Diablo® III

D3 is not scary - why?

Some of D3 has that "creepy" factor, but honestly you're older now and have seen a lot more stuff since the days of D1 so it will take more to wow you. D3 also caters to a wider audience and has a lot of humor making it feel more like an adventure and less like a scary story.
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Diablo 1 was not scary, but it was definitely darker. In everything.
The dungeons where darker, the monsters where more realistic and less cartoonish.
The plot too was not classic fantasy. It was a hopeless story, where humanity was forced to endlessly deal with the prime evils because there was no way to finally get rid of them.
Imho those who think that Diablo 3 was the game which changed things are wrong.
Diablo 2 was a lot less dark than its predecessor and the greatest sign of this is that it was revealed that soulstones could be destroyed, putting an end to the threat of the prime evils... that was a bad choice imho.
At the same time Diablo himself changed from a force of pure evil capable of corrupting anything and everything, to a standard fantasy villain. I mean the super-evangelion-like-prime-evil doesn't really compare to the dark unknowable evil that manged to corrupt everyone in tristram and that possessed the King's son after driving him mad.
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I went through a rift the other day where the entire level was plunged into darkness.. There was only a small circle of light around me. Still wasn't scary in the slightest.

Most of that is like others have said - time. Now that I'm older it takes a lot to unsettle me. The game Thief did it pretty well. The difference was how involved I got into the story and the atmosphere of the game. With D3, it's just a simple game, with relatively simple mechanics, made trivial by reducing the gaming choices. All of that really diminishes how much I through myself into the environment of the game. That's not to say I don't like the game - I do. It's just different. I'd liken D3 to Peggle in terms of mood. It just isn't there.

I'll backpedal a bit. I did really like the cinematic Tyrael's Sacrifice. That got me a little bit emotionally involved.
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Some scare moments would go a long way to make the game more intense.
What im really missing is some suprise effects.

Im generally a really skittish person in games. (in fallout 3 i refused to go into the sewers with the ghouls)

When i was younger and playing a zelda a link to the past i forced my dad to play the part in the dark forest where you get the big sword. I was to scared. Now that im older and look back too it i realize that the scary part for me was about.

Being suprised (not being able to see far helps a lot)
uncontrollable factors that make you lose progress.

The most scary stuff is mobs/bosses that appear out of nowhere and take down half your life, especially in a relatively peaceful part

perfect settings in this game here wher
Act 1 spider cave. When you walk out of it the spider pulls you back in the cave. It would scare the sh*t out of me.

in act 3 A monster knocking you down of the wall into a pack.

In general a boss that keeps poking you for 5% of your life throughout en entire act. Comming from the ground, hitting you and disappearing. constantly and completely random, even when your fighting other stuff.
The more you are off guard the scarier stuff gets!
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The fact that the story is terrible, both itself and its telling / execution, has something to do with it feeling like an 80's cartoon rather than a demon infested rpg
Edited by mvm199#2454 on 5/8/2014 12:11 AM PDT
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I'm honestly surprised that no one has mentioned how the followers act. Seriously, I don't need my Templar to yell about how awesome it is to fight elites. I also don't need him telling my Monk how great it is to be his pal while I'm running across the map. There are definitely creepy areas of Diablo III; nevertheless, they are invariably ruined whenever I hear the Templar scream, "WE HAVE DONE IT."
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90 Blood Elf Death Knight
12960
I think its because of the environments. D1 was the only one of the games that got this right. It was really dark, you never knew what would be down the hall. You never knew what was going to be around the corner. not to mention the background noises were well done. The act bosses were well done aswell. You NEVER see them until the point where you actually need to bring them down. Also the act bosses weren't mentioned much in the story, so it left a lot of it up to the imagination.

In D2 they brightened things up, in way of the story though D2 was in much the same way although there was less of an evil feeling as most of the dialog came from Cain and other NPC's not from dark tomes you find during your adventures.

