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Diablo II Lord of Destruction

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					   Diablo II

Lord of Destruction
           General Information
• Company & Author: Blizzard
• Type of game: MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online
  Role-Playing Game)
• Price: Both the original game and expansion can now
  be purchased for $19.99 each.

• Available for the Mac and PC.
              Requirements
• Single-Player PC System Requirements

  – Requires the Full Version of Diablo II
  – Windows® 2000*, ME, XP, 95, 98 or NT 4.0 Service
    Pack 5
  – Pentium® 233 or equivalent
  – 64 MB RAM
  – 800MB available hard drive space (in addition to
    original Diablo II Multiplayer install).
  – 4X CD-ROM drive
  – DirectX™ compatible video card
        Requirements (cont.)
• Multiplayer PC System Requirements and
  Options
  – Requires the Full Version of Diablo II
  – 64 MB RAM
  – 800MB available hard drive space (in addition to
    original Diablo II Multiplayer install).
  – 28.8 Kbps or faster modem
  – Up to 8 Players: Over TCP/IP Network or Battle.net®
    (Requires low-latency Internet connection with
    support for 32-bit applications)
         Requirements (cont.)
• Graphics libraries
  – DirectX, Direct3D, and the Glide API.
• Sound card
  – Anything that supports DirectX.
              Recommended
• Optional 3D acceleration
  – Glide and Direct 3D compatible card with at least
    8MB of video RAM
  – Realistic perspective mode
  – Improved transparency effects
  – Improved lighting/shadowing effects, such as colored
    lighting, and smoother transitions between light and
    dark areas
  – Atmospheric effects
  – Possibly faster frame-rate
                  Installation
• Procedure
  – Installing Diablo II is simple. There are two necessary
    CDs for the original program (and another for cut-
    scene cinema) and one CD for the expansion.
    Instructions are easy to follow.
  – The expansion requires the original program to be
    installed.
• Latest Patches / Online Play
  – Latest patches are automatically downloaded when
    you connect online. Online play is accessed through
    the opening menu of the game.
                         Manual
• Helpful to understand basic rules of play.
• Offers very little in the way of strategy.
• Overshadowed by the abundance of in-depth information
  available and easily accessible online:
   – Specific values can be found to replace generalized
     explanations.
   – Strategy guides can explain nuances of the game that are only
     implied or completely ignored by the manual.
• Patches that have been introduced after the release
  have rendered some aspects of the manual inaccurate.
                            Storyline
• In the first Diablo, you fought your way through scores of
  demons/monsters in order to defeat Diablo, ruler of hell, who had
  breached the gap between his and the earthly word, in order to
  return peace to the land.

• In Diablo II, he has once again returned (having possessed the hero
  of the first game) and has set out to release his two brothers. The
  game is divided into four acts.
    – Act 3: Mephisto, one of the brothers.
    – Act 4: Diablo

