Saturday, July 30, 2011

BA Quest Part 2: The Hero Denies His Destiny

I didn't think it would be that easy. So I feel vindicated, it isn't easy at all.

In the two weeks since I last wrote about looking for a job, I have taken a lot of steps to find work. Not the usual steps. I didn't go looking in the classifieds. I haven't started filling out resumes at Taco Bells and KFCs. My pride wouldn't allow it. I stuck to the plan, and I've tried hard to find a job appropriate to my education. So I went to Craigslist.

In my defense, I didn't go directly to Craigslist. First, I tried to find websites that would carry jobs I was qualified for. This lead me to look for freelance writing work. That word, freelance, has never applied to me before. In my head I was always an author, a writer, an English dude. No one told me to consider myself a freelance writer. Maybe that is because I'm not qualified to be one.

I found The name is right on the nose. Everyone should know that list freelance writing gigs each weekday. These jobs are everything from copywriters, to ghostwriters, to resume editors. Most of the links on their website, lead directly to Craigslist. Undeterred, I prepared to sell myself. I made a text document to list every job I applied for, when I applied for it, and details of what the job entailed. This way I would know every detail of the position I was going for.

Two weeks later, I probably have two dozen entries on my application list. Craigslist, for the uninitiated, usually keeps contact limited to e-mail. This is a real downer when looking for work, since you can't call to check up on how your application is doing. Instead you send your resume and samples into the ether, and hope for the best.

My only hope these two weeks has been from one of the few jobs I didn't find on Craigslist. In an effort to maintain the purpose of my mission, I applied for a job at Valve. Valve, the mythical creators of the Steam gaming platform, always keep a few positions hiring. One of them was a customer service representative. It was the sort of job that I said I didn't need, one completely unrelated to my four year degree. I applied, and they e-mailed me back for more information. This ruined at least two pairs of underpants, and then I e-mailed them back. Finally, Valve sent me a test of my etiquette when dealing with customers. The prompt dealt with the mother of a 12 year old who was non-plussed over her son seeing a rated R movie. I thought my response was even and fair, without being overly apologetic. Valve didn't seem to care for it.

Now I feel like I'm starting over again. No one has contacted me for work, and time is grinding forward. Another two months, and I will be required to start paying on my student loans. I have to double my efforts, but I may also have to prepare for inevitable failure.

My newest efforts to stay alive with a BA in English, is to join a site called Elance. Elance is quite different from craigslist, yet similar at the same time. This site requires that you verify your number, take test to verify your skills, and still put up a resume and work samples. Employers have to verify that they have the funds to pay you, and then the freelancers bid for a chance to work on projects. It sounds horrifying, I'm in.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

BA Quest: An English Major Seeks a Job

You ever heard the one about the English major? He spent four years getting his degree in Unemployment. People also think English majors all become teachers, so does that mean, "Those that can't do, teach," is a joke on English majors as well?

I can understand the animosity. As degrees go, English is ambiguous and archaic. Are English majors humanitarians, all hoping to be the glistening angel in some young person's life? A goal like that is soft. Teaching young children is seen as feminine in the states, a pampering job, a maternal job. Do English majors comb old tomes, digesting tidbits from the long dead? Then they're seen as useless to our fast moving present. What still remains to be read? Maybe English majors are artist yearning to be superstars? If so, they sure chose the wrong profession. Writers are just above fashion designers and right below wrestlers in the grand fame hierarchy.

Unfortunately, I'm an English major. Even worse, I'm one by choice. I have no intention of teaching. I don't read classics all day. My writing won't be on a best-seller list anytime soon. I have no intention of being a superstar, but I will be a writer. Nothing will change that part of me, barring some incident that puts me in a coma. So what is a poor English major to do?

When I was preparing to graduate, my first goal was to get the most boring job I could manage. This is still an option. Nothing makes you want to go home and write like a mind numbing desk job. That's something that doesn't occur to people, a writer can write no matter what their job is. I have answered phones before. Seven hours of answering phones, repeating the same message, and entering data. I have a notepad full of doodles from that job. Nothing motivates you to draw a spaceman like hearing a woman complain about her 13 year old.

Now I have a new plan, forged in the embers of summer weather. It is the sort of plan to be proud of. A plan full of conviction, passion. A plan that shapes the future, based on what matters most. A plan that can be easily canceled the second things don't go my way. Which is something I'm prepared for, I finished an English degree after all.

