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SymLinked

Diablo II - Quick survey, if you don't mind.

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Alot of people liked Diablo II. Are you one of those, and would you mind answering some simple questions? 1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it? 1.1 - If so, which genre would you prefer? 2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you? 3. - Anything that you really liked? 4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net? 4.1. - If not, did you play multiplayer at all? Please describe why. Thanks!

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1: No, I don't think so.

2: Not being able to modify the user interface enough.

3: Most of the gameplay is great. The treasureclass drop system works quite well. The best time I've had playing D2 has been during various lans, where the main reason is that it is easy to get going fast, it is fun working together and you can always just magic find when other people sleep etc. There is a whole lot more that makes the game great, but I cannot really think of anything worth mentioning now. I might edit later.

4: Not that much. But I am sure that I would have liked it.


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Original post by SymLinked
1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it?

Sure, why not?

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1.1 - If so, which genre would you prefer?

Whatever best fits the gameplay. In this case, dark fantasy best fit the gameplay [grin] But if I had to choose another setting to stick that same gameplay style into, I'd say alien insects [lol]

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2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you?

The fact that I have to make decisions at the beginning of the game that will affect the usefulness of my character late in the game. In other words, I don't like that I put points into a skill that may not be useful, and I never have the chance to redistribute those points later when I'm more experienced.

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3. - Anything that you really liked?

Cooperative multiplayer.

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4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net?

Nope.

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4.1. - If not, did you play multiplayer at all? Please describe why.

Yes, I still regularly play it with my wife. It's so hard to find a good cooperative multiplayer game, and Diablo II is still one of the (if not the) best.

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1: Quite likely, yeah!
1.1: Sci-Fi, "modern/realistic" is often synonymous with "boring" (in my personal opinion)
2: That it had an end ;-) (but good short content is still much better than the same content stretched over longer time. I want MORE content.)
Oh, and I don't like the concept of "classes".
And there were too many useless items. I'd rather have a system that spawned the same amount of ok+ items, but no useless ones.
And the poor "crafting" (socketing + morphing) system.
3: It was hack and slash. Skills felt distinctive. Nice item system. Imbuing and personalization felt like great bonuses. Although the story is weak in my opinion, they managed to build a believable atmosphere... The beautifully rendered cutscenes were great too.
4: I played a bit on battle.net with some friends, but it's far more fun to play at lans.

If I could wish for any game to come out tomorrow, it'd be Diablo III (preferably non-mmorpg).

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1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it?


Probably not.

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2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you?


Classes after v1.11 were unbalanced although the general difficulty really hit the spot in that version. Earlier even Hell was way too easy.

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3. - Anything that you really liked?


Background story itself was good even though it was quite short. And after nth character it lost it's meaning.

Partying was rewarding, game mechanics was quite balanced and general playing experience was good (actually it still is, I'm playing occasionally).

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4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net?


I play(ed) only in closed bnet.

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1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it?
Ultimately it's the gameplay that makes a game, not the setting. That being said, I don't think that Diablo II's gameplay lends itself well to sci-fi - I tend to find myself wondering why sci-fi games include any melee combat at all (disregard the fact that the game I'm working on is sci-fi with melee!). Possibly a "modern fantasy" setting would have worked, though.

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1.1 - If so, which genre would you prefer?
Whichever works best with the gameplay.

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2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you?
The game balance is geared towards multiplayer, where you can trade items that are useless to you for items that are useful to you. A singleplayer/LAN game will never find certain items without cheating or dedicating years of nonstop play to finding them.

The first half of Act III is an abomination and should never have been created; it took everything that was good about the game and ignored it. Certain enemies were also poorly balanced - c.f. Stygian Dolls who, on death, explode, or the lightning wraiths. The enemies concepts were fine, but they were disproportionately dangerous.

The game did a poor job of indicating which skills were useful and which not (mind you, ideally all skills are useful). Unless you consulted a guide, your first character in any given class was going to be significantly suboptimal as you had to waste skillpoints finding out which skills were worth investing in.

