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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.

Five Favourite Game Series

There’s been a bit of a topic going around the blogosphere about what people’s favourite game series are, started by Krikket over at Nerd Girl Thoughts. Their top five to be precise. It’s an interesting subject because it kind of forces one to think about what a game series really is. Do they have to be successive? Is two a series, or is it three or more? Is it a game series if it’s just the same character in the lead all the time (like Mario or Sonic)? Interesting things to think about when talking about game series.
Personally I don’t actually have that much difficulty picking a top five, so here’s mine!

1. Pokémon
I’ve actually played a game of every generation starting at Blue. I can even say I’ve finished the main objective in every game except Black 2. I became the champion every time and usually also finished off the post game stories, however flimsy they were for every iteration of this game. Currently I’m just waiting for the DLC to hit for Pokémon Sword.

2. Picross E
So I’m seriously addicted to Picross games and on the 3DS there’s the Picross E “series”. I think they’re up to number 7 or 8 now and I’ve bought and finished every single puzzle in all of them. The games provide somewhere between 10 and 15 hours of entertainment and I tend to finish them in a week.

3. A2 Racer
Ok so hear me out. Back in my childhood years there was a Dutch development company called Davilex. They developed a few games that were very popular at the time and one of them was the A2 Racer series. The first one was pretty straight forward and was basically racing down the A2 highway modeled like the actual Dutch highway without getting caught by the police and also while avoiding other cars. After that came more installments in the form of racing in England and Germany, racing with speedboats and racing with campers, trailers and caravans. I’ve played every single installment they released up until the developer shut down. Good memories.

4. Final Fantasy
I own almost every game in the Final Fantasy Franchise, except for the original VII and the XI MMO. I’m playing through the remake of VII now though so I guess that’s fine. I love Final Fantasy, I think Square Enix has done a great job with the games over the years. Once I’m done with the VII remake I will probably go back to XV to finish that.

5. Spyro/Crash Bandicoot
Okay, these are technically two game series but they were the staples of my childhood and I immediatly jumped onto the remakes when they were released over the past few years. Both iconic series in their own right and both victims from falling out of favour after their glory years on the PS1 and PS2.

Bonus: Kingdom Hearts
Oh Kingdom Hearts. Probably one of the most confusing game series every created but so good nonetheless. I’m listing it as a bonus here because even though I’ve touched/played most of the games in this series I actually only really finished Kingdom Hearts III. I probably should go back and play through all the other games of the franchise…

I’ve played many more games that I could consider part of a series but these are the ones where I have the most fondest memories of. Let me know what your top 5 is!

This post was the 4th of Blapril 2020

Goals: January 2019

After my big yearly look forward post here comes the smaller monthly one. I’ll keep it short and sweet.

My Gaming Goals

  • Level Dark Knight to 70 in FFXIV and complete all Job quests
  • Level Samurai to 70 in FFXIV and complete all Job quests
  • Nintendo GotM: Pokémon LetsGo. Technically cheating this one a bit but I want to finish it up in January
  • Playstation GotM: Spyro 2: RIpto’s Rage. I’m aiming for 100% completion and the platinum trophy here

I want to finish off the big level race I started somewhere in October. I only have Dark Knight (lvl 55) and Samurai (lvl 50) left and I’m positive I can level up both jobs before the end of January. Blue Mage will get introduced into the game aswell and if I finish up leveling these last two jobs I will probably have a jab at that. I still have my leveling buddy for most evenings so chatting away while we do roulettes should, in theory, make time fly by.
As far as the Nintendo and Playstation games of the month go I gave myself some slack to get started on this. I’m well over halfway in the Pokémon game and Spyro shouldn’t take me more than 10-15 hours to complete just like the first game.

Other Goals

  • Book of the Month: Roger Daltrey – My Story (Thanks, Mr. Kibblewhite!)
  • Show of the Month: Luther

I’ve started reading Roger Daltrey’s autobiography and I want to finish it this month. My dad is an avid Who fan and has ingraineed this into me growing up. The book is actually a quite fun read and I am zooming through it with relative ease. I highly recommend people to read it if you have any affiliation with the Who as band.
A show that has been on my radar for a while now is Luther. I’ve never actively followed it when it was being broadcast over the past few years but now it’s on Netflix I may aswell watch what they have to offer. I am planning to watch all seasons this month simply because they don’t have that many episodes so this should be a walk in the park.

I could end up doing more than is on my goals list since I’m giving myself a lot of slack this month but who knows. Maybe this month will be busier for me than I think in advance.

Gaming (and other) Goals December

Seeing as I don’t have the shadow of my education looming over me, I finished off my Master’s Thesis and handed it in AND presented last week, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Enough so that I can actually game, read and watch movies without feeling guilty in the back of my mind again.

So with this I wanted to make a goals post for the last month of this year: December.
I’m currently invested in a few games. FFXIV is still ungoing and I’ve picked up WoW again. Friday nights seem to be my new go-to for Heroes of the Storm, which is a game I thoroughly enjoy aswell. All in all I’m hoping to create a few planned game nights and stick to them to get stuff done. In the meantime there are some things I really want to get done this month.

In FFXIV

  • Level Astrologian to 70
  • Level Miner to 60 (and maybe 70?)
  • Level Botanist to 70

I want to get back into the leveling game on FFXIV and I want to shift my focus a bit away from the battle classes and onto my Gatherers. My Astrologian is currently level 66 and should have no issues getting to level 70. My Botanist is 62 and my Miner is 58. These are all easily attainable goals.

In WoW

  • Level my Horde Paladin to level 110 and get Argus + Class quests done

I only have one big goal in WoW for now. I’m playing it very casually but I really want to start getting some stuff done. I’ve switched over to the Horde side for the time being because I don’t want to deal with people in my Alliance guild right now. My Paladin is currently sitting on level 99 so it should be an easily attainable goal, even if I only spend a few hours a week doing this.

Other games

  • Make considerable headway in Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • Get off the first island in Pokémon Ultrasun
  • Level atleast 1 hero to level 5 in Heroes of the Storm

I picked up Xenoblade Chronicles 2 yesterday and I’m fully committed this month to make significant headway in the game. I’ve played through the first hour or so and got away from the first city and onto the real first mission. There are a lot of things to discover in this game and I’m figuring them out slowly.
On the Pokémon front I picked up Ultrasun earlier in November and started piddling around in it. I’ve decided I want my team to be comprised of Alolan Pokémon only this playthrough and as my starter I picked Litten. My main goal is to get off the first island.
In Heroes of the Storm I want to work on leveling up heroes to level 5 that I enjoy playing. I have a bunch of them sitting in the level 1-4 range so it shouldn’t be a problem to pick one up and get to level 5, and by proxy learn to play them properly. I was considering picking either Tracer or Genji for this since I really like assassins but we’ll see.

Non gaming goals

  • Watch “the Punisher”
  • Read “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss

When I’m not spending my times on games I like to make use of my Netflix subscription or reading books. Lately I’ve been wanting to do more of both and after finishing “The Ouroboros Wave” by Jyouji Hayashi I feel like I can pick up a series of books again. A lot of people have been praising Patrick Rothfuss and I’m willing to give his series a try so I’m going to start off with “Name of the Wind”. As for Netflix. I’ve watched all Marvel shows up until now so it’s only fitting I’d watch the Punisher aswell.

So these are the things I hope to be doing in December. They are small goals, seeing as we have holidays and what not, but hopefully all of them attainable. I may post my intended schedule later this week but for now I’m going to dive into a book, seeing as I have a really annoying headache today and my eyes can’t take staring at a screen for too long.

May Recap.

The month of May is over today and it’s time to take a look back at what I’ve actually achieved this month.

Goals for FFXIV

  • Level Monk to 50
  • Level Machinist to 50
  • Level Alchemist to 30
  • Level Armorer to 30
  • Level Blacksmith to 30
  • Level Culinarian to 30
  • Level Goldsmith to 30
  • Level Leatherworker to 30
  • Level Fisher to 30
  • Level Miner to 30
  • Finish Scholar 2.0 Relic Zenith
  • Finish Monk 2.0 Relic Zenith

Unfortunately I spent a lot less time playing FFXIV than I would have thought. With work being seriously overwhelming, me starting a new training regime and picking up a few new and very addicting games I actually only completed one goal this month, and that is level Goldsmith to level 30. I have barely touched any other crafters unfortunately, but I did level my Monk and Machinist. My Monk is currently sitting at level 40, where my Machinist has dinged 46 yesterday. All in all I made some progress and actually am not that far off level 50 on atleast the Machinist. Seeing as I have a nice vacation coming up I think I’ll be spending a bit more time in FFXIV so I’ll keep the goals I set for May and just push them over to June.

Goals for Blizzard Games

  • Get rank 20 in Hearthstone
  • Finish second wing of League of Explorers
  • Unlock third wing of League of Explorers
  • Finish Diablo 3 chapter 4 for the season
  • Play Overwatch! (I got early acces to open beta)

Other Goals

  • Finish reading Illidan
  • Finish watching Gotham season 1
  • Defeat second and third Gyms in Pokémon Blue
  • Play through two additional worlds/mission clusters in Ratchet and Clank
  • Wrap up some personal stuff related to University.

I got rank 20 in Hearthstone pretty fast with the release of the Old Gods expansion and also took the time to play through the second wing of LoE so that’s done. I’m still trying to unlock the third wing, but all in good time. I played less Overwatch than I thought, mostly due to being seriously tired. I did get some time in and am played about 5-6 games since launch. I’m still trying out a lot of the roster available and am mostly playing one or two games inbetween other activities as a sort of distraction.
I started out strong in Diablo last month, but unfortunately fell into the “I’m bored of grinding” after only a day or two. I do want to complete chapter 4 for the goodies, so I’ll try to focus on that next month.
As far as my other goals go. I read through Illidan pretty fast and really enjoyed the book. I’m way past the Third Gym in Pokémon Blue now (yay for playing on the train) and I’m over halfway with watching Gotham so I have been doing a lot outside of games. Unfortunately I was just too tired to do much of anything else so a lot of these goals will probably get dragged over to June aswell. I’ll see. I’m looking at what games I’m currently playing and enjoying and probably frame my June goals around that.
I’m a bit disappointed by the fact that I couldn’t do nearly as much as I’d hoped, but well, feeling tired a lot kind of takes away from gaming.

