FFXIV

Back on the Horse (again)

Back to doing dailies in Nazjatar again. I didn’t think I would do this for the second time but here I am. Working away on the story and the reputation. I feel like a masochist and yet I’m also happy to be back online in World of Warcraft and enjoying myself as I again pour too many hours of my time into the game.

I’ve always had a bit of a natural ebb and flow with WoW. I would be very active when I was still raiding until we defeated the current endboss of the expansion on the difficulty we wanted to. Then my attention would wane a bit and I would dial back on playing as much and my focus would go to other things. After I stopped raiding I mainly came back for either the big patch releases and try to catch up on content then or whenever I had a week off so I could pour a lot of time into the game again. Like what I’m doing now.
The guild where I spent most of my time in for the past decade or so has been dead for a while. I think it died out after we killed Gul’Dan way back in Legion. The plan was to get back together again for the next raid, Tomb of Sargeras, but that never happened. People were fed up with raiding, had sudden other social obligations, moved on to other guilds or just disappeared off the face of the planet alltogether. I certainly started playing less and less and when it became obvious that the raiding days were truly done I just stopped caring, untill I set my sights on the Mage Tower challenge which kept me going for a long time.

Because I went into Battle for Azeroth without a clear goal I found it easier to detach myself from the game after initial launch. Of course I did some leveling on my Rogue and later on my Paladin, but that was mostly because I wanted to see the stories of the expansion. I cleared all zone stories, finished the War Campaign and hell even had a super short raiding stint with some friends before I got bored again. I leveled my first Allied Race up to 120 (Nightborne Mage) but after that I kind of lost the will to play. It didn’t help that all the people I used to play with had basically quit and moved on and as such it was a very lonely time in the game for me. Instead I turned my attention back to Final Fantasy XIV and leveling and playing with people there.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was bitten by the WoW bug again, this time mostly due to the 100% experience increase when leveling which made me want to level up another character, my Void Elf Warlock, to unlock more Heritage Armour and because my friends were back to playing aswell. I had a blast being on voice chat with them again as I was leveling up my Warlock and they informed me of their plans to make a guild for Shadowlands and to make it a raiding guild with mostly friends and family that they would control. And it made me want to jump back onto the horse again and be part of that. I knew I wanted to get back to my Warrior again aswell so I also made the decision to finally pull her out of the dead guild she was in for the last 10 years and transfer over to Ravencrest where I now reside. So far I have no regrets. I’ve been doing dungeons and dailies with a group of people again. I’ve been having a lot of fun talking to people on voice chat and in guild chat. I feel like I’m part of a little community again and it does me so much good. I really needed this to come back to the game and I hope it will last for a while yet.

It has also caused me to decide to get a bit more serious about playing my Warrior and as such invest resources into her again. So I’m running Horrific Visions to upgrade my cloak. I’m doing dailies in Uldum and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to get my reputations up and unlock more essences for my gear. I went back to Nazjatar to work on those reputations aswell so I can upgrade the essences I’ve bought. I’ve dived headfirst back into the grind and so far I’m enjoying it, even if it is a bit much to handle here and there. I’m mostly bothered by having an overflowing questlog. As such I’ve tried to make some priorities. Dailies in Uldum, Vale and Nazjatar are a prio since I need those reputations. The four world quests daily comes next. Other than that I still have a ton of content to work through. Two zones full of quests on Alliance side. The War Campaign. The story in Nazjatar. Mechagon. The list goes on. I’m tackling every aspect, mostly because next to giving me peace of mind it also gives me a ton of gold.
As such I’m going to designate weekends to activities. This weekend I want to finish the War Campaign, front to back. I’m a good chunk of the way there, finishing almost everything in the original chapter. I hope I can finish all of it before tomorrow night. After that I think I want to start tackling the rest of Drustvar. I did a few introductory quests on my Warrior since I wasn’t 120 by the time I finished Tiragarde Sound so it feels natural to just continue there. All small chunks and all pretty doable if I just want to pour in the time. And right now I’m more than willing to do just that.

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In some other news. I finally managed to get my Bard to level 80 in FFXIV. I did it mostly off pixie dailies and Trial Roulette for the last two levels or so but I’m finally there. Now I just need to level four more jobs before I get that very cool mount and title, signifying I got everything to max level.
Hatching Tide (FFXIV easter) is running aswell right now and I haven’t done the activities just yet. I’ve been told that the event is a two part one where the second part unlocks tomorrow. I’m planning to tackle the first part tonight and then see what the second has in store for me tomorrow night. I’m also going to start leveling my Machinist and will probably do what I did on my Bard for the past couple of levels: Trial Roulette and Pixie Dailies. They take very little time to do which means I can get experience in while only playing for 15 or 20 minutes. I could do more but since I want to dedicate most of my time to WoW this is a perfect little compromise.

All in all I’m back into full MMO mode. It’s taking away time from single player games, although I still make some time for Animal Crossing, but for now I’m happy where I am and what I’m doing with my time. Let’s hope I can keep this up when I go back to work next week because it’s doing a lot for my mental health right now and I don’t want work exhaustion to ruin it for me.

This post was the second one of Blapril 2020

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!

Lightning Speed

So when I said I hoped to get my Void Elf Warlock to 120 during my week off I thought the leveling wouldn’t be as fast as it actually has been the past few days.
Where I mentioned yesterday that I had just hit level 90, I’ve now actually already hit level 110, 111 even as I’m writing this, and unlocked my heritage armor. Which looks absolutely freaking amazing. I love the Void Elf armor.

Look at those shiny sparkling shoulders of the night! I mean, who wouldn’t love a set like this? Okay I may have a battle bra instead of a proper chestpiece but as Warlock I don’t expect to take much damage anyway, I have my demons to take the hits for me.
Speaking of Warlock. I’ve really been enjoying playing as Demonology for the leveling phase so far. Summoning armies of Imps is hilarious, especially when I manage to go up to 12-13 running around me at a time. I have my personal tank in my Felguard plus I summon Dreadstalkers on command. Next to that I have a chance to randomly summon extra demons aswell as a Demonic Tyrant which extends the duration and buffs the damage of all my active demons. I’ve not really looked into the “endgame” spec yet for Demonology but I hope it’s atleast as much fun as the leveling variant seems to be.

All in all it feels like everything is going on lightning speed. It doesn’t actually matter if you take the questing or dungeon running route, every level up to 110 takes max 20 minutes to do. I think the absolute fastest I’ve been was in Warlords of Draenor and Legion thanks to the bonus quest system giving me a seriously humongous amount of experience for completing a single quest. Like almost half a level worth. It helped me fly through the zones, literally because I have flying unlocked, and on the doorstep for Battle for Azeroth in no time at all. I’ve chosen to tackle Stormsong Valley this time around and hope I will be level 120 once I’m done with that zone. Then I can turn my attention to gearing up and tackling Mythic+ dungeons, something I’ve been meaning to do all expansion.

I’ve also tentatively logged into Final Fantasy XIV again. Mostly to save my house, Square Enix has done something with the demolition timers and now everyone’s house seems to be flagged for demolition, but also to get myself used to playing on my PS4 again. The controller feels kind of weird in my hands after not using it for a long while because I’ve been glued to my Switch Lite and Animal Crossing instead. My Bard is now sitting at level 78 and the plan is to do Pixie dailies and Trial roulette for the most part with some Trust Dungeon shoved in the mix aswell. Once I finish Bard I will probably move on to Machinist so I can stuff away all the redundant aiming gear and am only left with tanks to level.
It’s kind of weird playing two MMO’s at once again but seeing as I have the week off I may aswell combine them to get some stuff done in both. For now though have another picture of my lovely Void Elf with a starry sky and desert oasis as backdrop. Laters!

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?

Gaming Goals February 2020: Thinking long and hard

Two posts in one day?! Why yes. I guess it’s an exception. Mostly because I wanted to get this goal post out before I forget to publish it and we’re already a week into February… You catch my drift.
This month I’m actually dialing back a bit on the goals. I have an exhausting training week coming up at work next week and a bunch of weekends that are filled up with visiting friends and family and as such I really need to squeeze in gametime when and where I can. I think my main focus for February will be catching up in World of Warcraft on my Warrior and finishing off leveling the final two DPS classes in Final Fantasy XIV. Next to that I’m still pretty much hooked on Cat Quest and with the Re:Mind DLC I’ve also kind of been drawn back into Kingdom Hearts 3 so I want to spend some of my time in that game again aswell.
For now my goals for February look like this.

