FFXIV

Sandy’s MMO Sunday: May 24th Tomestones Galore

A still of Thordan fight

It’s been a rather eventful week in MMO land for me. We’ve had some guild drama, which I’m not going to expand further upon but it happened, the Moogle Treasure Trove event started in Final Fantasy XIV and Blizzard announced changes to Corruptions, Visions and Cloak leveling. Especially this latter news was music to my ears. Getting my cloak to rank 15 on my Warrior suddenly became a much more obtainable goal and one that I plan to grind out before reset because we’re currently on the vision of Orgrimmar… And that’s the easier of the two.

As for last week. I kicked my ass into gear when it came to farming tomes in FFXIV. I’ve chosen to mainly focus on making sure that I run the Main Scenario Roulette every day since it can either contain the Praetorium or Castrum Meridianum which are good for 10 or 7 tomes respectively. So far I’ve been “lucky” and I’ve been getting the Praetorium constantly. Sure it takes a while to complete but afterwards I get out with 10 Tomestones and a big chunk of experience towards my next level. With this tactic I’ve managed to push my Machinist to level 80, finally, and started working on my Warrior next. I know I was planning to do Dark Knight but for some reason I felt like picking up Warrior and I need to level both anyway so it doesn’t really matter which one I pick up first in that regard. So far I’ve managed to get my Warrior to level 72 and I picked up the Susano Ex mount, the first one of the dog mounts that I own. I remember lightly farming it in Stormblood together with the one from Lakshmi Ex but I never managed to obtain them. So now I’ll just grab it with this event! The next mount on my list to get is the Ixion mount and after that I need to see what else the Moogle has on offer with it’s Tomestones. I may pick up some Orchestrion Scrolls or alternatively some MGP cards so I can start getting mounts from the Gold Saucer. Anyway I’ve been dutifully running this content and I’m quite happy so far.
In other news I’ve also been pushing FATEs like a madman last week. I managed to finish up the Rank 3 FATE step in Ahm Araeng and am halfway through finishing the Rank 3 FATE step in the Tempest. Which means I’m 30 FATEs off of doing the lot. Not that bad for a week of gaming!

In the World of Warcraft it’s been a lot of the same stuff I’ve been doing the past few weeks. I’m still ranking up Essences on my Warrior and I’m still doing dailies and still raiding and attempting to do Mythic+. For some reason though I’ve gone into a bit of an alt frenzy because I want to experience something else than just Protection Warrior tanking all the time. So I rolled up a new Demon Hunter on my server and I picked up my Paladin on the Horde side again to see if I can get a kick out of that. Otherwise I’ve been poking around on my Hunter, getting her cloak ranked up and running Mythic+ with friends who play tanks themselves. I’m starting to do some mean damage on said Hunter and I’m really enjoying the gameplay. I also realized it was a pretty overpowered class to run Visions on and I’ve been pushing it to the limit when it comes to cloak upgrades. I’m only on rank 6 but I can comfortably do two bosses and kill Thrall with no real issues. The more I rank up, and unlock usefull skills with Mementos, the more I can push on that character. If this keeps up I will probably be able to solo the 5 mask stuff on my Hunter easier than on my Warrior. But we’ll see when the time is there.

As for next week there won’t be many changes. I’m still raiding on my Warrior and I will still be pushing for Tomestones on FFXIV. I hope I can get my cloak to rank 15 sooner rather than later and I hope my Warrior will be a lot closer to level 80, if not there, by next weekend. After that I need to start thinking about my MMO goals for June and how I’m going to let them exist next to my Summer of Platformers challenge. For now though I’ve got a whole week of MMO madness ahead and I can’t wait to dive back in.

Moogle Treasure Trove is back!

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: mogelijk herkende tekst: Moogle Treasure Trove The Hunt for Law From Monday, May 18, 2020 at 1:00 a.m. (PDT) until the launch of Patch 5.3

Another round of the Moogle Treasure Trove has kicked off in Final Fantasy XIV.
Once again you are rewarded for doing low level dungeons, especially Castrum Meridianum and the Praetorium. Queueing up for main scenario roulette as DPS during this time isn’t nearly as painful as other times and I’m definitely taking advantage of it on my Machinist this week.

As for what I’m chasing personally. I think I definitely want to get the Ixion and Susano Ex mounts. The shiba necklace looks super cute aswell.

So if you’re playing FFXIV please check out what the Moogle Treasure Trove has to offer and get queueing for those dungeons!

