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Copper Ice, Blogger, Nerd
Snooker Nation

Snooker Nation February 2021

February has been a month of two halves in Snooker Nation. While this is a lot better than the disappointing January results, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I feel like I should have done better towards the end of the month but not for the first time over confidence got the better of me. Here’s to a better outcome in March.

05/02/2021 – Match 116

It feels good to break Jason’s win streak and get my first win this season. We both didn’t play particularly well but I had slightly better luck which was enough for me to win 6 frames to 3 in a best of 11. There were 3 century breaks, I got 133 in the 3rd frame, 107 in the 9th frame and Jason got 103 in the 4 frame. Hopefully I can use this to build some momentum and get a win streak of my own.

12/02/2021 – Match 117

I have started a win streak by winning 6 frames to 4. There were a total of 3 century breaks, I scored 100 in the 4th frame while Jason got 101 in the 6th and 127 in the 7th frame. All in all I think we both played OK, but there were some scrappy frames in there. I hope I can continue this win streak and level on matches won and possibly take the lead on frames won, currently sitting at 24 to 25 in Jason’s favour.

19/02/2021 – Match 118

Jason ends my win streak early, winning 6 frames to 5. At one stage I was ahead 3 frames but somehow, perhaps with over confidence, I could not seal the victory. There were a total of 4 century breaks, I got 107 in the 2nd frame but Jason dominated the second half of this match, scoring 102 in the 7th 112 in the 9th and 106 in the 11th frame. It was a great come back, but I can’t help but feel disappointed.

26/02/2021 – Match 119

Hopefully this is not the beginning of a long win streak for Jason, having won 6 frames to 2. I do not think I played badly, but Jason was certainly the better player this evening. My only consolation is that I got a century of  135 in the 4th frame, beating this season’s personal best by 1. Jason got some centuries of his own, 114 in the 1st, 112 in the 5th and 127 in the 7th frame.

Season 4 (January – June 2021) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 7 2 31 11 135
Jason 7 5 37 16 138

 


Diablo II Resurrected Announcement

Diablo II Resurrected Announcement

Blizzcon 2020, due late last year, was unfortunatly cancelled due to the pandemic. Over the weekend however, for the first time, Blizzard fans had access to a Blizzconline 2021 event. Ordinarily I would have stayed up late and booked some time off work to thoroughly enjoy a Blizzcon event, something I did for Blizzcon 2019 and Blizzcon 2018. For this event I decided not to for a number of reasons, the main one being that Blizzard no longer host the Starcraft II finals. Being a free to watch event, I found the time to watch a recoding of the opening ceremony which contains the majority of announcements for new games and expansions. None of it really interested me, other than confirmation that Classic World of Warcraft will naturally move on to Classic The Burning Crusade and, most excitingly the announcement of Diablo II Resurrected.

The announcment of Diablo II Resurrected was very interesting to me. For me this is the most good news from Blizzard in years. Any regular reader of my blog may remember that I played Diablo II for years before the launch of World of Warcraft, as noted in my diablo journey post. Blizzconline featured a lot of Diablo, including an update on Diablo IV which introduced a new class, the Rogue, which was one of the classes in the original Diablo game and a follower in Diablo II.

I think Diablo II is the best dungeon crawling game ever made, even better than Diablo III. I am waiting to create a hardcore necromancer and slowly play my way through the game, collect runes to make runeword items and generally explore with better graphics and qulity of life updates. It’s enouugh to say, with Diablo II Ressurected and Diablo IV in the making, I will be playing and blogging a lot of Diablo content in future.


WoW February Update

WoW: February Update

It has been a mixed bag of a month of Classic World of Warcraft for me. I have consistently raided Naxxramas and occasionally other raids with my guild mates in Inspire and can cross off another 2 pieces of loot as aquired, leaving just 1 piece of loot needed to complete the Bonescythe Armour set. As a bonus I have also been awarded a gun, Toxin Injector, from Grobbulus. While technically this isn’t better than my Striker’s Mark bow, I have found myself temporarily over hit capped making the 1% hit I think less useful than 6 more attack power and 10 stamina the gun has to offer. Having been awarded a total of 8 peices of loot from Naxxramas, my priority rating to get more loot is incredibly low. It is very unlikely therefore that I will be getting any more items from Naxxramas for a long time to come. But that’s OK, I am pleased with what I have.

