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I am Lich Master Ralzefron, and I am here to make you an offer.

Many people mistrust the Scourge, call us "evil," but we most assuredly are not. Those who call us such are nothing but blind zealots who can't see farther than their first, and ultimately misguided, impression. All we want to do is help you. We want to show you how much better undeath can be. We are not monsters, we are merely misunderstood. We only want the best for Azeroth's people.

What can undeath offer you, you ask? Immortality, for one. You will never be alone, as your consciousness will be part of all others. You will be freed from the tyranny of a living body, from its too-frequent and unreasonable demands for food and air and sleep. In undeath there is no prejudice, no discrimination based on sex, race, or religion. All are one; you will be the Scourge, guided by the omnipotent will of the Lich King. Under His will, you will never feel doubt, never worry, never be afraid, for you will always have the comforting pressure of his hand guiding your actions and the soothing resonance of his voice telling you what to do. Undeath will give you strength, intelligence, and wisdom the likes of which you could not dream of in life.

The Scourge are equal in undeath; none are better than the rest, for we all serve our King. There is no jealousy, no hatred, no selfishness, for we are all one mind. Glory and praise belong to all; there are none who strive to be different and better, at the cost of suffering to others. There is no stupidity, foolishness, or error. In undeath, we achieve perfection, not just for Him, but for all!

So tell me, people of Azeroth, will you serve the Lich King and spend eternity in paradise? Will you join us in our quest to show everyone the error of their warmongering ways, to show them the Scourge's alternative to constant strife? Will you aid the Scourge--the embodiment of the cleansing of evil, illness, and all that is wrong from the world? Will you help us turn this world into a utopia, and bring everlasting peace and prosperity? Are you prepared to do what is right, to put to rest a civilization that has wrought so many ills and start anew?
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The History of Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games


A Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (or MMORPG) is a video game that thousands, sometimes even millions of people connect through the internet to play together. They roleplay, acting out the life of a character they create within a persistent virtual environment—an environment where the world stays in existence, the things a person has done staying done unless undone by someone else. MMORPGs are a popular form of entertainment and escapism in the modern world. But where did they start? What were they like back at the beginning? It all started with tabletop gaming and MUDs.

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is the most well-known example of a tabletop game. Tabletop games operate on the same principle as roleplaying games (RPGs), but much is decided based on written rules and the roll of a die instead of on computer code. MUD stands for Multi-User Dungeon, and is similar to an MMORPG, but is much smaller. Adventure was the first widespread MUD; few of the others made at the time left the universities where they were designed. Many early MUDs, including Adventure and another, Dungeon, were originally based off of D&D. Another early MUD, Rogue, was popular because of its unique feature of generating a new game map every time you played, keeping people interested longer. A relatively new text-based MUD, Iconoclast, has been adapted into a tabletop RPG form, showing that both MUDs and tabletop gaming are still popular. There is even a current MUD based off of a popular Discworld book series by Terry Pratchett.

The original MUDs were all text-based adventures; they had no graphics, only words describing the situation. Mazewar was the first MUD to introduce graphics, and was a different genre from most other MUDs: first-person shooter. A first-person shooter game is one wherein two or more players are equipped with some form of artillery, and play from the visual viewpoint the their character, trying to shoot things, usually each other. Graphical MUDs were a big advancement, allowing the game designers many more options.

Some graphical MUDs, like Artifact, first released in 1999, are still active, and the online game Wizard 101 is a good example of how it is difficult to define the difference between a graphical MUD and an MMORPG. This confusion likely originated during the naming transition when many graphical MUDs stopped calling themselves MUDs and gave themselves new names relating to their genre, for example: massively-multiplayer first-person shooters (MMOFPS) and, of course, MMORPGs.

