Gaming

Sandy’s MMO Sunday: Gone Fishing

What a long strange week it’s been. I’ve been sick. There was a lot of watching League of Legends and a lot of playing Final Fantasy XIV. Even though I guess I wanted to take a bit of a break from farming a lot in this game I couldn’t resist the pull and have been spending this past week back on the leveling grind. This time for my crafters and Fisher, which was the last gathering job I didn’t have at level 80 yet.
Of course that couldn’t stand, so I looked at where I was on my Fisher and started tackling, haha, the Fisher quests from level 60-70 that I hadn’t completed yet. I also used a few levequests to get to 70 and then I started doing the gathering dailies that were added a while ago to supplement my Fisher with even more experience. And today I handed in the final few fish for the Crystarium questchain to push me over the edge and get to level 80. Another job leveled and another notch on my belt in FFXIV.

This leaves me with figuring out what my daily routine in FFXIV will be. I expect to spend a lot of time here untill Shadowlands launches at least, seeing as I don’t think I’ll play that much during pre-patch. Of course I’m going to do the event but I’ve already chosen my class so apart from getting used to “new” rotations and talents I think I’m all covered on the WoW front. So that brings me back to FFXIV. Since I’m leveling my crafting jobs anyway the Dwarven beast tribe dailies will stay a daily item on my list. Other than that I’m focused on gearing up my battle jobs so Expert Roulette will be a daily occurence aswell. I may throw in other roulettes aswell, even if it’s just to earn Poetics so I can buy the last few Shadowbringers relic weapons that I’m missing. All together that should provide me with about an hour to an hour and a half of time that I “need” to spend on FFXIV to get my stuff done on a daily basis. Not too bad at all, especially considering the fact that I’ve picked up Xenoblade Chronicles 2 again and want to spend some time getting properly into that game and hopefully finish it in the forseeable future.
Next to the daily stuff I want to finish off the Crystarium quests for Fisher and unlock the title that comes from that. If it’s as easy as the ones I’ve had so far that should be a breeze and probably doable in a single evening or day. There’s also some other Crystarium stuff that I can still do that is related to my crafting jobs. I may look into that aswell. All of this is not that urgent though, but a “nice to do” type of thing. With having all my battle jobs leveled and, hopefully, soon all my crafting jobs aswell I’m rapidly approaching the point where I really need to think about what I want to be doing in FFXIV, especially since I don’t really tackle endgame content there. However my time will probably be cut short by Shadowlands at that point, so I will deal with that once I get there.

All in all I’m pretty happy with my progress in FFXIV and I hope to be able to keep it up and get everything to level 80 sooner rather than later. For now I’ve happily cleared out my inventory of all my old leveling gear and can enjoy the look of a mostly empty armour bag again. Now I just hope I can keep it that way.

Toxic Fans: The Dark Side of E-Sports

League of Legends: Worlds 2020 Group Stage draw to take place September 15  - Millenium

Worlds. The biggest tournament in the year for the League of Legends franchise. Every team aspires to qualify for this tournament during the regular season of their respective region. Only 24 tickets to give away. Some regions are more fortunate than others and get more tickets. Some regions will never get past the play in stage or won’t qualify at all. With all World Championships a lot is at stake for the teams. Who will crown themselves king for a year? Which region can “brag” at the end of the day? And for who has all the hard work paid off the most?

I look forward to Worlds every year as an avid LoL fan. I cheer for the European region first and within that my “allegiance” lies with G2 Esports. The League of Legends seasons are long. The year is usually divided up in two splits, Spring and Summer, that start somewhere in February and run all the way up to the end of August. Inbetween splits there usually is a Mid Season Invitational for the top teams of every region to compete against eachother and from the end of September untill the beginning of November the World Championships are held. Then there is All-Stars after that, which is a bit more of a for fun tournament but which nevertheless taxes the players who get nominated to go there. As player there is virtually no time “off”. They are living and breathing League of Legends for most of their teenage years (from 16 or 17) untill their mid twenties. This game isn’t just a game anymore, it’s their job. And where we as normal people can clock out after an 8 hour work day these players can play LoL for up to 14 hours a day honing their skills, playing competitively or just practicing against other teams, something called scrims. It’s a lot to take on when you’re still a child. Because let’s be honest, the players who are new to the Leagues are often in their late teens and in no way adults. I can’t imagine how it must be to lead the “pro” life and I really think that the current generation of players has a much better team surrounding them than say 5-6 years ago. It must be exhausting and stressful having to perform week after week, your whole life revolving around this one single game. To quote G2 Perkz from the G2 documentary “Chasing the Dream” (go watch it, it’s good content!) about how he just wants to feel human again after having to perform for so well for so long strikes me through the heart everytime I hear it. We can’t understand how it is to live that life, and honestly I wouldn’t want to trade.

