Books

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

Newest Yo-Kai mount

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

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

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

Level 80 Dark Knight ding

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

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

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

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

Off to a good start

January is barely a week old and I feel like I’ve been off to a tremendous start of the New Year.
First off I’ve finished the book I picked for the month already. Because it was technically a book owned by my Dad it was in Dutch and thus much easier to read than the usual English novels I plough trough. All in all I really enjoyed Roger Daltrey’s biography. It was written with a lot of humour and emotions and even though you could write volumes about the Who as a band I feel like the book adequately covered the timeline from his point of view. It was intriguing to read how the dynamics were between him and the rest of the members of the band and how they were able to bring Pete Townshend’s song to life. All in all I feel like you get an unique glimpse into the soul of a man and a band and I was very entertained. It shows you how hard these old timers worked to make it big in the music industry, to pave the way for all the current artists. The Who may not have gotten the same recognition that bands like the Beatles and the Stones have gotten but they are the Godfathers of Rock for a reason. Keith Moon will always be one of the best drummers to have ever lived and the songs are timeless.
All in all I’d definitely recommend anyone to read this book if they’re a fan of the Who or want to know the crazy inner workings of a band that originated in the late sixties/early seventies. Trigger warning: the book contains mentions of violence, sex and drug/alcohol abuse.

In FFXIV I’ve been steadily working my way through the many roulettes I still need to get my final two classes up to 70. I have gotten my Dark Knight to 62 today and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the job quests. The Dark Knight stories are a bit different than the rest and definitely feel the theme and feel of the class. The final quest of Heavensword was a bit brutal but also necessary. Sidurgu is a huge comic relief with his relentless stream of curses and emo-rage. I’m pretty sure Square is spot on with the class fantasy here. Now I’m on my way to reach level 70 and then I only have Samurai left.
Unfortunately we are going to lose out on a day of leveling due to patch 4.5 dropping tomorrow, which brings a new part of the Main Story and, gasp, Blue Mage! I’m quite looking forward to this release and I will definitely work through the content on Tuesday while also doing my roulettes.

Unfortunately I’ve not really spend as much time in Azeroth as I’ve liked and I definitely haven’t touched Spyro or Pokémon yet. I may play through a bit of LetsGo tonight with Games Done Quick in the background though… Which I totally recommend watching!

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.

Entertainment goals for 2016

After writing my Gaming Goals list, I got inspired to look at other areas in my life and set “goals” for those aswell. I’m not a very big media consumer. I hardly watch TV… And if I do I prefer to watch a documentary of sorts or a football match while staying away from most shows and a lot of the brainless crap they seem to be enjoying on the telly nowadays. Every now and then though I get into a show and I feel like I should watch it untill the end… And seeing as there have been some seriously good shows the past year I feel like I can play catch up in 2016. And look forward to more series to come!

Lets start off with…

TV Shows
I’ve been an avid follower of some TV shows in the past. I think I’ve watched most of the Star Trek seasons of every generation except the original one. I’m pretty sure I’ve actually seen Voyager from start to end. I’ve watched all of Charmed, Buffy and Angel… Alias, Desperate Housewives and some Dutch series I was into. I also followed Grey’s Anatomy religiously, untill they decided to kick the character Christina Yang and Derek Sheperd. In 2015 I’ve watched very little shows except for Hannibal season one and two and Les Revenants season one. I’ve also watched some Orange is the New Black and House of Cards and Daredevil on Netflix.
Looking at what I’ve seen, and what I haven’t seen yet… I want to atleast watch the following shows in 2016:

  • Hannibal Season 3. This could be the last season? I’m kind of cheating here since I’m already a big way through this season, but haven’t quite finished it yet. I really want to know how it ends though so this is top priority right now.
  • Les Revenants Season 2. I bought Season 1 on Blu-Ray and am watching it in preperation of the second one coming out on Blu-Ray in January so I’m caught up again. I think this is one of the better shows I’ve watched the past five years and can’t wait to see how it unfolds.
  • Daredevil. I have the show on my computer somewhere and watched the first episode and loved it, but for some reason never got around to watch the rest of it. High on my list aswell!
  • House of Cards Season 2 and onwards. I watched the first season and got hooked but stopped watching some episodes into the second season. Now there are four and I feel like I need to catch up and watch. Kevin Spacey is brilliant in this show and the way it’s filmed is completely my style.
  • Orange is the New Black Season 3. Watched Season 1 and 2 and then somehow couldn’t get into the third. Am planning to watch it before number four comes out though. I hope.
Books
In the past I have been more of an avid reader and my favourite books were always of the fantasy kind. Lately though I’ve invested a lot in books about Psychology and Neurology which are two of my biggest passions. I didn’t get a degree in Psychology for nothing and the human brain fascinates me to no end. So I’m planning to read atleast the books I bought about those. Next to that there’s a fantasy series I wish to finish… Here’s the list!
  • Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. A beautiful book about music in relation to the brain. Oliver Sacks has been one of my favourite authors and is a very well known Neurologist and Neuro Psychologist. He writes pretty damn good books and I’m very sad that he passed away this year.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I actually know very little about this author but his book somehow ended up in my  hands and I can’t wait to read it. I have the Dutch version though and it’s quite a big book… But I’m really looking forward to reading this!
  • We are our Brain by Dick Swaab. Sorry for only the picture here but it’s a Dutch book. It basically discusses brain functions in a very funny and readable way. I ordered this recently and won’t be reading it untill I’ve finished a few of my other books, but it looks very interesting!
  • Laat Je Hersenen Niet Zitten by Erik Scherder. Another Dutch book by an author that is called the Dutch Oliver Sacks. He is a Neuropsychology teacher and sort of a TV celebrity here. This book is mostly about how being active is good for the brain and how to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • The Tamuli by David Eddings. A fantasy trilogy set as a sequel to another trilogy of his. I read the first one and started in this one. I’m a really big fan of Eddings and I hope these books are just as good as all the other ones I’ve read from him.
Anime
There’s a few anime shows I have laying around but never gotten around to watch. Firstly there is Elfen Lied that is usually a bit too violent for my tastes but nevertheless I still really got hooked on the first episode. I want to watch the rest because I want to know how it ends… However it’s been so long since I started that I’ll probably start watching it from scratch. The same goes for Ayashi no Ceres which has been sitting around on my PC for years now. Never got around to watching it and I really want to so.
Anyway, I consider this to be my “entertainment” list for 2016. It’s mostly catching up on shows, in the hopes that I can start watching the new seasons for atleast House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. I also still have the hope that there will be a fourth season of Hannibal… But let’s not get too excited untill it is actually announced.
This will also be my last post of this year. There will be one more “goals” post to follow tomorrow which will focus more on my personal and real life goals. It looks like I’ll be heading into a busy year next year… But I can’t wait!