MMORPGs are now a competitive business, so game designers come up with unique ideas to get people interested in their game over another. One of the first MMORPGs to call itself so was Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds, which is still active, its main appeal being its unique and complex social system. The MMORPG Final Fantasy XI, the only MMO in a long series of single-player video games in the Final Fantasy franchise, was the first MMO playable on more than one gaming system, including the Playstation, Xbox , and PCs. EVE Online has achieved several things, including having the entire game world being a single huge server, and having most of that world allow relatively unrestricted player-versus-player combat. World of Warcraft is the biggest MMORPG to date, having over 11.5 million subscribers. It was first publicly released in 2004, as part of a franchise which already had several single-player computer games and books in the same universe.

MUDs have changed a lot on the way to becoming MMORPGs. New ideas, technological advances, and increased interest in the subject have fueled the changes. Originally playable only by a few people at a time, and intended to interest students in the uses of computers, the multi-user game concept has grown and changed enormously. Now with graphics, and varying ways of handling massive amounts of players at once, they are played by millions, not just a few dozen. An industry has sprung up from this new form of social interaction and entertainment. There are people whose jobs are to devise plots, create artwork, and code software, all pooling their energy to makeMMORPGs. And it all started with a simple little thing a group of students created to pass the time.
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How to Play a Protection Paladin in World of Warcraft

Thinking of leveling a Protection-specced Paladin? Protection is a good spec whether you want to solo or group.

Protection specced Paladins are tanks. A one-handed weapon and shield are usually best, and a slow weapon is better for drawing aggro. Strength is still important for keeping aggro and blocking with your shield, but stamina and armor are more important.

Follow this for standard PVE soloing. Pick your aura to suit the situation. Make sure that all buffs are on, and then use a Seal. Use Seal of the Crusader1, Judgment2 it, and then use Seal of Righteousness3. Keep using Judgment on Righteousness as soon as the cooldown is up. If the enemy is a demon or undead, use Exorcism4 as often as you can. If there are multiple mobs, use Consecration5. If your HP gets dangerously, low heal yourself with Holy Light6, if you cannot due to interrupting, use Divine Protection7 and then heal. If Divine Protection is on cooldown, use Blessing of Protection8. Use a healing potion if you do not have enough mana or time to heal. If your potions are on cooldown use Divine Shield9 and heal, or if you are low on mana you can bandage. If you are a Blood Elf, use Mana Tap at every opportunity, and use Arcane Torrent if the enemy is casting or if you need an emergency supply of mana. If the mobs are tightly packed and one of them running will bring back more, use Judgment on Seal of Justice10, preventing them from fleeing. If an enemy is about to use a powerful ability of a particular element, change to that elemental resistance aura. Repeat steps until you or the enemies are dead.

For standard PVE grouping follow most of the steps for soloing, but with some changes. Blessing of Protection should be saved for other people, since you probably will not need to heal yourself. Make sure to attack mobs attacking group members who aren't tanks, people with low HP and armor taking precedence. An alternative is to use Righteous Defense11 to grab aggro. Divine Intervention12 should be used on someone who can rez to prevent a wipe. There might also be things that will vary from group to group, and you might have to play a different role. Instance grouping in particular is going to have circumstantial changes which can change dramatically depending on the instance.

There are many combinations of seals, blessings, auras, and other spells to choose form, so feel free to experiment. What abilities you use depend largely upon your play style and circumstance, but this is a general guideline and something for you to think about. Finally, enjoy playing your Protection Paladin.
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Medieval Siege Warfare

 

In the Medieval Age, there were a lot of wars, and so there were many advances in siege engineering. Some of the inventions that were developed are the mangonel, trebuchet, ballista, ladders, towers, and other ways of attack, including Greek fire, sapping, and hurling disease-ridden things over the walls.

 

One early form of siege engine was the balllista. It resembled a crossbow, and was capable of throwing spears much farther, and with greater force, than humans could. It works by torsion power, created by twisting a rope, spring like, to propel the projectile when it's released. It was soon outdated by the mangonel because the mangonel was simpler, and therefore easier to build.

