Destiny

Health Issues part 3

My third health issues post in a very short amount of days. Damn we just keep on going don’t we?
Today I spent about 4 hours in the hospital after my doctor saw some weird values in my blood. Long story short: my mum’s side has issues with blood cloths. Two of my uncles have been treated for ones in their legs, my mum died of one when she was 45 and I have atleast one aunt who has had multiple strokes. So yeah, blood is an issue in my family. Apparently they can tell by a certain value in your blood that you may or may not have these same issues. The value in my blood indicated something was up, but not really what. So the thing to do was pack my things and move to the hospital where I would get a CT scan to see if anything serious was up.
I can tell you, being in a hospital with nothing to do but wait is seriously annoying. Atleast I got lunch there otherwise I would’ve been extremely hungry aswell. After all was said and done it appears that my lungs are clean and I don’t have anything major life threatening health issues… But I still feel off.

I’m still out of breath easy. I still start coughing whenever my asthma medication wears out. I personally think I’m having a rather intense allergic reaction to something which is causing me to feel this way, but only time will tell. For now I’m still at home sick, giving me ample time to game and do other things that I’ve been neglecting.

Speaking of games…

I’ve been getting back into Destiny next to FFXIV.  It took me forever to get on top of that stupid mountain, but I made it and got the SIVA fragment as reward, plus this nice screenshot. I worked my way up to 390 light on my Warlock so this in theory makes me ready to raid. Now I just need to find a group to do said raid with.
I know this week is Iron Banner and I think I want to dip my toes in that aswell, just to get the ranks and see how the gamemode is. I’ve missed out on a lot of things in this game so I’m working very hard to try to do and see everything it has to offer before Destiny 2 launches. This mostly includes finding all the collectables, doing Crucible, doing strikes and weekly missions and try to clear as many quests from my log as I can on the Warlock atleast.
I’m also leveling my Titan and Hunter up so I can clear their respective sections in the Age of Triumph book. And earn some of the trophies I’ve been missing still. But most of all I’ve been having fun with friends, and that is what really matters at the end of the day.

Bonus screenie of my warlock in a silly snowglobe hat:

Druid Shenanigans and Destiny Time

I’ve been searching as to what I want to do with my free time lately. I’ve been watching the Good Wife religiously next to going to the gym four times a week. This means that my Tuesday and Wednesday evenings are taken, as are my weekend mornings. I tend to not really feel the need to game during those weekdays, so I either play some Mario on my 3DS or just lay in bed watching Netflix untill it’s time for me to sleep.

Mondays and Thursdays are my regular raid nights for the moment. We’ve been pushing through heroic Nighthold and are close to downing our fourth boss: Krosus. I’m kind of getting the hang of Fury properly now, especially on single target fights. I do however need to improve on add fights, but that’s something I want to tackle later on. I’m done with my Arms weapon for now, after having reached rank 35 and I’m not really interested in persuing any additional points in my Prot weapon either so I can finally devote all my AP to Fury again. I’m currently on Artifact rank 39 so I still have some way to go. I guess not participating in that much Mythic+ content or pugging stuff seriously hampers your AP gains, but well. I kind of decided that I don’t want to make that big of an effort.
In the meantime I felt that familiar itch that something was missing. I have always had a max level healing character throughout every expansion, mostly it’s been my priest, but I don’t really enjoy playing Holy right now so I’ve looked around to other classes. Mistweaver Monk is quite a pain to learn. It’s completely different from any other healing specialization I’ve played and seeing as she’s Horde on top of that I quickly dropped that option. Not enjoying Shaman healing in general and not really knowing if Holy Paladin would be a viable option for just running Mythic+ content I decided to transfer over my little Druid and level her instead. I’ve always enjoyed playing Resto and the playstyle itself hasn’t changed significantly over the years, which is a plus. When I transferred her over on Friday she was level 91 and yesterday night I dinged 100 by just casually going through content. I picked up the Resto artifact first so I can start filling that up and taking a leisurely pace to 110. I enjoy healing again so I hope to get her to 110 in the not too distant future so I can tackle some content on her. We are really lacking healers for our Mythic+ runs so it’s going to be nice to be able to fill that slot. As long as I’m having fun doing it.

