Monday Blues and Schedule Troubles

I don’t function well on Mondays. The day after the weekend I have huuuuge issues with getting back into the rythm of work, even if I only work 3 days a week, and on monday evening I’m just a huge wreck that doesn’t want to do anything but lay in bed and sleep. Maybe it’s because I sleep less on the weekends or just because I go to bed too late on Sunday but it’s the same thing every week. I’m exhausted at work and when I get home I just fall into bed and sleep untill dinner. When I’m still tired I sleep after dinner aswell and then I can handle the rest of the evening just fine untill I go to bed around 12, where I almost immediatly fall asleep again.

All this sleeping has caused some serious issues with my schedule, aka shit isn’t getting done, and I’m not really sure how to handle this. I’m currently playing 2 MMO’s, one more hardcore (FFXIV) than the other (WoW) but I don’t want to quit either one. I love playing Sarella on FFXIV and exploring the game more and more, finally levelling my gather professions and other classes and playing with friends. I also love playing Aylanna on WoW, she just feels so natural to play and WoW is a game that has got me hooked since I started in 2007 although I don’t play it that hardcore anymore.
With me playing two different MMO’s I’ve also noticed that I can’t really “alt” properly. Since I want to get capped on Myth Tomes on Sarella every week (which requires me to do 10 WP runs) but also want to do a complete LFR run on Aylanna while still maintaining my daily CD and Shaohao daily for rep it leaves me with very little time to do other stuff on the games. Sometimes I’m ok with this, sometimes it really frustrates me. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to jumping from character to character that it feels weird to stick to just 1 (or in my case 1 per game), or maybe I just need to accept the fact that I can’t do everything at once if I want to enjoy things.

Next to my MMO “struggles” I’ve also decided to pick up Assassin’s Creed III again, in preparation of IV coming out in a few weeks for the PC. I’ve even bought a controller since that plays a lot nicer than keyboard + mouse for games like that. And then there is Pok√©mon X aswell…

Maybe I’m just suffering from a classic case of: too many games to enjoy and too little time to enjoy them in. Especially since I’ve been working I’m just noticing I need to make tougher decisions when it comes to dividing my time between all the things that I like and have to do, and let’s just say that scheduling/planning/making decisions about my time isn’t one of my strong points. Ugh, I really do need to work on this ūüôĀ

So yeah, with all these schedule conflicts and uncertainty about what to play I’m also not really updating my blog here regularly. A part of me also wants a new background that shows my hunter with the blue alliance symbol behind her and on the other side Sarella as white mage with the Twin Serpent symbol behind her. Not sure how I’m going to get that, but I’ll get it somehow!

For now I’m back to managing things on WoW and FFXIV and will blog about stuff again when I find some time to squeeze a writing session in.

A Noble Hour

Hi everyone and welcome to my weekly series of “A Noble Hour”.
What is this you might ask? Well I have decided to start a little project in the weekends on FFXIV. I’ve started up a new character and will only play her ONE hour on Saturday or Sunday, depending on what day is more convienent to me.
I’ve started this series to show how “fast” you can do things on FFXIV with only one hour of playtime. This is for the people that really can’t play that much and have to plan their playsessions. I’m sure that they have a bit more time than I am taking now but this is just a little experiment from my side to show how easy or difficult it is to manage a game like FFXIV on a limited time schedule.

So without further ado: let’s start with a little introduction.

Character name: Sandrian Noble
Server: Odin (EU)
Free Company: None (yet)
Race: Miqo’te
Staring class: Arcanist

What have I accomplished in 1 hour?
Starting level: 1
Level at logout: 6
Hunting log: Arcanist 01, 02 and 03
Gathering/Crafting: – (not available yet)
Activities: I’ve picked up all low level quests in Limsa Lominsa to kickstart my levelling process and finished all of them. I’ve also picked up the Main Story Quest but chose not to pursue that further than getting send to Summerford Farms, instead I focused on my lvl 5 Arcanist Class quest and finishing off all the low level quests in Limsa.
Next to this I’ve picked up my mail that contained 2 Minions and a nice little levelling Helmet that gives +20% experience untill level 10. I’ve taken part in 3 FATE’s, all in Lower La Noscea and picked up the breadcrumb quests to advance in Lower and Middle La Noscea.

