Diablo® III

Things Diablo 3 Can Learn From: *Borderlands 2*!

Posts: 6,547
I thought I would give this a try and see it is was worth doing more in the future.

This will likely be long, but I will TL/DR it at the end.

Note: This WILL contain major spoilers for Diablo 3 and Borderlands 2. You have been warned.

Intro

Essentially, while Diablo 3 is not quite the childhood-killing catastrophe that some seem to view it as, it is to me one of the biggest let-downs since Hellgate.

On the other hand, the game has a *lot* of potential and I firmly believe that it could be great. However that would mean the developers going back and cutting/editing some stuff in previous acts, rather than just adding a new one.

So...I thought I would use some of the games I've played in recent memory that I really enjoyed to illuminate aspects of Diablo 3 that I think need improment.

First up is Borderlands 2. While this game definitely wasn't perfect, it did have one of the single most engaging storylines and character sets in recent gaming. As an ARPG...it's pretty much king of the hill in this regard. And so this topic will mostly involve the storyline.

Storytelling 101.

As an avid storyteller, especially in the context of games (I have been a Dungeon Master for nearly 16 years!) there are a few basic aspects of storytelling that I probably should outline first:

Protagonist.

The 'main character'. He is the driving force of the story. In videogames, there are several types of protagonist, but the two that are relevant here are:

- The 'empty' protagonist.
Very common in videogames, especially older ones. An empty protagonist has little or no interaction with other characters in the game. They just do their thing and the world responds to them. Investment is gained from the secondary characters around them or via immersion in a very unique and atmospheric setting.
This is an extremely effective storytelling device in that it allows the player to project themselves onto the protagonist.
Good examples would be Gordon Freeman in the Half Life games, the main character in Dark/Demon's Souls and the protagonist of Diablo 2.

- The 'linear' protagonist.
Common in modern gaming. This is a fully developed character with their own goals and arc. While the player has no real control over the story, they nonetheless control the physical actions of the protagonist as the story unfolds.
This is effective in a smaller, highly character driven narrative whereby the story revolves around the protagonist almost entirely.
For example: Kratos from God of War, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider.

Antagonist.

The 'bad guy' in the story, or the primary bad guys.
There are two major types of antagonist that apply here:

- The Ominous Presence.
This is a bad guy that is never or seldom seen or even much discussed. When discussed, the emphasis is on how powerful and dangerous it is. The player is allowed to use their imagination to turn the OP into a threat through their own imagination.
For example: Sauron in LOTR, Diablo in the original games.

- The Rival.
This is a bad guy that constantly pops up and interacts with the player. Their story and actions are a primary part of the story and the player is constantly given reasons to become invested in, while wanting to defeat the Rival.
For example: Jon Irenicus in Baldurs Gate 2, Wesker in the Resident Evil games.

NPCs.

Non player characters.

These are the characters other than the primary antagonist(s) and the main protagonist(s). These are incredibly powerful devices in videogames and are often more memorable than the protagonist.
When used correctly they provide emotional investment, motivation for actions, exposition and a tool to expand the world.
For example: Aerith in Final Fantasy VII, Cain in Diablo,

Arcs.

Arcs are the character specific storylines. A character starts at point A, encounters some sort of challenge and either overcomes or fails to overcome it, arriving at point B. In 'linear' protagonist driven plots, this arc will make up most of the story. In 'empty' protagonist stories, the arcs of the secondary characters drive the game.

'Show Don't Tell' Storytelling

Thank you MovieBob and Mr. Plinkett for making this term more common use. Basically this is a hallmark of good storytelling, especially in games.

SDT storytelling doesn't mean that nobody says anything. What it means is letting the narrative unfold via events rather than exposition. Of course some exposition will always be needed, in a game as rich in Lore as Diablo...but there are ways and means to do this well.

The 'Oh Damn!' and 'Hell Yeah!' Moments.

Hard to summarize, but these are moments that take the player semi unawares and really push their buttons emotionally. These are probably going to be the parts in the game that the player remembers long after finishing it.

The key here is that this *must* be SDT storytelling or it will fail. As I will explain later, Diablo 3 is a prime example of what I mean by this.

For example: Finding Tyrael in Diablo 2, the death of your girlfriend in Prey, the 'would you kindly?' moment in Bioshock, beating Ares in God of War, Neeshka's fate in Neverwinter Nights 2. Fus Ro Dah!