Single Player Games:

  • Finish Cat Quest
  • Fill the Pokédex to 300 Pokémon in Pokémon Sword
  • Go back to Kingdom Hearts 3 for trophies and grinding for the super bosses in the DLC

World of Warcraft:

  • Catch up my Warrior to 8.3 content
  • Start working on the Legendary Cloak on my Warrior
  • Catch up to current Raid content on my Warrior

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Get my Bard to level 80
  • Casually work on Trusts? I’ll need to see how this pans out
  • Get my Machinist to level 80

So yeah. I’m keeping it light. I think I will have finished Cat Quest by the end of the week. I think I’ll need some guides if I want to finish it 100%. With that I mean having defeated all dungeons, done all sidequests and leveled up to 99. I’m currently level 47 so almost halfway there! After that the plan is to dive back into Kingdom Hearts 3 to grind away on some trophies that I’ve not yet obtained and level up Sora so I can start doing all the Super Bosses that have been added in the DLC. Finally I want to go back to Pokémon and fill up my Pokédex to 300!

In MMO’s I’m mostly going to focus on playing catch up on my Warrior. I want to get decently geared and start working on my Legendary Cloak. There is a Timewalking event up right now which is providing me with some catch up gear right now and otherwise it’s just grinding out World Quests. I’m pretty sure I need to work my way through the Nazjatar questline before I can get to the 8.3 content so I’ll see how fast that goes.
In FFXIV I just want to get done with Bard and Machinist. Then I can get rid of all the “low level” aiming gear that is still cluttered in my bags and I will only have the three tank classes left. I’m still not sure if I want to push through with Trusts. I’m not really enjoying the grind but then again doing one Trust dungeon max on a given day isn’t actually that horrible. I need to see how that pans out.

All in all these should be smalls attainable goals. Anything extra is a plus here, I never know when the gaming mood takes me and has me finish up way more than I thought I would.
What are your plans for February?

January 2020: A look back


Is it February already? Where did the time go? It feels like January only lasted two weeks this year. Maybe it’s because I’ve been extremely busy at work and dealing with emotional turmoil due to my friends’ illness. Maybe it’s because I’ve taken up working out again, making some of my evenings and weekend mornings fly by aswell.
All in all it’s been a chaotic month for me and on the work and personal front it seems like that’s not going to end anytime soon. But I don’t want to look at my personal stuff in this post, but instead look back at the goals in gaming land I set for myself and see how I fared…

In FFXIV:

  • Get more battle classes to level 80. I have 6 to go, with Ninja currently being 77. I hope to get Ninja and atleast two others to 80 by the end of the month.
  • Work on getting my first crafting classes to 80. With Ishguard restoration this shouldn’t actually be too hard. My Carpenter is 77 as we speak so that should be able to get to 80 fast. Ideally I want 3 Crafting classes to 80 by the end of the month. Let’s say Carpenter, Weaver and Leatherworker?
  • Level up Fishing. I’m currently sitting on level 64 and I want to get atleast to level 70 this month.
  • Level up Blue Mage. I want to hit atleast level 20 by the end of the month.
  • Complete all the side quests that are still up in the First
  • Work towards rank 3 FATEs in Ahm Araeng and the Tempest. Preferably I’ll have both done by the end of the month

Wow. I really thought at the start of the month that I would be able to do this. However because of work and other stuff I’ve actually barely logged on to FFXIV the past month. I’ve been slowly chunking away at leveling my Bard, she’s level 75 right now, with Trusts. And I have to say that leveling Trusts is boring and grindy and probably the reason why I’ve been logging less than I wanted to. I did the New Year’s event, Heavensturn, and will probably do the Valentione Event somewhere this week but man. Maybe I should just drop this whole leveling Trusts thing for now and just focus on doing stuff I enjoy while leveling up instead. I did get Ninja to 80 at the start of the month so there’s that. I really need to think long and hard about what I want from FFXIV in February.

In other MMO’s:

  • Make progress in LOTRO. I’m level 3 and at the absolute beginning of the game. I have no idea about the layout of this game yet and how zones and other stuff works so I just want to head out and explore and see where that ship strands.
  • Finish off the current zone I’m in on my character in Guild Wars 2.

