This past week has been rough. I’m starting a two week vacation today where I don’t have to do anything for my job and can finally relax for the first time since March. And for longer than a week aswell!
I’ve been looking forward to this for a while because I could seriously feel the burn from work. It’s been crazy with everything that has happened the past four months. The pandemic hitting, suddenly being forced to work from home and having almost no live social interaction for weeks to finally being allowed back into the office again for a few days a week and getting a sense of normalcy back.
Not to mention that it feels like there was an even bigger amount of work piling up than normal and we were going stir crazy with all the projects and last minute jobs that needed to be done.
Two of my coworkers had a few weeks of in the weeks before this and as such a lot of the day to day work had landed on my shoulders since we’re a really small team. In my current position I’m a senior and even though I do help with the day to day stuff I often don’t partake in a lot of recurring work anymore since my focus has shifted towards other things. So having to do my current job and part of the “old” work takes it’s toll after a while. I could feel myself just not being able to care about the work anymore and having an increasingly harder time focusing on just getting stuff done. That’s usually the sign I really need a break so I’m happy to have the coming two weeks to rest up, relax and hopefully tackle some of my backlog of games.
I have planned to take a long weekend getaway to a different part of the country in a bit of a luxury cabin with a sauna and jacuzzi. I’ll be in a very wooded area so I also plan to take a few nice long walks and enjoy the scenery, but mostly I just need a few days away from my regular environment. Being cooped up in my apartment for the last four months hasn’t been the best on my mental health unfortunately, so being able to get away is extremely nice. I’m probably going to pack my e-reader and my switch and just spend a few days in an extremely relaxed state reading and gaming and not being available to anyone.
As for the rest of my vacation plans… I will be attending my cousin’s wedding, in my country the COVID-19 restrictions have been slowly lifted so this is possible again, and otherwise it will hopefully be a lot of sleeping in and gaming and then hopefully be all fresh and happy to go back to work!
As I’m writing this post we are on the first day of a few days of pretty warm weather in the Netherlands. Being a sea climate country, any temperature above roughly 25 degrees Celsius is a pain in the ass and we are going over 30 this week so I’m preparing myself for massive heat walls as I exit my airconditioned workplace. At home I’m keeping my windows and almost all of my curtains closed during the day and pray that my house doesn’t warm up too much as I’m gone. It’s all I can do really to stay as cool as possible.
With Shadowbringers early less than a week away I think it’s time I get my stuff in order when it comes to what I want to do with the expansion launch. Obviously there will be a ton of new content to tackle and I’m quite happy that the early access starts before the weekend so I will have a decent amount of time to play the expansion before I have to go back to work.
Before I go head first into the new expansion there’s a few preparations I need to do.
I want to finish off whatever quests I still have open in my questlog. I need to clean out my inventory for both regular items aswell as gear. The gear I’m ditching I will either use to level up my desynth skills or will get converted to Materia and then sold on the Marketboard. As far as my regular items go, I’ll probably put some up on the Marketboard to sell and some will go into my retainers so I can decide what to do with it on a later date.
I’ll stock up on food and drinks for the weekend and probably won’t make any appointments with anyone so I can take full advantage of this few day headstart.
Now as far as leveling goes, I’ve decided to level my White Mage through the content first. It’s been the job that I’ve been enjoying the most ever since I stopped raiding in Stormblood. It reminds me of Holy Priest from World of Warcraft. Next to me simply enjoying the job it also ensures that I don’t have ridiculously long waiting times for dungeons. I guess the only other role that would be more beneficial would be a tank. Speaking of which, I fully intend to try out Gunblade after I finish leveling my White Mage. It looks wickedly awesome and leveling up a tank shouldn’t take too much time. After that it’s a toss up. A lot of class overhaul has taken place so there’s a big chance that I need to learn some jobs again from the ground up. I intend to level all jobs to 80, which should be much easier now that I have them all on 70 to begin with, bar obviously Gunblade and Dancer which start off at level 60.
I’m also going to continue doing my beast tribe dailies to level my crafters. I currently have my Goldsmith sitting at 63, my Alchemist sitting at 52 and I’ve started doing the Ixal dailies for my Culinarian, who is level 33. I’m not sure if I can get my Goldsmith to hit 70 before the expansion launches, especially since we have one offline day on Thursday but I do want to get it to level 70 as soon as possible. Next to that I plan to level my Botanist and Miner to 80 after I get to the endgame on my White Mage. I’m also fully intending to level up Weaver and Carpenter to 80 soon after purely so I can actually start selling stuff on the market board now that everyone is still fresh in the content, plus I may be able to craft useful gear for myself along the way.
