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Games Dissected: Notes on Game Design

Diablo III will reclaim Its Throne with Reaper of Souls

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

A few days ago Blizzard announced the first expansion for Diablo III called Reaper of Souls. At the Gamescom nobody seemed to know what it is and i couldn’t quite grasp what Blizzard wants to sell me behind closed curtains. Also I didn’t feel like waiting three hours in line to play for maybe 10 minutes.

Then i watched the absolutely stunning Opening Cinematic:

But I still wasn’t convinced from a gameplay perspective. Back at home a lot of information surfaced about the increased level cap to 70, the new character class called Crusader and a darker and grittier fifth Act.

While all this seems promising, the real game changer in Reaper of Souls will be the major overhauls being done to important end-game mechanics and systems, the biggest being the loot system.

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Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress (1982)

Ultima II Logo

Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress

Developer: Richard Garriott
Publishers: Sierra On-Line, Origin Systems (re-release)

Platforms: Apple II, MS-DOS, Atari 800, C64, NEC PC-88/98, MSX2 and FM Towns.
Genre: Computer RPG (CRPG)

Release Date(s): August 24, 1982

 

Traverse deep dark deadly dungeons

And tall terrifying towers

Travel throughout the galaxy

To the planets of our solar system

And conquer time itself to battle

Minax the Enchantress

 

Welcome to the world of Ultima II! Richard Garriott’s second (third if you count Akalabeth as Ultima 0) game in the Ultima series. The avatar jumps back and forth through earth’s timeline via so-called “Time Gates” (later called Moongates as one of the defining features of the Ultima games) to defeat the evil enchantress Minax, apprentice and lover of Mondain (the villain from Ultima I). Apparently Garriot was heavily inspired by Terry Gilliam’s movie Time Bandits during development which came out in 1981.

Ultima II is generally seen as the black sheep of the Ultima series. And to be honest, i have to agree. There’s a lot to learn from the past, so let’s find out why the game is bad, what can be improved and eventually how to design better games.

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© 2018 Steve Haßenpflug. All rights reserved.