The Iron has Risen
I’ve been doubting to get back into Destiny for a while now. I know Destiny 2 is coming and I feel like I need to “finish” up the first game atleast before it comes out. So after a bit of a hassle I was able to buy the Rise of Iron expansion and reinstalled the game on my PS4. I had gotten a level boost with the xpac which I used on my Hunter. I’ve played Warlock throughout most of the game, but I feel like it’s time for something fresh. I used the previous level boost on a Titan (the one that came with Taken King) so Hunter was really the only character I hadn’t levelled yet. So with that I want to start the game anew, with a fresh character and a fresh outlook. Hunter time it is.
I’m not really sure where to start and I’m not really sure how much time I can devote to Destiny as a whole, but I do want to experience this latest expansion and all the things that have changed since the last time I’ve played the game. With the Rise of Iron book though I atleast have some goals to work towards. And I had a nice exotic helm at the ready for my Hunter so I’m all ready for that progress to max light level, while also finishing up the many questchains I still have left.

Hype?

With the announcement of the new Battlefield game it feels like the internet has exploded once again. Set in World War 1 it seems Dice is catering to a call coming from a big part of the FPS community that they want games going back to the past instead of games that look to the future.

Personally I wonder if it’s good to “hype up” games like this. I feel like the gaming community is hopping from one game to another. Creating massive expectations only to be disappointed in the long run. I’ve seen it happen to so many games and expansions now that I don’t even bat an eyelash anymore when another game get’s marked as “the next big thing”. We’ve all seen what happened to Destiny, The Division, Warlords of Draenor, ArcheAge. They were all games who promised to do something different, something new. Something worth spending your money on. In the end they were all disappointments in one way or another. Destiny didn’t deliver what they had promised at launch, basically being a ghost of the previews of the game given earlier. The Division had an amazing launch but fell off after people started to reach max level. Their first real added content was a major disappointment, not to mention the countless and countless of cheaters and hackers and bots in the Dark Zone. It really makes the game unfun to play.
Warlords of Draenor had a great launch but turned out to be Blizzard’s most disappointing expansion yet, next to Mists of Pandaria. I hope and pray that Legion won’t suffer the same fate, but I’m fairly skeptical. It’s why I can’t get really excited for the expansion and I actually shy away from all the information that’s being spread by people playing the Alpha. I’m happier if I just go into the game completely blank and then experience everything for the first time, like I used to do.
And now we have Battlefield. I’m personally not a fan of the genre, although I did play Battlefield 3. Shooters in general make me nervous and especially ones that are more PvP oriented. One of the few reasons I can stomach Divison and Destiny is because PvE is such a big part of the game, that I can just avoid PvP entirely and still enjoy my experience. So I’m not hyped up for this game at all, which might be good for my wallet in the end.

What is hype?
I want to take things a step further and say that I’ve honestly not been really hyped for any game release for a very long time. There’s a few games I really want to have, Ratchet and Clank was one of them, but I’ve not been scouring the internet for every breadcrumb of information about X game, intensifying my expectations and excitement about it releasing. Maybe it’s because I didn’t really grow up as a gamer, maybe because it’s just not in my nature to get excited about stuff like this. It’s not just games where I don’t have this. I’ve never been super excited to see X movie coming out either or X show. The only thing I can be excited about are books. I can’t wait untill the 6th installment of a Song of Ice and Fire comes out, like I couldn’t wait to get my  hands on the new Harry Potter book all those years ago.
But hyping up games? It’s not in my nature. I will look forward to a new installation in the Pokémon universe, I will look forward to a new World of Warcraft or FFXIV expansion coming out. I look forward to a new Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy game. But that’s about it.
Instead I get excited when I know I’m going on vacation. Or when I know I’m going to see a concert, or visit a special event, or meet up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while.
But games and their hype? I will never really understand.

