Progress

Tiny update: (raiding) progress!

This week me and my guild in World of Warcraft decided it was time to start tackling Heroic Ny’alotha. Most of the people in the guild have been playing the game throughout the expansion and came from various other raiding guilds and as such were pretty much overgeared for normal raids to begin with.
We have established our raiding days to be Wednesday and Thursday. Which means that, even if it’s two nights in a row, I will be free to do whatever the hell I want for the rest of the week. Which is fine by me. Especially since I’m still trying to play another MMO (Final Fantasy XIV) and a single player game on the side.

We didn’t expect to get very far in the raid this week. I think our aim was 5 out of the 12 bosses. To our surprise though we managed to get 8 out of 12 down, with a sub 10% health wipe on number 9. It all went much smoother than we initially thought it would and the only bosses we really struggled on were Raden, which we killed after a few tries, and Vexiona which we didn’t manage to down unfortunately. I personally got a few upgrades and mostly I got to learn the fights as tank so next time we go in I will be better prepared on what to do and when.

As said earlier I’ve been working on a ton of stuff besides raiding in WoW. I’ve been focusing on upgrading my Heart of Azeroth Essences so that I can get the right ones slotted, and then get them ranked up. I think I have all the ones I need for raiding and Mythic+ tanking now which is nice. The only thing left is to get them all to rank four, which is still quite far away for most of them. I did however finish the Nazjatar zone story, and killed Queen Azshara in LFR, so the only thing left in that zone is dailies so I can get to Exalted reputation rank and getting my Nazjatar Essences to rank up. I’m diligently working away on Mechagon reputation aswell and I managed to get two more launch reputations to Exalted: Proudmoore Admiralty and Order of Embers.

Overall I’m making great strides to satisfy my inner completionist. The next thing to tackle is to kill Rakhastan in LFR so I can get that quest out of my quest log and then continue the zone quests in Drustvar so I can get that part of the map cleared out of quest markers. And then hopefully next raid reset we will be able to down more bosses in heroic Ny’alotha.

Battling The Questlog

Portal Room Boralus
About to zone into Nazjatar, one of the banes of my existence

Coming back to WoW, and especially on a character that I haven’t been playing since the launch of the latest expansion, has been a bit of an overwhelming ride. And that’s putting it mildly.
I kind of forgot how much content there is to catch up on when you haven’t played for a while. Even on my Rogue, who I’ve been diligently playing for most of this expansion, I suffered from getting fatigued with everything that was going on. Trying to keep an empty questlog, doing tons of dailies to get Exalted with certain reputations. Work on leveling up my Heart of Azeroth essences. It was all a bit much. Atleast on my Rogue I finished all the zone quests in both Kul Tiras and Zandalar and the War Campaign. On my Warrior I had to do it all over again. And that’s not even counting all the other random quests that you get from picking up items or leveling up your professions…

I guess it comes with an MMO like World of Warcraft that has been around since forever, but sometimes it’s so hard to catch up on content. Even when it’s only the most recent stuff. To give an idea of what I’m working towards right now:

  • Daily Quests: Doing them for four factions right now (Nazjatar, Mechagon, Rajani, Uldum Accord). Mostly so I can get my reputation up and buy fancy things from the vendors aswell as being able to upgrad my Heart of Azeroth essences.
  • Heart of Azeroth Essences: A thing to get in their own right. I need to do dailies, Visions of N’Zoth, raid, do dungeons, do Island Expeditions and PvP, all to just get the right essences to the right ranks.
  • Emissary Quests and Assaults: At four Emissary Quests per day and three Assaults per week that takes up a lot of time.
  • Raiding and Mythic+: Raiding is two nights a week. Mythic+ is another night, depending on how far we want to push.

And this is just the endgame stuff! Next to that I also want to tackle all the zone quests on my Warrior, level up Blacksmithing (I’m on 155/175 skill points), do the weekly events, hunt for mounts and pets. Basically do all the things. Oh and did I mention I’m doing a lot of this stuff on a few alts aswell? Yeah, I know I’m insane.