Entertainment goals for 2016

After writing my Gaming Goals list, I got inspired to look at other areas in my life and set “goals” for those aswell. I’m not a very big media consumer. I hardly watch TV… And if I do I prefer to watch a documentary of sorts or a football match while staying away from most shows and a lot of the brainless crap they seem to be enjoying on the telly nowadays. Every now and then though I get into a show and I feel like I should watch it untill the end… And seeing as there have been some seriously good shows the past year I feel like I can play catch up in 2016. And look forward to more series to come!

Lets start off with…

TV Shows
I’ve been an avid follower of some TV shows in the past. I think I’ve watched most of the Star Trek seasons of every generation except the original one. I’m pretty sure I’ve actually seen Voyager from start to end. I’ve watched all of Charmed, Buffy and Angel… Alias, Desperate Housewives and some Dutch series I was into. I also followed Grey’s Anatomy religiously, untill they decided to kick the character Christina Yang and Derek Sheperd. In 2015 I’ve watched very little shows except for Hannibal season one and two and Les Revenants season one. I’ve also watched some Orange is the New Black and House of Cards and Daredevil on Netflix.
Looking at what I’ve seen, and what I haven’t seen yet… I want to atleast watch the following shows in 2016:

  • Hannibal Season 3. This could be the last season? I’m kind of cheating here since I’m already a big way through this season, but haven’t quite finished it yet. I really want to know how it ends though so this is top priority right now.
  • Les Revenants Season 2. I bought Season 1 on Blu-Ray and am watching it in preperation of the second one coming out on Blu-Ray in January so I’m caught up again. I think this is one of the better shows I’ve watched the past five years and can’t wait to see how it unfolds.
  • Daredevil. I have the show on my computer somewhere and watched the first episode and loved it, but for some reason never got around to watch the rest of it. High on my list aswell!
  • House of Cards Season 2 and onwards. I watched the first season and got hooked but stopped watching some episodes into the second season. Now there are four and I feel like I need to catch up and watch. Kevin Spacey is brilliant in this show and the way it’s filmed is completely my style.
  • Orange is the New Black Season 3. Watched Season 1 and 2 and then somehow couldn’t get into the third. Am planning to watch it before number four comes out though. I hope.
Books
In the past I have been more of an avid reader and my favourite books were always of the fantasy kind. Lately though I’ve invested a lot in books about Psychology and Neurology which are two of my biggest passions. I didn’t get a degree in Psychology for nothing and the human brain fascinates me to no end. So I’m planning to read atleast the books I bought about those. Next to that there’s a fantasy series I wish to finish… Here’s the list!
  • Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. A beautiful book about music in relation to the brain. Oliver Sacks has been one of my favourite authors and is a very well known Neurologist and Neuro Psychologist. He writes pretty damn good books and I’m very sad that he passed away this year.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I actually know very little about this author but his book somehow ended up in my  hands and I can’t wait to read it. I have the Dutch version though and it’s quite a big book… But I’m really looking forward to reading this!
  • We are our Brain by Dick Swaab. Sorry for only the picture here but it’s a Dutch book. It basically discusses brain functions in a very funny and readable way. I ordered this recently and won’t be reading it untill I’ve finished a few of my other books, but it looks very interesting!
  • Laat Je Hersenen Niet Zitten by Erik Scherder. Another Dutch book by an author that is called the Dutch Oliver Sacks. He is a Neuropsychology teacher and sort of a TV celebrity here. This book is mostly about how being active is good for the brain and how to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • The Tamuli by David Eddings. A fantasy trilogy set as a sequel to another trilogy of his. I read the first one and started in this one. I’m a really big fan of Eddings and I hope these books are just as good as all the other ones I’ve read from him.
Anime
There’s a few anime shows I have laying around but never gotten around to watch. Firstly there is Elfen Lied that is usually a bit too violent for my tastes but nevertheless I still really got hooked on the first episode. I want to watch the rest because I want to know how it ends… However it’s been so long since I started that I’ll probably start watching it from scratch. The same goes for Ayashi no Ceres which has been sitting around on my PC for years now. Never got around to watching it and I really want to so.
Anyway, I consider this to be my “entertainment” list for 2016. It’s mostly catching up on shows, in the hopes that I can start watching the new seasons for atleast House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. I also still have the hope that there will be a fourth season of Hannibal… But let’s not get too excited untill it is actually announced.
This will also be my last post of this year. There will be one more “goals” post to follow tomorrow which will focus more on my personal and real life goals. It looks like I’ll be heading into a busy year next year… But I can’t wait!