The Ten Worst Areas in D2X

    Having played the game as much as we all have by now, everyone knows there are good areas to play and level up in, and bad ones you want to just skip through as quickly as possible.  This is not a list of those areas. As I learned from column #3, it helps to make it clear when you are and are not joking.

    This is (intended as) a humor column. This list is of the “Worst” Areas, ranked from 1 to 10.5. This is not in any way meant to be a scientific ranking of the best or worst areas in the game for MFing, or EXPing, or the hardest areas, or the easiest areas, or the ones that make Baby Jesus cry, etc. Ranking criteria include fun factor, level layout, monsters found there, and whether or not I can think of any amusing comments about them.  And yes, I know you can just use maphack or have a friend turbo you, rather than actually playing the game.  There’s no need to point out how much faster/easier it is if you cheat; I think we’re all aware of that by now.

    The Ten Worst Areas in D2X

    #10.5: Kurast 1-5

    Kurast goes on and on, in the form of the most distinct levels in the smallest amount of space that you find anywhere in the game.  You could easily put all of Lower Kurast, the Kurast Bazaar, Upper Kurast, the Kurast Causeway, and Travincal in one small dead end of the Great Marsh.  Yet the Kurasts boast four waypoints, often so close that you can actually see two waypoints on your mini map at the same time.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s sort of silly.  Why not have an upper and lower Great Marsh, or East and West Flayer Jungle, or break those areas up into two or three sections to make for easier exploring, and just combine 2 or 3 portions of Kurast into one?

    Kurast 1-5 aren’t actually bad levels, and the architecture is pretty cool if mostly repeated, but it’s silly how small and packed together they are.  The fact that there are six tiny sub dungeons, and that the Ruined Temple always has the quest item (Black Book), and is alwyas found in the Kurast Bazaar, thus making the other five temples entirely irrelevant, is cause for another point deduction.

    #10: The Secret Cow Level

    This is a debatable choice, since it’s actually a really fun area for most characters.  The problem comes in with how over-exploited this area is.  At this point you’re lucky to find a single hell game that isn’t a mad rush of three twinked Javazons/Sorcies, four leeching Barbs/Druids/Pallies/Asns, and one or two leeching lvl 8 turbo victims who spend their time standing in a corner and announcing proudly how many levels they “earned” last game.  Since after all, the only thing that matters in D2X is getting to lvl 80 as quickly as possible, no matter how you do it.  Right?

    The fact that the most overplayed area in the game has “Secret” in the title is worth a bonus point.  I strongly considered making this one #1, but since it’s fun and actually quite dangerous for some character types, I didn’t let the overplayed cheesiness of it weigh that heavily.

    #9: The First Two Areas of Act Four

    The Outer Steppes and Plains of Despair are huge squares full of nothing in particular. They are basically like any two random surface areas of Act One, but without the dirt brick road to follow.  You often end up running around the entire perimeter of both areas, trying to find the stairway to the next area, and either kill about 500 monsters while you’re at it, or just dodge through and leave a trail behind you for miles.

    The Plains of Despair add the fun of having to find Izzy out there.  Somewhere. So even if you get lucky and bump into the stairs pretty quickly, you still have to run through the middle until your quest button pops up, letting you know that Old Frost Nova with Wings himself is nearby.  Izzy is one of the dumber monsters in the game; possessed of obscene hit points yet dealing practically no damage, he’s like gristle on the Easter Ham.  Gristle that you have to eat for a nice quest bonus, not that that makes it any easier to chew.

    #8: Act Two Tombs

    Much like the Caves in Act One, there is just identical tomb after identical tomb in Act Two, with one acting as a bonus area/dungeon beneath almost every surface area.  Even worse than the Act One Caves, you must enter most of the Tombs in Act Two, either on a quest or just to get from point A to point B.  There is almost zero monster variety from one tomb to another, and what the Underground Passageway teaches you about stamina potions, these tombs teach you about cold damage.

    The Act Two Tombs are at least well-lit so that you can navigate them easily, and they can be sort of fun for certain types of characters.  They’re not really worth much exp though, with all of those skeletons, and it’s a “fun while you have to be there” sort of fun, rather than a “skip killing the Summoner just to have an excuse” sort of fun.

