Goals: January 2019

After my big yearly look forward post here comes the smaller monthly one. I’ll keep it short and sweet.

My Gaming Goals

  • Level Dark Knight to 70 in FFXIV and complete all Job quests
  • Level Samurai to 70 in FFXIV and complete all Job quests
  • Nintendo GotM: Pokémon LetsGo. Technically cheating this one a bit but I want to finish it up in January
  • Playstation GotM: Spyro 2: RIpto’s Rage. I’m aiming for 100% completion and the platinum trophy here

I want to finish off the big level race I started somewhere in October. I only have Dark Knight (lvl 55) and Samurai (lvl 50) left and I’m positive I can level up both jobs before the end of January. Blue Mage will get introduced into the game aswell and if I finish up leveling these last two jobs I will probably have a jab at that. I still have my leveling buddy for most evenings so chatting away while we do roulettes should, in theory, make time fly by.
As far as the Nintendo and Playstation games of the month go I gave myself some slack to get started on this. I’m well over halfway in the Pokémon game and Spyro shouldn’t take me more than 10-15 hours to complete just like the first game.

Other Goals

  • Book of the Month: Roger Daltrey – My Story (Thanks, Mr. Kibblewhite!)
  • Show of the Month: Luther

I’ve started reading Roger Daltrey’s autobiography and I want to finish it this month. My dad is an avid Who fan and has ingraineed this into me growing up. The book is actually a quite fun read and I am zooming through it with relative ease. I highly recommend people to read it if you have any affiliation with the Who as band.
A show that has been on my radar for a while now is Luther. I’ve never actively followed it when it was being broadcast over the past few years but now it’s on Netflix I may aswell watch what they have to offer. I am planning to watch all seasons this month simply because they don’t have that many episodes so this should be a walk in the park.

I could end up doing more than is on my goals list since I’m giving myself a lot of slack this month but who knows. Maybe this month will be busier for me than I think in advance.

Looking Forward: 2019

2018 is at an end and 2019 has started. The year has flown by with me accepting a new job, watching my house get built, ramping up my working hours and finally getting the contract I was hoping for. I’d say 2018 has been a quite succesful year on many fronts and I hope to carry this positivity over into 2019 in both my real life and the gaming world.
I don’t really want to make a big “look back” post but instead a big “look forward” one with what I hope to accomplish in 2019.

First off: Live a more healthy and happy lifestyle
I am the first one to admit that I’m lazy. I don’t really enjoy working out and any task I do I will take the route of the least amount of effort. It’s been eating away at me so I want to start changing this step by step so I will be calmer, healthier (both physically and mentally) and more ready to take on life and anything it throws at me. Starting now I’m going to work on the following things:

  • Seriously start losing weight. Right now I weigh in around 81kg (178,5lbs) and I want to drop down to 55kg (121lbs). This is my ideal weight and something I want to strive for to achieve and maintain. This means that I will need to really start working out and eat healthier. The second part should get much easier starting in April because by then I will be moving out and will no longer be on the junkfood heavy diet my dad maintains in his household.
  • Take better care of my skin. I have seriously dry skin almost all of the time. I tend to slack with maintaining skincare and it’s something I should step up on.
  • Plan my days better at work and at home. I tend to take things as they come which means I’m very disorganized. I want to plan my days better so that I know what I want to do on set days. It’s a way to optimize my use of time but also to help me create order in the chaos that is my brain.
  • Learn to do more with make-up and hair. Right now I basically wear mascara and do nothing with my hair except brush it. I want to do more and have different looks for myself. I like looking the best I can so I want to make work of that.

Secondly: Have a succesful move into my own home
In April it’s finally happening, I’m moving into my first self-owned home. This requires preparation on multiple fronts. I need to pick out all the furniture that goes in aswell as start sorting through my stuff here at home. Anything that I deem I don’t need anymore will either go into the trash (when it’s broken, discoloured or just plain too old), donated to either goodwill or friends or maybe sold when it still fetches a decent price. I want to take a few hours per week to focus on this and leave behind as little as possible when I move out.
Ofcourse I’m also planning a few days to pick out furniture, curtains and other necessary stuff aswell as look at insurances, internet providers and electricity companies. All in all I have a very busy time ahead with this.

