Diablo 2 is a masterpiece of the action roleplaying game (ARPG) genre, and many longtime fans of the series are no doubt thrilled with confirmation, after many years of rumors and disappointments, of Diablo 2: Resurrected. Yes, this time it's actually happening. Here's everything we know so far about Diablo 2: Resurrected.
What's new with Diablo 2: Resurrected?
The Diablo 2: Resurrected open beta is set to begin August 20 at 1 p.m. EST. It is available on PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, and PS4. Cross-progression is enabled, and it's a chance to see how well multiplayer is working. The open beta will cover the first two Acts of the game, and will provide access to the Sorceress, Druid, Paladin, Barbarian, and Amazon classes. The open beta is set to run until August 23 at 1 p.m. EST.
Coinciding with the open beta is news that all runewords, Uber Diablo, and the Pandemonium Event will be made available to all players, even if they're enjoying non-ladder or singleplayer. This was a huge sticking point for many returning players who struggled to find enough time to compete in the ladder before it being reset. More information on the patch can be found below in the development and updates section.
Diablo 2: Resurrected is announced
It's official. Diablo 2: Resurrected has been announced at BlizzCon 2021. Yes, it's really, really real. The remastered game has a great-looking announcement trailer (posted just above), which shows off the gorgeous (and new) 3D graphics built for 4K. All classes, including those from the Lord of Destruction expansion, are shown off, which demonstrates that all the classic content should be here for us to enjoy.
Originally released all those years ago on PC, Diablo 2: Resurrected is also now coming to consoles. Yes, it looks like you'll be able to play on Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch along with PC and carry your progression across platforms.
If the new 3D graphics aren't really your style, you will be able to switch back to the original look. The original game remains untouched, which bodes well for the modding community. Sound effects and soundtrack have been touched up, and there will now be 7.1 surround sound support. And don't worry about those crusty old cinematics; they've been remade from the ground up to match the rest of the game.
Diablo 2: Resurrected is pegged for an expected September 23, 2021 release date.
What is Diablo 2: Resurrected?
Diablo 2: Resurrected is a remake of the legendary ARPG from more than 20 years ago. The dark, brooding story, the gothic art design, and the incredibly addicting gameplay loop are coming around again for another shot at saving Sanctuary. If you're concerned that Diablo 2 could end up in the same disrespectful state as Warcraft 3: Reforged (which earned the nickname Warcraft 3: Refunded), there is some good news.
Development studio Vicarious Visions recently merged with Blizzard Entertainment, following ownership by Activision since 2005. Vicarious Visions worked on the stellar remakes of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2, which we awarded a perfect score in our review.
While Blizzard's own "Team 1" mishandled Warcraft 3: Reforged and was reportedly working on Diablo 2: Resurrected, the group has been dismantled following the merger with Vicarious Visions. Vicarious Visions is now confirmed to be in charge of the remaster.
Diablo 2: Resurrected gameplay and features
We now have an announcement trailer with some juicy bits of info, as well as extra details following a round of developer talks. Have a look at Windows Central master of fantasy Samuel Tolbert's deep dive into the Diablo 2: Resurrected group media interview for some great insight into the game.
Diablo 2: Resurrected has broadened its character stats page among other UI redraws, and there's likewise an expanded stash that is shared across warriors (split for ladder and non-ladder). Automatic gold pickup will be a toggleable setting, something most people will no doubt enable and never look back at, and quick movement of items between stash and character should make life a whole lot easier.
The camera in-game can zoom in and out, which could make for some interesting screenshots with the new lighting and models. It looks like all armor and weapons will show up on your character this time, rather than recycled looks for armor classes. In the menu screen, separate characters will get a closeup, just like in Diablo 3.
Drilling down to gameplay, the Diablo 2: Resurrected will continue to run at the same tickrate as the original game, but with unlimited FPS. It seems like the game is more a remaster than a remake (with the same old Diablo 2 logic), so the feel of Resurrected should be close to the same. Item stats, monster strength and spawn rates, and loot drop tables should be the same. Trading items with other players and engaging in combat (PVP) will be close to what was in the original game. The latter info is great news for a lot of Diablo 2 players. Both Diablo 2 and its expansion Lord of Destruction are included in the remaster, now confirmed after seeing the announcement trailer.
