It all started in 2005. This is as far as I've been able to tell the first post ever. It was made in June 2005. This was way before my time, so I can't really tell what happened in those days. I can tell you however that the forum would quickly pick up its pace however.
October 22nd, 2006. About one year after the site launched, I joined. At that time, this place was very different from now. We weren't Diablofans at that time; as most of you know, we were known as www.diablo3.com prior to the announcement of Diablo III in those days. Back then, this forum was a chatroom more than anything. Most oldtimers, many of whom have left this forum since then, would have referred to this as the glorious days of our site history. There was a certain air of mystery, and nerdiness, to it all back then. Here we were, hopeful fans of Diablo who were avidly waiting for a game no one knew whether it would come or not (though many of us did of course expect Blizzard to come through sooner or later).
This era was dominated by much different members from today. Most prominent was perhaps Elfen Lied, the post giant who had achieved a miraculous 4,000 posts in less than a year, with darkjay right behind him with 3,000. SICK was at the time a major part of this site, and members like Carloseus and SilVerSurFnStud were prominent figures of it. FingolfinGR was our sole WoW player who constantly had to defend WoW against all comparisons and attack, and muttonchops bashed ignorant posts like no other. There were many more, these were just a handful.
SICK merits another mention. At the time, it was the Official Guild of diablo3.com, and had its very own forum (it has since been closed down and locked due to inactivity, but is kept to save post histories and the because of its integral history with the site). SICK, standing for Silver Inferno Crusading Knights (named after SilVerSurFnStud, who held a reputation similar to or above what Seth does today) was for a time quite successful. There were many members, and many of us, including myself and Jetrall, designed logos and wanted SICK to evolve to eventually become the premier guild for Diablo 3. Most of the success in SICK happened in the chapter SLAYERS, led by Carloseus and Thasador.
As some of you might suspect however, not everyone was a fan, mainly due to the name of the guild. It simply didn't suit most people.
There were no rules in those days either. Every thread with a topic possessing the slightest hint of flammable material ended in flames, which is precisely the reason I think a lot of members from that time look back at it with fondness if you will. The mods the time we only Silver and Elfen, along with Umaro who was the community master at the time together with mockery, a guy we'd never even heard from (he was an admin, he just didn't post).
Another thing specific to this time were the rumors; the site basically lived off of them. The most prominent was this rumor, presented by General_Ryan. The rumor mill went wild, and although most of us probably saw the strangeness and obvious holes of it, we all wanted D3 badly.
The site trudged on, and during this time, the WWI in Korea happened in mid-2007. A lot of people were expecting the event to be about D3, although the more seasoned of us accurately predicted it would be about the announcement of Starcraft 2. The Korean stage said it all.
Shortly after that, I left the site. I had originally joined out of boredom on a random day, and as summer came up I didn't really feel like posting any more. For me, the matter of Diablo 3 had simply reached an end. I had discussed every topic there was at the time, and no new threads actually came with anything new I felt. One would think that would be the end of my Dfans history, but not so. Several months later, I got a mail saying: "You have been promoted to Moderator at diablo3.com"
I was like wtf? Why the hell would I get that position after leaving the site for almost half a year? Well as it turns out, new mods had been recruited to steer the site up. I was promoted along with Siaynoq, Equinox, Thasador and Ferret. I never knew why I was picked, but I've always secretly credited Elfen Lied for the executive decision on that.
Anyway here we were, a few bright eyed mods so to speak supposed to start policing people. None of us had any prior experience, and if I may say so the previous two mods, Silver and Elfen, weren't exactly all that seasoned either.
Actually that last part isn't entirely true. Equinox had previous moderation experience, and as we put out some of the first formal rules for the site, she started moderating. And did shit hit the fan or what? It was a forum uproar. People were pissed off; half the forum population were mad at Equinox for her strict moderation, and the other half got pissed at the first half for always bringing it up and making such a fuss about it and flaming every thread Equinox appeared in. There were several reasonsfor all of this, partly it was because the forum had never been moderated before, and partly because the change hit home so hard to many users when infractions and bans suddenly appeared on the site. Lot's of internal problems for the moderators too as well, and I confess that I handled my moderator status badly at the time.
But things moved on. Equinox stepped down, the forum population quieted. New members came in, many of who we've all now "lost". Jetrall rose during this year to become one of the most respected artists on this site, initially I think due to him creating the Evil Tyrael boxart. He quickly became admin during this year, along with others to follow soon thereafter.
Spring brought with it some manner of hype. mockery, who had at this time become active in the site, posted up a countdown on diablo3.com. The rumors went wild. Diablo3.com was at this time watched by most of the other Diablo gaming sites, since we were the only ones with the countdown. And after much speculation and anxiety, mockery revealed on the 1st of May that diablo3.com had been acquired by Blizzard and that we were officially changing name to Diablofans.com. The change was an immediate pointer to what was about to come later the same year.
