After announcing Diablo 2: Resurrected during BlizzCon, over the weekend Blizzard revealed more titbits about the remaster of their 21-year-old excellent action-RPG. Such as: unlike the recent Warcraft 3 remaster, this will be a separate game and won't update or replace the original Diablo 2. And: yep, it will support mods. I'm wary after the mess of Warcraft 3: Reforged but god, I want so badly for this to be good.
Fellas from Diablo 2: Resurrected, Diablo 4, and Diablo Immortal fielded questions from the public in a video Q&A. Such as whether D2R would overwrite the original Diablo 2.
"No, absolutely not," D2R principal designer Rob Gallerani replied. "Everything you have about D2 currently will stay D2. This is a separate product, separate game. You can play 'em both at the same time if you want."
That's good to hear after Warcraft 3: Reforged controversially replaced the original release, patching it up to Reforged. But this new version lacked several features and introduced new problems. Enough folks were unhappy that Blizzard offered refunds to anyone who wanted 'em, a move beyond their usual refund policy.
As for mods, they were confirmed in, uh, a Twitter thread pretending to be Deckard Cain:
📜 MOD SUPPORT— Diablo (@Diablo) February 20, 2021
Why you would want to manipulate this Hell? Are you some sort of demon yourself? Woe! Yes, mod support will be here in Diablo II. I beg of you to go easy on a poor old man.
Gallrani also said in the Q&A that D2R is based on the current live version of D2, 1.14, without balance changes (though he did note "the balance of the game live has quirks for it") or new Runewords or such.
"We wanted to focus on nailing the foundation of the authentic experience," he said. "We didn't want to start balancing it out to something else, because if we gave players this game that they remembered but things felt differently because we balanced them or rebalanaced them, it's too many variables. So right now we're focused on pretty much what's live today."
That's interesting to me because 1.14 is very much not the Diablo 2 I remember. I played D2 the most under 2003's Patch 1.10 and 2005's Patch 1.11. That's the state the game settled in for a long time, with Blizzard not making substantial changes again until 2010 - by which point I think mostly only megaserious players remained. But hey, I'm game. Looks like 1.13c brought some skill buffs I'd appreciate and ooh respeccing!
Another panel over the weekend talked about the process of remaking the whole game in 3D, including some interesting info about recovering and recycling assets that were used to make the original. The new Tyrael's wings are apparently taken straight from the 3D model that was used to create his 2D sprite.
Diablo 2: Resurrected is due to launch later this year. It'll cost £35 on Battle.net, and also be on Switch, PlayStations, and Xboxes - and your characters can be shared across all platforms.