Author Archives: Endalia

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Recipes and Cooking

I have a few cooking goals on my list and I’ve already done some, but there’s one that I still can’t decide on. Cooking and baking have been my hobbies since I was a child. I was nine or ten when I had my first cooking class and even before that, I helped my mom baking cookies or cake. My dad cooks delicious Indonesian dishes. I still have a lot to learn from him, but I’m getting there.

I’ve already made pesto from scratch, twice, and baked cookies for someone. I’ve made a dozen or so new recipes. But I still haven’t found the cookbook to work through.

The idea to cook every recipe in a cookbook is nothing new. I borrowed it from the book/movie Julie & Julia, in which Julie cooks every recipe from Julia Child’s cookbook. I liked the movie, especially Meryl Streep as Julia Child, and the book is a little more inspiring to my taste.

It’s not the lack of cookbooks, but I don’t want to commit to something and then quit halfway. Which means that I shouldn’t pick a cookbook with dishes that I don’t eat (anything with fish)that has more than 300 recipes, or needs very specific ingredients. I could at least one whole shelf with cook/baking books and I still can’t decide. I’ll probably go for an Italian cookbook since we both like Italian and some ingredients are easy to substitute.

I’m still on the fence, but I’ll let you know which one I’ve decided on soon. How do you feel about recipes? Should I post them? Or just the journey and the result?

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Activities

In my 101 goals, there are a few activities that aren’t that interesting to talk about, while some others are worth one or more blog posts. I want to share a short summary of a few activities that I’ve done in the past year.

Eat at a new restaurant

I went to Amsterdam recently to meet a friend from Twitter. Since I don’t go to Amsterdam often, I’m kind of a tourist there myself. I tried to look up some nice places to eat. We met up for lunch and it made sense to have the best fries in the city. Vleminckx de Sausmeester was the place to go. I’ve had some delicious fries, but these were really, really good. Crispy and just salty enough. The fries are the only thing they sell, so even with the line the service is quick. Just name the size and the sauce you want. Mayonnaise for me, please.

Van der Linde ice cream was also on my list. My husband told me they have the best ice cream he ever had. He was right. The whipped cream is mixed with the ice cream. It’s rich, creamy, vanilla flavored deliciousness. I had the smallest serving and it was more than enough. I know that I’ll be going there again.

My mom wanted to take me for lunch on my birthday. The restaurants in my town change quickly, so this was the perfect opportunity to eat at a new restaurant. We had lunch at Barista Cafe down town.

The quality of the food didn’t wow me, but I did have my first matcha latte there. I wanted to try something new. It reminded me of the matcha Kitkat, my favourite flavour. But having a liquid version of it might have been too much to go with a full lunch. The lunch was nice, but maybe because of the company, not the food.

Also, the waitress treated me like an idiot. I never had matcha before, so I have no idea how it tastes. She didn’t have to mock me for not knowing if it was sweet or bitter. Just answer the question and giggle with your colleagues in the kitchen.

Visit an aquarium

I love going to aquariums. I like seeing most underwater sea creatures floating around, doing their thing, being pretty. It’s one of the few attractions that I look for when I’m on vacation.

My husband had given me tickets to Sealife Scheveningen and Madurodam as a Christmas present, both located in Scheveningen, one of the prettiest seaside towns in The Netherlands. We went there on a Monday with dreary weather and no national holidays to avoid the family crowd.

Attend a ballet

I went to Sleeping Beauty with my sister in law and mother in law just before Christmas. I really wanted to see Swan Lake, but they didn’t perform it last year. My sister in law said that Sleeping Beauty is also very beautiful. I love Tchaikovsky, so I agreed to go with them. I have no regrets going. It was beautiful. Gorgeous costumes and excellent dancers. I do have to admit that most of the male dancers were better than the females.

Bake cookies for someone

I made cookies for my physical therapist. I have been seeing him for nine years when he sold his business. I made the for his birthday a few months earlier. He was a good one and I’m kind of sad that he won’t be the one torturing anymore since I have something to torture him with as well.

Have a tea party

I wanted to organize a tea party and my mom’s birthday was the perfect occasion for it. I asked my sister and sister in law to join us as a surprise. My mom had no clue that we would be going for a high tea since I invited her to look for new glasses. When my sister and sister in law were there, she was surprised and touched. She never expected it and that made the high tea even more fun. Both sisters are living almost an hour away so we don’t get together often. All of us enjoyed it very much, so I’m think we should do it again next year. Maybe without the surprise.

