Thursday, 31 December 2015

Entertainment goals for 2016


After writing my Gaming Goals list, I got inspired to look at other areas in my life and set "goals" for those aswell. I'm not a very big media consumer. I hardly watch TV... And if I do I prefer to watch a documentary of sorts or a football match while staying away from most shows and a lot of the brainless crap they seem to be enjoying on the telly nowadays. Every now and then though I get into a show and I feel like I should watch it untill the end... And seeing as there have been some seriously good shows the past year I feel like I can play catch up in 2016. And look forward to more series to come!

Lets start off with...

TV Shows
I've been an avid follower of some TV shows in the past. I think I've watched most of the Star Trek seasons of every generation except the original one. I'm pretty sure I've actually seen Voyager from start to end. I've watched all of Charmed, Buffy and Angel... Alias, Desperate Housewives and some Dutch series I was into. I also followed Grey's Anatomy religiously, untill they decided to kick the character Christina Yang and Derek Sheperd. In 2015 I've watched very little shows except for Hannibal season one and two and Les Revenants season one. I've also watched some Orange is the New Black and House of Cards and Daredevil on Netflix.
Looking at what I've seen, and what I haven't seen yet... I want to atleast watch the following shows in 2016:

  • Hannibal Season 3. This could be the last season? I'm kind of cheating here since I'm already a big way through this season, but haven't quite finished it yet. I really want to know how it ends though so this is top priority right now.
  • Les Revenants Season 2. I bought Season 1 on Blu-Ray and am watching it in preperation of the second one coming out on Blu-Ray in January so I'm caught up again. I think this is one of the better shows I've watched the past five years and can't wait to see how it unfolds.
  • Daredevil. I have the show on my computer somewhere and watched the first episode and loved it, but for some reason never got around to watch the rest of it. High on my list aswell!
  • House of Cards Season 2 and onwards. I watched the first season and got hooked but stopped watching some episodes into the second season. Now there are four and I feel like I need to catch up and watch. Kevin Spacey is brilliant in this show and the way it's filmed is completely my style.
  • Orange is the New Black Season 3. Watched Season 1 and 2 and then somehow couldn't get into the third. Am planning to watch it before number four comes out though. I hope.
Books
In the past I have been more of an avid reader and my favourite books were always of the fantasy kind. Lately though I've invested a lot in books about Psychology and Neurology which are two of my biggest passions. I didn't get a degree in Psychology for nothing and the human brain fascinates me to no end. So I'm planning to read atleast the books I bought about those. Next to that there's a fantasy series I wish to finish... Here's the list!
  • Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. A beautiful book about music in relation to the brain. Oliver Sacks has been one of my favourite authors and is a very well known Neurologist and Neuro Psychologist. He writes pretty damn good books and I'm very sad that he passed away this year.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I actually know very little about this author but his book somehow ended up in my  hands and I can't wait to read it. I have the Dutch version though and it's quite a big book... But I'm really looking forward to reading this!
  • We are our Brain by Dick Swaab. Sorry for only the picture here but it's a Dutch book. It basically discusses brain functions in a very funny and readable way. I ordered this recently and won't be reading it untill I've finished a few of my other books, but it looks very interesting!
  • Laat Je Hersenen Niet Zitten by Erik Scherder. Another Dutch book by an author that is called the Dutch Oliver Sacks. He is a Neuropsychology teacher and sort of a TV celebrity here. This book is mostly about how being active is good for the brain and how to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • The Tamuli by David Eddings. A fantasy trilogy set as a sequel to another trilogy of his. I read the first one and started in this one. I'm a really big fan of Eddings and I hope these books are just as good as all the other ones I've read from him.
Anime
There's a few anime shows I have laying around but never gotten around to watch. Firstly there is Elfen Lied that is usually a bit too violent for my tastes but nevertheless I still really got hooked on the first episode. I want to watch the rest because I want to know how it ends... However it's been so long since I started that I'll probably start watching it from scratch. The same goes for Ayashi no Ceres which has been sitting around on my PC for years now. Never got around to watching it and I really want to so.

Anyway, I consider this to be my "entertainment" list for 2016. It's mostly catching up on shows, in the hopes that I can start watching the new seasons for atleast House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. I also still have the hope that there will be a fourth season of Hannibal... But let's not get too excited untill it is actually announced.

This will also be my last post of this year. There will be one more "goals" post to follow tomorrow which will focus more on my personal and real life goals. It looks like I'll be heading into a busy year next year... But I can't wait!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Gaming Goals in 2016

Most people tend to set goals whenever the New Year approaches, and although I have plenty of IRL goals to work towards, I also have quite an impressive list of gaming goals for 2016.
Are you guys ready? Here it comes. Remember. These are goals for the entirety of 2016 so it looks like a really big list.

FFXIV
Moogle
Get all my battle classes to 60. The list currently looks as followed:
  • Paladin 50
  • Warrior 35
  • Dark Knight 30
  • White Mage 50
  • Scholar/Summoner 50
  • Astrologian 31
  • Dragoon 60
  • Monk 31
  • Ninja 57
  • Bard 53
  • Black mage 50
  • Machinist 31

Get all 2.0 relics
  • Paladin
  • Warrior
  • White Mage
  • Scholar
  • Summoner
  • Black Mage
  • Dragoon
  • Monk
  • Ninja
  • Bard
If I get to finish these goals I'll probably add goals for my Crafting and Gathering classes, but Battle classes take priority for now.
Onto the next category...

Playstation 4
  • Finish "Inside Out" playset on Disney Infinity.
  • Finish "Twiligh of the Republic" Star Wars Playset on Disney Infinity
  • Finish Tales of Zestiria
  • Finish FF Type-0 HD
  • Finish Witcher 3

Nintendo 3DS
  • Finish "Majora's Mask"
  • Finish "Bravely Default"
  • Finish "Donkey Kong Country Returns"
  • Finish "New Super Mario Bros. 2"

Other PC games
  • Battle to rank 1 in Heroes of the Storm
  • Obtain all card backs for every month in Hearhtstone
  • Unlock and play through all adventures in Hearthstone
  • Finish Trine 1 and 2 on steam
  • Finish "Ori and the Blind Forest"
  • Finish "Ducktales Remastered"
As you all can see it's quite a big list. It's also something for me to refer to when I don't know what to write about on my blog throughout the year... So expect some update posts on it!
For now I'm going to return to fiddling around on my tablet playing some Candy Crush type games since I'm simply too tired to do something else right now. I'll try to push out a blogpost on the 31st looking back at my year in gaming... But no promises :)

Friday, 25 December 2015

Holiday Goals

Typing this blog post on my tablet I realise how busy I have been over the past month and a half.
I started a new job in November and I have been making crazy days, leaving me to come home absolutely shattered and not wanting to do anything but relax and sleep. Even now during Christmas time I can't really get properly rested seeing as I have a very full schedule and have to work a few days in between Christmas and new year's eve.

However since I do have a bit more free time than usual I wanted to draw up a small post of things I want to get done within the next week. So here we go:

In FFXIV
● Finish off dragoon zeta.
● Level Ninja to 60
● Do starlight celebration on both Moogle and Cactuar character.

Other games
● Play through as much of the "Inside Out" plays et on Disney infinity as possible. Currently 3 levels done.
● Advance in Pokemon X as much as possible.

My FF goals have priorities over the other two, but I think only playing FF will drive me nuts. Plus I am not home all the time and I can take my 3DS with me on the road.

Hopefully a new year will bring a bit more peace to my life so I can start living more regularly and plan stuff better.  For now I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Where Did My Time Go?

It's a weird feeling for me. I am so used to doing nothing all day, and basically having way too much time on my hands, that actually getting cut down in time is harder for me than I thought. Especially on the weeks where I work 32 hours it feels like I just don't have enough hours on the days I have off. Especially since I tend to plan a lot of activities in my free time, so getting rested is not really anything that is happening for me.
And unfortunately this is coming to bite me in the ass on the few days where I do try to rest and relax. I slept for about 9-9.5 hours last night and it has left me in a state of drowsiness and a nice headache on top of that. I guess I slept too long, or too deep, but it's not really something I can influence since I actually slept all those hours. It wasn't like I woke up after 7 hours, decided I could sleep in and rolled back over just to find myself waking up even more sleepy than I went to bed. So today I had a lot of things planned and didn't do any of them, simply because my head was bothering me.


