Sunday Gaming Summary #3: A Little Smörgåsbord

I took a break last week from blogging since I was at family for New Year’s Eve/New Years Day all day and honestly nothing much interesting happened in the week between Christmas and New Years. I did my dailies on my Mage in WoW, we raided a bit and life kind of moved on.
I have however dipped my toes into other games than WoW over the past two weeks and there are a few that I’m dedicating some time to and, hopefully, finish.

The first one is Rayman Origins. I’ve owned this game for a very long time but never have never gotten around to play it. I wanted a reasonably relaxed platformer to play and I landed on this one after trying out Celeste and getting really frustrated with it. I’ve finished the first two worlds and am currently working my way through the third which is an icy world filled with food. It’s fun and relaxing and I’m sure I’ll be able to finish the game sooner rather than later.
I’m also playing Dead Cells and streaming it to Twitch. I’ve been wanting to stream for a while and didn’t really know what game to show and then Dead Cells was on sale and I figured… Why the hell not. It’s not exactly the platformer I thought it was but I’m figuring out the pattern of the first boss now and hopefully should get past it during my next session.

Finally I’ve decided to finally do something about the massive RPG backlog I’ve built up over the years and hope to tackle one RPG per month. I’m currently working my way through “I am Setsuna”. I started it up earlier but never finished the game. It’s a shorter one compared to some of the others on my list but I need to be able to cross something off to give me a bit of a boost to pick up longer games. All in all I’m playing a variety of things right now and it’s making me pretty happy to do so.

Oh I’ve also put a tiny bit of time into Final Fantasy XIV and unlocked the Dancer weapon from the Hildibrand questchain. It doesn’t look nice yet but hopefully it will with the next step of the weapon. It was nice spending some time on my bunny again but I really can’t play two MMO’s at the same time so I’m putting it down again for the time being.

Sunday Gaming Summary #2: Saving Cats and Killing Dragons

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s a weird feeling that the year will be coming to an end in less than a week. I feel like the past three years have just gone by in a daze for various reasons and I’m back to where I started in 2019: Playing World of Warcraft and raiding with a team of people.

This week we managed to down Raszageth on normal and with that lorewise I’m almost done with the new expansion. I still have some quests to unlock through renown and there’s probably some side stuff that I’ve missed but all in all I’ve done what I set out to do: kill the first big boss of the expansion. Of course this just sets up for the rest of it (spoilers incoming!) where Raszageth may have died but we were too late to prevent the fact that her kin has been freed. I guess we know what to expect for new content though and it involves killing at least three more angry Proto Dragons. We’re actually quite in the dark who the real big bad of the expansion is this time and I have to say it’s a refreshing take. I like to see where the story unfolds next and what the ultimate goal of us returning to the Dragon Isles is. I feel like we’re not done with the Old Gods yet and there have been some mentions of Galakrond that I won’t get into now.

Next to raiding I’ve been steadily working on daily quests, world quests, weeklies and whatever I can do to up my renown with the different factions. In the process I’ve unlocked accelerated renown for my alts and it will definitely help me if and when I decide that I’ve done enough on my Mage and feel ready to put time into my Warrior or another character that I enjoy playing. A lot of the quests I do are really cute and fluff filled, like the one where you have to save animals from a river and a cat desperately clings to your head as you get it to the riverbank. Obviously the best place to dig in those claws right? I’m really in love with all the cute hunting dogs of the Maruuk Centaur and all the ducks that can be found on the island, and the fact you can pet them all! All in all this expansion feels really whimsical right now, inbetween the more serious things going on, and I’m totally here for it.

As far as other games go… I’ve taken a long hard look at the steam winter sale as well as the various other sales going on and decided that I’ll pass on everything except one game for my PS5, namely that being Horizon Forbidden West. I’m getting some Playstation credit through my work Christmas gift and will be buying the PS4 version that comes with a free upgrade to PS5 and it’ll cost me total of €15. Best deal I can get on the game for sure and one that I’m excited about. For now though it’s time to head off and prepare for the four course Christmas dinner that will be served later today. Untill next week!