Taking Steps

Even though my head is killing me I felt the need to write a blogpost today since a lot of stuff has happened over the past week.
Let me start with the big news: I landed a fulltime job for a longer time. This means my days of scavenging the job market are more or less over and it takes a huge weight off of my shoulders. I’ve been looking for a steady job for over a year now and have not been very lucky so far. I had some temp jobs that were fun, but never lasted longer than a few weeks so the disappointment after they ended was often big. It also meant I was never financially stable enough to actually spend money without worrying about it.
I’m starting this new job next week (the 12th) and it will run for atleast 6 months but probably closer to a year. I won’t be getting a world star paycheck, but it should be enough for me to get some financial breathing space and start saving up to buy a car or maybe look for a place to live.

Ofcourse I had to celebrate this milestone in my life so I went and splashed some money that I had saved on a tablet. I picked the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, which is probably the best tablet in it’s segment together with the iPad Air 2. Only a lot cheaper than said iPad. So far I’ve been very happy with my purchase… I ordered a case for it so it won’t scratch and I’ve been using it already to just stream or play some Hearthstone in bed in the evening.

Gaming wise I’ve picked up FFXIV again after the big server overhaul that Square Enix did for the European Data servers. I actually have a better connection on my PC than my PS4 now (only marginally though) and I’ve been happily chipping away leveling my Rogue/Ninja on Moogle and my Machinist on Cactuar. I notice the ping difference a lot. On Moogle everything runs smoothly and I’ve discovered it’s only a 22ms ping, whereas I have a 500ms connection to Cactuar…. It really shows in gameplay.
In WoW it’s the same old story with my raiding group. I’ve mostly been focussing on making a lot of gold so I can keep on paying my sub with WoW-tokens. Seeing as they are slowly going up in price I’ve had to adjust a few things in my garrisons… But seeing as I make about 1,5k gold a day without any issues I should be fine with gold for a while.

I’ve turned my back a bit on Destiny and Wildstar. Not because I don’t like the games, but more because I just can’t find the time to play. Add to the fact that my Playstation Plus also expired and I feel less and less the need to log into Destiny at all.
For Wildstar it’s mostly the “where is my time” thing. I’ve been working on a temp assignment for the past two weeks and when I get home I’m just tired and want to relax. Since Wildstar is a very engaging game to play I often just cannot get into the mindset needed to play. Seeing as I will start working fulltime soon I will either have to figure out a play schedule again or just push Wildstar a bit to the back. Trying to keep up with 3 MMO’s isn’t as easy as you think it is!

On the other hand I’ve been playing a lot of Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. Heroes mostly because I want the pumpkin portrait, Hearthstone because by all means it’s a slow paced game which I can play on my phone (or now on my tablet) without having to turn on my PC. I can just sit, relax and game and that’s what I really need at the moment.

In the health department I’m managing to go to the gym more frequently. I was supposed to go today, but since my head feels like someone has smashed it into a wall I figured being on a treadmill is one of the last things I would want to do. To help me reach my goals I ordered a Fitbit Flex (since I’m spending money anyway…) to see how much exercise I actually get during a day and how my sleeping pattern is. I really hope this will motivate me even more to be more aware of my health, especially how much time I spend on “burning calories”. I do start to feel better already and I’ve lost 2 kilograms (about 1 pound?) of the 15 I want to lose atleast.

All in all I’ve had a very positive week. A lot of stress has disappeared now that I’ve gotten my job and am more motivated to do stuff in general. Now I just need to turn my attention to actually finishing school and then I think I can finally start living life the way I wanted to: stressfree and happy.

