Progress

FFXIV, Pokémon and Sabrina

It’s been an odd week for me. Pokémon LetsGO finally got released and I picked that up yesterday evening. I’ve been leveling my Paladin, although I’ve allowed myself to take a night or two off from that aswell and I’ve started watching the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix.

With the new expansion announcement of FFXIV, Shadowbringers, I realize I’ve taken the decision to work on leveling my classes on just the right time. Blue mage is coming in patch 4.5, which probably means somewhere in Q1-Q2 of next year, and if all goes right I should be up for leveling a battle class again by then. Even though Square announced that the newly announced class will work a little differently.
I wasn’t surprised at all to find out that we were going to Garlemald, the current expansion has done it’s best to set up that premise. I’m also not too surprised that Yoshi P. hinted at Viera as the next race and I’m quite curious to see how they look. What did surprise me is the announcement of a “New Game +” mode. I may actually be quite interested in that, assuming it’s done properly. I also really hope that they’ve learned of the mistake that is Eureka and bring back the relic weapon in a more traditional way in the new expansion. All in all there is a lot to look forward to concering this new expansion and if all goes well I’ll be playing it at my own house when it comes out.
On the leveling front in FFXIV there’s not that much progress to mention. My Paladin sits at level 65 and thus is only 5 levels away from reaching the cap. With near instant queues for almost all roulettes and the ability to queue up for on-level dungeons this has got to be the fastest class to level up together with Dark Knight and Warrior. I’ve also diverted some of my time this week to take a stab at leveling my crafting professions and working a bit on the Heavensward Relic for Dragoon.

As mentioned before I picked up Pokémon LetsGO (Eevee) edition last night and so far I’m really enjoying the game. It’s really rather casual to play and even though I was a bit sceptical at first I actually really enjoy the new gameplay mechanics. Not having to wander through tall grass hoping this or that random encounter turns into the right Pokémon to catch is really refreshing and the interaction between your character and your partner Pokémon is just straight up adorable. It’s a game that you can easily pick up and play for an hour or so and it doesn’t really require much thought to play. I’m hoping that for once I can atleast complete the Pokédex on here, next to beating all the Master Trainers that are in the game.

Finally I’ve started watching a new show on Netflix: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. It’s basically a more adult retelling of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, a show that was a big part of my childhood/teenage years. It’s a bit more gory and horror like but so far no real scares. I’m about halfway through, I think episode 6 out of 10 and I’m probably going to finish watching it next week. After which I’ll have to find yet another new show to watch, but that is a decision for future me.

My Own Plan

Looking out over Tiragarde Sound

It’s been a bit of an odd week for me. I found myself slipping back into casual raiding on my Paladin. At the same time I’ve been trying to take a bit more distance from WoW and immerse myself a bit more into FFXIV, single player games and making sure that I have a healthy sleep schedule. I’m aiming to be in bed by 23.00 every night except Saturday because obviously I have a bit more time to sleep in over the weekend and as far as things go I notice that It’s having a good effect on my general mood.

The lack of clear focus in my MMO’s has me reconsidering what I want to do in them for the rest of the year. In FFXIV I’m quite certain that it boils down to leveling as many classes as I can. I’m slowly bumping up my Black Mage, while also catching up on gear with my White Mage. Unlocking Heaven on High, the Stormblood version of Palace of the Dead, will help me a lot with my leveling ambitions and will provide me with decent weapons for all my jobs. Being able to tick of level 70 on my remaining jobs will be very satisfying and I’m not really looking into doing anything else there right now.
Well that’s not completely true. I’m also busy unlocking any content that I may have missed from this patch and the last while supporting Doma with the rebuilding of the Enclave. Seeing that city grow and getting all the cutscenes has been very fun and satisfying. Plus it’s a gil income that I can definitely use.

In WoW my focus is slowly shifting away from traditional progress (raids and dungeons) and more to personal progress. I’m working on getting the BfA reputations Exalted on my Rogue while also completing the Battle for Azeroth achievements that are easy to obtain. This means I’m wandering around the world a lot looking for items, treasure chests and creatures to kill. I’m also slowly picking up the transmog farm again and have been running the T11 and Wrath of the Lich King raids to complete or start working on transmog sets. This has led me to discover that the Legacy Loot rules are atrocious and I’d much rather Blizzard reimplement the old way of running outdated content with group loot and a need/greed system for when you buddy up. Nonetheless I’ve been able to obtain a complete T11 set on my Paladin and one of the pets from the Raiding with Leashes IV achievement. I’ve stated earlier that I want to make an effort to level up one of the Allied races but for now that’s a weekend only project. I want to narrow my scope to my Paladin and Rogue mostly so that I don’t get overwhelmed with content and to make sure that I don’t spend too much time playing this game when I could be doing something else. This also means putting my Mythic+ ambitions on the backburner, but honestly with how the game plays right now I’m alright with that. Trying to get a weapon upgrade for my Protection spec has been atrocious and I’m not really content with the whole way Azerite Gear works either. So I don’t want to put too much energy into it where I can use it on things that are more important.

