WoW

Another level 120 reached

Darkshore black moon

Ding! Another level 120 done in World of Warcraft. This marks my third character hitting 120 and my first Allied race to max level. I took it really slowly leveling this character up, not spending that much time on it during the weekday evenings. However since it was the weekend and I had more time to play I figured I’d push my way to 120. It helped that an invasion spawned in Zuldazar which netted me half a level yesterday morning. From there it was finishing up the main Nazmir storyline and claiming the final outpost in Kul Tiras that pushed me over the edge to maximum level.
Ofcourse I immediatly hopped into Darkshore to experience that zone story from the Horde PoV, something I hadn’t done on my Paladin yet, and all in all I have to say it’s really disappointing compared what you get storywise as Alliance. I did get two nifty new toys though so there’s that.

Now the big “catch up to current content” road begins. I’m obviously still in rather shit gear having just dinged max level and everything so my priority right now is to try and get my itemlevel up as much as possible. There’s a million roads that I can take to do that though so I’m just going to go ahead and see what works best for me personally. I’ve opened up World Quests, I can do the Arathi Basin battleground, there’s dungeons to do, World Bosses to slay and entry level LFR to achieve. I’m not going to push myself very hard to get geared but I would like to just catch up to a reasonable itemlevel and maybe do some Mythic Dungeons or casual raiding when I have the time.

This also means that I’m turning my sights to my Void Elf Hunter and start pushing that up to level 110, purely so I can get the Heritage Armour. I’m not sure if I want to push that character further up though since I’m already noticing that I’m getting slightly burned out on the whole leveling thing. That’s probably caused by me playing my Mage a lot over the past week just to get her up to 120.

Over at the FFXIV front they’re dropping a new content patch tomorrow, which continues the main story scenario, the Hildibrand questline and a questline to unite the Beast Tribes of Stormblood. Since I’m a huge lore junkie I’m definitely going to spend my night in FFXIV to see what happens next in the main story atleast. I may even be able to squeeze in the Hildibrand quests aswell. This may also be the kick in the butt I need to gear up my White Mage properly so I can experience a few of the content things I haven’t done yet. I did spend some time leveling up Fisher over the weekend, who is now sitting just shy of level 48. Out of the three gatherers it’s by far the most obnoxious one to level so I’ll be happy to get it to 50 at least. I’m also slowly picking my way through some Ixali dailies again so I can get my Goldsmith leveled up, but I’m in no rush since the majority of my attention and focus here will be on “endgame” content for now.

All in all I have enough to do the coming week so I hope I can make some decent progress in both my MMOs.

(Re)Evaluations

Talanji speech cutscene

As the final 24 hours of my WoW sub are ticking down I’m faced with a bit of a dilemma. On one hand I’m fine with just sitting out these last two nights and then not touching WoW for a while. On the other hand I feel like I’m finally having fun in Azeroth again with people to talk to and goals to tackle. I’ve done the calculations and if I do buy another month there will be plenty time for me to play for the duration of that month. I’ve been weighing the pro’s and cons and I’ve been talking to a friend about my motivations to purchase that one extra month anyway even though I told myself I wouldn’t.

A few of the factors that are influencing my decision are the following:
– After I move in a little over four weeks (I want to get out by Easter) I won’t have access to my PC for roughly a month. That’s when my dining table/desk arrives. In the meantime since I don’t want to sit on the floor I’m just going to count it as not being able to play WoW and FFXIV in that manner.
– I am slightly burned out on the grind in FFXIV. Getting my Carpenter to level 50 and doing a ton of hunts to get my speed books have really eaten up my mojo. WoW is essentially the game that I’m firing up in the evenings to relax and unwind. I’m not sure that if I let that drop now that my evenings will be very constructive. WoW is the only thing keeping me out of bed right now and it also leads me to sit down and write on this blog.
– One of the reasons to give up WoW was to maybe make more room for single player games. However I know myself, during the evenings I really don’t have the time or energy to devote to a single player game. I just want something to play that doesn’t require too much thought and that I can play for an hour or so and still feel like I’ve done something to make progress. Both WoW and FFXIV tick these needs.
– Social interactions. Right now I don’t have much of it on FFXIV but I do have a ton of it on WoW. I really like chatting to people as I play and WoW is giving me this fix.

