It’s funny. Back in 2000, I was a huge Blizzard fan with Warcraft and Starcraft, but I never paid any attention to Diablo. I wasn’t following Diablo 2 at all. My best friend had showed me Diablo 1 on PlayStation, but it never interested me. My friend was visiting after school and brought his copy of Diablo 2.
We quickly installed it on my dad’s laptop. I think it was Windows 95 with only a Pentium 300MHz and 16MB of RAM. The family computer, a Mac, was even worse. The laptop didn’t meet the game’s requirements, but somehow the game still worked. Even though the framerate was really low, we both had an absolute blast. I bought the game myself the very next day after school.
We both got online with our slow dial-up connections and logged on Battle.net. We had to use cell phones to communicate game name/password. It seemed like everyone was on Battle.net, because multiplayer was unplayable. It took us an hour before we got through the “new game” queue. Then we both had problems getting into the game. Every time it failed we were back at the bottom of the queue. For some reason we didn’t care about these problems. We just went back to playing single player.
I played Diablo 2 all the rest of summer break. I fondly remember days of playing all day until 3am, sleeping in until 11am, and skipping lunch most days. There were just so many classes to try, all with unique skills. Then there were unique items to try to find. Looking back, it was really grindy leveling new characters from scratch to try out new builds, but it never bothered me at the time. I was completely addicted.
I must have played the game every day for a year straight, not always long hours but at least 30 minutes. Even when I took a break later, I would always come back to it for a few months to try the new patch, new builds, or to get better items. These days, I still play the game at least once a year, but just casually for a few weeks. There’s just something magical about Diablo 2 to me.
This is really how I feel about all hack ‘n’ slash games. I have more memories with Diablo 2, though, just because that’s the first hack ‘n’ slash game I played.