First of all, Happy Tenth Birthday! I can't believe you're ten years old. Congratulations on the continued success. It seems like only yesterday that you were teaching me the joy and value of becoming a loot whore. Now I'm well down the road of addiction, and I hoard everything I come across. Except, in real life, I don't have a Horadric Cube to store it in. Now I'm forced to buy multiple backpacks to keep things organized in my RPGs, and it has unfortunately carried across to real life as well. Now I have closets full of crap that I keep just because I'm not sure if I'll need it again.
You also taught me to completely fear the PvP experience. I'm not sure if I should be thankful for that or not. On the one hand, it helped me be prepared for all the ganking that would happen when World of Warcraft came along. But on the other, it totally ripped me off from most of your multiplayer experience. The first time I ever ventured out of town, I was immediately killed. The second time, the same thing happened, and so on. Finally I just pulled the plug on the whole thing. I would have played online with friends, but 10 years ago wasn't exactly the golden age for online gaming. Or for me having any friends.
However, you did teach me the value of mouse clicking. In fact, you taught me that trick over, and over, and over again. Just to make sure I'd get it. Just when I wasn't sure if I was supposed to click the mouse button again or not, you'd remind me. This callus on my index finger is probably here because of you. Up until you came along, the most clicking I'd done was probably in Myst, and that wasn't very much. Thanks for giving me my first ever workout, as well as possibly starting me down the path towards carpal tunnel syndrome. Always a plus.
Also, thanks for making me check every game for years afterwards to see if there would be a secret cow level. Then, after finally making me believe that the secret cow level was just a myth, you turned around and screwed me on that one too. Imagine my surprise when there actually was a cow level. Now I'll never be able to trust another developer again. Especially Blizzard, who has dangled Diablo III in front of me for two years now. It'll never come out, will it? Was this just a secret plot to get yourself back onto store shelves? I know you were patched earlier this year, and I feel like that bit of code was only meant to torture me by bringing me back in.
You also were one of the very first games to make me covet collector's editions. Your Limited Edition Collector's Set came with a manual signed by the development team, the game soundtrack (which is haunting and beautiful, thanks again for that one), a special DVD movie with all of the cutscenes (over 14 minutes worth! woo!) on it, the game itself, and ... the Diablo II Dungeons & Dragons RPG! It was based on AD&D rules, and even came with a set of dice. As if things couldn't get much nerdier for me, you had to nerd it up by tossing in D&D. This is like God of War III coming out with a collector's edition that tosses in a God of War - Magic: The Gathering card set. Wait, that actually sounds sort of awesome.
Speaking of Blizzard, what did they do to commemorate your ten year anniversary? They put up a single page about it. What?! They couldn't even lower your price as a sign of respect? The StarCraft Battle Chest is cheap at $19.99, but the Diablo II Battle Chest is $39.99. That just doesn't feel right. If I were you, I'd talk to someone over in public relations about treating you right. I suggest a price cut and a birthday cake, pronto.
Anyhow, Diablo II, you've given me ten years of loot whoring and trying to find the perfect weapon. Any game that can give me that much enjoyment deserves a parade and a special drink made in its honor. If my index finger works, I'll hoist one in your honor tonight.
Much Love and Loot,
Not tell me that's not badass. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIABLO 2!!!