So that is what I’ve been able to do in my first hour on Sandrian. The first few levels always go pretty fast and especially when you do all the initial quests that are around in the city you start in. I suspect that after level 10 things will go a bit slower and then I will also pick up some crafting professions, thus bringing some more variety to my gameplay.

See you next week for another Noble Hour!

I’m Back On Azeroth…

After being WoW-less for about a month and a half the itch finally got too much for me and I resubbed for a month. I’m not really sure why but I just felt the urge to play my Hunter again. Maybe being inspired by playing/seeing people play a Bard on FFXIV while I don’t intend to level that class up yet, or maybe because I just missed playing something that shoots pointy things on a high level to start with.

The character I’ve fled back to is Aylanna, my Hunter. I have two Hunters at max level, one Alliance and one on Horde side (Temar√≠). It’s been one of my favourite classes in WoW for a long time and I actually had a 3rd hunter going up to level 85 in Cataclysm, she was a Worgen, but due to me breaking up with my ex, she was on his server, I deleted her.

Coming back to play Aylanna has been a huge positive thing for me. Playing a Hunter is so natural to me that I can abandon it for months and then pick it up without any loss of skills or classknowledge whatsoever. Maybe I need to check what is the new most important stat but that’s it. I know how to play a Hunter and how to get the best possible DPS out of one so that I never feel like I’m behind much, even if my gear isn’t up to par compared to the people I play with.

For now I haven’t really done much more on her than fiddle around on the Timeless Isle and doing some LFR. I’ve been lucky though, on my first Celestial kill since coming back I obtained Tier gloves and in LFR I got a shiny trinket and a new necklace, replacing the last two pieces of green gear I had on her and cranking my average ilevel up to 509.

On the front of Final Fantasy I’ve been busy with my Relic Quest on Sarella. I’ve completed it up to Garuda HM so the only boss left is Titan and then I should get Thyrus, the Relic Weapon for White Mages. Since Titan is extremely difficult I don’t see me downing him anytime soon though which leaves me to farming dungeons for Tomestones to substitute my gear with the Darklight and Cleric set.
I’ve also been levelling some new classes and have unlocked the Warrior job in the process and am close to unlocking the Monk job, one I will probably level to max level next. I feel Monk is insanely fun to play and it would make a nice DPS class to farm things with when I don’t feel like healing.

That’s it for now. I’ll keep you updated on any news and maybe when I see the time I’ll write a review on some of the games I’ve played and why I think you should, or shouldn’t, buy them. Untill then!

In The Meantime

Last Saturday the game that I’ve been waiting for for more than 6 months arrived: Pok√©mon X! I’m very psyched about this since I’m a huge fan of the Pok√©mon series as a whole and have one game of each generation, except Black/White 2 since I found those to be silly. It’s the first Pok√©mon game for the 3DS and I have to say so far that I’m enjoying it a lot.

I picked the Fire type starter: Fennekin. I really love the way it looks, so adorable, and I’ve always loved Fire type Pok√©mon. Seeing as the first Gym is apparently a Bug-type Gym picking the Fire starter is probably the smartest move I’ve done making that first Gym a piece of pie.
Next to this I’ve also received the special Torchic via WiFi. This Torchic has a special ability and holds an item so that it can Mega-Evolve in battle once I have trained it up to become a Blaziken.

I’ve only recently started the game, I’m still only just past Gym number one, but I already notice that the variety of Pok√©mon you can catch from the start is enormous. From the starter town to the first Gym I’ve already encountered about 12 different Pok√©mon to catch. Some are new and some are familiar faces but I want them all anyway. It also gives you more thought about how you want to form your team over the course of the game. For instance I have Fennekin as Fire type, Pikachu as Electric, Pansage for Grass and Azurill for Water. And that’s only those four. There’s 2 flying types to catch, 2 normal types, 3 bug types… And that’s all before the first gym!