    #7: Act Five Ice Caves

    The Ice Caves are actually pretty cool levels on their own.  The weakness comes in with there being so many of them, all identical other than the monsters found there. (Not that those vary much either.)  Drop a character down randomly anywhere in the Crystalline Passage, Frozen River, Glacial Trail, Drifter Cavern, Ancient’s Way, or Icy Cellar, and there’s no way they’ll know which is which.  The three main levels are all even the same size, though at least the two dungeon areas are smaller and sort of cute, and the Frozen River has a fixed target destination.  Lazy Blizzard!

    #6: Act One Dirt Caves

    Starting off with the stupid Den of Evil, and continuing through The Caves, The Hole, and The Pit, almost every surface area in Act One has a caves dungeon beneath it, all of which are identical.  Blizzard really broke out the thesaurus on those names too, huh?

    The Den of Evil is almost tolerable due to there being a nice quest reward and the fact that it’s small, but the others are just redundant and almost entirely ignored. Perhaps the most annoying area in all of Act One is the Underground Passageway, which goes on seemingly forever, has more dead ends than a walk on a pier, and yet must be traversed to get from the Field of Stones to the Dark Woods.  This is where most new players first begin to really wish they’d been picking up those stamina potions.

    #5: Act Three Dungeons

    And you thought the Jail and Catacombs were dark?  The Swampy Pit, the entrance to which is always found near the Flayer Jungle waypoint, probably holds the title of “Least Entered Area in the Entire Game” and for good reason.  The Flayer Dungeon is identical to this area, and the Sewers aren’t a lot different, though they add the fun of open moats of raw sewage.  Be glad there’s not yet smell-o-vision technology with computer games.

    These dungeons are dark, twisty, full of annoying blowdart Flayers and multi-colored wraiths, and even boast infuriating barred doorways that you can’t get through, forcing you to run all around to find a way over to those last two goddamned flayer blowdart guys. These dungeons would rank higher on the worst list if not for the fact that you don’t actually need to enter any of them, with a little waypoint help.

    Say another thank you for the Durance 2 waypoint next time you get turbo’ed to it, and give a moment of silence for all of the single player fans who don’t have that option.

    #4: The Worldstone Keep, Level Three
    While it’s unfair to single out an individual level, I’m doing it anyway.  This is the most annoying level in the game when you’re running around in a hurry.  Unlike Durance Two, there’s no way to find the exit more quickly than just randomly hunting over the entire layout.  Plus everything is a series of dead ends, so when you run to one and don’t find the exit, you have to run all the way back past all of the Imps and Blood Lords you just ditched.  Fortunately by the time you’re in Act Five and doing Baal runs you generally have enough stamina to keep up your speed.

    There’s an indignity to the whole thing also, especially if you’re rushing down to Baal on hell while playing Hardcore. You’ve got godly equipment, huge MF, and are able to run about the hardest thing in the game.  Yet you can’t find the damn stairs while fricking Imps fire their crappy little sperm-missiles at you.

    The monsters here are annoying too.  Imps were ranked #1 on the Worst Monster List for good reason, and Blood Lords are cool in concept and sort of scary, but they’re somehow unsatisfying to kill.  They don’t grunt or moan or bleed much, so it’s kind of like beating up a mime.  No, I didn’t say that.  They’re like beating a punching bag that dies, eventually, but hardly ever drops anything worth picking up.

    As I’ve long remarked, WS3 is like a three minute commercial for maphack. Which I don’t use, even though my Bowazon has done hundreds of Hell Baal runs, and never gotten any better at finding the damn stairs.

    #3: Act One Jail and Catacombs

    These aren’t technically the same area, but I defy you to tell them apart by the architecture, monsters found therein, level layout, or item drop quality.  Well, the jail has more um, jail cells.  But other than that!

    They are dark, too large and hard to find the stairs in, and absolutely choked with boss monsters.  This is actually a good thing if you are strong, aside from the fact that the bosses in Act Five are actually easier to kill, worth 50x the experience, and can potentially drop far better items.

