Games

End of Year goals

Mechaspider mount

The weather has turned here in the Netherlands and Summer is officially over. Where last weekend we still had 24-25C degree weather we’ve had a week full of rain wind and cold last week and it seems it will be like this for the forseeable future. We are slowly moving towards the “dark days before Christmas” as we say in Dutch and this has gotten me thinking about what I want to achieve before the year is over. I know we are still three months out but time moves very fast so it’s Christmas and then New Years before you know it. As such this is really my last “chance” to set some more long term goals.

It’s been an odd year for me so far. I’ve moved out into my own home at the end of April, although I began moving at the start of that month, and I’m still trying to find my routines for many things. Adjusting to living alone has gone more smooth than I hoped although sometimes I do miss living with my dad and just the general company of having other people around. At the same time I got a steady contract and, a few weeks ago, a promotion to a more demanding position at the company. This has left me with less energy the past few weeks but I’m slowly getting settled again and I’m not as exhausted anymore as I have been.
Due to this I’ve not really played as many games as I would have liked to this month. When I do my goal post for October you’ll notice that I’ve barely met any goals I set for myself in September, but as the French say “c’est la vie”. With this post though I want to outline my future gaming (and real life) plans untill the end of the year to provide myself with a roadmap for the coming time and something to look to when I’m in an indecisive mood.
So without further ado, let’s set up my End of Year Goals!

Final Fantasy XIV
I’ve actually not spend as much time in FFXIV as I hoped this month. I’ve barely leveled anything except maybe Culinarian and a bit of Monk. Last year I had a massive race against the clock to get as many classes to level 70 before the New Year. This year I’m actually not setting the bar as high. These are my plans for FFXIV untill the end of year.

  • Level Monk, Samurai, Dragoon and Ninja to 80 and complete associated Job quests
  • Level Blacksmith, Leatherworker and Armorsmith to level 70 via Beast Tribe quests.
  • Level Fisher to 80
  • Complete the White Mage Animus step for the ARR relic
  • Clear Innocence Ex and maybe farm for mount from both that and Titania Ex
  • Clear out remaining quests from my log

I think all of this should be doable in three months time. All the battle classes I’m describing are level 70. I’ve chosen to just level up the Melee group next because I already started Monk and I would be doing Samurai next any way. I might aswell get Dragoon and Ninja out of the way then aswell and close that part of leveling. After that I only have the ranged jobs and tanks left. I’m currently nudging Blacksmith through the Ixali dailies while my Culinarian is about to enter Namazu territory. If I just keep doing Ixali dailies on the regular I don’t see how I wouldn’t be able to get my three remaining crafters through this part and into the easier zones that are Moogle and Namazu dailies. As far as Fisher goes.. It’s sitting at level 48 and is the only gathering class not at max level. I just have to sit down and get to it.
The rest of the goals aren’t that big. I’m already doing Animus books on my White Mage. I don’t think I will have much issues clearing Innocence Ex when I just sit down and find a group to do so. I have a few outstanding quests that I want to tackle, and a ton of sidequests still left in Shadowbringers. Ideally I want to just get them all out of the way so my maps don’t have any quests left on them.

World of Warcraft (Classic and Retail)
With Classic launching a few weeks ago and me going back into Retail a while back WoW is fully on my radar again. I foresee myself spending time in Classic mostly during the weekends when I feel like it and more time in Retail because there is specific stuff I actually want to get done there. Here are my end of year goals for the World of Warcraft!