One Class I Won’t Play

Is probably a tank. It just doesn’t fit my playstyle well. I prefer to play DPS with a healing ability since I play solo a lot. I could go tanky, but that often means that I have a low damage output and just messes up with my gaming vibe. I want the enemy’s HP bar to disappear in seconds.

Oceanmariee of Soul of the Forest blogged about this and it’s an interesting prompt, so I wanted to talk about what classes (or roles) I do play and why I won’t pick tank or melee classes as often. 

Arclight Varus

I used to have a laggy internet connection and was deathly afraid to play anything melee. Especially in League of Legends. I knew that I couldn’t jump into a fight, because that often meant that I was dead before my screen readjusted to real time. It sucked.

Now my internet connection is great and I rarely have lag anymore. I tried melee in multiple games now and I’m still on the fence if I like playing melee at all. It worked for my monk in Diablo 3, but I didn’t like the martial artist class in Blade & Soul. It might because of the game and the combat mechanics, I haven’t thought about that well enough.

Diablo III - The Treasure Realm
Greed: The Baroness of the Treasure Realm. This is bonus level which you can find in a portal left by a treasure goblin.

Even in Guild Wars 2 where each class can wield a multitude of weapons, often both melee and range, I tend to go for range. The bigger, the better. My main, a ranger, does have melee weapons in her bags so I can switch to sword or great sword when I know these will work better against the enemies I’m facing.

Guild Wars 2 Strider's Armor
Naella is wearing the Strider’s Armor, Rox’s Bow and Quiver.

I’m always looking for the most interesting class to play in a new game, where ‘most interesting’ is a class that isn’t be done by everyone else. Warriors, rangers, mages are old. Give me something interesting, something new. Think of a new way to crush demons. Maybe mind control them and have them eat their own brothers and sisters. It’s a nice twist on the classic necromancer. I’d play that.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Finish 5 Games

I suck at finishing games. Or I play games that you can’t really finish. Right now I’m mostly playing The Sims 4. Guild Wars 2 is my other option. You can’t really finish these games.

So far I’ve only finished one game since starting my goals, Journey. I never thought this would be the first game I’d finish since there are so many others that I wanted to play first. I’ll still play the others, at some point.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is on my list to complete as well. I loved Dragon Age: Origins and skipped Dragon Age II. Why? I don’t know. I might be halfway done with Inquisition, although it’s hard to pinpoint with the open world setting. I’m having fun though. It reminds me much of Origins, but better.

Defender’s Quest: Valley of the Forgotten is my third game that I want to finish. It’s a tower defense game with heroes instead of towers. I’m not really following the story (not skipping, but fast forwarding), but it’s nice that there’s more to it than just the general zombie invasion.

The increased difficulty per level is nice as well. I usually start new levels at casual, but there are four difficulties per level in total. And then there are the challenges. I haven’t tried those yet, since my team might not be strong enough. I’d rather level them up a bit more and buy better equipment.

Epistory is the fourth that I want to finish. I already wrote about it this Blaugust, and I haven’t played it since, but I will. I just have to get a little faster with my typing.

Now, my fifth game is still open. I have no idea which game I want to play and that I want to finish. I have a dozen, but I seriously have a problem with my Steam library. It’ll also depends on the mood I’m in.

Guild Wars 2 – Fanfiction

Just after setting my goals, I had an amazing offer. One of my goals was to write fanfiction again. If you’ve been here before you’ll probably have seen some Guild Wars 2 fanfics floating around (you can find them here). A few of my Guild Wars 2 friends decided to do an amazing collaboration between writers and artists for charity, a Wintersday zine.

Zorav is the mastermind behind this project, but she isn’t doing it alone. She’s had the help of wonderful people who coordinated and edited the fanfics to the masterpieces that they are now. She launched the crowfunding campaign to raise funds for the zines and anything beyond the production costs would go to charity. In the two charity events she moderated, $42,000 went to charity.

Taking part in such a zine has been an experience. There were 71 artists and writers who contributed. Each writer collaborated with an artist to tell their story. Amazing pieces were submitted, in both art and writing.

It felt weird to hold a book with my work in it. It isn’t the first time I’ve had my work in print, but this was different. This wasn’t a newspaper, this was something I was passionate about, with amazing art by Eames, in full colour, printed on gorgeous paper.  It was definitely something I’m proud of and I showed it off to anyone who wanted to see it (mostly family and friends who don’t know anything about Guild Wars 2).

