Beating them Down with Mephisto

Zyngor | Sunday, August 23, 2015
Welcome! This be Blaugust 23rd, mateys! The rum may be gone, but we'll be plundering this swashbucker's 11th post of the month! Parley!

The role-playing (RPG) game has always been a staple in my retinue of gaming experiences. Not so much for the social aspects of assuming the role of a hero in everyday virtual life (ya know, the whole roleplay part of things), but definitely for the character's growth and development whilst (hopefully) kicking plenty of tail, and my interactions with the environment (I definitely prefer PvE over he more competitive PvP aspect).

Action (often adventure is also tied in) is also another large genre of titles with which I can often relate. Not as much on a personal level, as my idea of action is trying to determine whether that bit of white fuzz on my bagel is mold or some flour dusting (which, depending on color and odor, can sometimes cross over to the horror genre). While the RPG connects with how we actually partake in the world (character growth, management of belongings, leveling up via birthdays), the action genre often associates with how we'd like to see and act upon things. We all wanna be the hero, perform some death-defying stunt double manuevers, and all whole knowing we'll make it 'til the end of he day to boldly stare at our defeated foes and perform that cheesy one-liner before explosions swallow the area.

Hasta la vista, real life
As such, combining the two creates a sub-genre which strives to offer a comprehensive leveling and character development experience filling, with a glitzy and adrenaline-coated shell to chew through in order to reach the tasty RPG elements inside. I'm pretty bad at those more strategic RPG titles that have you manage full parties of melee/ranged/magic folk at once, such as anything Dragon Age or the Dungeon Siege series. I prefer the style of one character, one adventure. Sure, I may end up playing multiple characters (*cough* MMOs), but not at the same time - they all have a different story to tell (though they may all have one of Wirt's legs sitting in their storage chest).

Speaking of Wirt, this is really where my experiences with the action RPG (ARPG) started. Sorry Tristram - I first heard the smooth sounds of Deckard Cain with Diablo 2, and later pulled a prequel with the original Diablo. I think I had already been playing a bit of Starcraft, when I heard of this ARPG Blizzard had going involving a bunch of demons and all that good stuff. After probably begging enough to score a copy, there I sat at the computer, gaping at the artwork shown during the installation process. Finally, it was ready.

From Rogue's Encampment to Pandemonium Fortress, it was a heck of a ride, and one I likely spent longer nights doing than I should have, considering school was still a thing. I remember finally taking on the Lord of Terror himself - it was some time in the evening, and I think the rest of the family was watching TV downstairs. They didn't realize there was a barbarian on the floor above them, about to whirlwind and bash Diablo's tail up its own soulstone.

And so Diablo fell. Once the expansion dropped, so did Baal. As goes with any hack 'n slash kind of RPG, they fell again and again (and possibly even another"again" or two in the mix!). After all, loot is king in these kinds of games. This also eventually led to online play, as well as many years spent on a gaming forum, which helped develop my uncanny sense grammar good of wit!!!! This game was also one of my first experiences with game modifications - mostly total conversions like Eastern Sun and the evolution of the Median mods. Both helped to re-invent the gameplay and how characters performed, when things were starting to get a bit stale in vanilla land.

Anyways, Diablo 2 is definitely one game that, while I have not played in many years, definitely still has that nostalgic connection going on. Like I mentioned, I definitely started playing and did a full story run with a Barbarian. When I started playing online (via Battlenet), I became fond of Sorceresses in their various elemental forms (and who doesn't love a good Teleport?). I probably had a Hammerdin (Paladin with the holy Blessed Hammers of AoE destruction), because pretty much everybody had one. I believe I also toyed around with the shapeshifting/elemental Druid a bit, so I guess I really should be leveling my Beorning in LOTRO with a bit more passion, eh?

Moo moo? Moo moo moo moo
I'll continue to play and enjoy ARPGs in years to come. Those I'm playing that fall under this spectrum include Hellgate London, as well as Torchlight 2 (kinda interesting, considering that Flagship Studio's HGL soon went on to become Runic Games, TL2's creator). There may be others, but until I can escape from this pile of loot these things drop, I'll have to get back to you on that.

Terminator Movie Shot by
Diablo 2 Box Cover Art by
Secret Cow Level by

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