Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Big Distinction

A topic that has been in my conversations, and my head, for a while now is online relationships. Specifically online relationships and what they mean to me.
I have met a lot of awesome people during my time playing online games. Some I met ingame, some I met on Twitter and others I just got to know via friends. I've met 2 consecutive boyfriends online, one of which I had a relationship with for over 3 years. I've met one of my now closest guy friends during my time playing Horde and we meet regularly.
I've met lovely people who all live in different countries and who have offered me a place to stay when I ever decide to travel that way and other lovely people who have helped me out with my blog, my stream or my other social media stuff.

Here comes the big "but" though. I find it increasingly complicated to keep up with my online friendships. Some people you just lose touch with over time, some people don't really turn out to be who you thought them to be and some people I find really difficult to be friends with online because I would rather have them near me in real life. And that hurts.
I've been noticing that online friendships for me have a different value than IRL friendships. This is not to be misinterpreted. I have a lot of awesome online friends who are always there for me and who I have tons and tons of fun with. But it's just not the same as my best friend who lives 3 towns over and who I can visit whenever I want. Who can come over and give me a hug when I need it. Who I can talk to in person, so that I don't just see text but also look into her eyes and see her body language. These are things I obviously miss in online friendships. They feel more shallow in a way, more distant. Which isn't weird because most of my online friends ARE distant.

Another thing that has been bothering me is the attitude of a certain friend. We have a bit of history together, we met IRL and explored the possibility of us becoming more than friends but it didn't happen. I'm still trying to give this a place in my heart and my mind because I felt we had a very strong emotional connection online and when we met we had a very strong connection in real life aswell. I'd like to draw attention to using the word "connection" here. I don't consider online relationships to be a thing. For me to be in a relationship there has to have been IRL contact of some sort. To me you are not in a relationship with someone you've never seen or, if you have, you've never even kissed.

A romantic relationship can exist online for a good part. It's how mine managed to survive. I didn't get to see my ex that much and WoW and Facebook were ways for us to still "see" eachother on a daily basis. But in my opinion there is no such thing as a relationship when it is ONLY online, without any IRL stuff happening.

Now that my attitude on this matter is clear, let's get back to the friend I mentioned before. We had a strong emotional connection, we met up, it didn't work out then. Since then our friendship has been a rollercoaster, sometimes we're close and sometimes I feel so distant that I wonder if we're still friends at all. For him I was the first girl he was romantic with for a long time in real life. He has told me of his ex-girlfriends and I thought they were actual ex-girlfriends. But they turned out to be nothing more than internet girlfriends... Something I consider to be bullshit (excuse my language). Ofcourse it's possible to have feelings for someone online, but to call it a real relationship? I think that takes it pretty far. Especially since he's been downplaying what happened between us. In my mind it doesn't make sense. How can you call someone an ex-girlfriend if you've never even been romantic with that person but downplay the only actual romance you've had in a long time?
In a way this hurts me beyond belief. In a way I understand. I have had a lot of IRL friends and boyfriends. This person hasn't. He lives online, has all his friends online and is a completely different man in real life than he is on the internet. Something I don't understand either. I'm me, whether you see me online or offline, I'm the same person. Maybe it's the fact that you can get away with more on the internet that draws people to say or act in ways they never would in real life, but in a way you're just cheating on yourself and the people you call your friends.

All of this (and some other stuff that I might talk about in the future) has made me reconsider my approach to my online friends. I notice that I'm starting to filter. I notice that I prefer to talk to people that I have less of an emotional connection to because it's easier for me to stay distant then. I'm taking distance to my online friends and I think in a way I'm protecting myself with this. To protect myself from being hurt by people that I technically know everything and nothing about. It's so very tricky. It's so easy to trust someone online. It's so easy to talk to people online. But it's also easy to get betrayed and hurt online. Especially for someone like me who genuinely likes social contact and who isn't afraid to express feelings. You think you know someone, but do you really know someone if you never get to see them in real life? If you never get to look in their eyes? If you never have them stand infront of you and talk? If they are never within touching distance?
All these questions are going through my mind. And they're scary and comforting at the same time.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

It's Dark Outside

Wintertime. I can't say it's my favourite time of the year, but as long as it's not pouring rain (which it usually does here in the Netherlands) I like the quietness that seems to come with the days getting shorter.
People are cold, myself included, and are less likely to hang around on the streets. Living in a relatively big city with frequent trips to our capital I feel safer outside when it's cold. There is less people around, less traffic. Everyone likes to stay indoors and only goes out when necessary. Normally I really like the buzz of the big city but it can also be very intimidating when you have to travel alone and late at night as a tiny woman.

The other thing I like about the weather turning cold and bad is that I feel less guilty about spending my times inside gaming. When it's summer and the sun is shining I always tend to feel restless. I feel the need to go outside and do something because it's sunny and warm. Now I don't feel that way and I'm perfectly comfortable spending my time behind either my PC, PS4 or 3DS.

I'm still working on getting a job. The hunt seems to be endless, but I'm not letting myself be discouraged. Getting depressed over it only makes me suffer so I try to stay as positive as I can be. I socialize with a lot of people, on and offline, and try to spend my time as good as possible. I've started to clean out our very cluttered attic and keep myself busy with working out, watching shows and playing games. Oh and household chores...
I still need to give myself a huge kick in the butt on some points though. For the past 2 months I have been staring at my almost finished Master's Thesis and time is running out. My father expects to see a diploma soon and the only reason I haven't finished yet is because I just can't seem to get started on it properly. A few weeks ago I called in a friends' help to finish up my analysis part and ever since I've just been staring at the unfinished product. In theory all I need to do is just write the final piece of the damn paper, but I feel superblocked whenever I look at it. It NEEDS to be done and I'm kicking myself in the butt very hard but stuff just isn't happening.
So yeah that's how my personal life looks like right now...