    In the D2C beta these were sometimes referred to as “The Braille Levels” since they were so dark that most players had no way to find the doors other than bumping into the walls and trying to navigate by squinting at the map, which was itself almost too dark to read.  Levels like this illustrate the problem with giving all of your game design employees top of the line monitors and video cards, and not including those in the game itself.

    #2: The Great March

    This enormous Act Three surface area can devour your entire play session as easily as having to mow the lawn vanishes your Saturday.  Adding to the maddening fun of “The Great March” is the fact that you sometimes must go through the entire thing to reach the Flayer Jungle, and other times don’t need to enter it at all, if the Spider Forest connects directly to the Flayer.

    While it’s not such a bad level design-wise, the Great March is just so damn annoying.  It also gets bonus point for boasting really annoying monsters.  Wisps popping about with their lightning attack, jungle buzzards who are too stupid to fly over a tiny canal, Fetish blowdart guys always running just out of reach and being resurrected by an unseen Shaman.  Ahh, I’m getting nostalgic just writing about it.  Or do I mean “suicidal?”

    #1: The Bloody Foothills

    This proto cow level is a nice area, and the first one you encounter in Act Five, but just like the Cow Level, it was designed to be so pathetically easy and predictable that it came to be grossly-exploited by the 98% of players who care about nothing but reaching their next level as quickly as possible, and are quite happy to leech to do it.

    It’s also the first sign you get that Blizzard North really had zero time to actually play test Act Five in their hurry to get the Expansion Pack released by the “first half of 2001” deadline (AKA June 30th, 11:59pm), since they forgot to include any monster variety.  Playing this area in any mod is amazing, since you see what a cool level it can be if the monsters that spawn there have some variety, come in boss packs, aren’t all slow melee victims, etc. Shenk and his mob are cool, the rest of it is silly, and the “fish in a barrel” nature of it, assuming you can kill the PI Maulers, is poorly-balanced.


    Over the past week I’ve received about 85 emails about my column.  Some about earlier columns from people who have just started reading them, other mails about future column ideas, and some about this column, #4.  However, the majority of the emails were about the feedback section added to column #3.  There were at least 25 or 30 emails just like this one, from Kevin.

    You rock.

    Do NOT get depressed by the jerks flaming your articles. You had more than adequate disclaimers.

    I learned a lot from your articles, and I appreciate what you had to say. I am a newbie… well with a level 80 HC Druid maybe a semi-newbie. I thought what you wrote was hilarious, though most of it I did not understand a lot of the background of it. I have never had great eq cuz well I have never found any of it… yet!

    Keep up the good work. I am bummed about the ppl flaming you, but it reminds me that I am not the only one to get flamed for stoopid reasons. There are way too many stoopid angry ppl in USA, plz learn to not get bummed by their stoopidity!

    You provide a valuable service to the D2 community.  You have helped me a LOT. Keep up the good work, even if angry ppl say stoopid untrue stuff about you and your work.

    That is literally the first email in that plays this tune, and most of the others were a lot less polite in their comments about the various angry emailers from last week’s column, wherein I said mean things about most every char class, things that players of a certain much-maligned class took exception to.  To quote BigRitchie.

    Hey Flux that was just great. The funniest thing was how all the necros got so pissed. I won a few restaurants, and i could sit at the door and hand out 100 dollar bills, and some person would always bltch. “curse *****es” that was just great. I would love to see a curse bltch monster in d3. ROFL

    Don’t give Bliz ideas!  They’ll name monsters after other silly stuff, and that’s almost as bad as if they were to do something like name mercs after fansite people.

    As a potentially-amusing side note, I’d never heard the term “curse bltch” as an synonym for “Necromancer” until I heard it from two Necro players in emails about some past little Necromancer jokes I’d made.  I don’t advocate the use of the term, though it wouldn’t hurt to start calling those leeching Conviction Pallys who roam the cow level looking for a Javazon to latch on to “Aura *****es”.  Sayeth Stuff_in_a_can.

    Heh, good article. I liked the pictures.

    Ever thought of selling curse bltch shirts? That could be a good way to raise money for your website.

    There were also a lot of mails from Necro players who didn’t take any offense.  Several of them even said that the way most people play Necromancers, they deserved any insults they got.  This one is from Brian.

