Progress

On A Roll

I texted my best friend earlier this week how for some reason I’ve been feeling more relaxed than I have in a very long time. Even if I did get called out of bed in the morning by a delivery driver. And honestly? It’s the truth. I feel like some sort of calm has finally settled into my erratic brain and because I’m not forcing myself to do anything now that I have a few days off I can finally focus on doing fun stuff instead. I still got some adulting done though, but not with as much pressures as I normally have when I have my regular weekends where I need to fit everything into two days. So with this stated I can proudly say I’ve been on quite a roll gaming wise these past few days.

For starters I sat down for a bit and moved my way through the Pokémon Sword post-game questline. All in all it took me a little under two hours to complete, with a lot of traveling back and forth and a lot of battling. I finally caught Zacian (the Sword Legendary Pokémon) and unlocked the Battle Tower in Wyndon. I’m not sure when I will be checking that out though, seeing as I spent quite a bit of time hunting a shiny Magikarp yesterday because of a special event. I managed to get one on the last max raid I did during the evening, so I am the proud owner of a shiny red Gyarados now. I also managed to catch a Lapras and a Gigantamax Butterfree aswell as start working away on evolving all the Pokémon in my bank.
All in all I’m quite content with how much time it has taken me to get to this point in the game. Granted, the game feels rather short compared to some of the older entries. I have over 70 hours clocked in Pokémon Black for instance and am not nearly finished with filling up the Pokédex there. It’s the one big flaw of the game for me, except the lacking of a National dex and all available Pokémon. It feels like with every new entry into the Pokémon series the stories have been getting cut shorter and shorter and the post-game has been made smaller aswell. Gone are the days where you’d have an enormous post-game riddled with mysteries and interesting ways to catch multiple legendary Pokémon. Now it’s a questline which opens up the Battle Tower after you’re done… And that’s it. Granted, I still need to fill up my Pokédex so that will take some time. However, unlike many die-hard Pokémon fans I’m going to stop the moment I have all the Pokémon registered in my dex. I have no interest in keeping a “living dex” where you have every single Pokémon as captured Pokémon in your boxes. I’m also not a huge fan of hunting shiny Pokémon. I think I’ve managed to capture two in my lifetime, not counting the shiny Magikarp of this event. One in Pokémon Black, a Golbat, and one in Pokémon Moon, a Rattata. Not the most thrilling Pokémon to have as shinies but I got them nonetheless. I also have a few shiny Pokémon from distribution events, but those don’t really count. So yeah. Right now I’m on about 33 hours played, mostly caused by the hunting for the shiny Magikarp, and I’m quite curious where the timer will be on once I manage to fill up the dex.

In Final Fantasy XIV I’ve been making a ton of strides in clearing out sidequest content and leveling my Ninja. Not only did my Ninja hit 80, before that I managed to clean up all the side content in Raktika Greatwood, earning me the Ronkan Serpent minion aswell as finishing up the final quests I had in the Tempest. I also took some time to do some FATEs in the Tempest untill I had my “do 10 FATEs” challenge from the challenge log done. Luckily for me there were a few other people doing FATEs there aswell so we had a nice little train going. I even had a shimmer of hope that we could spawn the big boss FATE at some point seeing as how we got to the final prerequisite FATE but alas, the chain reset. It’s the one FATE achievement from Shadowbringers that I’m lacking. Maybe I should join a hunt discord or ingame channel seeing as how they usually keep tabs on the big FATEs and S-Rank hunts.
Speaking of hunts. I’m slowly working towards getting the mount from the Shadowbringers hunt clan. I don’t actively participate in the A-Rank and S-Rank hunting but I do try to do my daily hunts atleast. Doing those every day gives 110 seals a day, which isn’t actually too bad. Maybe I should look into doing the weekly B-rank aswell. For now though, if I keep going like this, I should have the mount by next week!
Finally I’ve started working way on my Bard. I’ve chosen to go the Trusts route here though. I want all my Trusts leveled and I only have a few classes left where I can do that on. So I’m taking my Bard through the motions with one team and one of my tanks with the other team. I’m probably going to keep it down to one Trust dungeon per day, mostly because running the same dungeon over and over gets tedious fast. Even if they upped the experience the Trusts get. Pixie dailies and cleaning up the remaining sidequests are also on the agenda for Bard, but I will skip roulettes for the time being.

All in all I’ve been diligently working away at my gaming goals. Having the extra time off has really given me a bit of motivation to push trough and get stuff done. I may even need to set some new goals at this pace!

