Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Hello everyone! This will be my last post on this blog today! I have gone selfhosted with my own domain.
If you want to keep on following me, all my new posts (and my old ones) can be found on:

See you there!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Sunday Morning Musings

Actually by the time I'm writing this particular post it's already past 2 in the afternoon here, but what the heck, it's morning somewhere in the world right? So I'm just going to go with Morning muses...

Sunday is a weird day for me. I've turned it into my chores day for the week, since it's usually the day that I know I will be at home to get stuff done. This means that for a big part of the rest of the week I let my room become this huge mess, which I then clean up on Sundays. This entails folding away a few days worth of clean laundry, taking all the dishes downstairs and clean them, dust and vacuum my room and changing my bedsheets.
It's also the day I consider my "offscreen" day. Because I plan all my chores on this day, and because I spend enough time staring at one computer screen or the other the entire week, it's nice to look at something else besides pixels on a screen.

This week I find it even more important to just stay away from using my wrist/mouse too much. I'm not sure how I did it, but I've hurt my wrist somehow with either sleeping on it the wrong way, or making a wrong move with carrying my bag. I know what RSI feels like, and this isn't it. It just feels like a muscle pulled the wrong way at some point, and when I make certain movements it kind of hurts... Which also limits the time I'm able to use a mouse. Which is incredibly sucky seeing as I've been playing Diablo 3 a lot the past two days... Which you largely navigate by using your mouse.

Speaking of Diablo... I realize how much of a love/hate relationship I really have with that game. I always love the new Season starts, only to be disappointed about a week of playing in. You see, when I picked up this game at the inital launch we had a little group of friends that would play with eachother. That group of friends is still there... Only whereas they still play together, I feel like I'm being left out. I know that I can come across as whiny in all my posts about my friendships lately, but I'm just really sick of how things are going and have developed over the last year. I don't always want to be the one to start things up anymore, or the one to stay in touch. And it's affecting my gameplay and the enjoyment of some games, but most of all Diablo 3.
So for this season I've set my standards quite low. I just want to play my monk and unlock all the chapter rewards. I'm not aiming to be the best on the Greater Rift ladders (because honestly I really can't be arsed to put in the time) but I do want to experience all the new stuff Blizzard has added. So doing atleast one Class Set Dungeon is quite high on my list. As of right now I need to complete about five more challenges to finish up my last chapter, all of which are tied to playing more so I can earn rewards to tackle content. This Season I don't have to worry about gear, because Blizzard has been nice enough to hand you a full set for completing challenges in the chapters. So I'm rocking a 4/6 Sunwuko set with a really disgusting build. And loving it... For now.

Weekend Entertainment
A thing that has rolled around again is LCS or League Championship Series. Although I haven't played League of Legends in forever, I love watching the various series in the weekends. This year I prefer the NA scene over the EU scene, simply because the players I cheer for and enjoy most are playing in that region at the moment. I'm cheering extra hard for Renegades this split, since they are the first team to have a girl on the starting roster and I'm damn proud that she made it up to that stage.
Other than that I'm still cheering my butt off for Doublelift, who should be able to become a formidable force down in the botlane now that he has Yellowstar as support. Although my heart broke when Doublelift left CLG and "Rush Hour" botlane was no more, I'm sure he can make it work with his new Support. So yeah, suddenly I became a TSM fan after being a CLG fan for many seasons.

I don't actually actively follow all the games. There are a select few I will watch, the rest I listen to while playing FFXIV for instance. It's nice background "noise" for my Botanist leveling. I have to say my hour per day approach is seriously working for that. With the GC manuals, the GC daily turn-in and just doing leve's I've already managed to get to level 43. I think I'll be 50 soon enough, especially if I keep on doing about 2 levels a day.
The only thing I need to motivate myself for now is farming my Dragoon Zeta...

Saturday, 16 January 2016

The Elephant In The Room

As I got home on Wednesday evening I browsed Steam for a bit. I always check out what games are on offer, even though most of them are really not my thing. Whilst doing this a game with a rather peculiar title caught my eye: Tembo the Badass Elephant. It was on sale for €3,24 and it looked to be some sort of silly platform game. I went to check it out for some fun and giggles, looked at some screenshots, looked at the trailer... And was hooked. 
This game essentially brings me back to the 16-bit console days that I experienced as I was growing up. I had a Sega Genesis (called Mega Drive here in Holland) as a child, a present I got for my sixth birthday. My dad has always been a bit of a technology geek and he had seen the rise of video games early on. I'm pretty sure we still have a very old Atari game system in the attic somewhere... My mum wasn't very much an avid gamer but she liked puzzles and eventually got one of those wannabe Gameboy type things that only had Tetris on it, which she was actually quite addicted too (and quite good at aswell I might add). Anyway, they decided to gift me a Sega which at the time came with the first Sonic the Hedgehog game. I'm not really sure how many hours I spent infront of this console, but it must have been quite a lot. I had a few Sonic games, a ton of Disney games and even a Jurassic Park game. My heart broke when eventually you couldn't get any new games for the console anymore, even though I've only really finished a few of them.