D3 threw all of this out the window, the environment is bright and colorful. The story is in your face at all times as well as your follower spouting nonsense. Also all the act bosses are shown to you almost immediately as they are constantly telling you their plans and saying that you cant stop them. Seriously these "Lords of Hell" would be more at home in an episode of scooby doo.
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I think the biggest issue, as some have touched on, is suspense. Diablo 3 has very little of it. I don't feel that the "demi-god" like status of our characters in this game changes my opinion compared to the prior games. I didn't play a ton of D1, but played D2 more than any game I've ever played. The reason D2 (and D1) made you feel so mortal and fallible was the (poor) early skill system. You didn't unlock any really powerful skills til later levels. From a lore and story standpoint that makes sense to a degree, but at the same time it made those early levels frustrating. I don't find D3 not as scary because my character has more powerful skills early on.

It's the suspense that got you in the other games. Everyone cites the first Butcher encounter in D1 as the prime example. You know who you were looking for, but suddenly it' "Ahhh, fresh meat!" and a crazy carver-wielding demon is in your face. It's unexpected and terrifying that just suddenly, there he is!

Diablo 2 had some of that suspense still. It was a little more linear, but still left a lot up to the imagination and storytelling until you saw the boss. You hear many things about Andariel throughout act 1. You know as you descend into the Cathedral you'll find her. You even get the quest button pop-up to kill her once you entered level 4. Heck, even the big double doors leading into her lair was plenty of indication of what was about to happen. But you opened those doors, and a huge she-demon stomps up and sprays poison everywhere, and you're like "Oh $#!*!"

Duriel was right in your face before you realized what was going to happen. Mephisto had a scary appearance, and Diablo had a grand entrance with unlocking the seals and the ground shaking.

Diablo 3 misses the mark because everything feels so linear and scripted. Act 1 wasn't too bad since you didn't hear much from the Skeleton King or Butcher until you got there. There's so little suspense leading into the boss fights that you don't get that same sense of shock or surprise. You get the intro cut-scene, they make a show of their entrance, and start the fight with a nice warm up before getting into the hard attacks.

Imagine if you had only but a couple of passing remarks about Siegebreaker. Or even none at all? You think you're on the way to fight Asmodan, and as you click on the entrance to the tower of the damned (or whichever one comes first there), BOOM, Siegebreaker in your face! Who the hell is this guy? *Grabbed, roar/goobers in the face, let's fight!* Those are the kind of tactics that D1 and D2 used much better. The ambiance and lead-up to those fights wee much better. In D3 your hand is being held and a big banner is at the entrance saying "BOSS FIGHT GET READY'.

It goes without saying (though I will anyway) that the awful Bond Villain/Cartoon Character "Let me tell you every step of my plan HOW DID YOU DEFEAT ME?!" of Belial/Asmodan/Diablo ruined any chance of suspense for acts 2 through 4.

Act 5 was much better. You rarely heard anything from Malthael, aside from the occasional shadowy visage of him taunting you with "Nephalem....." the story telling wasn't perfect, but the atmosphere was at least a big step in the right direction.
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It's just a segment of the whole "D3 is cartoony and less serious" point, but to me a huge difference in the scariness aspect is that Diablo 1+2 felt much lonelier. You had a few merchants or NPCs in the towns with some dialogue, but otherwise it was basically you on your own. Your heroes weren't smug or obnoxious (the D3 Wizard dialogue in particular is really bad) and you didn't have constant banter going as you were out in the world. In D2 you and your merc were completely silent. It was/is cool to see guards or allies out in the wilderness fighting monsters, but having constant conversation has the side effect of making you feel safe and secure.

It's the same in the towns too. I get that they wanted to make the towns seem more like actual TOWNS, with people and stories, and this is good to an extent, but it just makes the whole situation cozier and less frightening. Look at the Pandemonium Fortress in D2 - it's you, Tyrael, Cain, and two repair NPCs. It's literally you against all of hell.

In D2 I liked necromancer because always having a golem by my side made me feel that much more confident. Just the presence of a "friend" had a powerful mental impact... and D3 is overrun with this. Sometimes you would play D1+2 for hours without hearing an NPC's voice at all. In D3 you can barely play for five minutes without a quest update.