All in all it’s causing me to come back on my earlier decision to let my sub run out now and instead I’m buying that one month untill I move out. I’m enjoying myself, I have people to talk to and it’s keeping me from sleeping my evenings away for now. Plus it’s giving me stuff to write about on here. Because the screenshot from the start of my post isn’t just any screenshot but the ending cinematic to unlocking the Zandalari Troll race. I really enjoyed that unlock quest, even though it involved less travelling than the Kul Tirans one.
As Talanji prepares to undergo the ceremony to be crowned ruler of Zandalar you as player are asked to quell an uprising against her, instigated by a priestess of the Spider loa. Once you’ve completed this task you are to “help” Talanji get approval by the Loa’s. The ensuing minigames are quite fun and once you get to Bwonsamdi things get interesting. You see I never finished the whole Voljin’s urn questline so I’m a bit in the dark when it comes to that story in this expansion. I do however know that Bwonsamdi really really hates Sylvanas so he asks Talanji to bring her the head of said Warchief in exchange for being released from the deal Rastakhan made with him. She declines leaving Bwonsamdi unhappy but willing to bless her anyway. All of this has made me really curious what Sylvanas role in this expansion culminates to. I really hope we aren’t being set up for Garrosh 2.0 but all the signs are unfortunately pointing that way.

After unlocking the race I immediatly set out to make my Zandalari Troll and I chose to roll a Warrior. I always loved my Warrior back when she was a Troll for a while so it’s a nice bit of nostalgia/flashback to WotLK times to roll a Troll Warrior again. I’m not sure if I can find the time to level that particular character this month but atleast I have it ready to go once I do have access to my PC again.

With this 180 my original goals for March are back on the table again aswell. My Nightborne will probably ding 118 tonight and will be 120 by the weekend. I want to gear her up and get her to current content. I’m also going to spend some time on my Void Elf Hunter again and see how far I get on that before the end of the month. I want to see the Dazar’Alor raid and the mini raid that’s coming in April. I also want to see all the available lore this time and make an effort to get my reputations to Exalted on Horde side.
All in all I will have enough to do and to fill my evenings with. I’ll keep you guys updated on how it goes. For now I’m going to dive back into Azeroth for some more playtime before bed.

More Azeroth Adventures

So I’ve spent the majority of my Friday evening and Saturday playing World of Warcraft. Maybe I got spurred on by the fact that I only have a few days remaining on my sub or maybe I just had this urge to play a comfort game. In any case I’ve been running around on my Rogue and my Paladin and have been making a ton of progress in the Battle for Azeroth story.
I’ve now finished up the War Campaign story for both factions including Tides of Vengeance. This means I got to unlock Kul Tiran humans on the Alliance side and I got a shiny mount for finishing the campaign on both Horde and Alliance side. I’m currently less than 250 reputation removed from unlocking Zandalari Trolls so that will be my main focus this weekend. After that I only have the Draenor Orcs left to unlock but I’m in no rush to do so simply because I know I will probably never play said race.

Having said this I’m probably not going to reach the goals for WoW that I initially plotted out at the start of the month. I may be able to get my Mage to level 120 but I won’t have the time to gear up/catch up to current content. The same goes for leveling the Hunter, she’s still sitting somewhere around level 55 so there is no way in hell I’ll be able to get her to 110 before my game time runs out. In theory I could purchase another month of game time, but with my move coming up in three weeks I doubt I’ll have much time to play. It’s simply not worth the money for me to maintain the sub if I can’t play for half of the time that it’s running. So I’m just going to let it run it’s course and get my time’s worth as my remaining sub time counts down to zero.

