Copper Ice

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World of Warcraft Update 2

World of Warcraft update 2

This is another update on my recent activity in World of Warcraft which I am still actively playing since the launch of the Battle for Azeroth expansion.

In my last update post I mentioned that I wanted to continue my PvP (player vs player) journey. While I have increased my honour level to 33 and have won an additional 2 rated battlegrounds since I wrote about my first rated battleground experience, I have found PvP less fun and rewarding since hitting honour level 30. As mentioned in my battle for Azeroth PvP post, once hitting honour level 30, the battlegrounds only contain players who are level 30 and above and are far more likely to be elitist, hardcore PvP players. Today some dude was going mad in a battleground because we were losing, it was really cringe worthy and I felt so embarrassed for him. I have also found it really difficult to find groups to increase my RGB rating, group leaders either want a very low rating but with recent PvP experience, or they want a very high rating. When on occasion I have found a group, after just one loss or even one win, the group disbands. I have tried to use the World of Warcraft forums to find a regular PvP group and have added myself to an in-game community, both of which have not yielded any results, probably because of my lack of experience.

I also mentioned that I wanted to complete the ‘Battle for Azeroth Pathfinder, Part One’ achievement by getting the ‘Azerothian Diplomat’ and ‘Kul Tourist’ achievements. I am happy to say I have now got these achievements and can breath easy knowing I am up to date for when flying becomes available in Kul Tiras and Zandalar.

The biggest update to share is that I have joined the guild ‘Midlife Crisis’ on my druid. This is the first guild I have been in since the Wrath of the Lich King expansion (about 8 years ago). To say I am pleasantly surprised by this guild would be an understatement. The guild sell themselves as being a mature, chilled out, casual guild who partake in casual raiding which is exactly what I am looking for. I have been in the guild less than a week, but so far I have seen nothing but mature, easy going, chilled, casual players which has been great. I attended an organised raid of Uldir last Thursday and I honestly think it was the best raiding experience I have ever had. It was not particularly progressive, I didn’t get amazing loot or achievements, I didn’t feel like I accomplished too much within the game but because the group was so chilled, relaxed and there to have a good time with some clean humour, I found it refreshing and relaxing. To top it all off, the raid got stuff done, we killed 5 bosses. It was clear to me that a good portion of the guild are actually skilled players, probably with other characters in progressive guilds who are currently raiding Uldir on hardcore. I think these players try to find the time to play their characters in Midlife Crisis because they enjoy the casual atmosphere and like the people in the guild, which benefits full time casual players like me enormously. I was particularly impressed with the raid leader who on one hand managed to allow a chilled out, fun, casual, enjoyable atmosphere but on the other hand made sure stuff got done and took the time to consider suggested strategies for the one boss we had difficulty killing.

I have somehow managed to get my druids average ilevel (item level) to 360 and my paladin is trailing with 353 average ilevel. I have also raised all of my druids professions to the maximum level for Battle for Azeroth. Oh, and I got this guy from the Blizzard store to support the charity code.

Whomper

Going forward I hope to get my warrior to level 120 and work on the my paladin professions a little more. I will probably stop trying to PvP and try and get to know my new guild mates a little better, I am hoping they will be willing to help me complete mythic dungeons and island expeditions for rewards and achievements.

Snooker Nation Week 11

Snooker Nation

This week Jason managed to redeem himself and win this weeks Snooker Nation game 4 frames to 2 in a best of 7. Actually, he made a good come back winning all 4 of his frames in a row. A far cry better than last weeks whitewash to say the least. That will teach me for resting on my laurels so to speak.

There were also a total of three century breaks, I got the first century of 107 in the second frame while Jason got a massive 132 in the 4th frame and 107 in the 5th frame. My century break could have been 120 but I missed the final pink, I think this highlights the cocky frame of mind I was in at that stage. There are weeks where we have no century breaks at all, so to have three was nice. We are still both chasing a 147, I think we are both capable so perhaps it is just a matter of time.

I am a as always a little disappointed that I lost, but I am happy that it was a close and fun game which could have gone either way. The previous two weeks have been somewhat disappointing in that regard.

WCS 2018 Global Finals

WCS 2018 Global Finals

As part of Blizzcon, the Starcraft 2 WCS (World Championship Series) finals take place. This year was a little special as it marks 20 years of Starcraft. Spoiler alert for those who do not want to know the result of the 2018 finals.

It was a great tournament with many excellent games. The highlight of the tournament of course was the winner, Serral (Joona Sotala). Korean players have dominated Starcraft (and just about every other game) for 20 years. Serral, a young man from Pornainen, Finland is the first player outside of Korea who has been crowned as the best Starcraft 2 player in the world. I have been part of the Starcraft community for all 20 years and to be honest, I feel a little emotional. To see someone outside of Korea perform so well and achieve so much with this beautiful game, is nothing short of amazing. If you would like to learn more about this inspirational young man I suggest you take a look at the Youtube video below.

Serral completely outplayed his opponent, Stats (Dae Yeob) and defeated him 4 games to 2. I am so inspired by Serral after his year of Starcraft that despite my ladder anxiety I will make the time and play some Starcraft games. If there are any readers who would like to play Starcraft with me, even if only to play the co-op commander mode, please contact me.

It was a shame to see that at this years Blizzcon the production seemed to have scaled back just a little. In previous years the stage would be dynamic and change depending on the race each player is playing. Don’t get me wrong, the production was still top quality, I just miss that little extra edge that has spoilt me in previous years. As always the casters were amazing, it is especially good to hear Artosis and Tasteless casting in a more reasonable time zone.

Blizzcon 2018 Announcements

Warcraft III Reforged

After watching the Blizzcon 2018 opening ceremony, I thought I would share a few announcements which I found exciting and one which has left me feeling incredibly disappointed. There were of course other announcements for Blizzard games which I do not play, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone but I will stick to what interested me.

One of the first announcements was to introduce ‘Whomper’ which is a new battle pet for World of Warcraft. Even better is that it is the latest charity pet which will support Code, a charity dedicated to bringing computer science to schools around the world but specifically to girls and other under represented minorities in the coding industry. If you would like to learn more about the charity, I highly recommend you take a look at their website.

Following this there was an announcement that Zeratul will be a new co-op commander in Starcraft 2 to mark the 20th anniversary for Starcraft. While I am not that interested in the co-op feature in Starcraft 2, it is still nice to see Blizzard are making developments to Starcraft and are still interested in making it better.

There was an amazing World of Warcraft cinematic, ‘Lost Honour’ featuring Anduin Wrynn and Saurfang. Even if you’re not into World of Warcraft, you got to admire the cinematic for what it is. Blizzard have always been industry leading when it comes to cinematics and they always get me wanting to play their games. If you haven’t seen it yet, you got take a look at it below, it’s amazing.

For me the most exciting and most surprising announcement was that of ‘Warcraft III Reforged’. Warcraft III is an RTS (Real Time Strategy) game which was set before the beginning of World of Warcraft and was when The Burning Legion first arrived. I never played Warcraft III, during this time I was too busy playing Starcraft: Broodwar and Diablo II. I have always wanted to play through the campaign of Warcraft III and experience the story first hand so this will definitely be something I will be investing my time in.

And now we come to the disappointment. If you read my Blizzcon 2018 Countdown post you will remember that I was excited to learn about a Diablo announcement and that I expected a new expansion to Diablo III or possibly Diablo IV. The announcement was for a new Diablo game, ‘Diablo Immortal’ which is set after Diablo II when Tyrael shattered the worldstone but before Diablo III. It will however be a mobile game and I really am not a mobile gamer. To be honest, from what I have seen so far, it looks like something I will probably never play. I am so disappointed, rather than watching the ‘What’s next for Diablo’ panel, I have gone straight to the Starcraft 2 tournament.

While I am disappointed, I am still in high spirits, I am looking forward to watching a lot of Starcraft 2 games, learning more about Warcraft III Reforged and what to look forward to in Battle for Azeroth, including a new warfront in Teldrassil.

Rated Battleground Experience

Rated Battleground Experience

I recently wrote about my Battle for Azeroth PvP exploits and that I had my first ever experience of Rated Battlegrounds of which I played 6 and won 5 last Sunday. This has got to be one of the best PvP (Player vs Player) experiences of my World of Warcraft career to date.

The battlegounds we won were 1 x Battle for Gilneas, 2 x Twin Peaks, 1 x Warsong Gulch and 1 x Silvershard Mines. The game we unfortunately lost was in the Deepwind Gorge battleground, but it was a close call at the end. I think our opponents healers were just to difficult for us to break when they were together.

After winning the 6th and last game the group disbanded. I was both delighted and disappointed to see that I had achieved a rating of 957. The disappointing part is that this is still not enough to convince PvP leaders to invite me to their groups – not even at a low level.

RBG Rating

Without having a good CR (combat rating) or achievement showing that in the past I have had a good combat rating, it is very difficult for me to get invited to groups. My recommendation to anybody in this position is that they should join a guild who are interested in Rated Battlegrounds where they are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and take you under their wing. The other solution would be to set up your own group or guild and lead it yourself.

Being an antisocial ‘casual carebear’ however, this wasn’t really an option for me. I have joined an Alliance PvP community channel in the game, but from what I have seen so far, very little is said or organised there. I might try to make a post on the World of Warcraft PvP forum, explaining my situation. Perhaps then someone will contact me and suggest a community that I could join, or simply add me to their friends list and invite me to their groups from time to time.

Snooker Nation Week 10

Snooker Nation

Another week of Snooker Nation and I am pleased to report I managed to win 5-0 in a best of 9. I also made a century break of of 101 in the 4th frame.

This is a complete turn around from last week where I lost 4-0 in a best of 7 which I wrote about here. I think I was so concerned that there would be a repeat performance I played it safe and took no risks at all, making the most of every opportunity. When I won my first frame I just relaxed, knowing that even if Jason managed to win the next 5 frames, I could hold my head high having won at least 1 frame. From then on everything just went my way and Jason could not seem to find momentum.

It is always great to win, especially after such a heavy defeat but I do feel a little guilty. In the 5th and final frame I thought I would just smash into the reds to give Jason a chance to get a frame on the score board. Unfortunately for him, I managed to fluke a red in and was able to almost clear the table to win the match.

To be honest, while winning is great, I would much prefer a closer match. It’s more exciting and more intense that way.

Blizzcon 2018 Countdown

Blizzcon 2018

For me, the countdown has begun for Blizzcon 2018 which starts this Friday. At the beginning of the month I spent £34.99 on a Blizzcon 2018 virtual ticket and £47.70 on a Blizzcon 2018 goody bag which arrived earlier this week. I had work commitments which meant I could not watch or take part in Blizzcon while it was live but I was going to rely on the catch up facility and try and to avoid all the news.

Things have changed at work so I have booked Friday plus the following Monday and Tuesday off work so I can thoroughly enjoy the event and play some of my favourite Blizzard games with time to recover. To say I am excited would be an understatement.

The digital ticket allows me and other ticket holders to view the event live. There is a schedule which include the opening ceremony, finals to tournaments for all Blizzard games, panels who will discuss announcements and the future of the games they are working on and a closing ceremony, which last year featured the rock band Muse. Also included is some digital items which span across all of their games, this year for World of Warcraft is a cloak skin, which I don’t like that much, but also a cool in game banner which I use from time to time.

This years goody bag features a variety of collectable items across all Blizzard games;

  • The BlizzCon Book: A Celebration of Our Community
  • World of Warcraft Faction Keychain
  • Overwatch Challenge Coin
  • Classic Diablo Vinyl Figure
  • Hearthstone Magnet Set
  • Heroes of the Storm Raven Lord Crest Magnet
  • StarCraft 20th Anniversary Pin

I am particularly happy to have the StarCraft 20th Anniversary Pin. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Starcraft and I have been playing the game for all 20 of those years. I remember playing a demo of Starcraft, it might have been some kind of PC gamer magazine demo and I instantly fell in love with it. I played the demo over and over again until for my birthday I was given a copy of the full game, about a year later the expansion was bought for me along with the Prima Strategy Guide for the game. At some point I will be writing a lengthy post about my history of Starcraft and share my observations over the years.

Also around 20 years ago I played Diablo, on the Playstation in a card shop with a man called Fred – sketchy I know! Following this I found out that the game was available on the PC (and is in fact way better than the Playstation version). This was my first dungeon crawler experience which lead to me playing a lot of Diablo 2 online before World of Warcraft was released. This Friday there will be a huge announcement regarding Blizzards’ plans for the future of Diablo. I believe they will announce a new expansion for Diablo 3 which would be amazing! Some say that they may even announce Diablo 4, which I doubt, but we shall have to wait and see. Like with Starcraft, I will at some point be writing about my history with Diablo in more detail and share some of my observations.

Battle for Azeroth PvP

Battle for Azeroth PvP

As part of my recent World of Warcraft Update post I mentioned that I have been playing some Battle for Azeroth PvP (Player vs Player) with my druid which is not something I have done properly since Vanilla Warcraft.

I have now hit honour level 30 and have noticed several new PvP features to Battle for Azeroth. All of which I really like.

The honour level is now account wide. This means PvP players will be able to continue their honour level progress without feeling as though they need to start again when they want to play a different character. This is an excellent feature and something I believe the PvP community have wanted for a long time. What’s new to me but I believe is a feature introduced in the Legion expansion is that the honour level does not reset between seasons. There are players therefore with an honour level in the hundreds which I find really cool.

Random ‘Epic Battlegrounds’ is another new feature which remove the two large scale 40 vs 40 battlegounds (Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest) from the regular 10 vs 10 and 15 vs 15 battlegrounds. As someone who is a ‘carebear’ and plays PvP casually, I really like this feature. It means that when queue PvP I will be entered into one of these two battlegrounds which are ‘carebear’ and casual player friendly. If I then win either of these I am awarded with conquest points and bonus honour where as before I could queue to play these battlegrounds specifically but would not receive conquest points or bonus honour. While I like this, I don’t know how the PvP community feel about it on the whole. On one hand it waters down the value of conquest points and honour points, but on the other it gets more casual players trying it out. Also, hardcore PvP players probably don’t want these two battlegrounds in the regular pool anyway, they probably much prefer the faster and smaller 10 vs 10 or 15 vs 15 matches.

In the Legion expansion a feature was introduced for players who took part in running mythic+ dungeons. Each week in the class order hall each player would get some loot from a chest depending on the highest mythic+ dungeon completed. A very similar feature has been introduced for PvP whereby you get loot from a chest once a week and the quality of the loot will depend on how much conquest points you earned the week before. I must admit, I am not sure when this was introduced but I think it was at the start of Battle for Azeroth, I also did not use this feature until this week which has meant I have potentially missed out on several peices of loot. That’s what happens when you do not bother to read the patch notes I guess.

PvP Conquest Chest

Players who are honour level 0 – 29 play together without higher level players. This is another great new feature for the casual player or for someone who is new to PvP. As soon as you hit level 30, you play with players who are also level 30 or above. It actually takes a long time to hit level 30, so it should give the new player a lot of experience. The only disadvantage to this is when you do hit level 30 as I have, you are suddenly in for a surprise when your opponents are much more likely to be serious hardcore PvP players. On the flip side your team mates should be too, since I have only just hit level 30 myself, I shall have to wait and see how things go.

What is not new to Battle for Azeroth but is new to me is rated battlegounds. Yesterday, for the first time, I joined a pre-made group and played 6 rated battlegounds and won 5 of them. This was probably the best PvP experience I have had in World of Warcraft to date and I will write about it in more detail during the week!

Snooker Nation Week 9

Snooker Nation Week 9

Snooker Nation this week has been another disaster for me, losing to Jason 4-0 in a best of 7. This is the second time Jason has beaten me 4-0, the first time was back in August which I wrote about here.

The game was so quick, there was time for a few minor adjustments to the blog, followed by a discussion on how to increase traffic, so at least something good came from it. Thankfully Jason didn’t rub it in too much and was a good sport about it, he did play well but couldn’t quite find the momentum to score a century, which is a shame because I thought on at least two occasions a century was in the bag.

I do not mind losing, but losing without a winning single frame is really bad. It’s not like I didn’t have any opportunities either, on at least two occasions I could have scored highly but missed a relatively easy pot. There was also one occasion I was unlucky when I accidentally potted the white after potting the black and breaking up the reds which really tilted me to be honest.

Next week I must put things right, if I don’t win the match I will at least need to win a frame or two. Maybe I should put some practise in?

World of Warcraft Update

World of Warcraft update

I wanted to provide an update as to where I am right now playing World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth.

My druid is still my main focus and I have managed to raise her average ilevel (item level) to 351 with the lowest item being level 340. I have achieved this by completing weekly quests which offer ilevel 370 items but also by playing some PvP (Player vs Player) and obtaining an ilevel 345 weapon and ilevel 355 armour items.

I have fully completed all three parts of the Uldir raid which give ilevel 340+ drops with raid finder. I must admit I have not really enjoyed the Uldir raid, hopefully the future of Battle for Azeroth will offer something more interesting and unique. I am also hoping that where will be many more warfronts other than the one I have written about here and here.

My paladin has also been trailing my druid and has a respectable average ilevel of 346. I will always try to ensure that my paladin does not fall too far behind.

Going forward I plan to partake in a lot more PvP and will also be working on completing the ‘Battle for Azeroth Pathfinder, Part One’ achievement which I am sure will be an essential part of obtaining the ability to use flying mounts in Kul Tiras and Zandalar. I still need to obtain revered reputation with the ‘Champions of Azeroth’ faction to get the ‘Azerothian Diplomat’ achievement and ‘Drust do it’ for the ‘Kul Tourist’ achievement which in turn will give me ‘Battle for Azeroth Pathfinder, Part One’.

On a side note I have also started to embark upon the ‘Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest’ quest string which on completion will award me with a legendary staff from the Cataclysm expansion and also the Lil’ Tarecgosa pet. I should be able to solo it all but it will take me a long time to complete, which is as it should be. While there are many guides on how to obtain this staff, if I manage to get one of my own I will be sure to write about my experiences.

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