Middle child of the series Diablo 2 turns 20 today, prompting plenty of reminiscing about the landmark loot 'em up RPG. Blizzard are celebrating with merchandise, speedruns, and an in-game costume for Diablo 3. Unfortunately, an official Diablo 2 remaster rumored last week (which Blizzard quickly denied) doesn't appear to be in the cards. Ah well, thanks for the memories anyhow D2.
If you're a liker of Diablo 2, you'll be glad to hear that resident Diablo-er Alice Bee agrees, saying that Diablo 2 is actually the best Diablo. "It disguises what it is, which is ultimately a game you are designed to play multiple times to get incrementally better pairs of gloves, and successfully becomes this epic quest of life and death," she says.
"In Diablo II you need to hunt down the very last trash mob hiding in the corner, fight a bright blue skeleton or an orange zombie, and then get to see beams of beatific light piercing the darkness around you. Your character might say something about cleansing evil. It makes you and what you just did seem important, not just part of the grind – even though Diablo II is very much an industrial sized mince-maker of a game."
Diablo 2 may not be the most-written-about Diablo around these parts, but its shadow is long nevertheless. Even Mojang's recent Diablo-inspired Minecraft Dungeons paid homage to the Diablo 2's secret cow level. Blizzard's other big-swingin' RPG World Of Warcraft bowed down to the cow level too.
I imagine it's not just cows that folks are fond of in Diablo 2 though. Or so I hope, as Diablo IV lead game designer Jesse McCree says "more than anything, I love the tone and world of Diablo II. It's still an inspiration as a Lead Game Designer for Diablo IV," in Blizzard's celebratory post today. Cow level confirmed in Diablo IV? Heck, probably.
As part of the day's celebration, Blizzard also sponsored a goofy animation by Carbot Animations.
Remember back in the day when you actually had to tag a boss to get loot drops in multiplayer? I mean, you still do sometimes, but golly I definitely remember this getting less painful over the years in all sorts of games.
You can catch some of the other celebratory bits Blizzard are up to in their anniversary post.