Going back to me finishing off the War Campaigns (so far) I’m still more enamoured by the whole Alliance part in Battle for Azeroth than I am with the Horde part. Clearly Blizzard is steering towards some sort of schism in the Horde or maybe we will see Sylvanas depart alltogether in the next patch. I don’t know. All I do know is that most of the quests I’m performing are making me rather unhappy to play Horde side story wise. Turning people into Forsaken isn’t the most fun there is and honestly I’m kind of happy that the Alliance seemed to have come out with the upper hand after the Battle of Dazar’Alor. It was interesting to first see the Alliance point of view, how they set up the trap for the Horde in Nazmir and left Blademaster Telaamon behind to lead the decoy army against the Horde while the Alliance attacked Zuldazar directly. I felt a pang of guilt as I killed said Telaamon on my Paladin because I had seen the Alliance side of the story. His sacrifice was not in vain.

Seeing the time that I have left in WoW I probably can’t see all the current content. I may be able to squeeze in the Battle raid on my Paladin because I’m a tank so my queue will probably be fast. I’m probably not going to be able to see the Alliance side of things so I guess I’m going to just put that on hold untill I get my PC set up in my new home. For now my goals in WoW are simple. Unlock Zandalari Trolls. Get my Mage to level 120 (only 3,5 level to go) and maybe take a peek inside the raid on my Paladin as time permits. We’ll see how far I’ve gotten after my sub runs out.

Next to making progress in WoW I’ve also made a ton of progress when it comes to my house. Most of the things have been arranged now so I will have running water, heat and electricity from the day I get my house keys. I’m insured and I’ve ordered all my furniture. If all goes well I should have the majority of my stuff in the week of April 8th. That’s when my furniture will arrive and when I will go shopping for a washer/dryer and a TV. I expect that that first week will mostly be filled with me cleaning the house from top to bottom and slowly moving my non-essential stuff over. So I can start with putting all my stuff in the kitchen, buying things like a mop, vacuum cleaner and other cleaning items. After my furniture gets assembled I can start moving over other non-essential items like my books, towels, winter clothes, games and consoles I don’t currently use. I hope that by that time the internet is working as well so I can test it out with my PS4 and Switch. All in all I hope to have completed my move around the Easter weekend. Obviously not everything is in my control when it comes to this. Seeing as it is a new apartment I will have an inspection on the day that I get my keys. Anything found that needs to be fixed or replaced will need to happen in the weeks after. I really hope that there aren’t any major flaws but you never know. It would really suck to have my careful plans ruined because my windows need to be replaced or some sort of other big fix that needs to happen.

I also can’t believe that I will be standing in my own house in a little less than three weeks. Time really has flown by because I feel like they only started building on site a month ago while it’s been over a year. A lot has happened in that time and I’m more than ready to leave my old living situation behind and embrace the new one. I hope it brings me a fresh start in life which I can use to turn some bad habits into good ones. I’ve taken some time off at the start of May to just enjoy living in my house but also to start working on new routines. I want to regularly visit the gym again and the plan is to start going every day when I’m off work and then tone it down to 3-4 times a week when I do work. It’s a bit of an extreme step but I hope I’m able to build up a good start in those two weeks that I’m off and work from there. My weight has been detrimental to my health for a while now so I need to start shedding it one way or another and working out is a surefire way to get that started. I also want to figure out a new morning routine where I show up at work a little better looking than I do now. I want to wear more make-up and do more stuff with my hair than just simply brushing it. I also need to fix my skincare and oral care routines because I’m noticing that what I’m doing now is not working. And what better time to do that when you’re starting fresh in a new home?

Sunday Funday

Hildibrand picture

With stress around all my house related stuff slowly declining and with me actively doing less at work I can slowly feel like I’m having some breathing room again. It’s not nearly where it needs to be and I’m still really conflicted about my work situtation and how to handle all of that but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. And for that I’m grateful.
Due to me feeling like I’m slowly getting room to breathe again I’m also more motivated to spend my free time doing things other than lying in bed and sleeping all evening/day. I’ve made some real progress in FFXIV these past two days so I can start pushing things off my bucket list.

