve basically stalled out the moment I got my Mechagon rep to Exalted. Right now the 15 year celebration is going on ingame and I will probably poke my nose in and get the nostalgic raids done, purely so I can get the mount and then scoot out of there again. I may also do the PvP event but I’m not sure about that yet. As far as other WoW news goes… I’ve seen the trailer that announces Shadowlands and I should be hyped but for some reason I really am not. I guess Battle for Azeroth kind of soured my enthusiasm for WoW and I’m pretty skeptical about what is going to happen next. Sylvanas being the big bad isn’t surprising but I really wish Blizzard didn’t go that route. I will most definitely get the expansion, seeing as I’m still a big enough fan to play the game but I’m noticing that I’m enjoying myself more in FFXIV right now than I do in WoW.
In related fashion I’m also not terribly hyped for Diablo 4. I mean, I poured a lot of time into Diablo 3 when it launched and through all the changes and the expansion and DLC but for some reason I just can’t seem to get back into the game on my PC or my Switch. The “looter” genre isn’t really appealing to me right now so maybe when we get closer to launch I start feeling a bit more hyped but for now I’m not even sure if I want to get the game to start with.

As for my blogging right now. I’ve not really felt the urge to write or read anything for the past few weeks. My Feedly is kind of exploding with unread posts but I’m mostly just scrolling through them and not really reading what they say. I’m not sure why it’s like this and it’s probably a temporary thing but for now I’m not that engaged with the blogging community as I would like to be. I’m also a bit sad after seeing the League of Legends World Finals today. G2 has been the team I’ve been rooting for the entire season and it seemed like they were well on course to grabbing that very sought after World Cup. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. I can’t imagine how devastated these players must be feeling right now and I can only hope the team will take this as a learning experience and come back stronger next year.

Next friday the new installment in the Pokémon series comes out, I hope that will trigger my need to blog a bit because I will probably be all over that game. Untill then… Stay tuned I guess?

Gaming Goals: November 2019

October has come and gone and with it my Dad’s birthday, Halloween and a pretty big cold at the start of it. I head really big plans for the month of October but unfortunately I managed to way less than I set out to do. Let’s take a look shall we?

MMO Goals

  • Level my Monk and Samurai to level 80 in FFXIV.
  • Complete the level 80 job quests on Botanist and Miner
  • Level Culinarian and Blacksmith to level 70 + Job quests. Level Armorsmith to 50.
  • Finish atleast three Animus books on my White Mage.
  • Get Exalted with Nazjatar and Mechagon in WoW
  • Level my Warrior to 120 in WoW
  • Defeat Aszhara in the Eternal Palace LFR on my Rogue
  • Complete the zone my Ranger is in currently in Guild Wars 2

Non-MMO Goals

  • Finish Link’s Awakening

So I’ve been pretty busy in FFXIV and WoW but didn’t really play a lot at the same time. Usually I would just log in to do my dailies and then log back out and do something else instead. As such I’ve not done that much besides level my crafters and get exalted with Mechagon and Nazjatar. As sidenote, my Blacksmith is sitting at level 68 today and my Monk on 78 so I did come close to atleast striping those two goals off.
I’ve actually not spent that much time playing Link’s Awakening, something I want to rectify in November. I also didn’t touch Guild Wars 2 but instead played a lot of League of Legends during Riot’s 10 year anniversary celebration. I still log on every day to do an ARAM for fun and World Championship coins. All in all it was a bit of a weird month with some progress on some fronts and 0 progress on other fronts. As such I’m going to port over some goals to November, where I’m sure I’ll get them done, especially with the implementation of the new Beast Tribe dailies and the boost to crafting experience.
As far as my WoW goals.. My Warrior is currently sitting at level 115 so I did do some levelling, just not enough to push to 120. I haven’t touched LFR though and I do want to get that out of the way, even if it’s only to unlock the Wrathion questchain

So without further ado here are my gaming goals for November 2019

MMO Goals

  • Level Monk and Samurai to level 80 in FFXIV
  • Start leveling Dragoon to level 80 in FFXIV
  • Level Blacksmith, Armorer to level 70 in FFXIV and do Job Quests
  • Finish atleast three Animus books on my White Mage in FFXIV
  • Level my Warrior to 120 in WoW
  • Defeat Aszhara in the Eternal Palace LFR on my Rogue WoW
  • Do the Wrathion questchain in WoW

Non MMO Goals

  • Finish Link’s Awakening
  • Finish the mainstory in Pokémon Sword

This month Pokémon Sword and Shield come out and I’m getting Sword. I really want to play through the “mainstory” and defeat all the gyms to become the champion of the new region. I always really like the Pokémon games and franchise so I don’t doubt that this will be an easy goal for me. Before that though I need to finish Link’s Awakening so that is exactly what I’m going to focus on for the next few weekends.

As far as the MMO goals go, they should be easily doable. My crafters are rocketing through the levels since the 5.1 boost to experience and my Monk is as good as 80 aswell so that just leaves Samurai and Dragoon for this month. In WoW I just really want to finish leveling my Warrior and see more of the content on my Rogue so I’m going to be focusing on that.

What does your November in gaming look like?

Mental Health Day?

