Leveling

Warriors and Spyro

Character shot lvl 60 WAR quest

Progress, progress, progress! Hello again!
I’ve been quiet over the past week, I know, so I figured since it’s now Sunday, and I actually have time to sit down and post, I’d give you all an update about what I’ve been busy with throughout the week.

The above screenshot was taking during the cutscene of the level 60 Warrior quest. I will admit I have been less active on FFXIV the past week and the reason will be given below in a few minutes. However I have been slowly chipping away at my Warrior levels and have landed in the 60-70 territory which means I can pick up Beast Tribe dailies again and Hunts. It also means I have been enriched with a ton of new cool abilities, including Deliverance Stance, and that I can finally wear the set of Shire gear which I’ve purchased specifically for the leveling process.
I’ve been enjoying the tanking on Warrior even though I’m not that good at switching stances yet. I know the whole gimmick of Warrior is to get aggro in Defiance stance and then switch to Deliverance and start dishing out a ton of damage yourself in 4 man dungeons. The damage Warrior actually does is quite surreal for a tank and I’m probably going into full Offtank mode when I get level 60 Alliance roulettes or level 60+ trials. It’s just fun, and satisfying, to see those high numbers while swinging an oversized axe around. Luckily for me I’ve not had to do this leveling process alone, I have a few friends who are slowly coming back to FFXIV and I’m bantering with them on Discord as we run our roulettes. All in all I’m quite happy with the progress I’ve been making thus far and I hope to have my Warrior at level 70 by next weekend.

Spyro in Gnasty's loot room

Now onto the real reason I’ve not been playing FFXIV that much.
Last weekend I bought the Spyro Reignited trilogy on a whim. I never had a Playstation myself when I was a kid, my parents bought me a Sega Megadrive (Genesis in the US) that I to this day still adore. However my best friend and her little brother got a modified Playstation as combined birthday gift. I say modified because it had been chipped to be able to play copied game discs meaning that their parents wouldn’t have to pay full price for the games they wanted to play. A lot of my good memories of rainy days come from either playing with her on our attic on the Sega or us playing Playstation games in her brother’s room. This is where I got introduced to Spyro, Crash Bandicoot and Tekken among other games. And although the memories of the original Spyro are kind of vague I knew I wanted to play the HD remakes to see if I could capture that nostalgia and to see if the remakes were any good.

Well I can confidently say that the purchase hasn’t been a waste since I’ve managed to completely finish the first game in the trilogy within a week. According to my save file I’m around 10 hours played after finishing everything there was to do in the game. I’ve beaten the game 120%, the extra 20% being the Gnasty’s Loot Cove level where I took the above picture. I’ve obtained every single Playstation Trophy that was attached to this game, leading to my very first Platinum trophy. Finally I managed to knock out obtaining all the Skill Points and thus unlocking an extra art gallery with a ton of pictures of concept art for the various dragons and other creatures you come across in the first game.

All in all I’ve had a ton of fun playing Spyro. The first game doesn’t have learned skills like the later games do and also have a lot less in the way of guidance the later games do but that makes it even more enjoyable to play. Apparently you can toggle a minimap while playing which, as you can see, I never had on. I wanted to explore all the levels on my own and when push came to shove I’d look up the final thing(s) I missed on Youtube. It was a heavy 90’s nostalgia blast and I’m happy I picked up the games even if it goes against my self-imposed rule of not buying any new games untill I’ve atleast finished some of my existing backlog.

I’ve already started the second game in the trilogy after finishing the first and I hope that I’ll enjoy that one just as much as I did this one but I’ll see once I’m a bit further into the game. So far I’m enjoying myself there aswell, even though the game is a bit more hand-holding than the first one. I already hate having to buy skills with gems though, then again it gives the gems a purpose besides just “collecting”.