Borderlands 2: Well...what made it so good?

While lacking in some ways as a game (and a lot of it's DLC sucked) BL2 had an utterly brilliant story. It would honestly take me several pages to talk about everything that was awesome about this story, but it kept me playing even when I was bored of the game itself.

I honestly cannot think of another game in recent memory that did this as well other than Baldur's Gate and Bioshock Infinite.

Protagonist.

Borderlands 2 is the perfect example of an empty protagonist game. Our main character, aside from his class and a few one liners, has very little interaction with the characters in the game world. On the other hand, the other characters in this game are so well done that it works...we invest ourselves into the world and project ourselves onto the protagonist.

We aren't told we want to do something. We are given *reasons* to want to do it. Show don't Tell Storytelling in a nutshell.

Antagonist.

Once again, BL2 is nearly perfect here. It has both a strong 'Rival' antagonist and an 'Ominous Presence'...both of whom are compelling and fit their roles wonderfully.

Handsome Jack is probably the coolest original video game nemesis that I can think of from modern gaming outside of Japan. He is incredibly unique, wonderfully layered, a genuine threat and really compelling once we start getting to know him...and yet we absolutely want to kill this guy more than anything ever. He is funny. He is charasmatic. He is memorable. He is evil as hell and loves being evil. He is like some bizarre combination of The Joker and Archer. And even beyond this there are moments in the game where we actually sympathize with him. So awesome.

The Warrior on the other hand is seldom discussed aside from a vague but grave threat in the future. Perfect Ominous Presence, setting up both a cool driving motivation for characters and hyping up the final boss.

NPCs.

Yeah, yeah, I'm still kissing up to BL2 here. But really...how good were the other characters? Even the minor throwaways like CL4P-TP and Sir Hammerhock are memorable and have at least one fist pumpingly awesome moment or incredibly funny bit.

And as for the rest...well, where do I start? Well, let me go into a bit more depth in the next section.

Arcs.

There are too many great arcs in this game for me to really break down. From Jack's arc involving his daughter (holy crap that was some dark stuff) to the main characters all having some sort of motivation and intertwining plotlines (and this being in an ARPG about blowing up guys in hockey masks with lightning shooting rocket launchers).

So let's choose one - which to me illustrates one of Diablo 3's worst scenes compared to one of BL2's best.

The Death Of Bloodwing.

Bloodwing is an extremely minor character. She is a pet bird belonging to Mordecai, one of the minor main NPCs.

About half of the way through the game, the player is trying to infiltrate a laboratory alongside Mordecai, when Bloodwing is captured. What follows is easily one of the most memorable bits in the game.

At the end of the level, Jack unleashes a pumped up monster which - to Mordecai's horror - is revealed to be a severely mutated and berserk Bloodwing. Eventually you and Mordecai are able to bring her down without killing her...upon which Jack, out of pure spite, causes her to self destruct.

This not only turns Mordecai into a grief stricken revenge obsessed maniac for the remainder of the game, but absolutely cements the players desire to track down and kill the bastard. I must admit...I shed a manly tear here.

As an added plus, in the final mission when fighting alongside Mordecai, he constantly screams "This is for my bird!" while blowing enemies apart. It's hard to explain just how affecting this whole bit was.

SDT Storytelling.

As explained above, the game is artful at allowing events and the arcs of it's characters shape the story. When exposition is required, it is given through radio transmissions and dialogues that also help to shape the characters and reinforce the plot and the world.

The 'Oh Damn!' and 'Hell Yeah!' Moments.

Again, far too many moments to go into here (Tiny Tina's sidestory, Jack's daughter, the entire final mission etc) . But my personal favorite had to be Sanctuary itself.

So...Sanctuary. Big fortified city. One of the last holdouts on the planet against Jack. Sort of like Zion in the Matrix, except above ground. And colourful.

When you first get to Sanctuary there in a mini arc that involves a secret defense plan that will allow the city to take off and fly - which seems from the get go (and turns out to be) complete rubbish. It's all quite funny and well done and definitely pokes fun at players' collective expecations in videogames.

And then...later in the game, after a major character betrays you (except she doesn't really...ugh, just play the game!) in a moment almost as awesome as seeing Goku going Super Saiyan the first time...your character is teleported outside the city and gets to watch as...they actually pull it off.

