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Flux’s Decahedron #14: Top Ten Silliest Physical Impossibilities in D2

Posted 26 Mar 2003 by

At last, after months of “coming soon” this is the column you’ve all been waiting for.  Of all the “coming soon” columns listed on my author info page, this one has been by far the most commented on via reader emails.  So you know with all that anticipation going for it, it’s almost sure to suck. But keep reading anyway!

So what is a silly physical impossibility? It’s something that seems ridiculous in the game, if you apply some common sense to the issue.  Imagine that your character is a real person, and pretend you can still cast spells and all that, but notice what you can’t do, that a real person easily could. Most of these are limitations of the game engine, but some are intentional design issues.

There are a lot of other physical impossibilities in the game, but since they are part of the game world, and part of most every game world, they aren’t “silly” and hence aren’t on this list.  Basically every skill a character possesses, for example.  Especially magical stuff like casting fireballs or teleporting or summoning up the dead.  You have to go along with the game world on most things or else the entire game is a bunch of absurdities; of course you can’t fight at full power when you are 1% from dropping dead, and you can’t hit someone with an axe and heal yourself doing it, and you can’t put on a new hat and suddenly stand in fire without taking a burn, or cast a magical spell.

So basic game physics and practices are not on this list, but there are plenty of other silly things remaining.  I can almost guarantee that numerous feedback mails will suggest things that are ruled out by the preceding two paragraphs. No one ever reads the disclaimers.

This list covers D2C and D2X, but this isn’t a list of things that will ever be patched, so it’s timeless.

On with the show!

Top Ten Silliest Physical Impossibilities

Honorable Mention #4: Player Corpses are Sacred

So monster corpses are meat, you can resurrect them, blow them up, rip them to bits for some more gold, etc.  And there are dead humans all over, ones you can kick over and get an item from, quite often.  But a dead player’s body is somehow magical and may not be touched.  Even the blood-thirsty monsters don’t eat you, they just wait patiently by your body for you to return.  So polite. I say Bliz should let Necromancers blow up corpses, just to get even with the years of jokes.  You could still loot yourself, but you’d be looting a huge messy pile of gore.  Reminds me of my first wife, actually.

Honorable Mention #3: Wagon Trail

There are abandoned vehicles all over the game world, and usually it makes sense.  Routes of travel, etc.  So what about the ones blocking the pathways down in the three River of Flame style dungeons under Act Five?  Who was dragging wagons down there?  Wagons that are far wider than the bridges on the level they are found on, not to mention that the only way down there is via a small pink portal.  I know, the monsters built them on site, just to block off the walkways off and annoy us.

Yes, I said portals under Act Five.  They are in the three fortified surface areas.  Yeah, the ones you’ve not been in since like the first week the game came out.  Quit bothering me.  Just go kill some more cows.

Honorable Mention#2: Magic/Gold Find

So how exactly does what you are wearing change what a monster drops? Aren’t they carrying the item already?

Honorable Mention#1: Furry Druids

Okay, so he can turn into a werewolf or a werebear.  I’ll accept that. Reminds me of my first wife.  But how does he do it without destroying his armor?  When the furform wears off he goes back to a normal goofy-looking human, and he’s still fully dressed and has all of his equipment.  There’s a trick the Incredible Hulk could have used.

Bonus points for being able to use a weapon when all we see is a naked animal slapping away with a claw.  Especially when it’s a ranged weapon, used for melee combat.  Fear the Buriwolf!

#10: Scoot Over You Fat Bitch!

So you can walk right through your minions or mercenary, or the minions of other players (Though this wasn’t the case in D2C; ask a Zoomancer about visiting the NPCs in Act Three and watch him shudder.) but if another player stands still in the middle of a six foot wide walkway, you are stuck.  And if it’s a single file walkway, such as the Maggot Lair, you will wait, and you will like it.  Nevermind that a couple of skinny characters like an Assassin and a Sorceress could slip past each other as smoothly as a silk g-string sliding down your girlfriend’s legs. *cough*

Of course there’s no way to push another character a bit and slip past them.  Not even an inch.  And no, there was not a Necromancer nickname joke in the title of this entry.  Move along, nothing to see here.