All the music, the lighting, the script, the quest structure (much less guided) in the old games compounded this feeling that you're on your own. There's just a psychological effect when your character is alone and silent vs being loud and having constant dialogue with NPCs. Being alone is scary, and that aspect is totally gone from D3.
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06/03/2014 03:58 AMPosted by Crusic
I think its because of the environments. D1 was the only one of the games that got this right. It was really dark, you never knew what would be down the hall. You never knew what was going to be around the corner. not to mention the background noises were well done. The act bosses were well done aswell. You NEVER see them until the point where you actually need to bring them down. Also the act bosses weren't mentioned much in the story, so it left a lot of it up to the imagination.

In D2 they brightened things up, in way of the story though D2 was in much the same way although there was less of an evil feeling as most of the dialog came from Cain and other NPC's not from dark tomes you find during your adventures.

D3 threw all of this out the window, the environment is bright and colorful. The story is in your face at all times as well as your follower spouting nonsense. Also all the act bosses are shown to you almost immediately as they are constantly telling you their plans and saying that you cant stop them. Seriously these "Lords of Hell" would be more at home in an episode of scooby doo.
I agree with this somewhat, though i would argue that in Diablo 2 they retained some of the dark tone especially in regards to their storytelling techniques and the way they presented even the brighter environments such as Act 2 & 3. Gothic horror themes were very much present and strong in Diablo 2, and the soundtrack in particular retained a horror feel.
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For me it's a combination of setting, voice acting, wow style cartoon graphics, storyline, difficulty... basically the entire game is totally different from the original or even the sequel, apart from being an arpg set in sanctuary. Blizzard South just didn't capture any of the original game's horror and dread elements, and IMO, couldn't.

It really pisses me off that they took a fantastic dark fantasy game and turned it into a Disney film complete with over the top voice acting and cheesy villains. Sprinkle a few wow mechanics, and voila, d3. All they needed was diablo saying "Aaaargh! And I woulda got away with it too if it wasn't for that pesky nephalem!".

The game was made by Blizz South, and therefore must cater to as wide an audience as possible ie. 12 year olds. That's the real problem.
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I utterly refute the "i'm not a child anymore" argument, becuase my experience of the game.

I played Diablo 1 when I am 14 yo. I played Diablo 2 when I am 17. And both experiences were horror game experiences. See, it was not scary at all, it's dark, gore and anxious. The music, the dialogues, the mood of the game made us make sure we are all doomed in the end, and we were fighting a losing fight against it.

The first thing that started to bored me in D3 was the how lightly and joking companions were. We were fighting the great evils that we already defeated long time ago and probably we won't completly defeat ever. We saw the families of good folk being turned into undead, we saw husband kill wife (and thus have only 1 dialogue of sorrow), and still the freaking companions are still making jokes? NO.

The story was nice, but simple enough to turn bored at second time (of at least four you have to play) with zero modification from a dificult/class to another (some scratch narration changes, but only this, and do not affect the game at all). Even Magicka (which by story you have to play twice) make some modification between one time to another. The "random maps", "random encounters" were not really random, since select from a list of 4-6 and follow the same baselines with zero modification in the main story.

So basically, Diablo 3 was a simple game, not even the better ARPG in the market when launched. With a 2002 storyline running on a 2010 engine. Could be awesome, if the game enjoy all the new techniques of gameplay and history. D3 was a good game, if it was not Diablo.

This could seems a bit harsh or offensive. But this is the main reason I didn't like D3 that much, and for me Diablo history ended with D2:LOD and books. D3 was not even canon (as someone said in other post), and could bring me hopes when a cinematic of Cain closing a book saying to Leah in the monastery before the meteor fall: "This book is not even near the reality, isn't it Leah?" to end the D3 history circle, and start with a real scary and well produced history of Diablo 3...

Next time, contract a good writer to history the game plz. We have dozen of them being contracted for do Star Wars books, Forgotten Realms, and other universes. Why do we need to be happy wth less than it?
Edited by Oromeh#1321 on 7/28/2014 6:05 AM PDT
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