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!

Posted in Gaming

2019 Gaming Goals in Review

Welcome to the final day of 2019! It’s time to take a look back a the gaming goals I set at the beginning of this year and see how much I actually completed!

FFXIV – Housing

My first goal was to sit down and work on decorating housing for my Free Company and individual character rooms. Overall, I mostly made this happen.

I did decorate our FC house far better than it started. I also got individual themed rooms for my main, Amon, Zuri, Tai, and Koh completed. I still have a few more rooms I want to work on, with some ideas. I also still need to complete decorating my main’s house! I have ideas for that, too, it’s just taking time to plan it out and make it happen.

So, overall, I’m happy with the progress I made on this one.

FFXIV – Leveling

I completely blew this goal out of the water this year. I’d just gotten all my jobs to 50 at the beginning of this year. The hope was to get them to 60 by the end of this year.

Currently, all but one of my jobs is level 71! And that will be 71 tomorrow.

I think I did quite well with this one! 🙂

Steam – Play the Games I Buy

I actually did a good job of keeping up with this goal this year. I have played every game that I’ve bought, with the exception of one or two (one was a gifted game that I do have installed and intend to play). I haven’t bought a whole lot of Steam games in retrospect this year, so that helps too.

Steam- Play Over 60% of my Backlog

This one didn’t happen. BUT I did move it from 51% to 54% played. Any forward progress is progress right?

It also looks like I only added 11 games to my Steam list this year. I know at least one of them was an old Kickstarter finally coming to beta.

Switch – Backlog

On the flip side… I did awful here. Not only do I still have a lengthy backlog, but I’ve picked up more Switch games I haven’t started. I really want to buckle down on this next year!

So, overall, not too bad on my goals in 2019. I still have plenty I want to get done next year, so look for the new set of yearly goals tomorrow!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming

December 2019 Gaming Goals in Review

I’m going to go ahead and close out this month’s goal post because while there’s still today and tomorrow, I doubt I’ll be working on goals. Tomorrow, I want to visit my Yearly 2019 Gaming Goals and see how I did with them. Then I can look at figuring out where I want to go in 2020!

FFXIV Goals

  • Level Trusts & Alt Jobs (Main) 
  • Level Crafters and Buy Master VII Books (Main & Amon) 
  • Progress Tai through Shadowbringers 
  • Progress Zuri through Stormblood

I did a great job in leveling my first set of Trust characters and getting my Summoner/Scholar to 80. Next month, I know I want to work on taking my second set through, which requires me leveling one of my tanks.

In the meantime, I’ve also been doing beast tribes on each job and getting them to 71, which allows them to have access to Trusts. As of last night, I only have one job that’s not 71.

I finished up getting Master crafting books with scrips for both my main and Amon. I’ve been slowly working on leveling their crafters in the meantime. I’m sure if I buckled down and worked on the Restoration, I could level a lot faster, but I just haven’t had the focus for that lately.

I did progress Tai all the way to the Greatwood in Shadowbringers. I honestly could have gotten even further, but holidays were distracting. I also leveled him to the point that I couldn’t go any further using the Beast Tribes. The game gates you if you haven’t cleared the Greatwood at a certain rank. That’s fine – I’ll get ther eventually.

I didn’t get around to working on Zuri’s progress at all. I didn’t expect I would until I got Tai sorted away. It’s fine.

Nintendo Switch Goals

  • Earn at least one new badge in Pokemon Sword
  • Finish next temple in Link’s Awakening
  • Ring Fit

Nope, didn’t do any of this and it makes me sad. I do have the excuse of getting some Steam games for Christmas that took my attention away. Though I also added three new games to the Switch backlog for Christmas as well! Augh!

I’m going to buckle down on this harder in 2020. Though I have a feeling Animal Crossing is going to sweep away my time when it releases.

Overall, a fine month. We’ll check on the year’s progress tomorrow!