Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Speaking of Mother's Day...

This arrived in my email inbox last night:

Pretty sure my mom doesn't look
like this, even in the morning.

I looked at the full ad --I cut off the rest of it when I took that screenshot-- and just kind of shrugged.

That's nice and all, but the thing is I tried Diablo II Remastered once last November, and I haven't touched it since. I'm glad that it was basically free (courtesy of a gift card the kids gave me a few years ago), because I was disappointed in how little the game resonated with me. 

And that was supposedly the "best" Diablo out there. 

When I played D2 through the beginning zone, I kept remembering commentary that D2 was supposedly the best storytelling that Blizzard did in Diablo, but you could have fooled me. It was "kill this" and "do that", and I kept wondering whether I should have known any of these people before in the original version of Diablo. 


I couldn't quite describe my experience with Diablo until I saw this YouTube video recently by Day9TV, chronicling his experiences of trying Retail WoW for the first time.*

When Day9 was saying "I am so confused!" I nodded along, thinking about trying to figure out Diablo 2**, and replied "Yep, I know where you're coming from, man." If you're not part of the ecosystem, trying to figure things --including story and people-- out is really daunting. The question becomes "Are you curious enough to try to push through your confusion?"

Maybe I ought to give Diablo II another try, but if I can't really get into that game, playing D4 is probably out of the question. The concept of re-running the same game with a harder difficulty simply doesn't appeal to me, so I'm pretty reliant upon gameplay and story to resonate with me. If this becomes a "oh, it's not great now, but 50 - 100 hours in it gets good" scenario, I'll pass. 

*When he mentioned watching characters from Frozen yelling at each other, I chuckled. I figured he had to be talking about Jaina, given that she does kind of have that Elsa look about her. Not sure about the other person, tho.

**Or Age of Wonders 3, Elder Scrolls Online, ArcheAge, Pillars of Eternity, Black Desert Online, or any number of games where I'm just starting out and the info dump or expectations of understanding is quite large.


  1. I bought the D2 Resurrected edition as I have fond memories of the game. While I enjoyed dinking around in Act 1 I quickly realized that I've changed enough that without others to play with the Diablo style of gameplay just doesn't hold me these days. MMOs have forever altered what I want or find fun in a game now.

    D2's story is there, but you only get bits of it when you reach certain points. Like some of the early Wow quests, the story is more a coloring book that you need to fill in by being a murder hobo to reach.

    1. I did discover that being a murder hobo is at an entirely different level in the Diablo type of game. And here I thought I was being a murder hobo in MMOs...

  2. Actually Diablo 1 is my favorite in that series. I really enjoyed the system where you learned and upgraded spells from random drops. I also liked the straightforward gearing. I was really easy to figure out if something was an upgrade.

    In D2 the specialization trees kind of ruined it for me. There was no easy way to respec, and at least half of what you could pick was secretly terrible even with max points. That meant that you either followed someone else's build or almost certainly built a gimp. Not my idea of fun.

    In DIII the gearing started to get too complicated, and real upgrades seem to be vanishingly rare after just a tiny bit of playing. From all I have read, DIV made that problem even worse. Players were having trouble figuring out whether gear they found was an upgrade at all. Though according to Blizzard they also fixed all that with the last big patch.

    Also worth noting that my opinion on the Diablo series is widely considered well and truly wrong/ insane. So take it with a grain of salt :-)

    1. Based on what you described, it seems that Blizz couldn't stop themselves from making a game that requires external guides to play, whether it's World of Warcraft or Diablo. And if you just pick it up and play the game, you're "doing it wrong".

      You know what other game I can think off off the top of my head that has the same sort of gatekeeping? Magic: the Gathering. When my kids started getting into M:tG back in the early 2010s they asked me for advice; I had none to give, since I didn't play, but I found at least a few pointers online and gave that to them. But now, you'd better know how to build a deck and what's "good" if you want to play at the Friday Night Magic scene.