So I discovered this month that I just really don’t have the time or patience to start from scratch in a new MMO. Just having to relearn everything from the bottom up is not something I’ve enjoyed. So my little experiment with LOTRO will end here. Maybe when life isn’t as chaotic and I’ve found my perfect gaming rotation schedule I will put this back on the menu. For now though both LOTRO and GW2 will be put back into the closet. I may break out GW2 on occassion to atleast unlock the episodes of the living story but that’s it.
On the other hand I started playing WoW again. I want to see the new 8.3 content and start working on the Legendary cloak. Instead of picking up where I left off on my Rogue though I’ve decided to take my Warrior to 120 instead and play her. I missed the Warrior too much in the end and I want to do the Legendary stuff on her for now. I managed to get to level 120 a week ago, with the final level solely on doing Archaeology digsites, and now I’ll have to focus on gearing up so I can start the 8.3 content. I’m still very casual and basically only play on the weekends for now but atleast I’m enjoying myself!

In single player games:

  • Finish the Pokémon post-game questline
  • Get 200 Pokémon registered in my Pokédex (atleast!)
  • Pick Spider-Man back up for my PS4 and play through/finish the game

I actually rocketed through Pokémon and got both the goals ticked off pretty fast. I actually had a blast doing it aswell! I’ve been keeping up with the Max Raid events that they have been releasing. I’m also hoarding up Pokémon that evolve through trading so I can trade my friend when he comes over and fill up my Pokédex even more. I’m definitely putting this game back on the menu for my February goals because I want to keep working on my Pokédex. Now if only I could finally catch a Ditto…
Spider-Man has been a bust. I’ve barely played on my PS4 to begin with this month and all the time I did play on it either went to FFXIV or, last week, to playing the Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind DLC. Instead though I’ve started playing through Cat Quest on my Switch and having a ton of fun doing that instead. It’s a short game and if I play like I’ve been doing I’ll probably finish it somewhere this week. Because it’s such a short game I think I’m actually willing to try for 100% completion. Even though the Switch version has no trophies like the PS4 version I will have to use a guide for it, but that’s fine.

All in all I got a few things done, which I’m happy with, but less than I had planned. I dropped one MMO in favour of another and I once again realised that my moods are heavily influenced by what goes on at work and in real life. It is how it is, better luck next month?

Sandy’s Sunday: Sore all over


As I’m sipping on a cup of coffee (okay okay, it’s a latte) I feel slightly guilty for not going to the swimming pool today. Honestly though I could barely get myself out of bed this morning. I’m hurting all over, especially my legs, and the idea of taking my bike up to the pool and then having to exhaust myself even further was the one thing I didn’t feel like doing today. So instead I’ve decided to take the day “off” so that my body can properly recover from all the workout stress I’m putting on it and then instead go to the pool tomorrow night and still get that swimming half hour in.

Because of this decision I had my morning opened up to do some other things. The first task on my list was log into Guild Wars 2 so I could unlock the proper episode of the Icebrood Saga for my account before it moves on to the next one somewhere this week. My account is littered with randomly unlocked living world episodes, kind of depending on when I logged in. Since I still want to sort of make some progress in Guild Wars 2 I figured it would be a good idea to atleast log in on time to unlock all the living world episodes, so that’s what I’m intending to do. I also teleported my Ranger to Divinity’s Reach for the Lunar New Year event and will check that out somewhere later today to see what it’s all about. So far the only thing I’ve noticed it’s that it’s doing horrible things to my graphics, probably something to do with the constant shooting of fireworks and the crowd of people amassing on suc a small spot in the town. Oh well.