 

According to Garfield Benjamin, "These days, most people are thinking of the mangonels when they refer to a catapult." The mangonel, like its precursor, also worked by torsion power, with a barrier to stop the wooden arm, thus ejecting the thing to be catapulted. It was powerful, but it required complex aiming and calculations to use. The next thing that was developed was the trebuchet. The early models, traction trebuchets, required manpower, but the newer ones used a counterweight to swing around a wooden arm on a pivot, ejecting its load. They could have more precision and power than mangonels, but were expensive to make, and so most people used mangonels instead.

 

There were other siege engines that didn't destroy walls. One was a machine that launched ladders reaching up to the top of the castle walls for people to climb over the walls. But most ladders were easily removed if someone was stationed there to remove them. Another siege engine was the tower, which was on wheels had to be at least as tall as the castle walls. It carried soldiers, protected from arrows, to the walls so they could climb over. But towers were impractical because they could easily topple over.

 

There were other forms of siege warfare than siege engines. Greek fire burned hot and was fueled by water. There was sapping, which was tunneling under walls to make them collapse. And they even catapulted disease-ridden animals and corpses over the walls, either infecting the people inside, or forcing them to surrender.

 

The Medieval Age was an age of war. "Since the greatest opportunity for exercising prowess was war, a delight in war becomes an important corollary to the worship of prowess at the centre of chivalric ideology." (Kaeuper, 161). Because of their love of war, there were many advancements in warfare during that period.

 


 

Bibliography

 

Garfield, Benjamin. "A Brief Look at the Catapult." Medieval-Castle-Siege-Weapons.com. 19 Mar. 2008. http://www.medieval-castle-siege-weapons.com/catapult.html

 

Kaeuper, Richard W. Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe. Oxford, UK. Oxford University Press. 1999.

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In the story, "The Strangers That Came to Town," foreigners come to town and are immediately discriminated against, but are they really bad? Do they deserve it?

The people who believe stereotypes think that the newcomers are strange because they eat different food, behave differently, look different, talk differently, and dress in old ragged clothes from dumps. Even their dog behaves differently.

Because of these things, and other misconceptions, people react badly. They avoid the foreigners and say bad things about them. Most of the townspeople are suspicious, and do not think that the foreigners are as good as other people. The narrator even poisoned the fish the foreigners had caught, in order to make them inedible. Very few people are kind to them.

But, eventually, people began to understand them better. The narrator caught fish to replace the ones he killed, and they invited his family to dinner. Following that example, people began treating the foreigners better, so that they stopped being strangers, and everyone made several new friends.

The story shows that strangers are not always bad. People shouldn't discriminate until getting to know people better, or until they have a good reason. Many people are disliked on general principle because they are different, and most of them don't deserve it.
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Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was one of the most important people in American history between 1900 and 1940 because of the revolutionizing effect of his scientific ideas on the field of physics.

Einstein used mathematics as a basis for theoretical physics. An example is his General Theory of Relativity, which resulted from the discovery that mass creates gravity, and gravity can even bend light.

Einstein was an innovative thinker, coming up with ideas that no one had thought of before. For instance, he thought that even a small amount of mass could become a lot of energy. He also contributed significantly to the theory of quantum mechanics, including the concept of Brownian motion, which is the theory that atoms move in random patterns.

When he was younger, Einstein had been interested in physics. But his father wanted him to become an electrical engineer, so he didn't get much schooling in physics until later. He could not find a teaching position after he graduated, so he worked at a patent office. All the while he thought. He published papers on physics while he worked at the office, eventually becoming well known, even winning a Nobel Prize for his discovery of the photoelectric effect.

Because Einstein was of Jewish descent, when Adolf Hitler came to power he ordered that Einstein's work be destroyed, but Einstein, foreseeing trouble, had moved to the U.S. a year earlier.

Einstein made many contributions to science and to creative thought, paving the way for new ideas.
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Paladin: The Only Class You'll Ever Need

Paladin is the most versatile class in World of Warcraft. They can fill almost any role in combat: damage-dealing, tanking, healing, or support.

