I wanted to write a little bit about myself and how the Diablo franchise has impacted my life. It isn’t everyday that something becomes apart of who you are and where you’ve been. I have been playing the Diablo series since I was about 13 years old. 13 man! I am almost 30 at the time I am writing this. Throughout these many years of joyous entertainment brought to me by Blizzard Entertainment, I would of never even heard of the game if it wasn’t for my father.
My father was a BIG gamer, without saying he is the one that shaped me in to the HUGE gamer that I am today. Though my dad was a BIG gamer, there is only 2 games I remember him playing for YEARS, Madden and Diablo II. My father introduced me to Diablo II somewhere between 2000 and 2001, and I was HOOKED. At the time we only had 1 computer, and since my dad was addicted to the game I would only play while he was at work. But my all means, I PLAYED when he was at work lol. I remember when the expansion was coming out, “Diablo II: Lord of Destruction”, we woke up early, got some breakfast and my father took myself and my cousins to the mall and we waited in line for the store to open to get our hands on the new game.
My true LOVE for Diablo really grew when I was given my grandfathers old computer, and though it was SLOW as !@#$, it got the job done (and by job I mean run Diablo II). At this point in time my dad went out and bought me my own copy of Diablo II equipped with the expansion and my father, myself and my cousins would play endlessly. Weekends were chewed up by Diablo and Baal runs (Baal Runz 101 < Haha, only D2 players will get that), rushing each others characters and getting attacked by my fathers character at the nearest waypoint because he liked to be a dick like that haha.
I remember the skill trees (which some say is better than the format they have running in D3), I remember the Arcane Sanctuary, Mount Arreat, the Chaos Sanctuary and opening Diablo’s seals (I remember 3 of them, could have been 4 though). I remember my father and cousins having handfuls of characters at LvL 99 while I would get sick of grinding somewhere around the mid 70’s and start a new character lol. My father would always have a Sorc that was decked out in all the best gear, my cousins preferred the Amazon, myself, I LOVED the Necromancer. He was (and still is) the best character in the entire game, in my opinion. The Bone wall, the Poison Nova, the Bone Spear, Skeletons, and Golems! He is the greatest! EVER!
We played Diablo II for a good 7 to 8 years before we all sort of put it to rest. We would all at one point or another, get the itch and want to play again. We would install it and start our new character, but we would all be itching at different times so we never really all got back together. During those last few years of Diablo II and a few years after, we were all thinking “why wont they make Diablo III?”, we had read a bunch of articles stating there would be no Diablo III, Blizzard was more involved with World of Warcraft, so I went on with my days looking for that NEXT “Diablo” like game. I found a few but nothing could beat Diablo. I lost touch with my cousins as they were off doing their own thing and my dad and I never quite bonded over anything like we did with Diablo. It was like… something was missing.
Then, it happened! It was announced Diablo III was coming and I couldn’t of been happier! I remember it being about a year or even 2 before the release that it was announced. I looked out for and watched EVERY single video they posted about the game and I would relay that message to my dad. He was on the fence about even getting the game, he thought it would be a let down and never really reach that Diablo II greatness. Not to long after that, I got into the Diablo III beta and got my father into it as well. We could only play up until we beat the Skeleton King but man did we play the !@#$ out of that beta. I was hooked, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to get it and thanks to me getting my dad into the beta he was hooked as well. Now all we needed to do was wait until the game released.
Once the day came, it started to feel like old times again, my father and I had something we REALLY bonded over. My Fiancé (then girlfriend) even got a copy to play with us, and even 1 of my cousins would join us a couple times a month to cut down some demons. Though everyone wasn’t as “all in” as they were with Diablo II, my Dad and I definitely were. We would play almost every day, and just when things would start to feel stale, a new update would arrive and there would be something new to do or work around. We were just as excited for the Reaper of Souls expansion as we were for D2: LOD! I swear he was like a walking Diablo encyclopedia, he knew all the best sets, builds, weapons and all that. Where certain items were and how to get them, his characters were stacked, just like in Diablo II and more of the same I trailed behind. From my days on Diablo 2 to my days on Diablo 3 I never had a character where I LvL’d them from 1 to MAX by myself. My Dad was ALWAYS there to help me out (I’m not complaining, I loved it). He would pass me down his old gear, but it was the best gear for me! I would learn something new from him every time we played.
I remember last January (2015), I had come home from work and me and my Dad planned to hit some rifts for the better part of the night. Once on we played for about 30 minutes or so and he promptly signed off. Said he wasn’t really in the mood to play that day. So I thought okay, well then tomorrow I said. That chance never came because my father passed away that night. After the dust settled and life had to go on, I couldn’t jump back on and play Diablo anymore, my life long Diablo partner, by father was gone and any time I would try and just sign in, as I saw my characters I would just shut it off. It wasn’t the same anymore.
I literally stopped playing Diablo the day my father died, but I never uninstalled it from my computer, it was always there and I would always look at it every time I used my computer and in my mind I would always say “No…” and forget about it until the next time. Recently I heard news about the new update and Season 5 was on its way, I never did a Season character before, and all the videos showcasing the improvements and earlier improvements I was unaware of made me WANT to play again.
I did, and with out even realizing it, I started playing again on the same day, one year later from which I stopped. I created my favorite D3 character the Crusader naming him after my father and went from 1-70 for the first time without him. When I play I no longer want to shut it down, I play and remember the times we shared, the funny moments and all the times my Dad was my Dad. Like I said before, we didn’t have many things to bond over, and most of the things we bonded over, he would also bond with my brother over. So Diablo was OUR thing, it is the thing that reminds me of him every time I sign on to play.
If he was here now, he would be loving the new improvements they have made to the game. We would have done about 2 or 3 season characters at this point lol. But none the less, I have traveled back to Diablo and have begun writing a new chapter, hopefully taking me to Diablo 4 at some point (where they will bring back my damn Necromancer, I’m sorry the Witch Doctor couldn’t fit the Necros boots) and beyond so I can share the same enjoyment with my son as I did with my father. Thank you Blizzard Entertainment for giving me great memories with my Dad.