2016-12-25 - Blizzard still hasn't abandoned it yet.
It's ugly to an extreme, and offensive to my eyes to even look at it. The controls are awkward and hard on my mouse hand.
- Properly titled Diablo II
Followed by Diablo 3
Microsoft Windows Vista compatibility problems? Run it as "Windows XP SP2"
- Register your email address!
You only have ONE opportunity to register your email address! DO IT!
If you do not, you have no recourse when your account expires.
- You CAN recover your account if it expires after three months!
But only if you registered. So do that.
But only if nobody else makes an account with your name, so make yours really odd. Write it down somewhere.
I don't believe that D2 is replayable at all. Randomizing of some maps doesn't have much meaning.. there should be different quests, a subtle shuffling of character types/styles, as well as skills and effects.
The simple stuff is to change the names of things (people, places, monsters, spells).
The moderate stuff is to mix up the locations of things (random dungeons, monster locations and actions).
The good stuff is to add additional options to the game to allow a player to get more comfortable with the UI or character (as with classes, skills, spells and equipment).
This is where D2 is at right now. What is needed for more replayability from this point is changing the game such that there is more subtle control over the character (more skills available, which require more points for decent effect, and more skill points are available to the player - skills which become obviously more powerful when good player effort is made to learn them). Also, the concept of classes is rather stupid.. there should be skill trees such that I would have to sink a chunk of points to gain a branch of the tree.. remove classes altogether, or have careers which make certain types of skills / branches cheaper. Furthermore, randomizing quests to the point that there is 100 quests possible for each of the four acts, and one only really gets 6-10 would make things spicy. Also, adding a wizard mode, where there is a built-in cheat that lets you temporarily modify your character to see what a certain skillset would be like.. that (if done well - and I realise I am not describing it fully) would be very nice. The idea of having to bum around with a certain class for hours just to check out a certain skill -- well that's dumb.
In conclusion.. in a game like this, the only real way to keep things interesting for future games is to vary the equipment, items, spells, skills, locations, monsters SO much that every trip through is nearly new. Tactics will not stay the same if the monsters act differently, or if different skills are made available or subtly tweaked to act differently. Such an undertaking would be epic.. but a game with these principals in mind would be incredible.
p.s., encrypt the damned savegames too. It's really not that tough.
On a different note, remember that Blizzard has leaned on games with a very low computer spec requirement, and with "replayability" being a matter of releasing expansion packs or the same game with a different look. (warcraft -> warcraft 2 -> starcraft -> brood wars || diablo -> hellfire -> diablo2 -> diablo2 expansion). Each game has play requirements 3 years behind the times (thankfully) and may as well be based on the same engine.
Followup: Well it appears that some of the guys from Blizzard and Battle.net broke off to form their own company, and thereafter began Guild Wars.