With all of this stuff going on it’s easy to see how an MMO completely swallows up your time, especially when trying to catch up on content or when new content is released. I guess I will get a bit more breathing room when I’m Exalted with all the factions I’m working on, since it means I can drop doing dailies for them, aswell as stop doing the assaults in Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The Emissary quests can be done in 10-15 minutes when you just do them every day. At some point I will have obtained and ranked up all my essences so there’s nothing to do there anymore either. The Visions of N’zoth also have an endgoal and when I can get to doing a Mythic+15 on time I’m done with that aswell. Raiding wise I think we will be aiming to clear Heroic Ny’alotha and then call it a day there.

So as overwhelming as things may seem to me now, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I’m taking stuff one thing at a time. Setting priorities and choosing what to work on, on a daily basis. Right now I’m prioritizing catching up on the Nazjatar and Mechagon zones and their associated quests and dailies. Assaults and Rajani/Uldum Accord dailies are things I do on the weekends when I have a bit more time. The same goes for running Visions and Island Expeditions. Excellent stuff to do on the weekends where I have more than a few hours to spend.
Slowly but surely I’m getting there. And I’m doing it without driving myself nuts in the process. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to kill some Naga on their home turf.

This post was the 5th of Blapril

Sandy’s Sunday: What A Long Strange Week It’s Been

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As predicted in my look ahead post from last week the training week at work absorbed a lot of my time this week. We had a program every day, although some days the program was only 2-3 hours and some days it was all day. It sure didn’t help in feeling less tired since I managed to get home exhausted everyday with the lowest point on Wednesday where I literally fell asleep after dinner. I guess I needed it.

In spite of all of this I managed to finish off the main “story” in Cat Quest on Monday evening. Now I just need to tackle all the remaining dungeons and the few side quests that still remain in the game. And get to level 99 of course. I really enjoyed this game for what it was. An RPG-light with lots of fun jabs at other games and so many amazing cat puns. Now that I finished the main story I unlocked New Game+ and “Mew” Game, which is a game type where you can set certain parameters like not being able to wear armor or not being able to level up and play the entire game at level one. Even though this sounds very interesting, and I’m sure many people are thrilled about this type of stuff even if it is just for the exclusive rewards that come with it, I don’t think I’ll go back and play those game modes. I tend to be one and done once I finish a game and I may go for 100% completion if the mood strikes me within a single game mode but I just don’t like replaying the exact same game but on a higher difficulty setting. I guess this is why I don’t care for trophies that require me to play through a game multiple times on my PS4. So yeah. Cat Quest was fun and adorable and a game I can scratch, pun intended, off my backlog.

Playing through Cat Quest on my Switch has also kind of reinforced the belief that it has become my preferred console for single player games. Being able to play on my big TV but also take it on the road with me has helped so much in completing games that I otherwise wouldn’t have. Even though I also use my PS4 a lot I notice that I’m just having much more issues finishing games on there compared to on my Switch. I guess we’ll see this year how many games I actually finish on what console. For now I need to look for another game to sink my teeth in and I’m still deciding what it will be.

Next to Cat Quest I’ve also been spending some time playing World of Warcraft this week. I did the Timewalking Dungeon event before the reset on Wednesday and got a nice trinket upgrade on my Warrior. I also did a +2 Mythic to open up a chest and I managed to unlock and get through a big chunk of 8.3 quest chain this morning. As such I have the legendary cloak unlocked and can start working on upgrading it so that I can tackle more challenging content in the horrific visions. I realize that my Warrior is kind of shitty geared still so I will need to work on that if I want to make a serious push in that content.

All in all I’m happy that things will go back to “normal” the coming week, even though I have my annual review tomorrow and I’m preparing for it to be not as stellar as previous years. Oh well.

January 2020: A look back


Is it February already? Where did the time go? It feels like January only lasted two weeks this year. Maybe it’s because I’ve been extremely busy at work and dealing with emotional turmoil due to my friends’ illness. Maybe it’s because I’ve taken up working out again, making some of my evenings and weekend mornings fly by aswell.
All in all it’s been a chaotic month for me and on the work and personal front it seems like that’s not going to end anytime soon. But I don’t want to look at my personal stuff in this post, but instead look back at the goals in gaming land I set for myself and see how I fared…

In FFXIV:

