When I first decided to capture and tame a dinosaur and name him Tamarind, I thought the idea had come to me only because of Tamarind the blogger’s admiration and strange love affair with dinosaurs of fuck off enormous size.
Then I realized there was something buried even more deeply in my subconscious. Something that demanded that a dinosaur wear a nice tweed jacket and speak with an English accent. Oh, Brandon Sanderson, you clever man, you struck again. (I am half considering giving this site up from being a WoW-centric site and instead devoting myself to worship at Sanderson’s feet) (Seriously – if you’ve not read his books GO AND GET THEM. Here. Here’s one for free online. You’re welcome.)
Ahem. Anyway. Origins of name and the twists of my subconscious aside, Tamarind has been – well – he’s been a pretty worthless pet so far. Part of it is my own fault, of course. I didn’t do enough research on dinosaur ownership and there are some pretty substantial drawbacks to having a dinosaur around, even if he is only moderately sized.
First off, Tamarind has some ridiculous scaly skin. He’s perpetually dried out and flaking all over the place and the amount of dusting and vacuuming I’ve had to do since he’s come into my life has increased exponentially. I mean, just look at him:
Secondly, Tamarind has extremely bad breath. He enjoys carrion meat more than anything else, the older the better. Between that and his mouthful of teeth, you just don’t want to stand anywhere near where Tamarind might be able to breathe on you. Not only will the smell make you woozy as hell, I defy anyone to choke back their gag reflex upon seeing all the remains of whatever his last meal was still caught in stringy bits between his teeth. In fact, just thinking about it, I – I…..
Excuse me. I passed out for a while there.
In addition to Tamarind’s overall lack of attention to matters of hygiene (personal attention, I should say – he’s always begging to have moisturizers and exotic oils rubbed all over his body. He claims his arms can’t reach anything and I suppose there is some truth to that; they are stubby little things), he just doesn’t do much as a pet. His laziness is nearly unparalleled. Every time I try to get him to do anything, I first have to cajole and plead for something like half an hour before he’ll finally give up sunbathing on whatever rock he’s found for the purpose. I keep telling him all that sun exposure won’t do anything good for his skin, but he just looks at me sideways and demands another coat of lotion before we leave to go kill anything.
My leveling has slowed down dramatically. It’s all Tamarind’s fault. None of my other pets gave me half so much trouble.
Even once I’ve finally managed to drag him away from his oils and his sunbathing, he’s nearly useless when it comes to questing. His brain is far too small for him to take in and understand multi-step instructions. I can’t just give him a kill order and expect him to remember, no sir! I have to point at the first guy I want killed and then wait for him to die before then painstakingly pointing at the next target and waiting for Tamarind to turn back around and go after him. It’s like I have to be his damned GPS. “Turn here. Attack that. Now attack that.” It’s exhausting.
He also has no clue of what is going on anywhere other than right in front of him. I might notice that Tamarind is running headlong into a entire pack of enemies, but he’ll blatantly ignore their proximity and focus only on the first thing that snagged his wandering attention. He’s always getting us into fights with extremely bad odds. And once he does, he utterly fails at holding up his end of the brawl. Despite his being a dinosaur, he’ll only barely keep one guy engaged in battle while I am frantically laying traps and juggling the other four or so mobs in a sloppy fashion. At the end of these fights, he’s usually completely fine, nothing worse than a few scratches and I’ve just taken the beating of my life.
Very frequently, he won’t even try to take all the heat from a single mob. I know he looks ferocious in that picture, but he’s really just standing there yelling “SURPRISE BUTTSECKS!” over and over.
And then I’ll feign death.
And then Tamarind will take over, but only after making sure I’ll get stomped on by the mob. Ow.
And then he’ll get everything in sight attacking both of us and then the death will eventually lose its “feign” component.
And then I have to run back alone and find a safe place to rez and then I have to resurrect Tamarind because he’s a lazy, worthless jerk.
When I complain about this behavior, Tamarind blames it on me, saying I told him to be more “aggressive.” So I say, fine, why don’t you just chill a bit, and he takes that to mean I want him to go sunbathe on a rock again while I get my face eaten off by demon pigs. In an attempt to compromise, I ask him to defend me, but he won’t lift a talon until I’ve already been maimed and then he makes only a half-hearted attempt to do the heavy lifting.
I glare and he just gives me his toothy grin and I pass out again.
It gets worse. If I tell Tamarind to follow me and then, in the course of my getting around, jump off a two-foot high rock, he’ll completely wander off to take the super long way down, probably collecting enemies along the way. I think he’s afraid of heights. And possibly mice.
And other people.
Have you ever had to deal with an introverted, emo dinosaur before? I know that before I made him mine, Tamarind was perfectly capable of being the king of his domain and frequently mauled whoever came through the area in order to get his next meal. He could and would chomp through anyone and anything, it didn’t matter if his meal was encased in plate – he could take care of himself. Now, though. Oh, now he’s completely helpless and expects me to feed him. I have to go out and buy meat from a vendor because suddenly he “can’t” just take a nibble out of the latest pig we’ve killed. What the hell, Tamarind? What the hell?
He wears me right out on a daily basis. I ask him to give me a little space from time to time, but not often. When I do that he gets even more emo and the few minutes I have to myself without him hanging around begging for a meal and another application of lotion are hardly worth all the pouting he does.