#9: No Friendly Fire

The total lack of any sort of friendly fire is not exactly the most realistic feature in Diablo II.  You can sort of accept it with magic, like say your fire or lightning spells have some sort of anti-human property, so they don’t hit your friends.  A property that comes and goes, since the same fireball can miss your friends, and hurt your enemies. (I didn’t say it made sense.)  And of course it always hits monsters.  And the spells the monsters cast are much the same, unable to hit other monsters since they have an anti-monster property.

Okay accept that, absurd as it is.  Then how do you explain Whirlwind, or Multishot?  Anti-friendly-human weapon properties?  Each arrow is a living, sentient being, and it realizes before hitting that the target is not an enemy, so therefore passes harmlessly through it?

Bonus points for Multishot and Teeth only hitting a given target one time, even if you fire 20 projectiles right into the groin of a Death Lord.

#8: Invisible Guardrails

You can not fall off of anything in D2.  Ever. Anywhere.  Steps, river banks, cliffs, etc.  While this is handy for battling in places like the Arcane Sanctuary, it’s a bit ridiculous.  You can see the river, you can leap or teleport over the river, but you can not get your feet wet.  And if a flying or floating monster dies there, it will fall and lie on… nothing.

I remember back in Diablo when I first got to the caves and was terrified of the rivers (well, streams) of molten lava.  What if I slipped and clicked on one?  Would I step into it and die instantly?  And then there were those charging rhino demons, which I feared would knock me into the magma.  Yes, I was young and naive.

#7: Locked Chests

We’re not discussing the stupidity of having some chests locked and others not, while not having the locked ones contain anything more valuable than the unlocked ones.  Nor the whole concept of chests full of loot in caves and right out in open fields where hundreds of monsters are wandering around.

What we are discussing is how silly it is that you can kill thousands of monsters with magical spells, create fire and lightning and cold, swing axes big enough to chop up cars, beat heavily-armored monsters to death with your bare hands… and you can’t open a locked wooden box the size of a toaster.  Not with any weapon on earth.

So they are magical locked chests, that can’t be damaged by any force known to man?  Why can’t I get some armor made out of locked chest then?  Monsters don’t know how to use keys.  (Yes, this is the same as the old, “Why don’t they make the whole plane out of the black box material?” joke.  I never said I was proud.)

#6: If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it

The way durability works is amusing.  So your sword, armor, mace, helmet, gloves, etc all work perfectly, at 100% effectiveness, until they break, at which point they become totally useless and actually vanish from your hands or body.  Oh, they are still there, you can see them if you look in your Inventory, but you can’t use them.  Enjoy punching the plate mailed monsters.

I suppose we can conclude that there is a magical preservative property on equipment that keeps it working perfectly until the second they break… but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.  (I would actually like this in real life, since I hate sharpening knives.)

#5: Inconsistent Monster Greed

They like gold.  They get it from somewhere, to drop it when you kill them. But they leave piles all over the ground, and if you die and drop like, 400,000 gold, they won’t touch it.  The same goes for items; they love them, carry them, horde them, but if you drop anything, it’ll lie there until it rusts.  Plus monsters wear weapons and armor, but they don’t drop those when they die.  They drop various other items, ones they weren’t using, and often things that are far better than what they were using.  So are they like Diablo’s mules or what?

The NPCs are much the same, selling and buying anything, yet showing shocking honesty about not picking up anything valuable you might leave lying in town, even if they have to step over it 500 times as they pace about.  They’re pretty blas? about you walking into town covered in demon blood, or leading a pack of Revived monsters also, come to think of it.

Early in D1 there was a bug that caused some of the things on the ground in town to vanish each time you went down into the dungeons.  This was fixed, but until then it actually added some realism, as if the NPCs were getting a little greedy.  Or there were perhaps rather bold rats in town.

#4: Wings?

Lots of monsters in D2 have wings, and presumably have had them their entire lives, but very few of them seem to be clear on the function.  As you’ve probably noticed, assuming you didn’t grow up on an emu farm or the South Pole, wings are chiefly useful for flying.  I.E. you flap them and then you soar far into the heavens, and look for just-washed cars to * upon.