Another thing that I really want to start up again is streaming games. I streamed some WoW on my Priest when I was raiding in Mists of Pandaria and frankly I want to start streaming again. Ideally I want to get this set up before Warlords of Draenor launches so I can let people see the levelling process with some giggles. I had an old Twitch overlay for my UI which I unfortunately can't use anymore so I should get my hands on a new one. Next to this I won't be streaming with webcam on, mostly because I don't have one. I still hope I will attract some viewers because sharing my games with people is something I enjoy very much.
I'm not really good with editing anything though so I probably won't start with a Youtube channel. I'll try to have regular streams, especially on future raid nights, and I hope I can set up my Twitch channel in a proper way for that. (If anyone is still reading, some help or tips are very much appreciated!)

For now I'm going to retreat back into World of Warcraft to prepare for the launch of Warlords and test some Heroes of the Storm since I managed to get into the technical Alpha (thanks Blizzard).

Monday, 27 October 2014

I AM ANGRY

Furious, mad, steaming, fuming... That's how I feel right now. At people I know, at myself, at the great big world... There's so much anger in me these days.
I have no tolerance for bullshit anymore, I have no tolerance for "friends" that are dicks to me anymore. I hate how the companies treat me, a freshly graduated girl. I hate how university treated me, like a number.
I hate my lazy attitude, how I can't seem to stick to things I like and want to be good at. I don't want to give up halfway anymore, I want to achieve.
Hate, hate, hate... So much anger and hate in my head. And not sure what to do with it.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Screenies Galore!

It's Halloween in FFXIV! So ofcourse I had to participate to get the cute outfits AND the new chocobo barding. Don't both Sandrian and Sarella look totally ready for the spookiest day of the year?



But wait! There is more...
I have picked up World of Warcraft again and have been enjoying the game for the past 2-3 weeks. The new character models arrived last week and I have to say that Blizzard really made an effort on this.
At first I didn't really like the new human female model but it's slowly starting to grow on me so for now I don't thik I will racechange Sarelly, my lovely female human Priest... Who is back in Aeternus and residing on Dragonblight!


On the other side we have Chosen, the bloodelf. Unfortunately they are the only ones without their models updated. I do hope Blizzard won't mess them up when they do.
I did manage to get my hands on the Horde Chopper though. "Warlord's Deathwheel" it's called and it's looking quite spectacular. I can only hope the Alliance version turns out this good aswell!


So yeah, this is basically what I'm mostly up to now. I play some Destiny off and on still, but I notice a huge player drop there... A lot of my gaming buddies have stopped playing it aswell, quite a shame really. But I'm rather enjoying myself in WoW and FFXIV at the moment so I think I'll keep on doing that for now.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Handheld Gaming... Oh and the Shooty!

A friend of mine bought a Nintendo 3DS XL after being turned down by the girl he has liked for ages. Funny how comfort shopping works eh? He got the Super Smash Brothers bundle and two Zelda games and has been hooked.
In response to this I dug out my own 3DS and have been playing Pokémon X and Bravely Default again, both games I had started but didn't put much time in.

In Bravely Default I just killed the first boss pair Barras Lehr the Monk and Holly Whyte the White Mage. Naturally I immediatly made Tiz a Monk and Agnes a White Mage. So far I'm having a blast on the game, it's obviously based on Final Fantasy but I don't mind (no surprise with Square Enix as maker).

I've also picked up Pokémon X again. A friend of mine sent me a bunch of Pokémon from his Y verson a while ago, including Yveltal, and I haven't touched it since. I was only at the Perfume palace right after the first Gym and I've made my way to the second Gym with a lot of awesome Pokémon now.
I've been pondering if I should get Pokémon Bank, purely to get a shitton of Pokémon over from my older Pokémon versions. I have a lot of event Pokémon on both my Black and Heartgold versions (Jirachi, Celebi, Mew, Shiny Giratina and Dialga and the 3 Shiny Dogs from Heartgold and Latios), some double, which I really want to put on my Pokémon X. With a Shiny Gengar and Diancie event coming up it just feels right to have everything on one game. Plus in my humble opinion from the entire series so far Black (2) and White (2) have been the weakest games so I wouldn't actually mind emptying out my Pokémon Black into X.
It will probably be even more relevant with the new Pokémon games around the corner, I'm totally getting Omega Sapphire, to get the Pokémon Bank but also to finally finish up X.

Next to playing my 3DS I've also been playing Destiny a lot. A whole damn lot. I've clocked in over 40 hours already on my Warlock and I'm still loving it. I'm currently level 26 and have just unlocked my first Exotic weapon bounty. So excited!
I picked the Toland's Legacy bounty which will give me a Pulse Rifle: Bad Juju.


Look at it! It looks absolutely badass and I really really want to have it. Too bad they don't come easy. To obtain this weapon I need to do a Weekly Heroic or Nightfall Weekly strike followed by 25 more strikes. Once I've completed those I need to buy a weapon of Xúr, the weekend vendor, for one Strange Coin and finally I will have to obtain 10000 points from kills in PvP. I think the last bit will be my bottleneck, since I absolutely suck at PvP. The rest should be easily doable.
The Queen's event ended today on Destiny aswell. Luckily I managed to get to rank 2 just in time to buy my awesome glowy Warlock class armband and pink weapons. Yup you read that right, PINK WEAPONS. How to make a girl in an FPS happy eh? Throw Pink/Gold gear and Pink weapons her way.

I've also made an alt Hunter on Destiny, so I can get more Strange Coins/Motes of Light per week. It's currently sitting on level 6, mostly because I have some issues with the playstyle. Warlocks are very spellbased with their Gernades, Super, but also Melee. And I'm so used to being a right handed Melee class that playing a left handed one just confuses me a lot. Not to mention having Double Jump instead of Glide! For now I will have to focus on getting my Bad Juju though and maybe take a peek in the Vault of Glass...

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Randomness

I don't know what's worth fighting for, or why I had to scream.
I don't know why I instigate, and say what I don't mean.
I don't know how I got this way, I know it's not allright
So I'm breaking the habit, I'm breaking the habit... tonight.
To quote Linkin Park (from their better days), I don't know what has gotten over me. I lose my temper very fast. I say things I shouldn't. I take everything personally. I want to change, I try to change. Must be the stress?