They can do high burst damage, due to high strength stats and an ability to use the most damaging weapons. Also, they wear plate gear, most of which has strength, stamina, and attack power bonuses, making it good for damage-dealing and tanking. Paladins' high stamina, ability to wear plate armor, and an array of total immunity spells make them good at tanking. They're also especially effective against undead and demons, because they can sense undead and use specifically targeted magic. Plus, they're the only class that can fear undead.

Paladins also have healing capability. True, it is limited because they have few healing spells. But they do have Lay on Hands, a heal so powerful it heals someone for the same amount as the Paladin's total health. In addition, a Holy Paladin gets a few more healing spells, and with the right gear can be better at healing than a priest.

Paladins have their own unique forms of magic—blessings, seals, and auras—which can be combined in different ways for many effects, making them an excellent support class. They have a blessing for almost every situation: attack power, mana regeneration, lowering threat, total immunity, immunity to movement-impairing effects, reducing damage, increasing the effectiveness of Paladin heals, transferring damage from others to the Paladin instead, and adding a bonus to all attributes. There are also greater blessings, which are more powerful, last longer, and effect everyone in the group of the same class as the person it was cast on. A Paladin's seals are incredibly useful, too. During their thirty-second duration they give a bonus to the Paladin, and can be Judged to apply an effect to the enemy. Holy damage, attack speed, stun, healing, and mana restoration are some of the bonuses seals can provide. Auras effect the entire five-man group, and can provide armor bonuses, do damage to enemies when struck, chance of ignoring spell interrupts, increase in the damage done by holy spells, elemental resistances, and a twenty percent bonus to mounted speed.

Paladins have many abilities for versatility, and can do things no other class can. They are a powerful addition to any group.
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World of Warcraft vs. Guild Wars

World of Warcraft, or WoW, and Guild Wars are fantasy-themed Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). An MMORPG is a video game that is played over the internet, which allows many people to share the same game experience and interact with each other. Because they are the same basic type of game—and were even created by some of the same people—they have many similarities, but they also have many differences.

The original World of Warcraft game has two main factions, Alliance and Horde. Each of those factions has four races a player can choose from when creating a character to play. A player can also choose from one of nine different "classes," which are kind of like jobs and which determine their skills and abilities. For instance, Warriors are a class that wear heavy armor, have a lot of strength, and can take a lot of damage without dying, but they can't heal themselves and they don't necessarily do a lot of damage to their enemies. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses, even "hybrid" classes that can do a little bit of everything. As a player's character completes quests or defeats enemies, they gain experience. When they gain enough experience, they "level," gaining more overall attributes such as strength, stamina, and intellect, and the ability to learn new skills. The highest level they can reach in the original game is 60.

WoW's first expansion, The Burning Crusade, requires that players have the original World of Warcraft game. It builds on the world created in the original game, and opens up a new planet full of other areas for gameplay. It also adds two new races, one for each of the main factions, and raises the highest level to 70. A second expansion, The Wrath of the Lich King, has been announced. It is supposed to add a new class, a new area for gameplay, and raise the highest level to 80.

Guild Wars's original "chapter," Propheces, has only one faction and one race for characters. There are six available classes, and each character has a primary class, chosen at creation, and then later the player can choose a secondary class to combine with the primary. Like WoW, Guild Wars characters gain experience from quests, but their highest level is 20. There are two other "chapters" available: Factions, which takes place on a new continent, and has two opposing factions that a player can choose between, and two new classes; and Nightfall, which also takes place on a new continent and has two new classes. The chapters are all separate, and a player only needs one of them to play in the Guild Wars world.

Guild Wars's expansion, Eye of the North, adds another area for gameplay, but unlike the chapters it's not stand-alone. It requires the player to own one of the chapters in order to play.

