My experience of the Diablo games consisted of me playing Diablo for a short period of time, and then before I knew it my older brother had bought Diablo 2 and after watching him play it a while, I picked it up myself. Wasn't long before me and my brothers were obsessed with it. We still occasionally play it to this day.
Boring story aside, I was into the "story" elements of the game when I first started it. It was all new. There was so much unknown. However, inevitably after you play a game like D2 enough, with a repeatable and repetitive story line, at a certain point it wasn't about story or the unknown: It was all about loot. At the core, for most gamers, the online version of the game is about acquiring loot, trading, and obtaining the best items for the types of characters you want to play. Seems relatively bland, but it was exciting enough to keep us around for years (the majority of my time was spent low level dueling in D2 though, which is an entirely different way to play the game).
The game has had such a lasting effect on me and has in many ways taken on a form larger than just a game.
Disregarding my bias for the series, I still think you guys are off-base calling it unoriginal and boring. There's something I'm not sure you guys have taken into consideration regarding Diablo's "lack of originality and story". The latest game in the series is ten years old. That's ancient in terms of video games. Is it fair to compare its story aspects to that of next-gen modern games? No. Not at all. Sure, the game is unoriginal in today's gaming world, but would have said the same back when it was released? I doubt it.
That said, the game isn't an MMO. It's a game with a linear story that can become repetitive. It's not tailored to be very immersive, albeit that it is really outdated.
Diablo 3 will be much more immersive. Well, as immersive as a game of this nature can be, at least. Blizzard can't avoid the linearity, that's just part of the games. But they can spice it up. At the core it will always be loot-driven in online play, but you know Blizzard is going to go to great lengths to add depth to the world of Sanctuary in D3, something they simply couldn't do ten years ago. There will be separate quest chains for each class, randomly-generated quests, and randomly-generated events (I believe?) which will bring the world to life more so than they could in Diablo 2. It won't just be a straight-shot linear adventure through the game. It will be a prevailing linear adventure with lots of swerves and side-steps (not to mention some incredibly beautiful blood and gore gameplay that itself will be hard to tire of).
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Diablo is not an RPG. It's not on the same level as the RPG's you've listed and never will be. Bunch of random people sprouting monologues + a few cinematics is not how you tell story. Present day FPS do a better job than that.
Diablo probably has the most boring diamonologue system ever created.
There's no role play in Diablo. Giving stats to a character is not sufficient, nor are classes, heXen has these things...
You do not make any story choices in Diablo.
There's nothing to do in the game besides kill stuff and improve your ability to kill stuff.
The game is conveyor.
You can completely ignore the story without much effort, which is why so many people think necromancers are bad and the like. Diablo is one of those games where you're better off learning the story without playing the game (which means the game itself is not a true RPG).
Story is indeed secondary to the Diablo series, just like it's secondary to StarCraft. Having a backstory, or a story somewhere in the universe does not make any given game an RPG.
"There will be no Marius, Diablo, Baal, Mephisto, Tyrael, Andariel, Duriel, Horazon, Blood Raven, King Leoric, Lazarus, Leoric's sun, Soulstones, Worldstone, Horadrim, Deckard Cain, Countess in the Diablo game without story."
Rubbish, those are just names and terms that are pretty easy to pull out of books about demons and stuff. In fact, Diablo's lore is pretty unoriginal. Besides the framework itself, it's just religious mythology with some fantasy mixed in.
Agreed that Diablo lore isn't the best around, but even so without story it will be pretty bland. All those characters named above all have story to them and many intertwine with one another. Without said characters and their stories behind them, their wouldn't be a reason for Mephisto, Baal, Andariel, and Duriel to even be in there, not even their models. At best without their story we will instead be battling, skelton-corpse, Crab with tentacles, Naked girl, and maggot-crab.
This even can be applied to NPC's behind the scenes such as Tyrael and Marius. Without story Tyrael would probally be random angel (like the one who stands before u in chaos sanctuary whsoe name escapes me atm) and Marius would be crazy drunkard running around the world with no apparent reason.
Without story, the cinematics would be bland/boring or probably not exist at all (no story = no plot for cinematics).
And even if Diablo isn't a RPG by today's standard, it was back then, you must keep that in mind. Back then the best RPGs you could get were Pokemon, Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, etc.
I gotta say, i skipped most of the dialogues in both D1 and D2, to me it has always been about the loot, and killing people, lore is all good, but its the multiplayer that really made Diablo what it is today.
On the classes, i do agree that some of then are weird, to say the least, was the witch doctor really the best they could come up with?
Even the demon hunter(which i liked) is some sort of a fully plated acrobat with duals 12 gauge crossbows, i mean, its just cheesy.
Get real, folks, the diablo you all knew is dead, a few years ago i said right here in this forum that D3 had a pretty good chance of being blizzard first bust (i was flamed to death ofc), and what you know, its not even beta and its already looking that way.
I'm also loving the idea of a Fallen/Unholy/Dark Knight as an expansion character. I feel the game is still missing a deeply perturbed character in the very edge of becoming corrupted (without being a Devil May Cry clone like the Demon Hunter).