This afternoon, while doing some research for a Beta article I’m working on, I watched the 2008 Blizzcon gameplay movie for the first time in a couple of years. It’s trippy, since all the levels are identical to the levels in the ongoing beta, and yet they seem very different due to the monsters and some other smaller details. This gameplay movie was the first to feature the Wizard, who was revealed at Blizzcon 2008, and every scene in the demo takes place in areas that were playable in that year’s Blizzcon demo.

    It’s interesting to watch that movie now, if you’ve played in the beta or just watched a few hours of footage from it, since so many little things are different. That demo had a large zombie-spawning graveyard immediately to the right of the Tristram Cathedral (you see it from 2:15-3:00), and I noted a couple of barricades in different places, but on the whole, the dungeons were virtually identical to what we see now, more than 3 years later.

    So what’s different? The monster types, for one thing. There are different kinds of skeletons, there are Cultists present in numbers, packs of rushing Ghouls are seen, there are no summoner skeletons, the Skeleton King’s ghost spawning animations are a bit different, his skeletal minions appear right at the start of the battle, etc.

    The things that really made this feel different to me though, were the subtle details and the overall pace of the play. This demo looks like it’s in slow motion, compare to the game today. The monsters move slower, the spells take longer to cast, the sound effects are less intense, there are fewer monster hit animations, the destructibles aren’t as polished, etc. Though this old movie shows almost the same levels and skills, you can still see lots of the changes that have gone on since then, even in these earliest levels.

    What struck you guys about this old movie? Did those of you who aren’t playing the beta (yet) find it as weirdly-altered as I did, almost like this was a toned down mod version of the game?

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