Thanks for Xanth for tweet-reminding me that today is the 15th anniversary of Diablo 2’s launch on June 29, 2000.
Very rare that I know what I was doing 15 years ago, but today I do! Happy 15th anniversary to Diablo 2!
— Xanth (@HCXAnth) June 29, 2015
I didn’t clearly remember what I was doing that day or which character I played first, at least not until I refreshed my memory. Let’s hop into the wayback machine and see what Diabloii.net looked like on that fateful day, before some of you were more than a twinkle in your daddy’s eye!
You can read all the Diabloii.net news from June 29, 2000, and the years before/after it via Archive.org’s vaults. If you’ve never seen the original version of this site, realize that 15 years ago bandwidth expenses were a huge deal for websites, and most readers were on dial up modems… which is why we hardly ever included any images on the main page.OMG that classic wood border layout! (We had an alternate skin Elly made up with Christmas lights wound around it, which we put online for the holidays and usually left up until about March, just like your annoying white trash neighbors… if newer readers were wondering what people were talking about in various mysterious comments about our recent domain name resurrection.)
Visuals aside, check out those historical artifacts! This is like the Dead Sea Scrolls of Diablo fandom. Vote results from early 2000:
Which D2 player will you play first?
Necromancer – 28.4% [1687.244] Paladin – 26.2% [1556.542] Sorceress – 16.9% [1004.029] Barbarian – 14.2% [843.622] Amazon – 14.1% [837.681]
Total Votes: 5941
There’s even a first hand report on the Diablo II launch party, attended by our old time writer Gaile Grey (who was the first of many, many site contributors to join the industry, eventually leaving us to take a head CM job with ArenaNet). I clearly remember having dibs on attending that party, and turning it down (letting Gaile go in my place) since I wanted to be home where I could play the game as soon as it launched and post site updates. Admire my youthful dedication compared to my more recent hedonism. *cough*
I’ll repost Gaile’s typically-breathless D2 launch party write up below the fold for the sake of nostalgia.