  • Get more battle classes to level 80. I have 6 to go, with Ninja currently being 77. I hope to get Ninja and atleast two others to 80 by the end of the month.
  • Work on getting my first crafting classes to 80. With Ishguard restoration this shouldn’t actually be too hard. My Carpenter is 77 as we speak so that should be able to get to 80 fast. Ideally I want 3 Crafting classes to 80 by the end of the month. Let’s say Carpenter, Weaver and Leatherworker?
  • Level up Fishing. I’m currently sitting on level 64 and I want to get atleast to level 70 this month.
  • Level up Blue Mage. I want to hit atleast level 20 by the end of the month.
  • Complete all the side quests that are still up in the First
  • Work towards rank 3 FATEs in Ahm Araeng and the Tempest. Preferably I’ll have both done by the end of the month

Wow. I really thought at the start of the month that I would be able to do this. However because of work and other stuff I’ve actually barely logged on to FFXIV the past month. I’ve been slowly chunking away at leveling my Bard, she’s level 75 right now, with Trusts. And I have to say that leveling Trusts is boring and grindy and probably the reason why I’ve been logging less than I wanted to. I did the New Year’s event, Heavensturn, and will probably do the Valentione Event somewhere this week but man. Maybe I should just drop this whole leveling Trusts thing for now and just focus on doing stuff I enjoy while leveling up instead. I did get Ninja to 80 at the start of the month so there’s that. I really need to think long and hard about what I want from FFXIV in February.

In other MMO’s:

  • Make progress in LOTRO. I’m level 3 and at the absolute beginning of the game. I have no idea about the layout of this game yet and how zones and other stuff works so I just want to head out and explore and see where that ship strands.
  • Finish off the current zone I’m in on my character in Guild Wars 2.

So I discovered this month that I just really don’t have the time or patience to start from scratch in a new MMO. Just having to relearn everything from the bottom up is not something I’ve enjoyed. So my little experiment with LOTRO will end here. Maybe when life isn’t as chaotic and I’ve found my perfect gaming rotation schedule I will put this back on the menu. For now though both LOTRO and GW2 will be put back into the closet. I may break out GW2 on occassion to atleast unlock the episodes of the living story but that’s it.
On the other hand I started playing WoW again. I want to see the new 8.3 content and start working on the Legendary cloak. Instead of picking up where I left off on my Rogue though I’ve decided to take my Warrior to 120 instead and play her. I missed the Warrior too much in the end and I want to do the Legendary stuff on her for now. I managed to get to level 120 a week ago, with the final level solely on doing Archaeology digsites, and now I’ll have to focus on gearing up so I can start the 8.3 content. I’m still very casual and basically only play on the weekends for now but atleast I’m enjoying myself!

In single player games:

  • Finish the Pokémon post-game questline
  • Get 200 Pokémon registered in my Pokédex (atleast!)
  • Pick Spider-Man back up for my PS4 and play through/finish the game

I actually rocketed through Pokémon and got both the goals ticked off pretty fast. I actually had a blast doing it aswell! I’ve been keeping up with the Max Raid events that they have been releasing. I’m also hoarding up Pokémon that evolve through trading so I can trade my friend when he comes over and fill up my Pokédex even more. I’m definitely putting this game back on the menu for my February goals because I want to keep working on my Pokédex. Now if only I could finally catch a Ditto…
Spider-Man has been a bust. I’ve barely played on my PS4 to begin with this month and all the time I did play on it either went to FFXIV or, last week, to playing the Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind DLC. Instead though I’ve started playing through Cat Quest on my Switch and having a ton of fun doing that instead. It’s a short game and if I play like I’ve been doing I’ll probably finish it somewhere this week. Because it’s such a short game I think I’m actually willing to try for 100% completion. Even though the Switch version has no trophies like the PS4 version I will have to use a guide for it, but that’s fine.

All in all I got a few things done, which I’m happy with, but less than I had planned. I dropped one MMO in favour of another and I once again realised that my moods are heavily influenced by what goes on at work and in real life. It is how it is, better luck next month?

Slow leveling

After hitting the gym for the third time in eight days I came home quite exhausted this morning. It’s a good type of exhausted though and a phase that I need to push myself through as I start getting my health and stamina back on track properly. I may have set a bit of a harsh schedule for myself with trying to workout four times a week but I know that if I limit myself to once or twice a week it’s so much easier to just start skipping days than when I do it like this. So far the hardest thing has been getting up and actually getting myself to the gym or the pool. Once I’m there it’s fine and I’m happy to push myself as hard as I can before returning home sore and exhausted. Because I went in the morning this time I have all the rest of the day to do other stuff, so I went out and did groceries for the weekend, folded the immense pile of laundry that had been collecting over the week and vacuumed my bedroom and hallway. I still have to do some more vacuuming and I’m about to start working on the dishes once I finish writing this post but I feel like I’ve actually had quite a productive Saturday so far.

The other thing I wanted to talk about in this post is my return to the World of Warcraft. I spent about an hour and a half playing my Warrior just now, slowly working my way through all the quests in Tiragarde Sound. Even though I don’t really read the quest text anymore, seeing as I’ve done this zone on my Rogue at the start of the expansion, it’s nice to retrace some of the old quest steps again. I’ve adventured with Flynn to Freehold and beyond to stop the assault on Katherine Proudmoore. I’ve been fighting the corruption in Anglepoint Wharf and I’ve been doing horseback riding in Norwington Estate. It’s quite a nice zone all things considered and being able to fly everywhere has been a major boon. I’m about halfway to level 117 as of writing this and I’m not sure what level I’ll be once I finish up all the quests in the zone.
What I do know is that I’m taking it easy and just enjoying the ride. I really want to get back into the groove on my Warrior and start working on the Legendary Cloak that has been introduced in the latest Patch. I’m not sure how fast I can start tackling the new content once I hit 120 but I hope it’s fairly quick. I mean there were catch up mechanics present for Nazjatar so I hope there will be now aswell. For now I’ve parked my Rogue, and my other characters, and will solely focus on the Warrior for the time being.

Another thing I’m slowly leveling is my Bard in Final Fantasy XIV. Choosing to level it up with Trusts has kind of slowed down progress a lot when it comes to my goals in that game. It’s a concious sacrifice though. I’m kind of scared that if I ignore Trusts and just powerlevel everything to level 80 I will never go back to level them up. So I figured I might aswell combine it with leveling up the last few battle classes I still have left. Right now I’m trying to do one Trust dungeon a day and Pixie dailies and nothing else. It’s really easy to outlevel your Trusts if you do anything besides those dungeons and I’m probably going to hit level 80 way before any of them do. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do in that case. I may just park that particular group of Trusts and use my Machinist to finish off the final few levels as I’m leveling that up or I could just bite the bullet and keep leveling up my Trusts with a class that is level 80. I guess I’ll see when I get there. For now it’s just slow going and that’s fine by me.

With me reserving two evenings a week for working out and effectively my weekend mornings aswell I am even more limited in the time I can spend on playing games. It doesn’t help that the League of Legends NA and EU championships have started up again aswell, meaning that I’ll be watching that whenever I have the time. I guess it becomes more important now than ever to have a bit of structure to my days and weeks instead of just seeing where stuff goes whenever. So I’m trying to figure out what I want to do in my games, how much time said activities take and then when the best time to play them is. For FFXIV it’s easy since I just do my three Pixie Dailies and a Trust dungeon so I’m done in about 30 minutes. For WoW it’s a bit trickier. I want to level my Warrior and that can take whatever time it takes. So I’ll plan an hour or two to just play WoW and see where that takes me.  Anyway this is starting to turn into a ramble a bit, so gonna stop right here.

What are you up to this weekend?

On A Roll

I texted my best friend earlier this week how for some reason I’ve been feeling more relaxed than I have in a very long time. Even if I did get called out of bed in the morning by a delivery driver. And honestly? It’s the truth. I feel like some sort of calm has finally settled into my erratic brain and because I’m not forcing myself to do anything now that I have a few days off I can finally focus on doing fun stuff instead. I still got some adulting done though, but not with as much pressures as I normally have when I have my regular weekends where I need to fit everything into two days. So with this stated I can proudly say I’ve been on quite a roll gaming wise these past few days.

