Blaugust

Nostalgia, tome grinding and am I going to comment on WoW? – Blaugust day 5

Nostalgia!

After reinstalling Mickey’s Castle of Illusion on Steam I was happy to find out that Steam actually saved my progress in the cloud! Which means I didn’t have to work my way through the first world again and could immediatly dive into the second world (or act as it’s called in game).

Act 2-1: Angry toys everywhere!

It was a blast from the past. I have actually played my way through Mickey and Donald on my old Sega (which also included toy like levels) and Mickey Mania, but never got Castle of Illusion. I’m so happy I picked up the remastered version during the Steam Summer Sale this year! It’s taking me all the way back to when I first got my Sega Mega Drive when I was about 6 years old. Back then they had the better graphics compared to Nintendo and I remember a childhood filled with playing Sonic and Disney games. A feeling that this particular game brings back.
I love how they only remastered the sound and graphics and left the gameplay itself be. It’s still damn hard at some points, just how I remember the old platformers.
This is one of those games of my gaming-to-do list that I’m happily tackling, because honestly it’s just too much fun. I’ll keep you updated as I progress through the game, but to give a little more info (and a feel of what I’m doing in there) I have added the official launch trailer below. If you like what you see, go get it via Steam!

The Grind
One of the goals I have set for myself is to get my Esoterics cap on FFXIV every week. This means having to do ex-roulette every day. Which, honestly, I kind of hate. There are only two dungeons available for this roulette currently, Neverreap and Fractal Continuum, and I’m not a fan of either. Fractal takes a bit longer and has more trash. Neverreap has the most godawful endboss that I’ve seen in a dungeon so far. It’s safe to say I’m not really looking forward to doing this. Add in the horrible DPS queue times and you get a grumpy Sandy.
Next to this I’m rather frustrated with how my FFXIV raiding group has turned out. Ofcourse it’s summer and holidays are in the way. But still, we aren’t doing anything as group and grinding most content solo is boring as hell. It feels like a venture doomed to fail, especially since we have one more DPS spot to fill. Queue tremendous sigh.
I also wish I could show off more of the stuff I do from FF. But since I play on the PS4 it’s actually kind of a hassle to get decent screenshots. I wish I could just somehow connect and copy/paste stuff but I’m being forced to use a USB stick, not the most elegant way. I’ll try to add a bit more pictures, but don’t pin me on it!
The WoW Thing
By now most people have seen (Activision)Blizzard’s announcement about their financial Q2 and the tumble that the WoW subs took. Sitting on 5,6M currently it’s a number that we haven’t seen since Vanilla! All of which is due to the horrible lack of content that Blizzard provided with their latest expansion.
Queue some big names leaving in the past year or two aswell (Ghostcrawler and now Bashiok) and I wonder what is left of the old Blizzard core. Yes I do realize that those two had completely different roles within the organisation, but they were people that were out there in the community.
Everyone has had their opinions on WoW lately. I remember writing a post a few weeks ago that for me it was just done. I had my reasons. Cataclysm was the last really active expansion for me. I was an officer by the end of the xpac and the sole person keeping our tiny guild going, it drained me and the moment raiding didn’t happen in MoP I decided to take my leave of the game entirely. I did not like the setting of Mists of Pandaria, was not enamoured with the Panda’s as a playable race (I only made it to max level on a lvl 90 boosted Panda Monk) and the Daily grind for rep was… Horrible.
I came back every three to six months or so and started raiding again casually at the end of it, ready to come back fully for Warlords of Draenor which looked to be promising..
For the first few months it actually was. The leveling was much better in design than it had been since Wrath of the Lich King, there was enough content to keep you going for a while, the raids proved to be challenging enough. The only downsides for me were the horrible Garrison chores and the utter lack of decent PvP. Realizing that if I wanted to make gold or be self sufficient in any way would mean I had to run Garrisons on multiple characters was a nightmare and a huge turnoff in the end.
When patch 6.1 hit I was majorly disappointed. Instead of delivering more promising content we were stuck with a SELFIE camera, Twitter integration and a Garrison music box. Out of the three I think I’ve used the music box the most. I think I can count the amount of WoW selfies taken on one hand. Next to some newly added pets that was all the content we were going to get. And it sucked.
Queue 6.2 after barely logging in for a few weeks (we had killed Blackhand and had all done our Legendary quests) and again a huge disappointment. You got a second mission table, this time for ships, and an island that was even worse in design than the Timeless Isle. I hated doing the dailies the moment they appeared and haven’t touched a single one of them solo. The few times I did do them were with a gaming buddy, but we both quickly grew wary of them. What grinded my gears even more is that Blizzard locked the Legendary profession behind your little ships table. A whole world of frustration that I can’t even begin to describe right now. Let’s just say I’ve lost enough epic ships to more or less want to shove the whole idea through the throat of the devs who came up with it.
So yeah. Blizzard dropping sub numbers like no tomorrow has come as no surprise to me. Ask my guildies, but I’ve been complaining about the lack of content since January. And Blizzard has done nothing about it. If they want to keep their game going steady, or want to get people to come back to the game they really need to do something special with the next expansion. Pump out way better and way more content. Listen to your playerbase. Communicate with them again. Otherwise I predict the giant that was once World of Warcraft to plummet down to f2p status. And I’m not sure if the game will survive that.

It’s aliiiiive! And back on Azeroth… – Blaugust day 4

So I’m finally done with reinstalling my PC from scratch. I think getting Windows 8.1 installed and fully updated has taken me a total of 6-7 hours, primarily due to having to go through the painful proces of installing Windows 8 first.
Anyway everything works again. My games are all reinstalled and I’m ready to rumble in the jungle. Or something.

Azeroth
Remember how I said in my 2nd day of Blaugust that gaming is a bit like crack? World of Warcraft is the biggest of them all for me. It’s my core game, my first MMO ever, the game I have been playing for the longest and where I’m the most comfortable. And it has drawn me in again.
I have to admit that the new expansion announcement has gotten me slightly excited. Especially if the new leaked class is true. So, like everyone else who’s still interested, I’m anxiously awaiting what Blizzard will bring us.
In the meantime I have been itching to pick up a Hunter again. Unfortunately for me I just really can’t be arsed to pick up the one on Dragonblight and my other two are on Darksorrow and Stormrage respectively, servers I don’t visit anymore. So I hopped into character selection and created a new Hunter on Draenor: Aylanna.

The name itself isn’t very original. My hunter on Dragonblight shares the same name. But don’t change a winning formula right? I have gotten into a real level frenzy and am currently level 20 after levelling my way through Ghostlands. I have just made the journey to Undercity to deliver a certain package to a certain someone..

Sylvanas… So we meet again.

After playing mostly FFXIV and GW2 over the past few weeks being back on Azeroth feels rather weird. I forgot how cartoonesque WoW is as a game and sometimes the bright colours, and awkward angles, kind of hurt my eyes. But I’m back on a Hunter and that usually makes me happy. For now. 

Leveling her to 30 will be added to my bucket list. Seeing the fact that I’m kitted out in heirlooms, and leveled my way to 20 in about 2-3 hours, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. For now I’m prioritizing stuff on Final Fantasy and Guild Wars, but it’s nice to fall back onto WoW. It’s like having a comfort blanket…