Books, series and other hobbies
I want to make a goal to read atleast one book a month. I’ve set up a goodreads account and will enter this goal there aswell. I’m probably going to be focused on the Robin Hobb books for completing this but it’s whatever tickles my fancy really.
The same goes for series. I want to watch more Netflix just so I can justify paying for it. I want to discover new shows and movies and maybe blog about those a bit instead of games.
Finally I want to pick up embroidery again and finish a few pieces that I’ve started. I want to assemble all the Nintendo Labo stuff that I bought and be more creative with things in general.

Games
This is where the big focus lies beyond trying to change my lifestyle. There are a few major goals to be had for me this year:

  • In FFXIV I want to level all the available jobs to 70 before the expansion hits early summer. I only have two battle jobs left and then it’s focusing on crafters. I’d really like to be able to just dump all my old gear before the new expansion so I will probably focus a lot on this particular goal for the first six months of this year.
  • In WoW I want to play with my friends and help them at endgame. I want to level atleast one Allied Race to max level on Alliance Side and I want to give my Warrior the love she deserves. I’m sure I will post smaller goals for WoW throughout the year but the big one is to just connect and have fun with people again.
  • Nintendo: I want to pick one game per month on one of my Nintendo consoles to play through. This can be on my 3DS, Switch or WiiU. I own so many games spread across those three systems now that I just really want to start tackling the backlog. For the first few months it’s going to be either a Switch or 3DS game since my WiiU is not plugged in but after I move I want to add the WiiU to the rotation. This means I want to have atleast 12 Nintendo based games finished by the end of the year.
  • PS4: Same as Nintendo really. I want to pick one PS4 game per month to play through and hopefully end the year on 12 games finished. When it comes to games like Spyro or Crash Bandicoot I’m not counting the entire trilogy as one game but the games in the trilogy as separate games.

With bouncing back and forth between two MMO’s and taking a serious jab at my backlog I feel I should have enough material to write about each month and finally feel like I’m getting my money’s worth out of my backlog.

All of these goals will help me get a more structured year in where I can actually tell peple that I’ve made progress in life. I want 2019 to be the year where I become a better version of myself both online and offline. I want to get stuff done and I want to aim for happiness.
And I have 365 to accomplish this.

Pokémon Holidays

So Christmas came and went and it left me with a nice sore throat. It’s not a constant painful feeling but whenever I yawn, cough, sneeze or swallow it kinda hurts. Unfortunately no pain meds will actually work so I’m just going through the motions and waiting till it subsides on its own. This ofcourse has sparked some arguments at home because “oh my god why don’t you just take pain meds even though you said three times over they don’t work”. Apparently hearing her own opinion is more important than my autonomy over what actually goes into my body. I’m so happy to be moving out in less than four months.

Now onto the fun stuff! Due to being “forced” to socialize I’ve actually gotten a lot of time into Pokémon LetsGO during the 25th and the 26th. Apparently being social just means being physically present and not actually engaging with people so that’s fine by me. As you can see in the above picture I’m past Lavender Town and the Pokémon tower. I really wanted to screenshot this moment because I think it’s rather beautiful and a good indication of the storytelling in Pokémon LetsGO. Even though I’ve played through Kanto multiple times and can dream up the story by now I’m still quite surprised by how much I actually enjoy this installment.
Right now I’ve beaten Gym number 5 and am working my way to number 6 while catching as many Pokémon as I can along the way. Partially to start filling up my Pokédex and partially to help level up my existing team. I’m rolling with Eevee, Alakazam, Pidgeot, Venusaur, Charizard and Blastoise right now and I’m fine with that setup. I may actually ditch either Pidgeot or Alakazam at some point for the Dratini evolutions but all in all I’m happy with the team I now have. Even though I didn’t plan to play as much Pokémon as I have I atleast made a decent few steps in the game and am every so slowly moving towards the endgame.
Next to this I’ve also picked up Pokémon Go again. I don’t really walk around with my phone much but I make sure to catch atleast a Pokémon every day and spin a stop since I can do both from the comfort of my own home. I should probably go out more but my phone is in a state where I can’t put too much strain on it or the battery will just run dry, even after replacing it. I’m patiently waiting to move out before buying a new phone though because right now getting furniture for my house is more important than a new phone.