I called in sick to work today. Not because I was actually sick but because I desperately needed a day off to retain my sanity. I’ve come home every day of the week with stress induced headaches and it looks like it won’t let up for a while yet. So I texted my boss that I wasn’t coming in today and that I would be back on Monday and went promptly back to sleep. I slept in untill around noon and then got out and sat down to play some games and think about why I picked today especially to have a small mental breakdown. In truth I’ve had a bit of a mental breakdown earlier but powered through it, going to work and just acting normal while trying not to fall apart. Today I couldn’t so I decided to stay home.
It has mostly resulted in a day where I was able to relax and create some headspace with cleaning up the house. I’ve gone through a lot of my clothes and prepared two big bags to be donated to goodwill. I rounded up all the paper and trash and took those out. I vacuumed and did laundry. As I was organizing the house I slowly felt the rest return to my mind aswell. I’m not done yet, there’s still some stuff I want to sort through and throw out and I still need to do some additional cleaning, I feel like it has helped me get back into a more stable mood. Plus having a three day weekend is extremely nice aswell in the middle of all the chaos that is going on at work.

Next to cleaning I also took the time to sit down and enjoy my gaming sessions today, instead of mechanically doing 2 hours of dailies. I did some leveling on my Warrior in WoW and ran around doing job quests in FFXIV aswell as taking the time to do Mainstory roulette among other things. Level 80 on the Monk is starting to get very close and I’m happy to have another job to max level, especially a DPS job that normally has to deal with very long queues for roulettes. The Moogle tome event seems to have made things slightly better though, my average wait time for a Mainstory roulette has gone from 30 minutes down to about 15 now. I have been wondering though, once I have all my battle classes at level 80 and all my crafters and gatherers at level 70 and above what I’m going to do in the game. I don’t actively raid. I don’t really feel like pugging Savage content although I’m fine with Extreme primals. Right now I have a reason to log on every day while leveling, but I’m a bit scared that once that goes away I won’t feel the pull to log on as much anymore. Of course there is a ton of content to do besides leveling, I just have a hard time imagining what I would like to do when I don’t have a steady “schedule” to adhere to anymore. I know these are worries that are premature, I’m still smack dab in the middle of levelling all the things, yet I can’t seem to keep this off my mind.

All in all taking the day “off” has really calmed me. I got some stuff done in real life aswell as in my games and I’m feeling extremely relaxed as I’m writing this blog post. Maybe this will be the trigger for me to recognize the signals of overwhelming stress earlier and some days off ahead of time instead of calling in sick last minute.

Sandy’s Sunday: Picking up the pace

As you can see in above screenshot I’ve obtained the Alabaster mounts that Blizzard made for WoW’s 15th anniversary. I got the code with the 15th anniversary collector’s edition box which I pre-ordered the moment it was announced. It was a bit unfortunate that it arrived right around the time Blizzard made a fool out of themselves with the whole Hong Kong controversy but alas. I hadn’t really foreseen this and I wasn’t planning to cancel the purchase since it was already paid in full.
The box is sitting in a corner of my room next to my tv and everything is still neatly boxed up except for the mount code and the mousemat. All in all I’m happy with this box although I don’t really have the room to display the massive Ragnaros statue just yet.. It’s pretty heavy and takes up more space than I thought it would.

This week I’ve been playing a lot of Final Fantasy XIV. Finally getting back into the rhythm of doing my crafting dailies every day and also doing some stuff to level up my Monk again it really feels like I’ve been picking up the pace there. My Culinarian is sitting at level 67 and my Blacksmith at 48. This means I will probably hit 50 around the weekly reset on my Blacksmith and can start Moogle dailies there and then start pulling Armorer through the Ixal ones. I forgot that as I get higher and higher in levels it’s not as easy to level up with beast tribe dailies anymore. I hope my Culinarian will be 70 before next weekend after which I can also do all the job quests between 60 and 70 that I’ve been neglecting for now.
As far as the Monk goes, she’s sitting at level 75 right now. I’ve been doing some FATEs in Raktika Greatwood as I’m waiting for queues and I actually got lucky and stumbled across my very first S-rank hunt: Forgiven Rebellion. As most hunts, or big FATEs it was extremely crowded in the zone and especially around the S-rank area. As we were engaging it my framerate dropped drastically and I was happy I could get a few spells out, I was on Red Mage, and I only died once. I wasn’t too impressed with the rewards from killing it but I think I have enough Sacks of Nuts, the current hunting currency, to get one of the two pets they have on offer for it. I’ve also been doing Main Story roulette where I can to get that chunk of experience but also the Moogle tomes. Even though I’m still undecided as to what I actually want to spend them on. I think I have two more weeks of this untill patch 5.1 hits and I can focus on all the new stuff that brings. I really want to continue the Shadowbringers story and see the Nier Automata based 24 man raid. I’m also really curious about the crafting overhaul and the New Game + thing so I think I will lose a lot of time there.

In World of Warcraft (retail, I’ve not touched Classic this week) I’ve been making steady progress on my Nazjatar (Waveblade Ankoan) and Mechagon reputations. I’m only 1.2k off Exalted with the Waveblade Ankoan right now and brought my first companion to level 10, Farseer Ori. I’ve chosen to once again focus on one or the other and not doing both in one day. So far it’s been working and I hope I can ditch Nazjatar dailies and world quests by Tuesday and then just focus on Mechagon. I’ve also put in some time on my Warrior and she’s sitting at level 114 as we speak. I’ve not finished Tiragarde Sound as zone yet and if I keep going like this I wonder if I will be level 120 by the time that I do. I don’t think so, but you never know.
It’s nice to go through the zone again and to do the first steps of the War Campaign again. After a while things tend to slowly fade from memory and it’s nice to get myself reacquainted with the quests and NPCs again.

Finally I’ve made the decision to buy Ring Fit Adventure for my Switch this week. I’m having a really hard time going to the gym, especially when the weather is as it is currently and I have to bike through the rain, and so I hope some home exercise will do the trick instead. I’m really curious about this game and I hope it lives up to the expectations I have for it.

All in all I had a decent week when it comes to gaming. I’ve made progress in WoW and FFXIV and am close to scratch off a few goals for the month October already. Now I just need to get back into Link’s Awakening..