    I read all the feedback emails about the Necros. I was thinking about emailing you my response, and after reading all the feedback plus several comments on that forum about your post, I wish I had.

    I’m a big Necro player. I even use my Necro to rush people through Hell. Necromancers are actually really powerful. And so many people hate them, that Necro gear is really, really cheap to trade for. My gear gives me +15 to all my skills, and all of it, I got for chips.

    But I wasn’t offended by what you wrote. I agreed with it. Mostly because about 90% of the people that play them are total idiots.

    I see Necros raising skels with the same bodies I was just about to explode, casting useless curses and cancelling out my Amp Dam or Lower Resist, filling the screen with Bone Wall, and just basically being retards. It very rare to find a Necro that can play well.

    I find your columns very entertaining. You’re one of the few voices of reason in a world of retards.

    Anyway, there were more mails about the feedback from column 3 than there were about column 4 itself. However I don’t want to get into the whole issue again, so we’ll just move on. I had long thought that adding feedback added after each column would be a cool idea, especially if/when there was anger or controversy, and it would seem that most readers agree, since I got a lot of mails like these two.

    Just writing to say I enjoyed your article (Dec #3 – Characters), but that the feedback was even funnier. Its amazing what people will get their shorts in a knot about!

    I’d like to say that I did enjoy reading all of your articles, and found them to be generally true. But, sorry to say, I’m not sure if the best writing their was yours. I found the feedback to be as entertaining as your articles, maybe even more-so. The total lack of understanding, not knowing anything about sarcasm or joking, is quite hilarious. You’ll have to do better to out do those unintentional masters of writing.

    As for emails about the actual column #4…

    I do enjoy positive mails, but if I post a ton of them it looks like I’m trying to hide something, or kiss my own ***.  I’m not, primarily since that hurts my neck.  The majority of mails (the vast majority, this week) are positive, and here are a couple of those.

    One thing I’ve noticed from doing these is that there is absolutely no predicting what people will find funny.  Each column I get mails from people who thought a remark I didn’t even intend to be funny was hilarious, while lines I thought were brilliant occasion no comment whatsoever.  In a larger sense, there are always numerous mails saying that this was both my worst column yet, and my best column yet, and even a few mails from people who don’t see anything funny about them at all, but who read them anyway.

    There is no accounting for taste, and really no accounting for taste in humor.  Remember that next time you are in the process of ROTFLYAO while other people are smiling politely.  Or wondering how the hell 25 million people can sit through 30 minutes of Friends every week. *cough*

    From Chris.

    Top ten worst areas, HILARIOUS!
    Thanks for the laugh, I needed it.

    From Jason.

    I just read your 10 worst areas article and I have to commend you on such a piece. You pick up on many foibles in the areas and poke at them. My favorite line was in reference to the mad cow level. You gave it bonus points for having the most exploited area having the word secret in the title. Bravo!

    Keep up the good work!

    From Cyrus.

    The new columns you have been doing are awesome. They add a nice little touch to the every dwindling diablo ii. thanks keep up the good work.

    From Eric.

    After reading all the lambasting you post on your feedback column, I felt the need to tell you how much I enjoy your articles. I’m astonished at how much uber-geek pleasure I get from reading regular articles on a computer game, but I’m flat-out slack-jawed when someone writes such a series with wit, intelligence, and insight.

    Thank you and keep it up. Happy holidays.

    Praise and a question, from Derrick.

    For the record, I thought your “Top 10 Characters” article was quite funny. Keep up the sarcasm (with disclaimers as necessary for the humorously challenged).

    P.S. How do I get a cool job writing about games?

    If by “job” he means, “something you get paid for”, I have no idea.  If you want to volunteer content for a website, and you can write half-decently, you’ll find no shortage of opportunity, or you can always start your own fansite.  As for how I got started on Dii.net, that is described, in brief, on my otherwise very outdated bio on the Staff Page.

    On the other hand, several people didn’t care for this particular column very much. One example from Laurance.

    Not funny.

    I could leave it at that but I’ll elaborate just a bit.

    Your last article, top 5/worst 5 characters; that was pretty funny. Nice job there.

