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I've been thinking about this for some time. A lot of people hate the following:
- Azmodan/Belial - Bad at their job (lying, tactician)
- Diablo/Maghda - seeming like typical superhero villains. Wierd dialogue
- Leah dying and not being acknowledged after all the crap she has been through
- Cain is killed by Maghda (who looks like Rita Repulsa) when he is such a loved character of the series
In defense of Belial: I've come to think that the "Lord of Lies" was good enough to get into Caldeum as a mysterious baby who became Hakkan/Or he possessed Hakkan, who knows. The reason why he has been sucessful thus far is that he has been able to take over one of the greatest cities by replacing the guards/the powerful with his own minions. It would be hard for a Nephalem to NOT know what the hell is going on. I almost wonder if Belial actually wants the Nephlem to find him out - especially since he basically 'investigates' the identity of Belial as the player character moves through the act after they prove strong enough to destroy the covent and ressurect ZK's spirit. By the end of it, Belial basically wants the Nephalem to come to him and to take the stone - and the Nephalem, whether or not they read the book of the dead guard in Caldeum, always seems to know that Hakkan is Belial without anyone saying directly. So anyone who says that the whole plot of Act 2 is far too obvious for it to be a 'lord of lies' plot, do consider that the deciet has already been a success, it is just up to the Nephalem to work out where the obvious source of corruption is.
Azmodan's defense: Some people have criticized how a master tactician would announce what his next move was... I do kind of agree that Baal was a better tactician than Azmodan... Then again, at the start of Act 3, Azmodan is on the verge of destroying Bastion Keep. What he understimates is the strength of the Nephalem (as both angels and demons always tend to do). He was smart enough to send a toxic demon into the larder, not to mention you have to go through countless soul lashers and tremmors to get there (if we assume that in real life, the monsters are as strong as they are in inferno difficulty). Also, on the walls he sends those god-awful bat creature things that can potentially kill you in a couple of hits. To make it worse, you have to put up with other powerful creatures like the Phasebeasts, the bloodstar witches and the heralds. Each of these minions complement each other very well when behind a group of spear throwing/charging goats or fallen. Azmodan’s fatal flaw is of course over-confidence, as with Belial.
Now Diablo is another matter entirely. I do not really like the way he was dealt with. I am fine with the way he looks, I think it’s quite a creative and risky move, but it just goes to show that he does loosely resemble the human that he inhabits. My issue is with the voice, and the amount of dialogue he has.
In Diablo 1, we walk all the way down to hell with very little interaction with Diablo, but we know that he is the one responsible for the demons that we face. When we finally get down there, he comes out from the darkness at you saying nothing, perhaps shocking you with an apocalypse spell. In Diablo 2, he says nothing the whole game besides the rather grim human-form dialogue and “Not even death can save you from me”. Again, a main antagonist that says practically nothing. Blizzard more or less had it in the bag when it came to a very scary ‘Lord of Terror’. Even Baal with his deceitfully unimposing pantomime look and with his highly blaze’ personality is disturbing. Belial has the same effect when he transforms from his floating mephisto-like form to that humongous green thing with a deformed head. And Azmodan, well, he has been imposing since we first saw the Black Soulstone video.
Now Diablo in D3… He comes out in the open and speaks in a higher, more generic ‘bad-guy’ voice, and then mocks the player in a ‘nya nya nya’ fashion… Then when you fight him in his ‘realm of terror’, he says that you have to defeat ‘us’… Well duh! Of course we do! Rather than talking to us, why doesn’t he just leave destruction in his wake and when we face him, he just runs the hell at us to !@#$ us up? That’s how this big red demon has always maintained the title ‘lord of terror’. The best slasher films have characters who hardly ever talk, and who you only see in full about once at the end of the film. Same with ghost films, same with gore films (like Jigsaw ). They are all very limited in what they say to us because they know that they have the power. Sure the lesser evils can say a bit more, but they are masters of other things…
Edited by Madammodesta#1726 on 7/8/2012 2:19 AM PDT
-Below is the rest of my long post, did not fit into one post -
Now on the subject of Leah... I wonder if the expansion will be related to somehow salvaging something that is left of her. Souls don’t just evaporate in Diablo, they always end up somewhere, especially the ones that have not fully been laid to rest (So Cain would be an example of someone laid to rest). I’m going to let Blizz off on this one on the assumption that we have not seen the last of Leah… Although it would have been nice if she could have been mentioned in the final cinematic.
