Out of curiosity, you obviously liked D1 to play it that much, why didn’t you play D2? Two was the much better game, at least in my mind.
I did play D2 - a lot of it, although nowhere near as much as D1. Probably 100 hours of D2. I reviewed it for GameSpot. I just didn’t play the D2 expansion pack. I also played the D1 campaign literally hundreds of times for a strategy guide I wrote (and I loved the game, obv), while I only played the D2 campaign maybe 8-10x – still a lot, but not by comparison. I was pretty burned out after all that, so I haven’t really spent much time with any action-RPG since, including D3.
They both have elements I prefer, but the character development options in D2 are much better - I liked the graphics and style, for the time, and especially the creatures, of D1 better. I also didn’t like the more complicated loot system of D2, although for other people that was a big plus.
Desslock’s strategy guides - dude is legend.
Sorry, I misread your post, but thank you for the explanation.
I am sure these will be popping up all over, but Ars Technica will be live-streaming today.
If it helps or means anything, I vividly remember thinking Diablo 2 was “okay” - the technical beta for it was honestly a big let down, but when the full game finally arrived it was much better, but I never really clicked with it for a very long time, preferring as well the original. However, when the expansion came out (and it helped the resolution got a bump; it was imo a worse looking game than the first before the expansion came along) it really blew the roof off Diablo 2 for me as a whole and I started to really, really like. Maybe that was also due to not being in the mood for it when it first came out, it’s hard to say, but the expansion is why I actually ended up calling Diablo 2 my favorite ARPG.
The Expansion pack brought amazing changes, especially to those like me and my friends who only played hardcore. Before the expansion, we had trouble beating the game on Normal, let alone make any progress on Nightmare. But the expansion made it so that your hirelings had enough hit points so that they didn’t die instantly, and could be resurrected, and you could equip them with armor and weapons. Plus the difficulty was much better smoothed over for hardcore in general. It was still really dangerous if you didn’t have resists maxed out, obviously, but if you did then getting through Normal difficulty wasn’t ultra hard anymore. And getting through Nightmare was tough but fair. Getting through Hell was only for those who had some of the best equipment though.
We killed a looooooot of hardcore characters before we had the equipment and experience necessary to start kicking ass on Hell difficulty.
(When a character dies, the rest of the party can loot their corpse. So everything in their stash is lost forever, but anything that was on them when they died can be looted. So we used that to loot the dead player’s corpse and pass on that equipment to the next character that person made. So even though the character died, their best equipment was inherited and lived on. What’s funny is that Diablo 3 and Grim Dawn have the reverse situation. In those games, all of the stuff you put in the shared stash lives on, but anything you were wearing or have on you when you die is lost forever. I think I prefer the Diablo 2 system, because come on, it’s hardcore, you’re going to be wearing the best stuff).
Hell Nihlathak was legendarily overtuned. Dude would chain Corpse Explosions that hit a screen away for a hojillion damage. IDK if I ever killed him, actually.
I feel exactly the same way, on every single thing you wrote above! The technical beta was a big let down, and the game was in development for what, at the time, was a long time (although now would be trivial), so the 640x480 resolution it came out at was badly outdated, especially since monitors were starting to notch up in size at the time. But the graphics actually just looked worse as well. The creatures also had less character in most of the game, and it definitely felt like some sections of the game were more polished than others.
I also felt the D2 expansion seemed to solve a lot of issues. The 800x600 resolution was still low, but much better, and the additional chapter just seemed a lot more inspired and innovative (the artillery at the beginning, etc.). I also really liked Hardcore mode. But by that point I was just too burned out on Diablo and I was already deep into my next obsessions, Gothic, and especially the other “Baal” – Baldur’s Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal (for which I also did a big strategy guide).
So going back to play D2: LoD, and generally giving the game a fresh shake, has some appeal. Probably more so than Mass Effect Legacy, to be honest, as playing each of those games twice feels like enough.
Thanks for this!
It looks like it’s just starting now.
If you haven’t tried Grim Dawn, you might give it a whirl. I’m not a big ARPG aficionado normally (I couldn’t help parsing Diablo in 1996 as a sort of degrading/dumbing down of the CRPG genre, though I’ve come to understand it’s really just its own thing), but Grim Dawn completely got its hooks into me.
I miss those days…
Looks like the game isn’t launching right now - claims you have to be launching it from the client, even if you DO launch it from the client. Even the PR firm this Ars guy reached out to, as well as the other guy that’s streaming this now, can’t get in.
lol no streamer can actually manage to get connected
Error 37 D2 edition
This pained me to read, I had forgotten about it, somehow.
You’d think Blizzard learned the lesson… ;)
Funny enough i was the opposite player, I suppose my contrarian nature was still in play even then. I liked the difficulty spike and really didn’t like the later adjustments - mainly because i hated the idea of multiple playthroughs. Once Diablo became a game that “required” multiple runs, i more or less drifted away from it. I never picked up the expansion for D2.
Even today my preferred style in Diablo 3 - if and when i ever play it again - is to crank up the difficulty level to as much as i can stand, play through once, then quit.
It’s adjacent to why i hate MMOs, and why i hate D&D style games like Pathfinder, i think.
I do remember the skill trees being not particularly well balanced at all though. Titan Quest certainly picked up that torch. Maybe the worst offender action-RPG knock off was Sacred 2, a game that actually punished you for putting points into skills.
Yeah, to me it was finally a true sequel to Gateway to Apshai! Naw, I loved Rogue/Nethack and had fond memories of playing them in the computer lab at school. Obviously I’m a hardcore RPG fan, but I also liked these. The joy I used to get out of these games has largely been supplanted by FTL and similar type roguelikes.
I had the chance to review Grim Dark for a major pub, and do another feature, and I couldn’t even get up the enthusiasm to install it - despite it genuinely looking good. The last games in this genre that peaked my interest at all were the Sacred games (or Divine Divinity), and largely because of their world-building and exploration, not their development systems or combat.
OldManMurray called it a ‘Telengard clone,’ which amused me greatly.
He’s in now.
I saw - and it looks glorious.
Just watching him play the first area is making me itch to play this again. I’m probably going to pre-order.