I’ve reached my goals for the month of getting all my crafters to atleast level 30, finishing off Leatherworker last. I’m also going to tick off the goal of getting my Carpenter to level 50 tomorrow. I only need about one more round of Ixal dailies to get that done and I’m sure I can even save up a few quests for the next crafter I’m planning to level up this way: Goldsmith. It’s not the fastest way to level up your crafter but it’s a steady stream of experience and it gives you 1-2 levels per day depending on how high your level at the time is. Due to getting fishing dailies aswell my Fisher is about to hit level 45, the nice little push that I needed so Im able to start doing Mor’Dhona levequests for this particular job. All in all I’m happy that I’ve reached a few of my goals this early on in the month and I hope I can hold on to this momentum when it comes to leveling my crafters.

Next to all the leveling I’m also focusing on cleaning up the endgame content that I still have open. One of these was the Hildibrand quest chain. I had started it and did a few quests here and there but never really sat down and just straight up finished all the quests that were available. Since today is Sunday and I had nothing planned for the day except a few chores I figured it would be the perfect time to sit down and grind out those quests. I’m glad I did because once again they are brilliantly done by Square Enix. It’s taken me a few hours but I’m all caught up to the most current chapter and am now having to wait with everyone else untill they release the conclusion to this questchain. The next big thing I want to be working on is completing the Ridorana Lighthouse raid. I’ve never actually set foot in there and it’s about high time that I did. It’s kind of odd going in blind this late into the expansion but nonetheless I don’t want to be spoiled too much on the story or the fights so I don’t plan to read up on stuff before I queue up for it. It’s one of the things that I want to do next weekend when again I will have a bit more time to play than during the week. They may be baby steps but it’s so nice to see the quests go from my quest log…

Finally I’ve been busy completing hunt bills around the A Realm Reborn zones. Having the two-star mount speeds for the zones that I have to do my Ixal dailies in is just too nice to not have. As of right now I’ve attained all the scrolls I needed for that, Mor’Dhona/Coerthas/North Shroud, but I don’t want to give up on buying those scrolls yet. I’m probably going to dial back the amount of time I’m going to spend on gathering Allied Seals but eventually I do want to unlock two-star speeds in all the old zones starting with the Shroud. I’m not sure how much I will get done for the rest of the month but I guess I’ll inform you guys once March is over.

As final note I’m finally sure of my move date. I get my key April 5th and I hope to be all settled around Easter (which is two weeks later). I’m not sure when I will have internet then and I can’t use my PC for a while since I simply don’t have a place to put it. So this month will be the last month of my WoW subscription for now and I’m not sure when I get to play FFXIV again after I move. This means that most likely for April I won’t make a gaming goal list and I will be blogging much less aswell due to not having access to my PC. All of this is still a few weeks away though so untill then I hope I can make a ton of progress in WoW and FFXIV aswell as retain this blogging mojo and keep you guys informed.

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.

Zuldazar Sightseeing

Zuldazar: The Great Seal

When taking my second Horde Character through Battle for Azeroth content I specifically decided to tackle Zuldazar first. It was the zone I had up last for my Paladin and therefore I never really finished it. I was 120, I wasn’t that interested in the Horde side of the story and I felt the Horde zones all had to bow to Drustvar which, in my opinion, is the best zone in Battle for Azeroth so far. I still stand by that opinion, Drustvar is just perfect in zone story, atmosphere and level paths. It is by far the zone I enjoyed the most so far and if I could just do Drustvar only and get from 110 to 120 that way I would. Alas this is not an option and definitely not when you play Horde. So this time around I decided to pick up the zone I didn’t get to finish last time and boy am I happy I did.

Zuldazar on it’s own is a beautiful zone. I really enjoy the whole ancient Mayan thing Blizzard has decided to go for and even though Dazar’alor is a real tough cookie to navigate I think it’s very pretty and perfectly designed when it comes to aesthetics. It really is the golden city and the views of the city and anywhere from the city are spectacular and all of them screenshot worthy. So since I’m not really paying attention to the quest text this time around I really opened my eyes to the zone that is Zuldazar and I’m enjoying the view. The dinosaurs, the jungle, the beaches. They’re all extremely gorgeous and I can just run around for hours without getting bored. Unfortunately I finished off my final sidequest chain of the zone today so I will have to say goodbye to the exotic jungle and hello to the creepy swamp.