Desireable
Drake Fang Talisman
Jom Gabbar

Best
Shroud of Dominion
Bonescythe Breastplate
Bonescythe Bracers
Bonescythe Ring
Band of Unnatural Forces
Slayer’s Crest
Kiss of the Spider
Gressil, Dawn of Ruin
The Hungering Cold
Nerubian Slavemaker

The best thing about this last month of Classic WoW is that my guild and I have twice completely cleared all the bosses in Naxxramas, including Kel’Thuzad. This in a sense means my guild mates and I have completed Classic WoW by defeating all of the raid bosses. I recorded and uploaded our first Kel’Thuzad kill below.

Normally I wouldn’t share a second video of the same thing, but I would also like to share a video of my guild mates and I defeating Kel’Thuzad for a second time which was almost flawless. We really do make it look easy, mind you, we did have world buffs this time around.

This is where the good news ends. Since defeating Kel’Thuzad for a second time on the 1st February, everything seems to have got progressively worse with each passing raid. I am not 100% sure why this is but I believe it could be because people have lost all focus now we have ‘completed’ the game. It’s as if it does not matter anymore and people are just waiting for The Burning Crusade. Individual raiders are making terrible mistakes while some others appear to be putting individual DPS (damage per second) before raid mechanics. Most recently it seems as if when people die in the game and lose their world buffs, they stop trying. As a guild we should have defeated Kel’Thuzad twice more by now but we just aren’t getting it done in two 3 hour raids, which should be more than enough. I would like to add that I have not been a perfect player, I too have made mistakes but no more than usual and no blindingly obvious ones capable of causing a wipe (where all 40 players in the raid are wiped out).

With all these failures, tempers are running unusually high, not just with the raid leader but even with usually level headed players. It’s not nice to be on the receiving end of his temper, but I fully support our main raid leader, Warriodude (aka Pallydude) and the other officers. I hope between them they will be able to sort something out and see that our wonderful guild survives Classic WoW in order to flourish in The Burning Crusade.

Looking back to this time last year with my 2020 February update, i’ts nice to see that my raiding had taken off, I had acquired a 100% speed mount and Inspire guild were preparing for Blackwing Lair by issuing everyone an Onyxia Scaled Cloak.


EVE Online Archon

EVE Online Archon Test Flight

When I started to play EVE Online around 5 years ago, I wanted to fly a carrier. I immediately noticed that miners used drones to protect themselves in asteroid belts, later I found that drones were a good way to deal out damage in order to complete combat sites and missions. I saw that there were drones used for a variety of tasks including salvaging and mining but I also saw there were ‘fighters’. I soon realized that fighters were solely used with carriers and that a carrier was well out of my reach for multiple reasons such as my character lacked the necessary skills and well over a billion ISK (Interstellar Kredits, the in game currency) was needed to buy the ship alone without any fighters or fittings.

Now my character has the funds and skills to pilot some carriers and operate the fittings. I have bought an Archon and have organized some fittings for it. The remaining issue is that carriers (and most other capital ships) can not be used in high security space, so there will always be a high risk of other players wanting to engage in PvP (Player vs Player), something I have avoided as much as possible. I have however successfully completed a small number of test flights out of a station in low security space.

The purpose of these test flights is to give me an opportunity to learn how to operate the carrier’s fighters and fittings. It’s also an opportunity for me to do what I always wanted in small doses in relative safety from other players looking for a nice kill. The problem I face now is that there really isn’t much more I can do without high risk of losing my carrier. If I were part of a large corporation or alliance it would be possible to safely use my carrier, but, since I play alone, test flights is about all I can achieve. Even when undocking for 7 – 10 minutes to do my ‘test flight’ I have seen a growing amount of activity, indicating that I will always need to be extra careful.

For now, I am satisfied to simply have a carrier which I can fly and I will mostly likely work towards improving it by upgrading and revising the fittings and fighters I have for it. I will also be looking to increase my collection of capital ships, perhaps with a dreadnaught or a different carrier, I am not sure yet.

