What is a Line Cook and the Responsibilities That Come With the Job?

Fire, a term used to get ready to starting an order that the waiter just placed in. The guest have probably been waiting for at least ten minutes from the time that they first sat down at their table, and are now waiting for that meal that the kitchen staff will prepare.

The front line in the kitchen is where most of the food is fired. It is divided and usually consists of a saute section, a broiler, a grill, a deep fryer, a salamander, cold reach-ins or drawers, and hot water wells. One that works on this line, which may consist of 2 to 3 even 4, depending on the size of the restaurant or the menu, are called line cooks. Sometimes the chef likes to get in on the action.

As a line cook you need to be prepared, you need to know the menu, all the different recipes, have all your tools on hand, have all your ingredients in the menu on the line, and of course you need the skills of cooking.

Being mentally prepared, by far, is one of the most important ingredient a line cook should have. One must be able to concentrate on the task at hand over all the hustle and bustle in the kitchen. the chef would be calling out orders, waitstaff are asking all kinds of questions, you maybe working on maybe three or more things at once, and timing is crucial, everyone on the line must be in sync. With all these distractions one must keep his composure. Getting stressed, or angry doesn’t help but it does happen. Waitstaff asking you how much longer, chef telling you to fire one more thing from another order, your saute cook is a little behind, it’s been almost an hour since this chaotic mess started and your wondering when will it end. Temperatures rise on the front line and I don’t mean the burners.

After all is said and done, there are no complaints, no one waiting long for their meal, guests are happy, a few compliments, waitstaff got their tips, line cooks getting ready to clean the line, and making a list of the prep that needs to be done when they return the next day. Everyone gets a pat on the back, job well done. That is the reward and one of the goals of the front line cook.

Guest satisfaction is the priority of the front line cook. The quality of the meal is your number one concern along with presentation. All the ingredients must be fresh, every cook must be on the same page as far as the recipes go, there needs to be consistency making sure that what you cooked today, will taste the same tomorrow or next week. This is what brings in repeat customers, this is what a restaurant focuses on and depends on. The line cook along side the rest of the kitchen staff strive to do this daily. As a line cook you need to take pride in your job, because if you do, that pride will certainly reflect on the meals you prepare.

How to Improve the Performance of Your HDMI Cables

There are some useful guidelines to improve your HDMI cables performance.

Use signal boosters. Depending on quality, most HDMI wires lost their signal in roughly 10 to 50 feet. With these devices, power is enhanced making them to continue on remaining powerful even on long cable runs. There are, however, HDMI cables which run for 75 feet and have already a built-in signal booster inside the cable.

Use signal equalizers. This is another device which can maintain the signal’s quality and strength even with longer cable runs. It can also be called a signal enhancer. Aside from enhancing the signal, it can also eliminate any superfluous noise disturbance. Losing the dynamics of the HD technology is not something to worry about as the device does not remove it.

Use signal extenders. It helps by extending the signal down the extent of the cable subsequent to receiving the signal.

Use signal restorers. They are minute gadgets where weak signals are re-harmonized to reach their HDMI quality to the fullest. It expands the distance to have the signal trek even for over a hundred feet.

Use fibre Optic Cable. This is the best but the most expensive alternative. Fibre optic cables are normally utilized after a maximum of 150 feet run length was attained. Likewise, HDMI cables can reach a maximum of 1,649 feet efficient run with its fibre optic.

The quality of the raw materials used dictates the maximum run length and efficiency of the cables. Thicker copper wires in twisted pairs are usually on the category of higher value cables, but spell add-on expense on the part of the consumer but still with no guarantee of efficiency. Even high quality HDMI cables strive to transmit better signals for more than a distance of 50 feet.

You still need to invest in other add-on devices to enhance the signal of your HDMI cable over long distance.

What Are Examples of Gourmet Foods?