For starters I sat down for a bit and moved my way through the Pokémon Sword post-game questline. All in all it took me a little under two hours to complete, with a lot of traveling back and forth and a lot of battling. I finally caught Zacian (the Sword Legendary Pokémon) and unlocked the Battle Tower in Wyndon. I’m not sure when I will be checking that out though, seeing as I spent quite a bit of time hunting a shiny Magikarp yesterday because of a special event. I managed to get one on the last max raid I did during the evening, so I am the proud owner of a shiny red Gyarados now. I also managed to catch a Lapras and a Gigantamax Butterfree aswell as start working away on evolving all the Pokémon in my bank.
All in all I’m quite content with how much time it has taken me to get to this point in the game. Granted, the game feels rather short compared to some of the older entries. I have over 70 hours clocked in Pokémon Black for instance and am not nearly finished with filling up the Pokédex there. It’s the one big flaw of the game for me, except the lacking of a National dex and all available Pokémon. It feels like with every new entry into the Pokémon series the stories have been getting cut shorter and shorter and the post-game has been made smaller aswell. Gone are the days where you’d have an enormous post-game riddled with mysteries and interesting ways to catch multiple legendary Pokémon. Now it’s a questline which opens up the Battle Tower after you’re done… And that’s it. Granted, I still need to fill up my Pokédex so that will take some time. However, unlike many die-hard Pokémon fans I’m going to stop the moment I have all the Pokémon registered in my dex. I have no interest in keeping a “living dex” where you have every single Pokémon as captured Pokémon in your boxes. I’m also not a huge fan of hunting shiny Pokémon. I think I’ve managed to capture two in my lifetime, not counting the shiny Magikarp of this event. One in Pokémon Black, a Golbat, and one in Pokémon Moon, a Rattata. Not the most thrilling Pokémon to have as shinies but I got them nonetheless. I also have a few shiny Pokémon from distribution events, but those don’t really count. So yeah. Right now I’m on about 33 hours played, mostly caused by the hunting for the shiny Magikarp, and I’m quite curious where the timer will be on once I manage to fill up the dex.

In Final Fantasy XIV I’ve been making a ton of strides in clearing out sidequest content and leveling my Ninja. Not only did my Ninja hit 80, before that I managed to clean up all the side content in Raktika Greatwood, earning me the Ronkan Serpent minion aswell as finishing up the final quests I had in the Tempest. I also took some time to do some FATEs in the Tempest untill I had my “do 10 FATEs” challenge from the challenge log done. Luckily for me there were a few other people doing FATEs there aswell so we had a nice little train going. I even had a shimmer of hope that we could spawn the big boss FATE at some point seeing as how we got to the final prerequisite FATE but alas, the chain reset. It’s the one FATE achievement from Shadowbringers that I’m lacking. Maybe I should join a hunt discord or ingame channel seeing as how they usually keep tabs on the big FATEs and S-Rank hunts.
Speaking of hunts. I’m slowly working towards getting the mount from the Shadowbringers hunt clan. I don’t actively participate in the A-Rank and S-Rank hunting but I do try to do my daily hunts atleast. Doing those every day gives 110 seals a day, which isn’t actually too bad. Maybe I should look into doing the weekly B-rank aswell. For now though, if I keep going like this, I should have the mount by next week!
Finally I’ve started working way on my Bard. I’ve chosen to go the Trusts route here though. I want all my Trusts leveled and I only have a few classes left where I can do that on. So I’m taking my Bard through the motions with one team and one of my tanks with the other team. I’m probably going to keep it down to one Trust dungeon per day, mostly because running the same dungeon over and over gets tedious fast. Even if they upped the experience the Trusts get. Pixie dailies and cleaning up the remaining sidequests are also on the agenda for Bard, but I will skip roulettes for the time being.

All in all I’ve been diligently working away at my gaming goals. Having the extra time off has really given me a bit of motivation to push trough and get stuff done. I may even need to set some new goals at this pace!

December 2019 In Review

So here we are. The final month of the year. The final month of the decade even! I can’t believe how fast things have been flying by. I’ve been living in my own apartment for eight months now. I’ve been working my new job for four. I’ve had a lot of struggles throughout the year and unfortunately December hasn’t been much different. Despite it all I have made some progress when it comes to gaming and then especially in FFXIV. Let’s see what I’ve been up to, eh?