PC Woes and stuff to do! – Blaugust Day 3

The
Bad
I
had initially planned a post today about how I upgraded to windows 10
last week and how glorious it was running on my pc with no errors at
all. How I had to get used to having the start menu button back,
instead of swiping along the right side of the desktopscreen to get a
popup to shut down my computer. Alas it wasn’t meant to be.
Due
to a critical bug when switching resolutions in a game I had freshly
installed there was a conflict between Windows 10 and my Nvidia
Graphics drivers. I tried reinstalling them after getting my PC to
boot in safe mode (which by the way is almost impossible without a
recovery disc) but to no avail.
Queue
frustrated gamer lady and an unresponsive PC. I have had to reinstall
Windows 8 from scratch (which is the OS it originally came with) and
have spent yesterday evening and today updating everything and
upgrading it to Windows 8.1
Luckily
for me I still have my rusty old laptop. It might not play games, or
run streams but it has open office installed which allows me to type
atleast and a working Mozilla Firefox so I can upload my text into
the Blogger text field. So with no further ado, here is my Blaugust
day 3 post!
The
Fantasy
Due
to my pc issues I finally managed to get some time in on FFXIV again.
I play it on my Playstation 4 but haven’t really done anything with
it after returning home from Sweden. Seeing as I’m way behind on
farming Esoterics already I should be more active about logging in
and getting my cap, but for some reason I don’t really feel the need
to.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy FF as a game immensely. I
love my Dragoon and I’m in the process of levelling up my Bard
(mostly for retainer purposes) and my White Mage because I want a
healer up for shorter queue times. I have always loved the White Mage
more than Scholar, mostly because White Mage reminds me of Holy
Priest. The healing is simple and reactionary, or atleast it was up
untill level 50, and the job gear at the time looked seriously
pretty.
I
think I just need to get back into my routines of doing ex-roulette
and trial roulette for esoterics and low level and guild hest
roulette to level my White Mage.
My
Bard I intend to level on high level roulette and low level hunt
mobs. That should give me enough experience to work my way up to 60
steadily. I’m also really curious about the new Bard abilities. I
have mained the class throughout a chunk of Coil progression and
ranged shooty classes will always have a soft spot in my heart. Hence
my plans to get it to 60 aswell.
The
Gaming Schedule
Seeing
as how I’m starting a new job within a week I have had to think about
making some goals for my gaming and how I’m going to schedule this.
Running roulettes on FFXIV is rather time consuming (it can easily
take two hours) and I don’t want to be spending all my time on that
game alone. So I’ve made a list with gaming goals that’s pinned to a
board and which outlines what I want to work on for now. Seeing as
it’s also more or less one of the writing prompts I’ll share the list
here for now and let you guys know when I have worked through most of
it.
The
List
  • Get esoterics capped
    on FFXIV each week
  • Do Low Level and
    Guildhest roulette on my WHM untill level 50 (current level: 37)
  • 100% Complete Kessex
    Hills on my Ranger in GW2
  • Complete level 20
    personal story on my Ranger in GW2
  • Do Hearthstone Dailies
  • Get Hearthstone Rank
    20
  • Play through Super
    Mario Bos 2. on my 3DS; World 1 to start with
  • Play through Mickey’s
    Castle of Illusion, world 1 and 2 to start with
As you can see the list
mostly involves doing dailies (Hearthstone, FFXIV) and play through
some games I’ve had in my possession for a while now but haven’t
really done anything with. Since platformers are usually no brainers
I figured it’s easier to set goals for them. The gameplay is basic
and usually easy to pick up after not playing a while, unlike RPG’s
where I completely lose track of what I’ve done and what I’m supposed
to do after not logging in for an extended amount of time.
The
Laptop
Seeing as I’m not sure
when my PC will be fully up and running again, and since this used to
be my university laptop and it’s really nice to type on, I might keep
writing my blog posts on here. I can always add screenshots later if
I want (right?) And since it’s a small laptop (Asus Eee-pc) I can
take it with me and work on the road. Win/win! For now it allowed me
to not miss out on day 3 of Blaugust, so we atleast have that.

Why gaming is kind of like crack – Blaugust day 2!

I had a lovely Skype discussion with a friend earlier today about how World of Warcraft is kind of like a drug. Even after a long time of not playing it, it still has it’s appeal and once you decide to go back you’re immediatly hooked again and you find yourself once again devoted to the game for atleast a few months. And then the high fades and you quit again, telling yourself that this is the last time you picked up the game. Untill you cave in again and sub for a month or two.
Personally I’m very guilty of this pattern aswell. Although I said my goodbyes to the game a few weeks ago I’ve logged in again a bit (you can log in for free now, but you are limited in your actions) and I can feel the familiar pull. My raidteam fortunately has a break now so that’s not tempting me in, but I wonder how long I can resist the call.

