Diablo One

This post won't be about Fighting Games.

Well, I admit I have fond memories of Diablo 1 and 2. But, in retrospect, I actually liked Diablo 1 more. I'll also admit they were sad times, but special times.

The music: Town, Catacombs, Caves, Hell.

Well I don't think I need to elaborate. Can anyone even remember the D2 music right now? D1 music was amazing. The Cats and Caves alone practically make me giddy. IMO D1 did everything right in terms of atmosphere and aesthetics and tactical gameplay.

All the monster were cool in D1. They all had personality and it was really noir, twisted, and awesome. Some monsters were carried over to D2 like Balrogs and Goatmen and Skeleton/Zombie. But what happened to Cave Vipers, Hidden, Bats, Lightning Demons, Succubus, Hell Knight, Winged Demons, etc etc etc. The Harlots in D2 are a poor excuse for Succubi.

I have seriously always wanted D2 to have another act that brought back all the D1 monsters and maps, just one act with everything from D1. Even if we say D2 improved gameplay, I can only say I liked D1 more due to the environment it created. Some one out there really needs to make an add-on or hack or something that brings this dream to a reality.

So anyway, I'll reminisce a bit about some of the finer points.

I remember that you'd get to a point where collecting and selling items was more or less worthless. You'd do a hell/hell run, pick up relevant armor and weapons, then after identifying it you'd just drop it in town. It really didn't matter what it was or what it was worth, money was useless because even just a couple of the armors you just dropped was worth more than your inventory could hold, and the items were worthless unless they had better stats what what you had on.

There was one time that Griswold rolled the absolute best possible armor, perfect stats. Of course it was not difficult to flood my inventory with the maximum about of 5k gold stacks possible. And, I could not buy the armor, because it cost more than I could hold. Actually, more accurately, It was worth a stack or two less but because the armor is a 2x3 space I couldn't buy it anyway. So the best armor in the game had to drop, it couldn't actually be bought at Griswold even though it could spawn there.

Eventually the speedrunners figured out the RNG in the game, because of that they could get anything they wanted to drop, and they could get any type of map/monster they wanted to spawn. It basically had to do with your system's clock, so at the right time (or by modifying your date/time) you could kill a monster and have the desired item.

D2 is easy. I'm sorry but it is. With D1 there was something extremely exhilarating about walking down into the Cats or Caves and having to pay attention to your every footstep, as you might very well die at any given moment. Who can count how many times my heart skipped a beat when I saw a Storm Rider or Pit Viper pack coming towards me and my back was pinned. I never really liked the "difficulty" in D2 where the monsters gained more health and resistances as time went on, which did not make them harder at all, it just made them take longer to kill. But I'm more use to the difficulty in Fighters and RTS where increasing the difficulty made the AI play smarter (hello ST AI), not just increase life/defense/damage.

I remember one time where in hell/hell myself and another Rogue player somehow spawned four types of Succubi monsters. We had Soul Burners, Hell Spawn, Snow Witches, and the generic Succubus. Not really sure how it was possible, but I can tell you it was ridiculously rare. The significance of this was not only did we have to strategically place ourselves around every corner in order to do projectile-on-projectile battle with map coverage, but when we entered a large open space there were multi-colored sparkly Bloodstars and blood and tits and ass and moans EVERYWHERE. It was awesome.

I think I may have had one of the first level 40 Rogues on battle.net, though that doesn't really mean anything other than /sadlife.

Duping and hacking and massive amounts of playing eventually led to the best possible items in the game being easily accessible. Ironically, many of the popularized items weren't actually the best possible items.

Duping and hacking also gave rise to the decay of public games. But that also gave rise to cliques where a player would become friends with like-minded players and play with only them on a regular basis.

D1 was the first game that made me appreciate not actually playing the game, for several reasons.

First, when you get to hell/caves and hell/hell you run into monsters that are immune to all three elements, so as a Mage your only option for killing them was to Stone Curse them and summon a Golem. That led you you just standing there watching your Golem punch away at a group of frozen monsters, and if they ever became unfrozen you'd zip around with teleport to avoid being gang banged. Prolly sounds boring as hell, but I came to appreciate it.

Second, regarding the aforementioned cliques, it was a lot more fun at the end of D1's lifespan to just sit around chatting on b.net. For me, it was also to the point of meeting up with people offline. Though times changed and people either went back to IRC or on to other social networking gizmos (heh, I remember when ICQ was popularized during the D1 days).

Third, replaying the Mage made me love Hydra for the same reason of cast-it-and-leave-it. As much as I was/am thoroughly obsessed with D2 Assassins there will always be a special place in my heart for skeleton-Necromancers (or summoners in general) and anything anywhere that lets me cast a minion and let it rock house while I sit around doing nothing. Hydra eventually became my favorite spell in any game, next to Chain Lighting (in any game).

This was also the first game that made me appreciate patches. The company may or may not have known they would get the game absolutely right on the first try. But, with thousands or millions or w/e of players scrutinizing and criticizing every single imaginable aspect of the game, patches really helped. Any one who has ever complained about anything in a game at all better not complain about patches, ever. Something that stands out to me was how the yellow zombies called Black Death could permanently reduce your maximum health, and how scrolls use to cause the spell to occur instantly and in multiplayer yet the effects were not seen by other players (which meant you could spam Chain Lighting scrolls and no one could see you cast or the lightning that came from it, things would just suddenly start dying).

When you play D1 you break your mouse. I broke several. I'm not exaggerating. Every action required a click, so unlike D2 where you could hold the mouse button, you had to click for every single attack in D1.

Fortunately my brother created a hack on request to make actions auto-fire. Thus, I played the game again as you can see in this playlist. Years had gone by since I played D1 last, and absolutely countless amounts of D2 hours have come in between, and I still fell in love with D1 all over again. Auto-fire helped though, I surely wouldn't have played it if not for that, so special thanks goes out to my bro'.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

No comments: