Diablo 2: Is it really that good?

I know everyone’s seen this, and I know everyone knows its a fake, but: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/01/13/1041990220891.html

Someone just tell me to go out and buy this fucking game already. I’ve avoided doing so for a couple of years, but I just feel like I can’t hold out anymore. I mean, is it really that great? When I hear people saying it has better RPG multiplayer than Neverwinter Nights and describing it as “instant gameplay”, I start getting over my aversion to clickety-clicks.

I would say that Diablo is about as much roleplay as EQ (not much unless you really immerse yourself into it). That said, it is a fantastic game, especially with the expansion. Character advancement is similar to Divine Divinity, and you level often enough early in the game so that you are regularly tweaking your character. The character classes are very unique, which for me added to the replay value.
The game IS a click-fest and if you have an aversion to it, then move along. Also, having not played on Battlenet in quite some time, I cannot tell you if it has become a hacker’s paradise, but you can always play freely on your own machine, or set up a private game there for you and friends which will keep the weenies out.
Hell, if you decide to pick it up, I would not be beyond reinstalling and playing it again, it IS a fun, mindless game with a great story and has the standard excellent Blizzard cinematics.

I’ve been playing DII off and on for the past two years, and it surprises me how well it holds up even though the maps and clicking is rather monotonous; there’s just something addictive about the possibility of getting a really cool item with the next kill.

For instance, last night I found unique gloves and a sword I had never seen before – turning my Barbarian into god of demonic slaughter. And there are always cool items to be made from collected runes, gems, jewels or recipes.

The game is highly item-based, but the large amount of character skills make it possible to create a vast amount of characters from the given archetypes.

As for online play, I haven’t done much with it. I’m sure there are others here that can give a perspective on that.

I loved the original. I waited till after the expansion shipped to plunk down my money on D2. I bought both and started playing. I quit in the 1/3rd of the 2nd chapter and never went back to it. Just boring to me now…

DyCrypt, buy the fucking game already. :)

– Xaroc

Diablo (all versions) is like Tetris with violence. Like Tetris it is horribly addictive. You can just turn your higher brain functions off and live in the happy zen of the tranced gamer.

I re-installed Diablo II + expansion the other day to accomodate a friend who wanted me to play multiplayer. After the multiplayer game I was interested enough again to start a Paladin and play a little bit. At least I think it was a little bit. Errr . . . what month is it?

Well put. Jeez, talk about a cautious consumer… What kind of gamer are you?! :)

Diablo and Diablo II were both great games if you played them with someone else. By yourself, unless you really get into the EQ style of play (it’s all about minute upgrades of stats and weapons), it will be boring.

NWN is pretty similar, imho. That’s what upsets me about it. And with someone else it wasn’t a whole lot better.

It’s a good game, but I thought the first Diablo was superior–a tighter design that managed to focus on exactly the right elements and had near-perfect pacing. Diablo II clearly followed a “more is better” approach, and I think it hurt the game in some respects. Character development and the interface became more complex without adding much to the experience, and the game environment was made larger but not better (I thought that the outdoor areas, in particular, were uninspired and ill-suited to the style of gameplay).

Don’t get me wrong–it’s a good game, and you should definiterly play it if you like Diablo. It’s just not quite the game that Diablo was.

Diablo II is a solid game. I actually played through it twice, which I’ve never done with any other game. It’s sort of what Kraaze mentioned: you start playing “just a little” to try out the different classes, and the next thing you know… you’re at the end boss.

-wumpus

True, it’s not as tight of a story and the maps in DII are a bit huge. But I enjoy the huge amount of items, and there is greater variety in characters as compared to the original Diablo. Sure, some of the skills are useless and all the characters simply end up as killing machines of some kind – but aren’t most games like that?

After a month of playing, I get tired of it and take a break… but it’s never left my harddrive since it came out. And definitely get the expansion. The original release of DII is weak.

I did like the item variety–that was one area where more IS better. But many of the other expanded elements detracted from the game. Simplicity was Diablo’s defining feature–the game was like distilled fun. Take away some of the simplicity and you have a game that is still fun, but somewhat more ordinary.

It’s interesting that you say “ordinary.” Diablo was cool because it was the first of its kind, then came the imitators. Send in the clones. Suddenly, the Diablo formula was ordinary.

If Blizzard had used the same formula with DII, fans would be decrying a sequel with no innovation. You’re saying the gameplay in DII didn’t bring anything new to the genre in the way Diablo did… true. It wasn’t as revolutionary, but I think it was an improvement for replayability.

But I do agree with you about the original Diablo. There’s something magical in that game that stirs the old pot of nostalgia. It was very well done, but it didn’t keep me coming back the way DII does.

looks like I’ll be the contrarian.

