Copper Ice

Blogger, Gamer, Nerd

Street Fighter II Turbo

Street Fighter II Turbo

To take a break from solely playing Classic World of Warcraft, I have been playing an old favourite of mine, Street Fighter II Turbo. This is a very old fighting game released by Capcom in the early to mid 1990’s and was for a long time considered to be the best fighting game on the market. As such Street Fighter was found in every arcade and was simply a must have game for anyone with a games console.

When I was 8 or 9 years old, I was lucky enough to have been given a second hand Sega Mega Drive and a number of games which came with it. One of those games was Street Fighter II Turbo which I played relentlessly. Now, more than 25 years later, I have acquired a SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) emulator in order to play this classic game.

Here is a video of me playing the game on the emulator. I am playing on the default difficulty setting, medium, which is 4 out of 8 stars. I chose Ryu as my fighter who is a bit of an all round character and as such is probably the easiest character to play.

It is very different to how I would have played the game as a child in the 90’s, but I have really enjoyed playing Street Fighter II Turbo again. It has brought back a number of childhood memories, including collecting stickers for a Street Fighter II sticker album produced by Merlin Collections. The sticker album gave background information about each of the fighters and would tell you the combinations for their ‘special moves’. This enhanced the game further for me and made it even more appealing.

Now I have the SNES emulator, I am tempted to play one or two more classic games such as the early Super Mario or Final Fantasy games.

WoW: January Update

WoW January Update

I want to give another update to my Classic World of Warcraft journey. I realize my blog has become rather repetitive, but I have more or less been solely playing Classic World of Warcraft these past few months.

Playing the end game content has been fun and I have made significant progress since my last update in December. I have obtained a number of items from raiding Molten Core with my guild mates and from doing dungeons, often with my guild but sometimes with random people. Most people seem to be obsessed with obtained best in slot (BiS) equipment for their characters. A BiS item is where an item is the best possible item a player can obtain for their character until more content is released. While I understand this important for progression, being the casual player that I am, I have been more interested in how my character looks and for the first time, I think she looks great!

WoW Classic Level 60 Rogue

What you’re seeing in the image above is my rogue wearing a cross between the shadowcraft armour set found in dungeons and the nightslayer armour set found in the Molten Core raid. Although I think my character looks cool, only a few of her items are BiS. The weapons I am currently using are quite poor and I will need to put some effort in finding new ones if I want to progress further with my guild.

I  decided to drop elemental leather working and skinning and now have alchemy and herbalism as my primary professions. While I am finding these professions more fun and profitable, a major draw back is that there is a lot of competition in finding the herbs required to craft the best potions.

After I reached level 60, I drew up a checklist of things I wanted to achieve and have made some progress:

Molten Core Attunement (So I can raid there)
Onyxia Lair Attunement (So I can raid there)
Obtain the key to Scholomance dungeon
Obtain the key to Stratholm dungeon
Obtain the key to Dire Maul dungeon
Obtain the key to Upper Blackrock Spire dungeon
Level my primary profession (Elemental Leatherworking) to 300 (maximum)
Level first aid profession to 300
Level cooking profession to 300
Level Fishing profession to 300
Level rogue specific professions (lockpicking, poisons) to 300
Level weapon professions to 300
Obtain epic mount (to increase mounted speed boost from 60% to 100%)

While I do not have the key to the Dire Maul dungeon, I have found that I do not need it with my rogue lockpicking skill. My weapon professions are coming along nicely, with 1 handed swords, 1 handed maces, daggers and unarmed all being 300. What’s left are my ranged weapon skills, crossbow, bow, gun and thrown which will probably take a long time since rogues use these weapons infrequently. I knew obtaining an epic mount would take time as it requires a lot of gold (in game currency) to purchase one. I am however well over half way to achieving this goal.

I hope to continue obtaining new and exciting items with my guild, specifically new weapons. The next raid (Blackwing Lair) is due for release on the 13th February. For this I will need to acquire raid specific items to give me fire resistance. I will also need to get my character attuned to Blackwing Lair if I have any hope in joining my guild there.

Now that my character is level 60 and I have joined a guild, it may not be necessary for me to spend quite so much time playing Classic World of Warcraft. I hope therefore to play other games and have more variety in my gaming.

Snooker Nation December 2019

At the end of a 6 month Snooker Nation season, having won 13 matches to Jason’s 10, I am able claim victory. For the most part, it’s been a season of two halves, I dominated early on and at one stage had a lead of 7 matches to 1, but Jason made a huge come back and took the lead near the end of the season in November. In the end however, I managed to secure the last 4 matches to re-take the lead and ultimately win.

While I am proud to have scored a maximum break of 147, something I wrote about in my September Snooker Nation post, what I am most proud of is that Jason and I have played 23 matches composing of 168 frames and 38 centuries over the course of a 6 month period. I like to think that this is a good indicator of how much we enjoy each others company and how solid our 18 year old friendship has become.

I am looking forward to starting Snooker Nation season 2 which will run from January for 6 months until the end of June.

13/12/2019 – Match 59

Another victory for me, winning 5 frames to 2 in a best of 9. There were two century breaks this week, 101 in the first frame and 108 in the 5th frame both belonging to Jason. Frustratingly, I had three good opportunities to make a century break, but was not able to make the most of it.

20/12/2019 – Match 60

Unfortunately for Jason, I secured another win which grants me victory of our 6 month Snooker Nation season. This week, I won 5 frames to 1 in a best of 9 and got the only century of 115 in the 1st frame. Even if Jason wins next week, which will be the final match of the season, I will have still won the season overall. I am pleased that I won the season but am a little sad for Jason this week because he was utterly dissatisfied with his performance.

27/12/2019 – Match 61

For the last match of our Snooker Nation season Jason and I decided we would play a best of 13. I managed to win 7 frames to 5 but at one stage Jason was leading 5 frames to 2. This meant that if we were playing our usual best of 9, he would have won there and then. With a little luck and determination however, I won 5 frames in a row giving me the match. It looked like there would be no century breaks this week but in the 12th and final frame I got a break of 137.

Season 1 (July – December 2019) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 23 13 89 18 147
Jason 23 10 79 20 136

 

WoW: Onyxia

WoW: Onyxia

In my previous post, I mentioned that I wanted to get attuned to the Onyxia raid in World of Warcraft Classic. With the help of some of my guild mates in Inspire, I managed to do this relatively quickly and have since joined them to kill Onyxia on at least 3 occasions now.

Killing Onyxia is really easy and as such the guild is usually split into 2 teams of roughly 20 people which effectively doubles the loot the guild receives. The last time I killed Onyxia was in team 2 earlier in the week, which I recorded.

The fight is split into 3 phases. In phase 1 you can see in the video that the whole raid group went right and followed a path which would avoid tail sweep. We then gave the tank some time to generate threat before unleashing players who do high DPS (damage per second).

In phase 2 Onyxia takes flight and the raid group is effectively split in two, in our case players in odd groups (1 and 3) stay on the right hand side and players in even groups (2 and 4) move to the left hand side. Because I am in group 1, I stayed where I was. During this phase, players who are ranged DPS will do as much damage to Onyxia as possible while the melee DPS will handle whelps which spawn on both sides. At the same time, players will try to spread out to reduce damage from fireballs and avoid deep breath which in our case a raid member calls out in Discord.

At 40% health phase 3 will start, Onyxia will land and all DOT’s (damage over time) spells and abilities are stopped beforehand to make it easier for the tank to pick up threat and position Onyxia facing the back of the raid. During this phase all players try to avoid cracks on the ground which periodically spout fire, while avoiding the tail and head (with the exception of the tank). Periodically, Onyxia casts bellowing roar, fearing every raid member, making it important for priests to fear ward the tank so that Onyxia will not move with the tank which could potentially cause problems with her facing raid members or tail sweeping players who are ordinarily in a good position.

