This page covers D2's battle.net, and includes extensive links to archived pages from the pre-release days, full of interesting historical information about the service and the D2 Team's plans to incorporate Diablo II into it. (Many of which did not come to fruition.)
- For more current Battle.net info, especially that related to Diablo III, check out the Battle.net page in the D3 wing of the wiki.
Battle.Net, Blizzard's free online service, expanded greatly with Diablo II and its Expansion Pack, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. The multiplayer aspect of Diablo II has proven from Day One to be a huge part of the game, especially since all game quests are playable online plus the Battle.net system was improved to offer more "community" support. In more recent months, other features such as "buddy lists" and improved communications features were added. Battle.net and it's other subdivision - the Ladders, the scams and cheats you might meet up with on the Realms, and even that odd sparkly jewel that drive you mad in chat, are featured in this section.
Pages in the Battle.net Section:
- The World Event - Added in the v1.10 patch, the world event births Uber Diablo, a Diablo clone with much higher stats. He rewards players with the much-coveted Annihilus Charm. More on this quest.
- Warnings - Many scams and dirty tricks have been perpetrated in the Diablo II world. Rip offs in the trading window, trickery in the chat rooms, duping item scams, etc. Get the low down on what the scoundrels are up to now, and protect yourself.
- Secret Cow Level - How do you access it? Where is it? What determines if you can open it? What's the point in going there? Plus screenshots.
- The Gem in Chat - What does it do? Unlock the secrets to the universe? Shower you with more perfect gems than you can shake a stick at? Or something far more sinister?
- Guild Halls - A planned feature pre-game, Guild Halls were cut late in the development cycle due to a last of time. There was hope they'd return in the Expansion, but that didn't happen either. Here you can read about what they would have been, and see exclusive screenshots of a Guild Hall, Guild Chevrons, and other associated artwork.
- Arena Games - Another planned feature that didn't make it to the final game, Arenas were going to provide PvPers special places to battle, potentially for prizes and with a special ladder. Post mortem them here.
- D2 Avatars - All the character icons you'll see in D2 Battle.net chat.
- Player Rankings - Pre-game informed speculation about how players would be ranked on Battle.net.
- The Party System - We all know how it works now, but at one time it was a very new and interesting feature. Read about the early days of party planning.
- Servers & Shards FAQ - Another old page with interesting early game info, this is from just after Blizzard announced how the Client/Server technology for Battle.net would work, back even before they were called "Realms".
Battle.net for Diablo II is much different than Battle.net for Diablo was. The biggest change is that the whole chat interface was completely redesigned prior to release, as you can see here. There were more options when you create a game, including a line to enter a description of the game (rather than having to do it in the game name, as in Diablo), as well as the game name and password. A great new feature is the ability to limit the +/- character level of players joining your game. Setting this to 3 or 5 +/- your character level will ensure that no much more powerful character can join in and slaughter you, or take all of the monster kills. It's also important to play with characters near your own Clvl due to the way that shared experience works. Full details on that on our Party System Page.
The New Battle.net Chat Interface
We of course expected there to be a new look to Battle.net for Diablo II, but had not expected such a major change. Blizzard North released the first shot of it in August, 1999, and then just a month later released another shot, with several changes already evident. One major difference is that the Battle.net interface is in 800x600 resolution, rather than 640x480 like the Diablo II gameplay. This is useful to get more chat visible at one time, and it's not an issue in game performance, since any system can run Battle.net chat in 800x600, while the lower end systems would die on frame rate trying to run Diablo II in higher than 640x480 resolution.
With the advent of Lord of Destruction, the option to increase even the in-game resolution to 600x800 became a reality, much to the delight of all.
Diablo 2 Chat Character
An authorized representative of Blizzard Entertainment.
|Battle.net System Administrator:|
An authorized representative of Battle.net.
Can remove or ban people from the Channel and designate the next Operator of that Channel when they leave.
Can be heard by everyone in a Moderated Channel.
|Battle.net Chat Participant:|
Logged on through a chat client and is unable to start or play games.
Moderators for tournament games held on battle.net.
|Grey Robed Figure:|
A dead Diablo II Hardcore character.
|Brown Robed Figure:|
An Open Diablo II character.
Logged on to battle.net with the Diablo client.
|Warcraft 2 Battle.net Edition Client:|
Logged on to battle.net with Warcraft 2 Battle.net Edition client.
Logged on to battle.net with the Starcraft client.
|Brood War Client:|
Logged on to battle.net with the Brood War client.
