2016 Was a Hell of a Year!

2016 was definitely a year of change. Major change. When I look at the world as a whole, much of that change has been negative. When I look at my own personal experiences, most of that change has been positive. Regardless of its impact, though, change is very difficult and extremely stressful. Oh, and did I mention exhausting?

The first half of the year or so was pretty steady for me. I was streaming on Twitch regularly and making steady, albeit small progress on my video game backlog. My son graduated from college and then around the end of summer, my universe got turned upside down. Most of it was good, honestly! But all at once? Oh man…

So earlier this year, I had decided to pursue my Master’s degree. I decided to apply to an MBA program since I’ve had over fifteen years of real life experience working in accounting and management. The school I chose had an Accounting MBA, so I’d be able to prepare for either the CPA or CMA exams with this program. I was accepted around the beginning of summer and while I knew that this would affect my streaming schedule, I would only be taking 2 classes per term, so I’d still be able to Twitch, just not quite as often.

But then around late August or early September, two things happened. First, my boss found a new job and we suddenly needed to find a new Controller asap. After discussing it with my boss and the president of the company, I was promoted from the Accounts Receivable and Payroll Clerk to the Controller of the whole company! I had a crash course in my new position over the course of about two weeks. Second, right around that same time, my husband’s older brother suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. And then a few weeks later, school started. I had one evening class and two independent study accounting courses. (The two accounting courses are required as a catch-up since I don’t have an undergraduate degree in accounting.)

So I was regularly working 12 hour days and coming in on the weekends to figure out my job, trying to support my husband after the loss of his second brother, and cramming school work in whenever I could. I didn’t pick up a game controller for months! I was completely exhausted and even when I had a few moments to myself, all I wanted to do was be a complete and total vegetable. I didn’t want to hang out with anyone. Even gaming felt like too much work!

In October, my husband and I went to the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival in Las Vegas. I would love to tell you that it was awesome, but it wasn’t. By this point, I hadn’t logged into the game in about a month, so I felt disconnected from it. I know that if I wasn’t completely drained, standing in endless lines and dealing with the fact that it was rather disorganized probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much. I was really happy to be present for the announcements of new game features, of course. And the two concerts were amazing! But overall, the best part of that trip was the fact that I wasn’t at school or work. I spent one full day just lying in bed in the hotel doing absofucking nothing and it was amazing. XD

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If you look carefully, you can see that Koji Fox photo-bombed our Cactuar Server group photo! ❤ He’s wearing the black hat, holding the purple bahamut plushie kind of in the middle!

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Someone in the Cactuar Server Facebook group designed a t-shirt for Fanfest, so we had shirts printed with our character and Free Company name.

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LOL My husband wearing a Horde World of Warcraft shirt while carrying his bag of FFXIV swag. XD

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Signing the Cactuar wall 🙂

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Here we are! Hatsumi Mitsuha and Severus Snape!

Other cool things we did in Las Vegas included eating and drinking a LOT of fabulous food and checking out the Bodies exhibit.

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All wines should come in a half bottle.

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This club sandwich was HUGE!

 

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What better part of the Bodies exhibit than the digestive system? I love to eat and thank goodness for these organs! XD

By around election day, my life was starting to calm down somewhat. I was no longer going into the office every weekend and instead of leaving at 8 or 9 at night, I was leaving between 5 and 6. However, I had fallen VERY behind in my two accounting classes. I had managed to keep up with the evening class since it only met once a week, thank goodness, but I suddenly found myself with almost an entire semester’s worth of work that I needed to complete for two classes in less than a month! When I explained my perfect storm of circumstances, my professor was very understanding. He gave me extensions on all the homework and we scheduled the exams throughout December and the first week of January. (As of right now, all I need to complete are the two final exams. Whew!)

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Here’s a little stack I created while cleaning house of games that I haven’t even OPENED yet!

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Haven’t opened this up yet, either…

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I started this, but haven’t played more than the first little tutorial mission thing. It’s so kawaii! I love it!

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I’m playing Moon. My husband is playing Sun.

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Fancy shmancy Collector’s Edition of FFXV on XBOX One, which I didn’t really open. The PS4 one was already sold out and I wanted to play it on PS4, so I just bought a Day One version of whatever of the PS4 version. Square Enix loves consumers like me. 😛

Unfortunately, I still didn’t really have any time to play my video games. It didn’t keep me from buying them, though! But now my backlog is even WORSE! I’m also trying to catch up in Final Fantasy XIV, but my intense fear of the Duty Finder is making this quite difficult. I’m looking forward to patch 3.5 because we’ll be able to create cross-server parties. So maybe I can get my friends on other servers to help me. Although honestly, I really just need to develop thicker skin and stop freaking out whenever I have to play with strangers… So if anyone wants to help me, I still need to clear Sophia Normal and the current Alexander Normal stuff. 😀

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Eorzea is home to some of the biggest cocks…

In other FFXIV news, my son started playing again! He’s level 37 on his highest job right now, so I’m working on helping him level and gear up. It’s a bit slow going since he’s in New York and I’m in Hawaii, so we don’t get to play together as much as I’d like and he doesn’t seem to like playing by himself. I keep bugging him, though, to get his questing done so that we can do group content whenever we’re online together.

I did start playing a few games during the last few months, although I haven’t made much progress yet. Pokemon Moon and Final Fantasy XV have gotten the most of my attention. I’m hoping that I’ll finally finish a Pokemon game for once. I’ve bought every Pokemon game since Diamond & Pearl, but I’ve yet to actually FINISH one. I can’t resist this new one, though, because of all the Hawaii references. I’m almost done with the 2nd island challenge. In Final Fantasy XV, I’m on Chapter 3. I am REALLY enjoying FFXV, although the battle system, even with Wait Mode, is somewhat challenging to me. The targeting system is giving me trouble. Sometimes I’m COMPLETELY CERTAIN that I’ve locked on to a specific enemy, but nope! I go warping in some completely different direction!

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PSVR! (Sorry, my house is a mess!)

The other cool gaming thing I tried recently is the Playstation VR. Sadly, it makes me motion sick if I play games with a lot of movement or if I play for longer than about 15-20 minutes at a time. The demo I enjoyed the most was the Thumper VR demo, but since I can’t even get through the demo song without feeling like I’m going to die, I didn’t buy it. I DID buy Harmonix Music VR and Perfect. Neither of those is a game, per se, but they are enjoyable virtual reality experiences that I can have without losing my lunch. I particularly enjoy Perfect because it’s beautiful and relaxing. It’s exactly what I wanted from a virtual reality experience. I love being able to sit near a crackling fire and throw snowballs.

So what can you expect from me during 2017? Starting sometime in the second half of January, I am planning on returning to Twitch. I haven’t nailed down a schedule yet, but it will probably be only two or three times a week. I’m also hoping to participate in a video game music podcast with a friend of mine starting this year. When that takes off, I’ll be sure to link it! My goal for 2017 is to play a non-FFXIV game for at least one hour per day. This doesn’t sound like much, but I figure it will help me slowly work through some of my backlog. I’m also hoping to post here once a week, listing what games I’ve bought or played. You know, to try and hold myself accountable. We’ll see how I do. I’m not optimistic. I’m terrible at this kind of thing! LOL

In any case, I apologize for the length of this post. I hope everyone has a great 2017! Happy New Year!

FFXIV Patch 3.3 is Keeping Me Busy!

Final Fantasy XIV’s patch 3.3 has added a shit ton of content to the game.

Before the patch launched, we spent ALL our time and energy trying to make money to buy a mansion for our Free Company. We had to come up with 45 million gil in the span of about two and half weeks. And we SUCCEEDED! There were only three of us, so it was tough.

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It’s HUUUUUUGE!!!

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Since 3.3 added a new step for the relic weapon quest line, I was trying to finish my Anima before then, but I didn’t quite make it. However, I DID manage to finish it up two days after the patch released. So now I have a powerful and shiny weapon for waging war against the bad guys:

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I like the enemies in the new story dungeon, Sohr Khai. They’re nifty looking:

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There are also new beast tribe quests. You can level up crafting classes from 50 to 60 by helping out a faction of Moogles. I really want this mount:

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In other news, E3 is going on right now. There are a lot of cool games coming out in the next year or so and I’m really excited about that! Horizon, Watch Dogs 2, Final Fantasy XV, VR stuff… SO MANY GAMES. I would post links and videos, but that would make this post WAY too long.

Tonight on Twitch, I’ll be playing Final Fantasy XIV and hopefully doing the new 24 man raid, The Weeping City of Mhach. Players are referring to it as The Wiping City of Salt, however, because the raid is very mechanic heavy and requires coordination. In other words, it’s HARD. I really like it, though. When I got my clear last week, it was super fun. Come by and say hi!

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I Beat Another Game!

I haven’t been feeling well the last couple of days, so I’ve spent my evenings curled up in bed with plushies and blankies while playing The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky on my Playstation Vita. My playtime was about 56 hours and I’m definitely looking forward to playing Second Chapter. Probably my favorite thing about this game was the humor:

Aside from that, nothing else has been going on. I didn’t stream last night or the night before because I was feeling crappy. I should be streaming tonight, although I’m not sure what time. Motivating myself is hard sometimes, but I really miss it when I don’t do it. XD

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Final Fantasy XV HYPE

I’m just going to post the video of the Final Fantasy XV Uncovered event from last night and say that I am 100% ON BOARD THIS HYPE TRAIN. I preordered my Ultimate Collector’s Edition and everything. I wonder if I can beat XIII-2 and Lightning Returns before September 30th. I’m not a fan of playing games out of order, even when they’re completely unrelated…

I CAN’T WAIT!!!

Weird Talos Principle Easter Egg

I am definitely regretting my life choices this morning. I’m not hungover or anything since I didn’t get drunk last night, but I didn’t even LEAVE the Mardi Gras festivities until midnight. I’m usually in bed by 11. It was almost 2am by the time I got home, showered, and went to bed. And then some asshole’s car alarm started going off right outside my bedroom window at around 4:45am. So I think I got about 4 hours of sleep and it wasn’t even continuous! You might be thinking, “4 hours is plenty!” You’d be wrong. I could do that in my 20’s and even my early 30’s, but in my 40’s, forget it. I need and love my sleep. A friend of mine once posted a meme on her Facebook timeline that said something along the lines of, “I’m in my 40’s, but feel like I’m in my 20’s. Until I hang out with a bunch of people in their 20’s. Then I’m like, no, never mind. I’m in my 40’s.” This describes me perfectly. 🙂 However, I game more than most 20-somethings I know, so keep that in mind…

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I did manage to squeeze in about 15 minutes or so of gaming. I played more of The Talos Principle. My son had texted me about a weird easter egg, so I went and looked for it. Apparently, this guy is a caricature of the developer’s CFO. He kinda creeped me out, tossing all this money in the air and going on about being rich. There are a lot of easter eggs in this game, apparently. When I’m done with it, maybe I’ll go searching for them.

Today in Game/Nerd News:

Star Ocean 5 is getting a Limited Edition PS4 in Japan. Is it just me or is that thing ugly as fuck? Oh well, whatever. It’s in Japan, anyway. I’m just looking forward to the game. I hope it’s better than 4…

This isn’t news because it’s a VERY SLOW game news day for me, but I was talking to a friend of mine last night about Fallout 4. Besides reminding myself that I really need to finish that game, I started thinking about WHY I hadn’t finished it yet. Part of it is because I suck at guns and the VATS system is often less accurate that my own (albeit slow) aiming. (To counter that, I’ve created a new melee character.) But the main part is that I’m not invested in the main goal: finding my son. I learn VERY SOON after leaving the Vault that I’ve been sleeping for 210 years. Would I really think my son is still alive? No. Granted, there’s no indication in the game letting me know WHEN my son was abducted, but because of that, once they killed my spouse and took my son, I was upset, but not set on finding him. I felt a need to exact vengeance maybe, but not to recover my son. Even with all the hints and clues that my son is still alive, it’s just not believable to me. Previous Bethesda games have given me motivation that was more believable. (I already know the plot twist, by the way, and that makes my motivation even LOWER… /sigh) Still, I want to finish the game and see the events unfold myself. I really need to get on that.

Tonight on Twitch:

Assuming I don’t just go home and pass out, my plan is to play more of The Talos Principle and the new puzzle platformer from EA, Unravel. Oh crap… I just remembered that the Overwatch beta is back on, too. TOO MANY GAMES!!! LOL

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FF Fabulous!

There’s a new Final Fantasy XIV gear/fashion video. I think Final Fantasy XIV should be called Final Fantasy Fabulous. There’s a long standing joke that glamour is the true end game. It’s hard to argue with that since a lot of players spend countless HOURS and loads of gil on getting their characters to look EXACTLY how they want. I tend to glamour JUST ENOUGH to avoid being a complete fashion emergency.

Last night in FFXIV, I didn’t accomplish much. I did Expert and Level 60 roulette, hung out in that crazy Teamspeak channel again, and made a couple new friends. I DIDN’T cap my red gatherer’s scrips like I wanted to, but I DID trade in some red crafter’s scrips for a NQ main hand tool for my Blacksmith. My Craftsmanship stat is ALMOST high enough to craft the good stuff. Just a few more materia overmelds and I should be good to go!

Once I logged off Twitch and the game, I took my 3DS to bed and played some Final Fantasy Explorers. I really like the Monster Hunter games, but they tend to be a BIT too hardcore for me, given the amount of time I have to play handheld games, so FF Explorers is perfect. Monster Hunter purists will complain that FFEx is too care bear, but whatever. I’m having fun with it. I’ve played some multiplayer with my husband and multiplayer is DEFINITELY where it’s at. Sure, you can create and level up monsters to fight with you, but having an actual, thinking (hopefully) human being playing with you makes a world of difference when the mission you’re on is difficult.

Today in Game News:

It’s another slow news day, but there are a couple things of note.

Nintendo announced a release window and preregistration date for its new Nintendo Account and phone app. I’d like to think that Nintendo is going to finally join the 21st century and make things tied to your account instead of your device(s), but I’m not holding my breath. They really have no fucking clue how to handle DRM AT ALL.

The Overwatch closed beta will be resuming on February 9th. This pleases me. I had beta access for about a month before the servers were shut down, but I never had a chance to actually try it out. Assuming there’s no rules against streaming, I’ll likely stream that at some point in the near future. I warn you now. I am TERRIBLE at games like this, so you’ll be laughing your ass off at me, I’m sure.

No Twitch stream tonight because I have a hot date with one of my best friends. I might be able to convince him to play Talos Principle with me while on stream, but I make no promises.

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Extra Life 2015 Silver Medal! For the Kids!

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I don’t remember exactly when or where I first learned about Extra Life. Since I am a rabid follower of video game news, it was probably when one of the websites I follow announced that they had a team and that they’d be participating in a gaming marathon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. I remember thinking, “Ooooh, that sounds cool!” I checked to see if there were any groups in my state participating, but couldn’t find anything. Since all of my experiences with fundraising for charity always involved groups of people organizing together and doing things, I didn’t think I could actually participate alone. (I was totally wrong about that, of course.)

So how does Extra Life work? Basically, on one day every year, gamers across the country play games for 24 hours to raise money for their chosen CMN hospital. The rules are very flexible, though. It doesn’t HAVE to be the designated day if that day doesn’t work for you. And you don’t have to play 24 straight hours (although a lot of people do). You can play board games, video games, outdoor games, whatever. You’re encouraged to stream your gaming and post on social networks to raise money and you’re absolutely encouraged to HAVE FUN.

I participated in Extra Life for the first time in 2014. I joined a team organized by the board game store I frequent, The Armchair Adventurer. (If you’re into board games and live on Oahu, this is THE PLACE.) I spent part of my time playing games at home on my computer and consoles and then spent several hours at the store, playing board games with other gamers. Naturally, I dragged my husband along. (That guy really does support me in EVERYTHING I do. I’m so lucky.) We had so much fun and I raised $405.00. I couldn’t wait to do it again.

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So naturally, I signed up as soon as I could for 2015. I even got a special gift for signing up early: a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals wrist band. I increased my individual goal to $500. I joined the same team, but never actually made it to the store that night. Again, I had a BLAST! This time around, I streamed my gaming on Twitch and even played games with one of my viewers. I beat my goal and raised $610.00 plus a monthly recurring donation of $10/month. That’s how I scored the silver medal – raising more than $500.

I love playing the hero in video games and Extra Life lets me be a hero in real life, too. It doesn’t get any better than that. Did I sign up for 2016? ABSOLUTELY! Game Day is November 5, 2016, but raising money to help sick and injured kids is something we can do 365 days a year. If you don’t already participate, I HIGHLY recommend it. DO IT.

If you want to donate, you can click here for my donation page. (I also have a link embedded on my Twitch channel page.)

For the Kids!

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