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3. - Anything that you really liked?
Simple gameplay, randomly-generated maps, frequent rewards, and some really rather clever mods.

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4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net?
Yes, some. But mostly I played singleplayer, and playing singleplayer on Battle.net is just silly.

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4.1. - If not, did you play multiplayer at all? Please describe why.
Multiplayer can definitely be fun; don't get me wrong. But coordinating a group of people you know who are of similar levels so you can play together was a lot of work, and there were a lot of people out there that I did not want to play with, so random team-ups were out of the question.

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mmm survey.

Quote:
Original post by SymLinked
Alot of people liked Diablo II. Are you one of those, and would you mind answering some simple questions?


Sure, it was fun if a highly derivative sequel to a highly derivative game.

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1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it?


Possibly. While I enjoy roguelikes, I might not buy a non-fantasy one for certain psychological reasons.

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1.1 - If so, which genre would you prefer?


SciFi would be good. Some alternative fantasy or piratey milieu might work better.

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2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you?


Not off hand. Strike that... IIRC there was problems with it on one of my newer machines. Still, not a game design problem.

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3. - Anything that you really liked?


The pacing and artistry were exceptional. The pigmies were great, balance good, stability good. Secret cow level? Godlike.

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4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net?


No.

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4.1. - If not, did you play multiplayer at all? Please describe why.


No, why would I want to ruin good recreation by introducing slavering preteens into it?

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1. No.

2. The rather bulky bottom-bar in any kind of "full" UI mode. I've got a widescreen monitor, why can't I put the cursed thing on the side if I want to? And I want more than a rotate; I want the side placement designed properly to account for the new positioning.

3. The item generation system was very refined, and discovery of items was enjoyable. However, I've always felt there should be no cursed items, and no "identify" spell; a player should be able to tell if an item is magical or not, and then have the stats slowly fuzzily fill themselves in, as the character "discovers" them, with use.

For instance; you pick up a sword which hums softly. You swing it at a creature, and see a bolt of electricity jump between the blade and the creature, so you know lightning damage is done. After about 20, 30 connecting swings you know how much damage it does total... and after hitting some lightning-resistant enemies a few times you know how much damage it does with lightning and how much through mundane means. Right off you notice that it increases your swing speed, and over time, you hone in on estimating the gain to be 10%.

Players with levels in magical skills will be able to tell just from looking the nature of some of the effects, and will learn and notice the details and the rest of the effects faster than someone inexperienced with magic. Characters in a party will all contribute to everyone's "identification experience", as it is in everyone's best interest to know everything they can about their compatriots, including the nature of their weapons. Four fighters in a group will each gain two or three times as much experience about their own weapons than a lone fighter will.


4. No, never played Battle.NET at all.

4.1. Only played LAN, because I only liked playing in the same room, or at worst same house, as the other players. Makes communication easier and is much more friendly. Come to think of it, that is the only way I play any multiplayer co-op game; in person. Maybe reliable VOIP will change that, next time I discover a good multiplayer co-op game.

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Original post by SymLinked
Alot of people liked Diablo II. Are you one of those, and would you mind answering some simple questions?

I liked Diablo II; it probably isn't in my top echelon of games, but it's certainly better than average.

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1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it?

1.1 - If so, which genre would you prefer?

I mainly played Diablo II because it was from Blizzard who have a reputation for solid, well-made games. I would play an alternative genre version if it seemed exceptional, such as if it were sci-fi. The exception would be if it were in a modern setting, because it does not suit the gameplay style at all.

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2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you?

There were three large flaws that hampered my enjoyment of Diablo II.

First there was the problem of having to permanently choose skills which vastly affected your style of play. It was too easy to accidently build a character type that would become completely ineffective at later stages of the game (example: a skeleton using necromancer will romp through the first few acts, but have immense difficulty in Hell). It also meant your first act when starting a new game was to completely plan out your character skill tree, which can be a bit of a dampener if you just want to play.

