And then sometimes, an old game will surprise you.
Before the dawn of WoW in the Blizzard genre of things, there was Diablo 2, and life was sweet. Gold meant nothing, and people used a system of bartering(!) to run the virtual economy and gameplay. This game of course never reached the popularity of WoW when it came to the multiplayer facet of it, specifically because of the lack of environmental interaction. I think at its peak when I used to log onto battle.net, you would have somewhere around 450,000 people playing games at any given moment. Nothing to scoff at of course, but it’s still looking up at a game with 11.6 Million people as its player base.
I digress. Before the expansion, the game consisted of 5 characters instead of 7, only 4 bosses instead of 5, and such things like small charms, runes, runewords, and world events didn’t exist, eg: The game was kind of boring and ludicrously hard once you beat the bosses on normal difficulty. And then the expansion came and more people were leveling Sorceresses up to teleport all over the world!
30 different runes were introduced with the expansion starting with the El Rune (level 11) and adding a new rune ever 2 levels (13, 15, 17, etc) and ending with the Zod (the owner of the same bow in ICC!) Rune (level 69). And the premise to finding these runes were simple, so simple that if you weren’t a math major your head would spin right off. For the sake of not making you go watch paint dry you had to find 2 times the rune before the rune you wanted on average. Basically if you wanted to find an Eld Rune (level 13), you would on average find 2 El Runes before it, and so on up. Only to realize that by the time you get up to the runes around level 45 or so (Eg: here is where the really cool and fun stuff is guys), you would have had to have found hundreds of thousands (and Millions!) of the lowest, more useless runes.
So, in the discontinuous time I have played this game since 2003, I have seen a lot of stuff (crap) drop (much like how everyone in a WoW raid will bum rush the boss when it dies in search of its “goodies”). Nothing ever useful when it came to runs though. However, when I was playing my Necromancer the other day….
OF COURSE A NECROMANCER.
“But why not a sorceress?! They can teleport like wtf man?!”
Sure a sorceress can teleport, which is cool through Nightmare difficulty. And then you enter hell difficulty and suddenly mobs have immunities. Specifically immunities to lightning, fire, and cold, which gosh darn it, wouldn’t you know those are the same schools of magic a sorceress uses.
Enter the Necromancer.
Necromancers don’t have time to be bothered with such trivial things such as “immunities”. They are also versed in dealing poison and magic damage, which I guess the majority of the bestiary in the game forgot to study up on to protect themselves. Much like Chef Emerill would do if he was a character in the game:
“Immune to Physical? (Stone Skin)” – BAM! Amplify Damage curse.
“Resistant to my magic?” - BAM! Lower Resist curse.
I can also have 60 or more minions at my side which deal a mix of physical and magical.
So while I was spending some free time on my Necromancer, I happened across this:
The hell is this? 8 years later, one of the most valuable and sought after runes in the game, has finally dropped for me. Where the heck where you when people actually PLAYED this game. A moment of excitement! Surely, I can pawn this off and gain some decent gear for my toon, instead of looking like a purple people eater above. Amidst my opportunity I race to the multiplayer screen to log on, only to see the following text upon entry into the realms:
“Welcome to Battle.net! There are currently 18,066 users playing 18,066 games of Diablo 2, and 69,874 users playing 33,259 games on Battle.net.”
?? – Let me get this right…
“There are currently 18,066 (separate, unique, individual) users playing 18,066 (separate, unique, identifiable by different game names, but most importantly MULTIPLAYER) games…..”
Dejected, I could only arrive at one conclusion: