May 20, 2012 by Amanda Zahn
As most of you know, Diablo 3 was released on the 15th of this month. The third installment of the popular Blizzard Entertainment franchise has been more than ten years in the making and I am pleased to say that it did not disappoint. I was always an avid Diablo player, so it did not surprise me how easy this one came to me. Not much has changed either! Aside from requiring the Internet connection to play, Blizzard Entertainment maintained the look and feel of the previous releases.
I have chosen a monk as my first character. This should not come as a surprise because of my affinity for my shaman in World of Warcraft and the similarities between the two play styles. Monks are melee combatants with a touch of healing capabilities just like shaman. Sure, shaman can be ranged too, but that spec does not count. The monk has progressed nicely since Tuesday and is currently level 52 and progressing through Hell difficulty.
A side project in Diablo 3 is my baby monk. Yeah, I have two; judge me. This one is a Hardcore toon. Remember the 80s? Remember how you had a limited number of lives before the game was over and you had to start from the beginning? Hardcore is like that. You have one life to live. If you die you have to restart from level 1 and everything you have gathered is gone. Intense. I am walking into most fights with a pucker-factor of 11 and prepared to run like a pansy if I become overwhelmed.
No shame here.
Now I know why I relied on my mouse to move in World of Warcraft: click-to-move. If you have played any Diablo game, you know about the clicking. I must have clicked my mouse three million times this week. Maybe more.
If you read the blog post from last Sunday, you know that I was given a topic that I separated into two parts. Last week I talked about forgiveness. The other part of the request involved marriage, deployments, and infidelity.
It does not take a genius to put all of these topics together to see what I am sure my friend is experiencing right now. I have not spoken with her about it, so I will add the disclaimer that what I think about these things are generalizations and have nothing to do with her or her situation. They are all my experience and personal opinion.
It is hard to understand a deployment if you have never been in the service. It is harder still if you have never been much of a traveller or do not wander far from those you love. For soldiers, a deployment is required. I am sure there is an asterisk there about some jobs or people being non-deployable, but we are speaking in generalizations here, remember? It was a couple of years ago, but I am pretty sure I can describe the feeling.
Obviously, deployment means being a world away from what you know. I was lucky. I was never in a serious, committed relationship when I deployed. I did not have to worry about leaving behind children, a husband, or a serious boyfriend. Most of my relationships at those times were casual and all were soldiers, so I can honestly say that they were as attached – or unattached – as I was and they understood that the “relationship” could end at any time.
Once you get to the desert, you are living in a bubble of containment. Ever look at the front of some older science fiction books? Those civilizations inside the domes on some far-off planet are similar to the feeling of being confined to your FOB (Forward Operating Base). The world still exists outside of your FOB, but your information is limited to what you read in the Stars and Stripes – a military news publication – or what you find available at the PX, like magazines or Army/Navy/Marine/Air Force Times. Internet was available, but often in small, regulated doses to allow everyone the chance to send a quick note or receive the same. Cell phones? Not usually, although I know a few soldiers who paid to have one. Movies, music, and video games turn on the same cycle they do when we are stateside, but everything is delayed when it finally gets to us. I remember more than once telling a friend back home that I love “this new song” only to hear that it has been out for months.
A strange occurrence when a soldier is deployed is the shift in power. I am not talking about military leadership, but about sexual or gender empowerment. When a soldier is home, he has to search for a woman – lets keep it male/female for this observation, although I am sure there is male/male or female/female situations with the same problem. He is powerful because women are plentiful and easily replaceable. Women know this, so they fight to keep their man.
When a soldier deploys, he is faced with a different situation altogether. The pool of choices is much smaller and suddenly the men are fighting to keep a woman. After months downrange – where sexual contact, alcohol, and pornography are illegal – even the women he would find undesirable in normal circumstances begin to look appealing. This leads to a very volatile situation for men in deployed situations. Women who generally do not have “pick of the litter” have all the power and they know it. Men are deprived of something they believe is a given right. That looks like 2+2=4 to me.
Do I think it is right? No, I definitely do not.
Does it happen? Yes.
Maybe I will go more into depth with this another time. Maybe I will tell some of my personal stories. You can bet those will be password protected, so you can contact me for the “release form” if it pops up.
I will say this for my friend. I heard a rumor that marriage is not the life of bliss experienced in the first few months. After that fades, you are faced with someone whose company you both enjoy and despise, who fights both with you and for you, who is infallible and yet still so imperfect at the same time, and someone who becomes more of a teammate than a lover. True love is being angry at someone and still being able to feel love for them regardless of that anger. I saw your Facebook and am pretty sure you have come to a conclusion with your situation, but remember this: your son will tie you to him no matter which choice you make. That is inescapable. I do not condone adultery unless BOTH parties have agreed to the “rules” of their commitment.
I have always been a little laid back. I cannot help who I am.
I have seen how upset you are. I do not believe both parties were in agreement. If that trust cannot be rebuilt, or if you cannot find it in your heart to forgive, then do not feel ashamed in your choice to leave. You do not have to continue to be married to be good parents to that little boy, but you will ALWAYS need to be on the same team. In that child’s eyes, he needs to know that there is love from both sides.
The marriage? I believe that someone who has been caught cheating is someone that would have done it eventually. If two people did not go into the relationship knowing boundaries, or being able to follow the “rules” of their team, then it belongs in an if-not-now-then-when scenario.
For the guests to this post that was mostly directed at someone I love that I know to be hurting, I hope there was a lesson you were able to take away with you. If not, I hope you buy and play Diablo 3. My battle tag is Dragonfury#1437, but please include an introduction if you send me a request.
Next week… the cookie incident!