I’m curious to see which Pok√©mon I’m able to get in this game and which ones I will really have to transfer off of my Black to get. For now I’m happily levelling up my Pok√©mon and catching more and more every day and I’ll keep you updated on how it goes!

I Made It!

I made it! Level 50 White Mage. Late last night I finally dinged level 50. The last level actually went quite smooth. I had saved up my exploration and hunting log and by the time I had done those I had already done 380k out of the 530k experience needed to ding level 50. After catching up with my Main Story I managed to be 30k experience off of dinging so I picked up some random quests from the Scion’s Headquarters and delivered them and voila! There I was. Even though it was 2 am I decided I wanted to get the last job quest done so I could get my shiny Healer’s Robe, so I did and the above picture is the result of that!
What’s next?
Well for now I want to focus on finishing off my main story, so that’s doing the last few dungeons, and get my shiny 3rd mount, the Magitek Armor! After that I’m going to focus on getting geared so I can start doing endgame and next to that I will probably pick up professions a bit more again. I decided that I want to combine my professions a bit more, so I picked up Mining and Goldsmithing (I seriously lack good accessories) and am probably mostly going to focus on levelling them first.
Next to this I seriously need to find out what is expected of me on level 50, I read a lot of stuff about relic/pre-relic things, certain currencies you need (Allagan Tomestones?) and high level gear that you can buy and or make. I know that Healing Skill wise I should be fine, I haven’t had any complaints so far anyway, but that I need to pick a few more abilities from Arcanist and Thaumaturge to complete my skillset as White Mage so maybe I’ll focus on that a bit aswell.
Most importantly I’m going to kick back and be a bit more casual about the game now. The road to level 50 has consumed much time and I feel like I’ve spent most of my time on FFXIV while neglecting other things that I shouldn’t have. When I get a deeper understanding of the class I might write a guide about how to play a White Mage, but for now I’m going to enjoy being level 50 and afterwards we’ll see.

Dripping Along

Today marked the first day of ideal gaming weather: cold, windy and rainy. For me personally there’s no better weather imaginable to focus on a game for a few hours. It’s so nice to be in a different world when you can hear the wind roaring around your house and the rain pouring on your window.
Unfortunately for me I spent the day mostly stuck at work, so gaming wasn’t an option… Well maybe some Candy Crush Saga during the moments that I wasn’t really doing anything but that doesn’t really count as gaming, does it?

Somehow I also feel less guilty when it’s pouring out and I retreat to my room to lose myself in a game for a couple of hours. It gives a legitimate excuse to not really do something useful, since the weather is awful anyway, and people don’t question why you spend the day alone in your room instead of outside or doing things around the house. You don’t WANT to go outside when it’s pouring out and rightly so.

I know a lot of gamers have the opinion that the type of weather doesn’t really matter when it comes to their gaming habits, but I’m not one of them. When it’s cold and rainy out I have absolutely no issues with being inside gaming. Same goes when it’s snowing. However when it’s spring or summer and the weather is nice and warm I like to be outside and soak in the sunrays. That’s also one of the reasons I can really enjoy having a Nintendo 3DS. It gives me the option of gaming wherever I want and when I have the day off and the weather is lovely I can choose to pick up my 3DS and sit in our backyard enjoying the sun while simultaneously trying to catch all Pok√©mon.
Another thing is that during nice weather I’m much more restless than when the weather is awful. I feel like I have to do something when the sun is shining and the weather is pleasantly warm. Sitting down infront of a computer or TV to play games doesn’t really go together that well with being restless so often I choose to do other things than gaming. When the weather is awful and cold I feel much more relaxed and am able to just sit down infront of anything and take hours doing that particular thing. I guess I have the opposite of a winter depression, I have a summer mania!

Perhaps this also explains the ease that I have with levelling on FFXIV and the ridiculous amount of time I have put in the game so far. I think that if the weather would have been nice or if FFXIV had come out at the start of the summer I wouldn’t have played it as much as I am doing now. I’m currently level 45 on Sarella and will post an update about her here when she dings 50 and how I perceived the journey towards endgame so far.

