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I think one of the main facets is the seriousness of the games....
D1... had no jokes.... Everything was serious, and you where always wondering just how your hero was supposed to contend with the entire forces of hell itself, completely alone. The closest thing to a joke from Diablo 1 was Gharbad, a goatman so scared of you/dieing that he was willing to sell out the forces of hell and bribe you, only to then betray you. Then you had the alcoholic guy in town, one of the only (if not the only, I can't remember) survivor of the first failed incursion into the monastery, that literally gets entirely wiped out before the butcher's room. The man is so mentally/emotionally ruined after that, that his entire character is drowning his sorrows in alcohol, desperately trying to forget even witnessing the smallest taste of hell on earth.
D2 started getting away from that, towards an arcade style game, but you at least got the impression that the forces of hell where stronger than you. And had some truly tense/shocking moments.
D3...The game looks like a giant cartoon, is very brightly lit up, there are frequent WoW-type references jokes thrown around, complete joke characters (all the helper npcs, Covetus Shen) you literally are never alone to build up the creepy factor, because even when you forgo a helper npc/pet you are constantly getting talked to by villian(s). Then you add in the arcade game type feeling the game has, complete with arcade style popup messages, the way boss fights are done, and the relative power of bosses to elites... and you can see where things lost their sparkle...
Then, you have a nonsensical plot. We betray Zoltan Kule for no reason, he literally warns us about the soulstone being tampared with, and we kill him. Then dark soulstone itself somehow already has all the prime evils trapped in it, despite being locked in another dimension. The "Lord of Lies and deception" fools absolutely noone posing as an infant king with amazing magical powers.Then the "master of hell's military strategy" spends every possible second telling/IMing you his next move before he does it...
Even if you can get passed all that, from Act 1 on, it's blatantly thrown in your face that you are in fact, a Nephilum, and are for the first time ever in Diablo in game lore SUPPOSED to be stronger than the entirety of the forces of hell combined. You go from feeling like the tragic hero, against insurmountable odds, willing to sacrifice his/her life to even have the slightest chance of holding back the forces of hell (ala the Diablo 1 hero) to being an NBA superstar playing their 3 year old nephew in a game of basketball, trying not to laugh when they start acting all cocky after you let them finally score a goal... in 8 attempts.
Edited by Epyon#1326 on 5/17/2013 2:01 AM PDT
In my opinion this is probably the biggest part of it. The concept of humans being vastly more powerful -- or firmly establishing the normal population has at least the potential to than all their antagonists -- is incompatible with the horror genre, and overall bad for a story. Especially if the only real limitations to someone obtaining the superpowers are extreme rarity and dire circumstances. The audience won't feel the hero or humanity is threatened at all, because it'll take just one demigod to stroll in and solve everything. Even if the hero somehow fails, you know another super-powered warrior will show up eventually and win.
Humans are also the only beings with free will, which serves to show how even more special they are. This was overkill and it really doesn't make sense, either. Wouldn't humans still be slaves to their nature of being good sometimes and evil other times? Is it that they only have free will in the sense Itherael couldn't predict their existence and he didn't have time to observe people?
Humanity's origins were actually a good idea, but once again it boiled down to poor execution. I would've liked to see that humans/nephalem are subject to the regulations and limitations of whatever realm they draw power from. The Angiris Council and the Prime Evils would then be trying to recruit people by loaning out power. That would've opened so many doors to stories and expansions.
A little off topic: D3's story could be somewhat creepy again if the writers expanded on the terrifying implications of the Balance. That could offer a decent expansion or two.
Edited by Stingray#1382 on 5/22/2013 2:54 PM PDT
Your post isn't wrong and you make some excellent points, but..
"Natalie Portman rocks!"
"Buy War[craft] II"
"Yup... that's a cow all right"
"Eat your vegetables and brush after every meal."
And although it doesn't count..
Your post isn't wrong and you make some excellent points, but..D1... had no jokes....Is wrong.
I installed my old Diablo and don't have such a screen. Seems like created in Photoshop. Btw. why should they mention Portman. Her first known appearance is Episode I and release of this was in 1999, release of Diablo 1 was in 1997.
Nah. It's legit.
Her first appearance was in "Developing" in 1994. It is likely that the devs came to love her from the movie "Léon: The Professional" (1994) or possibly "Mars Attacks!" (1996).
The Professional... Such a great movie that I hate watching because it purposely tries to sell a very young Natalie Portman as a sex symbol/ make you feel like a Pedo.
Fun fact: In every non US version of that movie, the girl/Leon are actually lovers. It was changed here because America is a country of prudes (but gratuitous drugs, violence, and murders are perfectly fine)
Why should you give a !@#$ about what Demons or Angels think? Of course....they should be afraid of you. You've only become a
GOD OF WAR.
And now...........morality (and hubris?) can creep into the story.
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