Original Diablo 2 is still very popular, whether playing the vanilla version or with the best Diablo 2 mods installed. It looks like the original game will remain intact, though a move a move to Battle.net full time means there's no guarantee existing mods will work without further … modification.
Diablo 2: Resurrected development updates
In an August 19 forum post, Blizzard Community Manager Hooley laid out some ladder and patch updates to coincide with the open beta. The biggest news to come out of this is the availability of all Diablo 2 runes and runewords across ladder, non-ladder, and singleplayer characters. Previously, certain runewords were only available for ladder characters.
All runewords, as well as Uber Diablo and the Pandemonium Event, are now available for non-ladder and singleplayer characters.
In the same vein, the Pandemonium Event, in which a series of bosses can be killed to receive a Hellfire Torch, has been made available to all players. And the Uber Diablo event, in which he randomly spawns and can be killed for an Annihilus Charm, is also now available in non-ladder and singleplayer play. A number of bug fixes and stability tweaks have also been added to the patch as we head into the open beta.
Blizzard has shared some changes coming to Diablo 2: Resurrected following community feedback after the Diablo 2: Resurrected tech alpha playtest. The developers stated that they're continuing to make progress, and that they're working on changes to some video effects and artwork, quality of life, and more.
A couple of Sorceress skills — Blizzard and Lightning — have seen effects updated, as has the Paladin's Holy Freeze aura. Monsters under status effects like cold and poison have also seen their colors updated.
If you noticed that scrolls, gems, and potions looked a bit washed out (or just downright wrong), you'll be happy to know that the team has made significant changes to make them stand out better. And in the case of gems and skulls, they've been completely overhauled again. A bunch of weapons, armor, and charms have also undergone a similar treatment.
Perhaps the most exciting change for any devoted magic-finders out there is the addition of an item name toggle. You can now choose whether you want to keep the "Press Alt to show items on the ground" or have them show all the time without having to hit a button. Hopefully this will also come with a loot filter to weed out all the junk that drops in the late game.
The shared stash has been bumped up to three pages from one page, making it easier to swap gear between characters. There are more changes you can read about at the official Blizzard news post, but some other notables are a clock now being added to the in-game screen, audio tweaks, and improvements to the automap.
Can Diablo 2: Resurrected be played offline?
Yes, Diablo 2: Resurrected should be able to be played offline once you've verified your game and account. Offline and online characters will remain separate, just like it was in Diablo 2 and closed Battle.net.
You can also still choose to play a non-expansion character (without runewords, etc.) for a pre-expansion experience. If you do choose to play online, the standard eight-player rooms will still be around. Diablo 2: Resurrected will have a seasonal rotation like Diablo 2, though seasons will likely be shorter.
Is Diablo 2: Resurrected coming to Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch?
Yes, Diablo 2: Resurrected is coming to Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch alongside a PC release. Best part? Cross-progression for all systems means you don't have to pick a platform and stick with it. This is great news, as we've already seen how well Diablo 3 works on Switch (and the other consoles). Controller support is understandably in.
Diablo 2: Resurrected system specifications
Blizzard has listed some minimum and recommended PC specs on the preorder page. It looks as though the remastered version will be relatively system heavy, recommending at least an Intel Core i5-9600K or AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a NVIDIA GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU.
The minimum specs are significantly lower, with an Intel Core i3-3250 or AMD FX-4350 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a NVIDIA GTX 660 or Radeon HD 7850.
Diablo 2: Resurrected tech alpha
Diablo 2: Resurrected's technical Alpha testing period was a success, allowing players to see what to expect from the game.
This was apparently only the first of a number of tests planned for the game. It provided singleplayer action spread out over the game's first two acts (Rogue Encampment and Lut Gholein). The Amazon, Sorceress, and Barbarian were playable. There was no level cap, so players were technically be able to grind as long as they wanted.
Check out my hands-on first impressions from the Diablo 2: Resurrected alpha for more information.
When is the Diablo 2: Resurrected release date?
We now have an expected September 23, 2021 release date for Diablo 2: Resurrected, as revealed at the Xbox E3 presentation June 13. It was also revealed that the game is optimized for Xbox Series X|S with 4K60FPS performance. And, as we already knew, cross-progression is supported so you can enjoy your savegames across platforms.
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