Monday, 29 September 2014

A Healthy Mind In A Healthy Body

Health is important. No matter what you choose to do in life, it's easier when you feel healthy, physically and psychologically. It's also difficult.

I've gained about 10-12kg in the past year. I went up from 57kg to 69kg. For someone who is 1.60m tall this means that I'm overweight right now. I'm not proud of it. Partially it has to do with switching from a very physically demanding job, I used to be a mailman, to a psychologically demanding job namely addiction care.
When I was still delivering mail, which is done walking here in Holland, I felt fit and had great stamina. I made one big mistake however. When you walk for 3-5 hours a day you burn a lot of fat, but once there is no more fat to burn you star to burn muscles. To counteract this you ideally want to do strength exercises, something I neglected to do. So when I stopped working for the mail and started to get a desk job, my metabolism while resting was really really slow because I'd burned so much muscle tissue. And what happens when you essentially sit on your ass all day, even if you don't eat more than normal? Exactly you gain weight.

It also didn't help that my time working with addicted patients was probably one of the most stressful times of my life so far. These are people that are very unpredictable so you always need to have your guard up. I have had to deal with aggressive clients myself and when I was working there a coworker of mine go physically assaulted, leading to a burnout on her end and a big warning sign for the rest of us. Do Not Trust the clients. They are unpredictable, aggressive and unstable.
Next to this you also get to hear the most emotional, heartbreaking tales and it takes a lot of effort to steel yourself against this. I've heard so many things that almost reduced me to tears and I always had to keep up a mask because I was the professional, it sucked.

Stress does funny things to the body. I was perpetually tired. I would come home and go straight to bed untill dinner. I slept for over 10 hours whenever I had a day off and still feel tired. My energy was as good as gone and everyday became a chore. I never felt really relaxed. I never felt like I could really enjoy anything I did. Food started to taste bland and I felt hungry at absurd times. All this led to me being in the state I am now.
I won't say I'm obese, because I'm not. I won't say I'm really fat, because I'm not. But when I look in the mirror I see the extra weight and it makes me sad. Trying to get it off again has been hard. I am still low on energy in general and motivating myself to work out is a challenge all on it's own. I try to go to the gym atleast 2 times a week, but some weeks I just can't bring myself to go.

I hope I can somehow get some motivation to work out again. I have a few dumbells lying around that desperately need using and a steps machine that is looking at me accusingly. Maybe I'll get on it later today. For now I'm just going to wallow a bit and kick myself over being so lazy.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Destiny... my Destiny?

It's been a bit quiet on my end again. I've been consumed by games, finishing my Master's Thesis and trying to find a job.
The job part isn't really coming along well yet tho...

As it stands now a lot of things have happened. My Final Fantasy raid group has fallen apart. There was too much tension and we were carrying one person way too hard. Our main tank quit and that was it for me. I haven't touched the game in weeks. I feel like I've burned out on it completely.


I finished my legendary cloak on World of Warcraft just in time. I will probably main Shadow Priest in Warlords of Draenor and I'm happy with my decision. My old guild on Dragonblight is getting back to raiding again and I want to be a part of it.


I decided to roll with a Wizard on Diablo 3 for the season. I started out on a Barbarian, but for some reason I just get really annoyed with dieing a lot as melee and as Wizard I can dash in and out while surviving most, if not all, monsters. I dinged Paragon level 200 and am having a blast.

I've also purchased Destiny and leveled to level 20 on a Warlock. I'm the Voidwalker subclass and absolutely adore playing it. I also finally could say no to levelling a new character simultaneously with a friend. I want to focus on one character per game now and not get sidetracked by new characters/jobs/classes all the time. I feel like I'm too indecisive as a person in general. I get sidetracked by people and things and don't really focus on one thing at a time.
"But Sandrian, you're playing four games at once!" I know, I know. But I prefer playing four games at once where I advance one character than playing one game where I play four characters and not really get anything done. Which is what happened throughout most of my gaming career.

Tied to this comes the decision to blog more regularly. I want to have atleast 2 blog posts a week, one on Friday as set day and one random, whenever I feel like writing. This also means that the variety of topics for my blog will be bigger. I will sometimes talk about personal stuff instead of gaming, but I think that will help me grow as a person. And no I'm not really ashamed about who reads my blog, this is my little space where I can get stuff of my chest.

Expect a next post coming in soonish where I tell a bit more about Destiny and why I've chosen to drop Wildstar as a game for now.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Opinions Opinions

Although I consider myself to be a gamer I'm not really into the gaming culture. I don't own every game in existence, I don't feel the need to discuss in's and out's of games and I don't really know many people who game outside of the people I actually game with.

I follow a few people on Twitter and got a whim of "Gamergate". Something I decided to stay well away from even though apparently I should be interested because I'm a girl.
I also unfollowed a few people on Twitter because of this whole thing. Sexism is one thing I'm more or less used to on MMO's by now, but the new wave of feminism is something entirely different. I have seen/experienced many statements now that made me shiver. New wave feminism doesn't have anything to do with equality anymore, it's just sexism against men now and that is scary.
Not only that, but people who call themselves "feminists" now seem to have an attitude that if you don't agree with them, you're trash. Even if you're a woman.

You're either with them or against them. There is no middle ground. And here is where it starts to get disturbing. This has nothing to do with "feminism" anymore. This looks more like terrorist groups like we're seeing emerge in the Middle East. If you're not with them, you're against them and they will shoot you.
Although these extreme feminists haven't actually physically harmed someone, they can be found verbally abusing/harrassing many women/men for disagreeing with their view of the world. I don't even want to mention how far they go in their insults, but it get's pretty extreme.

I know that inequality is still an issue in the world. Men and women aren't equal on many fronts. But I refuse to let this dictate my life. I get that there are women who are fighting for equal opportunities/rights for all and I support that, but living in a modern, Western, country I feel like a lot of the battle has already been fought.

