Disclaimer: I have dabbled with the Diablo series from time to time when I was younger but never really sat down and completed the campaigns or invested time into their installments but by this point (10-15 or so years later) I have completely forgotten about most of their mechanics enough to consider it a fresh experience.
I had the itch to revisit this classic after a good 16 years. I remember completing the campaign when I was around 14-15 years old on an old shitty Windows 98 computer that most likely had a trojanware on it but remembering that I had an amazing time with it. The memory that stood out to me the most was stunlocking the final boss with a Warrior class and thinking that was the most anticlimactic boss fight I’ve ever experienced in any video game haha. I recently bought the GOG version and installed devolutionx for auto gold pickup and difficulty select.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Atmosphere.
Combat is slow from what I’ve seen in other ARPGs. I personally like less mobs if it means that each individual monster is tougher to compensate for it. D1 has this great oomph factor to it’s combat and every turn could possibly be my last and I had to often strategize how I’d take on a group of enemies with my squishy Rogue. Diablo 1 isn’t very nice to new players and I believe it’s a good thing because it makes the learning curve more satisfying as you grow in power through your journey.
I played on Nightmare mode after grinding my Rogue up to level 24 through the first two levels of the catacombs for a good 45 minutes on NM/Hell (wanted to avoid another Diablo cheese encounter, that didn’t go too well but the journey up until him was still fun).
So, my experience is probably very different than most who will play on Normal because I was basically relying on Griswold to roll good items for me when I neared the endgame which leads me to my only con.
They seemed fucking atrocious. This might have added to the whole survival element experience of the game but I found myself really in need of good stuff because it ALMOST never dropped for me. When it did though it was incremental but still felt good.
I have no other cons at the time of playing the game because I had no real frame of reference for it. I won't include stuff like lack of stash because it's an old game so I gotta cut it some slack. The floor in front of Griswold did the job.
Overall D1 was fucking awesome, would play again.
DIABLO 2 LOD:
This is definitely what I expected of the sequel and personally it holds up to D1 for me. It’s D1 but on steroids as I expected. For my first character (big surprise) I chose Necromancer because he just looks fuckin’ cool.
I see a lot of people praising D1 for its atmosphere and mood over the rest of the games but let’s not undervalue D2. It’s definitely not inferior imo because it stands on its own. I loved the variety in locations. My personal favorite was act 2 because it just had this really arid and mystifying feel to it. It was very beautiful but had this very great sense of ancient danger to it. Definitely on some gothic level Aladdin shit right there. Act IV's locations were a close second to me. They really had the balls to create a convincing level that's basically hell. I was dumbfounded at how epic and detailed it looked.
I’ll give this one to D2 over D1. D1 had great music and was probably only limited in track selection due to the length of the game but man, D2 had some catchy music. This is probably one of the best OSTs I’ve ever listened to in my whole gaming career. Words can’t really do it justice.
I'm pretty much hitting every aspect of the game here. The game is really what people make it out to be. Variety is definitely the keyword here. Loot is good but can be overbearing with the amount of trash you find but it helps with gold as some of the stuff in the game is ridiculously expensive. The tons of affixes on loot made for very in depth min-maxing throughout my whole journey. A magic item can last you a very long time and is better than a lot of rare or unique drops which made for a very interesting pool of choices in the game.
I only got to play as Necromancer so a beginner Hybrid Summonmancer carried me throughout the game but I think I would enjoy more build varieties in NG+ or with different classes.
I don't have too many and this is probably subjective but when I asked if there was endgame content for game that boasts so much gameplay elements I was told that it's basically going through different difficulties with your character or doing boss runs over and over. I personally don't find playing *only* for loot very fun but different strokes. Honestly, if the game had something akin to rifts or challenges that weren't self imposed I would think this is the perfect 10/10 game. Again, this is my opinion but I still have tons to do in the game regardless. I have other characters and builds to try and still have to attempt Ubers and Pandemonium.