The definition of gourmet food is food that a connoisseur would enjoy – a gourmet. This means that even food prepared with every day ingredients could be considered gourmet food if it is prepared with loving care by a chef who knows how to cook very well. For example, my husband cooks a chicken jal frezi which is simply superb, so can be classes as a gourmet dish. If I cook the same dish it can’t be classed as gourmet food as I am not very good at making this particular dish- I don’t have the patience it needs to make it to perfection. If you can take ordinary ingredients, say peas, carrots, potatoes and lamb and cook them in a way which makes the dish superb, then this is an example of gourmet food.

If you think about individual items that are categorized as gourmet food then Beluga caviar would be a contender for the number one slot. Beluga is a type of sturgeon which lives in the Caspian Sea where it is caught by Russian and Iranian fishermen for its eggs (unfertilized) as caviar is raw fish roe (eggs). If you are a true gourmet, then you will know that real black Beluga caviar can only be eaten with a spoon which is not made of metal as metal reacts with the roe and it doesn’t taste as good if this happens. It is eaten with mother-of-pearl, bone or tortoise shell spoons (these are now illegal so you have to find antique ones). Part of the mystique and caché of caviar is the rituals that surround the eating of it.

Wild smoked salmon is also considered a gourmet item and this taste very different to the ubiquitous smoked salmon found in packaged slivers on supermarket shelves. Oysters (raw) would also be categorized as a gourmet item. These seafood items are rich in vitamins and minerals and are very good for our health, and I often wonder if they became so highly valued because of their nutritional content as the peasants of Europe just couldn’t afford them.

Peasants could however find truffles, another highly prized item, in forests if they knew which trees to find them under. Black truffles are the best (so it is said) but white ones have a lot going for them too. In Italy in delicatessens you can buy a few slivers of truffle to go in a dish, which makes them less expensive that buying a whole truffle. They can be added to a dish to make it an extra special one as you don’t need to use very much of a truffle for it to impart its unique flavour to a dish. They are very good added to rice which is cooked in champagne (a truly gourmet risotto).

Cheeses which have been lovingly made from ewe’s and goat’s milk by small dairy farmers are also highly prized gourmet items, and you can, increasingly, find these online. Brie would not be classed as a gourmet item unless it is ripe and gooey and made by the French cheese makers. The type so often found on supermarket shelves is not a gourmet cheese.

Chanterelle mushrooms can be gathered in the woods as long as you know what you are looking for. These are certainly gourmet mushrooms with their meaty flavour and beautiful golden-yellow colour. They grow under (not on) trees and have very distinctive trumpet-shaped tops. Fresh porcini and morel mushrooms are also considered gourmet food items.

You don’t have to pay the Earth for a gourmet dish. All you have to do is have the patience and the understanding of the nature and quality of your ingredients to produce your own gourmet food. (Although Beluga caviar is wonderful!)

Communication in Today’s Corrections (Part One)

Anyone that has ever worked as either a Police Officer or a Corrections Officer knows the following: It’s either brawn or brain that will get you through the day. They also know that you have to use both (on occasion) if you are going to be successful at your job.

Those of us in the Correctional Profession know that most of the time, and not all the time, the physical confrontations that we encounter are the result of our actions. Now, I understand that some people might disagree with this, but it’s a hard reality to face. Where do we go wrong that leads to this type of confrontation? Communication.

There are really just two ways in which we communicate with people: Verbal and Non-Verbal. Most of our communication (roughly 85-87%) is done through body language. We can all tell when someone is upset, happy, mad, angry, indifferent, you get the point. When our body language says one thing and our mouth says another we tend to run into problems. Inside of a correctional facility we do not have the luxury of firearms, Tasers, or any other type of intermediate weapons on a regular basis. If you do, trust me when I tell you that the rest of us are extremely jealous of you! What does that leave the rest of us? Our mouth/brain combination and our hands.

True, some people have lost that all important connection between their brains and their mouths (also known as verbal diarrhea) but for the most part, the rest of us still have it intact. As an instructor, I always ask my classes the same question: “What’s the difference between a Correctional Officer and an Offender?” As expected, the answers I get are varied: “We go home at the end of the day!” “We didn’t kill anyone!” “We didn’t rape anyone” and the list goes on. I then pause and ask question again.

