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Diablo 20th Anniversary Video Retrospective

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Blizzard staff talk about the franchise, how it started Battle.net, what the chat gem really does, and much more.

 

Today is Diablo 1's 20th anniversary and to add to the various events that will be going on throughout all Blizzard franchises during January, we also got a video retrospective of the franchise! Everyone at Blizzard who contributed to the series in one way or another took some time to talk about their experiences and the history of the ultimate ARPG and we get to find out a lot of things you may or may not have known, such as the original game was initially planned as a turn-based claymation RPG at a time where that genre was considered dead, what the mystery of the chat gem really is, how Diablo created Battle.net and much more.

 

So, what are some of your favorite moments in the Diablo world? The first tie you met the Butcher, the first unique piece of loot that dropped (hello Arkaine's Valor!), or just slyaing that big red dude at the end?

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This game made me scared as fuck when I was a kid (roughly 12). The first Diablo game was intense because you felt there was something lurking on every corner; the soundtrack and sound effects captured this feeling perfectly. And the retro graphics made this game even more scary because everything feels so rustic yet impactful. Games like Diablo and Flashback had this weird vibe that made you feel very uncomfortable while playing. It was a combination of pixelated gore, choppy yet somehow fluid animations and a low-qualitu midi-esque music that gave the 90's games that morbid energy the current generation of will never be able to capture with their fancy graphics and orchestral music.

As with most people, the most memorable moment of Diablo 1 was meeting The Butcher. Opening that tiny wooden door and hearing that demonic voice saying "Ah... Fresh meat!" followed by seeing a bloody room filled with impaled corpses still sends chills down my spine. I knew shit was going to be tough the moment I spoke with the Dying Townperson that gives you The Butcher quest. The Butcher marks the "Optional Super Boss" moment of video games. In old games (specially in the arcade era) you'd often find yourself in a disadvantage in boss fights because they were supposed to be cheap so the game would last longer (a smartass and despicable strategy) and you couldn't skip them. But since The Butcher fight was optional, and the fact that in Diablo you could grow stronger and obtain better gear, it was satisfying for those who couldn't handle The Butcher the very first time to grind a bit in later levels and return to kick his ass.

Edited by Valhalen
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5 hours ago, Valhalen said:

This game made me scared as fuck when I was a kid (roughly 12).

Music was the big one for me. Even now, I think music can have so much more of an impact than any kind of visual effect. There's nothing like it!

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10 hours ago, Valhalen said:

This game made me scared as fuck when I was a kid (roughly 12).

I was an adult - by age, roughly speaking, since I've never been much of an adult in most other ways (I Write and Draw Comic Books, so being a Kid is kind-of a Prerequisite)... and I remember my Wife and I playing D1 and when we would go after the Big D, both of us would actually get nervous as we died a lot.  I don't do that in D3 at all.  I wonder why?

Edited by albabe
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4 hours ago, Blainie said:

Music was the big one for me. Even now, I think music can have so much more of an impact than any kind of visual effect. There's nothing like it!

Agreed.  Music is very important in setting atmosphere.  Diablo did a great job of having creepy music with the cries of the damned and other various horrifying sound effects.   The story setting and over all feeling made me as a kid not want to play when I was alone or at night. 

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3 hours ago, albabe said:

I was an adult - by age, roughly speaking, since I've never been much of an adult in most other ways (I Write and Draw Comic Books, so being a Kid is kind-of a Prerequisite)... and I remember my Wife and I playing D1 and when we would go after the Big D, both of us would actually get nervous as we died a lot.  I don't do that in D3 at all.  I wonder why?

I assume you're being sarcastic regarding D3, haha. But yeah, one of the big problems with D3 (and even D2, in a way) is the lack of atmosphere of dread and fear that D1 made us all feel. He IS the Lord of Fear, after all, and that is what D1 was all about: fear and uncertainty (since even quests were random). I pray that the next game in the franchise manages to re-capture everything that made Diablo scary, even if it means downgrading the graphics to bring back that nostalgic vibe of the 90's.

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17 hours ago, Darkjester79 said:

Agreed.  Music is very important in setting atmosphere.  Diablo did a great job of having creepy music with the cries of the damned and other various horrifying sound effects.   The story setting and over all feeling made me as a kid not want to play when I was alone or at night. 

It also ties in so perfectly with that idea of "things that go bump in the night". That amazing feeling of not knowing where the sound is coming from is just awesome. Left4Dead did this perfectly whenever you could hear a witch crying somewhere.

