February Wrap-up

Ah, February. How I loathe thee. Winters are always dangerous for me because of all my health issues, but this year I found out my wind resistance is either zero or negative. It’s been a stormy month but not very cold. I always thought I was bad at handling the cold. Turns out I was wrong. It’s the cold wind that makes it painful to breathe, that sets my throat on fire, and makes my lungs feel like they’re made of metal.

So I spent most of the month in recovery mode which means my productivity tanked. I wrote two book reviews and four Friday posts for Narratess and only posted here once. I’m still on track for those goals, and I’m even a little ahead because I already have six (including this one) posts for my twenty post goal for Princess.

I finished four more books, two for book tours and two for Netgalley. Netgalley is a service that connects book reviewers, librarians and other professionals with publishers/authors. We get a free book in exchange for a review. This is usually to get reviews ahead of release and create hype. Goodreads says I’m four books ahead of schedule, but I know that once I start reading the real chonks (which is my goal this year) I’ll only finish one or maybe two books a month. Even when I’m actively working on my ‘reading once a day’ habit, a book with over 600 pages (and maybe even 800 pages) will take up significantly more time than a 230-page young adult romance.

Look, I’m an idiot. I said I wouldn’t do book tours a few years ago when I started adding more book-related posts to Narratess. Then I said I wouldn’t request more books from Netgalley because of the added pressure through reading deadlines. But I’ve done four book tours so far and I have a few more coming up. I also request four more titles on Netgalley last weekend. Sigh.

For games, there was only one: Wolcen. I already talked about it in a previous post and I’ll talk more about it in the future, but the bad weather also affected my hands. I wanted to play more Pokemon, more Stardew Valley, maybe even get back into Guild Wars, but none of that happened. And that’s okay.

Instead of gaming, I dived back into non-fiction. I started watching more videos on writing and personal development. Even on Netflix, I felt like I wanted to watch more documentaries or reality tv than sitcoms or fantasy series. It’s unusual for me to have this kind of clarity when my body is feeling like crap. Brain fog is real. So it’s a strange experience when my brain acts like a sponge and just wants to soak up everything. My headache isn’t gone (heck, it might be worse than other days) but I can think! I can process information! I draw conclusions based on the information I have! I can apply theory to practice! Seriously, it’s been years since I’ve experienced this.

It made me want to be more productive. So even though I didn’t post more or play more, I did write more. I finished a piece of flash fiction and submitted it (no word back yet), and my short story (granted, written in December) was selected as a finalist. The finalists were selected by industry professionals out of at least a hundred submissions. Knowing that these people loved my story enough to pick it as a finalist is huge and a great motivator to keep writing. I know some of you have voted, so thank you! 29th of March I know if I’ve won or not.

So I’m working hard on my writing career. I made a rough publishing outline for this year and a wishlist of books I want to write. For now, I’m still focusing on finishing the Infernal Contracts trilogy. Book 2 is getting a second draft with more words, better scenes and character growth. It hurt initially when I missed the December deadline, but I truly believe it’ll be a much better book now. I’m going to write the outline for book 3 when it’s with beta readers, so I can jump right in when the final draft is done.

March will be busy with nearly all of my weekends filled up with exhausting events. So I hope I can get my writing and editing done. I’ll do my best to post here more frequently (I still have so many drafts I want to finish), but Narratess comes first.

Manga Review: The Fox & The Little Tanuki, Vol. 1 by Mi Tagawa

Title: The Fox & Little Tanuki
Author: Mi Tagawa
Pages: 172
Release date: March 17th
Summary: Long ago, the gods granted a few special animals great powers… but not all those animals used their magical abilities for good! Senzou the Fox Spirit in particular grew too brash and arrogant, abusing his strength until the gods imprisoned him for his bad behavior. Three hundred years later, he’s finally been released, but only on one condition– he can’t have his any of his abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become an assistant to the gods. Unfortunately for Senzou, there’s no cheating when it comes to completing his task! The magic beads around his neck make sure he can’t wander too far from his charge or shirk his duties, and so… Senzou the once-great Fox Spirit must now figure out how to be an actually-great babysitter to a mischievous little tanuki or risk being stuck without his powers forever!

