Diablo III vs. Starcraft II
I’d be the first to admit to being a Blizzard fanboy, but World of Warcraft has tempered my fandom quite a bit. I feel like its success has pushed back the development of other games, specifically the two games referred to in the title of this post. And that is inexcusable. I’m looking forward to the release of both games, but one much more than the other. I’m basing this stance of my experience with their predecessors, but I’m sure Blizzard will surprise me in the years leading up to release. Yes, years — we are talking about Blizzard here.
Diablo II came out 8 years ago at the turn of the century. With the addition of its expansion pack Lord of Destruction in 2001, it became the most addictive game ever before the existence of WoW. But I believe it still holds the title for most people killed in internet cafe marathons — and the victims didn’t even need to pay a monthly fee. I’m going admit here and now that I shamefully never actually played Diablo II with LoD.
My D2 experience is almost solely limited to a summer where I broke my left thumb, leaving a mouse-click fest such as D2 as my only gaming choice. Not that it was something I resented — it was obviously addictive and fun as hell — but I may never have sunk that many hours into it otherwise. Nevertheless, I didn’t even finish the game, because of the worst gaming mistake of my life. I dropped the wand I had built my entire necromancer character around in town so I could pick up some other stuff or whatever. I don’t remember the specifics of why I fucked up so bad. Needless to say, I saved and exited while my wand lied on the ground. It was gone. I had just opened up the portal to Act IV, nearing the very end of the game, when I fucked it all up. This occurrence just so happened to sync perfectly with my cast getting removed, and I pretty much never picked up the game again.
Since then, the only similar game I’ve played is Titan Quest, and while playing that I’ve often thought to myself, “Why the fuck am I even playing this game?” I just run around, killing dudes by clicking on them, picking up the shit they drop, making a portal to go back to town when my inventory is full, trading everything for gold, and then rinse and repeat. So do I even want Diablo III? It’s going to be the same core gameplay, as this is Blizzard we’re talking about. They’ve released videos and the graphics don’t exactly impress. Do I really want to sink hours of time into just trying to get increasingly progressive loot? I guess it’d be more fun with other people, but isn’t that just what WoW is? And fuck WoW.
On the other hand, Starcraft is quite possibly my favorite PC game of all-time. The day I got my mom to buy me the Starcraft Battle Chest at Price Club (now known as Costco), was one of the most glorious days of my life. This was almost 10 years ago. I didn’t even know what the game was, but it sure looked cool. When I got home to play it, I had a game that blew away C&C:Red Alert and Age of Empires. Sure, I loved those two RTS games, but this was the combination of every cool sci-fi thing ever! Actually, I take that back a little bit — Red Alert was still awesome. Just the three totally different, yet balanced, factions of Terran, Zerg, and Protoss was an incredible feat to me. Not to mention the cutscenes were badass and the Battle.net multiplayer was both fun and simple as hell to use.
I repeat: This was TEN YEARS AGO. A decade. Starcraft is arguably still the most balanced RTS ever created. Actually, thinking about it, I’m not even sure if it’s debatable, considering the massive of amount of Koreans that still play competitively. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less archaic. The unit path-finding is beyond godawful, the A.I. is a cheating bastard, and it’s 10 YEARS OLD. I played the game in middle school; I am now a college graduate and I don’t have my hands on a sequel. I need it. Millions of people across the world need it. Red Alert 3 won’t satisfy our urge. Dawn of War II — no matter how awesome it may look — won’t satiate either. We need our Blizzard overlords to fill the hole in our lives. We need to kill lings and hydras without mercy in 3D and in a resolution higher than 640×480.
Starcraft II is just needed more than Diablo III. If you feel differently, vote to make me feel wrong. If you agree, vote so the Diablo fans know why their game is coming after ours.
I was going to embed the poll in this post, but I think a better idea would be to place it on the sidebar so no matter what post you’re looking at, it’s there. I want as many people as possible to vote. This is important stuff we’re doing. So look at the top right of my blog. And vote. Or die.