My Life and Minecraft


I first learned about Minecraft when a friend showed me a video of this cool new world – people exploring a cave in the game Minecraft. I was immediately awed by Minecraft’s different and open approach to gaming. It was the summer between 5th and 6th grades and I didn’t know what to do with my time so I started playing Minecraft free. When school began, I found people that also played the game and we would talk about it at lunch, we would tell stories about our trips into the deep dark cave or that time we killed a creeper. We all agreed that Minecraft was a more exiting life than the one we were living at the time. But there was one problem: we couldn’t play together in the same world.

Playing Online

I started then to play with the idea of hosting a server on my own home network. I watched many videos and guides about how to port forward and how to run the server program but I just didn’t get it. 6th grade ground on and Minecraft got more updates and patches from its inventor, a programmer in Sweden whose screen name is Notch. I started to become interested in Notch and the story of how he single-handedly programmed Minecraft, a game that had sold at that point just about one million copies all over the world. Notch’s company, Mojang, was exploding with talent as more and more money came pouring in. At the start of 7th grade, I was introduced to the Computer Science programs at my school. In that class we learned to make simple games in a program called Scratch, where you put different blocks together to make a line of code. I can remember sitting in that class staring at Notch’s blog, just waiting for the release of the next patch from Mojang.

Finally one day Minecraft version 1.7 came out and I was reinvigorated to make the server that my friends and I have been wanting. I figured out how to use a service called Hamachi to host the server through a Hamachi IP. The next day I came to school so excited I couldn’t wait to tell my friends how to connect to the server, and we all started to play later that night. We played for what seemed for what seemed like an uncountable number of hours over an uncountable number of days. That year of middle school flew by so fast and suddenly it was 8th grade, my last year there.  I was in the same Computer Science class learning more advanced topics. That year I learned how to safely open my Minecraft server to the whole world not just a select few friends. First it started out as a PvP (player vs player) server where you have to fend for yourself in the dangerous world of Minecraft. The highest amount of players on that sever was about 30 — a lot of people fighting to the death! I loved to play on that sever with my friends and some people from around the world, and that’s when I realized that my work on computers could affect people I have never met before and that fact blows me away.

Learning How to Code

Now, in my freshmen year of high school I’ve taken a step up in the computer science field. I’m now taking an “advanced placement” class and I am the only freshmen in the class. We are learning some hard stuff, like Java — learning how to do 3-D arrays, ints, doubles, booleans, strings, methods — just about every aspect of Java that there is to learn. All this year I’ve also been playing Minecraft: even as I learn a lot more about computers and programming and even after three years of play I still find it challenging and interesting – it’s about the only game I can say that about, too. I feel like I can drop $60 on a new game and be bored with it in a month, but Minecraft has the capability to be modded practically until you don’t know it’s Minecraft anymore. Right now, I’m in playing with a mod pack that adds around 64 tech mods, adding in nuclear reactors and a whole really cool magic system to the game: the game experience can be so complex that sometimes you don’t even know what you mining!

Minecraft’s Influence

What’s also amazing about Minecraft is that it’s a way of interacting with other human beings, Minecraft character to Minecraft character. Minecraft has the ability to build community and to change players to make them more cooperative – it’s definitely not just a game to fill time. Learning about Notch’s ideas about Minecraft has led me to programming, which is really interesting. If my friend didn’t show me that first video three years ago, I probably wouldn’t be the same person that I am today.

Final Fantasy VII Lives


I mentioned someone named “Ruby Weapon” in FFVII. Where is it and how do you get to it? And how do you beat it? This is really bugging you, isn’t it?

Ruby Weapon is in the desert area near the Gold Saucer on Disc 3. Of all the methods I’ve tried, this has got to be the simplest, safest and least AP-consuming way to kill Ruby. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A Mastered Command Counter Materia (NOT the Counter Attack Materia —we’re talking about the Command Counter Materia here. It’s a Blue one…) paired with Mime.
  • Knights of the Round paired with HP Absorb.
  • Enough HP and defense so you don’t die in one hit.
  • A high Magic Rating (200+).
  • A Ribbon.

Optional items include the following (these are recommended so the process doesn’t take hours):

  • Two Knights of the Round Charges.
  • W-Summon.
  • Master Summon paired with MP Turbo (on different slots than the regular KotR one).

