Last weekend’s discussion topic went pretty well, as more than 100 of you guys shared your favorite class memories from D1 and D2 and predicted how your allegiances would swing in D3. This weekend’s topic is spurred by today’s date and the wacky hijinks that often accompany it, to the delight of some and the chagrin of others.

    How do you guys feel about humor in Diablo III? From jokes made by NPCs, to monsters with funny sound effects like Fallen screeching for Rakanishu or D3’s skeletons laughing, to NPCs who offer one bad jokes after another. Humor has always been a feature in the Diablo series, but that doesn’t mean you like it. Do you think jokes and moments of levity distract from what should be an intense, gloomy, horror-filled experience? Or are they flashes of light and realism, since some people will always joke even in the teeth of disaster, and that they add to the overall presentation?

    I’ve been considering this issue in regards to Diablo III for a while, largely in regards to the, “This is killing business.” quip made by the bartender in the Slaughtered Calf Inn. I’ve seen numerous fan complaints about that line, but I’m not sure if the objection is to the quality of the pun, or if people just don’t think it’s just inappropriate. (Or both, perhaps.)

    You’re free to not like it, but if you think corny remarks and jokes from NPCs are out place in the Diablo series… you must not have listened to many gossips or otherwise communicated with the NPCs in D1 or especially in D2. There are dozens of joke lines in both games, with several NPCs basically serving as comic relief. We have all of their dialogues on their wiki pages, and from the famous, “Horazon’s urinal?” remark by DiabloWikiLysander, to what seems like the majority of the dialogue by DiabloWikiGeglash, there are inside and outside jokes galore, especially in Diablo 2. (Which has vastly more NPCs and dialogue than D1, and thus more room for humor.)

    We obviously don’t know all of the D3 dialogues yet, with only a small portion of the game accessible via the beta, but there are plenty of comical remarks mixed in with the more serious content. We’ve been told that the DiabloWikiScoundrel has a ready supply of quips, and the DiabloWikiMystic seems (seemed) to have a very wry sense of humor and the absurd in many of her dialogues. (One embedded to the right. There’s a better one here, but the vid title is sort of a spoiler, so I didn’t embed it.) Even with her removed (for now) there are other mood-lighteners galore.

    If there’s a real difference between D3 and the previous games in the series, it’s that some of the NPCs make their remarks unprompted, like the barkeeper right at the start of the game, which makes their jokes impossible to miss. Unlike the NPC dialogues in D1 and D2, which you had to click specifically to hear.

    Of course the biggest humor (or not) in Diablo II came from the DiabloWikiSecret Cow Level, which began life as an April Fool’s joke and snowballed from there. We don’t know if we’ll see a DiabloWikiSecret Level in D3 (though numerous hints point towards yes), but if so it seems like some-to-all of it will be themed to the “too colorful” DiabloWikiArt Controversy, with unicorns and happy clouds and rainbows and such. And that will be funny! Very very funny! Or not…

    Hit the comments to share your thoughts on that, on humor in games in general, or some of your specific amusing memories from D1 and D2.

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