I also took the time to push my Warrior closer to level 120. When I logged off yesterday evening I was sitting on about 40% into level 118. I started up the quests in Drustvar, after completing everything in Tiragarde Sound, and queued up for Tol Dagor since I had a quest for that aswell. I have to say that queueing up as DPS isn’t as painful these days as it used to be around launch. I think I waited a max of ten minutes for this dungeon to pop this morning? The same held true for Freeport which I ran yesterday, I almost got an instant queue to pop there which really surprised me. I did both dungeons without too much effort and could hand in both quests that helped level up my Azerite Necklace aswell as give a big chunk of experience. Because of that, and the Horde assault that took place this morning in Drustvar, I actually dinged level 119 pretty fast. So that’s where I’m at right now. I’m not sure yet if I want to push to 120 today since I have to do a lot of chores still and having a clean house and stuffed fridge take precedent over leveling an avatar up in a game.
What I am going to do though is play a bit of FFXIV to get my Bard through the daily Trust dungeon and Pixie stuff aswell as download the DLC to Kingdom Hearts III so I can start playing that. I remember how happy I was when I finished KH3 but also that the ending was rather unsatisfying. I hope this DLC can give me a bit more closure on that front. I will most likely do a post about it once I’ve played through it.

For now though it’s time to get dressed and get to cleaning!

Slow leveling

After hitting the gym for the third time in eight days I came home quite exhausted this morning. It’s a good type of exhausted though and a phase that I need to push myself through as I start getting my health and stamina back on track properly. I may have set a bit of a harsh schedule for myself with trying to workout four times a week but I know that if I limit myself to once or twice a week it’s so much easier to just start skipping days than when I do it like this. So far the hardest thing has been getting up and actually getting myself to the gym or the pool. Once I’m there it’s fine and I’m happy to push myself as hard as I can before returning home sore and exhausted. Because I went in the morning this time I have all the rest of the day to do other stuff, so I went out and did groceries for the weekend, folded the immense pile of laundry that had been collecting over the week and vacuumed my bedroom and hallway. I still have to do some more vacuuming and I’m about to start working on the dishes once I finish writing this post but I feel like I’ve actually had quite a productive Saturday so far.

The other thing I wanted to talk about in this post is my return to the World of Warcraft. I spent about an hour and a half playing my Warrior just now, slowly working my way through all the quests in Tiragarde Sound. Even though I don’t really read the quest text anymore, seeing as I’ve done this zone on my Rogue at the start of the expansion, it’s nice to retrace some of the old quest steps again. I’ve adventured with Flynn to Freehold and beyond to stop the assault on Katherine Proudmoore. I’ve been fighting the corruption in Anglepoint Wharf and I’ve been doing horseback riding in Norwington Estate. It’s quite a nice zone all things considered and being able to fly everywhere has been a major boon. I’m about halfway to level 117 as of writing this and I’m not sure what level I’ll be once I finish up all the quests in the zone.
What I do know is that I’m taking it easy and just enjoying the ride. I really want to get back into the groove on my Warrior and start working on the Legendary Cloak that has been introduced in the latest Patch. I’m not sure how fast I can start tackling the new content once I hit 120 but I hope it’s fairly quick. I mean there were catch up mechanics present for Nazjatar so I hope there will be now aswell. For now I’ve parked my Rogue, and my other characters, and will solely focus on the Warrior for the time being.

Another thing I’m slowly leveling is my Bard in Final Fantasy XIV. Choosing to level it up with Trusts has kind of slowed down progress a lot when it comes to my goals in that game. It’s a concious sacrifice though. I’m kind of scared that if I ignore Trusts and just powerlevel everything to level 80 I will never go back to level them up. So I figured I might aswell combine it with leveling up the last few battle classes I still have left. Right now I’m trying to do one Trust dungeon a day and Pixie dailies and nothing else. It’s really easy to outlevel your Trusts if you do anything besides those dungeons and I’m probably going to hit level 80 way before any of them do. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do in that case. I may just park that particular group of Trusts and use my Machinist to finish off the final few levels as I’m leveling that up or I could just bite the bullet and keep leveling up my Trusts with a class that is level 80. I guess I’ll see when I get there. For now it’s just slow going and that’s fine by me.

With me reserving two evenings a week for working out and effectively my weekend mornings aswell I am even more limited in the time I can spend on playing games. It doesn’t help that the League of Legends NA and EU championships have started up again aswell, meaning that I’ll be watching that whenever I have the time. I guess it becomes more important now than ever to have a bit of structure to my days and weeks instead of just seeing where stuff goes whenever. So I’m trying to figure out what I want to do in my games, how much time said activities take and then when the best time to play them is. For FFXIV it’s easy since I just do my three Pixie Dailies and a Trust dungeon so I’m done in about 30 minutes. For WoW it’s a bit trickier. I want to level my Warrior and that can take whatever time it takes. So I’ll plan an hour or two to just play WoW and see where that takes me.  Anyway this is starting to turn into a ramble a bit, so gonna stop right here.

