On Diablo III

It's not often that I get my knickers in a twist over a computer game. I might be a gamer, but I know what I like, and to be honest, most of the games on the market just don't do it for me.

I'm not much of a console gamer... I owned an original and a second generation Playstation (now referred to as the PSone) and enjoyed that, but once I could afford a PC, that has been my choix du jour

And even then, games come and games go, but nothing really does it for me. With the exception of expansion packs for World of Warcraft (which, obviously, does do it for me!) I do not buy a computer game very often. Over the last few years, my game purchases have been mostly in the MMO category - Dark Age of Camelot, EvE Online, World of Warcraft. Every now and then, however, something has caught my eye and I've bought that too - Doom3, Spore, Sim City whatever number - but when, several years ago, I saw that Diablo III was in the making, I KNEW I would own it.

The original Diablo game was a chance purchase, and one that hooked me within half an hour. It's a dungeon crawl, hack & slash style game in an isometric view - you don't see through your characters eyes, nor from just behind it - the view is a angled-top-down view. The graphics back THEN were amazing and brilliant, and every time you started over, the dungeons were different. Brilliant stuff.

Plus, it had "Online Play" which back then meant connecting your computer to the phone line, loading Diablo, entering the phone number of the friend playing, dialling HIS computer, his computer would answer, and voila! 

Obviously, this got rather expensive.

Then, a while later, Diablo II was released with Outdoor Areas, different classes and skills and monsters, plus a kick-bottom storyline. I should add at this point, the Diablo series is made by Blizzard - the same people that make World of Warcraft. Storyline, Cinematics, Gameplay - they have all bases covered, the smart little chaps and chapettes that they are.

Diablo II was brilliant and compared to the usual Curse of the Sequel (ie, it being shit) that afflicts a lot of games, it was brilliant.

Then, nothing. They hinted back then - like, 12 years ago - that they would do a sequel, and that one was in the works, but nothing seemed to come of it. Over the years, every now and then someone would say it was "in the works" and the geeks of the world went nuts, then the furore died down and nothing would be heard.

I suspect it was put on a back burner to make way for World of Warcraft. All company assets poured into the game that would become one of the biggest ever.

Four years ago - not long after Kellie and I started dating, Diablo III was officially announced. I may have wet my pants, remembering days past when I would be staring at the screen all bleary-eyed thinking "I'll just clear this area, then go to bed" and seeing that, four hours later, I had two hours till I had to get up for work.

I'm not that bad any more - while I CAN do it if I am having issues sleeping - I tend not to. Grown Up, Adult, etc etc.

Over the next four years, more and more info was forthcoming, and it was apparent this was happening. However, every time they set a release date, it was bumped further and further into the future.

Eventually, a date was set, and it stayed set. The closer it got, the more us geeks were thinking "It'll be bumped" until it got so close our collective hopes were raised until, finally, it was clear this was it.

As I play WoW, and as I signed up for an annual pass, I wangled my copy of D3 for free. Yes, Blizzard are still getting money from me in the form of WoW Subscriptions, but that doesn't matter.

The week before release, I downloaded my copy - all 7Gb of it. The day before release, the installer was unlocked, and I installed it, and the day of release... Well, the day of release I was out. However, this is not a bad thing, as "Release Day" is usually better known as "Day The Servers Refuse To Play Nice" - it's the same with ANY Blizzard release, and Expansion Release Day is no different, so I wasn't too fussed not to play. Several Bajillion people, trying to log on at the same time from across the world, getting more and more frustrated?

No thanks!

Finally, knowing I had a few hours of peace (Kids at school, Kellie at work!) and knowing I had done housework and cleared up, I sat, and I fired it up...

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2 Responses to “On Diablo III”

Shannon said...

and... how do you feel it compares to 1 and 2? I like certain aspects of it compared to both, as with most games of the same ilk. VERY glad that is no more need for ammo for bows (same as 1, horrible in 2). Wish the skills were done a bit different like 2, but they did an ok job on it.

Dan said...

I think of the three, I *LOVED* Diablo 1, because it was new and fresh and for its time, completely innovative... Same as my fave all time MMO is Dark Age of Camelot because it was my first.

Diablo 2, I think they tried to improve on the first one - and in some aspects, did so - but they didn't capture the same feeling as they did in the first.

I have seen some complaints that they have taken the D2 and just copied it for D3 as apparently "a lot of the areas are the same as D2" and partly, I can see that - Lut Gohlien (or however you spell it) is very similar to.. er.. the second place whose name just fell out my head.

Over all, I think it could have been a little better graphically, but then, maybe they are taking into account people with less-than-decent computers.

I wonder if they could have made the game four times longer, and just increased the difficulty as you go, so Act 1-4 are "Normal", Act 5-8 are Nightmare, and so on... Playing the same things over and over can get a bit tedious.

It might have been one of the fastest selling PC Games of all time, but it will be interesting to see the longevity of it...