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Sandy’s Sunday: Work Sucks

As I’m sipping on a coke I figured I should sit down and write something.
Basically the past week has once again been super busy and chaotic when it comes to my job. My team is gradually growing smaller and as such we need everyone to be able to do everything. So my colleagues have been busy learning new tasks and I’ve been keeping an eye out for everything else that needed to be done. Couple that with a week with a ton of meetings and I was happy when it was finally time for the weekend so I could recharge a bit.
On Thursday I went out to dinner with a colleague/friend, which was really necessary to lift my spirits a bit. We had an awesome evening just chatting about everything and unwinding. Being in a warm and cozy restaurant enjoying a three course meal while outside it’s pouring has it’s charm. Luckily by the time we were ready to leave the weather had cleared up so I didn’t get home completely drenched.

Due to me getting home tired a lot I didn’t get much gaming time in. After I’ve finished leveling Ninja to level 80 and using Bard to level up my Trusts a bit I’ve been having a bit of a burn-out on FFXIV. I just didn’t feel like starting up the game at all so my Bard is still sitting at level 73 and otherwise I’ve not been making any progress. However I’m feeling the itch to log on again so I may do a few Trust dungeons today so I can finally leave Holminster Switch behind me and focus on the next dungeon in the bracket.
The game I did start up a few times over the week has been Pokémon Sword. I’ve been diligently working away at filling up my Pokédex and am currently sitting at 177 Pokémon registered. Only 23 more to get to my goal of registering 200 for this month! It’s actually gone surprisingly smooth. I’ve been focusing a lot on just evolving all the Pokémon I already caught and then I moved on to catching, and evolving, new Pokémon. I’ve also been participating in a lot of Max-Raids to try and obtain Pokémon that have Gigantamax forms, instead of just regular Dynamax ones. So far I’ve managed to catch a Gigantamax Snorlax, Butterfree and Coalossal. I’m still on the hunt for more!
In other Pokémon news, I haven’t actually watched the Pokémon direct but was nonetheless hyped when they announced an expansion to the Pokémon Sword and Shield games. Even though I wish that Game Freak wouldn’t be a sell out and just release a complete game from the start I can’t deny that I’m pretty happy to be getting more content to the game. As I’ve mentioned before I think the overall story of Pokémon has been a bit short this time around. Getting two new areas, with a lot more Pokémon introduced to the Pokédex, plus more story content, is exactly what I and others have been hoping for. As such I actually pre-ordered the expansion straight away so it will ready for me to play once June and November hit.

Finally instead of gaming I’ve been spending my time watching Netflix, specifically two documentaries: Don’t Fuck With Cats and Cheer.
The former has just been disturbing on all counts and I’m not sure if I would’ve watched it if I had known exactly what it would be about. It just goes to show that some people are deeply disturbed and should be locked away from society forever.
Cheer however has been a fun documentary to watch. I was a gymnast on a decent level from the age of 6-12. I never made national championships or anything but I was once in the top of my district for my age group aswell as making it to province (state for the US folks I guess?) championship. Where I was quickly desillusioned with my actual skills because my and our club actually performed pretty bad compared to the rest. Oh well. Anyway, Cheer is a documentary following the Navarro College cheerleading squad who have won a lot of titles. They pick out a few of the cheerleaders to follow more personally and basically show the preparation for the big National Championship that is held every year in Daytona Beach, FL. Cheerleading on that level is basically brutal. It’s gymnastics, tumbling, acrobatics and dancing all in one. Serious injuries happen, as shown on the documentary, and getting on the team that actually will perform the act on the championship is a struggle. Due to the stunts and acrobatics trust in your teammates is required. You need to be able to know that you will be caught if you fall. If someone fails to catch you the entire team gets punished. This sounds a bit harsh but is also understandable. You win as team but you also fail as team.
Watching that made me think of my own gymnastic days and give me a sense of missing out in a way. I think if I grew up in the US being a cheerleader would be totally up my alley, even with all the injuries. I think I would’ve absolutely loved it. Now however I can only look at these girls and hope they haven’t destroyed their bodies too much while doing what they love.