As positive as my gaming week has been I’m unfortunately not this happy in real life. Work is being an absolute disaster. I’m in a team of three although it’s basically two and a half because one of the three only works for three days a week due to being a new mom and cutting down her hours, which is totally understandable. However my other colleague has taken three weeks off to move house and basically on Thursdays and Fridays I’m the only one around from my team. Which means everything ends up in my inbox/on my plate. It’s been a struggle to handle this and it’s basically made me come home completely broken on those two days. Add to that the fact that I’m having some issues with dinner and stomach pains and it’s not been a very fun week. Unfortunately for me this situation will last for two more weeks so I’ll just have to grit my teeth and get through. If this means less time for games and other hobbies and more time for sleeping and making sure I feel well then so be it. It will also probably mean my next post won’t be untill the weekend again because frankly I’m just too tired to sit down and write during the evenings.

Step by Step: Leveling in FFXIV

Lights in FFXIV

I’ve been updating you all with my progress in FFXIV leveling and how I feel like I’m still fairly on track to meeting my end of year goal, which is getting all battle jobs to level 70. Today however I want to take the time to talk about how I’m going about this whole leveling process, how much time it’s costing me and how I’m preventing myself to get the dreaded MMO burnout from playing the same MMO for an extended amount of time.

Main goal and sub goals 
I like to come into an MMO with a general idea of what I want to achieve in a longer amount of time. When the WoW expansion launched it was level to level cap on both Horde and Alliance and experience all the lore before starting the endgame gear grind. In FFXIV I’ve made my goal pretty clear: level all battle jobs to 70 before the end of year. This is my main goal and it’s a goal that takes up a sufficient amount of time and is something I’d like to see as a “bigger picture” to work towards.
The reasons for having this goal are fairly simple, I like to get rid of the clutter of gear in my bags that I have lying around for various levels and classes. I’m a rather tidy person so I’d like my ingame inventories to be as clean as my room. This will help me achieve that. On top of that I’m a completionist. I’ve always been a collector and achievement hunter on WoW. I like to 100% my games when I can and don’t really like it when stuff is “unfinished”. Getting all my battle jobs to 70 scratches this itch enormously, enough so that I’m realistically willing and able to commit to this endeavour.

Obviously this goal is rather big. At the time I committed to this goal I had 7 jobs to level to max level still. To break things up FFXIV actually made it easy for me: level one job at a time. On my own initiative I’ve made a planning on how to tackle the jobs and in what order and how long it would take me to level each job to 70. This made my sub goals more realistic to tackle. On average the journey from 60-70 takes about a week and 50-70 takes twice as long, unless you spend hours grinding which I don’t do, making it so that I’m never more than two weeks focused on the same job to level. Because there is a decent amount of variety in playstyles this keeps me engaged and curious as to how every new job plays and it breaks the mold of doing the same activities every day to level up to begin with.

Planning and preventing burnout
After establishing my main goal and my sub goals I just started to level with no real plan on how to tackle all of this. Because of that I spent a lot of time in FFXIV focused on leveling and grinding and I noticed the MMO burn creeping on me when I was about halfway with leveling my Paladin. Once I realised this I also realised that I needed to tackle this endeavour a bit differently than I was doing. I didn’t want to spend all my free time on FFXIV, especially during weekdays, so I needed to figure out what the most optimal leveling route was for weekdays and weekends where I’d have a bit more time.
Eventually I settled on the following schedule:
Mon/Fri evening I will do Level, Trial and Alliance roulette. These three roulettes should on average be enough to get a level in from 50-60 and almost a level from 60-70.
If my character is in the 60-70 range I will tack on the beast tribe dailies from the Ananta and the Turtle people because they are definitely worth doing and only take about 10 mins each.
Sat/Sun I have more time to spend and thus next to the weekday routine I also tackle the Main Scenario and 50-60 roulette. I try to also do the hunt bills that are level appropriate for a little extra boost to my levels and to save up Centurio Seals which I can in turn use to gear up my characters when they hit max level where necessary.
When I have a little extra time, and motivation to do so, I throw an odd PotD/HoH in the mix. Often I do this to get that last bit of experience in I need to level up, sometimes just because I feel like grinding it for a longer time.