Communities, Dailies and Destiny

Every now and then I realize how friendly and heartwarming community on the internet can be sometimes. I have a bunch of friendly people on my Twitter that I follow and that are also part of the dedicated positive blogging community. Some of their blogs are featured on mine, mostly the ones I actually read the most and would recommend to anyone trying to find their way in the big world of gaming.
Ofcourse there are a lot of others that should get the same recognition and maybe I will get around to that at some point. Some people might not be in my sidebar but that doesn’t mean they don’t produce great content and I poke around on their blogs every so often. Alas I only have so much time in the world and I wish I could feature and follow every single one of them more often, but that would leave me with little to no time for myself or my own blog.

With this post I just want to take the opportunity for a shoutout to a very awesome community. You all know who you are. Keep doing what you’re doing!

Dailies
I’ve been steadily plowing away at doing dailies on my Priest to get my reputation up with the various Tanaan Jungle factions. Yesterday I managed to get Exalted with Hand of the Prophet and scored this adorable fel-tainted Boar. It’s the same theme as my fel-tainted Dreadhawk so I will have matching mounts for my Shadow specc and I love it.
The thing I don’t love is Blizzard once again forcing dailies upon us as the only means to get rep with factions. I remember back in Mists of Pandaria it would literally cost me one or two hours a day just to open up and then do all the dailies associated with all the different factions. It was mind numbing and, in my opinion, a horrible way to go about getting reputation. They have returned this practice for two of the factions in Tanaan Jungle and I will be more than happy once I can scrap that part off of my to-do list. The other side of the coin is that for all the other factions various grinds are necessary and I’m not really keen on doing that either. But the repetitive nature of the dailies, and the fact that they take about 45 miutes to get done, make them boring fast.
It’s unfortunately a system that has carried over into the few other MMO’s I’ve played so far. Beast-tribe dailies in FFXIV is probably the one that comes closest to the WoW system and, eventhough I worked through them, I didn’t like finishing them up at all. It was more to fill time and acquire mounts and pets that I did them but otherwise I would not have bothered to do them at all.
The same goes for me grinding out those reputations on WoW I guess. There’s not much else to do in the game so I try to set goals for myself. For now I can drop atleast a few dailies since that faction is done… And I should be done with Order of the Awakened in the next few days or so. This leaves me only with grinding rep with the Saberstalkers and then I will probably turn my attention to the Steamwheedle Preservation Society. They involve turning in various items from Nagrand, which ofcourse need to be farmed, but atleast they don’t rely on dailies…

King’s Fall
I’ve been poking about in Destiny aswell over the past few weeks and yesterday evening I finally managed to join a clan raid. They had a savepoint at Golgoroth and we managed to take that boss down in 2 tries. He dropped me new gloves and a legendary helm engram… Which turned into a very nice exotic helm. After that we had some tries on the Daughters of Oryx but didn’t get to kill them because our leader had to go. All in all it was a nice bit of raiding. The tactics on the bosses in this Destiny raid are not impossibly hard but they do require proper handling. There is no way to cheese your way through a fight and mistakes are punished… But it’s a serious amount of fun. I think Bungie did a great job with this raid and with the hardmode coming out next week I hope it will keep people busy for a while.
In the meantime I’ve been working on acquiring my Exotic Sword. Right now I’m on the part where I have to gather 10 specific materials, which are a rare drop from regular material nodes on the Moon for me, and kill 500 enemies with Solar abilities. I picked up the Solar sword for my Warlock because I figured I would never play Sunsinger so I wanted a sword in one of the elements that my abilities are not. It also seems that the Solar sword is quite rare and in my clan I think I’m the only one wielding it… Which could give me an advantage in raids.
Other than that I’m tieing up the loose ends of quests I still have in my quest log. I know where I can get a few more quests and gear upgrades and once I finish off my Sword I will probably turn my attention there. For now though I’m mostly content with shooting stuff in dailies and strikes and some general faffing about.

