Diablo II

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Diablo II
Diablo II Coverart.png
Diablo II cover art depicting the dark wanderer
Developer(s) Blizzard North
Publisher(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Director(s) David Brevik
Erich Schaefer
Max Schaefer
Producer(s) Mark Kern
Kenneth Williams
Designer(s) David Brevik
Erich Schaefer
Max Schaefer
Programmer(s) Rick Seis
Artist(s) Phil Shenk
Writer(s) Kurt Beaver
Stieg Hedlund
Matthew Householder
Phil Shenk
Robert Vieira
Composer(s) Matt Uelmen
Series Diablo
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS, macOS
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
Classic Mac OS
  • WW: July 26, 2000
macOS
  • WW: March 11, 2016 [3]
Genre(s) Action role-playing, hack and slash [4]
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Diablo II is an action role-playing hack and slash video game developed by Blizzard North and published by Blizzard Entertainment in 2000 for Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS, and macOS. The game, with its dark fantasy and horror themes, was conceptualized and designed by David Brevik and Erich Schaefer, who with Max Schaefer acted as project leads on the game. The producers were Matthew Householder and Bill Roper.

Action role-playing video games are a subgenre of role-playing video games. The games emphasize real-time combat where the player has direct control over the characters as opposed to turn or menu-based combat. These games often use action game combat systems similar to hack and slash or shooter games. Action role-playing games may also incorporate action-adventure games, which include a mission system and RPG mechanics, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) with real-time combat systems.

Hack and slash or hack and slay refers to a type of gameplay that emphasizes combat.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Contents

Building on the success of its predecessor Diablo (1996), Diablo II was one of the most popular games of 2000. [5] Major factors that contributed to Diablo II's success include its continuation of popular fantasy themes from the previous game and its access to Blizzard's free online play service Battle.net. [6] An expansion to Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction , was released in 2001. [7] A sequel, Diablo III , was announced in 2008, and was released on May 15, 2012.

<i>Diablo</i> (video game) 1996 video game

Diablo is an action role-playing hack and slash video game developed by Blizzard North and released by Blizzard Entertainment on December 31, 1996.

Battle.net online gaming platform

Blizzard Battle.net is an Internet-based online gaming, social networking, digital distribution, and digital rights management platform developed by Blizzard Entertainment. Battle.net was launched on December 31, 1996, with the release of Blizzard's action-role-playing video game Diablo.

<i>Diablo II: Lord of Destruction</i> video game

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is an expansion pack for the hack and slash action role-playing game Diablo II. Unlike the original Diablo's expansion pack, Diablo: Hellfire, it is a first-party expansion developed by Blizzard North.

Gameplay

Diablo II's storyline progresses through four chapters or "Acts". Each act follows a predetermined path, but the wilderness areas and dungeons between key cities are randomly generated. The player progresses through the story by completing a series of quests within each act, while there are also optional side dungeons for extra monsters and experience. In contrast to the first Diablo, whose levels consisted of descending deeper and deeper into a Gothic-themed dungeon and Hell, Diablo II's environments are much more varied. Act I is similar to the original Diablo; the Rogue Encampment is a simple palisade fort, while plains and forests making up the wilderness area, and the Monastery resembles the typical Middle Ages fortress. Act II mimics Ancient Egypt's desert and tombs; Lut Gholein resembles a Middle Eastern city and palace during the Crusades. Act III is supposedly based on the Central American jungles; Kurast is inspired by the lost Maya civilization. Act IV takes place in Hell and is the shortest, with just three quests compared to the other Acts that have six.

Gothic architecture style of architecture

Gothic architecture is a style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th-century France, it was widely used, especially for cathedrals and churches, until the 16th century.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

Central America Place

Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.