Sunday Gaming Summary #1

World of Warcraft is back on the menu. And so am I.

I’ve spent the last three weeks playing Dragonflight. I wasn’t planning to play the expansion. Hell I wasn’t planning to play WoW anymore at all. Yet here I am. I found a new guild to call home with a nice group of people to play with. I’m playing Horde and maining a Mage for the first time since starting up the game back in 2007. My pinky is slowly starting to get tired from all the Ice Lance spam but playing Frost has been a really fun time so far. I’m not sure how long my newfound interest for WoW will last, but for now I’m pretty much invested in both raiding and Mythic+. I like the fact that I don’t feel like I need to log in every single day to remain relevant and I can’t wait for the Mage buffs this coming Wednesday. I hope it brings Frost more in line with other dps because I refuse to learn Arcane. My brain just can’t handle it.

As far as the expansion itself goes. It’s been fun so far. I very much disliked Shadowlands. I hated what Blizzard did with the storyline and how “the Jailer was behind everything that happened up until this point”. I hated the Sylvanas story line. I firmly believe she should have been killed by Tyrande when she got the chance. I much rather would have faced an evil Tyrande than get Sylvanas her “redemption”. But I guess that choice isn’t up to me. Right now this expansion feels very much like Mists of Pandaria did. It’s whimsical, fun and low stress. The big bad, so far, has a clear story about why she is doing the things she does and the story so far has been pretty okay. I’m not as invest as I am in the Final Fantasy XIV story but for Blizzard standards it’s decent story writing.

The zones are beautiful, I love the Azure Span and Ohn’aran Plains a lot. It’s taking me back to TBC era Nagrand and WotLK Grizzly Hills respectively. I like the factions and the fact that I don’t have to grind reputation with them for anything. I want to see how the whole Wrathion vs Sabellion storyline will play out and the Tuskarr have been a very wholesome breath of fresh air. Not to mention the brilliant alternate Murloc timeline and the hunch that we will be dealing with Nozdormu/Murozond somewhere this expansion.

All in all I’m happy to be back. I’ve been pushing some Mythic+ keys this week and got a few 7’s in and our guild has cleared up until Razageth in the raid on normal mode and got a few attempts in on her tonight. The coming week we’ll only have one raid day due to Christmas but I guess we’ll see how far we will get then.

Next to WoW I’ve been playing Pokémon Violet here and there. I picked my starter, Quaxly, and have caught every single unobtained Pokémon I encountered so far. I’m not that far into the game yet because WoW came along and took all of my attention for a while but I hope to be able to pick it up again soon and start working on the various challenges the game has to offer. For now though I’m still finding some sort of balance in what I’m doing between work, social engagements, going to the gym, keeping my apartment clean and playing games. I guess that will always be a struggle. Oh well. Untill next time!

New Year, New Look

Right. It’s been a while hasn’t it. I guess life got in the way again and one of the first things I drop seems to be this blog. C’est la vie. I don’t want to dwell too much on the hows and why’s of me not posting and instead look ahead to this year and all the things it’ll hopefully bring me.
As such I’ve decided to change up the blog a bit. New layout, new background, nice header image. I’m quite happy. It feels softer and more like me.

As you may have seen if you follow me on Twitter I decided last night that it was time for change in Final Fantasy XIV as well. After almost 9 years of playing as a Miqo’te I’ve decided to take a plunge and fantasia’d to Viera. I also threw in a name change, seeing as how my old last name referred to an ex. It feels like a fresh start and that’s something I desperately needed. I’m really happy with the transformation and I hope I won’t miss my Miqo self too much. I’ve found a nice little community in the game with some old WoW guildies and friends and we’re planning to tackle Savage content together eventually, but for now we’re just having fun and poking around everywhere.

I want to write a bit more on the blog and will aim for one post a week (probably on Sunday) as part of me working through my burn-out and establishing more healthy hobbies and activities again instead of only working from home and gaming. For now though I hope you like the new look of the blog and are still interested in hearing my silly stories!

Finally Finished: Mario+Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Switch)

Well. It’s been a while. I have no real excuses of why the blog has been dead besides that I just didn’t have the motivation to keep up with it. But I wanted to share with you guys some of the games that I have been finishing over the past few months, beginning with this one: Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle for the Nintendo Switch.

I don’t even remember when I bought this game, only that I’ve had it sitting on my shelf for a while, waiting to be finished. I think I may have picked it up on a sale somewhere or even paid full price not long after it came out. It was at least one of the games that I had started playing but stalled out in and never picked back up.
I think in my first play through I got stuck somewhere in the second world (out of four, excluding the Donkey Kong DLC) and even though I had a ton of fun with the game I put it down and didn’t look back for a long time. Queue the sequel being announced a couple of months ago and I suddenly got the urge to play the game again. I mean, I did have fun playing it and if I could just get myself to sit down and play a few levels every day I would eventually see the end of it, right?

So that’s what I did. I started a fresh file, seeing as I couldn’t for the life of me remember the story or the mechanics, and set out on a mission to clear at least the main story of the game and the main story of the Donkey Kong DLC. What followed was a 30ish hour playthrough where I completed the main story and went back to get some of the extra things done aswell. As you can see on the screenshot at the top of the post I managed to clear 100% of the levels and I found 100% of the chests in the basegame. In the Donkey Kong DLC I managed to clear the main story and find all the hidden puzzle pieces, but to get all the chest I would have needed to do challenges and I wasn’t up for that so I let it be.

Overall I enjoyed the game. The story was simple but with a lot of hidden gems and humour. The Rabbids weren’t annoying at all but seemed to fit perfectly in the Mario universe. The fights weren’t too hard, although I do have to admit that I used the “easy mode” offer you’d get for every level abundantly. Basically that came down to getting 50% extra health at the start of every fight, which made it a lot easier to get through the levels than without. My favourite world overall, and favourite endboss, had to be the third world. I won’t spoil too much but the boss was brilliantly designed and it was by far one of the hardest fights I had to do. I died a lot there, even with the added 50% health. I never really felt frustrated about having to redo some fights, even though some took me a while to figure out.
There were a lot of mini puzzles to complete and hidden parts of levels, or entirely hidden levels, to explore. The music in the game was amazing and the bright colours just made everything super appealing visually.
I didn’t go back to do the challenges because I was kind of burned out after those 30 hours of playing and I know there’s also a separate co-op campaign to do. Both aspects of the game that I may want to revisit later down the line.

I’m happy that I’ve managed to play through the main game and the DLC in a relatively short time span. I didn’t feel the need to put down the game and not return like I did in my first attempted playthrough. Maybe it clicked better this time around. I’m looking forward to the sequel release next year, although I will probably hold off on buying that until it drops in price. I still have more than enough other games waiting for me to play, but it’s nice to get some crossed of the list. Finally.

TBC Again: Baby Steps

The pre-patch for The Burning Crusade Classic dropped on the World of Warcraft Classic servers this week. Although I never really could jump on the Classic train too much, I stalled out around level 23 on my Warlock, I have a definite soft spot for The Burning Crusade. It was the expansion where I started playing WoW and I think I was max level on my Warrior right after the Black Temple came out, so pretty late into the expansion’s lifecycle. I got into raiding via a small Dutch guild where we would clear Karazhan every week but that was about it. My computer was absolutely terrible at the time and I remember vividly how many times I crashed while trying to level up and later on while trying to play some endgame. I got a new PC and managed to play a lot more and even managed to get into a progression guild and push through the Sunwell raid when it came out. I think we stalled on Brutallus and the guild fell apart shortly after that. I’ve always missed the time where WoW was a completely new experience to me and I was still very much in love with playing the game.