    Since I liked that one I decided to read the 10.5 locations article. You start off with the same disclaimer as in your last piece: this is not based on strategy, not serious, meant to be funny, etc. Yet I read the whole thing without even so much as cracking a smile once. If there was humor here it was devilishly well disguised. . . maybe you could point it out for those of us poor fools that only understand the English language at a graduate school level. . .

    I am left to wonder, was your earlier work a fluke or did you just cave and roll out some mediocre drivel to meet a deadline?

    I hold out hope that your future work will actually include the promised humor (and/or originality), but I’m not exactly holding my breath.

    As I said, there’s no accounting for taste.  As I had 10x more mails from people who liked it than who didn’t, I shall dry my tears and persevere.

    While a few people didn’t think this one was very good, but they liked others, there was only one out and out flame, and it’s not even actually about this column.

    Thanks for posting my master piece of a flame, penis lips. I?m glad that the Diablo community at large is now able to see how totally I clowned your ***. I?m also glad to see that you took a few days and composed a retort that wasn?t nearly as flaccid as ?ooooh, why do you read my articles then *sniff*?.

    This stinging rebuke is from tpellicone, or at least that’s the part before the @ in his email.  Like a lot of people, he doesn’t actually sign it or have any sort of name for the sender.  Just the reply to address.

    He is commenting on my quoting of his email in the feedback section of column 3, where I dubbed him the “king of the bitter flamers” for his screed, which was mainly a vivid fantasy about me having some sort of two-handed accident with a wood chipper.  I do realize that he’s a sad little troll, and that by posting his cries for attention I’m just fulfilling his wettest dreams, and I’m sorry to force everyone else to see them, but I find this sort of thing quite amusing.  As I said previously, there’s no accounting for taste in humor.  I’ll stop now, I promise.

    Well, I’ll stop after this.  He got one fan mail of his own, based on my comment about his flame from last week, so I’ll just include that, and then be done with things.  This is from dcarswell.

    Dear Flux;

    I have read some of your stuff and I thought the replies (and your subsequent replies) were very funny. Especially the idiot who didn’t get why you put that Druid pic with an Elemental skill… good stuff

    There is one other semi-flame, and it’s actually about the column.  It’s from Kent.

    you have absolutely no idea about what you are talking about, lazy blizzard my ***, if were to look at the challenges present and not at the schematics involved with making a game of this magnitude, you would soon realize that you have absolutely no idea in how long it takes for a game to be made successfully and have a shelf life of that similar to star craft and diablo 2 and war craft. if you have your adamant opinions about what blizzard has to offer the multitudinously addicted and devout gamers you would also come to appreciate what blizzard has accomplished. if you have all of these ideas about blizzard why dont you apply for a job and offer to help make one of these games and become familiar with the makings of a labor of love. get a f**kin screw loose in ur ‘ed u newb.

    I was initially tempted to regard this as a joke mail, like he was impersonating the (f)lamer types (as a lot of other emailers do in jest) but I think he’s serious.  He is going off on one remark I made in #7, the Ice Caves, where I said Bliz was lazy for making so many levels with the exact same graphics and nearly identical lay out.  (Crystalline, Glacial, and Ancients).  I would think that given my spending hours a day nearly every day for the last 4.5 years working on this website, my appreciation for Bliz’s work would be pretty clear, and give me the right to make a joke here or there about their efforts.  But perhaps not.

    It’s funny how one two-word remark at the end of one entry would be picked upon by one reader, but as I said, there’s no accounting for taste.  And clearly I was nuts to say Bliz were lazy about anything.  I mean it’s only been a 17 month wait for v1.10, after all.

    I was going to compile the most suggested levels to add to the “worst” list, as I did with email suggestions about monsters on the first column.  However there weren’t really that many mails of that type.  By far the most common area mentioned in email: The Act Five red portal dungeon areas, three of which exist, one below each of the surface areas (other than the Foothills).  Here’s SofaKingHaht.

    Another quality column, although I would suggest one more addition to the list: those worthless levels through the red portals in act 5. In act 1, you at least have the Den of Evil quest as a motivation to explore the caves, and the cube in act 2, and you’re supposed to go into them to get through act 3 (Durance level 2 gets my vote for best waypoint), but in act 5 there is no motivation whatsoever to go through those portals. Furthermore, there are only three different types of monsters in them, and there are those barriers of carts and things that you have to go all the way around to annoy you further. Since I’m sure many lost caravans wandered down the red portals.

