Gaming

My Groove

In my search of all the hidden treasures in Stormsong Valley I landed at this specific mountaintop and was instantly enamoured with the view from here. The skies in Stormsong Valley often remind me of the skies here at home in the Netherlands with awesome and sometimes terrifying cloud formations. World of Warcraft may be more cartoony than some of it’s counterparts, especially Final Fantasy XIV which has the slick Japanese polish, but sometimes I shoot pictures like this and I’m reminded that even with all it’s flaws it still is at times a gorgeous game. My Rogue looking at the clouds in the distance just kind of finishes this picture for me aswell.

I’ve settled on a nice groove when it comes to gaming right now. Putting Classic aside and all the frustrations that came with it has been a good choice. Instead I’m focusing on WoW Retail and FFXIV again and have been able to fit in a tiny bit of Guild Wars 2. Especially Retail has gotten some love from me over the past few days. I’ve been doing a bunch of World Quests, taking full advantage of the reputation buff that is going on right now. I’m also chasing some achievements again, most notably killing all rares and finding all treasures in given zones. Unfortunately I had to find out the hard way that the final rare that I need in Stormsong Valley is tied to a world quest that has a very low chance of showing up on the map. Nonetheless I want to log in on the daily to see if it’s up so I can finally complete this achievement. After that I will turn my attention to Drustvar and Tiragarde Sound and with some outside help from WoWhead will probably tackle finding all the hidden treasures there.

Next to grinding World Quests I’m also slowly trying to empty out my regular questlog. I finally started the 8.1.5 War Campaign questline, the one where (spoilers!) Jaina gets her brother delivered back to her by Baine. I’ve just gotten past the cutscene and as always it’s superbly done by Blizzard. I also managed to stumble upon the Xal’Atath questchain on accident and am running around trying to complete that aswell. Because obviously the best idea ever is to give a mysterious whispering dagger surrounded by void energies what it wants… Right? Especially since it manifests itself after you feed it a Void Stone as one of the first steps of the questchain.. Creepy stuff.

Coming back into Retail WoW and being able to pick up undiscovered lore and clear out quests is exaclty what I needed. I know that the storytelling isn’t as great as FFXIV and their mainstory but Blizzard has tried this expansion to tie things together a bit more. The War Campaign, even if not always high quality, has been a nice consistent line of story throughout Battle for Azeroth. When I leveled up during launch I also remarked that the zone stories themselves, especially Drustvar on Alliance side, were extremely well done aswell. Mechagon and Nazjatar may be a tad below that experience but still have interesting stories in their own right. I just have to tie everything together more by actually doing all the raids that I’ve missed out on. Maybe I will set aside a night or two for that the coming week, starting with the Battle of Dazar’Alor and working my way from that.

Another interesting addition they made are the changes to the Heart of Azeroth. With opening up skill slots and tying some questchains to that I already feel much more involved in the system and leveling up my necklace than before. For instance yesterday I did the quest to level up one of the skills you can slot into the necklace and it sent me back to Val’Sharah and the Emerald Dream to aid the Green Dragonflight. I still remember how much of an impact that cutscene of Ysera dying in Legion had on me and to be back and see the rest of her brood being shattered struck a nerve. The quest itself was short and maybe not that interesting except for the dialogue referring to Ysera. It took me about 15 minutes to complete and I had a nice upgrade and a bit of lore expansion after that. It’s little things like these that make me so fond of WoW as a whole and I can’t wait to discover more quests tied to the necklace. Even though I already know that everything has been one big manipulation show and in essence we are exactly doing what Azshara wants. Oh well. For now I’m mostly just playing catch up to various quest chains and raids and who knows. Maybe I will even dip into doing some Mythic dungeons again.