Which brings me to the actual point of this post. For the past years LoL has been steadily climbing in popularity. Viewership is very high as more and more people tune in to one of the biggest e-sports we have right now. With all the growth and attention there has also been a staggering incline in the amount of toxicity in the community. Not only in the game itself, which is why I rarely play more than their “fun” modes, but also among the fanbase. Like with traditional sports there is always a core of fans that will tear teams down when they perform badly. How many times haven’t we seen here in the EU that people call for a coach or player to be fired or benched in football? The same trend is showing up in e-sports. This is obviously to be expected but what makes this so bad in e-sports are two factors:

– The average player age is much younger than other professional sports. Imagine having to play Champion’s League football full time at 16-17 years old, week after week. You’ve gone from your parents’ house to a player house where all your focus is on you playing the game the best you can. Learning to deal with the outside world isn’t a big thing. These are still kids who are growing and learning and whose brain is still in full development phase. It’s so easy to take everything to heart and to get down and depressed from whatever negative feedback you see online.
– Which brings me to my second point: unlike professional sports teams where individual players don’t interact with their fans through social media platforms, they do in League of Legends. Almost all players have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Reddit accounts. Their social media is managed by themselves and it’s a way for them to interact with fans. It also means that they see every single negative comment that is thrown their way, unless they block all social media interaction. It’s one of the things that I personally like about LoL, because the players don’t become these distant unreachable superstars, but it has a definite negative downside. Especially to these young people who just don’t have the mental capacity yet to distinguish the important messages from the noise.

MAD Lions LoL English on Twitter: "We're going to #Worlds! Our next #LEC  series is vs @Rogue on Sunday!… "

This year we as European region have sent four teams to compete at the World Championships. Three teams advanced to the group stages immediatly but the fourth team has to battle their way through the play-in stage to get there. This team is the one shown above, MAD Lions.
It’s a young team. They have one player who has more than one season of experience of playing in the highest league and the rest are all rookies. This is their first real tournament outside of Europe and I can’t imagine how incredibly happy they must have been that they qualified. Going all the way to Shanghai to compete for the biggest prize after one year of playing isn’t something to take lightly.
They looked incredibly dominating for most of the Summer split, with an unfortunate slump at the end of it during play-offs. Nevertheless they made it and we as Europe have hyped them up a lot, with unwavering confidence that they would make it through play-ins. Maybe it isn’t smart to put such expectations on these players but it has happened and I’m sure it has boosted their confidence. However so far they have been struggling, losing two out of the three games they played. It happens. Life isn’t a fairytale and there can only be one winner or loser. The opponent team was simply better and, of course, they made some mistakes that they could and should learn from. Remember that these are rookies. It’s all new to them and it must be hard to not live up to expectations in the first place.

Yet despite this knowledge people still think it’s okay to absolutely shit on these players and the team over social media. Horrible comments on Twitter aimed at specific players, to the point that other players from other teams speak up on Twitter to tell “fans” to back down. I can’t understand why people would do this. Who in their right minds thinks it’s okay to absolutely tear someone down over a lost game. And remember they’re not tearing down a fully grown adult who doesn’t bat an eye, they’re tearing down what are essentially still children. What is the point of being so toxic on the internet? Do people think it’s okay to talk to people like this in real life aswell? Or is it the relative “anonimity” that the internet provides that makes people think it’s okay to behave like this? Do people have no empathy anymore? Are people incapable of putting themselves in other people’s shoes anymore? Imagine getting torn a new one if you made a mistake at your job to the point that people you’ve never met tell you you should’ve never chosen your career. There is no way that happens. Yet it seems that it’s the norm after every game lost. Fans don’t even enjoy cheering for their teams anymore, instead only focusing on the bad. It’s a toxic cesspool that I wish didn’t exist, but unfortunately it does. And it makes me sad and angry. If you think it’s okay to behave like this, I sincerely suggest that you may want to take a look at your own life and then kindly fuck off.

There are lines and they are being heavily crossed, yet it seems impossible to shut up the toxic underbelly of the internet. I’m afraid that it will eventually lead to a complete social media blackout from all pro players and instead we will go the route of “normal” professional sports where individual voices aren’t heard and everything is heavily moderated for the players, and that they themselves won’t interact with the general public anymore. It would be tragic if that would happen, since I feel it would cost LoL a lot of it’s “charm”. Maybe mandatory social media training should be part of playing for a pro team, but I’m not sure how feasible that idea is at this point and where the focus would need to lie exactly.

For now the only thing we can and must do is speak up against the toxicity and cheer for our teams and hope that in the stream of horrible comments they’re able to pick out the ones that support them no matter what. We are out there, I can only hope they’ll hear us.

