Blapril

Battling The Questlog

Portal Room Boralus
About to zone into Nazjatar, one of the banes of my existence

Coming back to WoW, and especially on a character that I haven’t been playing since the launch of the latest expansion, has been a bit of an overwhelming ride. And that’s putting it mildly.
I kind of forgot how much content there is to catch up on when you haven’t played for a while. Even on my Rogue, who I’ve been diligently playing for most of this expansion, I suffered from getting fatigued with everything that was going on. Trying to keep an empty questlog, doing tons of dailies to get Exalted with certain reputations. Work on leveling up my Heart of Azeroth essences. It was all a bit much. Atleast on my Rogue I finished all the zone quests in both Kul Tiras and Zandalar and the War Campaign. On my Warrior I had to do it all over again. And that’s not even counting all the other random quests that you get from picking up items or leveling up your professions…

I guess it comes with an MMO like World of Warcraft that has been around since forever, but sometimes it’s so hard to catch up on content. Even when it’s only the most recent stuff. To give an idea of what I’m working towards right now:

  • Daily Quests: Doing them for four factions right now (Nazjatar, Mechagon, Rajani, Uldum Accord). Mostly so I can get my reputation up and buy fancy things from the vendors aswell as being able to upgrad my Heart of Azeroth essences.
  • Heart of Azeroth Essences: A thing to get in their own right. I need to do dailies, Visions of N’Zoth, raid, do dungeons, do Island Expeditions and PvP, all to just get the right essences to the right ranks.
  • Emissary Quests and Assaults: At four Emissary Quests per day and three Assaults per week that takes up a lot of time.
  • Raiding and Mythic+: Raiding is two nights a week. Mythic+ is another night, depending on how far we want to push.

And this is just the endgame stuff! Next to that I also want to tackle all the zone quests on my Warrior, level up Blacksmithing (I’m on 155/175 skill points), do the weekly events, hunt for mounts and pets. Basically do all the things. Oh and did I mention I’m doing a lot of this stuff on a few alts aswell? Yeah, I know I’m insane.

With all of this stuff going on it’s easy to see how an MMO completely swallows up your time, especially when trying to catch up on content or when new content is released. I guess I will get a bit more breathing room when I’m Exalted with all the factions I’m working on, since it means I can drop doing dailies for them, aswell as stop doing the assaults in Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The Emissary quests can be done in 10-15 minutes when you just do them every day. At some point I will have obtained and ranked up all my essences so there’s nothing to do there anymore either. The Visions of N’zoth also have an endgoal and when I can get to doing a Mythic+15 on time I’m done with that aswell. Raiding wise I think we will be aiming to clear Heroic Ny’alotha and then call it a day there.

So as overwhelming as things may seem to me now, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I’m taking stuff one thing at a time. Setting priorities and choosing what to work on, on a daily basis. Right now I’m prioritizing catching up on the Nazjatar and Mechagon zones and their associated quests and dailies. Assaults and Rajani/Uldum Accord dailies are things I do on the weekends when I have a bit more time. The same goes for running Visions and Island Expeditions. Excellent stuff to do on the weekends where I have more than a few hours to spend.
Slowly but surely I’m getting there. And I’m doing it without driving myself nuts in the process. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to kill some Naga on their home turf.

This post was the 5th of Blapril

My MMO Selves

As my first official post for Blapril I figured I’d break away from the sort of pre-established schedule and do some introductions in the first week instead of in the third. So here we are and I was struggling what I actually wanted to write about. Do I take my readers through my gaming history? Do I talk about what I do for a living? Do I just do one huge post that will become way too long and silly to read? Well I guess I could, but I’m not doing that today. Today I want to focus a bit on my current two MMO mains, my alternate selves if you’d want to describe it that way, and their history.

Although I’ve dabbled in many MMO’s, there have only been two that actually managed to stick around for a long time:
World of Warcraft to which I was introduced by an ex-boyfriend way back in 2007. I think it was right around the launch of TBC or maybe a bit before that. I’ve been playing that game off and on since and thus am almost on 13 years played somewhere in June or July on my own account.
Final Fantasy XIV which I turned to when my motivation to play WoW was dwindling. I fancied a new MMO and from what I could see at the time it looked very pretty. I always enjoyed the whole Final Fantasy range of games and I enjoy all the JRPG tropes so I figured why not try it? So I took the dive at launch in 2013 and have been playing ever since. Even if I have taken breaks there aswell.

