Waiting to Respawn: Know Your Diablo

(Waiting to Respawn is Nightmare Mode’s weekly column in which we crawl out from our secluded fortresses to discuss multiplayer and the social aspects of gaming.)

At 12:01 a.m. this morning, Blizzard tightened their grip over our virtual lives (for those able to actually log on) by finally flipping on the servers for the much-anticipated Diablo 3. Evil has returned to the world of Sanctuary and threatens to crush out everything wholesome and pure in the land. Unfortunately, I’m not referring to the demons.

Every game has its share of irritating players that flaunt social graces. These are the guys parking the tank on Blood Gulch’s only rocket launcher in Halo or exclusively using knives in Call of Duty. Sure, they technically don’t break any rules, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be called out on their against-the-grain style.

So what do they look like in Diablo? Take a look at a few of our least favorite below. And try not to feel bad if you recognize yourself among the riff-raff. We all sin.

“The Villager”

The best drops usually come from bosses, so wouldn’t it make sense to try and only fight bosses? The Villager uses precisely that logic to leech off the efforts of a team, waiting until right before a boss to join their “companions.” While everyone else slings spells and arrows at demonic forces, Villagers loiter in towns hiding behind vague excuses and trips to the bathroom.

Not content to be left out of the best fights, and therefore the best loot, these players jump into the action once the path has been cleared. Only then do they finally pull their weight. Once just an annoyance in Diablo 2, Villagers stand as a much greater threat due to Diablo 3’s relatively small four person parties.

“The Banker”

Everyone knows someone who just has to explore every corner, kill every monster, snag every bit of worthless junk, and cram it in their bank. Of course, in a game that’s all about the loot, it makes sense to take every chance to find a new axe or wand which might deal an extra point of damage, but hell if it doesn’t use up everyone’s time.

When you just want to get through an area and slaughter a boss or reach the next act, The Banker can drag your efforts into the mud. Their insistence on exploration slows progression down to a trickle, and when the rest of the group finally gets fed up and moves on without them, you’re down an adventurer!

“The Explorer”

The ultimate result of an “it’s my game, I’ll do what I want” mentality, these players forget cooperation as soon as they enter another player’s version of Sanctuary and run off to do…whatever. Alone. Who knows what they’re up to when the rest of the party dives deep into the nearest crypt: listening to Deckard Cain prattle on for ages, agonizing between two functionally identical but graphically different items, clicking 666 times on every farm animal looking for a hidden level, etc.

Similar to the Banker and Villager, these people have a very specific way that they play, and it doesn’t involve you. They still want to be in a group, just not to play with anyone, which continues to confound heroes to this day. Top scientists have worked on this problem for years but finally gave up after realizing that they could just recruit someone else into their game.

“The Solo Artist”

The Solo Artist is similar to the Villager or Explorer, except that their goal actually matches up with yours pretty well. They want to press through the demon hordes, gathering treasure and throat-punching bosses. Excellent! Unfortunately, they really don’t give a crap whether you’re there or not. You aren’t a partner, you’re a minion.

Your band of heroes is just a tool for personal gain in the eyes of a Solo Artist, and just like the jerkface musicians their name derives from they are completely willing to break up the band when they don’t get their way. Any number of things could go wrong – you’re going too slowly, you’re not using the right ability to back them up, and of course, it’s your fault when they die.

“The Social Worker”

At some point after annihilating the final boss and reaching maximum level, many players get bored, walk away, or maybe start a new character. Yet others use their hard-earned power to help others, guiding them through early content like some sort of blood soaked Moses.

The Social Worker literally has nothing to do. A strong character with no tombs left to plunder, they help weaker heroes fight monsters well above their level in order to gather quick experience or push past particularly difficult battles. Beware, for their graces only continue until they grow tired of helping or that season of Community finishes downloading, whichever comes first. Try not to be stuck at the bottom of a dungeon when that happens.

“The Judas”

These heartless betrayers are truly to be pitied. Their cowardice and inability to recognize their destructive nature makes them extremely dangerous.. Always cautious and never quite eager to jump into the fray, they like to hang out around the back edges of fights and prefer ranged classes to take safe, cheap shots at monsters. You won’t even realize your team contains a Judas until it’s already too late, for they only reveal themselves once things look grim for the party.

You see, the Judas fears death and sees it in every difficult fight, despite the lack of real consequences when not playing on hardcore mode (where death is permanent). Once death seems at hand, a Judas will reveal themselves and flee into the distance to save their own life. The sudden loss of damage output swings the battle in evil’s favor, completing the self-fulfilling prophecy and bringing the team to ruin.

“The Sasquatch”

Grainy photos and 1980s quality video footage float around the internet of these strange beasts. Among the rarest of players, Sasquatches are talkative, helpful followers eager to advance the interests of the entire party.

You want to go back to an early area and farm equipment for an alt? Cool, bro. The team isn’t quite sure how to beat this boss? Let’s take a few minutes to research and discuss our options. Out of potions? Here, take mine. Because these majestic creatures break the first rule of the internet, which clearly states that everyone is an ass, no one will ever believe that you saw one.

Adventurers rarely enter battle alone. Like any good multiplayer game, Diablo 3 has a way of redefining people according to its rules, remaking us in its image like some inescapable god in our computers. Of course, we couldn’t possibly define all the different players in a game like Diablo 3. Think we missed something obvious? Wanna share a story about “that time when some weird guy” joined your group? Tell us about it in the comments.