Atrumentis, AcidReign, Genesis, Requiem, Rykker (at the time known as Anakyn), Stormcat and tkrow21 (at the time known as AlphaX) all joined the team during this time, along with Equinox once again. The massive staff increase was in response to the big announcement Blizzard made at their World Wide Invitational in Paris that year, which many had accurately predicted was Diablo III.
Diablo III. How we had waited. How we had longed. And to think, just as it was announced, the site crashed. We'd never had traffic like that before. In 2007 when Starcraft 2 was announced, the site peaked at around 2,358 visitors at the same time, and that proved very taxing. This time, the top amount of visitors was 5,854, more than the double, and the server took such a load that most of the time you couldn't access the forums at all.
The result? Signatures were limited, and avatars were completely turned off. For several months, we didn't have any avatars on the site, and people became increasingly hard to identify. Turns out those images actually have a very important function as a substitute for human faces.
Daemaro quickly rose in posts and presence on the forum after the announcement, and was made moderator later the same year after having partaken in practically every single topic on Diablo III since the announcement. In a short time he was also made admin, a decision not supported by the entire forum.
When summer ended after the big announcement of Diablo 3, Diablofans was secretly acquired by Curse.com. I say secretly because no one knew anything about it. mockery hadn't told anyone, but suspicions grew that something had happened when new admins started popping up and links to curse began appearing on the site.
At about the same time, Medievaldragon, who had done extensive reporting for diablo3.com and always kept us up to date on all the news and hints, left us. He was offered a job position at Incgamers. Medievaldragon, who runs www.blizzplanet.com, had previously had his site hosted by Umaro, and was as such a sister site of diablo3.com. Working there was a conflict of interests, and Medievaldragon had to give up his position here sadly.
In the later months of 2008, there was talk of starting a wiki for Diablofans. I myself argued for it for a long time, however it was Atrumentis who started it all up. He was at the time an active contributor to diablo.wikia.com, and brought up the discussions we had had at Diablofans to the other sysops there. The whole deal hit a snag though, as neither part wanted to lose their hosting rights. mockery wanted the wiki to be hosted by diablofans, and wikia naturally had nothing to gain by giving up their wiki hosting. The result was in essence that any sysop at diablo wikia was welcome to come and work here, and we were to copy some basic articles over to our wiki to get ourselves started.
With the beginning of the new year, the new wiki was unveiled and work begun. In a very short amount of time, the number of articles grew almost exponentially, and four months later we already had a thousand articles. The whole deal was however not very solid. Most of the articles were completely copied from Diablo Wikia, something no one would benefit from. The result was that we only got a wiki of sub-par quality, with lots of holes missing, while at the same time not appearing very professional. The page importation stopped shortly thereafter, when Blackwing, former sysop, was banned due to several reasons. He had been responsible for most, if not all, of the page imports, and after that, the growth of the wiki slowed down considerably.
In march this year, a new wave of mods were recruited; LinkX, Murderface and Seth (at the time known as Magistrate) were recruited. To this date, no new moderators have been appointed after that. Their recruitment was, as oppsed to earlier, not in response to any massive outbreaks of forum problems or similar, marking it as the smoothest recruitment to date.
The forum once again trudged along smoothly for a few months, until late summer again, when lots of changes took place. And fast. Curse had over the last few weeks increased their presence on the forums, and just before Blizzcon 2009 a new site design was launched, removing the last remnants of the old skin from diablo3.com which has still to that day still been useable (it was known as SpeedVision, a skin used by a select few dedicated users, most notably LinkX).
New site admins appeared; in addition to DoranM, Rapture came to work with the site from Curse as well. He and Tyveris were the ones responsible for the site redesign, and an interview with Jay Wilson was supposed to followed soon thereafter. However it has yet to be posted, as mockery was the one in possession of it.
Recently after, mockery was removed as the site's main administrator. With him, the original ownership of the site was gone; Umaro, previous co-owner, had disappeared earlier in 2008. At the same time as this, many other disappearances affected Diablofans.
Daemaro, who had contemplated stepping down for a few months finally did so and was demoted to moderator status.
Jetrall, long admin of the site, relinquished his position completely and left Dfans for the time.
Seth, arguably the most iconic Staff member at this time, also gave up his position at this time. Not before he was immortalized with his own hammy smiley however:
Zoltrix, who had previously been the admin of starcraft2.com (before it shut down) stepped down on the same day as Seth and Daemaro.
Finally, the admin list was extended with Sixen, replacement for mockery, and that is where we stand today.
It's been a long and winding road for our site, and I think we'll continue to shift and change as the years go on. It's weird when I think about this site; I have spend so much time on these forums and on the wiki; much more time than I've ever played Diablo II or any other game for that matter. And this site has undoubtedly fostered an interest in Diablo that I know I didn't possess before joining, and has become a part of my own history.
Some time in the future I will certainly reminisce about my time here on Diablofans. Let's just hope that time hasn't come yet, for any of us