Ah but first, a brief history of games I’ve played ūüôā

One method that I have always used in the past to relax is playing games. ¬†I love everything about them. ¬†Even though I began years ago as a console gamer, playing systems like atari (yes, I’m old), nintendo, playstation one, game cube, and gameboy. ¬†I was the one that was completely excited when Nintendo created a color version of their Gameboy system (insane)! ¬†I eventually migrated to playing PC games, my first being Diablo II for the PC.

Years ago, I started playing World of Warcraft with my ex boyfriend and I had a ton of fun in cooperative gameplay in PVE. ¬†As with any MMO, it is really difficult to be a casual player, usually the game content and social aspects pulls you in making you want to play more and more. ¬†Well, I didn’t have much free time so I decided to quit playing.

Then enter League of Legends. ¬†League is ¬†a MOBA and is still one of my favorite games and I still play on a regular basis. ¬†What I liked about League is the gameplay but also the ability to play a game or two without a ton of time commitment (for us casual players). ¬†This fit lovely in my schedule because with school and work, I needed something to play that I didn’t feel like I needed to put a ton of time into.

Ok, so you were talking about Diablo 3? 

Right… When I quit World of Warcraft, this was my last interaction with Blizzard Games¬†for years, but somehow I am now playing three yes three¬†Blizzard Games. ¬†Somehow they have pulled me back in, and with a vengeance. ¬†I am currently playing Hearthstone, Diablo 3, and their game that is still in technical alpha status,¬†Heroes of the Storm.

But yes, Diablo 3. ¬†Blizzard has made some changes to the game play that has made me¬†return¬†to a game that I started playing when it was released. ¬†Diablo is a “grind” game that has you constantly fighting demons in order to find gear upgrades so that you can graduate to the next tier in difficulty. ¬†Often times I find myself running through the content which enables me to relax while I smack demons around with outrageous abilities, all in the hope of staying alive and obtaining the goodies that fall from them when they are defeated.

But what makes this game any different? ¬†In between my World of Warcraft days through today, I’ve played other “grind” video games and the only other game that I’ve made a little time for has been League of Legends. ¬†One other game that I enjoyed was Tera Online. ¬†I loved this game because it was 100% skill shots, and monsters purposefully stepped from side to side while you aimed in an attempt to avoid being shot. So. Much. Fun!

Tera didn’t stick primarily because once it’s novelty wore off, it was just another MMO and my friends gravitated to other games that they were more comfortable with playing (WOW and League). ¬†For me, I sort of meandered around playing games here and there and didn’t really have a game that I played seriously. ¬†I even wiped the dust off of my XBox 360 guitar and played Guitar Hero and another rhythm game called Osu.

What made Diablo 3 stand out.. 

Well, in the defense of all of the other games I’ve played in the last year, Diablo has always held an important place in my little gamer heart. ¬†I started playing Diablo with the first iteration that was released on Playstation back in 1998 and then Diablo II that was released in 2000. ¬†So, when I returned to Diablo 3 for a second time, I loved how the game had the old feeling again without the people spamming ¬†to buy/sell gear and people that were focused on making money in the Real Money Auction House (RMAH). ¬†The game lost its appeal and became a cesspool for people only interested in making a quick dime, or people who had the money to spend to get an advantage over other players. ¬†Gone were the days of people “grinding” to achieve the highest tiers of the game. ¬†What happens when you remove the true “grinding” from a “grinding” game? ¬†Yes, exactly.

Well, Blizzard decided to shut down the RMAH and did a complete overhaul of the game play.  I have to say that they did a fantastic job with the changes they made, bringing back my favorite game with some cool new features to boot.  This made me super happy panda.

Apart from the return of the nostalgic gameplay style there’s one more thing…

One thing that always stands out to me is female gear in games. ¬†It’s never something that I could understand how a development company could justify the over-sexualization of their female characters. ¬†Ok, the majority of gamers are males, I get that. ¬†But come on, their has to be even a hint of believability here. ¬†Take the main picture in this post as an example. ¬†On the left¬†is a decked out female character from Tera Online. ¬†The gear is even worse with low level characters who run around in high heels and lingerie (yes, lingerie). ¬†Then they go out to fight random monsters. ¬†Um… yeah that “gear” won’t protect you, sunshine!

Now on the right is my Crusader in Diablo 3. ¬†I dyed the gear (yes so many dyes to choose from) and transmogged¬†my gear until I found the perfect bad ass configuration of gear. ¬†I made the gear pink to make a point for this post, but I’ve done all white, all blue, and all purple so far. ¬†Something as simple as Blizzard taking this opportunity to make female gear look flattering and not make their female characters look like porn stars really appeals to me. ¬†This is not to say that I didn’t have fun playing Tera, because I did. ¬†I would still be playing if my friends didn’t abandon me while playing it :). ¬†But I feel innately comfortable and completely proud of my Crusader and her shiny gear (matching my bubbly personality)! ¬†I also don’t feel trashy running around wearing something that most people would feel uncomfortable wearing to sleep at night.

One aspect of game play is the relationship between the actual player and the main character that they are playing.  It is up to the game developer to manage this relationship and the connect between the two entities.  Many control this connection with the story line.  Some facilitate this relationship through making robust character customization available to the player.  Making the character look like the player or something the player could relate to is one way to manage that relationship.  When a successful relationship is created, the player feels like they are actually in Act V in Diablo III, fighting Reapers in the hope of protecting the citizens of the town.

Home Sweet Home…

There will always be a new shiny thing to play with, but I really feel as though I will always have Diablo 3 to return to after checking out the new and shiny. ¬†I’m really happy that Blizzard has created this updated version of a game that I love so much.

Mira is a Senior Full Stack, specializing in Web Applications developed in the healthcare industry.