Before the fight, kill off your other two party members. When you start the fight, simply cast Knights of the Round (with W-Summon or without) on Ruby or the tentacles (doesn’t matter). Come back in 10-20 minutes, and Ruby will be dead. Every time Cloud gets hit, he will automatically counter with KotR and regain tons of HP (you’ll keep getting more than 9999HP back). You can’t lose. This method will work against Emerald too, provided you have the Underwater Materia and a light set of Materia so Aire Tyre Dam doesn’t do 9999HP. Also, because you probably don’t have the Master Summon, you’ll need a very very high Magic Rating because KotR isn’t MP Turbo’ed. It’s easier to do the well-known KotR/Mime-As-Fast-As-You-Can way to kill him, although a little luck certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Overview of Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm

heart of the swarm gameplay

The Heart of the Swarm expansion in Starcraft II has brought back some of the original species with some all new units. These are the NPC and PCs you are going to be facing off with in this futuristic world. Jim Raynor is back, only this time there is no briefing room but an interactive space on the Hyperion. Raynor has also changed, since the original game and the expansion Brood Wars, he has become more cynical and hardened. Where he might have almost been a gun for hire before, he is now a full-fledged mercenary.

Marketplace Maps and Battle Changes

One thing you should look for is the addition of maps for sale in the Starcraft II marketplace. These will help you get through the 26 missions with your skin intact. There are 3 other missions available as alternates and a secret mission, “Pierce the Shroud” that can also be unlocked. The maps will also prove invaluable to you as you enter into the battlefields. More of the AI driven battle forces are featuring units that may look familiar to you, but are going to behave differently from any you have encountered before in this game world. Here are brief overviews of the main three units you will encounter.

The three races are the main species in Starcraft II. While there are quite a few that come and go in the world scenarios and expansion kits, there are only three types of units that will be your main concern. All of these units originated in the first game – the Protoss, Terran and Zerg.


Protoss are the more advanced of all of the species. They are divided into two sects, the Dark Templars and the Khalais. While they have an unusual physical strength, most of their tactics will rely on their psionic abilities. Like the Zerg, all Khalai share a psionic link which is similar to the hive mind of the Zerg. This means that wherever one may be, more are soon to follow.


Terrans are one of the most complicated of the species to encounter in Starcraft II. Not only are they advanced fighters, but they will also unpredictably turn and fight against themselves, being notorious for splitting into factions. The Terrans are meant to represent a future race of humans. They are (ironically) known for the speed with which they can drain a planet’s resources and effectively kill a planet without engaging in a single battle.


Zergs are one of the original species from the first Starcraft. They are insectoid aliens that rely heavily on hive mind and collective unconsciousness. In their various permutations in this version of the game the ones to be most concerned with are the Queen, Roach and Ultrelisk. There are over 30 different types of Zergs in Starcraft II. The essence of their drive remains genetic permutation and each of the Zergs has a regeneration capability that brings them back in the next unit level up.

Finding the Easter Eggs in Battlefield 4


If there is a story involved then you best be prepared for more secrets and lies to be contained within Battlefield 4 than in other non-linear first person shooters. If you think back the game that really launched shooters – Doom – you will remember how you could conquer the entire world and still have missed half the game. One of the reasons that many game designers still prefer linear story lines is it lets them put Easter eggs everywhere they can, and the best part is they don’t have to make sense in the story – they just have to showcase the developers skill or play tribute to something outside of the game.

BF4 features some of the most intense Easter Eggs in recent gaming history. It is not so much that the reward for finding them is so spectacular, but that there is a kind of elegance to how they have been hidden. Trigger an Easter Egg and you will have really accomplished something that demonstrates your skill in the game. Other games just set up Easter Eggs to be found, but the Battlefield 4 developers created ones you need skill to use – and some of them require two players.

Easter Eggs don’t serve any purpose in the game except to have a bit of fun. Sometimes they will serve as a designer’s signature, and sometimes they will even hold crucial elements to the game or the backstory of Battlefield 4 that can prove critical. One habit you should get into is revisiting the Easter Eggs in older versions as they may contain clues about what is coming up next. Here are a few cool ones to try.

The Exploding Ship

This is one of the most popular Easter Eggs. You have to go to the Hainan map and locate the tallest building on the coast. Climb to the top and you will discover a sniper rifle hidden on the roof. Sight down on the harbor and you will see an enormous ship there. Aim at the small yellow light located in about the center of the ship and you can take out the whole thing with one massive explosion.

The Dinosaur

This one is just plain fun, but you need another player to pull it off. Go into the Rogue Transmission map and locate the video display of the dinosaur. You will see that there is a button to activate the video. Get both players to press the button simultaneously and you will trigger secret sound recordings of dinosaurs rampaging through a jungle that will continue looping until you leave.

