Diablo IV: Getting my first tattoo at the Diablo Hell’s Ink event in Dallas
At midnight last Friday, I scrolled through Twitter and hit the road again Social side of Diablo. For the past month I had seriously considered going to the Diablo Hell’s Ink event in Dallas, Texas, and every night since then the idea of the event seeped into my head like a sweet, eerie whisper.
Well, I’ve never had a tattoo in my life, but I’ve wanted one for years. The main problems are that they are expensive and I am undecided. I also gained a significant amount of weight with my health issues, so I was pretty self-conscious about getting inked. What if I lost weight while kickboxing and the tattoo gets distorted? That’s a lot of money to spend when it looks later.
So on Friday night at 11:30pm I reached out to my fiancé (we got engaged last Monday!) and jokingly asked if I could go to Dallas for the event. Never in my life would I have expected him to say yes. It’s pitch black outside, I haven’t had much rest other than a big nap earlier in the day, and I had brought my chunky calico cat, Cinnamon, to visit. He turned to me and asked if I really wanted to go and I said yes. Without hesitation he told me that if I wanted to go he would keep the kids (both our fluffy cats) and he was fully supportive. After a quick trip to Walmart to snag a $10 chair for the queue, an affordable Dallas hotel near the tattoo parlor, and a big kiss, I was out the door and onto the street.
The seven hours it took me to get to Dallas from my fiancé’s house flew by. With audio books, Spotify and coffee running through my veins, I felt adrenaline pumping throughout the day. I couldn’t believe I was actually going through it. was it stupid Probably. But I haven’t been this excited in a long time and was dying to take advantage of this opportunity. For me this could really be the only chance to participate in this event. If you’ve never been to Dallas, it’s massive and all the overpasses can definitely be intimidating if you’re not used to the sight. There are so many restaurants, shops, museums, and commercial buildings that just entering the city can make your head spin – and you definitely don’t want to do that while driving.
The Dallas Hell’s Ink event was held at the Eden Body Art Studios in North Dallas and I made it there around 8:50am CST. I had the impression that the event would start around noon and that I would be there very early. However, the line already wrapped around the building told me otherwise.
When I checked my discord messages while parking, I saw a short message giving me the details of the event from my fiancé. Apparently it started at 10am. Oh boy I was only an hour early. That definitely explained why there were already so many bodies. I slung my small chair over my back and made my way around the building, parking at the end of the line. A gentleman who was part of the staff presented me with a red ribbon and I heard from a few other attendees that I was in line somewhere in my 80’s. Up to 100 guests were guaranteed access to a tattoo, so I made it just in time!
Well, I would describe myself as quite an introvert. Most of my friends come in the form of goobers I’ve met online and I’ve known them for quite some time. Find new friends personally? Not so good at it. From moving to a new city where I didn’t know anyone, to transitioning to a remote job, and all the while playing games, I haven’t really and truly been hanging out with strangers in a while, unless I was standing at the supermarket store .
The great thing about the people at this event, however, is that they all had one thing in common: their love for Diablo. From small talk about the weather to discussing which tattoo they picked, the conversations slowly but surely morphed into games we played and things we looked forward to. It was so wonderfully refreshing to just naturally connect with strangers about something we loved.
Our special group waited about 8 hours to get our tattoos, and while the Dallas weather went from cool mornings to muggy and melting afternoons, I didn’t actually check my watch or phone much. Those hours were spent listening to people talk and laughing together. I don’t think either of us were expecting anything to eat, but in the afternoon we got a free lunch at a nearby BBQ food truck that was delicious.
Sometimes there was a little mix up that made others wait longer but everyone was so genuinely nice and polite and didn’t seem to care. They just enjoyed each other’s company and were grateful to be there for the experience. Even when we had to go down to the local bookstore at the end of the mall to use the restroom, people were more than happy to hold your spot in line for you and push your stuff upstairs when the line shifted.
Remember how I said I was undecided? Well I was torn between two tattoos for the whole 8 hours until they handed me the paperwork to narrow down my decision: the rogue icon and the druid icon. I had already narrowed my position down to my right hip, a spot that was significant because it embellished a spot I felt insecure about and could hide well in a wedding dress, but I just couldn’t separate the two icons decide .
So I had no choice but to ask the fatherly security guard who was constantly checking on us and keeping us happy. I laughed and asked him, “Which one would you choose for me?” His suggestion was Bear Claw, and I thought about it very seriously. Not only do I love the druid class, it also felt powerful and powerful. But for some reason, I felt that familiar attraction to the rogue icon.
Since there is no demon hunter in it diablo 4 I had already decided that I would take on the Rogue class. Point one for this design. Looking up the symbolism of the bow and arrow, I came across the themes of struggle, tension, and triumph. Especially these last few months have been increasingly difficult for both my mental and physical health, so these issues resonate strongly with me. I debated the drafts until I had the papers in my hands to circle the draft. At the very last second, I went for the Rogue symbol.
Eventually, after the papers were signed, four of us were ushered into the Eden Body Art Studio tattoo parlor to register for the experience. The decorations and seeing in person alone were worth the drive and the several hour wait. The rooms were dark, with dark candles everywhere and red ambient light pouring out of every corner. Bookshelves of ancient tomes and healing potions littered the room, and our ears were blessed with the Tristram theme song overhead. Everything about this experience was immersive except for the camera crew walking around.
When I was finally called to get my tattoo, I was greeted by Gio Macias, who greeted me warmly with an elbow bump and a broad smile despite the several hours he had already worked that day. His specialty is neo-traditional and watercolor. When asked, he confided that his most popular design of the day was actually the druid tattoo! I was quite open and awkward about it being my first tattoo, but he was very kind and patient, talking to me about my choice, placement and how I would need to lay on the table.
When I finally lay down he made a test line so I could get used to the feeling as I said I was nervous. And honestly, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. For all these years I’d fussed about pain tolerance and was certain that I was probably going to be a baby and start crying (just another reason I talked myself out of it) but as the Diablo music pounded softly over me and I As I was looking at all the concept art on the walls, I started to feel like I was drifting. Never in my life did I think that getting a tattoo (for me) would be so therapeutic. The only thing keeping me from really, really falling asleep was knowing the cameras kept circling and I did not I want to be the girl who snores on the tattoo table.
Twenty minutes later and we were done! I gave Gio a big hug and thanked him for his beautiful work and snapped a picture on the wall so I could show you all who took such wonderful care of me. I tried not to burst into tears in the room because it was such a wonderful, special experience. He was super nice and caring and made me feel really comfortable. I left the salon so proud that I made it to the event and actually committed to getting my first tattoo. Not only did I get a free tattoo and some amazing treats to take home, but I left with an immense sense of pride that I had overcome everything else that was happening in my life and all the negative thoughts, to leave with a truly happy experience. This moment was mine, and I had seized it and claimed it for all it was worth.
At this point you are probably asking yourself: Where is your tattoo?! Well, as I mentioned before, it’s adjacent to my right hip butt. Due to the location and the fact that I didn’t want to show my bottom on the internet, I decided not to include a picture. But it’s not hard to imagine! It looks just like the design, number 1 on the tattoo list at the beginning of the article. The lines are incredibly clean!
If Diablo Hell’s Ink has another event in the future, you can count on me to go. I would do it again ten times in an instant. And yes, I will be playing a villain in the open beta this weekend! Since Diablo games are few and far between, it will probably be a few more years before they have the Hell’s Ink event, but I can’t wait to go back and sacrifice my flesh. Consider me a tattoo artist.