Dogs; Diablo

Our puppy, Zelda, took it upon herself last night to start chewing on a pair of glasses that my wife had just bought, instead of the normal rawhide things that she is allowed to chew on. She has drug some of the wife’s high heels out in the past and chewed on them also, but dogs and shoes are pretty much linked by the oral tradition of our society, so that is to be expected. But, eyewear? There is just the tiny little piece of plastic on each arm, why would a dog find interest in that? A pair of slippers I could understand, especially if they were fuzzy, but glasses? What the hell was that dog thinking?

That is rhetorical, of course, and something that I may have been better off not to mention since I am the one trying to say that dogs are the more intelligent pet. The thing about training a dog is that there is a point where a puppy who can’t really understand discipline turns into a dog that knows that what it is doing is wrong, and you have to figure out at what point that happens.

Just like children, dogs go through a teething process. It is a bit different because the dogs will continue to chew on any item available until their teeth have completely grown in. I am assuming that this is because of their base animal instinct, knowing (however subconciously it is) that they must have strong teeth to tear apart their prey. I am speaking only from observation and have done absolutely zero research into it, but that is what I theorize from what I have seen.

Having been a dog owner since I was very young (3 or 4 years old at best), I have found that certain things do not help in teaching a dog what it should and should not chew on. Like the glasses, if you find them on the floor and they have been chewed on, showing them to the dog and smacking the dog seems to make it just hate them and want to chew on them the very next time it is possible. On the other hand, if you catch the dog chewing on something that they should stay away from it just takes a quick smack on the snout and the word “No” spoken firmly to make them never touch that item, or any similar item, again. I think that is why our puppy only drags her high heels out of the closet, since she has been smacked for dragging sneakers outside but has yet to be caught with a heel.

One other odd thing that she likes to chew on is bras. There is nothing crunchy on a bra, even the underwire ones only have a little piece of metal below the cup. I didn’t know that dogs would really chew on metal, but there are several old soup cans in my back yard that can prove that they do. We do try to keep rawhide chews available for her all the time, but those things can get expensive when she is going through one every day ( I mean like a bone, not just a strip ), and even then when it is gone she will start chewing on things like the laundry detergent bottle that is in the room they stay in while we are not home. With a bit of luck, and patience, she will grow up to be a much better dog than most pit bulls get credit for, unless she decides to start eating the wife’s jewelry next, in which case I will call a buy a gun and call a taxidermist, and then she will truly be a very good dog.

D2 talk below, may as well turn away now if you don’t play it.

Well, I spent entirely too much time playing Diablo today. Or to be more precise, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction version 1.10. Way too much time. It started out innocently enough, just screwing around with the new single player character that I created shortly after the release of the patch, but then I decided to go check on the on-line characters that I have remaining. I lost about 80% of my on-line characters through lack of play while I was playing everquest waiting for them to put out the patch for Diablo. The sad part is that had I sold some of the gear that I had over ebay I could be a couple hundred dollars richer because of it, instead, it is just gone.

I had a level 67 paladin that had just killed Baal in nightmare before I put the game on the shelf for a couple of months. He is one of the few characters that I still have remaining. I had not really tried to do anything in hell level since the patch was released, so I figured I would give him a go, just to see. They certainly have increased the difficulty in hell level. I am not saying that is a bad thing, just that it was obvious from stepping out the game that they had.

There are Super-Unique monsters galore. It wasn’t too bad going through the first couple of zones, I was able to survive using only potions and running like hell a lot of the time. Blood Raven was a lot more difficult than I remember her, but it has been a long time since I have faced her on hell level. Even longer since I have faced her on hell level with a melee character. It wasn’t that it was particularly hard to kill her, but it was significantly harder than it was prior to the patch.

The theme of having tons of Super-Unique monsters continued through as far as I got in act 1, and they are pretty tough sometimes. It wasn’t until I got to the Black Marsh (beyond the Dark Wood) that I started to get my ass handed to me pretty regularly. I happened upon four Super-uniques that were in about a four-screen range of each other. Two were Shamans, and were taken care of pretty easily, the other two were the two guys I am going to put pictures of below.

Any time they are stone skin and immune to physical a melee fighter has to cringe, but the lightning immunity made it even worse for me, since my weapon only does lightning damage. Luckily, this is the character that I had built to survive against physical immune creatures, so he has vengeance maxxed also, but this was still a pretty tough battle. My mercenary died a few times, and I got way too close a time or two myself. Then I decided to do the tower.

The tower might as well be a hack that was added to the game later, judging by the number of people that actually do the quest, but that could also be said for the majority of act 3, so who’s to say. I died in the tower. I am not sure if this guy had died before, but he died in the tower, on the first level. There were, again, at least four super-uniques on the first level of the tower. The fourth pack that I encountered were the ones that killed me, I did not have time to see what exactly their attributes were, but one had curse and spectral hit. I died with a full belt (16) full rejuv potions. Dead before I could hit a button. Thank god I don’t play hardcore.

I have read a lot about people thinking that the patch is too easy, or too hard, I think that it is just about right, you really have to think about your actions, and pay attention to what you do. It is certainly not a cake walk, but if you play it right it can be done with less than elite gear. So instead of bitching about how it is too hard or too easy, I am gonna say that they got it just about right. You have to really TRY to beat monsters at the higher levels, while you can just beat them up at the lower levels. Isn’t that the whole point of a game? To make the beginning easy enough for novices while having an ending that challenges the most seasoned player?

If I ever happen upon a game in my lifetime with the infinite replayability of D2:LOD, I will probably never have to buy another game.

Leave a Reply