Truth is stranger than fiction. I know it sounds like a cliche, but it’s true.

    Perfect example: there is a church near Prague that was used as the set for Jeremy Irons’ office in Dungeons & Dragons. Human bones line the walls and ceiling. The only decoration the filmmakers used on the set was a cloth over a door handle.

    That’s right…some psychotic artist had disinterred all the bodies in the catacombs and made sculptures out of their bones. If somebody tried to put that into a fantasy novel, nobody would believe it.

    As I said, truth is stranger than fiction. You see, fiction has to make sense. Real life, however, is filled with human beings, who are often irrational, oddball, and constantly do the unexpected. Online is no exception.

    I’ve been collecting stories from people lately. True stories from Battle.net. Some of them are bizarre, some hysterical. We’ll start with a story from a fellow named Alex titled Baal’s Friend…

    So I’m in a hell difficulty game, finally killing Baal, with my level 76 assassin. With me are a Barbarian, a Paladin, and (thank GOD) a firewall Sorceress. Suddenly, during the lag that Lister the Tormentor causes, a different barb entered the game and asked “killing bale?”

    Someone said yes. And then wackiness ensued.

    “BALE IS MY FREND” shouted the barb, and, quickly hostiling us, continued to spam the screen with that.

    So I’m thinking, “We’ve got about a minute and a half before he finds his way down here, and Lister’s almost dead. I bet we can kill Baal.”

    About thirty seconds later, (damn maphack) just as Lister bit the dust, this crazy maul barb charges in and starts leap attacking around.

    My assassin has a level 25 phoenix strike, my main skill. But she also has a level 25 lightning sentry and 18 tiger strike, with 1 in dragon tail.

    As my teammates entered the worldstone chamber, I charged up my tiger strike and proceeded to teleport/kick him with dragon tail at the same time he leap attacked me.

    You’ve seen the Matrix? You know where Mr. Smith and Neo both leap at each other, guns blazing? Picture that.

    Neither of us were hit, and I hopped into the worldstone chamber, with barbboy following. He must have hit a lag spike or something, because Baal had taken a good amount of damage before the barb decided to whirlwind the paladin. He died. The Sorceress left the game. The other barb got whirlwinded. He died. Remained in town. I once again charged up on Baal and tiger striked/dragon tailed the barb. He took it, but he didn’t die.

    No, what killed him a second later was Baal, his friend.

    And the funniness doesn’t stop there. I finished off Baal relatively easily just as the barb re-entered the chamber. One of the items Baal had dropped was a magical war belt, which I had IDed and dropped on the ground.

    Baal’s friend, of course, managed to pick it up right before he got his corpse. Which, in turn, was right before I killed him again. Which, again in turn, was right before he popped.

    Only your oldest corpse exists, and obviously, since he had picked up my discarded war belt, his most recent one couldn’t contain all his equipment. Which promptly dropped to the ground.

    What benefits can one reap of a level 79 maul Barbarian? I sure liked the Immortal King’s Maul. The armor and helm weren’t half shabby either. Neither was anything else.

    Watching the screen spam with “BALE IS FRED, GIVE ITAM”, I was filled with an odd mix of sympathy and disgust. So, after much scolding by me in which I had him remain quiet (under threat of never receiving his items), I returned his stuff.

    Except the Immortal King’s Maul. I’m not THAT crazy.

    Sometimes players will go absolutely nuts for magical items, to the point that it costs them far more than the item was ever worth. It’s true…trust me…but don’t take my word for it. A player with the handle of Vercingetorix sent me this story:

    I was playing act 3 nightmare and was in a large party of 8 people, though I was adventuring alone since I was farther than the others (I was in the Flayer Jungle and they were all in the spider forest or still in the end of act 2). I slew a rather large group of flayers and grabbed some of the items that had fallen, leaving some behind since I didn’t have enough space in my inventory. One in particular was a pair of magical demonhide gloves.

    After returning back from town through my town portal I noticed the gloves were gone, and there was no one in the game in the flayer jungle aside from myself. Suspicious, I proceeded to gather a large horde of flayers in one area, including a boss pack of the chieftans. I opened a town portal in the middle of them and went to town.

    Sure enough, about 20 seconds after I was in town and had started going to Hratli to repair my gear I noticed an Amazon in my party dart through the portal. Her life promptly went to zero. What is even more amusing is that I found a pair of magical demonhide gloves that were identified but tossed aside in town because frankly, they sucked.

    So I went through the town portal so the Amazon could not get her body. I then killed the monsters and ran far away from that space, gathering up another large boss pack of flayer chieftans and several flayers. Again I opened a town portal and went to town, and the Amazon went through and died again. I kept it open and stayed in town watching her jump through the portal again and again simply to die.

    She died a total of seven times before I finally left the game. I cannot imagine that all the gold and experience she lost was worth a pair of magical demonhide gloves that she didn’t even use or sell (I sold them). Serves her right for trying to steal my treasure.

    Player killers can be a strange bunch. Some of them are downright nasty, using bugs in the program to kill other players. But, as this story from the forums relates, sometimes the players can fool the player killers…

    Apparently this guy and his Korean friend were playing a game, they were both fairly high lvls (50-80 I don’t remember) and 2 pk’s joined the game (this was back when there was that bug of “………………” that would disconnect Koreans) and immediately went hostile to the Korean guy (who’s name proclaimed that fact; sorry, I don’t know what it was) and they both screamed out “pk pk pk pk pk pk pk.”

    He was at LEAST 30 lvls higher than them so he went out into the blood moor in act 1 to enlighten them, as soon as he was half a screen from the town both the pk’s went “………………” and charged out to attack him. He froze and let them get close, they ran up and he immediately took them both out.

    They respawned, collected their corpses and tried again, going “………………” before leaving town to attack this guy, who froze until they got close and then promptly killed them both. At this point they left the game.

    Apparently this guys Korean friend was actually living in Canada (or the US, one or the other) and just happened to be Korean, thou he wasn’t running the Korean version of the game so he didn’t disconnect.

    Next installment: Emails from the Edge Goes Forth, yet another one of those installments you’ve all been waiting for…

    Garwulf’s Corner was written from 2000-2002, by Robert Marks and published on Diabloii.net. Garwulf’s Corner covered gaming culture, fantasy literature, computers, and more. Robert Marks was also the author of Demonsbane, a work in the Diablo series of novels published by Blizzard Entertainment.

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