Screenies Galore!

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

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

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

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

Handheld Gaming… Oh and the Shooty!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Randomness

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

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

A Healthy Mind In A Healthy Body

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

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

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

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

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

Destiny… my Destiny?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opinions Opinions

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 years, 10 questions

So there is a little community event going about the 10 years of World of Warcraft, started by Alt:ertnative Chat 

Nostalgia is worth quite a bit of currency for Blizzard, as we’ve seen from Thursday’s announcements concerning the 10th Anniversary celebrations. As I prepare to take a break from actual Podcasting I’m not stopping the process however, anything but. In fact, part of the reason for taking a break is so I can start preparing for a project that I’ve been planing for a while now, and which I think it’s high time to share with you guys and at the same time ask you for help. My forte has always been sound, and as a result I’ve decided to launch a Project which is nothing at all to do with me and absolutely EVERYTHING to do with you, and the memories you have of World of Warcraft over the last 10 years.
Hence the 10 YEARS :: 10 QUESTIONS project was born, and I need your help to make it a reality.
What’s this all about, I hear you ask? Well, it is very simple: I want to ask AS MANY PLAYERS AS I CAN FIND the same ten questions about their time in Warcraft. The more responses I get, the easier it will be to build a balanced and comprehensive picture of what matters to players after a decade: what they remember, what Warcraft has given them as an experience and most importantly the legacy of the game for players as we move into the NEXT ten years of Warcraft’s life. That means getting the word out everywhere: social media, other sites, and I’m not just looking for current players either. I’m attempting to contact ex-players too for their responses because this isn’t just about the people who remain, I grasp that those who have left have as much to say on this as the existing playerbase.

Here is my entry…

1. Why did you start playing World of Warcraft?
Well, my ex-boyfriend at the time was playing it and got me curious, since he knew I liked games. I made a character on his account in March 2007 and have been playing on and off ever since. Right now I’m at an extended break untill patch 6.0 hits.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
My first ever character was one on the account of said ex-boyfriend. After doing some research, and after him telling me not to make a Night Elf druid because he had one, I settled for a Female Human Mage. I figured it would be fun to sling spells everywhere. That character has unfortunately been lost because we broke up.
My first character ever rolled on my own account was a Female Human Warrior and she still exists on my account till this day only she is now a Female Night Elf  who hasn’t been logged for a while as you can see.

3. Which factor determined your faction choice in game?
Well, I’m not sure actually. I rolled Alliance at first because well, that’s what I got introduced to. I didn’t roll a Horde untill Wrath of the Lich King where you could have both factions on the same (PvP) server. After that I’ve played both factions but have always preferred Alliance because of Nightelves and Draenei. The Horde characters that I do still play are Bloodelves and a Panda. I like prettiness when I have to look at my characters and most of the Horde races just don’t fit that standard for me.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
I have to say the first time I entered Serpentshrine Caverns with a full 25 man group here. It was the first time I had ever done content harder than Karazhan and I was very very impressed by how it all went. My computer was absolute balls at the time so on Morogrim Tidewalker I was literally stuck for a minute when the murlocs spawned but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
This is a tough one to answer. I am a collector in general so when achievements got implemented it was a very good day for me. I also still like to collect mounts but have dropped the collecting pets a little. The reason for that is mostly because I am not a huge fan of Wowkemon. I had almost all pets available ingame before the introduction of Wowkemon and suddenly found myself lagging behind on other collectors after the introduction. It’s then that the enjoyment of the pet collection lost it’s shine for me.

6. Do you have an area that you always return to?




One of my favourite area’s in game was Azshara, pre-Cataclysm. It had a wild feel to it with lots of secrets and mysteries. Whatever did happen to Timbermaw Hold? And the dialogue with the ghostly dragon there, if you were on the quest, was amazing. Sadly they remade the zone for Cataclysm and so I can never really return. I think if I have to pick an area where I would rest my character when the servers go offline for the last time it would probably be Nagrand. So green and peaceful.

7. How long have you /played and has it been continuous?
Seeing as I don’t have gametime at the moment I can’t really check, but assume that my playtime has been pretty long across all my characters, with my Warrior having the longest.
It has not been continuous. I have taken several breaks, starting with when Diablo III came out but also a few months after MoP release and again now.

8. Admit it, do you read quest text or not?
Yes and no. I try to read all the quest text the very first time I level/play through an area. I like lore and want to know what’s going on. Every character that follows after I don’t read anymore.

9. Are there any regrets from your time ingame?
Too many to name here. They come down to a few basic things.
I mostly regret not being able to pick a main character and stick to it. The only character I have played continuously throughout my 7 years on WoW is my warrior, but I have main switched more than I can justify. I see the same happening in other games now, I guess I’m not really cut out to just pick something and stick to it.
My other regret is letting my choices be influenced by my SO who I was playing with at the time. It led me to abandon a marvelous guild and my hunter who I loved so much back then. After that I decided not to move or do anything if I didn’t wanted to myself.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside of gaming?
Hmm. Well it has found me friends and more. I found one of my exes on the game and we were together for 3 years.
Other than that it has been my escape from a troubled home situation for a long time. Although I’d like to say it didn’t influence my school/studies, it did. I did manage to finish high school, a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, just a bit slower than I should have.
I never let the game get in the way of my social life though but there was a time where I considered myself to be addicted, especially during TBC and WotLK where I would play for many hours where I should have been studying.