Both WoW and Guild Wars can be played either alone or with a group. With a group, you play with up to four other people, and experience, money, and found items ("loot") are shared. Most of the areas in WoW are shared areas, where everyone who is playing sees and interacts with the same environment. The exception is when you enter a dungeon (or "instance," as it's usually referred to) through an obviously marked portal and a version of that dungeon is created just for your group. In Guild Wars, only the cities are shared areas. All the other areas are instanced specifically for your group.

WoW's game world is rather large. WoW deals with this by giving players personal mounts that increase their travel speed, and providing boats and zeppelins for inter-continental travel and rented flying mounts between cities and outposts the character has previously visited. The Guild Wars game world is also rather large, and they deal with this by allowing characters to teleport from one city to any other city they have previously visited.

Both games have guilds, which are official groups of characters who band together for one reason or another. In WoW, guilds are formed for a variety of purposes: social interaction, role playing, helping out lower-level characters, as a standing group for dungeon raiding, etc. The only official benefits of a WoW guild are a guild tabard and access to a guild bank, where members share their unneeded loot. Guild Wars guilds are more complex and important to gameplay. They have rivalries with other guilds, and participate in guild fights and special guild-only events. They also have special shared areas called Guild Halls, where members can meet and socialize.

I've only listed a few similarities and differences between two specific games. There are also many other MMORPGs with their share of similarities and differences, so players have a wide range of options to suit their individual play style.
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The Secret Garden

In the book The Secret Garden, there is a character named Mary. Over the course of the story she changes much, most likely for the better.

Look at her at the beginning: spoiled, bad tempered, nasty, imperious, and sickly. Why? Because she was neglected by her parents. They didn’t want to be reminded they had a daughter, so they told servants to give her all she wanted in order to keep her quiet, and to keep her out of sight. Lack of love made her dislike people and being always given her way made her think she could order everyone around, and no one dared try to tell her she shouldn’t.

But that changes. By the end she is polite, thinks about other people, and isn’t sickly. It started when Martha, a common maid, didn’t see why Mary shouldn’t do things herself, and so Mary had someone willing to be strict with her. And Mary got to like Martha. She also met a robin who seemed to like her, which was a surprise for her. She started exercising, which made her healthy and in a better mood. She discovered a garden which had been locked for ten years. She wanted it to come alive again, which showed her compassion. She worked hard tending the garden, and started thinking nicer thoughts. Then she met Dickon, one of Martha’s brothers, and a boy so nice she couldn't help but like him.

As the garden bloomed, Mary bloomed too. She grew in body and spirit. She met many friends over the course of her change.
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Your Vocabulary Score: C+

Your vocabulary is average.
You're not exactly a literature major, but no one's going to accuse you of being illiterate!
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Write an essay that answers the following question:
What were three important innovations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and how did each innovation change life in the United States?

Final Draft )
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Legend of Dragoon is awesome. It has an excellent storyline, full of information and hints to future events. It has a unique battle system in which combo attacks are performed with timed button-pressing. There are artifacts called Dragoon spirits, which are the spirits of dragons. Dragons are nearly extinct in the world of Dragoon. The Dragoon spirits allow people who are worthy enough to transform into Dragoon form, which allows them to use magic and a special combo attack. There are also special areas that have interesting game mechanics, like the area of corrupted gravity. These are only a small example of the things that make Legend of Dragoon a great game.
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Assignment #3-8
Book Review


Note from Mom: He wrote this in Word, based on the notes he took throughout Lessons 1-7 of the unit, so there are fewer spelling errors than one would usually see in one of his first drafts.

First Draft )

Assignment #3-9
Final


Final Draft )
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Assignment:
Write about an imaginary experience you had with a shark. Include a description of the shark's appearance as it swam close to you.

