Posted in Gaming

January Gaming Goals in Review

Most of this month’s goals got tossed right out the window, but that’s actually fine. Several things came up this month that I didn’t expect – a new Mogtome event and the desire to play the Sims 4, to name some. I also wanted to spend time working on IRL crafts and diamond painting, which cut into leisure time.

So what ended up getting cut?

FFXIV Goals

  • Level Tank via Trusts (Main)
  • Level second job via Pixie Beast Tribes (Main)
  • Level crafters via weekly turnins (Main & Amon)
  • Progress Tai through Shadowbringers – Some

I just wasn’t feeling grinding Trusts every day this month. I started out by running a few, but then ended up dropping that by the wayside.

I doubt I would have continued that once the Mogtomes event started, anyhow. Praetorium runs eat up a good chunk of time, about the same as a Trust run, and I’m only up for so much of this every night. Getting the mount is more important, and Trusts will be there later.

However, I did level my Astro from 71 to (almost) 79 using the Pixie quests alone. So I have been making progress on one job, and hope to have that finished up next week. I know that I can pretty easily squeeze in Pixie quests every day, and this seems a viable way to nudge a job towards 80 without a huge time commitment.

I’ve also been leveling crafters doing weekly turn-ins. I know that Ishgard crafting is much faster EX, but if you toss in there the time to gather, it just feels faster to toss 12 items at NPCs and gain a level or two a week. I only have a few jobs on both characters left to finish off, and like the Pixie quests, this doesn’t eat up a lot of time.

I made some progress on Tai, but not as much as I wanted to. I really need to get him moving, especially with another patch about to drop next month.

Steam Backlog Goals

  • Try one new game in the “Clear” category each week

I did this the first week, then forgot this was a goal. Oops.

Switch Backlog

  • Find an organizational method for backlog (spreadsheet?)
  • Uninstall games I’m not coming back to
  • Earn next badge in Pokemon
  • Try out one new indie game

I didn’t touch any of this. Dang it! But to my credit, there’s been a ton of Switch game sales and I haven’t bought any new games. So I’ve done well in that area.

So, for February.

I think I’m going to take a break from goals. I feel like my focus is all over the place right now, and I’ve been limiting my time in FFXIV because I’ve wanted to do and play other things.

I know I’ll be coming back to FFXIV in Feb for the new patch, and to be honest, I’m not really looking forward to another Tome grind for gear. I’ve run some sort of raid or dungeon every night (especially with Mogtomes), and I’m getting a little worn out from it.

I’ve had a lot of fun playing Sims lately, and just doing more free-form gaming. So I think I’m going to give the goals a rest next month. They’re there to give me a checklist of things to accomplish, but I don’t want it to get where goals are confining and blocking the fun.

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Warring Lanner Whistle

I’ve cut back on my FFXIV time a bit this month, due to wanting to work on diamond painting and the fact that I’ve picked up Sims 4 again (I have several expansions I haven’t played yet, including the new Tiny Living stuff pack!). But I’m still making time to at least work on gathering Mogtomes for the mounts I want.

Over the weekend, I earned the first Warring Lanner Whistle for my main. I really like the color scheme of this bird, and the fact that it has leaves swirling around it means it’s perfect for my other RP alt, Tad. So I guess I’m going for one extra bird that I didn’t originally plan on.

It’s fine, there’s plenty of time. And it’s only a Praetorium a day, so it’s not too bad. In the meantime, I’ve even leveled Amon’s Dancer to 70! So really, it’s been productive enough, especially since Beast Tribes keep me moving along on my Astro in the background.

Level 70 Dancer in Very Undancer Gear
Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Frog FATE First Finish

I’m always a little behind on these special FATEs because I’m generally more focused on getting through the story at the beginning of an expansion. So when I saw the announcement in Gridania for Archaeotania this past weekend – the special FATE in the Tempest – I quickly prompted my FC members and dragged them into what turned out to be a pretty significant open world boss fight.

Surprisingly, there was quite a bit of participation. I thought most folks who wanted the rewards (the toad suit and the minion) had already done this long ago. But apparently there are folks like me who haven’t completed it. Or maybe they need it for their alts.

The toad suit is something I’ve wanted for my RP alt, Amon, for a while. So we jumped right in (no pun intended) this FATE and got to dying!

Despite all the deaths – and there were a ton – we did manage to take the boss down and get our rewards. Full credit for one FATE is 6 Archaeotania Horns. So if you want the full toad suit, you have to finish it twice.

However, S/E kindly made the toad head – I just call it the frog head – only 5 tokens and the body 7 tokens. So that means I was able to at least get the headpiece if nothing else for completing the FATE once. Very kind of them!

Zeb’s not quite so sure he agrees…

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Mogtomes Event Returns Yet Again!

Today marks the start of the third Mogtome event where you run specific content to earn tomes to buy things like mounts and minions you missed from older content.

This time around, there’s only one bird mount – Warring Lanner Whistle – and two ponies – Enbarr and Xanthos. They’re also offering one Magitek Predator Identification Key.

