Posts Tagged ‘diablo’

Diablo in Diablo III works well despite itself

Check your expectations. The Darkening Of Tristam, the free, time-limited new mini-campaign recently added to Diablo 3 [official site], is most certainly not the full-on Diablo 1 (number added merely for clarity) we hoped for. Nor is it a meaningful bolt-on for those D3 die-hards who crave another hit of over-statted loot. If, however, you are a filthy casual, it’s a refreshingly straightforward, aesthetically-tweaked way to return to an otherwise bloated game.
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World of Warcraft event opens Diabolical cow level

While every day is satanday chez Alice, Blizzard are a little more reserved. They’ve waited until the 20th anniversary of Diablo’s launch to unleash a torrent of satans and skellingtons, and even remake the first game inside Diablo III. We mentioned that before, and now it’s live. But! Beyond that, Blizzard have also put D3 on sale, sent the Dark Wanderer into Hearthstone, and unleashed hell’s herd upon World of Warcraft. Yes, WoW now has a secret Cow Level with special loooot. That’s an elongated ‘oo’ like in ‘moooo’ (which is the noise a cow makes) but with ‘loot’. Read the rest of this entry »

You want it darker: Diablo remade inside Diablo III

It is the future, the year 1996. The age of serially abusing the left mouse button has begun – for Diablo is born. Soon, you will be able to transport your haggard soul back to that more innocent age of mass slaughter, blasphemous themes and venal kleptomania. Diablo 3 [official site]’s 20th Anniversary event/patch kicks off later this month, and they’ve only gone and remade the first game inside their latest demonic pinata – right down to the UI, animations and tinnier sound. Take a look below. Read the rest of this entry »

Logging Off: Blizzard Dropping The Battle.net Name

After twenty years, Blizzard plan to step away from the name Battle.net for their online platform and services. The Diablords and Warcrafteers today announced that they’ll be “transitioning away” from the name Battle.net, which they’ve been using since the first Diablo way back in 1996. No, Blizzard now want to name elements boring things like Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Voice. Ah, the end of an era. Another icon falls.

Look, let’s be honest: names which are also domain names had become daggy by ooh we’ll generously say 1999. But don’t you see, Blizzard? A ’90s revival is going on – for the first time in yonks, the name Battle.net currently sounds cool.

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Diablo’s Auriel Coming To Heroes Of The Storm In August

Auriel’s time has come, as she officially makes her debut in Heroes of the Storm [official site] in early August.

The archangel from Diablo III will join the public test realm next week before entering the Nexus the week of August 8th. Auriel’s a Support character, and possesses a number of healing and damage-dealing abilities. Here’s a video introducing her:

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Diablo III Director Jay Wilson Leaving Blizzard & Games

Jay Wilson minutes after clearing his desk

Jay Wilson, the designer perhaps best known as Diablo III’s [official site] game director, has announced that he will be leaving Blizzard and the games industry after almost two decades. He broke the news on twitter last night and has been replying to well-wishers ever since. Along the way, he’s provided some insight as to what comes next.

“I’m moving back to the Pacific Northwest, where I used to live. Going to pursue writing, see if I’m any good at it.”

Don’t accidentally turn into Alan Wake, Mr Wilson! Though Diablo III is the giant bookend to his career, Wilson’s work at Relic should not be forgotten, nor should his work as a level designer on Blood. Work on Blood, you get a free pass for life from me.

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Hack & Paper Cut: Book Of Demons Is A Diablo Tribute

Do you like coffee without cream? What about consumerism without guilt? Very well then, could I perhaps interest you in some nostalgia without disappointments, frustrations and huge time investments?

Because that’s the ambitious goal of Book of Demons, [official site] at once a parody and a tribute to the original Diablo, made in cute paper cut-out graphics. It’s the first of the “Return 2 Games” series, 7 titles that will each aim to capture the feeling of a classic from the 90s while modernizing their mechanics and making them accessible even to casual players. I don’t know if it’ll work; but I’m sure Slavoj Zizek would be all over the concept.

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What Are The Best Game Manuals?

The omnipresence of the Internet, together with the ease of modern control schemes, has all but eradicated the need for game manuals. Who needs a glossy paper booklet when they have Reddit and GameFAQs and YouTube? Who has time to read with such a gluttony of entertainment options available at their fingertips?

But game manuals and owner’s guides aren’t just about information. The best ones can be beautiful: cornucopias of concept art and comic panels, hives of witty one-liners, knots of clever prose intertwined with moments of weird. I want to talk about, if not the best, then at least my favourite manuals – and then I want to know about yours.

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Heroes Of The Storm: Eternal Conflict Adding More Diablo

We knew Diablo’s Butcher was coming to Heroes of the Storm [official site] with its Diablo-y Eternal Conflict expansion, but Blizzard had saved up a little secret or two. They don’t let you even into Los Angeles this week unless you have something new to show off, you know.