One final thing to mention is that it is really important not to generate too much threat during phase 1 and 3. It sounds simple, and applies to just about any encounter in World of Warcraft, but you will see in the video that somehow Onyxia turned, killing several raid members. At first glance this looks like it could have been because the tank lost threat, although the log of the encounter shows our tank didn’t lose it. The same thing could easily have happened if the tank is feared and Onyxia turns to face other raid members. Regardless of what happened, luckily, I survived, and Onyxia was almost dead anyway. For anyone who has not completed the Onyxia raid, I recommend reading the Onyxia’s Lair raid guide on Wowhead classic which will give a more detailed explanation of the encounter.

WoW: December Update

WoW: December Update

After another month of Classic World of Warcraft I have finally done it and have reached level 60 (the maximum level possible) with Mithril, a rogue. This is after 12 days, 4 hours and 22 minutes of playtime. I don’t mind admitting, this is really slow and I feel like I am the last to cross the finishing line.

WoW Classic Level 60 Rogue

As I mentioned in my previous update, now the real work begins. I have already sourced a guild for my rogue and have joined Inspire. I have always been drawn to the guild, ever since the early days of Classic WoW, simply for having a good name and having a decent non-elitism yet semi-hardcore raiding culture, something I have always craved while playing World of Warcraft but have never really found a guild with the right balance. The real turning point for me in choosing Inspire is when I interacted with a very friendly player, Kathrynn, to do an escort quest which required at least 2 people to complete. While we were doing the quest she was very friendly and even invited me to join the guild there and then. I declined, and explained I wanted to wait until level 60 before choosing a guild. Ever since then I have regretted not accepting her offer and kept considering to apply to join but wanted to keep my options open. That is at least until I reached level 58 and I contacted a player called Dawn, who turned out to be one of the guild leaders. So far the guild has been excellent and very friendly. With their help, I have completed 4 dungeons, acquired 3 pieces of loot, attuned to raid Molten Core and am very nearly attuned to raid Onyxia. It’s only been a little over a week, but I would like to thank everyone Inspire for being such a welcoming and helpful guild, I hope you will enjoy playing with me as much as I do with you.

In an effort to immortalize my accomplishment of reaching level 60, I have created a short video capturing the moment my rogue levelled up. I am not entirely satisfied with the recording quality, something I will need to work on if I want to create more lengthy videos.

Now I am level 60 there is a checklist of things I would like to work toward completing, some of which I can already cross off:

Molten Core Attunement (So I can raid there)
Onyxia Lair Attunement (So I can raid there)
Obtain the key to Scholomance dungeon
Obtain the key to Stratholm dungeon
Obtain the key to Dire Maul dungeon
Obtain the key to Upper Blackrock Spire dungeon
Level my primary profession (Elemental Leatherworking) to 300 (maximum)
Level first aid profession to 300
Level cooking profession to 300
Level Fishing profession to 300
Level rogue specific professions (lockpicking, poisons) to 300
Level weapon professions to 300
Obtain epic mount (to increase mounted speed boost from 60% to 100%)

Beyond achieving all of the above, I will, like everyone else, be chasing equipment upgrades and will be improving my reputation with the many NPC (non-playable character) factions that exist in World of Warcraft. Furthermore, tomorrow will be the first day that player vs player (PvP) battlegrounds will be in Classic World of Warcraft which will be something I will be trying out.

As for my other characters, I have made very little progress and is not worth a mention until my next update.

Snooker Nation November 2019

November has been a pretty bad month for me with Snooker Nation. Jason won 4 matches in a row and took the lead for the first time in our Snooker Nation season. Thankfully at least I won the final match of the month, ending Jason’s win steak. You can see by the statistics that I have barely taken back the lead having won 1 more frame than Jason. With just one month to go, it can’t get much closer than this.

01/11/2019 – Match 54

This week Jason won 5 frames to 2 in a best of 9, ending my 2 week win streak. There were no century breaks this time which highlights just how bad both Jason and I played. We both missed many easy shots.

08/11/2019 – Match 55

Jason wins again, this time 5 frames to 4 in a best of 9, bringing it to an ace frame. Once again there were no century breaks which is always disappointing, but what’s worrying me is that my lead has been reduced to just 1 match, giving Jason the opportunity to level the score next week for the first time.

15/11/2019 – Match 56

He did it, Jason won 5 frames to 3 in a best of 9 which now makes us even in matches won this season. Actually, technically, Jason is in the lead having won 64 frames so far this season with me only winning 63. We had 4 century breaks this week, I scored 115 in the 1st frame but impressively Jason scored 3 centuries in a row, 116 in the 6th, 108 in the 7th and 120 in the 8th frame.

22/11/2019 – Match 57

What a disaster, Jason wins again, 5 frames to 4 in a best of 9 and is on a 4 week win streak. He also scored the only century breaks of the match, 101 in the 7th frame and 104 in the 9th frame. While technically Jason took the lead for the first time last week, this is the first time he has been ahead on matches won. I really need to up my game.

29/11/2019 – Match 58

Victory at last. After 4 weeks of losing, I finally ended Jason’s win streak and won 5 frames to 2 in a best of 9. This, once again, puts us even on matches won, but I am technically ahead having won 1 more frame. I scored the only century this week of 102 in the 6th frame.

Season 1 (July – December 2019) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 20 10 72 16 147
Jason 20 10 71 18 136

 

WoW: November Update

WoW November Update

I feel like I have made some pretty decent progress on my Classic World of Warcraft journey. Especially as I have had some time off of work to play.

The first thing to mention is that I have raised the level of my rogue from 32 to 50 since the October update, which I think is pretty good considering how much of a casual player I am these days.

Second is that I have not completely abandoned my druid, I have invested in a talent re-spec from balance to feral and changed a lot of her items from spell casting (intellect/spirit) based items to agility based items and have raised her level from 36 to 40.

Any readers of my blog may have noticed in the October update post I had a level 13 warlock, called Electrum, which is now level 20. I currently primarily use this warlock to make use of all of the cloth I find to make bigger bags for all my characters using his tailoring profession. Electrum also has the enchanting profession which is helpful for disenchanting items which will turn them into enchanting materials and sell for bigger profit than if I were to sell the items as I find them.

I have also created a 4th character, a warrior named Khorium, who is level 12. I have grand plans of tanking low level dungeons with Khorium for fun when I want a break from whatever I am doing.

WoW Classic Level 50 Rogue

In order to keep myself interested and not burn myself out before I achieve the things I want to achieve, I have found it nice to split my time between several characters. It is fun improving my rogue, now my main character, but nice to have a break and play a different character for a while.

Moving forward I obviously need to get my rogue to level 60. From there the real work begins, I will need to source a guild which suits my needs in terms of raiding the high level content while being mature and friendly. This will be difficult because the rogue class is actually pretty common and in low demand. I will need to make myself more appealing to prospective guilds by getting as ready as possible for raiding by completing attunement quests and gathering good, entry level items from dungeons. I will also consider using my blog to create an application post containing detailed information about me, my character and what I can offer to their guild.

WCS 2019 Global Finals

WCS Global Finals

Last year I wrote about the StarCraft WCS 2018 Global Finals (World Championship Series) and how one of the greatest StarCraft 2 players, Serral (Joona Sotala), a young man from Finland, not Korea, was victorious. He was the first non-Korean player in 20 years of StarCraft to be crowned the best player in the world.