You see, I love games. Not just video games, but board games, tabletop games, card games, pen and paper games. Since I was young, I've wanted to use my stories for games. In elementary school, I planned my own games out on paper. My friend and I mailed off a game idea to Nintendo, in the 4th grade. They sent a polite rejection. Maybe I would be better off now, if they told me to get lost. Instead I tried to write super hero stories in Jr. High school. In High school, I wrote game reviews for my friend's website.

Everything changed in college. University gave me a chance to take classes that actually related to my craft. With a full schedule of classes about classics and basics, I had no time to dream. School washed me clean of my aspirations. My mind was refocused on literature. I'm thankful, I never want to lose that knowledge. As I took my last classes, I realized that I didn't need to sacrifice what I was about. Literature is about people, and writing becomes what you care about.

So I need a job. Not any job, a job that lets me be myself. My game loving, nerd-centric, dry humored self. Which means some very odd job hunting. Trust me, isn't good for writing work. I guess this is the best place to track my progress. I need to change my resume, get myself out there, and go on plenty of interviews. Hopefully everything works out, because I'm ready to give up at the first sign of difficulty.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Bus Question

I was on the bus the other day when an old Black man sat down beside me. The bus was full and I was the last open seat around, so I didn't blame him.

While he was sitting, I looked at him from the safety of the corner of my eye. He had a little black mustache and was wearing a worn white outfit, a suit that would have been slick at some time. I realized this man was old enough to have struggled, to have strived for a respect that was refused.

So as I got near my stop I had a problem. In my training to be personable I learned to treat everyone as equal and able. Don't treat the old as aging 'sirs' and 'madams', or treat children as 'tykes'. When I got up I wondered, should I be cheerful and say simply, "excuse me?"

this doesn't seem like much of an issue, but in a social problems class we talked about a crisis in a new age hospital. Black seniors who were checked in were greeted with smiles and a nurse adressing them by their first name. This was a practice to make the patients feel young, excited, and recognized. Yet many of the Black patients fought hard to be addressed as sir or madam, to be respected enough that they were not called to like a child.

I cannot remember the end result of the hospital's practice, yet I knew what I would do. As the bus slowed I said quietly, "excuse me sir."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

On Stories

In this case, a discussion on what we tell stories about, and why that may be the case. These concepts happen to be a matter of personal importance, examining the reason and purpose behind storytelling. Up until this point there have been many ideas as to why stories are told, what makes a good story, and what evokes the strongest feelings from readers. The responsibilities of the poet and author have adjusted countless times, and this essay will not manage to take into account a one truth or even a majority of truths prior. This essay will tell the truth from one perspective, in my own opinion this is the best sort of truth.

Four concepts, each of them something we are all aware of as readers, are what I decided on. When man writes it is one of these that he sets to develop, to take advantage of. It is because in different degrees, these things are on the mind of nearly all living humans. To simplify it so far is a shame, so I will elaborate further. These four concepts, After-death, Religiousness, The Unknowable Cosmos, The Irrational Human, come together to create every story worth telling. It is when a story lacks these things that we do not have a story, we have journalism, a diary, those bits of writing that are simply a telling of events.

After-death, the afterlife, the forever after, death, the concept that makes us self-aware. It is because we know death is on the horizon, that we can die and that death means the end of this life, this makes us human. For some after-death is only the beginning, there will be another life even if it means reincarnation, life as an apparition, or a field of clouds and white robes. For others, it is a matter of decomposition, of how cold the dark eternity will be, that alien concept of nothingness. Mortality becomes a motivator that resonates to some degree with all human beings. For some, those with a tradition of religious or ritual reassurance, this matter is reduced to a minimum. Yet death still takes you from your family, your friends, your life here will end. If any reader has not stopped to ponder that yet, I beg them to do it now, death is always an end, if not the end. In stories this may present itself as something as simple as mortal danger, any being we care for is one we do not wish to see die. Other possibilities is someone trying to leave something behind before they die, or trying to penetrate death's mysteries. The fact that Death is so often given thoughts of its own, given a body cloaked in black, shows how important a figure it plays in any story.