In real life I’ve gotten some very good news from my job. Up untill now I’ve been working as a “temp”. The rules are a bit confusing here in the Netherlands but it boils down to whether the company you work for wants to hire you on their own or via a temp agency. A lot of companies work with the latter because it’s easier to fire people that way and because it’s limited. You can only work a maximum of five years for a company via a temp agency after which you’re usually dismissed and have to look for a new job. I’m in my third year right now and didn’t have that much hopes on obtaining a normal contract but my boss surprised me last Friday with the announcement that they are working on it. This means a much better contract for me with a lot more vacation days that I have now (45 vs 20), a bonus that’s decided on how much profit the company makes, an extra month of salary and better sick leave arrangements. Seeing as my current temp contract runs until April 1st next year I’m hoping they’ll transfer me then which would be perfect because it lines up with me moving to my new apartment around that time aswell.

All of this has inspired me to pick up the slack in other areas of my life. I’m eating more healthy (no more candies and crisps) and trying to be more active when it comes to exercising. I’m picking up the courses that I started ages ago again and I’m generally in a more stable and happy mood than I’ve been in a very long time. I’m also trying to be less chaotic at work with how I do my job and be a bit more organized in my private life aswell. I’m going out more and planning a lot of fun things for the coming few months. I’m not quite where I want to be yet, I’m still full focus on losing weight, but my life finally seems to come together slowly. I can’t wait for 2019 and all the amazing things it will bring. I just need to make my own plans and stick to them and I’m positive that things will then work out in my favour.

Settling into a rythm

I figured it was time I sat down and wrote a blog post again about my adventures in the World of Warcraft. I know it’s probably not super interesting to read my babbling about this game a lot but since it is the only game I’m currently really active on it’s also the biggest inspiration for my blog posts. So I will keep on writing about it a lot for the time being.

As of yesterday I completed the War Campaign on the Alliance side. It’s been a hell of a ride with killing a San’Layn blood prince and sabotaging the Zandalari fleet. All in all I enjoyed this questchain a lot more than I thought I would. Especially the involvement of the Void Elves was amazing. Their portals to suck up enemies are hilarious and I used them happily. Because you know, who wouldn’t want to suck entire armies straight into the Void?
I’ve also peaked into the Warfront on my Rogue before the Horde filled their bar up and was quite surprised with how the setting actually is. There were enough people around to do the quests with and to farm rares with and ofcourse you have the World Boss that drops loot. It may not be something that you zone into every day but for a day in the weekend it’s fine content. I’m trying to queue up for Island expeditions here and there aswell, mostly so I can unlock the next tier of research on my ship. Finally I’ve also been chiseling away at all the reputations and am Revered with everything except Champions of Azeroth and the Tortollan seekers.

With a ton of new content unlocking this week I hope to do my four Mythic dungeons, dive into LFR and grind a bit more rep overall on both my characters. On my Rogue specifically I’ve already found a routine where I just make sure to do my Emissary quests every day and do the Champions of Azeroth/Tortollan Seekers ones aswell. On my Paladin I’ve finished the zone story in Zuldazar and am now only one quest away from unlocking the King’s Rest dungeon. I did the Warfront scenario before Blizzard hotfixed it and I’ve been gearing up to tank Mythic and Mythic+ over the weekend.

I’ve also found myself settling into a bit more of routine for my weekdays. Since I’m limited in the amount of time I have to play I make sure that I get my Emi’s done on both my characters. I then also make sure to do the CoA and Tortollan quests on my Rogue. When I’ve done all that and I have time left I either work on my Professions, queue up for a Dungeon/Island Expedition or grind out some extra World Quests for gear or I tackle some leftover quests in my questlog. It’s nice settling into a routine like that, even though it slows me down a bit. I just don’t really  have the time during weekdays to commit to much more so for then I tackle smaller things like Reputation, Fishing and a random dungeon/expedition/battleground. All the small bits still work towards my greater progress goals so even though I get to unwind I am also getting stuff done. Which is nice.

Lastly I want to take the time in this post to finally take a look back at Blaugust. I managed to nab a gold award this year, meaning I’ve posted atleast 25 posts. I’m pretty proud of myself for posting that regularly during the month of August. And even though I didn’t make it to the rainbow badge I proved to myself that I can actually put out more content if I want to. I just need to carry it over to the rest of the year.