I’ve also poked my head back into WoW on Christmas Day. I opened the yearly Winter’s Veil gifts and set out to do the two scenario’s I wanted to do: Tyrande’s Ascension and the complimentary black Night Elf eyes and the Blood Elf Heritage quests as pictured above.
I like having a bit more lore to chew through and I was pretty engaged with both activities. The Blood Elf heritage quest is rather interesting. It basically tells you about the fall of the High Elf empire by the hands of Arthas and the subsequent loss of Sylvanas Windrunner, Anasterian Sunstrider and the Sunwell. It also shows you why the Sunwell was destroyed and the impact it had on the society. I’m pretty chuffed with the racial armor aswell so all in all that questline was a positive experience for me.
I really enjoyed Tyrande finally taking destiny in her own hands aswell. It’s been a long time coming that the Night Elves start to kick ass again and I’m happy to see the no-nonsense that is now empowered Tyrande + Malfurion. I really hope Blizzard can somehow maintain this storytelling and I’m quite curious where the Night Elf story goes after this.
I also have to report that playing on Draenor and Silvermoon, two of the biggest EU servers, has become an absolute pain in the ass due to extreme server lag. I’m thinking about going back to Dragonblight and my Warrior partly because it’s simply less laggy there and partly because I have some friends coming back to WoW and their characters are there. I guess I’ll see.

On the FFXIV front progress has been slow but steady. My monk is probably going to ding 67 tonight or tomorrow morning and I’ll hopefully be 70 somewhere during this weekend. This means I only have my Dark Knight and Samurai left to level. With Blue Mage supposedly coming out on January 15th I can see myself picking that one up after finishing off the traditional jobs. All that remains after is clearing out all the outstanding endgame quests, gear up my White Mage (and possible other jobs) and start leveling my crafters. All in all I still have plenty to do in FFXIV and I’m sure I will carry on the playing streak well into 2019. All in all I’m getting some good game time in during my holidays. Now I just need to find some time to fit in FFXV…

Homes, hacks, patches and funerals

As you can deduce from the post title I’ve had a very exhausting week. A lot of things happened that are gaming and IRL related and I need to get it all off my chest.

So let’s start with the good!
I had a look at my new apartment on Wednesday. It’s coming really close to being done at this point. My bathroom is as good as ready, all ceilings are ready, and it’s basically putting in the floor heating, floor, kitchen and painting the walls that needs to be done now. They suspect we can move in sometime during April, which is 5 months earlier than the initial date. I’m stoked! I am finally moving out into a neat little apartment and be a complete adult with my own life. Yay me.
I took lots of pictures and got to know some of the neighbours and it was all around good fun. I can’t wait to move there in a few months and I’m already picking out my furniture and making lists of everything I need to buy. I’ll probably do the same thing my coworker did and just take 3 weeks off to move and get settled in.
One of the things I had on my list I can scratch off because to day I picked up my Playstation Pro and traded in my old one. 4k games here I come!

In mentioning the Playstation I come onto my second subject of the post: hacking. More specifically people piggybacking on an existing Playstation Network account. They basically make use of your PSplus subscription and download the games you’ve bought. Apparently this has happened to me sometime during 2016 seeing as in my 5 year PS4 review FIFA 17 suddenly showed up as one of my top 3 most played games… While I don’t own it. After some digging I figured I’d been the victim of the specific type of hack I just described. There’s never been any purchases on my account that weren’t made by me but now with me getting a new Playstation I’ve taken a ton of measurements to make sure my account is freshly protected. I have had 2-step verification for a while but I specifically went into my Sony account and deactivated all devices, changed my PW and set up a new security question. I also took all payment details off the account. If someone tries anything funny now I’ll notice and hopefully this should keep my account safe for the future. It was kind of a scare to realize my account has been used by someone else but luckily nothing malicious every happened so there’s that.

In the realm of gaming I’ve not been able to put that much time into games this week. My warrior is level 68 in FFXIV and slooowly going towards level 70. I’ve been meaning to pick up the second game of Spyro but really couldn’t be arsed to sit down and play. I’m also aware that patch 8.1 is out in World of Warcraft and honestly I’ve not even been interested in logging on and seeing what Blizzard has added for the patch. I will probably poke my head in somewhere around Christmas because I have a week off then and enough time on my hands to play a few more games than just FFXIV and Spyro. Square Enix released the 4.5 patch site for FFXIV so I guess that’s a thing aswell.

Finally some sad news. I’ve been having a few ill family members, some more serious than others. One of them was one of my aunts who has been fighting a lung disease for most of her life. Unfortunately during Friday night she passed away while being surrounded with loved ones. The funeral should be either coming Friday or Saturday. If it’s Friday I probably won’t be able to make it due to work, Dutch time off around funerals is surprisingly strict and will completely depend on your manager when it comes to funerals of non-immediate family. I hope I can make it so I can say goodbye but I’ll guess I will see once the date for the funeral is set.

Warriors and Spyro

Character shot lvl 60 WAR quest

Progress, progress, progress! Hello again!
I’ve been quiet over the past week, I know, so I figured since it’s now Sunday, and I actually have time to sit down and post, I’d give you all an update about what I’ve been busy with throughout the week.

The above screenshot was taking during the cutscene of the level 60 Warrior quest. I will admit I have been less active on FFXIV the past week and the reason will be given below in a few minutes. However I have been slowly chipping away at my Warrior levels and have landed in the 60-70 territory which means I can pick up Beast Tribe dailies again and Hunts. It also means I have been enriched with a ton of new cool abilities, including Deliverance Stance, and that I can finally wear the set of Shire gear which I’ve purchased specifically for the leveling process.
I’ve been enjoying the tanking on Warrior even though I’m not that good at switching stances yet. I know the whole gimmick of Warrior is to get aggro in Defiance stance and then switch to Deliverance and start dishing out a ton of damage yourself in 4 man dungeons. The damage Warrior actually does is quite surreal for a tank and I’m probably going into full Offtank mode when I get level 60 Alliance roulettes or level 60+ trials. It’s just fun, and satisfying, to see those high numbers while swinging an oversized axe around. Luckily for me I’ve not had to do this leveling process alone, I have a few friends who are slowly coming back to FFXIV and I’m bantering with them on Discord as we run our roulettes. All in all I’m quite happy with the progress I’ve been making thus far and I hope to have my Warrior at level 70 by next weekend.

Spyro in Gnasty's loot room

Now onto the real reason I’ve not been playing FFXIV that much.
Last weekend I bought the Spyro Reignited trilogy on a whim. I never had a Playstation myself when I was a kid, my parents bought me a Sega Megadrive (Genesis in the US) that I to this day still adore. However my best friend and her little brother got a modified Playstation as combined birthday gift. I say modified because it had been chipped to be able to play copied game discs meaning that their parents wouldn’t have to pay full price for the games they wanted to play. A lot of my good memories of rainy days come from either playing with her on our attic on the Sega or us playing Playstation games in her brother’s room. This is where I got introduced to Spyro, Crash Bandicoot and Tekken among other games. And although the memories of the original Spyro are kind of vague I knew I wanted to play the HD remakes to see if I could capture that nostalgia and to see if the remakes were any good.