Religion was mentioned before in the definition for After-death, and it is the oddest on this list. Unlike the other three, Religion is the known concept, it is the one that presents itself as an answer to the others, instead of a mystery to be solved. Religion comes in different shapes, sizes, colors, attitudes, yet each has a purpose of organizing eternity into something we can understand. Death may end this life, but it could begin a new one, or maybe some practice in this life will make eternity warm. The cosmos is not a stranger, it is an engaging force, that knows you, and reflects you. This is what is taught in many religions, and it is believed at different levels by different people. Belief is the most powerful force created from self-awareness. Instinct is pushed to the back of the mind, and what we think we know becomes the defined walls shaped around our reality. This does not require a church or temple, nor a holy book or prayer. Belief and religion are found everywhere that we trust the proclamation of someone else, and let it define our lives. To an extent, this makes religion impossible to escape, and so faith holds an important place in our stories.

The Unknowable Cosmos is linked by its nature to Religion. What the Unknowable Cosmos is, Religion tries to explain. From the ancient quote of Socrates, we know that the wise are those who know they know nothing. We attempt to categorize and structure our reality, whether through science or faith, but there will always be more waiting just beneath that which we cannot understand. Tomorrow may not come, and we have no idea the countless unknowns that could bring about that end. In stories this could take the shape of beings alien to our own way of life, or it could be close to home like untold power waiting within the human body. The essence of it is that we do not know, and the facts that we don't know can surely kill us, or make life a paradise. Like with other concepts, the Unknowable Cosmos can play a balancing act with religion. When you believe that life beyond the stars has already been explained, you are less interested in what could be out there.

The last concept, yet a crucial one for many stories, is the Irrational Human. Every day we spend our days around human beings, on a planet full of them, a planet that could be destroyed or saved by their actions. We speak to other humans, we work with them, we love them, we fear them, yet what we can never do is know them. We empathize and sympathize, we learn from other human beings on a daily basis and we feel their pain and glee. Humans naturally work together in a way that we often underestimate, put down to save our own individuality. Yet when we see someone do something truly individual, break from the mold that we understand, we find that all we can do is make excuses. In truth, the inside of every other human being is separate to them, and as much as we feel that we connect with another, they have lived their own life with influences that may be near identical but are still slightly foreign in that they are someone else's. Why does a 'good' man turn to murder? Why do rational people join hate groups? Why did she say this and why did he do that? When we try to reflect ourselves on another human being, our explanation can only go so far as our understanding gained in our own life. Often our own experiences will not be enough, and this does not require tragedy. If a man steals, we call him a criminal when he may see himself a hero to his family, or simply resisting a system of living that does not support him. As much as we hope that we can predict the world around us, human beings may still make actions that surprise us, disrupt us, and the reasons or lack of reasons why can make for the best stories.

These four concepts, After-death, Religion, The Unknowable Cosmos, and the Irrational Human, all intermingle to create the stories worth hearing. Why does is a ghost back for revenge? What force has empowered this madman? Where will our hero go now that he has fallen? Without these concepts, what would we tell others to excite them? I cannot think of anything, yet I won't say that there is nothing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Normative: Draft

Who likes super short stories (aka flash fiction), I do! This is what happens when you take thoughts from Soc class, and turn them into a story.


by Marshall Cain

I should notice her first, no matter what. I should approach her. I should show interest in her, I shouldn't show too much interest in her. I shouldn't show interest in her friends. I should make eye contact with her, be sure she knows I'm paying attention. I shouldn't stare at her. I shouldn't stare at her breast. I shouldn't stare at her cleavage. I should make conversation. I should be sure to ask her what she does, and how she likes it. I shouldn't want to know where she lives. I shouldn't know where she lives. I should pay attention to her line of conversation. I should laugh at her jokes. I should try to seem witty. I shouldn't try to be raunchy, unless she likes that. I should find out if she likes that. I shouldn't seem interested in sex with her, or was that I should seem interested in sex with her? I shouldn't be interested in sex with her. I shouldn't touch her, not here on the floor at least. I should try to touch her. I should touch her in a way she would like. I shouldn't force her to like it. I should get her another drink. I should compliment her hair. I shouldn't stare at her crotch. I should make sure she finishes her drink. I should invite her to my place. I shouldn't take that smile as an answer. I should take her back home now. I shouldn't enjoy this so much. I should make sure she is feeling alright. I shouldn't enjoy this so much.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Deux: Draft


by Marshall Cain

I couldn't tell you how I got there, sitting scrunched up in that office waiting room. The walls around me went out forever, and there in the center of it all was a desk with a small blond sitting at it. For the last half hour it was me and that blond, me tapping my formal shoes against the tile, her chittering away at her keyboard. We both kept our eyes off the other, and I wracked my brain just wondering what I was doing.