The monsters in D2 fly, sometimes, but not very well, not very far, and at least for the vultures, once they land they seem to prefer walking.  Their ability to remain in the air even when frozen solid is a mystery we shan’t address at this time.

At least they’ve improved since D1, where fleets of gargoyles would flap around just behind a waist-high fence, or on the other side of a thin trickle of molten magma, and could simply not find a way past it.

#3: Where Did You Put That?

The ability of monsters to drop items 10x their own body size and mass is always a source of amusement for new players on their way to the Den of Evil.  How does a rat the size of a bag of Cheetos drop a six-foot halberd?  Where exactly was it storing that? How could it move with something that large and heavy anyway? How could a rat carry anything, much less a six-foot halberd?

You can apply this immaculate storage concept to your character as well, for while you are clearly not wearing any sort of backpack, you have this vast inventory where you can carry five full suits of plate mail, or your own collection of six-foot halberds.

#2: The Inability to Step Up or Down

So your character can run up and down stairs, and run for miles without rest, and fight and shoot a bow and cast spells. But any ledge higher than their ankles might as well be Mt. Everest? And how about the monsters?  They’re eager to die trying to put a scratch in your new plate mail, but they won’t scramble down a knee-high embankment?

One thing that experienced dog and horse trainers know is that if you don’t teach or allow the animals to leap over a fence, they will not learn it on their own.  It can be inconvenient to always walk a horse around a low fence to a gate, and to lift your bird dog over a fence while you are out slaughtering God’s creatures, but it’s worth it since you can then keep them in a yard with a fence that’s waist high, with perfect assurance that they won’t leap over it on their own.  This makes me think that characters and monsters in Diablo II can leap up and down such ledges; they’ve just never seen it done, so they don’t yet know it.  Fear the day they learn!

#1: Nice Bones

So you’re a Necromancer (stop laughing, it could happen) and you’ve got your nice little +1 Raise Skeleton wand, and you run out of town and beat a quill rat to death.  And then you cast your spell on the dead animal… and a human skeleton pops up.  Hmm.  This theme will continue through out the game, where you will always get the same size and color skeleton every time; from swarms of gnats, from huge dragon creatures, from little birdies, from giant cockroaches, from anthropomorphic bovines, etc. Reminds me of my first wife.

Bonus points for the ability to Raise Skeleton from a dead skeleton, or Revive the same dead skeleton, but have it be far stronger and faster.

My theory is that the monsters all have a dead human in their invisible backpack, next to their six-foot halberd, and you are actually raising that, and destroying the monster’s body in the process.  Hey, why not?

Feedback

This column generated more feedback than usual, since this topic is one that almost everyone can relate to and has considered themselves at one time or another. Lots of the reader mails were of the “Yeah, but what about ______.” type, and you’ll see some of those quoted here, and their comments addressed.

Most readers seemed to agree with my introduction/disclaimer, since there weren’t very many mails commenting with incredulity on some basic game mechanic such as oh… casting spells, or how characters never need to eat or sleep or potty. (They do, just when you aren’t looking.)

While I didn’t mention basic game mechanics like those, there are a few other things we just “accept” that don’t make a whole lot of sense if you think about it.  One size fits all armor, for one thing.  How does the plate mail grow form-fitting breasts if an Amazon puts it on?  (It’s magic.) Another popular thing to comment on is the sheer number of items. Don:

I think the silliest physical impossibility in the game is the abundant amount of magical, uber items there are in the game. Exactly how *many* blacksmiths and wizards were there making items? Clearly, enough to have hundreds upon thousands of items scattered around the lands by their users!

No one actually pointed out that you can be physically killed, and yet live on, returning to battle just a few seconds later, so I guess that’s just such an integral and mandatory part of the game that there’s no point in even questioning it.  Aside from playing Hardcore, that is.

As for things that aren’t just “accept them for the sake of the game”, there were two leading suggestions, both of which are somewhat amusing. At least two dozen people mailed about each of these. Luciencool mentions both in the same paragraph, which is why he gets his name in orange:

Two things I thought should have been addressed were…. not being able to wear armor due to lack of strength but being able to carry 5 of that same armor in your backpack. The second is a size issue. Full Plate Mail taking up the same amount of room as 6 chipped gems? Come on now!