• In Lord of Destruction, one more act is added to Diablo II. Act 5
  finds you chasing down the last brother, Baal.
             Player Role
• Complete quests
• Gather equipment
• Design character by distributing rewards,
  gained through experience level and quest
  bonuses, across various skills and
  attributes
• Compete against others online
                 User Interface
• Chat room / Join game screen
  – Advantages
     • Various player-controlled channels to congregate with
       friends.
     • Easy to learn/use.
  – Disadvantages
     • Only given a short list of current games.
     • Cannot filter list, it does so on its own with recently created
       games only.
     • Cannot view current games in another difficulty.
        User Interface (cont.)
• In-game screen
  – Advantages
    • Health and mana (constantly checked) are easily visible.
    • Constant display only blocks view at bottom of screen.
  – Disadvantages
    • Screen can become cluttered, and the lack of various
      perspectives or zoom-in capability can make vision difficult at
      times.
    • Maps/allies/messages can clutter the screen sometimes.
In town
Map making screen clutter worse
         User Interface (cont.)
• Inventory
  – Easy to understand and use.
  – Separate windows that may be opened/closed.
  – Space is limited.
     • Resource management definitely becomes an issue.
     • Often “mule” characters are created simply to hold trade
       goods or reserved items, although transferring the items
       between your own characters sometimes poses a risk.
Inventory
                  Game Play
• Choice of 7 different characters
  – Game experience varies greatly for each.
  – There is a great degree of control and good number
    of choices as to the distribution of various skill &
    attribute bonuses as you gain experience.
  – Reasonably large number of different character
    designs for each of these characters.
Character Selection
           Game Play (cont.)
• Quests
  – Various objectives throughout the game, with many
    very different and worthwhile rewards.
  – Main goal is usually to destroy a monster or locate
    something (guarded by monsters).
  – Nothing in the way of puzzle solving.
            Game Play (cont.)
• Difficulties
  – Game must be played through three successive
    difficulty levels (one must be completed to reach
    another).
  – Each difficulty provides some changes other than
    higher monster statistics.
     • Some monsters gain immunities.
     • Your resistances to certain elemental/poison/magic attacks
       are reduced.
     • Monster combinations and AI/strategies increase. (More
       intelligent spell-casting, for example.)
           Game Play (cont.)
• Environment
  – Advantages
    • Visually stunning
  – Disadvantages
    • Not as interactive as it seems could‟ve been possible
              Game Play (cont.)
• Replay value
  – After finishing all quests on all three difficulty levels, all you can
    do is continue killing random monsters (or the boss monsters
    once again).
  – The true replay value of this game lines in its online community.
              Game Play (cont.)
• Online Community
  – Parties
     • Some combinations of characters work better than others
       (supplement one another).
     • Some characters have skills that directly affect their party
       members, enhancing skills/attributes.
  – Trading
     • Great way to get good items quickly.
     • Makes use of items that offer no help to your character
       design.
     • Something to do when you‟re tired of questing and dueling.
     • Often done through web sites, by bids.
             Game Play (cont.)
• Online Community (cont.)
  – Dueling.
     • Fighting a user-controlled opponent is a refreshing break
       from battling monsters.
     • Different characters designs interact very differently (not the
       same duel over and over).
     • Dominant builds often spark other strategies; character
       designs evolve and new character designs arise.
  – Problems?
     • Unfortunately, you do have to deal with real people. real
       people can always be a problem.
             Game Play (cont.)
• Expansion
  – New, more powerful weapons added.
  – Two of the seven characters were only added with the
    expansion.
  – New rune items which can be used to enhance items. Proper
    combinations can have powerful effects outside of the listed
    bonuses.
  – Weapon-switching capability
  – Increased storage size.
  – Some environmental interaction, but not much.
     • Specific scenarios, including catapults/towers.
                          Scoring
• Single Player
   – No scoring really exists, other than experience level.
• Multiplayer
   – Scoring is relative and there never an “absolute winner”.
   – The only in-game ranking is a ladder system that is periodically
     reset. Players are ranked by experience level, and ladder
     characters are isolated from non-ladder characters online (no
     trading). Also, certain items will only spawn in ladder games
     (though they will not disappear when ladder is reset and “ladder”
     characters become “non-ladder”).
              Scoring (cont.)
• Multiplayer (cont.)
  – Many players design characters to duel one another,
    and some keep track of win/loss records. Sometimes
    “honor” rules are followed during such duels (no
    health potions, etc.).
  – Some character designs are built around repeatedly
    killing certain bosses quickly, in order to find good
    items. These characters need to both hold as much
    magic find bonus equipment as possible and kill the
    bosses quickly, so the “perfect build” has been the
    topic of some online debate.
                 Scoring (cont.)
• Multiplayer (cont.)
   – There is a second, “hardcore” ladder system which
     does not allow characters to respawn. (Once you‟re
     dead, you‟re dead.)
      • Some consider this to be a more assessment of skill.
      • Some people aren‟t willing to risk it simply because of their
        internet connection / computer performance.
               Comparisons
• Upon its release, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
  was the most popular game in its genre.
• Since then, it has been outdated by similar
  games such as World of Warcraft. (note: same
  company)
• There is a still a large online community today,
  attesting to the strength and staying power of the
  game.
        Appropriate Audience
• The only factor to be considered here is
  violence. However, the violence is only seems
  as real as sprites killing one another can seem,
  so this is not too bad.
                   Artwork
• Fairly impressive for the time the game was
  released.
• Spell-casting is typically the most visually
  pleasing element of the game.
• Sometimes the detail of the artwork on the
  screen and the amount of change each frame
  can cause lag online (particularly when multiple
  characters/monsters are spell-casting!). This is
  where a good graphics card really pays off.
Artwork
Artwork
          Sound and Music
• Sounds and music can be very repetitive.
• No alternative music choices (other than
  „off‟).
• Although repetitive, sounds can often be
  informative (hit/miss, tripped a trap,
  monster destroyed, etc.)
                Bugs / Patches
• Bugs
  – Bugs have been found and exploited online.
  – Popular bugs that have been exploited:
     • Duplicating items
     • Increased damage (adding/removing buggy items repeatedly)
     • Map hacks (see everything)
• Response
  – Blizzard has responded by banning CD keys of cheaters (can‟t
    play online).
  – Patches have been periodically introduced to fix bugs (whether
    exploited or not).
  – Patches have also allowed character classes to become (fairly)
    balanced over time.

				
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posted:1/31/2012
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