Stay Awhile & Listen

Diablo Retrospective

By Samson Lancaster – MyrddinCROW

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I remember the days of old-school Diablo back in 1996, Blizzard North and smokin’ hot Succubi sprites. I remember being resurrected countless times into level 99 firewall by Warrior PKs. DI was just one town and one Big Bad Demon in a sea of endless duping and hacking. Why did I go to Tristram? I would go when I wanted to hear the most haunting of all themes, and stay awhile and listen to Cain. I would go when I needed a sword forged by Griswold’s hand, or just to shoot the shit with Wirt.

Diving deep into the dungeons of the original Diablo was perilous indeed. There were monsters that could permanently drain your stats, and PK’s who where hacked and maxed. I did like how they would make up games on Battlenet like Iron Man (A dungeon crawl with no trips back to town.) It was certainly a challenging game. The treasure hunt was probably my favorite part of any Diablo game, and it was strong in the original. The joy you felt when you found something as epic as the Grandfather was unequalled.

Along came Diablo II in 2000 it felt like we waited forever a whopping 4 years! Back then we had no Idea that Blizzard’s time between releases was exponentially cumulative. Diablo II was possibly the best installment of the Diablo series. Many new focused classes, massive and abundant dungeons that randomly generated themselves. The Horadric Cube a dimensional purse, and crafting became very useful. We had Diablo once again and now his Buddies to deal with, a nasty bunch indeed. D2 had the most replay value of any game I’ve ever played. I played every class thoroughly and when I got bored I went Hardcore.

I had a hardcore level 72 Javazon, She had Ethereal Titan’s Revenge. She was beautiful and extremely powerful, truly a sight to behold. One day I was in the bowels of Hell, impaling Oblivion Knights with a small party of adventurers. My Titan’s was low and I needed it to replenish, so I went melee. Poking away carelessly thinking I was the most powerful Zon in all of Diablo. And then I saw my javelin coming down on a knights skull in slow motion, as the sharp dancing fiery sprites of Iron Maiden appeared above my head…’NOOOOO Stop!’ But It was too late, in a flash, she was gone just another bloody mess amidst the corpses of Hell’s minions. It was painful, almost life changing (like dying in EverQuest). Needless to say I stopped playing for a while after that harrowing experience. But eventually I got back on the horse as it were. MooOo0Oooo0o…

Twelve long years later Diablo III surfaced, with shiny new graphics and a combo of new and old classes. I’m quickly became a sucker for the Demon Hunter, a hot assassin? Yes Please! Overtime I’ve played all classes except the witchdoctor extensively. My Demon Hunter is an extremely Over powered Glass Cannon. I do love the glass-cannon fighting style, leveling entire screens full of baddies with one Ball Lighting. However, once in a while I like to smash skulls and launch minions across the screen with my Barb. The physics engine in D3 is amazing and extremely amusing/satisfying. But beware there is No Cow Level!

Currently the PVP is lacking, although I believe it is mostly former WOW players that are really complaining about it. I’m sure Blizz will spice it up soon, the Arena style they had at Blizzcon was pretty sick.

I feel my only real complaint about D3 is treasure hunting. The best part of Diablo and I feel D3 ruined it. Treasure Hunting in D3 feels like smashing my head against a brick wall waiting for my gold teeth to fall out so I can sell them on the Auction House. And so there is the Auction House, a bit of a double edged sword really, easy to gear up, very nice! Although, perhaps too easy to gear up. Once I have one high level toon, the rest don’t need to work for anything. And then the additions such as Infernal/Hellfire were pretty boring and way too hard for some classes and too easy for others. Even on inferno with 5+ monster power I don’t feel I ever get any good drops.

Overall, I feel Diablo III is still lacking a lot of the replay value its predecessor was very strong in. And I REALLY miss the plentiful random dungeons. D3 is very cookie cutter and feels like the same thing over and over again. Bring back the gratuitous randomness, plentiful loot and reasons to logon in the morning… Please?

Posted in Nostalgia, Role Playing & MMO

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