Diablo Gets A 15th Anniversary Website…

By Jim Rossignol on January 5th, 2012 at 4:07 pm.

Old!
And still no Diablo III on my hard-drive! It’s close though, so close we can smell it. It smells of 200 developers having sat in the same office for five years. Mmm, unmistakable. Anyway, there are interviews with Jay Wilson and Chris Metzen (as well as an “extended retrospective”) on Blizzard’s 15th anniversary site, and Wilson says that Blizzard are “almost done” with the third game. So that’s exciting. I would like to be “almost starting” to play it, now please.

More importantly, why was the first Diablo released on December 31st 1996? That seems like an odd release date. Whatever, it was still fifteen years ago, and whether or not you appreciate Diablo’s dungeon-crawler mechanics, it’s hard to deny the influence it has had on the past decade-point-five years of PC games. Also, if you are me, it makes you feel old. Formidably old, like a crotchety old wizard, or something. Ok.

__________________

« | »

, , .

64 Comments »

  1. Maldomel says:

    That’s an odd realease date, considering it does not make fifteen years.

    EDIT: Now my comment looks out of place.

  2. King Toko says:

    I played Diablo II to celebrate. Its still fun.

    • SiHy_ says:

      Yup. Time to dig out the old Diablo II and LOD discs methinks.
      I remember having to delete virtually everything else off my computer to fit it on. Now it’ll be but a drop in the vast ocean of my hard drive. Ah… What primitive times!

    • johnpeat says:

      You don’t need discs – just throw the serial numbers from the boxes in at BattleNet and shiny digital downloads of the latest versions are yours for the digital downloading…

      It’s the FUTURE – bin the discs…

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Fair warning.

      If you have the disks, by all means use them, if you actually want to play any time soon. Yes you can download the games if you have the serials, but Blizzard downloads the Diablo games on what looks to be a bit torrent client, and it’s slow as hell by comparison to any contemporary game DL service. My friend and I just went through this a few months ago, and it took him forever to DL despite his screamingly fast connection. Even though I had the disks I started downloading the clients just for the sake of eliminating the disk check, but eventually gave up and installed from disk.

    • rayne117 says:

      Turn off P2P downloading on the downloader. Fixes it.

    • mpk says:

      @johnpeat

      I did not know that, and now I finally have a working copy of Diablo II again. You are quite possible the reason I lose my job.

      Thanks!

  3. Rinox says:

    Was hoping for a free Diablo giveaway, kinda like with the C&C anniversary.

    That Diablo timeline on the page is completely ridiculous though, haha. A timeline for 4 items? Really?

    • Stromko says:

      I’d settle for being able to buy and play the original Diablo. I’ve no idea where my original copy went. Looked everywhere when I had a yearning to try out the classic again (I think it lost something in the more-expansive sequel), but aside from paying exorbitant collector prices on Ebay I had no luck.

    • Trelow says:

      Just let us buy a digital copy. That’s all I want. Also, Hellfire. Good luck.

  4. koo slayer says:

    two words… bobby kotick

  5. King Toko says:

    Diablo came out in 1996 RPS!

  6. SiHy_ says:

    So old… so, so old.

  7. spcd says:

    I loved the atmosphere of diablo1. It felt like a horror movie or something. I hope diablo3 will be more like diablo1 and not diablo2 (im not talking gameplay here, purely atmosphere, sound, … )

  8. Forgoroe says:

    “It smells of 200 developers having sat in the same office for five years. Mmm, unmistakable.”
    I laughed so hard XD

  9. frenz0rz says:

    Ah good old Diablo, my first ever RPG and my one of my first ‘proper’ games (alongside Age of Empires 2 and, oddly, Doom 2). I always prefered the dark, creepy atmosphere of the first game as opposed to the sequel – probably due to how my fragile 10 year old mind first experienced it. Although it might also be due to having spent hours doing Baal runs in the second game, praying for that final peice of the Immortal King set to drop.

  10. koo slayer says:

    you cant be a crotchety old wizard. crotchety old wizard run drug companies and millitary contractors not game sites! geez the arrogance

  11. Telperion says:

    I’m feeling happy about the “almost done” quote, although it’s so obvious anyway. I got my glasses today – a full week in advance – so, as far as I’m concerned Blizzard can release the game in two weeks, please :)

    I remember the first game feeling a lot scarier than the sequel. It all felt so bleak and full of endless waves of monsters. The sequel, while definitely twice the fun on every other level, never created that gut wrenching feel of terror. Of course, it could simply be, because of nostalgia, but I never got the “Mommy, I don’t want to be down here!”, moment which I so fondly remember from seeing my first lava and bone yard filled level. Hopefully Diablo 3 will give me that same elation of seeing something that’s actually scary.

    Of course, I do remember the endless seeming number of similar looking corridors and rooms that you had to go through in the Diablo, before the lower levels.