Sandy’s MMO Sunday: May 17th I Need New Goals

I really like taking screenshots of my mount collection. I have more than enough to show off and the one I’m using in this screenshot is the one you get for collecting 300 mounts so I guess you can see where I’m at with my collection. I didn’t even make a concious effort to get to that 300 mark. It kind of happened naturally. I realized I was only three mounts short yesterday and bought them off the reputation vendors in Stormsong Valley, Drustvar and Tiragarde Sound. Of course I’m well away from the next two achievements for obtaining 350 and 400 mounts respectively. I don’t think that will change anytime soon since hunting down mounts is not really high on my priority list right now.

What is high on my priority list is the fact that I need to find new goals in the World of Warcraft to tie me over untill the end of the month. I have actually completed almost all goals on my list I made at the start of the month. Mostly because I’ve been no-lifing on WoW way too much this past week and dropping whatever else I intended to play. It tends to happen that when I get back into “serious” MMO mode I get sucked into the game and then suddenly spend most of my waking hours outside of any real life obligations in said game. I guess there’s worse ways to spend your time but it also means that my progress in Final Fantasy XIV and 7R has kind of stalled and I haven’t touched my Animal Crossing island in about two weeks. Oops. Oh well. It is how it is. As such I need a few new goals to focus on so I don’t get overwhelmed.
As of right now I have a few goals left that I’m still working on that I can’t really speed up because they are mostly tied to doing dailies and/or World Quests. This mainly concerns the reputations that I still have left to do. Another is battling my questlog which I’m doing slowly but steadily. I’ve killed Rakhastan in LFR, completing the associated quest, and my guild as a whole managed to kill N’Zoth on heroic difficulty this week effectively having us “beat” the current raiding content. I got my achievement and mount and I could stripe off the final quest of the Black Empire campaign aswell. So when I look at my WoW goals list it kind of looks something like this now:

  • Get the following reputations to Exalted: Waveblade Ankoan/Rustbolt Resistance/Storm’s Wake/Champions of Azeroth/Tortollan Seekers/Rajani/Uldum Accord
  • Finish all quests in Drustvar and Stormsong Valley
  • Kill Rakhastan and finish the associated quest
  • Level Blacksmithing to 175
  • Level Cooking to 175
  • Finish miscellaneous quests in my questlog

The reputations and quests will disappear organically. It’s just a question of doing dailies, World Quests and the assaults in Uldum and Valley of Eternal Blossoms. Nothing new there and it will keep me on the daily cycle for a bit. Seeing as you can get 500 rep per day with Uldum Accord and Rajani for doing dailies, plus bonus rep for completing an assault. It’s around 4-5k rep per week. I’m honored with both factions as of right now so I think I will hit revered by the end of the month. And then it will take me roughly another month to get to Exalted. It’s a really slow burn. As for the Tortollan Seekers. I’m around 1k rep off hitting exalted with them and I’m pretty sure that if the double reputation buff is still up tomorrow I can hit Exalted from doing 3-4 World Quests for them. So yeah. That basically gives me a ton of “free” time apart from doing dailies. So to fill that up I want to add the following goals to my list:

  • Level up my Legendary cloak to rank 15
  • Obtain and rank up Essences for my Heart of Azeroth necklace

Yeah it’s only these two. However these goals cover a bigger area than one might think. The Legendary cloak one is pretty straight forward and just involves me putting time into running Visions of N’Zoth. I’m currently able to solo 3 chest runs without masks and I hope I can get up to 4 chests now that my cloak has hit rank 15. Eventually I want to start doing runs with masks aswell but for now I’m not feeling that confident yet. Getting my cloak to rank 15 will be time consuming enough.
As far as the other goal goes. There are a lot of essences to obtain that one can slot into their Heart of Azeroth. I obtained a lot of them but not all. Especially the PvP related ones I’ve not bothered with yet but I would like to. Of the essences that I have obtained the majority is only rank 2. They become the most powerful once they hit rank 3 so I still have a bit to go to rank all of them up. Some again will come more naturally from doing Ny’alotha raids, Visions and Mythic+. I think I’m pretty close to unlocking the rank 3 from Island Expeditions one aswell. Others are harder to get. They require you to run dungeons, (outdated) raids or straight up grinding materials to obtain them. So yeah. It’s actually a bit of a meta-goal and one I’m pretty happy to tackle.

This should also hold me over untill the end of the month and it should allow me to put more time into FFXIV and my single player games. I’m still leveling up my Machinist and I should be done with the Ahm Araeng FATES this week aswell. As for FF7R I’m still at chapter 8 and I know it’s a bit of a freeroam chapter with a lot of side content and I really need to take some time to sit down and play through it properly. With a four day weekend coming up I think I will do just that and hopefully earn a bunch of trophies along the way. I’m still aiming to get the Platinum trophy for FF7R because I think it’s an awesome game and deserves all the time I can sink into it but for now I just need to find a moment to just sit down and play.

Let’s hope that happens next week.