Sticking to this schedule has done wonders for my free time. During weekdays I’m never online for more than 1.5hours on weekdays and still make progress without feeling burnt out. It has freed up time for me to play other games, like Pokémon LetsGO, and to get back to reading. Due to it’s constant nature it has become a source of relaxation for me, except when I get Susano for trial roulette because seriously fuck that, and a gaming session I look forward to every day I can play.
Having discovered this approach for my MMO’s I’m much more relaxed when it comes to my single player games. There I just want to enjoy the story and not really set goals for myself, so if I play for 30 mins it’s fine but if I lose myself in the game and play for two hours it’s fine aswell. Having this structure has brought an overwhelming amount of rest in my head on my days off and has hightened my enjoyment of all the things I undertake because I’m more relaxed and focused in general.

I really hope I can use this strategy to tackle more areas in my life but for now I’m happy to just use it for my MMO’s and other hobbies. Who knows… I may actually grow up to be a functional adult after all.

Paladin level 70!

Paladin after 70 quest

Today marks the day that I finally have the holy trinity of MMO’s (tank, healer dps) at max level in FFXIV. My Paladin dinged level 70 about 30 minutes ago and immediatly I switched to new gear and went ahead with the final quest for Paladins this expansion, which was the grand finale to the prestigious Ul Cup. Of course I won, I am the hero of the story after all.

Doing the level 50-60 and 60-70 experience on Paladin back to back I have to say that I enjoyed the Stormblood quests more than I did the Heavensward. The idea of partaking in a grand tournament for swordsmen (and women) and basically going back to the Gladiator roots you start the class with was nice. The fights were epic and the finale fight even more so. Much better than some scheme to help a young lad find his inner Paladin which included a faked death and a fight to establish the “alpha Paladin”. I’m not sure what kind of drugs the writers were taking when they thought up that particular storyline but I was happy to just breeze through it and not really give it a second thought. Mind you the Heavensward quests weren’t bad, they were just not really interesting to me compared to the Stormblood ones.

It’s the special storylines that every job has that make me love FFXIV a lot as MMO. It feels rewarding to level up every class because you are rewarded with stories that you normally wouldn’t see. This goes for battle and crafting/gathering jobs. They all have their unique stories to tell and enrich the world of Eorzea as whole. Next to that all the stories also make sense for the class you are playing. The Black Mage ones were filled with grandeur and imminent threats. The Paladin ones were filled with swordfighting and finding true callings. As Machinist you play a pivotal role in Ishgard and it’s transition to a more unified people instead of the clear separation between nobility and “lowborn” people. A lot of stories are fuzzy though. Classes that I’ve leveled early on or that have been 50 for ages I don’t really remember very well anymore. Luckily there is the journal that keeps record of all the quests you’ve done so if I want to I can go back and read what the stories for all my jobs have been so far.

All in all I’m in a great leveling mood. With my Paladin reaching 70 I’m now down to 5 battle jobs with Dragoon being next on the list. I can finally go back to flashy gameplay and awesome looking weapons after doing a lot of “123” rotations on my Paladin and before that standing still and casting on my Black Mage. I’m looking forward to covering the next 10 levels aswell as the story Dragoons will get told in Stormblood.

A small update: Black Mage and Paladin

Above you can see a screenshot picturing the finish of the Black Mage campaign. I dinged level 70 on it last weekend and set about tackling the level 70 job quest as fast as I could. It was an interesting journey from level 50 to level 70 with me mostly finding out that I really dislike playing Black Mage and/or that I’m really bad at it. EIther way I’m happy to have tackled this particular job, mostly so I can stripe it off my “to do” list. It also netted me the Goddess of Magic title so there’s that.