The applications for the Wintersday Zine have been closed already, but the crowdfunding has yet to start. So if you’re interested in buying a zine filled with great art and stories, keep your eye out this fall.

RIP Tales of Link

This post is part of the Blaugust Developer Appreciation Week.

Tales of Link, one of my favourite mobile games, was killed this spring (27 March 2018). I started playing just before its first anniversary and stopped a year and a half later. I could’ve played longer, but I felt there wasn’t a point.

When I first saw Tales of Link, the battle mechanism was new to me. Linking symbols wasn’t the new bit, but that you had to try to create a link as long as possible. You could use skills to transforms one symbol to another and if you managed to get nine of the same symbols, a special attack would unlock for the last hero in your link.

Tales of Link had many of the heroes and villains from the ‘Tales of’- franchise. My experience with the franchise was limited to trailers and wishlists. I did, however, buy the collector’s edition of Tales of Xillia 2. It was a fun way to get to know each character through the events and side stories.

The Events

They had several types of events. Some where score based, others just story based with free heroes or weapons to farm.

Free2Play friendly?

I felt that I could do nearly everything without paying a dime. It was hard to get a top score in the score ranking events. But besides that, it was very doable to play without spending real money. The game had enough opportunities to earn/farm gems (the premium currency) for the draws. You usually knew upfront which events were coming and most players saved up enough for the gacha with their favourite heroes.

I got three five star heroes in one pull. Two of them were highly rated.

Getting 5 star heroes wasn’t a problem. Getting the one you wanted or needed for your set up was always a question. But that’s what gachas are about, right? You never know what you’re going to get. I’ve been fortune with a lot of my pulls, but there were times when I only drew 4 star heroes. There was no guarantee of a 5 star hero in the regular gachas. They later added a coupon for a 5 star draw, but only for certain event gachas.

Why I quit

I loved this game. The heroes were nice, the drop rates were okay, the battle system required thinking and strategic planning, but it still wasn’t enough. After doing a few dozen scoring based events I noticed how impossible it felt to get to the top. Those events were the only ones that had items to reduce CC on your heroes. They were vital in other events to tackle the hardest levels. Without them it felt nearly impossible to finish it once, let alone farm it in the limited time I had.

When I realised this, I knew I had to accept that I was never going to get any good at it, or quit. I hated the feeling that I never had enough items for max limit break. I really wanted those 5 star event exclusives. I did want to be in the top 500. So I quit.

When I read that Bandai Namco were pulling the plug I felt incredibly sad, but I understood why the game wasn’t popular with whales. Of course there was a small group of players who spend huge amounts of money on premium currency and my guess is that those are the players who were always at the top. But getting there required more than just the right heroes. You needed time to farm as well. There was no way to speed that up, or auto-farm events. You still had to start the battle and confirm your win.

I still miss playing this game and the cute characters. The art was incredible, as is always the case with any Tales Of game. Have you played Tales of Link? Or do you know a game like Tales of Link? Please let me know in the comments.

Relaxing with Journey

This post is part of the Blaugust Developer Appreciation Week.

Journey is an indie title for the Playstation. It was praised and loved by many and I played earlier this year for the first time. I felt sick and needed something relaxing to play.

Journey almost feels like a meditative game. Your avatar doesn’t speak and the music is relaxing. The environment is the only thing guiding you through the levels. Exploring the levels more will give your cape a boost which means you can jump/fly higher/longer. I think my cape was longer than I was and the extra boosts were useful in one of the later levels in which you have to ascend a tower.

You begin in a desert with only a few ruins around. That’s where you’re going. Red and gold indicators help you find your way, slowly introducing new mechanics to unlock new areas.

There are some enemies, giant dragon like structures, which point their laser eyes at you. I think I died once when I saw them for the first time.  They’re intimidating enough that you know without anyone telling you, hey, this is a bad guy. I commend the devs for the art direction.

Even though the game has been released years ago, people are still playing. I had no idea that you shared your game with someone else. After a few levels I noticed that my buddy’s cape had different lengths, indicating they were different players. In the later levels, a buddy is crucial for keeping warm. I was lucky to have one who knew what was necessary.At the end of the game, I even received an extra achievement for finishing the game with a partner throughout the whole game.

Everything they say about this game is true. Beautiful art style, great music, a nice story. It only took me a couple of hours, but they were a lot of fun. I definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t played it yet.

Diablo 3 Seasons

This post is part of the Blaugust Developer Appreciation Week.