All in all it’s been a week of trying to get back into the work rhythm and giving myself plenty of time to rest up and relax after making long days in the office. Next week should be a bit more relaxed and with that I hope that I can get a bit more game time in when I come home!

On A Roll

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

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

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

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

Pokémon Sword “Finished” and January 2020 Goals

I figured I would start the New Year with a bang and as such have spent some time grinding away on the Pokémon storyline untill I saw the credits roll. Spoiler, it happened after I won the championship (shocker!). It took me about 22 hours to get through the story and when I was finished I had 86 different Pokémon species registered as “owned” in my Pokédex. I managed to do almost all of the content with a team of Galar only Pokémon but I have to admit that I had to swap in an Ice-type not from Galar at some point to defeat the Dragon Gym-leader, since I didn’t have anything that was effective against Dragons before I captured one of the two Legendary Pokémon that you can capture in Pokémon Sword/Shield.
I’m pretty happy that I’ve managed to finish this game in under two months from getting it and for now the focus will go out to completing the post game storyline so I can get the other Legendary Pokémon and slowly filling up my Pokédex. I’ve actually started that part already and I am now up to 106 Pokémon registered. Only 294 to go!

I also took the time today to finally do the World of Warcraft anniversary raid event before my sub would run out (it has less than two days to go at this point). I did the raids, they were fun, people suck at the Plague Dance for Heigan and then I got the Deathwing mount so all is right. I know that I could run the raids more often so I can get some gear from them but for now I’m satisifed. I think I’m going to let my subscription lapse for the time being, seeing as how I’ve not really touched the game ever since I unlocked flying and got Exalted with the Mechagon and Nazjatar factions. Maybe I’ll come back when they release the next patch or a bit before Shadowlands so I can gobble up a bunch of the story content that I’ve not done yet but for now I’m taking another hiatus.

So, with that information out of the way let’s look at what I want to do in the first month of 2020! I predict Final Fantasy XIV to still be my main MMO so I will set some goals there first. I think it’s the game where I will put most of my time so I want to set a generous amount of goals!

  • Get more battle classes to level 80. I have 6 to go, with Ninja currently being 77. I hope to get Ninja and atleast two others to 80 by the end of the month.
  • Work on getting my first crafting classes to 80. With Ishguard restoration this shouldn’t actually be too hard. My Carpenter is 77 as we speak so that should be able to get to 80 fast. Ideally I want 3 Crafting classes to 80 by the end of the month. Let’s say Carpenter, Weaver and Leatherworker?
  • Level up Fishing. I’m currently sitting on level 64 and I want to get atleast to level 70 this month.
  • Level up Blue Mage. I want to hit atleast level 20 by the end of the month.
  • Complete all the side quests that are still up in the First
  • Work towards rank 3 FATEs in Ahm Araeng and the Tempest. Preferably I’ll have both done by the end of the month

In other MMO’s:

  • Make progress in LOTRO. I’m level 3 and at the absolute beginning of the game. I have no idea about the layout of this game yet and how zones and other stuff works so I just want to head out and explore and see where that ship strands.
  • Finish off the current zone I’m in on my character in Guild Wars 2.

In single player games:

  • Finish the Pokémon post-game questline
  • Get 200 Pokémon registered in my Pokédex (atleast!)
  • Pick Spider-Man back up for my PS4 and play through/finish the game

All these goals should be easily doable. Especially the FFXIV ones. One of the things I want to (again) start doing is pick a game from my massive single player games backlog and just play through it in a month’s time. Some games are shorter or longer than other games but I want to start making a dent in my massive collection. I also don’t have any plans to pick up full games this year for now. I’m probably getting the Kingdom Hearts 3 expansion and the new expansion for World of Warcraft but other than that I have nothing on my radar that I desperately want to get. But let’s start with Spider-Man for now!

