27 August 2019

Guild Wars 2: Unlocking Ascended Cooking - Shopping List

In 41 minutes I'll be cook 500. So, in the meantime, I can write a post on what you need to unlock it yourself. I'm not gonna go into the details on how to level up to 500 the fastest or the cheapest, but this should help you get started and get an overview of what you need.

Divide And Conquer The Quest

Reaching a cooking level of 500 requires you to first reach level 425. After this Seimur - the cook who loves to add bloodstone dust to literally anything - will want to try your cooking at your home instance. This requires you to craft a specific item for him. This item will probably get you to level 435 or so. Next up, we have five quest lines for each race: Human, Norn, Charr, Asura, and Sylvari. For each of these, you need to craft three typical foods from each of those. After doing that you need to do stuff to improve your cooking. The human questline will have you improve your oven. This requires 3x Heat Stones and 5x Bloodstone Bricks. The Norn quest requires you to create cook utensils, which costs 5x Deldrimor Steel Ingots, 5x Dragonite Ingots and 1x Spiritwood Plank. The Charr one will unlock new meat drops to improve the quality of your meat by learning a new technique. This requires an event to be done and killing the corresponding enemies. For the Asura's, you will need to buy items that in total cost 15 gold. You will need to have done the Charr's before or buy the respective meat in the trading post. Lastly, through the Sylvari's, you will unlock the seed drops that are required to craft the ascended herbs. All you have to do here is gathering herbs until you get the varietal herb seeds, then craft a portable composter using 4x Spiritwood Plank and 1x Elonian Leather Square. Completing all these quest lines adds another 50 levels (10 levels for each) to your cook. With cooking 485 the last recipes, specifically the Bottle of Simple Syrup (1x Bag of Sugar and 1x Jug of Water), gives about one level per craft.

Summing The Materials Up

Here's the sum of what you will need:
  • Craft at maximum 25 dishes which reward experience and you have the most materials off.
  • Craft a Chef's Tasting Platter
  • Craft a Bowl of Snow Truffle Soup
  • Craft a Sesame-Roasted Dinner
  • Craft a Sage-Stuffed Poultry
  • Craft a Filet of Rosemary-Roasted Meat
  • Craft a Bowl of Artichoke Soup
  • Craft a Bowl of Poultry Tarragon Pasta
  • Craft a Bowl of Spicy Meat Chili
  • Craft a Plate of Lemongrass Poultry
  • Craft a Plate of Fire Flank Steak
  • Craft a Bowl of Roasted Lotus Root
  • Craft a Flatbread
  • Craft a Chocolate Omnomberry Cake
  • Craft a Bowl of Tropical Mousse
  • Craft a Bowl of Truffle Sautee
  • Craft an Omnomberry Ghost
  • 5x Deldrimor Steel Ingots
  • 5x Dragonite Ingot
  • 5x Spiritwood Plank
  • 1x Elonian Leather Square
  • 15 Gold
  • Items that are worth 15 more levels

Splitting each dish down into its ingredients we get this list:

  • 1x Artichoke
  • 1x Asparagus Spear
  • 8x Bags of Flour
  • 1x Bag of Starch
  • 6x Bags of Sugar
  • 4x Bay Leaves
  • 1x Bell Pepper
  • 5x Black Peppercorns
  • 1x Bottle of Rice Wine
  • 3x Bottles of Soy Sauce
  • 1x Bowl of Sour Cream
  • 1x Butternut Squash
  • 12x Carrots
  • 10x Cassava Roots
  • 2x Cayenne Peppers
  • 2x Celery Stalks
  • 1x Cheese Wedge
  • 3x Chili Peppers
  • 2x Chocolate Bars
  • 1x Coconut
  • 1x Cumin
  • 4x Eggs

  • 1x Eggplant
  • 2x Ghost Peppers
  • 3x Ginger Root
  • 6x Glasses of Buttermilk
  • 9x Heads of Garlic
  • 3x Jars of Vegetable Oil
  • 11x Jugs of Water
  • 2x Lemongrass
  • 1x Lime
  • 1x Lotus Root
  • 1x Mango
  • 1x Milling Basin
  • 5x Milling Stones
  • 1x Mushroom
  • 5x Omnomberries
  • 18x Onions
  • 1x Orange
  • 2x Orrian Truffles
  • 2x Packets of Baking Powder
  • 11x Packets of Salt
  • 2x Packets of Yeast

  • 1x Passion Fruit
  • 5x Pieces of Candy Corn
  • 1x Portobello Mushroom
  • 1x Potato
  • 1x Rice Ball
  • 4x Rosemary Sprigs
  • 4x Sage Leaves
  • 1x Sesame Seed
  • 2x Shallots
  • 8x Slabs of Poultry Meat
  • 5x Slabs of Red Meat
  • 4x Snow Truffles
  • 10x Sticks of Butter
  • 1x Tarragon Leaf
  • 5x Thyme Leaves
  • 4x Vanilla Bean
  • 1x Yam
  • 5x Deldrimor Steel Ingots
  • 5x Dragonite Ingot
  • 5x Spiritwood Plank
  • 1x Elonian Leather Square
  • 15 Gold
That concludes unlocking ascended cooking as well as reaching cooking 500.

Ascended Seeds

While I did mention that Bottle of Simple Syrup is a cheap way to get the last 15 levels. I would advise you to actually salvage foods you have crafted as well as lower-level food to get the Extracts of Nourishment. Use these to craft the Exquisite Extract of Nourishment. This can be used to craft the seeds for your home instance, which will also increase your crafting potentially.

26 August 2019

Diablo III vs PoE: Why I prefer Diablo

Playing an MMORPG like Guild Wars 2 and playing a hack 'n' slay like Diablo III or Path of Exile does work out actually. Though it does take time off of the achievement hunting. I don't play Path of Exile, and this post will list my reasons for this choice.

About Path of Exile

Path of Exile is a big game with a lot of content. It takes quite a little while to get into something that could be considered end-game. More specifically, someone who doesn't play it multiple times a week will not be able to reach the maximum level. (Sidenote: maximum level is not required to do the end game content) Builds are created using the skill tree, the gear as well as the gems that are socketed into it. These gems provide passive and active abilities and can be leveled. Path of Exile has seasons that add new or a mix of old content temporarily. This gives the players always a new thing to do each season. The main end-game consists of collecting maps or levels. With these, you can visit the respective area, where higher tiers can drop. Gotta catch them all, right? Oh, and the last five maps each contain a really challenging boss.

About Diablo III

Diablo III is a relatively small game content-wise. It takes about a day or a weekend to reach the end-game. Compared to Path of Exile, the paragon levels don't seem to have an end. Even though the on-going upgrades are limited to the class main-stat and vitality. Builds are created by choosing skills, modifying these with runes as well as the gear and gems socketed in them. These only provide stat bonuses and passives instead of active abilities. The passive ones can be leveled as well. Diablo III has had seasons too. However, they started to have an impact on gameplay only recently. The main end-game consists of farming for better gear and reaching a decent placement on the leaderboard.


If you compare both games, you will see, the content-wise Path of Exile is far superior. Then, why do I prefer Diablo III? Accessibility of content. Diablo III doesn't have the content. I only play it a few days to a week or so, but I can always check-in and do some brainless slaughtering of demons. Path of Exile doesn't provide me this. The feeling of not having finished or reached the end, not having a complete build. Another reason is the changing of gameplay. In Path of Exile, you need to farm currency to change your build later on. The more you want or need to change it, the more expensive it is. This is not the case in Diablo III.

The Perfect Hack 'n' Slay For Me

A mix of Path of Exile and Diablo III would be the perfect Hack 'n' Slay for me. 
  • End-game that can be reached fast.
  • Ability to play with friends even if they started later on or are multiple levels above you.
  • Free changing of your build.
  • Content that is as large as Path of Exile's
  • Seasons that make a difference
  • A balance between depth and complexity


I'm really interested in where the Diablo III season "buffs" are gonna go. They started off with minor things such as more loot creatures, moving on to passives being active for the whole season. Now they added a new mechanic just for the season. This might go into the direction of something I want.
We'll see.

20 August 2019

Brain Interface & Brain Chip - No Thx

I don't know exactly what to write about, but new ideas will come for sure. For now, enjoy this post about my stand on the Neuralinks brain interface or brain chip.

Neuralink and the Brain Interface

Neuralink, the company Elon Musk co-founded, is working on a technology with which it will be possible to read the signals from the brain and probably send as well. This is a huge thing, positively and negatively. The procedure seems simple. Through the creation of four small holes, wires will connect a chip with the brain. This chip can be accessed with a phone app or potentially any other device.[1]

Solution To a Problem

While we don't need to play our games literally using our brain. This would be the logical next step to virtual reality or full dive. Two important factors need to be considered. First of all, we need to considered reading brain input. Other ways exist, but they don't come as natural. With an output from the brain, we can simulate movement in a restricted area or even move objects, such as body parts, that only exist in a virtual plain. The second factor is writing to the brain. Being able to "write to the brain" allows us to simulate game-related emotions such as pain when taking damage. Additionally, it enables us to play the game in our brain instead of using a device to output it to, such as a television or VR headset.

The Fact-Based Problems

An intrusive operation near the brain definitely doesn't come without risk. There are cases where it makes sense. Mind Field, the YouTube Red series by Micheal Stevens, shows us such an example. In the episode "The Electric Brain" (Season 2 Episode 8) shows a person with a paralyzed hand. The brain interface detects the thoughts of moving the hand. These are then read by software, which sends electrical currents to the arm to stimulate the nerves resulting in hand movement.[2] Another big issue of the chip is that it is wireless. This means that potentially other people can hack into it. Depending on what the chip actually can do to the brain, this can be even worse than we could imagine. Additionally, it's not like something you can remove like a headset or something. It's built into your body.


Taking all this into consideration, I am against a brain interface or brain chip. I think to find a non-intrusive solution would be a better choice for now. Even if we need the ability to write (as in send signals) to the brain, it should definitely be done in a local and safe environment. If there's a hack, we're not talking about losing your accounts or passwords. God knows how some crazy people could abusing that interface.

[1] https://www.thedailybeast.com/elon-musk-unveils-neuralink-brain-computer-interface-wants-to-have-human-trials-in-2020?ref=scroll
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXNGvDdkXZE&vl=en
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I'm a B.Sc. Games Engineer and I created this blog to share my ideas, theorycrafting, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.