Untill then I’ll leave you with another rainy picture… To set the mood for gaming!

Final Fantasy XIV 101: Levelling

Today I’ve found some time to write down some of my thoughts on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I’ve been playing the game since launch now and feel like I can publish my opinion on certain things and the first thing I want to topple is…. Levelling!

I’m currently level 37 on my highest class and I’ve noticed that I’ve done some stuff that I shouldn’t have and how I would do it differently if I were to start over and I would like to share my tips with players that are just beginning or don’t very well know how to level up.

1. Stick to your class
Assuming you’ve done some reading up on what you would like to play in the game I would advise anyone starting to stick to the initial class they pick when levelling up. It’s very easy to get distracted with trying other classes but if you want to see endgame you need to focus on just one class and stick to it. Ofcourse you will need to do the associated Job aswell since Jobs usually mean a boost in either DPS, Healing or Tanking skills which are very usefull in dungeons. I personally feel like my healing is much better/easier as White Mage than as Conjurer so I queue as White Mage for dungeons and/or Guildhests.

“But Sandrian” you might say “There’s so many things to do and so many classes to play, why should I stick to one at first?”
Well first off Square Enix has implemented a system where every additional class you level next to your first one will receive an experience boost based on the level difference between your highest class and the new class. As you can imagine you get a much bigger experience boost when the level difference is 30 levels than when it is 5 levels. This makes it much easier to level alternate classes and is also extra motivation to level your “main” class/job to max level, to make it easier to level other classes.
Secondly you lose a lot of time levelling other classes, making you reach endgame way after everyone else. If you don’t care about the endgame you can ofcourse do what you want, but honestly who doesn’t want to be in the fray seeing the last boss and obtaining the best gear? That’s why it’s better to stick to your initial class, get to endgame, get better gear and then start looking at other classes.

2. Everytime you log out, make sure you’re rested
This should really speak for itself. If you’re rested you get much more experience from killing monsters than when you’re not rested. This boosts the levelling experience a lot and makes it much easier to level up. You know when you’re rested when a little moon symbol appears underneath your experience bar as showed in the picture below.

There are two ways to be rested. The first is to return to your main city, this is either Gridania, Ul’dah or Limsa Lominsa, and talk to the innkeep to go into an innroom. If you click on the bed you can choose to log out or exit the game and when you do you’re immediatly rested.
If you don’t want to go back to your main city, search out a sanctuary. Sanctuaries are usually the towns that have Aetherytes. Once you enter a sanctuary you get rested and logging out in a sanctuary means you will remain rested.

3. Don’t be afraid to do everything
There are many ways to gain experience in Final Fantasy. Main story, Class quests, Sidequests, Levequests, Guildhests, Dungeons, FATE’s, Hunting logs. There’s an abundance of things to choose from and my advice is: do them all. At the start you might not need to do the Levequests but they are a great way to get that last bit of experience you’ll need to level up for your Mainstory to continue. New Guildhests should be done as soon as they’re available since the first time you get a huge bonus from doing them.
Sidequests not only give great experience, they also sometimes offer really nice gear rewards so keep your eyes open for them.
Hunting logs give an enormous amount of experience and can make the difference in a level up so make sure you keep to them!
Dungeons are a very nice way to level up aswell. They usually give about half a level of experience next to a chance on some nice gear. The queues might be long as DPS but you can just quest and do FATE’s while waiting for the queue to pop. Just make sure you’re able to switch class when needed!

4. Use your consumables
Something that is quite overlooked but are a huge contribution when levelling up are consumables. With consumables I mean potions, food and medicine. You sometimes get these as rewards from quests and it’s a really good idea to utilize them. When it comes to potions and ether I found it very handy to put them on a hotkey on my action bars, as you can see below, so they’re more readily available when I need them. Medicine (like antidote and eye drops) I keep in the first page of my bags so when it’s really needed I just have to press “I” and can immediatly use them.

Food is something special. Not all foods are usefull for the class you play, however the ones that are should be used a lot. Food gives a buff to your stats making it easier to level but almost all foods also give a +3% experience buff and any experience buff is one you want to have. So if you get food as quest reward and it is usefull for your particular class, use it! I can’t stress enough how nice it is to get that tiny little extra boost.

Well that was it for now. There is much more that I can tell about the game but these are the basis things that I think people should know when starting this game. Ofcourse it’s all up to you how you want to play, but keeping to this style of play has made me level up so much easier than I thought I would and it works really well for me personally. I’ll do some more posts in this fashion, probably talking about Dungeons and Crafting, but for now you’ll have to do with this one! Good luck and have fun in your journey through Eorzea!

The Final Fantasy High

The past two weeks I have been losing myself in the vast realm of Eorzea. I’m really loving Final Fantasy 14 and spend most of my time online playing the game.

Currently I’ve mostly abandoned my Character on the Phoenix server (this is an EU server) because the friends that I went there to play with are hardly online and being online by myself in a Free Company kind of sucks donkeyballs. My main focus has shifted to my little Miqo’te Sarella on the Shiva (EU) server where I have quite an active Free Company. I started as Conjurer on her and am currently level 37 in that respective class and it’s associated job, the White Mage. Next to this I’ve been fiddling around with playing a Marauder (lvl 25 now), Thaumaturge (lvl 15) and Arcanist (lvl 15).

The sheer amount of options this game has to offer is almost exhausting. There are numerous ways to level up with quests and FATE’s being the fastest way but if you want you can spend hours doing Guildhests, Leves and Dungeons. Since you can roll any class on one character you don’t need alts but levelling them all to level 50 is quite tedious. Hell even levelling one class to level 50 is proving to be quite tedious for me. Maybe because I’ve let myself be distracted a lot by starting up other classes and crafting classes. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by all of it and wonder if I’ll ever make it to level 50 at all.

So far the Classes/Jobs I’ve enjoyed the most are White Mage, Marauder and Pugilist. And I feel like I’m only discovering the beginnings of things! There’s so much to see, so much to do! AAGHHH! Yeah, I’m going slightly crazy.

Anyway that’s what I’ve been up to the past weeks. I’ll make a longer post about Final Fantasy when I can sit down properly to write one, right now I just want to play and not write ūüôā

Cya laters folks!

A Different Route

So as I’ve told before I wanted to get Ducktales Remastered and I did in August. I have always been a huge fan of Disney and Disney games, I played loads and loads of them on my old Sega console, and when they announced a remake of Ducktales I was ecstatic. I love the game even more so now because I can save inbetween levels and don’t have to keep playing untill all my lifes are lost, one of the downside of really oldschool gaming. This allows me to just pick a level, take about 30-45 mins to finish it and then quit the game when I don’t feel like doing another level after that. It’s a really nice way to play games when you’re used to being in games in an everchanging world where you don’t really have levels to finish but rather characters to develop.

The concept of picking a level (or more) and finishing that off with an endboss is really very old. It’s how all videogames work(ed), look at Super Mario, Sonic, practially all Disney games, Crash Bandicoot, Rayman and many more. However with recent day gaming the developers kind of let go of this and replaced levels with missions that you have to complete in a continuous game. This concept is ofcourse not very new either, it’s what most RPG’s like Zelda, Final Fantasy and Pok√©mon are based on. You live from mission to mission, making the character you play with better by fitting them out with new gear or new spells so you can take on harder missions while keeping the game in a continuous flow.