  • Get a character to atleast level 40 in Classic
  • Do all the raids/dungeons I’ve not yet done in Retail, this being the Battle of Dazar’Alor, Mechagon, The Eternal Palace and Crucible of Storms
  • Level my Warrior to 120 in Retail
  • Level my Void Elf Hunter to 120 in Retail
  • Finish all the Rare killing and Treasure achievements in BfA
  • Get Exalted with Mechagon and the Nazjatar faction

In Retail my main focus will be catching up with content. Even though I’ve done the War Campaign I’ve actually not touched a single raid after clearing Uldir. I really want to do the raids just so I can see the fights and cutscenes I’ve missed. I will also be able to clear those quests from my questlog (yay) and feel like I’ve truly caught up. I’m also still needing to do Mechagon as a dungeon so I can finish off that questchain.
After that I want to turn my attention to leveling some characters. My poor Warrior has been glossed over for this expansion and she needs some love. I also want to unlock the Void Elf heritage gear so that means I should pick up my Hunter again and level her up. Other than that I want to chase some achievements and work on reputations.
On the Classic side of the coin I want to get atleast one of my characters to level 40. This is basically the mount level and it would be awesome to get there. Why not push for level 60? Maybe I will but for now I’m just not feeling Classic that much and I can only take it in small amounts or whenever the mood to play it strikes me.

Other Games

Of course I don’t want to spend all my time in just FFXIV and WoW. There’s other game to play that deserve playtime aswell. I’m still determined to get through my backlog aswell so I want to focus on single player games next to my standard two MMO’s.

  • The big goal here is that I want to have finished 3 games before the end of year. These don’t have to be epic big games like Persona 5 but I would like to be able to scratch stuff off my backlog. If I’m able to tackle more than that fine but the minimum is three. This tallies down to one game per month. Right now the first game on that list is Link’s Awakening which I’m currently invested in. Another game will be Pokémon Sword since I’ve already have that on preorder and it’s a game that I’ve been actually excited for. The third game is undecided as of now but I’m looking at something to play on my WiiU since that has been my most neglected console and it deserves some love.
  • Guild Wars 2. I’ve logged it occasionally the past few weeks, mostly to get a ton of anniversary gifts on my older characters. Some have been around for 6 years already and if I didn’t go on a delete spree a long time ago I would’ve had an original old character aswell. Oh well. I’ve been logging my Ranger again since it’s the class that I enjoy playing the most. She’s somewhere inbetween level 25 and 30 and my biggest goal is to just start getting through zones and getting some levels. Maybe do a dungeon. But atleast make some sort of progress.

Offline Goals

Next to gaming stuff there’s a few offline goals I want to work on aswell. These mostly pertain to my physical health but I also want to get out of the house more. I need to be around people more than I am now and I just want to experience new things in general. So these are things I want to work on or get a start in before the end of the year.

  • Visit my cousins in their new homes. We’ve been semi close growing up but ever since we’ve gotten to adulthood we’ve drifted apart. I want to visit all three of them and just have a nice day to look back on.
  • Go to a city I’ve not visited before. Dutch infrastructure is great and it’s easy to get everywhere by train. I want to visit a city in the Netherlands where I’ve never been before and walk around and take pictures and have a nice day.
  • Set up a healthy sleep schedule. It’s still all over the place. I know that I will feel much better when I just get enough sleep so that’s quite high on my priority list.
  • Set up and maintain a gym schedule. I’ve recently bought new sports bra’s and sports clothes in general. Now it’s just to get my ass to the gym itself. I’m a candidate for breast reduction surgery that gets fully or mostly covered by my insurance but one of the stipulations is that I lose some weight since I’m currently on a BMI of 32 which is 2 points above what I need to be to qualify for surgery. In reality this means that I need to lose around 7kg atleast to get to that point. That will be my starting goal weight and I will see from there.
  • Finish decorating my house. There’s a few things that still need to be done and most of it is hanging up shelves and a coat rack. I want to get this done sooner rather than later.

So there you have it. My end of year goals. I will try my best to actually get most of them, if not all of them, done. It’s a nice roadmap for me to look at when I’m a bit lost and it helps me move forward. For now though it’s time for some Timewalking.

Ubisoft Summer Camp 2019 Dutch edition!