Several other players pointed out that just your gold coins would weight more than everything else put together.  Try to carry 1000 of any coin.  A penny even; that’s just $10… borrow some money from your mom if you have to.  Heavy, isn’t it? Well consider that your Clvl 80 character can carry 800,000 gold coins! If they weigh just 1/10th of an ounce each, that’s 160 per pound.  That’s 5000 pounds, 2.5 tons, of gold coins.  If you’d prefer metric, that’s like 400 kilajools! Or something like that.  Whatever.  Communist measurement system.

Anyway, it’s enough that you’d need a truck just for the coinage, much less the rest of your equipment. The explanation for these quandaries is easy.  It’s magic.

Your backpack is already invisible and stays with you even if you die and reappear in town with no equipment on at all.  If you can accept that, what’s holding you back on accepting that the magical backpack of holding has magical properties, and magical inventory spaces that don’t follow the rules of physics?

There is another inventory issue though, one that Solarus pointed out:

Another physical impossibility I might mention is the fact that your character can take an item as their cursor (“pick it up”) any time, yet they seem to always be holding their weapons. You’ll notice an Amazon never removes her hands from her bow. Or how about the way weapon switches work: You decide you want an auxiliary weapon combo, so you kinda think real hard and your weapons magically transform to new ones! Would it be so hard to have the character whip their hands back, putting back their current stuff and whipping out two other things?

A sort of low-grade close range telekinesis that all characters possess?

A bunch of people commented on the Stash magically keeping separate item sets for different players, having the same contents in each act, and even from game to game.  Hey, it’s a magical stash, what can I tell you.

This is sort of funny, since when Blizzard first announced that there would be a stash, the assumption we made was that it was just for storage in a given act, and you’d have to clean it out each time you changed acts, or else it would be different in each act, which would have been inconvenient, but would also have quadrupled it in size (this was D2, pre Act 5).  Obviously it didn’t turn out like that.

The third most frequently suggested thing was the Barbarian’s ability to leap anywhere, and leap over most anything, even if there is clearly a roof above him. To quote Rally:

Even in the tight quarters of the maggot layer, a barb can leap at least the height of 5 barbs straight up into the air. Who knew that these tunnels were so spacious, especially considering almost all the creatures excluding ColdWorm are about half the size of the player height wise. Maybe the Barb has some special flying powers. Also, if you position a barb in front of a door in the tombs of Act 2 and leap attack to the other side, your flying barb will leap up and over the door, through the wall above the door and land safely on the other side untouched.

Not to mention all of the metal gates, such as in the later portions of Act 1, and the Act 3 Flayer Dungeon.

Several readers pointed out my “monsters can’t jump since they’ve never seen it done” analogy as flawed, since the monsters have seen Babas hopping about regularly.  Yes, but they haven’t seen monsters jump!  Well, aside from the um… leapers.  Anyway, moving on.

A possibly-related phenomena is that the Sorceress can call down a Meteor strike… anywhere.  Even indoors and deep underground. Yeah, there’s that Druid meteor skill too, but like everything else about Elemental Druids, it can be safely ignored.

Meteor is not physically possible, since even if there were chunks of rock flying around in space, ready to call down whenever and wherever the Sorceress wanted them, they would do a lot more damage than just a bit of fire, and would take a lot longer to reach the ground.  My theory has always been that the Sorceress’ skill grabs a chunk of rock from somewhere off screen, sort of a modified Telekinesis, and then hurls that down from about 20 feet in the air, just high enough that you can’t see it in the isometric view.  The rock is set aflame with a modified version of Enchant.

Either that or it’s just magic.

In a comment about why monsters are even bothering to carry gold, items, potions, and other things they have no use for themselves, several readers sent along this link to a recent Penny Arcade cartoon.

Several people pointed out the oddity of projectiles and Piercing, especially Guided Arrow. Here’s NightFallMyriad:

I was hoping they’re be some mention of how the guided arrow with pierce can pass through a moonlord clad in full plate mail over and over, or through creatures with hardened carapace with ease… and yet fail to pass through the lowliest of foliage or other obstacle.

To be truthful, I don’t know that it’s even possible to shoot through someone who isn’t wearing armor. The force of friction would stop the arrow half way through.

There certainly isn’t any way it could pass through twice.

Really tough foliage?

As for the Guided Arrow, well it’s magic, that’s how.  Of course that doesn’t address how your magically-enhanced arrow can pass through a monster several times, much less dozens of times, and not be instantly fatal?  Low damage bow and Izual, you can put literally hundreds of holes in him in a battle, and he’ll still be kicking.  There would be more holes than Izzy at that point.

Another one from byounger.

I think I have a really good “impossibility” that you missed. Can someone please explain how you can fire an arrow at a monster that explodes on impact (exploding arrow) rebuilds itself while traveling through the monsters body in order to explode again against another target?

It’s magic, that’s how.

Every now and then someone still rises to the bait of a Necro joke. Grey Area makes an effort this time.

In hell cows the only class I’ve seen faster than my necromancer is an amazon, and not even all of them. Druids, Barbs, Paladins, and Assassins are all left in my dust, Nova sorcs are possibly slightly faster, I’d enjoy a race with one once I have decent enough equipment for my thorns merc so he can take more than 3 cow sized hits.

As I said in a past column (god knows which one, it’s all a blur at this point) it’s pretty pointless to compare killing speed in the single easiest area in the entire game.  Slow monsters that lack variety, ranged attacks, or resistance of any kind are not a real useful measure of character might, since certain skills (LF, CE, Nova, etc) are so vastly overpowered there.  Of course since absolutely everyone plays there…

Pat points out a squeezy Barbarian ability, related to the “scoot over you bitch” issue of #10.

Our friend the barb can make use of the no-friendly fire contradiction and WW right through the fat bitch. Interestingly, he can also WW through walls and watchtowers in the frigid highlands. He may not be able to teleport, but he can sure squeeze himself through solid rock and flesh, and that’s almost as good.

Solarus points out something no one else did:

Why can’t other characters use a 2H sword 1H? all it requires, really, is wrist strength. And honestly, considering the max damage of a composite bow is 8, and the pressure of a composite bow in reality is 50 pounds, and the max damage of a hydra bow is 68, and the strength requirement for a hydra bow is 134, lets us do the math. Therefore, 1 point of strength is equal to the ability to pull 3.17 pounds. At 225 strength, the character can pull back 713.25 pounds. And yet they lack such wrist strength?

John with an explanation for a vexing question:

I’ve been hearing a lot about monsters dropping things they normally couldn’t carry, etc. There is an explanation from Blizzard on this. I believe it’s in the Diablo I manual, and it goes like this:

When Diablo summoned his minions, an imbalance of good and evil energy was created. When a warrior slays a minion, the balance must be restored. When the energy is released, it sometimes manifests as an item, usually an item the creature had come in contact with in their past.

It still leaves some questions unanswered, but explains why bats can carry giant axes.

Uh-huh.  And that’s more likely than the other explanations?

Oddities with fire. Goaluaty comments on Fire Golems.

what about fire golems… when cold enchanted guys hit them they freeze. How does a being made out of fire freeze?

And a bunch of people pointed out the miraculous fire shadows.  Donna said:

One of the most obvious flaws in D2 which i was shocked to see you not include, is the mysterious “shadow flames” of act 1. I have only ever noticed these wonders in act 1, yet they may exist in others. The wooden posts in parts of act 1 which bear flames on top of them, not only have shadows of themselves, but also of their flames. I have never known a flame to create such a broad and clear shodow such as these in real life. Surely whilst working on the shadow effects of D2, the graphic designers must have realised that they were drawing the shadow of a flame, so why didn’t it register that flames dont have shadows….????

You can see them quite clearly on top of the little fire-filled bowls on stands in the Worldstone Keep as well, in the very end of the game. This one really is a good physical improbability, though it’s obviously due to the limitations of the 2D game engine.