Donkey Kong Is No Joke

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Switch) Review — DarkStation

I’ve just come back from having my throat and nose swabbed by a woman in a white hazmat suit with facial protection. The joys of suspecting you may have corona symptoms and then needing to be tested to see if this is indeed the case. I started feeling sick on Saturday, although initially I thought I was having some allergy symptoms. Runny nose, watery eyes. I didn’t immediatly make the connection that it could be anything else. Then on Sunday I started feeling like I had a bad cold. Runny nose, constant sneezing, throat ache and coughing. Normally I’d not make a fuzz about it but the climate being how it is these days I couldn’t rule out if I may have been infected with corona at some point last week. So I scheduled a test and went to get it done about an hour ago. I can’t really recommend it. There’s multiple q-tips involved that go way too far up your nose and down your throat. Now I just have to wait 48 hours to see if it is indeed corona or if I’ve just been struck down with a common cold. Time will tell.

Right now I’m in my second week of a two week holiday. I was supposed to go to Spain for a week of lounging at a pool with a cocktail and not a care in the world. Unfortunately due to multpile outbreaks of corona across Europe that vacation was cancelled and left me sitting at home for two weeks trying to decide what I wanted to be doing with my time instead. As it so happens my best friend was off for a week aswell last week. We had already agreed to meet up, you can here in the Netherlands, but I thought it would also be fun if we would start the same game to spend our vacation time on. We both own a Switch and a 3DS and he has some Switch games that I have on my WiiU so there was plenty to pick from.

He decided on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. A game that had been sitting in my library for a bit, and that I was supposed to tackle over the summer anyway, and one he borrowed from a co-worker with the intent of playing it and returning it as soon as possible. So after that decision was made we both set out to complete the game before the week was over. Initially things seemed to be going well for the both of us and I was already in world number 3 when he started complaining that the game was “too hard”. I had warned him beforehand that reviews of this game indicated that it was no joke and had a few levels that required some pretty tight platforming. Since he had the Switch version of the game though, instead of dropping it he opted to play “Funky Mode” and, not surprising, blew past me once he made the swap over to that. Unfortunately I didn’t have the luxury to switch to an easier mode so I plodded along playing on the normal difficulty. In the end I didn’t have that many issues. Way less than I had with New Super Mario Bros U anyway. I think one of the only levels that really got to me was a level where you’re riding a rocket in the final world. Steering the rocket was a bit of a pain in the ass to begin with and then I had to maneuver my way through really tight corridors with only two chances to hit something and nowhere to replenish a heart once I lost one.
Other than that I really enjoyed the game. It took me back to being a kid and playing Donkey Kong on my Gameboy. I remember being hooked on those games and spent a lot of time trying to get all the stuff I could back then. I made it in the end though and managed to finish the “final” boss and get to the credits yesterday. It was a relatively short game, according to my WiiU log it took me around 9 hours to finish it. Then again I did skip out on most of the collectibles and finding hidden exits to levels and all that stuff. I just wanted to get to the credit roll and call it a day. I know that eventually another world unlocks if you do all the bonus stuff like get all the KONG letters, unlock all hidden levels and all that jazz but I’m not really feeling up to doing that right now. Maybe at some point in the future when I’ve played through some other games and I feel the need to go back and get games to 100% completion. But the tight platforming and sheer determination that is needed to do all that is not something I want to spend time and energy on as of right now.
That being said I really hope that Nintendo will drop a new Donkey Kong game somewhere in the near future. Tropical Freeze was initially brought to the WiiU in 2014 so it’s high time they come with a new entry in the franchise. I’m certain to be more hyped for that than for anything they would bring out with the Mario label.

For now though I’m happy that I’ve finished off another game from my backlog. I’ve been really inconsistent with playing single player games over the summer, even though I had really big plans. I guess life happens. For now though me and my best friend have picked a new game to play through, one of my choice this time. It’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the Switch. A game that I started a long time ago but kind of gave up on when I was 8 hours in. We both started a new game and I’m running around again in the first little town you get to. It’s a vastly different game from Donkey Kong but I feel like I can do with a longer JRPG right now. So I guess we’ll see where that ship strands. I hope that having someone else play the game simultaneously will keep me motivated to play aswell so that we can share our thoughts on stories and fights. Maybe this is what I needed all along to finally tackle my backlog…

Thank you, next?

And another goal down.
I’m on a roll this week. Filled up my Pokédex, got my last battle job to 80 in Final Fantasy XIV. I knew it was coming this week but didn’t realize both would happen on basically the same day. I’m thrilled though. Another big goal of the list. I guess it was easier getting all my battle jobs to 80 in this expansion since I had leveled everything to 70 in Stormblood and the only two that required more than 10 levels were the newly added Dancer and Gunbreaker class. So yeah.
After leveling everything now there are two clear favourite battle jobs for me: White Mage and Dancer. I’ve always liked the healing in FFXIV and White Mage is in an amazing spot this expansion. I love the renewed Lillies mechanic, the healing is strong and you can still do some decent dps aswell. I’m much more comfortable on this healer than any of the other two, with Scholar being an absolute lowpoint for me. Dancer has more or less replaced Bard, which was another favourite for a long time, and I think it will stay that way for now. I quite happily play almost all the classes in the game though, with exception to Scholar and Black Mage. I’ve never clicked with Scholar to begin with and Black Mage is just way too much of a static class for me to enjoyl. I know it gives the big booms but having to, ideally, stand still for an entire fight is just not really exciting to me. So I have leveled them and I have gotten the Shadowbringers Relic weapons for them but I don’t actively play them