Warcraft Weariness

It’s an odd thing playing two installments of the same MMO. Goals in World of Warcraft Classic are completely different from goals in Retail. Yet both are a grind in their own way.
I made it to level 20 on my Druid in Classic and started the journey from Darkshore to Westfall. My intention was to deliver a quest in Wetlands and the move along and pick up Deadmines quests on my way to the Aquatic Form quest. So far I’ve picked up the ones from Ironforge and the Dwarven District in Stormwind. And that is also where I stalled out. I’ve not touched my Druid since or Classic for that matter. I’m not sure why. Maybe the 45 minute trip just to get to Stormwind triggered something in me that resembles burnout. Maybe playing both Classic and Retail has been overload. I already sort of “rationed” my playtime so I wouldn’t get frustrated and burn out sooner. Yet here I am with no real motivation to log on at all.
At the same time I’m seeing the group of people that “raced” to 60 in my guild slowly log on less aswell. Now that the leveling is done and the gear grind has begun it seems people have kind of lost their drive to play. I mean, in the end if you don’t raid what is there to do in Classic? PvP and ranks aren’t introduced yet. The only raids that are in are for 40 people and not that easy to assemble/execute. Any high level dungeon takes forever, especially Blackrock Depths and Lower/Upper Blackrock Spire. It’s not just log in, play for an hour, do a dungeon and log back out. It’s really sit down and commit for multiple hours now and it’s something I’m really not looking forward to.

I guess the small honeymoon period I had for WoW Classic has slowly run it’s course. Level wise I’m quite behind the majority of people. I don’t feel the urge to play and the though of having to scrape together gold to buy a mount has actually made me glad I rolled a Druid and get travelform so it’s not such a nuisance to get. Even if the community seems to be much better than retail with easy random groupings and people offering eachother free stuff and buffing left and right it just doesn’t take away the massive grind that everything turns out to be. It’s nice that this version of the game seems to be exactly what people want but for me it’s just not all that. So I’m slowly drifting back to retail where my goals are different and more centered around solo play. I don’t need other people to explore zones and find treasures or to do daily quests and world quests. I don’t have to fight people about loot and I can just help with killing mobs that other people tag. I hop on my flying mount and just go to where I need to be. It’s relaxing and frustration free, which is exactly what I need after a long day of work.

So yeah, I guess I’m tired of Classic right now and I’m going to throttle down my time on it even more. There are other games that are demanding my attention, chief among them Xenoblade Chronicles 2 which I’ve picked up now that I’ve put down Oninaki. All in all this post isn’t really shocking. I’ve already voiced my opinion on Classic before and that it wasn’t really my jam. I’ve tried to play it, mostly for the social interaction, but now that I’ve reached the goal I wanted to I guess in my mind I’m kind of done with it… For now.

A Week of Exhaustion

Last week was brutal. I’ve come home feeling absolutely exhausted every day of the week. To top it off I also had to work extra during the evening because stuff wasn’t being done due to me and another co-worker being away on training. Never again. I’ve slept for close to 12 hours last night and I still feel like I can easily sleep 12 more. My brain is just tired and as such I don’t really get anything done. This has also extended to gaming and relaxing in general where I don’t think I’ve ever gamed so little while not being on vacation.

The little time I did spend on gaming was mostly on FFXIV leveling up my Culinarian (who is level 56 as of writing this) and playing around on Classic for an hour or so. So far I’ve gotten my Druid around 4 bars off level 20 and my Warlock halfway to level 15. Both have their issues when it comes to questing and killing mobs right now and I will breathe a sigh of relief when I finally get that catform and can actually kill things faster than I do now. Especially camps where I pull more than one mob are giving me trouble on my druid, often resulting in me having to run for my life or my actual demise. The warlock was mostly struggling with losing the voidwalker due to having no means to heal him up. However I now have health funnel so I should be able to heal him up inbetween pulls, which is nice. I’m still not spending too much time on there, purely because after playing for an hour or so I still get frustated with the constant running back and forth which takes forever. I can appreciate the oldschool feel of having to run around everywhere and your mount actually being an achievement but I would also have loved a “sprint” mechanic like FFXIV has where you can have short bursts of sprinting, making it much easier to get from point A to point B.
One of the things I do fully appreciate are all the class quests. I never really got to experience the oldschool class quests except maybe the Warrior weapon quest so having to do quests to unlock my Bear form, Aquatic form (still working on this one by the way) and Cure Poison on my Druid has been actually a fun experience. These are things that got taken out before I was able to do them way back when so having them back is actually quite fun.

I really hope that next week will be less crazy than this week. Inbetween training, picking up work outside of my normal hours and just a general exhausted feeling it can only go up from here. For now I’m going to use this weekend to sit down and game and catch up on all the stuff I missed out on during the week. I hope I can get my Druid to 20, it’s my goal for the weekend, and then pick up some stuff in FFXIV again, which will come down to doing my beast tribe dailies for my crafters and the odd roulette to level my Monk.

Oninaki done

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Thursday evening I finished off the mainstory of Oninaki. It took me about 20 hours and I’ve seen all three endings. I lost a bit of sleep over it, I didn’t get to bed untill 1 at night, but I was happy that I managed to push through and finish the story that has captured me for the past 2.5 weeks. This also marks the fact that I’ve managed to finally finish a game within a month of release for the first time in I think the last 10 years or so. This also sets the number of games finished this year on four, of which Oninaki and Kingdom Hearts 3 were the longest games for me to play through. The other two were Yoshi’s Crafted World and Kirby Star Allies which were both relatively short games.

Now that I finished the story in Oninaki I’ve opened up the postgame content. This includes the ability to travel back and forth between different parts of the game and also the opening up of a 100 floor post game dungeon with a boss every five floors. This is the ideal place to level up Kagachi, I’m currently sitting on 71, and level up all my other Daemons that I didn’t really use throughout the story. I’m almost done with unlocking all skills on Dia and getting her to max rank. I picked up Izana (who wields a Scythe) instead of Aisha and I will probably swap out Dia with Lucika (fist weapons) once I get max rank on her. I also unlocked the 11th Daemon that wasn’t patched in untill launch day called Jex. Jex is a bit of a special Daemon seeing as instead of having auto attacks and his own skills he gets the skills of all other 10 Daemons. I can see how this is interesting to play around with but for now I’m not really interested in that and will focus on my other Daemons instead.

Right now I’m still very much into the gameplay loop of this game and I don’t see myself getting bored soon yet. I plan to defeat all the 100 floors of the post game dungeon and also track down and complete the sidequests that I’ve missed. Normally I don’t really aim to 100% complete games immediatly but I’m just really enamoured with this game so I may actually make an effort to do so. This means I will have to max out all my Daemons, complete all the side quests, max out Kagachi on levels and defeat the post game dungeon. However I also want to start picking out a new game to play on my Switch or another platform.

I’m very much leaning towards another Switch game. I have a bit of a backlog built up there and it seems like I’m better at completing games on that platform than on any other platform. However I’m also really leaning towards picking a game on the WiiU instead. I am really enjoying RPG’s right now, especially ARPG’s where I can just fight in real time instead of turn based. This already kills a few games like Pokémon and Octopath Traveler on my Switch and also Tokyo Mirage Sessions on my WiiU. I started playing Paper Mario: Color Splash when I was moving house but I don’t really feel like picking that back up again.
I could pick one of the two Xenoblade Chronicles games I own. I have X on the WiiU and never really touched it much and I own 2 on the Switch and got around 10 to 15 hours of playtime in on that. They are both ARPG’s and both pretty good looking so I’m heavily tending towards on of those. However I’m also really pulled towards picking up YS 8 again… It’s a difficult choice to make. I guess I’ll see what I want to pop in and play once I get done or bored with Oninaki… But it wouldn’t surprise me if it was one of the three games I just mentioned.

In other news I’ve been actually spending more time on the World of Warcraft Classic server than I thought I would. I am way behind the leveling curve of everyone else but I’m not too bothered by that. I’ve made a Druid who is now level 17 and I’m actually jumping back and forth a bit between playing that and my original Warlock. The plan for now is that I’m playing the Druid the most and then poke around on the Warlock and use up the rested experience and then jump back to the Druid. I’m only three levels away from unlocking cat form there so I really want to keep pushing through untill I reach atleast level 20.
I’m still not playing very much or very long. I get in about an hour or an hour and a half per session. I set very small goals for myself like completing the quests I have open in my log or getting one level. It’s working for me though and I see slow but steady advancement. I’m also really enjoying fishing and cooking and even though I probably shouldn’t spend my money on it now, I can’t help it whenever I level up enough for new recipes.

All in all I’m quite happy I managed to finish another game and I’m ready to pick a new one once I’m done with all the extra content.

Review: Oninaki (Switch)

Oninaki is a game that I bought on a whim almost two weeks ago. I’ve been playing it a surprising amount since and have landed on the final chapter of the story.. Thus prompting me to write my review about the game. As sidenote, I haven’t actually finished the game yet but I don’t think I’m too far off. So without further ado my review of Oninaki on the Switch.

The Basics

Title: Oninaki
Genre: ARPG/JRPG
Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: 22-08-2019
Platforms: Playstation 4, PC, Switch

The developer Tokyo RPG factory isn’t a stranger on the scene anymore. As daughter company of Square Enix they are focused on renewing the old JRPG genre. Before Oninaki they’ve published “I am Setsuna” which I own and “Lost Sphear”. This is their third title and the first true Action RPG they have developed. I picked up this game for €44,99 on release, normally I’d rather wait untill titles like these go on sale but I was so intrigued with it that I decided to just dip in and get it straight away.

