High school Course Selection

A few days ago some of the guidance counsellors from the main high school that students from my elementary school usually transfer to, came to our school to talk to us about course selection for high school. Although going into grade 9 we don’t have much flexibility in which courses we take, they still told us all about which credits we had to get, which electives are available, and everything else we need to graduate.

The system we are using to plan out our courses is a website called myBlueprint where we choose eight courses (including the compulsory subjects) and whether or not we would like to take the academic, applied, locally developed, or open course if the options are available. As grade 9’s there are six compulsory subjects which are English, Maths, Science, French, Geography, and Healthy Active Living Education. Besides those six, we have the option to choose our own elective courses.

The open and locally developed courses are there for students that are having difficulties in that subject whereas applied and academic are the courses that most people take which are at or above grade level. For English, Maths, Science, French, and Geography I selected the academic courses because it’s better to take the academic courses if you are trying to go to university. I’m still not 100% sure which direction of work I would like to go in the future, so I decided to take the academic course for all the subjects. The Healthy Active Living Education is just one subject with no other options, so it’s just a course everyone takes.

As for my elective choices I selected Orchestral Strings Beginner course and Non-Traditional Visual Arts. The reason why I chose Orchestral Strings is because I find playing music quite fun. Additionally, I’m learning how to write music for these types of instruments, so I think it’d be good to actually be able to play one of the orchestral string instruments. I also chose the beginner course because although I can play guitar I have no experience with specifically orchestral strings and little experience with reading ledger lines. I chose the Non-Traditional Visual Arts because when I read the course description it seemed more interesting to me than traditional art. The course revolves more around media and technology like, video, computer animation, and digital imaging. I felt like this was something I could get interested in, so I chose the course.

In addition to the two elective courses we chose, we also had to select two other alternate courses in case our first two choices couldn’t be made for us. The two alternates I chose were Exploring Computer Technologies and Business. These two things are also things I’m kind of interested in, but not so much as the other two I chose as my first choices.

Overall, there’s not really too much I look forwards to in high school, but there are somethings I’m interested in like maybe getting the chance to have music class every day for a whole semester.

Fortnite v7.20 Patch

This week again I don’t really have anything to write about so it’s more of reviewing the Fortnite updates. To be honest I’m actually starting to play the game even less than before. Even if there’s a new patch I didn’t even try to experience it to the fullest, but instead I’ve been getting back into CS:GO a lot more.

Although I feel like most of the attention to this patch is the new scoped revolver, I think that there are a lot more interesting things to be addressed in this latest patch. The new revolver holds six shots of medium ammo just like most of the other revolvers before it and deals 42/44 base damage depending on the rarity. In my opinion, this new weapon is kind of like the heavy assault rifle in terms of damage. However, my friends have told me that the revolver has almost no spread once scoped in. From what I have seen and read I can’t really see myself using the weapon. Even if the damage and accuracy are high I don’t think that this weapon would replace anything in my loadout of weapons. Six bullets aren’t enough to replace an assault rifle, it’s pretty obvious it won’t be replacing shotguns or SMGs, and the Deagle doesn’t waste your medium bullets and has similar damage and accuracy if you use it properly.

The next thing that was mentioned was the return of glider redeploy as an item. It’s a consumable that has ten charges and it works the same way as the old glider redeploy except it takes up an inventory slot and you can only use it ten times. A few more things to note in terms of weapon changes is that the minigun now has an overheat cooldown after six seconds of fire. Balloons, stink bombs, and scoped ARs had their rarities dropped by one value. Pretty much all sniper rifles in the game now have the same projectile trajectory as the heavy sniper which means that the bullets will now all travel slower. This could change the way that people use the sniper rifles because at long ranges you actually see the bullet flying towards you and can move out of the way before it reaches you.

There were also a few notable gameplay changes. Zip lines now let you change the direction you move in by moving in the direction you want to go. You will now also slowly accelerate on zip lines rather than go at top speed from the start. Building destruction from zip lines was also turned back on apparently, but I didn’t even know it was turned off. Sensitivity values now have a third decimal place so you can even further fine-tune your sensitivities. You will also no longer build walls into the ground which I think is great because you’d always get mad when you were getting shot at and all of your walls were placed in the ground and not in front of you. One last thing I’d like to mention is that the plane’s volume has been reduced so you can’t hear them from like 200m away.

That’s it for this week’s major changes in my opinion. If I could I would like to write more about CS:GO in the future, but I can’t think of ideas to write about. I probably won’t play Fortnite this week unless a friend invites me to, instead I’ll probably be playing osu! or CS:GO with friends.

Fortnite v7.10 Patch

Again this week I can’t really think of anything to write about, so for this week I’ll be writing more about the popular game Fortnite and it’s recent patches. In the past few weeks Epic Games has added a few new things and have also made a few other changes as always.