December 2019 In Review

So here we are. The final month of the year. The final month of the decade even! I can’t believe how fast things have been flying by. I’ve been living in my own apartment for eight months now. I’ve been working my new job for four. I’ve had a lot of struggles throughout the year and unfortunately December hasn’t been much different. Despite it all I have made some progress when it comes to gaming and then especially in FFXIV. Let’s see what I’ve been up to, eh?

In Final Fantasy XIV
I’ve been steadily leveling battle jobs. The last time I wrote about this my Dancer was still sitting at level 60-something. Right now my Dancer is level 80, my Dragoon is level 80 and I’m slowly leveling my Ninja up to 80 aswell. I’ve been taking it slower on this job though. Instead of grinding out roulettes and whatever else I could get my hands on I’ve opted to do only one or two roulettes per day and instead focus on clearing out all the sidequests that I still have around. Oh and do pixie dailies and hunts because they are fast and easy. Right now I’ve just hit level 77 so I think I will be 80 on that by the weekend, even with taking it slow.
I’ve also been grinding out a lot of FATEs to get to max rank in all the areas of the First. And it’s been actually going quite well! So well in fact that I only have Ahm Araeng and The Tempest to go. It helps that you get a challenge log bonus for completing five and ten FATEs with a gold medal respectively. I’ve also been using it as a medium to level my Chocobo who, finally, hit rank 10 this month, earning myself the White Mage Barding seeing as I specced my Chocobo to be a Healer.
Finally I’ve been mopping up sidequests in various zones. I still have hubs to go in the Raktika Greatwood, Kholusia, Ahm Araeng and a few quests in the Tempest. It’s going to feel so good to finally not see any exclamation marks on my map anymore though!

In Pokémon Sword
I’ve gotten all 8 gym badges! It’s currently idling on my TV because I’m probably going to go into 2020 while playing this game and hopefully get closer to the credits as I do. I really only have the Pokémon League and whatever postgame is after that left and then I can kind of scratch the game off my “to-do” list. I’ve played for about 18 hours so far so that’s not too bad. I am going to try to finish up the Pokédex so I think I will have many more hours to go.

Next to Pokémon I’ve actually not really touched any single player games. There are a few that I may go back to after finishing up though, with Spider-Man on the PS4 and Link’s Awakening being the biggest candidates for that. I really want to make more of an effort to tackle my significant backlog of games in 2020 and seeing as how I’ve been able to complete games in 2019 I’m sure that with the right planning I can do it. I have so many amazing games that are just waiting to be played and for the first time in a while I’m actually really motivated to pick stuff up and finish it.

In other MMO’s…
I’ve logged into WoW to pick up the presents from the tree on Christmas day but that’s basically it when it comes to Azeroth. My sub is about to expire and I only have a few days left to complete the Anniversary Event and get the Deathwing mount so I may just reserve an evening to do exactly that.
I’ve also installed Lord of the Rings Online to see if I can get somewhere in that game. I want to expand my MMO horizons and it was a toss up between that and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Apparently both games are okay to start with on a F2P basis so I’m just going to roll with that and see if LOTRO captures my interest enough to want to put down money. So far I’m mostly trying to get over the outdated graphics and get used to the gameplay. I’ve only really played the tutorial fight though so I can’t really say anything just yet. I can say that I rolled an Elf (sorry Syp!) Archer because it’s my favourite fantasy trope. Let’s see how things will unfold there shall we?

In offline hobbies…
I’ve decided to pick back up puzzling again and bought myself a 1000 piece puzzle as said in my last post. I also have a diamond poster thing going on that I want to start on next. I’ll take a picture and explain better what it is when I get there. I really like just doing stuff like that, it helps me calm down and unwind without having to stare at a screen. I also let my eye drop on a very pretty, yet very expensive, Lego X-wing. I really want to build one but I have no idea where to put it once it’s finished so I’m holding off on buying it for now.
I’ve also been picking up reading again and am spending a bit more time watching movies and shows on Netflix and Disney+. I pay for both services so may aswell use them! I managed to devour the Witcher in one sitting and I’m currently rewatching the entire Star Wars saga after seeing Episode 9 in the theatre two weeks ago.

Finally…
I’ve decided that after this little experiment I do take kind to setting myself goals on a monthly basis. Even though I don’t always do what I want to do it helps me sort of make sense of what I want to achieve for the month. So starting tomorrow I will do a goals for January post again. For now I wish you all a nice New Years Eve!