In what has to be one of the most fist pumpingly awesome and "no WAY!" inducing moments that I can remember from recent games, the entire city is teleported away from harm and becomes a massive flying base in the sky. I get goosebumps just thinking about this.

Continued in part 2.
Edited by Starbird#1360 on 11/4/2013 6:06 AM PST
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Part 2.

Diablo 3: Where did it all go so wrong?

So, as you can probably tell, I really liked BL2. But what about D3? Where exactly does it fall short in terms of it's story?

Protagonist.


Diablo tries to combine both of the archetypes I mentioned...and fails miserably. We have the limited dialogue and lack of real involvement of an empty protagonist...and yet the game seems insistant on reminding us that our character has their own goals, personality and even attempting to graft an arc onto it.

Which doesn't work. There isn't enough of a story there to make a linear protagonist...and having our character constantly snarking off or being told where and why we want to do things breaks our immersion and stops us from projecting ourselves into the game.

Antagonist.

Again, Diablo tries to have it's cake and eat it too. On one hand it attempts to give us Rival style enemies in Magda, Azmodan and Diablo being constantly around and interacting with us. On the other hand it tries to hype up the Evils as Ominous Presences.

Which doesn't work. The rival aspect fails due to the incompetence and the total lack of investment in the bad guys as characters while the OP aspect fails due to just how much we know about them/how little we fear them. (really...why would one of the most powerful beings in existance and the greatest tactitan constantly feel the need to pop up and tell us exactly what he is doing? /facepalm).

Oh, there are a few good things. Magda could have worked as a rival with some decent writing and some better fights. The Evils could have worked with less interaction and more hype.

NPCs.

I hesitate to say that every NPC in Diablo 3 is bad. Because there are some decent ones in there. The Followers, especially the Templar and Scoundrel are interesting and the conflict between them is nifty. I also quite enjoyed Leah initially, especially with the Followers in tow.

However every character otherwise is written backwards: rather than having a character who has an experience/challenge that changes them (and also shapes the narrative for the player) you have a character who is static, perhaps with one or two broad goals in mind or personality traits.

Leah is a prime example of this. Adria's daughter. Typical 'spunky, yet vulnerable' female videogame character. Eventually becomes Diablo. However we are seldom given any reason to care about her or invest ourselves in her ordeal beyond one semi decent cinematic after Cain dies...which is why when she becomes Diablo our reaction is more 'oh...okay' than 'OH DAMN!'.

Why? Well, her actions have no real reason behind them, and we have no reason to care. Okay, so her grandfather died (EDIT: Uncle? as some posters point out) and she found a mother. She also learns that she has some big mysterious powers and is training to learn them. Beyond this...there isn't much going on. No real changes in character. No big 'okay so I'm now going to do this because of *this!*' moment.

Tyrael is another. Such a cool iconic character...with such a boring nonexistant story. Okay, he was an Angel that decided not to be a gigantic jerk and wants to help humans. That's how we meet him and that's how he stays for the rest of the game. End of story. Yawn.

Arcs.

Cain's Death.

Probably the biggest event in the game and easily one of the most panned is the death of longtime series mainstay Cain.

And he checks out in both an incredibly offhand and irrelevant way. He is killed by Magda. That's essentially it.

Leah is nearby and while she does momentarily get angry and blast Magda with her 'hidden powers' this event neither directs not even really affects later events. No 'I'm going to learn to use my hidden powers and get revenge for my uncle...no matter what the cost!'. Not even the old standard 'okay...so my mum says that if I master my powers I can resurrect my grandad even though it will be bad for everyone else'.

None of the characters really have an arc. Oh, stuff happens to them sometimes, but it seldom affects them. Instead, as I said, they are written backwards - broad archetypes made for things to happen *to*.

Borderlands 2 really does make the death of a pet bird 100 times more compelling than the death of a main character in Diablo 3.


The main reason I think is the characters. Blizzard tries to give the player character an arc, rather than just letting us project ourselves into it and follow the story of the world around us.

Show don't tell storytelling.

Some parts are done well, like Leoric's journals, the 'ghost' cinematics and the Follower dialogue, but as for the rest...ugh.

The major issue to me is the protagonist. Far, far too much of our own motivation is written backwards - told to us via exposition. Okay...we are Nephalem. Which we never actually *see* nor experience. And basically every other aspect of the story is told similarly.

We are told what to do and why. Borderlands did this...but usually gave us a reason of our own to do it too.

The 'Oh Damn!' and 'Hell Yeah!' Moments.

