I wanted to do it for a very long time and I finally did… I’ve built my very own Picade! I’ve done it while watching this video.
It took me two afternoons. The quality of the build is impressive, but what impressed me the most was the Raspberry Pi itself. It loads much faster than I expected and it is very easy to upload the roms wirelessly from my Mac via SMB.
Below is a small gallery of the building process. It starts with the frame and ends with the wiring.
I’d advise it to anyone who enjoys building things and playing retro games. Retropie doesn’t only emulates Mame roms, you can find the complete list of supported systems here. You don’t need any knowledge in electronics and no soldering is required. With a bit of logic, you can do anything.
One of our traditions is that, when we are sick, we do a Harry Potter marathon. Last weekend was one of those moments… While we were watching this fantastic serie, I realised that we never wrote a post on our blog. So, here we go!
Sixteen years ago, Gamrok got rewarded the DVD of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone after winning a contest in the local newspaper. I remember that it was during the first month we lived together. One year later, we got married and bought all the HP books in both languages (Dutch and French) with the gift certificates we received from Gamroks’ workmates.
In the mean time, I think that I must have read all books over 3 times by now. Once you’ve known the coziness of the wizarding world, it’s hard to come back to reality ;p
Here are some of my favourite things throughout the serie:
Teacher: Professor Slughorn;
Classes: herbology and potions;
Food: anything from the dining tables in the great hall (always makes me hungry);
Holidays: Christmas & Halloween in Hogwarts;
Places: Hogwarts, the Burrow and Hogsmeade around Christmas;
House: Slytherin of course! I would have a cat as a pet and my patronus would be a moose.
Now we are in 2018 and I have so many great memories of all the Harry Potter moments we’ve shared… We’ve been to several midnight openings to get the latest novels, we’ve watched all the movies several times at the theatre (except the first one, which we’ve only seen on TV), we’ve done reading marathons, we’ve gotten a subscription at Pottermore where we were both sorted in house Slytherin, we’ve been collecting quite a lot of goodies, we’ve been to the exposition in Brussels and, most important of all, we’ve visited the Warner Bros Studios in London.
Our trip to London is the one that I’ll cherish the most. I’ll never forget walking around in Diagon Alley and the great hall, visiting Hagrid’s house, watching Gamrok drink a butterbeer (I’m lactose-intolerant), having our pictures taken while flying the Weasleys’ enchanted car or Gamrok pushing me forward when the tour guide asked whose birthday it was (so I got to open the doors to Hogwarts),…
Here are some pictures of our trip to the WB Studios:
Each time a new expansion is about to hit, we ask ourselves the same question: “should we change our main character?”.
It implies that we aren’t happy with our actual mains… To be honest, we haven’t been happy with the Hunter in a long time. There are some great things about it, but the gameplay is no longer one of them.
Therefore, we’re always trying other classes in the hope to find a replacement.
We’ve tried many classes lately, both on live and beta servers, and the pattern has been the same for all of them: discovery – excitement – disappointment. For example, we would try a destruction warlock, get comfortable with it, reach max level, have fun completing quests, go in a dungeon and, almost directly, get bored with it.
After a few weeks hurting ourselves, we’ve finally found the right fit and, guess what, it’s the same class for both of us!
For Gamrok, the problem didn’t come from the class but from the role. He just doesn’t enjoy DPSing in dungeons… Healer was where the fun was when he started to play, 14 years ago, and it still is today.
For Sisqi, the problem was that no other class could bring her as much fun as the Moonkin. Eventhough she found the Paladin and the Warlock interesting, the Druid is what makes her feel the most comfortable in dungeons. Nothing like a dashing cat to catch back the group, especially those Demon Hunters.
As for the faction, no matter how beautiful Kul Tiras can be, and no matter how crazy Sylvanas can go, we’ll stay faithful to our faction: For the Horde!
TLDR: We’ll switch mains in BFA but not for a class we’ve never played before, our druids will finally have the place they deserve.
Now, off to complete those last achievements before 8.0 is realeased.
After many Sundays (and when we say many, we mean many) spent killing Goblins, Pirates and Murlocs, we finally made it, we’ve lost our sanity (what little we had)!
Even if I’m used to grind, the last part of the achievement Insane in the Membrane took it to another level. Pickpocketing thousands of Murlocs on the Isle of Quel’Danas really took a piece of my sanity away.