Well I can confidently say that the purchase hasn’t been a waste since I’ve managed to completely finish the first game in the trilogy within a week. According to my save file I’m around 10 hours played after finishing everything there was to do in the game. I’ve beaten the game 120%, the extra 20% being the Gnasty’s Loot Cove level where I took the above picture. I’ve obtained every single Playstation Trophy that was attached to this game, leading to my very first Platinum trophy. Finally I managed to knock out obtaining all the Skill Points and thus unlocking an extra art gallery with a ton of pictures of concept art for the various dragons and other creatures you come across in the first game.

All in all I’ve had a ton of fun playing Spyro. The first game doesn’t have learned skills like the later games do and also have a lot less in the way of guidance the later games do but that makes it even more enjoyable to play. Apparently you can toggle a minimap while playing which, as you can see, I never had on. I wanted to explore all the levels on my own and when push came to shove I’d look up the final thing(s) I missed on Youtube. It was a heavy 90’s nostalgia blast and I’m happy I picked up the games even if it goes against my self-imposed rule of not buying any new games untill I’ve atleast finished some of my existing backlog.

I’ve already started the second game in the trilogy after finishing the first and I hope that I’ll enjoy that one just as much as I did this one but I’ll see once I’m a bit further into the game. So far I’m enjoying myself there aswell, even though the game is a bit more hand-holding than the first one. I already hate having to buy skills with gems though, then again it gives the gems a purpose besides just “collecting”.

As positive as my gaming week has been I’m unfortunately not this happy in real life. Work is being an absolute disaster. I’m in a team of three although it’s basically two and a half because one of the three only works for three days a week due to being a new mom and cutting down her hours, which is totally understandable. However my other colleague has taken three weeks off to move house and basically on Thursdays and Fridays I’m the only one around from my team. Which means everything ends up in my inbox/on my plate. It’s been a struggle to handle this and it’s basically made me come home completely broken on those two days. Add to that the fact that I’m having some issues with dinner and stomach pains and it’s not been a very fun week. Unfortunately for me this situation will last for two more weeks so I’ll just have to grit my teeth and get through. If this means less time for games and other hobbies and more time for sleeping and making sure I feel well then so be it. It will also probably mean my next post won’t be untill the weekend again because frankly I’m just too tired to sit down and write during the evenings.

Step by Step: Leveling in FFXIV

Lights in FFXIV

I’ve been updating you all with my progress in FFXIV leveling and how I feel like I’m still fairly on track to meeting my end of year goal, which is getting all battle jobs to level 70. Today however I want to take the time to talk about how I’m going about this whole leveling process, how much time it’s costing me and how I’m preventing myself to get the dreaded MMO burnout from playing the same MMO for an extended amount of time.

Main goal and sub goals 
I like to come into an MMO with a general idea of what I want to achieve in a longer amount of time. When the WoW expansion launched it was level to level cap on both Horde and Alliance and experience all the lore before starting the endgame gear grind. In FFXIV I’ve made my goal pretty clear: level all battle jobs to 70 before the end of year. This is my main goal and it’s a goal that takes up a sufficient amount of time and is something I’d like to see as a “bigger picture” to work towards.
The reasons for having this goal are fairly simple, I like to get rid of the clutter of gear in my bags that I have lying around for various levels and classes. I’m a rather tidy person so I’d like my ingame inventories to be as clean as my room. This will help me achieve that. On top of that I’m a completionist. I’ve always been a collector and achievement hunter on WoW. I like to 100% my games when I can and don’t really like it when stuff is “unfinished”. Getting all my battle jobs to 70 scratches this itch enormously, enough so that I’m realistically willing and able to commit to this endeavour.

Obviously this goal is rather big. At the time I committed to this goal I had 7 jobs to level to max level still. To break things up FFXIV actually made it easy for me: level one job at a time. On my own initiative I’ve made a planning on how to tackle the jobs and in what order and how long it would take me to level each job to 70. This made my sub goals more realistic to tackle. On average the journey from 60-70 takes about a week and 50-70 takes twice as long, unless you spend hours grinding which I don’t do, making it so that I’m never more than two weeks focused on the same job to level. Because there is a decent amount of variety in playstyles this keeps me engaged and curious as to how every new job plays and it breaks the mold of doing the same activities every day to level up to begin with.