Honestly...they don't really exist. Cain's death is abysmal. Leah's transformation is ...eh. There wasn't a single moment in the game where I was actually moved. Meanwhile in Borderlands 2, even some of the sidequests managed to have a more compelling plot.

What can be fixed?


This is a tricky one, since it would involve remaking a great deal of the original's storyline.

Nonetheless...here goes.
- Remove a lot of the Player Character's interaction with the enemies.
- Rework Cain's Death to involve both an actual fight and a noble sacrifice to save Leah or the PC.
- Rework Leah's storyline. Allow her to either be driven into evil by her grief or a noble quest gone wrong, at the hands of her mother's manipulations.
- Rework Magda into a more compelling rival, and reduce Azmodan's interactions with the player (Cydea would be a fine replacement).
- Flesh out followers and main NPC storylines. Add some sidequests. Give us a reason to care about these people aside from being told that we care about these people.


TL/DR

- Borderlands 2 had wonderful, deep and richly textured characters even in minor roles, while Diablo 2 has flat, static archetypes.

- Borderlands 2 had a story that was expertly woven together via the experiences of it's various characters, as observed by a player projected 'empty' protagonist. Diablo attempts to have it's cake and eat it too in terms of a protagonist with little interesting to say or do...and who's story and motivation are mostly explained through exposition.

- Borderlands 2 makes us feel things and want to do things because of what we see. Diablo 3 tells us that we feel things and tells us that we want to do things.

- Borderlands 2's main antagonist was instantly memorable, compelling, at times sympathetic...and utterly evil in a way that made us want to kill him from the get go. Diablo's antagonists are not interesting enough to be rivals but not mysterious enough for us to invest any real threat in them. The only reason we know that they are the antagonists is that we are told they are the antagonists and that we hate them.

- Borderlands 2 managed to make me deeply emotionally invested in the death of a pet bird. Diablo 3 failed to make me care about the death of a main character.

- Borderlands 2's story is constantly shifting and growing and is told to us in a variety of ways, many of these also serving to advance character development, player motivation and universe building. Diablo's story is written backwards and mostly told to us through exposition.

- Borderlands 2 has a ton of fist-pumping, stand up and cheer moments of awesomeness, spew your coffee all over your screen funniness and one or two genuinely dark 'oh HELL no' bits. There are few surprises or interesting events in Diablo 3's storyline.

So...how do you feel about Diablo 3's storyline? Did you play Borderlands 2? How do you think they compare?

If you had the choice, what would you personally change in the Diablo 3 storyline to make it more compelling.
Edited by Starbird#1360 on 11/4/2013 7:27 AM PST
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Only halfway through it but holy sheeeeeet Starbird, you have outdone yourself here.

I don't think that a lot of posters are going to read this all the way through but they really should.

I don't usually agree with everything you say but you are right on the nose here. Going to finish reading and will say more.

Also FIRST!
Edited by Kestral#1405 on 11/4/2013 6:03 AM PST
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11/04/2013 05:47 AMPosted by Starbird
Leah is a prime example of this. Cain's daughter.


If you think Leah is Cain's daughter you must have had a really rough time following the story.
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Nice post Op. Well thought out and expressed, and I do agree the story could use some revamp. Like Yuujin mentioned, Cain is Leah's uncle not father. Nonetheless he raised her since she was a baby so might as well have been the father.
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11/04/2013 06:17 AMPosted by Yuujin
Leah is a prime example of this. Cain's daughter.


If you think Leah is Cain's daughter you must have had a really rough time following the story.


Derp. Typo.

Way to pick out a detail and run with it though :)
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11/04/2013 06:22 AMPosted by Starbird


If you think Leah is Cain's daughter you must have had a really rough time following the story.


Derp. Typo.

Way to pick out a detail and run with it though :)


Made several times throughout the post. You missed another one in your edit.

Leah is nearby and while she does momentarily get angry and blast Magda with her 'hidden powers' this event neither directs not even really affects later events. No 'I'm going to learn to use my hidden powers and get revenge for my dad...no matter what the cost!'. Not even the old standard 'okay...so my mum says that if I master my powers I can resurrect my dad even though it will be bad for everyone else'.
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11/04/2013 06:22 AMPosted by Wulfgar
Nice post Op. Well thought out and expressed, and I do agree the story could use some revamp. Like Yuujin mentioned, Cain is Leah's uncle not father. Nonetheless he raised her since she was a baby so might as well have been the father.


