Weekend

Three day gaming weekend

This weekend it’s Pentecost, meaning that most people in the Netherlands have a three day weekend instead of a two day one. Seeing as how I find my weekends always a day too short, it’s quite nice to have this extra day off to spend as I please. It means I can spread out my cleaning/other chores over a few more days which leaves me with more time for my hobbies or meeting up with people.
Seeing as how I’ve been really tired the last two weeks I’ve decided that this weekend I’m just going to be indoors and game and make a ton of progress everywhere by doing so. Of course I had to go get groceries for these three days and of course I’m not going to be a total hermit but my main activity for the weekend will be playing games.

So far I think I’ve made good on my plans to spend time in single player games during the weekends. Yesterday I’ve had two long sessions of Kingdom Hearts 3 as I’m making my way through the story. I picked up where I left off last time: Arendelle, the Kingdom of the movie Frozen. It’s really cool to see how Square and Disney have collaborated on this game. Although in all the levels you’re following the story of the movie that the level is based upon, some are a bit more literal than others. Arendelle was one of them. You literally see segments of the Frozen movie, including the entire Let It Go song, as you go through the level. The interference by Sora & co in this level is therefor much smaller than say in the Monstropolis or Caribbean worlds, which I will get to later. I did enjoy Arendelle. I liked the Ice Labyrinth level and the “final” boss fight of the world was interesting aswell, even though I was sure I was going to die while fighting. After I was done with the main story of the world I went back to do the Frozen sledding mini game. Even though I’ve yet to discover all the treasures on the course I did manage to get over the 600k point cap you need to obtain the trophy so there’s that. I’ve not found all of the Lucky Emblems yet so I’m definitely going back for those with the help of a guide. I think I also missed out on a Classic Kingdom mini game but I’m not sure. All in all there’s still enough to do there to have me go back after I finish up the main story.

After beating Arendelle you are sent to the Caribbean where you team up with Jack Sparrow once again. The gameplay in this world reminded me a lot of Assassin’s Creed 4 where you are master of your own ship and sail from island to island and have to defeat boats along the way. During the mainstory of this world there is a race segment versus one of the people from Organization XIII. It was actually quite a bit harder than I thought it would be and I had to redo the race three times because I kept losing at the end constantly. After you defeat the mainstory you can go back and roam around on your boat, exploring islands and finding treasures and more. There’s also a ton of navy battles to do and if you kill enough ships you get a trophy, if you level up your boat enough you get a trophy aswell. I may want to go back and do that at some point. My boat, the Leviathan, is sitting at level 8 now and is already one-shotting all the smaller ships when they show up in the waters, I only struggle with the bigger ships because they hit a lot harder. The amount of treasures on this world is insane, but then again it’s Pirates of the Caribbean so I would have expected nothing less.

To end my session yesterday I went over to San Fransokyo, the world from Big Hero 6, which is the final Disney movie world of the game. The recommended level is level 38 but with me going back to other worlds, especially the Caribbean, I’m well over leveled for this world now. I think I’m sitting close to level 40 and I’ve barely touched San Fransokyo. I’m really curious as to how the story is going to play out here and I’m hopefully going to find out later today when I resume my playing. Right now I’m about 25 hours in with still San Fransokyo and whatever comes after left to finish. Hopefully I can get towards the end of the game by the time the weekend is done but we’ll see. For now I’m really happy with the progress I’ve already made and the fun I’ve been having playing the game.

Next to Kingdom Hearts I’ve also steadily been putting time in on FFXIV. My Goldsmith is closing in on level 55 and my Alchemist is sitting on level 37. I’m not sure how far I can push these up the rest of the weekend but I hope that by next weekend my Goldsmith will be in the 60’s while my Alchemist should be closing in on level 50. It’s slow and steady going but it’s progress so I’m happy with it. I also need to spend a bit of time farming up Moogle tomes so I can get the Pegasus mount and Namazu earrings. I’m actually quite close to get the mount but the earrings are going to be a pain… Next to that I still have a few quests to finish off so I may focus on doing that aswell.

