Diablo 3's long-awaited 20th anniversary patch goes live this week - and it's already got players talking.
For the month of January, a recreation of Diablo 1 can be played inside of Diablo 3. The Darkening of Tristram Event arrives with the release of Patch 2.4.3. Blizzard put out a video, below, to explain how to access the dungeon (it's through a portal in the town of Old Tristram) and what to expect from it. Through the portal you find a huge dungeon that's essentially all of Diablo 1 recreated with Diablo 3 assets. That's all 16 levels of the first game remade.
This retro dungeon comes complete with pixelated visuals, old-school animations and sound effects. The camera has moved. Everyone's locked to eight degrees of rotation. Your character walks everywhere. The sound is a little tinier and the sounds repeat more often - a classic mechanic of 90s PC games.
It all sounds pretty cool, but a cursory glance at the comments on Blizzard's forum, Reddit and on YouTube reveals a vociferous debate about the anniversary event. Some are upset it runs only during January, as opposed to all year round. Others are still angry that the Necromancer, a re-imagining of the Diablo 2 class that was announced at Blizzcon last year, is paid DLC.
At the root of the backlash, however, is a disappointment that Blizzard hasn't done a proper remaster of the first Diablo game, or updated the original game to run on modern PCs. Rather, Blizzard has recreated Diablo 1 as a timed event in Diablo 3. For some players, that's not enough.
Countering this sentiment, though are comments from some who are delighted at the prospect of a trip down memory lane in Diablo 3 - however short lived. The whole thing trades off of nostalgia, of course, and it's hard to argue that the developers have done a good job with recreating the look and feel of the groundbreaking original.
Patch 2.4.3 should be out soon. There's more on it over at Battle.net.