Copper Ice

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Kerbal Space Program – Minmus

Kerbal Space Program Kerbal

This weekend I have spent more time playing Kerbal Space Program (KSP) and I have made some decent progress.

Somehow I have managed to get a satellite of sorts in orbit of Kerbin (Earth). The mission to get it there was rather sloppy and not much went to plan, but it’s there in an awkward but stable orbit. This was not one of the career mode milestone contracts to keep tabs on my progress, but I am pleased with it all the same. Maybe I can try again and get one in a neater orbit around Kerbin or perhaps even Mun (Moon).

Kerbal Space Program Satellite

Last week I managed to do a fly-by of Mun but this week I managed to achieve orbit and do an EVA (Extravehicular activity) in order to complete a milestone contract.

Kerbal Space Program Mun Orbit

I was about break orbit of Mun and return home to Kerbin but I noticed that I still had a lot of fuel left which meant as the title of this post suggests, I managed to go a little further and do a fly-by of Minmus which I learned is a second moon orbiting Kerbin and is much smaller than Mun. It was harder to intercept but as you can see, I managed quite nicely.

Kerbal Space Program Minmus

I am not sure how much longer I will be playing KSP, but if I continue to play, perhaps I will try and land on one of these moons or even orbit another planet. I am sure these achievements are simple to many veteran KSP players, but I am really pleased with the progress I am making.

Snooker Nation Week 24

Snooker Nation

Once again Jason has beaten me in Snooker Nation, this time 4 frames to 2 in a best of 7 which increases his win streak to 3 in a row.

There were no shortages of century breaks. Jason scored 104 in the second frame and 103 in the 6th frame. I managed to get the highest break of 106 in the 5th frame which is a small consolation prize. Considering my losing streak, I will take what I can get!

Jason played incredibly well, of the shots he missed I believe he only missed 1 or 2 when it mattered. While as always I enjoyed playing the game with my friend, I really need to dig deep and win next time. I do not mind losing to Jason, especially when he is playing so well, but losing 3 times in a row is a little sad.

Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program

This weekend I have had a lot of fun playing Kerbal Space Program (KSP). For those of you that don’t know, KSP is a space flight orientated sandbox game which was developed and published by indie game company Squad.

While the official release of KSP was in April 2015, like with many indie games there was the option of purchasing the game during the Alpha or Beta phase in order to support the few developers involved in creating the game and to assist with testing and community building. In return players would obtain a large part of the game early, with the promise of having the final product on completion. Players can also potentially influence the direction the game is going and get involved with the games overall development. As such I purchased the game during Alpha in 2012 after a work colleague showed me what it can do on his laptop.

Like with other sandbox games, there really is no limit to what you can achieve. Initially you are encouraged to use parts to construct rockets to see if you can escape the atmosphere of Kerbin (Earth) and return your crew still alive which is quite easy.

Kerbal Space Program Space
I prefer playing the career option, which allows you to unlock parts a few at a time and encourages you to take small steps to help you with the games steep learning curve. First you will be asked to test individual parts in different conditions and various milestone contracts will help you keep track of your progress. After I managed to escape the atmosphere of Kerbin I was encouraged to take the next step and achieve a stable orbit around Kerbin, which I did. I then worked towards returning to Kerbin after achieving orbit, perform an EVA (Extravehicular activity) in space and was encouraged to do a fly-by of the mun (moon). As I completed tasks I was given resources to unlock parts and abilities which enabled me to more easily complete the next set of tasks which got progressively complex, requiring some creative thinking.

Finally, after several hours, I managed to complete a series of contracts and tests to allow me to fly-by the mun. This is where my career has stopped, at least for the time being.

Kerbal Space Program Mun

Kerbal Space Program Mun

Kerbal Space Program Mun

I am rather proud of my weekends achievements in KSP because of the steep rocket science and engineering learning curve the physics of this game demands. As I have already mentioned however, there is no limit to what can be achieved in this game. I seen players visiting and landing on distant planets in the solar system, conduct interesting experiments in space, transport rovers and other vehicles around the solar system, and even create huge space stations in orbit of other planets.

Snooker Nation Week 23

Snooker Nation

This weeks Snooker Nation game was an amusing one, to say the least.

Jason managed to once again win 4 frames to 2 in a best of 7. Actually, at one point I was up 2-0 but Jason managed to win 4 in a row to claim victory. There was just one century break of 129 this week which belonged to Jason in the 3rd frame.