Maging it up
One of the few things I did manage to do today is obtain the staff transmog I wanted for my mage. I run around in Tier 6 (because I like purplez) and I needed a purplish/pinkish staff to go with it. I have always loved the look of Velen's staff and decided to take the plunge and make my way to Shadowmoon Valley to complete the quest that awards that awesome looking staff. It's the only way to get the model in the game next to killing Doom Lord Kazzak in Hellfire Peninsula. It took me about two hours to get there, the Cipher of Damnation and all it's prequests are very exhaustive, but I'm super happy with the end result.
So I'm rocking item level 660 on my mage, with a Tier 6 transmog and that staff and life is good. Gold is flowing, and I'm having fun running content on a class that for once is not a hybrid.
On the Horde side of things I'm also leveling a Mage... But on my alt account. Sometimes I just really need to step away from the people I know. They are nice enough but I have times where I just want to do things for me and not want to be bothered and that's when I retreat to my alt account. My mage on there (a very sexy Bloodelf) is now level 92 and I'm hoping to get her to 100 somewhere next week. This account is very much a fresh one when it comes to WoW and for once I would love to focus on only one character, so that Mage is the only one on there. I have to re-earn all my achievements, pets, mounts, toys and tabards but that's something I'm very much enjoying. It feels fresh and new and challenging again, and way more fun than only hanging around in my Garrison on my main account.

FFXIV
I'm still leveling Ninja on Final Fantasy and she is close to hitting level 52. Due to me working I've not really had the time to run a lot of roulettes... But I am religiously doing the Vanu Vanu beast tribe dailies and the lowest level Hunts. Add that up everyday and levelling goes fast enough. I'm also slowly working my way through the Ninja relic weapon as a sidequest. I should put a bit more time in, but seeing as I'm still getting used to my schedule and how to divide my time it's taken a bit of a backseat to playing World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm.

Speaking of the latter... I managed to obtain Cho'Gall via a friend. The champion is very interesting and fun to play with two people. Personally I think I'm better off playing Cho with that particular friend, mostly because I'm just better with map movements and lane movements in general. I know when to extend and when it's overextending and I know how to be where I need to be. I'm not sure if this champion will see much competitive play. It takes very good coordination to work well and it technically takes a champion off the map. But he is definately a beast to play and very strong if built and played well. I hope I get to play some more... Assuming there are some people to play with!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

My Other Passion


I have (had) a lot of hobbies and passions over my short 26 years on this earth. I've grown up being a gymnast and a dancer and kept doing that untill I was about sixteen years old. I've tried my hand at horseback riding, but decided it wasn't really for me... Although it did wonders for correcting my gymnast posture which resulted in me actually not have the hollow back you normally see with girls who practiced gymnastics for most of their child and teenage years.
Gaming didn't really enter my life untill I was about 18 years old. I had a console at home and a Game Boy, but I didn't play them intensively and saw it more as entertainment for when I had nothign else to do.
I have always been an avid reader and I lost count on how many books I've read exactly. I love almost all genres... But especially autobiographies intrigue me.

Being Dutch however there is one thing you inevitably come across when growing up, even as girl, and that is football. I grew up with a family who were mostly born and raised in Amsterdam and that almost automatically means you're a fan of AFC Ajax. I had some very enthusiast cousins and growing up around men mostly I quickly caught the football virus. We used to have the channel that showed a lot of the games in the Dutch League and a lot of my sundays were spent watching Ajax play anyone.

The football fever in this country when there is a World or European Cup is almost unprecedented and I first got to experience it in 1998 when the Dutch national team made it to the World Cup semi-finals vs Brazil. I was only 9 years old at the time and the game was very long. One and a half hours of regular time... Another thirty minutes of extra time... Only to finish up with penalty shooting. We lost in the end and I don't actually really remember much of it. Mostly that it was my first real impression with football like that and that I got to stay up way past my bedtime for it.

Fast forward to the present and I am still a big football fan. I still cheer for Ajax and the Dutch national team, and although they are both not performing very well right now they will always have my heart. Next to this I like to follow individual players and some teams abroad aswell. I've been a huge Zlatan Ibrahimovic fan ever since he played for Ajax and tracked his progress through Europe. For me he's a very strong, very smart player. He is a leader in any team he joins and is able to single handedly pull teams together and push them towards championships or qualifications. His latest achievement? Making sure Sweden qualified for the upcoming European Cup by scoring all the goals they needed and carrying the team through all the games. Jokingly people say that it's not Sweden who goes to the European Cup but it's Zlatan... And I guess this is partly true. I have his biography lying here at home and to get a glimpse into the mind of a man who I admire has been awesome. There will also be a documentary coming out about him in a while and I'm certain to watch that one aswell. But for all the successes he has had, there have also been a lot of struggles. And it's really interesting to watch the good and the bad.

Which brings me to the picture at the top of my post. I honed my skills as pirate of the digital seas and managed to get my hands on a version of Cristiano Ronaldo's recently launched documentary. Ronaldo, like Zlatan and Messi, is probably one of the best players of this generation. Although he might come across as arrogant and vain there is no doubt in my mind that he works hard for everything he has achieved so far. Something the documentary only confirmed. Being an unwanted child (his mother contemplated abortion) and growing up to become one of the best players of our generation almost sounds like a fairytale come true. But ofcourse everything has it's downsides. A normal life? No chance. He can't go out of his house without people wanting something from him, even if he's walking around with his 5 year old son and obviously wants to be left alone. This man lives and breathes football and has given up much and more than you and I ever will to achieve the success he has today. Friends are scarce in that world and trusting anyone is a risk. Not to mention all the physical pain he has to endure and work through which comes with being a footballer in the first place.
Watching that documentary only renewed my respect for him and players like him AND reminded me why I became a football fan in the first place. Ofcourse I hope that one day Ajax will have a star like that for their team aswell, but for now I'm gonna enjoy the few more years that Messi, Ronaldo and Zlatan are around to make football an even more beautiful sport than it already is.


Winter Is Coming

As the days are getting colder it's getting more and more cozy to cuddle up in a blanket and stay inside all day. Even on my days off I rarely stick my nose out of the door and it's been very relaxing. So much stuff has come my way that just sitting down with a big steaming mug filled with tea and watch a League of Legends stream is probably the best thing I could wish for right now. No stress, no action required by me. Just sitting back and relaxing.

Overwatch
I managed to get into the Overwatch stress test weekend this weekend and while I was initially all hyped up for it... I have to admit I barely played. I did a few games on Friday evening to get a look and feel of the game and test out some champions that I thought would be nice to play beforehand. So I played Mercy, Klinkhamer, Soldier 76 and Widowmaker and after that I more or less got bored.
The game itself is fast paced enough, I don't think any match took me longer than 10 minutes. It's really chaotic and you need to be aware of your surrounding at all times. I found out I do better in supporting roles (Klinkhamer and Mercy) than when I need to fight on the forefront... But I managed to get some decent kills in on Soldier 76.
All in all it seems to be a very noobfriendly FPS, something that I really needed.

The one thing this game is missing big time (in my opinon atleast) right now is some sort of personal tracking system. You see your stats at the end of every game, but in the main menu you can't see any game history or some sort of tracking how you perform in the different roles. So the only thing you get to do is queue and play and rinse and repeat this for the entire duration. Ofcourse me having to soloqueue all the time doesn't really help either, I like games the most when I can share them with friends. But since I'm the only one from my circle who seemed to have gotten in, it's mostly been a very lonely experience for me.

On the other side I've been able to grind my Ninja to level 50 on Moogle. She's actually almost level 51 already and so very fun to play. The only skills I haven't really incorporated in my rotation yet are the ones I got today (Trick Attack and Kassatsu) but I'm sure I will learn eventually. It looks like my level 52 ability will be one that is very beneficial for Black Mages (or really anyone who overaggroes the tank) since I can reduce the enmity of a single party member with Smoke Bomb. This makes Ninja even more utility oriented than they already were seeing as they can also provide TP for one party member.
I already have an almost complete set of gear ready for when I ding 60. I just lack the rings, a chest and some pants. I guess I really should start doing some ex-roulette and void ark on my Dragoon so I can use all that to gear up my Ninja who I will probably be rerolling to. After that I will see. There are still so many classes not max level for me and I had planned to stick my nose into crafting this expansion, so I might just see that through.

On World of Warcraft I got my baby Mage to level 100 and geared her up with about two hours of Timewalking. She's now sitting on ilvl 660 and I do better DPS than one of our raidmages... Who sits on ilvl 707. Yeah he's that bad. I really enjoy playing my Mage and will probably do a bit more on her over the coming weeks. It feels nice to be on a character that can only DPS so I don't have to switch roles, only speccs. It can be really exhausting to switch between Healer and DPS all the time and sometimes I wish I never rolled a hybrid to begin with. But what's done is done and there's no going back.