I sing praises to this zone but there’s also a lot of issues with Zuldazar. It’s a zone with a lot of vertical content, like Highmountain was in Legion. This means it’s kind of annoying and hard to navigate. I think once flying becomes available this zone will be much easier to navigate and it will be much easier and much faster to level that way. This also goes for the troll capital itself which is very vertical and hard to navigate. Although the totems of Gonk, which give you movement speed, help a lot it’s still a rather big pain in the butt.

I think Zuldazar is a perfect example of how much developers can do for an aging MMO. World of Warcraft may not be the best MMO looking out there, the underlying code is simply too old for that. Visual bugs are common and textures aren’t as pretty as they are in say FFXIV. However the developers still craft amazing zones that you can completely lose yourself in if you want to. I really hope that the future patches that bring new zones are just as gorgeous as the initial BfA zones have turned out to be.

Next to poking about in World of Warcraft almost every weekend I’m ready and perched to watch the LEC and LCS which are the European and North American League of Legends leagues respectively. I’ve purchased tickets to go watch the Spring Split European Finals in Rotterdam with a friend and I hope it’s as good as it was last time we went. We probably have a bit better seats this time and maybe we can meet up with some of the players and casters after the games, provided they don’t go on for too long. I’m a huge League of Legends fan and even though I don’t play the game myself I enjoy watching it and cheering for my favourite teams. This year it’s Misfits for Europe and Team Liquid (I’m a Doublelift fangirl) for North America. With Europe getting better and better as region I really hope we have an even better chance the coming World Championship. But a lot can change in six months so who knows. It’s a nice way to get through the weekend evenings though as I struggle sometimes with making my nights meaningful. These days I just make sure that I have League on and even though I may not actively watch it, it makes sure that I stay out of bed and engaged with something I enjoy. I get a lot of things done with League in the background and the games I want to see provide a nice break from whatever I’m doing at the time. So next to following my teams it also makes sure that my room is cleaned, that I make progress in games and that I relax where need be. It’s basically the perfect distraction when I’m at home alone to make sure I get through the evenings in a good way and to make sure I don’t sleep my time away instead.

Gaming Goals: March 2019

February came and went and now we are already in March. Unfortunately for me I got the news last monday that my move will be delayed by a few weeks. There are issues in the bathrooms that need to be fixed and due to that I can’t move in when I want to. It’s left me rather pissed off and disappointed but alas it’s not something I can help. I just have to keep my head held high and plow through untill moving day.
So with that out of the way let’s see what I did in February goals wise.

February Goals

  • Playstation GotM: Kingdom Hearts 3.
  • Nintendo GotM: Pok√©mon LetsGO
  • Get all my crafters to 30 in FFXIV and complete all job quests upto and including level 30.
  • Level my Nightborne Mage in WoW
  • Book of the month: Ship of Magic (Liveship traders book 1)
  • Show of the month: Luther/Designated Survivor

I want to start off with the stuff I consider “done”. I’ve finished reading my book of the month so yay for that! Especially this last week I’ve made headway in the book due to having a week off and therefor more time to read than usual. It also helped that I’m in a major gaming slump and reading takes my mind off things so there’s that. I’ve also gotten a long way with leveling my Nightborne Mage. She dinged 110 and got her Heritage Armour as I’ve told a few posts back. I’m now sitting at level 114 and am slowly working my way through all the quests in Zuldazar. It’s been easygoing and I’ve been enjoying my time back in Azeroth.

Now for all the stuff I didn’t finish… As mentioned before I’m in a major gaming slump. I’ve not touched my Switch for the entire month. I’ve managed to level my Alchemist to level 29 in FFXIV but that’s it. I’ve spent 10 hours in Kingdom Hearts 3 before stalling out in Rapunzel’s world. I’ve also opted to not continue with heavy shows like Luther for the time being since I’m already burned out/depressed and the tone of those shows is just wrong for me. So even though I did get some stuff done it wasn’t nearly as much as I hoped it was.