The amusing part was on the 5th frame where Jason had run out of position and snookered himself while on a colour. He somehow managed to hit the black, which then flicked off a red and potted in a middle pocket. Pure fluke but Jason being Jason he said he played for it.

I feel like I have been rather unlucky this week. I somehow managed to glitch a red in a middle pocket in the first frame but from that moment on not much went my way.

Once again I have played very little games lately so it was good to play a game with my Friend Jason and give me a some content to write about for my much loved blog.

Deathwatch First Impressions

Deathwatch First Impressions

I recently bought Deathwatch, a Warhammer 40,000 turn based strategy game for the Playstation 4 and I have to say, so far, I am not particularly impressed.

Turn based strategy games have been a favourite of mine since playing Front Mission 3 back in 2000/2001 and I have been recently spoilt by XCOM2, both of which are frankly amazing games. Front Mission 3 in particular will be with me forever because of the incredible soundtrack and story.

Deathwatch seems slow and the turns do not flow well, navigating the map is a chore and the ability to customize the space marines is non-existent. You can, to some extent, select which weapon and load out the marines use but beyond that it does not seem like you can do anything. While playing, you obtain cards which unlock marines and items to be used. I would have much preferred to have won points and given a way to spend them on whatever I wanted, recruit my own marines and equipment to better customize my experience.

So far the missions are really easy and boring. I do not see how I could ever lose a mission, also, while it has not happened to me yet, I believe if one my marines were to be killed on a mission, I do not think I would lose it. Instead I would only lose some of the experience that marine has accrued. I see no way to actually lose the campaign or suffer significant consequences which really takes the excitement out of the game.

The game is really quiet and the soundtrack is nearly non-existent which I suppose might be fitting for the space marine Warhammer 40,000 universe, but not something I particularly enjoy.

In fairness, anyone who really likes Warhammer 40,000 will probably like this game for how accurate it is trying to be to fit in the Warhammer universe, but for me, who is not especially a Warhammer fan, I just find the game lacking in features.

I have not completely given up on the game and will persevere to see if my experience of the game will get any better. I hope at the very least the game will offer some challenge and allow more ways to customize my experience.

Snooker Nation Week 22

Snooker Nation

Yet another game of Snooker Nation with my friend Jason. This time Jason won 4 frames to 2 in a best of 7 which must have felt good after his heavy defeat two weeks ago.

We both played well considering we both achieved century breaks, the first time one of us scored a century since the first week of January. I managed to score 126 in the first frame while Jason managed to get a break of 120 in the 4th frame. Unfortunately Jason missed the final black which would have given him 127, I doubt he cared much, considering how hard he worked for it and that this is his first century break this year.

Uncharacteristically I have not been gaming very much recently, it felt particularly good to play a game last night and it feels good to have a little bit of content to write about for my much loved blog.

Diablo III Season 16 End

Diablo III Season End

While season 16 for Diablo III is still in full swing, my season 16 journey has come to an end. I can honestly say however that I have fully enjoyed getting as far as I have and might return for season 17, perhaps by playing hardcore mode, which I really liked when I played Diablo II.

After almost 58 hours play time, I managed to get paragon level 640 and have reached level 74 solo greater rift. These are not particularly high achievements, there are many elite Diablo players who obtain paragon level 2000+ and are playing in greater rifts level 120+. I am however very pleased and am quite proud of my personal accomplishments.

Since my last Diablo III post, I have learned about primal ancient legendary items, which very rarely drop in the world of Sanctuary. These items have perfect stats (not necessarily base stats) and as such are very powerful, I learned that as soon as you complete a greater rift level 70 on your own you are guaranteed to get one and that when they drop they emit a red beam which you can see in my screenshot below.

Primal Ancient Legendary

Unfortunately I did not find another primal ancient legendary item this season, but it was great fun searching for them and kept me playing for longer.

I also have Diablo III for Playstation 4 and have been playing that while considering what game I want to play next. I actually need just 3 more trophies to obtain the platinum trophy so the next time I get the urge to play Diablo III, I might try to complete the Playstation trophy collection before playing it on PC.

Snooker Nation Week 21

Snooker Nation

It has been 3 weeks since my last Snooker Nation post. After a period of being incredibly busy with work, combined with a nasty cold, I am happy to have had a catch up with my good friend Jason and play Snooker Nation for the 21st time since starting this blog.

We played a best of 7 and I managed to win 4 frames to 1. Unfortunately neither Jason or I managed to score a century break which now makes it 4 games in a row since one of us scored a century. Jason thought we might not have yet scored a century this year, he was close, the last time was on the 5th of January.