    He makes a good point about the wagons.  It is pretty silly that they are down there, broken, usually blocking the walkway in one place.  If I ever do a Top Ten Silliest Contradictions to Physical Reality (catchy title, huh?) list, those will have to be on it, since you could so clearly just step over the part of the wagon blocking your path.  It’s not quite as silly as winged monsters that can’t fly over a mud puddle or charging bloodthirsty monsters taller than you are who just can’t seem to climb up or down a knee-high ledge, but it would be on the list.

    I actually sort of like those levels, and at least they are optional; it’s not like you have to clear them.  I like the layout of them, with the islands and narrow bridges, though the monsters found there are quite boring.  And Bliz was a bit lazy to just reuse Act Four River of Flame tile sets for them.  What would be nice is if each of them had a TC 90 SuperUnique at the end, by the golden chest, much like the cellar beneath the Ancient’s Way has Snapchip.  They’d be worth clearing out then, or at least another option for players bored of the rest of Act Five.  They were probably #12 on the list, if I’d gone past #11 (well, #10.5).

    There were also a lot of mails saying that the Flayer Jungle should have been on the list, but since I’d done the Great “March” already, and that one is far worse, I didn’t want to have two almost identical areas.  You can add Flayer to March if you want, like I did with the joint entries for various tomb type areas.  I personally don’t think the Flayer is that bad, though it depends a lot on how you are playing.  I used to level up there quite a bit with a WW barb or MS zon, especially back in D2C, when the tiny Act 4 was always so crowded, since in either case the hordes of charging Flayers are a great way to score tons of kills in very short order.  The monsters are less annoying in the Flayer, and it’s a relatively straight-forward level, usually without any big dead ends.  Plus there is a quest item in it that you can use to get a rare ring that does Ormus no good (for obvious reasons, usually) and it’s not real hard to just run through it from Spider to Kurast.  And once you’re to Kurast it’s all downhill, since those levels are so small and always roughly the same shape.

    Speaking of Kurast 1-5, that was the area that the most people mailed to defend.  Here’s Ingo.

    I personally think that kurast, Travincal and the temples are really cool, especially for leveling mercenaries. And it is always fun to beat the s**t out of the council. The only drawback is the “great march” you have to do to get there if you don’t have any wps

    I’m less fond of the area.  The monster density is poor so you can’t kill that quickly, you get a lot of monsters that run when they’re low, or all the time after you smash the Compelling Orb, and those annoying healing spell-casters.  The Travincal Causeway is by far the smallest area in the game, and actually can spawn a few monster types that can’t appear anywhere else, so I’m assuming it was intended to be larger initially. I suppose my Kurast rating is from the monsters found there, and the tiny size of the levels, which is silly when compared to the rest of Act Three.  The architecture is awesome though, I remember first reaching Act Three when D2C was just out, and being just blown away by Travincal and also the evil reddish highlights in the temples and Durance of Hate.

    The Act Five Ice Caves had their defenders as well.  Here’s Koonitz.

    Thought your “Worst areas” column was great. Although I’m a big fan of the Ice caves. Favourite place to level up, if you ask me. Unlike the ‘over-exploited’ areas. Sometimes I even break down and play the Frozen River again for the fun of it. Standing on the edge of the little island Anya was stored on, staring into the chilling darkness, wondering exactly what is out beyond the water…

    I level there myself as well, and the Frozen River is great with an MF Barb.  Tons of random bosses to kill/Hork.  But they’re still rather identical.  If you didn’t have a map name, you could never tell the three apart at all, other than the one little stage area in the Glacial where Bonesaw awaits.

    There were three or four mails about the Maggot Lair, which I’ll agree is annoying to try and hurry through, but it has cool architecture and an end boss, so I couldn’t put it in the top ten.  Unlike Nathaniel.

    You forgot to mention about the maggot lair in act2. Probably the top 3 worst places to be when you’re not a maphacking sorc w/teleport. i cant believe you didnt mention that!

    A suggestion made by exactly one person. A different Nathaniel.