This interview was a waste of time. I didn't even know what the job was, what this company did. These days though, when you get a call back for a job interview, you pick up another copy of your resume, put on your best slacks, and get your ass to that office. I didn't even remember applying, but between and other hiring sites, that didn't mean anything.

Next to the blond, at the desk, along the far off walls, there was a door. It was a big double door, the sort of door that belonged to someone important. The sort of person who could change my life with the amount of money they carried in their pocket. When I told the secretary what I was here for I tried to take a peek at the door. Yet I realized that it had no name on it, simply a number, two.

“Mrs. Dupont will see you now.”

The blond spoke to me, but by the time I looked away from my own lap and back at her, she was back to watching her computer screen. I walked to the door, my hand on its long metallic handle, and gave one last look at the secretary. She didn't return it. So I swallowed my worries, and peeked my head past the door.

“Come on in, make yourself comfortable.” Said a woman in a welcoming voice.

I turned my head and saw a woman's back, a tan business suit that was currently shoving a leather chair in place so I could sit down. With one glance, one wall lined with books and the opposite strangled by a large portrait painting, I could tell that this office belonged to someone beyond me. I stepped in, tucking the door closed behind me while looking everywhere but forward.

I tried to introduce myself, “My name is-”

She cut me off though, “I know what the hell your name is.”

Turning from her labor, Mrs. Dupont stared me straight in the eyes, and I could not help but do the same. She was without a doubt, odd. Maybe it was her name, Dupont, but she wasn't what I was expecting. She looked Asian, Japanese or Korean if I had to make a guess, I was never good at telling the difference. Her face was round and soft, the sort that could speak to a child-like kindness or a woman's intimacy. I could already feel myself sweating. Not that I only went for Asian girls, but there was something in those soft features that kicked me everywhere I needed it. All it ever took was one cute little smile, and I was trapped.

It seemed Dupont wouldn't hear of it. Her lips were locked in a slight downward curl that already made my ears burn with disapproval. She was a serious business woman, no matter how long those legs were beneath her skirt.

“Come on, sit, sit.” She said as she gave the low leather chair a pat. While the words that came out were welcoming, and her black eyes drew me forward, that expression still left me wary. Yet I still sat down, Dupont stepping back and resting herself on the edge of her heavy metal desk. Her legs crossed down at the ankle and she rested on her hands. That brow of hers furrowed.

At first she just watched me, and I squirmed there at the center of the room. I felt like the whole world bending, twisting inwards to focus on me, her eyes were the focus lens.

“You have no idea what we do here, do you?” Said Dupont without warning.

My first reaction was a hardy no, to yell it even. I was going to say anything, but instead her gaze stopped me. So instead I leaned back, gave her the best chill smile I could manage, and tried to seem in control of myself.

“We're a family company,” She said as she stood up from the edge of her desk, “Old as shit too.”

I found a chance to respond, “You've done very well.”

“Thanks, it isn't our fault really.”

I opened my mouth to say “Oh,” but found that nothing came out.

“I don't even know what we do anymore,” She said as she found her way over to the corner of the room. There was a small fridge on a black table. She opened the door, then leaned forward to take a look inside.

Saying I didn't look would be a lie. She definitely left herself hanging back for me to see, pressed there against her desert-skinned skirt. If I had to work with her, there was definitely going to be trouble. This interview was a tease, but between that glare, those legs, I would go insane.

“This family, we've been around for so long that I can't be sure what really happened and what is just conjecture.”

She pulled out a bottle of water and with a strong turn the crackle of the cap coming free was heard through the room. I turned my eyes away from her rear in an attempt to convince myself I'm not that shallow, and more importantly to avoid being caught if she happened to turn around.

My eyes finally passed by the painting on the wall again, and then I couldn't look away. It was large, at least twice my own height and I wasn't exactly short. The borders along the edge were a shimmering gold appearance, yet didn't give me a sensation that someone was showing off. Instead it seemed the portrait couldn't be framed any other way.

It was a figure, sexless and cloaked in a large piece of cloth that covered its body well enough to hide any hint of the body underneath. The cloth was of two colors, split down the center of the head down to between the feet. One side, along the left, was a violent red. The other side was a passive and dark blue. The figure had its hands held out to its sides, held up to present two items in pale fingers. A jagged wooden club on the red side, and a draped piece of cloth on the blue. The painting felt enigmatic, almost mystic. There was something about it that kept my eyes focused, it felt alien, yet familiar. It was just like a painting he would see in some old book, yet not like anything I ever saw before.