Throughout both games I’ve made multiple characters. In Final Fantasy mostly because I switched servers and had no way to pay for a character transfer at the time. In WoW because alting was encouraged to get dabbling in multiple professions and ways to play the game. I’ve made many an alt there over the years and I’m pretty sure I have had atleast one of each class at max level during some point in my career. Especially in Legion since I did all 36 Mage Tower challenges. However there is one character in each game that has been with me since the beginning and whom I consider to be my alternate self in the game.
Let’s start with WoW shall we?

My Warrior: Sandrian. This is actually where my internet handle comes from. She wasn’t named Sandrian all the time, I think I renamed her when I joined my Dragonblight guild in 2010. She was the first character I made on my own account in 2007. She actually started out as a Human Warrior, because weapons were and are seriously oversized on Humans and I thought it looked badass. She was my first character to ever hit level cap, which was 70 at the time in TBC, and I’ve played her throughout all expansions. Sometimes as main, sometimes as alt. I’ve done a lot of PvP on her during TBC and Wrath, even did some arena at the time. I raided on her while playing all three specs, Arms/Fury/Protection, and she will always represent the truest form of who I want to be in WoW.
During my career I’ve been on three servers and changed factions twice. I started out on Vashj, a PVP server where I played both sides and ended up as Troll since Blood Elf Warriors weren’t a thing back then yet. Eventually I made the move to Dragonblight and back to Alliance in 2010 to join a guild for Cataclysm. I’ve hung out there ever since untill very recently. These days she resides on Ravencrest and I’m actually planning to get back into raiding with her again with a group of friends in the Shadowlands expansion. I will probably be doing that as Protection since I actually enjoy tanking a lot. Must be something to do with my inner control freak.

I have a lot of special memories of this character and I can’t believe I’m still playing her after all this time. It feels weird that this character has been with me for almost half my life now. I’ve grown up playing this character and met many awesome people along the way. I met one of my best friends in Wrath of the Lich King whilst raiding in the guild he was in aswell and I’ve met two boyfriends during that time. I don’t think I will ever be able to give this character up and she will remain played untill Blizzard decides to take WoW offline.
I guess it helps that this is who I aspire to be in real life aswell. A strong personality, a leader, a protector. Playing a Warrior just gives all of this and more and it makes me feel like I can finally show my true colours. Too bad I can’t run around in full battle armor and smash things with a shield in real life.

The other character that has been with me for a long time is my current main in Final Fantasy XIV. She’s not actually the original character I made but I’ve been playing her almost as long. I think I made this character in 2014 because I wanted to transfer servers but couldn’t transfer over my original character.

Meet another Sandrian! I started her up as Gladiator/Paladin because I was used to tanking from WoW and I wanted to be able to level fast on this character. And nothing says faster than instant queues for tanks. I think I’ve played a plethora of jobs as main on this character. I started out raiding as Paladin and then switched to Summoner. From Summoner I went to Bard, from Bard to Dragoon and then from Dragoon to Ninja. I finally settled on playing White Mage as main job for the time being. It’s what I love about this game and this character, you can just swap between roles and jobs as your heart desires.

Unlike in WoW I’ve not actually raided that much in FFXIV. I had a steady raid group in the base game for about one wing of the current progress raid, the Binding Coil of Bahamut. I managed to clear up to the 8th boss (or turn 8 as it was called back then) with my raid group and then we split up before we were able to clear turn 9 because we were just not seeing any progress on that boss. Partially it was one of the healers who had no idea what he was doing and partially it was the other Bard in the group at the time who just did abysmal damage. Eventually I cleared it with another group but that was a sort of boost. I just wanted it done.
I skipped raiding completely in Heavensward and also took the longest break of the game then. I came back to a new raiding group and guild group in Stormblood but again it was short lived. We cleared the first raid and then the group fell apart. I’ve not been into serious raiding since. Which is unfortunate because I actually really enjoy raiding in FFXIV and how Square Enix set it up. Maybe I’ll look for a new raid group at some point but with Shadowlands coming up in WoW in a few months I don’t think I will.
So for now I’m focussing on doing other things, like getting all my battle, crafter and gathering jobs up to maximum level. I have 4 battle jobs to go on that front so I’m actually quite close! After that there’s plenty more to do in game so I don’t think I’ll stop playing this character for a long time either.

So yeah. There you have it. The two “loves of my life” as I would like to call them. Even though I’m not as active in either game as I once was I still very much love and play both games. They tend to help me through a lot of bad times in my life and I’m able to just retreat, relax and play whenever I feel like it. With all the hours I’ve poured in both games I’ve made very good use of my subs and I don’t mind paying for both at all. Let’s hope they will continue to give me joy for many years to come!