With retail stalling a bit, my guild gave up on raiding for the time being and is waiting for patch 9.1 to drop so we can start the next raiding tier, I decided to jump on the TBC hype train. I’ve made a Draenei Shaman, very original I know, and I’m slowly leveling her up. Because I have no endgame obligations in this game I’m just taking my time, working through all the quests that I can on Azuremyst and Bloodmyst Isle before moving on to newer zones. Right now I’m level 18 and I still have quite a few quests to go on Bloodmyst so I should be good for the next couple of days. I definitely won’t be ready for the actual launch of the Dark Portal but I’m not too fussed about that. I’m just enjoying the scenery and the level up experience, which has been significantly improved from the Classic server. I’m looking forward to hitting level 20, so I can learn Ghost Wolf form and run a bit faster, and then level 30 so I can get an actual mount. I forgot how many totems Shamans used to have and how many weapon enchants. Lightning Shield is an expensive spell and weapon skills are still a thing. I’ve taken up Mining and Jewelcrafting and am having a blast just slowly leveling everything back up again. I can’t wait to go through the Dark Portal and re-experience Outland again for the first time. I’m sure it’ll trigger a lot of nostalgia.

On the Final Fantasy XIV side of things I’m mostly doing my crafting dailies every day. I’m currently working on Culinarian, which is sitting at level 74 and after that I only have three more to go. I’m also trying to make a list of what other content I still want to/need to tackle. I’ve made my way in the main story up until the latest patch but I can’t go forward because my item level is too low for the dungeon. I want to finish off the final wing of the Eden raid and the final wing of the Nier raid. Then I can still focus on leveling up Blue Mage or work away on the Shadowbringers Relic weapons, something I’ve not really done yet.

There’s plenty to do in both games but I’m taking it easy and taking my time. I’ve had to deal with a lot of work stress and as such my brain feels like it’s heavily overworked. I have a very short attention span so I’m just taking any game time I can get, even if it’s only for 15-20 minutes at a time. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve been doing so far though so I hope I can carry that over into June and the rest of the summer.

I Set Goals… And Never Came Back

So. I realized that my last post was setting goals for February. And then I never came back.
Kind of funny how those things go. A lot has happened in the past three and a half months. Work has been extremely overwhelming. I didn’t get the job that I applied for at the end of January, much to my dismay, and in the meantime lockdown due to COVID has been dragging on and on in the Netherlands. We’ve finally had some rules loosened and vaccinations are progressing rapidly so maybe there’s a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
Next to a lot of disappointments there has also been one big bright point. I guess people driving home the idea that you “shouldn’t look for love because it will find you” scored a point with me this year. I’ve met someone very special, after a long time of being single and basically giving up on the idea that I would meet someone that would love me for who I am. But I’ve met that someone and he’s been brightening my days for the past three months. I’m so incredibly thankful that he came into my life and I hope we can build something that will last for a long time.

As for the gaming front. Well. I guess a lot has happened and not happened.
The World of Warcraft guild I’m in has moved to Horde side. Unfortunately recruitment on Alliance side seems to have completely bled dry so they made the hard decision to swap over to Horde so Mythic raiding can happen in patch 9.1.
I moved with them and rolled a new character and am currently raiding a bit again as Elemental Shaman. I’m having a decent amount of fun although I’ve not really touched Mythic raiding yet and I’ve not really found the time to do Mythic+. I’m hoping with my workload dying down a bit I can spend a bit more time in WoW and push to get some achievements done.

Next to that I’ve been catching up in Final Fantasy XIV. I was a few patches behind and worked my way back up to the patch 5.5 content when it comes to main story. My current goals are getting the final raid of Eden done, the final Nier raid and get completely caught up with the mainstory. I’m also still leveling my crafters and almost have my Alchemist at level 80, which means I only have a few more to go after. With Endwalker getting a release date I have around 5-6 months to get caught up on everything, which should be more than enough time. I just need to remind myself to log in and actually play.

As far as League of Legends goes… I basically stopped playing somewhere in February and I’ve been struggling really hard to get back into the game. I’ve been playing ARAMs and a few normals here and there and participated in some Clash but otherwise I’ve not touched ranked in months. I’m really soul searching on what I want to play and if I still want to make the push towards Gold or not. It also hasn’t helped that I’ve been duoing with people that make me tilt. I think I’m better off staying solo and look to grind up on my own. I’ve been asking for some tips and tricks and once I can settle on a role and a champion I’m going to just start pushing again.

All in all it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster in my life the past few months but I’m finally feeling like I’m landing on my feet again. Let’s hope it will give me enough headspace to do more than just work, sleep and eat.

