Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, Diablo 2 is probably the videogame I’ve had the most fun with and gotten the most value out of. Longtime readers of this blog may remember my regular updates involving Diablo 2 games, specifically involving Uvula the Druid.
There’s nothing really to Diablo 2. It’s got some more going on than Diablo, as there are gems and runes you can upgrade and use on weapons, plus a Horadric Cube you can discover secret recipes for. But the gameplay is more or less the same: go click on monsters to kill them. Get loot, which makes you stronger, click on tougher monsters. Repeat ad nauseam.
Yet I’d argue that its mindlessness was the appeal. I could zone out with Diablo 2, just sort of have myself on autopilot. I could pay as much attention to it as I wanted, either focusing on it to accomplish some task within it (usually grinding for a specific rune) or I could just mindlessly click, letting my brain think about something else. It was relaxing.
There are a world of mods and strategy articles and other things for the game which I never really used. For the time I spent playing with it, I’m sure other players would be horrified to discover how inefficiently and wastefully I played it, but I still had a good time. I even played online at Battle.Net for a while, but only because supposedly the loot was a little different there; I almost never interacted with any other players.
The other appeal was that even when I moved to a laptop for my computer, I was still able to play Diablo 2. Sure, it couldn’t run any modern stuff, but as long as it played this old favorite, I was happy. Even when I upgraded my laptop to a newer one, the improvements in hardware were pushed aside as I just re-installed Diablo 2 on it.
And then they announced Diablo 3.