“Attack! My loyal battle monkeys!” … 

“Attack! My loyal battle monkeys!”

If Warren had to hear that grating, Wicked-witch-of-the-west-on-helium voice through his high definition headset one more time, he swore he was going to leap out of his chair and throttle his computer screen. He wasn’t quite sure how he was going to dispose of the three-screened monster of his computer screen, but for an occasion such as this, he’d find a way.

This was the twenty-second time that he and his guild fought the Swamp-Witch of Boggart Marsh, and quite honestly, the novelty of fighting spider monkeys riding on giant spiders was starting to become a bore. The first few times was great, the voice was funny, the spider monkeys were ridiculous, and the absurdity of it all made the battle against the Swamp Witch one of the most memorable fights that Warren had been in since his induction into the World of Conflict MMORPG.

That was, until he and his guild-mates decided to do it again.

And again.

And again.

At some point, Warren stopped seeing the spider monkey riders flinging their droppings at him. He stopped being the knight enduring the barrage in golden armor. All of those were distractions nowadays. Warren had dissected the battle through a combination of forum posts, FAQ readings and youtube videos. It had become a game of numbers- and everything else was just a distraction.

The monkeys each had 1000 hit points and their flying feces attacks dealt 200 points of damage with each fling. His Pauldrons of the Treacherous Terax would give him 250 armor points, which would enable him to resist the monkey’s attacks while he used his Sword of the Agile fencer to Tornado blade the monkeys for 250 points of damage.

Warren was more like a monkey in a lab than a knight. He was being rewarded for pressing buttons and clicking icons- and even then, at least a lab monkey would get something tangible as a reward- like a banana or an apple- but all Warren got was a chance at a sword that had slightly larger numbers than the sword he was using, and a realization that somewhere along the way, he had turned from gallant knight to number-crunching cubicle prisoner.