Taking a breather

Thanks to the COVID-19 virus I’ve been working at home for the past two weeks. Next week though I’ll still be at home but not working.
I was looking forward to a four week vacation at the start of the year. Three of those weeks I would be spending traveling around Japan from Tokyo to Kyoto and then ending at Nagasaki. That vacation has obviously been cancelled due to everything going on in the world. However I felt that I needed some time off still since I’ve not had proper time off since last september. I’m quite exhausted and in severe need of some mental reset time, especially when it comes to work. My manager offered I could take two weeks off but since the country is as good as on lockdown it’s no real use taking that much time off when I can’t really go anywhere to enjoy it. So a week it is and I’m hoping that during this week I can get back to a bit more relaxed level and be ready to tackle work again for a while once the week is over.
I can honestly say though that the whole working from home thing has gotten to me. I feel crazy isolated, even more than normal. I managed to completely ruin my sleep schedule in a single week and I’ve been struggling with cooking healthy meals or eat at normal times. I’m trying to undo this damage now and atleast my food times have gone back to normal but I’m still battling major feelings of loneliness and depression right now.

As you’ve undoubtedly seen on other people’s blog this year we’re not doing Blaugust but Blapril. Mostly to give people some social interactions during the very daunting month that is looming ahead of us. I think the idea is great but I’m still on the fence about participating. As I said I’m in a really bad headspace right now and I don’t want to vent too much about it on here. I want to keep my blog a mostly positive space where I can write about what I’m up to in my gaming life and not all the anxiety that I’m experiencing on a daily basis right now. And I can’t seem to write a post without exactly that seeping through, as this post is a good example off. So I will definitely participate as bystander and cheer people on from the sidelines but I doubt I’m going to commit to anything myself.
My mood may change though so I’m not going to pin myself on anything yet, but for now I’m happy to not add extra pressure on myself to maintain any kind of regular blogging schedule on top of trying to fix everything else that has gone awry for me in the past two to three weeks or so.

One of the things that has helped me get through the days has been Animal Crossing. It launched at exactly the right time for a lot of people and I’m one of them. I’ve had the pleasure to visit a few friends’ islands and I’ve tried opening up my own island to people aswell but it seems like whenever I do no one is really online. Oh well.
I’m taking a very relaxed stance towards the game, playing for about an hour every day, sometimes two. I go around my island every day to dig up fossils and catch some fish and some bugs. I also make sure I always harvest all of my fruits and I’ve had my first bridge expansion done. Which also lead to three more villagers joining my island so now I have five goofy animals running around instead of just two. My villagers so far are Hamlet, Lydia, Alfonso, Pinky and Fauna. I enjoy all of them and I actually invited Pinky myself from the island I found her on.
Today the little tent that Tom Nook occupied finally got built into a visitor’s centre whichs means I’ll get Isabelle back on my island aswell. I can’t wait!
From here I kind of want to start getting some of those surprise island tickets to see if I can get to the fabled tarantula island but mostly so I can get off my own little island for a bit.
All in all I’m enjoying myself and the game is helping me relax at the end of a busy day of work so that’s always a good thing. Right?

Now for my week off I have a few specific things in mind that I want to get done. I’ve already gone through my clothes closet today and made a bag for donations which I will probably drop off in a special bin tomorrow. Next to that I took a ton of stuff with my from my dad’s house that I couldn’t really decide on whether I still used it or not. Seeing as most of the stuff has been in one of my drawers under my bed for almost a year now and I’ve not had to use any of it leadse me to think that I may aswell get rid of most of it because right now it’s just taking up space. So that is exactly what I’m going to be doing this week. Get rid of stuff I don’t use so I have space for other things that I do use or that are now sitting around in a bag somewhere waiting to be stored in a better place, like my christmas decorations.

I also have some plans when it comes to gaming. I’m still leveling my Void Elf Warlock, she just hit level 90 about two hours ago, and I want to get her up to level 120. And then maybe start on a new character after that. I also want to get back into FFXIV to tackle all the new content and do the Easter event. I’m not sure why I’ve bounced so hard from that game but for some reason I have and I want to get back into it and get my few remaining battle classes to level 80 and catch up on the story and tackle the new raids and dungeons.

Finally I’m going to finally take a decent shot at playing through either Final Fantasy XV or World of Final Fantasy as preparation for the Final Fantasy VII remake that is coming in about two weeks. Both games have been sitting on my shelf for a very long time and it’s about time I start playing through them. I’ll probably start anew because I have no idea where I left off in my last save game and I’m sure with an entire week off I have enough time to actually get a decent way into the story of either one of them.

For now though I’m going to back to leveling my Warlock the rest of the evening while half watching some League of Legends streams. What are you doing this weekend?