I received a copy of this manga volume through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

It’s been years since I’ve read manga. Any manga. But I saw this one and knew I had to give it a shot. The title and the cover were enough to interest me.

When I was in Japan, my husband won me a plushie of a fox wearing a tanuki eye mask and I bought a blind box with the two animals as a small figurine. I don’t know how limited the pairing was, but I suspect that the fox is the main mascot of a store called Loft and the tanuki is just temporary. They’re incredibly cute together, so when I saw this manga, I knew it was for me.

Without even reading the summary I dived in. It didn’t surprise me it was about gods and bakemono. I like the Japanese folklore so even that was right up my ally. The mentor-apprentice relationship the fox and the tanuki have is incredibly cute too. There’s a lot of room for both characters to grow.

The side characters, another fox and two wolves, are adorable. I honestly love the stereotype characters and the world the author created. I don’t mind that their personalities are predictable because it’s the interaction between the characters and the situations they’re in that make the story.

I’m really looking forward to reading more of this series. Highly recommended if you’re interested in Japanese folklore and like cute art.

Trying Out Wolcen

Wolcen’s release was like a storm, one I wasn’t really prepared for. I heard people talking about it, sure. But I don’t pay much attention to early access games, or games in beta. So I heard people mentioning it, saying it was promising. That doesn’t always mean the end product will live up to the expectations.

I read Belghast‘s early impressions and decided to watch Rhykker’s sponsored videos, which consisted of an overview, short guide, and a build video. It was enough to convince me to try it.

Since the servers still have issues, I played offline. I usually play aRPGs solo, so I don’t mind much. That said, my husband and I bought copies with the intention to play together. And we will, as soon as things are fixed. For now, I’m just hobbling along in single player. I’m trying out different things, skills from Rhykker’s build (I love the turret, ok? Heimerdinger is one of my favourite champions).

I’m level 13 now with ranged/magic character. She’s using a pistol and a catalyst which allows her to pew pew really fast while still using spell to blast enemies away. Using a willpower skill will also speed up the process of gaining rage, the main resource for ranged characters. This also allows me to always have a damage skill available to me.

I was honestly pleasantly surprised that you can create your own class/build regardless of what you pick at the beginning of the game. Your character’s progression doesn’t even depend on which weapons you use, like in Dungeon Siege II. You can pick your weapons, pick skills associated with the weapons you have, and change your passives if you want (and have enough currency to do so).

So even if you have max leveled your character, you can still switch builds if you want. The only thing you might have to do is train your new skills.

Saying Wolcen is a love child between Diablo and Path of Exile is pretty accurate. Especially when you look at the passive skill tree, the gate of fates. It’s filled with nodes interconnecting with each other within a ‘class’ and another ‘class’, but you’re free to branch out. One thing Wolcen does differently is that each ring (three layers in total) can rotate, even after you’ve picked skills. So you can change up your build whenever you want with your available skill points.

I’ve only played a few hours but I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s filling the hole after I’d completed the Diablo 3 season 19 and Path of Exile (nor Torchlight 3 Alpha) couldn’t fill it. The combat is much more dynamic than Diablo since you have to dodge skills. You also get a fair chance to do so with the telegraphs on the ground. It reminds me more of Guild Wars 2’s combat which I also really like. Rhykker said the Act 1 boss is pretty hard to beat if you don’t pay attention. I’m not the best player, but I do have experience with tough, multi phase bosses, so who knows. I’ll report back when I’ve passed that point.

January Wrap-up

I don’t think I’ve ever done one of these before, but I think now is a good time to start because things changed! I already posted about my goals for this year. One thing I didn’t mention was my five year goal of Marie Kondo-ing my Steam library. Hide all the games that I’m not going to play anyway, and keep the games that spark joy. And that’s what I’ve been doing.