If you are new to EVE Online and are interested in finding out which fittings and fighters I am currently using for my carrier, or are interested in finding out how to get a carrier of your own, please leave a comment or contact me.


Snooker Nation

Snooker Nation January 2021

When it comes to Snooker Nation, it has been a terrible start to 2021 for me. Of the 3 weeks Jason and I played, Jason won all 3 and ends January with a 6 frame advantage. It is still early in our Snooker Nation season, we have another 5 months to go, but I can’t help but feel a little deflated by the results so far.

08/01/2021 – Match 113

A very good start to Snooker Nation season 4 for Jason, winning 6 frames to 2 in a best of 11. Not only that, Jason scored an impressive 4 centuries, 110 in the 1st frame, 108 in the 5th, another 110 in the 6th and 114 in the 8th frame. My only consolation is that I scored a century of my own, 120 in the 4th frame.

15/01/2021 – Match 114

Another win for Jason, winning 6 frames to 5 in our usual best of 11. There were 2 century breaks, I got 129 in the 6th frame while Jason bagged 107 in the 10th. I really should have won this match as at one stage I had a commanding lead. I guess I shall have to wait a little longer for my first Season 4 victory.

22/01/2021 – Match 115

Jason is able to increase his win streak to 3 matches in a row by beating me 6 frames to 5 again. We both played really well and had quite a few century breaks between us. I had 134 in the 1st frame which is my new high break, followed by 114 in the 3rd and 122 in the 5th frame. Jason responded with 100 in the 2nd frame, 138 in the 6th which is the new high break overall, and 115 in the 10th frame.

Season 4 (January – June 2021) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 3 0 12 5 134
Jason 3 3 18 8 138

 


WoW January Update

WoW: January Update

It’s been an excellent month of Classic World of Warcraft, not just for me but also for the people I play with in Inspire guild. I have been more active recently, attending quite a few guild raids including most of the Naxxramas progression raids. Inspire have now cleared all 4 quarters of Naxxramas and have defeated arguably the most difficult boss, Sapphiron. I believe it’s only a matter of time before Inspire and I are able to defeat the last boss, Kel’Thuzad.

I continue to be fortunate on the loot front and have been awarded Bonescythe Helmet and Bonescythe Pauldrons. The downside to have been prioritized the tier 3 Bonescythe Armour set is that my loot priority rating (PR) is continuously very low. This means any other loot is pretty much off the cards for quite a while, but, that’s OK. If like me you have 6 pieces of loot from Naxxramas while other players have maybe 1 or 2, you shouldn’t complain.

Desireable
Drake Fang Talisman
Jom Gabbar

Best
Bonescythe Helmet
Bonescythe Pauldrons
Shroud of Dominion
Bonescythe Breastplate
Bonescythe Bracers
Bonescythe Ring
Band of Unnatural Forces
Slayer’s Crest
Kiss of the Spider
Gressil, Dawn of Ruin
The Hungering Cold
Nerubian Slavemaker

I have not been part of all of Inspire’s firsts in Naxxramas, but on the 11th January, I was there when we defeated Sapphiron for the first time. Of the 75 YouTube videos I have created so far, my recording of us defeating Sapphiron is probably my favourite. Not only was it a great achievement for everyone who was there, but people’s reaction is priceless. If you haven’t seen it already, please take a look below.

On my ‘to do’ list I can cross off getting exalted with Argent Dawn and have obtained manual of Eviscerate IX from the auction house. Because I have become quite lazy, I do not think I can find the motivation to complete the Darkmantle Armour set and will be taking it off of my list next month. As for reaching exalted the Darnassus, Gnomeregan Exiles and Stormwind, this is something I still want to work on and will leave it in play for now.