Secondly a combination of factors meant that the psychological reward structure weakened significantly around the middle of the game on first play through. With a fresh new character you're getting lots of rewards; levelling up quickly, gaining new skills and finding better weaponry and armour. By about Act III the levelling has died right back, the new skills are only trickling in and you've got a solid set of gear that's hard to beat. I think the socketing system was the spoiler in this; once you have something with three or more perfect gems installed it's very hard to find anything better than that item until much, much later.

Thirdly, the main combat gameplay is highly repetitive. Due to the skill system your character usually has two, maybe three best strategies to use to defeat enemies. This gets old quite fast. This wouldn't be such a problem if the psychological reward system of collecting new loot and gaining levels and abilities was strong, but as I mentioned above it dies off half-way through the game right when the repetitive nature of the game hits its high point in that slog through that jungle.
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3. - Anything that you really liked?

The music is stellar; I think it's the main reason I still occasionally play the game. I love the general sense of style about the game too, it's top notch as with all Blizzard games.

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4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net?

Nope. My internet connection has always been pretty poor.

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4.1. - If not, did you play multiplayer at all? Please describe why.

I did play once or twice with my brother ages ago, but the game tended to die off before we got very far.

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Original post by SymLinked
1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it?


Yes, if it had been designed to fit the setting. For example, a sci-fi setting would dictate an almost-exclusive use of firearms and explosives, with rare exceptions such as the melee weapons of Warhammer 40K. (Wouldn't that setting make a fantastic Diablo clone?) That said, I think a game like Alien Shooter would make an excellent clone if it had (a) campaign multiplayer, (b) a wide variety of items, and (c) an economy suited for trade. I'm interested in seeing how Hellgate: London pans out.

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1.1 - If so, which genre would you prefer?


I have no preference. If the gameplay is good, any setting will do. It's true that I'm partial to both fantasy and sci-fi, but I think a modern or even historic shoot-em-up could be hilarious.

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2. - Is there anything special that you can recall on top of your head that bothered you?


Like everyone else, I agree that unforgiving skill point placement was the game's biggest drawback, and every single one of my friends who's played the game agrees. Having the option to redistribute points should have been obvious from the start. Thank goodness for character editors.

Aside from that, the only thing that bothered me was the complete randomization of items. Throughout the game, you were far more likely to accumulate items that either could not be used by or provided no benefit to your character, and it was impossible to deliberately craft any decent equipment. The game really was designed from the ground up for online trading, which annoys me since single-player and open multiplayer were clearly supposed to be a major parts of the experience. The last two patches even added items that could only be acquired in ladder games, which I think is lame.

Finally, merging gems and potions in the Horadric cube was downright annoying. There should have been a shortcut button to consolidate all gems/lesser potions in your inventory, instead of having to manually drag each and every one.

Oh, and swarms of flies dropping full plate armor is just plain stupid.

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3. - Anything that you really liked?


The presentation was top-notch, even with palettized graphics. The menus and panels were very accessible and very well designed. I also liked the fact that saving was automatic. It really changed the nature of play.

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4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net?


No. I tried closed BNET at the very beginning and gave up quickly because I just don't like dealing with random idiots online — hence one of the reasons why I don't play any online games at all, save the uncommon match of UT2004. (The other reason is because MMORPG's literally bore me to tears.) Thereafter, I only played SP or open MP with my friends.

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4.1. - If not, did you play multiplayer at all? Please describe why.


See above. We played plenty of open SP, both online and via LAN. Having the option was very nice. I wish Two Worlds were the same way. What a waste of a game.

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1. Yes! If it was the same game, only a different theme, then yes definitely. I like both Warcraft and Starcraft, so sci-fi Diablo would have worked as well.

