Applying Past Lessons

Today marks the beginning of the double-digit installments to our Vanilla Preservation Project. The beginning of a new era signals the closure of the last. How does one bridge the two?

I’m a sucker for condensed wisdom. Quick expressions that contain depth of insight. One of my favorites is the Chinese proverb: ‘A lazy man walks the same road twice’. This is viewed differently through the Belgian proverb: ‘If you do not have a head, you have legs’. They say the same thing.

Life Tests You First

Unlike academia, the lessons are applied after the test. And the tests happen all the time. There are so many things that society mandates of us and no reminders outside of ones we proactively make for ourselves. Did you remember to update you proof of vehicle insurance for the next 6 months and replace the papers in the car with the updated ones? Did you remember to update your will this year? Did you remember to cut the lawn every other week to prevent the Homeowners Association from fining you?

Eventually, something falls through the cracks, and we fail the test. We then learn, or not- and thus repeat the mistake. Hopefully at our own setback, not at someone else’s.

But the oddity and irony stems from when you do pass the test. If you fail in life, a makeup exam is offered. Great, makes sense. But if you pass, you get recurring tests on the regular. If I have passed a test, am continuing to pass a test, what is the point in always being tested? What purpose does it serve? It’s a waste of time.

Glass half empty.

The Blessing

Glass half full.

Ask a marathon runner what the best preparation is for a marathon. Ask a chess master the secret to knowing what moves to make. Ask a dog trainer how they manage to get animals to respond. The answers will all be the same: there is no better preparation for something, no substitute for, the activity itself.

Tests provide us with opportunity to judge ourselves against ourselves. They allow us the best possible preparation for the next step, because the next step is this step. This is how all of society’s icons that have earned their status have progressed. In London ’12, Michael Phelps became the greatest swimmer, Olympian, athlete of all time through preparation, diligence and… repetition. It is only through repeated testing that we are able to check our performance and finetune our product.

MMORPG Application

As previously discussed in this series, MMORPGs were designed as an art form that flourished on human interaction while breaking down social castes. They were a statement about the world, and the world’s systems are very much a part of how they function, regardless of how much gamification keeps creeping up inside them.

Some parts of the art form aren’t due to designer planning, but rather technical limitations. The concept of leveling zones is a relic of days when servers couldn’t handle vast quantities of players in the same area, and thus the designers segregated the population across the gaming world’s surface.

Regardless of the reasons for the design, the design works inside of its game context. Each zone has a certain listing of quests, certain spawning points for gathering professions, certain timers for rare spawns etc.

It isn’t a game unless there is a learning point. And the learning takeaway that I had from last zone is to ensure there are no problem areas on our list of things-to-do before moving on. The gap between the ending of one zone and the start of a new is bridged. Things go swimmingly when no area is taking on water…

The Play Session

Last time I was in the ‘mopping up’ stage of a zone, I rushed off quickly to the next zone. As a result, I was significantly far behind in professions and it hurt my progress. ‘Slow is steady, and steady is fast‘ and this time around I’m correcting the failure I had performed before. Now, when I move to the next zone, I will be ready for it- in all aspects.

Death count: (+0) 7

The moon that smiles upon me at night.. has shifted. The still-water has been disturbed. The silence has begun to hum. Something is changing around me. I’m being gifted with skill in herbalism that I did not have before. I’m reaching a level of power where my focus is not required to achieve my aims. I just will it. The denizens of Sepulcher hardly look at me, don’t make so much as a sound at my passing. And.. Kal is behaving, performing my bidding. Something is shifting indeed.

While enjoying the scenic view along the lake’s coast, I came across the vile fin school of murlocs and met one of their oracles. I do not know if it was the same one that sent me tasting dirt, but I hardly care either. I ensured to return the favor his kind gave me, in kind. And then I fashioned myself a swim to the lake’s islands and eradicated more of their kind. I found some tumor while I was at it. These murlocs really are unhealthy. My purging them from existence is doing them a favor, really. I take pride in my work, you know.

Kal is extremely well behaved. It’s very odd.

I ran into the city to do some errands a bit as well. I don’t mind taking some time off from saving all of Sepulcher from their problems. I don’t see anyone else doing it, so why should I be in a rush? Well there was that shaman who’ve they apparently hired. The ungrateful caste they are must think my work isn’t good enough. That’s fine, I’ll be out of their hair soon enough. I do mean to collect on some of these taskings though. I’ll get mine and then get out, and never come back.

I did want to go to Thunder Bluff today, but two things happened really. This self-proclaimed mentor whom I met in the city has mentioned there might be a reward of great power should I collect two hearts, of the pure variety. Oh, bleeding hearts again. I hated this kind in life, and now in undeath. But whatever grants me more power.. like herbs! I noticed while I flew into the city today many buds a-blossoming. I figured I’d go collect on that opportunity. The land of the Tauren can wait.

Kal.. he’s almost as well behaved as a puppy I once had in my previous life. It’s almost as if he knows something I don’t.


Series: Vanilla Preservation Project


About Ahtchu

Jock. Nerd. Holistic. Game theoretician. Can recite the alphabet backwards.
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