There was a time, after Diablo 2 had been out for a while, when I got cravings for the game. I still get the cravings, but they’ve lessened over the years. I remember I pre-ordered Diablo 2, and I remember that by the time the expansion came out a year later, I was jaded.

I’d uninstalled the game, probably deleted all my characters. Once I’d finished the game, there didn’t seem to be much to do, except kill the same monsters over and over again, and try to get different treasure. It took a couple days, tops, but after I played my brother’s copy of Lord of Destruction, I was willing to pick up a copy for myself. Within weeks, I was disappointed and uninstalled the game again.

And then, somehow, a few months months later I found I had reinstalled the game. I played it obsessively with all-new characters, only for my interest to drop off again after a couple weeks. The incidents became a trend, and they became regular enough that I created an away message for my instant messaging programs that read: “Away – Reinstalling Diablo 2.” (It took a while to install in those days.)

The cravings seemed to come around every six months or so, and I think the most remarkable thing about them, was that they seemed to coincide with the cravings my friends got for the game. We’d all go enter a phase of regular, obsessive play, then we’d all drop out again, one by one, or simultaneously.

I had a craving about this time last year, and I played for a good long while — specifically on a higher difficulty setting — in single player, you can alter the level of the monsters around you by inputting the command “/players #” and the game will scale the monsters up as though there were that many players in the game, boosting monster damage and hit points accordingly. I wonder if I’ll pick it up the game again before the end of the year. *ponders*