Copper Ice

Blogger, Gamer, Nerd

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.

Snooker Nation Week 8

Snooker Nation

After not playing Snooker Nation the previous week, I was excited to play another best of 7 with my good friend Jason last Friday. This time I won 4 frames to 3 but Jason had the only century of the evening, scoring 105 in the 6th frame.

There were some really scrappy frames, both of us were out of practise. We had a good laugh though and Jason had some rather interesting quotes, my favourite was ‘Didn’t miss, played a future shot’ when he accidentally potted a colour when he needed to pot a red. Then there was ‘I was checking to see if the white fit in the pocket’ when he potted the white.

That’s what I like about playing games with Jason. It doesn’t matter what it is, we always have a laugh. Our taste in games are very different, I like fantasy, role play and strategy games the most while Jason tends to like racing and FPS (first-person shooter) games. When we do find something we both enjoy however, be it an FPS or a game like Snooker Nation, it’s pure gold.

Saturday Night Magic

Saturday Night Magic

Today I have spent a lot of time playing the relatively new World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth. After a winning streak in PvP (Player vs Player) I decided that my good fortune may continue when playing Magic: The Gathering Arena, and I was right.

Of the 7 games I played I managed to win 5 and bagged myself 2100 gold in the process. I will confess however that 2 of my wins were against new opponents and one opponent must have either been very unlucky or had a poorly constructed deck because they were mana starved and could not do anything. You will see what I mean if you watch the video below.

Some people tap out of the game way too early. Just because an opponent has 1 or 2 large creatures, it doesn’t mean that the game is over, at least that’s what I think. I always wait until I know for sure that it is impossible for me to win before I quit. Here is another one of my victories which demonstrates how quickly people give up.

Not everyone plays like this though. In the video below you will see that my opponent tried to hang on for as long as possible. I believe they needed just one card to take my large 12/12 trample creature off of the battlefield and still be in with a chance to win. Thankfully for me my opponent didn’t get that card and I was fortunate enough to be able to end the game quickly. This game also highlights how easy it is for green decks to get huge creatures out in the early stages of the game.

It was not all good news for me this evening. One game I lost my opponent managed to overwhelm me with small creatures. They played it really well and I was impressed with the card ‘Mentor of the Meek’ which allowed my opponent to draw a card for 1 mana when a creature with 2 power or less enter the battlefield under their control. Any card which allows you to draw cards is a really good thing!

I have been considering creating a series of regular Magic: The Gathering Arena posts and videos. Perhaps I could make some videos public which would hopefully attract traffic to this website. I have also been considering creating an intro for these videos and maybe even live stream some of my gaming on twitch.tv. Perhaps, in time and with great effort I could produce a small following this way. There are downsides to doing this but it has been something I have always been interested in doing. If I am going to do something like this, I am going to need to upgrade my equipment and be prepared to spend a lot of time making regular content.

Saturday Morning Magic

Saturday Morning Magic

It’s Saturday morning and I am sick. I have woken up at 6am as if it were a work day and can’t get back to sleep. I decided that the best thing would be for me to make myself a cup of tea and play a few rounds of Magic: The Gathering Arena (MTGA).

I played 15 games in total winning 8 games and losing the remaining 7. I am really pleased to have won more than half of my games, I also got 2450 gold for my trouble, of which I spent 1000 on a ‘Guilds of Ravnica’ booster pack. I was however disappointed with the content of the booster, the rare was ‘Bounty of Might’ which I don’t really like that much.

This also gave me an opportunity to record more video footage of a game which I have uploaded to youtube. I really hope to spend more time creating and possibly editing these sorts of videos for my blog. They will certainly be a requirement for if and when I produce gaming guides.

In other Magic: The Gathering news I have also bought a ‘Guilds of Ravnica Bundle’ from Magic Madhouse. Perhaps this shows just how successful MTGA has been on me. Not only has it been incredibly fun to play, it has persuaded me to start collecting the cards again, earning the creators ‘Wizards of the Coast’ a well earned paying customer.

Black Girl Gamers

Black Girl Gamers

Several days ago I read an article on the BBC website about ‘Black Girl Gamers’ and had a look at their website. I am really impressed with these women but at the same time, really sad that it has come to this.

Black Girl Gamers promote diversity and change within the gaming industry and gaming communities. Specifically to get rid of sexism and racism known as misogynoir. It seems to have become a place for all things gaming from the perspective of black women and perhaps women in general, regardless of their skin colour. I would like to encourage any reader of this post to visit their website to learn more. If you have the means and feel so inclined, you may wish to consider financially supporting them through Patreon or buying something from their merchandise store. (which seems empty at the moment)

Black Gamer Girls website
Patreon

Misogyny and racism (misogynoir) of any kind is completely unacceptable. For it to be rife in the gaming industry and within gaming communities breaks my heart. I have been an avid gamer for as long as I can remember, long before esports and the internet were a thing. When I was a teenager it was almost taboo to admit that you were a gamer, there was a kind of stigma attached to it as being a complete waste of time and that only kids or losers would play video games. Thankfully times have changed and gaming is more widely accepted but back then misogyny and racism in the gaming community was not really a thing. Having said that, according to Black Girl Gamers, there have only been 14 playable black female characters in all of gaming history. I can only think of one right now, Purna in Dead Island.

I have very little experience with misogyny and racism in games directly, after starting a job where I work however, I found out that one of my female colleagues is a gamer. One of the first things she said to me about gaming is that she tends to only play offline games or if she does play games online it is only with choice friends. This is because she is a woman and that being a woman on the internet, specifically playing video games, opens her up to abuse. That conversation really opened my eyes to how bad things have got over the years and, truth be told, it hurt. Knowing that my fellow gamer, someone who I also respect and consider my friend actually feels this way is shocking to me. When I think about it, I too tend to go out of my way to have as little contact as possible with people in games (and in general really). This is mostly because I simply can not tolerate how people treat each other in online games. Things need to change, the gaming industry needs to change and we need more people like those at Black Girl Gamers.

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