WoW Maintenance Day

As a casual World of Warcraft player, I am aware that today, like all Tuesdays before this, is maintenance day. Thankfully these days do not affect me, since I am at work for the entire duration of the maintenance period!

I am, however, aware that there are some people who probably feel like part of them dies when they can’t play due to maintenance. I won’t get into how unhealthy it may be to feel that way, but I will list some things that fill the void quite well!

1. Watch a movie or two, especially old classics you’ve never seen. I’m 24 and just watched the first Rocky a few days ago! I’m enjoying the series quite a lot. Just because movies are old does not mean they don’t deserve your attention. Go watch the classics. I’ll say it again in case anyone else has not seen them, but the Rocky movies are really, really awesome. Why did I wait this long to watch them?

2. If you can’t think of anything better to do, then bug some friends. Whether it’s online or offline, it doesn’t hurt to talk to them and keep in touch so that they are aware that you’re still alive. Try it out, it’s fun. I like to randomly message my friends with random lines about really irrelevant things, like what I saw a cat do or why I need to buy a tripod. I can sense the confusion and lack of interest on their part, but that’s what makes it fun, oddly enough! Just talk to your friends.

3. Have a pet? Take them for a walk, play with them, feed them, whatever. If you have a cat, take a nap with them. If it’s a dog that tickles your fancy, then take them for a nice walk around town. There is nothing better to tear you away from an MMORPG than the love of an animal, because they depend on you so much….. Kind of like how you depend on the MMORPG. Hmm, this is actually a rather interesting revelation!

4. Learn to do something new. Of course, there’s no need to go crazy. Just do something new that you’re unfamiliar with. Try cooking something new (or cooking at all!), or look for something to do outside. Some kind of yard work perhaps? If there’s some wood laying around, build a little craft. WoW maintenance takes eight hours or so. I used to make bird houses in shop class in perhaps half that time. Go do something.

5. If there’s really nothing at all that you can do that’s productive, then I don’t know, play another game? Check out something I’ve mentioned on here. Why not Warning Forever? Nothing beats a game in which the bosses adapt to your tactics. Let’s see the Lich King do that! (He won’t.)

If you’re really stuck and can’t do any of these things, then get your WoW buddies to add you on MSN or something. If you can’t journey across Azeroth with them, then at least you’ll be able to play Minesweeper together.

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Old Gaming Commercials

When I stop and look at commercials for modern day video games, they’re pretty well done! However, things haven’t always been the way they are now. Watch the following old commercials for proof.

Wow. Look at the nerd in this video. Sure, most gamers are nerds, but look at this punk. He has to push his glasses up TWICE!

This commercial is actually kind of awesome, but it’s also remarkably pointless.

They tried a little to hard to make it look like the games were real or.. I don’t know. Why are they coming out of the TV again?

Talk about going over the top. I’m glad that my Game Genie never blew up my TV.

They almost make Mario 2 look like it’s supposed to be scary with those strange camera shots. Can it get any worse?

Oh yeah. It got a lot worse.

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Elements (Review)

“The best free online card game that gives even established games a run for their money.”

I had originally planned to write an article about Elements, but after careful consideration, I decided to review it instead.

Elements, by Zanzarino Design, is a free online card game that has been available for play since 2009. If you are familiar with card games such as Magic: The Gathering, then you will be able to understand Elements very quickly.

In Elements, players build element-based decks of cards which represent creatures, weapons, shields, pillars, and more.

Upon registering an account on the Elements website, players will be asked to select an element to base their starter deck around. There are twelves choices ranging from the obvious (Earth, Fire, Water) to the obscure (Entropy and Aether).

After choosing your element, you are tasked with defeating a training AI opponent which serves as a way to introduce you to the mechanics of the game. As is the case with other card games, your main cards that you will initially worry about getting out into play are your towers, which generate quantum – points that you spend to put cards into play.

Starter decks typically offer several creatures, spells, weapons, and shields, all of which require the quantum generated from your towers in order to played.

Creatures are, predictably, your attack force. To determine a creature’s effectiveness in combat, they are given two numbers which are displayed on the card in an X|X format. The left number is the creature’s attack power, and the right number is it’s health. A creature that is 5/7 would inflict five points to the opposing player whenever it attacks, and would die if it was inflicted with seven points of damage.

To damage a creature card, spells are typically used. Spell cards usually inflict damage to the player, a creature, or even all creatures in play. Most of the time, you can decide where the spell is directed. More often than not, they will be aimed at creatures that hit hard, bolster the opposing player’s attack force, or castrate your cards of their abilities or functions.

Weapon cards are unique, as they behave like creature cards (attacking the player each turn) and they usually have unique abilities that require sevral quantum to use, but they do not have attack power or health. Weapons can usually only be removed from play through the use of spells. One card in the fire deck destroys weapons while a specific darkness card can steal them, turning them against their original owners.

Shields are what the name implies, they reduce damage. Some shields make creatures miss at random while others will reduce all damage from every creature each turn, which can be incredibly useful depending on what your opponent has in play.

There are many more gameplay mechanics and many card abilities that I could go over, but it’s really worth experiencing them first hand rather than reading me drone on about them.

The key to the game is to deplete the other chracter’s health through the use of creatures, spells, and weapons. Each player has 100 health (though a sort of “elite” AI has 200), which can also be recovered through the use of certain cards.

The game itself looks pretty nice for a flash based card game that is free of charge. The playing board lacks detail, but it does it’s job very well and lets you know what is happening. Card borders look great and represent their respective elements very well. However, a lot of the portraits on the cards leave a little to be desired. Very few are of the portraits are original animated/hand drawn works. If you look closely, you will notice that most of the creatures were made in Spore’s creature creator. When you realize this, it is hard to forget and sticks out like a sore thumb. On the plus side, material from Spore is being used in a better game than what it came from!

Overall, Elements is a very challenging and strategic card game. If you’re the type of person who is willing to branch out from standardized card games, then give this a try. It’s well worth a go.

To try the game out, head over to the Elements website by clicking here:

Final Score