  12. Carr0t says:

    Cheeky. The big red diamonds with boxart on the timeline indicate *release* of Diablo, Diablo II and expansions. The Diablo II beta is marked with a littler yellow diamond. And yet the Diablo III big red diamond + boxart is for the start of the beta.

    C’mon and release it already! ;)

  13. rocketman71 says:

    Sad to remember when they cared about gamers and they didn’t have the big satan heading the company. No, the other one.

  14. Khemm says:

    Diablo >>> Diablo 2.
    The latter has better gameplay mechanics, but the original is more consistent, focused, has infinitely better atmosphere and music.

    • Kaira- says:

      I agree. I could barely be arsed to finish Diablo II once, but I’ve finished the original Diablo… way too many times to count. It’s mostly the atmosphere and small, cramped dark spaces which elevate the original above the sequel in my books.

  15. jimbobjunior says:

    The Dec 31′st release date could (cynically) be to allow for some… creative… fiscal reporting for the following quarter; A quarter where the report would show the company experiencing huge growth due to the lack of dev costs and all the sales of the game.

  16. Vandelay says:

    I only recently played Diablo (the second, to be precise.) Very disappointed. Although the mechanics of simply slaughtering dudes and collecting items was okay for the most part, everything else was just so dreary. Dull, inconsequential characters, mundane plodding plot, which simply had a new beastie being unearthed in each chapter, and repetitive enemy design.

    When you are creating something that you expect players to be engrossed in for dozens of hours, you really need to get elements like that right. The fact that people still play it to this day kind of amazes me.

    It also put me right off playing the new one, even without considering the other elements Blizzard are forcing on us.

  17. Wizardry says:

    Diablo. One of the games that killed the RPG genre. Sorry for not celebrating.

    • sneetch says:

      That’s ok, we didn’t didn’t notice you weren’t celebrating, probably because this party is insane! Wooooo!

    • c-Row says:

      Killed? The old-school RPG genre was already rotting away and smelling horribly at that point, but chances are Baldur’s Gate and all other subsequent Bioware/Black Isle RPGs would not have been released if it wasn’t for the success of Diablo.

    • Pemptus says:

      Ah, but Baldur’s Gate and all those others are phase-based, and not turn-based at all, so there – genre killed.

    • c-Row says:

      The last RPG I remember playing on my Amiga was Abandoned Places which was released in 1992, and even that wasn’t turn-based anymore, so there – genre already dead.

    • Rhin says:

      WoW: the game that killed off the pay-to-play MMO genre
      CounterStrike: The game that killed off the shooter genre.
      Chess: the board game that killed off the high-level competitive board game genre
      Video: killed off the entertainment genre, according to the radio star. Or so I hear.

    • Wizardry says:

      @c-Row: That’s a lie because Fallout was well into development before Diablo was released.
      @Pemptus: Baldur’s Gate isn’t phase-based.
      @c-Row: So you missed out on a bunch of turn-based RPGs from 1992 and 1993. Not my problem.
      @Rhin: I don’t get it.

    • Freud says:

      Rock music killed swing music.

    • Rhin says:

      I’m following the standard template:

      [Huge Popular Thing] kills [GENRE] due to being the most popular because not enough people appreciate [Other Things I Enjoy Instead Of Huge Popular Thing].

      It’s hyperbolic, it’s reactionary, and it’s not an argument. Skyrim does not KILL PC RPGs because it isn’t Witcher, Halo doesn’t KILL FPS because it isn’t GoldenEye, etc. Everyone can make a list of “Popular Things I Don’t Like.”

    • c-Row says:

      @Wizardry I never said that I played it that year, nor that it was the only RPG I played at that time. I just wanted to point out that non-turn based RPGs have been around long before Baldur’s Gate and Diablo. Don’t assume things about me if you could just ask instead.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Rhin:
      Percentage of CRPGs released before Diablo that were turn-based: 95%
      Percentage of CRPGs released after Diablo that were turn-based: 5%

      Okay, so those percentages were pulled out of my arse. It’s probably close though.

      @c-Row: Of course. Real-time CRPGs have been around since the 70s. It’s meaningless though.

    • c-Row says:

      @Wizardry It’s meaningless because it doesn’t support your point of view?

      Also, you shouldn’t use the term “lie” that loosely. First, Baldur’s Gate and all the big titles that followed were released after Fallout, so my statement isn’t wrong. Second, a “lie” would be if I consciously gave false information, which I haven’t.

    • Wizardry says:

      @c-Row: No. It’s meaningless because real-time CRPGs in the 80s, with the exception of perhaps Dungeon Master from 87, made up such a small percentage of the market compared to turn-based CRPGs. It was largely the same in the early 90s too, but with increasingly more exceptions such as Eye of the Beholder and Ultima VII. Real-time CRPGs became far more common than turn-based ones in the mid 90s but failed to sell well at all as they were mostly awful games like Menzoberranzan. Diablo came out at the end of 1996, sold millions of copies and that was that. Both Fallout and the Infinity Engine were in development before Diablo came out.