Spark Joy

My bookcase got a makeover as well and I have stacks of books that I want to sell or donate. With Steam I can’t sell or donate, but I can hide them. I already did this with games I really never ever going to play, like Half-Life 2 (yes, hate me), Insomnia, or other horror games. Now I’m adding more games to that list. Most of them are from Humble Bundles I bought for one or two games.

I also noticed that I really suck at platformers or really hard games (looking at you Darkest Dungeon). It doesn’t matter if I like them. If I feel like I’m not making any progression, I’m going to bin it. I’ll get no joy out of it just grinding and never getting anywhere.

Then there’s a category of games I’d like to play once and then I’m done with them. This one is huge and crosses all genres of games. I also stick games in there that I don’t know if I’ll like.

So when I started my process of cleaning up my library, I found some small games I wanted to finish before binning them; the Midnight Mystery games. I already finished two of them, but had three more. I finished those. Then I found another game much like it, and I finished that one too.

To 100% or Not

The fifth game I finished was a game I picked up in the winter sale. I no longer buy a game unless it’s in the sale and I want to play it immediately. Princess Maker 5 has been on Steam for awhile but the bad reviews kept me from buying it. Especially since it was still above 20 bucks and I didn’t have that much money. So I bought a visual novel with the same art.

The game has multiple endings, so finishing would technically be finding every ending, but I didn’t aim for 100% in other games, so why would it count for this one? I did three though before I marked it as finished. I’ll probably go back soon and find a few other endings because the mini game was pretty fun and I finally got the hang of it by the end of the game.

I still want to finish Grim Dawn. I’m about halfway through I think, without the DLC. I don’t think I’ll buy those because I have so many other games I have to try/play. And Spellforce is not a game you’ll finish in thirty hours.

It’s all about making choices and prioritizing games. Guild Wars 2 is shelved for the time being as I purge my library. Dragon Age Inquisition is there for when I don’t want to watch Netflix on my second screen. And now I found Aarklash Legacy. Have you played it? I think it’s a cute game (with death and destruction) but still challenging. I put it on super easy because I don’t have the mental strength to deal with anything more, but I still die. The combat is still challenging but once I remembered the pause button and things were much easier.

Goals and achieving them

I also finished reading four books, maybe five because I’m halfway through it. It was a mix of short and long books, but still. I feel like I’ve been more productive with the goals I set than I did with the 101 goals. I’m more focused now, actively seeking out things to do off my list (like writing this blog post) instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media. Knowing I can tick off one small mini task or prep for a bigger goal is nice. And every tick I do is more motivation for the next thing I do.

For my 101 goals, I wanted to finish five games. In nearly three years I could barely finish two. Now I did five in one month. The only thing that changed was how I approached my goals. Reformulate some of them to be more focused.

I honestly hope I can be just as productive the rest of the year, but I doubt it. My reading goes down when I start writing or editing my own books. This month, I spend most of my time translating for a gig. So I didn’t have to be hyperfocused on my own story. I’ll start editing the follow up for Devil’s Deal in February which means I can’t read paranormal romance anymore. It would influence my own writing which could turn out bad. But that’s okay.

When you know you can’t read a specific genre, or even can’t do something during a specific time, you have to adjust. Anticipating this is what’s important. You can prepare for it and maybe try to do something during that time for one of your other goals. That’s why it’s good to have multiple goals.

I’ll keep doing this, check in at the end of the month. See what I have accomplished. Or not. I won’t really do gaming goals except that I want to clean up the mess that is my Steam Library. Doing these wrap-up posts also adds up to the twenty posts I want to do for this blog. Also expect a few more Tokyo blogs, and others about gaming in general.

Tokyo Trip – Food Highlights

I could write post after post after post about all the food we ate in Tokyo. Honestly, it was one of the three major pillars of our trip: Food, fountain pens, and fun. Instead, I just want to talk about the best, and maybe a little about the worst.

Best Meat

Gyukatsu Motomura, hands down, the best meat you’ll ever eat for 20 bucks. Gyukatsu means beef deep-fried in panko, or beef schnitzel. Motomura allows you to grill the meat however long you want on a small stone grill.