The Megaladon

This one is a bit of fun, but you had better be playing with some people who are good sports. Go to the Nansha map and locate the buoys marked “a” and “b” between the two main control points. Get 10 players to all swim out together so they pass between the two bouys – this will trigger a megaladon attack and it will eat everyone in the vicinity.

Understanding Hearthstone’s 5 Game Modes


Hearthstone is one of the most popular free to play games that are available for PC and mobile devices. It features a card style play with one-versus-one turn based battles. The characters on the card are all drawn from World of Warcraft (WoW), which is one of the reasons it is so popular. It is often used by WoW players to increase their familiarity with all the characters in the WoW, their abilities and how they can be handled in combat. Let’s take a look at the five different game modes available in Hearthstone.


The practice mode is the best way to learn how the game operates. Even though there are two levels–basic and advanced–you are only pitted against computer opponents. “The Innkeeper” is the main combatant and is played against using a basic card set. You can use an expanded pool against an expert opponent too, and one from any class without risk of real damage or losing your cards. Good players always return to the practice level to explore how to handle advanced cards.


Play mode is fairly straight forward. These are one-on-one matches against human players in friendly or competitive games. The competitive games will add or subtract your overall ranking. You can win more rank and awards by competing. Some of the rewards are worth real game power, and some of them are just skins for cards that you can customize. Everyone is trying to reach the rank of “Legend,” the highest of the 26 ranks available.


Arena mode is where you can either play using gold you have accrued in your account through winning in the Play mode, or you can purchase through the game the right to compete. In this mode you select 30 cards from which to compete. Players enter the arena and play until they are out of gold to restart, or win the arena. There are no limits to the number of same cards you can have in an arena deck. Three losses and you are out, 12 wins and the competition is over and rewards determined.


Duels are a hybrid of friendly Play matches and Practice matches. They don’t count for rank and there is no reward, however you can challenge anyone you like to a duel. It is another way of gaining practice. One advantage the Duel mode has over the Play mode is it uses an unlimited deck like the Arena mode.


The Adventure mode contains five connected wings. You cannot pass from one wing to the next until you have completed the wing before it. To complete the wing you have to defeat the boss of the wing. Defeat the boss and you unlock special cards that aren’t available to you in any other way. The wings for each Adventure are stylized like quests and you have to search for the bosses in order to engage them in combat to win the wing.

The Return of the Melee Attacking Masters in Clash of Clans

clash of clans gameplay

Clash of the Clans fans are excited that there is a new and upcoming updates being released that is going to return and add some exciting characters to their roster. The one that everyone is most excited about is the return of the melee attacking masters. These masters are just the lead characters in an expanded roster of player characters that make better use of the combat and strategy aspects of this great role playing strategy game.

What is Clash of the Clans?

One of longest running and most popular strategy role playing games for mobile devices is Clash of Clans. This follows the Sid Meyer’s Civilization model of players starting as a clan chieftain and slowly building up their towns into cities, engaging other clans in battle to seize resources and also being responsible for the social and economic development of their clans. It is a long play game and can be found in the Apple iTunes store and the Google Play store too.

There are the usual suspects available when it comes to playing characters in Clash of the Clans, but one of the main differences is you can control several at once. This makes it much less a game like Civilization and much more like other multi player role playing formats, only you are in control of the entire team. While there have been the standard warriors and smithies, magicians, healers and sages, as well as tradespeople – the melee attacking masters represent an unusual role for a character to play.

Melee attacks are one of the most feared attacks in any role playing game. That Clash of the Clans has chosen to combine strategy with role playing is one of the reasons the game is so successful. You can focus on growing your village into a town, but also making sure that your fighters are gaining in the skills they need for battle, as well as being well supported by the tradesmen and healers is just as important as your negotiating skills and infrastructure planning. Melee attacks are high powered, multi-weapon attacks that can wreck an opponent. It doesn’t matter if the opponent is solo or in a team as the melee attack combines the skills and strengths of many players into one.

How to Become the Best at Clash of the Clans

While there are options to buy premium and advance features in the game, even with those you won’t become as good as you can without dedicate play and having a plan in place. Clash of the Clans is a strategy game but that doesn’t mean that warfare doesn’t play an important role. It is the combination of the two elements that makes this game so different. You have to be able to manage not only the resources that support your clan, but manage what is needed to support your fighters and defense squads in action.

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