- I write my first article about D2RE because the forum is not open yet after 3days from making purchase of the product : Diablo2 resurrected. Need help.
Hi Blizzard development team, I encourage your effort to revive the old legendary game, Diablo2. But you may already notice much criticism on character design part, and there are roughly two reasons on it. No1: characters are somehow ugly and old. No2: Unnecessary ‘racial conversion’ on playable characters(and NPCs). In my view, No2 is far more serious than No1, because racial conversion(or racial color-washing) is violating original concept of the Diablo2’s world and destroying details of characters that carefully created in original game. So, I will talk about this issue.
I’m a great fan of Diablo2 and playing it almost for 20 years now. So I can’t let them - D2Re character designers - ‘ruin’ the concept of original Diablo2 with racial conversion on characters and NPCs, which might be caused by poor understanding and idle revision on Canon(or Concept) of Diablo2’s fictional universe. It is obvious that they didn’t study or investigate properly on the racial concept of the characters in Diablo2.
D2 original character races are ‘created’ with subtleties and delicacies according to their well-established concept of the world. Yes, D2 character races are ‘creation’, and they are not exactly corresponding to specific existing human races of the real world. However, the creation is based on some existing(or ever existed) human races - even if not based on just one - and many details in the game are motivated by their culture, lifestyle and fashion. That’s why original D2 world is so immersive, even though players know that it is fantasy world.
Unfortunately, ‘D2Re character designers’ are significantly failing in interpretation of original D2’s racial concept, they didn’t properly catch out what is the based race and culture to each character. Hence the result is ridiculously typical ‘racial buffet’ with typical white-washed European Viking style barbarian, typical black-washed African 70’s Afro headed Paladin, and typical yellow-washed Chinese flat faced Assassin. They are all so typical, and typical enough to break down D2’s world concept by imposing too much ethnic traits of certain existing human races, those are not corresponding to original racial concept at all. As consequence, they will somehow deprive immersive feeling of the original game from the players. They are not the same Barbarian, Paladin, Assassin whom we have been played in Diablo2 for 20 years. So, let’s analyze these characters and compare to original D2 characters.
White-washed Barbarian: He has more pale and whiter skin than original and looks like Viking or Nord. His face says that he is European, come from Norway or somewhere. He is similar to the main character from ‘God of War’. Original D2 Barbarian race is definitely not categorized as such typical European race. His pig-tailed long braid black hair is derived from Mongolian people, and Native American has close bloodline to the Mongolian family. Many Native Americans could have such hair style. If you go to Act5: Harrogath, the Barbarian high land, every young NPC has black colored hair including female character Anya. So, original D2 Barbarian race is highly corresponding to Native American who lived in cold region of north America.
Black-washed Paladin: He has more dark skin than original, and his thick lips and 70’s Afro hair style shows that he is definitely African. His face says that he has come from ‘Republic of the Congo’ or somewhere. But what do you think about original Paladin? Is he African? No, I think not. Because of Paladin’s dark skin he could be mistaken as African for many people, but the people of Act3: Kurast has nothing related to African people or culture. Women NPCs in Kurast have natural long slick hairs and their skins are much brighter than African. What do you think about their clothing and fashion? What about their magnificent carved stone structures and statues? Considering their splendid stone architectures and surrounding climate, and their appearance, the best correspondence is the South American Indio with trails of Aztec civilization who lived near to Amazon river and jungle. Or possibly, they could be regarded as Cambodian with trails of Angkor Wat, who built majestic stone structures in jungle regions. In any case, the concept of the Kurast people is far away from African culture, so African Paladin is surely mistaken concept.
Yellow-washed Assassin: Do I need to explain anymore? What I want to emphasize is that imposing to much ethnic traits that is not corresponding to original game concept, that could be revolting to some fans of Diablo2. I would like it if she has somehow Asiatic face and that is ok. But her face shows too strong scent of Chinese, and probably we can imagine her name as Shao-wei, Bing-bing or some other names that is far away form Natalya the famous NPC assassin.
Conclusion: Please keep original character concept and that is the way to respect original Diablo2 and its fans. Thank you for reading this long text of suggestion.