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Sandy’s MMO Sunday: FFXIV Galore, August 30th 2020

Newest Yo-Kai mount

Whew. A lot of stuff has happened over in MMO country the past few weeks. The new MMO from Amazon is being tested as we speak but for me the focus always lies on my main two MMO’s, so those are the only things I’ll focus on in my blog posts. I mean, I can’t write about something I have no interest in, right?
We have gotten a release date for Shadowlands in World of Warcraft, October 27th. Final Fantasy XIV had patch 5.3 drop, aswell as the Moonfire Faire and Rising events and the Yo-Kai watch event renewed.
Since I’m more or less on a break from WoW, after basically gaining all the stuff I wanted to before pre-patch would hit, I’ve gone straight back to playing a lot of FFXIV. It also helps that my WoW guildies have more or less moved there aswell for the time being so I have more people to play with again but I’ve always kept up with FFXIV on the side, especially when the newest patch would hit. So this was no different with 5.3

First thing’s first: I finished the 5.3 mainstory. I’m not going to spoil anything about it here because I would hate to get spoiled myself so I won’t do it unto others. The only thing I have to say, once again, is damn you Square Enix for getting me to care about this world and the characters inhabiting it. On more than one occassion FFXIV has managed to make me cry and the latest patch has not been an exception to that. What kind of tears they were I’ll leave up to you to find out yourselves if you play the game and have yet to go through this part of the story.
Next to the mainstory there were a plethora of other things to unlock, with the most important for me the new “beast tribe” in the form of the Dwarves. It feels kind of weird to see them as beast tribe since they are basically the mirror race of Lalafells but in a way it makes sense. I’m in love with the music that plays in their little area in Lakeland and I can’t wait to unlock the mount you get from them: an actual battle tank. It’s also helping me to level up my crafting jobs since I bounced kind of hard off of the whole Ishgard restoration. I’m not sure why but I just really didn’t enjoy it. Maybe I’ll get into it again at some point but for now I’m happy to level up my crafters with these dailies and so far it has gotten my Carpenter to level 80 and my Weaver to level 75.
I have yet to unlock the new 24 man raid, Puppet’s Bunker, but I’m sure I’ll get around to doing that next week.

As mentioned there were also a few events going the past few weeks and I’ve partaken in all of them. The Moonfire Faire has gotten me a lovely outfit, as seen in the screenshot above. The Rising gave us the Wind-up Ardbert and the Yo-Kai event came back with a vengeance with new minions and weapons to get for the classes added in Stormblood and Heavensward and, after getting all of those, a new mount also pictured above. I decided to try and get this done as soon as I possibly could seeing as the first two weeks of an event like this the FATE farm trains are going strong and the longer you wait the bigger the chance that it comes down to having to solo the lot which isn’t something I would recommend.
It’s really nice just getting these things done, especially events like the Rising that come with a message from the development team every year. For now though I will have to wait untill the next event which will probably be in October around Halloween.

Level 80 Dark Knight ding

Next to doing the new 5.3 content and the various events I also doubled down on leveling up the last remaining battle jobs I have left. As of this morning I managed to ding level 80 on my Dark Knight, as pictured above, and now I only have Gunbreaker left. I unlocked the job and did the level 60 beast tribe dailies aswell as the level 60 job quest so far. I have to get used to Gunbreaker a lot after playing Dark Knight. There’s more buttons to press for damage since you basically have two single target and one AoE rotation with their respective cooldowns. Then there’s the whole ammo mechanic that I’m still learning but all in all I can see how people like this class and I can’t wait to get it to level 80 and finally get that coveted Amaro mount afterwards. If I keep on playing FFXIV like I’ve been doing for the past weeks I won’t have any doubts that I will get to that level 80 within the next two weeks.

Together with getting level 80 on my Dark Knight I also finished off the final 15 FATEs that I needed in the Tempest to hit rank 3 FATEs with all the zones. I now have access to all rank 3 vendors in the zones aswell as the special vendor in the Crystarium. I see that they sell a lot of stuff that I still want and for that I will need to farm more FATEs, but for now I’m content with not doing any untill my Gunbreaker gets into Shadowbringers content. It’s been quite a dull grind and I’m happy that I was able to complete it. Another notch on my belt so to speak.