By this point they are looking at me with confused looks on their faces. I reply back to them “Although you are correct that we didn’t rape or kill anyone, and we do go home at the end of the day, the only difference between them and us is that they got caught and we didn’t.” I then go on to ask “Who in this classroom has never, in their entire life, done anything that someone is not currently doing time in a local, county, state, or federal correctional facility?” No hands go up….

Now keep in mind that I said “never, in their entire life, done anything…” We all have. Whether it was steal something as a kid or adult (office supplies anyone?) it’s still larceny. Got home after going out with friends and saying “I shouldn’t have driven home!” (We’ve heard the slogan “Buzzed driving is drunk driving”) You get the point.

Now that we have established that they are just like us, let’s establish another all important fact: Not everyone that is incarcerated will spend the rest of their lives behind bars. They are going to get out and become our neighbors.

Correctional Departments throughout the country have moved their old way of doing business into the modern era: Rehabilitation and Re-Integration. If we look their Mission Statements, we will likely see a common theme: Public Safety, Pro-social behavior, Re-integration and rehabilitation.

In order to effectively re-integrate and rehabilitate, we must do one thing: Communicate. Communication in a correctional facility can be broken down into 4 main categories:

1. No communication

2. Operational Communication

3. Human-Respectful Communication

4. Cognitive Reflective Communication

No Communication

Easy enough: we don’t talk, they don’t talk, we point, they do as told and we go on our merry way. Officers are separated from the offenders and there is almost no interaction.

Operational Communication

We say the bare minimum in order to get the job done and maintain control (“Come here!” “Go there!” “Chow time” “Do this!” “Don’t do that!” etc, etc, etc). Although there is still a separation between Officers and Offenders, there is more interaction than there is with no communication.

Human-Respectful Communication

This involves talking to offenders like a person, just like you would to anybody else you meet in public. Pro-social communication is effectively done at this stage. Although the use of “please” and “thank you” towards an offender would insult many Correctional Officers, it is part of being respectful and communicating effectively within a correctional facility. (More on this in Communication in Today’s Corrections Part Two).

Cognitive Reflective Communication

This is THE hardest form of communication to achieve. It involves a person to be willing to think about, and change, their behavior, thought process, and accept the consequences of their actions. And what’s the thing most of us hate the most? Change! And that is the reason why it’s the hardest form of communication/thought process that we have.

Once we learn how to communicate effectively, we can reduce the amount of problems that we face on the job every day and increase our “safety factor” exponentially. The proof is in the pudding…

SWOT Analysis of the New Honda Fuel Cell Vehicle

Honda is changing the vehicle market as we know it, by making a vehicle that emits water vapor. Honda’s FCX Clarity fuel cell car is the new breed for green cars. This car has some similarities to hybrid, but nothing compares to its new fuel source hydrogen. Besides hydrogen it runs with an electric motor that generates electricity to the fuel stack and a lithium ion battery. The lithium ion battery serves as a supplemental power source. The lithium ion battery charges up while braking and decelerating. Some questions might arise when thinking about this new fuel cell vehicle, like what makes this car better than the other hybrid cars? What are the Honda FCX Clarity strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

One of the biggest strengths about this new fuel cell vehicle is that it emits water vapor and is designated as a Zero emission vehicle (ZEV). The environmental protection agency (EPA) has given this vehicle the lowest possible emission rating. It also can be driven up to 280 miles before being refueled with hydrogen. FCX Clarity is achieves an energy efficiency of 55% which is twice the energy efficiency of the hybrid vehicles and three times the efficiency of regular gas vehicles. Since FCX Clarity is more energy efficient it has been one of the first fuel cell vehicles to receive certification from the EPA and the California Air Resources Board. Unlike the hybrids the FCX Clarity doesn’t need to be plugged in to be charged up and there is no need for regular gas.