I already knew the meat was good, the reviews said to order two pieces of meat instead of one. The meat is wagyu although not A5. It’ll still melt in your mouth, filled with flavour. I don’t often dance in my chair from good food, but this piece of meat definitely did.

The whole set menu was great though. The cabbage was crisp (really good with the dressing), the potato salad moist, and the rice tasty. The miso soup was salty, the free barely tea also went well with the Japanese flavours. I’m glad I only ordered one piece because I could finish most of the set too.

My mouth starts watering just from looking at this

Just lightly sear the meat on both sides and try it with the variety of sauces or just salt to see what you prefer. We both liked it with a little soy sauce, but plain is also very good.

The next time we’ll be more prepared and come hungry. If you go to Japan, seek out a Gyukatasu Motomura. They’re all over the place, more than twenty just in Tokyo.

Honourable mention: The plain salt chicken skewer from Torikizoku. We went to Torikizoku because we weren’t hungry. Ordering skewers until we had enough seemed like a great idea. And it was. It’s an izakaya restaurant, a place where you drink alcohol and eat. It’s always located on one of the upper floors, so if you’re looking for one, look up. And once you recognize their logo, you’ll see it’s everywhere.

It’s also a place where smoking is allowed. We came early (right when it opened) and no smokers were there. Which is good because it makes me feel sick. We were just leaving when the first smokers arrived.

Bad phone photo, but the delicious plain skewer is the one in the middle

We ordered a bunch of skewers using the tablet they provided. The English menu was easy to understand, luckily. Most of the skewers were chicken (the tori in Torikizoku means bird), but the best one was the plain salted chicken skewer. Not the chicken meatballs with cheese (also very good), or the teriyaki chicken (yum). The regular chicken. As soon as we finished that one, we ordered another set.

Best Snack

Bake Cheese Tart

I hear about this cheese tart on Youtube, either mentioned by TabiEats or Only in Japan. When I saw the shop at the Ikebukuro station, I knew I had to get them. They have a plain one and a seasonal one. I bought one of each. The seasonal was the blueberry at the time, a special mandarin flavour would be available the day after. Blueberry is one of my favourites, so I was glad to have that one instead of the new seasonal flavour.

One bite was enough to convince me this was the best thing I’d eat the whole trip. Yes, even better than Gyukatsu Motomura.

When we went to New York, I had to try Junior’s cheesecake, the original. Junior’s is the birthplace of the New York cheesecake. We bought two pieces of cake there and we ate it in between meals over three days and still couldn’t finish it. It was too much (also American sizes don’t help) and it was way too heavy.

This little cheese tart was the complete opposite. The tart itself was sweet and crispy. Not too crumbly so you’d lose half of the crust after taking one bite. The cheese itself was still a bit sour, to contrast the sweetness of the crust, and soft, smooth. It had the perfect balance of everything. The thin layer of blueberries (not too much because it’s a small pastry) was just enough to give it another flavour.

The plain one was for my husband, but he shared a bit with me. Yes, I danced in my seat as I tasted it. It’s soooo good, I’m not kidding. The sourness of the cheese is more apparent in the plain one, so if you don’t like your food too sweet, go for this one. It’s perfect. And I understand why the couple in front of me bought two six-piece sets to give away to friends or family and one set for themselves. We had two, which was more than enough after a very lovely dinner, but I could’ve eaten six.

That’s why went to a real store in Odaiba. We stumbled upon it, really. We wanted to get some food in the mall there and I saw the sign outside, with a large cow. It draws attention, then I realized it was the same company. Since we didn’t feel like a full dinner, we just had dessert there.

My husband picked the creme brulee cheesecake and I picked the strawberry tiramisu. We both tried for the other’s dessert, and I honestly couldn’t say which one was better. The cheesecake was covered in the familiar caramel of the creme brulee and the cheesecake itself was just as smooth, fluffy and sour as in the tarts (they sold them there as well, but they were sold out when we got there). The tiramisu was just as good, covered with freeze dried strawberries to give it a little crunch to go with the gooey cheese. No thick coffee flavour here, but the strawberries made a fresh.