Things go faster than they seem

It’s funny how much stuff you can get done in limited time. If you plan well and stick to your planning you can get miles ahead on what you thought you’d be doing.

Yesterday I came home from work and felt exhausted. This is nothing new for me on Fridays. For some reason they hit me harder than any other day of the week and often I find myself sleeping my Friday night away. Normally I would be pissed at myself for falling asleep but by now I’ve recognized that I need that to preserve my energy so I just let it happen. This allows me to wake up relatively on time on Saturdays and start getting stuff done.
Did I mention that I got a new curtain fitted and that my room is dark again at night? Holy moly it has done wonders for my sleep. I can’t even describe the feeling of not waking up the moment the sun rises anymore. I’m lucky that it’s winter and that sunrise is relatively late but still. Not waking up early in the weekends is a blessing and I’ve noticed my sleep improving by leaps and bounds.

What I really wanted to talk about in this post is how fast the progression of the goals I’ve set for myself seems to be going. My Astrologian is just shy of level 69 in FFXIV. I’ve finished my book. My Miner and Botanist are both sitting above level 60. My Paladin is level 103 soon and steadily advancing all her quests aswell. I’m five hours into Xenoblade Chronicles and I’ve been watching some Punisher again. It’s really nice and smooth sailing.
As it stands now I predict my Astrologian to hit level 70 somewhere this week. I’m so close now that I really just want to get it done with. The real question is, what am I going to do afterwards. A part of me wants to keep pushing up new classes but I’m really wondering which ones. I’m obviously going to focus on both Miner and Botanist but if I keep going the way I do they should both be 70 well before the month ends. I want to get the Goddess of Magic title in FFXIV and as such I’m eyeing my Summoner/Scholar already. The class is level 58 and would be a logical choice to level up after I’m done with Astrologian. However I’m also feeling very partial towards Monk right now and I’m pretty sure I can use the diversion from playing healers/ranged to a melee again. Mostly so I can pick up my Ninja easier as well. Another thing that’s been eating at me is the scope that FFXIV has as an MMO. I’m already considering what I want to do when I get tired of leveling and gearing. There is so much to do in this game. I’ve barely touched Gathering and Crafting as it stands. There is the Chocobo racing, the card game and the Pokémon wannabe minion battles. A part of me wants to dabble in all of it and a part of me warns me that I don’t really have the time. It’s a struggle and one I want to put off untill next year. I mean, I’ve kept my December goals to a minimum for a reason.

In WoW I’ve been spending the time I have on my Paladin. I’m noticing that after an hour or so of playing I tend to get restless and shut down. I’m not forcing myself to do anything anymore and an hour of play is fine for me. Obviously it slows my whole level proces down but it’s surprising how much you can get done in an hour. I’ve picked up the quest to get the Protection Artifact weapon and I’m planning to go do it the moment I unlock Halls of Valor in Stormheim. Having to queue for dungeons as DPS is really shitty and I enjoy playing Prot Paladin so there’s that. I remember doing the quest on my Draenei and I remember it being a huge pain in the butt so I’m curious to see how well I fare on my Bloodelf. I should also do the quest for my Holy weapon but it’s not really on my radar yet… Even though it is a barrier that must be overcome if I want to advance in my Class Hall quests.

I’m also noticing that I’m much happier just doing my own thing and not being constantly asked to do stuff by guildies. I’m having a real “einzelgänger” phase now and I just want to be left to my own devices when I’m online. I guess in a way it’s lucky than that I’ve not pledged myself to any groups outside of my FFXIV raidgroup. Maybe this is also why I can finally enjoy some single player games again. No one bothers you when playing them and I can get really submerged, even if it’s only for an hour or so. This has made it much easier to sink some time into Xenoblade Chronicles. I know I’m still only 5 hours in but I’m really enjoying myself. The system is a bit complicated and the quests are hard, after dying 3 times I realized that I probably should makes some more way in the mainstory before I could complete a certain sidequest, but the entire game so far has been amazing. I love JRPG’s and I feel like I can finally sink my teeth into one and finish it.

Another reason for me to sink my teeth into games that I have is that I’m finally making preparations to move out of my Dad’s house. I got a call from a real estate agent about one of the projects I entered. Apparently someone fell through on financing their appartment and I was next on the list. I’m meeting with them next Thursday and then I can start getting my own finances in order. It’s a project that is due somewhere in 2019 so I’ll have an entire year to get the stuff I need for moving. This also means that I have to take a look at my current expenses and start cutting where I need to cut. On the gaming front it’s no more new games. I’m quitting my gym membership (seeing as I’m not going anyway) and no longer have to pay for University as I’ve finally graduated. This leaves me with my travel costs to work, phone bill, the monthly pay I make to my dad and my two MMO subs. All those costs come down to about €300 a month. I’ve reserved about €100 more for work lunches/other foods so that leaves me with about €1200 a month I can deposit into my savings account for my house. I have a big expense in January seeing as I am going to replace my PC (it’s just not working for games anymore) but other than that I should be fine saving up a storm. I’m really excited about this and feel in no way sad that I have to stop impulse buying things. I have everything I need and if I have to play all the games I own back to back I’m pretty sure that would satisfy me for a year anyway.