I’ve been pretty unsure when it comes to raiding and doing endgame things. My Stormblood raiding experience has kind of robbed me of the fun I was having so I’m really not looking for a steady group to raid with. However I think I should be fine pugging most content, especially ex-primals. Savage raids are a completely different beast but that won’t be available at the start anyway so well. I want to get my White Mage the best gear possible as soon as possible though so I do expect myself to start doing Ex-roulettes again when I’ve reached max level.
All in all I’m going into this expansion fairly blind. I’ve not really looked at all the job changes or all the systems that they’re replacing or expanding upon. I like to discover most of everything on my own and I hope I can get along at a fair pace with this expansion launch. I will probably make a few more detailed plans after I get my White Mage to level 80 but for now this is what I’m hoping to do for upcoming few weeks.
After having had two weeks off to get settled in my apartment and being back at work for the past two weeks it really changes my perspective on how lazy my life actually was while I was still living at home with my dad. He cooked all the meals, even though I didn’t always enjoy what he’d cook. He did laundry and did groceries while I was working my 40h work weeks. Now I have to do everything on my own and it’s been a real adjustment. Not that I want to complain, I like having this freedom and I wouldn’t want to go back to living with my dad. I just had to rethink how I spend my evenings now, where to shop for my groceries and how much time it takes me to clean my apartment.
With all of this and working 40 hours a week (meaning I’m away from home from 8-18 every day) my gaming time has been limited a lot. Yet when I had all the time in the world to game I didn’t. I watched a lot of TV, I did a whole lot of nothing but I barely touched my games. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle. I want to game more when I have less time but when I have more time I game less. It is a very ironic thing and it’s something that I hear from some of my gaming friends. I’m not sure how to qualify this. I don’t necessarily have a gaming burnout but I do find it difficult just to sit down and start playing a game sometimes, even though I have nothing else planned for that time and I really want to game. I also notice that I’ve been drifting away from the long RPGs and into puzzle and platform type games. That probably has to do with the fact that platformers and puzzle games generally don’t really rely on telling a story but just let you complete levels, like the good old SEGA days. It’s probably the reason I still haven’t finished Kingdom Hearts 3, even though I try to make progress here and there. I’m still in the Monsters Inc world and even though I really enjoy the game and the gameplay, starting up a session takes a few hours out of my day due to the multitude of cutscenes that need to tell the story. I do want to finish it sometime in the coming few months but I’m not sure when this will happen exactly. Maybe I just need to carve out a few hours on the weekend, dedicated solely to that game. Saturday or Sunday morning would be perfect for this because I’m usually up around 9ish anyway and I don’t really do anything else during those mornings except shower and have breakfast. It would be an ideal time to just sit down for 2-3 hours and play the game untill lunch, after which I can focus on other things like having people over or going out into town.
Perhaps it’s time that I start planning things more regularly in my life in general. I’ve been noticing that I’m “wasting” a lot of my time being undecided about what I want to do during the day or evening after which I simply regress to doing nothing. I know Monday evening is always a bit hard since it’s the first day of work and I tend to get home tired. The same goes for Fridays so I want to keep those nights free to just watch tv or read and not really engage in activities that require either physical or mental efforts.
Tuesday through Thursday are ideal nights to play MMO’s. It’s reset day in FF on Tuesday and in WoW on Wednesday so if I want to get any group content done, those are the days to do it. It’s also easier to just get a few things done during the evenings and still feel like I’m making some progress while doing so. On the weekends my time really depends on the plans I have made. So far I’ve either gone out or had visitors atleast one of my two weekend days. I also need to take into account that I mostly need to use my weekends to do stuff like clean, get groceries and do laundry related things. All of this obviously take time, time that I can’t spend on other stuff.
For now though the weekend mornings tend to be relaxation time and I’m planning to use that time to get sessions in on a few games, starting with Kingdom Hearts 3.
I’ll let you all know how this pans out. Let’s hope it will push me to finish off a few games this way atleast!
Seeing as I’m having a mellow day today, I didn’t fall asleep untill 4 am last night, I figured I’d talk abit about my progress in FFXIV and how much hype I have for the stuff announced at Blizzcon.
So first up: FFXIV
I’m still firmly planted in Eorzea for the time being. My static has the Savage content on farm and we may be looking at doing Unending Coil, although the mere thought of having to go in there is already giving me anxiety. Not because I don’t think I can do it, but more because I’m worried it might kill my static alltogether… Although this is something for a different blog post.