With WoW slowly dying down a few friends have come back to play FFXIV with me. This has caused me to deviate from my original plan of leveling my Dragoon after my Black Mage and instead has seen me picking up Paladin to level as next class so I can provide instant queues for the people I’m playing with. I’m actually rather enjoying the class, moreso than I thought I would and it enforces my general idea that tanks have the easiest job in this game. I could just pick up where I left off and even though I felt a bit clunky tanking my first few dungeons I could make mistakes without actually causing the party to wipe. Paladin changes significantly from level 50 onward, changes that are quite welcome for a class that was characterized as “123” class for most of 2.0. They’ve gotten a bit more AoE, a second combo and a few interesting cooldowns down the road. As of writing this post I’m sitting at level 57 and am hoping to achieve atleast level 60+ over the weekend. Some Palace of the Dead spam may be in order for that but honestly I don’t mind running it that much. Roulettes still give a good chunk of experience and I may even dabble in the main scenario roulette again now that I actually have the time to run it.

All in all I’m on schedule to level my remaining battle jobs to 70 before year’s end. I have a few long weekends in November and an entire week off in December to help me speed up this process. With only 6 jobs remaining I can feel the end coming in sight. With that I can finally purge my bags of all remaining sub level 70 gear and start slowly working on gearing up my jobs. I can also turn my attention to my remaining Gathering and Crafting jobs and slowly get them up to max level aswell. All in all my plans for FFXIV are big and I’m spending most of my time during the week playing the game, since there’s not much else to do in the evenings anyway.

End of Year Goals

As October is drawing to an end I find myself back in the world of Eorzea. World of Warcraft is slowly going on the backburner. I raid, I do my Emissaries but that’s it. My interest in the game is at an all time low and I mostly keep playing because of friends. One of whom is quitting at the end of the year himself and the rest are slowly burning out on the game aswell. So as my interest in one MMO wanes the other one waxes. I feel the motivation to level so much that I’ve managed to push my Black Mage from level 60 to level 63 in a single day. I’ve done every single roulette available, did my beast tribe dailies, caught up on all the job quests for Black Mage and dove headfirst into the Hallow’s Eve event.

All in all it feels good to be back in Eorzea. Good enough to set a rather ambitious “end of year” goal for this game. As you may have seen throughout the year I’ve been leveling my classes on and off. Right now I’m only missing seven more battle jobs at level 70, six of which are melee/tanks and one caster (the Black Mage in question). My goal for the end of the year is to have all of them at level 70 so that I can finally get rid of any sub level 70 gear from my bags. It’s a rather ambitious project seeing as I’d almost have to level a job per week to get this far. Add to that the fact that five out of the seven jobs I’d still need to level hover around level 50, meaning I’d have to do 20 levels instead of 10. The one big advantage is that I’ve saved my Tanks for last. They have the fastest queues thus probably the easiest time leveling out of all the jobs. As it stands I’m planning to level via Roulettes, Beast Tribe dailies and Palace of the Dead/Heaven on High. It’s the most reliable way to get experience fast and I should have the time to do this six out of seven days per week. I’m raiding in WoW on Wednesdays so that evening is kind of off limits.

Right now my progress is as followed:

  • Black Mage: 63
  • Dragoon: 60
  • Monk: 53
  • Warrior: 53
  • Paladin: 50
  • Dark Knight: 50
  • Samurai: 50

This is also the order I’m planning to level these classes in. I hope to have my Black Mage to level 70 somewhere next week so I can start working on Dragoon, which I’ll probably mostly play on my Playstation aswell as Monk. For some reason they just play better on a controller than on keyboard+mouse. As for my tanks, I’ll probably switch that up between PS4 and PC since I don’t really mind playing them on either. Samurai is going to be dead last purely because it’s the only job I’ve not properly played thus I will probably have to figure out how it works when I start leveling. I already apologize to the random groups that get my Samurai slotted in, I’m probably going to be terrible at it. Just like I’m slightly terrible at Black Mage, hence I just want to get that job out of the way as soon as possible. That it will also grant me the “Goddess of Magic” title is, of course, a bonus.

