Monday, January 17, 2022

Diablo II: Resurrected getting a new patch bringing significant changes to the gameplay

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The last significant balance-focused patch for Diablo II was released on March 23, 2010. That was to be the classic action-forever RPG’s version. Even though Diablo II was released more than 21 years ago, the story is far from over. Diablo II: Resurrected was built on the foundation of that version of the game, version 1.13c to be exact. That game used the original’s underlying game logic and overlayed it with a 3D engine, intending to keep the gameplay (almost) unchanged.

Blizzard has now announced a new patch for Diablo II: Resurrected that will take the game in new directions once more. Patch 2.4, which will be released to a PTR (Public Test Realm) on PC early next year, is expected to bring significant changes, even though it has been nearly 12 years since the last major update.

New opportunities will be created as a result of the adjustments. The team isn’t interested in meddling with what’s working and instead wants to give gamers more choices. To some extent, each of the game’s seven playable classes is being overhauled, taking advantage of the game’s wonderfully flexible class architecture to boost class fantasies that aren’t currently viable in high-level play. Melee-powered Amazons, martial arts-oriented Assassins, and ax-throwing Barbarians are just a handful of the builds the team has concentrated on.

Meanwhile, the return of Ladder Play (seasonal play) will bring new Rune Word items, which are high-level armor and weapons built with difficult-to-find pocketable components. Mercenaries (AI support characters) are being reworked, and set goods are being buffed as well.

These modifications are significant, given how sacred the original game was during the production of Resurrected, yet they make sense. Resurrected’s light touch modifications, such as (optional) auto-gold pick-up and introducing a skill bar for PC players, were well-received, and the team has received months of user input.

“The first stage was, let’s launch the game, have it be successful, and make sure that all the bugs and all the kinks and all the server stuff… was taken care of and smoothed out before moving on to stage two,” says Matthew Cederquist, Senior Game Producer. “I think we took the right approach, making sure everything was good before making changes. There was such an abundance of feedback that came through too, it was almost overwhelming. Players still love this game, 20 years later, and want to see updates. We took that and ran with it.”

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Patch 2.4 will also include Ladder Play, which comes as no surprise given that it was announced as a post-launch feature when Resurrected was first revealed. It will take the form of a race to level 99, which will be familiar to Diablo II veterans. Each new Ladder Play period lasts a few months, and players begin at the beginning of each season from scratch. Ladder Play is made up of four different modes that cover the original Diablo II, the Lord of Destruction expansion, and the Hardcore versions of both.

Patch 2.4 will roll out early next year on PC in PTR form. It promises to help keep Diablo II vital as we move through 2022.


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