After getting setup on Battle.net with my Blizzard accounts, I decided to get Diablo II setup so I did not have to have the CD in my computer to be able to play. Fortunately Spinks provided a URL that described the steps to set Diablo II up to not require the CD.
There are, essentially, two steps. The first is to patch the game up to version 1.12a, which I had already done.
The next step is to make sure that all of the .MPQ files that are on the play disk and the expansion disk are moved to the root directory of the game on your local drive. That took a few minutes, but once it was done the game ran fine without the CD.
Of course, once I had it running, I had to play for a bit. I rolled an assassin and played through the first act then went back to my paladin and moved him along through the second act.
Playing Diablo II always reminds me how much World of Warcraft owes the game. People complain the Blizzard stole everything that makes WoW what it is (and what did Picasso supposedly say about great artists?), but if they did, they stole some of it long enough ago that the statute of limitations has to be getting close running out. I mean, we’ve all seen this:
If you had asked me five years ago, I would have told you I had no interest at all in the Warcraft IP and that I would only be interested in a Diablo based MMO from Blizzard. I only ended up playing WoW because so many of my friends from EverQuest and TorilMUD ended up playing the game. (All on different servers, but I’ve grumbled about shards before.)
Of course, once I started playing I could see that once you peeled back a bit of the Warcraft look and feel, there was a lot of Diablo in the game, enough that I am convinced that they can’t really make a Diablo MMO without it becoming mostly a giant version of Darkshire. Maybe somebody could do a Diablo mod for WoW?
The next day I went back to Battle.net and decided to download StarCraft and see how that looked more than 10 years after release. The bad news about installing from Battle.net is that it uses the same patcher that they use for WoW. On the plus side, the game isn’t that big, about 1 GB, and isn’t a popular download, so it went pretty fast. Also, you get the latest (or last) fully patched version with no CD dependency.
I was worried about how the game would look, but even on a 1600×1200 monitor, it looks pretty good. It does get a bit blocky if you stare at the screen, but visual closure has you covered for the most part. 640×480 is pretty small though. A full screenshot does not take up much space a all.
I played a lot of StarCraft for the first couple of years after it launched. In fact, to this day my wife occasionally asks me, “What ever happened to ‘Jacked up and good to go’?” referring to one of the stock phrases the marines say. So I turned up the speakers on my computer (which got my wife to walk by and see if I was really playing such an old game) and started a simple Terran vs. Zerg skirmish, with me playing the Terran.
Even after a few years away from the game, I was able to remember just enough to defeat a single Zerg opponent. It took me a while, almost an hour, and I ended up playing with almost every unit, but eventually I was able to stop turtling and go wipe out the enemy in detail. Still, I used to play as Terran and take on three computer Zerg opponents, so not a stellar performance, but not so bad after all that time away.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I will like them when they come out. Diablo III is especially in danger of retro-remorse, being done by a completely different team from the first two games. And sequels have disappointed me before. I went back to Age of Empires II: Age of Kings after playing Age of Empires III for a very short space of time, and I still think Civilization II is the best in the Civ series, so the future is fraught with potential disappointment.
Hrmm, where did I put my Age of Kings CD?