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14 hours ago, Valhalen said:

But yeah, one of the big problems with D3 (and even D2, in a way) is the lack of atmosphere of dread and fear that D1 made us all feel. 

I feel like Diablo 3 focused too much on the heroes, if that makes sense. If you listen to the music of the ROS cinematic, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb7QJwQ58T0), it's too "epic". The focus is so heavily placed on Tyrael saving the few, rather than Malthael killing many. This was a big swap I think.

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1 hour ago, Blainie said:

I feel like Diablo 3 focused too much on the heroes, if that makes sense. If you listen to the music of the ROS cinematic, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb7QJwQ58T0), it's too "epic". The focus is so heavily placed on Tyrael saving the few, rather than Malthael killing many. This was a big swap I think.

Indeed you are right. D3's entire narrative is the classic "Chosen One" bullshit with "Nephalem dis, Nephalem dat". It is so obvious but I never really realized it.

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19 hours ago, Valhalen said:

I assume you're being sarcastic regarding D3, haha

Not sure what you mean... but I have a tendency to be a bit dense sometimes.

 

I dig the raccoon Avatar.  I worked on the Rocket Raccoon Miniseries Comic way back in the Jurassic.

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15 hours ago, albabe said:

Not sure what you mean... but I have a tendency to be a bit dense sometimes.

 

I dig the raccoon Avatar.  I worked on the Rocket Raccoon Miniseries Comic way back in the Jurassic.

I mean that D3 doesn't give you the same feelings as D1.

Thanks for the compliment! Rocket is probably my favorite Marvel character, even before the Guardians movie. Which miniseries you worked on?

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13 hours ago, Valhalen said:

Thanks for the compliment! Rocket is probably my favorite Marvel character, even before the Guardians movie. Which miniseries you worked on?

The very first.  With Big Bill Mantlo and Molten Mike Mignola.  (Sorry... slipped into my Stan Impersonation there).

Edited by albabe

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I got a question for you folks:  I read through the "Diablo Anniversary Event Complete Guide," and maybe I missed it, but I still have some questions:

 

http://www.icy-veins.com/d3/diablo-anniversary-event-complete-guide

Does all the little nooks and crannies of this Event need to be done in a specific Order to get all the Pets and Goodies?

And, does it all need to be done all in one fell swoop?  Can a person do it over the course of a couple of Sittings or Days?

(Sorry... I'm a little ADHD and Specifics need to be, um, specific for me to get a good glean of stuff).

Thanx!

 

 

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13 hours ago, Valhalen said:

I mean that D3 doesn't give you the same feelings as D1.

My Wife still jokes about how nervous she would get trying to kill the Big D!

Edited by albabe
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15 hours ago, albabe said:

And, does it all need to be done all in one fell swoop?  Can a person do it over the course of a couple of Sittings or Days?

You can do each part in separate settings as long as you restart the instance. You can't stop half-way through one and continue it another time.

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I came here to get something like this question answered. Let me be more verbose.

I made a new character, and took the qeust to go to the old ruins. When I couldn't find the portal, I realized I was in campaign mode. *sigh* I deleted that character, made a new one, made sure I was in adventure mode, and went right to the portal.

a) should I have tried to farm the cultists first? That would have put me up levels when I started the labyrinth...

I fell asleep around the Unholy Altar, or so, (not quite faceplant on the keyboard...) and, of course, was disconnected when I woke up. I hadn't found your guide yet, and now I'm kicking myself that I was ALMOST DONE *sigh*. I obviously had a new game when I restarted, and went back to the labyrinth (with a short detour for Wirt's Leg) and am now level 28 on Labyrinth level 9.

b) Will this still count for the 'eerie red glow' achievement?

Any other potential 'gotchas' that I need to be aware of?

Thanks!

-Barleduq

Edited by Barleduq
Clarification

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Thank you! 

I looked there for any reference to the next achievement, "I Sense a Soul in Search of Answers", but found nothing when searching for that string. I'm assuming it needs to be done on adventure mode also? I'll be trying it, but hoping for a reply so I don't waste too much time. :D  

I have one clarification that someone who is regularly on that site might wish to include: I did disconnect from the game, and went back in (the next day) with the same character. I did get the achievement for finishing it. At this point, all I have left are the two portrait frames. In 1 full, and 1 partial run, I got 13 unique monsters. 

ETA: I just had page 6 of the cultists notes drop in the Fields of Misery; page 4 in the Caverns of Araneae; which is not listed in your guide.

 

Edited by Barleduq
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