There were a few things added that I’m pretty sure were just for the holiday season such as the 14 Days Of Fortnite event. Different LTMs have been brought back along with new challenges with rewards. The end date for the event had supposedly passed, but it seems like there was some miscommunication between the community. Therefore the event is now extended to January 15. Another thing that I think will be gone soon is the Present! that was introduced a few weeks ago that’s a throwable item. When thrown the Present! it creates a one by one that takes the form of a present, and inside there’s a 100% chance that you’ll get some sort of legendary rarity item as well as other consumables.

As for new items, there have been two new ones. The first one that was introduced was the Boom Box which is a throwable item. When thrown the Boom Box deals large amounts of damage to structures for 18 seconds and has 400 HP. It is impossible to place new buildings in its radius and already built structures will take damage over time and eventually break. In my opinion, this item’s another way of indirectly nerfing building in the game. This could be an attempt at closing the skill gap between players that can build and those that cannot. The second new addition is the suppressed bolt action rifle. It’s the exact same as the previous bolt action except it’s suppressed and does 10 less base damage than an unsuppressed bolt action. It comes in both the epic and legendary variety. I can’t really see this weapon being used too much, but it’s something new nonetheless.

There were also a few items added and removed. The biggest change is the removal of the burst assault rifles from the uncommon to rare variety. Personally, I think this is a good thing because whenever I play Fortnite nobody used to use them. If you killed a player they’d usually never have one in the inventory, and if they did it was most likely early game. If you had one in your own inventory you’d be constantly looking for any other type of assault rifle even if it meant downgrading rarities just for an automatic rifle. Overall, it wasn’t used at all. The six shooter pistol was also removed and the dual pistols were added back, but it doesn’t seem like anyone cares about those two.

For gameplay changes there were a few bug fixes for zip-lines, but the Biplane changes were the big thing. Since they were introduced, the planes have been seen as pretty overpowered. It seems like most of the nerfs made to the planes were increased damage taken from hitting structures and the increased health damage penalty from 25 damage to 50.

Overall I think that the item and weapon changes aren’t bad, but the I think the planes and Boom Box could use some more balancing. I’ll probably still be playing in order to keep up with all the updates that are coming out.

CS:GO’s Danger Zone

A few weeks ago Counter Strike: Global Offensive released a battle royale game mode while also making the game free to play on Steam. Since the update has been out for a while I’ve gotten a chance to play a few games of the battle royale mode as well as normal matchmaking.

The new battle royale mode called Danger Zone is a completely separate part of the game with its own queues. It takes place on an island called Blacksite. The map is quite small since there are only 16 players in games of solos or 18 players in duos and trios.

Danger Zone also includes a few new items and weapons in the game. Instead of a buy menu and mini map you get a tablet that’s pretty much an iPad that allows you to buy things using money you find. Items you buy are delivered by drones that drop a box of your purchase wherever your tablet is. This allows other players to track your location by following the drone or just shoot the drone down and steal your purchase. However, you can come up some pretty clever strategies by dropping your tablet and wait to see if anyone tried to follow your drone. The tablet also serves as a map. It lets you see where the “danger zone” is and where it’s heading. Hexagons that the map is divided in light up if there are players in that area which can let you see where other players are. You can buy or find upgrades for your tablet such as radar jamming for surrounding players and drone tracking for all drones on the map.

Danger Zone has lots of different melee weapons that aren’t available in standard play such as hammers and wrenches. Normally you’ll use them for opening weapon crates, but they can be used as throwable weapons. Weapons aren’t hard to find in the game mode although most of the times you’ll only have an SMG, shotgun, or pistol. In order to find the better weapons, you’ll have to find Paradrop supplies later on in the game. However I’d say that the ammunition is difficult to find. You only get a little bit of ammo when you first pickup the gun, any other ammo you’ll find in ammo boxes that you find or buy. Even then, the amount of ammo you get from those boxes is little. Armour can be found or bought quite easily, but your health can only be replenished through MediShots that can also be found or bought although you start with one or two if I remember correctly.

To be honest I haven’t really played much of Danger Zone, but I have won a few times with some friends. There aren’t really any strategies I use besides using the tablet to it’s fullest, but you can probably find good strategies on the internet if you looked for them.

At first I was a bit concerned when I heard that CS:GO went full free to play. The game has been known to be a popular game for cheaters and the anti-cheat system in place had a reputation of not really working all that well. However, the game did have Prime matchmaking in place for people that associated their accounts with a valid phone number. In my experience this system worked a lot better than standard matchmaking monitored by VAC. A few months after Prime was added another anti-cheat measure was implemented for non-Prime players called Trust Factor. I’m not really sure how it works, but it’s said that it uses an algorithm to put more trust worthy players into matches together and players more likely to cheat matches together. The price of the game was one of the things that supposedly stopped people from cheating since if a cheater got banned they’d have to buy the game again to continue cheating. However, even after the free to play movement games in Prime still seem to be normal with the occasional fishy person, but that was normal even before the update.

Overall, I think that Danger Zone is a pretty cool thing for people that are into that kind of gameplay. I also think that so far the free to play thing that’s going on is good to get more players into the game as long as there’s an efficient way to make sure people don’t cheat.