I remember that Sunday afternoon when Sisqi and I ventured to Booty Bay to see how hard it was to kill the guards… I don’t know how many hundreds of hours we’ve spent working on that title since then, but one thing is certain, I’ll wear that title until my last day in WoW.
Below is the video of when I completed the achievement, I wanted to make sure I’d never forget that moment.
I remember how it all started, a few years ago, with killing thousands of Goblin guards in Booty Bay. It was quite the massacre and, for a long time, we couldn’t enter any Goblin outpost without being attacked by the green little fellows.
When I got exalted with the Bloodsail Buccaneers, I knew that there was no way back, I just had to get the title “The Insane”. I think that this was my greatest ambition throughout the entire game and, yesterday, we finally made it.
I think that Blizzard knew exactly what they were doing when they chose the name of this achievement. Pickpocketing Murlocs for 34 hours (yes, 34! I’ve kept track of time) took grinding to another level. I think that you must, indeed, be insane in the membrane to be able to complete it.
It’s by far my most favourite achievement in WoW, and I’ll be wearing my new title with pride until the end of time.
It didn’t take me more than 10 attempts to get Tugar down, and the worm was down the first time I made it to phase 2. Of course, being ilvl 930+ probably eased the process. The two components that remained challenging were the mobility and the interrupts (Tugar could one shot your pet).
With the help of the WA string provided in this Wowhead guide, interrupting Tugar wasn’t a problem anymore.
I’m very happy to be done with this challenge as I really didn’t enjoy it. I normally enjoy solo content like the Brawler’s guild but the Mage Tower was more about resisting the frustration than really playing my class.
Last time I participated in the “Trial of Style”, I lost one trial after the other. So, I wasn’t very eager to participate this time. On Friday, I gathered all my courage and went on the transmog fest. The themes were: “Summer Styles” and “Winter Wear”.
Granted, while I love my character to look pretty bad-ass, I’m a complete noob in transmog. Regardless, I’m pretty proud to say that I won the two trials in a row. At first I couldn’t believe I won. Now, it got me motivated to go on an appearance collecting spree.
I have to admit that it’s much easier and much more fun transmogging my character now that she’s a Blood Elf. They get away with almost everything. Life must be so easy being an arrogant beauty ;p
At this point, we can safely say that we’ve seen Legion in its final state. So, why not having a look back at all these things that kept us busy during the last two years. This is not a review, just a list of “we did/didn’t enjoy”.
General design of the zones
The Brutes: From Stormheim to Argus, this expansion was gorgeous. Of course, we have our preferences, like High Mountain and Mac’Aree, but all zones were fantastic to level and to quest in.
The Brutes: We’ve always been fans of daily quests. It’s a nice system that keeps you busy and gives you the feeling to work toward an aim, mostly the reputation with a faction. I remember, in MOP, Sisqi and I were thinking that it would be nice if they could find a system to keep our interest in the dailies beyond the exalted status and, boom, they’ve made it with the emissary caches and the random rewards they contain.
The Brutes: To us, one of the best things of this expansion. We wish we had the time to complete all the class halls. We’re actually sad that it won’t continue in BFA. We enjoyed every aspect of it, from the halls to the special mounts and the amazing quest lines.
Prestige and PVP quests
The Brutes: Eventhough we’re not PVPers, we enjoyed these quests. While the Tower Assaults are a quick PVE strike granting PVP experience, events like Black Rook Rumble really hit the spot by introducing us to some fast paced PVP content. We enjoyed each of this event and, sometimes, they were even the funniest things we’ve done all day. Also worth mentioning: the PVP brawls, also a ton of fun.
The Brutes: There’s no secret here: we love fishing, and we are really happy that Blizzard has provided us with even more reasons to use our (gorgeous) fishing poles. Way to go Blizz!
Gamrok: It became my challenge and probably my first source of end-game content. It’s exactly what I was looking for: an intense but short instance that would make me want to become better geared and skilled. Finally, all this work on my rotation and my ilvl is put to the test. I’m really happy to read that myhtic dungeons are gonna be pushed further in the next expansion.
The mage Tower
Gamrok: I’m a bit shared about this one. I enjoy a challenge and working toward an achievement, but the difficulty of the challenges doesn’t feel balanced. For example, the Resto Druid challenge is incredibly longer, harder and more frustrating than the Beast Master Hunter. So, we may all run around with our challenging appearances, but they really don’t mean the same thing.
The Brutes: We need something that gives us the feeling that each gaming session brings us further toward an objective and collecting the artifact power gave us just that. We don’t need to be geared instantly, we’re more of a “it’s the road that matters” kind of persons.
The Brutes: Helping a faction with their own troubles, so they will help us in return isn’t a new thing, but helping Thalyssra to create a new source of Mana so we could overthrow Elisande and finally defeat Gul’dan was awesome. It really feels like a lot of work was put in the insurrection quest chain, and seing Thalryssa joining the Horde felt the same as when an old friend decides to join your team.
The Brutes: It may seem trivial to some but hunting those hidden chests really adds a lot of pleasure to our exploration experience. Just one thing we’d like to see changed in BFA: don’t make us carry the treasure maps in our bags anymore.
Balance of power
The Brutes: The quest that almost made us quit: how dare they force us into real raids and mythic dungeons! Well, we were wrong. This quest is what made us use the premade tool, introduced us to mythics and was the greatest source of entertainment during our X-Mas holidays. Sorry Ion, we shouldn’t have doubted you.
The Brutes: While we understand why some content needed to be gated, it doesn’t make us hate it less. Gating broke our first run through the expansion. We enjoyed all the quest lines while leveling our Druid, once the gating was gone. Don’t do this again, please!
Professions and Obliterum
The Brutes: A complete fail! I can’t believe that they’ve managed to make engineering boring, and I’m not even talking about Jewelcrafting. Obliterum was inexistent to us. The only time that we wanted to use it to improve engineered goggles, it didn’t work. It has never been documented, why couldn’t engineers use it, it is a complete mystery to us. Cooking was horrible, I hate Nomi and I hope that he burns in his kitchen, just like he burned so much of my food!
The Brutes: Not much to say there. We don’t really raid enough to judge the mechanics. Design-wise, we enjoyed Emerald Nightmare and Tomb of Gamrokgeras the most. We really didn’t like Antorus.
We also enjoyed
The Brutes: Pet battle dungeons, Hidden secrets, Timewalking raids, The deaths of Chromie, the Death Metal event at the DMF and micro-holidays. All small things that add so much to the game.
Besides gating, Legion was an awesome expansion, probably even better than WOTLK when it comes to gameplay. Good systems were improved and new ones were introduced to enhance our experience and increase the replayability. Good job Blizzard and congratulation to the man behind all this: Ion Hazzikostas.
I’ve been busy on my road to Mythic+ dungeons lately… So busy that I didn’t do much more than going to dungeons and trying to get better gear. On that side, all is well… I manage to perform nicely until M+8 on both my Resto Druid and my Hunter. I haven’t been further, but I’d like to reach M+10 or even M+15 (one can dream, right?!). It’s all a matter of practice and confidence.
Something that I was trying to get for quiet some time was Narcissa’s Mirror. While Another Rat Problem is available sometimes once a day on my druid and my hunter, Sisqi only gets it a few times a week… Strange. Anyway, I bought it last week-end and took advantage of the occasion to introduce you to my blood elf: Snory. Now, instead of one arrogant looking blondine, you get two!
Yesterday morning, I was online early enough to be alone in the Brawl’gar Arena, so I took advantage of the instant queues to use my Bag of Chipped Dice and beat as many opponents as possible.
After completing the quest for unlocking the Nightborne allies, I kind of forgot to pick up the second quest to unlock the Highmountain Tauren. Last weekend, I’ve finally completed it. It was a short quest-chain in Highmountain that, in my humble opinion, paled in comparaison to the Nightborne quests.
During the Nightborne quest-chain you feel more involved in the politics of the Horde. You really see why they join the Horde. The quests for the Highmountain Tauren, on the other hand, seemed to be ordinary and not really politically motivated. Not that I’m into politics! It’s just the thing that I expected for unlocking allied races though.
I love the model of the HM Tauren, eventhough I’ll probably never play it. They are a little too bulky and not all transmog sets suit them very well. Let’s face it, transmog is very important! Who doesn’t love to run around with a bad-ass looking character?