So a close, dear friend of mine gifted me a copy of Diablo 3 yesterday as a belated birthday present. I’m not sure if I should thank her or not. I mean, let’s break this down here, shall we? The woman just spent $60 on me and I got to keep my pants on, but for fuck’s sake, it’s Diablo 3. I’m afraid I may never wash myself ever again; the only exercise I’m going to get for the foreseeable future is probably going to result in repetitive stress syndrome to the fingers I use to left-click and right-click.
Now I know what a lot are you are doing right now; you’re rolling your eyes, thinking I’ve just polished off a big old glass of the Blizzard Kool-Aid, but let’s be honest here: I’ve never hidden my nostalgic love of the original Diablo, as I’ve recounted when I talked about my experiences in the recent free beta weekend. Not only that, but I liked the first one better than Diablo 2, which is usually enough to get you lynched in some gaming circles, so I’m not afraid to take an unpopular stance.
My impressions from the open beta last month played out the same way I remembered them when I initially logged into the game last night. And yes, I do mean ‘logged in,’ as that always-on DRM bullshit was in full effect, but I did get to play a couple of hours with an old friend of min from high school (actually, we’ve known each other since the first grade, but that’s another story). While we were interrupted due to the server getting zerged by 2 million hopeful Diablo 3 players (gee, wouldn’t it have been nice to be able to play the game offline in a situation like that? Yeah, fuck you too, Blizzard), we were reminded of one night over a decade ago when we were playing Diablo 1 multiplayer.
We were both unfamiliar with the game at that point, as it had just come out a few weeks ago, but we were soldiering on through the first part of the game, exploring and fighting our way deeper into the cathedral. I was walking ahead of him down a darkened corridor strewn with the bones of skeletons when we came to a closed door. Being the intrepid sort, I walked up to the door and opened it, revealing what awaited us on the other side.
The room was teeming with skeletons. They were packed in like the room was a sardine ossuary, bony cheek to nonexistent jowl, which would have been enough to give us pause, if it hadn’t been for the massive 10-foot tall skeleton king in full armor standing at the head of the horde. I slammed the door shut and began backing away, typing furiously over the game chat:
Beowulf: oh fuck oh fuck don't go in there keep the door shut
My friend typed back, just as quickly:
KalfKin: think they saw us? Beowulf: i don't see how - they didn't have any eyes
It was at this point that we learned that skeletons can open doors. It wasn’t pretty.