There were numerous comments on the swarms of gnats, which are not just the stupidest monster in the game, but also the most physically improbable.  How do you kill a swarm of gnats with an arrow, or a sword?  How do they all die at once?  How does any single gnat live through a hit from a fire or ice attack? Where do they carry loot? Jason has a theory.

Back in the days when I still played D2, a few of my friends were discussing this very thing. In particular, the clouds of gnats in Act 2 that dropped chain mail. One of my companions hypothesized that each bug was in charge of a single chain link, and at the moment they sensed impending doom, they all banded together to combine the links into armour. Additionally, there was a magical bug responsible for bonus modifiers. Thusly was the purpose of their existence filled.

Here’s Ycl, taking gnats to the ultimate absurdity:

Necs are amazing. For all their weaknesses, we must marvel at their abilities, in particular, the revive skill. Raising 10000000 dead gnats is an incredible feat, since the nec needs to raise EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM AND he must “madden” them again so they they will swirl in tight swarms and be your pet. And he does that all in a second. Amazing. How he manages to give them (the gnats) a “glimpse of their own mortality” and “briefly age the victim” (decrepify description in the manual) is equally amazing (I suppose old gnats are just as grumpy as old humans). And lets not forget that they can “conjure their greatest fear in corporeal form before their eyes” (terror description) – I suppose the gnats see insecticide every time you hit them with this curse – and you can “confuse” and “attract” them. And every time the nec hits them with this curse, he strikes, with unerring precision, EVERY SINGLE ONE of the gnats, all in one second. No wonder the necs were nerfed.

There are a lot of NPC issues. The Midnight Sun:

In Harrogath, Malah and Larzuk spoke of supply lines freezing and the inability to get new equipment. If you leave town for a second and come back to them… presto… they have a whole new inventory of items. Keep it up all day if you like. They never run out of equipment, and I’m sure Larzuk can’t make items that fast.

A counter-point from Vince Yim:

Regarding stuff working perfectly until it breaks…it actually happens on everything else in real life, ranging from cars to water heaters to cellphones. Mind you, these do have significantly more moving parts than the average sword and spiked club, but all of them will never give any sort of indication of failure of the unit before it happens. Seriously…who hasn’t had a television or a DVD player simply spontaneously stop working for no reason whatsoever?

Of course your TV or DVD doesn’t actually vanish from the counter, only to reappear once you’ve gotten it repaired. (Not that anyone repairs anything anymore, when it’s cheaper to just buy a new one.)

The whole locked chest concept earned numerous comments.  The most common sentiment is expressed in this mail from Eric:

In addition to being indestructible, isn’t handy that they all have exactly the same lock? As well, how is it that you are un-able to re-use a key after opening a chest? You’d think we could just buy one and be set for the entire game. We can slay countless cows or Mephistos (haven’t seen the other monsters in years), but can’t waste the 3.2 seconds to pull a key out of a lock?

Keys aren’t really keys.  They are sort of like firecrackers.  They look like keys, but expend themselves with each use, hence they can’t be reused.  The process of using them destroys them, like those new single-play DVDs that self destruct. That’s my explanation, anyway.

I mentioned Magic Find in the honorable mentions, and since I love the Hork Babas that skill is permanently associated with MF in my mind.  However I didn’t actually mention it.  Quite a few readers did.  SirDarcon for one:

I particularly find “find item” funny, it’s like a barb is searching through the bloody remains, but yet does not get dirty. Why is the barb able to find it an no one else can? Why didn’t it just drop in the first place? Is the barb just greedy? I would think the assassin would be better at searching bodies.

Find Potion comes under the same heading, not that anyone bothers with it.  My theory is that monsters have hidden magical backpacks, just like characters do, but they are hidden in icky places, and like a prison guard, only the Barbarian has the nerve/lack of self respect, to seek them out.

Two Smoking Muffest takes issue with a quest point in humorous fashion:

The Countess’ “vast riches” consist of the cost of a potion spread out in 50 piles through a room. No wonder she can’t afford to repair her tower.

Surprisingly, only a few players mentioned the inappropriate clothing for the elements.  Ycl:

And of course, out in the cold, snowy act 5, Anya wears only a miniskirt out in the cold, barbs wear only their quilt, sorcs strut around exposing their midriff and zons run around with their swimsuit. We don’t have to worry about the druids, they’re warm enough, although they must be feeling really hot in act 4.