December 2019 In Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Controllers and Tiny Hands

I told Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut yesterday that I really enjoyed his post about finding a controller that would suit someone who has big hands. Mostly because I suffer from the exact opposite. My hands are, by all standards, tiny. It comes with the total package of being only 1.60m (or 5f3in for my US friends) tall. I have a small shoe size and smaller than average hands. Just to draw an equation: My best friend’s daughter, who is only 7 years old, almost has as big hands as I do.
Having these tiny hands can be very handy in some situations but for someone who likes playing games, a lot, this has caused it’s share of issues over the years in finding what controller and mouse fit my hand nicely without feeling too uncomfortable.
I can honestly say that I’ve not yet found a controller that is truly comfortable to hold for me, but there are a few that come very, very close.

Playstation’s Dualshock


I’ve been a Playstation gamer since I was very young. Their dualshock controllers have therefore always made the most sense to me layout wise and I guess I trained my hands from a very young age to handle this specific controller. Is it completely comfortable for me to hold? No. However this comes closest to taking the cake. It’s one of the smaller controllers out there and ergonomically it’s pretty good to be holding for longer amounts of time. In it’s current incarnation I can reach all buttons, although I have some issues with using the touchpad itself. My thumbs sort of reach the lower bottom corners so I can press it when needed but when I need to use the navigational features I have to take one hand off the grip and navigate that way because my thumbs just don’t extend enough.
Any variation of the Dualshock usually turns out bigger and bulkier and as such I never bought anything else to play with, with the so called “Pro” controllers being completely unusable for me. I currently own two Dualshock Controllers. One that came with my Original PS4 and one that I bought on sale a few years back so that I always have one to use while the other one charges. They’re very sturdy and I think they will serve me well for a few more years atleast.

The Nintendo Switch Joycons

Surprisingly, I really enjoy handling the Nintendo Switch Joycons. I guess this stems from the fact that the Switch has been partly developed to be handled by children and as such the Joycons are pretty small by any standard. I actually really enjoy just taking the Joycons off the Switch and play with holding one of them in each hand. They fit snugly and I can easily reach all the buttons. And even though I show them in the picture with the wrist straps attached I actually prefer playing without those. It’s kind of a shame that Joycons are so ridiculously expensive, €75-80 for a pair. I currently own two pairs. The pair pictured here and the neon blue/red ones that came with my Switch when I bought it.
Compared to the Dualshock the Joycons do feel way more fragile and “cheap” in a way, but then again they are much smaller and still hold all that technology to make them work. For me the small and flat shape of the Joycons is ideal atleast and I have no issues playing for hours with them. I even want to go as far as to say that these are the best controllers Nintendo has made for me so far since the NES/SNES area where controllers were still much smaller. And even back then the NES/SNES controllers were inferior to the SEGA Mega drive (Genesis in the US) controller for my tiny kid hands since the Genesis controller was curved whereas the NES controllers were square bricks and the SNES controllers just made no sense to my kid brain. And as far as the rest of Nintendo contraptions go.. Let’s just say I’m happy that they went with Joycons.
I think the only downside to the Joycons is that they’re miss a bit of grip on the backside of them. If they had a place where I could comfortably rest my fingers they would most definitely take the top spot for me.

And I think for me the list ends here with controllers that I actually use without feeling like my hands cramp up from having to hold them for a longer amount of time. It may be a bit dull but I’ve not really owned many different types of consoles and thus controllers in my lifetime. I was always a handheld gamer, which was pretty nice for someone with small hands. Even there I notice that I can’t really use some handhelds properly though. When I was a kid I got a Gameboy Pocket because the bigger original Gameboy was just way too bulky to hold. I’ve always owned the smaller versions of the Nintendo handheld lines and even though my “main” handheld is a 3DS XL right now it’s actually a bit too big to fit my hands properly and as result I can’t play with it for very long before my hands get tired from holding it.

There’s two more controllers that I can handle okay, but that I don’t really feel belong on this list, and that’s the Switch Pro controller and the Wii-U Pro controller. They’re both slightly too big for my hands, for instance on the Wii-U controller I can’t really reach the Home button well but ergonomically they do work, with the button layout on the Wii-U one being a bit more sensible to me.

