"I can't get there from here."
Weve settled on the features we want to see make the jump from Diablo II to III some because they were so memorable and flat-out fun; others because the rose-tinted nostalgia goggles are firmly strapped to our heads when looking back to Blizzards seminal click-fest. Here are the Diablo II features that, for better or worse, probably wont make it into Diablo III at release. Be sure to check out our Diablo III review to see what did make it into the long-awaited sequel.
Diablo IIIs taking a different approach to exploration as you roam around each level, theres a chance youll stumble onto a completely random event. This is an excellent feature for giving players unique experiences and preventing boredom while leveling alts, but we worry that some monsters will never be killed by the Diablos general public. Itll be a shame if there arent any reoccurring monsters, ones we can greet like old friends before mercilessly slaughtering them.
The Horadric Cube
Diablo III once included a similar parallel to Deckards magic box, called the Nephalem Cube; instead of combining items, it would salvage them for crafting materials. As if to taunt our cherished Horadric memories, the new cube was removed when the D3 devs decided that return trips to town were necessary breaks for pacing the games action. Has Blizzard learned nothing from Valves example of the affection players have for inanimate cubes?
We wont claim to know whatll happen in Diablo IIIs story, but weve yet to see or hear any mention of Diablos brothers most likely because we killed them hundreds of times already. We wont miss having to traverse through his labyrinthine dungeon, but Diablo without Mephisto runs is like going to Disneyland and not riding Space Mountain.
Low-level dueling (LLD)
Some of our fondest D2 memories stem from decking out our level 19 throwing-weapon Barbarian, Tomahawk, with some sick-nasty blue weapons and an inventory full of the ideal charms before pitting him against the pet projects of other fun-loving players. Throwing down outside the Rogue Encampment was always a sociable affair, and since the low levels were so easily obtained, you could try a new build or character class every week. LLDs were planted firmly on the fun end of the dueling spectrum; on the complete opposite, there were the
We know that D3 will include Hardcore mode, and that multiplayer Arenas are set to be the next evolution of dueling (even if theyre not present at launch) but could these two intense flavors possibly go together? Blizzard might be wary of raising the stakes so high in this day and age, but it just wouldnt feel like Diablo if diehard PvPers couldnt put their life on the line.
The best part was finally getting everything to fit just right: seeing your tomes, keys, potions, alternate set of gear, and charms all neatly lined up with just as satisfying as getting a four-line Tetris with a straight piece. Diablo III looks to have a similar inventory system only now, town portals are a part of your UI, and larger items only occupy rectangular spaces. Cmon, Blizzard! Makes us work for those immaculately-organized backpacks!
Alternative item economy
Even though item duping and market flooding made players devalue the SoJ in favor of runes, we still remember it as Diablos main currency. Seeing this kind of player ingenuity in Diablo III would warm our hearts, but it looks like the big bad Auction House might put the kibosh on these kinds of fascinating movements in the games virtual market.
Of course, most D2 players were satisfied hitting level 99 on one character, before trying out different builds or classes. But who really wants to experience the same hours of content over and over just to try each role? Thats what led to the trend of
Sure, it probably wasnt intended, but rushing made the experience of creating alts painless, and it actually promoted a healthy camaraderie between altruistic D2 vets and inexperienced greenhorns. Chances are slim that Blizzard would allow such story-skipping exploits in Diablo III, so that probably means we wont get to see the Mecca of our character rushes
The Secret Cow Level
While were almost certain that The Secret Cow Level will get a nod in Diablo III, were equally certain that it wont be as lucrative a grinding area as it once was. Fingers crossed that well fight a ghostly / zombified / demon-spawn version of The Cow King lord knows we never get tired of killing that lightning-enchanted fool.
Crazy Rune Words
Best of all, later patches added some truly insane runewords that let players try out abilities that werent even a part of their class; the Ber-Tir-Um-Mal-Lum Beast runeword let Barbarians transform into bears just like Druids, and Assassins went nuts when the Fal-Ohm-Um Chaos let them use the Barbs iconic Whirlwind abilty. From the looks of it, these crazy class-overlaps just wont be possible with the new rune system.
Another side effect of the seasonal ladders were that they threw the in-game economy in flux, where some items would have absurdly-high temporary value before dropping off completely. Because this would likely wreak havoc on Diablo IIIs cash-money Auction House, theres no way ladders will be in the game a shame, since they let players new and old relive the excitement of a fresh start.
For all the goofiness of the character graphics, the items look like actual weapons and armor crafted in a medieval forge, instead of glittering, over-sized action figure accessories. Its a unique aesthetic that Diablo II perfected, and one that well sadly probably never see again from Blizzard or any big-name company, for that matter.
What will you miss from Diablo II?
Those are the features that stick out the most in our memories but if we missed something, let us know so we can get all nostalgic about it. Diablo III will no doubt consume our lives just as D2 did (check out our Diablo III review to get our final verdict), but its like they say: you cant go home again, even if you have a Scroll of Town Portal.