Honda has many opportunities with this new fuel cell vehicle. First off Honda is designing a home refueling station. No more worrying about going out and getting refueled at the pump. Home refueling stations will elevate the stress at the pump. Also, Honda could make this fuel cell vehicle a household name and market this vehicle all over the globe. Honda just needs to get out there to show off their new vehicle. Honda is starting to market the new fuel cell a little bit. Honda has just released the FCX Clarity for Japan.

One of the few weaknesses for this fuel cell vehicle is its limited availability in the United States. Southern California and Japan are the only two areas where this new vehicle is available. Honda plans to release around 200 vehicles in 3 years in California and Japan. Honda believes that this new fuel cell vehicle will be able to be mass produced by 2018. I think this is one Hondas biggest downfall is the limited release and so few refueling stations.

This car is a little small it’s only able to carry four people. The cost of the FCX Clarity is about 600 a month on a 3 year lease. It seems a little steep for someone who is middle class to afford that payment. Not anyone is California will be able to lease this new vehicle. These people who are selected live near the refueling stations and they make a limited amount of commutes.

Basically Toyota and GM vehicles are Hondas biggest threat. With so many new hybrids and small gas efficient cars, this creates a problem for Honda. Another threat is Chevrolet. Chevrolet has developed a fuel cell SUV “the Equinox” and it has already arrived at New York City, Washington D.C. and Southern California. With this being said, it becomes a race between Honda and Chevrolet with the new fuel cell technology. How would the new fuel cell FCX Clarity size up in popularity? The lack of mass production and refueling stations, Honda won’t have a chance.

I think Honda has come up with a good concept car with its new fuel source. The new fuel source needs to be researched further before they should market this vehicle. This car is for people who are willing to go green and have the money to do it. The whole problem is making this car available to the public and easily accessible.

On the other hand Honda has a comparative advantage because of their home refueling station. There is no other vehicle out there that you can just plug in and refuel at home. Hybrid vehicles rely on battery and gas to run. You have to plug the hybrid in to recharge the battery.

"But" vs "And"

Two three–letter words: “but” and “and.” In grammatical terms, they are called conjunctions. They bridge two clauses of a single sentence together. In communication (and negotiation), these words are subtle manipulators of exclusion or inclusion. Generally speaking, “but” excludes, denies, discounts or in some way rejects the previous clause. For example, the statement “she is a very productive employee but she can be a bit demanding” is subtly different than “she is a very productive employee and she can be a bit demanding.” In the first example, the “but” tends to convey a negation of the first clause of the sentence in favor of the second clause of the sentence. In the next example, the “and” tends to convey an inclusion of the first clause along with the second clause.

Take another example: “Yes I understand you need to meet with me before tomorrow’s meeting but my schedule is packed full” vs. “I Yes I understand you need to meet with me before tomorrow’s meeting and my schedule is packed full.” In this example, by using “and” instead of “but” the speaker not only avoids negating the initial clause but also conveys to the listener that his/her concerns about needing to meet are acknowledged.

Using “and” is also a much softer way to say no. For example, the typical “yes, but” can easily be replaced with “yes, and.” For example, the request “We need to purchase new computers” can be responded to with “yes I know, but we can’t until next year” or “yes I know, and we can’t until next year.” The “and” does not negate the “yes” whereas the “but” does tend to convey a sense of canceling out that which preceded the “but.”

The use of “but” is extraordinarily common. In fact, few people actually recognize the subtle influence of using but. If you were to consciously attempt to change “but” to “and” in your speaking, you will notice how odd it feels. But, it is a worthwhile exercise if for no other reason than to become more comfortable with the ability to switch from one to the other. However, there can be a more important reason: using “and” instead of “but” can positively influence dialogue. When using “and” instead of “but” there is a sense of inclusion and acceptance even if the conclusion is a denial or refusal.

Try it out over the next several days. Listen to others’ sentences and when you hear “but” change it in your own mind to “and.” Then, start listening to your own sentences. When you hear yourself about to say “but” change it to “and” but remember one thing…oops…and remember one thing…

Peeling Penis Skin – 7 Potential Causes

Dry, peeling penis skin can send any man into a state of panic, especially when there is no obvious cause. Flakes of skin falling away from the Johnson are not only unattractive, they can appear as a sign of poor health, not to mention causing serious discomfort.