“My job,” Mrs. Dupont began, “Is to connect people. To make sure that some little sap like you doesn't blow up our older-than-dirt track record.”

I turned back to find her looking at me, her lips held at the edge of the bottle. She had taken a swig already, yet she didn't look satisfied. She hadn't even told me what she wanted yet, what sort of job this was, yet those glaring black eyes of hers already found me lacking.

“I won't disappoint,” I said in a practiced interview voice. Confident, spunky, yet willing to learn. What else could any employer want, what did she want?

“I know you won't,” Dupont said before taking another drink, “because you're a keeper.”

I couldn't help but smile. She didn't return it.

“Look, I'm going to give you one shot, one question,” Dupont put her bottle down, “you either get it or much more likely, you don't.”

Maybe it was something in her eyes. They were black, yet not dull. I wouldn't say they were shimmering, glowing, anything of the sort. Yet there was something there. It was like a pair of well polished stones, ancient and common, remarkable when you truly stop to consider them.

Dupont pulled up her sleeves, and then turned her head to the painting. Her mouth sat open for a moment, and for a second the picture and her seemed to have a moment. I was afraid that she forgot I was there, she didn't say a word.

“Mrs. Dupont?”

She didn't look at me before she started speaking, “In Anaheim, there's an older woman named Theresa Nguyen that works at a small Chinese food place in a mall. She's only worked there for a year, one of many jobs she has to bounce between to keep her small yet functional apartment. She is 52 years old, she hasn't dated in 5 years, and has two children that don't know how good their life is.”

Dupont spoke like she was reading a script, this was a story she knew. Yet there was something else, a touch of emotion that spoke of something that I didn't think was rehearsed.

“One day a man arrives, one of many that day, to order food. The man is older, White, and his face is covered with the folds and creases of someone who has seen a lot. His name is Duncan, his friends call him Dun. He comes up to order some food, but first he asks Theresa what all comes with the lunch special. She tells him, and Duncan's face curls up with a look of disgust. He tells her, he can't understand a word she said.

“This isn't the first time this has happened to Theresa. She came to America from Vietnam when she was young, yet she spent a lot of her time speaking Vietnamese with her family, her accent was still there. This was something she always stayed aware of when working. Yet this man, who she didn't know, or know the name of, he was just that certain age. Theresa didn't know for sure, but she was right, Duncan was 54. He fought in Vietnam, lost friends in Vietnam, and did things he would tell you he 'wasn't proud of' in Vietnam.

Not that the average Vietnamese immigrant had anything against soldiers of that war, and Theresa didn't either. Yet, not everyone that went to Vietnam was all that kind to the people there. That, with Duncan's comments, and Theresa found herself feeling defensive, offended. She apologized, and repeated herself. She tried to enunciate, and pointed to the dishes she referenced. It was no use, Duncan shook his head, scrunched up his nose, and told her it was okay. Then he walked away.”

Dupont's head turned back to me, then a moment later she seemed to realize where she was.

I realized I was holding my breath, and took in a breath.

“The question,” Dupont started, “How do we resolve the issue, or prevent future cases like Duncan and Theresa?”

The question seemed silly, vague. What was the 'issue', or the 'case'? Yet Dupont looked at me, waiting in silence.

If the issue was the fact that the woman felt offended by the man's reaction, wasn't the issue perceived racism? Maybe the problem is the lost sale, the fact that Theresa's accent pushed away a customer, regardless of the man's possible bias. Yet there was no sign that the man even knew Theresa was Vietnamese, or hated Vietnamese people, Duncan could have been a generous and hard working man, like so many soldiers.

I took another deep breath, and realized my face was getting a little moist. Even if the question was vague, it was deciding my future, my financial livelihood. Plus there was Dupont, what would she want to hear? Was this about the company, about helping their bottom line; or about helping an employee and customer interact better?

Clearing my throat, I looked Dupont in the eyes and said, “Nothing.”

Her eyes widened and she leaned forward, “Excuse me? What did you say?”

My confidence was shot just like that, but I had no choice but to repeat myself, “Nothing, there's nothing we can do. I mean, we don't even know if the man was hard of hearing, or a bigot, and-”

“Exactly,” Dupont said. Her lips curled up, a smooth crease that turned to a soothing smile. I knew I would like it, “Duncan really is a racist, mind you, but thats besides the point.”

She opened a drawer behind her desk, and pulled out a lighter and cigarette.

“So, I got it right?”