Gain exalted with Argent Dawn
Gain exalted with Darnassus
Gain exalted with Gnomeregan Exiles
Gain exalted with Stormwind
Obtain Darkmantle Cap
Obtain Darkmantle Tunic
Obtain Manual of Eviscerate IX

One negative thing about being lazy in Classic WoW, especially during progression raiding, most of my gold (in game currency) and stock of consumables have vanished. At one stage I didn’t have enough consumables for the next raid, and had just 44 gold to my name. This has forced me to rethink how I play Classic WoW if I want to achieve full Naxxramas clearance and continue to raid with my guild mates. Thankfully I am now well stocked and have amassed around 500 gold, which is still really low, but a step in the right direction.


Magic: The Gathering Arena Zendikar Rising

Magic: The Gathering Arena Zendikar Rising Set Mastery

Shortly after unlocking the ‘mastery pass’ for the Magic: The Gathering Arena Core 2021 set in September 2020, Zendikar Rising was released and a new mastery pass was made available to unlock rewards up to level 130. Since then I have enjoyed playing a few games most days and have just reached level 130, 18 days before the event ends. As with before I decided to unlock the mastery pass costing 3400 gems (one of the in-game currencies) to obtain all of the rewards at the same time, as seen in my YouTube video below:

One of the rewards is 1200 gems which effectively reduces the cost to 2200 gems. Gems are usually bought with money, but, if you’re careful you can obtain them by keeping an eye on the in-game store and occasionally exchange them for gold (another in-game currency obtained by playing games) and, when you reach 10,000 gold, you can win gems by participating in draft events. Eventually, over several months, it’s quite easy to obtain more than 3400 gems, making it possible to do what I have done by simply playing the game.

The Zendikar Rising set is pretty interesting, but one thing I really do not like is the way players make a deck designed to ‘mill’ their opponent out of cards. One card, Ruin Crab, as part of Zendikar Rising, makes it that much easier for players to do this. It costs 1 blue mana to cast, so it can be played on turn 1 and forces an opponent to mill 3 cards each time a land is played. Combine that with Fabled Passage, which is land allowing players to search their deck for any basic land and then play it, it makes Ruin Crab overpowered for a really boring and annoying way to play magic.

I have said before that I really do like Magic: The Gathering Arena, but I do wish there was more synergy between the physical off the shelf product and the online game. The occasional code in a booster pack to redeem, giving cards, gems, gold, drafting passes ect would make collecting the cards and playing the online game so much more fun.


FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL: Faster Than Light

Over the past few days I have re-visited a fairly old game, FTL: Faster Than Light. First released in 2012, FTL: Faster Than Light is a top-down real-time strategy ‘roguelike‘ game developed by indie developer Subset Games. I first played FTL back in 2012 and remember it being an excellent game, since then the game has been developed further to include new ships, more stats, an achievement system and an ‘advanced’ play mode which includes new features such as mind control and hacking among other things.

The idea of FTL is simply to use your ship’s FTL drive to jump between nodes, deal with random encounters and fight off enemy ships. If you’re lucky you will gain ship resources, weapons, even additional crew members to improve your chances of reaching the exit of the ‘sector’ before the enemy rebel fleet catch you. Once your ship reaches sector 8, your ship will need to be fully equipped and upgraded because you will engage the rebel mother ship which will end the game in victory or defeat.

FTL Stats

FTL: Faster Than Light is actually a pretty hard game, I have yet to beat it on the ‘normal’ difficulty setting, although as you can see from the stats above, I have been able to beat it on the easy ‘advanced’ setting a few times. Because I have so far failed to complete it on ‘normal’ however, I will not add it to my list of completed games until I do.

So far, for the grand total of £1.74 (Steam sale), FTL has given me over 27 hours of game play, which would have been much more if I didn’t already know the game from 8+ years ago. It really goes to show that you don’t need to spend much money to game, the best part is you don’t need a gaming rig or even an internet connection to play FTL (once downloaded). If your computer is capable of letting you read this blog post, it’s capable of running FTL.


Snooker Nation

Snooker Nation December 2020

Season 3 of Snooker Nation between my good friend Jason and I has ended with me as the winner. One small consolation for Jason is that he wins the highest break prize, and has shown me up for scoring far fewer centuries. It’s quite remarkable how I was able to win 6 matches in a row after Jason himself had won 6 matches in a row and had a significant lead. Unfortunately we didn’t make it until the last match of the season and as such agreed to have a break from playing and focus on our weekly conversation which we used to wrap up our 2020 among other things. Jason has agreed to another 6 months of Snooker Nation which we will start in the new year.