My ambitions for FFXIV don’t stop here however. Next to having my Armoury Chest cluttered with various sets of battle gear it’s also filled to the brim with gathering and crafting gear of different levels. That will be my big goal for the New Year: level up all my remaining Crafting and Gathering jobs. I have Botanist, Miner and Weaver at 70 so I can cross atleast three of the jobs off my list already. What remains is scattered between level 21 (Alchemist) and level 44 (Fisher). I’m planning to level up my Crafters simultaneously, meaning I want to get them all to level 30 and then all to level 40 and level 50 and so on. Ofcourse once I hit level 50 and can start doing Beast Tribe dailies and handing in deliveries things will speed up quite a bit. I’ll be quite happy to get to that point though, because the pre-50 grind is still agony.

For now though it’s running Roulettes and hoping I don’t get shitty fights on my Black Mage.

Nazmir is okay

So I’ve spent more time on my Paladin than I thought I would today. I’m currently sitting at level 112 and am starting the first leg of the War Campaign from the Horde POV. Even though I stated I wouldn’t want to play Horde as main I enjoy playing my Paladin much more than I do my Rogue. Maybe it’s because I’m less squishy. Maybe it’s because I know I will be going Tank when I hit max level and thus have no real queues to worry about. Seeing as trying to queue for dungeons on my Rogue has been an absolute nightmare and all my friends are over on Horde side, I feel the pull to main Horde after all much more now that the expansion has launched.

As I mentioned in my previous post I’ve started off in Nazmir. I picked this zone because it gave me the creeps when I did the War Campaign stuff on my Rogue and I figured I wanted to get this zone over with first so I would be done with that. I guess I grossly overestimated how creepy this zone actually is. Okay, the Blood Trolls ARE creepy but I’ve also seen some really pretty sceneries so far and I’m really in love with all of the dinosaurs that populate this zone. Plus the swamp vibe isn’t that bad.

Story wise it can’t really compete with Drustvar, which is hands down the best zone this expansion. As far as atmosphere goes it can’t compete with Drustvar either. I’m probably fangirling like mad here but Drustvar was such a joy to quest through that I completely forgot time and didn’t want to take a break untill I saw the story from start to end. I’ve not had that with any of the other zones yet and Nazmir is no exception. I do like encountering the Loas, I made contact with Bwonsamdi and Hi’reek and am now on my way to Torga, the turtle Loa.

I guess I need to be a bit careful though because I don’t want to burn out on my Paladin like I did on my Rogue. I expect to swap between the characters as it suits me but I think I will be spending more time on my Paladin than on my Rogue as I reach 120 on her. Up untill then though I can enjoy the scenery. And the dinosaurs!

Ding! 120 reached

Yesterday morning I reached level 120 on my Rogue. I was about 10 quests into Stormsong Valley when this happened and with it I unlocked a whole lot of new things to do. The biggest one being World Quests which are popping all over my map, on both sides of the world. I was really happy to hit this milestone but I also notice that I’ve burned myself out quite a lot leveling this character up. Even though I hadn’t done a “one day race” like some of my friends did, it has taken me one full day, 3 evenings and one morning to get to this point, I do feel the new content burn quite heavily. Blizzard has managed to pack so much lore into this expansion so far and with my determination to do every quest I can possibly get my hands on things get rather exhaustive quite fast. I’m about halfway done in Stormsong Valley as we speak but I’m not making a lot of progress. I’m taking breaks every time I’ve tackled a sidequest or mainstory line because I just can’t play for much longer than that. I’m trying to break things up by doing Worldquests and leveling up my Engineer but I guess I’ve just spent a bit too much time focused on getting to 120 to really enjoy it now that it’s there.

In other news, because I’m so burnt out on my Rogue at the moment I’ve decided to take baby steps into the expansion on my Paladin. It’s the class that I originally wanted to play in this expansion and I notice that I’m having a much easier time on her than I had on my Rogue while leveling up. I decided to start out in Nazmir and the zone so far seems to be okay. I guess going to the Blood Troll capital at night on my Rogue was a bad idea because it seriously gave me the creeps. Now on my Paladin however I’m just enjoying the swamp atmosphere while picking a lot of herbs along the way. Maybe it’s because the pressure to level to 120 is off or maybe I just enjoy Paladin more but I think I’ll spend a bit more time on her than on my Rogue in the coming week.