Trudging About

I’ve been spending the majority of my gaming time messing about in WoW again. Being so familiar with this game I find it easy to set goals… And actually accomplish them. It’s also the game I keep coming back to anyway and, with a lull in FFXIV and Wildstar being almost impossible to play, I feel like WoW is just the stable factor I need right now. So I’m trudging along, setting goals for myself to obtain. I have gotten my legendary ring and, last week, I managed to unlock Draenor flying aswell. It took me a while! But atleast I got it done. The moment I unlocked flying I also had 150k Apexis Crystals and could by myself this beautiful mount from the Order of the Awakened. I really like the colour palette on it and it looks absolutely amazing coupled up with a Shadow Priest.

Gaming Goals September
Looking back to September I have gotten some stuff done and some stuff is still up in the air.
As far as Blizzard games go I managed to get my Legendary Ring on my Priest in WoW, unlocked the second wing of Naxxramas in Hearthstone and got my Seasonal Crusader to level 70. My Hearthstone rank is still stuck on 20. For some reason I’m just not interested enough to battle my way to a higher rank and this one awards the card back and the rank 20 chest so for now I’m fine with that.
I haven’t been able to purchase the second wing of Blackrock Mountain. Instead I have been doing some Arena runs for additional cards.

My heroes project has seem to come to a halt a bit. I’m not sure where and how to find the time for it right now. It’s still something I would love to do and I’ve been thinking of streaming my sessions, but for now I just can’t seem to schedule it in.

As for non Blizzard Games…
My time has mostly been swallowed by Destiny on the PS4 and not much else so I haven’t been playing FFXIV or FFX at all. The only thing I managed to do on FFXIV before my sub ran out is get my White Mage to level 50 so there’s that.
I haven’t been playing Mickey’s Castle of Illusion either. Again, scheduling problems.
Setting goals like these each month doesn’t really seem to be working out for me. I tend to set goals for games I don’t really play and I feel like I need to change the way I approach things… So instead of setting monthly goals I’ll just make a post every now and then what I’ll be working on for the coming time and when I’ll finish it. My gaming goals page will become more dynamic aswell this way. It may sound a bit fuzzy but you’ll see what I mean over the course of this month.

What I’m Aiming For
Right now I’m working mostly on stuff in World of Warcraft. After getting my Legendary Ring I thought it was time to unlock flying for all my characters. Now that I’m done with that I’m turning my attention to getting all my reputations Exalted on my Priest starting with Hand of the Prophet, Order of the Awakened and The Saberstalkers. These are all tied to Tanaan Jungle and thus easy to manage. As you can see I’m further with some than with others… I suspect Ordere of the Awakened to take the longest here. Especially since I have no trading post.

Next to this I’m also remodeling my Garrison on my Priest. I’ve done away with the Dwarven Bunker since I have geared up all my followers and it’s not worth keeping for just the one seal per week. Instead I have reinstalled my Stables and am planning to do the achievements related to that building so I can unlock two more mounts. I’m also planning to replace my Inn with a Trading Post… Even if it’s just to gain that extra experience while rep grinding. I guess I should also pick up Defender Ilona again as bodyguard during my dailies and grind rep with her.

One of the other games I’ve been playing and focussing on a lot is Destiny. I’ve decided to just stick to one character on there for now and am slowly working my way through the quests I have left over. Unfortunately some require me to raid, which I haven’t been able to yet, so I’m focussing my attention mostly on the quests that I can solo. Namely the Sword quest and the special Redbull questline. This will probably keep me busy for a while yet since both of these chains require copious amounts of grinding.
I’m also still trying to log Wildstar regularly and really want to experience the endgame. For now I’ll just advance whatever character is playable at the time. I think my Engineer is level 6 or 7 and my Spellslinger is level 5 so I’m really at the start of the game still.
Lastly, like I mentioned in my post yesterday, I really want to finish my Kingdom Hearts game on my 3DS. It’s perfect for when I don’t want to turn on my PC or PS4 and just want to sit/lie down, relax and game.

