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Diablo 2: Resurrected Is on the Launcher, Prime Evil Collection, Alpha Signups and Pre-order AvailableBy Staff
D2:R has arrived on the Battle.net launcher and we thought it would be a good time to remind everyone to sign up for the Technical Alpha in case you haven't yet, and the game is also available for pre-order.
There's also a new bundle available, with D2:R, Diablo 3 Eternal Collection and some new cosmetics:
While there were many announcements at BlizzConline, and the D2 remaster wasn't exactly a surprise, it was still one of our favorites from the show and we can only hope it gets here as fast as possible!
Blizzard are learning from past mistakes, as we might have the problematic Warcraft 3: Reforged to thank for saving the original Diablo 2!
As you might recall, the launch of WC3: Reforged saw the original Warcraft 3 LAN, ladder, clans and more removed and merged into the new version, which had changed a lot and wasn't a very good product. Fans were furious, even those that didn't buy the remaster, and were left without their beloved original game.
Thankfully, we won't have to worry about that with Diablo 2! Despite the team at Vicarious Visions keeping as close as possible to the original, changes have to be made, and we've already seen new quality of life improvements, obviously the new graphics and similar, which all seem like big improvements but will definitely annoy some. Franchise head Rod Ferguson talked to PC Gamer on the matter:
Hell Unleashed, my favorite D2 mod.
And that indeed is the most important part: the mods. As the majority od Diablo 2 mods used sprites from other games it was obvious it would be absolutely impossible to recreate them. So this news is incredibly important, as it allows all the old mods to still work with the original version of the game, and even new ones to be developed! So thanks to Blizzard for learning their lesson and letting us keep the OG experience, with any crazy mods we want.
Here comes more info on the Diablo 2 remaster, from Vicarious Visions and Blizzard developers!
First off, here's the full VoD of the panel:
70-30 visual guide, where 70% is all old visuals, with 30 new changes. The game is 3D. All the item art was remodeled. There was a big Blizzard North design doc that was used for details and continuity. Upgrading 4 white sprites of garlic in a tavern! Different art referenced for the garlic!!
Zoom camera. Legacy toggle feature - you can go back to the game with the press of a button. The new engine is running on top of the old game and mimicking it live. All the game logic runs on a 25 FPS cycle, as many of the mechanics are linked to that (attack speed breakpoints etc.), while the actual game runs at a higher framerate. The item visuals on your character will be more similar/the same as their inventory counterparts and vice-versa!
Cinematics will be remastered. Sound impovements, ambient sound, more effects, but all iconic sounds are kept. Spawn rates, item drops and all core mechanics remain the same, it's the same game basically, just visually changed. All the additions were vetted by the "is this addition changing too much", which is part of the reason we HAVE A SHARED STASH!!
The UI is also changed, with a little reorganization, but mostly looks the same as you can see. There's an advanced stats screen!
Auto gold pickup, but is toggleable on and off. Controller support on PC (but there's still inventory tetris!). A bit of a different game on consoles due to the controller - no pathfinding, teleport has to work differently etc. You can even play a non-expansion character, so you don't get any Lord of Destruction features! There's an item comparison button. 5 more languages added.
Certain areas of the game have gotten scarier due to the lighting upgrades. The 3D lighting is one of the major upgrades, the game looks much more atmospherics, especially with spell effects lighting things up. PvP remains, same mechanics, trading works the same. Improvements to the Battle.net lobby, browsing games, typing passwords, making some of the workarounds used by players there to begin with. Shorter ladder resets. Saving previous seasons leaderboards. No more character expiration! Global servers. All regions will be on the same servers. Duplicate names will be allowed, but will be appended with Gamertag, Battle.net ID etc. Remastering D2 was basically game archaeology and they even learned a lot of how Diablo 1 was made. Even Diablo 1 source files helped with remastering the sequel. Duping, bots etc. should be less prevalent due to the new tech from Battle.net net itself and more. You will be able to play offline! But you will not be able to go online with those characters. The game is releasing in 2021. Head on over to the game's site and register for the Tecnical Alpha! And here's the announcement trailer once more:
Diablo 2 was supposed to get a second expansion after Lord of Destruction, and in the past few days one of its creators, David Brevik, has been talking about it. It's particularly interesting to get some new information about D2 these days, as we're very likely to hear something about the game's remaster soon.
Brevik had already written a design doc for it, with a new class, a cleric type, but it never went beyond that as Blizzard North were already working on their version of Diablo 3 (which we recently got a look at) and another unannounced project, and that part of the company was dissolved around 6 months after that.
Brevik also talked about the Blizzard North version of Diablo 3:
When asked about Diablo 4 and its current direction and its similarity to the original D3 concept, Brevik was quite coy:
The tweets also caused some confusion over at Eurogamer, as they conflated the Diablo and 3 stories, but quickly fixed it and apologized: