I kept a promise to myself and fought my way through to the end of Diablo II’s first act. I’m not going to lie; it was a struggle. Not because it was overly difficult or anything, but because I found it to be somewhat mind-numbingly boring.
I still consider Diablo II to be one of my all-time favourites. I’ve poured countless hours into it, which may be part of why it was so hard for me to continue playing it the other day; I can’t even begin to guess how many times I’ve been through Act I. I originally thought it most likely a case of me outgrowing its design. Click, click, click… kill monsters… click, click, click… drink a potion. Lather, rinse, repeat, ad nauseam.
Wait a second, didn’t I just describe the game play of countless other games? After all, that’s pretty much all you do in World of Warcraft. Come to think of it, I still quite enjoy Titan Quest which is the exact same game as Diablo II, just in a different candy coating. So my indifference to my old favourite has got to be that I’ve seen the content a million times before, doesn’t it?
After defeating Andariel I took my hand off the mouse and said out loud, “thank goodness that’s over”. Not, “that was cool!” like I undoubtedly said years ago the first time I killed her. There was no sense of accomplishment, no gratification, only relief. Relief that I had upheld my silly self promise to force myself to play through at least Act I.
After finishing the first act, I was going to reassess my desire to continue playing through the game. I’d still like to see the expansion content again, as I’ve only played through Lord of Destruction’s Act V once, and I’m genuinely interested in checking it out again. On the other hand, the thought of going through Acts II through IV for the billionth time appeal to me about as much as a hole in the head. I get precious little gaming time these days and I don’t want to “waste” them on a game I’m not enjoying. Fortunately, I found an answer to this most heinous dilemma.
I’m going to cheat.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier, but a quick internet search led me to a handy little program called Hero Editor. I created a new test character, a Druid named Testy, and used the editor to make him level 99 with all stats and talents maxed, along with access to all the waypoints in the first four acts.
After entering the game I teleported to the final waypoint in Hell, just outside of Chaos Sanctuary where Diablo himself lay in wait. I cast Hurricane, which creates a swirling vortex around my character, and walked forward. Every monster that touched my Hurricane died instantly. For some strange reason, I took great pleasure in my ill-gotten new powers. I activated the seals and summoned forth Diablo, who fell at my feet in about five seconds.
Next up, Act V!