The one thing that is really nagging at me though is the fact that I’ve still not fully leveled up Blue Mage. I guess the concept was fun on introduction but in reality I think Square completely missed the mark on this one. There’s simply not that much fun to be had from leveling the Blue Mage and getting all the abilities. I guess there is the Coliseum but that’s it. I find it a shame really because I think they could have done so much more with this concept. The same goes for Eureka and the Relic Weapon. I never took to the grind and so I have inadvertedly chosen to skip out on this part of the game. Which saddens me because I had a maxed out Relic in both A Realm Reborn and Heavensward and I’ve actually been working on a second Heavensward one. However the Stormblood one was a major disappointment and I really hope they won’t implement a similar mechanic for the Shadowbringers one.

All in all though I can say that I’m finding my fun in gaming again and as result I’m making some actual progress on my backlog and in my MMO’s. Now I just need to figure out how to combine this with getting healthier…

Gaming weekend

Double Dragoon ultimate

Above picture has little to do with the contents of this post but I thought it was pretty. I guess it ties in to me talking about FFXIV so there’s that.

I’ve had an odd week this week. I was planning to play a lot of games during the evenings but those plans were quickly foiled. On Tuesday evening we went out to dinner after having the day off and afterwards I was tied to the TV all evening watching the Real Madrid-Ajax game. On Wednesday I managed to play for an hour or so but on Thursday I spent my evening watching Grey’s Anatomy and Violet Evergarden. Yesterday night I watched the Leaving Neverland documentary so all in all I’ve been watching more TV and shows than I have been gaming.

Nonetheless I want to spend this weekend making some progress in my two MMO’s: World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV. I have the time and the motivation now. There’s no appointments or birthdays this weekend, only some chores. I have the house to myself and no-one to bother me while I will immerse myself in either Azeroth or Eorzea. I’m making small weekend goals for myself to attain and this weekend I’d like to focus on the following things.
In FFXIV I want to get the 2-star speed book for North Shroud. I’ll have all the 2-star speed books I need to make my Ixal dailies go faster. I also want to get Carpenter as close to 50 as I possibly can so I will make sure to do the Grand Company turn-ins next to the Ixal dailies and I may even do a levequest or two. I’m also planning to do the Little Ladies day event on my alt, just to get the flower crown for transmog. It’s a short event this year so that should be doable.
In WoW I want to focus on my Nightborne Mage and start the slog through Nazmir. It’s not like I actively dislike the zone but it’s a rather dark and disturbing story that plays out and it’s big with lots of running back and forth. Not really something I’m looking forward to but something I will have to do to get closer to level 120. I know I could’ve gone to Vol’dun instead but out of the three Horde zones I like that one the least. Deserts are not really my thing and I’m not very enamoured with the zone story there. I know I’ll have to do it at some point, especially if I want to make this Mage my “main” Horde character for the forseeable future. You need to finish off Vol’dun to progress all the stories. For now though the focus is on Nazmir and getting through that as soon as possible.

A big part of this gaming will be done with League of Legends in the background as usual. I really hope Misfits wins their game today to keep playoff hopes alive. Otherwise I’m hoping to see G2 in the finals in Rotterdam, but at this point in time it’s anyone’s game.

Birthdays, books and bringing down the chaos

As I sit down to write this post another weekend has gone way too fast. Granted it’s “only 19.30” as I’m writing this and I still have a few hours of evening to fill. However it feels like the two days respite you get inbetween the five days of hard labour seem to last shorter every week. Somehow the more stressful work is the faster the weekend goes. Normally I could attribute my short weekends due to sleeping in late but not this time. I woke up around 9.00 both yesterday and today and I didn’t really stay in bed for long after waking up either. This has caused my mornings to be filled with World of Warcraft and consequently freeing up my afternoons for other things.