Sandy’s Sunday: Checking In

Hello everyone! It’s me! Just wanted to do a quick post as a sort of checking in on my blog.
I’ve not really felt the need to write anything for the past two weeks. Mostly because holidays and work getting in the way and also because I honestly didn’t know what to write about without spoiling too much for my December in review post that I will put up on New Year’s Eve.

It’s been a weird few weeks with a lot of days off and people not being around. A colleague unexpectedly found a new job, effectively leaving my team with one person short. We’ve also been dealing with all the people having time off around the holidays and as such I’ve had a lot of time where I was the only person who would be around. It was great for a while since it gave me the opportunity to finally get around to cleaning up my overflowing mailbox, I went from 100+ emails down to 8, and checking up on aswell as preparing various projects for the new year. Work is still busy as ever but now that I’ve sort of “caught up” I’m confident that things will work out better in January.
I took January 2nd and 3rd off myself so I effectively have 5 days off starting Tuesday afternoon. Usually we go home earlier on New Year’s Eve so that’s nice. To keep myself entertained for this extended weekend I decided to pick up a hobby I haven’t touched in a long time: puzzling. I bought myself a brand new nice looking 1000 piece puzzle yesterday and I will take full advantage of my five days off to get it finished. I actually started yesterday evening with sorting all of the pieces and putting down the edges. It gives me something to do besides gaming and I’ve noticed that once I get into the zone of things I find the relaxation I’ve been looking for.

All things considered I’ve been relatively doing okay. I’m still very much exhausted although having days off around the holidays have helped me to kind of catch up on much needed sleep and relaxation. I’m still going strong when it comes to leveling stuff up in FFXIV, which I will tell more about in my December in review post, and I’m trying to find a set time every weekend to dedicate to single player games. I’m almost finished with my Pokémon Sword playthrough and it has helped tremendously to just pick a timeframe to start up the game and make progress in it. My best friend already beat the game so I can’t lag behind for too long and after that I may turn my attention to a new game or keep the slot for Pokémon for a while so I can work on completing the Pokédex. A feat which I’ve never accomplished in all the years I’ve been playing Pokémon. I think the closest I’ve gotten is in Pokémon Blue where I caught 146 out of 150 of them and maybe in my Pokémon Moon playthrough where I was on 2/3 of the Pokédex completed. Right now I’m around 80/400 Pokémon caught in Sword so I still have a way to go but it’s not the 1000+ Pokémon I would have to be staring down if they implemented a National Dex.

So yeah. I’m still alive. I’m still gaming. And a true gaming update post is coming up!

A belated Sandy’s Sunday: Flying beats Fighting

Disclaimer: I actually wrote this post on Sunday with the intent to post it that same day. Apparently I didn’t, I’m still posting it now though! So this is my belated Sandy’s Sunday.

This morning I finally pushed myself to start up Pokémon Sword and gently get back into the game again. I haven’t had time to sit down for a proper session this past week and it was high time I made some progress again. So I pulled out my Switch and finished up route 6 and made my way to the next town. My starter has evolved to it’s final stage, the average level of my party is somewhere around 34 and I was very confident I could take on the next gym like this. And I was right.
The fourth gym is populated by trainers who use Fighting-type Pokémon. I have two counters in my team to that. Corvisquire (Flying) and Orbeetle (Psychic). The trainers during the gym mission were a breeze. Corvisquire took all the Pokémon down in one shot using Drill Peck. The Gym Leader was slighty more challenging. Her second Pokémon fainted my Corvisquire and was also super effective against Orbeetle due to it being a Dark type ontop of a Fighting type. So I switched in Cinderace (the starter) and used a Revive on Corvisquire and a Super Potion to get it battle ready again. In the end I was victorious and am now the proud owner of four badges. On to badge number five!
Right now there’s a few events going in Pokémon Sword/Shield where you can catch a Gigantamax Butterfree and/or a Gigantamax Snorlax. Apparently there is a difference between Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing your Pokémon. When they Dynamax they just grow very big, get more HP and their attacks turn into stronger versions of themselves, kinda like Z-moves in Pokémon Sun and Moon. With Gigantamaxing they also change their appearance and get even more special attacks. So far I’ve not encountered either of them but I still have quite a while to do so, since the event runs for atleas the rest of December.