Fortunately, in most cases, the underlying issue can be easily addressed. With the right treatment and a good understanding of proper penis care, the problem can be banished in a matter of days, leaving the skin soft, smooth and attractive.

Common causes of flaking, peeling penis skin

  • Friction. Dry masturbation or sex is a leading cause of peeling, stressed skin. Using a personal lubricant (one designed for the purpose) can reduce the occurrence of dryness and irritation of the penis.
  • Yeast infection. Candida yeast infections, also known as thrush, are one of the most common causes of peeling, itchy penis skin. Other symptoms of yeast infection include red bumps or sores, a burning sensation during urination, severe itching, and a whitish, lumpy discharge. Most yeast infections can be treated with topical anti-fungal creams. Although not considered a sexually transmitted infection, Candida is highly contagious and can easily be passed from one partner to another, so men who develop a yeast infection should encourage their partners to be treated, as well.
  • Balanitis. This condition refers to any inflammation of the glans – or head – of the penis. The inflammation may be related to yeast infection or poor hygiene. Keeping the area clean is essential, especially for men who are uncircumcised, and topical creams may be used to treat the pain, itching and flaking caused by the infection.
  • Phimosis. Men or boys who are unable to retract the foreskin may be diagnosed with phimosis. The tight foreskin may develop a dry appearance, especially if it is stretched during an erection or as a result of masturbation or sex. Phimosis can often be treated by gently pulling the foreskin back a little at a time; applying a high-quality moisturizer can be of assistance in this process. In some cases, doctors may recommend circumcision as the best solution.
  • Sexually transmitted infections. Certain communicable diseases can cause dry penis skin that flakes and peels. Men who are sexually active should be tested for STIs on a regular basis and follow through with any recommended treatment.
  • Dermatitis. A skin sensitivity to something in a man’s environment – from laundry detergent to fragrances to latex condoms or spermicides – can cause the skin to become irritated, itchy, and dry. Avoiding potential skin irritants can eliminate this problem, and using a soothing vitamin cream when irritation does occur can help to clear up any issues.
  • Psoriasis or eczema. Men who have psoriasis or eczema elsewhere on their bodies may also develop dry, scaly or red patches of skin on the penis. Vitamins A and E are often used as natural solutions for these issues; hydrocortisone creams are also frequently prescribed, but caution is advised in this case, as steroid creams can cause thinning of the delicate penile skin.

Any unusual penis symptoms are best tended to by a doctor who has experience in men’s issues, especially if the owner of the package is not sure what is causing the problem. In some cases, such as communicable diseases, prescription medications may be required to clear up the problem.

Dry penis skin should be allowed time to heal; abstaining from sex until the cause of the issue has been identified can prevent further damage and discomfort. In addition, applying a penis health creme (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) containing penis-specific nutrients such as vitamins A and E can help to nourish the skin and speed the healing process. A good penis cream containing natural moisturizers such as Shea butter is ideal for even the most sensitive skin; applying the cream after a shower is best, as this allows for rapid absorption for maximum benefit.

Transmission Repair or Replacement

In order to be a responsible and reliable vehicle owner, it is necessary to have occasional maintenance done. To keep things running their best and lasting as long as possible, you must get occasional inspections and improvements from someone who knows what they are doing. This means more than opening the hood and checking fluids with a dipstick or just simply looking at it.

A tune-up means that a licensed and qualified mechanic gets under the hood and under the car and looks to see what is happening with all of the systems and components of the automobile. Sometimes, the solution can be something simple like  transmission  repair, but sometimes, it will mean replacement of the whole shifting system. If that is the case, there are a few things you need to understand in order to make sure you that do not get taken for a ride with unnecessary work being done.

If the vehicle has a clutch and a stick shift, it is referred to as a manual system because to go from one gear to another, the driver must physically shift the gears. An automatic system is just that, it requires no human input and transitions on its own.  Transmission  repair and replacement on a manual system is much more straightforward than with an automatic system, but that does not mean it is any less important.

