Diablo® III

How Diablo 3 can learn from Dark Souls

Agreed. The story telling got way out of hand.

Also, too linear story without anything else to be done.

I think WoW really got an impact into Blizzard's team and this game had too much WoW storytelling in it. But as a single - 4 player game, the story telling could be done alot better than massive yelling from raid bosses. This is not an MMO
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Rezzing... because this thead is pretty damn good.

I just got Diablo 3 and I agree with everything the OP posted months ago. Especially on storytelling, D3 could really use Dark Souls style storytelling.
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Minor Dark Soul spoiler in this post.

5. Learn how suspense works

Diablo 3 is about as suspenseful as watching a needle slowly move towards a balloon. Sure, there's a loud noise at the end, and a five-year-old would probably be pretty amused, but suspense relies on uncertainty - and not the magnitude of the climax.

Talk about suspense in Dark Souls compared to Diablo 3. All the Diablo 3 bosses are immediately obvious what they are, what they'll do to you, and what you need to do to them.

I recently (A month ago) got to the Bed of Chaos in Dark Souls. I am afraid to fight it. I figured out the first step against it and the reaction it had freaked me out badly enough that I quit right there. I've tried to engage it a few times since then, and it's just too weird and overwhelming -- I simply am scared of that boss, even though I've crushed everything up to it (Playing an overlevelled int stacking wizard with decent str/end for defenses, so by all rights it shouldn't give me any problems.)

Dark Souls does this to me all over the place. Diablo 3 ... doesn't. At all. Ever.
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Same thing with Stray Demon. It ABSOLUTELY shocked me when I first got to it , and after he killed me in about five seconds I'm scared to go back there since it's such a long trip to where he is.

Or Sif, for example. The cutscene leading to him was incredibly tense to me: I pretty damn anxious , a huge open field with a grave and a gigantic sword on the front of it lol. I was trembling to see what awaited for me.
Edited by beckyolt#1352 on 7/24/2012 4:14 PM PDT
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The thing is, Dark Souls seems to take itself completely seriously, whereas Diablo is at best Sam Raimi dark (i.e. Evil Dead), with goofy-looking demons, cheesy characters and silly easter eggs.

I dunno, it feels as if you were comparing Silent Hill to Resident Evil.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf#1953 on 7/24/2012 7:42 PM PDT
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Haven't played the first two Diablos but they seem like they take themselves seriously too...
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In Diablo I, the "scary" Butcher is voiced by Bill Roper (the Orc Grunt's VA), Diablo says "Eat your vegetables and brush your teeth" backwards, in one subquest, your character will start quoting Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction, and the citizens of Tristram are quite campy, especially Farnham.

In Diablo II, the opening cinematic involves Diablo summoning goofy-looking demons and skeletons to slay a bunch of ugly peasants and a midget, the first enemies you encounter are the Fallen, which are cowardly goblin-like creatures with a high-pitched voice (in D2, they sound almost exactly like Covenant Grunts from Halo), the cutscenes are narrated by an useless whiny old man voiced by Frank Gorshin (aka the Riddler from the 60s' Batman TV shows), and you got wacky characters such as Gheed and Warriv who can't help but act whimsically even in the direst times.

The differences in tone and atmosphere between the two franchises are quite significant. If anything, Path of Exile seems closer to Dark Souls' bleak setting and minimalistic storytelling.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf#1953 on 7/25/2012 10:45 AM PDT
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Same thing with Stray Demon. It ABSOLUTELY shocked me when I first got to it , and after he killed me in about five seconds I'm scared to go back there since it's such a long trip to where he is.

Or Sif, for example. The cutscene leading to him was incredibly tense to me: I pretty damn anxious , a huge open field with a grave and a gigantic sword on the front of it lol. I was trembling to see what awaited for me.

There is a way to get to a closer spawn point to stray demon before engaging him. Just saying.

But yeah, both those examples are places where Dark Souls (and it didn't cheat by insta-killing you with no hope of survival) got me, too.

07/25/2012 10:33 AMPosted by JohnnyZeWolf
In Diablo I, the "scary" Butcher is voiced by Bill Roper (the Orc Grunt's VA)

In Diablo 3, the "scary" Diablo is voiced by J.B. Blanc, who also voiced Alfred in Beware the Batman. Does that automatically make it not scary? No, it really doesn't impact it -- the result is judged by the in-game effect, not the other works done by the artist.

