- Are you miserable tonight?
- Does your head ache with fright?
- Well, they call it “paranoia”.
That’s the start of a pop ballad called “Are you miserable tonight?”, a country song with a twist of blues.
I’m writing songs again, mostly now about paranoia and knocks at the door and fascists smashing down all the socio-political gains we’ve made over the past 50 years since the Civil Rights Movement got some wind in its sail.
Now it’s time for activists to once again take to the streets and to the voting booths, although they will be turned away from the polls if past Republican history is anything to go by, and it is.
So we’ll be watching this all on the news. Too bad none of this wonderful 21st century history manages to survive the Second Holocaust, and even if it did, nothing got past the Third Holocaust, nothing.
That’s the war in which EVERYBODY loses.
Of course, that won’t happen for a while yet, but we can always hope. Human beings are dangerous to the planet, and they gotta go.
Listen, it’s not my decision, it’s just Basic Math.
So without humans, marketing gets really slow for a while, until the reptilians get control, then it’s marketing, marketing, marketing, all the way down.
So what kind of “bad thoughts”, “bad feelings”, “bad sensations” and “bad worries” are you wanting to get rid of?
Of course, the BETA BLOCK EFFECT only occurs WHILE YOU’RE ACTUALLY PLAYING D2. Once you exit the game and go back to “Normal” mode, all the crap you’ve been pushing away will come crashing back with a vengeance.
That’s how BETA-BLOCK GAMING becomes totally, inescapably addictive.
You’ll begin to crave the gaming space, where nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about, as the Beatles so eloquently said it in “Strawberry Fields” — just a small open strawberry patch, a short-cut, that the boys decided to walk through, in order to get to the Abbey Road recording studio back in the sixties.
Just goes to show that it’s damn near impossible to keep a team of any kind together after the high point of their career.
The Beatles were finished shortly after their very first appearance on Ed Sullivan — it’s hard to come to the full realization that they worked together as a band for a little over two and a half years.
It looks like more, but if you knew them, you knew that they had broken up long before the newspapers and magazines had the story.
You might not be able to keep yourself from going into the game just to get some pressure off, and that will increase in frequency until you do little else but game, and this is good.
The idea is to “retire from the organic world” as much as possible, and one way to do that is to escape to another, parallel, world, and that would be the world of D2, which Tolkien called “Middle-Earth”.
Edmund Spenser had a different name for it, “The Land of Faerie”, and so many different names exist for that World Next Door that it’s impossible to list them all.
In that world, the bow and arrow are the weapons of choice, but for magic-users there are other options, and for super-heroic Paladins, the powerful Spirit Sword is the best solution.
Each character class has its own menu of possible weapons, but they all add up to the same thing — Increased Attack Speed, Damage and at least +2 to All Skills or Class Skills.
In the end, it’s all about ATTACK RATING, which means who gets in the first blow — it’s generally a roll of the dice whether you connect or not, do damage or not, and what level of damage you do do, as it were.
You need to know where your attack rating buttons are, especially if you’re a Zon — any archery is going to need accuracy and “first attack”, meaning you get to hit the monster first and hardest, and you get to keep doing that, if you get the “Left Mouse Attack” rhythm just exactly right.
Don’t forget that it’s a computer — it sees everything you do, and takes into account how you did it, but there IS a roll of the dice regarding particulars.
It appears as if you have control of the blow, but the computer decides who gets hurt and by how much LIFE and MANA is taken away from the recipient.
From there on, it’s all worked out in the detail level, which you never see. All you ever see is the outcome, the result of the dice throws inside the computer’s Central Processor.
So what DOES happen when you die?
First of all, you find yourself back at respawn for that level — if you’re in ACT 2, for instance, you’ll appear where you first spawned into the space, in the western area of the tiny town.
The thing is, you’ll be minus your stuff — your armor, helm, boots — that sort of stuff. It’s all back there where you died, on the corpse that’s lying on the cold, cold ground.
You have two choices here. You can re-armor and re-arm yourself and go get your corpse back, but if you do manage to extract it from a roomful of horrible monsters, you should strip off your armor — after the bad guys are thoroughly dead, of course — and THEN click your left mouse button to resuscitate your dead body.
Now you can sell the stuff you used to get back your stuff, if you follow me.
That’s one way to handle dying on the D2 battlefield. The other way is to just take your losses, exit the game and remake a new game with a different name, meaning the next number in your game series, such as “gorby999”, followed by “gorby888” and so forth.
This way, you can keep making short games in order to level in, for instance, summit, without Blizzard kicking you out for making games too fast, which can happen.