I was scuba-diving underwater when a huge shark darted at me. I barely missed being caught by its gigantic mouth large enough to swallow me whole, lined with a double row of eight-inch teeth. As it passed the left arm of my wet suit was torn by its fangs. I felt the rush of icy water begin to flood my suit. It was only a matter of time before I got hypothermea or was eaten by the shark. Plus I had no way of knowing wether I had enough oxegen to escape. The shark was turning back to me, it looked over six feet long, as it poised to strike, I began to swim up, but, as I am not able to swim very well this was hard. It hit me full in the chest, biting just a moment to soon. Blood drifted smoke-like in front of me and as the shark drew back slightly, I saw its nostrils flare, catching the sent of blood. And my torn suit revealed a series of cuts, which began burning as if on fire. Then looking up, I saw it lunge again, but this time I rased my fist and thrust it out. Making contact with its eye as it rammed me, my arm recoiled and shivered. With the shark's eye crushed and bleeding I swam quickly until I reached shore.
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Assignment #1-7
Drafting: Expanding a Journal Entry


Today you will expand a journal entry into a longer piece of writing. Look through your journal and choose a paragraph, or a longer entry, that you especially like. Make sure that the subject is one on which you still have more to say.

Some of your paper has already be written in your journal. Add the parts you made notes for. Remember to concentrate on ideas as you write.


First Draft )

Second Draft )

Assignment #1-8
Revising: Finding Precise Words


Continue revising your paper by reading it over to see if your meaning is clear. If you notice any other words that need to be perked up, return to the thesaurus for help.

Revised Second Draft )

Assignment #1-9
Proofreading/Publishing: Adding the Finishing Touches


Before making the final copy of the paper you wrote by expanding a journal entry, use the checklist below. If you can't honestly put a check in each blank space, make the changes that are needed. Then copy your paper neatly.

Content
✓ Did I use one kind of paragraph: narrative, factual, persuasive, or descriptive?
✓ Did I write a short, interesting introduction to my paper?
✓ Did I use more than one of my senses in my writing?
✓ Did I use a thesaurus to find precise words for my paper?
✓ Did I write a short conclusion that sums up my paper and leaves the reader with something to remember?

Correct Writing
✓ Did I indent each paragraph?
✓ Are my words spelled correctly?
✓ Did I use punctuation correctly?
✓ Did I capitalize proper nouns and the first word in each sentence?


Final Draft )
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Assignment
Until now, you've been learning to think of your own ideas for poems, stories, essays, or other kinds of writing. But sometimes your topic will be assigned by someone else—for example, the sponsors of a contest. Today, for practice, you will write a paper on the topic "Valuables: Handle with Care."

Note from Mom
I changed the assigned topic, using one of the topics from the "Practice Using Assigned Topics" section. I picked "Tell about a pet you've had or one you'd like to have."

First Draft )

Note from Mom
After he wrote his first draft, I corrected his spelling and posed some questions for him, including:
     You've told me what dragons aren't, but what about what they are?
     In what ways can dragons be helpful?
Then he talked to his father on the phone and I suggested they talk about the assignment and maybe do some brainstorming about how to expand the essay.


Revised Draft )

Note from Mom
Once he finished his revision—a process that included working from three pages of notes he'd taken during his conversation with his father—I went over his assignment again, correcting spelling and punctuation, and discussing grammar and structure issues. Together we made a few changes to come up with the final version.

Final Draft )
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Assignment
Take your notebook outside. For the first five minutes you are outside, record everything you hear, smell, see, and touch. You will be using all of your senses except taste. Write notes about your observations.

In your journal, turn the notes you've taken into sentences and paragraphs. Like Thoreau, try to create pictures in the minds of those who will hear or read your words.

---

As I sit I hear the crow of the birds and the rush of cars, the humming machines. I feel the light breeze as it stirs the grass, and the vibe of the air. I smell a slight odor of polution that is quickly stifled by the clean air. I see the birds in the park, the snow after the recent fall, leafless trees, and the futiful landscape; the hilltop frozon with ice, all blending into a soft melody of contentment, relaxation, and happiness.
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