And for all other controllers out there.. I’m sure I’ve not tested enough to really form an opinion. There is however one controller that is just a HUGE no for me.. And that’s the XBOX one. Sorry Microsoft.
I own a wired 360 controller that I bought before I got my PS4 to play games with a controller on my PC. I managed to make it work but ever since I got my PS4 I switched to the Dualshock and basically chucked that controller into a corner and never looked back. The layout is horrible for my hands. The controller is too big and just so unwieldy for me to hold, I really don’t enjoy playing anything with it at all. This has been true for all incarnations of the XBOX controllers and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

All in all I feel the scope of controllers for people with small hands is rather limited. I know that in the PC gaming world they’ve developed some mice for women, which are smaller, but maybe the console world should start looking into this aswell. Not all gamers are men and there are some of us out there that could do with smaller and less weighty controllers that are easier to wield. I think Google has tried to make an effort with their Stadia controller, which they designed with smaller hands in mind aswell so they can appeal to a larger audience. Unfortunately I don’t think I will ever get to test that controller since I don’t ever plan to subscribe to Stadia but atleast there’s one company making an effort.

So if any representative from Nintendo, Playstation or Microsoft happens to come across this post, design a controller for small hands! You have so many women and girls that play your consoles and I for one would be so happy to own a controller that is truly nice to hold, where I can actually reach all the buttons and that isn’t heavy after an hour of play.

Gaming Goals: November 2019 In Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandy’s Sunday: A dash of FFXIV

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

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

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

Gaming Goals: November 2019

October has come and gone and with it my Dad’s birthday, Halloween and a pretty big cold at the start of it. I head really big plans for the month of October but unfortunately I managed to way less than I set out to do. Let’s take a look shall we?

MMO Goals

  • Level my Monk and Samurai to level 80 in FFXIV.
  • Complete the level 80 job quests on Botanist and Miner
  • Level Culinarian and Blacksmith to level 70 + Job quests. Level Armorsmith to 50.
  • Finish atleast three Animus books on my White Mage.
  • Get Exalted with Nazjatar and Mechagon in WoW
  • Level my Warrior to 120 in WoW
  • Defeat Aszhara in the Eternal Palace LFR on my Rogue
  • Complete the zone my Ranger is in currently in Guild Wars 2

Non-MMO Goals

  • Finish Link’s Awakening

So I’ve been pretty busy in FFXIV and WoW but didn’t really play a lot at the same time. Usually I would just log in to do my dailies and then log back out and do something else instead. As such I’ve not done that much besides level my crafters and get exalted with Mechagon and Nazjatar. As sidenote, my Blacksmith is sitting at level 68 today and my Monk on 78 so I did come close to atleast striping those two goals off.
I’ve actually not spent that much time playing Link’s Awakening, something I want to rectify in November. I also didn’t touch Guild Wars 2 but instead played a lot of League of Legends during Riot’s 10 year anniversary celebration. I still log on every day to do an ARAM for fun and World Championship coins. All in all it was a bit of a weird month with some progress on some fronts and 0 progress on other fronts. As such I’m going to port over some goals to November, where I’m sure I’ll get them done, especially with the implementation of the new Beast Tribe dailies and the boost to crafting experience.
As far as my WoW goals.. My Warrior is currently sitting at level 115 so I did do some levelling, just not enough to push to 120. I haven’t touched LFR though and I do want to get that out of the way, even if it’s only to unlock the Wrathion questchain

So without further ado here are my gaming goals for November 2019

MMO Goals

  • Level Monk and Samurai to level 80 in FFXIV
  • Start leveling Dragoon to level 80 in FFXIV
  • Level Blacksmith, Armorer to level 70 in FFXIV and do Job Quests
  • Finish atleast three Animus books on my White Mage in FFXIV
  • Level my Warrior to 120 in WoW
  • Defeat Aszhara in the Eternal Palace LFR on my Rogue WoW
  • Do the Wrathion questchain in WoW

Non MMO Goals

  • Finish Link’s Awakening
  • Finish the mainstory in Pokémon Sword

This month Pokémon Sword and Shield come out and I’m getting Sword. I really want to play through the “mainstory” and defeat all the gyms to become the champion of the new region. I always really like the Pokémon games and franchise so I don’t doubt that this will be an easy goal for me. Before that though I need to finish Link’s Awakening so that is exactly what I’m going to focus on for the next few weekends.