Also, Bwonsamdi is great!

BfA: Zoning in on Drustvar

Today I want to take the time to talk a bit more indepth about Drustvar. The first zone I’ve completed in Battle for Azeroth. This post will be rather spoiler heavy so if you’ve not yet done the zone or do not want to be spoiled please stop reading after this paragraph. I feel the need to write up this blogpost because Blizzard, in my opinion, has done such an awesome job with the zone stories in Battle for Azeroth so far that I just want to gush about it. So without further ado, I present you: Drustvar.

Let me start off by saying that I’ve gone into Battle for Azeroth mostly blank. I did spend a few hours one night on Beta leveling through like the first ten quests in Stormsong Valley but other than that I was a complete blank slate. I wanted to be surprised and charmed by what Blizzard had developed for this expansion so I wanted to experience everything fresh.
The above screenshot is part of the introductory town of Drustvar. You are sent on your way because there are issues and no one has heard from Lord and Lady Waycrest, they rule Drustvar, in a while. As you arrive in the zone the first village you pass through is abandoned and overrun by wild creatures. There is still a little girl around however who sends you on a wild goose chase finding people and things for her. It’s clear from the second quest or so that she’s probably not the nice little girl you think she is. The questline culminates in her summoning a Wicker creature with a satanic ritual for which she killed her cat (poor Smoochums) and one of the few surviving villagers commenting on how the girl has been dead for a while. Yeah, I guess the tone for this zone has been set nicely.

I see a lot of people comparing Drustvar to Duskwood but then in autumn colours and way bigger. I get the sentiment here but Drustvar is so much more than that. The overarching story becomes quite clear very early on: they are having issues with a powerful Witch Coven that is calling themselves the “Heartsbane” and who are cursing every village in Drustvar, making sure the people in town suffer one way or another.

A big part of the Drustvar experience is helping villages cleanse the local curses and kill the local witch of the coven responsible for it. The story really kicks into gear though when you come across Lucille Waycrest who is about to be hanged as witch. She is the daughter of the Lord and Lady Waycrest and she’s gotten herself in a bit of a pinch by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. A part of the questchain to help her escape involves taking control of your very own Wicker construct and clearing out a more powerful Witch that has been terrorizing the village. Let me tell you, it was awesome. Running into a mine full of mobs and just completely obliterating them with my Wicker body had me cackling. I mean just look at how I looked? It’s an amazing theme and I loved all the Wicker looks in Drustvar.

Anyway, after you’ve cleared Lucille’s name and rescued the villagers of the village that wanted to hang her you set out on a journey towards Waycrest manor with Lucille and Marshall, who is the commander of the Waycrest troops. Lucille knows a large part of what has been happening in Drustvar and seeks to revive an ancient Order that used to fight the Drust as the Kul Tirans were settling down in Drustvar. I guess this also leads to big plotpoint number two. The Drust are forest creatures that look kind of like the Wicker creatures you see everywhere in the zone. When the early Kul Tirans settled there was a war between them and the Drust that the Kul Tirans won. Their final victory was a Waycrest stabbing Gorak Tul, the leader of the Drust, to death and claiming Drustvar for the Kul Tirans. It also becomes clear that not all the Drust were against Kul Tiran settling in their homeland and they have remained on friendly foot with the humans untill this day. They call themselves the “Thornspeakers” and are the amazing Wicker themed Druids that the Kul Tiran humans can become.
As you advance into the zone it becomes clear that Gorak Tul may not be as dead as everyone thought he was and that he is probably the mastermind behind the relatively recent forming of the Heartsbane coven that terrorizes the land. As you rebuild the Order of Embers and work your way through the zone you are treated to a beautiful landscape with many sidequests. The atmosphere in Drustvar is amazing to say the least. The background music is superb and it’s really worth doing every single questline you can get your hands on. Next to the Witches and Wicker creatures you get to fight Yetis, wild beasts, Stone Guardian constructs and even a small patch of mutated mushrooms. You help a Goblin retake a town from pirates. You help create alchemical fire that will make all the Wicker constructs burn. You stop a Wicker construct army from being built and marching through the zone. On the way there are a ton of rare creatures to kill and special treasure chests to find. I personally enjoyed the Runebound Chests because they forced you to look around you to crack the code that keeps them locked. You learn about the history of Drustvar and Kul Tiran as a whole and you get to know a lot of interesting characters. One of my favourites is the falcon master that you pick up somewhere in the middle to become an Inquisitor in the Order of Embers. I like the whole “old England” look and feel that’s tied to the entirety of Kul Tiras but Drustvar just portrays it the best with it’s woods and villages.