In Final Fantasy XIV I’ve been leveling up my Dancer. She’s currently sitting very close to level 66 and I’m sure I will have hit level 67 when I’m done with all the roulettes after reset today. Simultaneously I’ve been leveling Dragoon via Pixie dailies and FATEs. Today I sat down and grinded out the FATEs I needed to get to rank 3 with the gemstone seller in Lakeland. It took me somewhere around an hour and a half but in the end I hit rank 3 and my Dragoon hit level 72 so that’s a win! For my efforts I got a new barding for my Chocobo, as seen in the above screenshot, and one of two music scrolls that the vendor had on sale. I’m planning to keep doing FATEs in level appropriate zones, meaning that the next zone for this is Il Mheg. With the Pixie dailies being there aswell there’s usually a steady stream of people doing FATEs around the zone so I’m quite confident I can get that zone done in not too long aswell. I think I need to do around 30 FATEs for it, but if there’s a train going that won’t take that long at all.
As added bonus Dragoon as class is pretty sturdy so I don’t have that many issues tanking mobs in FATEs, especially when I remember to call out my chocobo, who I’ve trained as healer.

I’m really hoping work will slowly calm down next week so that I come home less exhausted and more ready to game. I feel like I’m losing a lot of time just sitting on the couch and staring at the TV because I feel too tired to do anything else. I know that sometimes just sitting down and doing nothing can be very beneficial, I don’t have to be doing something all the time. But right now the time I spend on doing nothing is just too much. I feel annoyed with myself about it and I need to change that.
As Christmas and the end of the year are edging closer I can’t believe we are about to start a new decade already. It feels like yesterday that I graduated High School and went on to University and yet here I am, 10 years later doing a job that is nothing like the field I’ve studied for. Finally living on my own in my own house and owning my own car. If you asked me 10 years ago if I thought I would end up like this I would have responded with a look of horror. Unfortunately life doesn’t always deal fair cards and I’m actually feeling quite lucky to be where I am today after years of struggle. With me not having to worry about finding a job, a house or even transportation anymore I can turn my attention fully to my next life goal: getting physically healthy again so I feel better in my own skin. Is it an early New Year’s resolution? Maybe. All that I know is that with everything else out of the way I can finally focus on stuff like this again. But first I’m going to enjoy a very yummy Christmas!

Pad Thai and Samurai Shenanigans

Last monday my Samurai hit level 80. It was actually pretty fast as far as leveling up went, faster than I expected. I’m quite happy that it’s over because overal I’m not a huge fan of Samurai as a class. I kind of miss the logic in the class. The self buffs you put up don’t really time out like the Monk and Dragoon stuff does so you’re not really forced into a steady pattern of attacks, besides activating the right stuff so you can use Midare Setsugekka. I also find that Samurai has a lot of skills outside of the global cooldown and they’re kind of hard to manage. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I doubt I would enjoy this class playing it fulltime at 80. I had the same thing with Black Mage and like Black Mage I will probably put Samurai in a corner and won’t pull it out again unless I’m extremely bored or untill the next expansion drops, either one.
This sentiment may change over time though and I might just do some shenanigans on it but for now it’s another notch on the level 80 belt and I’m moving on to my next class, which is Dancer. I’m kind of enjoying the class, although the scope of it is limited since I’m only level 62. I hope I can level it up decently fast so I unlock more skills and steam to 80 before the month is over. I also decided to grab some nice gear for my Dragoon and take that through atleast the Pixie dailies every day to start slowly leveling that up to 80 aswell. Since I’m max rank with the Pixies that’s actually a nice amount of experience every day.

In real life work has not really let up that much. I’ve worked overtime most days again but I managed to connect with an old friend I met through World of Warcraft this Thursday. He had to be in the area for work and messaged me if I wanted to go out to dinner and catch up. I accepted and we wound up at a local Thai place where I ordered the Pad Thai and was kind of blown away by the true mountain of food I had on my plate.
For reference, Dutch portions are quite small usually. I can order an entree and a main course and be full from that most of the time, with very rarely having room for dessert. These are decent plates of food, nothing to extravagant but enough to fill you up properly. This Pad Thai though was of another level. I ate about half of it and took the other half with me to eat at home today and it was still a full plate of food. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten such a big portion anywhere and it was the first time I actually took food back home. Meeting up with my friend was nice though and we dredged up memories of the good old days of raiding in WoW and the guild we were in. It made me realise that my life looked very different 8-10 years ago and that I’ve grown as a person a lot in that time. Sometimes I miss those days where I had a tight knit community of online friends that I would play with almost every night but life does its thing and you end up getting out of touch with many people over the years. I don’t think I could do the 4-5 days a week raiding schedule anymore now that I have a fulltime job and other obligations and I salute anyone who can. I’m firmly in “casual” gamer mode these days and in some ways that’s probably the best thing that has happened to me.
For now though I’m looking forward to a nice relaxed weekend filled with gametime again and taking my car for a spin, if the weather allows it.