07/25/2012 10:33 AMPosted by JohnnyZeWolf
Diablo says "Eat your vegetables and brush your teeth" backwards

Here's a little tip for you, since you keep trying to use this to prove it's "not scary": If you can't understand what's being said, it still works.

The fact that if you do some research/sound work (To reverse it) and find out that what's actually being said is silly just makes it awesome, because it doesn't in any way detract from the environment of the game.

Unlike Tear-rawr. That detracts from the environment of the game.

How tastes your fear nephalem?
How tastes your fear nephalem?
How tastes your fear nephalem?
Edited by Bianary#1174 on 7/25/2012 11:53 AM PDT
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In Diablo 3, the "scary" Diablo is voiced by J.B. Blanc, who also voiced Alfred in Beware the Batman. Does that automatically make it not scary? No, it really doesn't impact it -- the result is judged by the in-game effect, not the other works done by the artist.


Who said Diablo was ever scary?

Sure, it doesn't help that in D3 he looks like a freaking Zerg, but the character has always been cheesy-looking (stereotypical big red demon with horns) and the games consistently depicted him as some sort of coward; hiding deep under Tristram, having to travel in disguise and hiding behind his horde of minions instead of taking care of things himself.

Here's a little tip for you, since you keep trying to use this to prove it's "not scary": If you can't understand what's being said, it still works.


No, it just makes you wonder what the hell was this all about.

Besides, even at the time, the novelty of a demonic figure speaking backwards had wore off and was already a commonly derided cliché. It may scare kids, but it's hardly comparable to real horror.

Imagine if in, say, Amnesia, the invisible monsters were not only visible but looked like kindergarten halloween creatures and sounded pretty much like a WarCraft Grunt.

As for the repeated taunts in D3, they happen during fights, which at this point the monsters have stopped being scary, as they are right in front of you and you are most likely kicking their asses. Even without the repetition, they are just typical boss taunts; nothing scary there.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf#1953 on 7/25/2012 12:33 PM PDT
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07/25/2012 12:20 PMPosted by JohnnyZeWolf
As for the repeated taunts in D3, they happen during fights, which at this point the monsters have stopped being scary, as they are right in front of you and you are most likely kicking their asses.

Which just makes them even dumber, and is yet another thing Diablo 3 could learn from Dark Souls -- Bosses give nothing away, because they can still kill you at any point if you get cocky.

Kinda like enraging in Diablo 3 I suppose. Except by the time it happens you think the boss is just an idiot and you hate fighting him because he's been spamming you with idiotic taunts the whole time, and then he cheats and one-shots you (ie, it's not a fair death -- it's a gear check death that no amount of skillful play will overcome.)
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D2's Duriel was silent, and yet the boss seems to be mostly known for being irritating, not scary.

I also remember trying out Diablo I's The Hell mod, which made the game extremely hard, so much that I couldn't even beat the Butcher. That didn't make him scarier though, just plain frustrating.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf#1953 on 7/25/2012 12:41 PM PDT
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D2's Duriel was silent, and yet the boss seems to be mostly known for being irritating, not scary.

I also remember trying out Diablo I's The Hell mod, which made the game extremely hard, so much that I couldn't even beat the Butcher. That didn't make him scarier though, just plain frustrating.

Scary is usually a first impressions thing. Diablo 3 botches every first impression chance it has. Some of that is due to normal being ezmode, but a lot of it is that the bosses don't even pretend they'll be a challenge (And most introduce themselves to you long before you encounter them)

Duriel was not "irritating" when you encountered him for the first time. You found yourself suddenly facing a giant monster in a tiny arena, who assaulted you with devastating attacks while you slowly (Due to chill) tried to flee. That's a good first impression.

Even Diablo in Diablo 2, who you say isn't scary: Your first encounter the whole area shakes, "Not even death can save you from me" (Oh crap he's going to kill me) and then the giant demon spitting fire and lightning attacks you. Strong first impression. Diablo 3? You've seen her before in the game itself. Her voice has been uselessly taunting you the entire time. You're not primed to be afraid, you've spent the whole time being told you'll kill her. It's a total letdown and a waste of a good opportunity.

Hell mod in Diablo 1 doesn't matter for this because none of it should be first impressions for you.

Edit: In the interests of full disclosure. The skeleton king was kinda scary as the first boss I'd fought, and he had a really devastating mace attack that reinforced being worried about him -- but after I beat him without using a healing potion on my first encounter, my expectations plummeted for future bosses. I actually was a little impressed by the Butcher's size when I first fought him, but it was greatly weakened by his intro bashing uselessly on the gate waiting for Maghda to let him into the arena. Botched. And then Belial's transformation was actually really cool, but at the same time a multi-stage boss fight weakened it because I'd already gotten to fight him and it wasn't quite the "Oh no this guy is really scary" moment it could have been had he just ambushed us with it, rather than in a more controlled arena like it felt like. After those two though, no new boss encounters impressed me or surprised me at all, they never brought anything new to the table or method of introducing them. Always an arena. Always a boss I'd either heard from before or been told about. Boring. (Well, Iskatu was a surprise. But by the time I realized it was a boss he was dead.)
Edited by Bianary#1174 on 7/25/2012 1:47 PM PDT
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I felt Belial was really lame. A ridiculous plot "twist" we could see coming miles away and that visibly was meant to surprise us.
Edited by beckyolt#1352 on 7/27/2012 1:52 PM PDT
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OP,

I understand your point about Dark Souls, and I agree with a lot of things you said, but the truth is that Blizzard didn't need to look further than D2 and D1 for inspiration for plot and storytelling.

Have you played D1 or D2 ?

Both games had more serious tone, less intrusive narrative (no in-game lame / facepalm cutscenes), better "dark" atmosphere, and better characterization of evil.

I really don't understand why they did D3 like some kind of saturday morning cartoon.
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OP,

I understand your point about Dark Souls, and I agree with a lot of things you said, but the truth is that Blizzard didn't need to look further than D2 and D1 for inspiration for plot and storytelling.

Have you played D1 or D2 ?

Both games had more serious tone, less intrusive narrative (no in-game lame / facepalm cutscenes), better "dark" atmosphere, and better characterization of evil.

I really don't understand why they did D3 like some kind of saturday morning cartoon.


Check out the writing credits on IMDB ;)

Anyways, good post OP.
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07/25/2012 10:33 AMPosted by JohnnyZeWolf
In Diablo II, the opening cinematic involves Diablo summoning goofy-looking demons and skeletons to slay a bunch of ugly peasants and a midget, the first enemies you encounter are the Fallen, which are cowardly goblin-like creatures with a high-pitched voice (in D2, they sound almost exactly like Covenant Grunts from Halo), the cutscenes are narrated by an useless whiny old man voiced by Frank Gorshin (aka the Riddler from the 60s' Batman TV shows), and you got wacky characters such as Gheed and Warriv who can't help but act whimsically even in the direst times.


In the first cinematic, at least people are being murdered in a dark tale of hell. Frank Goshens voice acting in D2 is superb. Marius conveys uncertainty and fear in truly believable ways when facing the Lords, people are actually dying and scared in D2's cinematics. The dark wanderer is mysterious and slowly transforms into a being of pure evil, with a great connection to the original Diablo. Souls of the damned are screaming through the gates of Hell, Duriel speaks in a very low and deeply demonic voice only once, and that's all you need. The cinematics are timeless examples of video game horror, just as other great horror games like Silent Hill 2, and Resident Evil. Diablo 3 is much less about horror and much more about fantasy and nerd fiction approachable by much younger ages. There's so much to say but it's already been beat to death on this forum by very long and elaborate posts. The fact of the matter, in my opinion, is that Diablo 3's story !@#$ing sucks %^- hard, and the dialogue is often cheesy, and there is never a glimpse of a horror game except during the 1 moment where Diablo takes over Leahs body.
Edited by Eyeless#1959 on 7/27/2012 7:09 PM PDT
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OP,
I understand your point about Dark Souls, and I agree with a lot of things you said, but the truth is that Blizzard didn't need to look further than D2 and D1 for inspiration for plot and storytelling.

Have you played D1 or D2 ?

Both games had more serious tone, less intrusive narrative (no in-game lame / facepalm cutscenes), better "dark" atmosphere, and better characterization of evil.

I really don't understand why they did D3 like some kind of saturday morning cartoon.


http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/23463157.jpg
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