04/12/2020 – Match 110

Thankfully my win streak continues to grow having won 6 frames to 2 in a best of 11. There were no century breaks which is always a shame, especially as I had numerous opportunities to score one. The main thing however is that I am now 1 match away from equalizing and am now even on frames won.

11/12/2020 – Match 111

Yet another victory, this time winning 6 frames to 5 in a best of 11. This is one match Jason will want to forget because at one stage Jason was ahead 5 frames to 4 and only needed to pot the blue ball to win the match and end my win streak. Jason potted the blue but also potted the white, giving me 5 points which enabled me to pot the blue, pink and black to win the frame by 1 point. The only consolation for Jason is that he scored the only century of 138 in the 8th frame, further increasing his lead on centuries scored.

18/12/2020 – Match 112

Another victory for me which will conclude season 3 of Snooker Nation. I won 6 frames to 4 in a best of 11 and while there is 1 more week of the season, even if Jason beat me 6-0 I would still win the season by 1 frame. There were 4 century breaks, I had 120 in the 1st frame and 115 in the 5th frame while Jason scored 103 in the 2nd and 102 in the 4th frame. I am proud to have won the season, especially as Jason is a worthy opponent, but what I am most proud of is that we played 23 matches consisting of 203 frames and 52 centuries.

Season 3 (July – December 2020) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 23 12 105 20 141
Jason 23 11 98 32 143

 

Seasons 1 – 3 (June 2019 – December 2020) lifetime statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 74 39 324 72 147 x 4
Jason 74 36 307 90 147 x 2

 


WoW December Update

WoW: December Update

Phase 6 for Classic World of Warcraft has arrived and with it a new raid, Naxxramas. This will be the final phase before the next chapter in World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade. I have enjoyed playing Classic WoW consistently from the beginning, I even stayed up late to create 2 characters before the official launch back in August 2019. Since then I have been pleased to document my adventures on my blog and, to some extent, on youtube.

But it’s not over yet. My guild mates and I will still want to conquer phase 6 and then, well, who can tell. The first thing I need to do is completely re examine my wish list. I haven’t been able to get the two trinkets remaining on my October update list, they are no longer the best ones for me, but because my current trinkets are quite weak, I will keep them on the list as desireable items. It’s worth noting that Bonescythe Waistguard is not the best belt for a Rogue, but, regardless, I would still like to use full Bonescythe Armour set if possible and have been very lucky in obtaining 4 pieces already.

Desireable
Drake Fang Talisman
Jom Gabbar

Best
Bonescythe Helmet
Bonescythe Pauldrons
Shroud of Dominion
Bonescythe Breastplate
Bonescythe Bracers
Bonescythe Legplates
Bonescythe Gauntlets
Bonescythe Waistguard
Bonescythe Sabatons
Bonescythe Ring
Band of Unnatural Forces
Slayer’s Crest
Kiss of the Spider
Gressil, Dawn of Ruin
The Hungering Cold
Nerubian Slavemaker

My guild mates and I have already eliminated 11 out of 15 bosses in Naxxramas, however, the final two bosses, Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad are only made available when the other 13 bosses have been eliminated in the same weekly lockout. With a lot luck I hope we will be attempting these bosses soon, possibly even on Monday.

Having for the most part been another lazy month, my ‘things to do’ list hasn’t seen much progress. However, I have seen that Naxxramas grants Argent Dawn reputation and I have completed a few new quests which also gave a reputation boost, making it even easier to get exhaulted with Argent Dawn.

Gain exhaulted with Argent Dawn
Gain exhaulted with Darnassus
Gain exhaulted with Gnomeregan Exiles
Gain exhaulted with Stormwind
Obtain Darkmantle Cap
Obtain Darkmantle Tunic
Obtain Manual of Eviscerate IX

In the coming weeks I intend to be more active and will attend at least 2 raids a week rather than just 1. I am however still interested in playing a variety of different games as well as World of Warcraft, as such 100% commitment will be difficult.


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