Looking at Tembo, and the developing/production companies (SEGA and Game Freak, yes that company that developed the Pokémon franchise, that Game Freak) I felt like I needed to have this game, even if only it was on sale now so I could get it cheap. 
The story of the game is simple. You are a Rambo type military elephant that needs to save Shell City from an organisation called Phantom. You do this in a platform type, sidescrolling game setting where the companies have tried their best to combine a lot of fun 16-bit game mechanics. It has the speed of Sonic, there's some Donkey Kong and Yoshi's world elements in it... And it's just overall seriously hilarious. A level takes about 5-10 minutes to play through, depending on if you just want to finish the level or also want to complete all the objectives for that level. It's simple fun, the style used in the game itself is very colourful with a lot of comic book elements (see picture below).

All in all I only have very good things to say about this game, except for the one flaw that is resolutions. In settings you can't go higher than 1920x1080p, which is fine for me... But for people with higher resolution screens it obviously isn't. Personally I would recommend just playing windowed, since fullscreen can be a bit buggy when shutting down (ie. I had it crash on me a few times) but if you're looking for a fun sidescroller with a lot of 16-bit elements, this might just be the game for you.

MMORPG shenanigans
Season 5 of Diablo 3 has started yesterday and for the first time since the first season I've immediatly started to play at launch. I rebirthed my existing Monk and am well on my way to 70 already. If I didn't have to go out today I would've been 70 before dinner easily, but alas. My monk is "stuck" on level 61.5 and I'm having a blast so far. You can notice Blizzard overhauled a lot of things with the latest patch and so far I'm having fun playing. 

I've also been poking about in FFXIV a lot, leveling my Bard, my Astrologian and since Friday my Botanist. Endgame Gathering and Crafting has been the one area in FFXIV I haven't poked my nose into yet and I really want to with this expansion. Seeing as the only crafter I have on 50 is Weaver... And the mats I need are gathered by Botanists... I figured why not just level that up and start working towards that level 60. So right now I'm doing about an hour or less a day of BTN leveling. It's quite soothing in a way. Doing levequests to just gather things, doing a "get me X materials" quest every 5 levels. It allows me to zone out a bit and still feel useful. I hope I can get my BTN to 50 by the end of this week atleast, but seeing as I'll be having a lot of free time, that shouldn't be too big of a deal. Especially considering that my only other goal ingame right now is to finish my Dragoon Zeta. Which shouldn't take very long either.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

So Many Deaths

I wanted to blog about a completely different topic today, when Alan Rickman's death suddenly popped up in a Whatsapp group chat. I couldn't believe it, immediatly opened my news app on my phone and was sadly confirmed that he had indeed died at the age of 69.
With losing David Bowie earlier this week and Lenny of Mötorhead it feels like the start of 2016 has been a really bad one, in terms of celebrities dying. Although all deaths are tragic and to be mourned, especially by their loved ones, the Alan Rickman one hit me a bit harder than usual.

I grew up reading and watching the Harry Potter movies, and I hold the firm belief that he was perfectly casted for the role of Severus Snape. Snape had always been my favourite character in the books, way way back to when I started to read the first one and when I saw which actor portrayed him... I was so happy. He played him so well.
Ofcourse Snape isn't the only big role he played. I especially enjoyed him as Metatron in Dogma and also as his role of Alexander in Galaxy Quest. Hell the only reason I knew who he was in Harry Potter was because I had seen him in these movies before. He was one of my favourite British actors and personalities, right up there with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. Alan has always struck me as a kind and friendly man, even though he has portrayed a lot of villains in the movies he was in. He was a brilliant actor and I hope he is now free of the pain that his disease must have caused him.
He will be missed dearly by a lot of people.

Half a toe
I haven't really been online over the past week in general. Work has been busy and I've been feeling exhausted when I got home, so mostly I spent my evenings staring at my PC and not getting much done of anything really. Going out to dinner last night kind of ruined my plans for the entire evening aswell, but did make me realize I had to go see my GP. You see I have a very painful spot on my pinky toe, I think the correct English term is a "corn"? Not sure, The skin is hardened anyway and it hurts and no matter what I do... It doesn't go away. I can't really be comfortable in any of my shoes anymore so I had to face reality last night as I was walking to the restaurant... And was almost crying because it hurt so much. Seeing my GP in the morning we both came to the conclusion that it needs to be cut off... Which will mean I will roughly get half my pinky toe cut off on monday (yes the spot is THAT big). Which also means I can't go to work after seeing as I got the advise to let my foot rest as much as possible... Which is kind of hard if you have to get to work 3 days after you get a surgical procedure like that done.
So next week I'll be sittting at home, with my foot up on a stool, hoping my toe will heal correctly and that I'll be rid of it forever. This will also probably be the ideal time for me to catch up on a lot of things... Including some university stuff that I've been waiting to wrap up forever.
Although I'm happy I'm getting some time "off" I'm bummed I can't go to work. It's less income for me that way... And I can really use the money. Not to mention I'm majorly stressing out about the healing itself since from the 25th till the 30th my agenda is absolutely swamped. I'm going to an Ellie Goulding concert (luckily with tickets for seats) and I have two wedding parties to attend. And I really don't want to cancel all of that because of a stupid thing on my foot.