As far as the MMO goals go, they should be easily doable. My crafters are rocketing through the levels since the 5.1 boost to experience and my Monk is as good as 80 aswell so that just leaves Samurai and Dragoon for this month. In WoW I just really want to finish leveling my Warrior and see more of the content on my Rogue so I’m going to be focusing on that.

What does your November in gaming look like?

When things click

I always really enjoy reading other people’s blogs. The way they passionately talk about their hobbies and games and make me feel I’m right there with them enjoying the same things they do. I’m not nearly as eloquent with my blog posts nor do I feel like I have a compelling way of writing but I aspire to be interesting nonetheless.

With my cold slowly going away, I only still have a nasty cough left, I’ve slowly gone back to normal life proceedings. Right now I find myself spending Monday evenings watching movies. A certain channel on Dutch TV has “magical Mondays” where the theme of the movie is Fantasy. So far I’ve seen Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Fabulous Beasts and Where to Find Them and tonight it’s the first movie of the Harry Potter anthology. It’s nice and nostalgic and even though the commercials drag this movie out for way longer than it should be I find myself not annoyed by them. Instead I use that time to get little things done around the house or, like right now, get a bit of game time or blogging time in. It’s nice to just sit on the couch and stare at the TV on a Monday, it’s usually a busy day for me at work and I just want to unwind and not think too much about things then.

On the topic of gaming I’ve found a nice balance between playing World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, World of Warcraft Classic and Link’s Awakening. For some reason things just seem to click and I feel I’ve found a bit of balance doing what I’m doing. In FFXIV I’m focusing mostly on leveling my crafters right now. My Culinarian has hit level 64, which is pretty nice, and my Blacksmith passed the level 40 mark. I expect that to be 50 around the weekend and my Culinarian to be either just shy of 70 or at 70. Which means I can put that to the side and pick up Armorer to take through Ixal dailies. I’m not really focusing on leveling my Monk during the weekdays but I’m getting plenty done during the weekend. As such I’ve hit level 75 and have been raking up Moogle Tomestones by running Main Scenario roulette. I’m not quite sure what I want to buy with them yet but it’s nice to have them in my back pocket when I do decide what I want.

In the World of Warcraft I’ve been spending my time making sure I do my Emissary quests every day aswell as trying to get my Mechagon dailies in often. So far I’ve been quite succesful and I think I only have about 7 or 8 days of Mechagon dailies to go untill I get Exalted reputation with them and can basically drop doing those dailies altogether. I’ve been logging into my Warrior during the weekend aswell and have gotten her up to 114. A Horde invasion was happening as I was leveling her up and to my surprise they give a nice boost of experience just like the Legion invasions did. Even better these invasions leave an hour buff which increases experience gained by 10% in Kul Tiras or Zandalar. It makes leveling a whole lot easier and faster and I hope next time I log my Warrior another invasion happens so I can partake in it again. With this I’m confident that I will be 120 in no time after which I have to decide if I want to gear her up and get her to the same level as my Rogue or be satisfied with getting to max level and then focus on something else. I doubt I will be able to do the latter though. I’ve missed playing my Warrior and I’m happy to be back on her so I think I will stick to her a bit longer and get her properly geared and work on various professions while doing so. Most notably Blacksmithing and probably Archaeology since I’ve not touched that this expansion yet.