There's only a few male bastions left and one of them happens to be gaming. Personally I know that when I make myself known as female on an MMO I will get harassed by a few men. It's something I've gotten used to and that I've learned to dismiss. There are however many women who feel like they should be totally accepted into a mostly male world without any fuss or issues. Newsflash: that's not how it works. Getting angry about this won't help either. It took many many years before women were fully accepted into the workforce, a change like this won't happen in a few days or years.
There are however a lot of men online who are nice and completely accepting of girls in their little gaming world, who think women are equal and have just as much rights to play as they do. These are not "white knights" but just normal men where you can have normal interactions with. And I feel like they are mostly the victims of the new wave feminists.

In short, because I'm losing coherence, I feel like the new wave feminists destroy more than they accomplish, I unfollowed a few ladies on Twitter because of this (yes ladies, you aren't infallible, you can't just say anything and get away with it because you're "feminist") and I feel like extreme people like that should keep their nose out of the gaming world.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

10 years, 10 questions

So there is a little community event going about the 10 years of World of Warcraft, started by Alt:ertnative Chat 
Nostalgia is worth quite a bit of currency for Blizzard, as we’ve seen from Thursday’s announcements concerning the 10th Anniversary celebrations. As I prepare to take a break from actual Podcasting I’m not stopping the process however, anything but. In fact, part of the reason for taking a break is so I can start preparing for a project that I’ve been planing for a while now, and which I think it’s high time to share with you guys and at the same time ask you for help. My forte has always been sound, and as a result I’ve decided to launch a Project which is nothing at all to do with me and absolutely EVERYTHING to do with you, and the memories you have of World of Warcraft over the last 10 years.
Hence the 10 YEARS :: 10 QUESTIONS project was born, and I need your help to make it a reality.
What’s this all about, I hear you ask? Well, it is very simple: I want to ask AS MANY PLAYERS AS I CAN FIND the same ten questions about their time in Warcraft. The more responses I get, the easier it will be to build a balanced and comprehensive picture of what matters to players after a decade: what they remember, what Warcraft has given them as an experience and most importantly the legacy of the game for players as we move into the NEXT ten years of Warcraft’s life. That means getting the word out everywhere: social media, other sites, and I’m not just looking for current players either. I’m attempting to contact ex-players too for their responses because this isn’t just about the people who remain, I grasp that those who have left have as much to say on this as the existing playerbase.
Here is my entry...

1. Why did you start playing World of Warcraft?
Well, my ex-boyfriend at the time was playing it and got me curious, since he knew I liked games. I made a character on his account in March 2007 and have been playing on and off ever since. Right now I'm at an extended break untill patch 6.0 hits.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
My first ever character was one on the account of said ex-boyfriend. After doing some research, and after him telling me not to make a Night Elf druid because he had one, I settled for a Female Human Mage. I figured it would be fun to sling spells everywhere. That character has unfortunately been lost because we broke up.
My first character ever rolled on my own account was a Female Human Warrior and she still exists on my account till this day only she is now a Female Night Elf  who hasn't been logged for a while as you can see.

3. Which factor determined your faction choice in game?
Well, I'm not sure actually. I rolled Alliance at first because well, that's what I got introduced to. I didn't roll a Horde untill Wrath of the Lich King where you could have both factions on the same (PvP) server. After that I've played both factions but have always preferred Alliance because of Nightelves and Draenei. The Horde characters that I do still play are Bloodelves and a Panda. I like prettiness when I have to look at my characters and most of the Horde races just don't fit that standard for me.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
I have to say the first time I entered Serpentshrine Caverns with a full 25 man group here. It was the first time I had ever done content harder than Karazhan and I was very very impressed by how it all went. My computer was absolute balls at the time so on Morogrim Tidewalker I was literally stuck for a minute when the murlocs spawned but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
This is a tough one to answer. I am a collector in general so when achievements got implemented it was a very good day for me. I also still like to collect mounts but have dropped the collecting pets a little. The reason for that is mostly because I am not a huge fan of Wowkemon. I had almost all pets available ingame before the introduction of Wowkemon and suddenly found myself lagging behind on other collectors after the introduction. It's then that the enjoyment of the pet collection lost it's shine for me.

6. Do you have an area that you always return to?



One of my favourite area's in game was Azshara, pre-Cataclysm. It had a wild feel to it with lots of secrets and mysteries. Whatever did happen to Timbermaw Hold? And the dialogue with the ghostly dragon there, if you were on the quest, was amazing. Sadly they remade the zone for Cataclysm and so I can never really return. I think if I have to pick an area where I would rest my character when the servers go offline for the last time it would probably be Nagrand. So green and peaceful.

7. How long have you /played and has it been continuous?
Seeing as I don't have gametime at the moment I can't really check, but assume that my playtime has been pretty long across all my characters, with my Warrior having the longest.
It has not been continuous. I have taken several breaks, starting with when Diablo III came out but also a few months after MoP release and again now.

8. Admit it, do you read quest text or not?
Yes and no. I try to read all the quest text the very first time I level/play through an area. I like lore and want to know what's going on. Every character that follows after I don't read anymore.

9. Are there any regrets from your time ingame?
Too many to name here. They come down to a few basic things.
I mostly regret not being able to pick a main character and stick to it. The only character I have played continuously throughout my 7 years on WoW is my warrior, but I have main switched more than I can justify. I see the same happening in other games now, I guess I'm not really cut out to just pick something and stick to it.
My other regret is letting my choices be influenced by my SO who I was playing with at the time. It led me to abandon a marvelous guild and my hunter who I loved so much back then. After that I decided not to move or do anything if I didn't wanted to myself.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside of gaming?
Hmm. Well it has found me friends and more. I found one of my exes on the game and we were together for 3 years.
Other than that it has been my escape from a troubled home situation for a long time. Although I'd like to say it didn't influence my school/studies, it did. I did manage to finish high school, a bachelor's and a master's degree, just a bit slower than I should have.
I never let the game get in the way of my social life though but there was a time where I considered myself to be addicted, especially during TBC and WotLK where I would play for many hours where I should have been studying.

