“Holy Sh!t!” was my first reaction, having just found out that my all time favorite game is finally coming out with a much awaited 3rd installment. It’s been 8 years now since Diablo 2, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. Funny, I can’t even remember much of last week, but somehow I still remember much beloved Diablo 2. Stay awhile and listen…

Let’s start with Diablo 1, the original classic that started it all. I remember going back to my dorm after classes were over. It was nice and sunny afternoon in a late summer Ithaca day. Perfect for a stroll in the gorge or hanging out with friends. But I felt a force compelling me — urging me to go back to my dorm room. It was overwhelming me. Resistance was utterly futile. Once in my room, I shut the blinds and immersed myself into the world of diablo. And there I sat for hours on end, hacking and slashing demons and succubi until the evil has been vanquished. I destroyed a mouse from all the essessive clicking. But diablo has been defeated. Or so I thought.

When Diablo 2 came out around 2000, I didn’t buy it right away like most addicts. Diablo had laid dormant inside me for a few years now and I was able to repress that urge to buy the game. But I was only prolonging the inevitable. Once I bought the game, it was over. I still remember the first character I made, a necro summoner. This was D2 classic, where the blood golem/Iron Maiden (BG/IM) combo was bugged so the necro was practically immortal. Add 10-15 revives and you got an unstoppable army. Of course, that character is no longer viable in the latest patch (also, the character has been deleted on bnet), but it was fun while it lasted. He was my only character to ever find my one and only SOJ. After years of playing, I have never found a single SOJ again. He’s also wearing:

  • Wormskull – +1 nec helm. Cheap item by today’s standards, but still nice.
  • Silks of the Victor – +1 all armor. A bit heavy for a necro, but I like the looks.
  • Videla’s Fetlock – Yea yea, crappy boots. But I can run like the wind.
  • Frostburns – +40% mana gauntlet. Oooh, I love never running out of mana.
  • Nightsmoke – cheap belt. Nice % goes to mana mod.
  • Ume’s lament – +2 nec wand. Nice.
  • Sigon’s guard socketed with perfect diamond – nice +1 all with some resist all to go with it.
  • SOJ + rare ring & ammy – can’t remember the mods

This is all from memory of a game character I played about 8 years ago. At the time, this setup was good enough for hell Act 4. I took my necro to level 74 (at the time, it was very hard to level up), before I started trying out other characters. Then the summer of 2001, LOD came out. My friend (bigdoggrok) and I went to pyramid mall on the first day it came out to get the expansion. And for that summer, I had a job and it was to play D2: LOD. Eight to ten hours a day. I played until 6am in the morning, when I was too tired to continue. Then I slept a little and got up at 2 in the afternoon to continue. Nourishment was obtained by making pit stops to Subway’s and HK chinese food, and it was only because it was necessary to sustain my gaming. The massive new items and changes in LOD made the game that more addictive. I was a diabloholic and loving every minute of it.

And for the next year or two, diablo 2 continued strong. I made every possible cookie cutter characters out there: whirlwind barbs, frenzy barbs, javazons, bowazons, pikazons, hammerdins, zealots, chargedins, poison necs, skelemancers, meterorb sorc, firewall/chain lightning sorc, chargebot sorc, just to name a few. Even tried out the unfeasible skills just for the fun of it, like inferno sorc, singing barbs, and so on. The items in LOD were godlike compared to D2 classic, so there was always a new item to sought after or a new level to reach.

Eventually, you do get tired of doing baal runs for all these years. You get tired of doing MF runs and accumulating so much junk that all your mules are full. (I was never into trading since I was a pack rat) So like the rest of my friends, we stopped playing. My characters got deleted due to inactivity and I uninstalled the game. But every few years, every now and then break out the CD and install it again. It’s a whole new ball game now with the latest patch. Ubers, keys … I can’t compete with these guys and their elite items. But I don’t play for ladder or for items anymore. It’s just for nostalgia and little bit of fun. Nothing like relieving stress by killing some monsters.

But even as fire up the game every so often, I had lost the addiction that held me hostage for so long. I no longer had the desire to play all day and all night. The same goes for all PC gaming in general. Maybe it was because my PC had fallen too far behind to keep up with the games. Or maybe I was getting older and games don’t appeal to me as they once did. Whatever the reason, I’ve been on a gaming hiatus for the past 5 years. Until now…

Blizzard dropped the bomb on us when they announced Diablo 3. There had been rumors throughout the years, but it was all false. But this time, it’s for real. FINALLY. I haven’t been this excited about a game since 2000 when D2 and LOD came out. After years of being out of the gaming, I felt the urge to get back into it again. But this time, it will be different. I’m older now, with a steady job and girlfriend. I can’t play all day and all night like I used to back in college. I have responsibilities and commitments that I have to answer to. I will fight the urge to go out and buy D3 on the first day it comes out! I will not lock myself in my room for the next 12 hours after (if) I buy the game! Diablo 3, I will not play you!!!

Diablo: “Not even death can save you from me!”

I’m doomed.