Other content consumption
Next to dedicating a lot of time to FFXIV I’ve also been busy with consuming other types of content.
Lucifer dropped the first part of season five last week and I’ve been slowly going through that. I only have about two episodes to go now untill the mid season break and there have been a few interesting plot points so far. Tom Ellis is putting on a top notch performance and I’m happy to see it back on screen and I hope the second half will come out sooner rather than later.
I’ve been reading a lot of Robin Hobb books, that centre around the realm of the Elderlings, the past months and I’m finally down to the last book of the entire series. This means that I’m basically on book 16/16 right now. It’s been quite a ride and honestly the worldbuilding she does is amazing. I really want to know how the series ends but also don’t want it to end at the same time. It’s quite a conondrum. Right now I’m reading 2-4 chapters per day and I’m about 1/3rd of the way into the final book.
Finally my time has been consumed by watching a lot of League of Legends. All of the big regions are in play-off mode right now and I feel like my TV has been on with LoL for the past 48 hours. I’ve been catching games from Europe, North America, China and Korea. It’s a great way to spend time but also nice to have on as “background noise” while doing other things. Next week are the finals everywhere and I can’t wait to see how things play out in both Europe and North America specifically.

All in all I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made in FFXIV and I hope I can continue this streak next week. Maybe I’ll hop back into WoW again aswell, even if it’s just to clean out inventories in preparation for the pre-patch and maybe run some old raids now that we’ve not all been scaled down to level 50 yet. I guess we’ll see. For now though the match between Rogue and Mad Lions is only 30 mins away from starting and that will probably keep me occupied untill well in the evening.

Chasing Completion

I’ve alluded to it multiple times but I feel like I’ve done pretty much everything I wanted to do in the World of Warcraft. As such I’ve been trying to come up with new things to keep me occupied in the game, rather than taking an (extended) break. So when all else fails, or better when I don’t want to do challenging group content, I return to my completionist roots and start working away on earning achievements again. One of the more notable ones that I was close to was to get 100 reputations to Exalted. I think I only needed 5 more before the weekend. I found out that I could get two “free” reputations to Exalted by going back to Desolace and finish a, for some reason, resetted questline involving two centaur clans. After completing said questchain I got awarded with both their reputations being set to Exalted. The next reputation that I managed to get up, with the help of Timewalking, was the Sha’tari Defense reputation from Warlords of Draenor. For some reason though that one didn’t count towards my 100 so I had to think of other reputations to grind.
And that’s how I spent two to three hours of my Sunday grinding out Gadgetzan, Ratchet and Everlook reputation by committing pirate genocide in Tanaris. I got lucky with another player seeking to do the same and we grouped up, making the farm twice as fast. At the end of that grind I walked away with all those reps to Exalted, the achievement completed and a mount and title earned. There’s not many reputations that I’ve not touched now. I think three PvP ones are most notable, Silverwing Sentinels from Warsong Gulch, League of Arathor from Arathi Basin and Wrynns Vanguard from Ashran. I doubt I’ll ever get those to Exalted since I’ve not been interested in running battlegrounds for a long time now.
As far as PvE reptutations go… I still have Ravenholdt on Neutral and if I really wanted to I guess I could go for Insane in the Membrane, but I’m not that crazy yet. There’s Chromie rep to get and a variety of fishing reputations aswell as Draenor Garrisson bodyguard stuff. Nothing that is very appealing to me right now. I’m also still steadily working away on getting Exalted with the Rajani, I’m done with Uldum Accord, but that rep is limited to the assaults and dailies that I can do. I’m currently sitting around 17.5/21k though so I think I should be done with them around the weekend.

I’ve also started to do achievements that are specifically tied to Battle for Azeroth. Killing all rares in the various zones. Finding all treasures. Read scrolls and ride rickety planks or find grey items that are hidden in plain sight, if you know where to look. Eventually I’ll get to the harder to get ones and back to Nazjatar and Mechagon meta achievements, if I can keep interested until that.
There’s also some older “group” achievements that I’m eyeing to do. They mostly evolve around raid/dungeon achievements that also give a mount and I see that I’ve basically stopped doing them around Mists of Pandaria. Since that is all outdated content now I’m going to try to do as much as I can on my own and maybe ask a friend or two to assist me with the rest. That should keep me busy for a while atleast.