Gaming Goals: November 2019 In Review

So. In a whim I’ve decided to shake up my monthly goal posts. Even though I really enjoy setting myself some longer term goals I feel like they’re just summaries of all the things I didn’t achieve lately. So instead I want to turn these monthly posts into “reviews” at the end of the month with a short focus on expectations for the coming month instead.
No more detailed goals, no more frustrations over me getting to the goals or not but instead a positive focus on all the things I did manage to accomplish. So let’s start out shall we?

In Final Fantasy XIV…
I’ve had a very productive month. I’ve leveled my Blacksmith, Armorer and Leatherworker all up to level 70/71. This was helped by the crafting/gathering overhaul that patch 5.1 presented and I have decided to take my focus off crafting for the time being since I have achieved the goal that I wanted to at the start of the month. I’ve also completed all the associated job quests for these classes, allowing me to focus fully on those last ten levels when I feel like it.
In a moment of realization that levequests have also been boosted significantly experience wise I managed to take my Fisher from level 48 to 64 in a single hour by just buying fish off the Market Board and handing them in to the levequest people. I’m a bit stuck now though and instead am catching up on all the job quests that I’ve skipped. I’m sitting on the one for level 55 right now which I’m actually trying to complete on my own. I have unlocked Spearfishing aswell and I’m quite curious to see that in action once I’ve caught up on all the job quests.
On the battle jobs front I’ve taken my Monk and Paladin up to level 80 and my Samurai to 77. I’ve deviated from my original plan for this a bit but it has paid off in the end. I finished the last remaining class questchain in Shadowbringers, the Tank one, and opened up the final quest that ties all those class quests together. I’ve gone back and done the level 80 Monk, Paladin and Astrologian quests and enjoyed all the small stories they told.
I’ve also done all the new content that was added with patch 5.1, I unlocked the new deliveries (Kai-Shirr), did the Copied Factory and caught up to the Mainstory. I think the only thing I haven’t properly touched is the Ishgard Restoration but that will probably come up once I turn my attention to crafting again. As for the Pixie dailies.. For all intents and purposes I’ve finished off their story. I am currently not exactly max rank yet but I have the achievement for finishing the “story” and I am the proud owner of a flying pig.
On my White Mage I’ve been slowly getting back into the habit of doing ex-roulettes again so I can start gearing up my other classes and I’ve finished another book for my Animus weapon.
I notice that I tend to play a lot of FFXIV on my days off because it’s just very nice to sit down and get stuff done that way than when I’m tired during the evenings.

On my Nintendo Switch
I have kind of abandoned Link’s Awakening. I managed to get the key to the Angler’s tunnel but I’ve not yet figured out how to get into the dungeon itself. This was around the time that Pokémon released so I shelved the game and instead turned my attention to Pokémon.
In Pokémon Sword I’ve made it past the third badge. My Pokémon are all between level 28-30 and I’ve been sent back into the Wild Area. I have a choice now to backtrack and catch any Pokémon that I missed previously or soldier on to the next town, Hammerlocke, and continue the story and challenge the fourth gym. This is kind of where I left off last week and I’ve not picked the game up yet because I’ve been busy with work and FFXIV.
I am immensly enjoying the game though, in spite of all the negativity surrounding it. I know a lot of hardcore Pokémon fans are really unhappy with a lot of things like a lack of national Pokédex or a very short post game story. Personally I’m just enjoying what the game does have on offer and I am tackling it on my own pace. I do want to aim to complete the Pokédex of this game in earnest so I know I will sink a lot of hours into it the coming months.

In my personal life
I’ve had a really rough month. Work has been an absolute nightmare with me working a lot of overtime and experiencing a lot of stress due to things beyond my control. The only big positive thing was getting my new car last Friday which was everything I hoped for and more. I love the colour and the way it drives. Now I just need to plan a few longer trips so I can take it for a proper spin instead of just driving it around town.
I’ve been watching a lot of tv and reading books. I decided to re-read the Harry Potter series in tandem with the movies that have been showing here every Monday evening. I’m currently halfway through the final book and am rediscovering a lot of things that I had forgotten over time. So a lot of my evenings have revolved around being a couch potato and just staring at the tv, being too tired to really do anything else. I hope the worst has passed though and things will get better from here.