To expand on this topic I feel like gaming in general is like a drug to me. I was perfectly happy barely playing anything in Sweden on holidays, but I notice I have immediatly immersed myself back into my games when I got home. I’ve been leveling a new character on Guild Wars 2. I’ve been playing a lot of Hearthstone. I’ve been poking around in FFXIV. All my time goes into gaming again and it’s keeping me from doing other things that I would want. The pull is just too big and right now I’m not in the mindset to resist, or so atleast I tell myself.

I think a lot of the appeal that games have to me comes from the fact that I have wanted, and still want, to escape my life at home. I’ve not had an easy childhood growing up and at the time World of Warcraft was my way to escape the hurt and feel more accepted online than I did in real life. After things were starting to look up in life I was already very deep into the game and it had become such a big routine in my life that it was very hard to set it aside. And essentially this is still the truth, although WoW isn’t the major game anymore.
And in that way gaming doesn’t really differentiate from drinking or doing drugs for me. I can say that I’m not really addicted since I have no issues going without games for an extended amount of time. If you take all my electronics away tomorrow and give me a phone with which I can only text and call I would be perfectly happy. I have other hobbies that don’t involve gaming and I have a big social circle who I visit regularly so it’s not that I have nothing else to do.
But the lure of gaming is very big. Ever since I got back from my holidays I have sniffed at games again. I have done the first line of the cocaïne called MMO’s and I’m spending a lot of time on them. Way more than I should. Way more than I would want to. And it’s getting in the way of my other goals. I’m not going outside as much as I would want to. I’m not going to the gym. I’m not doing the Hero’s Journey. I’m not doing anything but eat, sleep and game. And it’s something that really needs to be changed, but I don’t really know how.

Blaugust: Day 1!

We are finally starting! Today is officially the first day of Blaugust. I’m seriously wondering what I have gotten myself into, but hey, I signed up so let’s make the best of it! Since the list of participating bloggers is huge (and I’m really unsure how to reflect this properly in my blogroll) here’s a link to the nook on Anook.com: http://www.anook.com/blog/blaugust
If you are interested in reading other people’s blogs during Blaugust go here!

The Job: Part 2
So I had my job interview yesterday and I actually  managed to get the job! It’s a very simple job for only three-four weeks that mostly revolves around data entry but I’m superhappy I got it. I’ve been sitting at home for far too long and the chance to get out of the house and earn some decent money on top of that has lifted my spirits a lot. I will probably be very tired (I will be working a 32 hour week minimum) but it will be totally worth it. I will finally have some money to my name again and it’s a bit of work experience I can add to my resumé. Anyway I hope this reignites my gaming fire a bit. I will have less time so I will have to make better choices what to do with that time.

Guild Wars 2
I finished off levelling through Caledon Forest a few days ago and am very pleased with how the levelling in this game has turned out. Compared to how it was at launch everything is much more smoothed out and easier to get into. I had to get used to the new specializations layout but in it’s current form it’s much better than it was.

I’m still amazed by some of the gorgeous environments in this game. A few of the vista’s show hidden waterfalls like the one below. And I found a underwater organ you can actually play!

Gear progression is still a bit weird for me. I’m not a fan of the looks of the low level gearsets for this game. I guess I’m too used to either the clown combinations of WoW or the spectacular gear that FFXIV offers to people levelling up. All the gear you get here is brown and bland (luckily there’s the option to dye it) and it all looks the same. It’s a good thing the cultural gear for Sylvari looks absolutely amazing and I will certainly buy it once I have the level and the money for it. For now I’m rocking the awesome facemask look…
And here’s to hoping that Kessex Hills offers a bit more gear variety!