Stay a while and listen! This year marks the 20th anniversary for one of the most popular ARPG’s (Action Role Playing Game) in the industry, Diablo. Diablo released back in 1996 on the PC and surprisingly had a decent PS1 port 2 years later. It was a game teeming with atmosphere and immersion. It was the entry game into Blizzard for a lot of folks. This Blizzcon, there’s no announcement of a new Diablo game, but some DLC for Diablo 3 coming in 2017. First, a little bit of history to those who aren’t so up-to-date on Diablo or its origins and why this anniversary and DLC is so important.
4 years after the successful release of Diablo, Diablo 2 makes its way into the world, only for PC this time, sadly. This completely blew Diablo 1 right out of the water and is today, still considered by most fans, as the best Diablo game in the series. Everything about D2 was perfect. The gameplay, fun and interesting combat that had a great talent system. An amazing soundtrack that complimented the dark and creepy world. A story that dragged you into the world of Sanctuary and kept you hooked until the end. A year later, Diablo 2 had it’s first/only expansion, Lord of Destruction, which added 2 new classes, a new act and bunch of new items, on top of the misc stuff you’d expect to find in an expansion. This brought Diablo 2 to its zenith that it still holds the bar high to this day. Diablo 2 also made best use of Battle.net at the time, for both pvp and pve games.
With this near perfect gaming experience, fans nearly died at the announcement of Diablo 3. Early screenshots and gameplay showed a very promising follow up that had a lot of fans excited. Sadly, what was to release would be far from it when it released in 2012.
The game at the core was “empty” to a lot of the old-school fanbase. Mainly the complaint of no talent trees, dull story and other nagging things that turned them off completely. Not to the mention, always online completely ruined the game for some and of course, the Real Money Auction House (RMAH), which allowed players not only to sell gear/weapons/etc for in-game gold, but also buy/sell items/gold for real money. On top of that, the game had a horrendous launch, with people not even able to play for over a week due to various errors and latency issues.
With a strong legacy of D1/D2, D3 was quickly considered the worst game in the series and for a while, it was.
However, as the years went by, Blizzard tweaked the game in massive ways, completely shutting down the RMAH, which was a massive step in the right direction and a glimmer of hope for some.
With the release of it’s first expansion, Reaper of Souls in 2014 (we also saw it being ported to the previous and current gen of consoles, which allowed free movement instead of the point n click of it’s PC mother.), saw Blizzard fix a lot of the issues the game suffered from and with an increase in Legendary droprates and the introduction of many content patches, including the Paragon system (a system, released in 2012, after you hit max level, allows you to continue leveling to infinite amounts, where each level you can level up various stats on top of base health/stat increase per level) was improved throughout RoS, the game was slowly becoming, in my opinion, a worthy title to the series. Only in the last year or so has the game really got to the point where I can recommend it to people without hesitation (My brother, who had zero interest in Diablo, picked up the game and absolutely adored it).
Now, in 2016, Diablo 3/Reaper of Souls, stands as a very strong ARPG with a troubled past. At Blizzcon, the first DLC pack for Diablo 3 was announced, adding a new class among other things. However, this particular class has been a beloved class since Diablo 2. A class, if you read over old Diablo 3 forum posts and discussions will no doubt crop up. That class, is, of course, the Necromancer (who, you get to see during Act 2 in Diablo 3). On top of the DLC pack, there will be 2 new zones to explore, with no doubt new enemies, items and loot to grind!
With that announcement, Blizzard also announced the Diablo 1 anniversary event for Diablo 3 (The Darkening of Tristram) using a graphics filter making Diablo 3 look like the original Diablo 1, with the same style animations, music and everything you’d expect to see in Diablo 1. It adds the original 16 levels from D1 and of course, the bosses that go with it.
While these are really neat announcements and no doubt I’ll be sinking my teeth into it for many hours to come, I’m almost at the point where I’m done/drained with Diablo 3. It seems to be extending what little life the game now holds for veteran players. Nowadays, I’ll try to log in for the season and level a seasonal character (a character you level fresh, separate from your main characters, until the season ends, usually 3 months, to see if you can gather as much rewards and loot before the season ends), but as each season now progresses, I’m finding myself less interested or motivated to try them out.
I was secretly hoping for the announcement of Diablo 4 or at least, a new Diablo 3 expansion. While I appreciate they are trying to keep the game alive, I feel the game needs a massive amount of content to fill the player base, instead of these crumbs that are just about sustaining it.
How tastes your fear?