When Stormblood launched I had set the goal of getting every possible class up to 70. I’ve never had everything max level before and I don’t plan to quit for most of the expansion like I did in Heavensward so here I am on the leveling bandwagon. With the addition of the Alliance Raid roulette and the new Kojin beast tribes it’s actually not very complicated at all to level your battle classes up these days. Especially when you’re focusing on your healers and tanks that get instant queues for everything… I’m pretty sure I can get a character from 60 to 70 every 2 weeks or so. So far I’ve brought up my Ninja, Bard, Red Mage and White Mage and my Astrologian is currently sitting on level 66. I’m really enjoying healing again and just casually running stuff as healer somehow feels very relaxing compared to doing it on a DPS. I really want to get the “Goddess of” titles and seeing as I only have Summoner/Scholar and Black Mage left after I finish leveling Astrologian I will probably go for the “Goddess of Magic” title first. After that I’ll have to see. I’m really enjoying Monk again so I may just want to pick that up, even if it means having to spam Palace of the Dead to get to level 60 first. The only downside to leveling DPS is that queues for roulettes are quite a bit longer than for healers and tanks but I can live with it.
Yesterday I also decided to start working on atleast my gathering classes again. My Botanist is currently sitting on level 58 and my Miner is level 56. The goal is to get both of them to 60 atleast over the coming two weeks and then hopefully do the final push to 70. Even though it’s quite tedious to level these gatherers, especially when you go the Levequest route as I am doing, it’s nice for when you feel hungover and don’t really want to think about playing much. It’s relaxing and you can just stop and take a break and do something else for a bit and come back and do the next Levequest without worrying if you might miss out on a queue pop or anything else. After I get my Miner and Botanist to 70 I may want to look into some crafting classes but I’m not sure yet how I’m going to tackle those. The majority are still below level 30 and spamming leves isn’t my favourite part of the game. But if I want to get into the crafting game I need to bite the bullet at some point… So we’ll see how it goes.
Now to the second part of my post: the future of World of Warcraft.
I have to honestly say that I wasn’t very thrilled about Blizzcon this year. My interest in WoW has been waning for a while and I’ve not been subbed for a long time. I returned for 2-3 weeks to see the Argus content but after that I drifted back to FFXIV again with no real intent to return. After seeing the announcement for a new expansion, and the vanilla servers, I can’t say I feel motivated to return anytime soon. I think ideally I’d want to return at some point just to see Legion through to it’s end. I’m still a sucker for WoW lore and I do want to know how stuff ends so I will probably purchase atleast one month of playtime at some point to live through the final moments. After that I don’t really know. I’m not a proud player on any faction although I heavily favour Alliance and the whole Alliance vs Horde story doesn’t appeal to me much. The only thing I am quite pissed about is that they’re destroying Teldrassil. Night Elves are by far my favourite race and they better come up with a damned good incentive to why this happens.
As for the vanilla servers. I never played true vanilla WoW and I don’t think I could go back to something that has been dubbed a “grindfest” time and time again by the people who did play in that era. I feel like the nostalgia pull is very strong but only for the people who actually played back then and even then I think some caution is adviced. All the QoL stuff that we’re used to won’t be around there and I think that’s a harder pill to swallow for many people than they realize right now. If anything I’m staying away from the vanilla server alltogether unless they end up making it a sort of progress server after a while. I would like to live through the different expansions again, but for now I’m not hyped.
All in all this has pushed me even deeper into playing FFXIV, even though I can feel the burnout slowly coming there aswell. I need to start playing some other games because spending all my time in an MMO has proven to be bad for me before and I don’t want to quit and not come back for a year again. I am planning to start playing Horizon Zero Dawn, even though I’ve been saying this for a few days now, just to break up the leveling grind in FFXIV. Another game I want to play is Xenoblade Chronicles on my 3DS. This is mostly due to XC 2 coming out in less than a month and I do plan on picking that up at some point… It would be nice if I atleast knew what the story and setting is about before I commit myself to the sequel of a game that I’ve never finished in the first place.
Then there’s Pokémon Ultrasun coming out next week and I’m definitely picking that one up aswell. Luckily I don’t have to invest that much time into Mario anymore, now that it’s just the grind to get all moons and coins, which leaves me with an “open slot” for atleast one single player game. I just really need to learn to plan my time to accomodate all of this!