Yeah, and on the other hand, everyone seems pretty comfortable running through the blazing hot desert and the muggy jungle in full plate mail.  They are great powerful heroes. Temperature is as nothing to them!

Ken points out a few more things I didn’t mention:

Hi Flux, your best article yet. Oh the sarcasm! Anyway, what I wanted to add were little things I had noticed (adding my 2 cents). First is the weird factor or killing pindy and all his minions dropping things left and right, but when they get back up again they drop more. What were they doing holding out in the first place?

Also, its quite hilarious that you can lead all the minions out of the Throne of Destruction and Baal just automatically accepts the lie that you killed all his guys all the while laughing his butt off.

Baal: Did you kill all of my guys!?!
Player: Why … yes.
Baal: HAHAHA Time to get it on!

Something that only one person mentioned, and I think is worth including.  Matt said:

Another physical impossiblity you might want to include is the infamous “black wall of death”. Thank God we don’t have any of those!


The indestructibility of ambient life was commented on a few times.  Here’s what shadowles said:

In act2 after you kill Duriel and before u talk to Tyreal there are all these mini Duriel thingies walking around and you can step on them and crush them like the dirty maggots that they are but for some reason no spell or character attack will hurt them. You can fill the room with 6k firewalls and they can walk through it like it was a mild spring day. Even the mighty guided arrow cannot seem to lock onto it. very intriguing indeed.

Apply this to foliage also, which many people commented on in exasperation. Trevor, for one.

At the very least you’d think rainforests would be flammable. I hear a lot about deforestation, but do you see fireballs and hydras damaging the ecosystem? No. The solution isn’t to stop people from trying to cut down the rainforests, it’s to transplant trees from Sanctuary and just laugh while you watch the guys wreck saw after saw trying to bring them down.

There are tons more, but I don’t want this feedback to be 5x longer than the column itself was.  See the forum comment thread for a list of 100+ other things, the vast majority of which fall under the “it’s magic” heading.  Here are a few of the other more valid impossibilities, culled from reader mails.

  • Why can’t monsters enter town?

  • How can the characters run almost forever, or fight for hours and hours straight?

  • Why do mercs get lost so much?  Are they retarded?

  • Why don’t mercs turn on their damn auras as soon as they leave town?

  • Why are the random wandering rogues and barbs so pathetic in their skills and equipment?

  • Why do hired mercs drop dead as soon as the character who hired them dies?

  • Why can’t players use Cain’s, Anya’s, or the barb’s in the pens town portals when they are rescued and portal back to safety?

  • Why didn’t the barbs in the pen just use their town portal while they were inside it.  Why don’t they just leap over the fence?

  • Why do monsters carry healing pots if they can’t drink them?

  • The mysteriously-changing geography of Tristram.

  • How do you poison an undead skeleton?

  • How do you shoot a skeleton with arrows or stab it with a dagger or spear?

  • How is Cain waiting for you in every Act, no matter how fast you hit the waypoint?

  • How can there be more than one soulstone?

  • How can dueling characters drop more than two ears?

  • Some random praise, since people say I never quote any of those.  I print them out and frame them and sleep with them under my pillow, isn’t that enough? Anyway, here’s Name Not Important:

    Flux, my congratulations to you. You have, yet again, made an absolutely hilarious article that has caused me to laugh exponentially greater than the preceding time I read it. Keep up the good work, and make us all laugh in these terrible times…No, not the terrible times of the Iraq crap, I mean the terrible times that Blizzard still hasn’t given us our patch!!!

    bigritchie:

    Hey Flux, I love all your articles. They are great. I can’t wait till you hackle the new patch.

    • You know the world is going crazy when:

    • The best rapper is white
    • The best golf player is black
    • The French call us arrogant
    • The Germans don’t want to go to war

    And the Necro players say they dont need a patch to help them that they kill as fast as sorcies and zons already

    God help us.

    Do the people in the necro forums remind you of your first wife? Always bitching and nagging….

    Ana:

    Ok…This was one of the most hilarious articles i have ever read

    Good work!!

    Monkeyface44:

    lol, That was a good article. Probably one of my favorite at Diabloii.net! I think that you did a great job and I hope to hear more articles from you like that one. Great Work!!!!

    Crusader:

    Man I love the way you see and analyze the game, you make it all seem like a joke?.which with all the dupes and hacked items nowadays it is a joke. Anyways I just wanted to thank you for another daily laugh you’ve given me and wanted to tell you to keep up the good work.

    John:

    My goodness flux!!!!

    This is the first time i have laughed so loud by reading any kind of thread or article in the internet except when i read jokes over blondes…

    Man this is great stuff and please keep on giving us this kind of writing speech in all your decahedrons

    This is the first time i have written anything on anyone and i am sorry if i have overreacted but i really enjoyed it and just wanted to say that i liked it…a lot )

    Keep on the good work.

    A great fan of your column from Greece

    On the other hand, here’s Jeff K Daniel, saying… something.  In what appears to be AOLese.

    next time it would be nice if u dident just cut and paste the stuff u wrote b4 and try to make a new artical

    and wow u dident mention the fact that blizz couldent spend the time nessicary to make a skely pic for each mon in the game less the game be delayed another 4 years lol o well mabe the human skelly works

    (Psst, I did mention it.  It’s #1…)

    Another, more coherent non-praising mail.  This one from Nadia:

    Flux, I must say that you are the most unique writer I’ve ever seen. First off your arguments are usually so off-beat and inconsequential that it’s funny. Not funny in a ha-ha way but funny in a very painful, gutwrenching way.

    Thankfully it is entertaining to see what crap you will spew in your columns, sort of like those reality shows we see on TV every week. My point is could you actually write something that isn’t half-assed and rushed at the last minute? Or is that just where your talent level is at? If so please let someone else do the writing and stick to what you’re good at, news articles.

    Sorry for the flames I’m just really annoyed with your columns. They could be A LOT better. (for instance doing stuff other then diablo 2)

    Well, non-D2 stuff would be sort of odd… on a D2 site.  And since I write non-D2, but still “half-assed and rushed at the last minute” updates every day on my home page, it seems to be my lot in life.

    And lastly, the oddest series of mails that came in this time were about… pineapple as a pizza topping. Steve:

    I live in Pennsylvania, and work at a pizza shop…we have pineapple as a topping, but also a Hawiian pizza…pinapple, ham, bacon, and extra cheese…it’s pretty popular.

    Sean:

    Pineapple and Canadian Bacon—it’s liked, if not loved, by many people I know here in the Great State of Texas

    Tyson:

    I doubt that the pineapple on pizza thing is restrictive to only California. I live in Michigan and there’s no shortage of places around here that allow pineapple as toppings.

    KatzztazK:

      Flux, I was both shocked and appalled when I read this in your latest Feedback. Ham and Pineapple pizzas are a staple of life up here in Canada. They are just as common as Pepperoni pizzas. I guess that’s another thing most Americans haven’t seemed to catch onto, like Ketchup chips!

    GLA:

    A pizza with pineapple, ham, slivered almonds and cinnamon probably sounds quite nasty, but it tastes so good it will make you slap your momma.

    If you are wondering “WTH?”, I mentioned pineapple on pizza as one of my favorite toppings a couple of columns ago, posted one feedback on it last time from a NYer who thought it an insane concept, and that led to a dozen mails on it this time, mostly from people who wanted to say that yes, they did have pineapple on pizza where they lived. Sometimes the feedbacks get as much mail as the new columns do.

    When I eventually run completely out of ideas, I’ll just do a feedback every two weeks, commenting on mails about the last feedback, and so on.  I figure it’ll take 3 or 4 months before anyone notices I’m no longer actually doing new columns anymore.


    Flux?s Decahedron was written by Flux during 2002-2004, and hosted by Diabloii.net. These irreverent, often rude ?Top 10? columns tweaked every aspect of the game and community, pioneered the humorous ?Top 10? listing of game features during the eternal v1.09 patch era, were excessively long, and incorporated extensive reader feedback. They may or may not return for Diablo III. The opinions expressed in these columns are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.