I'm also enjoying playing Hearthstone and watching movies on my tablet as part of my bedtime ritual. I watched Life of Pi last night before going to bed and absolutely loved the movie. It's so colourful and the story is something that is completely up my alley. I don't fancy these high action movies much and prefer movies with a strong story or a story that makes you think. This was one of such movies and combined with the gorgeous effects it was definately not two hours of my time wasted.
The next thing I really want to watch is the documentary about Christiano Ronaldo, I'm a huge football fan and I think he works so hard for his success. I'm really curious to get a glimpse into his life to see how he manages all of it.



Thursday, 19 November 2015

Finding New Goals

Quitting raiding in World of Warcraft has been both liberating and a very emotional experience for me. Ever since I achieved max level on my very first toon in the Burning Crusade I have always been in a raiding group. I've never stepped down from an active raiding roster or guild and the only lulls in my raiding career have been because of inactive people which left me with no possibility to raid outside of pugging.

Now however our raiding group was very much active and more or less stable and just walking away from that has been odd. In a way it feels like I gave up on my goals for WoW (which was mostly killing heroic Archimonde before the next expansion comes out) and I'm struggling to cope with the sense of logging into a game without clear endgame stuff to work towards. Ofcourse raiding isn't the be all and end all in World of Warcraft (or any MMO for that matter) and with the addition of patch 6.2.3 gearing up itself has been made significantly easier with the reintroduction of valor points. But for me it's not about the gear. It's about the goal that I had set when we started the expansion: to clear all endbosses on heroic with this group of raiders. And it's weird to let that go, even though it is probably the best decision I have taken for myself in a very long time.

So now I feel like someone adrift, someone in search of new goals to work towards and new ways of enjoying a game where my entire career has been about raiding in one form or another. I think I might try to pug my way through heroic Archimonde at some point (I was a tiny bit too late with subscribing to FriendshipMoose unfortunately) and I'm sure I will see him dead somewhere before Legion hits. I'm also free to devote more time to some of my other characters that I personally enjoy way more to play, but that I never really got a chance to this expansion. So I'm levelling my mage and I'm planning to do some Timewalking on both my Hunter and my Warrior.
Next to that I'm also relocating my focus towards other games. I'm intent on getting better on Hearthstone.. Which essentially means playing more, unlocking all my adventure wings and keep on unlocking more cards.
There's also the thing that I would love to get my hands on all the heroes in Heroes of the Storm, which mostly requires me to atleast work my way through all the quests I get and level my heroes to level 5 for the gold you get then. It's a bit tedious at times, but I enjoy myself immensly when playing that game, even if I'm on the losing team. I just need to find someone who I can play Cho'Gall with so I can unlock that for myself aswell and then I'm even more happy.

The major thing I did, ever since patch 3.1 launched, is pick up FFXIV again with a fervor. I've been steadily working my way through the new Vanu Vanu beast tribe quests everyday (and am now rank five or six I believe) and am levelling my Ninja which is my new favourite class. Currently she is level 46, but I get some challenge log bonuses when I do my low level and guildhest roulette today so in theory I should be well over level 47 after I log off later tonight.
I haven't really picked up doing ex-roulette again, mostly because I don't enjoy my Dragoon as much anymore as I did, but I think I'll try to make up for it over the coming few days because I want to start saving up gear for when my Ninja dings 60... And what better way to do that than with some Esoteric pieces?

All in all I'm trying very hard to adjust to a more casual approach of games where I find the fun in other things than endgame raiding. In FFXIV it seems to be working out well, I really want to level all my battle classes to max level and start on the new relic so that will keep me going for quite a while.
In World of Warcraft I'm sure I'll find my way around somehow somewhere... But for now even logging that game just feels weird and I can only hope that will pass soon.


Monday, 16 November 2015

Having Snapped

For the past months I've not been in a good place on World of Warcraft. My current guild, which I've been in for about 4.5 years now, has become a place where I no longer really wish to hang out.
I came into this guild when it was in it's dying breath (although I did not know that back then) and have always stuck by it, through good and mostly bad times.

Early on when I entered one of the last active officers left after a big fight that actually involved me. I won't go into details but let's just say couples in guilds are often toxic when one of them is in power and the other is abusing this power. After this, this was during Cataclysm, I stepped up in recruitment, raidleading and generally smoothing out the raidteam and making raids happen. After the raidleader also quit I was responsible for everyting fulltime and it was very draining on me... In the end I managed to get us to clear a lot of heroic Dragon Soul before Diablo 3, the Summer and patch fatigue shut down the guild untill Mists of Pandaria.

In Mists I managed to get a raidteam together for a few weeks after launch and then everything basically fell apart, at which point I decided to throw in the towel. I had to focus on my education and could not handle a fulltime involvement with a guild where I was the only one in charge left. The GM who promised me to be there decided he didn't want to play Mists afterall, leaving me to fend for myself. I suffered major burnout then and didn't really come back to the game untill Siege of Orgrimmar came out.

Around that time a lot of "old garde" people came back and I was interested in atleast killing Garrosh Hellscream before Warlords of Draenor would launch so I hopped into a few raids with them, got my kill and didn't really care too much. As WoD was approaching I was helping out the "leader" then who, in all honesty, isn't that good with the administration side of things. I helped him put together the raidroster, set up a poll for the raiddays and offered to fulfill the healer role I picked up at the end of Mists. This was not necessary and I decided to play Shadow Priest for the upcoming expansion.

Fast forward a few months and I end up levelling and gearing Shadow... Only to be asked to roll Holy. Less healers were showing up than they hoped and I was the only one who had the right class and experience as healer. Even though I was not feeling well mentally, and I didn't really want to switch speccs, I said yes and we continued raiding in Highmaul. A few months later I broke. There was too much going on in my life to handle stress from raiding and dealing with our raidteam, which was filled with bad players. I snapped and stopped raiding for a while to focus on myself, instead of giving so much to others. In hindsight I heard my officer "friends" were trying to get rid of me then for not feeling well, something that hurt me beyond belief. I came back to raiding and just figured I'd focus on myself and getting enjoyment out of the game my own way. I asked to be demoted to Raider down from Officer because I did not feel comfortable in Officer chat anymore. I was in there with three guys who would just ignore anything I said or bitch at me. I didn't and couldn't deal with that well so I got the demote I wanted.

And now we are in the present. Raiding through Hellfire Citadel, which has not been a very smooth ride, and my frustrations with raiding and the group have been at an all time high. It's become more and more apparent to me that it matters what position you hold in this guild. If you are buddies with our raidleader you can get away with everything without punishment, while the rest of us get scolded. Add to the fact that some "friends" who I have always treated well suddenly feel the need to treat me like shit and I just more or less snapped.

So today, with a lot of heartache, I have decided to stop raiding whatsoever. I need and want to focus on my own happiness right now and I don't want to deal with such a big frustrating factor in my life. I feel betrayed, used and generally drained. After 4.5 years I'm more than done with this guild and the people in it. I hope for them that they get Archimonde Heroic down before the new expansion hits, but for me this is the end of my raiding career for now. I might log in casually just so I can get enough gold to buy a WoW token to keep my sub active. But I might just let it all run out and see.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Terror


I want to start this blogpost off with a few words from me personally about all that has happened in the past 24 hours or so.
First off, the attacks on Paris have made me sick to my core. It's in times like these that you realize how close you actually are to a city like that (it takes me about 4 hours to travel from my house to the center of Paris by train, let that sink in) and how frighteningly close terrorism has actually come to a continent that is supposed to be safe to live on. The general feeling here is that these terrorists are trying to take away our feeling that we are safe in our own countries and it's damn well working. Events like these only make me want to avoid the big cities in Europe like the plague, scared that something will happen.
So many innocent people's lives have been taken by a few that by all means are no better than savage animals. They murdered... no butchered innocent people in one of the busiest places in Paris, people like you and me, that go about their daily lives and never get involved in politics or global scale things to begin with.
For me there was an added layer of terror in knowing that one of the people I love and care about most in this world not only lives right ontop of Paris, but could very well have been present in the Stade de France watching that friendly football match. I got very early confirmation that said person was actually unharmed and safe at home, but still. Everytime I see it slip by on the news I get cold and think of all the people who have not been this lucky and have lost a loved one last night.
Whenever you see on the news that there is trouble in the Middle East or Israel it doesn't make that big of an impact for me because it's so far away and I don't actually know anyone there. But with all the recent happenings and knowing France (and Paris) have been the target of multiple attacks over the past year everything is suddenly much closer to home, up to the point that I'm actually dreading Monday since my friend will have to go back into Paris for work then... And I can only hope and pray he is safe and nothing will happen.

