3 June 2008

On Diablo...

I’ve been listening to loads of podcasts while I’ve been doing work. Today I was perusing the back catalogue of the Retronauts podcast on 1UP.com – specifically the one on Diablo.

Which, of course got me thinking about both Diablo 1&2 and also Titan Quest – the three action RPGs that I’ve played. Although I admit that Diablo 2 is better than the first (I usually think of Titan Quest being in between the two in terms of features character building) there are some elements that I really liked from Diablo.

1. Being able to learn magic spells from books.
  • - I thought that (although I’ve not played D&D outside of CRPGs) it felt like multiclassing. There was a cool element to being a fighter who had managed to scrape a decent nova spell for helping to finish off tough enemies or to help during a swarm of enemies.
2. Dropped loot remained.
  • - To be fair, the world was much smaller than Diablo 2 but I loved how you could leave extra money and items on the ground and return to pick them up later on. What can I say? I’m a hoarder!
3. Music
  • - Although there was some cool music in Diablo 2 (my favourite was in Lut Golhein’s palace Harem), Diablo had really atmospheric music from the minute you loaded into the menu screen till the minute you left the game.

4. Randomised side quests and the ability to restart the game
  • - I loved the Book of the Blind side quest and Tancred’s armour one. Sure, Diablo 2 had more of these side quests but they were static in the world – they were always present. I liked how if you played through Diablo you would get some and not all of these side quests allowing you to restart the game and run through the levels to try and get new side quests.

Moving on to a comparison of Titan Quest and the Diablo series I have found that I prefer the ‘masteries’ (class building system) in Titan Quest but the more randomised nature of Diablo levels – even though the overall level structure is fixed – is miles better. I also found that the exposition throughout the story in TQ tended to be a bit flat and the voice overs left much to be desired in comparison with the production quality of the Diablo series voice acting and writing.


Tesh said...

So, the "game" of TQ is better, but the "world" of Diablo is better? Sort of?

I strongly prefer Titan Quest, but it might have been nice to have some random areas in that game. The class system was certainly a lot of fun. The story was more interesting to me... but I'm a fan of classic legends rather than riffs on the occult. *shrug*

Duoae said...

Yeah, i much prefer the world of Diablo to the Titan Quest world and backstory - even though i'm a sucker for Grecian and Roman tales. The characters (NPCs) and even the player characters were better realised in Diablo though whereas they just felt bland and generic in Titan Quest.

Definitely the gameplay of TQ is more refined than it felt in either D1 or 2 and also the combination class system is better than in Diablo 2.

Diablo 3 seems to be headed back towards a Diablo 1 style 'anything goes' system though with the lack of assignable points for strength, dexterity etc. will limit this.