This year however, Serral was knocked out of the tournament in the semi-final by Reynor (Riccardo Romiti) who has seen phenomenal success this year as a professional StarCraft player aged just 17. For me this was the most exciting series of the tournament, not only because it came down to an ace match in a best of 5, but also because of a rivalry between these two players. Any regular readers of my blog may remember me writing about the success Reynor had in WCS Summer 2019, beating Serral 4 games to 2 in the final. More than that Serral lost WCS Winter 2019 4 games to 3 in the final which I was unable to watch. Serral however defeated Reynor 3 games to 0 in WCS Spring 2019 in the semi-final and 4 games to 1 in the WCS Fall (Autumn) 2019 final which I was unable to watch.

It was excellent to see Reynor, an Italian, in the final which before Serral was pretty much unheard of. Unfortunately however the victor of WCS 2019 Global Finals is Dark (Park Ryung Woo), who played some of the best games I have ever seen and really outplayed Reynor winning 4 games to 1 in a best of 7. Dark is a veteran compared to Reynor who started to see real success as a StarCraft 2 player back in 2014. While I am sad Reynor lost, I am happy for Dark who truly deserved the victory.

Looking to 2020, I really hope that both Serral and Reynor will continue to excel and that their exciting rivalry will continue. I also hope that I will be able to watch more of the tournaments, it really is a shame that I missed 2 of the 4 seasonal (and regional) tournaments where the players earn WCS points to establish who will play in the finals.

As with last year, I was a little sad to see that the production for StarCraft 2 at Blizzcon has been cut back even further. There was a time StarCraft would have a fully interactive stage with booths for the players. Last year the stage was not interactive but this year there wasn’t even a stage with booths. Instead, an arena, which was being used for the Overwatch tournament (a game I have little interest in) was used. While I do find this sad, I am understanding in that Blizzard want to do more to promote their other, much newer, games and tournaments. I should be grateful that Blizzard still do quite a bit for the StarCraft esports community.

I would like to praise the hosts, casters, production crew and everyone else who worked to make an excellent StarCraft tournament. It was a real treat to see some of my favourite casters, especially Daniel Ray “Artosis” Stemkoski and Nicolas Alexander “Tasteless” Plott who normally cast Korean tournaments which I rarely watch because of time zone differences. But it was also good to see Kevin “RotterdaM” van der Kooi and Leigh “Maynarde” Mandalov who I am seeing a lot more of recently.

Once final note I would like to leave on was that Artosis, co-founder of The Pylon Show, was given the opportunity of hosting the show at Blizzcon. It was an interesting episode where there was discussion about CarBot Animations and the advancement of Deepmind AI within StarCraft 2, but at the end of the episode there was a tribute to Geoffrey John Vincent “iNcontroL” Robinson who died earlier this year, aged just 33. The WCS 2019 Global Finals was also dedicated to Geoff in his honour, something I found both touching and fitting. En Taro iNcontroL.

Blizzcon 2019 Announcements

Diablo IV

I decided to take somewhat of a leap of faith and purchased a Blizzcon 2019 virtual ticket for £34.99 so that I can enjoy watching the event unfold live along with many other Blizzcon related benefits.

To kick things off, before the official opening of the event, the president of Blizzard Entertainment, J. Allen Brack tried to address the controversy the company is involved in with regards to banning a Hearthstone player from competing in future tournaments after expressing their views on the struggles of people in Hong Kong. Something I wrote about in my Blizzard 2019 Countdown post. The initial reaction from the internet seems rather negative, but I actually appreciate the president of Blizzard acknowledging accountability and apologizing for the actions Blizzard took. Many people seem to think he should have made mention of the issues in Hong Kong or of Chinese anti-democratic values and make some sort of political statement. This, I feel, would have been wrong. The only thing Blizzard are responsible for here is trying (and ultimately failing) to silence someone. They are not responsible for anything which happens in Hong Kong or China and as a business  should refrain as much as possible from making political statements. The damage done in trying to silence Chung ‘Blitzchung’ Ng Wai (the Hearthstone player) was huge, but this, I feel, is a very good step in the right direction for Blizzard and I immediately felt better after giving Blizzard another chance.