Gaming and Work
I've started my new job last week and am in the process of learning everything involved... Causing me to come home extremely tired and irritable. The only thing I want to do after dinner is head to bed and catch up on all the sleep I feel like I've been missing.
Because I'm forced to think about priorities it's also becoming more and more apparent to me that I need to take a step back from World of Warcraft. The struggle there is becoming more and more intense for me and it's pulling me under. People who I thought were nice turn out to be not so nice and I've lost respect for a lot of others... I don't really know what to do with this. Mentally I'm just exhausted with that part of my life and the only thing I would want is to retreat from the raidteam and focus on the aspects of the game that still make me happy, instead of logging on frustrated and emotional because of everything that has been, and still is, going on.
It's hurtful for me on a personal level because I feel like I have given my all for this guild over the past four or five years and I never got anything in return. My heart and soul went in there, I was officer/GM/raidleader for a while, I helped setup the new raidleader, handled things like roster balancing, raidrules, lootrules and everything that came with maintaining a raidteam. I assist our current raidleader with tactics and calling things out while still needing to be focused on keeping people alive on my Priest. It's all a bit too much, especially when you get zero respect and acknowledgement for what you are doing, it just feels like a spit in the face.
Add to that the fact that I'm already exhausted when I come home after work now and you just get a very volatile mix that can explode any minute. My heart is bleeding over this situation and right now I'm not sure of anything anymore... Only that I no longer find any enjoyment in logging onto the game.


Instead I have been playing a lot of FFXIV again since patch 3.1 came out. I've been steadily leveling away on my Ninja, who will probably hit level 40 before the weekend is over and am doing the new beast tribe dailies on my Bard, who is halfway to level 52. I'm really enjoying the game again, especially now that a lot of the lagg issues have been resolved. I really think I will make this game my maingame again and will probably devote most of my time to getting my Ninja to level 60 and geared up, while also slowly plowing away on my other classes.

Next to Final Fantasy I've seen a ressurection in my Heroes of the Storm play. I've been playing atleast 3 games every day and have been enjoying myself immensely. I've picked up Johanna on my alt account and am currently wrecking face on Jaina on my main account. It's so fun to play different roles and feel like you're actually good at them. Whenever my team wins a game by good communication and gameplay I'm just super happy and feel like I've achieved much more than whenever I killed a new boss on World of Warcraft. I'm saving up for the next champion to buy and I'm very much leaning in the direction of Leoric, Butcher or Artanis. I'm sitting at 7k gold right now so it shouldn't take too long to get that 10k gold together to buy either one of them. Especially since I picked up doing my quest with a fever. Sometimes I will do them on Quick Match on champions I'm comfortable on, sometimes I will choose to play vs AI because I either lack time or need to play a role I normally don't play (warrior/specialist). Either way I make sure quests are getting done and gold is getting earned. I really want to own all the champions in the game, so I guess I still have some work ahead of me!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Taking Steps

Even though my head is killing me I felt the need to write a blogpost today since a lot of stuff has happened over the past week.
Let me start with the big news: I landed a fulltime job for a longer time. This means my days of scavenging the job market are more or less over and it takes a huge weight off of my shoulders. I've been looking for a steady job for over a year now and have not been very lucky so far. I had some temp jobs that were fun, but never lasted longer than a few weeks so the disappointment after they ended was often big. It also meant I was never financially stable enough to actually spend money without worrying about it.
I'm starting this new job next week (the 12th) and it will run for atleast 6 months but probably closer to a year. I won't be getting a world star paycheck, but it should be enough for me to get some financial breathing space and start saving up to buy a car or maybe look for a place to live.

Ofcourse I had to celebrate this milestone in my life so I went and splashed some money that I had saved on a tablet. I picked the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, which is probably the best tablet in it's segment together with the iPad Air 2. Only a lot cheaper than said iPad. So far I've been very happy with my purchase... I ordered a case for it so it won't scratch and I've been using it already to just stream or play some Hearthstone in bed in the evening.

Gaming wise I've picked up FFXIV again after the big server overhaul that Square Enix did for the European Data servers. I actually have a better connection on my PC than my PS4 now (only marginally though) and I've been happily chipping away leveling my Rogue/Ninja on Moogle and my Machinist on Cactuar. I notice the ping difference a lot. On Moogle everything runs smoothly and I've discovered it's only a 22ms ping, whereas I have a 500ms connection to Cactuar.... It really shows in gameplay.
In WoW it's the same old story with my raiding group. I've mostly been focussing on making a lot of gold so I can keep on paying my sub with WoW-tokens. Seeing as they are slowly going up in price I've had to adjust a few things in my garrisons... But seeing as I make about 1,5k gold a day without any issues I should be fine with gold for a while.

I've turned my back a bit on Destiny and Wildstar. Not because I don't like the games, but more because I just can't find the time to play. Add to the fact that my Playstation Plus also expired and I feel less and less the need to log into Destiny at all.
For Wildstar it's mostly the "where is my time" thing. I've been working on a temp assignment for the past two weeks and when I get home I'm just tired and want to relax. Since Wildstar is a very engaging game to play I often just cannot get into the mindset needed to play. Seeing as I will start working fulltime soon I will either have to figure out a play schedule again or just push Wildstar a bit to the back. Trying to keep up with 3 MMO's isn't as easy as you think it is!

On the other hand I've been playing a lot of Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. Heroes mostly because I want the pumpkin portrait, Hearthstone because by all means it's a slow paced game which I can play on my phone (or now on my tablet) without having to turn on my PC. I can just sit, relax and game and that's what I really need at the moment.

In the health department I'm managing to go to the gym more frequently. I was supposed to go today, but since my head feels like someone has smashed it into a wall I figured being on a treadmill is one of the last things I would want to do. To help me reach my goals I ordered a Fitbit Flex (since I'm spending money anyway...) to see how much exercise I actually get during a day and how my sleeping pattern is. I really hope this will motivate me even more to be more aware of my health, especially how much time I spend on "burning calories". I do start to feel better already and I've lost 2 kilograms (about 1 pound?) of the 15 I want to lose atleast.

All in all I've had a very positive week. A lot of stress has disappeared now that I've gotten my job and am more motivated to do stuff in general. Now I just need to turn my attention to actually finishing school and then I think I can finally start living life the way I wanted to: stressfree and happy.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

On Wildstar Bugs and No Betas

I have been struggling with Wildstar over the past weeks. The attention it has gotten after it went free to play a few weeks ago is enormous and the company is still trying to process everything, which I can understand.
Both Entity and Jabbit still suffer from tremendous lag spikes for me every now and then, but it's something to be expected and something I can essentially cope with. What has been bothering me the last week specifically however has been the ingame store and it's currencies... Specifically Omnibits.

Let's start at the start. On Wildstar EU and NA servers had traditionally been separated and crossover play was not possible. With the f2p launch this barricade fell away and I could make a character on NA to play with some of the folks from Twitter. I had been playing both my EU and NA characters and was earning Omnibits (one of the currencies used for the ingame store) separately. Both were around 120 of them when the Halloween event dropped and Carbine added a few holiday only items to it's store.
Thrilled to see purple, orange and black dyes I bought the Dye set on my EU char and got deducted the 115 Omnibits it had cost me. I figured I wanted to do the same over on NA and logged there... Only to find out I lost 115 Omnibits there aswell without seeing the Dyes in my inventory. After making a ticket about this the Wildstar support staff decided to grant me the Dyes on my NA character aswell but not refund the Omnibits.
I logged in to pick them up.. Only to see that I had suddenly no Omnibits at all anymore on my Engineer! This quickly resolved itself after I relogged to EU and back and now it seems that both my EU and NA character are working towards the same number of Omnibits.
However this has cost me a lot of them since I'm fairly sure the earnings were separate at the start. So now I'm back to sitting on about 35 Omnibits after a lot of hassle instead of the about 200 I should be sitting on instead. Ohwell. Atleast they granted me my Dyes! Now to see if I can get my Top Hat of Souls restored somehow aswell...

Don't get me wrong. This is not a major thing in the game and I'm sure the developers are still figuring out how to arrange everything. It just feels like, when crossplaying, the Omnibits system kind of bugged out at the start and started counting separately while it should have been adding all the Omnibits to my account, regardless of region. I'm just a bit salty over losing a lot of Omnibits this way, but it's not gamebreaking in the sense that I will now stop playing Wildstar. I just wish things were clearer and more functional.