Maghda is an interesting case. I feel like she is a character who had potential from the moment she killed Cain – Btw, I don’t mind that he was killed at this point in the game, as it was necessary to move the storyline along…. I think his death was kind of a way to close ties with the previous games and start anew. Maghda was obviously being used by Belial, and unlike Adria, she was blind enough not to see that this coven was a death-trap. I think that Maghda could have been far more 3 dimensional if she did not simply turn up and mock the character, but instead, you could see her develop throughout the end of act 1 and start of act 2 in reaction to her realisation that Belial was playing her. There is that one scene in the outpost where this is touched on briefly… But it is not followed up with anything. As a fight, she was also a pushover at all difficulties. This is what really got me. My guess is that she was meant to realise that she was expendable… So during this fight she should have probably been a little rough around the edges… Maybe a final transformation (some mutant insectoid or dark fay creature? That would explain her fairy-like exterior). This would essentially demonstrate how blindly she has followed Belial, to the point where she is barely human…. It’s not the Rita Repulsa look that gets me… It’s the fact that this potentially awesome character is made to be a common shallow witch with very little self-reflection or depth. Zultun Kulle worked as a character because you got to see different sides of him – to the point where I actually wanted to join him!
So yes… That’s my view on this whole thing. It would be nice if this kind of thing would be taken on bored or at least explained by Blizzard. Instead, it was simply defended by Jay as having received good responses. Sure, maybe it did, but that begs the question as to why they did not utilise some of the amazing characters they had. Insofar as predictability goes, I knew the story because I think they gave out a little too much information pre-release. A lot of what I predicted is basically what I wanted to happen (especially the Adria betrayal), however, it was the (sometimes) lazy execution of parts of the story that really upset me.
Thanks for reading .
Edited by Madammodesta#1726 on 7/8/2012 2:22 AM PDT
Well, firstly because he was going to die anyways (as suggested by the coughing and the old age). Secondly, because it moves the story onwards, rather than lingering in the past, the story has to move onto its new focus characters. Thirdly because it gave us something to become enraged about... Problem is that the person who killed him did not have the right amount of depth for her to be considered a worthy Cain-killer.
You can disagree with those points if you want, it is my opinion. I know there are some people who feel very strongly that Cain simply did not have to die, and I don't think I could persuade them otherwise.
Edited by Madammodesta#1726 on 7/8/2012 4:26 AM PDT
As much as I hated losing an old companion, Cain HAS to die and has to die WHEN he dies; immediately prior to Tyrael regaining his knowledge of his past angelic existence. Cain, with his experience and knowledge, would have deduced Belial's impersonation/possession of Hakan, Adria's rather transparently cold and manipulative attitudes toward mortals, morals and her own daughter. Possibly, based on things said by Kulle and Adria, he would have deduced Leah's true parentage. He would have blown the whole story at the end of Act I.
Tyr, on the other hand, should NOT be viewed as an angel or as a superior human. He has LOST his angelic nature and its attendant supernatural insights. He is a mortal now; he may retain some muscle memory allowing him to be a superior warrior, but he's also "gained" mortal issues he's never had to deal with previously. He knows doubt, something angels lack. He experiences pain and confusion and has never had to deal with these issues as a mortal; his memory is no longer "perfect." In terms of mortality he's almost an infant, learning mortal reflexes step by step. He even mentions his own confusion and astonishment at things mortals have to deal with and HOW they have to deal with such things. (It would have been priceless if Blizzard had included some comments on his reaction to hunger or the "bodily functions" he's never needed to deal with as an angel.)
Tyrael the ANGEL, might have been able to overawe and overwhelm wise old Deckard Cain; Tyrael the neophyte MORTAL would have been inferior to Cain in every way other than the physical. Cain is "knowledgeable." Tyrael as a mortal is ignorant. Not stupid; the two words are not synonyms. Cain HAD to go if Tyrael was going to grow as a mortal.
Which is exactly why people say he's a bad tactician: He had all those overwhelming forces at his disposal, yet failed to take the keep in over a week.
He waited a week to breach the (Already damaged!) wall and send Ghom in to starve the soldiers. Imagine if he had done that as part of the first assault, he wouldn't have had to do anything else!
No, he's just a bad tactician.
i agree with op.
however, i would like to talk a bit more about azmodan.
azmodan should have taken the keep much faster and sent his good soldiers to finish off the already weakened stronghold. I do understand sending week soldiers in first and keeping the eletes in the rear. however, the siege was at the point when the troops defending it would not stand against a good pack of elete phazebeasts. I can, however, excuse this with the fact that ppl progressing would get into the same thing as when the a3 keyperson came out.
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