I think I’m not the only who was happy to see seasons arrive to Diablo 3. Diablo 2 used to have ladders for set periods of time, but with only the glory of being the best, there was no incentive. The seasons in Diablo 3 do.

Each season has a complete set for every class and two cosmetic items. You can only get one set per season. I think this is a great way to have players come back. The cosmetic items so far have been different every season. The sets are on rotation so you have the chance to get the other sets in other seasons.

You get the rewards after completing the four chapters. Normally this is won’t take up too much time especially when you play with multiple people. I play solo, so it’s taking me longer. Leveling to level 70 does go faster than before because I’m learning when to level where.

One of my 101 goals was to complete a season. I never take the time to complete the fourth chapter. So taking on this goal would force me to do it at least once. I then realized that doing those last few achievements wasn’t that hard. Since then I’ve completed a few more seasons.

Returning to Guild Wars 2

This post is part of the Blaugust Appreciation Week.

I took a break from my favourite MMO earlier this year. It felt a chore and couldn’t keep up with the new content in addition to the new expansion with the limited gaming time I had. My hands didn’t always do what I wanted either.

The new areas are stunning. Don’t forget to look up.

A few weeks ago I wanted to go back to Tyria. I played on one of my alts in the beginner zones, my favourite zones. They’re not overwhelming like the Path of Fire or Heart of Thorns maps. I know these regions and what I have to do to get the 100% completion. It’s nice for an hour of gaming.

Doing the starter zones with mounts is a completely different experience. I said completion takes an hour, but with mounts, you might be able to do it in less. Traveling through Central Tyria on a mount is a whole new experience in itself. Especially on a skimmer in water rich areas.

With the Festival of the Four winds, old content came back. It’s a festival I loved before the events of Living World Season 2. They changed a few things to commemorate the events. The flavor text and npc chats have changed as well. A few new events have been added for fun.

I spent most of my time in Divinity’s Reach where the Queen’s Gauntlet and The Crown’s Pavilion have opened up as well. Doing the Boss Blitz is fun, mostly because of all the different dynamics and I like the loot (that’s why my inventory is always full). I have a ticket to claim one of the skins, but I’m not sure which one I want. My alts still need better weapons, but who needs that skin and which weapon?

I’m still having fun now and I hope that I can slowly go back to the new content at my own pace. Maybe I’ll even try to go for the griffon mount. Flying will be a whole new experience in itself. I’ll be taking a ton of screenshots then.

If you’re on a EU server and want to do dungeons or fractals together, hit me up. I’m still looking for a new group.

Stardew Valley Multiplayer

This post is part of the Blaugust Developer Appreciation Week.

Multiplayer is one of the features added to the small farming game Stardew Valley. I played it for half an hour a year ago and I don’t really know why I didn’t play more at the time. I’ve always liked Harvest Moon and Rune Factory on my DS.

Playing the multiplayer with my husband was a lot of fun though. I already explained that he tends to go nuts in terms of efficiency. He seeks out the most profitable crops and upgrades his tools so we can progress the fastest.

We ended up with huge pumpkin during the harvest season

I’m more of a casual player and see what I want to do each day. I don’t tend to plan for festival like he does. Especially not the first year. If we played an RPG, our playstyles would clash, but not Stawdew.

I don’t mind being guided to what needs to be done. The morning routine of watering and harvesting, feeding the animals and checking on produce is one I often take on. My husband usually knows what needs to be done to complete collections, gathering of rocks or fish. (I don’t fish because I suck at it.)

Our playstyles add to each other. We’re in our first winter and we already have stables. I have my two chickens (ones I really wanted) and most of our tools have been upgraded at least once. My husband is thinking of the perfect lay out to start in spring and I’m just keeping on gathering winter berries, wood, stone and ore.

Hopefully we’ll soon have more livestock and a greenhouse.

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Guild Wars 2 Fiction

Miira Lightbringer:
Fried Moa Steak
Quiet Before the Storm

Young Miira:
Tail Tugging Part 1
A Promise Made Part 2
Night Falls Part 3
Grawling Preparations Part 4
Badazar Incarnated Part 5
Graduation Part 6 - Final

Savyrius Belain:
We Meet Again...

Naella Ysangwan:
Dogs and Ogres

Play with me!

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You can add me on Steam, Origin, Raptr, X-Fire or League of Legends. All use the same nickname: Endalia.

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Diablo 3 Battle Tag: Endalia#1709
Guild Wars 2 Identifier: Endalia.8109

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