I played this on launch on my Xbox and although I had fun with it I found the game to be a bit drastic in terms of how bombastic it tried to portray itself. The art style didn't mesh with me too well and I felt a bit desensitized in how powerful the game made me feel from the get go. I would adjust difficulties but it was either me kicking too much ass or me getting deleted by a trash mob, so I dropped it after getting a bit bored with it.
9 years later and I bought this again with ROF for PC. I heard good and mixed things so I decided to keep the marathon going with a Monk and began my first season which would be season 22 at the moment.
Progression and gameplay.
At first I thought it was kinda weird that the game's progression was a bit linear but it kinda plays to the gameplays strengths. The gradual sense of progression is very fun and I found myself constantly experimenting with my Monk which was something I couldn't afford to do in earlier games. Being able to switch my abilities on the fly without sacrificing ability points was really cool and I found myself very addicted as time went on. I grew very fond of it over time and found it hard to drop because I knew I was only getting stronger by the hour like in other RPGs and JRPGs.
At first I thought they were a bit corny but as time went on I grew fond of their interactions and found them to be interesting little people. It really felt like you had this cool pal who was determined to continue this journey with you and I loved the interactions your character had with your follower. Being able to customize their small loadout added a bit of depth to your character as well and all three of them were equal in terms of utility. You use whoever you needed at the moment for your build but I found the Templar to be the one who helped me stay alive for my whole campaign. I switched over to Enchantress in endgame stuff for her attack speed buffs and crowd control abilities.
This game has a lot of it and that's always a good thing. What do I do now? Where should I go? What bounties do I hit? What challenges should I do? I always found myself distracted with something to do and it was great.
Although I loved how much more your character seemed involved with the story's narrative and how much they spoke and all, I found them to be very cocky at times and not convincing. My Monk was really fuckin sure of himself a lot of the times to the point where it became a meme and I found it hilarious at how alpha he seemed. It's like this threat to existence itself doesn't really change the character progression. I found him more interesting when he'd talk to NPCs about more down to earth matters, his relationships to them and the occasional humorous stuff he said. The story overall is very cookie cutter fight the gods kinda stuff so I didn't think much of it. It lacked the nuances of the prior games where youre not the "chosen one" but rather a mortal who decided he wanted to test his mettle against this evil that's suddenly emerging on Earth. The first two acts antagonist was really annoying and the game would have been better off without her because I miss Deckard Cain. Leah was cute but she should of got the hint that her Uncle's stories were true as soon as she saw the first demon show up before her very eyes. Get with the program, girl.
I may sound hypocritical but linear sense of progression feels good but only up to a certain point. As soon as I got my set I told myself "so this is it?". Turns out the whole endgame is basically repetitive rifts and re-rolling the constant legendary drops that youre guaranteed to get from rifts. Loot is essentially dumbed down to what gives you the biggest main stat numbers instead of choosing a more nuanced approach of different loot with affixes that could work for you. I know that this is more of a casual approach to the game but players who actually will take the time to invest this deep into the game are the ones who are gonna notice this more than someone who only plays for a small amount of time. I guess this is ultimately the curse of ARPGs but If I had the loot system of D2 with the endgame content of D3 it would make for the perfect game imo. Stuff like the cube makes for interesting build varieties but something seems off about what is considered shallow and what isn't. It doesn't help that a lot of the bosses in the rifts arent particularly interesting compared to campaign bosses but I only got up to level 20+ in rifts before I decided that it was a tad monotonous for me.
Overall the game is way better than what a lot of people make it out to be but coming from the two prior games I prefer not suddenly turning god-mode with a seasonal set that makes me jump from Master to Torment ++++ I enjoyed the journey moreso than the endgame but I still find it interesting enough to start a new character next season.
This was really long and I know I might piss some off but again these are my opinions. If you read this much, thanks. I just wanted to express how I felt about the franchise overall. I couldn't have picked a better time to start the games considering all the announcements lately.
In conclusion: D1 great, D2 awesome, D3 fun.
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© Post "New Diablo fan and first time player here. I just recently completed my first D1-D3 marathon in the last month and these are my impressions and crappy takes on how I felt about every installment so far." for game Diablo 3.
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