Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.

diablo-movieCreated in 1994 for the PC, Diablo was meant to be a compliment to Blizzard’s popular Warcraft series, which had come out a few years prior and was deemed a success. Diablo, meant to be much darker and more gothic than Warcraft, also had a much different change in gameplay. Instead of the strategy of starting off on one side or the other and amassing a huge amount of warriors and weaponry to bash your enemies with, Diablo took to the Dungeon Crawler type of gameplay that was popular with games like DOOM, and added an RPG-type of flare to it like Final Fantasy.

The world of Diablo is deeply rooted in the heaven vs. hell archetype of story telling. Diablo, Lord of Terror, is one of the 3 Prime Evils, which are the highest level of demon in existence, and he and his brothers are in a huge war against the forces of light in a bid to destroy them and take everything over. Humans are the middle ground and both sides try to win them over through either benevolence or violence. Some powerful human mages on the side of good and backed by heavenly forces were able to capture the Prime Evils after they’d been defeated and banished to Sanctuary (aka: pseudo-Earth) and seal them in powerful Soulstones in order to bind them forever. (Apparently high-level demons can’t have their souls destroyed easily and can always resurrect if given the chance) With the souls of the Prime Evils locked away, the Soulstones were scattered and hidden away, with Diablo’s being buried in a catacomb beneath a church that later became the central point for the town of Tristrim. However after a few centuries the Soulstone weakened and Diablo was able to exert influence over the people of Tristrim, which led to massive slaughter and the kidnapping of the King’s son. So begins the game of Diablo.

Three classes is Diablo
You begin with a choice of 3 types of characters: the warrior, the rouge, and the mage. Though each character has a specialization and different beginning stats, all 3 types can use the same weapons, armor and magic if their stats are high enough and they have the specific items in hand. Otherwise talent trees are used to help gaincombat new abilities. You begin in Tristrim with various villagers that can be utilized for either conversation or for specialized talents like Griswold the blacksmith and Pepin the healer. Outside town is the church entrance where you’ll begin your decent down 16 levels of dungeon, catacombs caves, and finally straight into hell itself, all while battling gruesome monsters and undead. Enemies you encounter will drop a variety of items upon death including weapons, potions and gold for buying things in town. Shrines are also littered through levels that have varying effects such as temporary stat boosts or granting you items, and chests can be found and opened to reveal hidden goodies.

Diablo gained similar, if not more, fame than Warcraft due to both its darker grittier environment and morbid nature, but also because of its ability to do online multiplayer. Multiple people could jump online with their unique characters and help each other battle through the levels and trade items. This became an even bigger aspect of the game when carried over for Diablo 2 in 1998.

Diablo_II_CoverartDiablo 2 took everything Diablo did well, and expanded it exponentially. Taking over where the previous game left off, the hero of Diablo (which ended up being the warrior in story canon) realized he couldn’t truly defeat Diablo, and instead hoped to seal the Soulstone within himself in order to keep the Lord of Terror under control. Obviously this was a huge error in judgment, as Diablo quickly exerted his power over the soul of the hero and took control. The town of Tristrim was laid to waste (total waste of your efforts in the first game, which is really disappointing btw) and the Diablo-controlled warrior set out across the land of Sanctuary in a bid to awaken his brother Prime Evils Mephisto and Baal in the same fashion he had, while also raising demons along the way to gain further influence. Obviously both the forces of Light as well as humanity don’t quite like this idea. Enter Diablo 2.

Building upon its predecessor, Diablo 2 starts you off with a choice of 5 character types rather than 3 – barbarian, amazon, sorceress, necromancer, and paladin. Like before, you begin with different stats dependant on the character, however unlike the previous game, many weapons and armor are class-specific and can’t be used by any other class, such as wands being necromancer-only and staves being classes03 sorceress-only. Each character has its own extensive talent-tree with 3 different disciplines rather than one to build upon. Diablo 2 also sports a much longer game with 4 Acts comprised of multiple levels for each act. The use of WayPoints thankfully makes retracing your past progress much easy. Each act also has a final boss rather than just super-unique enemies that you come across every so often as in the first game (though D2 still does that as well) Diablo 2 also sports a huge following due to massive multi-player online, and a much more popular expansion. “Hellfire”, the expansion for the first Diablo was relatively unknown and didn’t do as much to expand gameplay other than fixing some bugs and granting a few more items. The Diablo 2 expansion, “Lord of Destruction” added two new character classes (assassin and druid), a whole extra act, and a bunch of new items, weapons, and monsters. With 7 character classes, tons of ways to customize your fighter, a crazy amount of items, and more enemies than you can shake a bone wand at, it’s small wonder that Diablo 2 is over a decade old, and still sports a good amount of traffic on

runeThulruneIoruneNefThe Diablo franchise, along with Warcraft and Starcraft, made Blizzard gods among gamers due to the sheer re-playability of the game and the amount of players one could cram into co-operative gameplay. Diablo 3 has already been announced as being in late development and information comes in spurts, but if past trends hold true, the game will surely be nothing short of PC-gamer gold and will mean the end of social contact for a great many of us for months to come.

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