The real question is.. what’s next? I’m still in a bit of Warcraft lull as we wait on the new expansion. I’ve spent a lot of time in Pokémon and as such I’m kind of done with that game for the time being aswell. In FFXIV I now no longer have to run a shit ton of roulettes every day to level up my jobs… So what’s next on the horizon? I guess I have a few options…
First off, I still have to level up Blue Mage. I know that I could just ask a friend to party up with me and get boosted up, and maybe when I’m desperate enough I will, but for now I can just casually kill things and level up slowly that way. I don’t really enjoy the whole Blue Mage shtick a lot but may aswell have something to do when I don’t know what to do, right?
Secondly, I still have my crafters to level. Most of them are around level 70 right now, with the exception of Carpenter (80) and Weaver (79). I’m leveling them with the Dwarven Beast Tribe quests though, which means I only have to do those three daily quests and I’m good.
Finally, gear up my classes now that they’re all max level. This will probably involve me running ex-roulette atleast every day. I also want to unlock Puppet’s Bunker so I can run that on the weekly reset. Other than that I’m probably going to run level roulette on a tank every day, purely so I can work towards the tanking mounts that, eventually, come from that. First up will be Gunbreaker because I just really enjoy the class.

All of the above does mean less time spent in FFXIV grinding away, which is mostly what I’m aiming for. I’m available for friends if they want to do content aswell, I think we are aiming for floor 100 in Heaven on High at some point, but I do want to take a bit of a step back and breathe so I don’t get too burned out on the game. I’m also aware that with the launch of Shadowlands next month I will probably spend less time in FFXIV anyway, so figuring out a “minimal” weekly routine early on is nice. All in all though I’m happy I got this out of the way so I can focus on the next big thing. Whatever that turns out to be.

Gotta Catch ’em All!

As of today I can actually call myself a Pokémon Master. I have caught them all! Well atleast I caught all the Pokémon of the Galar region Pokédex, which still amounts to having to have registered 400 mons in total. I’m thrilled! I knew I set this as goal when I got the game and I have been working towards it on and off for the past half year or so. I’d have weekends where I would sit down and grind for a few hours to get everything into the correct evolutions or where I would fish/walk around for a while to catch that one elusive Pokémon. I’ve even tampered with the date settings on my Switch to get the right weather type to spawn, since some of the final Pokémon I needed only spawned in one or two locations and then also with only with a certain weather type.
Eventually it all came down to needing some Shield exclusives, some Pokémon that would only evolve by trading them and then four or five more Pokémon that I could catch in Sword. I went over to my best friend yesterday to get the Shield exclusives and the trading done. I got there needing 30 Pokémon still and by the time I left I was down to four more. I managed to get three of them at home yesterday evening and then I only needed Sylveon, which I could either wait for to spawn in the wild or train up an Eevee and hope it would evolve into Sylveon. The second method would require me to make quite some effort to get it to love me. But lo and behold, another friend happened to have Sylveon and was willing to trade it to me, even if it was just for me to register it in the Dex. So we did just that this morning and now I’m finally complete!

I’m really happy with this achievement. Pokémon as a series has been the only gameseries that I’ve played consistently since I was a kid. There’s only two generations of games that I’ve skipped, them being Black/White 2 and UltraSun/Moon. I think the time inbetween those games and the previous installments coming out were just too short so I skipped over them. I do intend to go back at some point and play them, but for now I’m content with having those skipped. It’s also the first time I’ve actually completed a Pokédex since the beginning. As I mentioned in an earlier post I remember having around 146 Pokémon registered on my original copy of Blue but then for some reason I reset the game. I think I also did quite an attempt of getting them all on my copy of Pokémon Silver, but that save has been lost by the battery running empty. After that I have made attempts here and there to atleast complete the regional Dex of any game that I played but with every new installment coming out that got more and more difficult. I think the last “big” attempt for me was with Pokémon Moon, but I stopped trying at some point and never really picked it back up.
So yeah, big accomplishment for me and a big goal of my “ultimate gamer goals” list has been crossed off.

Of course with the addition of the Isle of Armor (and the Crown Tundra in the near future) more Pokémon have been added. There luckily is some overlap with the normal Galar Dex so I don’t have to catch an additional 211 Pokémon but only around a 100 or so. However I think I’ve had my fill of Pokémon for the time being so I’m going to put catching more Pokémon on hold so I don’t burn out completely on the game.