I’m also maybe planning to casually level up some Allied Race toons, if only to unlock their respective heritage armours and get those achievements out of the way aswell. Leveling is pretty braindead right now and fast enough to keep me entertained while also getting reasonable progress when I play for an hour or so. I’ve been poking around on a Lightforged Draenei Paladin and a Zandalari Troll Monk. Seeing as how I play tank and healer respectively I get pretty fast dungeon queues and when I don’t feel like doing dungeons I can just switch to a dps spec and quest my way up. By no means is this a big time consumption for me and I’m not going to make it some sort of “must do” goal but it’s nice to sometimes play a lower level toon and not have to think about too much.

Anyway, before this post turns even more rambly that’s what I’m mostly up to in WoW these days and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I’m also still playing FFXIV and leveling my Dark Knight there now, but that also limits itself to doing the pixie dailies and a random dungeon when I feel like it. I feel like summer is kind of taking away my will to game and instead I’m trying to be more outside. Be it in an active way or just lounging on my balcony while reading a book, it feels good to be in the fresh air and about instead of staying cooped up in my apartment the entire day. Especially now that my vacation is over and I’m back to work I feel like I need to make use of my free time to get away from my house, before the walls start closing in on me.
And inbetween that I’m satisfying my completionist urges. Let’s hope those can tie me over untill the Shadowlands prepatch.

Sandy’s MMO Sunday: July 5th, Big Milestones Time!

Warrior on Black Serpent of N'zoth
When there’s progress and you know it clap your hands!

What a long strange trip it’s been for the past few weeks. I’ve been writing drafts, deleting them and then starting new ones without actually finding it good enough to post. I don’t know how many semi finished posts have ended up in the trash but it’s been more than I intended to have.
As I’m writing this I only have one week of work left and then I’ll be away from having to work from home or in the office for two glorious weeks. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while now, I can feel it’s been a while since I had more than a long weekend off. It’s summer here in the Netherlands and as a good Dutch summer pertains we had a few days of seriously hot weather followed by rain, wind, and more rain. As I’m writing this post it’s sunny out but also very windy so I can’t really have all my windows open because the wind is making them slam shut. Instead I’ve opted to open my balcony door, which is pretty securely fastened, and then try to cool down my house a bit that way. So I figured now was a perfect time to attempt another blog post, in the hopes that this one will make it to published status.

So to start off: I’ve been extremely busy in the World of Warcraft. I’ve been working on many different things and am close to accomplishing a few of the bigger goals I set for myself in this game.
First off I managed to complete both a Stormwind and Orgrimmar 5 mask Vision run. Both were brutal in their own way but I’m glad I did it nonetheless. Since I completed them solo I got a nice Feat of Strength achievement, which came with a shiny title, and I was one step closer to getting the meta-achievement to get a mount. Today I managed to finally complete the last step I needed for that and obtained the mount as shown in the screenshot, the Black Serpent of N’Zoth. I’m so pleased! This means I don’t really have to do difficult Visions anymore but instead I can just relax and start grinding out currency so I can buy another mount and a backpack transmog item, the first one in the game. This was one of the things on my big “I have to complete this before Shadowlands comes out” so I’m happy to be able to cross it off the list.

Another big goal I was working towards getting is timing every single dungeon on a Mythic+15 level. For a quick explanation, dungeons in WoW are for 5 people. As you level up you unlock the “Normal” version and once you hit max level you unlock “Heroic” version. Things start getting interesting from “Mythic” version and upwards. Seeing as you can just queue up for Normals and Heroics they’re usually pretty fast and easy to use to gear and level up your character. For Mythic (and Mythic+) you need to assemble a group yourself, like in ye gooden olde times. You can still use the Looking for Dungeon tool but it’s not as easy as queuing up. Now the + in Mythic+ comes from the fact that you can “level up” Mythic dungeons by the use of keys. In theory these keys can level up infinitely but there are some major breaking points to be had. With every level the dungeon goes up the mobs in the dungeon increase in health and damage done. Next to that there will also be special affixes to the dungeons. The very first one is one that is active from Mythic 2 and up and it is one that boosts either Boss health or Trash health, then at Mythic 4, Mythic 7 and Mythic 10 another affix is added to the dungeon making it much harder to attempt. The affixes can be many things and for a full explanation of them I would like to refer you to this guide on WoWhead.
I’ve gotten to the point that I’ve been sort of smoothly tackling Mythic level 15 and above. I’ve done every single dungeon on level 15 except for one. Which is kind of a bummer since if you do all of them at level 15 or above you get a nice Feat of Strength achievement and a mount. Which is obviously what I’m after most. I’m hoping that I can get into a group for that final dungeon somewhere this week because the affixes are relatively easy so it shouldn’t be to hard to get. Once I do that’s another big goal striped off the list!