In Final Fantasy XIV
I’ve been steadily leveling battle jobs. The last time I wrote about this my Dancer was still sitting at level 60-something. Right now my Dancer is level 80, my Dragoon is level 80 and I’m slowly leveling my Ninja up to 80 aswell. I’ve been taking it slower on this job though. Instead of grinding out roulettes and whatever else I could get my hands on I’ve opted to do only one or two roulettes per day and instead focus on clearing out all the sidequests that I still have around. Oh and do pixie dailies and hunts because they are fast and easy. Right now I’ve just hit level 77 so I think I will be 80 on that by the weekend, even with taking it slow.
I’ve also been grinding out a lot of FATEs to get to max rank in all the areas of the First. And it’s been actually going quite well! So well in fact that I only have Ahm Araeng and The Tempest to go. It helps that you get a challenge log bonus for completing five and ten FATEs with a gold medal respectively. I’ve also been using it as a medium to level my Chocobo who, finally, hit rank 10 this month, earning myself the White Mage Barding seeing as I specced my Chocobo to be a Healer.
Finally I’ve been mopping up sidequests in various zones. I still have hubs to go in the Raktika Greatwood, Kholusia, Ahm Araeng and a few quests in the Tempest. It’s going to feel so good to finally not see any exclamation marks on my map anymore though!

In Pokémon Sword
I’ve gotten all 8 gym badges! It’s currently idling on my TV because I’m probably going to go into 2020 while playing this game and hopefully get closer to the credits as I do. I really only have the Pokémon League and whatever postgame is after that left and then I can kind of scratch the game off my “to-do” list. I’ve played for about 18 hours so far so that’s not too bad. I am going to try to finish up the Pokédex so I think I will have many more hours to go.

Next to Pokémon I’ve actually not really touched any single player games. There are a few that I may go back to after finishing up though, with Spider-Man on the PS4 and Link’s Awakening being the biggest candidates for that. I really want to make more of an effort to tackle my significant backlog of games in 2020 and seeing as how I’ve been able to complete games in 2019 I’m sure that with the right planning I can do it. I have so many amazing games that are just waiting to be played and for the first time in a while I’m actually really motivated to pick stuff up and finish it.

In other MMO’s…
I’ve logged into WoW to pick up the presents from the tree on Christmas day but that’s basically it when it comes to Azeroth. My sub is about to expire and I only have a few days left to complete the Anniversary Event and get the Deathwing mount so I may just reserve an evening to do exactly that.
I’ve also installed Lord of the Rings Online to see if I can get somewhere in that game. I want to expand my MMO horizons and it was a toss up between that and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Apparently both games are okay to start with on a F2P basis so I’m just going to roll with that and see if LOTRO captures my interest enough to want to put down money. So far I’m mostly trying to get over the outdated graphics and get used to the gameplay. I’ve only really played the tutorial fight though so I can’t really say anything just yet. I can say that I rolled an Elf (sorry Syp!) Archer because it’s my favourite fantasy trope. Let’s see how things will unfold there shall we?

In offline hobbies…
I’ve decided to pick back up puzzling again and bought myself a 1000 piece puzzle as said in my last post. I also have a diamond poster thing going on that I want to start on next. I’ll take a picture and explain better what it is when I get there. I really like just doing stuff like that, it helps me calm down and unwind without having to stare at a screen. I also let my eye drop on a very pretty, yet very expensive, Lego X-wing. I really want to build one but I have no idea where to put it once it’s finished so I’m holding off on buying it for now.
I’ve also been picking up reading again and am spending a bit more time watching movies and shows on Netflix and Disney+. I pay for both services so may aswell use them! I managed to devour the Witcher in one sitting and I’m currently rewatching the entire Star Wars saga after seeing Episode 9 in the theatre two weeks ago.

Finally…
I’ve decided that after this little experiment I do take kind to setting myself goals on a monthly basis. Even though I don’t always do what I want to do it helps me sort of make sense of what I want to achieve for the month. So starting tomorrow I will do a goals for January post again. For now I wish you all a nice New Years Eve!

Sandy’s Sunday: Checking In

Hello everyone! It’s me! Just wanted to do a quick post as a sort of checking in on my blog.
I’ve not really felt the need to write anything for the past two weeks. Mostly because holidays and work getting in the way and also because I honestly didn’t know what to write about without spoiling too much for my December in review post that I will put up on New Year’s Eve.