Nearing Completion

Character in field of flowers

I’m so, so terribly close to getting all my battle jobs to level 80 in Final Fantasy XIV that I can almost smell it. Right now my Gunbreaker is just shy of level 78 and I need to do most of my roulettes still this reset, which I’ll probably do tomorrow since it’s already past midnight and I’m really sleepy right now.
I’m hoping I will be level 80 by the weekend, get my Amaro mount and then drop the mad grind that I’ve been on for the past two or three weeks. Granted I could have gotten this milestone a lot earlier but I’ve been on hiatus in FFXIV a bit so it didn’t happen when I originally tought it would.
Being in the middle of the first week of another two week holiday though means I have ample time to get this done while also steadily working away at leveling my crafting jobs with the “new” Dwarf beast tribe dailies. I’ve gotten my Carpenter to 80 so far and my Weaver isn’t far behind. Seeing as I never really enjoyed the whole Ishgard crafting grind I’d rather opt into leveling my crafters this way, slow and steady wins the race right?
I also need to find a new sort of “daily” routine when I don’t have any more battle jobs to level. I think I may just stick to doing ex-roulette for now and the weekly clears next to the crafter dailies. I want to gear up my jobs and the only way to do that is to get through the latest content. I may do a bit of level roulette on my tanks for the achievement but I’ll see when I get there.

Next to completing a long standing goal in FFXIV, I’ve also been making more progress towards filling up my Pokédex in Pokémon Sword. I’m now down to needing only 38 more Pokémon for the base dex completion and I’m going over to my best friend tomorrow who owns Shield and trade a bunch of version exclusives with him. Which then leaves me with only a handful of Pokémon I still need to catch on my own. Yay! After that I’m going to turn my attention to the Isle of Armor and the Pokémon there so I can get my awesome crown and be ready for the Crown Tundra DLC that’s not too far away now either.
If I manage to complete this Pokédex it will be the first time I’ve completed a Pokédex in a Pokémon game ever. The closest I came to achieving this feat was when I was still a kid and playing my copy of Pokémon Blue. I was up to 146 Pokémon caught for the dex but for some reason I resetted my game after that, much to my regrets. Afterwards I’ve never come close to completion again, with the best try on Pokémon Black but that were just so many Pokémon.. That I basically gave up after over 70 hours played.
In Sword I’ve clocked in around 65 hours now, making it the game I’ve put the most hours in on my Switch by far. I dare take it even further and say that if I cross the playtime I had on my copy of Pokémon Black with Pokémon Sword it will be the single player game that I have spent the most time on of all time.

Finally I’ve been slowly working through my backlog again. The latest title that I’m working on is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Me and my best friend both own a copy of this game, me on my WiiU and he on his Switch. I figured it would be nice to go through the game at the same time so we can share our triumphs and frustrations. Little did I know that he would be way more frustrated than me. Even so frustrated that he has switched from normal mode to Funky Mode so that the game was doable for him. I don’t have this luxury on the WiiU and as such I’m playing the game on the original difficulty level. I’ve made it up to the boss of the fourth world, meaning I only have two more worlds to go after I defeat it. I’ve not really been doing a completionist run so there are a lot of levels that I have yet to unlock and a lot of collectibles to get. However my main goal is to just see the credit roll so I’m not really fussed about skipping these. I just want to stripe another game of my backlog. And with the tempo I’m going that should be doable by the end of the week aswell.

All in all it feels nice to be completing so many things at once. It’s mentally rewarding and it gives me the chance to set new fresh goals afterwards! But first it’s time for some much needed sleep.

Sandy’s MMO Sunday: FFXIV Galore, August 30th 2020

Newest Yo-Kai mount

Whew. A lot of stuff has happened over in MMO country the past few weeks. The new MMO from Amazon is being tested as we speak but for me the focus always lies on my main two MMO’s, so those are the only things I’ll focus on in my blog posts. I mean, I can’t write about something I have no interest in, right?
We have gotten a release date for Shadowlands in World of Warcraft, October 27th. Final Fantasy XIV had patch 5.3 drop, aswell as the Moonfire Faire and Rising events and the Yo-Kai watch event renewed.
Since I’m more or less on a break from WoW, after basically gaining all the stuff I wanted to before pre-patch would hit, I’ve gone straight back to playing a lot of FFXIV. It also helps that my WoW guildies have more or less moved there aswell for the time being so I have more people to play with again but I’ve always kept up with FFXIV on the side, especially when the newest patch would hit. So this was no different with 5.3

First thing’s first: I finished the 5.3 mainstory. I’m not going to spoil anything about it here because I would hate to get spoiled myself so I won’t do it unto others. The only thing I have to say, once again, is damn you Square Enix for getting me to care about this world and the characters inhabiting it. On more than one occassion FFXIV has managed to make me cry and the latest patch has not been an exception to that. What kind of tears they were I’ll leave up to you to find out yourselves if you play the game and have yet to go through this part of the story.
Next to the mainstory there were a plethora of other things to unlock, with the most important for me the new “beast tribe” in the form of the Dwarves. It feels kind of weird to see them as beast tribe since they are basically the mirror race of Lalafells but in a way it makes sense. I’m in love with the music that plays in their little area in Lakeland and I can’t wait to unlock the mount you get from them: an actual battle tank. It’s also helping me to level up my crafting jobs since I bounced kind of hard off of the whole Ishgard restoration. I’m not sure why but I just really didn’t enjoy it. Maybe I’ll get into it again at some point but for now I’m happy to level up my crafters with these dailies and so far it has gotten my Carpenter to level 80 and my Weaver to level 75.
I have yet to unlock the new 24 man raid, Puppet’s Bunker, but I’m sure I’ll get around to doing that next week.

As mentioned there were also a few events going the past few weeks and I’ve partaken in all of them. The Moonfire Faire has gotten me a lovely outfit, as seen in the screenshot above. The Rising gave us the Wind-up Ardbert and the Yo-Kai event came back with a vengeance with new minions and weapons to get for the classes added in Stormblood and Heavensward and, after getting all of those, a new mount also pictured above. I decided to try and get this done as soon as I possibly could seeing as the first two weeks of an event like this the FATE farm trains are going strong and the longer you wait the bigger the chance that it comes down to having to solo the lot which isn’t something I would recommend.
It’s really nice just getting these things done, especially events like the Rising that come with a message from the development team every year. For now though I will have to wait untill the next event which will probably be in October around Halloween.

Level 80 Dark Knight ding

Next to doing the new 5.3 content and the various events I also doubled down on leveling up the last remaining battle jobs I have left. As of this morning I managed to ding level 80 on my Dark Knight, as pictured above, and now I only have Gunbreaker left. I unlocked the job and did the level 60 beast tribe dailies aswell as the level 60 job quest so far. I have to get used to Gunbreaker a lot after playing Dark Knight. There’s more buttons to press for damage since you basically have two single target and one AoE rotation with their respective cooldowns. Then there’s the whole ammo mechanic that I’m still learning but all in all I can see how people like this class and I can’t wait to get it to level 80 and finally get that coveted Amaro mount afterwards. If I keep on playing FFXIV like I’ve been doing for the past weeks I won’t have any doubts that I will get to that level 80 within the next two weeks.

Together with getting level 80 on my Dark Knight I also finished off the final 15 FATEs that I needed in the Tempest to hit rank 3 FATEs with all the zones. I now have access to all rank 3 vendors in the zones aswell as the special vendor in the Crystarium. I see that they sell a lot of stuff that I still want and for that I will need to farm more FATEs, but for now I’m content with not doing any untill my Gunbreaker gets into Shadowbringers content. It’s been quite a dull grind and I’m happy that I was able to complete it. Another notch on my belt so to speak.

Other content consumption
Next to dedicating a lot of time to FFXIV I’ve also been busy with consuming other types of content.
Lucifer dropped the first part of season five last week and I’ve been slowly going through that. I only have about two episodes to go now untill the mid season break and there have been a few interesting plot points so far. Tom Ellis is putting on a top notch performance and I’m happy to see it back on screen and I hope the second half will come out sooner rather than later.
I’ve been reading a lot of Robin Hobb books, that centre around the realm of the Elderlings, the past months and I’m finally down to the last book of the entire series. This means that I’m basically on book 16/16 right now. It’s been quite a ride and honestly the worldbuilding she does is amazing. I really want to know how the series ends but also don’t want it to end at the same time. It’s quite a conondrum. Right now I’m reading 2-4 chapters per day and I’m about 1/3rd of the way into the final book.
Finally my time has been consumed by watching a lot of League of Legends. All of the big regions are in play-off mode right now and I feel like my TV has been on with LoL for the past 48 hours. I’ve been catching games from Europe, North America, China and Korea. It’s a great way to spend time but also nice to have on as “background noise” while doing other things. Next week are the finals everywhere and I can’t wait to see how things play out in both Europe and North America specifically.

All in all I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made in FFXIV and I hope I can continue this streak next week. Maybe I’ll hop back into WoW again aswell, even if it’s just to clean out inventories in preparation for the pre-patch and maybe run some old raids now that we’ve not all been scaled down to level 50 yet. I guess we’ll see. For now though the match between Rogue and Mad Lions is only 30 mins away from starting and that will probably keep me occupied untill well in the evening.

Blaugust Promptapalooza #28: Content Content Content

Wow, I can’t believe the Blaugust Promptapalooza is almost at an end. We are currently on day 28, since we started one day early, and it’s my turn!
If you’ve missed it, yesterday’s prompt was hosted by Telwyn over at GamingSF where was discussed which piece(s) of technology would be the hardest to live without.
For a full list of participants please head over to aggronaut.com.

So today it’s my turn and Bel thought up an interesting topic for me, one that I’ve been pondering over since last night:
What are some of the things that you wish you knew before you started creating content?

When I first started blogging, way back in I think 2010? I don’t really remember but it was around Wrath of the Lich King in WoW, I kind of rode the hype train surrounding the World of Warcraft Blogging Community. I was a college student at the time with way too much time on my hands and after reading a few other people’s blogs, most notably “The Barrens Chat” and “Righteous Orbs” I felt like I could do the same and write about a lot of things that were WoW related. I don’t think I have the blogs from my beginner days anymore but I do remember kind of hitting the same wall that I’ve been hitting untill today: lack of consistency. Which is the biggest thing I wish I would have prepared for when I started blogging.

