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Diablo 2 just turned 20

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Onionguy, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. Onionguy Educated

    Onionguy
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2018
    Messages:
    78
    I simply cannot believe, how many fucking years have passed since i cleared the Den of Evil quest for the first time, playing as barbarian through Diablo 2 demo version.

    I remember that at some point, for whatever dumb reason, everyone mocked this game. Some said bulshit like it wasn't particularly good, because it lacked complexity of a "proper" rpg title, or that the story was weak (which is just retarded thing to say). But the truth is, in secrecy, all those people loved and played the hell out of D2.

    When comparing D2 it to its predecessor, I like to use Terminator analogy; where T1/D1 is a tight and atmospheric horror story and T2/D2, despite losing a small part of its charm, makes up for it with pure, undistilled fun it offers. Some may argue that D2 suffers from itemisation bloat and that it drags a bit to long in certain parts, but at the end of day, all that is just nitpicking.

    If I was to point one thing, that contributed the most to Diablo 2 massive success, it would be how quickly one gets right into the action. It's barely 10 seconds that it takes to make it from the middle of rogue camp to the entrance of the Blood Moor where you score your first kill of Spike Fiend. It's almost Doom or Quake level of "quick" and the "killing" part is nowhere less fun. The animations and the sound design are key parts of how satisfying the gameplay loop is. Every single hand-drawn attack, spell and special move is a joy to behold, but it is the sound of dying enemies, drinking potions and opening town portals that will be forever burnt in our minds.

    For most part, D2 is really well paced and it's a game that you can beat in 2-3 evenings. Today, The fixed number of so few quests per chapter, would certainly be met with savage outcry from "moar content!!!" crowd. But it is exactly the modest number of tasks available, that maintains the feeling of constantly building up tension across all the acts.

    Additionally, the mood which is also great, rests on three pillars:
    1. The Presentation: gloomy, organic landscapes, realistic proportions of armor and characters, lots of blood and gore, but without ever getting too edgy/over the top.
    2. The soundtrack: easily my top 3 of all time.
    3. The Storytelling: simple but elegant, delivered via cool cutscenes and well written spoken parts.

    I have played many of its copycats, and with full confidence I say: Diablo 2 shits on all of them. I don't know if it's the awkward transition to 3d that kills it for me, or too much repetition/online focus with games like POE, but no other hack n slash did it for me in those last, ridiculous 20 years.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Gregz Arcane

    Gregz
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    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  3. Tarantulos-Eduardo-Sanchez Arcane

    Tarantulos-Eduardo-Sanchez
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
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    Location:
    Cada juego de fantasía hecho
    "Looking for Baal?"
     
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  4. Frank Capicoli Learned

    Frank Capicoli
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
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    All of the Diablo 2 bosses had memorable voice work but, lets be honest:
    Baal>Duriel>Diablo>Andariel>Mephisto
     
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  5. ProphetSword Arcane

    ProphetSword
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Monkey Island
    Diablo 2 was the beginning of huge decline that continues to fester to this day, promoting clicking speed over character skill in a way that forever poisoned the fabric of CRPGs that followed. Happy 20th fucking anniversary, I guess...
     
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  6. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
    Joined:
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    Heh, I used four months to complete it on all difficulties with all classes.
    So in the end it was longer even than Wizardry 7.

    Personally I consider a game completed (in SP mode) when you have completed it with all the classes, assuming the classes are distinct like in D2 and not mostly cosmetic like in Ultima Underworld and the TES games.

    Nah, I blame the decline on the X-Box. Diablo 2 was just a different sub-genre, while the X-Box led to an an across the board dumbing down.
     
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  7. Robber Baron Novice

    Robber Baron
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2020
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    98
    My favourite fantasy game art direction wise. The armor, the monsters, the locations - they are just perfect. When I first saw the character selection screen my mind was blown away at how stylish all the characters were. I've always dreamt of a Witchaven like game with Diablo's art style and level of production.
     
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  8. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
    Joined:
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    ToEE, IWD and Diablo 2 are visually top-tier, but Diablo 2 is the most polished all-round.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
    Joined:
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    Some thoughts:

    ToEE has some glorious mesh anims, but some of them are broken. D2's sprite anims don't break or glitch out unless we reach bleeding edge extremes, which almost no players can achieve, anyway. Of course, Icewind Dale sprite anims are nowhere near as nice as ToEE/D2.

    Icewind Dale has the nicest backdrops by far, but D2's are 3D accelerated with perspective and better light sourcing. No screencap or even YouTube vid can do them justice. D2 screens scroll like silk on CRTs.

    In SP mode, D2 never ever slows down or drops frames even when spawn variables are modded to the max and spell effects are flying everywhere. Incredible. Makes the Infinity and Arcanum (ToEE) engines look like a joke.

