Is there a game for me?

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My gaming life has been through a lot of change lately. Long gone are the days when I raided and kept up with how things changed with each patch in WoW. And in FFXIV, I am so far behind on the story that I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever see it while it is current.

My little pup somewhat sealed the deal on my limited game time. And I’m never going back – I am officially a dog mom. And I love spending my time with him. But I do occasionally miss the socialisation and stress relief¬†my gaming hobby provided. Hey – socialisation isn’t just for dogs! ūüėõ

Some days I only get to play 30 minutes a day. Some days I don’t get to play at all. And ofcourse, the more my pup grows up, the more things settle down and the more time I get for my own stuff. Currently, I am flip flopping between three games trying to find that perfect zen state. That’s somewhat the story of my life right now with the move and all. Yes, I know it’s been six months but hey, I apparently am an OCD musician who is resistant to change and takes a while to put down roots. But back to gaming for now.

The three games I swing between are WoW, FFXIV and Hearthstone. I tried Legion in WoW and loved it until a few months after I hit level 110. I began with my gnome mage and did World Quests and a bit of LFR but never managed to do much more. And frankly there didn’t seem to be much of a point to do a whole lot more of the same. World quests became redundant after a point since I never really plan on raiding, so I don’t need lots of gear. I predictably then moved onto leveling alts and enjoyed that for a while. But it wasn’t long before my initial excitement just fizzled out and once I couldn’t afford the token in gold anymore, I decided just to switch it up and try FFXIV. On the plus side, playing my gnomes was awesome.

FFXIV for me was the exact opposite – there was OODLES to do. There are so many classes and jobs and story arcs that I haven’t yet explored. ¬†The music and art offer a welcome change. And so I began picking up where I left off. And here I am now, absolutely drowning in things to do. The problem is, everything takes a long time – which is great, I enjoy the challenge. But sometimes, with my limited gaming time, it feels like very little progress is being made. Heck, my pup has learned to do neat tricks like twirl, walk back, bop his nose on specific spots, shake, high five and lots more. And here I am STILL leveling my bloody White Mage and Summoner, and STILL working on trying to get my ilvl on my Black Mage high enough to do the next part of the main story quest line. On the bright side I love playing a Lalafell, and the trailer for Stormblood left in super fangirl mode with stars in my eyes.

Now we come to Hearthstone, an unlikely game for me to begin with since I’ve never been into competitive card games and deck building. But it offers small goals I can reach everyday like those daily quests. Then I make gold with those daily quests and buy solo adventures. That’s my play style and it was going great until they decided to get rid of buyable solo adventures with the new expansion. I really should’ve kept up with the news on it but I had no idea. So now, I’m close to buying the final wing of Karazhan (which is super fun fyi) but then what? The bright side is that the game offers me goals I can accomplish in an evening – but sadly not much more without adventures to buy.

That brings to me to the question of the hour – is there a game out there for me? Or is my dissatisfaction just another sign of moving-into-my-new-life growing pains? I just had to get it all off my chest. Because I remember the good times of logging on and having fun and looking forward to gaming. And I want those feelings back. The excitement and the enthusiasm with which I looked forward to and read about those games. I miss it. I know moving and change happens but there are some things about my old life that I miss and want in my new life here.

 

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A Woof in My Life

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The last few months have been difficult for me. Moving to a new place, family visits, tendinitis that pooped on my piano and gaming … it seemed as though I would never just get time or space to be myself anymore.

It was suffocating as my blogged kinda choked, and the house was mostly silent without music. Honestly, I could feel myself slipping and no amount of positive attitude or optimism was working. Until this little guy came along to light up my life. My new puppy, Nobu (meaning trust in Japanese) is here to keep me on my toes.

My life now revolves around his poop schedule but the love and sweetness he brings makes it all worth it. Much of my blog, as you can tell, will be dominated by puppy cuteness for a little while. I only have time to sneak in gaming when he’s napping – or piano in bursts of a few minutes at a time. This is good because my hands need to heal! It’s amazing though that Nobu manages to make me do just that in an entirely positive way.

Enjoy the pictures and hopefully I’ll have a gaming post coming up soon too!

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When Shit Hits the Fan

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At the beginning of this year, Life threw me a curve-ball…no, a meteor. I received news that my father unexpectedly passed away. No warning, no good reason (he was in good health), just you know… that’s it. I flew home in a daze on an 18 hour flight, and within hours of landing was attending his funeral and performing the last rites.

When I finally returned home after being with my mother and family for a while, well it’s been a struggle. I came home feeling like I was walking into someone else’s life. Life has been turned upside down for me and the new “normal” doesn’t feel very normal as yet. Things are different – I still wake up at nights with images and memories and that’s probably going to take a while before it goes away. And it’s having its effect on my piano playing too.

Interestingly, I can’t play any of my old repertoire anymore. My brain just says NOPE. I can’t memorise new pieces either – yet another NO from my brain. So it’s a craptastic issue really for me. I hope my ability to play comes back soon because frankly, if I’m a pianist and can’t play I’m going to need to consider another profession. But I’m sure it’ll come back sooner or later. Preferably sooner.

Despite the choas that I’m having to deal with, certain parts of my life are coming back to make me feel more myself. I picked up an old piece from three years ago that I began but never finished …. so atleast I’m being able to play¬†something.¬†I took apart my old computer and rebuilt a new one, and finally logged into a game. I ran around on my gnome and lalafell a bit. I opened up twitter and sent my first tweet and who knows how long now. And here I am, blogging for the first in the last few months.

I’m currently spending more in Final Fantasy XIV than WoW at the moment, but I haven’t forgotten about my gnomish allegiance. I’m still looking forward to gnome hunters even though nothing in WoW is really making me want to play at the moment. And meanwhile in Final Fantasy XIV, I’m catching up with story time and everything else that I’ve missed doing this whole time.

For a while when I got back, I wasn’t sure if I would be playing or blogging again. A¬†part of me ¬†looked at everything before it all went to hell and felt like just walking away from everything I used to do. But, it’s nice for me to know that ultimately I returned to doing something I love and enjoy… even if it takes time.

Gaming and blogging are a part of who I am and I’m glad. I am the eccentric pianist, the reluctant cook, the overly-analytical-and-often-feisty blogger, the¬†eternal tinkering magic-loving gnome, the¬†shiny-loving lalafell who enjoys blowing things up.¬†It’s a wonderful life.

(Cross-posted on my FFXIV blog: http://lenalilei.wordpress.com)

An Early Present….Sort of…

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Yesterday, Blizzard had a little surprise waiting for me in my account. As part of a promotion (from what I could gather by googling), they offered me 10 days of free game time to try out Draenor. Yep, the new expansion – I was shocked. Ofcourse, I cannot actually get to level 91 – it caps out when it is short of 1 xp – but hey, free is free and I thought it was great I could try out Draenor since I was on the fence about buying it. Starry eyed and full of gnome powa, I took the plunge.

It was fun to be a gnome again, and I generally enjoyed the questing experience. They do a great job introducing the bad guys – I personally liked the little name tags they gave them because really, just too many orcs to keep track of at this point. The music is simply amazing by the way, so if you haven’t yet turned it on, I highly recommend it. I think they really outdid themselves there. Ofcourse, I haven’t got beyond early Shadowmoon Valley thanks to the cap – but I did get to build my garrison and got a peek at how it works.

So why I have I not bought it yet? Well much of that has to do with me and not so much the expansion. Life for me has changed a lot. Raiding feels like it was a lifetime ago, and I honestly don’t know how I managed to spend so much time doing it. It is impossible now. Heck, even the flexible size ones seem like a time commitment I may not be able to handle. I have concerts and travel and visits and a billion other things to keep me busy. And so, I’m asking some very different questions¬† this time around.

Is there enough to do at level 100 without raiding for me? (And I’m talking really no raiding – not even LFR because that will just drive me up the wall) Do I enjoy any of the classes anymore? Can I really play WoW without raiding? I’m honestly not sure yet. I’ve played plenty of other games without endgame but WoW has always been about raiding for me. If I can enjoy Draenor without raiding that would be great. The last thing I want is to be sucked back into raiding because I really really like where I am right now. Lots of piano, great pieces and lots to do.

I welcome your opinions and experiences with Draenor so far – and if you think it has enough content to keep a non-raider busy for a bit. I realise ofcourse that all experiences are different and ultimately I need to figure out what works for me – but I could use the help! ūüôā