Thanks :) I've been meaning to make this post since I played Borderlands 2 (and now sick at home I have a bit of time).

Oddly, I thought Cain was her Grandfather, but yes - adoptive uncle is actually correct. But that is a very, very, very minor detail. Will edit it though.
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Derp. Typo.

Way to pick out a detail and run with it though :)


Made several times throughout the post. You missed another one in your edit.

Leah is nearby and while she does momentarily get angry and blast Magda with her 'hidden powers' this event neither directs not even really affects later events. No 'I'm going to learn to use my hidden powers and get revenge for my dad...no matter what the cost!'. Not even the old standard 'okay...so my mum says that if I master my powers I can resurrect my dad even though it will be bad for everyone else'.


Check again. It's late and I'm sick. Was still running off the Jack/Angel in BL2's dynamic.

That said...ye gods. I had a lot to say in my original post and you feel the need to nitpick me over *that*?

I know the grammar police, but this is the first time I've ever encountered the Lore police in an otherwise constructive post.

If you have an opinion about the thread, feel free to post it. But continuing to hound me over a minor oversight is just Red Shirt Guy level pettiness.
Edited by Starbird#1360 on 11/4/2013 6:38 AM PST
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I'm a big fan of BL2, and while I agree, the story/characters of BL2 are so much better than D3, D3 is the better loot farming game. BL2 drastically changed loot drops from BL1 - instead of any mob/chest having the ability to drop any legendary, they tied specific legendaries to certain mini-bosses and raid bosses. This of course set up the monotonous farming of just one enemy.

Then, on top of that, they implemented a daily lock out of raid bosses (don't know if that's still in). The drop rates were severely nerfed from BL1 (like D3), but then they implemented shift codes that let you just get purples from the special chest. Instead of playing the game.

While the story and first playthrough of BL2 is so much better than D3 because of the much better characters and storytelling, when it comes to farming, I find D3 much more satisfying.
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Not really nitpicking. You're glossing over the fact that Leah was Diablo's daughter. Her entire existence was a premeditated plot between him and her mother to eventually use Leah as the vessel for Diablo post consuming all of the souls of the prime and lesser evils of hell.

That's all.
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I'm a big fan of BL2, and while I agree, the story/characters of BL2 are so much better than D3, D3 is the better loot farming game. BL2 drastically changed loot drops from BL1 - instead of any mob/chest having the ability to drop any legendary, they tied specific legendaries to certain mini-bosses and raid bosses. This of course set up the monotonous farming of just one enemy.

Then, on top of that, they implemented a daily lock out of raid bosses (don't know if that's still in). The drop rates were severely nerfed from BL1 (like D3), but then they implemented shift codes that let you just get purples from the special chest. Instead of playing the game.

While the story and first playthrough of BL2 is so much better than D3 because of the much better characters and storytelling, when it comes to farming, I find D3 much more satisfying.


Oh yes. As I said in my original OP, BL2 was not a perfect game.

It actually made D3's mistake in that it tried far too hard to be a COOP based grind rather than a fun ARPG shooter with a Diablo style loot system tacked on.

In terms of story though, it's sublime. It's Bioware level storytelling in an ARPG.
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Not really nitpicking. You're glossing over the fact that Leah was Diablo's daughter. Her entire existence was a premeditated plot between him and her mother to eventually use Leah as the vessel for Diablo post consuming all of the souls of the prime and lesser evils of hell.

That's all.


You know...you've actually pointed out yet another derpy aspect of Diablo 3. I completely forgot that Leah was Diablo's daughter. And yet I can remember tons of small details like this about other games.

Why?

Because in game it made zero impact on me. It was told to me via exposition rather than being discovered as a part of the game.
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11/04/2013 06:33 AMPosted by Khyras
Nice post.This is one of those moments...CATCH A RIIIIIIIIIIIIDE :)


Ain't no rest for the wicked...
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I'm a big fan of BL2, and while I agree, the story/characters of BL2 are so much better than D3, D3 is the better loot farming game. BL2 drastically changed loot drops from BL1 - instead of any mob/chest having the ability to drop any legendary, they tied specific legendaries to certain mini-bosses and raid bosses. This of course set up the monotonous farming of just one enemy.