What this means for me as a person is that with most games I own, which are RPG’s, I find it very hard to get into the game properly since it takes a while before you can do truly amazing things on your character but I also find it hard to step out of a game once I’ve properly dove into it. I see it with most of the MMO(RPG)’s I play where I can get lost in for hours and suddenly realize that I haven’t done anything I was supposed to do and then berate myself for gaming too much. I don’t have this problem with level/endboss based games. I can start up Ducktales for instance, pick a level, do a boss, shut down and go do something usefull. This because you don’t really “evolve” during the course of the game. The skillset of the character you play stays mostly the same throughout the game, you can earn power-ups in the levels you play but other than that there’s no time commitment when it comes to developing your character and I’ve found out that this gives me a lot of peace and enjoyment when gaming. Progress is easier measurable, aka I’ve finished 3 out of 5 worlds in Ducktales now 2 more to go and the endboss and then I’ve finished the game, and it’s easier to get into and out of the game. You can say for yourself: I’ll just do this level and then I quit and that feels good to me. I can decide for myself what I want to do in how much time and not have the feeling that I need to keep playing for 5 mins longer so I can get an upgrade or level up and unlock a new spell. It just doesn’t exist in level based games and that gives me much enjoyment right now.

This doesn’t mean that I’ll throw out all of my other games, but in my current mindset I will probably be focussing on playing a lot of Ducktales on my PC and level based games on my PS2 (Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and more) and 3DS (Super Mario). I’ll probably post here for now about these games that I play and maybe I’ll get back to posting about MMO’s and League of Legends on a later time.

For now I’ll leave you with another picture of Ducktales, one specifically to show how the new models look compared to the old game. I love what they’ve done to this game and I hope they will remake more Disney games in the future and let me relive my Sega childhood!

What If You’re Not A Gamer Afterall?

Lately I’ve been having doubts, struggles even with the fact that I see myself as a gamer. Because I think that’s not really the case anymore. Over the years I have bought many games and started them all at some point, but never finished. I have a huge pile of PS2 games lying underneath my bed, scarcely touched because after 10 mins of playing a game I get bored with it. It doesn’t absorb me anymore, not the way it used to anyway.

This dilemma has been going on for a while, I’ve had periods before where I didn’t really like any game I played but just logged certain ones because of the people that were online. Sidestep: I have always considered myself to be more of a social gamer, I like interacting with others while I play, it’s probably the big reason why I love any form of MMO so much. Sadly for me most of my IRL friends have stopped playing games alltogether. Real Life has taken over in many situations (too bus with jobs, kids, money, boyfriends/girlfriends etc) and it has left me feeling very alone. Sure there are some hardcore people that still play certain games that I play aswell, but they do what they feel like leaving me to fend for myself in the process. And I hate that. I hate having to run around and farm alone, I hate having no social interactions in games, no one to banter with or to compare things with or have fun with. It makes me cranky and upset and more and more I get the feeling that it’s being destructive for me as a person.

I get moody a lot, I get cranky and annoyed and I take it out on the people that are dear to me. I lash out and whine and behave like a child because I don’t really get what I want. Another side effect is that I can see myself getting more introverted again, a state that I had left behind when I broke up with my most recent ex. My personality is in general one of extraversion, I like having people around and I blend in with any type of personality great. When it comes to friendship I am a huge maintainer, I want to be able to physically touch my friends every now and then and keep extensive contact, because I need that. Not that I need them for my self esteem, I’m perfectly comfortable with who I am, but I need it because that’s who I am. I blossom in social situations with many people and I’m a wreck when it comes to having to deal with being alone for extended periods of time. Sometimes I wonder if I have a case of separation anxiety purely because I just want certain people around me in my life and I get really upset when they can’t be around me for some reason or the other.

Right now my biggest dilemma is whether I should even bother with buying new games anymore. The only games I can truly say I’ve played to pieces are World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and my Pok√©mon games. The former two were because I always had people to play with, the latter is because that’s probably the only gaming brand that really captures my interest. My WoW sub is running out and I am probably not going to renew it because I just feel like there’s nothing there for me anymore. There’s 1 raid per week (a flexraid) that I can join, but I don’t want to spend money just to do a once per week raid. Not while I’m also playing FFXIV which costs me money on a monthly basis aswell. And even there I’m having doubts of whether I want to keep playing even though I’m having a lot of fun in a game for the first time in a looooong time. I just don’t know anymore right now.

The only thing I do know is that gaming isn’t making me happy anymore… And when something isn’t making you happy anymore, maybe it’s time to move on to something else.