She made a shooing motion with her hands, “Come back for work tomorrow morning.”

I rose, and tried to thank her. She turned away from me though, looking once again at the portrait that hung high upon the wall. Her cigarette lit, she let out a puff. So I left, walking to the large double doors out of the room.

As I got out to the secretary desk, the blond was up and moved past me to speak into the office.

“Mrs. Dupont,” She said, “Zed is on the line.”

I didn't stop. My interview was done and I finally had a job. Now I just needed to figure out what my job was.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ride Astride the Beast: Levels 15-20

Having played through levels 1-15 of World of Warcraft, it would only be fair to finish up the levels I am allotted. Unfortunately, it was discovered that this is only till level 20, and that the adventures of Myrdo would end well before they began. This shorter post will include more about experience with the first dungeons, an important facet of World of Warcraft, and PvP. 

As was revealed before, my experience with MMOs is rather widespread, yet not complete. Dungeons are not foreign, and they tend to follow a simple formula gained from their parent genre, the RPG. You go into some deep dark place, either a cave or taken structure, then you and your allies must stay close together to clear it of its tough enemies and bosses without dieing. In World of Warcraft, this is no different.

In fact, my first experience with one of these dungeons was by mistake, Ragefire chasm. Having leveled up my character to 12, I went into a portal at the bottom of Oggrimar, the capital city for the Horde. When Zigglez and I entered, we saw a worm only a level above us, and we attacked it. The worm killed both of us, only nearly dieing. The room was full of duplicate creatures. We decided that we would come back at level 14, and get revenge on this creature. We did so, again fighting that one worm, and with all of our abilities spent, we killed it. We were proud, and managed to kill 6 more.

When we hit level 15, we entered the dungeon queue to go in as a group. All three of us, since Witrig was with us, entered as DPS characters, or damage per second characters. This dungeon finder is a fun mechanic, it allows players to jump right to a dungeon that they want to do, even if they have never visited it. For those who appreciate the in character elements of a game though, this is a travesty. There is no need for exploration to find a difficult dungeon, they are all listed, and the game will then teleport you halfway across the game world just to go destroy the enemies there, even if you have no idea what story lead your character to be there.

It was done though, and soon our tank, the character meant to take the brunt of the damage, charged into the chasm and started to fight several worms at once. The three of my personal allies all went in to destroy the creatures, and in a flurry of attack animations, they were all dead, the tank barely hurt with the assistance of the healer behind him. Yet, I felt no great satisfaction, I simply stood behind an enemy, and did what I do until they were all laying on the ground so we could collect their loot. Killing them one by one, each of them monstrous villains, was better than this... slaughter. Soon we met bosses, and each fell a slight bit slower. Since ragefire chasm was part of my actual storyline, I knew that these people were part of the burning blade, were demon summoners. We ripped each of the bosses to shreds, and any damage on us was short lived.

I will mention that after this we did Shadowfang keep, a dungeon that has been altered from its original form as a werewolf filled keep. The reason for this is because those werewolves, are now a playable race, so the story has changed to their keep being overrun by the undead. I did not participate in most of this dungeon, because the game is slow to download its elements on my crappy internet connection. It took me at least 8 minutes to load, if not more. Then when I died, as our tank and healer were not nearly as good this time, it took another 15 minutes or more to load the world outside of the dungeon. Both of these places I never visited before, so the game had no reason to think I would need to download them in advance. It was still quite irritating.

As for the other game element, PvP, I cannot say I know why anyone would participate. This was level 19 PvP mind you, very early in the game. Yet, every fight felt like a wandering slaughter. The fight moved from one place to another, both sides flinging status effects at one another like fear and disorient, that eliminated that character from the fight. If the DPS on one side decided a character would be dead, they were then dead very fast. Personally, my Rogue could do very little, as whenever I tried to attack, everyone would turn to me and have me dead in seconds. The PvP in Warhammer Online and other Everquestian MMOs have a similar feel, yet this truly felt like the lowest of the low. 

When I reached level 20, the quest in the game seemed to get a slight bit more engaging. Not that they took any thought, they were still stagnant elements all built to make me fight a different sort of monster. Yet the feel of them because a little more serious, at the very least, as I entered the Ashenvale. 

This all doesn't matter though, as my time as Myrdo is done. The game capped me at level 20, so moving forward would be suicide. So in the meantime, as my trial finishes, I have moved to playing a Dwarf Paladin, for a different view of the situation. The life of Dezuun the Dwarf will need to be covered later though.