Looking ahead to December…
It will still be a busy month at work and we have holidays to boot. I don’t really have a real vacation to speak off, but I did manage to get the two days off between New Year’s Day and the weekend so there’s that. My Christmas is already booked so I don’t have to worry what I will be doing then and I think I’m going to spend New Year’s Eve at home by myself to enjoy welcoming the new year in my own house for the first time.

I think I will still put the majority of my gaming time into FFXIV to level up more classes and slowly start to gear them up aswell. I really want to find some time to dedicate to World of Warcraft and their anniversary event and Guild Wars 2.
I will definitely have made progress in Pokémon Sword, I may have even defeated the champion if everything goes well.
Maybe the Kingdom Hearts 3 expansion will come out this month aswell and if it does I will set some time aside to buy it and play through whatever they added to the game, even if it only takes me an afternoon.
Other than this everything is up in the air. I realize that I want to blog a bit more often so I may start taking daily notes of what I’ve been up to and turn those into 2-3 weekly posts per week. I guess we’ll see.

Sandy’s Sunday: A dash of FFXIV

It’s a bit ironic to title my post after Final Fantasy XIV and then open with a screenshot from Pokémon Sword. It’s deliberate though seeing as I’ve made it past the third gym today and am progressing nicely through the game. I’ve been sent back to the Wild Area to make my way to the next big city: Hammerlocke.
I have two choices now. I either power through to Hammerlocke and take on the next gym or I start backtracking and catching all the Pokémon I’ve missed in this first part of the game. As of right now I’m still undecided on what I want so I’m just gonna sleep on it for a night and decide then. All in all I’m really enjoying this new Pokémon game and I’m doing my best to keep a party full of Galar Pokémon. It feels nicer to play that way for some reason. I hope I can get a few more badges, and some more Pokémon, the coming week and make a big push through the game towards the Pokémon League. I really can’t wait to beat Leon and his stupid Charizard. I need to see how Bede, Marnie and Hop work out throughout the story and I’m quite curious as to when I get to catch my Legendary. I guess the only way to find all of that out is to just keep playing.

In other gaming news. I managed to get a few proper sessions of FFXIV in over the weekend and my Paladin is now sitting at level 79. If all goes well it should be level 80 tomorrow evening and I can return to leveling my Samurai and get that pushing up. I know I’ve deviated from the plans a bit but I really wanted to see the Tank story line and so far it hasn’t disappointed, like all of the other storylines.
I’m also still slowly leveling my Leatherworker. I’ve not yet used the whole restoration of Ishgard to level anything yet, preferring to stick to my Beast Tribe dailies. This has taken me to level 59 Leatherworker though and I’m positive that I will ding 62 tomorrow once I’m done with all dailies and job quests. I’ve been desynthesizing a lot of my old gear from my Armoury chest, freeing up a ton of space and leveling my Desynth skill on Weaver, Goldsmith and Blacksmith respectively. I may start diving into Ishgard once my Leatherworker dings level 70 aswell but for now I don’t think I want to spend time on that.
For now I’m still in full leveling mode. I can’t wait to get all my classes to level 80 and be “done” with that part of the game. Then I can start working on properly gearing them and keeping up with other things like Achievements, Golden Saucer and getting my hands on silly amounts of collectibles.

Finally last week has been brutal to me on a personal level. For some reason work has decided to crank things up past eleven and as such I come home completely exhausted every day. Having sick coworkers doesn’t help either and for some reason I find myself in the middle of a struggle between coworkers about how to properly do our job. It’s giving me a headache really and I try to stay away from all of it as much as I can. Alas being in my current function I seem to get dragged into the middle of everything. Let’s hope that next week won’t be the same. I have Wednesday off, it’s my Mum’s memorial day, and my car arrives on Friday meaning I will only work 3.5 days this week to begin with. I guess the only way right now is up.

Sandy’s Sunday: Picking up the pace

As you can see in above screenshot I’ve obtained the Alabaster mounts that Blizzard made for WoW’s 15th anniversary. I got the code with the 15th anniversary collector’s edition box which I pre-ordered the moment it was announced. It was a bit unfortunate that it arrived right around the time Blizzard made a fool out of themselves with the whole Hong Kong controversy but alas. I hadn’t really foreseen this and I wasn’t planning to cancel the purchase since it was already paid in full.
The box is sitting in a corner of my room next to my tv and everything is still neatly boxed up except for the mount code and the mousemat. All in all I’m happy with this box although I don’t really have the room to display the massive Ragnaros statue just yet.. It’s pretty heavy and takes up more space than I thought it would.