The Monk and dear old King Leoric the Skeleton King are also making his way to the free-to-play Dote ’em up, Blizzard showed off last night in a new trailer.

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Diablo 1 HD Mod Adds Support For Modern Machines

Diablo games become like obsessions, and like any obsessive-compulsive knows, slight changes to routine can cause you to lose your shit. That means that you might like or loathe Diablo 3, but if the first game was your first love, you’ll likely long to return. The Diablo 1 HD mod makes that much easier by increasing the game’s resolution, introducing support for widescreen displays, improving the interface and making it work better on modern copies of Windows.

It also goes a step further – for better or worse, I’m not sure – by adding extra content to the game alongside the graphical upgrade, including Barbarian and Assassin classes, new items and crafting recipes, and new locations, bosses, spells, skills and more. There’s a trailer below showing the destructive scale of the thing.

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The Devil Cries: Rob Pardo Pardos Ways With Blizzard

That headline might be confusing for some of you, so allow me to elaborate: Rob Pardo’s been one of Blizzard’s top designers for 17 years, making him – among many other things – one of Diablo‘s many daddies. So when I say the devil cries, I’m mostly referring to that. I’m sure he’s blowing his 666 nostrils into a +44 WIS Hanky Of Wretched Despondency as we speak, the poor primeval force.

That, however, is only the beginning of Pardo’s legendary ledger, which spans everything from the original StarCraft to Warcraft III to World of Warcraft to Diablo III. He’s been everywhere (as lead designer or chief creative officer for a lot of it), worked on projects great and not-so-great. And now he’s leaving.

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Wot I Read: Blizzard Biography ‘Stay Awhile And Listen’

Stay Awhile And Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo And Forged A Videogame Empire is David L. Craddock’s ebook unofficial biography of… well, it’s in the title, isn’t it? Consisting of reminisces from Blizzard staff, design insight and a document of how the then-games industry worked, it’s the tale of how plucky start-up Condor Inc became Blizzard North and created the grandaddy of action RPGs.
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Wow: Hyper Light Drifter Is Diablo Meets Link To The Past

Meets Neon Genesis Evangelion, apparently.

Oh. Oh my. That is the second post I’ve introduced with those words today, but that does not (necessarily!) mean I’m creatively bankrupt. Rather, it’s been a very good time for brilliantly impressive games that just sort of appear out of nowhere. First Eden Star took me entirely by surprise with its runleaping Minecraft’s Edge antics, and now Hyper Light Drifter is dazzling me with glorious grimdarkpink art and music provided by Fez chiptune maestro Disasterpeace. Oh, and then there is this: “It plays like the best parts of A Link to the Past and Diablo, evolved: lightning fast combat, more mobility, an array of tactical options, more numerous and intelligent enemies, and a larger world with a twisted past to do it all in.” Mmmmmmmm, yes. Good. Goooooooood.

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Oh My: Marvel Heroes MMO Sounds Superb

AND NOW, WE HUG.
Isn’t this just like Marvel? DC puts the weight of an entire movie on one hero, and Marvel fires back with six (seven, if you count Hulk twice – which you should). Then DC shows off an excellent-looking Lego beat ’em up with 50 heroes, and Marvel rains on its superpowered parade with 8,000 of its own. That’s Marvel Heroes in a nutshell. Actually, no it’s not. Marvel Heroes in a nutshell is “Diablo II – not Diablo III – slipping into spandex and fighting crime after being bitten by a radioactive MMO.” Also, you’re not playing as some lawsuit-baiting Wolverine wannabe. Rather, you can swap between big names and lesser-known defenders of, er, whatever Squirrel Girl defends on the fly. Get it? Fly. That’s a thing superheroes do.

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Diablo Gets A 15th Anniversary Website…

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.

Doomablo

It’s a love story for the ages: two of most important names in PC gaming history have finally admitted their feelings for each other, and after a whirlwind romance they have a beautiful bouncing baby. Yes, Doom and Diablo now have a child to call their own, and of course it’s as gloriously moronic as its parents.
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Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Just The Gossip Messenger

Look, I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW. This could all be a terrible trick, a plea for attention, and I’m very sorry for adding to the rumour mill.

But…

Fansite Blizzplanet links to a different fansite, Diablo3.com, which is currently hosting a rather noisy countdown timer. It currently reads 13 days. Until what? “until half the web links to Diablo3.com. But why???”, it says. I’d take it a lot more seriously if it wasn’t for those two offensively extraneous question marks, I have to say.

It’s a stunt that will presumably pull over traffic in droves (honestly, you don’t need to click through to it yet. I’ve just told you what’s there. Head over in 13 days instead). So there’d damn well better be a Diablo 3-shaped pot of gold at the end of this spurious rainbow. Of course, it helps that we have had other hints Blizzard’s long-awaited RPG sequel is hiding just over the horizon. In 13 days, perhaps we’ll know.

Or we’ll just be very, very angry.