The word "Diablo" is magical to me. Before 2000, it just represented a Spanish word that I was largely unfamiliar with other than seeing it on bottles of hot sauce.
I stayed up until 2 am the night of the release of "Diablo III," watching the game slowly download onto my computer and feeling a nervous, celebratory brand of glee. The first week of play was just like what I remembered, except with more social connectivity than ever before. Within seconds, I could be in a full party, enjoying all the blissful memories of the past, and finding it all fit so well - like a pair of jeans you've had since college and furtively sleep in from time to time because they're so comfortable.
It knows you, because it's been with you for so long. And you know just what to expect from it.
I wasn't much of an MMO gamer before "Diablo II." (Thankfully, the black death known as "Everquest," kindly passed me over - which kept my sanity intact while my friends quit college to make a living hoarding platinum.)
When I looked at these games, I saw gamers as rats in a wheel, running an endless race. I was the type of gamer motivated by stories with a beginning, middle and an end. It made no sense to me to pour so much time and effort into something that essentially had no real finale.
Why did "Diablo II," break my habit? I'm not sure. Truthfully, at first it was fun to play with friends - that held some novelty for a primarily solo gamer. Soon enough, the game became a familiar face. It always felt good to run through those memorized levels or kill that miniboss yet again (Hello, Rakanishu!). No matter how many times I played through the acts of "Diablo II," I never lost my appetite for it.
But after that first week of jumping back into the world of "Diablo III," I realized something was different. FULL POST