This week I’ve been playing a lot of Final Fantasy XIV. Finally getting back into the rhythm of doing my crafting dailies every day and also doing some stuff to level up my Monk again it really feels like I’ve been picking up the pace there. My Culinarian is sitting at level 67 and my Blacksmith at 48. This means I will probably hit 50 around the weekly reset on my Blacksmith and can start Moogle dailies there and then start pulling Armorer through the Ixal ones. I forgot that as I get higher and higher in levels it’s not as easy to level up with beast tribe dailies anymore. I hope my Culinarian will be 70 before next weekend after which I can also do all the job quests between 60 and 70 that I’ve been neglecting for now.
As far as the Monk goes, she’s sitting at level 75 right now. I’ve been doing some FATEs in Raktika Greatwood as I’m waiting for queues and I actually got lucky and stumbled across my very first S-rank hunt: Forgiven Rebellion. As most hunts, or big FATEs it was extremely crowded in the zone and especially around the S-rank area. As we were engaging it my framerate dropped drastically and I was happy I could get a few spells out, I was on Red Mage, and I only died once. I wasn’t too impressed with the rewards from killing it but I think I have enough Sacks of Nuts, the current hunting currency, to get one of the two pets they have on offer for it. I’ve also been doing Main Story roulette where I can to get that chunk of experience but also the Moogle tomes. Even though I’m still undecided as to what I actually want to spend them on. I think I have two more weeks of this untill patch 5.1 hits and I can focus on all the new stuff that brings. I really want to continue the Shadowbringers story and see the Nier Automata based 24 man raid. I’m also really curious about the crafting overhaul and the New Game + thing so I think I will lose a lot of time there.

In World of Warcraft (retail, I’ve not touched Classic this week) I’ve been making steady progress on my Nazjatar (Waveblade Ankoan) and Mechagon reputations. I’m only 1.2k off Exalted with the Waveblade Ankoan right now and brought my first companion to level 10, Farseer Ori. I’ve chosen to once again focus on one or the other and not doing both in one day. So far it’s been working and I hope I can ditch Nazjatar dailies and world quests by Tuesday and then just focus on Mechagon. I’ve also put in some time on my Warrior and she’s sitting at level 114 as we speak. I’ve not finished Tiragarde Sound as zone yet and if I keep going like this I wonder if I will be level 120 by the time that I do. I don’t think so, but you never know.
It’s nice to go through the zone again and to do the first steps of the War Campaign again. After a while things tend to slowly fade from memory and it’s nice to get myself reacquainted with the quests and NPCs again.

Finally I’ve made the decision to buy Ring Fit Adventure for my Switch this week. I’m having a really hard time going to the gym, especially when the weather is as it is currently and I have to bike through the rain, and so I hope some home exercise will do the trick instead. I’m really curious about this game and I hope it lives up to the expectations I have for it.

All in all I had a decent week when it comes to gaming. I’ve made progress in WoW and FFXIV and am close to scratch off a few goals for the month October already. Now I just need to get back into Link’s Awakening..

Down with the sickness

Unfortunately I managed to get knocked out by a nasty cold virus this past week. It started on Tuesday and I’m still feeling unwell today. As result I’ve been going to bed really early all week and didn’t get much of anything done. It was kind of sad that I took Wednesday off and then woke up feeling like absolute crap. I canceled all of my plans and instead stayed home and sat in my pajama all day, shivering under a blanket and downing tons of tea while watching the first day of the play-ins for the League of Legends World Championship (go EU!).

With all that going on I did manage to slip in some game time during the evenings before I went to sleep. I’ve mostly been poking around in World of Warcraft Retail to do World Quests and Mechagon dailies. I’m making progress there, albeit slowly. I’m almost halfway to Exalted with Mechagon now so there’s that. As for the Nazjatar rep… I think I’m on 12/21k towards Exalted there and I have been doing World Quests there when they were the Emissary. Unfortunately though I just didn’t have the energy to work on both reps at the same time so I just stuck to Mechagon, which was faster to complete to begin with.
On the Final Fantasy XIV side of things I’ve just been doing a lot of crafting dailies. I managed to get my Culinarian up to 63 as of writing this and finished off the Heavensward job quests chain. I really enjoy doing these and I’m more and more bummed that Square Enix replaced them with other stuff in Shadowbringers but unfortunately that is how it is. I’m waiting untill I’m level 70 to do the whole Stormblood chain for Culinarian since I will have good gear then and can just breeze my way through things. My Blacksmith is about to hit level 40 aswell meaning I’m not far off getting into Moogle dailies territory on that. Doing Ixal dailies is always a bit of a double sided experience for me. On one hand they’re quite tedious to do and I tend to skip the ones that involve fishing. On the other hand they do give a lot of experience to classes by using them and taking my crafters from 30-50 with those dailies never take longer than two weeks of just doing dailies everyday. It helps that they upped the experience from job quests aswell and that I tend to do Grand Company hand-ins for extra experience when the mood strikes me.