February Goals: Shaking Things Up

 


January passed like the freight trains passing my house at night. Quietly and fast. I feel like 2021 so far is just a continuation of 2020, but with more riots everywhere. And with everywhere I mean everywhere, including my own country. It’s been an interesting time, compounded by a lot of real life things not really going the way I hoped they would. I’m lowkey hoping that February will bring a bit more calm and stability back into my life, mostly so I don’t feel so stressed out all the time anymore and I can actually enjoy my time off with more than feeling pure exhaustion all the time.
I guess one of the things I should start doing is going to bed earlier (11 instead of 12) because I’m already noticing the major improvement in my mood from that extra hour of sleep I’m catching.

Anyway. I figured I’d give the whole “goals post” another try since I managed to use it succesfully before and also to give a bit of an insight into what I’m up to this month. As usual this post will be mostly gaming focused, I will discuss my real life goals in a broader post somewhere at the end of March. It needs less checking up on because they are less concrete than my gaming ones.

What do I want to achieve in February?

League of Legends

  • Transition from Support to ADC. I’m not enjoying myself playing Support right now, but I’m enjoying myself a lot as ADC. In the end I should play what I enjoy. Right?
  • Get my ADC account to level 30. I made an account to just play ADC specifically. It’s level 11 at the moment and I want to get it to level 30 and make it my “main” account for the time being, mostly so that I have two accounts to my disposal. One where I can test new things on and fuck around in solo Q and another where I can “try hard” and actually climb the ladder.

MMO’s

  • Gear up my Mage in Mythic/Mythic+ in World of Warcraft. I’ve been sneaking some time on WoW again here and there and I’m mostly playing my Horde Mage. I’m at the point where I can’t really get that much gear from doing Heroic dungeons anymore so I’m wanting to make the tradition to Mythics and Mythic+.
  • Catch up on the mainstory in FFXIV. I’ve not properly played the game in forever and there’s a lot of story to go through, aswell as the final part of the Eden raid. I want to see this and will take a few evenings just playing the game and catching up.

Other games

  • Finish Crash Bandicoot
  • Finish Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Pretty ambitious goals but, with the pandemic still raging, I don’t really have much else to do in my spare time next to gaming. I have enough time for all of it, if I keep a decent sleep schedule. When I’m not terribly exhausted I should easily be able to get a few good hours of gaming in every day. I also realise that February is a tad shorter than other months, but I’m sure I can make it work. It’s time to get myself out of the stressy and depressed month that is January and look forward to fun times in February. I hope I can take all of you on that journey with me!

The League Project: Week 2

Last week hasn’t been that exciting when it comes to my League project. I’ve played a lot less Ranked games than I intended, mostly because I had my friend over for the weekend and the LEC has started back up again, so I’m spending my time watching that during the weekends.
I did however managed to make it to Bronze 1, I’m sitting at 90LP even, so my slow and steady march to Silver is still going. I’m currently sitting on a 55% win rate this season (16 games won versus 13 lost) and I hope I can turn that into a more positive winrate as I play more and more.

I have been trying to focus on playing more than just Leona. I don’t want to turn into a one-trick and Leona often gets banned away in this elo aswell because people don’t know how to deal with her. So the last week I’ve been focusing on playing Seraphine support, which is a totally different playstyle from the engage focused one Leona has. I’ve actually been doing quite well in lane. Poking out the opponent, hitting ultis and in general just getting the botlane ahead. I’ve been getting better on her with teamfights aswell, hitting multi man ultimates and just trying to keep people alive and slightly abusing the Moonstone Renewer + Staff of Flowing Waters build before it gets nerfed in the next patch.
Finally I’ve been testing out some Maokai support since that has been up and coming with the new items, specifically with Imperial Mandate and Demonic Embrace combo. I still need to figure out how to play him well but I managed to win my first game on him the past weekend and I’m hoping to expand on that.