Another major thing that has happened is the overwatch beta.  Unfortunately i didnt manage to get in and i am honestly quite salty about it. I feel like the invites have mostly gone to people who have a large fanbase so they can show off the game on their stream of social media. So here i sit with no beta. I guess i will find some other way to spend my time...

Thursday, 22 October 2015

It's Halloween!


It's kind of funny how I get excited over an event that isn't even celebrated officially here in the Netherlands. But seeing as all the games I'm currently playing have some sort of Halloween event going (except Destiny), I can't help but feel a little envious when it comes to my US friends who actually get to celebrate this holiday for real.
It's really interesting to see how every game has it's own take on the holiday and celebrates it differently. (Warning, spoilers ahead!)

In FFXIV this year the developers have chosen to do a simple questline for All Saint's Eve, as the holiday is called there, which rewards you with a nice glamour set, a pet and a mount. If you so choose there is also Halloween themed furniture to buy for your house or FC room. This time it's paid with Gil whereas last year I remember having to farm currency from FATES to get things from the vendor.
Personally I enjoyed the little questline in FFXIV. It took me about 30 minutes to complete and I'm really happy with the rewards. And the fact that they actually offer a permanent kickass looking broom mount is something some other MMO's can look at and learn from.

Speaking of other MMO's. WoW still has it's tried and true Hallow's End with the Headless Horseman to defeat in the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard and a ridiculous amount of Trick and Treat bags spread out across the entirety of Azeroth. The core of the holiday event hasn't changed much over the years, but they have been adding stuff like pets and toys and, this year, a costume for Pepe.
I have obtained all of the pets that this year's event had to offer, but I have yet to see either of the toys drop for my Priest. I really hope I get lucky soon because it would be a huge disappointment I would miss out on stuff due to RNG.


Wildstar has it's first real ingame event aswell this year: Shade's Eve AND a hoverbord event that only lasts for 5 days. Unfortunately I have not arrived in Thayd yet with my Engineer or my Spellslinger, so I won't be able to comment on those events just yet. But don't worry! I will when I get there.

Lastly I managed to grab a special Heroes of the Storm portrait for watching the official stream with my Battle.net linked to my Twitch account. And they announced a special Halloween event ingame there aswell! So I'm seriously planning to get that.
Speaking of Heroes of the Storm, I am moving my project over to my main account. I don't really play that much and I feel like I've wasted a lot of resources on my main account by not playing it. So I will continue to go for 100 games on Valla on there (I only need 31 more) and then I'll pick out a new hero. Probably Jaina or Kharazim, but I'm not sure yet which of the two I prefer.

Monday, 19 October 2015

On The Wrong Side

This week I once again vented my frustrations on Twitter over living on the wrong side of the globe. It feels like Europe is being regarded as a second or third class continent when it comes to games and gaming merchandise.
I'd love to get my hands on some of the stuff from the Blizzard Gear store, however since they have removed the EU version of the store I have lost all interest. All products are bought from the US which means paying a shitload of import costs that are often more than the item I'd want to buy. It's seriously ridiculous.
Not to mention that a lot of the toys and merchandise that is more or less easily available in the US as a whole through certain shops is almost impossible to get here. I'm in an extra dire situation since Amazon offers a lot of stuff that I would want... But we don't have a Dutch version of it. Leaving me to import via England or Germany which brings troubles of it's own. Sometimes I'm able to find merchandise via obscure game shops but mainstream toystores don't really sell anything interesting. Hell even Funko! Pop figures are hard to come by here. I have one on order in my usual game store, but when it will arrive is a mystery.

It's not just Blizzard that does this. It feels like all major gaming companies have their focus first on the US market... While the EU gaming market is atleast equally as big. Riot Games has tried to appeal to their EU customers by offering all their merch in Europe aswell as the US but they are one of the few and also hella expensive. I'm not gonna pay €25 for a figurine that's the size of a mystery mini from Funko that costs €10.
It's also not just the merchandise that seems to be US focused. Apart from Gamescom in Germany all the big gaming events take place in the US. Look at the various PAX get togethers, Blizzcon and a ton of other Con events that happen over there where there is no EU equivalent for. It's frustrating and saddening for someone who would love to go to one of these things but will never be able to afford doing so. I feel like Europeans, and especially the Dutch since we have hardly any gaming related stuff going on, are just getting screwed over left and right. It's making me grumpy and resentful towards the companies that I'm supposed to support. Ofcourse there are the IEM events that are held in Europe and you see a bit more things come to life with the growing Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends scenes. But it still feels like we're running behind. And that sucks.


Hallow's End, Shade's Eve and various other stuff.
In World of Warcraft the event for Halloween (Hallow's end) has officially begun with some new stuff to get this year. I managed to find Pepe in his scarecrow costume and was promptly rewarded with an item to make him appear like that on my head. It's seriously cute as hell. I've never looked into Pepe before, but I'm happy to have the little birdie tagging along for now.
As for the rewards for Hallow's End this year... There are three new pets and two new toys to get. I've already obtained the item to spawn the pets, now I just need the toys. One of them can drop from a spectral spider that patrols your garrison after you use the appropriate decoration to summon it. The other one is a random drop of the skeleton mobs that you have to kill for your dailies. Neither toy has dropped for me yet, but I still have a while to get them.

At the same time the Halloween event for Wildstar is going on and I'm quite curious about this one. I've never seen any ingame event for Wildstar so I don't know what to expect, but I guess I'll find out over the coming weeks. I hope it may reward us with a new costume to use in the Holo Wardrobe or maybe a mini pet. That would be the coolest rewards anyway.
I haven't seen any announcement for FFXIV and their Halloween event yet, but I'm sure they won't stay behind.

Speaking of mini pets... I managed to acquire Terky the Murloc today. Apparently Blizzard has hidden his egg in Borean Tundra with the latest patch. As I went down there to gather it I was certainly not alone, the cave where you can find it was crowding with people. If you want to know how to get this pet, head on over to MMO-Champion, seeing as it is on the front page. For now I have another murloc friend atleast!


Friday, 16 October 2015

Communities, Dailies and Destiny

Every now and then I realize how friendly and heartwarming community on the internet can be sometimes. I have a bunch of friendly people on my Twitter that I follow and that are also part of the dedicated positive blogging community. Some of their blogs are featured on mine, mostly the ones I actually read the most and would recommend to anyone trying to find their way in the big world of gaming.
Ofcourse there are a lot of others that should get the same recognition and maybe I will get around to that at some point. Some people might not be in my sidebar but that doesn't mean they don't produce great content and I poke around on their blogs every so often. Alas I only have so much time in the world and I wish I could feature and follow every single one of them more often, but that would leave me with little to no time for myself or my own blog.

With this post I just want to take the opportunity for a shoutout to a very awesome community. You all know who you are. Keep doing what you're doing!


Dailies
I've been steadily plowing away at doing dailies on my Priest to get my reputation up with the various Tanaan Jungle factions. Yesterday I managed to get Exalted with Hand of the Prophet and scored this adorable fel-tainted Boar. It's the same theme as my fel-tainted Dreadhawk so I will have matching mounts for my Shadow specc and I love it.
The thing I don't love is Blizzard once again forcing dailies upon us as the only means to get rep with factions. I remember back in Mists of Pandaria it would literally cost me one or two hours a day just to open up and then do all the dailies associated with all the different factions. It was mind numbing and, in my opinion, a horrible way to go about getting reputation. They have returned this practice for two of the factions in Tanaan Jungle and I will be more than happy once I can scrap that part off of my to-do list. The other side of the coin is that for all the other factions various grinds are necessary and I'm not really keen on doing that either. But the repetitive nature of the dailies, and the fact that they take about 45 miutes to get done, make them boring fast.
It's unfortunately a system that has carried over into the few other MMO's I've played so far. Beast-tribe dailies in FFXIV is probably the one that comes closest to the WoW system and, eventhough I worked through them, I didn't like finishing them up at all. It was more to fill time and acquire mounts and pets that I did them but otherwise I would not have bothered to do them at all.
The same goes for me grinding out those reputations on WoW I guess. There's not much else to do in the game so I try to set goals for myself. For now I can drop atleast a few dailies since that faction is done... And I should be done with Order of the Awakened in the next few days or so. This leaves me only with grinding rep with the Saberstalkers and then I will probably turn my attention to the Steamwheedle Preservation Society. They involve turning in various items from Nagrand, which ofcourse need to be farmed, but atleast they don't rely on dailies...