Warrior in Uldum for daily quests
Feeding a little monster

With the above two goals being (almost) completed it means I have to look for something new to keep me occupied in WoW. I’m still working away on leveling up my Rajani and Uldum Accord reputation, whenever I feel like doing the dailies. I’m also doing a daily quest chain in Uldum which will eventually reward me with a mount, but I’m not quite there yet. Other than that I’ve kind of given up on leveling more alts for the time being since I don’t want to burn myself out even harder on this game. Instead I’ve decided to be insane and try to farm enough gold to get the 5 million Brutosaurus mount before it disappears in the Shadowlands prepatch. I’m currently sitting on 600k gold so I still have quite a ways to go, but I’m hoping I can get there. I have 4 max level characters which I can use to farm old raids with, who I’m doing all Emissaries with and who I use for crafting various gear items to sell at the vendors. All in all I’m making around 50-100k gold per week just from “farming” gold. If I could start playing the Auction House in addition to that I’m pretty sure that I will be able to make that 5 million gold in time. But only time will tell.

All this focused attention on WoW has unfortunately meant that I’ve barely played anything else. I did a few sessions of FFXIV over the past weeks but didn’t really make any progress. I should really play a bit more though because I still want that Ixion mount before it’s gone. I have untill August 11th though but I don’t want to do it last minute.

As for the rest of my gaming time.. Well I have picked up a new hobby that has nibbled into that. I will probably do a blogpost on that somewhere this week so keep an eye out for it! For now I’m going back into WoW and grind out some more gold.

Sandy’s MMO Sunday… Err Tuesday? June 16th 2020

I realized I didn’t do my MMO Sunday this week and the week before. While I have actually been pretty busy in, mostly, the World of Warcraft. We’ve been steadily clearing Ny’alotha heroic every week. Last week I joined on my Hunter and we managed to down all 12 bosses in one raid night. I’ve also been more active doing Mythic+ on my Warrior and have gotten 3 +15 dungeons done now. My aim is to get all of the dungeons timed on +15 before the season ends.
I’ve managed to get all the loot I need from Ny’alotha heroic, meaning I finally replaced my shield and my one hander and even managed to snag the N’zoth two handed weapon that comes with a rank 3 Twilight Devastation corruption. So gearwise I’m pretty much done untill Shadowlands. We may tackle a few mythic raiding bosses but that’s still up in the air. But when it comes to raiding content we can pack up and wait untill Shadowlands hits. We’ve actually been allowing alts into the raid and I’ve run Ny’alotha on my Hunter and gotten a few sweet pieces of loot from it to boot.

I’ve also been trying to do a solo 5 mask run in the Visions of N’zoth and got really frustrated with trying to do Stormwind. The Mage Quarter is a nightmare to begin with but with Leaden Feet as affix it was just undoable. So I gave up on trying that and waiting untill the next round of Stormwind and hope the affixes are better. I do hope I can do a 5 mask run in Orgrimmar this week and see how that turns out. Otherwise I have to say I’m kind of “burned out” with WoW and don’t really feel like playing anything else besides my Warrior. I’ve almost gotten every Essence and up to rank 3. I only miss the regular and rated pvp rank 3’s and the one from Nazjatar World PvP. I’ve kind of decided to not even start pursuing that last one because World PvP is annoying enough without having to do it in a dead zone. So I’ve been toning down my goals and spending less time online and instead am focusing more on my single player games and getting back into FFXIV.

Speaking of FFXIV, I’ve not given it the love it deserves. I still need to get the Ixion mount and my Warrior is still stuck at level 74. I think I’m going to take time away from WoW and put it towards playing more FFXIV instead so I can get stuff done there. Maybe I’ll start doing that this week.

Otherwise I don’t really have much to talk about when it comes to my MMO’s. So this was a short and sweet update.

 

Summer of Platformers: #1 New Super Mario Bros U

Sparkling Waters world, before the worst platforming nightmares

It’s a time! For the review of my first game of my Summer of Platformers. And really, would there be any surprise if I kicked off with anything else than the icon of platforming himself? Yeah I didn’t think so either.
To say that this game has been one of the most frustrating experiences I’ve had in a while would be an understatement. I’ve cursed and raged and almost threw my WiiU gamepad across the room. Nonetheless I finished the game today and it’s been a wild ride.