Yesterday the weather was nice and I really needed to get my eyebrows back in shape so I decided to go into town to walk around a bit, poke my head into the “Used Products” shop we have and get my eyebrows done. I probably should have picked a different Saturday to do this because this weekend was the last holiday weekend for the country before schools and normalcy starts up again. Our city center was absolutely crawling with people and there were lines for everything. Success was had though! I bought a used copy of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” for the Nintendo DS for only €10. I remember owning that game for my computer back in the day and even though I may still own the disc, I doubt I can get it to work on my current PC. The DS however is still going strong so I figured I would pick this up and enjoy it 13 years after release date. I also managed to get my eyebrows plucked and cut, after an hour wait, but decided against getting my hair done due to the fact that it was already late and I had to be home on time for the big event of the evening: My uncle’s 50th birthday!
I’m not sure how big of a deal this milestone is in other countries but here in the Netherlands we celebrate it in a big way when a man or woman turns 50 with set traditions and usually a very big party. So that’s where I spent my Saturday evening, dancing with my family and generally having a good time. A lot of my coming weekends will look like this since September seems to be the birthday month. It drastically cuts down on my time but it’s nice to see my family and friends and celebrate life.

As for today I decided to slowly start getting rid of stuff I don’t use or wear anymore. I wanted to start small so the thing I’ve tackled today was my jewellry box and my rack of earrings. There was a period of time where I owned over a 100 pairs of earrings. After getting rid of everything that wasn’t real silver, I’m slightly allergic to “fake” silver earrings, I’m now down to a total of 20 pairs of earrings/earbuds and I’m happy where I am. I’ve also gotten rid of a lot of cheap, bulky bracelets which in turn opened up some space to store my watches. All in all it was a very satisfying task and it will save me the headache of having to do it when I move out next year.

Finally I managed to get started in a book again for the first time in a few months. Last April I discovered Robin Hobb as writer and the amazing books she has written. I’ve bought the entire Farseer Trilogy and am currently a little over halfway done in the second book. I’m really hoping to finish it off in September and start reading the final book in the trilogy after. It atleast gives me something to do that doesn’t involve a screen and reading also improves my writing so it’s a win/win situation overall.

As for the rest of my Sunday though. I still have one or two chores to do and I really want to get atleast the Beast Tribe dailies done in FFXIV so my Machinist will gain a bit more experience. Otherwise I predict some more time in WoW to get the emissary quests done on my Paladin and an early night so I can be fresh for work tomorrow.

Summer?

It’s about 10.15 am as I start writing this post. My brain is still half asleep and my body is exhausted after working a grueling 40 hour week.
Normally I would be happy working extra hours, because it means extra money. Since I’ve already gone on vacation and summer in the Netherlands is shit anyway I don’t really mind spending more time at the office. However this week has just been incredibly insane and it’s knocked me down majorly. I really need this weekend to regain some energy… which probably won’t really happen since I have a ton of chores waiting for me together with a birthday and the enormous guilt of not going to the gym during the week. All in all I’m unsure how much time I will have to relax, but I do hope to get atleast some hours of gaming in somewhere during the day today and tomorrow.

With me being extremely tired when I got home every evening, and having to cook and do everything myself because my dad and his GF are still in Canada, I’ve not really gotten much done in the way of games. I think I’ve only spent some time playing FFXIV and doing atleast the Moogle dailies… But that’s it. The only positive point here is that my Weaver is now level 58 and I’ve gotten all the old blue scrip gear for my left side to use, so that’s very nice. Other than that I’ve not really made any progress anywhere, not even on any of my 3DS games or my Wii U. It’s sucky, but oh well.

Being still in half zombie stat I’ll keep this post short and sweet. I have a seriously long list of chores to work through, which includes doing atleast three loads of laundry in two days and plucking weeds in the backyard. If my mood clears up a bit and my chores are done I’ll probably come back for a better blog post, but for now this is what you’ll have to do with. I’m sorry!

Sun on Sundays

Spring has finally arrived in the Netherlands and seeing as we don’t have that much sun in our country, I felt like I needed to take the opportunity to enjoy the warmth and sun. So after spending yesterday walking around in the shopping area, getting my eyebrows done, shopping for new clothes and a new phone cover and picking up sunscreen for this year, I felt today was perfect to pick up my 3DS and sit in the backyard and play while trying to get some tan on my legs.
So I did just that and played about 2 hours of Pokémon Blue, defeating Misty in the second gym and talking to Bill to get my S.S. Anne ticket. The average level of my Pokémon is now 18, which isn’t too bad after gym number two. My team currently exists of Wartortle, Bellsprout, Pidgey, Nidorina, Geodude and Jigglypuff. I’m hoping to replace the Jigglypuff and Nidorina with a Fire and Electricity or Psychic type Pokémon, but for the third gym Geodude will be amazing, so I’m definately keeping him on my team.
Playing through the first Pokémon game I realize how easy the later generation games have become. Training Pokémon and beating trainers on Blue is significantly harder than it is on Pokémon X and Alpha Sapphire, the two latest installments I have from the series. It’s really nice seeing this oldtimer again though and I’m having as much fun playing through it now as when I had when I was 10 years old.
My coworker has picked up Pokémon Red and we’re kind of navigating through the game together, picking opposite things so we can trade Pokémon to eachother later on for completion of the Pokédex. Ofcourse there is no way to get them all without atleast a third person with a third game around, but we do our best.

Another game I’ve been poking around on my 3DS in is The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. I bought this game heavily discounted thanks to My Nintendo and I have to say it’s a lovely game to play. Having only seen Majora’s Mask and The Windwaker so far this feels like a more real Zelda game than the other two. I’ve only just started so for now I’ve only seen the top-down gameplay, but it’s cute and simple and something I can see myself putting time into and even finishing within the considerable future. Together with Pokémon Blue though this takes up most of my “handheld” game time, leaving little room for other games to be played.

Progression in FFXIV
I gave my Miqo a new haircut. Normally I’m not fond of short hair, but this particular cut is super sassy and I love it on her. Pixie cuts are cute and if you have the right face for it they can look amazing, something FFXIV shows. I also am a huge fan of bubblegum pink hair so naturally I had to dye it that colour. Although the gear looks horrid (level 35 leather gear just doesn’t do it for me) I love the way she looks right now and I don’t think I will change it for a while.

So about that progress…
Yesterday I dinged level 40 on my Machinist. It’s kind of funny that the more skills I unlock, the more I seem to enjoy the class. It’s kind of what Bard was in the last expansion, only with more gadgets and more cooldowns to keep your eyes on. Playing Machinist is quite intricate, but if you play it well and use your cooldowns wisely you can pump out much more damage than meets the eye.
At level 40 you also get your first turret, the Rook variety. It has two forms, an attack form where it performs single target attacks on the same target you’re using weaponskills on. If you upgrade it, it turns into a TP restoring turret, which is really nice if you run with melee. I immediatly got to take the turret for a testdrive versus Svara in the Coerthas Central Highlands. Yes. That Svara. I’m not really sure why Square Enix raised her from the dead just for a Machinist quest, but I’ll take it.

We took her down as a bunch of Machinists and all was well.
Having my Machinist on level 40 means I can focus on the Monk a bit again and bring that to the same level. Although Monk as a class isn’t new to me, I’m still happy to play through the jobquests again and unlock the skills that turned Monk into the best Melee DPS in the 2.0 expansion.
All in all I had a really nice, relaxed weekend. I got to play through a bunch of Pokémon Blue and The Legend of Zelda and got some nice personal time in, which is about as important. I noticed that I can still lose myself in a game, I just need to actually sit down and play. And with that knowledge I hope to be able to push through a lot more stuff over the coming weeks.