1.1. I actually prefer sci-fi/dark future over fantasy.

2. Yes, a few things. It's annoying that stats and skills can't be rerolled, which means that if you mess something up you have to restart your character. Also, all bugs involved when playing on Battle.net has been annoying, like player killing, disconnects, duped items, etc.

3. Everything else!

4. Yes, for many years.

4.1. -

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Alot of people liked Diablo II. Are you one of those, and would you mind answering some simple questions?

1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it? Maybe. It would have needed to draw me into it.

1.1 - If so, which genre would you prefer? I like modern themed fantasy eg: Buffy / Angel.. but modern on it's own, isn't a genre, it's a setting.

2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you? Not Diablo specific, but I hate point and click control in these types of games. I much prefer using the controller. If I want to walk, I push the analog stick, if I want to run, I push it further. Than I have all my other buttons that are mapped to specific actions, instead of having to drag the mouse to the bottom of the screen to choose a new spell. [roll] I hate that 'click on a spot ten feet in front of you to run there at full speed and come to a sudden stop' control scheme. I'm not playing as the robot from the Jetsons!

3. - Anything that you really liked? It's very fun and accessible. It doesn't subscribe to all these inane theories I see posted here about how to punish players severely for messing up.

4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net? It's the best way to play. All the best item drops and boss spawns are on Battle.net. The single player just isn't the same. Nothing beats running around the Cow stage with a few other players.

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Alot of people liked Diablo II. Are you one of those, and would you mind answering some simple questions?

1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it?

A. - Sure. Diablo 2 has a great story. Although the gameplay could have been worked better, it was and still is a great game.

1.1 - If so, which genre would you prefer?

A. - Sci-Fi, absolutely. Actually, for the Blizzard fans out there, all three franchises (StarCraft, WarCraft, and Diablo are supposed to be based on the same general story idea and supposedly those games are more close-knit than fans even realize.

2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you?

A. - The fact that each class had it's own skill/spell structure. It was one major minus for me compared to the original. Also, the lack of dialog compared to the first one as well.

3. - Anything that you really liked?

A. - Waypoints, Running (if you played the original, you know what I'm talking about), the cube and transmuting, the skill/spell system (it was a double-edged sword).

4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net?

A. - Yes, many level 99 characters. The friends list was potentially one of the best things that they have on battle.net.

4.1. - If not, did you play multiplayer at all? Please describe why.

A. - I played LAN, closed, open, and single player. I have to say that, without the cheating and hacks that people get, it is a great game. People tend to ruin games like Diablo.

Thanks!

Side note - Vampyre_Dark, if you played the original on PS (1997), you would like the controller scheme (I believe). You did lose a few things, but even the multiplayer design to the game was well thought out. It is a rather hard game to find, and when I bought my replacement copy of it, it cost me 30 for a mint/used copy. Just thought that you might like that information.

Side note 2 - Personally, if you are looking at creating something along the lines of Diablo 2, you might want to look at dialog. Make it more RPG rather than Point and Click/Hack and Slash. That was my only problem with the Diablo games. But than again, you never did say anything, you just listened. Plus they have Cain. The best in-game storyteller!

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Thanks everyone. If anyone else has anything further to add, please do!

I find it interesting to see that most people agree that the skill system was too permanent once you used it.

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Original post by Akira52803
Side note 2 - Personally, if you are looking at creating something along the lines of Diablo 2, you might want to look at dialog. Make it more RPG rather than Point and Click/Hack and Slash. That was my only problem with the Diablo games. But than again, you never did say anything, you just listened. Plus they have Cain. The best in-game storyteller!


Bringing in more dialog than the little we already have would mean more voice-overs, something we can't afford right now. I'll keep it in mind though and thanks again for your suggestion!

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1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it?

- Probably not, I really liked the environments, mostly on Act1. Also I favor the dark fantasy setting.

2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you?

- Act 3, I hated that little dudes.

3. - Anything that you really liked?

- Cube, variety of items, multiplayer

4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net?

- No.

