Saturday Morning Gaming Post: Diablo 2!
I had toyed around with the idea of not buying any new games during Lent and thought “you know what? I should consider doing that too” and then the day after Lent started, Diablo came out. Welp, made it a day and a half. I went into Maribou’s work that night to tell her that I kicked off the Diablo download before I went to the gym and would be able to play Diablo again when I got home and she got really excited and asked me “DO THEY HAVE DIABLO 2?!?!?”
Diablo 2 got Maribou through her Senior year of college, you see. She was studying hard and working at her job and needed a nice little single player game where she could whack some monsters and get some loot between writing papers and Diablo 2 was EXCEPTIONALLY good at providing both.
On top of that, different ways to play with different classes. Diablo only had 3 classes (4, if you count the expansion) but Diablo 2 started with FIVE. And if you got the expansion, it had SEVEN. Sure, you could play with the Mage, Rogue (er, “Amazon”), or Warrior (this time as a “Barbarian”… I was a Frenzy barb, myself) but you could also play with the Necromancer which was a COMPLETELY different way to play! The Paladin was another different way to play (more of a support character, really… but still completely different)! And the expansion had the Assassin! Which was yet another completely different way to play! Or the Druid which was another completely different way to play!
And they fixed a huge number of the problems in Diablo. Like, they added RUNNING. (You’d run out of stamina if you ran too far, but it really helped when backtracking.) They added real quests! Not just “go four levels further down into the dungeon and kill the boss monster” quests. But “go to a novel place and achieve a particular goal” kinda quests (that, sure, involved boss monsters but some of the quests involved flipping switches or retrieving items).
THEY ADDED SKILLS. Like, sure, you could play a barbarian… but there were several different kinds of barbarian you could play. As I said, I enjoyed the Frenzy barb. Other folks seemed to love the whirlwind barbarian. Or berserkers! Or concentrators! Or ones specifically built around the Barbarian Set Items (wait, that’s just a whirlwind barb). But each class had a bunch of builds like this. Necromancers could pick between being resurrection kinda guys or bone spell guys or poison/corpse explosion guys. Mages could be fire, ice, or electricity guys. Druids could be summoners or werewolves or werebears.
I mean, seriously, you’d play and you’d play and then you’d find something awesome and then you’d change your build (you got up to 3 changes!) and completely change your style of play. It was awesome and addicting.
Looking back now, I realize that there’s a trick that Diablo uses that I’ve only just now really caught on to. They manage to give you excitement about drops twice. First, when you’re out and about and fighting, you may hear a rustle or a ding and you know that something cool dropped. And then, when you get it, it’s still not identified. You only know if it’s blue (run of the mill magic, but better than starting equipment), yellow (rare magic, but very likely better than blue), green (part of a set… probably not as good as yellow unless you’ve got multiple items or the whole thing), and BRONZE (unique items).
And THEN, when you get the unique item, there was a range of how good it might be. A sword might have a range from (p-q) to (x-y) damage and the closer you were to q and the closer you were to y, the better. And, on top of that, the sword might have +70%-+80% damage. If you got a sword with 78%, you thought “not bad! (but I wish it were 79%… I mean, due to the bug that prevents items from ever getting the top number…) and if you got a sword with 72%, you thought “I will use this trash but ONLY because it is better than my current sword”.
So you’d fight against the scratch tickets that were monsters and, maybe, if you were lucky, one of them would drop a “Guaranteed To Win SOMETHING!” scratch ticket. And then, you’d scratch off the second scratch ticket and see how good what you won was. And sometimes it’d be good. And most times it’d be something that made you say “but I could get something EVEN BETTER!” and then keep playing.
And, after playing it after downloading it for Maribou, I find that I can’t really go back to Diablo.
So… what are you playing?
(Featured image is Diablo 2 promotional art.)