So yeah, that’s the stuff I will be working through for now. It’s games I all actually play and I’m not really giving myself hard deadlines on any of this. I found out it helped me reach my goals in WoW so far and thus I will try to apply this to all the games I am currently actively playing.

Raiding Attitudes

At this point in time I consider myself a veteran in not only MMO’s but also raiding in said MMO’s.
I started playing World of Warcraft in 2007 and was into raiding not long after. Starting out at 10 man Kharazan to eventually joining the best guild on the server at the time for progress in Sunwell Plateau. I have competed for realm firsts in Wrath of the Lich King and was raidleader for a significant portion of Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.
In FFXIV I was raidleading together with our Paladin Tank (since we were the only ones who actually prepared for encounters) and this got us to Turn 9 of Coil when it was current content. Unfortunately our group ended there due to the sheer badness of two of our players which we just couldn’t carry anymore then.
In Destiny I’ve taken a backseat when it comes to the raiding. Shooters aren’t necessarily my strong point and I’m too focussed on actually hitting stuff that I’m able to call out postions or dps targets when needed.

In all these years of raiding I have noticed a trend that seems to be getting worse and worse. It could also be the people I raid with, actually I strongly believe it IS because of the people I raid with, but nonetheless… In the last years raids have become easier to organize (you need less people to actually form a good raidgroup, 6 man in Destiny, 8 in FFXIV, 10 minimum in WoW). Although tactics have become very intricate on some bosses in World of Warcraft with the acces to content before it’s live now there’s usually guides out there that will help you with new encounters, thus giving everyone a “headstart” on the raid before you can actually enter.
This has led, in my opinion, to a very elitist attitude among some of the people found in guilds. Not just the big guilds like (ex) Method, but also the smaller guilds who have different goals. I definately see it in my guild. We have a few veterans who are simply not used to guiding newer people anymore and don’t feel the need to do so either. Instead they get grumpy and hateful in private chats (this time it was our raidleading channel).
This, to me, is an extremely destructive attitude to have when it comes to raiding in general. With the flux of players and people taking a more casual stance to gaming and raiding overall I think a bit of flexibility is needed. Have a bit of patience with newer players, especially ones who have never done heroic content or are used to different tactics than your group uses. Everyone once started from the bottom and being elitist jerks (ha!) to them is not helping in any way.
But, one may argue, if they keep it to private channels… That shouldn’t be too much of an issue right? Well actually it is. Even in private channels. Being elitist and rude and condescending about your fellow players breeds resentment and a sort of segregation of players in a team where co-operation is crucial. It’s the perfect soil for burnout to grow upon and it’s a huge problem when it exists in a raidgroup. I really hope our group can get through it, but as it stands now I need to pray for a miracle because people’s attitudes are getting worse every time we raid.

Movies. Watch them!
Which brings me to another point. A lot of the people raiding with us right now have the same mentality to raids as they had in Vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade. You don’t have much prior knowlegde to fights and are mostly left to figure stuff out on your own… So you just head in blind.
This might have worked back then. But now it’s just really not an option anymore. There is so much going on at once in a lot of fights (Iskar I’m looking at you) that watching a movie or reading a guide or even the Dungeon Journal is almost mandatory. It’s impossible to go in blind and handle all the mechanics perfectly from the get-go. Unless you are extremely talented.
This leads to people making mistakes that wipe the raid… Which are completely unecessary if you had taken 5 to 10 minutes of your time to read or watch a guide on the fight. I can’t count the number of times I had to bite my tongue on Teamspeak or Raidchat when people made mistakes like these. It’s really annoying having to explain tactics over and over again to people who are just too damn stubborn to watch a movie themselves.
Especially in a raidteam where people are at most average I think it’s a MUST to atleast know a fight before you head into it. But apparently I am wrong and people should do as they please.
Which is fine.
But don’t start crying when we clock over 100 wipes on a boss…