The Tale of Narn the Barbarian

     Narn wasn't born on the battlefield or in the pages of a pulp fantasy novel. He was born out of a few hundred lighted dots on a screen, based on a preselected image of the Diablo II Barbarian class. Through a mix of armor, weaponry, and slap dash skill point assignment, he became a killing machine... of sorts. Along with his plucky amazon sidekick, who sadly never saw the same kind of weapons upgrade and thus wound up dying repeatedly, he traveled the wild lands of Sanctuary, seeking fame and fortune. It turns out sidekicks aren't cheap to resurrect.
      Back in 2008, a girl I worked with, we'll call her “Amazon Vegan,” convinced me to buy the Diablo II Battle Chest, which, at the time, contained the original Diablo, Diablo II, and the Lord of Destruction expansion. She had everything planned out for us: I would play a “tank” and she would be the ranged fighter. It was a weekend around Easter, and I had had a particularly bad day at work. To console me, we went to VA's apartment and, with her husband looking on, installed Diablo II on my old Compaq Presario laptop.
      Now back in the early 2000's, I had seen the counter monkeys at my local comic book store play Diablo II, and it looked interesting. Unfortunately, my parents were lagging far behind when it came to home PC's, so playing the game on our computer at the time was out of the question. In fact, it just still barely ran on the laptop. That might have been due to us leeching off the local RadioShack Wi-Fi.
      This was the first time I had played a video game with the hopes of beating it on at least the normal difficulty. We had a Sega Genesis when I was young and I played a little Sonic the Hedgehog here and there. Now I was being introduced to fairly complicated RPG mechanics and character building, and it was a little bit intimidating. I had to learn to sort through loot, use gems and runes, level up my skills, repair my equipment, read a map, read a mini map, and use various hot keys. Teaming up with a level 97 electricity sorceress, we were able to make it pretty far into Nightmare mode. Then I had to quit to work on the Geek.Kon convention for the summer. It was fun while it lasted, though.
      Towards the end of my run on Diablo II, I ventured into the world of MMO's with a subscription to City ofHeroes. Like with Diablo II, I had seen some of the people at the University of Wisconsin Madison Anime Club playing it before meetings and became interested. My system was just barely able to chug through it. On top of that, I had never really played a video game that had a 3D interactive environment to it. I literally had to learn how to walk all over again using the WASD controls and the mouse.

      Soon, Narn ached to return to the battlefield. I remade him in CoH as a Willpower/Battle Axe Tank. One of the most satisfying things is slamming a battleaxe into the face of a startled Hellion. Narn is still growing in this universe, so expect to hear more of his adventures in Paragon City.
     Narn can also be found wandering the mines of the town of Torchlight, slowly uncovering the truth behind the incursion of evil there.

     And now that Diablo III is out, Narn can return to his own universe to confront the seemingly invincible Diablo once again. No matter what strange worlds he finds himself in, he'll always be there to fight against the powers of evil, even if only for the chance to gain the best sword in the game.

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