Games as Histories

rainbow

The internet has trouble understanding optical phenomena

Why is it that so many of my friends who count Diablo 2 amongst their all-time favourite videogames find themselves so disappointed with its sequel?

It is tempting to point into the horrific maelstrom that is public opinion on the internet and claim that Diablo 3 suffers predominantly from an overabundance of rainbows; now, while I do believe said rainbows represent a tangible detail to which some have pointed in an effort to articulate legitimate concerns with the tone of the game world, that is only one piece of the story. The remainder involves the game’s notorious Auction Houses, which are far more interesting to discuss because they reveal something surprising about loot and its design. Diablo 3 commits the cardinal sin of Game Design Idolatry: It is so fixated on the whirring and buzzing of its item generating machine that it loses sight of the aesthetics for which that system was originally designed, and which made Diablo 2 so memorable.

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