Now that computers can do so much, it is not surprising to learn that even  transmission  repair is not left to the opportunity for human error. Instead, diagnostics are performed with computerized gauges. These take electrical signals from the car to communicate codes that relate to specific issues. This allows the problem to be assessed without having to open everything up and physically examine what is happening.

If the problem that is discovered is too extensive or the cost or  transmission  repair is higher than the cost of replacement, it may be necessary to purchase a whole new system. This can be either brand-new or what they call rebuilt. In most instances, unless you must really save money, go with something new to ensure that you are not simply purchasing someone else’s problems and installing them in your car.

 Transmission  repair is the preferred choice over replacement. It is far less expensive and takes very little time. The fact of that matter is that sometimes the issues that a car has can exceed the skills of a mechanic. That is when it is important to bite the bullet and fork over the cash for something new that will continue to work for years to come.

Different Forms of Candida and How it Effects Erectile Function?

The Different Forms of Candida

There are 20 different forms of Candida, the most common being Candida Albicans. These microscopic organisms normally live on the surface of our body without causing any kind of infection or disease. However, under certain extraordinary circumstances, the population of these fungi grows so rapidly that they become the agents of yeast infection or Candidiasis. Thrush, diaper rash, nail-bed infection, vaginal yeast infection and pulmonary candidiasis are some diseases caused by Candida. Yeast infection is mostly prevalent in women; men generally contract oral yeast infection. Penile Candidiasis, or yeast infection that affects the erectile function is quite rare.

Under what situations does Candida start effecting erectile function?

Diabetes- Diabetic men usually have elevated sugar levels in their urine. This makes them the ideal candidates for yeast infection of penis. A large amount of sugar in the urine provides a feasible environment for Candida to grow and multiply in the penis and disrupt the erectile function.

Antibiotics- Prolonged use of antibiotic kills the bacterial flora that is typically present in the penis. In the absence of natural flora, the penis becomes susceptible to infection caused by Candida.

Low immunity- Often, conditions like chronic stress, HIV, hypothyroidism and Lyme lower the immunity of the body drastically and make the penis vulnerable to Candida attack.

Sexual transmission- Having sexual intercourse with a woman who has vaginal yeast infection increases the chances of developing penile candidiasis, which can disturb erectile function dramatically.

What are the symptoms of penile yeast infection?

Frequently, penis yeast infection doesn’t affect the erectile function. In such a case, it is very difficult to detect penile candidiasis. The general symptoms of the disease are excessive itching, particularly on the head of the penis, which can lead to irritation, soreness and redness. In severe cases, small blisters might also appear which is accompanied with a clumpy discharge that is white in color.

The bad thing about penile candidiasis is that its symptoms are very similar to that of genital herpes. As soon as you detect the symptoms, contact your physician immediately to ascertain whether erectile dysfunction is caused by penis yeast infection or genital herpes.

What are some remedies to overcome the adverse effects of Candida on erectile function?

The two drugs that are regularly used for the treatment of penis candidiasis are ketaconazole and fluconazole. These medicines produce their own set of side effects. For this reason, natural remedies should also be tried like yogurt, aloe vera, garlic paste, apple cider vinegar. These can be applied on the affected area for instant relief.

In addition to treatment, certain precautions are also necessary. For instance, if you or your partner is nursing a yeast infection of genital organs, it is advisable to practice safe sex. Furthermore, avoid wearing clothes that are tight at your crotch and keep your genital area absolutely clean and moisture free. Besides these, make requisite dietary changes like start taking pro biotic supplements and Vitamin C in your daily diet.

Efficiency of Candida diet against Candida that causes erectile dysfunction

Candida diet can also prove to be quite effective. While following a Candida diet, you have to avoid eating foods that are rich in carbohydrates. Chicken, meat, non-starchy vegetables, shell-fish, and nuts are found to be very helpful in the treatment of a penis yeast infection. Likewise, you should also avoid foods that are a rich source of yeast like bread, mushroom, cheese, tomato paste, vinegar, and so on.