So yeah this was my take on the 10 years, 10 questions. I hope you enjoyed the read :)

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Chopping Away...

DING! 50!


Botanist level 50, I thought I would never make it. But yesterday I finally did. And I'm so happy! It's the first class that isn't a battle class that I managed to get to 50, and boy it has been a grind.
I used up all my rested xp, company seals, about 40 vials of cordial and 2 stacks of food (and multiple FC buffs) but it was all worth it. I immediatly picked up most of the best in slot gear and now I just need to (over)meld it to get to gathering the nodes I need to get even better gear. I hope I can make some nice money of the botanist, but I'll have to see. For now I'm just squeeing over all the new things I'm exploring as botanist.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Struggles

This post might come as a surprise after my previous happy post full of updates and pictures, but I feel the need to put it out there anyway.

For a while now I've been struggling with being a "gamer". I notice it a lot on the weekend nights, Friday and Saturday, where I sit at home and play games while I feel like I should be doing something else. Mind you, it's not like I don't have a social life at all. I still see my friends and am out of the house a lot, but still.
Right now I'm in the position that I still live at home with no income and with people I don't really like. My friends have all moved away, the closest one is a 15 minute drive by car now and I'm not really interested in "bar hopping" by myself.
Thus I turn to gaming. I have a lot of "online friends" who are gamers like me. Although I have fun with these people and have some sort of bond with them, it's not the same as having real fun with real people. And after a while I find myself shunning the group of people I usually hang out with and retreating into a depressive state where I don't like anyone or anything.

I've thought long and hard about why I have these moments where I absolutely despise logging or starting up any game imaginable. Is it because I'm unemployed right now? Maybe. I have more time to play than ever and when you spend hours and hours on a game it gets boring fast. However when I still had a job I've had more than enough of these moments aswell.
Is it because I feel lonely sitting behind my PC every night? Maybe. I'm used to being alone, being raised as an only child, and I've always found ways to entertain myself so this is nothing new. However I'm actually a quite extraverted person and I thrive in social situations. I love the buzz of people around me and I'm happiest when I'm in the big city where people are lively and abundant. I like doing new things and meeting new people and that's not really something you do sitting in your room behind a computer. I also miss the social connections sometimes. Like I said, I have many online friends, but somehow it still feels shallow compared to the rich real life friendships I have.

Gaming has long been my escape from the big bad outside world. But now that I've finished my university and my life is actually settling down I feel it to be unhealthy to escape to a game when I feel like shit. It's distraction, but it doesn't make me feel better. Actually I often feel worse when I feel stressed or depressed and I start up a game. I feel like I'm avoiding why I feel this way by escaping into a game instead of tackling the issue head on.

Maybe I'm just very very bored at the moment and is this clouding how I feel about games. I'm not sure. All I know is that I'm slowly slipping into a phase of being unhappy with what I do and that I feel like shunning games as much as I can but still returning to them because there is little else to do. Which in turn kind of makes me despise the games I'm playing, thus making me more unhappy.

Maybe I'm just whiny, who knows. When I talk to my online friends they don't really feel the same way. They find other games to enjoy or are able to just lay the game down. I don't want to game hop too much however, mostly because of limited finances. I have tried to quit games, restrict my gametime or just play one game for a while. And although this works for a while I find myself logging more and more hours on more and more games untill I'm back to sitting behind the PC for hours and hours every day and feeling bad about it.

I don't know if anyone else has struggled with these feelings and how they've tried to fix it, but I do hope I'm not alone in feeling this way...

Updates and pictures

It's been rather quiet on the blogosphere of late. Maybe it's because of the holidays, maybe it's because a lot of people quit playing Wildstar (myself included) or maybe it's just because there is nothing to blog about.
I myself fall into the last category. Well not entirely. I have tons and tons of things to blog about, but I just can't seem to get it in writing.

Right now however I have achieved a lot of things on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that I just HAVE to share it with everyone.

First off: my static Coil group has made it to turn 9. Or the Second Coil of Bahamut Turn 4, whatever tickles your pickle. Unfortunately I wasn't there for our first turn 6 clear, but I am there on the kill screens of the turn 7 and turn 8 kills.
On the turn 7 picture I'm standing to the far right, on the turn 8 one I'm standing on the far left. And no I'm not the big burly Roegadyn ;)



I'm very proud that my team has come this far. We are currently competing over the first turn 9 clear in our Free Company with another coil group and we hope and pray that we get it first. But for that we will need some more gear...

Speaking of gear, my Animus bow is coming along nicely, I'm currently working on book 7/9 and I hope to be finished next week. After that the big grind for Novus begins, but I'll comment about that in another post.


Speaking of gear. I have been having fun with some glamours to make my character stand out among the crowd (see above picture). You need to see glamours as a sort of transmog from WoW but a bit different. Luckily for me one of the healers in my coil group is a master crafter and had an awesome looking chestpiece "lying around". Mind you this chestpiece is worth 1 million gil on the Marketboard so I was kind of stunned he just gave it to me. For reference, it's the Augmented Saurian Tabard of Aiming and for anyone who plays endgame, you know how ridiculously expensive this thing is as normal quality... This one is high quality. Anyway, I do believe Sandrian looks awesome in this look so I think I'll keep her this way for a while.

Another interesting thing that I did was finally bring Sarella over from Shiva. And turn her into a Hyur because having two Miqo'tes is kind of meh.
I've been mostly using her as Botanist so far, currently level 31, but main Monk on her, a class that I thoroughly enjoy. I'm currently in what I believe a very sexy gearset for botanist so ofcourse I had to share this with you guys. The set that you see here is one that I crafted myself on Sandrian and I'm damn proud of it!


