Last year, we were briefly excited at the prospect of Blizzard revamping some of their older games, as a job listing made clear they were looking for a software engineer to work on Diablo II, Warcraft III and the first StarCraft. Our hopes were dialled down when Blizzard clarified that their goal was simply to “maintain our legacy games.”
It seems that goal has borne fruit, as they’ve just released the first new patch for Diablo II in five years. The update “focuses on system glitches introduced by modern operating systems.”
The biggest boon of this seems to be for Mac players, as the announcement on the Battle.net forum says that, “you can finally retire those old Mac PowerPCs. Included with the update is a shiny new installer for OSX.” This fixes a problem where Diablo II would no longer work on any version of MacOSX after 10.7 Lion, which much like the last game update was released in 2011.
“Make gameplay first again on modern operating systems” was bulletpoint number one on last year’s job listing. Bulletpoint number four was “Combat hacking to improve multiplayer”, and it seems work has started on that:
We’ve also begun working to improve our cheat-detection and hack-prevention capabilities. There’s still work to be done, but we’re making improvements every day.
It’s always lovely when game developers continue to support their games so long after release, especially when there’s no financial incentive or even much public pressure to do so. Hopefully there are similar updates to follow for other entries in Blizzard’s back catalogue.