Diablo in the Battle Chest: to play or not to play?

Being about 23, when Diablo 2 and its expansion were originally released I was in my early teens and my mom wouldn’t let me buy the games because they were too bloody and demon filled for her tastes. Now that I’m pumped up by the Diablo 3 announcement I recently picked up the Diablo II Battle Chest to make up for some lost childhood gaming. My question: Is the original Diablo worth playing when I could just as easily be playing the more refined sequal and expansion? Is it a good enough game standing on its own to sink some time into? Or, should I just fire up Diablo 2 and Lords of destruction and play the hell out of those?

You’ll hear from both camps, but personally I say skip it. There’s not a hell of a lot in the original that wasn’t massively refined in II. Plus you can get a purer hit of what the original Diablo offers by playing a roguelike.

Diablo, to me, serves only as an interesting historical piece at this point. Diablo 2 is still very playable, but the original has a few more annoyances than I’m willing to deal with at this point. Lack of a stash is a big pain, for one. Also, the entire game takes place in a single dungeon, albeit one with a lot of levels. Diablo 2 has some overworld traveling which, if nothing else, breaks up the monotony.

If you’re really curious, I’d suggest taking a Warrior or Rogue to about the 3rd floor of the dungeon in Diablo. If you’re still having fun after your encounter with the Butcher, then by all means, keep playing. Otherwise, move on to Diablo II + LoD and join us online!

I used to like Diablo more, but nowadays, I prefer DII just because it’s much easier to get a party going on Battle.net.

I think Diablo will be an immense nuissance, once you’ve merely touched upon Diablo 2. The whole losing all your gear if you didn’t recover your body upon death will likely put a lot of people off. And the loot aspect is a lot less gratifying than that of its sequel.

Most if not all Diablo players will be too full of nostalgia to seperate that from the qualities of the game itself, but maybe give it a swing online with a friend or two instead?

At least try it, would be my piece of advice.

Thanks for all the info guys. I think I’ll do what Soldat/Niclas suggested and just play a little to see if I’d like to keep going. Its hard not to just want to jump to Diablo 2 when I don’t have much nostalgia holding me back. Everything is so much bigger, refined, and fun in the sequel.

I’d actually recommend playing it through in single player mode. It’s a 16-level dungeon crawl.

I’m replaying it now; none of the annoyances listed (no stash, lose gear on death w/o going back to body) are issues in the single-player game (You just reload the saved game, and the whole of the town is your stash); I also have noted that this final patch 1.09 seems to have jacked up the unique item drop rate – I’m averaging one per level.

I’d say the annoyances that are still there (the slow ambling through the town as you hit all the vendors, no auto health/mana regen) are endurable for the experience. Then, you play Diablo 2 and are blown away by the improvements. :)

Diablo’s a great little roguelike, and like dwinn I’d recommend you to playing it in single player. Avoid the multiplayer, because it’s pretty messed up with all the town killers and hacked item wearers out there. It ruins the first experience.

Definitely listen to all of the dialogue by clicking on the NPCs until they run out of things to say, and be sure to do all the quests. They’re scarce, but they’re memorable.

Not being able to run in town is an annoyance, but you’ll get over it.

Also IIRC you had to click for each swing of the sword in D1, while in 2 you could just hold down the mouse button. Or something like that.

Diablo is 640x480 only I think, though the 800x600 in LOD is pretty hideous anyway. I can burn through retro games no problem, but something always bugs me about Diablo graphics, despite playing the original when it was released.

I would say play it if only for the incredible atmosphere and the (still) amazing monsters & animations, but apparently I’m with the minority here.

I say go for it. I recommend playing the rogue since she has the most linear difficulty curve. Warriors pwn the first half of the game and wheeze and gasp through the second (note: I’m talking about a single run on normal as the whole of the game, since I doubt you’d want to play any more than that), while sorcerors have the opposite experience. And yeah, if you make a single-player character, you do effectively have a stash consisting of every square foot of town.

I’m currently replaying Diablo2 using a Necromancer (never tried this class before). It’s awesome! My skeleton army shall not be denied…

I’d say that at this point, after we’ve been spoiled by the oh-so-many features we’re accustomed to expect by now from a game, you’ll be disserviced by playing Diablo 1.
It’ll be akin to having someone play now Defender of the Crown for the very first time.
By all means, to those of us who grew with those games of past they’re a vivid golden memory, but it’s really just nostalgia. Playing it today you’ll be criticizing it heavily; for one, it is too damn very-very-very short.

Also, Diablo 1 is really only fun when you take it to multiplayer and get a 2-4 players co-op session going from level 1 to Diablo with fresh newly made characters.

Seeing as how Battle.net has about 1 player of D1 who logins once a blue moon, you aren’t going to like it.

D3 it seems is also going to be different on some points from D2 (such as “no more potions”) so it might confuse you later or so.

Necros are awesome! I loved Necro back in the day.

In any case, playing multiplayer with strangers is not very practical for several reasons.

Same goes somewhat for Diablo 2 due to ninjalooters; which is the reason I only play multiplayer with strangers in instances where there aren’t any big boss battles with big drops.

I have to agree with Niclas, most sadly.

However, with Q23 you’re never really alone and there be plenty of friendly strangers.

Is there any place (website) that lists viable character builds for each class? I should really play Diablo these days but I would be pissed if I would gimp my char since I can’t respecc in that game.

Also will Diablo be something for me if I didn’t like Titan Quest a lot?
I played until Egypt I think when I noticed I forgot to visit some “warp gate” at the end of Greece and would have had to run all the way back for some quest. Game was ok but nothing that grabbed me for days.

I would play Diablo 2 first, and then at some point give Diablo a look. I think there are some cool things about it, but as everyone has said, lots of annoyances and I wouldn’t want to miss out on D2 because you got fed up with Diablo.

To intruder - I didn’t think TQ was all that great, but I loved D2, so I think it’s certainly worth giving a try. That said, it is a bit older, so graphics are worse, there are some strange annoying things (like using f keys to swap skills, draining stamina when you run, and no respeccing) that may be a bit off-putting. That said, I’m actually planning to give TQ another go, so it is possible that you disliked it for different reasons than I did.

The skill switching in Diablo 2 does take some getting used to. The WoW-style number key shortcuts to powers is far superior, and I’m glad that’s being used in Diablo 3. In the heat of battle in Diablo 2, I sometimes forget which function key I’ve mapped to a power and I can’t react quickly enough to save myself.

I found the skill switching to be fairly easy. I had my four core skills that I assigned to F1-F4 (F8 was always reserved for Town Portal for emergencies), and then I had my belt slots 1-4 on the keyboard. Left hand rested up there to switch skills as necessary, and be able to down a potion or two if needed.

That being said, I have not experienced the WoW style of skill switching but I found DII’s method to work quite well.