Stillman’s Slab #18: The Warrior


It all started with Diablo 1. And, as with all Diablo games, there is one character that hogs the stage and gets the lion’s share of attention, lore, and heroism…while everyone else IS PUNISHED!! This week I go back in time to solve the mystery of what makes Diablo games a cut above the rest. I’ll give you hint: it has to do with cutting?lots of cutting. After reading the first paragraph below, click through for the rest. 

The Warrior

The standard fighter class is the backbone of any fantasy RPG. When the Diablo 1 Warrior came along, he somehow made swinging a sword an unforgettable experience despite there being nothing unique about his character. Hell, some of us were raised on the Warrior even though we knew so little about him, kind of like a distant father who does nothing but make alimony payments in that palpable disgruntled fashion. You don’t want to know what he does with the rest of his precious cash. Since the Warrior beat Diablo while the other classes failed, he is really a representative of the game itself. And so, we’re off to find out why this nondescript guy stood out from the thousands of similar fighter classes that existed in previous RPGs. How did this highly addictive game manage to make such a memorable hero character when there is really nothing different about him at all?

In fact, the only thing I could find that makes the Warrior slightly different than your typical fighter class is his resemblance to Marvel’s the Punisher.

We see the Warrior starting off at the front door of the Tristram house next to the Blacksmith shop. It was not his noisy neighbor that made him so bloodthirsty, however. The Punisher started off ‘at home’ like our Warrior, but his family was killed which provoked vengeance in blood. The Warrior likewise went on a vigilante killing spree after many idiot townsfolk were slain by the Butcher. Where the law (i.e. King Leoric) proved inadequate, justice was served by the antihero, which was the same idea behind Punisher. We even hear the Warrior say things like ?Your death will be avenged? and later, ?Your madness ends here, betrayer.? Thus, we imagine the Warrior returning to his hometown (as described in the lore) to become the new front man in the local band called Vengeful Ass Kicking. 


Woah. Wait a minute. That guy on the right looks almost nothing like the Warrior (and I was doing so well with Punisher looking so similar). I guess you will have to find out what that is all about at the end of this article…

But other than his resemblance to Punisher, the Warrior is actually quite generic and empty. He was pretty much just your next paper doll to dress up in the line up of RPG fighters. The lore even states that several Warriors are returning home with many going to Tristram daily for some old fashioned fame and fortune. He is so doomed to serving as a stereotypic fighter that there are nameless clones of him marching into Tristram. He even has that scar over his eye that every second or third male persona ever invented likes to get. In fact, all three Diablo 1 classes often read dialogue from the exact same script, leaving little room for individuality. A good example is below:

 

While many players like to imagine their character as the one and only hero, we must face the truth that the lore officially demands there are many Warriors…and they are all the same, violent dudes we are used to from a hundred other games. More than one Warrior looks something like this:

 

The movie The Warriors shows some typical gang members; nothing special or much different from what we already know?just punks and more punks. But really, the movie is about sociology; the structured systems working all around those generic, macho guys. Likewise, the Diablo 1 Warriors are plain and generic, so it is really the Diablo 1 game world built up around them that truly makes Warriors memorable.  This is our answer to why the Warrior stands out and becomes a personality. It is not the character alone, but all of Diablo 1 that makes this fighter so different.

You see, the Warrior was actually a fighter who slew other RPGs. Like Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeon, he didn’t know when to stop cutting until the face of RPGs was changed forever. For example, the story itself was carved away from Diablo 1 and set aside for a later snack. You know that Butcher incident I mentioned which prompted the hero to go underground in the first place? Well that only exists if you happen to roll that quest on a random number. Sure, there is a story in there; you can get gossip from the townsfolk if you feel like it, but you do not have to. Why would a fighter class care much about words and stories anyway? Like emotions in men, the Diablo 1 story gets put on the back burner?a brilliant move.

Also, why bother having forests, hills, mountains, and plains? Just have one dungeon and randomize it! All the monsters and heroes can hang out in one nasty place like roomies on the verge of killing each other. You don’t need 10 different environments to have fun when simply one of them has the essential floors, doors, and pathways. Diablo 1 stripped away all the nonessentials and clutter we had grown accustomed to in other RPGs that like to waste our time. 

Look at the old NES and SNES RPGs, for example. Your fighter just buys the obvious next best gear in the next best town. There is no reason not to, so it is really just an ‘option’ that asks if you are dumb or not. Diablo 1 came along and said, ?Dude, just have one town and update the Blacksmith’s supplies. Simplify, man.?  This strategy allowed Warrior players to develop a companionship with the blacksmith and other vendors, whereas in other games there are too many blacksmiths who remain faceless. You could also develop your fighter in Diablo 1 instead of the game dictating your style for you. The game was mostly ?dark? because it smashed out the idiot light from other games that told you how you must play. Diablo 1 spat out loads of different items instead of a simple shopping list you got in older RPGs. Monsters just kept giving the Warrior more and more doses of what he wanted until his untimely demise. I suppose it was more like Michael Jackson’s pharmacist in that regard.

As it turns out, less is more. This is an idea one often hears concerning many horror movies where seeing little of the villain is ideal. Diablo 1 is like a horror movie, so the ‘less is more’ concept is wisely applied to the gameplay aspects and Warrior class. Simply put, simple is beautiful. Would Bryan Adams songs be any good if there were 30 extra chords thrown in? Diablo 1 had gallons of replayablity with just one town and one dungeon. It was no one night love affair like other RPGs, so it must have been doing something right with all its drastic changes from the RPGs we were used to.