Then, on top of that, they implemented a daily lock out of raid bosses (don't know if that's still in). The drop rates were severely nerfed from BL1 (like D3), but then they implemented shift codes that let you just get purples from the special chest. Instead of playing the game.

While the story and first playthrough of BL2 is so much better than D3 because of the much better characters and storytelling, when it comes to farming, I find D3 much more satisfying.


Yeah, Borderlands two isn't really a loot farming game like Diablo 3 is. The story of Borderlands 2 takes up maybe a third of the actual game, and when so many great items (Flame of the Firehawk, Rubi, Rapier, ect) are tied to quest in the game having to replay the entire campaign two or three times upon reaching max level to overpower your weapons is ridiculous.

It is really an unfair comparison.

The story of Borderlands 2 is just as bland and predictable as Diablo 3. There weren't really surprises, just a few very cool moments and one liners. The two deaths of important characters from Borderlands 1 was predictable. Angel's relationship to Jack was predictable. Her 'class' was predictable. The characters and the witty dialog made what you are calling the story. The truth is, it wasn't story, it was an experience.

Really, it is more fair to compare Borderlands 2 to earlier Grand Theft Auto titles. They have the same tongue in cheek style, with a 'serious' overtone that is never really taken too seriously.

Diablo 3 couldn't afford to waste as much time as Borderlands 2 did since it has the 'three playthrough into inferno' setup.
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11/04/2013 06:43 AMPosted by Yuujin
The story of Borderlands 2 is just as bland and predictable as Diablo 3. There weren't really surprises, just a few very cool moments and one liners. The two deaths of important characters from Borderlands 1 was predictable.


If you can tell me that you were entirely emotionally unaffected when Bloodwing died or when Sanctuary finally took off...then you are a much harder hearted person than me.

11/04/2013 06:43 AMPosted by Yuujin
The characters and the witty dialog made what you are calling the story. The truth is, it wasn't story, it was an experience.


What is a videogame's story then, really? I mean, boil the dialogue and the characters out of 99% of games and you have basically the same thing story wise.

Was The Dark Knight a movie with a really good story? No. It had cool characters and great dialogue.

Did Metal Gear Solid or Arkham Asylum have great stories? Nope. They were made by interesting characters and dialogue.

Stories, in videogames, are almost entirely created by the characters we meet in those games and the dialogue between those characters, particularly in games with an empty protagonist.

11/04/2013 06:43 AMPosted by Yuujin
Really, it is more fair to compare Borderlands 2 to earlier Grand Theft Auto titles. They have the same tongue in cheek style, with a 'serious' overtone that is never really taken too seriously.


...Really? I cannot recall a single character from GTA IV or Vice City. I don't think I'll ever forget Handsome Jack as a videogame enemy.

11/04/2013 06:43 AMPosted by Yuujin
Diablo 3 couldn't afford to waste as much time as Borderlands 2 did since it has the 'three playthrough into inferno' setup.


Why not?

Borderlands has multiple playthroughs. But this is going *way* off topic.

I don't consider 'we didn't have the time' to be an excuse for a crappy story and abysmal characters in a AAA title. ESPECIALLY from a company known for good stories and memorable characters in previous games.
Edited by Starbird#1360 on 11/4/2013 6:53 AM PST
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Note: Didn't read entire post but skimmed some highlighted points.

Borderlands 1 & 2 absolutely blows all loot hunt games out of the water in terms of storytelling and investment in the actions you take. Diablo 1 & 2, and PoE try to create an atmosphere but never compel the player into action. I don't feel for Tristram in these games or aspire to please Cain. They just provide context for what I'm doing. They are generic quest givers rather than actual people.

Cain's humorous line delivery and appearance in all 3 title certainly gives him a nostalgic charm and appeal. But he's still not a character that makes you care. He's just an exposition dumping quest giver. His shoes can be filled by anyone and I wouldn't feel like the game lost anything emotionally meaningful.

I consider Borderlands to be the shining leader in this category of all ARPG's I've ever played and it's hardly something that just Diablo 3 would have benefited from.

P.S) I don't mean to offend fans of Diablo 1&2 storytelling. I've never enjoyed it and remember joking about it with my friends growing up given how campy it was. It wasn't until much later (Diablo 3 forums) that I was surprised to read how a lot of people took it as seriously scary and well done. That's fine if you feel that way. Just keep in mind from my perspective it's like hearing someone say that Army of Darkness was a compelling horror movie that kept me on the edge of my seat.
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