The Drustvar zone story culminates in Corlain and Waycrest Manor. As you arrive there it seems like the coven has taken over the town and the manor and it’s up to you to clean out the mess and figure out who is behind all of this. And more important, what has happend to Lord and Lady Waycrest?
This is also where the story kind of splits in two. As you make your way through Corlain it’s revealed that the Waycrest Manor went on lockdown and nobody really understands why. It also becomse clear, from diaries that you find in Corlain, that the girls of the town have been sneaking out during the nights and supposedly went to Waycrest Manor. After that the disappearings started.
The other part of the story takes you to a chapel where you encounter the ghost of Lucille’s dead fiancée. As he shares with you his memories of what happened during their wedding it becomes clear who the culprit of this zone really is. The whole wedding scene was a nice nod to the “Red Wedding” in Game of Thrones, proven by the dead “Red Hand Assassin” in my above screenshot. As you help the ghost find peace you make a final push into Waycrest Manor where it is revealed what you’ve already known: Lady Waycrest is the head of the Witches’ Coven. She is responsible for all the Witches that have been making life hell for the people of Drustvar. She has killed and revived her husband to serve her as a grotesque individual for eternity and she is the one responsible for murdering Lucille’s fiancée at their wedding day. As a final act of cruelty she turns Marshall against you and you then have to kill him while her and her husband flee into the Manor.

Officially this is where the zone ends. You’ve figured out who is behind the Coven and you’ve waged a war to get to there. Lucille takes over as new ruler of Drustvar and sends you back to Boralus to declare Drustvar’s allegiance once more. However she also gives you a quest to chase her parents into the Manor (which is a dungeon) to deal with them once and for all. The dungeon itself is a bit confusing but no less fun, I can see this one being quite a challenge on Mythic+. You kill her parents in the end and then Gorak Tul pops out as final bad guy, bragging about how he was able to influence the Lady Waycrest to do his bidding and be his way back into the world of the living. As you beat him he retreats in what he calls “the Blighted Lands” and issues a final threat.

All in all the zone was an epic experience for me. The story buildup was amazing, especially with all the added cutscenes Blizzard seems to be doing this expansion. I’m guessing they stole that idea from FFXIV’s book. Some of the quests were downright hilarious, like the one where I had to prick peole with a Silver needle to figure out if they were Witches. Or the one where I pick onions to deter them, because obviously onions are nasty and smelly and no one wants to come near those. Now that I’ve finished the zone and won’t be back untill endgame I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume the WorldQuests in Drustvar will revolve around clearing out what remains of the Coven and helping villagers rebuild. I wouldn’t mind doing those quests at all because it will take me back to a zone I fell in love with. I really hope Blizzard can keep up this level of storytelling throughout the entire expansion, but that’s something only time will tell.

Bonus screenshot: I keep finding pairs of boots in weird places…

BfA: Almost There

Another day and another BfA themed post. I want to say I’m sorry but I’m not. I’m spending all my free time playing through the expansion and I’m getting close to some important steps.

My first “almost there” is Mining. I’m currently sitting around 137 Kul Tiran skill. I’m enjoying the fact that I get quests from my trainer instead of from random drops from nodes. This means I already have a ton of things at the two star level. I probably will get to max level Mining tomorrow as I finish up Tiragarde Sound. Which brings me to the second “almost there”. I’ve been running around Tirasgarde Sound for the past two evening and bar some sidequests I only have two main quest lines left for the zone achievement. I’ve also worked my way through atleast half of the rare encounters throughout the zone and earned the exploration achievement, so there’s that. I’m kind of curious to see how things will tie together in the end. I know who the big baddie is for this zone, it wasn’t that much of a surprise, but I’m curious to see how we’ll unmask her.
Also Flynn (who is clearly taken from Cpt. Jack Sparrow) is hilarious. Plus I got to drink milk from a skull mug, as you can see on this screenshot in the upper right corner.

The last “almost there” is me being halfway to level 119. I’m kind of expecting to be 119 as I finish up Tiragarde Sound which means I’ll ding 120 fairly early into Stormsong Valley. Seeing as I’m not really in a rush to gear and start doing tons of dungeons I’ll probably opt to finish off Stormsong Valley before I dive into the amazing world that is endgame.

On the first character I level through an expansion I try to do every available quest and I don’t think this time will be different. I love sucking in all the lore and quirky sidequests that Blizzard offers us. I also notice that I’m wandering off and exploring much more stuff than I did in Legion. It’s how I’ve been killing all the rares and finding a lot of treasure chests and hidden sidequests. Nothing punishes me for just going where I want to go while also completing all the main storylines. Although with unlocking my last foothold in Zandalar (the one in Nazmir) I tried to shy away from exploring and just getting my quest objectives done because man, that zone is hella creepy. Drustvar was “horror tropes witch covens” creepy but I enjoyed that. Nazmir is “cannibals in a swamp” creepy and I’m not digging the vibe at all. Which will be interesting when I level up a Horde character through that zone… I can already imagine the nightmares.

BfA: Day Two

A part of me wants to go to bed and a part of me feels like I should atleast write a short blog about Bfa day two. Yesterday I’ve done all of Drustvar in one day and I wondered how long it would take me to finish up Tiragarde Sound. It seems to be an overall smaller zone with less quests and less space to cover. However I’ve already discovered tons of sidequests and finished off a few of the amazing mainquests the zone has to offer. All in all I think Drustvar still has the edge when it comes to storytelling and atmosphere but Tiragarde introduces us to many unique characters aswell. We also get a taste of the Old Gods influence and I got to perform in a jousting show on a horse.

The best part though was this adorable little hunting dog that was bringing me the birds I shot out of the sky during one of many sidequests Tiragarde has. I imagine it’s sort of modeled after a Jack Russel Terrier although I’m not quite sure. He was kind of difficult to get a good screenshot off, especially because it was rather dark in game when I did these quests but the one above should give you a decent indication.

The darkness thing is something that caught me a bit off guard aswell. I don’t think any of the zones get as dark as the ones in Kul Tiras have been getting. I think Blizzard may have amped up the weather or, and that’s more likely, I’m noticing it more now that we are running about in zones that are more open and feel more natural than the Legion ones.

All in all I’m still having a blast and I’m starting to find my way through Boralus as city aswell. I’ve been completing a few Mining quests, I’m really happy these come from the trainer now instead of randomly dropping from nodes, and I’ve been pouring all the ore I’ve been mining into leveling up my Engineering aswell. Although I’m only on 25 skill level at the moment. There’s so many little details that I could go on and on about but honestly it comes down to the fact that Blizzard once again made an amazing zone with beautiful landscapes and good lore. Even the War Campaign makes sense next to the questing in Kul Tiras. I’ve established two camps over at Zandalar right now and I’ve unlocked my Island expeditions. They seem like mini scenarios where you race the opposing factions to get to 500 Azerite per island first. Unfortunately I’ve not really gotten the time to figure that out yet but I will. For now I’m going to focus on finishing off Tiragarde and moving on to Stormsong Valley the next few days and hopefully ding 120 around Friday evening.