Sandy’s MMO Sunday: May 10th progress, progress, progress!

Two posts in one day? Why not! I feel the writing bug so I may aswell take advantage of it. Plus my earlier post was supposed to go up yesterday but I forgot to hit the publish button so… Whatever I guess.
I rebranded my older “Sandy’s Sunday” to “Sandy’s MMO Sunday” since MMO’s are still my most played genre and I want to have one day a week where I specifically talk about my (personal) progress on that front aswell as talk about what I’ve been struggling with the past week, if there have been struggles or anything else I need to get off my chest.

So first off, I have made a ton, and I mean a ton, of progress on my World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV goals the past week. I’ve gotten two reputations to Exalted, Storm’s Wake and the Waveblade Ankoan. They were both surprisingly easy to get and I even managed to three Paragon chests for both reputations together already. Mostly because next to getting Storm’s Wake reputation up I also finished the zone quest wise. I also finished off Drustvar so I can stripe that goal off of my list. I can’t say how soothing it is to get rid of all the quest markers on a map and slowly emptying out my questlog as I go through a zone. Right now I only have one questchain left in Stormsong Valley and two Dungeon quests that are related to the zone stories so I may tackle those next week.
On the profession front I’ve been able to get Kul Tiran Blacksmithing to level 175 with a little help from the Darkmoon Faire. I’m also well on my way to crafting the 455 ilvl belt, I need like 9 more Expulsom or so, after which I unlock the 470 recipe which is something I aim for! After that I’m probably going to focus on doing the same for the pants seeing as the chance is slim I’m going to get 470 ilvl gear from anywhere else.
Next to my personal progress we also managed to down two more bosses in Heroic Ny’alotha bringing us to 10/12 bosses downed total with a 10%ish wipe on Carapace of N’zoth. I’m pretty sure we’ll get to 11/12 heroic next week, maybe even 12/12 if we don’t wipe too much on bosses that we’ve already downed. All in all a pretty good week in WoW!

In FFXIV I’ve taken last Tuesdays’ reset to finish off Eden. I had three fights left and even though I managed to die in all three of them I did clear the instance, so I can scrape that off my list aswell! Leveling on my Machinist has been steady and I’ve hit level 75 today. I’m also slowly whittling away at FATEs in Ahm Araeng and only need to do 14 more of them to get to that rank 3 FATEs cleared. I’m pretty sure I can bang those out the coming week and hopefully get my Machinist a lot closer to level 80 aswell. After that I can set my eyes on FATEs in the Tempest untill my Machinist is level 80 and I can get rid of all the sub level 80 Aiming gear and start working on the final cluster of jobs that I need to level: my tanks. I figured I may aswell start with Dark Knight first and then pick up Warrior after before unlocking and leveling the final job I need: Gunblade.

Next to all this nice progress I’m also struggling a lot with the overwhelming amount of content that is available to do in, mostly, WoW. Right now I’m focusing on the goals that I have set for myself and I’m pretty good at keeping myself restrained to them for now but when I look at all the activities I can partake in the situation just gets to be a bit overwhelming.
There’s obviously the two raid nights per week where I’m logged on and all the dailies I’m doing every day to get up reputations and earn other things. Then there’s Mythic+, Visions of N’Zoth to level up my legendary cloak, chasing the rank 2 and 3 upgrades for the essences in my Heart of Azeroth necklace, which come from a lot of different sources. The weekly assaults in Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossoms. And don’t even get me started on chasing mounts, pets and achievements. Something I love to do but need to put on the side for a bit so I can focus on the more “important” stuff that needs doing. It’s really hard to be able to do everything given the limited amount of time I have to spend now that I’m an adult with a full time job. I really don’t want to invest every waking moment that I have into WoW and as such I’ve had to make decisions on what I really want to do. Setting goals for myself has helped enormously but seeing the speed at which I’ve been fulfilling said goals I may need to find another set of goals pretty soon before I become directionless and start doing more than I should and burn out.

All in all though I’m pretty happy with my progress. If I keep up this pace I may even need to set some new goals for myself by the end of next week. For now though I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully not get too sidetracked with shiny content.

Scheduling The Daily Grind

Trying to keep up with multiple games at once can be quite a challenge. Especially when juggling MMO’s. I have the utmost respect for anyone who manages to do more than two at a time since that is my absolute maximum and even then I’m struggling hard to not put too much time into one thing that will take away from something else. MMOs tend to suck you in, especially at endgame level, and then when you look up you realize that you’ve been playing this single thing for the entire day or evening while you wanted to do more or different things instead.
So to combat me spending all my time on a single game I’ve been trying to set up a bit of a schedule when it comes to my playtime and the activities that I do in my games. I have reserved certain days for certain games and I have spread out my gametime a bit more to include the morning before I start working and my lunchbreak somewhere in the middle of the day. This is also helping me to kind of not go insane with working from home all the time so that’s another plus!

