Saturday, November 10, 2007

Diablo II

So I've been avoiding Blizzard for a while but I can ignore them no longer, and I think I'll start with Diablo II.

Diablo II was, to be honest, my first real PC gaming experience. Nowadays its a fairly cheap game, about $20 for the main game and another $20 if you want the expansion too. Its a 3D, angled top view down dungeon crawler RPG. Wow, that's a lot to swallow. Anyway, basically you pick a class like many other RPGs. You start out at lvl 1 with very basic weapons and armor. From there you run around and kill things such as goblins, orcs, bears, harpies, zombies, bats, and other assorted evil things you'd expect. The game plays very easily too. You point and click where you would like your character to move. Also, the right and left mouse buttons are each assigned a specific spell or attack and using said attack is as easy as pointing and clicking on the enemy you want to use it on on the screen.

The real kicker about this game is the ability to play online with others. This only play along with trade amounted to a massive economy. However, items can freely become traded between people after they have been used, which after a while made too many items too widely available and ruined this system of trade. Today most people place value in runes and certain sets which are on the rare side. These runes (along with jewels) can be used on items that have sockets to give them added attributes. In addition certain combinations of runes can make "runewords" which add even more attributes than just those runes alone.

Online play also brought about the popularity of powerleveling or "rushing." This is accomplished by having a player of much higher level defeat key bosses for you which "rushes" you through the storyline. (There are 3 levels of difficulty Normal, Nightmare, and Hell.) Once you've gained access to the final areas of the storyline, you team up with as many other players and run through the final minibosses before the final boss, Baal. These minibosses along with the extra people give you crazy amounts of experience and allow you to powerlevel your way through the game. Since there are 3 difficulty levels, people most often will do this untill it becomes inefficient in one difficulty, then rush through the next untill they reach the high 80s and 90s. The level cap in the game is 99. Also you have to have the expansion to be able to experience this form of rushing, along with the final area and many new items.

Another fun thing to do once you've become good at the game is try the level on its hard mode. In this mode your character becomes a little more... life like... Basically if you die even once, all of your items and progress is lost. You only have one life. Pretty hard core if you ask me.

Despite all the corruption and cheap tricks in the game, the storyline is fairly well done and the game is rewarding, especially if you play through the game at least once legitimately before you stoop to buying items online and powerleveling. I also highly encourage you play it with friends. People you can trust and who treat you with respect make the game a lot more fun.

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