A few weeks ago one of my best friends took part in a Facebook giveaway to win entrance to the Ubisoft Summer Camp 2019 at the Dutch Ubisoft offices. To both our surprises he won and I was the lucky +1. So last Tuesday we made the journey towards the Ubisoft offices that were located near Utrecht.
I left work early because it started at 18.00 with a walk-in from 17.30. After traveling for a bit and searching an industrial area we managed to locate the building where Ubisoft was located. Due to the Dutch division being relatively small they had a small office space. Something we like to call “drie hoog achter” in Dutch to signify the relatively small and well hidden location of said office space. Then again, no development takes place at the Dutch offices. It’s really just customer service and social media management so you can’t really expect a full building like their HQ in France.

We were greeted by a few Ubisoft employees and entered what could only be their break room. They had setup about 15 PC’s and various Playstations, a stocked fridge with tons of drinks, a popcorn and cotton candy machine and enough chairs for everyone to sit on. As people were slowly trickling in we were told the purpose of the evening. Basically we got to sample a number of games that hadn’t come out yet, we were going to have a small competition, lots of pizza and just gaming fun in general.

The competition opened with a 20 questions quiz about Ubisoft related things, me and my friend ended 7th place, playing Trials Rising and playing a Trackmania Turbo track. Eventually two younger boys won the grand prize and they were really happy with it. As for the games they had on offer… We played some Trackmania, some Trials Rising and some Roller Champions which is probably going to be Ubi’s counterpart to Rocket League. I’m not gonna delve too much into detail about this game because they were pretty strict with us not being allowed to make recordings and stuff. In essence it’s a 3v3 game where you’re on rollerblades in an arena and it involves scoring points. That’s all you’ll get out of me.

All in all me and my friend had a nice evening. The Ubi employees were nice. We met up with all kinds of people who enjoy games aswell. We got to play some games, we had pizza and we ended up going home with a goodiebag. I’m not a huge Ubisoft fan, most of their IPs don’t really speak to me, but they are one of the nicer companies here in the Netherlands when it comes to social media presence so it was really nice to spend an evening there. They had nice decorations up with Rayman greeting all visitors that entered the 3rd floor where they were located. You could see that all the people who work there were passionate about what they do and it rubs off on the guests. It was a good evening out and I’d do it again next year, even if it means it will take me two hours to get home again (in Dutch standards this is a lot since you can basically get out of the country in 2 hours).

Finally a small FFXIV update. My Black Mage hit level 80 last Monday. I’m going to retire that for the rest of the expansion, I really don’t get along with the job, and this weekend I will start leveling Red Mage. After that I should be done and have the title “Soul of Magic”.

A hot mess

Today is the final day of the heatwave we’ve been dealing with here in the Netherlands (and a big part of Europe). It’s really weird how our country is divided in two at the moment with the south having enormous thunderstorms and rain and a 21 degrees Celsius average and the northern part sunshine and still 29 degrees average during the day. But now it’s finally dropped to a nice cool 22 degrees here aswell so now I just need to wait for the temperature in my house to go down as well (currently still sitting around 27 degrees).
All this heat has seriously fucked up our sleep schedules here so I wasn’t too surprised to be falling asleep after my guests left and only waking up about two hours later. I’m still kind of groggy as I’m writing this and I’ve skipped dinner altogether because I just couldn’t be arsed with cooking but atleast I’m no longer sweating when I move my big toe so there’s that.

I can’t believe it’s almost August. It feels like the month of July has flown by faster than any other month so far, even with two weeks off in the middle of the worst heatwave we’ve ever seen here. And people still claim climate change isn’t real. Unfortunately due to this silly heat I’ve not really been able to do much of anything that I wanted to. I’ve been mostly hanging out on my couch, watching a lot of Netflix and trying not to melt into a puddle of oblivion. On the plus side this has allowed me to finally finish Lucifer season 3 and 4 and I’ve started watching “The Good Place’ which so far is a hilarious show. I’ve also spent a bit more time using my 3DS and playing Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call, seeing as it wouldn’t heat up house as much as using my PS4 or PC would. But mostly I’ve just been listlessly sitting on my couch and lying on bed hoping for the heat to go away.