What are you up to this weekend?

Ready, set, go!

There’s currently so much stuff going on in my (gaming) life that I finally found the need to blog again, even if it’s just to write everything down so that it’s out of my head.

First off a small update about my friend. At this point we are still mostly in the dark. She’s scheduled for an MRI scan as soon as possible so they can determine the size of the tumor and whether or not it has spread. At this point in time everyone is hoping for the best but bracing themselves for the worst outcome. It’s been hard, especially because there’s nothing I can say to her that she hasn’t heard dozens of times already in the last few days. I guess this is where I thank Dutch healthcare and our healthcare insurance system since whatever happens it won’t ruin her financially on top of everything else. I’ll periodically post small updates like these since I mostly just need to get it out of my head before it drives me insane.

Now on to happier stuff. As I write this post I’m feeling absolutely exhausted but in a good way. I’ve been feeling sore all over from my workout session from yesterday and I’m enjoying having an evening off. It’s been a bit of a brutal week for someone who has kind of gotten used to just sitting down at night and not doing anything else. So far I’ve been to the gym twice (Saturday afternoon and yesterday evening) and I went swimming once on Wednesday. The swimming was actually more brutal than the gym and it showed me that I’m really extremely out of shape. For now the plan is to go swimming twice a week, Wednesdays and Sundays, and go to the gym twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays. The weekdays are going to be a bit more of a challenge to keep doing I think since I’ll have to motivate myself to drag my ass off the couch after long days of work. On the other hand it combats me going a bit insane just sitting at home every night and doing nothing but watching Netflix or Disney+ and playing games. So yeah, I’m starting to put down a routine and I’m very much motivated to see the routine through in the coming weeks/months. Atleast untill I’m off to Japan at the end of March.
Speaking of Japan.. That’s slowly edging it’s way into my thoughts aswell. I’m in the phase where I want to start researching what I want to see in Tokyo and Kyoto since those are the two cities where we will spending the most time. I know I want to atleast visit the Pokémon Café in Tokyo so I will make a reservation for that somewhere in the coming weeks. Akihabara is high on my list aswell but otherwise I have no idea where I want to go or what I want to do. I’m really interested in maybe visiting some retro game shops aswell as some gacha establishments but I’ll have to see. I stil have around two months to do some planning so that should be more than enough time.

In gaming land I’ve come to realize that trying out new MMO’s isn’t my thing. I just can’t get over outdated graphics, especially since Final Fantasy XIV has spoiled me with the pretty. I also just can’t invest the time to learn an MMO from scratch anymore so I’m going to retire Lord of the Rings Online. Instead I’ve resubbed to World of Warcraft, mostly because I crave comfort gaming right now and WoW has always pretty much been there to fill that need. I’m still deciding on what I want to do with my WoW time right now. I’m either going to explore the new content on my Rogue or level up my Warrior to 120 and get a refresh on the war campaign story before heading off to work on all the new stuff. I have enough time to do both, it’s just a bit hard to have to choose.

In my FFXIV adventures I’ve been doing trust dungeons here and there and my current group of trusts is about halfway there. I think I need to run Dohn Mheg two more times before I can move on to the next dungeon. This is mostly caused by Alisae and Alphinaud being behind on experience compared to Thancred or I would’ve only needed to do the dungeon one more time. Oh well. Due to me leveling via this Trust route I’ve kind of given up getting two more classes to level 80 for this month, instead I want to bring my Bard to level 80 together with my first group of Trusts.
In sidequest land I’ve made some amazing progress and I can officially say that I’ve wiped the map clean of quest markers in all zones now! I think I’m going to spend some time on gathering and crafting this weekend because it’s really relaxing and I’m sure I can get a few classes to 80 if I just sit down for a bit and actually gather and craft.

So yeah, that’s kind of what I’ve been up to this week so far. My mind is still all over the place but I’m trying to keep a positive outlook for my friend while my own life simply goes on. It’s weird but that’s how it is.