    For some indiscernible reason, I have this unbearable hatred of the Act II Palace levels.

    I?m not sure why.

    There were also a lot of mails saying that the Not-So-Secret Cow Level should have been #1. I actually considered that, but decided to be merciful since it’s actually not a bad level. It was a lot of fun back in D2C, when you only got to do it once.  And it’s still fun now, though most people are sick of it by this point just from the endless repetition.  It’s only a “worst” area due to what it brings out in players, and how it makes various one-dimensional builds so much better than they should be.  If there were cows with all sorts of varied immunities and 75% resistance to everything else, they all moved 2-3x faster than they do now, and there were a lot more bosses, we’d see just how absurdly-easy the level was.  And we might just get that in v1.10.  The points against the level are the laziness of its design, and the monochromatic nature of the cows.  Would it have killed Bliz to throw in some different colors for the bosses/champs/king?  The funny part about that is that the first April Fool shot of the cow level has… brown cows.

    Mike points out an error?

    Area #2: The Great Marsh…

    Clicking on the picture you have posted there loads up a different full-sized pic…just thought you should know.

    That was actually not an error, since as the one line in the introduction says, the links all go to pics from Bliz’s well-done Maps Section. I got a number of the screenshots from their images, mostly since I added in the screenies at the last minute, and didn’t have time to look through the thousands we’ve posted here over the years, or go play and take a bunch myself.  However in a few cases I remembered funny shots we’d posted about this or that, and took the time to dig them out.  Which was the case with that Great March shot.  However I just left the link to the Bliz Great Marsh shot, since as the intro line says, they can afford the bandwidth and we can’t.  I put in that line, rather than just linking there silently, since this way I’m giving them some props, and therefore Geoff is less likely to change all the links and put in goats.ex type images just for our readers.  Not to give anyone any ideas, mind you.

    A mail from Chris that doesn’t have a lot to do with the column, but I’ll post it just to throw in a plug to Brunching, which is a really funny humor site.  Even if they update about every other month these days.

    “…people pointing out how great Character X was if you played them properly and how I didn’t know my *** from a hole in the ground. “

    Next time someone asserts this, inform them that you have passed this test with flying colors:

    Challenge them to do the same.

    And lastly, from Herb.

    Hey, enjoy your column’s… and enjoy the ‘controversy’ (or should I save transversely, how could you be soooo insensitive to the personal feelings I attach to my computer created alter-ego diablo 2 characters – enjoy my sarcasms?) that comes with the articles.

    I was wondering if you would be willing to write an article about not the most annoying characters in diablo 2, but the top #10 annoying players.

    He goes on to list a few examples, and this is in fact a column topic that I’ve been planning on all along, though I’ve not written any more of it than just the short descriptions of “most annoying people on bnet”. Lots of other people mailed with ideas or requests for future columns.  Feel free to send your thoughts on that sort of thing, but I have the next half dozen or so planned out, though not in any particular order.

    I am doing all of the game-specific ones first, since v1.10 would change most everything, and ruin columns like this one, since if all/most of the monsters are spawning in different locations, there goes half my ranking system.  The same is true for all of the other columns done thus far, especially the best/worst characters, and upcoming potential columns ranking things like skills, unique/set items, and SuperUnique/Act Boss monsters.  So I’m doing those types of columns first, to get them over with before v1.10 comes along.

    Not that I couldn’t do the same columns after v1.10, but if the game world is changed greatly, it’ll take a while before players have figured out which are the best new skills and items and char builds, and then longer still for people to get so used to them that jokes about them will work.  Take the last best/worst characters column; if you read that the day the game came out, not a word of it would make any sense, since you wouldn’t know what I was talking about. It’s only funny (which is itself open to debate) since everyone knows that Burizons do this, Necros are rare and do that, Javazons do the other thing, etc.

    Flux?s Decahedron was written by Flux during 2002-2004, and hosted by Diabloii.net. These irreverent, often rude “Top 10” columns tweaked every aspect of the game and community, pioneered the humorous “Top 10” listing of game features during the eternal v1.09 patch era, were excessively long, and incorporated extensive reader feedback. They may or may not return for Diablo III.

    The opinions expressed in these columns are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.

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