I’ve been taking a bit of an unintended blog hiatus for a couple of reasons that I wanted to discuss briefly today!
I’m Live on Twitch Every Day
As an experiment and to get more reps in for comfort with Twitch, I’ve been livestreaming some amount of gameplay every single day (within my local time zone) on my Twitch channel at twitch.tv/kaylriene. Its included raid streams, Mythic Plus dungeons, and general vibing in WoW, but also FFXIV raids, a playthrough of Yakuza 0, and some co-streams with my wife. I plan to discuss this more in a later post, but the results have been pretty good – I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable streaming, had some fun moments captured on live video, and it’s generally been a lot of fun. It is also tiring in a way, and I probably wouldn’t recommend daily streaming for as long a period of time unless you are making bank at it!
I have a second Keystone Master character in my Evoker, timed a +20 on my Monk, and am tanking PUG keys on my old main DH now. 10.0.7 is a really interesting moment in WoW, more than it appears (mid-season catchup gear and options is a huge departure for WoW as it stands) and I think that it has helped my enjoyment of the game to be able to push my alts up the ladder. My guild is working on Heroic Raszageth and having a blast, and once we topple her for AOTC, I plan to discuss that journey some more including the process of getting a new guild off the ground functionally and how that has been. The short answer is that it was some work, and it definitely took some learning on my part to get things really smooth, but I think we’re getting there in a positive way and it has been a fun and rewarding endeavor for me personally with some success stories of play improvements and acquainting someone who has never raided in WoW before with the endgame at a good pace. I don’t think Dragonflight really fixes everything that has been fundamentally problematic with WoW in the past decade, but it makes a lot of strides forward in a way that has led to it being the most fun I’ve had since Legion with World of Warcraft, and I think a big part of that has been that the gameplay is feeling less distinctly like Blizzard made it to take time and more like they made it to just be fun, for a given definition of fun (some of the content and stuff like Thundering are questionable) but overall, I think they’ve done pretty well for the kind of player I am.
It’s been interesting because I’m not as over the moon for WoW as I was during Legion (which is what led me here to write in the first place!) but I’m also not annoyed or irritated with it in a way that leads to lots of contemplative think pieces, and my social environment in-game is the best its been in a few years thanks to the moves I’ve made and the people I play with, so there’s just not as big a push to write and discuss things. I like the game, I enjoy playing it, and I think once I’m out of the stream hole, I’m going to attempt more to breakdown why that is and what things I have been enjoying about Dragonflight and why it is keeping me engaged when the past few expansions have failed to do so to the same extent.
FFXIV is a game that has faded out a bit for me in this period, with little new content to keep current on, little legacy content I haven’t done that I am eager to do, and things basically being in stasis until the new raid tier. My main static has still not gotten P8S yet, but we got a lot closer on P1 and once we resume after the unlock patch next week, we’ll definitely be pushing hard since we won’t be reclearing weekly to get to P8S to start attempts. My alt static is…well, frustrating, but also fun and we’re up against the tree boss of P7S with some close calls on the harvest phases near the end of the fight, which means we’ll probably see P8S P1 with that group prior to the end of the tier. Right now, I’m basically raid logging, but I am enjoying the game still and optimistic for what comes next. I think that my exodus into FFXIV for most of 2022 taught me some very valuable lessons about raid environment and mentality that I have carried with me as a raid leader in WoW and that have been beneficial to my approach, which I plan to write more about.
I’m Going to FFXIV Fan Fest!
While I was not in the lucky presale batch, thanks to myself and my wife queuing up on 4 different machines, we were able to get one through the line ride for an FFXIV Fan Fest ticket for the US show in Las Vegas this July. So I’ll be traveling to my first Fan Fest, meeting a bunch of my Free Company players and partying with them, and get to be in-person for an FFXIV expansion reveal for the first time. I’m pretty excited to see how it goes, because I am very used to Blizzcon and the myriad panels and movement that entails, plus a demo, while FFXIV Fan Fest is quite a bit lower-key than that from what I understand. I’ll be sure to take a lot of photos and write up the journey more when I get back from Vegas this summer!
Blizzcon is supposed to be back and in-person this year. While I have returned to WoW, and did put some time into the beta weekends for Diablo IV (no preorder here, I did it through the fried chicken sandwich method), I feel a little weird about the idea of going to Blizzcon. Blizzard is obviously still mucking it up for employees and Blizzcon is emblematic of the problems Blizzard has – employees on overtime making builds for play at the show, being made to work in show-facing roles, all while Mike Ybarra turns out to actually be a pretty awful leader who is pretty dismissive of the concerns of the employees that work under him in the organization – so, yeah, it is a challenge to want to support Blizzard in the face of all of that. On the other hand, Blizzcon is a fun chance to meet guildies and we’ve talked about maybe doing a guild meetup at the show, trying to get as many folks in as can handle it, and I really like that idea. I also have a bad nostalgia for my Blizzcon experiences, because I’ve enjoyed the show a lot over the years and the actual show itself has little bearing on that enjoyment. In short – I don’t know, tough call, but maybe?
That wraps this update, and I’ll likely be back after this weekend with some more actual stuff to say!