Much of the RPG content we were being fed prior to Diablo 1 was mere padding. Diablo 1 gave us what really counts: just you, your gear, and the monsters. It went town, dungeon, town, dungeon, without the excess waste. The Warrior just happened to have the most nose-to-nose contact with the monsters making him the star of the revolutionizing Diablo horror show. He became a manipulable math machine instead of the usual Final Fantasy hair style, and we were (at long last) fully in charge of the numbers. Hallelujah.

So even though he is a plain old fighter, nothing reaffirms your sexuality quite like playing the Warrior. You get power, control, and revenge, and you have to earn it all in a number crunching blind date through Hell…or an expensive restaurant where you flaunt your pixeled status.  While his roof may need some work after the Tristram invasion in Diablo 2, the Warrior’s character is burned into our memories thanks to the revolutionary changes in gameplay Diablo 1 offered.  Oh, by the way, the above paragraphs contain spoiler information about Diablo 1.

Next week, we shoot at the walls of heartache with the Rogue. Bang-bang! Unlike the Warrior, she is not the same old song and dance. You know the Warrior is really retro when he has a classic song named after him:

This weeks BONUS BOLUS has me reflecting on all the delayed patch 1.13 jokes I normally make. But not this time. The patch ‘Unlucky 13’ has finally arrived! Thus,  I cannot ask how our future brains in jars are supposed to play the new content without hands. There may not even be any actual new content on the latest Diablo 2 patch, but there sure is a great deal of humor spawned from it. You people are making all the jokes before I can type them! So here are my favorite Patch 1.13 jokes, all of which are found in the Diablo 2 Community Forum. Prepare to die laughing by your own hand.

?I tried a hydra sorc and they still suck, don’t have much else to say.?—GoldenBird

?…what in the name of Tyrael’s Might where you so busy with? Assuming you really had this so called and so secretive ‘separate legacy team’.
(I call lies on that, I really believe it might be some amateur temp worker at their offices.)
Something like, ‘Here Barry … stop doing photocopies and busy yourself with this … theres 200 pages of fan ideas, pick a random 3 and get them ready by next November ok? Then we might talk about your contract renewal’ ?—ancalagon

?I’m left with an overwhelming impression of laziness and sloth.?—Kretschmer

?Instead of getting 1 zod every 800 years, you get 1 every 200 years – happy day.?—SnickerSnack

?An error occurred during the patch process. Please try reinstalling the game and re-applying the patch. If this error occurs again, please contact Blizzard Technical Support. Press 1 for suicide. Press 2 to summon a hammer to your computer. Press 3 to give Bashiok a… Pat on the head. Have a nice day!” Fudge this, I’m getting a girlfriend instead. & Telling mommy never to buy a Blizzard product again?—Greizer

?I suppose I should post faster or I’ll get hired by Blizz one of these days.?—Greizer

?Seriously, where are the rest of the patch notes?—Galtrovan

?And yes, I can imagine some mid-level meeting-
-Hey, ya know, there is a game, Diablo 2; and there are people playing it.
-No ****?
-Yeah ****! So you know what? Why don`t we make a great patch, so we can hype the hype of Diablo 3.
-Nice idea, start working on it now.
-Right away, boss.
Five months and two weeks of youporn later:
-So how is the Diablo 2 patch goin?
-Huh?
-The patch you proposed half an year ago?
-Huh????? (A clip of barbarian banging an sorceress of youporn appears in the programmer`s head, so he remembers.) Oh, YEAH, well, I`ve been working overtime, I read everything possible on the internet and I`ve done everything the community wanted; it has been a thousand hours of work, but they were well worth it.
Then he got some random skills buffed then nerfed Blessed Hammer, got his fat paycheck, worth the quantity of sperm lost in youporning in gold, and the story ends.?—hhle

?before you click the thread you must know that i was DRUNK lol i was literally screaming in my room?—ruk

?Blizzard was hoping for attention and they had an epic fail so big it would give Bush jr an instant orgasm.?—MichelRPG

?I think the Blizzard who made 1.13 were really really …. like, seriously …. high on some extremely psychedelic high derived from licking some new Amazonian frog’s or salamander species’ spike-laden back or anal sphincter or something.?—ancalagon

?Next Blizzard convention or event, D2 players should all wear the same shirt that says ‘We waited 9+ months for this garbage?’?—sbn

?1% ARMOR? WHAT ?!?!?! LOL … COME ON JUST ONE MORE TOKE OF THAT CRACK PIPE ….?—anacalagon

Then funny thing is, half of those aren’t even intended as jokes. There are some patch 1.13 supporters too, but can they resist the comical jabs? I think not:

?Having just reacquainted themselves with the incomprehensible garbage that the average Warcraft III player spouts, I feel deep felt sympathy for the poor schmucks that get a hard time from people like you because they haven’t yet reacquainted themselves with the incomprehensible garbage that falls out of the frothing mouths of the average Diablo II player.?—Robobaby

?The PTR was revealed in December.
Jesus was born in December.
I was born in December.
Conclusion: good **** happens in December.?—Evrae Altana


Opinions expressed in columns and guest articles are those of their authors, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.

Stillman’s Slab is where all Diablo characters are dissected and examined piece by piece. It is written by Nicholas Stillman to reintroduce Diablo series topics in a new light or put forth novel themes that have not been fully explored in the forums. Slurry collected from the centrifuge will always contain something new and unheard of at the time of publication. Post your comments below or directly.

Tagged As: | Categories: Retired Columns

Comments

You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. My Homepage

Comments are closed.