I am writing as one of those unhappy people who loved Diablo, played it 300 times, met Diablo II, and got into the whole mood of "wtf is this?", slowly trying to sink in and understand this game. If you are a hardcore Diablo II fan this will not be interesting for you to read, let's just agree to disagree unless you have anything constructive to say besides "your opinion doesn't matter". This is my opinion here. Probably more of a rant. I am a buyer, therefore, it matters. Maybe I don't have my own DII now, but my family sure as hell bought it at least twice before, and I own a copy of Diablo I right now.
Also, I am bashing SP. Multiplayer may go its own way, I don't care. If you don't love Diablo II SP this is not addressed to you. I am annoyed at SC's SP but I love SC's MP, so it's not like I am any different.
Looking at this whole section (Diablo 3 Topics > Storyline), I've gotten pretty annoyed at the fact that most of Diablo's storyline seems to be stored anywhere but Diablo itself. Diablo's real storyline, in other words, the storyline inside the game itself, is very shallow and unclear, not to mention that it is presented in a pretty boring way - monologues, interrupted once in a while by a cinematic. Cinematics are cool and all but there is only so much information that you can store in a video clip.
I disregard any speck of outside storyline as false storyline, fan writings, money rip-offs (that's exactly what Knaak books are, for instance), or lack of ability to incorporate the storyline (putting half the information inside the manual for some reason). Knaak's books should be inside the game, free of charge, ripped in pieces and stored in various areas for those who like to read. In fact, I already heard plenty of times that books often disagree with other sources of information - that is clearly a sign of an underdeveloped storyline that was finished and revamped "later", in other words, AFTER the game came out. And information in the manual should be inside, also - I never even saw the manual despite buying like 2 copies of Diablo II. I didn't even have an internet connection back then. Manuals tend to get lost. I have no clue how I managed to get my hands on The Chronicle of Deeds, either.
I buy the game, I want to buy everything that comes with it, including the storyline. I see any BOOKS outside of it I start losing respect for the company that does it. Why do I have to pay extra to get the whole package? WTF? Sounds like a huge ripoff to me. You shout that Bethesda rips your money with those tiny $2 additions like horse sacks, but how is this any different? They rip your money for the storyline that is supposed to already be in the game.
I can understand that Diablo's storyline, as any decent storyline, is too big to fit into monologues. Then put it into in-game books like Bethesda did. Maybe they are going to be crappier than what Knaak writes, but at least I don't have to pay for them. If you want, provide .pdf files for printing or sell/provide mini-books of what was in the game for enthusiasts. All-in-all, a game's storyline is never as good as a storyline of a standalone book, it's more of a personal atmosphere development thing, which was much more apparent in Diablo I. If you think Diablo's storyline is that good, please visit the library. It is decent as far as game storylines go. But it is not great. Incorporate the story in the game. Make it a part of the game. Not "go read the Sin Trilogy" - I am tired of hearing that. I'd rather read something as silly as HP then a video game book.
Another thing is complete lack of character interaction... the main character is nothing more than the clan he represents. Even then, they all seem to live in different parts of Sanctuary, but they all spawn in the Rogue Encampment for some reason. I guess they know how to Apparate. Somehow, this all was much cleaner in Diablo I with only 3 classes. And I am talking about single player - it's not my problem that SP is considered to be unplayable, that's Blizzard's fault. It is perfectly normal for a game's MP to be diversified in comparison to the SP. Blizzard is huge, it can work on both. But Blizzard tried to make them the same. Why not just make it a MMO if you don't give a damn about SP?
Diablo II is very robotic. Everything they did in there was perfect from the standpoint of a game critic. It's perfectly balanced, many things are thought for, it's almost symmetric - 4 similar Acts, open places and closed spaces in each, 6 quests each, Act 4 was the only exception. From the standpoint of a casual player, the game has no feel, it provides no challenge (you can go back and level up to level 30 before killing Duriel if you feel like it, can't do that with the spitting dogs...). The side quests are horrific compared to Diablo I. The Butcher, Leoric, the Armor quest, and what we got here? Some archer, some random run to a half-destroyed town full of the same generic monsters and a boring form of Griswold. I looked into the "Favorite DII quest" thread and found myself stumped with how I like none of them. I played DI, I was hoping to get Leoric just to go trough all that trouble killing him. I gave my Rogue the Butcher Axe because it was such an amazing item. DII, I go to save Cain just because I want to identify my items for free. What's up with free identify, anyway? This totally destroyed any point of the identify scrolls until the 3rd Act 1 quest.
DI was put into catacombs, where you couldn't just run away from all your enemies. It was very bright, but somehow it was still creepy. It wasn't about mass monster killing, it was about careful and deliberate scourging of the passageways. DII was put into open fields (maybe a bit more realistic, sure...) with a few caves and temples with no light in them (realism again?), which is a very, very bad technique, this was discussed way back when Doom III came out, trying to scare people by darkness - it doesn't work, people. Instead, you get a level where you can't see the goddamn barrels...
It seems to me Condor made a game from their heart, and Blizzard released it for them. Then Blizzard consumed Condor, and tried to recreate the perfected version of such game, turn it into a money cow with no soul, but, yeah, perfectly balanced multiplayer. I only hope they won't do the same with Diablo III and make it the way it should have been done. Good multiplayer dehumanizes a game, it seems. You need any more money, Blizzard? Make something with a soul for a change, even if it's badly balanced and multiplayer geeks won't be playing it 24/7 (hacking), fishing for their Enigma runes. Pathetic, all I can say.
I understand how you feel about not so much story being in the game, but you also need to just stand back, and take a few breaths, to regain yourself, DII was a great game, I loved Diablo, but I get sick of it quick, DII still has thousands of fans, it has the longevity Diablo is missing, but both are great games.
but you also need to just stand back, and take a few breaths
I think Diablo II has been out for 10 years or so now and I have been examining it pretty much all those 10 years. My reaction is not really all that emotional. I tried to like Diablo II, it just didn't happen.
Quote from "Anselm" »
DII was a great game
It is mechanically perfect. It is great for multiplayer. But it is not a masterpiece like Diablo I was.
Quote from "Anselm" »
I loved Diablo, but I get sick of it quick, DII still has thousands of fans, it has the longevity Diablo is missing, but both are great games.
So you are saying, the game that you can play more often is the best game? For me, it's somewhat different. The very best games are usually not intended for repetitive way. Diablo I is one of them. It is not made to be repetitive. It was made to take your breath away the first time you play it. Diablo II is a conveyor. It's plain enough to be playable 300 times over. But I also get bored of it extremely quickly, to the point that I never finish it. I finished Diablo I quite a few times. Here and there I may have found something new. I can play Diablo II often, but not for long, and I can't play Diablo I for long, but not often.
Thousands of fans represent only the mechanical greatness of Diablo II, that's all. It has fans among the most disgusting people as well as many others. 90% of its fans are multiplayer. I think I am discussing SP here.