These dishes are perfect as they are. If we had this following a meal (like ramen) we wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as we did. You don’t want to your pallet with eating strong flavoured food or drinks before or after you ate this.

Please eat this.

Curry pan

Once we landed at Narita airport and made our way to Tokyo, we had to transfer at Ueno station. There’s a bakery next to the station with the cutest panda bread. We still needed lunch so I went to buy some; panda bread for me, curry bread for my husband. It was a fried bread (or donut, I’m not sure) filled with curry. There was a basket with times, probably the times when the curry pan comes in fresh.

Honourable mention: dorayaki from Lawson.

Every morning we went to the convenience store next to our hotel for breakfast. The breakfast at the hotel costs 1300 yen per person, while we spend around 1000 yen for both our breakfasts at Lawson. And we get to pick something new every day.

But the dorayaki was always part of it. My husband loved them. 89 yen for two dorayaki, two pancakes stuck together with a little butter and maple syrup. That’s less than a dollar. The saltiness of the butter complemented the sweetness of the syrup. And the pancakes were so fluffy you’d hardly believe it’s convenience store food.

We tried the dorayaki from 7/11, which had whipped cream instead of butter and maple syrup, but the one from Lawson was better in my opinion. The saltiness with the sweetness was what made it interesting. It’s not overwhelmingly sweet, and that’s why we kept eating it.

Worst food

I made the mistake of buying a shrimp katsu sandwich. Lawson only has Japanese on their packaging (no English like 7/11) so it was easy to miss. I studied hiragana before the trip, but reading was still a challenge. I released only too late it was shrimp or ebi. I really, really don’t like shrimp. Every time I ate it I feel slightly nauseous, but not quite. I just feel… off. Like I did after I took a bite. Then I checked the wrapper and recognized the hiragana for shrimp.

It was the only thing I’d consider as below average food and it was my own fault. It’s nothing personal, shrimp katsu sandwich, but I just don’t like you.

My husband’s pick would be Saizeriya. We ate there one of the first days when we were still heavily jetlagged. It was cheap, near our hotel, and I wanted to try it out. Seizeria is a family restaurant, the kind of restaurant you’ll see in high school animes. The teenagers are there to gossip, drink free refills until their full, meet with a tutor, all for cheap. The elderly come there because they have comfort food and you don’t have to leave immediately after you finish your plate (which is general practice in most restaurants since table space is limited).

We both had pasta, me a seasonal dish with extra mushrooms, my husband a carbonara. Nothing special. The mushroom flavour was strong and it was perfect in combination with the bacon. I enjoyed it. It still hasn’t the best pasta I’d ever eaten, but it was worth the 499 yen. My husband didn’t like his plate. It didn’t have much flavour and he barely finished it. Later his stomach agreed the pasta wasn’t that good. I’d eat there again, he won’t.

20 Goals For 2020

As the year comes to a close and my bucketlist is all ticked off, I had a decision to make about my next goals. The 1001 days of my ‘101 goals, 1001 days’-project aren’t over yet, but I’ve decided to cut it short. While the idea is great, it’s not what I need right now.

I need more SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. All of the goals have to be part of a bigger, 5-year, plan. A path that will eventually lead me to my mountain — the summit of my success.

My husband came up with 20 goals for 2020. The bar is much lower than the 101 I had to come up before, and they all need to be doable within a year. It’s a mix of goals I had already planned, what my usual schedule is and things that were on my to-do list for last year.

My 20 goals

  • Publish book two and three of Infernal Contracts
  • Fit my wedding corset again
  • Read thirty books
  • Setup my affiliate links
  • Sort out bookcase
  • Participate in BBNYA as a panelist
  • Create the site map for the Lunis Aquaria website
  • Write 52 blog posts for Narratess (Friday posts)
  • Write 26 book reviews for Narratess (posted on Tuesday)
  • Write 20 posts for Princess In A Castle
  • Participate in Camp NaNo (either in April or July)
  • Rewrite Life in May
  • Make a resource page for book cover designers
  • Make a page with small busniesses related to fountain pens and stationery
  • Make a content plan for Instagram
  • Buy clothes that fit
  • Bake a new recipe, preferable pie or cake
  • Get back in the Duolingo routine for Japanese
  • Practice Japanese writing by copying lyrics
  • Fold 200 paper cranes


Let me just start off with a nice list. You’ll probably know where I’m going when you read it.

