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Copper Ice, Blogger, Nerd
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.


EVE Online Wormhole Exploration

EVE Online Wormhole Exploration

Since writing my EVE Online Resurgence post, one activity I have been doing since I started to play EVE Online again is wormhole exploration. This is where I leave the relative safety of high security space and enter unknown regions using wormholes in search or relic or data sites. Once I find these sites I hack into containers which contain somewhat valuable items. To achieve this I use an Astero as pictured below.

The Astero is pretty much designed for wormhole exploration with bonuses to core scanner strength (used to scan systems for anomalies) and relic and data analyzer strength (used to hack into relic and data site containers). The Astero is also able to equip a covert ops cloaking device (which allow the Astero to remain cloaked while in warp) and is generally a fast and nippy ship, which, if used properly, reduces the risks involved in wormhole exploration.

EVE Online Astero

In my first exploration I found 3 lucrative relic sites in wormhole space and bagged around 56.2 million ISK (Interstellar Kredits) in roughly 75 minutes. While this isn’t a huge sum of in-game currency, I think it’s a pretty good haul for 75 minutes of play. I made the below video to show off my adventure.

While you can be successful and obtain a lot of wealth with wormhole exploration, it is by no means a guaranteed source of income. It’s entirely possible to spend hours exploring wormhole space and find very little of value. Other activities, such as completing missions or mining ore in high security space, may only give low rewards, but it is consistent.

I find exploration exciting and hope to do much more of it. There are other, low cost ships which are both Alpha and new pilot friendly and can achieve the same results as an Astero. If any reader is interested in this or are interested in how I fit my Astero and how I use it for wormhole exploration, please leave a comment or contact me.


EVE Online Resurgence

EVE Online Resurgence

Recently I have started to play EVE Online again. Originally when I started this blog it was my intention for it to heavily feature EVE Online as at the time it was my favourite game which I played daily, even many of the images initially used to create my blog were screenshots taken within the game. Shortly after the creation of my blog however, I got bored of EVE Online and decided to play other games. Because of this, I only made a few EVE Online posts and had to quickly rethink my approach to blogging.

I am not sure what I want to achieve this time around, but so far I have found it helpful to completely liquidate, consolidate and organize my EVE Online assets to a single account and 3 characters. After consolidation I had around 45bn ISK (Interstallar Kredits) of which I spent around 15bn on some capital ship BPO’s (Blueprint Originals) and I am in the process of researching material and time efficiency for them, which will ultimately allow me to construct capital ships faster for less raw materials. This project will take some months to complete and there are still many other Blueprints which I do not have for all the different types of capital ships.

While thinking about what I want to do, I have been completing quite a few level 4 security missions with a Dominix which has a cool ‘sniper’ sentry drone fitting allowing me to destroy enemy ships at long distances. I may share this Dominix fitting on my blog, perhaps accompanied with a YouTube video. My most popular blog post to date is Alpha EVE Online: Vexor, written back in April 2019, where I share a Vexor ship fitting which I find useful.

EVE Online Dominix

Whatever I end up doing, I do not want to let myself get too involved with EVE Online and keep everything to a single account and well organized. I also want to try and avoid spending too much time playing a single game, I have tried to reduce this habbit in recent years and am happier for it.

If you play EVE Online, I am interested in knowing about what you do and why, feel free to leave a comment or contact me.


Snooker Nation

Snooker Nation November 2020

It has been a much better month of Snooker Nation for me, winning 3 out of 4 matches and in doing so I have kept myself in the race for the title. With a maximum of 4 more matches remaining of the season, it has become apparent that if a lose 1 more match my only option will be to try and win by number of frames won, which isn’t so bad because it is the one statistic where I am not behind.

06/11/2020 – Match 106

Yet another win for Jason, winning 6 frames to 4 in a best of 11. Jason played exceptionally well and scored 4 century breaks. 135 in the 3rd frame, 129 in the 4th, 124 in the 5th and 101 in the 10th frame. I didn’t play too badly and secured a century of my own of 107 in the 7th frame. I think I just got very unlucky and Jason was able to capitalize on my misfortune.

13/11/2020 – Match 107

Jason’s 6 match win streak has finally come to an end with me winning 6 frames to 4 in a best of 11. With only a potential of 6 more matches of our 3rd 6 month Snooker Nation season, I can’t afford to lose much more. Jason secured the only century break of 133 in the 8th frame, which is a shame because I should have done better to get centuries of my own. Although I won, I am not satisfied with my performance and will need to do better in the weeks ahead.

20/11/2020 – Match 108

I have started a small win streak of my own by winning this match 6 frames to 1 in a best of 11. There were 3 century breaks, 139 in the 3rd frame and 120 in the 5th frame belong to me while Jason scored 138 in the 6th frame and in so doing narrowly escaped a white wash. It feels good to start catching up not only on matches won but also frames won and centuries.

27/11/2020 – Match 109

Another good week of Snooker Nation, winning 6 frames to 2 in a best of 11 and increasing my win streak to 3. As with last week there were 3 century breaks, a massive 143 belonging to Jason in the 2nd frame while I got 141 in the 5th frame (increasing my season highest break) and 127 in the 7th frame.

Season 3 (July – December 2020) statistics

Played Won Frames Won Centuries Highest Break
Copper 20 9 87 18 141
Jason 20 11 87 29 143

 


WoW November Update

WoW: November Update

I wasn’t going to write a Classic WoW update this month, I have achieved so little since my last update, yesterday however marked a real highlight for my Classic WoW journey and is too good not to mention.

After over a year of continuos raiding, my guild mates and I finally obtained Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker for our main tank, Eremir. This iconic legendary item involves obtaining Bindings of the Windseeker (right half) from Garr in Molten Core which we obtained back in May, I recorded the guild’s reaction below.

Fast forward a little more than 6 months and around 24 more clearances of Molten Core, the Bindings of the Windseeker (left half) finally dropped from Baron Geddon yesterday. I was able to once again capture the guild’s reaction which was an amazing moment for everyone. You can also see in an act of superstition and desperation, I jumped in the lava as Baron Geddon was slain to try and increase the liklihood the bindings would drop. Other desperate acts have included having someone other than the raid leader form the raid group and on one occasion a guild member engaged Baron Geddon without any items equipped.

The left half of the binding dropping was extra special because we knew that with the right half we aquired back in May, our main tank, Eremir, would be able to aquire our guild’s first Thunderfury which is exactly what we did when we completed the raid. Defeating Prince Thunderaan, the last part of the quest string to get Thunderfury, was a simple afair and didn’t need as many of us to attend, but it was nice that the guild could share the moment.

Other than this guild achievement, I have quite literally nothing to report other than I have, as always, been consistently been raiding Molten Core and Blackwing Lair with my guild. I have obtained no new items, have been unable to cross anything off of my ‘to-do’ list and I am still not attending The Temple of Ahn’Qiraj (AQ40) raids or any of the many optional raids my guild officers host during the week. Hopefully by this time next month I will have more individual progress to report.

On another note, this blog is really starting to pay off as I am able to read about what I was doing this time last year in Classic World of Warcraft. It seems that I had just reached level 50 with my rogue and I started to think about joining a guild.


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