Last year I was sorely disappointed by the announcements, as written in my Blizzcon 2018 Announcements post. This year however it is almost the polar opposite with the announcement of Diablo IV for PC, PS4 and Xbox One with an amazing, if a little gory, opening cinematic which Blizzard do so well.

I can’t express enough just how excited I am by this announcement. This will most certainly be a game I will be investing time and money in and I will be watching its progress with interest. There was also a gameplay trailer which looks interesting but, a little unpolished, which I forgive at this early stage.

There was also some announcements for Starcraft 2 in that there are some advancements with Deepmind in that there are AI agents that people at Blizzcon will be able to play at a Grand Master and a Diamond level. This makes me wonder what future plans Blizzard and Deepmind have with AI. Perhaps someday I will be able to play Deepmind at my level of play which would most certainly help with my ladder anxiety and give me a chance to test my skills without that horrible feeling I get against a human opponent. Another announcement was for the latest co-op commander, Mengsk. I like Starcraft co-op, but not enough to get too excited by this. Still, it is nice to see Blizzard continue to develop the game and I remain hopeful Starcraft will remain one of their core games.

For me, the best part of Blizzcon 2018 was the announcement of Warcraft III reforged. It was announced this year that as of Tuesday, all Blizzcon attendees and virtual ticket holders will be able to play the Beta, something I will certainly be trying out during the week.

It would be wrong of me to not mention the announcement of the next World of Warcraft expansion, Shadowlands. The cinematic trailer at least, in true Blizzard tradition, is awesome.

With the recent release of Classic World of Warcraft however, which I have been enjoying a great deal, I am not sure I will be playing the current, retail version of the game again. That said, when I pay for my monthly subscription, I can play either classic or retail. Perhaps when I achieve I want in classic, I might feel differently and split my time between the two.

There are many other announcements, especially for other Blizzard games which I do not play. But these are the ones which matter most to me. As Blizzcon goes on, I will be watching the Starcraft 2 tournament and learn as much as I can about Diablo IV.

Snooker Nation October 2019

This month of Snooker Nation has been one of two halves. Jason continued his win streak for two more weeks which meant he won 5 matches in a row. I was winning the season 7 games to 1 but with grit and determination Jason, at one point, made it 7 games to 6. Fortunately for me however, I was able to break his win streak and have started one of my own, putting myself ahead 9 games to 6.

04/10/2019 – Match 50

Jason continues his reign of Snooker Nation terror, winning 5 frames to 3 in a best of 9. This is now the fourth week in a row Jason has won and I am starting to think he is not only going to make a massive come back but he may end up taking the lead. There was just one century this week of 135 scored by Jason in the first frame, narrowly missing his season high break of 136.

11/10/2019 – Match 51

Another week of Jason’s win streak, winning 5 frames to 2 in a best of 9. This time there were two centuries, both belonging to Jason. 127 in the second frame and 122 in the fourth. I was so sure that I would somehow end the win streak this week, but I didn’t even come close.

18/10/2019 – Match 52

At last, I won, 5 frames to 1 in a best of 9. To say I am relieved would be an under statement. Had Jason won this week, we would have been equal in matches won since the start of our Snooker Nation season in July. I scored two centuries, 116 in the second frame and 110 in the 6th.

25/10/2019 – Match 53

Another victory for me, winning 5 frames to 3 in a best of 9. Could this be the start of a long win streak for me? I hope so, but after losing 5 weeks in a row, including a white wash, I will not be resting on my laurels. I got the only century this week of 126 in the 4th frame.

Season 1 (July – December 2019) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 15 9 54 14 147
Jason 15 6 49 13 136

 

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Follow Me

Search Site