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Off-season Training


by _abiz_

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All right, so the Altador Cup is over, everyone has taken home their trophies (either gladly or with grumbling), and now they're all crowding the gift shop for their prizes - resulting in long lines out the door, arguing with the cashiers, and super-inflated prices. But that is all beside the point. Eventually, after maybe a week or three of standing in line, everyone will have gotten his prizes - from yay-high keyrings to the coveted petpets and more. And then what? Wait another year before AC VIII? For many, the thrill of competition is still thundering through their veins; their hands still twitch at night from furiously pounding on the keyboard over Make Some Noise. The good news is that even though the Altador Cup comes around only once a year, you can still practice all year round. And here's how.

The Pre-Game

1. Wake up early each morning and exercise.

You could go for a jog, do some stretches, put the dog out, whatever makes you happy. Try to put an emphasis on your hands, however. Maybe try squeezing an eraser to strengthen your muscles, then take up the violin or piano to give them better flexibility.

2. Eat a hearty, wholesome, nutritious breakfast.

Nothing ruins a thrilling game of Yooyuball like an empty stomach. After all, when you're hungry, your stomach growls. And when your stomach growls, it sounds like booing. When it sounds like booing, you get discouraged. When you get discouraged, you stop trying. When you stop trying, you miss the wide-open shot and lose the game. So then, before you even think about the Altador Cup, make sure you have your bowl of NeoWheats. I would not recommend cookies or cold pizza (not that I'm speaking for experience of course...*twitch*) as they don't last long and make you feel awful later in the day. Refer to my sequence of events above. NeoWheats. Plain and simple.

3. Begin with your normal Neopets dailies.

Why not jump right in? Well, there is something called focus. And waking up. For you morning people, you probably already have your dailies done before I even finish this sentence and are ready to move on. In which case, go ahead. But for some of us, who are not morning folk, a simple rousing game of Kass Basher or Meerca Chase serves to wake us up, and collecting interest and spinning wheels gets us into the Neo mindset. Besides, being creatures of habit, going through a routine is a good thing.

All right, so at this point, you've woken up, stretched, played some Mozart, had your bowl of NeoWheats, and made your usual 5k in dailies. Now we're at the part where you say, "But, Abiz, the Altador Cup games are not available all year round!"

Well, that is true... and not so true. The actual games are not available, but their common equivalents are. O.O Now then, be patient as I explain.

The Altador Cup

Altador Cup: Shootout Showdown

Common Equivalent: Snowbeast Snackrifice

How it is Similar: Well, you are still trying to kick (or hurl) something into a goal. In ShoSho, you have kicking a Yooyu into a goal; in SnoSna, it's tossing petpets into a cave. Eventually, the PPL will step in and try to stop you, like the goalie. By holding down the left mouse button or spacebar, you build up to maximum power.

How it is Different: Aside from obvious reasons, SnoSna starts out with no impediments and gradually there are more PPL reps there; in ShoSho, there is ever only one goalie. SnoSna also has multiple levels and its own distinguished trophy, whereas ShoSho only ever requires five goals.

Altador Cup: Make Some Noise

Common Equivalent: Tug-O-War

How it is Similar: RAPIDFIRE BUTTONPUSHING!!! BAHAHAHAAHAHAHA! Ahem, anyway... yeah, that's really what they both are. You have to be quick on the keys to win. There are also the bonus keys to ensure easy victory.

How it is Different: MSN bonus keys are random and the number of them is never guaranteed. I've had games where there are no bonus keys followed by games where every other tap is a bonus key. TOW has a power meter that, when filled, triggers the bonus keys, and instead of just one key, it is a whole sequence. More than that, TOW is a two-player game so you have to be faster than the other person. This is a matter of sand and water, not just making noise.

Altador Cup: Slushie Slinger

Common Equivalent: Typing Terror

How it is Similar: Well, assuming the clockwork Grundos are customers, you have to meet their needs pretty quickly. You have to select one and do what it says or else BOOM! Unhappy customer.

How it is Different: At least in SluSli, the customers are only angry and won't explode on you. Also, in TyTe, you only have to visit each Grundo once; you don't have to wait for them to send the empty cup back to you to pick up. o_0

Altador Cup: Yooyuball (with Mouse control)

Common Equivalent: The Buzzer Game

How it is Similar: And how is it? BuGa is about care and precision while YYB is more about going fast and scoring, right? Sure, but who says there is no care or precision in YYB? I mean, you don't just plow through your opponents, right? You have to come up with strategy to weave around them and not allow yourself to lose the ball by coming too close. Similarly, you also have to figure out a way to best retrieve the Yooyu if you've lost it.

How it is Different: Well, yes, BuGa can be much slower and more difficult to master.

Altador Cup: Yooyuball (with Keyboard control)

Common Equivalent: Kreludan Mining Corp.

How it is Similar: Keyboard-Computer-Eye coordination is something or a factor in both KreMi and YYB. Which player are you currently on, who is closer to the goal, how do you get there? Likewise, where is the ore, which keys do you need to press, when, and how?

How it is Different: At least in YYB, you only lose the Yooyu; in KreMi, you risk losing both the ore and your ship explodes. o.o

See how it all works out? Great! But I'm not quite done; what do you do when you're all burned out?

The Aftermath

1. Spin the Wheel of Monotony.

Sounds like a joke, right? Well, if you choose to sit there and watch it, the trembling in your hands will start to go away and you may be lulled into something of a drowsy catnap. This is good. If you don't want to sit and watch it, then you can move on.

2. Do some more stretches.

It doesn't have to be anything quite as vigorous as what you did in the morning, but you really don't want to deal with cramps, do you?

3. Eat a light lunch/dinner.

Sure, you might be absolutely starving, but don't overwhelm your body; nothing good comes from that. A couple sandwiches, maybe a salad or some mashed potatoes, should do.

4. Wait an hour/check the WoM.

If you chose to sit and watch the WoM, then this is already done and you have an hour to do what you will. But if not, this is a good time to check the wheel and either move on or collect your prize.

5. Now for dessert!

Personally, I like cookies and milk or a small bowl of ice cream. But, congratulations! You did it!

Words of Caution

Don't do this every day. The AC is carefully planned out so that by the end, you may be a little weary, but you're not dead in your seat. I would advise maybe two or three times a week.

Words of Encouragement

YOU CAN DO IT!

 
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