Next week I’m going back to work and with that I also hope to go back to a more normal routine. I want to make sure that I’m getting back to a healthy sleep schedule and that I’m setting myself to a healthy eating schedule aswell. I may not be perfect with what I eat but I want to eat at steady times and not have snacks after dinner anymore. I’m also going to plan my gametime again seeing as how I’m done with most of the FFXIV rush of the expansion and I’m back to simply leveling all my jobs/classes again. This means I can spend less time on there and more time playing other games like FFVIII which I’m going to use for Blaugust and I may want to poke my head back into WoW and GW2 again aswell. I might even pick up Spiderman on my PS4 again now that it’s cooled down since I really enjoyed the game before FFXIV launched.

All of this should lead to me having more than enough to write about during Blaugust, I just need to get myself to sit down and write… Which I’m going to put into my daily planning.

A small vacation update

Seeing as how I’ve been hosting a friend for the past week I’ve not really felt like blogging. But I’m going to do it now anyhow since I want to give a small update on my progress in FFXIV.

First off I’ve finished leveling my Summoner/Scholar and have picked up Astrologian next, which is already sitting at level 76 aswell. Just doing roulettes for this one since the damage output on AST is horrible and because of that doing hunts and FATEs is just really time consuming. It’s still more fun to play than Scholar though, especially now that I’ve kind of figured out the new card mechanics.
I think I’m going to start leveling Monk next where I can do some sidequests and FATEs inbetween waiting for queues to pop. This also means I can pick up another class quest since I did the Caster one with Summoner. I can’t wait to see what the melee/ranged dps quests look like! I’m also planning to tackle Innocence Ex before my vacation comes to an end, since it’s the only endgame content I haven’t cleared yet. I did Eden the day it came out and really enjoyed the fights and the new loot mechanics.. I even won the pet from the last boss!

On the Crafter front my Goldsmith has hit level 70 (and almost 71 after finishing off all of the job quests) and my Alchemist is now firmly in Namazu dailies territory at level 61. This means I can start working on my Culinarian again and drag it through the Ixal dailies next. That’s currently sitting at level 33 by the way so I still have quite a decent way to go. I still have a goal to get all my crafters to atleast level 70 since that’s easily obtainable with the beast tribe dailies and the grand company turn-ins. Once I hit 70 on all though I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next. Maybe level them up to 80 via levequests or maybe wait untill the level 80 crafting beast tribe comes out…

On the Gathering front both my Botanist and Miner are level 76. The Crystarium hand-ins combined with the easiness of the levequests have made levelling these classes a walk in the park. I firmly believe that I can get both of them to 80 by the time the weekend rolls around since my friend will leave tomorrow so I will have more time to play. Then the only Gathering class that is behind is Fisher. I’m not really sure if I want to spend time leveling that one up yet. It’s sitting at level 48 now though so I may want to push it up to 50 and see from there.

On non FFXIV related news: I’ve bought Taiko no Tatsujin during the Nintendo E-shop sale. I love rhythm games and even though I don’t have the proper drums to play it’s still a blast so I think I’ll be spending a bit of my off time on that. I’m really tempted to pick up the Persona 3 and Persona 5 dancing games off the Playstation summer sale aswell… I still have about two days to decide on that though.

Still kicking around

It feels a bit weird, typing this post on my tablet. I just want to get a quick one out though to let you all know that I am still alive and breathing.
I have been extremely busy with moving house and I can say that I have finally moved over past Sunday. Yesterday internet and tv have been installed so I can finally access some stuff again.
I haven’t had time to game that much unfortunately but I have two weeks off right now so I am investing some time in my backlog. I have picked up kingdom hearts 3 again and advanced to Monstropolis. I have tackled more levels in Yoshi’s Crafted World. I’m also working on stuff in FFXIV again but I will save that for a future post.
In any case I’m back on the gaming grid and I hope I can start writing more blog posts again.