4.1. - If not, did you play multiplayer at all? Please describe why.

- I played with my girlfriend a lot, and sometimes with other friends. After seeing this post, we'll probably play again if I can get her out of WoW.

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1. No

2. not enough storage space for items in the stash.

3. special sets (green, yellow.. etc), and my druid "getafix"

4. No

4.1. Yes lan. to swap out items between characters so i could get sets and gems

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Original post by Akira52803
Side note - Vampyre_Dark, if you played the original on PS (1997), you would like the controller scheme (I believe). You did lose a few things, but even the multiplayer design to the game was well thought out. It is a rather hard game to find, and when I bought my replacement copy of it, it cost me 30 for a mint/used copy. Just thought that you might like that information.
I have Dark Alliance on PS2 for that. Pretty much a Diablo 2 knockoff, but a very enjoyable one. They made a ton of games with that engine. I hate the point/click/path-find setup for player movement. All the players have such unnatural movements. Instead of just naturally walking to places, they are constantly running in short bursts, stopping, and running again in different direction lol. More of a design issue than a keyboard / mouse vs controller thing.

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Yes, great game, but far from perfect.

1. Sure, I actually prefer futuristic sci-fi games. Just wish there were more sci-fi RPGs (Fallout rocks)

1.1 Well, as I said.

2. Hehe, lots. Item hunting sucked (ex: kill a bird and get a sword when your barbarian specializes in axes... Does anyone know what species of bird carries swords?) No ability to customize your character to a certain situation because you can only store very limited equipment. Booooring-ass NPC's and not enough in-town interactivity. The game is interesting as hell because you constantly have upgrades and things you find along the way until Act III which drags on and on (in act III you only do one thing, level).

3. Character building was a huge draw for me. I've played all the classes and you have a lot of options how you build 'em up. I think customizability or player creation in any game should be mandatory. I don't want to lose a battle because the supplied configuration failed, I want to lose/win because of MY configuration. The game also supplied a constant stream of things-to-do. It was hard to leave the game because you were either nearing a level where you could get more spells or were going to attain something new (equipment, gems, Deckard Cain). Transmuting. Pretty graphics. Great sounds/music. Variety. =)

4. Nope.

4.1 My girlfriend isn't a gamer at all but we play this game across my network to this day. It's accessible enough for her, a casual gamer, and complex enough for me.

You're welcome. ;-)

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Original post by SymLinked
Alot of people liked Diablo II. Are you one of those, and would you mind answering some simple questions?

1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it?

Yes, absolutely.

Quote:
Original post by SymLinked
1.1 - If so, which genre would you prefer?

Excluding fantasy? hummm... hard question. The strangest the better. A dream world, some kind of strange sci-fy, cavemen, ... If I didn't think of it I'll probably like it.

Quote:
Original post by SymLinked
2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you?

No. Any effort to correct something from DiabloII will probably create something that bothers me.
- Adding good things (sacred, titan quest) = good.
- Trying to outsmart diabloII = bad.

Starcraft, Civilization, GalCiv, Pirates!; there are games so well done you can barely touch without making them worse.

Quote:
Original post by SymLinked
3. - Anything that you really liked?

Playing it. Seriously, I can play any action rpg for a long time unless it's real crap. If it's good, I can play for months or years.

Quote:
Original post by SymLinked
4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net?

No. I like to have the people I play cooperative games with in the same building. Net playing is for stranger pwning in fps, strategy, etc...

Quote:
Original post by SymLinked
4.1. - If not, did you play multiplayer at all? Please describe why.

Yes. Ease of implementing smooth cooperation mechanisms is one of the reasons I love action rpgs.

Quote:
Original post by SymLinked
Thanks!

You're welcome.

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Original post by SymLinked
1. - If Diablo II had been a different genre (design) like Sci-Fi or modern, would you still have played it?

It seems impossible to say. If Diablo II had used a different genre, it would have been a different game. If it didn't suck, I'd have played it.
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1.1 - If so, which genre would you prefer?