For the near future I hope to level Sarella to level 50 botanisht and show off that gear and clear turn 9 and get my Animus weapon on Sandrian. Which I ofcourse will show off aswell.
I can't make any promises about blogging more, but I will try to put an update of my activities every now and then.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The Road to Animus

Last week I finally finished the Atma grind on Sandrian. I absolutely hated every step of the way. Whoever came up with it at Square Enix can go jump off a cliff.

In theory I don't really mind grinding FATE's, aslong as I know there will be some sort of certain reward. Which an Atma isn't. They drop randomly and thus I've spent somewhere inbetween 5 mins to 7 hours trying to get one to drop. The zone I spent the most time in was Central Thanalan and I'm pretty sure I screamed with joy when I finally saw the damned thing drop. It does make for a nice picture if you have all 12 of them though, as you can see to the left. Yes I color coordinated them to make it look pretty. Having done this once tho, I'm not very likely to do it again for a different job in the near future. Almost going insane with grinding isn't something you would like to happen more than once a year.


But I finally got my Atma weapon, which I'm quite thrilled about. I lost the glow, but I like the colours more than the ones on the original weapon.


After I finished up my Atma I immediatly went to  Mor'Dhona to pick up my first Animus book. You can get 9 books in total, each costing 1500 tomes of mythology, and they upgrade a stat on your Atma weapon. Finish all 9 of them and your Atma turns into an Animus.
The books contain 4 pages of stuff you need to do. One page for Enemies you need to kill, one page for Dungeons you need to complete, one page for FATE's you need to complete and one page for Levequests that you need to do as you can see below.





Personally I try to work from zone to zone, clearing out everything in a certain zone that I need to. Ofcourse this also means that I have to wait on FATE's a lot, but I find this to be less annoying than running FATE's in the hope of something dropping. I tend to save dungeons for last and ask guildies to help me out with them if needed.
I've currently just finished up my second book and am about 500 myth tomes away from buying the third one. Since patch 2.3 myth has been a lot easier to get so I'm aiming to get a book every two days, something that should be easily achieved right now.

I'll keep you updated about my progress on this weapon and ofcourse show it off once I have it. And then the next big upgrade starts... Novus!

P.S.
I won't be blogging about Wildstar for a bit seeing as I have no playtime and thus not much to talk about. I WILL post about FFXIV tho.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Levelling Through Algoroc

I arrived in Tremor Ridge in Algoroc before logging of from levelling Verana last time, but since it was already late then and I didn't feel like pulling an all nighter I decided to continue levelling yesterday. And I took pictures!

Coming in from the Northern Wilds you get a bit shocked when you arrive at Algoroc. It's prairie/farm country and suddenly a very suitable climate for short shorts and sheep!


Rowsdowers are a peculiar species to see. Spacesheep essentially. I've seen them already on my Aurin but not really as I've seen them here in Algoroc. According to game lore they appear to be quite resistant for anything so that they can be kept in hot and cold climates. They're mostly just silly to see.

I hopped into questing straight away and was sent up a ledge to collect Loftite Crystals and discovered a camp at the snowy top! It appeared one of the spaceships crashed and started leaking radioactive material. This led to radioactive creatures which weren't very happy to see me (maybe because I was smashing their eggs?) and some vessels of radioactive material spread out over this particular zone. And yes those did hurt when you got close to them. It was also the first bit of underwater questing I had to do there. It seems Mordesh have a bit longer before they run out of breath than other classes but even then it was nice to have streams of air bubbles under water.


After supplying Tremor Ridge with Loftite I went on my merry way to the next big town in the zone: Gallow. Where the first part of Algoroc is mostly prairie and cliffs, and apparently still some snow, the second part as you head to Gallow transforms into green farmland surrounded by woods.... With cows! Which ofcourse were under attack by wolves and predatory birds. Go figure. 
Gallow is a lovely village, probably as rural as a space village in Wildstar can get. They send you on various quests, from saving cows to tracking down townsfolk to protecting the town against Dominion forces. A small note: When it turns night in Wildstar and you are in this zone you get a very fun challenge... Cow Tipping! When I activated that I laughed my ass off while running for my life because tipping apparently makes sleeping cows angry.


Unfortunately as you try to protect Gallow from Dominion Forces a lot of innocent townspeople are killed. Even the funeral isn't safe which leads to coffins with corpses in there just standing at the graveyard.

Kind of creepy.
I didn't manage to do the entirety of the zone unfortunately. I was outlevelling the main story quests fast because I got distracted by many sidequests and didn't want to be stuck in Algoroc forever. So I saw some area's that I didn't enter, like this mysterious arch.
The ending of the zone is quite epic and a first real encounter with the Eldan. There is this monstrous robot, the Annihilator, wreaking havoc and it's your job to find a way to shut it down. 
Funnily enough most of my Scientist path missions were in that particular zone. So far I'm enjoying the Scientist. There is a lot of lore involved and you get to know a lot about the wildlife on Nexus aswell. It can be a bit tiresome to find all the data cubes in a zone, I didn't find all of them in Algoroc, but apart from that it's a fun path. 
It was a bit of a pity I couldn't clear the entire zone though, but I didn't want to wait to get my house and mount.


I did however get a cool hat from my Scientist path somewhere near the end of my questing in Algoroc.


So now Verana has made her way to Thayd where she started working on her house in the sky. I don't want to spend too much money on it since I also want a mount. But a small start is there and I might do a small post about it when I get the housing plot to look cooler.

For now I'll dive back into Nexus and will see you next time with more screenshots!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Meet Verana

I've been getting some more Wildstar time in and decided to roll a little alt. I wanted to try out the Warrior class, but didn't want to play Aurin or Human. So I made a Mordesh, called her Verana and hopped into the game.


With and without her amazing hat. I like the way she looks. Kind of menacing, but pink! I have to say that I'm actually liking the Mordesh movement more than Aurin right now. It's all a bit slower and easier to control rather than my little Aurin stalker who bounces all over the place.