It’s been a weird few weeks with a lot of days off and people not being around. A colleague unexpectedly found a new job, effectively leaving my team with one person short. We’ve also been dealing with all the people having time off around the holidays and as such I’ve had a lot of time where I was the only person who would be around. It was great for a while since it gave me the opportunity to finally get around to cleaning up my overflowing mailbox, I went from 100+ emails down to 8, and checking up on aswell as preparing various projects for the new year. Work is still busy as ever but now that I’ve sort of “caught up” I’m confident that things will work out better in January.
I took January 2nd and 3rd off myself so I effectively have 5 days off starting Tuesday afternoon. Usually we go home earlier on New Year’s Eve so that’s nice. To keep myself entertained for this extended weekend I decided to pick up a hobby I haven’t touched in a long time: puzzling. I bought myself a brand new nice looking 1000 piece puzzle yesterday and I will take full advantage of my five days off to get it finished. I actually started yesterday evening with sorting all of the pieces and putting down the edges. It gives me something to do besides gaming and I’ve noticed that once I get into the zone of things I find the relaxation I’ve been looking for.

All things considered I’ve been relatively doing okay. I’m still very much exhausted although having days off around the holidays have helped me to kind of catch up on much needed sleep and relaxation. I’m still going strong when it comes to leveling stuff up in FFXIV, which I will tell more about in my December in review post, and I’m trying to find a set time every weekend to dedicate to single player games. I’m almost finished with my Pokémon Sword playthrough and it has helped tremendously to just pick a timeframe to start up the game and make progress in it. My best friend already beat the game so I can’t lag behind for too long and after that I may turn my attention to a new game or keep the slot for Pokémon for a while so I can work on completing the Pokédex. A feat which I’ve never accomplished in all the years I’ve been playing Pokémon. I think the closest I’ve gotten is in Pokémon Blue where I caught 146 out of 150 of them and maybe in my Pokémon Moon playthrough where I was on 2/3 of the Pokédex completed. Right now I’m around 80/400 Pokémon caught in Sword so I still have a way to go but it’s not the 1000+ Pokémon I would have to be staring down if they implemented a National Dex.

So yeah. I’m still alive. I’m still gaming. And a true gaming update post is coming up!

A belated Sandy’s Sunday: Flying beats Fighting

Disclaimer: I actually wrote this post on Sunday with the intent to post it that same day. Apparently I didn’t, I’m still posting it now though! So this is my belated Sandy’s Sunday.

This morning I finally pushed myself to start up Pokémon Sword and gently get back into the game again. I haven’t had time to sit down for a proper session this past week and it was high time I made some progress again. So I pulled out my Switch and finished up route 6 and made my way to the next town. My starter has evolved to it’s final stage, the average level of my party is somewhere around 34 and I was very confident I could take on the next gym like this. And I was right.
The fourth gym is populated by trainers who use Fighting-type Pokémon. I have two counters in my team to that. Corvisquire (Flying) and Orbeetle (Psychic). The trainers during the gym mission were a breeze. Corvisquire took all the Pokémon down in one shot using Drill Peck. The Gym Leader was slighty more challenging. Her second Pokémon fainted my Corvisquire and was also super effective against Orbeetle due to it being a Dark type ontop of a Fighting type. So I switched in Cinderace (the starter) and used a Revive on Corvisquire and a Super Potion to get it battle ready again. In the end I was victorious and am now the proud owner of four badges. On to badge number five!
Right now there’s a few events going in Pokémon Sword/Shield where you can catch a Gigantamax Butterfree and/or a Gigantamax Snorlax. Apparently there is a difference between Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing your Pokémon. When they Dynamax they just grow very big, get more HP and their attacks turn into stronger versions of themselves, kinda like Z-moves in Pokémon Sun and Moon. With Gigantamaxing they also change their appearance and get even more special attacks. So far I’ve not encountered either of them but I still have quite a while to do so, since the event runs for atleas the rest of December.

In Final Fantasy XIV I’ve been leveling up my Dancer. She’s currently sitting very close to level 66 and I’m sure I will have hit level 67 when I’m done with all the roulettes after reset today. Simultaneously I’ve been leveling Dragoon via Pixie dailies and FATEs. Today I sat down and grinded out the FATEs I needed to get to rank 3 with the gemstone seller in Lakeland. It took me somewhere around an hour and a half but in the end I hit rank 3 and my Dragoon hit level 72 so that’s a win! For my efforts I got a new barding for my Chocobo, as seen in the above screenshot, and one of two music scrolls that the vendor had on sale. I’m planning to keep doing FATEs in level appropriate zones, meaning that the next zone for this is Il Mheg. With the Pixie dailies being there aswell there’s usually a steady stream of people doing FATEs around the zone so I’m quite confident I can get that zone done in not too long aswell. I think I need to do around 30 FATEs for it, but if there’s a train going that won’t take that long at all.
As added bonus Dragoon as class is pretty sturdy so I don’t have that many issues tanking mobs in FATEs, especially when I remember to call out my chocobo, who I’ve trained as healer.