Seeing that I think I have Xanthos on both of my characters, it looks like I’ll only be farming for two Warring Lanners and one Enbarr this time. And looking at the farming options, it’s pretty clear that Praetorium is still the king.

This time around, they’re trying to nudge folks into doing the level 60 alliance runs. But the way it shakes out is this:

  • Void Ark – 3 Tomes Per Run
  • Weeping City – 5 Tomes Per Run
  • Dun Scaith – 7 Tomes Per Run
  • Praetorium – 10 Tomes Per Run
  • Castrum – 7 Tomes Per Run

Considering the mess that we usually get in those rare random Dun Scaith runs, there’s no way I’d be gunning to run this for only 7 tomes. Prae may be long and boring, but it’s an assured 10 tomes and I can work on some diamond painting during cutscenes. So, the choice for me is pretty straightforward.

Just don’t be surprised if you get a lot of level 60 runs in you Allaiance Roulette for a while.

Posted in Blogging

Happy 6th Blogiversary!

Here we are, another year come and gone, and this blog is still here!

I know that it’s not quite as active as it was years in the past, but much of that is because my interests have fractured off into several other blogs.

These were all things that really needed their own space, but they do take away from the time I spend writing this blog. Still, 2019 has seen me keeping consistent goals each month here, as well as discussing my progress in games. Since Shadowbringers launched this year, a good chunk of it has been FFXIV content. But I have a smattering of Switch and Steam gaming in there, too.

I also heavily participated in Blaugust last year, writing a post a day for the whole month of August. While much of this was gaming, it also touched on topics like:

So, as you can see, I also wrote a chunk of posts for the newer blogging crowd I saw pop up during Blaugust this past year.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t have a log of big plans for this blog going into the 6th year of operation. I’m pretty content with continuing it the way I have – a casual blog where I write when I’m inspired or have something I want to share.

As my interests spread out, that may mean that content here comes and goes a bit, depending on what strikes me as interesting in the gaming/geeking realms. And that’s okay! I think that the reason this blog continues on is because it’s low-pressure and something I view as for fun.

Hopefully, I’ll see you back here next year for lucky number 7!

Posted in IRL

Being Crafty – Diamond Painting

I’m not talking about crafting in a game (though I am very slowly leveling my FFXIV crafting jobs each week still), but rather real life crafting. Lately, my gaming has been nothing much to write about because I’ve fallen into a pattern as I sometimes do in FFXIV when it’s between patches.

I’m still doing daily beast tribes, and might run alliance if other folks are up to it. But I’m somewhat taking a break from things like Expert and Copied Factory because in about a month or so, the next Tome patch is dropping, which means all the gear I’m wearing now is moot. So there’s really no reason in my mind to keep working on the set I have if my ilvl is good enough to move forward with the new content (and it is).

Our Zombie team has been playing 7D2D – and I haven’t updated a post here with our new war fort and adventures with copters… so I should write about that sometime this week. But aside from that, things are pretty quiet. Which leads me to the topic of this post.

Back during Prime Day on Amazon, I was surfing the lightning sales and ran across this thing. Aside from it being a crafting kit, I had no idea what this “diamond painting” was. I just thought the picture was cute and it was a cheap $8. Knowing that the holiday vacation was coming up, and I’d have some time to play around with it, I decided to get it.

I had to look up a video to learn what this craft was, because I’d never even heard of it. Turns out, it’s a blend between cross-stitch, paint by number, and bead working… all of which I’ve enjoyed in the past. But I hadn’t done any crafty stuff IRL for a long time.

Consider it like creating pixel art, but IRL!

I started working on it over the holidays, and was instantly hooked! There’s a real zen feeling when you’re focused on working on a “painting” as you’re lining up beads and slowly building a picture piece by piece.

I haven’t been much of a Facebook user for many years (aside from a few violin groups I’m a part of), but I couldn’t find blogs or communities out there for the craft aside from Facebook groups. So, I joined a few there and started to learn so much more about the craft. It’s also got me back on Facebook, which I never thought would happen, but not really in a social friends-list sort of way. I’m mostly there to see other people’s projects, get tips, offer what info I have, and get encouragement for my own projects.

Just like with every hobby I do, I wanted to make a blogging space for it somewhere. Some people keep a DP log, but I’m especially terrible about keeping hand-written type journals. Online blogging comes more naturally.

I considered putting some of it up here on this site, but then decided that my creative site at Sygnus.org was a better fit for it. So I’ve been creating my log of DP projects there.

So far, I’ve done a number of smaller projects – such as ornaments for my mini Christmas Tree. The very first project I finished, pictured above, was the largest I’ve done aside from the one I’m working on now.

I’m actually quite grateful for the hobby because I know without it, this past holiday would have been a lot more difficult for me. With the loss of my cat Sebastian, working on a new project and a new craft helped me keep my mind from wandering to sadder thoughts and gave me a calming outlet.

I even ordered away for a custom diamond painting of Sebastian, which I’m waiting to come in via mail. A lot of this is done over in China since the US hasn’t really caught on to manufacturing these kits. But you can send a photo to the makers and they will create a custom painting for you, complete with all the materials needed to make it.