King's Fall
I've been poking about in Destiny aswell over the past few weeks and yesterday evening I finally managed to join a clan raid. They had a savepoint at Golgoroth and we managed to take that boss down in 2 tries. He dropped me new gloves and a legendary helm engram... Which turned into a very nice exotic helm. After that we had some tries on the Daughters of Oryx but didn't get to kill them because our leader had to go. All in all it was a nice bit of raiding. The tactics on the bosses in this Destiny raid are not impossibly hard but they do require proper handling. There is no way to cheese your way through a fight and mistakes are punished... But it's a serious amount of fun. I think Bungie did a great job with this raid and with the hardmode coming out next week I hope it will keep people busy for a while.
In the meantime I've been working on acquiring my Exotic Sword. Right now I'm on the part where I have to gather 10 specific materials, which are a rare drop from regular material nodes on the Moon for me, and kill 500 enemies with Solar abilities. I picked up the Solar sword for my Warlock because I figured I would never play Sunsinger so I wanted a sword in one of the elements that my abilities are not. It also seems that the Solar sword is quite rare and in my clan I think I'm the only one wielding it... Which could give me an advantage in raids.
Other than that I'm tieing up the loose ends of quests I still have in my quest log. I know where I can get a few more quests and gear upgrades and once I finish off my Sword I will probably turn my attention there. For now though I'm mostly content with shooting stuff in dailies and strikes and some general faffing about.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Relaxing Games

The last week I've been steadily plowing away at my reputations in WoW. If my calculations are correct I should be full Exalted with both Hand of the Prophet and Order of the Awakened by next weekend, which leaves me with just The Saberstalkers. Luckily for me that is the one reputation you can actually advance by farming so I will probably get that to Exalted quite fast aswell.
I've arrived at a nice rythm where I take about 30 mins to do my dailies on my Priest in WoW after having breakfast in the morning, which frees up the rest of my day to do what I want. I'm also trying to get in some Heroes of the Storm games every evening before going to bed and it has advanced my Valla on my project account to level 8 and sitting over 30 games played.
I took the time to clean up my Twitch account aswell, adding a customized banner and customized buttons to my channel and setting up a streaming schedule... Which I'm not really sticking to right now since LoL worlds is still going and I find watching that more fun than streaming. Sorry guys! There's also been some issues with my microphone and graphics so I'm still sorting through that stuff aswell. I have done some test streams, one of which I only had music, and I will probably do a few more short streams in the next couple of days.

I've also been enjoying my new Animal Crossing game more than I thought I would. It's a nice game design where you unlock something new every day but are not pressured to play. I can decide what I want to do, design a new house, design a new facility or visit an old client and redo their house? So many choices! And it doesn't matter what you pick to do, you will always be rewarded with new furniture and other stuff to use as you advance in the game.
I've unlocked the Happy Home Network this morning which allows me to share my room designs with other people playing the game, so that is nice aswell. It also lets me look at other people's designs and I've already gotten some great ideas for new houses!
This game really allows me to relax, think a bit about what I want to do and feel satisfied whenever I finish something. There's no pressure, no expectations, no other people involved. It's nice and easy and I find myself picking up my 3DS every morning or evening to design a house when I'm lying in bed.

Mostly I'm trying to spend my times in games the least stressy way I possibly can. When I'm on Destiny I tend to team up with a friend so I don't have to solo my way through a lot of shitty missions and on Wildstar I'm mostly focussing on leveling right now. Which is going slowly (my engineer dinged level 10 today) but steadily. I really don't want to feel rushed and want to take the time to enjoy this game, explore everything it has to offer and in general just enjoy myself.
I managed to score a Fancy Pants Jacket from a code on Twitter so I look even better now. My Twitter profile picture should give a nice indication anyway. I also unlocked a few more dye colours from Boom Boxes... And I'm not that far off of being able to buy a pet or mount from the ingame shop. I really want that hoverboard or the kitty pet, not really sure just yet. The people from Black Dagger Society (my guild on Entity) have all been really nice so far and I'm enjoying the friendly atmosphere. Alas I don't think I'll be able to raid with them due to time differences... But I'm not too fussed about that really.

In real life things aren't looking so sunny. I've been having some health issues which I attribute to the fact that I haven't had any physical exercise for the past 2-3 weeks. Sitting around playing stuff or watching streams or reading is seriously detrimental for my body. It's gotten so bad that I actually have a muscle ache from biking back and forth to the store for 10 minutes. So I need to pick up going to the gym again, because this is seriously not a fun state to be in.
Mentally I'm trying to retreat from a lot of drama going on. I have a friend that is using me as some sort of complaint wall about stuff he does himself aswell and it's exhausting me. Add to that there's some serious fucked up mindgames going on in my WoW guild right now... I just need to not get involved. I feel more stable than I have in a long time and I don't want it to get ruined by random drama from "people from the internet". So I'm not online as often and when I am I avoid most interaction. When someone talks to me I answer, but that's about it.
Instead I'm focusing my attention more on my IRL friends and hanging out with them more often. Especially now that I'm an auntie again... I need to spoil two little girls now!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Discoveries


As I was going about leveling my Engineer yesterday I suddenly noticed the crazy amount of detail that has gone into the little holograms that accompany my character. At first I thought this was an Engineer only thing... Untill the lovely Chestnut informed me that this was our Guild crest. It looks ridiculously good and I also instantly made the connection why I had never seen it before on any of my characters: This is the first time I've ever been in a Guild on Wildstar. And I think I picked a really great one.

It's finding out little things like these, and getting back into the crazy combat system, that made me realize why I picked up this game when it came out. After a lot of ups and downs I think Carbine has produced a great game and I'm more than willing to invest my time in it.
It seems like other people have had the same idea. The influx of new and returning players is huge and they have had to open additional servers to be able to handle it all. I really hope people can get past the inital laggyness and queue times. I'd love for this game to have a strong, big community.

Right now I'm mostly jumping about on my Engineer. Jabbit lagg is still fairly high and Entity seems to be nice and quiet during the day. It's also giving me a chance to discover this class, that relies on pets instead of dealing direct damage. I have to say, being followed around by a little robot is insanely cute, especially since it's main job is to help me destroy my enemies. And then there's the thing that I can electrocute stuff... Which I find hilarious.
I think that after I'm settled on that Engineer and I'm comfortable enough to play it without having to think too much about what I have to do I'll start tweaking my UI. Right now I'm just running with the standard stuff that Carbine provides with the game, but I'm already annoyed at how my quests are displayed and I feel the UI is very cluttered overall.
Luckily I have installed Curse Client so fiddling around with various addons should not be an issue.

That Other MMO
In the meantime I'm still working on getting my reputations Exalted on WoW. As Shadowpriest I've noticed that I can fairly easily solo a lot of rares. Getting my T18 2set is helping me with that since I can summon my Shadowfiend much more often now. Pair that up with Fade having a relatively short cooldown and I have a nice little creature to tank stuff for me so I can heal back up or just unload damage.
As I was working through soloing the weekly Fangri'la quest I suddenly got company from a Deathknight who had one of the best looking Transmogs I've seen so far. I complimented him/her on it and couldn't resist snapping a picture.

Thanks for the help AND the transmog inspiration my DK friend!

My own Priest is currently dressed up as official Karabor Priest. You could buy the box that holds the entire attire from Hand of the Prophet the moment you get revered with them. It's a really plain look, but I like it so far. I'm not of the sexy transmogs for my Priest. Mostly because I don't think it fits the class archetype but also because I'm too lazy to farm the components I would need. So for now I'll just go with what I have.



Monday, 5 October 2015

Trudging About

I've been spending the majority of my gaming time messing about in WoW again. Being so familiar with this game I find it easy to set goals... And actually accomplish them. It's also the game I keep coming back to anyway and, with a lull in FFXIV and Wildstar being almost impossible to play, I feel like WoW is just the stable factor I need right now. So I'm trudging along, setting goals for myself to obtain. I have gotten my legendary ring and, last week, I managed to unlock Draenor flying aswell. It took me a while! But atleast I got it done. The moment I unlocked flying I also had 150k Apexis Crystals and could by myself this beautiful mount from the Order of the Awakened. I really like the colour palette on it and it looks absolutely amazing coupled up with a Shadow Priest.


Gaming Goals September
Looking back to September I have gotten some stuff done and some stuff is still up in the air.
As far as Blizzard games go I managed to get my Legendary Ring on my Priest in WoW, unlocked the second wing of Naxxramas in Hearthstone and got my Seasonal Crusader to level 70. My Hearthstone rank is still stuck on 20. For some reason I'm just not interested enough to battle my way to a higher rank and this one awards the card back and the rank 20 chest so for now I'm fine with that.
I haven't been able to purchase the second wing of Blackrock Mountain. Instead I have been doing some Arena runs for additional cards.