On the WoW Classic front I’ve taken a decision that I think will give me more joy than anything I’ve done in the game so far. Initially I wanted to play the game on a class I don’t really play in retail to make the experience fresh and have a bit of a “what if” moment. However I soon found that I don’t really enjoy playing Warlock. The farming for Soul Shards is tedious and the standing still and casting, or wanding in most cases, while hoping my Voidwalker would retain aggro got dull fast. I tried a Druid afterwards and although I really enjoy playing Restoration, no matter what expansion or setting, it’s not a viable spec to level with. Thus I’m relegated to Feral which is less than enjoyable. I just want to heal. Let me heal!
As such I’ve done a bit of thinking and if I want to capture the nostalgia that many of my friends, and fellow bloggers, feel I should instead level up a class that feels like second nature to me. If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time the first class that would come to mind would be Warrior but I remember how absolutely terrible it was to level up back in the days so I’m going with my second big love in Azeroth: Hunter. On Retail I have three level 110 hunters with a fourth on the way, my Void Elf lady.
The moment I logged onto my Hunter in Classic something just clicked and felt right. Having my arrows back. Having a quiver again. Training Aspect of the Monkey, and later Aspect of the Hawk. Doing the level 10 taming beasts quests and subsequently taming my own pet for real. Hell even the dead zone inbetween shooting and melee all felt like a warm bath. I was instantly back in 2007, leveling up my Hunter and enjoying taming everything along the way. So now I’ve committed to my Hunter and am quite happily running along finishing off all the quests on Teldrassil. I’ve not been this happy in Classic since it launched so I know I made the right decision here and I hope to push my Hunter up to 40 as soon as I possibly can.

All in all I’ve quite found my groove and feel in a much more relaxed state of mind than I’ve been in the past few weeks. I’m happily bumbling through my MMO’s and playing Zelda on the side. I’ve found my “click” and I will do my best to hold on to it as good as I can.
Oh and as an aside. How on earth the ending of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone got approved as a kids movie is beyond me. He literally makes a guy turn to dust. What the hell parental advisory ratings?!

Gaming Goals: October 2019

September has flown by. I can hardly believe tomorrow is October first. Where did my final weeks of summer go? Fall has arrived and with it colder weather, the need for house slippers and blankets. It’s dark out much earlier and everyone is slowly looking forward to the holidays. The weather has turned aswell and it makes me feel way less guilty about staying inside and game and that’s exactly what I’m planning to do this month.
But first… How did I do with my September goals?

MMO Goals

  • Level my Monk to level 80 in FFXIV. Start leveling my Samurai afterwards?
  • Complete the level 80 job quests for Botanist and Miner
  • Level Culinarian to level 70 + job quests
  • Start taking either Leatherworker, Armorer or Blacksmith through Ixal dailies towards level 50
  • Work on White Mage relic
  • Work towards getting Exalted with the Nazjatar reps on WoW retail
  • Play some GW2
  • Play some WoW Classic

Non-MMO Goals

  • Play through/finish Oninaki
  • Pick another game to play on Switch

I’ve not done as well as I hoped. Even though I put a bit of time into both Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft Classic it has not been enough to really enjoy the games. I have made some progress towards reputations on WoW Retail but again not that much. I picked up Blacksmith to take through Ixal dailies but I’m only at level 35. As for the rest of the goals… I got my Culinarian to level 60 and my Monk to 73 but that’s it. I’ve not spent much time on games at all this month.
The only things I’m happy about is that I finished Oninaki, earlier than I thought, and I picked up a new game on my Switch: Link’s Awakening. I want to rinse away the taste of September and all the stress I had during that month and look to October to redeem myself. So here are my goals for October!

MMO Goals

  • Level my Monk and Samurai to level 80 in FFXIV.
  • Complete the level 80 job quests on Botanist and Miner
  • Level Culinarian and Blacksmith to level 70 + Job quests. Level Armorsmith to 50.
  • Finish atleast three Animus books on my White Mage.
  • Get Exalted with Nazjatar and Mechagon in WoW
  • Level my Warrior to 120 in WoW
  • Defeat Aszhara in the Eternal Palace LFR on my Rogue
  • Complete the zone my Ranger is in currently in Guild Wars 2

Non-MMO Goals

  • Finish Link’s Awakening

I’m going full force MMO’s this month. I’ve already picked my non-MMO game and I’m quite confident I’ll be able to finish that. Otherwise I mainly want to focus on levelling all the things in FFXIV and some WoW shenanigans. I also want to give GW2 a bit of love so I want to play through atleast the current zone where my Ranger is in and 100% complete it.

All in all I think these goals should be doable as long as I keep logging on to play. What are your plans for October?