    D2 UI shits on ToEE and IWD UIs in terms of visuals and tactility. D2 doesn't have IWD's paperdolls and beautiful portraits, though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  10. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
    Joined:
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    Diablo II has a wonderful ornate UI with celtic and gothic motifs.

    It's hilarious that a 2.5D game from 20 years ago still feels more crisp than any isometric hack n slash since. Path of Exile in particular is awful with its production standard, horrid meshes and stiff animation.
     
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  11. Sykar Arcane

    Sykar
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    Turn right after Alpha Centauri
    1.09d was the best iteration. 1.10 with derpy OP runewords and retarded synergies made me slowly play less and less. Thanks to D2SE and plugy I play it single player again. D1 I can play just like that still for a nice little weekend romp through 16 or 24 levels of atmospheric fantasy end times.
     
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  12. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
    Joined:
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    It's also worth noting that D2 is a multi-faceted game that can be played in a variety of ways: SP, twinking, Hardcore, PvP (LLD is best) and coop. Gregz already mentioned MXL, which almost turns it into a new game.

    Pking is also good for butthurt generation:

    [​IMG]

    Similar to Dark Souls, you twink your char out but stay at low level. Then, you go and slay 30th level parties at 9th or so.
     
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  13. Monkey Baron Learned

    Monkey Baron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    159
    Diablo 2 is my favorite out of the Blizzard holy trinity. I go back to it every two years to lose myself in it for a month or two, just to scratch my itch for a popamole loot-fest. It's super linear, there isn't much to the story but I really like the NPC dialogue (especially the gossip!) and the class-specific introductions are also a nice touch. Also don't get me started on the cinematics. They are all so beautifully directed and the Terror's End cinematic gives me goosebumps to this day!

    I simp so hard for the beautiful graininess of Diablo 2. The original concept for Blizzard North's Diablo 3 was also pretty interesting. When I first played D2, I noticed how bare Act IV was in comparison to all of the other acts in basically every aspect. My theory is that they set aside a lot of their ideas in D3 instead of fleshing it out in the expansion.

    [​IMG]

    Although it's entirely possible that it was going to be shit anyway since they were looking to turn D3 into more of an MMO.
     
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  14. Urthor Liturgist Patron

    Urthor
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
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    1,570
    Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    ah fuck I'm going to die soon
     
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  15. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
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    OST-wise and in respect to FMV narration, I'd say D2 outstrips even IWD. And IWD is Jeremy Soule + David Ogden Stiers. So that's how highly I rank D2's music and narration.

    No contest with sound effects either, especially on-hit ones. Drilling holes through enemy sounds so good:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And corpse explosion and popping effects from amplified victims:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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    It was 2001, somewhere in the eastern bloc. I was growing up in this post-socialist wasteland and we used to play Diablo II at a local LAN den. On Syncmaster CRTS and trackball mice. There was no internet so we had a weathered notebook with all the various runewords guys found on their own. It made everything so mysterious and rewarding, definitely one of my fondest gaming memories.
     
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  17. Funposter Savant

    Funposter
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
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    873
    Location:
    Australia
    more like diablo poo
     
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  18. Diablo1_reborn Savant

    Diablo1_reborn
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
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    533
    Location:
    Germany
    I am glad that nobody told Blizzard about that, otherwise we would have had a Diablo 2 HD by now.
     
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  19. Ol' Willy Learned

    Ol' Willy
    Joined:
    May 3, 2020
    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    In your head
    Never understood the appeal of this game and H&S genre itself. Fight countless trash mobs, click, click fast, collect countless loot, sell loot, repeat. It's like singleplayer MMORPG.
     
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  20. Sykar Arcane

    Sykar
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    Turn right after Alpha Centauri
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  21. jackofshadows Learned

    jackofshadows
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2019
    Messages:
    480
    Location:
    Space
    Yes but they've managed to make the process itself fun. Well, since D1 actually. There you have it.
     
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  22. Daedalos Arcane The Real Fanboy

    Daedalos
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    4,639
    Location:
    Denmark
    D2 sure was fucking amazing. Me and countless people like you and others played this fucking thing. My entire high school memories are mostly comprised of fucking D2 playing with friends n shit.

    Animations top notch, cinematics? top fucking notch, sound design, monster design, the MUSIC.. amazing.
    Everything firing on all cylinders, Blizzard in their absolute PRIME. I'm getting hard just thinking about it.

    Game was a timeless masterpiece.

    I H O P E they do not fuck up the eventual remaster, but we all know they will.

    So.

    The memories are all we have left. Untainted, I prevail. I will not falter. :salute:
     
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  23. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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  24. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    Messages:
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    2000 was a good year:

    Deus Ex (Ion Storm)
    Thief II: Metal Age (Looking Glass Studios)
    Diablo II (Blizzard North)
    Icewind Dale (Black Isle Studios)
    Baldur's Gate 2 (BioWare)

    It was nestled in prime Renaissance. Greatness came a couple years before, and greatness came a couple after.

    Good times.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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