Planning and preventing burnout
After establishing my main goal and my sub goals I just started to level with no real plan on how to tackle all of this. Because of that I spent a lot of time in FFXIV focused on leveling and grinding and I noticed the MMO burn creeping on me when I was about halfway with leveling my Paladin. Once I realised this I also realised that I needed to tackle this endeavour a bit differently than I was doing. I didn’t want to spend all my free time on FFXIV, especially during weekdays, so I needed to figure out what the most optimal leveling route was for weekdays and weekends where I’d have a bit more time.
Eventually I settled on the following schedule:
Mon/Fri evening I will do Level, Trial and Alliance roulette. These three roulettes should on average be enough to get a level in from 50-60 and almost a level from 60-70.
If my character is in the 60-70 range I will tack on the beast tribe dailies from the Ananta and the Turtle people because they are definitely worth doing and only take about 10 mins each.
Sat/Sun I have more time to spend and thus next to the weekday routine I also tackle the Main Scenario and 50-60 roulette. I try to also do the hunt bills that are level appropriate for a little extra boost to my levels and to save up Centurio Seals which I can in turn use to gear up my characters when they hit max level where necessary.
When I have a little extra time, and motivation to do so, I throw an odd PotD/HoH in the mix. Often I do this to get that last bit of experience in I need to level up, sometimes just because I feel like grinding it for a longer time.

Sticking to this schedule has done wonders for my free time. During weekdays I’m never online for more than 1.5hours on weekdays and still make progress without feeling burnt out. It has freed up time for me to play other games, like Pokémon LetsGO, and to get back to reading. Due to it’s constant nature it has become a source of relaxation for me, except when I get Susano for trial roulette because seriously fuck that, and a gaming session I look forward to every day I can play.
Having discovered this approach for my MMO’s I’m much more relaxed when it comes to my single player games. There I just want to enjoy the story and not really set goals for myself, so if I play for 30 mins it’s fine but if I lose myself in the game and play for two hours it’s fine aswell. Having this structure has brought an overwhelming amount of rest in my head on my days off and has hightened my enjoyment of all the things I undertake because I’m more relaxed and focused in general.

I really hope I can use this strategy to tackle more areas in my life but for now I’m happy to just use it for my MMO’s and other hobbies. Who knows… I may actually grow up to be a functional adult after all.

November update: Progress on multiple fronts

Level 70 Paladin skill

It’s odd how time works sometimes. I could swear it was only the start of November a few days ago and yet here we are with less than a week left this month. It’s gone surprisingly fast, even accounting for the fact that last week I was sick and mostly bedridden which of course skews your perception of time even more.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog and Twitter you have seen that I’ve been making steady progress in my FFXIV leveling endeavours. My Paladin sits at 70 and as of writing this my Dragoon just hit level 64 and is firmly on track to be 70 this week. After that I’m switching to my Warrior so I can have fast tank queues again before settling down on Monk. All in all I’m quite happy with how fast the leveling is going. I’m pretty sure I won’t actually make the whole “get all battle jobs to 70 before the new year” goal but I’ll get very close. As I’m estimating it now I’ll probably be somehwere halfway in leveling up my Dark Knight and then I only have Samurai left. Again I’m not really accounting for the extra playtime I get from my week holiday so I may actually be left with only Samurai in the new year.

Next to leveling I’ve also been tackling a lot of unattended end game stuff. I’ve never actually touched the second part of the Omega raid, Sigmascape, so I’m slowly working my way through the normal raids for the story. I’ve done part one with the ghost train and part two with the painting and enjoyed both fights. They’re not necessarily hard but you can and will die if you don’t follow the proper mechanics. I’m staring down the “Guardian” next and then Kefka afterwards. This will allow me to open up Alphascape which I will run not to only close out the story but also in search of some gear upgrades for my White Mage.
I’m also planning to queue for the Ridorana Lighthouse this week as I haven’t done that one either yet. I’m almost one hundred procent positive that tomorrow will be the best evening to run this particular instance since it’s reset day and then most good people run it to get their weekly drop.
Now I just need to tie up some sidequests here and there and I’m pretty sure I have another primal to unlock in the form of Suzaku. I’m also on the final set of quests to rebuild Doma, which I’m pretty happy with.