Feeling Detached

I’ve started writing this post multiple times, inside and outside of my mind multiple times. I find it difficult to talk about personal stuff on a gaming blog but it’s my blog and therefore also my choice. I guess talking about why I’m not gaming is also a gaming post right?
Anyway. I’ve been struggling at work a lot the past few months. Ever since we had a reorganization our department has been a mess. Now, about 4-5 months later, people are finally finding their way and calming down a bit but the damage has already been done. Due to the reorganization I suddenly saw my workload skyrocket. Not only did I became responsible for more categories I also suddenly got dragged into way more meetings and projects. Out of my five days of work per week, 2 or 3 were usually comprised of meeting after meeting making it so that my work suffered. I felt like I was constantly not getting done and pushing things off till the next day and I would go home stressed and completely exhausted. The only thing I was holding onto was the fact that I’m moving in April and had requested three weeks off to make that go smoothly and so that I could enjoy my new house in peace. Two weeks ago I got told my request had been denied and instead I would only get one week off… It was my breaking point. I was already exhausted that day, I’d been thinking of calling in sick to work every day that week and something inside me just snapped. I broke down in tears and just couldn’t stop crying. Fortunately for me I have the best colleagues who immediatly came to talk to me and calm me down and gave me time to explain what’s going on. Eventually we worked out that I was simply overworked and teetering on the edge of a burnout. I have since delegated my tasks to a few coworkers and focused on the stuff that really needed to be done. My meetings have been cut down and I feel like I can sort of breathe again even though I’m still seriously exhausted.

In extension of this I’ve felt extremely disconnected from my personal life. I didn’t (and still don’t really) have the energy to do anything as I got home after work. I would just lie on bed playing a silly colour by number app on my phone or reading other people’s blogs or just fall asleep outright. The same was true for the time period after dinner where I would be lying on bed feeling exhausted and sleep or watch an episode of a show on Netflix while battling sleep. All of this has caused me to feel completely detached from gaming in general. I’ve been logging into WoW here and there because it’s comfortable and familiar but otherwise I’ve not been interested in starting up a game at all. I’ve not really touched FFXIV at all except to do the Valentione event. I’ve barely even looked at my Switch and my Playstation. It’s all fallen into “meh, I can’t be arsed” category the last few weeks. Which sucks. Even on the weekend I find myself mostly wanting to sleep and not do anything. It’s really impacted my plans for this month gaming wise and I’m not sure when this state of mind will let up.
On moments like these I can be very jealous of Belghast and Syp who seem to enjoy their hobbies even when life looks a bit more stressful than normal. For me it feels like it’s the first thing I’m dropping when I feel bad and the last thing I can really get back into when I start feeling better again. It doesn’t really help that I need to arrange a ton of stuff for my move still and that’s occupying my mind aswell.

All in all I feel very detached from my normal routines. I log into games only to log out a few minutes later again. I reinstalled Steam, hoping that maybe playing a game on there would help me get back into the groove but I just stared at my library for a solid fifteen minutes and then realized there’s nothing there that I want to be playing. I just don’t really want to think about picking up a new game and learning to play right now yet I also feel like I need to do something to get out of this rut. My brain just feels overexhausted and I’m not sure where to go from here. If I can’t even enjoy my games… I’m not sure how much deeper I can sink away into this gaping maw that is exhaustion and burnout.

Enjoying the casual

One of the best things I’ve done so far is stop being commited to a steady raiding crew or group in World of Warcraft and/or Final Fantasy XIV. Although I really enjoyed raiding a lot, and still do up to a point, I just can’t really set aside multiple nights a week for it anymore. When I come home from work I want to be able to sit down and relax, not rush my dinner and showers because a group of 7 or more people are waiting for me to show up. I guess it comes with being an adult and having a fulltime job. I guess it also comes with having raided on and off since 2008 and at some point you’ve kind of seen it all. Even though the developers think of new and interesting mechanics every raid boils down to the same thing: don’t die and make sure you get the boss’ health to 0. And then pray for loot. It’s a gameplay loop that I’m not really interested in anymore. I rather see a raid for the story once and then move on.