  • Guild Wars 2 Episode 1 of the Icebrood Saga came out
  • Diablo 3 Season 19 started
  • Stardew Valley 1.4 update came out
  • Pokemon Sword was released
  • The Sims Discover University came out


Honestly, this is just the list of immediate things. I still have more I want to do, like finishing Dragon Age: Inquisition. But I’m not even counting those. My writing goals aren’t on this list either. Or all the Japan-related blog posts I want to write.

I’m overwhelmed. I’ve only been away for 12, 13 days, but so much has happened that I have a hard time catching up. I’m sorry if I haven’t read your posts, liked, or commented.

My husband says I have to prioritize, which is great advice. That puts Guild Wars 2 near the bottom of the list. I’ve unlocked the episode so I can play it whenever. The Diablo 3 season runs for another two months at least, so I don’t have to focus on that either. I really want to play the Stardew Valley update on the Switch, and that one hasn’t been released yet, which makes it less relevant. The Sims is a game I usually play when I’m not feeling too good, which isn’t now.

That leaves Pokemon Sword. Looking at it from this perspective has helped me to get rid of the overwhelmed feeling. I know what I want to do now (catch more wooloos, hope for a shiny).

I’m going to do another round of prioritizing with all of the things I want to do this month. I can already say that an amazing new project will be on my Instagram until Christmas day. Please check it out! The first post will be up soon.

Wooloo Adventure: Pokemon Sword Start!

Ever since the announcement of Pokemon Sword & Shield, Sword has been my choice. I needed my dog with a sword, and now I can try to catch him. I know many people picked up Shield (I think Galar Ponyta is to to blame), but I care more for the legendaries than for the exclusives which can be easily traded.

After the reveal of Wooloo I decided to do a challenge, my personal wooloo challenge: Make a team of just Wooloos and get into the Hall of Fame. Which means beating the Champion with just Wooloos. I didn’t decide on other rules before I started playing, and probably won’t add any either.

I really like Wooloo, the lovely ball of wool, and the trouble it makes. Sheep on the train tracks happen in real life too, not just in the UK. We’ve had them too. I managed to catch two so far, so I need a few more. I’ll probably leave a set with breeders when I encounter them. I do need a female Wooloo though.

Sobble is my partner, continuing my streak of water starters. He’s the first Pokemon to evolve so far after beating (and catching) a few Dynamax Pokemon.

I’m not that far into the game yet as I explore the first wild area before moving on. Or until I run out of Poke balls. Thankfully, I can purchase more Poke balls with the watts I find. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the diversity of the Pokemon in just this area. I really hope I can catch some more before moving on. Completing my pokedex isn’t high on the priority list, but I’d like to do that for a change.

Playing on the Switch is so much easier on my hands than with the 3DS so I’ll put more hours in this one than I did in Pokemon Sun/Moon. Completing the game might not be a dream anymore.

Come back later to find out more about my adventures with Wooloo!

Just Five Games For A Year?

Naithin challenged his readers to pick five games to play for an entire year. I really liked this idea, mostly because I always said I only need a handful of games to play. Can I still name five?

The Rules

The rules as stated by Naithin. This is a direct c/p.

  1. The consequence for playing a 6th title?
    Playing anything outside of your pre-selected five titles will result in any gaming device you touch spontaneously combusting. (Ooooh, Spooky! Halloween ya’ll!)
  2. Selections aren’t limited to a single platform
    So if you wish to select some Switch titles, some PC, some PS4 etc — this is OK.
  3. All DLC for a given game is fine and included within your pick
    As the original tweet, all DLC for a game included. I will further specify, that this could be unreleased DLC at the time of making your selection.
  4. Mods (even Total Conversions) are also OK
    But they can’t rely on the assets of a game you haven’t selected to work. (e.g., The Skyrim TCs for Morrowind and Oblivion require the original assets.)
  5. For a series of games, each entry is an individual selection.
    If you want Dark Souls I, II and III — that’s three of your five picks.

