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Another weird one today, as we have the entirety of Diablo 2 and the Lord of Destruction expansion getting speed run (without any glitches/hacks etc.) solo in under an hour! It took Slimo 59 minutes and 29 seconds to get to Baal and down him, with a lot of time spent on leveling to 18 for Teleport, followed by a looot of blinking around the various maps and spamming Nova and Static Field all over the place. The probably biggest moment (aside from Diablo and Baal dying) comes at the 27 minute mark, when a massive amount of farming the first pack in the Jail level 1 results in the big Teleport breakthrough, at which point the speed takes off and acts melt away, with the entirety of act 5 actually taking less than 6 minutes!
It's only recently that players have come close to breaking the 1 hour mark, with previous records hovering around the 1h 10min range for a year (according to Speedrun.com, at least). The previous record, which also came in this month from Indrek, didn't quite make the sub-1hour mark, and Silmo only took 1 minute and 10 seconds off that, but broke that big symbolic barrier. Congrats!
IGN's Summer of Gaming event has posted a schedule for their June events, which has brought up some interesting questions and theories. We know Blizzard are participating in the event and one of the entries on the schedule is labeled as an "Unannounced Classic Revival", without any attribution for which studio it belongs to. As we all know, Diablo 2 remaster rumors have been swirling around since BlizzCon 2018, with the recent Diablo: Resurrected one having stirred things up (the one about Activision-owned studio Vicarious Visions working on the remaster and it coming out this year).
Both of the above seem somewhat flimsy, however, as the IGN event has many participating studios and not all of them have actual new game reveals planned, and it seems more probable that Blizzard will just be showing off some new Shadowlands footage or something similar. As to the actual Resurrected rumor, Vicarious Visions is actually known for remasters and general porting other companies' games to different platforms (with Destiny 2 PC being the most well known), but they are actually already working on remasters of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 at the moment (for PC, Xbox and PS4, no less, with a release date in September). Then there's also the whole "all Diablo 2 source code and assets were lost" thing, making a remaster a very complex, basically from-scratch process.
But, if we were to be optimistic, there could be a remaster coming. Diablo 4 isn't really close to release at all; there would certainly be many people interested in it; Vicarious Visions is actually a large sized studio (over 200 employees) and are experts at exactly this type of thing; Blizzard have a bit of a reputation to regain as far as remasters go after the WC3: Reforged fiasco.
In any case, we'll know more on June 24th, and you can watch the IGN Summer event here.
So, what do you think about all this? Is there a chance we get a Diablo 2 remaster? And what would you want that remaster to be, anyway? Just the same game with new graphics and everything else left as-is, or significant upgrades in terms of UI, stash space and similar quality of life issues?
Last Thursday was Take Your Child to Work Day and Blizzard initially planned on hosting on-campus activities for Blizzard's parents and their kids, but due to COVID-19, they had to get creative and host it online, so they've come up with some epic art tutorials with Samwise Didier and storytelling by Chris Metzen.
This past Thursday was Take Your Child to Work Day, and prior to COVID-19, we were planning a big day of fun and enriching on-campus activities for Blizzard’s parents and their kids. After the company shifted to work-from-home mode, we had to get creative.
Thanks to the help of talented folks across the company, we were able to put together a cool virtual program aimed at giving Blizzard’s kids an entertaining and educational glimpse into what goes into our games. We’re thrilled to share some highlights with you!
Art Tutorials with Samwise Didier
Join veteran Blizzard artist Samwise Didier for some sketching tutorials centered on iconic Warcraft races.
And for some extra credit, download this PDF guide to drawing your favorite characters from across the Blizzard multiverse!
Story Time with Chris Metzen
Blizzard alumnus Chris Metzen reads from his children’s book Snow Fight: A Warcraft Tale. A treat for kids (and adults!) regardless of age.
From artists and game designers, to engineers, HR professionals, and more, folks from all across Blizzard shared lessons, lectures, and tutorials designed to provide kids with insights and skills that’ll equip them for a bright future. We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into some of our extracurricular Take Your Child to Work Day activities, and as always, stay happy, healthy, and safe!
This was an unexpected treat, as Benmonor surprised us with Diablo Respawned, a full and actual true remake of the Diablo 1 trailer! From its start you might assume it's just a remaster with improved graphics (which we've already seen), but we not only get new parts added to the original, but also an entirely new second half! It's even more impressive when you find out that the project took him 40 days to make and he did it all alone.
Benmonor is an independent game developer at Forbidden Realms Studio and made this as a passion project, and it's really massively impressive. I particularly love the second part, with the shadowy Diablo lurking in the Cathedral, and the Tristram zoom-out at the end. We even get some "behind the scenes" stuff as well:
For more BTS images like the above, check out the reddit post.
Check out this truly impressive D1 trailer remake with a ton of new stuff added.
The last few Upscale videos haven't been that impressive, as the newer things they upgraded were already pretty good to start with, and I assumed this one would be the same. But, as the video has plenty of footage from older games, it's very much worth taking a look at, especially the comparison in the second half. Also it's a pretty good video in general, so why not check it out again:
Other Upscaled Remasters
MoP and WC3: Reforged Warcraft 3 E3 Trailer, Diablo 2 LoD Final Cinematic and Overwatch 2 Battle for Azeroth and Diablo 1 WoW Cataclysm and Starcraft: Ghost Diablo 3 Tyrael's Sacrifice Cinematic Burning Crusade Intro Wrath of the Lich King Intro Vanilla WoW Intro Diablo 2 Intro Diablo 2 E3 Teaser and Lord of Destruction Intro