I figured I would start in the Human zone for a change, Northern Wilds, and was immediatly awed by it. Yes yes Everstar Grove is bigger and very green, but all the snow was just amazing to see. You get in when there is a huge snowstorm going on.


The little dudes you see in the snow are actually Wildstar's idea of yeti's. I felt bad for killing them, they were so nice and furry... Also avalanches! And yes they hurt if you got caught in them.
After a while I got send to a special station, as seen below, and when I came out, the storm was gone! You can also see my trusty Data Cube on the second screenshot, I called her Dixie by the way. I'm a Scientist on this character and loving it so far.


The quests in Northern Wilds are funny and sad at the same time. I managed to rescue someone from the snow, but not everyone was that lucky.


 I also talked to someone in a bubbling pot...


All in all the zone was great. I wasn't really taken away with the story. Sadie Brightland randomly dies (sorry for the spoiler!) and I felt a lot less sympathy for the Exiles here than I did in the Aurin Starting zone. Poor tree! Also, the rewards for questing were a bit inappropriate for the climate. I do your bidding and you give me short shorts in the snow? Silly Wildstar...


I did like the Northern Wilds as starting zone a lot. It was nice to do something different from Evenstar Grove and it's not a huuuuuge zone to start in. As you can see in some of my screenshots I no longer use the standard Wildstar UI. I installed Potato UI instead. It seems to have helped with my FPS issues so I do like playing it more now. Unfortunately my sub runs out on July 3rd and I'm not sure if I'm in the financial position to renew it. I'll have to wait and see.
For now I think I found my new love: Warrior. It feels very much like the Warrior I'm used to from World of Warcraft and I've completely fallen in love with my little Mordesh. I'm taking a lot more screenshots on her aswell (as you notice) so expect more screenshot filled posts the coming two weeks!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Annoyed At Wildstar

After reading fellow Blogger Jaedia post about her FPS issues I figured I would make a little post of my own about that and how it's making me feel towards Wildstar as a game.

I have tried out Wildstar in beta phase and noticed that the game wasn't optimized very well. I was having horrible FPS drops, even on Low settings, and although I did like the game play itself, the graphics made me not want to play it at launch initially.

As launch came closer I started to itch. I wanted to get on the hypetrain that was Wildstar but was afraid that I would still have graphic issues. Inspite of this I decided to buy the game after all. My fears however were justified. I still had those horrible FPS drops that I had way back in the beta. It became a bit less after removing the old roaming folder, but it was still horrible. On Low settings I would jump up to 90 FPS, but drop down to 30 aswell. On Medium Settings I'm bouncing somewhere between 15 FPS and 50 FPS. It all seems very random too.
There is a little area in Celestion where you have to do quests that require you to jump on waterspouts. Water, as animation, is very difficult for graphics cards. However I didn't seem to have any issues there. I could just ride the spouts, land and have minimum FPS loss.

I had to land on top of a statue with the help of those waterspouts for a Settler quest. Wasn't easy!

Moving over to the next zone however, Thayd, gave me horrible framerates. I'm not really sure if it's the enorm amount of NPC's there (because honestly I didn't see many players at the time) or if it's somehow coded differently. Either way, my graphics card chokes.

What I described above has affected my gameplay significantly. I've tried a few solutions to make my graphics better but to no avail. This causes me to be annoyed at the game after a while. Having random almost freezes is never fun. It's also made me a bit reluctant to play, even though I unlocked my personal housing and mount.


Which obviously is an utter shame. I've already found so many interesting things in Wildstar. So much humour. It reminds me a lot of World of Warcraft from "ye olden days". Although I find Wildstars lore not very attractive as of yet, the gameplay itself feels very refreshing. And if you encounter a tiny village full of cowering mini rabbits, who wouldn't fall in love?


As it stands now though I don't think I'll go for a renewal of my sub once my first month is over. The lack of optimization of the game is driving me crazy. And unless Carbine finds a way to fix it playing Wildstar is more frustrating than fun for me.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Wildstar Beginnings

Wildstar arrived yesterday and I've logged quite some time on it since. Working out graphic issues, unfortunately I have to play the game on low settings, getting accustomed to playing Stalker again and trying to figure out what the hell a Settler is supposed to be doing.

I've taken some screenies along the way. I was still devastated that the Chua killed the elder tree in the Aurin starter zone. Luckily I managed to get a screenshot of him before his horrible demise.


Poor chap deserved better than that. But well, atleast it gives the Aurin even more of a reason to hate the Dominion. And wow... the Dominion. They seem to really go all out bad guy in this game. Their primary focus, next to conquering Nexus, is making sure the Exiles suffer. Evil right there I tell you. I have started a Dominion character on Zhur (EU) but didn't play her much yet. You all might get a glimpse in a future post.
Anyway... Back to screenshots.



I arrived at Woodhaven... And it was just as gorgeous as on Beta. The waterfalls were still immense and everything looked much more finished. There were tons of things to do for me as Settler aswell. Apparently I'm responsible for decorating the towns with flowers and banners. Too bad that they keep respawning and are not permanent once you planted them. Next to that I'm the one in charge of the pop up HP/XP/Stat increasing booths. It's quite awesome.
This is the point where I had to turn down my graphics aswell. I was getting major drops and almost made the game unplayable for me. So now everything looks a little bit more ugly, but atleast I can play and that's what matters!

Also, I've been trying to find every bit of lore I possibly can in the big open world. Sometimes you really need to keep your eyes open for hidden datacubes or books or leaflets. Especially data cubes are fun to find because you don't have to read, someone will actually tell you what it says! They're just scattered in sneaky little spots, thus making some very hard to find...


At the end of my furious leveling on launch day I was a level 8 Stalker, arrived in Woodhaven and very pleased with the game so far. I like the combat system, as Stalker mind you, and Lightspire is bustling with activity and new players. I can't wait to advance further and unlock mounts and housing, which I'm sure will take up a lot of time aswell.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Meet The Aurin

So, my copy of Wildstar arrived today and ofcourse I immediatly installed it and got it rolling.
The first thing I noticed was that damn, I still have graphical glitches when I try to play the game on High or Ultra High settings. It seems my graphics card can't handle that. On Medium everything still looks pretty and I have a lot less graphical issues, I mostly get glitches on cutscenes and when zooming in and out on my character, so I will probably keep playing it on those settings.