Concluding words

Penis candidiasis is absolutely treatable. Seek medical advice at the onset of the disease, follow the instructions carefully and try to adopt a healthy and hygienic lifestyle. Switch over to a Candida diet and apart from tried and tested medication, try out natural remedies too. Moreover, keep away from all kinds of stresses and tensions. Practice yoga, meditation and other stress management techniques to overcome all the strains and stresses of your life.

An Aion Primer – Basic Aion Guide

The massively multiplayer online RPG known as Aion (full name: “Aion: Tower Of Eternity”) is NCSoft’s latest foray into the MMORPG genre. So, what’s Aion all about and what makes it different from the myriad of other popular MMO games on the market now? This article aims to be your guide to the world of Aion, to give you a primer on the basics of how Aion works and what you can expect from the game.

The game takes place in two separate “worlds”, Elysea and Asmodae, inhabited by the Elyos and Asmodians, respectively. Elysea is bright and cheerful, whereas Asmodae is more dark and sinister. Players begin the game as humans in whichever world they choose. Players gain experience by completing quests and defeating enemies, which they then use to “level up” their characters. Once characters reach the required level, they become winged immortals known as “Daevas”. Once a character has become a Daeva, they travel to the capital city of whichever world they inhabit, to begin their new lives. Features

Character Creation & Customization

An important feature in any RPG, Aion features a robust character creation and customization system. This system allows players to fine-tune the height, weight and scale of various body parts. A variety of hair styles, skin colors, facial textures and voices are available to choose from. Players can go really in-depth with their character’s detailing, by adjusting eye shape/color, nose shape, ear size/shape, and tattoos for the character’s face and/or body. Aion also features the ability to dye a character’s equipment to change its color, and the ability to interchange graphics between weapons and armor that the characters have in their inventory (though this graphic swapping must be done between items of the same type).

Skill Chains

Many RPGs allow characters to gain and improve new skills as they progress. Aion introduces a subtle twist to this game mechanic with “Skill Chains”. With “Skill Chains”, skill upgrades may only be performed in a certain order (hence the term “chain”).

Classes

There are four “primary” classes: Warrior, Mage, Scout, or Priest. Once characters reach level 9, the player can then choose from two “specialized” classes related to their original “primary” class. Warriors can become either a “Templar” or “Gladiator”. Likewise, Mages can become either a “Sorcerer” or “Spirit Master”, Scouts can be either “Assassin” or “Ranger”, and Priests can become either a “Cleric” or a “Chanter”. Professions

On top of your character classes, there are six “crafting” professions (Alchemy, Cooking, Tailoring, Handicrafting, Weaponsmithing, and Armorsmithing) and two “extracting” professions. The extracting professions are learned automatically by each player, but the crafting professions must be learned manually. A single character is able to learn ALL of the crafting professions, but only master two. Becoming a “master” of a profession gives the player a fancy title and a boost to his or her stats.

Grouping

Players can join together to form a “group”. Groups can accommodate up to six players. Certain parts of Aion are designed for group play, and in some areas a group is required for entrance. Building on the group mechanic, in Aion up to four groups may form what is known as an “alliance” when greater numbers are needed. However, being a part of an alliance can limit your rewards from smaller quests intended for single or group play.

PvPvE system

The “Abyss” is a PvP area physically located between the two game worlds. Once characters reach higher levels, much of the game of Aion revolves around PvP encounters in this area. The Abyss features strongholds which can be controlled by “Legions” (Aion for “guild”). Players battle it out to gain and keep control of these various strongholds. Again, Aion introduces another twist with siege weapons players can obtain from raids, and use in these battles. Control of a stronghold means income from taxes, and players get perks from stores and NPCs. Battling it out with your fellow players in the Abyss will get you “Abyss Points”. These points are used to rank you among the rest of the Aion players out there. Why does this matter? Well, higher ranks unlock visual upgrades to your characters wings, and you can use your Abyss points to purchase high-end armor and weapons.