Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Diablo is the Devil... Seriously

Just like I said I would yesterday, I'll relate to you today why I hate the video game Diablo (and Diablo II more so). I'm sure many of you have played one of these two games, if not both, and often. Along with Counterstrike and Starcraft, Diablo II seems to be one of the most played games online that I can think of (outside of pay-to-play online games a la Everquest).

I tried out Diablo back in the day when it first came out and found it somewhat interesting, but it was also somewhat repetitive. All you did was click, click, click, click, and click some more. The entire game was walking your character through different dungeons and clicking on the bad guys so you would attack them. That's pretty much all the deeper the game is.

I later also tried out Diablo II when my brothers picked it up, but I gave up on it after a couple of days. It was just the same thing. Clicking endlessly on enemies. What kept (and still keeps) my brothers going, however, are the new items you get the further into the game you get and the higher the level your character is. The more you play, the better your character gets and the better items he gets.

This mindset is only reinforced online where everyone plays for hours a day on the Diablo level treadmill to get new items or to get items to trade other people for. It sounds kind of interesting now, doesn't it. There's almost a little economy going on that might make playing the game a little more interesting. Maybe, except all you do when you get new items is play through the same levels you've already played a hundred times over killing the same enemies with different weapons. Why?

What is this magical draw that doing the same damn thing over and over again has over Diablo players? Do the players not realize that they're simply doing the same thing (clicking endlessly on enemies) over and over and over again. There's only slight permutations each time through with different items. The fact doesn't change that there's essentially NOTHING NEW when you play through again.

Sure, you can get even more improved items to make it easier to click like a trained monkey the next time you play through the campaign, but what is the actual end goal of doing this? There isn't one. It's a perpetual self-feeding circle. You get better items to kill things in order to level up. You level up in order to get better items. This circle repeats ad infinitum and the players seem to be too freakin' stupid to realize that they're not doing anything but waste their time while playing this game through the 277th time.

What I don't understand is how the boredom factor doesn't come into play. Why don't my brothers ever get bored with the game? There is never any new "content" in the game (I don't consider some new items content). You never have new missions. You never have new enemies. You never have new environments. You only get new items to do the same things over again, just a little easier.

I'm starting to think that some people, however, get psychologically addicted to this "new item" mentality that Diablo and games of its ilk are perpetuating. I know some people (you know who you are) who will consistently turn away human contact to continue their quest for their 20th Roderic stone (or whatever the hell some item you need in Diablo is called). Is it really that important that you continue playing Diablo (which you could easily save and pick back up at a later time) while someone is visiting you or asking you to do something with them?

The final point of ludicrousness associated with this game is how people will pay money (yeah, the green stuff we earn from working at our jobs) to purchase virtual items from other players. You could eventually get that item on your own by playing the game long enough (which no one should ever do if they want to have a life), but instead you fork over money for a bunch of 1's and 0's that add nothing to the game except a stat modifier or higher attack damage.

Ugghhhh, I just can't go on any more about how stupid this game is and how dumb the people who get caught up in it's vicious leveling circle are. Everyone who plays it should seriously take a look at how it affects their relationships with other people and why you are actually playing the game. If you're playing "to get the next awesome item" or to "level up again", then you are an idiot and are being suckered. Go do something else besides sit in front of your computer clicking over and over again doing the same thing you've done hundreds of times before!

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