20 Years of Diablo: What Keeps the Fans Hooked?


In the light of the 20th anniversary of Diablo, I wanted to give the game a little spotlight here on TechAcute with the focus on Diablo III, which is the latest installment of the series. What is the long time motivation here in this game?

Twenty years ago, in 1997, Blizzard introduced Diablo, and with its release, in a way, they helped to shape real-time fantasy RPGs. They said PC games were dead but Blizzard showed them wrong, by developing one of the best-selling game franchises around.

To celebrate with their fan base, they even added a little in-game event to the latest patch of Diablo III. Part of that event is to go back to the look and feel of Diablo as it was twenty years ago and take on the dark lord again.

So, what happened in these twenty years of Diablo?

  • 1997: Diablo was released for PC
  • 2000: Diablo II was released for PC and Mac
  • 2001: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction extension was released
  • 2012: Diablo III was released for PC and Mac
  • 2013: Diablo III was released on PS3 and Xbox 360
  • 2014: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls was released for PC, Mac, and consoles
  • 2016: New hero class announced for 2017

“Stay awhile and listen…”

All this time, some people kept playing, even though long periods, waiting for the next big patch or the long anticipated major version to play. But why is that? What is there to the Diablo series, that makes people stay. They play through the story of the world Sanctuary, between heaven and hell, and then? They do it again. And again. And again.

Character development (Demon Hunter class)

In Diablo III, they start their character with plain shirts and trousers. Then fight through monsters and more monsters. They do this all for the loot, the items and in-game money, which is dropped by beaten opponents. They are always looking for a stronger weapon and a more robust armor to challenge more powerful monsters on a higher difficulty setting.

Playing together, making friends

And they don’t do it all alone for themselves. The Diablo gamers play online with others and find friends doing so. Or they use the “couch co-op” and play with several people in the comfort of their own home, without using the Internet.

Yes, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls or “Ultimate Evil Edition,” as dubbed for some of the console players, is one of the few games that offers you to play together without making use of either network or split-screen setup. It’s actually really neat, and I spent a lot of time doing so myself.

What keeps them at it?

Together, or alone, you know the story by heart and decide to go play it yet again. Your character is at its maximum level, knows all badass spells and skills and looks epic. Everything on your equipment is enchanted or somehow optimized to work really well. You collected a set of items, and they all support each other, making your character even stronger. You want to start something different? Just start over with another hero class. Whether you go for Barbarian, Crusader (added in extension), Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, or Wizard – they are all cool in their way.

I remember my first time playing Diablo III. It took me about two days to beat the story mode and was irritated about it being over so quickly. But it’s really not about how short or long the story is. Because you discover new things all the time. You gradually understand the story more, by finding journals or by exploring secrets. The gameplay is beyond the story but it never gets borings.

The five classes of the original Diablo III release in 2012

Master the Hardcore mode, in which your character is ultimately lost as soon as you die. Now this is where things get interesting. If you’re looking for tension, then this is for you. One mistake and everything you worked for is gone in a second.

Then when you think you’ve seen it all, developer Blizzard kicks out another patch and giving you more options to extend your gameplay. They pushed out an adventure mode, which works apart from the actual story campaign and acts as a quick game mode for casual gamers. They gave the players magical portals with even more creatures to beat and even more spectacular items to collect. They introduced an account-based leveling, that kicks in as soon as your character hits the highest level and gives you, even more, options to further gain improvements.

A new hero class in 2017

Now they announced a new playable class to be introduced to the game in 2017. While it is not exactly clear, when it will be finally released. We know the class is going to be a necromancer, a spell working mystic, who is able to control the dead. The pack is called Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer, and it’s very likely to be charged for. I think that’s alright, though. It’s just fair to pay for something that was developed. Why would it be a freebie? Blizzard already gives a lot for free, considering they are not charging a monthly subscription to maintain servers on Diablo, like they do with World of Warcraft, for instance.

If you want to try Diablo III out, you can do so for free. You only need a Battle.Net account, which is the gaming platform of Blizzard, and you can fight your way through the first chapter of the game. The full game, including the current extension, costs about $20 on PC and about $30 for consoles.

Long-time fan, newbie or something else? Drop your comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks for reading and happy hunting!

YouTube: Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer Pack Reveal – BlizzCon 2016

Photo credit: Blizzard

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isakhttps://techacute.com
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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