Diablo 3

Why I Would Prefer a “New” D2 to a New Game (I think)

diablo2 - Why I Would Prefer a "New" D2 to a New Game (I think)

I was reading another thread about "What if D4 is MMORPG", and I started to write some things about that, and it turned into a pretty long post about about some things that are "definitely better" and "maybe better" in D2 compared to D3. TLDR: I have some opinions about those things.

For our mortal minds I think this is the natural progression – MMO seems like a logical next step. I thought about this a little bit, and I think I was definitely more psyched about an improved version of D2 (remaster or faithful remake) than I would be about a NEW diablo game. Turns out I was right (/s)!

I actually think Diablo 3 is a really cool game, but unfortunately it takes a step back from D2 in some really measurable ways. In other words, I think the correct formula is to either change everything or make things better without making things worse. Things that got worse from D2->D3, in no particular order:

  • No offline Single Player
  • Fewer classes
  • Less-random map generation
  • Worse overall loot system

The last point I know is probably controversial. There are some really minor nitpicks that I have with D3 loot as well as major things that I think are just personal preference. Nitpicks:

  • I like the distinction in D2 of "Falchion" vs. the D3 "Sword"
  • I like the firmness of 3-tiered system (short sword / gladius / falcata) compared to the D3 "sword". It makes every drop more exciting to me, and makes me aware of what to pick up and what to leave.
  • I like that monsters don't just spew loot everywhere all the time in D2. Too much stuff.
  • I prefer that I don't have to enter my birthdate on Arreat Summit to view information about the game.

Loot differences that I expect a lot of people like, but I don't:

  • I like that some items are good in D2, period, in contrast to D3 where once you have some gear almost every "Legendary" item you get at the end of a run is shit, but you have to check each one twice to make sure it's not an upgrade.
  • I like that non-unique items can sometimes be better than unique ones (really high Cruel weapons) in D2.
  • I dislike that item set bonuses are so absolutely bonkers in D3. I like it that they are good, but it severely limits opportunity for creative and experimental builds (can't use these skills together because there isn't a set that buffs them both).
  • I prefer the single meaningless resource (gold) in D2, and the gambling system as a sink, compared to the multiple meaningless resources (gold/crystals/dust/parts/used to be more) with crafting as a sink.
  • I like Ethereal as a wildcard modifier, both for making items better (self-repair) and making the best merc items.
  • Speaking of mercs, I hate immortal mercs. Wouldn't merc gear be a lot more interesting if you had to keep them alive? Maybe not…
Read:  D3 keeps getting stuck at 60 FPS for me somehow

There are a couple of things that I'm still not sure about, but I lean more toward preferring the D2 versions:

  • I think I like being fairly locked into a skill build, and starting a new character for a different build. This was part of the replayability of D2: Get Guardian with a character, then start a new character…
  • I think I like Magic Find as way of artificially increasing the difficulty. At the same time, I think if they made drops consistently around what it would be for 300%MF for everybody I think that might be OK too. Or some happy medium with a smaller influence from Magic Find, but still the ability to influence drop quality.

I wouldn't want this post to be totally negative towards D3. There are definitely some things I like about it:

  • Variety of Rift Guardians is better than endless Baal/Meph runs.
  • Wider range of difficulty is cool! So are infinitely scaling GRs!
  • Graphics are pretty good!
  • I'm sure there's more!

Other differences I'm really OK with either way. I think D3 champion packs are OK, even if they probably don't approach the same level of danger as some do in D2. Elemental immunities I think are a good way to increase difficulty, but it also makes certain types of builds much worse (again reducing creative freedom in builds). Mostly I just love the way that Diablo has brought people around the world together to slay demons. And that is the truth.

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