My five games

Guild Wars 2

This should come to no surprise to anyone. I still have a love/hate relationship with the game and I have no idea where it’s headed with the last big announcement of the Icebrood Saga.

I’m still playing now, almost daily since I go to bed later, but I often find myself logging off pretty quickly. I really hope I’ll find a real goal soon that doesn’t seem too far off.

Stardew Valley (Switch Edition)

I love playing Stardew Valley on the Switch. It’s right next to me as I write this, even. It’s a moment of relaxation where I don’t have to worry about anything, just the season change.

In my current save, I’m in year three. I passed grandpa’s evaluation with four candles, so now I can focus on the other quest lines

Pokemon Sword

Yes, I picked an unreleased game. I know I can play Pokemon all year and not be satisfied with the team I have. Ever since I’ve seen Wooloo, I’ve been determined to beat the league with an all Wooloo team. I have no idea if it’s possible or not, but I’ll have to train hard.

League of Legends

This is still one of the games that I find hard to uninstall. It’s also one of the few I’ll install right away with a new setup.

League of Legends isn’t a game I’ll play daily. I don’t have to. It’s a game I’ll drop in, play a few matches of ARAM and be done with it for a while. My hands don’t really like the fast action of LoL, especially during the colder months.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

The game I want to finish. I’ve got about 40 hours in and I know I still have a long way to go, especially if I want to do all of the side quests. When I’m done I can still replay it with different choices. I’d even try to get all the achievements.

These are my five games. Which ones will you choose?

Guild Wars 2: Getting Back Into The Game

Last Friday was a big announcement regarding Guild Wars 2 future. I already knew there would be a season 5 of the Living World story before another expansion. Maybe there would be a sixth. So while I was secretly hoping they would say anything about an expansion, they only talked about the immediate future and season 5.

No season 5, new saga

They explicitly stated there wouldn’t be a season 5 as we got to know in the previous Living World updates. They call them sagas now, saying the updates will be more diverse, probably most like season 1 of the Living world. Smaller events changed the existing world of Tyria permanently, while saving the story heavy stuff for the major releases.

Icebrood Saga

I’m super excited for the Norn and Charr focused story in the Icebrood Saga. If you hadn’t noticed, I write fanfiction (see sidebar), and my main story arc is about five Charr cubs. Diving more into the Charr culture might inspire me to create more and better stories around these five characters.

We’re getting a prologue in a couple of weeks and at least two episodes of large story content. They added strike missions: 10 people boss encounters, or ‘soft raids’. This is the low entry raid for casuals (like me), to experience a big boss battle with a more or less organized group.

I’m going to try it, of course, but no idea if I’ll enjoy it.

They also mentioned new masteries, following the spirits of the wild, from the Norn culture. Raven is the first one and they already released some info on its abilities. I’m curious how far they’ll go with it. Will each spirit get a full mastery line, or is it one line with multiple spirits? I’m curious.

Hardcore causal

I’m a casual player, never done a raid, or a fractal above 20. I don’t get a kick out of extremely hard content. I don’t have the time to invest in micromanagement of my characters. (I still don’t have a full set of ascended armor/weapons.)

Am I lazy? No, not really. I do the things I enjoy the most. Walking around, get lost, jump into dynamic events, listen to the ambient chatter of NPCs. I’m not active on the trade market. I rarely buy, only sell things I don’t need.

I only finished War Eternal a few days ago. As a story nerd and someone who writes stories about the world of Tyria, this is a big deal. I haven’t played the Living World updates as they were released. The internet spoiled most of the experience (which I knew would happen), but being able to play them without interruption of a couple of months was great.

I’m looking forward to more lore, stories, and zones to explore. I’m excited about playing again. Maybe I’ll finally manage to craft a legendary.

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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

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