So yeah. My official first Sunday Summaries post. I’m gonna look back on what I did during the week and what I have planned for next! My life is ever so interesting ofcourse.
First off, I’m still struggling with some health issues. My usual doctor has kind of given up on trying to find a cause and has sent me to see a specialist, specifically one that concerns the lungs. I’m still wheezing on many occassion when I exert myself and my cough is back in full aswell. This has caused me to feel absolutely horrible over the past week or so and honestly I’m kind of done feeling this way. So off to the specialist I go. My first appointment will be July 25th for another lung capacity test, after that we’ll see.
I’ve also been hard at work on my thesis, testing my cowokers and trying to get my approval for real. It’s all been a little chaotic with lots of things happening simultaneously but I think I can pull it off and be done with this major source of stress for good.
In the work department I’ve been asked to explain how our systems work to the new IT support team. We had a first meeting last week and a second meeting tomorrow. I’m sure they’re lovely people but they’re from India and I’m having real trouble understanding their accent. I’m not sure what’s up with that but not only do they have a difficult accent, they also tend to mumble instead of speak. Really annoying but the meeting was productive nonetheless. I had gotten some praise from some of my coworkers on the other teams afterwards so that’s really nice aswell.
Now onto gaming.
I’ve actually taken it easy this week. Work had gotten me really tired plus I felt like reading more than I did gaming. We did Omega with my new FC static and got everyone their loot for the week plus I think everyone has the Exdeath minion now, so that’s good. I’m rocking ilvl 317 average on my Ninja now and the only gear I can replace still are gloves, boots and chest. Seeing as Omega Savage launches next week I hope I can get some of that sweet loot aswell. We’ll see.
I do have to say that playing, and perfecting, the Ninja has been challenging this expansion. The Ten-Chi-Jin mechanic is not one that I really enjoy and I find it hard to incorporate it in my gameplay. I finally managed to nail my opener though, so that’s a thing. Now I just need to work on my Bhavacakra timing. It’s supposed to be always done during a Trick Attack window and I’m noticing that I’m not really handling that part very well yet. So I still have tons of room for improvement.
As far as leveling goes, I’ve mostly focused on the Red Mage and have gotten her to level 55. This is done via Palace of the Dead which is the fastest level method by far. It takes 3-4 runs of floor 51-60 per level so I could just sit down for about an hour and get a level done. It’s been really nice. I’ve opted to not do the job quests untill I’m level 60 and in full level 60 caster gear. I don’t want to buy things during a time where I know I won’t touch the class outside of Palace of the Dead anyway so that will save me some gil. I’ve also realized that I’ve held on to the HQ healer gear that I had gotten leveling up during Heavensward. I think I’m going to get rid of that aswell seeing as I’m taking the only healer I have left sub 60 (White Mage) through the PotD route aswell. I don’t think I’ll need any of the gear I’ve been saving up there. Plus as added bonus it frees up a ton of space on my retainer. As far as glamour purposes go, I can always get the gear again if I want to. For now I’m just settling on not getting any “new” gear untill level 60 where Palace of the Dead becomes moot and you have to actually grind your way up again through other means.
Next to FFXIV I’ve been poking around in Diablo 3 again after buying the Necromancer pack. The new Diablo season is starting this week so I might just poke my head in for that and play Necromancer for a change. See how the class feels and if it makes the experience fresh enough again for me to stick around.
Next to all the gaming I’ve been reading a lot as I’ve mentioned earlier. I finished off the last David Eddings book that I have in my possesion and started the Lies of Locke Lamora.
I will have another busy work week. I hope to finish my testing for thesis and I have atleast one important meeting scheduled. There’s also the standard stuff that needs to get done so those will be four days well spent.
I really hope to finish the Lies of Locke Lamora. The book has me hooked, I really enjoy the story buildup and I want to read more! The only downside to finishing it will be that I will have to look for the second part, which I can obtain in various ways.
I want to get my Red Mage to level 60. It really only takes an hour of grinding Palace of the Dead per level or so, so it should be doable. I also want to focus on Miner a bit and get her to 50 and maybe beyond. We’ll see.
I’m going to dive into the new season of Diablo as Necromancer and probably make some sort of report of my journey along the way. I’ve not touched Diablo for quite some time now, enough to feel like I can sink a few hours in again without feeling the burn and frustrations that I’ve been feeling when I did the last few seasons.
All in all a very busy week for me! I hope to be able to tell you guys that I’ve met all my goals next week.