With March starting though I want to kick myself out of this black hole I seem to be in and find my enjoyment in games, reading and working out again. I have some leftover time off that I may use to work a few half days, time that I can then use to put into games and other activities.
So without further ado here’s my goals list for March 2019.

Gaming Goals

  • WoW: Level my Nightborne to 120 (currently 114) and catch up to current content
  • WoW: Level my Void Elf to 110 (currently 47) and unlock Heritage Armour
  • WoW: Attempt to get the Onyxia mount, the only mount I’m missing for my achievement.
  • FFXIV: Complete Little Ladies Day on both my characters
  • FFXIV: Level Alchemist and Leatherworker to level 30 and complete their job quests
  • FFXIV: Level Carpenter to 50 and complete all job quests
  • FFXIV: Gear up WHM and catch up to current content
  • PS4/Switch/3DS: Complete a game of choice
  • Steam: Play atleast one game from my library

As you can see I’m setting a few more goals for myself this month. All of these goals should be relatively easy to obtain. Leveling in WoW is mindless and the levels fly by. Leveling the crafters in FFXIV is a bit more of a chore but again, not really that hard. Catching up to current content is a different thing though and I hope I can stay engaged enough to do this. I also really want to complete a game on one of my consoles and I want to atleast play one of the games in my Steam library because buying games without playing them feels bad enough already.

As far as other goals go… I want to keep on reading the Liveship Traders trilogy and I hope to finish atleast the second book this month. I’m not going to commit to a show this month since my Netflix/TV watching habits are all over the place right now. My final goal is a weird one but I’ll share it anyway. I’ve been given exercises to stretch the muscles in my calves and my hamstrings. This should help me with walking a little easier and with less pain and tension in my legs. If I succeed in doing my daily exercises I should be able to touch the floor with my fingertips while keeping my legs stretched. I really want to get as close to that as I possibly can.

So these are my goals for the month of March… Do you readers have anything you want to achieve this month?

Heritage Armour: Achieved

I’ve been spending a lot of time playing World of Warcraft over the last two weeks. I’ve not been in a very good mood and I needed something to provide me with some comfort and WoW does that for me. I didn’t really want to play any endgame activities so instead I decided to finally unlock my first set of Heritage Armour on my Nightborne Mage. I achieved that goal last friday after I dinged level 110.
Personally I think the Heritage Armour looks really good. Ofcourse there are some clipping issues but it just fits the race it was designed for so well. I’m pretty sure that this will be my permanent glamour on this character for the forseeable future. I just need to get a different weapon so I can transmog it to match my gear but that’s not something that is high on my priority list right now.
With the nerfs to the experience needed to level up I could enjoy doing this casually. I’d take about 30 mins per level and I played for about 1-1.5 hours per night so the entire level up process was really smooth. Now that I’ve hit BfA content it has considerably slowed down. Since I’m now dividing my game time up in chunks it’s even more slowed down than when BfA launched and WoW was the only game I played. I tend to just play for an hour and see how far I come. I picked Zuldazar as first zone and am slowly working my way through the zone story. I’m also picking up all the sidequests that I can find and I’ve just gotten enough warmode resources to start the War Campaign again.
Leveling a Horde character the second time around I’m less focused on the zone stories and more on the scenery and just running around and having fun. Not having to read quest text helps a lot when it comes to just chaining content so that’s what I’m doing at the moment.

Next to my Nightborne I’ve also picked up leveling a Void Elf Hunter. She’s sitting at level 31 now and I’ve just finished Duskwood and am about to go into Northern Stranglethorn Vale. It’s really odd to be back at such a low level again, even with the levels flying by (5-10 minutes for one level depending on the quest hand-ins). Hunter is probably my most comfortable class to play and I really enjoy having the Blood Elf aestethics over on the Alliance side. For this character I’m also in no rush. As mentioned before I divide my evening into chunks now so I can do more than just play one game. So I set aside an hour for WoW, an hour for FFXIV and an hour for either reading or watching a show. It’s a really great way to be getting things done during my weekday evenings because I’m much more focused on the game I’m playing, knowing I only have about an hour to play. It’s atleast gotten me my Nightborne to level 110 and my Alchemist close to 30 on FFXIV.