The Lord of Destruction expansion adds the fifth chapter Act V which continues the story where Act IV left off. Act V's style is mainly mountainous as the player ascends Mount Arreat, with alpine plateaus and icy tunnels and caverns. Occasional portals can take the player to dungeons in Hell (seen in Act IV) for extra monsters and experience. After reaching the summit of Arreat, the player gains access to the Worldstone Keep (whose architecture may be reminiscent of Angkor Wat and other Hindu temples). [8]

Alpine climate average weather (climate) for the regions above the tree line

Alpine climate is the average weather (climate) for the regions above the tree line. This climate is also referred to as a mountain climate or highland climate.

Angkor Wat A temple complex in Cambodia

Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and one of the largest religious monuments in the world, on a site measuring 162.6 hectares. Originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, it was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.

In addition to the acts, there are three sequential difficulty levels: Normal, Nightmare, and Hell; completing the game (four Acts in the original or five Acts in the expansion) on a difficulty setting will open up the next level. On higher difficulties, monsters are more varied, stronger and may be resistant or immune to an element or physical damage; experience is penalized on dying, and the player's resistances are handicapped. However, better items are rewarded to players as they go through higher difficulties. A character retains all abilities and items between difficulties, and may return to a lower difficulty at any time, albeit it is not possible to re-play the quests that are already completed.

Players can create a hardcore character. In normal mode, the player can resurrect their character if killed and resume playing, while a hardcore character has only one life. If killed, the character is permanently dead and unplayable. In addition, all items and equipment on that character will be lost unless another friendly character has the "loot" icon checked. Standard and hardcore characters play on separate online channels; as such a hardcore player can never appear in the same game session as a standard player.

Item system

Diablo II uses a system of randomly generated equipment similar to the original Diablo, but more complicated. Weapons and armor are divided into several quality levels: normal, magical, set, rare and unique. Normal quality items are base items with a fixed set of basic properties, such as attribute requirements, maximum durability, armor rating (on armor), block chance (on shields), damage and attack speed (on weapons). Magical quality items have blue names and one or two randomly selected bonuses, such as bonuses attributes, skills or damage, indicated by a prefix or suffix. Rare quality items have randomly generated yellow names and 2 to 6 random properties. Unique items have fixed names in gold text, and instead of randomized properties, they have a set of 3 to 8 preselected properties. Green-named set items have fixed names and preselected properties like unique items, and belong to specific named sets of 2 to 6 items. Additional properties known as set bonuses are activated by equipping multiple or all items from the same set. These are themed on individuals, like Civerb's cudgel, shield and amulet each provide individual bonuses which are enhanced if two or more of the items are used to equip a character. It is unusual to encounter more than one item from a set in a single playthrough of the game, so collectors need to play the game many times to accumulate all items from a set, or purchase them online from other players who possess them but do not need them. Additionally, items can possess sockets, which can be used to upgrade items by adding gems for various bonuses. [9]

Diablo II includes an item crafting system. An item known as the Horadric Cube is used to combine two or more items to create a new item. For example, 3 identical lower quality gems can be combined to create a single higher quality gem, and 3 small rejuvenation potions can be combined to create a single, more powerful rejuvenation potion. [10]

Character classes

The five character classes in Diablo II as seen during the opening selection animation. From left to right: the Amazon, Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress, and Paladin. Diablo II characters.jpg
The five character classes in Diablo II as seen during the opening selection animation. From left to right: the Amazon, Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress, and Paladin.

Diablo II allows the player to choose between five different character classes: Amazon, Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress, and Paladin. Each character has different strengths, weaknesses and sets of skills to choose from, as well as varying beginning attributes. The maximum level that any character can obtain is level 99.

Two additional character classes, the Druid and Assassin, were added in the expansion.

The player can enlist the help of one hireling (computer-controlled mercenaries) from a mercenary captain in the town; the Rogue Scouts, Desert Mercenaries, Ironwolves, and Barbarians, from Acts I, II, III, and V (expansion only). The expansion allows players to retain their mercenary throughout the entire game as well as equipping them with armor and weapons. Hirelings gain experience and attributes like the player, although their level cannot surpass that of their master character. [17] Typically players choose a hireling that provides something missing from their character class; for instance the melee-focused Barbarian may choose an Ironwolf for ranged magical support.

Multiplayer

Diablo II can be played multiplayer on a local area network (LAN) or the Blizzard's Battle.net online service. Unlike the original Diablo, Diablo II was made specifically with online gaming in mind. [18] Several spells (such as auras or war cries) multiply their effectiveness if they are cast within a party, and although dungeons still exist, they were largely replaced by open spaces.

Battle.net is divided into "Open" and "Closed" realms. [19] Players may play their single-player characters on open realms; characters in closed realms are stored on Blizzard's servers, as a measure against cheating, where they must be played every 90 days to avoid expiration. Originally, these closed realms served their purpose of preventing cheating, as open games were subject to many abuses as the characters were stored on players' own hard drives. Within the last few years, however, many cheats are used on these closed realms. [20] Hacks, bots, and programs which allow the player to run multiple instances of the game at the same time are not allowed by Blizzard but are very commonly used. Spambots (programs which advertise sites selling Diablo II's virtual items for real-world currency) run rampant on the service and a player hosting a public game can expect a visit from one every few minutes. [21] Due to the surplus of virtual items provided by the automated bots, which repeatedly kill bosses to obtain items, supply is well in excess of demand, and items which used to trade well are now often given away for nothing. [22]

As the game can be played cooperatively (Players vs. Environment, PvE), groups of players with specific sets of complementary skills can finish some of the game's climactic battles in a matter of seconds, providing strong incentives for party-oriented character builds. Up to eight players can be in one game; they can either unite as a single party, play as individuals, or form multiple opposing parties. Experience gained, monsters' hit points and damage, and the number of items dropped are all increased as more players join a game, though not in a strictly proportional manner. Players are allowed to duel each other with all damage being reduced in player vs player (PvP). The bounty for a successful kill in PvP is a portion of the gold and the "ear" of the defeated player (with the previous owner's name and level at the time of the kill).

The Ladder System can be reset at various intervals to allow for all players to start fresh with new characters on an equal footing. Ladder seasons have lasted from as short as six months to over a year. When a ladder season ends, all ladder characters are transferred to the non-ladder population. Certain rare items are available only within ladder games, although they can be traded for and exchanged on non-ladder after the season has ended. [23]

The game has been patched extensively; the precise number of patches is impossible to determine as Battle.net has the capability of making minor server-side patches to address immediate issues. As of July 2016, the game is in version 1.14d. [24] Through the patch history, several exploits and issues have been addressed (such as illegal item duplication, though it still exists), as well as major revamps to the game's balance (such as the ability to redo skills and attributes). Not all patches have affected Diablo II directly, as several were designed to address issues in the expansion to the game and had minimal effects on Diablo II. [25]

Plot

Diablo II takes place after the end of the previous game, Diablo, in the world of Sanctuary. In Diablo, an unnamed warrior defeated Diablo and attempted to contain the Lord of Terror's essence within his own body. Since then, the hero has become corrupted by the demon's spirit, causing demons to enter the world around him and wreak havoc.

A band of adventurers who pass through the Rogue Encampment hear these stories of destruction and attempt to find out the cause of the evil, starting with this corrupted "Dark Wanderer." As the story develops, the truth behind this corruption is revealed: the soulstones were originally intended to imprison the Prime Evils after they were banished to the mortal realm by the Lesser Evils. With the corruption of Diablo's soulstone, the demon is able to control the Dark Wanderer and is attempting to free his two brothers Mephisto, and Baal. Baal, united with the mage Tal-Rasha, is imprisoned in a tomb near Lut Gholein. Mephisto is imprisoned in the eastern temple city of Kurast.

As the story progresses, cut scenes show the Dark Wanderer's journey as a drifter named Marius follows him. The player realizes that the Dark Wanderer's mission is to reunite with the other prime evils, Baal and Mephisto. The story is divided up into four acts:

Act I - The adventurers rescue Cain, who is imprisoned in Tristram, and then begin following the Dark Wanderer. The Dark Wanderer has one of the lesser evils, Andariel, corrupt the Sisters of the Sightless Eye (Rogues) and take over their Monastery. The adventurers overcome Andariel and then follow the Wanderer east.
Act II - While the adventurers search the eastern desert for Tal-Rasha's tomb, the Dark Wanderer gets there first. Marius is tricked into removing Baal's soulstone from Tal-Rasha and the Archangel Tyrael charges Marius with taking the soulstone to Hell to destroy it. The Dark Wanderer and Baal join with Mephisto, open a portal to Hell, and the Dark Wanderer sheds his human form and becomes the demon Diablo.
Act III - The adventurers find the seat of the Zakarum religion at the Temple of Kurast, where the portal to Hell is located. They defeat Mephisto, who was left guarding the entrance, and take his soulstone.
Act IV - The adventurers slay Diablo in Hell and destroy the soulstones of Mephisto and Diablo on the Hellforge, preventing their return.

In the epilogue, Marius, speaking in a prison cell, indicates he was too weak to enter Hell, and that he fears the stone's effects on him. He gives the soulstone to his visitor. The visitor reveals himself to be Baal, the last surviving Prime Evil now in possession of his own soulstone. He then kills Marius and sets the prison cell on fire.

The story continues in the expansion Diablo II: Lord of Destruction where Baal attempts to corrupt the mythical Worldstone on Mount Arreat. Upon returning to the Pandemonium Fortress after defeating Diablo, Tyrael opens a portal to send the adventurers to Arreat.

History

Development

The game was originally to be released in 1999, after being shown off at E3 1998.[ citation needed ] According to designer and project lead Erich Schaefer, "Diablo II never had an official, complete design document... for the most part we just started making up new stuff." [26] The game was slated to have two years of development work, but it had taken Blizzard North over three years to finish. Diablo II, despite having less than one percent of the original code from Diablo I and having much of its content and internal coding done from scratch, was seen by the testers as "more of the same." The game was meant to be released simultaneously both in North America and internationally. This allowed the marketing and PR department for Blizzard North to focus their efforts in building up excitement in players worldwide for the first week of sales, contributing to the game's success. [26]

Music development

The score was composed by Matt Uelmen and integrates creepy ambience with melodic pieces. The style of the score is ambient industrial and experimental. [27] It was recorded in Redwood City, Oakland, and San Mateo, California, from April 1997 to March 2000.

Some tracks were created by reusing the tracks from the original game, while others by rearranging tracks that were out-takes. Other scores are combinations of parts that were created more than a year after the first game's release. A single track usually integrates recorded samples from sound libraries, live recorded instrument interpretation samples specially meant for the game (guitar, flute, oriental percussion), and electronic instruments also, making the tracks difficult for later live interpretations.

While the player visits the town, the game recreates the peaceful atmosphere from the first Diablo game, so for that the theme from Act I called "Rogue" comes back with the same chords of the original piece, reproducing only a part of the original Diablo town theme. For Act II Mustafa Waiz, a percussionist, and Scott Petersen, the game's sound designer, worked on the drum samples. Waiz played on the dumbek, djembe, and finger cymbals which gave Matt Uelmen a base upon which to build tracks around.

The town theme from Act II, "Toru", makes strong statement of departure from the world of Act I while also maintaining a thematic connection to what had come before. It is the first time in the series to be used some radically different elements than the guitars and choral sounds that dominate both the original Diablo and the opening quarter of Diablo II. The foundation of the "Toru" piece is found in exciting dynamics of a Chinese wind gong. The instrument radically changes color from a steady mysterious drone to a harsh, fearsome noise, that gives exotic feeling and at the same time the pacing of the second town. In all sequences of Act II with deserts and valleys, Arabic percussion sounds dominate.

The composer was impressed by two of the Spectrasonics music libraries, Symphony of Voices and Heart of Asia. He used samples from Heart of Asia in the Harem piece from Act II. The "Crypt" track uses a sample from Symphony of Voices; the choral phrase Miserere. Voice samples from Heart of Asia, Heart of Africa, and Symphony of Voices by Spectrasonics. The "Harem" track samples from Heart of Asia the Sanskrit Female 1 samples. [28]

Release

The game was released in Collector's Edition format, containing bonus collector's material, a copy of the DiabloDungeons & Dragons pen-and-paper campaign setting, and promotional movies for other Blizzard games. In 2000, the Diablo II: Exclusive Gift Set similarly contained exclusive collector's material and promotional videos, as well as a copy of the official strategy guide. The 2000 released Diablo Gift Pack contained copies of Diablo and Diablo II, but no expansions. The 2001 Diablo: Battle Chest version contained copies of Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, the official strategy guide, and the original Diablo. Recently however [ when? ], the Battle Chest edition no longer contains the original Diablo.

Support and legacy

Blizzard continues to provide limited support for Diablo II, including occasional patches. Although the original CD retail release worked on Windows 95/98/Me/NT4SP5, [29] the current version downloadable from Battle.net requires at least Windows 2000/XP. [30]

Around 2008, the announcement of Diablo III renewed the interest in its predecessor and brought more attention to the many mods available for the game. [31]

In 2015 an unofficial port for the ARM architecture based Pandora handheld became available by static recompilation and reverse engineering of the original x86 version. [32] [33]

On March 11, 2016 Blizzard released the 1.14a Patch, which added support for Windows 7 and newer, a macOS installer and support for OS X 10.10 and 10.11, although there is currently no support for macOS 10.13. [3] [34]

Commercial performance

In its debut day on shelves, Diablo II sold 184,000 units. [35] The game's global sales reached 1 million copies after two weeks, [36] and 2 million after one and a half months. [37] It was awarded a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records 2000 edition for being the fastest selling computer game ever sold, with more than 1 million units sold in the first two weeks of availability. [38] Its sales during 2000 alone reached 2.75 million globally; [39] 33% of these copies were sold outside the United States, with South Korea making up the largest international market. [40] Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos , World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade , World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King , World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Diablo III have since surpassed Diablo II's record to become fastest-selling computer games ever at their times of release, according to Blizzard. [41] [42]

In the United States, PC Data tracked 308,923 sales for Diablo II during the June 25–July 1 period, including sales of its Collector's Edition. This drew revenues of $17.2 million. [43] Domestic sales reached 790,285 units ($41.05 million) by the end of October 2000, according to PC Data. Another $4.47 million were earned in the region by that date via sales of the Collector's Edition. [44] Diablo II finished 2000 with 970,131 sales in the United States, for a gross of $48.2 million. [45]

Diablo II's success continued in 2001: from February to the first week of November, it totaled sales of 306,422 units in the United States. [46] It was ultimately the country's eighth-best-selling computer title of 2001, [47] with sales of 517,037 units and revenues of $19.3 million. [48] Its lifetime domestic sales climbed to 1.7 million units, for $67.1 million in revenue, by August 2006. At this time, this led Edge to declare it the United States' second-largest computer game hit released since January 2000. [49] It received a "Gold" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), [50] indicating sales of at least 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom. [51]

Diablo II became a major hit in the German market, and debuted at #1 on Media Control's computer game sales chart for June 2000. Speaking with Havas Interactive's public relations director, PC Player 's Udo Hoffman noted that the representative "had to make an effort on the phone to avoid singing and jubilating" over the game's commercial performance. [52] The Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (VUD) presented Diablo II with a "Gold" award after three weeks of availability, [53] indicating sales of at least 100,000 units across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. [54] It maintained first place for July and rose to "Platinum" status (200,000 sales) by the end of the month. [52] [54] [55] The game proceeded to place in Media Control's top 10 through October, peaking at #2 in August, [52] and in the top 30 through December. [56] [57] By the end of 2000, roughly 350,000 units had been sold in the German market. [52] Diablo II continued to chart in January 2001, with a placement of 24th, [57] and its Limited Edition debuted in second place for February. [58] That April, the VUD presented the game with a "Double-Platinum" certification, for 400,000 sales. This made it one of the region's best-selling computer games ever at that time. [59]

As of June 29, 2001, Diablo II has sold 4 million copies worldwide. [60] Copies of Diablo: Battle Chest continue to be sold in retail stores, appearing on the NPD Group's top 10 PC games sales list as recently as 2010. [61] Even more remarkably, the Diablo: Battle Chest was the 19th best selling PC game of 2008 [62] – a full seven years after the game's initial release – and 11 million users still played Diablo II and StarCraft over Battle.net in 2010. [63]

Reception

Critical reviews

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings 89% [64]
Metacritic 88/100 [65]
Review scores
PublicationScore
GameSpot 8.5/10.0 [66]
GameSpy 86/100 [5]
IGN 8.3/10.0 [67]
Awards
PublicationAward
Guinness Book of World Records Fastest Selling Computer Game Ever Sold (2000) [38]
Interactive Achievement Awards Computer Game of the Year (2001) [68]
Interactive Achievement Awards Computer Role Playing Game of the Year (2001) [68]
Interactive Achievement Awards Game of the Year (2001) [68]
PC Gamer #16 "50 Best Games of All Time" (2005) [69]
PC Gamer #82 "Top 100 Games" (2007) [70]
Computer and Video Games #25 "The 101 Best PC Games Ever" (2005) [71]
GamePro #11 "The 32 Best PC Games" (2008) [72]
Destructoid #7 "Top Video Games of the Decade" (2009) [73]
IGN #6 "Top 10 RPGs of All Time" (2012) [74]

Diablo II has a positive reception. The PC version of the game achieves an overall score of 88/100 on Metacritic and 89% at GameRankings. [64] [65] GameSpy awarded the game an 86 out of 100, [5] IGN awarded the game an 8.3 out of 10, [67] and GameSpot awarded the game an 8.5 out of 10. [75]

Awards

Diablo II earned GameSpot's 2000 runner-up Reader's Choice Award for role-playing game of the year. [66] The game has received the "Computer Game of the Year", "Computer Role Playing Game of the Year", and "Game of the Year" awards from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences at the 2001 Interactive Achievement Awards. [68] In August 2016, Diablo II placed 21st on Time's The 50 Best Video Games of All Time list. [76] It was placed at No. 8 on Game Informer's "Top 100 RPGs Of All Time" list. [77]

Secret Cow Level

The "Secret Cow Level" is the result of a running joke from the original Diablo that spawned from an Internet rumor about the cows that appear in the game, seemingly without purpose. Supposedly, if the cow was clicked a certain number of times, a portal to a secret level would open. The rumor turned out to be a hoax, but the legend was born, and player after player asked Blizzard about how to access the level.

In Diablo: Hellfire , an add-on for Diablo created by third-party developer Synergistic Software, it was possible to change a parameter in a specific text file, so that the farmer was dressed in a cow suit, with appropriate new dialogue ("Moo." "I said Moo!"). To stop the rumors, Blizzard included a cheat in StarCraft that read "There is no cow level", adding to the official denial of the cow level. [78] On April 1, 1999, a Diablo II Screenshot of the Week featured cows fighting. People wondered if the screenshot was an April Fool's joke or if there really was a Secret Cow Level planned for Diablo II, which turned out to be true. [78] The "Secret Cow Level" is considered one of gaming's top ten Easter eggs according to IGN. [79]

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Stieg Hedlund is a computer and video game designer, artist, and writer with over 25 years of experience who has worked on more than 30 games in the video game industry. Although he is probably best known for his work in action RPGs, he has also worked on games in each of the real-time strategy, tactical shooter, beat-'em-up and action-adventure genres on the PC and almost every dedicated game console. He has a professed interest in conlangery and linguistics.

<i>Baldurs Gate</i> fantasy role-playing video game

Baldur's Gate is a fantasy role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published in 1998 by Interplay Entertainment. It is the first game in the Baldur's Gate series and takes place in the Forgotten Realms, a high fantasy campaign setting, using a modified version of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) 2nd edition rules. It was the first game to use the Infinity Engine for its graphics, with Interplay using the engine for other Forgotten Realms-licensed games, including the Icewind Dale series, as well as other licensed D&D campaign worlds such as Planescape: Torment. The game's story focuses on players controlling a protagonist of their own creation who finds themselves travelling across the Sword Coast alongside a party of companions, to unravel the mystery surrounding a sudden iron crisis affecting the region and attempting to discover the culprits behind it, while uncovering dark secrets about their origins and dealing with attempts on their life.

<i>Diablo</i> (series) video game series

Diablo is an action role-playing hack and slash dungeon crawler video game series developed by Blizzard North and continued by Blizzard Entertainment after the north studio shutdown in 2005. The series is made up of three core games: Diablo, Diablo II, and Diablo III. Expansions include the third-party published Hellfire, which follows the first game, Lord of Destruction, published by Blizzard and released after the second game, and Reaper of Souls, which follows the third game. Additional content is provided through story elements explored in other media forms.

<i>StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty</i> Real-time strategy game from the year 2010

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released worldwide in July 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. A sequel to the 1998 video game StarCraft and its expansion set Brood War, the game is split into three installments: the base game with the subtitle Wings of Liberty, an expansion pack Heart of the Swarm, and a stand-alone expansion pack Legacy of the Void. In March of 2016, a campaign pack called StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops was also released.

<i>Diablo: Hellfire</i> video game

Diablo: Hellfire is the expansion pack for the video game Diablo, developed by Synergistic Software, a Sierra division, and published by Sierra On-Line in 1997. Hellfire was re-released alongside Diablo in 1998 in a bundle called Diablo + Hellfire.

<i>Diablo III</i> action role-playing video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo III is a dungeon crawler action role-playing game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the third installment in the Diablo franchise, and was released for Microsoft Windows and OS X in May 2012, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September 2013, and for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in August 2014. In the game, players choose one of seven character classes – Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, Witch Doctor, or Wizard – and are tasked with defeating the Lord of Terror, Diablo.

<i>Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness</i> fantasy-themed real-time strategy game published by Blizzard Entertainment

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness is a fantasy-themed real-time strategy (RTS) game published by Blizzard Entertainment and released for DOS in 1995 and for Mac OS in 1996. It was met with positive reviews and won most of the major PC gaming awards in 1996.

Major and recurring fictional characters from the fantasy series Diablo are listed below, organized by respective origin within the fictional universe. The story of the Diablo series revolves around events of the Great Conflict, a war between denizens of the Burning Hells and the High Heavens. Specifically, the games focus on events within the mortal plane, called Sanctuary, which are collectively known as the Sin War. The series began with Blizzard Entertainment's 1996 video game Diablo and has been expanded with the sequels Diablo II in 2000, and Diablo III in 2012. The franchise has been further extended with a number of novels, most written by Richard A. Knaak.

<i>Heroes of the Storm</i> video game

Heroes of the Storm is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment for Microsoft Windows and macOS, which released on June 2, 2015. The game features heroes from Blizzard's franchises including Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, The Lost Vikings, and Overwatch. The game uses both free-to-play and freemium models and is supported by micropayments, which can be used to purchase heroes, visual alterations for the heroes in the game, and mounts. Blizzard does not call the game a "multiplayer online battle arena" or an "action real-time strategy" because they feel it is something different with a broader playstyle; they refer to it as an online "hero brawler". At the end of 2018, Blizzard announced that game was being transitioned to a long-term support plan, with some staff members moved to other projects and its official tournament circuit cancelled.

<i>Diablo III: Reaper of Souls</i> expansion pack

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is the first expansion pack for the action role-playing video game Diablo III. It was revealed at Gamescom 2013. It was released for the PC and Mac versions of Diablo III on March 25, 2014. The expansion pack content was released as part of the Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition version for consoles on August 19 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. That edition expanded the base Diablo III game on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and brought the game for the first time to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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