Sandy’s Sunday: Work Sucks

As I’m sipping on a coke I figured I should sit down and write something.
Basically the past week has once again been super busy and chaotic when it comes to my job. My team is gradually growing smaller and as such we need everyone to be able to do everything. So my colleagues have been busy learning new tasks and I’ve been keeping an eye out for everything else that needed to be done. Couple that with a week with a ton of meetings and I was happy when it was finally time for the weekend so I could recharge a bit.
On Thursday I went out to dinner with a colleague/friend, which was really necessary to lift my spirits a bit. We had an awesome evening just chatting about everything and unwinding. Being in a warm and cozy restaurant enjoying a three course meal while outside it’s pouring has it’s charm. Luckily by the time we were ready to leave the weather had cleared up so I didn’t get home completely drenched.

Due to me getting home tired a lot I didn’t get much gaming time in. After I’ve finished leveling Ninja to level 80 and using Bard to level up my Trusts a bit I’ve been having a bit of a burn-out on FFXIV. I just didn’t feel like starting up the game at all so my Bard is still sitting at level 73 and otherwise I’ve not been making any progress. However I’m feeling the itch to log on again so I may do a few Trust dungeons today so I can finally leave Holminster Switch behind me and focus on the next dungeon in the bracket.
The game I did start up a few times over the week has been Pokémon Sword. I’ve been diligently working away at filling up my Pokédex and am currently sitting at 177 Pokémon registered. Only 23 more to get to my goal of registering 200 for this month! It’s actually gone surprisingly smooth. I’ve been focusing a lot on just evolving all the Pokémon I already caught and then I moved on to catching, and evolving, new Pokémon. I’ve also been participating in a lot of Max-Raids to try and obtain Pokémon that have Gigantamax forms, instead of just regular Dynamax ones. So far I’ve managed to catch a Gigantamax Snorlax, Butterfree and Coalossal. I’m still on the hunt for more!
In other Pokémon news, I haven’t actually watched the Pokémon direct but was nonetheless hyped when they announced an expansion to the Pokémon Sword and Shield games. Even though I wish that Game Freak wouldn’t be a sell out and just release a complete game from the start I can’t deny that I’m pretty happy to be getting more content to the game. As I’ve mentioned before I think the overall story of Pokémon has been a bit short this time around. Getting two new areas, with a lot more Pokémon introduced to the Pokédex, plus more story content, is exactly what I and others have been hoping for. As such I actually pre-ordered the expansion straight away so it will ready for me to play once June and November hit.

Finally instead of gaming I’ve been spending my time watching Netflix, specifically two documentaries: Don’t Fuck With Cats and Cheer.
The former has just been disturbing on all counts and I’m not sure if I would’ve watched it if I had known exactly what it would be about. It just goes to show that some people are deeply disturbed and should be locked away from society forever.
Cheer however has been a fun documentary to watch. I was a gymnast on a decent level from the age of 6-12. I never made national championships or anything but I was once in the top of my district for my age group aswell as making it to province (state for the US folks I guess?) championship. Where I was quickly desillusioned with my actual skills because my and our club actually performed pretty bad compared to the rest. Oh well. Anyway, Cheer is a documentary following the Navarro College cheerleading squad who have won a lot of titles. They pick out a few of the cheerleaders to follow more personally and basically show the preparation for the big National Championship that is held every year in Daytona Beach, FL. Cheerleading on that level is basically brutal. It’s gymnastics, tumbling, acrobatics and dancing all in one. Serious injuries happen, as shown on the documentary, and getting on the team that actually will perform the act on the championship is a struggle. Due to the stunts and acrobatics trust in your teammates is required. You need to be able to know that you will be caught if you fall. If someone fails to catch you the entire team gets punished. This sounds a bit harsh but is also understandable. You win as team but you also fail as team.
Watching that made me think of my own gymnastic days and give me a sense of missing out in a way. I think if I grew up in the US being a cheerleader would be totally up my alley, even with all the injuries. I think I would’ve absolutely loved it. Now however I can only look at these girls and hope they haven’t destroyed their bodies too much while doing what they love.

All in all it’s been a week of trying to get back into the work rhythm and giving myself plenty of time to rest up and relax after making long days in the office. Next week should be a bit more relaxed and with that I hope that I can get a bit more game time in when I come home!