My heroes project has seem to come to a halt a bit. I'm not sure where and how to find the time for it right now. It's still something I would love to do and I've been thinking of streaming my sessions, but for now I just can't seem to schedule it in.

As for non Blizzard Games...
My time has mostly been swallowed by Destiny on the PS4 and not much else so I haven't been playing FFXIV or FFX at all. The only thing I managed to do on FFXIV before my sub ran out is get my White Mage to level 50 so there's that.
I haven't been playing Mickey's Castle of Illusion either. Again, scheduling problems.
Setting goals like these each month doesn't really seem to be working out for me. I tend to set goals for games I don't really play and I feel like I need to change the way I approach things... So instead of setting monthly goals I'll just make a post every now and then what I'll be working on for the coming time and when I'll finish it. My gaming goals page will become more dynamic aswell this way. It may sound a bit fuzzy but you'll see what I mean over the course of this month.

What I'm Aiming For
Right now I'm working mostly on stuff in World of Warcraft. After getting my Legendary Ring I thought it was time to unlock flying for all my characters. Now that I'm done with that I'm turning my attention to getting all my reputations Exalted on my Priest starting with Hand of the Prophet, Order of the Awakened and The Saberstalkers. These are all tied to Tanaan Jungle and thus easy to manage. As you can see I'm further with some than with others... I suspect Ordere of the Awakened to take the longest here. Especially since I have no trading post.

Next to this I'm also remodeling my Garrison on my Priest. I've done away with the Dwarven Bunker since I have geared up all my followers and it's not worth keeping for just the one seal per week. Instead I have reinstalled my Stables and am planning to do the achievements related to that building so I can unlock two more mounts. I'm also planning to replace my Inn with a Trading Post... Even if it's just to gain that extra experience while rep grinding. I guess I should also pick up Defender Ilona again as bodyguard during my dailies and grind rep with her.

One of the other games I've been playing and focussing on a lot is Destiny. I've decided to just stick to one character on there for now and am slowly working my way through the quests I have left over. Unfortunately some require me to raid, which I haven't been able to yet, so I'm focussing my attention mostly on the quests that I can solo. Namely the Sword quest and the special Redbull questline. This will probably keep me busy for a while yet since both of these chains require copious amounts of grinding.
I'm also still trying to log Wildstar regularly and really want to experience the endgame. For now I'll just advance whatever character is playable at the time. I think my Engineer is level 6 or 7 and my Spellslinger is level 5 so I'm really at the start of the game still.
Lastly, like I mentioned in my post yesterday, I really want to finish my Kingdom Hearts game on my 3DS. It's perfect for when I don't want to turn on my PC or PS4 and just want to sit/lie down, relax and game.

So yeah, that's the stuff I will be working through for now. It's games I all actually play and I'm not really giving myself hard deadlines on any of this. I found out it helped me reach my goals in WoW so far and thus I will try to apply this to all the games I am currently actively playing.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

3D Days

Friday my new 3DS with Animal Crossing: Happy Home designers arrived and I couldn't be more thrilled.
I already had a 3DS but it was the very first model (I got it on sale somewhere) and I started to notice very much that it was beginning to get outdated. Being slow, 3D actually giving me more of a headache than fun... So when I saw the Animal Crossing bundle I went ahead and ordered it. I also switched from a regular 3DS to an XL one and boy, can I notice the difference!
The new 3DS has something called superstable 3D which means that it doesn't matter from what angle you look at the screen, it will stay 3D, something I thoroughly enjoy. The screen size is also a huge difference to me, I've always been used to staring at relatively small screens and this device is rather large. It's giving me a much more relaxed gaming experience though, I don't have to pinch my eyes at certain stuff... And it's easier for me to just sit back and enjoy gaming on a bigger screen.
Not saying the smaller 3DS is bad, but right now I just enjoy the XL way more.

Transferring data
Over the years I have downloaded some games on my 3DS and built up a lot of save games. The cool thing that Nintendo lets you do is transfer data from one 3DS to another. There's a few catches with this though. It will format the 3DS where the data is transferred from seeing as you can only have one 3DS attached to a Nintendo Network ID (which you need to purchase stuff from the e-shop nowadays). I was a bit hesitant to do the data transfer, since I was scared I would lose my preinstalled game but that wasn't an issue so I went ahead and did the transfer. The total process took about 30 mins but now I have all my save games and downloaded games on the new 3DS and I can just continue with stuff on there!
This leaves me with a formatted handheld though and I'm not sure what I want to do with it. I am a bit of a collector and I've kept all my old Gameboys... So I think I'll just hold on to it for the time being. Maybe I'll trade it in at some point for credit at my favourite game store, but this is something to worry about for the future.

Playing Interior Designer
So far I've enjoyed the game that came preinstalled with my handheld. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. The name actually says all that is to the game, you are an interior (and later) exterior designer. You get a request from a customer and it's your job to fulfill it the best you can. For instance my latest client wanted a room that was completely black and white. Another one wanted a room where she would be "surrounded by books". You can decorate the room with wallpaper and flooring, furniture, rugs and things to hang on the walls. Every time you open up a new client new furniture and other things get added to the catalogue you get to choose from. With the tools provided you can make some really cool designs and you can also share your designs with others via Miiverse.
There's only one catch to designing. All of your clients have some furniture already present that they want to keep, so it's up to you to make sure that furniture fits in the final design.
So far designing rooms has been fairly simple but I assume things start to get more challenging along the way.
As the game progresses you get more and bigger tasks while you are also supposed to stay in touch with the client list you have built up... Regardless it's a very nice relaxing game to play and, unlike New Leaf, it doesn't seem to punish you when you don't play it for a few days.
A nice addition to the game is the amiibo cards you can get for it. All the amiibo cards contain one character to unlock that is otherwise not (or difficult to find) found within the game. I got one card with my game, which I haven't been able to use yet. Apparently you unlock this feature as you go so I'll find out soon enough.
For now I find this game a nice little distraction. I can play it for 15-20 mins, decorate a house, visit some clients and then shut it down again. It's small, simple and enjoyable and it's getting me back into handheld gaming again.

I also made a new game in Kingdom Hearts 3D (Dream Drop Distance) since I for the life of me couldn't remember where I was. The game looks so incredibly good with bigger screens and more stable 3D so I'm looking very much forward to playing through it entirely. I predict a more handheld focused gaming month for me...


Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Big Wildstar Reboot


This week Wildstar went Free To Play. A huge turnover for any game. Sometimes it works out (looking at SWTOR), sometimes it doesn't.
Personally I'm happy with this change. I'm not too comfortable when it comes to finances and maintaining more than two subs a month is not really doable for me. I have let my FFXIV sub run out because of this reason aswell. I was simply not playing the game and it's a waste of money to resub then... When you don't know when you'll be coming back to the game.

A Fresh Start
So with this reboot I decided I needed a fresh start. I never really got to endgame on Wildstar, mostly because I was way too busy playing other games and working and going to school... So I don't really have any far developed characters yet. I made an Aurin Spellslinger on Jabbit (shown in the pictures), a class I had a brief flirtation with, but never played seriously.

The water in Wildstar is still amazing...
As far as launches go, I think this was one of the more "troublesome" ones. The megaservers weren't used to the huge influx of players coming their way I guess so there has been a lot of emergency maintenance... Jabbit still remains somewhat unplayable 3 days later (lagg issues are persisting) but Entity seems to be playable for me since I play during off hours on that. Oh yeah, I mentioned it on Twitter already but the regional restrictions have been lifted so everyone is free to play on whatever region they want! I didn't know this or I would've made my Spellslinger on Entity. Instead I chose to go with an Engineer there.

I really do love the Mordesh ladies!

For now I've been switching between the two servers. I chose to go the Everstar Grove > Celestion rout on my Spellslinger whereas I sent my Engineer to Northern Wilds. They both made it out of the starting area, lagging all the way through. Right now I'm mostly fiddling around with my skillsets. I know Engineers have the ability to be tanks and I have received a quest to actually train me as one... I'm just not sure if I want to go that route. I know absolutely nothing about Engineers, except that they use robot and electrocute people. I don't know if DPS Engineer is viable at all or if I am better off going tank.
Right now I just want to focus on leveling up, working my way through zones beyond level 20 and enjoy the scenery and lore. I'm absolutely not worried about crafting or housing stuff yet. I just want to see the game first.