Here’s the mockup sample of that:

Until then, I’ve been working on kits that I plan to give out as gifts to people this year. Yes, the bigger ones do take quite a bit of time to do, but as I said, it’s relaxing and (to me) quite rewarding.

So while I won’t spend a lot of time talking about it here on my blog (I might post finished pieces in the future if people want to see them), I did want to mention the fun new hobby I discovered and show you what I’ve been doing during the lull time in gaming.

Posted in Gaming

January 2020 Gaming Goals

Welcome once again to the new year! While I mapped out the big goals for the year in the last post, it’s time to break it down into more manageable chunks for this month.

What am I looking at? Let’s find out!

FFXIV Goals

  • Level Tank via Trusts (Main)
  • Level second job via Pixie Beast Tribes (Main)
  • Level crafters via weekly turnins (Main & Amon)
  • Progress Tai through Shadowbringers

Steam Backlog Goals

  • Try one new game in the “Clear” category each week

Switch Backlog

  • Find an organizational method for backlog (spreadsheet?)
  • Uninstall games I’m not coming back to
  • Earn next badge in Pokemon
  • Try out one new indie game

I think that’s a pretty solid chunk to work with this month. What kind of goals do you have for your month?

Posted in Gaming

2020 Gaming Goals for the Year

Welcome to the new decade! Let’s start this year out right by setting down some gaming goals. I have a lot of other actual life goals stashed in other places, I’m only focusing on gaming stuff here. So don’t worry, I don’t only make goals for games. 😉

Spend Less on Games

Oh wow. I dropped a bomb here!

This year, I might be setting out to do some costly renovations to my place. Considering that, I’ve decided this is as good a year as any to try to cut back on unneeded spending. I mean, I really don’t NEED most of the games I buy as it is. And often I don’t really play them very deeply either.

There’s one or two exceptions (Animal Crossing), but overall, I’m going to stop preordering and buying games unless it’s something I really love.

Also, this extends to buying stuff in the cash shop. I’ve made too many impulse buys on the Mog Station this past year. This includes mounts and outfits, character name changes and fantasias. I don’t mind supporting FFXIV beyond my sub because I enjoy the game, but I need to settle down with the stable of characters I have on hand now, and stop dropping extra cash in the shop.

FFXIV – Leveling My Main

Today, once I finish my beast tribe quests, I will have all of my main’s jobs to 71. This means that they’re all within Trust leveling range. The long, ponderous road lies ahead.

My ultimate goal: the amaro mount.

Yes, I’ve gone from simply hoping to get all of my jobs to level 60 last year, to reaching for leveling as many as I can to 80 this year.

I’m in it for the long haul between Trusts and Beast Tribe quests. As to not burn myself out, I will probably shoot to do these things daily.

I’m not sure that I’ll get all jobs to 80 by the end of the year, but the goal is to make progress towards that.

FFXIV – Alt Progress

I have so many alts and they’re all scattered at various stages of progression. A lot of them are posed to need a push through Stormblood, which is somewhat painful the fourth time through, but totally do-able.

So my goal is to focus on one alt each month and reach an individual monthly goal for them. For example, Tai needs to finish Shadowbringers. Zuri just needs to get through Stormblood. Ben needs to start Stormblood. Koh needs to finish leveling her Summoner/Scholar to 60 . So… lots of little goals here and there.

FFXIV – Decorate House & Rooms

I’m going to follow up on last year’s goal of taking the space I have in the game and making use of it. I have several FC rooms that still need decorating. And my main’s house is still in an undecorated state.

If nothing else, I want to make progress on decorating my main’s house. I think I’m going with a minimal cabin-woodsy feel for it. It’s just a matter of planning out what I want and figuring how to get it done.

Steam – Play the Games I Buy

Even though I said I would buy less games this year, I still want to nudge myself to play the games I buy. Preferably around the time I buy them. I did well on this goal last year, so I want to keep it up. Hopefully, though, there won’t be many new games to play. (Never thought I’d say that.)

Steam – Get to 60% Backlog Played

I really want to set some sort of weekly goal for trying out Steam games. That doesn’t always work well with me, though, especially if I find a game I want to keep playing.

Anyhow, here’s where I stand at the beginning of the year on my backlog:

It’s a whole lot better than the previous years when I was way under 50%. I’m happy that I’m making progress and not backsliding. This year I want to push this up even more and really weed out my backlog. If I could actually finish some games, that would be great, too!

I really like the new Steam interface, and I’m starting to hide games on my list. There’s so many that I tried out (from bundles and the like) that I’ll never play again. This helps me not feel so overwhelmed by my backlog.

Switch Backlog

I don’t know why this seems like it’s the tough one. Indies make up a good chunk of my Switch backlog, and it’s hard to track what I’ve played and what I haven’t. I might need to start making a spreadsheet of Switch games, and then uninstalling games I’ve already played or won’t play again.

One way or another, I just need to come up with a solution for handling my Switch backlog. It’s getting out of hand!

…And well… that’s all I can think of right now. Good enough? Let’s get cracking!