The Story
The overarching plot is centered around Life, Death and Reincarnation. You play as Kagachi, a young Watcher who is tasked with protecting the realm and the Reincarnation cycle. Kagachi can travel from the normal realm to Beyond the Veil which is akin to limbo. When people die and have no regrets they are thought to be reincarnated. However when people have regrets they become Lost and can’t reincarnate and become stuck Beyond the Veil instead as Lost Souls. Lost Souls who are stuck long enough eventually turn into Fallen, spirits consumed by negative emotion. As Kagachi you are tasked to help Lost Souls move on and battle the Fallen who also manifestate in the real world. There’s cults, murderers, charm peddlers and all sorts of other folks causing trouble. I don’t want to spoil too much of the story here but so far I’m hooked and can’t wait untill I finish the ride. The only downside I would mention is that at some points the story seems to move a bit too fast for it to be believable. I think the game would have benefited from a bit more deepening of the plot or a bit slower storytelling at the start. However this isn’t disruptive enough for me to stop playing it or not enjoy what I’m actually playing through.
Next to the mainstory there’s also a lot of smaller sidestories to do although they don’t really add to the overarching story a lot. They are fun to do though as a bit of a distraction from the main story when things get more intense.

 

The Gameplay
The game defines itself as an ARPG and if I have to compare it to something I guess I would compare it to a hack & slash when it comes to overworld fighting but with an actual story to the game. You fight groups of mobs and bosses in real time. Your weapons are Daemons, powerful Lost Souls that are bound to Kagachi. Each Daemon has a weapon of preference and can learn four skills which you can use in combat. Daemons have skill trees that are fueled by special stones. Luckily you don’t have to do anything special for these stones except kill enemies. Kagachi levels up and so do the Daemons as you allocate more skills to their skill trees. Next to that, as I mentioned, all Daemons have a weapon of choice. This weapon is upgradeable and can have sockets for stones that enhance battle properties. There is an Alchemist where you can upgrade your weapons, craft new ones and socket stones. There is a satisfying loop where you go to a map, basically clear it of Fallen both in the real world and Beyond the Veil and then fight a big boss at the end. As you fight with your Daemon a gauge fills. When you hit 100% you can have your Daemon “manifest” and have all your combat stats boosted. This is really nice to clear big groups of mobs or bosses. All Daemons have their own specialty so some are better at damaging multiple targets, others are better at single target. You can have four Daemons “equipped” at a time and switch between them freely when you don’t have one Manifested. I notice that when I’m playing longer sessions my fingers kind of get tired from mashing the buttons at some point but the gameplay itself is very addicting and the upgrading and rotating Daemons is actually really fun to do. As added perk you can unlock memories from your Daemons as you level them up which adds more story to the game. Right now I’m running with Aisha (see picture) who wields a Sword, Dia who is a dual Gun/Bow wielder, Treize who wields Chains and Rigan who wields a Dual Knife. Dia and Treize specialize in AoE whereas Aisha and Rigan are better suited for single target combat. Although I have currently maximized Aisha’s rank so she’s strong no matter what.

Sound, graphic and other technicals
Here is where I think platform begins to matter when it comes to choosing this game. I bought it on the Switch and have chosen the mobility of the console, I’ve been playing on my TV and handheld, over the performance on PC and Playstation 4. As such I have to say that the graphics aren’t as beautiful as they probably could be on a different platform. The game suffers from FPS drops here and there, although never so bad that it becomes unplayable. The transition from gameplay to cutscenes isn’t always optimal and the cutscenes are sometimes slightly pixelated for a second before snapping back into focus. A bit of a shame because I think it could have been optimized better for the Switch. As far as sounds and music goes I have no complaints. The battle music isn’t annoying and every map has it’s own unique background music. The sound effects are fine. If I have to name a downside it’s that the game comes with only Japanese audio. I’m not too bothered by this but whenever something is said during battle it means I can’t understand it. All the cutscenes are subtitled but some of the “banter” or battle shouts have no meaning for me because I don’t speak the language. I probably would have played in Japanese regardless if there was an English option but having the choice would have been nice.

