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Default Gamasutra - What RPGs can learn from Diablo Original

February 14th, 2012, 16:41
Over at Gamasutra writer Joshua McDonald has penned a piece on his blog about what rpgs (action) can learn from the original Diablo. A quote about fighting an enemy type:
You fight an enemy type. Not an enemy level:
In my opinion, one of the worst trends in RPGs is representing power by a little number next to the enemy's health bar. A skeleton that looks and acts just like one from earlier in the game will literally be 100 times as powerful. And it will be the same power as the giant you just fought that happened to be the same level. Sure, Diablo did some reskinning, but it carefully limited how powerful each model could get. The automatic argument most people make against this is that you need too much art to keep changing enemy types, but this isn't true. In fact, it's one place where the limitation actually leads to better game design.
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February 14th, 2012, 16:41
I gotta agree with the quote at least.
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February 14th, 2012, 17:12
Yup, I'm really tired of fighting levels instead of unique monsters. It's a big problem in most modern games - and "monster features" are generally cosmetic, rather than uniquely challenging - demanding careful tactical considerations.
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February 14th, 2012, 19:47
Diablo 1 rules ! But I wouldn't stop at this. THere are so many good things about D1.
1) your character has voice, saying some cool stuff after important quests.
2) isometric view
3) great ost, great voice acting
4) loot
5) pacing (gamespeed, character movement)
6) dark / tense atmosphere
and probably others . h yeah, how not all quests appear in 1 playthrough, so you play it 3-4 times to get the whole picture.
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February 14th, 2012, 20:15
In other words do what the original roguelikes, "Rogue", did in 1980.


Good, modern roguelikes, like DCSS and ToME, are so far ahead of cRPGs these days.
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February 14th, 2012, 21:21
I get the distinct impression that the title of that article should be "What MMOs can learn from Diablo Original". That seems to be his main frame of reference.

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February 14th, 2012, 21:29
I strongly agree with that quote as well. It's the whole MUD system, that EQ took for their game, and WoW took for their game, and soon everyone was using it. It makes it much easier to balance encounters when your just fighting against a level rather then a monster, but it takes alot of the flavor out too.
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February 14th, 2012, 22:23
I'd rather games take more from wizardry 1 than diablo 1 but that's just me.
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February 15th, 2012, 05:25
Diablo didn't do anything revolutionary in fighting monster types and just did the same as what came before so they shouldn't give credit to Diablo for that. Really the only thing Diablo did that was new was streamlining, dumbing down, the loot system, and the fast paced combat. The only thing decent was the loot system and the rpg genre could have still done without. The only reason why it is talked about is because of it's popularity and sales which pretty much was because of the streamlining and dumbing down of the genre.

PS. If I wasn't clear they should use much better games and games that actually originally did the things in the article as the example of What rpgs can learn from…" instead of giving credit to a game that doesn't deserve it.
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February 15th, 2012, 06:59
This was probably my biggest gripe with DA:O when it came out.

OO, a reskinned orc!

Another one!

50 hours later… and another!
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