I’m sure that Mr. Peril over at Contains Moderate Peril has mentioned this in one of his posts about blog writing but if you want to build and keep an audience that will keep on reading your blog one of the key things is being consistent and being predictable. Have your posts come out on the same days. Choose a layout for your posts that is easy to read and in this way build familiarity for your reader base. And have them coming back to reading your blog every time you post something.
I’ve been inconsistent in both ways from the start. I can go weeks on end without posting a single blog entry, mostly because I’m a really bad planner and I just simply forget to put blogging in my weekly “to do” list. I’m also inconsistent in the layouts of my posts, although I do try to start most of them with a screenshot from one of the games I’m playing. The one I’ve used for this post is in no way affiliated to the topic but I just wanted something to look at besides a wall of text. Which is also something I’m inconsistent with, remembering to take screenshots from the games I’m playing. Usually I’m so immersed in whatever I’m doing that I completely zone out and forget to take screenshots which I then can write my posts around… Can you see the cycle I’m in?

Anyway, consistency basically requires making the time to blog on a regular basis. Like all other activities in life it’s best to set aside some time each week, dedicated to writing a blog and then actually sitting down and writing it. I’ve always been bad with planning and sticking to planning and it has been the bane of my existence as blogger but also as functional human being to begin with. Creating content, or in my case blogging, is best not done on a whim like I seem to be doing. Instead being aware and making time on your schedule for content creation is key and one of the big things I wish I had known before I dove headfirst into the fray.

Maybe someday I will get the hang of planning my blog posts and pushing them out on a more consistent and predictable basis, who knows. But to anyone thinking of creating content I will tell you this: schedule it. Make the time, stick to it, be consistent and the world will be your oyster. And that’s all I have to say on this topic.

Tomorrow’s promptapalooza post will be hosted on Endgame Viable by UltrViolet, don’t forget to follow the train to it’s next destination!

Sandy’s (non)MMO Sunday: Melting Melting Melting!

There’s a heatwave absolutely terrorizing northwestern Europe. It’s one of those things that has become the new “norm” with climate change but unfortunately my country especially isn’t trained enough yet to deal with this. We’ve been so used to having a mild climate, cool summers, gentle winters, that these obscenely hot temperatures are throwing everything into disarray. The worst part isn’t even the fact that it’s 30+ degrees for over a week, it’s that our houses are built to keep the heat in. So once they heat up, they’re almost impossible to cool back down. It’s horrendous and one of the reasons I’m keeping most, if not all, of my electronics turned off. My computer and consoles all just generate way too much heat to use and with this heat lasting atleast another 3-4 days I think the only times I can get a bit of MMO time in is either really early in the morning, or not at all. I’m blessed enough to be spending a few days at the office while enjoying airconditioning, so there’s that, but otherwise it’s grin and bear it and wait untill the heat breaks.
On top of the heat it’s also prime insect time and there are way too many flying bugs in my house right now and it’s giving me the creeps. I have had to catch and release atleast two moths that made their way in and I’ve been trying to chase out flies and other winged insects while trying to keep as much as I can out. I’m doubting if I want to install some screens in my windows to keep everything out, but outside of a few weeks in summer I don’t really have that many insects around so I’m still doubting whether or not I should.

Anyway, that’s the current state of things and as such I’ve had to rethink how I spend my free time. Obviously playing a lot of World of Warcraft and/or Final Fantasy XIV is out of the question since I’d either have to use my PC or PS4, both of which generate a lot of heat. Added on top of that I’m kind of burned out on WoW anyway so I don’t really feel like logging more than two times a week to keep up with emissaries on my Warrior. FFXIV is releasing patch 5.3 next week though so I may jump into that, once temperatures have come down again (hopefully) at the end of the week.

So instead of playing MMO’s I’ve been reading a lot and playing on my Switch. Book wise I’m working my way through the Rain Wilds Chronicles by Robin Hobb and I’m at the final book now. Games wise I’ve been putting a bit of time in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and finished off the first official mission. There’s a lot of things to take into consideration by playing this game, especially with the whole “daily life” aspect that happens in between the battles. It feels like there’s always so much to do and not enough points to spend to do everything. Of course this will change the further I get into the game but for now I’m slightly annoyed that I can’t do everything I want… But oh well.
In Pokémon I finally picked up where I left off on the Isle of Armor and took my Kubfu to the Tower of Water so it could evolve into Urshifu Water form. I’m kinda sad to see the cute little fellow evolve but I know it was one of the big goals of this DLC so I did it anyway. Now I’m working on the questline to unlock Dynamaxing for it, but I kind of abandoned that for a bit to chase more Pokémon to fill up my Pokédex with. I’m currently sitting on 330/400 Pokémon caught for the Galarian Pokédex and I made a list for my friend who has Shield, I have Sword, of exclusives that I still need. Those add up to about 18 Pokémon which means I still need to catch around 50 on my own. So I’ve been working on that and it’s slightly annoying since most of the Pokémon that I still need now are either a very low encounter chance, 1-5%, or only appear during certain weather types. I’m super close though, I’ve never been this close to completing a Pokédex since I was a kid and had 146/150 caught in Pokémon Blue.