Final Fantasy however isn’t the only game I’ve been spending my time with the past few days. I’ve also played about nine hours of Pokémon LetsGO and made it as far as Lavender town/Celadon City. I’ve wasted about an hour trying to force shinies to spawn with something called the 31 catch combo chain, which I’ll talk about more in a later post. For now I’ve decided to mainly follow the story and beat the elite four as soon as possible. I’m really liking this game and I’m pretty sure it will stick for the forseable future.

Lastly I finally made some true progress in reading the final book of the Farseer Trilogy. I’m almost halfway done now (page 400 out of 912) and I have to say I really like this particular set of books a lot. So much that I’ve acquired all of the other books that take place in the same realm. Which means I have 13 more books to look forward to in a story that is actually finished. Unlike some of the other sagas I’m following, and yes I’m looking at GRR Martin, Parick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch as I write this particular sentence.

All in all the two games and the book should keep me busy for atleast another two weeks or so. I hope to have made considerable progress in Pokémon by then and hopefully have started reading the first book in the Living Ships trilogy.

As always I’ll keep you guys updated.

Paladin level 70!

Paladin after 70 quest

Today marks the day that I finally have the holy trinity of MMO’s (tank, healer dps) at max level in FFXIV. My Paladin dinged level 70 about 30 minutes ago and immediatly I switched to new gear and went ahead with the final quest for Paladins this expansion, which was the grand finale to the prestigious Ul Cup. Of course I won, I am the hero of the story after all.

Doing the level 50-60 and 60-70 experience on Paladin back to back I have to say that I enjoyed the Stormblood quests more than I did the Heavensward. The idea of partaking in a grand tournament for swordsmen (and women) and basically going back to the Gladiator roots you start the class with was nice. The fights were epic and the finale fight even more so. Much better than some scheme to help a young lad find his inner Paladin which included a faked death and a fight to establish the “alpha Paladin”. I’m not sure what kind of drugs the writers were taking when they thought up that particular storyline but I was happy to just breeze through it and not really give it a second thought. Mind you the Heavensward quests weren’t bad, they were just not really interesting to me compared to the Stormblood ones.

It’s the special storylines that every job has that make me love FFXIV a lot as MMO. It feels rewarding to level up every class because you are rewarded with stories that you normally wouldn’t see. This goes for battle and crafting/gathering jobs. They all have their unique stories to tell and enrich the world of Eorzea as whole. Next to that all the stories also make sense for the class you are playing. The Black Mage ones were filled with grandeur and imminent threats. The Paladin ones were filled with swordfighting and finding true callings. As Machinist you play a pivotal role in Ishgard and it’s transition to a more unified people instead of the clear separation between nobility and “lowborn” people. A lot of stories are fuzzy though. Classes that I’ve leveled early on or that have been 50 for ages I don’t really remember very well anymore. Luckily there is the journal that keeps record of all the quests you’ve done so if I want to I can go back and read what the stories for all my jobs have been so far.

All in all I’m in a great leveling mood. With my Paladin reaching 70 I’m now down to 5 battle jobs with Dragoon being next on the list. I can finally go back to flashy gameplay and awesome looking weapons after doing a lot of “123” rotations on my Paladin and before that standing still and casting on my Black Mage. I’m looking forward to covering the next 10 levels aswell as the story Dragoons will get told in Stormblood.