All in all I’m quite happy with my unlock and my more concious planning of games. I’m getting stuff done while still enjoying myself in a casual manner.

Wrapping up: Baby steps edition

In the spirit of setting my own casual goals I’ve started to wrap up some endgame content in FFXIV. Even though I had caught up to the 4.4 story I hadn’t touched 4.5 untill tonight. With some help from a friend I tackled the new dungeon and got the 4.5 story done. I’ve seen a few interesting plot twists, including the real identity of “Shadowhunter” (spoiler! it’s Gaius, yes, that Gaius) and am now patiently awaiting the final patch where supposedly I turn into the Warrior of Darkness. My gear still remains on the bare minimum to do content however. As of right now I’m sitting at ilvl 364, which is only 4 above the bare minimum needed. A big part of this is to blame on my weapon which is sorely lacking behind compared to all my other gear. So my big focus right now lies with upgrading said weapon and I have a two-route option to do so.
The first one is to farm Tomestones, the Mendacity kind to be precise, and kill Kefka three more times. I finally managed to kill him for the first time on Sunday and I have to say the fight wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. So that’s Sigmascape wrapped up and a new minion, scroll and weapon possibility to chase. I also count that as baby step number one because I know I’m sorely behind on this content and I do want to see Omega through to the end.. So I expect some more catching up in the future.
The second route is to keep on farming Heaven on High. You need to exchange your gear strength for 10 tokens and I’m currently sitting at 2 with the possibility of getting 4 more, which still leaves me with 4 to get. The weapon is a slightly better one than the one I get via farming Kefka (it’s a 5 ilvl difference) and the queues for farming Heaven on High aren’t actually that bad. It’s quite easy to just take an hour of my time and run 3 Heaven on High instances and pray for tons of silver chests. It also nets me Mendacity and Genesis tomestones which I can then use to purchase more gear for my WHM or my alt classes. My priority though lies on getting that weapon upgrade so that is what I’ll be focusing on for the forseeable future.

In other baby steps news. My Blacksmith made it to level 30 which means I only have my Alchemist and Leatherworker to go. Since I’ve decided to take the lazy route and just level it up via Ixali dailies I don’t expect them to be 30 in a day. Basically the Ixali dailies give about two levels when I do all of them per day and it takes me about an hour to do them. Right now I’m not really pushing myself to do them every day but whenever I feel like it and it seems to work out for me. The progress is there, just slow and it’s really a task that I do if I don’t find anything else to do.

Next to FFXIV I’ve been slowly pushing up my Nightborne Mage in WoW. She’s just hit 90 tonight and I’ve done about 10 levels of progress in Mount Hyjal alone. I’ve not taken a character through that content in a very long time and I have to say that about 8 years later the story still holds up and the zone is still nice to level through. Chucking bears out of trees, rescuing animals, riding a gryphon while lancing Twilight Scum out of the sky. Killing black and twilight drakes. It’s so much lore that has gone to the background with WoD, Legion and now BfA. It makes me nostalgic for what Cataclysm was and how much fun I had raiding Firelands and Dragon Soul. It was interesting to see the struggle between the Twilight Cultists and the Legion. I forgot that they actually weren’t the best of friends. Now I’m on the doorstep of Warlords of Draenor and I want to get that done as fast as possible. As far as leveling goes it’s my least favourite expansion, simply because of too many Orcs… Especially on Horde side. I hope I can keep the zones I need to do there limited to a minimum but I guess I’ll see when I get there. Only 20 more levels to go for my Heritage Armor atleast so that’s a nice goal to work towards.

