Three Lane Highway is Chris' weekly column about Dota 2.
I'm going to a Dota 2-themed Halloween party this weekend. Yes, that's a little early—and yes, that is the dorkiest thing you've ever heard. Whatever. I'm too busy trying to figure out a Dark Seer costume that isn't going to make me look like Papa Smurf to care. This week I'm going to list some costume ideas that you might want to try out at your own Halloween parties—or, indeed, any other party you attend over the course of the year.
There's more to a good costume than simply what you wear. A good costume comes with an attitude, a persona, a performance. A good costume convinces everybody else in the room that you are the new and exciting image you present. These costumes are geared to immerse you in each hero's distinctive personality and fascinating lore. These are identities for you to adopt, armour to gird you as you march down the midlane of any given social engagement. Enjoy.
Also, maybe don't do any of this.
You will need: Facepaint; a dream-catcher on a stick; a shitload of feathers; a pink hoola-hoop.
You might not be the host, but you're here to help. It's your job to ensure that the party runs smoothly and that everybody has a good time, and that starts by topping up drinks and looking after anybody who doesn't seem to fit in. Use your own deft touch to hem awkward partygoers into the event's social weave: weaken discomfort with a smile, and when the lights go down watch the edges of the dance floor for anybody who looks excluded.
In particular, you are looking for anyone on the verge of regretting that fifth/sixth/seventh cocktail. When you see somebody teetering on the edge of shame, immediately toss your pink hoola-hoop over them and make them dance. The activity will make them more alert and temporarily hold off the inevitable tears, fists or vomit. When the hoola-hoop reaches the ground, however, there's very little you can do for them—and gyrating like a lunatic may very well have made it worse. But you tried, and are therefore blameless.
You will need: An attitude; a big swishy silvery cape; big pointy silver horns.
You are the single most fabulous and important person in this room. The sole function of this occasion—indeed, of any social event—is to furnish you with a good time. Ensure that you are the biggest and loudest voice, and spend every quiet moment hoovering up all of the snacks and freebies to be had. Consume so comprehensively that your host does not believe that a single party-goer could possibly be responsible. They don't understand. You require all of the munchies, because you are very important.
There will be times when you find yourself running low on drink at a crucial moment. You might be telling an excellent story about how great you are, or single-handedly diffusing a situation while everybody else looks on, impressed. Should you run dry at this point it is perfectly acceptable to swap your near-empty glass for the full glass of a nearby friend. That is, after all, what they are there for.
You will need: eye makeup, a dark hoodie.
Too shy to go full Terrorblade? No problem. As Phantom Assassin, nobody will care that you're there and nobody will remember you when you sneak away. This is where your power comes from. When they are not looking, you will eat all of the snacks. You will swipe bonus drinks. While they talk and have a good time, you will grow more confident, more powerful.
Think of the single best one-liner you can come up with. The most critical, cutting barb; the conversation-ending anecdote to end all anecdotes. Work on it until it's perfect, then invite yourself to a conversation and—boom. They won't forget to look for you after that.
You will need: A beard; a full-sized bear outfit; a dog; a bear outfit for the dog.
Bring your dog to the party and spend all of your time petting and feeding it. If somebody offers you a drink or something to eat, demand that your dog gets the same thing. Later, do all of your socialising through your dog. If somebody tries to talk to you directly, point out something interesting or amusing about your dog. If they then attempt to disengage from conversation, send your dog after them.
A variant on the Lone Druid costume, the Chen costume shares many of the same principles. Instead of bringing your own dog, however, you will spend the first few hours of the party in the host's garden trying to turn their own pets against them.
You will need: Somebody else's Riddler costume (stolen); a stick with a green rag on the end; a green mask.
One for the social butterflies. Don't feel confined to a single group or aspect of the party. Move freely and attempt to ingratiate yourself with everybody. Become the soul of the event: offer kind words where they're needed, diffuse aggression, endorse good times.
Then, when you are settled, start to steal other people's jokes. Hang out in a group until somebody tells a funny story, then disengage, walk across the room, and tell the exact same story there. You'll get away with this for a surprisingly long time.
When confronted about your rampant patter theft, insist that you do not steal—only borrow. The final and abiding irony here is that the writers of Dota 2 lifted this line from Picasso.
You will need: A purple bishop's hat; a dressing gown; a silver frisbee; no scruples.
At the beginning of the evening, focus on approaching groups of partygoers and subtly making them feel uncomfortable. Don't say anything so objectionable that conversation stops, but make sure that everybody feels bad. For example: if you overhear a friend complementing the host on their cooking, point out that many, many people—far more than you will ever meet—are vastly less fortunate, and that many of them suffer even now.
Then, up your game. Actively seek out and create stifling social encounters. Examples include:
"Hey, I thought you guys broke up?"
"Good call, not spending much time on your costume—hers took hours."
And so on.
The party will grow quieter and fracture into isolated groups as people retreat into their comfort zones. Conversation will be muted, tentative. This is when you must bring the evening to a close: stand in the centre of the room, draw a deep breath, and clearly and loudly say something utterly and unforgiveably offensive.
Well done! You have achieved global silence. Nobody likes you.
Don't respond to your party invitation. Later, explain that you are busy and that you might—might—make it along at New Years.
To read more Three Lane Highway, click here.