Any genre which didn't make the game suck.
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2. - Is there anything special that you can recall ontop of your head that bothered you?

Walking a really long way with nothing to do. That was really annoying.
Quote:

3. - Anything that you really liked?

Blowing stuff up?
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4. - Did you play Closed Battle.net?

No.
Quote:

4.1. - If not, did you play multiplayer at all? Please describe why.

No. It never occurred to me.

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(offtopic)
I really don't understand people who doesn't play in bnet. Diablo2 is sooooo boring by soloing, story repeats itself very quickly and there's so few char builds which can solo Hell's Baal.
(/offtopic)

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If you were in charge, would you change the way your character moves? The way the player moves in "Hellgate London" reminds me of "Tomb Raider" or "Max Payne", where you strafe with the keyboard and rotate with the mouse and the camera stays ontop and a bit behind the character. Would you prefer this, or the regular click and play found in Diablo 1 and 2?

Please also name any other favourite games of yours, should you decide to answer the first question.

Thanks guys, you are tons helpful.

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Original post by SymLinked
If you were in charge, would you change the way your character moves? The way the player moves in "Hellgate London" reminds me of "Tomb Raider" or "Max Payne", where you strafe with the keyboard and rotate with the mouse and the camera stays ontop and a bit behind the character. Would you prefer this, or the regular click and play found in Diablo 1 and 2?

Yes. (Neverwinter Nights, for example, allows for both styles.)
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Please also name any other favourite games of yours, should you decide to answer the first question.

Of the shooty-bashy genre:

* Halo 2
* Half-life 2
* Gears of War
* Neverwinter Nights
* Quake 4
* FarCry
* Deus Ex

In general, a game impresses me if there are multiple ways to beat the challenges it presents. Also, a high degree of customisability helps to keep my interest for a long time. The fact that Neverwinter Nights comes with the editor used to create the main campaign is part of the reason it's still on my hard drive. A Diablo-esque game which let me create armor, weapons, dungeon layouts, monsters, and easily share them with my friends would definitely attract my money.

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Original post by SymLinked
If you were in charge, would you change the way your character moves? The way the player moves in "Hellgate London" reminds me of "Tomb Raider" or "Max Payne", where you strafe with the keyboard and rotate with the mouse and the camera stays ontop and a bit behind the character. Would you prefer this, or the regular click and play found in Diablo 1 and 2?

Please also name any other favourite games of yours, should you decide to answer the first question.

Thanks guys, you are tons helpful.

I've never been into 3rd-person 3D. I think the view/control should depend on the game itself. With an overhead view like Diablo, the mouse is fine. Once you start increasing the action, keyboard controls become handy (such as an overhead shooter).

Some of my all-time favorites would be:
- Elite
- Mechwarrior 2
- Warcraft II
- X-Wing/Tie-Fighter
- Grim Fandango
- Wizard's Crown
- Super Mario Brothers 3
- Metroid
- Doom (not much by today's standards but it was ground-reaking for 1993)
- Half-life
- Quake II

Btw, back to your original question... Another thing I remember that I really liked about DII is that it was mathematical and certain abilities/items could be synergistically combined.

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1 - Maybe, but the fantasy genre is by far my favorite.
1.1 - Modern.
2 - Hacked items/cheats/bots in closed b.net. Blizzard's lack of enforcement in banning CD-Keys by cheaters. Dated graphics at the release.. (800x600 was hi-res?)
3 - Gameplay, co-op multiplayer, lot of loot.
4 - Yes, exclusively.

..and I'd buy a Diablo III immediately upon release. If it had Guild Wars' graphics and Diablo 2 gameplay, with much more content/crafting/loot, it'd be a killer.

I'm stuck playing WoW & Guild Wars until then.. and as long as Blizzard is making a killing with WoW, they won't ruin their investment by releasing a Diablo 3. Unfortunately for us.

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