In Kingdom Hearts I’ve gone through Toy Story world and have landed in the Kingdom of Corona, aka the world of the Disney movie Rapunzel. I’m still having a blast playing through the game. I’ve been trying to unlock as many things as I possibly can and have made a ton of headway when it comes to the cooking section and the classic mini games section. Unfortunately I’m not that good with spotting the Mickey Mouse heads so I’m probably going to look up a guide once I beat the game to get all of that stuff done. I’m hoping to finish the Kingdom of Corona somewhere this week and move on to whatever world is next. It’s a time consuming game, I’m only 10 hours in and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface, but I can’t wait untill I see how the story plays out. Hence I’m avoiding spoilers and any Kingdom Hearts 3 related content like the plague online. I want to see and finish this in my own pace. Even if that pace is baby steps.

Enjoying the casual

One of the best things I’ve done so far is stop being commited to a steady raiding crew or group in World of Warcraft and/or Final Fantasy XIV. Although I really enjoyed raiding a lot, and still do up to a point, I just can’t really set aside multiple nights a week for it anymore. When I come home from work I want to be able to sit down and relax, not rush my dinner and showers because a group of 7 or more people are waiting for me to show up. I guess it comes with being an adult and having a fulltime job. I guess it also comes with having raided on and off since 2008 and at some point you’ve kind of seen it all. Even though the developers think of new and interesting mechanics every raid boils down to the same thing: don’t die and make sure you get the boss’ health to 0. And then pray for loot. It’s a gameplay loop that I’m not really interested in anymore. I rather see a raid for the story once and then move on.

Not commiting to raiding has allowed me to enjoy my evenings my own way and has allowed me to take up other projects like leveling all my battle jobs to 70 in FFXIV or chasing after all the Mage Towers in WoW a year ago. Content I enjoyed way more than the raids of Legion. Not being committed has also made me feel less guilty for not logging into games. No one is pressuring me to stay on top of gearing, I don’t have to keep playing to not get sloppy on my classes. I don’t have to log on constantly to stay on the curve. If I don’t want to log on I don’t. If I do log on and decide to spend my time just running around leveling an alt then that’s fine aswell. I have no expectations from others, only the ones that I put on myself.

Not pushing myself to participate in the gearing/raiding loop also exposes how much stuff there is actually to do in an MMO. There are various collections to attend to like mounts, minions and glamour/transmog gear. There’s achievements to be had that come from all types of content. On WoW for instance while I was leveling I made it my mission to complete the “Kill all rares” achievement for zones, or atleast get as close as I possibly can. In FFXIV there’s achievements for logging/mining/fishing X amount of times in a zone. There’s achievements to craft all items available for a given profession. There’s sightseeing, PvP, FATE’s and more. I could choose to lose an hour of my time logging into all my high level characters in WoW and just kill Onyxia over and over again untill she drops her mount, which is the last one I’m missing for an achievement. I could head back to old raids alone or with a friend to get gear for transmogging or to just get achievements and mounts that I’ve missed over time. I could farm ponies, birds and dogs in FFXIV or I could pursue the Big Game Fishing quests and related achievements. All of this these things are obviously designed to make you log back in again and again. When I was raiding that was the thing that kept me coming back and now it’s all the other stuff I can do.

Next to opening up MMO content I’m also free to just drop my MMO’s altogether when a game like Kingdom Hearts 3 comes out and play that instead. There’s more time for other (single player) games, there’s more time for shows and books and other hobbies. I don’t have to stay up until X time because the raid isn’t over yet. I can keep my own sleep schedule going and decide for myself if I’m going to call it an early night or not. All because I choose to be commitment free when it comes to games. All because I choose to be a “filthy casual” as some people would say. Do I miss raiding? Do I miss interacting with a group of people on a regular basis? The answer to both of those swings between absolutely and not at all. Do I feel bad for giving it up? Never. I’m going to stay casual for as long as I want to and enjoy time the way I want to spend it.

A final note. The screenshot at the start of my post doesn’t begin to do justice to the gorgeous game that is Kingdom Hearts 3. But it’s pretty nonetheless so I felt the need to share it here.