The final big downside is that the loading screens in this game are absurdly long. Sometimes I’m waiting for two minutes before I finally load back into the game after a cutscene. When starting up it takes a long time to get to the title screen to begin with and then there’s a long loading screen from title screen to actual game. As such I’ve been just putting my Switch on rest mode with the game still running purely so I can skip having to start it up. Which is something you shouldn’t have to do.

Final Verdict
Although the game has its flaws when it comes to story pacing and technical “issues” I’ve been hooked since picking it up. The gameplay loop is nice. I like the Daemon system and the fact that I can switch up my combinations a lot. The story has completely sucked me in and now that I’ve arrived at the final part I’m determined to see the ending by the end of the week. I’ve heard that there is postgame content and that the game contains multiple endings so I definitely want to see them all.

If you can look past the flaws and enjoy a hack & slash type of game with Japanese graphics this may be the game for you. It’s not absurdly long and has a nice gameplay loop. Is it worth buying full price? Only if you’re really a fan and think the game is interesting enough. On sale I definitely recommend picking this up and losing a few weeks of your gaming time on it.

Gaming Goals: September 2019

Man, I can’t believe it’s September already. August has flown by in my perspective and with that the summer has come to an end. Everyone at work is slowly returning from their vacation. Sunscreen is being heavily discounted and all the kids are back in school. For me August has been a bit of a mixed bag when it came to gaming, as I’ve said in my post yesterday. Nonetheless it’s time to let go of the past and look ahead to what September has to offer. But first a quick look at what I’ve actually achieved in August goals wise!

MMO Goals

  • Cap weekly on the new tomestones in FFXIV and get healing gear upgrades
  • 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
  • Poke away at the ARR Relic chain for the White Mage weapon. I really want more transmog options… I’m currently at the Atma step.
  • Play through Nazjatar and Mechagon content in WoW and unlock flying
  • Play some GW2

As far as my MMO goals go I actually think I did pretty well. I managed to get all my Final Fantasy XIV leveling goals done. I also managed to get from the Atma to the Animus step on my White Mage relic so there’s that, I’m on my second book. I unlocked flying in World of Warcraft and I managed to keep up with capping tomestones untill this weeks’ reset. The only thing I didn’t do is spend some time in Guild Wars 2.

Non-MMO Goals

  • Play through and write about FFVIII, not necessarily finish it though
  • Play through and write about Spider-man on the PS4

Unfortunately I didn’t get any of these done. Partly because I couldn’t bring myself to sit down and play, partly because of the weather that left my apartment to be quite warm and thus I didn’t want to subject my PS4 or my PC to long gaming times in that heat.

With that out of the way, let’s look forward to September

MMO Goals

  • Level my Monk to level 80 in FFXIV. Start leveling my Samurai afterwards?
  • Complete the level 80 job quests for Botanist and Miner
  • Level Culinarian to level 70 + job quests
  • Start taking either Leatherworker, Armorer or Blacksmith through Ixal dailies towards level 50
  • Work on White Mage relic
  • Work towards getting Exalted with the Nazjatar reps on WoW retail
  • Play some GW2
  • Play some WoW Classic

Non-MMO Goals

  • Play through/finish Oninaki
  • Pick another game to play on Switch

At first glance it looks like I’m setting a lot of goals for myself but in reality this is actually a quite relaxed month for me. I’m not forcing myself to cap tomes on FFXIV anymore. I’m only setting a goal for one battle class this month and the rest of my time will be focused on crafting, which is mostly completing beast tribe dailies. Also working on the White Mage relic is pretty casual. The books are much easier to do now with the exception of the FATE requirements.
In WoW I just want to get those two reps to exalted, which should be easily doable now that I’ve unlocked flying. In addition to getting those two reps up it will also mean I will get the “80 reputations Exalted” achievement as secondary motivation.
I’m still keeping some space to play Guild Wars 2 and/or WoW Classic although I’m reserving both of those games for the weekend.

On the non MMO front I’ve already been playing a lot of Oninaki (see above screenshot) and I’m planning to finish it in September. For some reason my Switch seems to be the preferred console right now so I want to take advantage of the fact that I’m playing on it a lot. After I finish Oninaki I want to pick a game from my backlog back up that I started but never finished. I’m quite enjoying the action RPG genre at the moment so I expect to either jump back into Xenoblade Chronicles 2 after I finish up Oninaki or Ys 8, both great ARPG games with the Japanese visual style that I so enjoy.