Not commiting to raiding has allowed me to enjoy my evenings my own way and has allowed me to take up other projects like leveling all my battle jobs to 70 in FFXIV or chasing after all the Mage Towers in WoW a year ago. Content I enjoyed way more than the raids of Legion. Not being committed has also made me feel less guilty for not logging into games. No one is pressuring me to stay on top of gearing, I don’t have to keep playing to not get sloppy on my classes. I don’t have to log on constantly to stay on the curve. If I don’t want to log on I don’t. If I do log on and decide to spend my time just running around leveling an alt then that’s fine aswell. I have no expectations from others, only the ones that I put on myself.

Not pushing myself to participate in the gearing/raiding loop also exposes how much stuff there is actually to do in an MMO. There are various collections to attend to like mounts, minions and glamour/transmog gear. There’s achievements to be had that come from all types of content. On WoW for instance while I was leveling I made it my mission to complete the “Kill all rares” achievement for zones, or atleast get as close as I possibly can. In FFXIV there’s achievements for logging/mining/fishing X amount of times in a zone. There’s achievements to craft all items available for a given profession. There’s sightseeing, PvP, FATE’s and more. I could choose to lose an hour of my time logging into all my high level characters in WoW and just kill Onyxia over and over again untill she drops her mount, which is the last one I’m missing for an achievement. I could head back to old raids alone or with a friend to get gear for transmogging or to just get achievements and mounts that I’ve missed over time. I could farm ponies, birds and dogs in FFXIV or I could pursue the Big Game Fishing quests and related achievements. All of this these things are obviously designed to make you log back in again and again. When I was raiding that was the thing that kept me coming back and now it’s all the other stuff I can do.

Next to opening up MMO content I’m also free to just drop my MMO’s altogether when a game like Kingdom Hearts 3 comes out and play that instead. There’s more time for other (single player) games, there’s more time for shows and books and other hobbies. I don’t have to stay up until X time because the raid isn’t over yet. I can keep my own sleep schedule going and decide for myself if I’m going to call it an early night or not. All because I choose to be commitment free when it comes to games. All because I choose to be a “filthy casual” as some people would say. Do I miss raiding? Do I miss interacting with a group of people on a regular basis? The answer to both of those swings between absolutely and not at all. Do I feel bad for giving it up? Never. I’m going to stay casual for as long as I want to and enjoy time the way I want to spend it.

A final note. The screenshot at the start of my post doesn’t begin to do justice to the gorgeous game that is Kingdom Hearts 3. But it’s pretty nonetheless so I felt the need to share it here.

Almost done

This screenshot basically means the end of the level 50-60 journey for Samurai. As of right now I’m sitting at level 63 so I hope to be done with my big level journey by next weekend. Samurai is finally starting to click as I level up, so I’m having way more fun already. This also means I will have all my battle jobs to level 70 then and I can breathe easier untill the next expansion drops somewhere (probably) in June. It also means that I have been able to rid my bags of most of my leveling gear with only a few 60-70 Striking pieces remaining. It’s going to be so satisfying to go down to only seven gear sets in my bag total instead of the scattering of gear that I’ve been holding on to all this time. All things said and done the end of this project is in sight and then it’s time for me to focus on other aspects of the game and other games aswell.

As of right now I spend most of my evenings running every roulette possible, doing beast tribe dailies and working my way through the daily hunting logs just to push up my alt jobs to 70 as fast as possible. This usually takes about 2-3 hours of my evening meaning I rarely have time to play or do something else. When I finally reach that final job to 70 I’m going to dial back on FFXIV a lot. The plan is to log in and get capped on tomes throughout the week on my White Mage so I can continue the story and level up the itemlevel on that job. I want to finish up all the sidequests that I missed aswell but I’m going to turn that into a weekend-only type of engagement because then I just simply have more time. As for the leveling… Now that I’ll be done with battle jobs I’m probably going to turn my attention to my crafters. I don’t want to put in tons and tons of effort there so it will boil down to just doing beast tribe dailies every day. I see a lot of Ixali quests in my immediate future. I may do some Grand Company deliveries when I feel like it but for now it’s just going to be dailies all the way. With this I’m hoping to cut down my FFXIV times to around 45 mins to 1 hour a day at most. This leaves me with a ton of room to focus on other games and with Kingdom Hearts 3 dropping next week I think it’s the perfect time to focus on that in February.