Common Cold

Zurvan

Seems like I captured the Zurvan fight at just the right time. I always like the intermezzos that Square Enix builds into their trial fights and Zurvan is on the more epic side of said trials. I opted to not main tank this fight though since I’m not really familiar with it plus the other tank had like 10k HP more than I have (Warriors are filthy cheaters I tell you).
The progress on leveling Paladin has been slow but steady. I hit 68 tonight which means I should be 70 on Friday night and tick it off as another class done! In the meantime I’m enjoying tanking on Paladin a lot again, post 50 the job has gotten much more interesting with many more buttons to press than previously.

Being knocked down by a cold this week I didn’t really feel like doing much of anything. However yesterday during the afternoon I attended my very first live orchestra performance in the Concert building in Amsterdam. It was an orchestra plus choir from Eastern Europe and they performed music from various movies with the final hour being dedicated to music from Star Wars alone. It was a magnificent thing to attend and while I don’t necessarily enjoy classical music in general hearing an orchestra perform songs I know was something I felt I needed to experience. Even though when I came home I had a fever flaring up I’m happy I went. This did result in me calling in sick to work today after barely sleeping last night and dealing with all the discomforts that the common cold brings. I’ve thus recovered enough to try to attend work again tomorrow, even if it’s only for a part of the day.

Other than my cold and the concert I don’t really have much to tell right now. Being unwell kind of makes your days boring and mostly spent in bed. I’ve been in too much of a funk to really game a lot so apart from the progress on my Paladin I’ve not really touched anything else. I am planning to play a bit more Pokémon LetsGO as I start feeling better, and to change from playing FFXIV only to also playing a single player game on the side.

Phone Woes

Under water with sunbeams

I’m having a bit of a rough week with my phone this week. At the start of the year we had a few weeks where it was extremely cold outside and my iPhone did not like that. It would just shut off while still having 30% battery left and that was that. Once I came back home and it was warmed up it worked fine again. This should’ve been a first warning sign that my battery was slowly decaying. Ofcourse cold temperatures are never good for technology but -5 degrees celsius is something that a phone should be able to handle.
The past week, as it’s getting colder again but no freezing temperatures yet, once again my battery seems to be draining rapidly. Again I had 30% -> 1% drops in battery life and even a 100% to 57% in the span of 5 minutes, even while sitting in the train. Whenever I’d use my phone in the morning after turning off airplane mode I would always have 10-20% battery drops aswell so in all my wisdom I decided it was time to get my battery replaced since I’m pretty sure there were a few rotten cells.

According to the phone shop I still had about 70% capacity left but due to the sudden drops in percentage I opted to replace my battery anyway, which after more than 3.5 years of use should be a saving grace. However after charging up the new battery this morning it’s showing odd behaviour again. I saw the battery charge to about 99% and figured I’d wait a few more minutes to get it to 100. However when I went back to check it suddenly had 85% charge and, after hard resetting the iPhone, it dropped to 80%. I figured the battery was being a bit wonky so I plugged my phone back in to charge and calibrate properly, however even though I get the indication my phone is charging it’s not actually charging past 81%.
I’m sincerely hoping it’s something to do with the replacement battery I had put in yesterday so I can just go back and have them look at it, it came with a 3 month warrantee, otherwise I’m scared they may have broken something while replacing the battery. The dock connector could be an option but because it was working fine before I doubt that’s the case. In the worst case it could be my phone itself that’s just defective after 3.5 years of extensive use. Right now I’m mostly trying to find out whether it doesn’t want to charge anymore at all or just not past 81%. So as experiment I’m letting it drain during the day and plug it in again in the evening when the battery is down to 30-40% and pray it’ll charge back up again.

One thing this whole ordeal has made me realize is that I’m more reliant on my phone than I’d care to admit. Of course when push comes to shove and I have to pick up a new one it’s not the end of the world. It’s more that this phone has some sentimental value due to it being a birthday present from my dad almost four years ago and I’m not really the type to pick up a new phone every two years to begin with, however it’s beginning to look like I’ll have to search for a replacement.

The screenshot at the start of this post is actually super unrelated to the topic. But I think it’s pretty and wanted to show it off.