In the meantime, meet Sandrian... Aurin Stalker Settler extraordinaire!

I took this screenshot on high settings, although I find it too be almost equally as pretty on medium. I haven't found out how to hide the UI yet though :( I did however scale it down to a normal size now.

So yeah, I chose to be a Stalker, the class I had insanely much fun on when I was playing Beta, and as path I chose Settler. Why? Pop up mailbox! Among other things anyway.
I have made it to level 5 right now, and level 3 Settler, while waiting for the lovely Jaedia from Jaedia's Menagerie to log so I can add her as friendsies and join the Twitter/Blogger guild that has sprouted on Lightspire.
Other than that I'm going to look into making a Dominion character on the Zhur server where Wabbage from Wabbage's Den plays on.
Anyway, now that I've given you a little glimpse of the Aurin I'm off to play some more!

Monday, 2 June 2014

About Boarding The Hype Train

Now that I'm at the brink of graduation from university I find myself in the position that I have a lot, and I mean a lot, of free time. Due to the jobmarket being as is I don't expect to find a job soon so this will leave me with days to fill.
So far I've been entertaining myself with FFXIV. My character, Sandrian Noble on Moogle EU, is slowly levelling up all jobs and seeing most of the game. I have a Paladin, Scholar and Summoner at level 50, a Bard at level 41, both Black and White Mage at level 30, Pugilist (Monk) at level 20, Marauder (Warrior) at level 11 and finally Lancer (Dragoon) at level 10.
If I want to get all of them to level 50, and I plan to do so, I will have to make some sort of playing schedule because honestly I will get burned out if I don't. Even if I love playing Final Fantasy as a whole, levelling the classes through the same content gets kind of tedious if you do it for the 5th, 6th, 7th time. So I need a break from the game every now and then.

Now queue Wildstar. It's hyped up a lot, I've been following it myself, and a lot of people I know are going to play it. It seems to be one of the first "sci fi" based MMO's to draw my attention, I tried SWtoR 10 mins and hated it, and I would actually have the time to play it. I'm just really doubting if I should jump the hypetrain.
First off, it's another sub-based MMO. Although they're introducing a system where you can buy your sub via ingame gold, it requires a lot of playtime to actually acquire those things. I'm quite sure that people will sell them for impossible amounts of currency, which in turn forces everyone to buy the sub anyway. Considering that I'm already paying my sub for FF and that I will probably pick up WoW around Warlords of Draenor again I don't know if it's very smart to pick up a third MMO, especially since my income has very much diminished over the past month.
Secondly I'm not really sure if I can commit to playing yet another game. I notice I get bored with things fast lately, I thought I would be playing much more Diablo III than I'm actually doing, and it looks like Wildstar isn't very casual friendly (please correct me if I'm wrong). I'm afraid that Wildstar will suck me in which will lead to me dropping FFXIV, a game where I'm finally happy in. I'm not sure if this will happen mind you but my previous attempts of playing two MMO's have miserably failed because I'm bad at setting boundaries. I have trouble saying "no" if people ask me to do stuff and in turn don't do what I want to do myself.
Thirdly, I'm not sure if I actually like the game itself. I have played some Wildstar beta and found it to be very graphically glitchy then. Watching the streams now it seems that a lot of players are using add-ons to help them level. The only class that has gotten me immediatly hooked was Stalker. I didn't try much of the rest but noticed that I don't really like the battle system with ranged classes from the bits that I did play.
Lastly I'm really worried that Wildstar will be yet another "overhyped" game that will draw a bazillion players at the start, but die out after one or two months of play. It's happened to so many MMO's. I know that there's still thousands of people playing Guild Wars 2, Rift, TERA and whatnot but I'm used to the massiveness of Warcraft and that's probably making me biased.



I could be worried about nothing since FFXIV has around 1.5 million people subscribed and playing and is still bustling with activity after almost a year after launch. But there's still that little bit of me that's concerned. Nevertheless I caved in and bought the game, against a discount, and am now taking a risk. Again. There are some Wildstar posts to be expected the coming week. I won't stop playing FF14 however, and I did promise some Rafflesia pics.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Sceneries and the Wildstar hype

I really love the world of Final Fantasy 14. Square Enix made a beautiful MMO.
Their world is breathtaking, especially in 1080p HD. Which I can actually see thanks to playing on a Playstation 4. The shadow details are amazing, as are a lot of the other details. Even the weather is gorgeous.
My two favorite zones have to be Central Shroud, which you can see below and the coast of Eastern la Noscea with the Costa del Sol town, also below.
Square Enix really managed to capture the pristine white beaches and ancient forests and I can just sit in either of these locations for ages.



Next to all the running around in Eorzea, I've been more or less interested in the hype that is called Wildstar. I've taken part in an open beta weekend, when the game was still rather glitchy on graphics, but apparently a lot of people are very hyped up to play it. I've been seeing squee's about early acces everywhere and blogs about Wildstar are sprouting like weeds.
I have to say I'm a bit jealous about this. It really gives off the vibe of being the next big MMO and I can't really take part in it due to financial reasons. Luckily I'll probably get a 7 day guest pass but even then I feel a bit left out.
Then again, a lot of MMO's have been very hyped up over the past few years only to die a silent death. FFXIV was bustling with activity for the first few months but has dwindled down a bit aswell now. I'm lucky to be in a nice free company with a steady raid group, but I can imagine it's not much fun if you don't have these things. I really hope Wildstar lives up to the hype though and that Carbine/NCSoft can push out enough content to keep people interested.

And who knows. Maybe I'll pick it up aswell and use it as another blogging topic. For now I'm going to head back into Eorzea and roam the beautiful lands again.