I’ve been finding my way back into Azeroth, spurred on by reconnecting with some online friends and some IRL friends jumping back into the game. For now I’m keeping it very casual, just playing an hour here and there. I’m character hopping a lot and am currently bouncing back and forth between leveling my Nightborne Mage (77) my Void Elf Hunter (25) and my Alliance Demon Hunter (101). I have a vague idea of what I want to do in the game and leveling Allied races is a part of it. It’s just really nice to be able to log on, play for an hour or so and log off again. There’s no pressure and there’s people to talk to so that’s always nice. In that hour I can fit in a dungeon and some casual leveling in zones I enjoy. I’ve gone to Sholazar Basin on my Mage and am now roaming around in Nagrand in the hopes of getting to 80 in the next week or so. That will enable me to jump to Mount Hyjal and from there probably one of the Pandaria zones although I enjoy Deepholm aswell. All this leveling just to unlock the Heritage Armour and the accompanying achievement. And all only as long as I’m enjoying myself.

As for the rest.. I’m currently so focused on just pushing through in FFXIV that I’ve sadly not really felt like playing anything else. I pushed through the sixth gym in Pokémon LetsGO a while ago and need to go back and beat a ton of trainers but haven’t really done that yet. I haven’t even touched the second Spyro game unfortunately and I don’t think I will this month because I’m going to be too busy losing myself in KH3 in a week. So even though I’m happy with the major progress I’ve made in FFXIV, I’ve kind of ignored the other games that were on my “to play” list this month. I hope I can spend a bit more time in Pokémon letsGO over the weekend as I finish off leveling Samurai though and see how far I’ll get.

Fatigued

Winnie the Pooh in Stormsong Valley!

I like this picture. I like that Blizzard put Winnie the Pooh into their game with all his friends. Its one of the many easter eggs of Battle for Azeroth. But it’s not my topic for today. Rather I’d want to talk about fatigue on multiple fronts. A type of fatigue I’ve been noticing a lot lately and which I want to talk about to get it off my chest.

The past three years I’ve been working for a big Dutch retail company at their headquarters. I started out as a simple Data Entry employee and most of my days were literally entering Data from paper into a system. Along the way my role shifted to less entry work and more organizing work. Yet the 8 hour screen days stayed. Right now I’m in a role where I am a direct link between a part of the commerce department and the data management department. Even though my screentime has been reduced a bit and has been replaced by meetings I still feel like I’m a slave to the machine so I try to take a lot of breaks away from staring at a screen all day.
The funny thing is though that as gamer when I come home from staring at a screen for approximately 8 hours each day I then spend my evening staring at a screen again. And this is causing me some fatigue issues. I just can’t bring myself to spend so much time infront of screens anymore. I’m trying to stay away from any and all screens the moment I get onto the train home untill after dinner. This means my eyes and my brain can rest a bit and I actually do take that time, which is about 1-1.5 hours to lay down and rest. I feel like I need to reset and restore my energy for the rest of the evening like that and if I don’t I notice that I get headaches and sleep worse at night.

This fatigue is also causing me to start to dislike gaming in general. I just can’t seem to bring myself to play anything on certain days, mostly because my brain subconciously steers me away from the screens. There is a screen overload, especially when you factor in smartphones and tablets, and I’m pretty sure as human I’m not supposed to treat my body or my eyes the way I do it now. I’m lucky that I don’t have to wear glasses yet and that I know when to take breaks away from sitting down too long or in a wrong position. I’ve never experienced RSI or any discomfort in my shoulders or neck due to sitting the wrong way. But I do experience fatigue and tiredness when it comes to screens and instead of powering through it I think I need to learn when to step away and do something else. I’m trying to start a workout routine where I just spend time at the gym or at home doing some light workout for about an hour. It’s a nice way to empty the mind and to not put strain on the eyes while also keeping my body used and it’s most definitely better for me than sitting on my butt 24/7.