      But hey, let’s pretend that Baldur’s Gate started development after the release Diablo. Perhaps Diablo was the reason why Baldur’s Gate featured a real-time combat system. So now it becomes even clearer why Diablo ruined the CRPG genre.

    • Grygus says:

      Just a nit-pick: Baldur’s Gate didn’t have a real-time combat system; it was entirely turn-based. The default settings simulated real time by simply not pausing between turns, but you can see the difference by taking an action such as drinking a potion; the character will not immediately drink it, but will wait until it is his turn.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Here comes the mysterious hidden turn again.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Grygus: Cool. You keep believing that!

    • c-Row says:

      @Wizardry I don’t have precise dates (and apparently neither do you) but the studio was founded in 1995, so that was actually before the release of Diablo, though I could imagine that the success of Blizzard’s dungeon crawler was rather helpful in finding a publisher for BG.

      btw. 1996 also saw the release of Daggerfall.

    • Wizardry says:

      @c-Row: Baldur’s Gate wasn’t Baldur’s Gate until they found a publisher. You can’t just make D&D games without a license. Interplay was always going to publish Baldur’s Gate because Interplay held the D&D license for video games. In fact, from what I remember, BioWare were originally going to make a strategy game and Interplay were the ones that persuaded them to make a D&D RPG.

    • c-Row says:

      @Wizardry Baldur’s Gate was an MMO in its early stages before Interplay persuaded them to use the D&D licence instead.

    • Wizardry says:

      @c-Row: Well that’s obviously untrue considering “Baldur’s Gate” is a city name belonging to the D&D license.

    • c-Row says:

      @Wizardry That goes without saying – the original game wasn’t called “Baldur’s Gate” of course, but “Battleground Infinity” instead.

    • Kent says:

      You’d think that people would know how to troll better these days. Whenever Diablo killed the RPG genre or not is entirely subjective, especially when you consider that it’s not actually a RPG. What isn’t subjective however is that it kinda sucks because it promotes as long attention-span as the ones you find in toddlers… and playing it is the equivalent of trying to castrate yourself with a toothed kitchen knife.

  18. Tolkfan says:

    From the timeline on that site:

    1997: “Diablo II announced and estimated to be released in 1998″
    2000: “Diablo II beta begins”

    Yup, Blizzard :D

    • Koojav says:

      2008: “Diablo III announced”.
      2012: Blizzard polishes Pandas’ in World of Warcraft.

  19. BooleanBob says:

    Really, so soon? How time flies. Well, here’s to another fifteen glorious years of Diablo III trailers! Hip hip, hooray!

    • Shooop says:

      Hey by then they’ll have a new DRM system that uses DNA samples to determine who bought it legitimately!

  20. Syra says:

    Came out about 6 months after it began official development, ah those were the days…

  21. Vexing Vision says:

    My computer couldn’t run Diablo back in the days. I had to wait until my father stopped playing Solitaire on his, and play through the night.

    I spent a lot more hours on Diablo 1 than I did on Diablo 2, which probably explains my rapidly diminishing interest in Diablo 3.

  22. Andy_Panthro says:

    Surprised nobody has posted something like this yet:

  23. MythArcana says:

    And it will probably be 15 more years before we see Diablo ]|[ at this rate. Blizzard is rating so low on my karma polls lately that it really doesn’t matter anymore anyway.

  24. Thants says:

    I love the first two games, but this always online DRM plus a cash-shop for items has pretty much killed my interest in Diablo 3.

    • Vinraith says:

      Yup, that’s where I’m at too. I’ll wait for Torchlight 2 and/or Grim Dawn, Blizzard’s attached one too many strings to this one.

    • SwiftRanger says:

      Well, I don’t really see the problem as I only traded with friends in DII and I only played on Closed Battle.net for very obvious reasons.

      Offline play scrapped is a set back but don’t think that that’s the way so many people played the game (after a while at least) or that that’s the way it is still being played now. Most of the players never realised until it was too late that offline characters couldn’t be converted to online play. In a series which has been plagued ad infinitum by cheats and hacks I’d say it’s a good thing Blizzard wants to tackle this once and for all.

      Also, missing the original D1 intro and outro there.

  25. mpk says:

    Edit: bleh, was supposed to be a direct reply to swiftranger above.

    I played D2 online for, at most, a couple of hours. I was always much happier playing offline, or LAN co-op when the opportunity presented itself. I’m not at all interested in pug gameplay with D3, but I expect to play quite a bit of co-op with friends. Given that I’ll want to play the game on my own as well, I’m going to have multiple characters on the go so I cant agree with Blizzards justification to remove the offline mode.

  26. Bluerps says:

    Heh. I remember buying Diablo when it was new. Now I feel old too.