All in all it’s been a bit of an odd week. I’ve made some progress in my MMO’s which is nice. I went to see the Rasmus live on Tuesday evening, which was also nice but subsequently the rest of my week has been a mess due to my cold. I’m hoping that I will start feeling better over the weekend so I can pick up Zelda again, thinking about puzzles with a stuffed head is not ideal, and so I can catch up on all the house chores I’ve not done the past few days. I really need to clean…

My Groove

In my search of all the hidden treasures in Stormsong Valley I landed at this specific mountaintop and was instantly enamoured with the view from here. The skies in Stormsong Valley often remind me of the skies here at home in the Netherlands with awesome and sometimes terrifying cloud formations. World of Warcraft may be more cartoony than some of it’s counterparts, especially Final Fantasy XIV which has the slick Japanese polish, but sometimes I shoot pictures like this and I’m reminded that even with all it’s flaws it still is at times a gorgeous game. My Rogue looking at the clouds in the distance just kind of finishes this picture for me aswell.

I’ve settled on a nice groove when it comes to gaming right now. Putting Classic aside and all the frustrations that came with it has been a good choice. Instead I’m focusing on WoW Retail and FFXIV again and have been able to fit in a tiny bit of Guild Wars 2. Especially Retail has gotten some love from me over the past few days. I’ve been doing a bunch of World Quests, taking full advantage of the reputation buff that is going on right now. I’m also chasing some achievements again, most notably killing all rares and finding all treasures in given zones. Unfortunately I had to find out the hard way that the final rare that I need in Stormsong Valley is tied to a world quest that has a very low chance of showing up on the map. Nonetheless I want to log in on the daily to see if it’s up so I can finally complete this achievement. After that I will turn my attention to Drustvar and Tiragarde Sound and with some outside help from WoWhead will probably tackle finding all the hidden treasures there.

Next to grinding World Quests I’m also slowly trying to empty out my regular questlog. I finally started the 8.1.5 War Campaign questline, the one where (spoilers!) Jaina gets her brother delivered back to her by Baine. I’ve just gotten past the cutscene and as always it’s superbly done by Blizzard. I also managed to stumble upon the Xal’Atath questchain on accident and am running around trying to complete that aswell. Because obviously the best idea ever is to give a mysterious whispering dagger surrounded by void energies what it wants… Right? Especially since it manifests itself after you feed it a Void Stone as one of the first steps of the questchain.. Creepy stuff.

Coming back into Retail WoW and being able to pick up undiscovered lore and clear out quests is exaclty what I needed. I know that the storytelling isn’t as great as FFXIV and their mainstory but Blizzard has tried this expansion to tie things together a bit more. The War Campaign, even if not always high quality, has been a nice consistent line of story throughout Battle for Azeroth. When I leveled up during launch I also remarked that the zone stories themselves, especially Drustvar on Alliance side, were extremely well done aswell. Mechagon and Nazjatar may be a tad below that experience but still have interesting stories in their own right. I just have to tie everything together more by actually doing all the raids that I’ve missed out on. Maybe I will set aside a night or two for that the coming week, starting with the Battle of Dazar’Alor and working my way from that.

Another interesting addition they made are the changes to the Heart of Azeroth. With opening up skill slots and tying some questchains to that I already feel much more involved in the system and leveling up my necklace than before. For instance yesterday I did the quest to level up one of the skills you can slot into the necklace and it sent me back to Val’Sharah and the Emerald Dream to aid the Green Dragonflight. I still remember how much of an impact that cutscene of Ysera dying in Legion had on me and to be back and see the rest of her brood being shattered struck a nerve. The quest itself was short and maybe not that interesting except for the dialogue referring to Ysera. It took me about 15 minutes to complete and I had a nice upgrade and a bit of lore expansion after that. It’s little things like these that make me so fond of WoW as a whole and I can’t wait to discover more quests tied to the necklace. Even though I already know that everything has been one big manipulation show and in essence we are exactly doing what Azshara wants. Oh well. For now I’m mostly just playing catch up to various quest chains and raids and who knows. Maybe I will even dip into doing some Mythic dungeons again.