If it does, don’t mess with your game for AT LEAST 22 minutes. If you try again and they still reject you, don’t go near it for another two hours, then try again — if it still rejects you, you’ll have to wait a whole day before they let you back in again.
Do that too many times and they ban your account, so be careful how rapidly you go from game to game. I like to remain in a game for A MINIMUM of 5 minutes, sometimes more. There’s always SOMETHING you can do — if nothing else, go find some high runes at the Countess, or do a Baal Run on the previous level.
What that means is, if you’re in NIGHTMARE, do a Baal Run in NORMAL.
You’ll be surprised at what turns up in a Baal Run, once you’re alone in there and there’s no BOT in there with you to snare every high rune and decent drop that comes out of Baal when he dies.
But when YOU die, all the money you were carrying spills out onto the ground where your corpse ignominiously lies dead.
So when you pick up and re-animate your corpse by wearing it, be sure to also pick up the few kopeks that are scattered about in a nearby pile.
It can add up, so don’t neglect it when you tidy up after a death.
When you die, the game automatically returns you to town, to the spawn point, and it’s always the same respawn point for each level — that doesn’t vary, as do the positions of buildings, cave entrances and other landscape features.
You can run over to the vendors and get stuff and go back in there and butt heads with whatever killed you, but remember that if it killed you once, it could easily do it again.
In NORMAL, you lose nothing by leaving the game and picking up your corpse when you spawn into the next game.
In NIGHTMARE and HELL, you lose a LOT when you die, so it pays not to die too often, but you know what? It’s hard to avoid it, and you can’t avoid death forever.
You CAN learn to not panic.
Evaluate the situation anew — do you really want to re-animate that dead body? Why? What’s the point? Why not just move on to the next game and recover your armor, helm, belt, boots and weapon there, in the Next Reality?
That’s what it is, slightly different in layout from the previous, with domains scrambled and models scrambled within that scrambled six-part map.
It’s like shuffling a deck of cards, each time you invoke a new game — this is especially noticeable when you invoke the same level again and again.
There are subtle differences in layout and distribution of landscape features, but the layout is essentially the same, with small variations.
In the Throne Room, it’s really hard-wired in what monsters appear, except in the First Wave. From then on, it’s all according to the standard operating script, and you level accordingly, except that you don’t gain anything by killing Baal except his drops.
So what DOES happen when you die?
The mercenary will not survive your death, and must be revived before proceeding any further, and this will cost you plenty, more and more as your merc’s level increases.
Your merc will provide you with what you need from an ally, but think about the Second Act Nightmare Defensive Merc as a good choice unless you know how to select better for your character class, in which case, go right ahead and do what you know how to do.
Quite often, a beginning player’s character will die, and this causes panic, alarm — you don’t know what just happened, it was all so sudden, and you don’t know what to do, now that you’re dead.
Well, relax. You’re not dead — you never die. Your character has left a corpse down there in the dungeon, and you can recover it or not, it makes no difference in NORMAL.
By the time you hit the NIGHTMARE DIFFICULTY level of this game, you will absolutely KNOW how to handle dying, you’ll have done it so many times by then.
As you stop dying so much, less and less dying, you tend to forget exactly what it is that happens when you die, and you don’t want to go out there with a character and deliberately allow it to get killed, just to refresh your memory on the subject.
So what DOES happen when you die?
You hear a sound. Blackout. Press left mouse button. You wake up in respawn, still groggy and confused from the sudden death event. So, what did you think would happen?
It’s what you do right then at that there moment that decides the issue — are you a player or a character?
A Player will just take the losses and move on, unless it’s a HELL GAME, in which case, you re-arm and go after the monsters, taking them out one by one, slowly and carefully, always leaving an open TOWN PORTAL somewhere close, but out of range of the bad guys.
Always have an open TOWN PORTAL somewhere, if you don’t want to end up spending fifteen minutes running back to where you should have left an open TOWN PORTAL in the first place.
That’s pretty much the rule in every case — “Don’t knock yourself out where you don’t have to” is YouTube’s “Uncle Raggy Rule”, and it always works, so adopt it soon, for less pain and suffering in every area, but especially in the death department.
Death is always over your shoulder in the game, and there are so many ways to die — some people gave years of their lives to develop horrible things that happen in the game, just so you could die.
How fun is that?
I think it’s totally dope, don’t you? At the end of the day, it’s all good — I know, right?
What a planet — they’re so certain — “I know” — and at the same time, wobbly on the subject — “right?”, and it goes deeper than that, and that’s why you don’t know what happens when you die unless you start playing D2, in which case, you will surely die a thousand deaths, thus giving you ample opportunity to answer that Magic Question, “What Happens When I Die?”.
Oh, you might mean, “What Happens to ME When I Die?”, which is a different answer which involves “Loss of Ego”, meaning that your ego matrix will be scrambled and made into a new identity, but YOU never change.
You’re always the same, lifetime after lifetime, but the BODY changes, the MIND changes and the SETTING changes, but YOU stay the same throughout, the Simple Self.
It’s what’s left of you when you’re deeply meditating.
It has been called the Simple Self, the Deep Self, the Pure Self, the Selfless Self and many other names, but it all comes out the same in the end — it’s a Very Simple Self, one that can easily transcend life and death, and that’s the REAL YOU.
It isn’t very complicated or sophisticated. It’s just a simple selfness, without the embellishments of intellect or culture. Just the Simple Self, is all.
Anything beyond that is the CHARACTER.
Think of the SELF as an actor, but the CHARACTER is the specific PART in a play, with its own definite lines, actions and reactions.
When you do another character in another play, it will not generally be the same character you played just previous, although many actors fall into the category of “Type Cast”, meaning they just play themselves onscreen or onstage.
It is my firm belief that they’re too damn lazy to learn the acting craft, and they can get away with just reading their lines — it doesn’t take much to be a Reality TV Star, as all of them demonstrate so clearly.
A really fine actor is INVISIBLE in the part — you only see the CHARACTER, not the actor taking bows and injecting himself or herself into the dialogue and action.
That’s what you won’t like about many TV actors, and all of the reality show actors — they can’t and don’t act, they behave like themselves, no variant, no professional options.
Now, in D2, it’s all about the CHARACTER and nothing about the ACTOR, which is YOU, the PLAYER.
So what happens when your CHARACTER dies?
When you’re playing HELL, it’s a totally different story, because there you have a LOT to lose, particularly if your character is just shy of leveling to 90, which is a long, long haul from 89.
You might go through HELL to get that dead body back, although if you did die in HELL, it’s going to be mighty tough to get back your body without your equipment and armor, isn’t it???
But if you’re right on the verge of leveling, you probably will try, in which case, you’ll soon discover that you can lose TWICE AS MUCH by going after it, because if experience tells me anything, it dictates that you will probably die three, four or as many as ten times more, by trying to recover the body.
There is a secret to it, but I don’t do this unless it’s very important, and a LOT is at stake — you call someone stronger to help you recover your body.
You have to do this without leaving the game. If you leave the game, or it “Times Out”, you lose the Experience Points and the Gold, and if you persist, it could get worse and worse.
The “Longest Yard” in the game is that horrific three-month struggle at 8 hours a day, just to get from 98 to level 99, which I’ve only done three times, and then, with LOTS of help from friends and friendly clans that ran Baal Runs for my char to get there first.
If not for Dok and XxaxX, I’d never have gotten all the way there. It was really a team effort to achieve that, and we only did it to build up the clan with publicity for having finished first — in the end, it was great and we did accomplish a LOT with that promotion!
My char just got lucky, and ran ahead of the pack, is all — just another case of “Right Time, Right Place”, which depends on what is called “Luck” — we were prepared to take ANY of our chars through 99 if it looked like it was within reach. As it happened, my Assassin got well within the goal before we ran her as a team, for a combined 18 hours per day.
My Assassin got lucky.
That’s another way to use the game, as a “Luck Tester” — you can get yourself in a streak of luck before a business deal or some other thing where you need some good luck on your side.
It’s also a great way to “run” for someone who needs healing of ANY sort, mental, physical, emotional or spiritual — you can find out how to do this by contacting us and asking how to set up Healing Runs in D2 as well as with a variety of Healing Orbs in the GODD Engine.
We’re running GROUP SAFARI games, to which YOU are cordially invited. You can join a beginner’s group, intermediate group or advanced group as you like, although if you can’t keep up, you’ll be asked to change groups to a lower level until you get better.
There’s no shame in that.
Well, maybe there is some shame in that, but I seriously doubt it. We could make some shame if you’d really miss it.
Guilt is good, too. We can build some guilt into the picture, if that helps you to stay on the straight & narrow.
So without guilt and shame and worry, what will you do for entertainment? The simple answer to that is, you’ll play D2 until the cows come home, and then you’ll play some more.
Cultivate an Addiction To The Game and you will not be disappointed.
See You At The Top!!!