All in all I foresee a lot more reading and playing Switch games this week aslong as temperatures stay the way they are. As for the rest of today… The final regular week of the League championships in Europe and North America are happening this weekend and a lot of things are still at stake so it’s a really good weekend to watch. I need to do some light chores still, folding some laundry, taking out the trash, cleaning up my tables and of course there’s the matter of cooking dinner while trying not to melt.
So yeah, this is what my days look like right now. What are you guys up to? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Chasing Completion

I’ve alluded to it multiple times but I feel like I’ve done pretty much everything I wanted to do in the World of Warcraft. As such I’ve been trying to come up with new things to keep me occupied in the game, rather than taking an (extended) break. So when all else fails, or better when I don’t want to do challenging group content, I return to my completionist roots and start working away on earning achievements again. One of the more notable ones that I was close to was to get 100 reputations to Exalted. I think I only needed 5 more before the weekend. I found out that I could get two “free” reputations to Exalted by going back to Desolace and finish a, for some reason, resetted questline involving two centaur clans. After completing said questchain I got awarded with both their reputations being set to Exalted. The next reputation that I managed to get up, with the help of Timewalking, was the Sha’tari Defense reputation from Warlords of Draenor. For some reason though that one didn’t count towards my 100 so I had to think of other reputations to grind.
And that’s how I spent two to three hours of my Sunday grinding out Gadgetzan, Ratchet and Everlook reputation by committing pirate genocide in Tanaris. I got lucky with another player seeking to do the same and we grouped up, making the farm twice as fast. At the end of that grind I walked away with all those reps to Exalted, the achievement completed and a mount and title earned. There’s not many reputations that I’ve not touched now. I think three PvP ones are most notable, Silverwing Sentinels from Warsong Gulch, League of Arathor from Arathi Basin and Wrynns Vanguard from Ashran. I doubt I’ll ever get those to Exalted since I’ve not been interested in running battlegrounds for a long time now.
As far as PvE reptutations go… I still have Ravenholdt on Neutral and if I really wanted to I guess I could go for Insane in the Membrane, but I’m not that crazy yet. There’s Chromie rep to get and a variety of fishing reputations aswell as Draenor Garrisson bodyguard stuff. Nothing that is very appealing to me right now. I’m also still steadily working away on getting Exalted with the Rajani, I’m done with Uldum Accord, but that rep is limited to the assaults and dailies that I can do. I’m currently sitting around 17.5/21k though so I think I should be done with them around the weekend.

I’ve also started to do achievements that are specifically tied to Battle for Azeroth. Killing all rares in the various zones. Finding all treasures. Read scrolls and ride rickety planks or find grey items that are hidden in plain sight, if you know where to look. Eventually I’ll get to the harder to get ones and back to Nazjatar and Mechagon meta achievements, if I can keep interested until that.
There’s also some older “group” achievements that I’m eyeing to do. They mostly evolve around raid/dungeon achievements that also give a mount and I see that I’ve basically stopped doing them around Mists of Pandaria. Since that is all outdated content now I’m going to try to do as much as I can on my own and maybe ask a friend or two to assist me with the rest. That should keep me busy for a while atleast.

I’m also maybe planning to casually level up some Allied Race toons, if only to unlock their respective heritage armours and get those achievements out of the way aswell. Leveling is pretty braindead right now and fast enough to keep me entertained while also getting reasonable progress when I play for an hour or so. I’ve been poking around on a Lightforged Draenei Paladin and a Zandalari Troll Monk. Seeing as how I play tank and healer respectively I get pretty fast dungeon queues and when I don’t feel like doing dungeons I can just switch to a dps spec and quest my way up. By no means is this a big time consumption for me and I’m not going to make it some sort of “must do” goal but it’s nice to sometimes play a lower level toon and not have to think about too much.

Anyway, before this post turns even more rambly that’s what I’m mostly up to in WoW these days and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I’m also still playing FFXIV and leveling my Dark Knight there now, but that also limits itself to doing the pixie dailies and a random dungeon when I feel like it. I feel like summer is kind of taking away my will to game and instead I’m trying to be more outside. Be it in an active way or just lounging on my balcony while reading a book, it feels good to be in the fresh air and about instead of staying cooped up in my apartment the entire day. Especially now that my vacation is over and I’m back to work I feel like I need to make use of my free time to get away from my house, before the walls start closing in on me.
And inbetween that I’m satisfying my completionist urges. Let’s hope those can tie me over untill the Shadowlands prepatch.