So yeah. There’s lots of things I’m working on and looking forward to. I really hope I can keep up my motivation to get both my real life and gaming goals done. Untill then I’ll update my blog regularly with news from my gaming adventures and probably also news about my first very own home.

Some progress to report

Loading screen Paladin Class Hall

As I write this post I’m feeling much better than I did before. I finally have Thursday off again and the stress of work has left me completely. There’s still some things that need addressing on that front but for now I’m enjoying my free time and working on some of the goals I’ve set for myself at the start of this month. On a side note, it’s really unbelievable that it’s already December. 2017 has flown by and I’ll be happy to go into 2018 with a clean slate.

So what I wanted to talk about.
I’ve been making steady progress on my Paladin. I’ve landed in Legion and did the first few of my Class hall quests and started off in Stormheim as my first zone of the expansion. The choice to dive into Stormheim first basically came down to two factors. Overall it was probably my least favourite zone to navigate without flying mount and I want to get it out of the way as quickly as possible so it made sense to tackle it first. Secondly I’ve never done this zone from Horde perspective and I was really curious how the whole Sylvanas/Greymane story looks like from the other side, so there’s that. By the time of writing this post I’ve made my way to level 102, gone through the Exodar scenario and am neck deep into my Class hall lore. I have to admit I’m pleasantly suprised by the Paladin Class hall. The only lore I’ve actually finished has been Warrior, Hunter and Druid (and almost Demon Hunter) and nothing feels as organized and military driven like the Paladin story.  I like that I have Lady Liadrin as follower and seeing all these familiar faces from the past 10 years I’ve been playing WoW. The only character to fall out of theme for me is the Tauren Paladin representative simply because Tauren Paladin are still new to me and I’ve never experienced their lore.

Exodar Scenario

I’m also more fond of my Ashbringer than I realized I would be. I know that in Vanilla it was a thing (especially corrupted Ashbringer) and it’s one of the really fabled weapons in World of Warcraft lore. To me it’s just a really pretty sword and it suits my Bloodelf just fine.
Just as a sidenote, I’m using Retribution mostly to level. I am planning to go Protection for dungeons/mythics/LFR and the like. I’ve always been a Protection Paladin on this character, going so far as to tank Icecrown Citadel and I really enjoy the specialisation moreso than I do Retribution or Holy.
All in all I feel like I’m on schedule in my WoW adventures. If I poke in my head a few hours a week I should be level 110 in no time. Then it’s mostly gearing, making my way through the story and Class Hall stuff and eventually get my awesome Class mount.

Another thing I did today was finish reading “Name of the Wind”. I was pleasantly surprised by the book and found it hard to tear myself away from it’s contents. I’ve been reading a lot during the evenings and on the train and took a few hours today to finish up the last part of it. It’s a really well written book with an extraordinary story. Some things may be a bit annoying to grasp, the currency system still doesn’t make sense to me at all, but it’s a good fantasy novel. It has a form of magic, heroes and villains, and mystical creatures. The choice to bring the story in the form of the lead character telling his own history makes things interesting aswell and I’ve laughed out loud and teared up at some points in the book. All in all it means that it’s terrific to me and I can’t wait to start the second book “The Wiseman’s Fear”. However I didn’t plan on finishing so fast and now I’m a bit stuck with a hole in my planning. I still need to finish watching Punisher though and I’m sure I can use the extra time to make some progress in Xenoblade Chronicles or Pokémon.

As far as FFXIV goes, I’ve been running around on my Astrologian getting her to level 67. Only three levels off the mark now and I’m noticing that I’m mostly fine with taking an hour or two to play and then drift off to something else.  There’s not really much to tell there since the level routine mostly exists of doing my beast tribe dailies and some roulettes. It’s a bit boring and grindy but it’s also a nice distraction when I feel a bit down.

All in all I feel like I’m making some decent progress on the goals I’ve set for myself. I may even expand and do more than I originally planned to do, but we’ll see. Work is still being a major bitch with a lot of free days and people taking the holidays off. I’ll be working extra and even though it earns me some extra money to spend I feel like I can do with all the free time I can get right now to replenish my energy and start working on being healthy again.