I’m really hoping work will slowly calm down next week so that I come home less exhausted and more ready to game. I feel like I’m losing a lot of time just sitting on the couch and staring at the TV because I feel too tired to do anything else. I know that sometimes just sitting down and doing nothing can be very beneficial, I don’t have to be doing something all the time. But right now the time I spend on doing nothing is just too much. I feel annoyed with myself about it and I need to change that.
As Christmas and the end of the year are edging closer I can’t believe we are about to start a new decade already. It feels like yesterday that I graduated High School and went on to University and yet here I am, 10 years later doing a job that is nothing like the field I’ve studied for. Finally living on my own in my own house and owning my own car. If you asked me 10 years ago if I thought I would end up like this I would have responded with a look of horror. Unfortunately life doesn’t always deal fair cards and I’m actually feeling quite lucky to be where I am today after years of struggle. With me not having to worry about finding a job, a house or even transportation anymore I can turn my attention fully to my next life goal: getting physically healthy again so I feel better in my own skin. Is it an early New Year’s resolution? Maybe. All that I know is that with everything else out of the way I can finally focus on stuff like this again. But first I’m going to enjoy a very yummy Christmas!

Pad Thai and Samurai Shenanigans

Last monday my Samurai hit level 80. It was actually pretty fast as far as leveling up went, faster than I expected. I’m quite happy that it’s over because overal I’m not a huge fan of Samurai as a class. I kind of miss the logic in the class. The self buffs you put up don’t really time out like the Monk and Dragoon stuff does so you’re not really forced into a steady pattern of attacks, besides activating the right stuff so you can use Midare Setsugekka. I also find that Samurai has a lot of skills outside of the global cooldown and they’re kind of hard to manage. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I doubt I would enjoy this class playing it fulltime at 80. I had the same thing with Black Mage and like Black Mage I will probably put Samurai in a corner and won’t pull it out again unless I’m extremely bored or untill the next expansion drops, either one.
This sentiment may change over time though and I might just do some shenanigans on it but for now it’s another notch on the level 80 belt and I’m moving on to my next class, which is Dancer. I’m kind of enjoying the class, although the scope of it is limited since I’m only level 62. I hope I can level it up decently fast so I unlock more skills and steam to 80 before the month is over. I also decided to grab some nice gear for my Dragoon and take that through atleast the Pixie dailies every day to start slowly leveling that up to 80 aswell. Since I’m max rank with the Pixies that’s actually a nice amount of experience every day.

In real life work has not really let up that much. I’ve worked overtime most days again but I managed to connect with an old friend I met through World of Warcraft this Thursday. He had to be in the area for work and messaged me if I wanted to go out to dinner and catch up. I accepted and we wound up at a local Thai place where I ordered the Pad Thai and was kind of blown away by the true mountain of food I had on my plate.
For reference, Dutch portions are quite small usually. I can order an entree and a main course and be full from that most of the time, with very rarely having room for dessert. These are decent plates of food, nothing to extravagant but enough to fill you up properly. This Pad Thai though was of another level. I ate about half of it and took the other half with me to eat at home today and it was still a full plate of food. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten such a big portion anywhere and it was the first time I actually took food back home. Meeting up with my friend was nice though and we dredged up memories of the good old days of raiding in WoW and the guild we were in. It made me realise that my life looked very different 8-10 years ago and that I’ve grown as a person a lot in that time. Sometimes I miss those days where I had a tight knit community of online friends that I would play with almost every night but life does its thing and you end up getting out of touch with many people over the years. I don’t think I could do the 4-5 days a week raiding schedule anymore now that I have a fulltime job and other obligations and I salute anyone who can. I’m firmly in “casual” gamer mode these days and in some ways that’s probably the best thing that has happened to me.
For now though I’m looking forward to a nice relaxed weekend filled with gametime again and taking my car for a spin, if the weather allows it.