So yeah this was my take on the 10 years, 10 questions. I hope you enjoyed the read 🙂

Chopping Away…

DING! 50!
Botanist level 50, I thought I would never make it. But yesterday I finally did. And I’m so happy! It’s the first class that isn’t a battle class that I managed to get to 50, and boy it has been a grind.
I used up all my rested xp, company seals, about 40 vials of cordial and 2 stacks of food (and multiple FC buffs) but it was all worth it. I immediatly picked up most of the best in slot gear and now I just need to (over)meld it to get to gathering the nodes I need to get even better gear. I hope I can make some nice money of the botanist, but I’ll have to see. For now I’m just squeeing over all the new things I’m exploring as botanist.

Struggles

This post might come as a surprise after my previous happy post full of updates and pictures, but I feel the need to put it out there anyway.

For a while now I’ve been struggling with being a “gamer”. I notice it a lot on the weekend nights, Friday and Saturday, where I sit at home and play games while I feel like I should be doing something else. Mind you, it’s not like I don’t have a social life at all. I still see my friends and am out of the house a lot, but still.
Right now I’m in the position that I still live at home with no income and with people I don’t really like. My friends have all moved away, the closest one is a 15 minute drive by car now and I’m not really interested in “bar hopping” by myself.
Thus I turn to gaming. I have a lot of “online friends” who are gamers like me. Although I have fun with these people and have some sort of bond with them, it’s not the same as having real fun with real people. And after a while I find myself shunning the group of people I usually hang out with and retreating into a depressive state where I don’t like anyone or anything.

I’ve thought long and hard about why I have these moments where I absolutely despise logging or starting up any game imaginable. Is it because I’m unemployed right now? Maybe. I have more time to play than ever and when you spend hours and hours on a game it gets boring fast. However when I still had a job I’ve had more than enough of these moments aswell.
Is it because I feel lonely sitting behind my PC every night? Maybe. I’m used to being alone, being raised as an only child, and I’ve always found ways to entertain myself so this is nothing new. However I’m actually a quite extraverted person and I thrive in social situations. I love the buzz of people around me and I’m happiest when I’m in the big city where people are lively and abundant. I like doing new things and meeting new people and that’s not really something you do sitting in your room behind a computer. I also miss the social connections sometimes. Like I said, I have many online friends, but somehow it still feels shallow compared to the rich real life friendships I have.

Gaming has long been my escape from the big bad outside world. But now that I’ve finished my university and my life is actually settling down I feel it to be unhealthy to escape to a game when I feel like shit. It’s distraction, but it doesn’t make me feel better. Actually I often feel worse when I feel stressed or depressed and I start up a game. I feel like I’m avoiding why I feel this way by escaping into a game instead of tackling the issue head on.

Maybe I’m just very very bored at the moment and is this clouding how I feel about games. I’m not sure. All I know is that I’m slowly slipping into a phase of being unhappy with what I do and that I feel like shunning games as much as I can but still returning to them because there is little else to do. Which in turn kind of makes me despise the games I’m playing, thus making me more unhappy.

Maybe I’m just whiny, who knows. When I talk to my online friends they don’t really feel the same way. They find other games to enjoy or are able to just lay the game down. I don’t want to game hop too much however, mostly because of limited finances. I have tried to quit games, restrict my gametime or just play one game for a while. And although this works for a while I find myself logging more and more hours on more and more games untill I’m back to sitting behind the PC for hours and hours every day and feeling bad about it.

I don’t know if anyone else has struggled with these feelings and how they’ve tried to fix it, but I do hope I’m not alone in feeling this way…

Updates and pictures

It’s been rather quiet on the blogosphere of late. Maybe it’s because of the holidays, maybe it’s because a lot of people quit playing Wildstar (myself included) or maybe it’s just because there is nothing to blog about.
I myself fall into the last category. Well not entirely. I have tons and tons of things to blog about, but I just can’t seem to get it in writing.

Right now however I have achieved a lot of things on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that I just HAVE to share it with everyone.

First off: my static Coil group has made it to turn 9. Or the Second Coil of Bahamut Turn 4, whatever tickles your pickle. Unfortunately I wasn’t there for our first turn 6 clear, but I am there on the kill screens of the turn 7 and turn 8 kills.
On the turn 7 picture I’m standing to the far right, on the turn 8 one I’m standing on the far left. And no I’m not the big burly Roegadyn 😉

I’m very proud that my team has come this far. We are currently competing over the first turn 9 clear in our Free Company with another coil group and we hope and pray that we get it first. But for that we will need some more gear…

Speaking of gear, my Animus bow is coming along nicely, I’m currently working on book 7/9 and I hope to be finished next week. After that the big grind for Novus begins, but I’ll comment about that in another post.

Speaking of gear. I have been having fun with some glamours to make my character stand out among the crowd (see above picture). You need to see glamours as a sort of transmog from WoW but a bit different. Luckily for me one of the healers in my coil group is a master crafter and had an awesome looking chestpiece “lying around”. Mind you this chestpiece is worth 1 million gil on the Marketboard so I was kind of stunned he just gave it to me. For reference, it’s the Augmented Saurian Tabard of Aiming and for anyone who plays endgame, you know how ridiculously expensive this thing is as normal quality… This one is high quality. Anyway, I do believe Sandrian looks awesome in this look so I think I’ll keep her this way for a while.

Another interesting thing that I did was finally bring Sarella over from Shiva. And turn her into a Hyur because having two Miqo’tes is kind of meh.
I’ve been mostly using her as Botanist so far, currently level 31, but main Monk on her, a class that I thoroughly enjoy. I’m currently in what I believe a very sexy gearset for botanist so ofcourse I had to share this with you guys. The set that you see here is one that I crafted myself on Sandrian and I’m damn proud of it!

For the near future I hope to level Sarella to level 50 botanisht and show off that gear and clear turn 9 and get my Animus weapon on Sandrian. Which I ofcourse will show off aswell.
I can’t make any promises about blogging more, but I will try to put an update of my activities every now and then.