The Hype Has Started!
Today is also the start to the League of Legends 2015 World Championship. The show has literally started a few minutes ago and I'm so very happy it has kicked off again. This is probably on the same level as the World Championship Football for me. And as a Dutch person this says a lot. So I think I will be gaming very little the coming days. Or atleast not very focused and there will be a LoL stream in the background constantly.
Now if you'll excuse me. It's time to start cheering!


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Raiding Attitudes

At this point in time I consider myself a veteran in not only MMO's but also raiding in said MMO's.
I started playing World of Warcraft in 2007 and was into raiding not long after. Starting out at 10 man Kharazan to eventually joining the best guild on the server at the time for progress in Sunwell Plateau. I have competed for realm firsts in Wrath of the Lich King and was raidleader for a significant portion of Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.
In FFXIV I was raidleading together with our Paladin Tank (since we were the only ones who actually prepared for encounters) and this got us to Turn 9 of Coil when it was current content. Unfortunately our group ended there due to the sheer badness of two of our players which we just couldn't carry anymore then.
In Destiny I've taken a backseat when it comes to the raiding. Shooters aren't necessarily my strong point and I'm too focussed on actually hitting stuff that I'm able to call out postions or dps targets when needed.

In all these years of raiding I have noticed a trend that seems to be getting worse and worse. It could also be the people I raid with, actually I strongly believe it IS because of the people I raid with, but nonetheless... In the last years raids have become easier to organize (you need less people to actually form a good raidgroup, 6 man in Destiny, 8 in FFXIV, 10 minimum in WoW). Although tactics have become very intricate on some bosses in World of Warcraft with the acces to content before it's live now there's usually guides out there that will help you with new encounters, thus giving everyone a "headstart" on the raid before you can actually enter.
This has led, in my opinion, to a very elitist attitude among some of the people found in guilds. Not just the big guilds like (ex) Method, but also the smaller guilds who have different goals. I definately see it in my guild. We have a few veterans who are simply not used to guiding newer people anymore and don't feel the need to do so either. Instead they get grumpy and hateful in private chats (this time it was our raidleading channel).
This, to me, is an extremely destructive attitude to have when it comes to raiding in general. With the flux of players and people taking a more casual stance to gaming and raiding overall I think a bit of flexibility is needed. Have a bit of patience with newer players, especially ones who have never done heroic content or are used to different tactics than your group uses. Everyone once started from the bottom and being elitist jerks (ha!) to them is not helping in any way.
But, one may argue, if they keep it to private channels... That shouldn't be too much of an issue right? Well actually it is. Even in private channels. Being elitist and rude and condescending about your fellow players breeds resentment and a sort of segregation of players in a team where co-operation is crucial. It's the perfect soil for burnout to grow upon and it's a huge problem when it exists in a raidgroup. I really hope our group can get through it, but as it stands now I need to pray for a miracle because people's attitudes are getting worse every time we raid.

Movies. Watch them!
Which brings me to another point. A lot of the people raiding with us right now have the same mentality to raids as they had in Vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade. You don't have much prior knowlegde to fights and are mostly left to figure stuff out on your own... So you just head in blind.
This might have worked back then. But now it's just really not an option anymore. There is so much going on at once in a lot of fights (Iskar I'm looking at you) that watching a movie or reading a guide or even the Dungeon Journal is almost mandatory. It's impossible to go in blind and handle all the mechanics perfectly from the get-go. Unless you are extremely talented.
This leads to people making mistakes that wipe the raid... Which are completely unecessary if you had taken 5 to 10 minutes of your time to read or watch a guide on the fight. I can't count the number of times I had to bite my tongue on Teamspeak or Raidchat when people made mistakes like these. It's really annoying having to explain tactics over and over again to people who are just too damn stubborn to watch a movie themselves.
Especially in a raidteam where people are at most average I think it's a MUST to atleast know a fight before you head into it. But apparently I am wrong and people should do as they please.
Which is fine.
But don't start crying when we clock over 100 wipes on a boss...

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Motivation Proclamation

Since it's 2am and I'm not getting a wink of sleep, I feel the need to write up a post which is meshing up every area in my life right now.
A lot of stuff has happened over the past few weeks and my brain can't really keep up anymore. Seeing as I have this blog I might aswell write it down here to make sense of it, or not. Most of all I just need to get some things of my chest.

When real life mixes with games.
Right now I'm in a very awkward position when it comes to World of Warcraft. If I have to write down everything that happend in my guild and the people in it I probably could fill a novel so I'm going to go with the extremely short TL;DR. The GM of my guild is also my ex who I still have feelings for and who has been my best friend for the past 4 years. We had a huge fallout in January resulting in a very damaged relationship of which we are still recovering bit by bit. This isn't much of an issue on it's own and has nothing to do with the guild itself BUT he has become more and more inactive as time went by. And a guild where the control is in the hands of someone who has lost interest in the game is a guild that will fall apart. Which is what is happening right now.
The two officers who run the show have therefore decided to give our GM an ultimatum. Either he gives up being GM... Or they will leave and take probably the entire raid team with them to form a new guild when Legion launches. Knowing my ex, he will probably never give up his GM position for personal reasons so it will be most likely that we will form a new guild.
This however puts me personally in a very awkward spot. I don't want to hurt my friend or bring more damage to our already fragile relationship by "backstabbing" him that way. Because I know him well enough to know he will perceive this as betrayal. Now I can't really prepare him for any of it since it is not my message to deliver. But I don't want to feel like this puts me in a compromising spot.
So far I have decided to stay out of it and go the way of "let it happen and see how he reacts" but I'm superscared he will take it badly, and take it out on me. And I don't know how to handle it. Not that I finally have made some effort to log into WoW and make the game fun for myself again.

On the other hand I have been having real struggles motivating myself to log into FFXIV. The coil group that I had started with one of my friends isn't really happening, partly because I just stopped logging in. I didn't like the Alexander LFG and grinding the same two dungeons over again has really dampened my fun of the game. I also somehow don't like having to play on my PS4 either. I can't really raid on my PC due to intense ingame lag (which for some reason I don't have on my PS4) but I prefer playing on PC because it's just easier going. I can sort through my inventory faster, can just use my mouse to navigate through stuff and all of that.
I have logged yesterday after installing the base game on PC and ran around levelling my Machinist a bit, which was fun. I just really don't know what I want to do with this game right now and if I feel any desire to keep on logging in. I'm not sure what it is about. Maybe it's because I'm not very happy with some decisions people I know ingame have made recently or that I don't feel at home in my FC anymore. Maybe it's just a mix of everything of the above. All in all I don't know if it's worth keeping my sub anymore untill 3.1 launches atleast. I'll have to seriously think about this the coming week.

When the bed is too comfy.
Next to having ingame struggles I'm also struggling with real life again at the moment. The job I had was a temporary one and ended two weeks ago and I've been home again since. I still have volunteer shifts at the hospital but lately I can't motivate myself to go at all. I don't feel comfortable there and I wonder if it's worth going when you're not missed when you're not there.
Add in serious bad weather (it's been raining non stop here for the past 7 days) and my mood is getting more depressive by the minute. I can't get myself to do even the simplest chores anymore (like vacuuming my room) and I'm restless in everything I do. Gaming isn't really a distraction and if it is I can't play something for more than an hour. The only thing keeping my attention lately is Destiny, but since the shiny newness has somehow subsided I find myself not really logging that anymore either.
Instead I find myself taking more naps during the day or staying longer in bed in the mornings, essentially "wasting" my day away. I'm not really sure if this is just a temporary thing or if I need to seriously kick this mood in the butt before it gets worse and I don't get anything done at all anymore.
Because if this keeps up, I'll be right back in the same dark place I was about 10 months ago and I don't want to go back there anymore.



Sunday, 20 September 2015

I Am Legendary (Spoilers!)

A bit of screenshot spam today. For anyone still on the quest MAJOR SPOILERS! Right. 


So I finally managed to finish off my Legendary Ring on my Priest after failing the damn ship mission 4 times and being 3 tomes short for the past two resets. I decided to bite the bullet and do a wing or two in Looking For Raid and hope I'd be lucky enough to get the remaining tomes I needed. Luckily my RNG pulled through and I got a tome from all three bosses of the first wing of Hellfire Citadel.
I really liked the dialogue with Cortana (who had fallen evil unfortunately) telling her HELL no when she wanted my ring. And the little ceremony Blizzard put in for the Alliance side is seriously well done with the spirit of Velen speaking to you. You also get a nice little glow buff for 10 mins. 

But mostly I'm just super happy I managed to complete the Legendary quest chain more or less on time. Now I can benefit the raid with an extra healing ring!