Expanding the Technology
On a technical aspect, Blizzard expanded Battle.net by including additional online capabilities and building a global network of Realms (or servers) using local Internet Service Providers. A number of new servers were set up in Europe and Asia at the inception of Diablo II. However, they did not prove able to handle the massive load of gamers trying to play the game with the largest early-release sales ever. Over time, more servers were added and entire new Realms set up, particularly in Asia, and Blizzard has stepped to the plate to try to handle the enormous success that was an initial surprise, even to them. And of course, the entire technology of Battle.net is much changed for Diablo II, with the client-server model, and at times that has put unpredicted strains on the B.net technology.
There have been numerous changes made to Battle.net during D2 and D2X, with more messaging features, the friends list, and much more. See the Battle.net section of our D2X FAQ for full details.
Changes to Diablo II are far too numerous to detail in their entirety, but here are some basic changes from Diablo to Diablo II that effect online play: The number of characters allowed in a game was increased from Diablo's four to eight. The levels were too small in Diablo for more than four to be any fun, so even though it was technically possible, they had to limit it to four. The Acts and levels are vastly larger in Diablo II, so up to eight can play in the same game. Arena games were going to allow more, to permit guild warfare, but these never made it into the game or its expansion pack. The closed and open character types were a big new thing.
Closed chars are the no-hacking type, and are stored on the Battle.net servers. Closed can be transferred to Open, but Open Characters may never become Closed Characters. Open characters have been left in for those who simply can't resist the urge to dupe (copy game items) or "hack" their character by making him/her a Clvl 4,000. Servers are called Realms, and only characters stored on the same Realm may play together. There was some discussion early on that players might be given a way to transfer characters from realm to realm, but that never became an option. Characters are born and die on the same server/realm.
Blizzard North is committed to addressing and eliminating cheating. They have gone to great lengths to do so, and continue to pursue reports and evidence of cheats and hacks in order to ensure those who play on the Closed Realms do not find themselves at the sharp end of an unscrupulous cheater. But with all the best efforts in the world, some hacks/cheats have and probably will occasionally slip through. Nothing is infallible. One serious early hack that surfaced allowed players to turn hostile to another player outside of town was removed within 24 hours; another that allowed people to access accounts and strip characters of items resulted in a "roll back" of the Realms in January of 2001. Others have been reported over time in our Bug Bytes section.
It's a good idea to arm yourself with information, so that you can keep your characters and items safe. Read our frequently-updated Warnings Section to keep up on all the latest news.
Lately Blizzard has been slower to fix bugs, and there are persistent attempts by hackers to find ways to cheat and dupe, and they are successful an unfortunately high % of the time. The realms as of early 2002 are pretty well clogged with cheaters, maphackers, duped items, and more, and most legit players are pretty pissed off about it. So why are there so many hacks? We've written a pretty strong editorial about that, and received hundreds of player mails about it, and posted half a dozen of the most eloquent ones. Read those here.
Guild Halls and Arenas
Unfortunately two features of Diablo II many people were looking forward to - Guild Halls and Arena Games - didn't quite make the game, due to time constraints. And although hoped for, they did not make it into the Expansion Pack either. (Perhaps they'll be in Diablo III?) With that said we have kept the sections for your reference, as written at the time they were expected to be features. Visit Guild Halls and Arena Games.
Recipe Scrolls were going to be objects you found in the game that gave you recipes for RuneWords, or new Horadric Cube recipes, such as ones to make Crafted Items. They were said to be solid features all along, until just before the beta we found out that they wouldn't be in the final game.
Blizzard wanted to put them in, you'd have found a recipe scroll from time to time as treasure, and they probably would have been given out in various quest rewards as well. The in game graphic was going to look like the scroll you get from Malah after rescuing Anya in the Act 5 quest. When you clicked you'd have seen it like this, with writing on it.
The D2X team regretted that recipe scrolls weren't going to be in as a feature, but they just didn't have time to get them implemented and tested and working perfectly, and since it was either scrap new recipes entirely, or just not have scrolls to tip people off about them, I think we can all agree better no scrolls than no recipes at all.
Tons of features are planned for games and don't get in for one reason or another, unfortunately.
You may have to set up port forwarding in your router to host games on battle.net.
- Diablo I:
- Allow port 6112-6119 TCP and UDP out and in
- Diablo II:
- Allow port 6112 TCP out and allow established sessions in
- Allow port 4000 TCP out and in (hosting open games only)