Right now my pattern looks something like this:

  • Mornings before work on weekdays
    Log into FFXIV and do my beast tribe dailies and Trial roulette for leveling
    Play a bit of Animal Crossing, mostly digging up my fossils and harvesting fruit/plucking weeds etc
  • Lunchbreak on weekdays
    Log into WoW and do my BfA Emissary Worldquests. Do Nazjatar Ally dailies and/or Mechagon dailies.
  • Weeknights:
    Monday = whatever I feel like playing
    Tuesday = FFXIV reset so time for Eden and some extra playtime in general
    Wednesday & Thursday = WoW raid nights
    Friday = whatever I feel like playing

This gives me one night specifically for FFXIV and two nights specifically for WoW during the week. It helps me structure my weekdays, since I have things to look forward to, and it helps me get the more grindy daily stuff out of the way earlier on the day, freeing my nights up for other activities in both my MMO’s. In theory atleast. In reality I’m spending almost every waking minute on WoW playing catch up on my Warrior because there is just so. much. to. do.
Right. I hope that will slowly settle down and that I can actually incorporate some of my single player games into the weeknights instead of keeping those for the weekends.

As for the weekends.. I’m trying to figure out a schedule for that. I’m still reserving my mornings to get dailies done, only this time I do both FFXIV and WoW. After that it’s a random free for all to be honest. Seeing as the weekends are (normally) for socializing and doing chores, playing games kind of takes a second seat here to everything else. I do try to reserve a few hours per weekend to work away on whatever single player game has my fancy at the time so that I don’t forget where or what I was doing and, more importantly, actually finish damn games instead of throwing them on my anxiety inducing backlog pile.

So roughly the schedule for my weekends looks like this:

Mornings: Do WoW and FFXIV dailies.
Afternoons: Play single player game untill dinner time
Evenings: whatever I feel like playing/doing.

So yeah. It has some rough edges and I’m sure that my schedule will change over time I’m pretty happy with what I’m doing right now. Of course there is always room for improvement and of course some things that take up a lot of time right now will probably stop taking up that time after certain grinds come to an end.

How do you handle playing multiple games? Do you schedule them or does it come more natural? Let me know!

Gaming Goals: May 2020

I realised that I’ve not done a Gaming Goals post in a while. Mostly because I’ve been in a funk and didn’t want to set expectations for myself that I couldn’t adhere to so I let it slide for a bit.
With the current upswing in my mood though, and the fact that I’m finding a lot of fun in World of Warcraft again, I figured I set a few goals for May for myself. I guess most of them will be WoW related, since that is my main game right now, but I will branch out to a few other things aswell.

World of Warcraft (Warrior)

  • Get the following reputations to Exalted: Waveblade Ankoan/Rustbolt Resistance/Storm’s Wake/Champions of Azeroth/Tortollan Seekers/Rajani/Uldum Accord
  • Finish all quests in Drustvar and Stormsong Valley
  • Kill Rakhastan and finish the associated quest
  • Level Blacksmithing to 175
  • Level Cooking to 175
  • Finish miscellaneous quests in my questlog

A lot of goals here. Most of them will come organically via dailies, emissary quests and finishing off zone questing. I put the 8.3 reps there because I will have time to do dailies for them once I finish off Nazjatar and Mechagon. Blacksmithing is currently sitting at 156 and with the Darkmoon Faire starting this weekend I’m sure I can get to 175 in the rest of the month. Cooking is currently sitting around 100/175. I’ll just need to farm the mats a bit more so I can level that up aswell. Other than that it’s just tying up odds and ends.

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Finish Eden
  • Level the following jobs to 80: Machinist/Dark Knight
  • Finish the shared FATEs in Ahm Araeng/The Tempest

A bit more modest goals here. I want to pick up leveling again on my Machinist and then start working on Dark Knight. I also want to finally finish off the shared FATE stuff for Ahm Araeng and The Tempest. Which is perfectly easy to combine with leveling up a class.
Finally I want to finish the second installment of Eden. I’ve done the first wing so there’s only three more to go.

Other Games

  • Finish atleast two chapters per weekend of Final Fantasy 7 Remake. I will be at chapter 13 then by the end of the month. Anything more is a bonus ofcourse.
  • Get 10 villagers on my Animal Crossing island and work towards getting terraforming.

I’m taking my time with both Animal Crossing and the FF7 remake. I’m enjoying both games in a casual way so I don’t feel the need to set more ambitious goals than these to be honest.
So yeah. There you have them. My gaming goals for May. What are your goals this month?

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?