Diablo 2 is really two games rolled into one very shiny package, and neither one is really all that great. The basic game is the clickity monster killing, which is essentially boring. There is very little tension or excitement because your character is always overpowering. At the normal difficulty level (which is your first time through the game) you find that you only risk dying when you get bored enough to divert your attention away to the granny sluts on the jerry springer show, giving the insignificant little beasts a chance to swarm you. Honestly, in this game your main obsacle is boredom. If you breeze through some areas in an attempt to find a challenge you’ll realize that the tables are quickly turned on you in power terms and you’ll just be frustrated. So in the clickity game, it never really feels like you have choices or that your skill makes much difference in the game, only the relative “levels” of your character and the monsters you are killing.

so what’s more interesting is the second game - the meta game of character development. There are many classes to experiment with and multiple strategies within many of these classes. You can spend many stimulating hours studying character builds and optimum inventory loadouts, etc. And, there is the occasional excitement of finding a new unique item. Unfortunately, it takes way too much of game 1 to get enough of game 2. Eventually you realize game 2 is not really so great, it’s just that it is rationed in such small bits as reward for hours of suffering through game 1, that it feels tastier than it really is.

While Diablo 2 is certainly not a bad game, it never really satisfies and you’ve probably got better options to consider. If you get it, make sure you go ahead and pick up the expansion - if i remember correctly the original makes you play at only 640x480, which looks attrocious on any decent sized monitor.

speaking of better options, I liked last year’s Divine Divinity much more than Diablo 2. It’s got many of the same mechanics of diablo 2, but wrapped with a real rpg in a fairly detailed world. And as long as you don’t mind some questionable english translation, the story isn’t too bad.

Relatively speaking Diablo 2 has an enormous amount of replayability, placing as great emphasis on overall balance as do most good RTS games, probably reflecting Blizzard’s background. That is, if you like the game enough to want to play it again. Anyone looking for a story in it is, frankly, hunting for snarks; although the excellent cut-scenes makes more compelling the rather generic plot.

Diablo 2 is also the only Blizzard game i haven’t bought an expansion for. Unlike in RTS games where the meat and potatoes is in good clean multiplayer combat, i HATE, ahem, HATE Diablo 2 online. It goes against my obsessive-compulsive nature and just feeds growing revulsion at kids in general ^^. The audience is rather young, and i want to open every barrel and chest and not just run all out for the level boss - over and over and over which is how the hardcore play it to level faster. But in single player overall difficulty is so ridiculously low it just sucks the fun out of it, and you get experience so slowly its hard for me to stay interested. Now, they did release a patch which allowed you to set a ‘virtual’ player number in single which increases monster HP and EXP rewarded, but by then i had more or less shelved the game. I think i’ve had -1- character pass level 30 (the standard Maybe.

If im going to waste time on a game so easy i haven’t need to spend an idle thought thinking about it, i’ll play Morrowind for its more compelling and rather literate backstory. Or maybe just rent an Xbox and play DOA Vollyball and watch the girlies bounce around. But, OTOH, what it does do - the random dungeon phat l3wt hunts - it does uncontestedly better than any other game.

What attracts many is the lack of competitiveness. Anyone can excel at D2 as long as their willing to put forth the time. Something all aspiring MMORPG-type games have learned attracts long term interest. If you hate getting your ass kicked in RTS games, you might like this ‘everybody wins’ sort of gameplay.

Which means that Divine Divinity isn’t really like Diablo at all, because the whole point of Diablo and Diablo 2 was that it’s not like a “real RPG”.

I can echo all the complaints voiced here – D2 is somewhat too long, too easy and too boring unless you invest countless hours to get to the “good” bits, that is, the higher difficulty levels and the better items. Like I said in another thread, someone should make a good Diablo clone, because I haven’t seen one yet. And I do mean clone – not another “real RPG” that just borrows the isometric perspective or some interface elements.

Two Towers for the GBA and the various Gauntlet versions for the big consoles were good games but not really like Diablo because they lacked the random dungeons. Dark Cloud for the PS2 apparently would fit the bill but it’s no longer available. I’ll have to try the sequel due this year. Otherwise there are the Rogue variants but I’ve played them to death…

I’ve held out on Diablo 2 for over two years myself. The problem with Blizzard games is that they take about 5 years to become budget titles, so if I’m not really fired up about buying them at full price, I may never buy them…

D2 gets my vote. I played through it about five times. One nice thing about it is you can sit down and play even if you only have 20 minutes. It’s fun to beat the crap out of things, get new items, etc.

I’ll spare you the long analysis. Diablo 2 (and then the LOD expansion) have provided me with years of reply. I still play it a lot today. Considering that the one complaint I heard when it first came out was the graphics seemed a little dated (2 years ago), that’s saying something. It’s a great game, and you can get it fairly cheap now. How wrong can you go?