It’s 2022 and there are upcoming video games to be excited for or played the ones that are currently the talk of the moment. Then there is me, who’s just playing an old favorite of mine, Diablo 2. I grew up on playing this demon slaying power fantasy during my teenage years, and it was easily one of the most nostalgic times of my life. I returned to Diablo 2 probably around 2017-18 after playing Diablo 3 because Diablo 3 was giving me the urge to go back to my first Diablo experience. Ever since I returned to Diablo 2, I haven’t left it since and I play it on and off throughout the years.
This article is going to be an explanation of why Diablo 2 is still an amazing experience in 2022 and beyond even though it’s been around the block since 2000. Of course, we have the brand new remake version which I will tackle on because believe it or not, it’s not just a simple port of the original game with a new fresh coat of paint. Diablo 2 is a dinosaur without a doubt, but I feel like it’s still very enjoyable to play for people who never got it experience it back in its heyday. I also believe once you play it, you might not have any more interest for any other gaming experience once you deeply invest yourself into the experience.
Replay Value Galore
One of the great things about Diablo 2 is its insanely replayable even against 2022 released games. If you’re the kind of gamer who isn’t into paying a full priced game and feel dissatisfied over it because of the lack of replay value, you will never feel that way with Diablo 2. There’s always something to do and that’s what makes it exciting. Every time I play, I’m always thinking about what am I going to be grinding for, what kind of characters I want to use, or do I want to build more characters? I believe the thing that makes Diablo 2 so addictive to play is the way how items work. The items in Diablo 2 really do play a part in how effective your character can be. That’s just one of the many endgame stages for Diablo 2 because I believe there are multiple stages for this section.
The first one is basically just beating the game on the hardest difficulty which is Hell difficulty. There are three difficulties in Diablo 2. They are Normal, Nightmare, and Hell and you have to play them in each order to progress. Then there’s the “getting better items” portion after that and people do this to basically deck out their characters, or find items where they can make additional characters to play with. This portion is very important for the next endgame stage and that is Ubers.
Diablo 2 features some very tough endgame bosses in this portion which allows you to get an exclusive item that can be helpful your character, but you’re definitely going to need some good gear before you attempt this. Last but not least, this portion isn’t the most appealing to some Diablo 2 players, but it’s basically getting to level 99. Getting to max level in Diablo 2 is a very time consuming and exhaustive thing to do, but some people do like to go for it because once you’re in the very deep stage of Diablo 2’s endgame loop, there’s not much you can do, so some players prefer to grind for level 99.
There are seven different characters to choose from and it’s very standard fair for most role playing experiences. You have characters that can be centered on melee to range or casters. These are generally the type of builds you can expect in Diablo 2. I know what you’re thinking. There’s only three main builds you can work with? Don’t let that number fool you when it comes to build diversity because Diablo 2 has many different kinds of builds that one can play with and it’s one of the reasons why people play the game.
I recommend you to search up “Diablo 2 builds” on YouTube and you can see the many different builds that people are showcasing for a game that’s rich on build diversity. People make different builds to generally have fun because obviously one build can play differently from another build, and this means some players will make characters to run certain zones to find items. My favorite character in Diablo 2 is the Paladin because I believe there are many different builds you can make while playing as him.
The many amounts of locations you can farm and run over multiple times are one of the things I appreciate about Diablo 2. There are zones that have their own purposes for the items you want to acquire. Endgame bosses like Mephisto is considered to be the best source of finding unique items because he’s very easy to kill and you can easily skip his minions by teleporting away from them. You can also use an item that has teleport charges if you aren’t playing a Sorceress.
He also has a good drop table that can drop items that are helpful for many characters when it comes to survivability. However, there are other areas players can farm like Travincal or The Secret Cow Level if they want to go after runes or charms. What that means is players must have a good balance of farming different locations because they will always have their benefits and downsides when running them hundreds or thousands of times.
The Precious Goods
Getting desirable items in Diablo 2 is certainly a rewarding feeling and unique items are some of the best items in the game. However, the very best items that most Diablo 2 players go after are runewords. Runewords are basically items that are crafted by using runes and you have to put them in a certain order to make them become a runeword. This mechanic is certainly a cool feature which was introduced in the Lord of Destruction expansion.
I remember being a kid, I was blown away that there were special items that would be better than uniques. This changed the whole item management experience because I thought runes were just another socketable mechanic you would use just to get minor beneficial stats. But it was way more than that because runewords are really the thing that’s going to separate good characters from godly characters.
Even though runewords are very sought after among many players due to their sheer power, they are not easy to obtain and it will require players to log in hundreds and thousands of hours to obtain them. But that’s what makes the game so fun to play. It’s that constant chase of wanting that huge power spike that allow your character to literally handle anything and achieve that sense of power fantasy you desire. I still have fond memories when I first crafted my Enigma back in my younger years and my Paladin has never felt so powerful ever since I obtained that piece of equipment. Fast forward to the time of me re-experiencing the game after a long hiatus, I still got that same feeling again when I self found my Enigma while playing for months on Battle.net.
Just to give you an idea of how rare some of these runes are, I’ve never found a Zod Rune which is the rarest rune and one of the rarest items in the game and I have no idea how many hours I invested throughout the years. I have seen every rune dropped and have acquired some extremely rare items. I still haven’t given up chasing it because I’ve always wanted to make the Breath of the Dying runeword. It was the only runeword that Zod was needed to make until Diablo 2: Resurrected added new runewords. When I was younger, that was my biggest goal I wanted to accomplish, but I failed to do so. Now, I want to come back and try to finish that personal goal.
We definitely have to talk about Diablo 2: Resurrected. The name is fairly self explanatory. It’s a remake and updated version of Diablo 2, and I bought it for my Xbox Series X. It was certainly a gorgeous game and the art style feels something Diablo 3 should’ve adapted. During launch day, it was basically a port of PC version with better graphics. I thought it played fairly good going from mouse and keyboard to controller, and it’s been improved after launch. It did have some launch day issue which I expected, but the game has been smoothed out since.
I personally believe the remake version is the best version to play because the developers actually did some content update to the game and Diablo 2 did not have any real content update since 2010. The content update is mostly class rebalancing and they improved certain areas to become more popular for item hunting, but this is certainly a cool thing and who knows how drastic the content changes can be in the future. I always thought it would be cool if Diablo 2 gets an additional act, but I’m not holding my breath for it. My heart will always belong to the original PC version because I invested so much time into it, but there’s no doubt that Resurrected will be the ultimate and best way to play Diablo 2 for old and new players alike.
Diablo 2 2022 – More Than Nostalgia
Diablo 2 will forever be looked as one of the greatest games of all time. It’s amazing how this game came out in 2000, but a lot of its core design stands the test of time and it’s simply an experience I’ll never get bored of. It’s never too late to get into this beloved classic and I believe for players who didn’t play Diablo 2 while growing up will get into it like I did during my younger years. Diablo 4 will be the latest installment to the Diablo franchise, and I personally am looking forward to it, but I also haven’t been the biggest fan of Blizzard recently, so I’m cautiously excited for the sequel. But even if Diablo 4 doesn’t turn out to be an amazing follow up, I still got Diablo 2 to entertain me for years to come.
Some might say that I’m just blinded by nostalgia, and I’m so absorbed by it that I can’t get past its archaic flaws. However, I believe if one is very nostalgic over something, it means it left a lasting impression on you and that’s what makes this classic title iconic and influential since its inception. In 2022, Diablo 2 is 20 years old and will get older with time, but at its heart, it will forever be young.