All in all I’m keeping things light for myself so that I can easily skip a few days of gaming and still achieve all the goals that I’ve set. How will your September look like gaming wise?

The final day of (BL)August

Well I guess we made it to the end. It’s the 31st of August and with this the final day of Blaugust. I set out to try and do a post per day for the entire month but got burnt out about two thirds of the way through. Just coming up with something to write about every day proved to be more difficult than I had foreseen so I took a step back and decided not to blog for a couple of days. I’m not sure if I’ve regained my mojo yet, I happen to post for three days in a row now, but I’m not pressuring myself to write anything when I don’t really feel the need to. Right now however I’m waiting for Final Fantasy XIV to update on my Playstation 4 and thus I figured I might use this time to write a bit of a summary of the month August for me in general, before launching a new goals post for September (in which I will also look back on my August goals).

As a whole August has been a pretty weird month for me. I got back from a two week break right into the chaos that is my job. For some reason it’s been extremely busy for the past 4-5 weeks and it has taken a bit of it’s toll on me when it comes to energy and mental fortitude. On top of that we had a reorganization in the department with a few new jobs opening up where you could be promoted to senior. I applied before I had my two week holiday back in July. They waited to tell us who actualy got the jobs untill last Thursday. As that day approached I got more and more nervous even though I really had nothing to lose. Fortunately I managed to snag the job and I feel like a bit of a weight has left my shoulders. Not that my new job will make my life much easier, on the contrary it will probably mean even more responsibility and stress but it’s something I’ve signed up for.

On the gaming front I managed to get back into retail World of Warcraft and unlock flying for all my characters in Battle for Azeroth. The grind wasn’t exactly enjoyable but it took a bit shorter than I had initally anticipated. It means that when I go back to play now I can so much easier get everything done. No more having to pull half a zone worth of mobs just to get from point A to point B but mount up and fly over everything. It felt liberating and I’m happy I pursued it before the Classic launch… Which has been a huge part of my gaming routine for the past week or so. I’ve seen a lot of friends and online people have their love for WoW rekindled with the Classic servers but unfortunately for me it hasn’t been the event that I was hoping it would be. I’ve resigned myself to be a bit of a “weekend warrior” where I’ll probably log this game during the weekends when I feel rested and have more time to play intermittently than during the evenings after work. I initally started a Warlock but have since swapped to a Druid who I find much less of a hassle to play. Maybe that also has something to do with the fact that there are just less people around the Nightelf starting zones so it makes questing a lot easier. I still can only do 1-1.5 hours of play before I have to log off though so there’s that.

Due to all of this I’ve let my playtime in FFXIV slide a bit over the last weeks of the month. I still managed to get all the leveling goals done but I’m already getting iffy on getting the tomestone cap every week. I’m not really sure why but I guess the massive playing of the game at expansion launch has finally caught up to me and I need to step away for a bit so I can start enjoying the game again without burning myself out hard.

I never did get around to playing Final Fantasy 8 or Spider-man. Part of that was due to the extreme heat we’ve been seeing the past two weeks where I didn’t want to subject my PS4 to the demands of the Spider-man game and it was seriously sucky to sit down at my PC and sweat my ass off. Instead I bought Oninaki for the Switch and have been playing that off and on over the past two weeks. I’m really enjoying the game and the fact that I can get half hour sessions in and still feel like I’ve gotten somewhere. I’m on the fifth mission/map of the game and have unlocked four daemons as of now. I may write a post about this game later on this week to give my impressions, what I enjoy and how far along I’ve gotten. Up untill then I hope I can make a bit more progress and finish up atleast this fifth mission. As I’m playing on Switch I also don’t really need to worry about trophies or achievements, something the PS4 and PC versions do have. I do try to be thorough in my playthrough and make sure I kill all the mobs on the map and loot all the chests where possible and pick up/do sidequests where and when I can. I’m currently sitting at level 15ish and I’m quite curious as to what is to come.

All in all I can look back on an August that has been both disappointing and rewarding at the same time. I’m pretty sad that I couldn’t write my 31 Blaugust posts but such is life. At the same time I’m slightly disappointed that WoW Classic hasn’t turned out to be the awesome thing I hoped it was. On the other hand I managed to snag a job promotion, unlock flying in WoW retail and get all my leveling goals done in FFXIV so I guess there’s that. Tomorrow September starts and with it my first month in my new job, new goals to set for my games and hopefully the announcement that I’ve finished playing Oninaki.

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.