Initially I thought I had picked an “easy” game to start out my Summer of Platformers with. I mean, Mario is generally a kids game right? There is no way that I’m bad at a game aimed at kids. Hell I think my best friends’ seven year old kid would probably have a good time going at this game. Boy was I wrong.
I’m not sure if it’s the WiiU controls, you’re kind of forced to play it with the gamepad as single player, or if I’m just this rusty when it comes to platformers but I seriously considered just putting down the game and not look back at it instead of pushing it through to the end. I had one game over, which means I managed to go from over 30 lives to 0 somewhere during the final few worlds of the game, and I actually used the “Super Guide” function to play through two levels that were just so frustrating that I couldn’t do it myself. As such I have slightly cheated in finishing this game but what’s done is done. I have skipped getting a lot of the star coins and I’m definitely not touching the super special world that opened up after I defeated Bowser. I’ve watched some gameplay of that on Youtube and immediatly noped the hell out. I mean, I can’t even get through all the regular levels without help from the Super Guide, imagine me doing levels that require super clutch platforming skills.

Capture from the ending credits

It took me roughly 10 hours and 30 minutes to defeat Bowser. I’ve never once gone back to do a level when I thought that I wanted to get a coin that I missed and I didn’t necessarily stop and do all the Toad Houses for bonuses either. There’s definitely two hidden levels that I haven’t unlocked that I know of and probably even more. As such I consider this playthrough a “main story” run only. Looking at the numbers on howlongtobeat this puts me an hour above the average game time for people that only beat the “main story”. I’m putting this in quotes mostly because it’s a Mario game and as such it doesn’t really have a story beyond “go save Peach.. again”.

I can’t be all negative about this game. For a game from 2012 (God has it been that long?) graphically it still looked pretty fine. I forgot that the WiiU wasn’t necessarily a piece of junk hardware and the games that Nintendo developed for it look pretty decent still. It was a true Mario game with tons of colourful characters and silly music. I do always feel bad that I have to beat up all of Bowser’s kids before I get to kick his ass, then again they are in cahoots and are making my life difficult so in a way they deserve it right? I also have to say that I enjoy the flying squirrel suit and the levels where I could take advantage of that were more of a breeze than the ones that required really tight platforming. The Yoshi levels were interesting aswell, especially after I found out that Yoshi will eat almost everything when it comes to enemies, significantly reducing the difficulty of some of those levels because of it. On the flipside the moment something would touch me that shouldn’t Yoshi would chicken out, causing me to have to run after him and getting myself killed in that process more than once. Wuss dinosaur.

All in all I’m happy that I picked this game to start off my challenge with. It’s definitely on the harder side compared to a Kirby or Yoshi game. It felt immensly satisfying to finish it though and I’m already thinking about what I want to tackle next. It also helps that I finally feel less guilty about owning a WiiU after beating this game. I’ve had it for a while now and it’s finally getting the love it deserves. For now though this game is going on the “completed” pile and I doubt I will return to it anytime soon. Maybe when I’m drunk and every other game I own in my library has somehow been deleted.

Peach has been saved. Bowser has been sent off.
Number of games completed for my Summer of Platformers challenge: 1.

Sandy’s MMO Sunday: May 24th Tomestones Galore

A still of Thordan fight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s hope that happens next week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tiny update: (raiding) progress!

This week me and my guild in World of Warcraft decided it was time to start tackling Heroic Ny’alotha. Most of the people in the guild have been playing the game throughout the expansion and came from various other raiding guilds and as such were pretty much overgeared for normal raids to begin with.
We have established our raiding days to be Wednesday and Thursday. Which means that, even if it’s two nights in a row, I will be free to do whatever the hell I want for the rest of the week. Which is fine by me. Especially since I’m still trying to play another MMO (Final Fantasy XIV) and a single player game on the side.

We didn’t expect to get very far in the raid this week. I think our aim was 5 out of the 12 bosses. To our surprise though we managed to get 8 out of 12 down, with a sub 10% health wipe on number 9. It all went much smoother than we initially thought it would and the only bosses we really struggled on were Raden, which we killed after a few tries, and Vexiona which we didn’t manage to down unfortunately. I personally got a few upgrades and mostly I got to learn the fights as tank so next time we go in I will be better prepared on what to do and when.