As far as other supports go. Nautilus has completely fallen to the wayside for me. I’m not sure why but I just can’t seem to make him work anymore. I’ve also kind of dropped playing Morgana since I feel she doesn’t bring as much tools as Seraphine now. I am holding on to playing Lux, purely because she’s one of my favourite champions and with the Imperial Mandate build she can be a real menace in lane. It does however require a long range ADC to work with and since Kai’Sa and Vayne seem to be making their way back into botlane it’s not the most ideal pick.

Another thing I’ve been doing more recently is duoing up with people from one of the discords that I’m in. They have been offering and I have been declining because I want to feel like I can climb on my own. However now that I’ve played more games and feel more secure on champions like Leona and Seraphine I’ve been accepting duo offers and having fun that way. They are on the same ELO as me (Silver) so I don’t really feel like I’m getting boosted either. So far it’s been working out decently, however I have noticed that I’m starting to get reluctant to queue alone after a night of duoing with someone else so I need to be aware that I don’t wait around for other people to join me.

Finally I’m still waiting for my next coaching session. It’s been a crazy busy time for him so I don’t think it will happen this week but I’m hopeful that it will happen next week. I have a ton of questions to ask so I hope he’s prepared to answer them all. Maybe I’ll even be climbing up in Silver when we schedule again so I can’t wait to share that either.

A home on the internet

From the earliest days of my World of Warcraft career I’ve always been looking for a home on the internet. It started out with guilds and forums, which were the biggest thing of communications back in the day. Before there was something like Discord. I’ve had many homes throughout the years in multiple games and with multiple communities. They have always been temporary homes, as is the nature of most communities in games. Guilds come and go. I’ve made the jump to several ones over the span of my own gaming career. Sometimes it was because of the raidteam breaking up, sometimes because the guild make-up had changed so much over time that I didn’t feel at home anymore. I think the longest stretch I’ve been in a guild has been from Cataclysm through Legion, although on occassion I couldn’t really call it a guild but a two man show, on account of most people abandoning ship.

Then came the rise of Discord. I’m not sure when exactly I joined there but I’ve been active on Discord as a means of communication for a while now. Things stay the same though, communities come and go and at some point I realised that staying in dead Discords had no use at all, so I left most of the ones I was active in years ago. Some Discord communities are gigantic, so big actually that it’s almost impossible to actively take part in them. Look away for 10 minutes and you have missed a couple of hundred messages. These are also the types of communities that I learned to shy away from. How is it fun to be in a discord with so many other people that you can’t even follow the conversation anymore? That’s not really a home on the internet, that’s just a gathering of people shouting into the abyss.

Raamstickers Home Sweet Home raamfolie - TenStickers

However, I think digging between all the dirt and weeding out a lot of communities where I didn’t really feel like I wanted to stay… I think I finally found a small home or two on the internet that are worth sticking around in. Both of them are Discords and both of them are built around League of Legends personalities. I guess it’s what you get when you start watching streams again and interact with the community in those streams. Both Discords are relatively small, small enough to follow the conversations that are going on in them, but also big enough to be lively constantly. There are some absolutely lovely people in both and I’m happy that I’ve been able to find a community where I can just be my crazy, geeky, League of Legends fangirl self and not be judged for it.
One especially has made my days so much brighter over the past few months of being stuck at home and feeling like I had nowhere to go and no one to talk to. Just being able to be around people who share the same interests and who are happy to jump into voice chat and have fun has absolutely saved my mental wellbeing from the dark place it was headed. Knowing I can just drop in the Discord for a chat with anyone who is online at the time has been so nice. There have been community nights, there have been awesome initiatives for tournaments and movie nights. As added bonus it was so nice to see everyone come together and send the most important member on the server some love and compassion when he was going through a rough time.
It’s just a very wholesome, supportive, drama free environment, although some jabs here and there are common, and it’s absolutely what I needed, and still need, in my life. With the pandemic dragging on and regulations getting more and more strict I feel like they’re slowly squeezing the life out of any offline interaction possible. So I turn to what I’ve been turning to for most of my life and take comfort in the presence of people on the internet. Because no matter what, they can’t take that away from me.

As such I’m going to stick around, talk to some of the lovely people I’ve gotten to know and for a while, even just a little while, feel like I’ve found my home.