I'll keep you guys updated on how things go... And spare you the nasty pictures.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Hunt(er)ing for Transmogs

I'm still playing World of Warcraft casually and have mostly put my focus into one Horde and one Alliance character for the moment. My Warrior (the Ally one) has been played for very long, has gathered many things and is just my veteran character overall. I have a lot of transmog sets on her, some more complete than others, and no problems switching them around. The Hunter however is a different story. Even though she is almost as old as Sandrian (the Warrior) she has much less in the way of cool sets to transmog. So today I decided to head out and get me some stuff to make my little Huntress look cool.
The first complete set I have gotten you can see above. It is kind of cheating since you can buy all this gear off of a vendor in Orgrimmar, but I've always been partial to the T11 hunter set. I like the bright green colours and, after leaving the vendor, I only needed the belt to drop from Cho'Gall in normal Bastion of Twilight. So I entered, wreaked some havoc, and got my belt to drop. First good transmog set: succes! Now I just need a bow to go with it...
Some of the other gear I'm chasing is the recolour of the Shaman T2 set. It drops in various Outland Heroic dungeons and I spent a good hour running them, hoping to see something drop. I managed to get the chestpiece from that set, but not much more. I did however get three items dropped from the Hunter T2 recolour, so there's that.
All in all I'm happy to run my Murloc set until I can get my hands on the Shaman recolour. I will probably be farming those dungeons on a daily basis for that, but for now I don't really mind.

All growns up!
I managed to finally ding my Ninja to 60 on FFXIV today, which means I can stripe the first thing off my huge gaming goal list for 2016. I had planned to do this earlier during my "holidays" but never really got round to commit myself to doing roulettes. So over the past weekend I just went full throttle and did all the roulettes plus Vanu Vanu dailies plus hunts. I also grinded some FATE's for about an hour and a half to help a friend out for his crystal farm, which netted me a decent amount of experience aswell. Today after everything reset I finally managed to hit 60 and I'm very pleased with myself. I could immediatly equip a lot of level 60 gear that had been waiting for me and am now ilvl 164 on my Ninja. I'm being dragged down by the lack of proper rings, but that's nothing a trip to Idyllshire can't fix! I have enough Esoterics to buy atleast one ring and almost enough Law to buy the other. I should be able to run atleast expert roulette then and hopefully Void Ark so I can start gearing for real.
I also picked up the Anima relic quest again. Although this time I'm not really planning to farm FATEs for crystals, instead I am hoping to finish my Dragoon Zeta over the course of this week so I can hand that in and skip that grindy part... So I can go straight into the dungeons. Untill then I'm perfectly happy wielding the Law weapons... Since they look seriously awesome on a Ninja!

On what class I'm going to level next? Well for the moment I'm casually duo-leveling with a friend. He is a Dark Knight, I'm Astrologian. Sitting on level 35 at the moment, but not really planning to bring it up in a hurry. Instead I think I'll focus on getting my Bard to 60 aswell. I miss being able to do some shooty from afar and Bard turned very interesting with Heavensward, so can't wait to see what the level 60 gameplay looks like. For now though I need to head back into FFXIV and do my level 60 Ninja quest... I kind of forgot it existed!

New year, old friends
To end this blogpost I have been doing a little cleaning on my friends list for the New Year. I have so many people sitting on my ID that I don't actually talk to anymore... So I've started to weed through them and ended up deleting a few off my friends list. After that I jumped to FFXIV and did the same. I had so many people there who were either not playing anymore or that I don't interact with anymore... It feels kind of nice, letting go of a lot of that stuff.
In line with this I'm also kind of done running after people to get their attention. I want 2016 to be a good year for me and I don't want to spend my time wasting energy on people who can't give the same back to me. I'll probably come over as grumpy writing this, but it's exhausting to always be the one that needs to engage in conversations or appointments. If you are truly my friend it would be no big deal to ask me how I'm doing for once. I might lose some people like this that I have known for a very long time, but honestly... I don't want to be dragged down and feel like I'm not worth anything to people anymore.