As said earlier I’ve been working on a ton of stuff besides raiding in WoW. I’ve been focusing on upgrading my Heart of Azeroth Essences so that I can get the right ones slotted, and then get them ranked up. I think I have all the ones I need for raiding and Mythic+ tanking now which is nice. The only thing left is to get them all to rank four, which is still quite far away for most of them. I did however finish the Nazjatar zone story, and killed Queen Azshara in LFR, so the only thing left in that zone is dailies so I can get to Exalted reputation rank and getting my Nazjatar Essences to rank up. I’m diligently working away on Mechagon reputation aswell and I managed to get two more launch reputations to Exalted: Proudmoore Admiralty and Order of Embers.

Overall I’m making great strides to satisfy my inner completionist. The next thing to tackle is to kill Rakhastan in LFR so I can get that quest out of my quest log and then continue the zone quests in Drustvar so I can get that part of the map cleared out of quest markers. And then hopefully next raid reset we will be able to down more bosses in heroic Ny’alotha.

Battling The Questlog

Portal Room Boralus
About to zone into Nazjatar, one of the banes of my existence

Coming back to WoW, and especially on a character that I haven’t been playing since the launch of the latest expansion, has been a bit of an overwhelming ride. And that’s putting it mildly.
I kind of forgot how much content there is to catch up on when you haven’t played for a while. Even on my Rogue, who I’ve been diligently playing for most of this expansion, I suffered from getting fatigued with everything that was going on. Trying to keep an empty questlog, doing tons of dailies to get Exalted with certain reputations. Work on leveling up my Heart of Azeroth essences. It was all a bit much. Atleast on my Rogue I finished all the zone quests in both Kul Tiras and Zandalar and the War Campaign. On my Warrior I had to do it all over again. And that’s not even counting all the other random quests that you get from picking up items or leveling up your professions…

I guess it comes with an MMO like World of Warcraft that has been around since forever, but sometimes it’s so hard to catch up on content. Even when it’s only the most recent stuff. To give an idea of what I’m working towards right now:

  • Daily Quests: Doing them for four factions right now (Nazjatar, Mechagon, Rajani, Uldum Accord). Mostly so I can get my reputation up and buy fancy things from the vendors aswell as being able to upgrad my Heart of Azeroth essences.
  • Heart of Azeroth Essences: A thing to get in their own right. I need to do dailies, Visions of N’Zoth, raid, do dungeons, do Island Expeditions and PvP, all to just get the right essences to the right ranks.
  • Emissary Quests and Assaults: At four Emissary Quests per day and three Assaults per week that takes up a lot of time.
  • Raiding and Mythic+: Raiding is two nights a week. Mythic+ is another night, depending on how far we want to push.

And this is just the endgame stuff! Next to that I also want to tackle all the zone quests on my Warrior, level up Blacksmithing (I’m on 155/175 skill points), do the weekly events, hunt for mounts and pets. Basically do all the things. Oh and did I mention I’m doing a lot of this stuff on a few alts aswell? Yeah, I know I’m insane.

With all of this stuff going on it’s easy to see how an MMO completely swallows up your time, especially when trying to catch up on content or when new content is released. I guess I will get a bit more breathing room when I’m Exalted with all the factions I’m working on, since it means I can drop doing dailies for them, aswell as stop doing the assaults in Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The Emissary quests can be done in 10-15 minutes when you just do them every day. At some point I will have obtained and ranked up all my essences so there’s nothing to do there anymore either. The Visions of N’zoth also have an endgoal and when I can get to doing a Mythic+15 on time I’m done with that aswell. Raiding wise I think we will be aiming to clear Heroic Ny’alotha and then call it a day there.

So as overwhelming as things may seem to me now, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I’m taking stuff one thing at a time. Setting priorities and choosing what to work on, on a daily basis. Right now I’m prioritizing catching up on the Nazjatar and Mechagon zones and their associated quests and dailies. Assaults and Rajani/Uldum Accord dailies are things I do on the weekends when I have a bit more time. The same goes for running Visions and Island Expeditions. Excellent stuff to do on the weekends where I have more than a few hours to spend.
Slowly but surely I’m getting there. And I’m doing it without driving myself nuts in the process. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to kill some Naga on their home turf.

This post was the 5th of Blapril