Because I won the game so quickly we decided to play some Pool Nation, an older game also developed by Cherry Pop Games. We played two best of 7 games of UK 8 ball which I won 4-2 and 4-0 followed by two best of 7 games of US 8 ball which I won 4-0 and 4-3.

It has not a good night for Jason to say the least. In his defence I think he must have been really tired because on two occasions he potted the black/8 ball when he still had something else to pot on the table, giving me the frame.

The Power of Gaming

The Power of Gaming

A few days ago I read a touching article about fellow gamer, Mats ‘Ibelin’ Steen.

Mats was a Norwegian born gamer who had Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare disorder that causes muscle degeneration. Instead of allowing this disorder to define who he was and confine him to his wheelchair, he took to gaming and defined himself in his World of Warcraft character Ibelin, where for years he would have a positive impact on his fellow gamers.

Mats eventually died from DMD in 2014, however, as a testament to his good character and Ibelin, many within Azeroth (the name of the world in which World of Warcraft is set) mourned his death and even attended his funeral, in person.

If you have access to the BBC UK website you can read about Mats here, but be warned, it’s a touching read.

Years ago, during towards the end of the World of Warcraft expansion, the Burning Crusade, a highly liked member of the guild I was in died and I must confess it affected me more than I thought it would. Unlike Mats I do not have DMD but I use gaming to escape the world in which we live and re-invent myself in the games that I play. It was hard for me to accept that death still needed to be a part of my escapism and I suppose this is one reason why I usually game alone.

I recently joined a guild called Midlife Crisis within World of Warcraft and I have always held them in high esteem. It has been great, for a change, to get to know people who have a passion for the same game as me and perhaps gaming in general. While at this present time the game does not interest me as much, I really hope my fellow guild members of Midlife Crisis know that I think they’re amazing and I hope in future they’re still around when I have my next stint of World of Warcraft. After reading about Mats I will post on the Midlife Crisis blog, just to let them know my intentions and give them ways to reach out to me. While I am currently bored of World of Warcraft, I am by no means bored of them.

Reading about Mats’ story, I am reminded of just how powerful gaming can be. What shall I tell my colleagues about my weekend when I go back to work tomorrow? Shall I tell them, as usual, that I did not get up to much and just had a chilled weekend? Or shall I tell them I saved the earth from Diablo and his hordes of minions?

When I die, I would have not climbed Everest, I would not have won an Olympic gold medal or scored the goal which won the world cup. I would have however slain dragons, saved he world from alien invasions, commanded space faring civilisations and lived though the greatest stories ever told, that’s enough for me.

Diablo III Season 16 Start

Diablo III Season Start

It has now been a little over two weeks since season 16 for Diablo III started and so far I have enjoyed every moment.

As I mentioned in my first Diablo themed post, I have not played since season 7 which ended in 2016 sometime. This means I have over two years worth of additions to explore and so far, I am impressed.

Each act has an entirely new zone complete with different enemies, terrains, quests and bounties. There are whole bunch of new legendary items available and I don’t necessarily see the same 4 or 5 items constantly like I used to. There have been a number of quality of life changes too, for example crafting materials are now no longer stored in your inventory/stash but act as a sort of currency which saves a lot of time.

While I have been very busy with my work, I have still managed to put in a decent amount of time in playing both last weekend and this weekend. As such I have managed to reach paragon level 463 with a wizard and have hit level 66 in greater rifts with a time of 10:43.883.

Diablo III Season 16 Record

To say I am pleased with my progress would be an understatement. To give you an idea, my total non-ladder paragon level is currently 440. This means in the past 2 weekends I have managed to achieve a higher paragon level than my combined season 1-7 efforts. I am easily farming torment level XIII, which is the highest level to farm, and I am sure I can exceed greater rift level 66 if I wanted to. The main problem for me right now is survival, I do enough damage for now but I need to stay alive longer and not die in just a few hits.

Playing Diablo III at such a high level means it rains legendary and set items all of the time. The sound and sight of these items dropping never gets old for me. Even when killing a greater rift boss where I always, without fail, get at least 5 legendary and/or set items still makes me smile.

Legendary Drops

Unfortunately I am going to be even busier next week and probably won’t have much time to game or blog. I will however try to squeeze in some game time over the weekend and see if I can increase my Diablo III progress. Non-casual Diablo III players seem to hit paragon level 1000 with relative ease, maybe I can do the same? One thing is for certain, if I do, I will try and remember to record the moment.

If any reader would like to share their Diablo III achievements, no matter how small, I would love to hear from you.

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