Platforming and Why I Never Finish Games

A week or so ago I finally managed to get my hands on Donkey Kong Country Returns for my 3DS. Being an avid Donkey Kong fan ever since childhood I was kind of hyped they finally brought out a new game on a handheld, since it's been quite a while since I have seen a DK game that wasn't on a console.
Going way back to the Gameboy era I really loved DK way more than Mario. The games itself looked much better and I felt like there was much more to do in the games. Like finding the "kong" letters hidden around every level. It was really hard to actually 100% those games and it seems like they made it just as hard in this new game that has come out.

One of my favourite levels so far has been the one depicted at the top, Sunset Shore, where you basically play with shadows against a sunset. The level itself is quite beautifully designed and in 3D it looks amazing. All of the levels look quite good in 3D and the gameplay is such that you feel like you actually move around in more dimensions than on a normal platform game. All in all I'm very happy with my purchase and it's keeping me quite busy. I play on the train to and from work, and I manage to do about a level every time so I'm currently in the second world of the game.

Never really finished
The downside to a game like this, is that it's evolved beyond merely making your way through the levels. I remember when I was very young and playing on my SEGA that the hard part about the game was actually beating it. You would find your way through every new level and engage a boss every now and then. I remember being stuck for very long on a boss in the Lion King before finally figuring out how to beat it, granting me passage to the last few levels of the game.
This was also an era where save games weren't a thing, so if you shut down your console for the day it would mean that you had to start over from the start the next day. Ofcourse everytime you beat a level it became easier and getting to the point where you would get stuck previously wasn't as big of a chore anymore.
These days however, simply beating the game is just not a thing anymore. I look at my Playstation 4 games and see all the thropies you can earn with those. Some are earned simply by playing the game and beating the mainstory, but others require you to do special things... which usually require more than one playthrough of a game. The same goes for Donkey Kong. You can simply make your way through the levels and consider the game "finished" when you have played through the entire story. However...
In every level there are puzzle pieces to find along with the letters K-O-N-G. Getting all of those, plus beating certain times on levels will earn you points towards 100% completion of the game.
Since I'm a perfectionist, and a completionist, it can be very frustrating for me to play these type of games because I actually do want to 100% them... But that will probably take me forever on some games (mostly my PS4 ones). So I'm trying to tell myself that it's ok if I just finish the mainstory and I can always come back later to earn trophies or really "finish" the game... Which just makes me not play anymore at all after a while. I really want to play through my games though. I usually like the stories and want to see how it ends, so this year I want to push myself to finish story modes... And then I can always come back to 100% it later if I want to.

Minor tweaks
I did a minor tweak on my blog. I found it a bit too narrow for reading so made my two sidebars into one. This should hopefully provide for a nicer reading experience overall, I'm happy with the current design and layout atleast :)

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Sunday Scale - January

Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly weight check up column type thing. I'm actually not sure how to call this but I just want to check in once a month and "report" on how my weight loss is going. I'm planning to do this on the first sunday of every month... Which will also be the time where I choose to stand on the scale.
I don't like looking at my weight, since it's mostly a confirmation of the horrible year that 2015 has been for me, marked by inactivity, binge eating and lots of therapy. I'm slowly coming down from that again now though and am currently 70kg (as you can see on the picture). As you can also see, my goal weight is 60kg and with the rate of weightloss I'm having now I should reach that goal in +/- 10 months.
I'm basing this off the fact that I'm more or less dropping 1kg per month now and that is on a pattern of technically not going to the gym and only on the activity I get on my workdays. I'm hoping to start dropping more weight, since one of my New Year's resolutions was to go to the gym more often, which I am actually planning on doing.

Reward System
To keep me motivated to stay on my path of losing weight I bought a few Disney Infinity figurines yesterday that I want to use as reward every time I lose 2kg. Depending on how lazy I am this can mean I get one new figurine every two months... Or one every month. I've packed them up and stored them away in a cabinet so I don't know which figurine is which anymore, thus making it a true surprise when I open one up. Something I will absolutely share on the blog here with you guys! I'm really excited to see this through and forcing myself to make atleast a monthly update will hopefully keep my motivation high aswell.

Music Wars
I entered an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend after he linked me a videoclip by Limp Bizkit... Who I never liked. I told him I could find way better music than that and with that started a sort of musical War. The rules are a bit unclear but mostly it's about linking songs together. This can be done through various ways. It can be the same artist, there can be words shared in the title but also more complicated links are allowed like titles sharing a same theme or songs being on a same compilation CD. I even managed to link two songs together because they were directed by the same guy. Oh and I linked Led Zeppelin to The Who due to Keith Moon basically giving Led Zeppelin it's name. So far it's been a really fun game which we can keep on playing on and off inbetween the rest of our conversations. It took up most of my evening last night, preventing me from playing any games. But it's totally worth it having a night filled with music and fun with a friend.

And who knew you could ever link Lady Gaga to U2?