Does this mean that I’m going to give up gaming completely on some nights? Maybe I will. I’m not really sure about that yet, maybe I’ll restrict myself to only playing for an hour. Maybe by the time I finish my workout I’m so tired that I just want to take a shower and go straight to bed. I’ve done this before where I’d go to the gym and get home around 21.00, take a shower and something to drink and then just head straight to bed. Other nights I’d have a bit more energy and I would game for an hour or so before giving up and closing down shop for the evening. When I did this though I felt less fatigue when it came to staring at screens but also less fatigued when it came to gaming itself. I wonder if I get back to that routine I will have more joy from gaming aswell. I guess we’ll see in the near future. For now though I will probably spend one of two evenings less on a game filled night and more on recharging my batteries and making sure I don’t ruin my body and my eyes too much.

Blaugust Topic: Getting to know me!

In the spirit of Blaugust’s “Getting to know me” week I guess I could write another more personal post. I talk about personal stuff on this blog from time to time and it always feels a bit weird to tell your “life story” as it were to complete strangers online.

I mentioned earlier that I got my first gaming console, a Sega Genesis, when I was around the age of 6 and my first handheld around the age of 9. I never really was a big gamer growing up though. I was the outdoors girl that was always playing outside with my childhood best friend and her little brother. We grew up in an amazing small urban area with lots of green and lots of places to hang out as kids. We had trees and structures we could climb. There were parks with playgrounds nearby and we had mothers who didn’t work fulltime and thus could take us to indoor playgrounds or the forest to play. It was mostly a carefree time and the only time I really played my games was during the evenings when I couldn’t go out to play or when it was really really bad weather outside. 
At some point my bestie got a Playstation one and we would alternate between my and her house when it was bad weather and just play whatever console (or handheld) was available to us.

Around the end of elementary school I got my own computer and I slowly got into PC gaming as result. My very own computer was really a hand-me-down from my dad but I could play games on it that I loved so I was happy. Back then I really enjoyed the A2-Racer and Redcat games, both published by Davilex, a Dutch gaming studio. Google the titles and be amazed!
After that I slowly rolled into Rollercoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon and then ultimately the Sims. I was blissfully unaware of online games and I didn’t spend that much time playing games at all. I remember getting myself a Playstation 2 near the end of it’s cycle and a Nintendo DS a bit before that. Even though my DS saw a lot of game time, with Pokémon Black taking the cake with most hours played, my Playstation 2 never saw the love it deserved. I still have it together with a pile of games that I always inteded to play but alas. Maybe somewhere in the future I’ll find the time for it.

When I was around 17-18 I was introduced to World of Warcraft by my then boyfriend. I found it a fascinating game. It looked amazing, the world was huge, I could make and customize my own character and I was hooked on it from the first minute. I’m still hooked on it today. WoW has been the high and lowlight of my life. I’ve made friends through that game, even boyfriends, and lost people aswell. As I grew older I kept upgrading atleast my handheld. I still own multiple 3DS today (and 2DS). I also jumped on the Playstation 4 wagon fairly early on and I have gotten some decent gameplay out of that. I picked up a WiiU two years ago and have picked up a Switch last year.
 
I only now realize that I’ve put myself in a bit of a pickle where I just own too many consoles and too many games to really be able to enjoy them. The simple times where I only owned one thing are gone and making decisions on what to play become harder every day. This also has led me to try out multiple MMO’s over the years. Guild Wars 2, Wildstar, SWToR, the Secret World and FFXIV all passed the revue. Only the latter stuck. And even now I find it hard to maintain my presence in both WoW and FFXIV even though if I plan it right I should be easily able to play both. And that’s not even factoring all my single player games in. It’s probably a struggle that will never end for me and I hope that I someday find out how to handle my time better than I do now. And if I don’t well.. We’ll see.