The information presented in these archived FotDs is now outdated, but that's often the most interesting thing about them, seeing how much the game has changed from then to now.
The original FotDs are indented and italicized. Explanatory comments below them were written by Flux at the time the FotDs were archived, usually a couple/few months after the original FotDs had been presented.
October 1, 2000
- In Diablo II, there is no way to see if some other character is allowing you to loot their corpse (unless they are dead). You see a message if someone else allows you, but they can immediately turn it off, and you get no message about that, and there isn't any way to check it on the Party menu. Many PKs in HC games do this, trying to trick others into allowing them to loot, before they try to backstab. Check our Warnings! section for many other such things to watch out for.
Fortunately, in D2X Blizzard finally added in a notification when looting was disallowed, and you can also hover on another player's name in the party menu to see what their looting status is to you.
October 10, 2000
- There are lots of bits of art left on the Diablo II CD; items that didn't make the final game, quest objects, bits of bone, and other small and generally unidentifiable things. People like to extract them and put them into screenshots, and then claim they've found something secret. One of the most popular is the Black Tower key, which you can see in the shot to the left, and see in a game shot, with more info about it, right here.
This is probably the most often asked about thing in the entire game. We've gotten hundreds of emails about it, mostly from people who saw it in an Open Game, or heard some absurd rumor about it, secret levels, secret quest rewards. We posted news about it a few times, and put it into several FotDs, as well as the screenshot linked to here, and the FAQ, but people keep asking. Fortunately it's not often seen now in D2X.
The items in the little shot here are all unused artwork, the orange potion was some early explosive potion artwork. The white candle is unknown, the little red/white/blue chips are unknown, and so is the pile of bone, though it's probably some sort of reagent. The star-spangled potion is an elixir, they were in the game early on (we saw them at E3 1999) before Blizzard decided to remove them along with removing all hard caps on stats. There are lots of other unused reagents, (from when Convert was in) a few of which show up as parts of Khalim's body on the Act Three quest.
October 18, 2000
- Lord De Seis, formerly the only monsters in the game with Thief as a magical property, no longer has that to set him apart. "Thief" has been removed from the game on the Realms, and it's unknown if v1.04 will restore it, or remove it from offline play as well. We suspect it's going to go away completely. We'd heard of a few bugs with the Thief property, and in fact that's why it was removed, due to it just not working properly. See De Seis with and without it, and a great new shot of Thief actually working.
Thief was a sneaky property, it made one random potion pop out of your belt each time De Seis hit you. Obviously if you needed healing or rejuv potions to stay alive, suddenly not having any was a bad thing. The bugs were when he'd use it and the belt wasn't accessible, such as on a Barbarian doing a WW or Leap Attack. The game tended to crash then, and there were some other bugs, as well as Blizzard just deciding they didn't like it so much.
The third linked shot is a really great look at it, sent in by a site viewer after this FotD had gone up.
October 24, 2000
- Natalya, Act Three NPC and sneak preview of the Assassin, has a speech that you can't normally hear in the game, since she's gone after you beat Mephisto. The speech has info about the Expansion Pack, and Blizzard North removed it (by removing her) shortly before the game went final. You can see info about Natayla here, on our Townsfolk Page. The new info in this FotD is that you actually can see this removed speech in the game. To see a shot of it, and learn how to do it yourself, click here. Thanks to Keseph for the info.
This was new info when we posted this FotD. Blizzard had officially announced the Expansion at ECTS in September 2000, but no one was exactly surprised to hear the news.
Blizzard North started a few people working on the Expansion while they were still finishing Diablo II, but they had nothing more than basic models and ideas for the Assassin and Druid skills, and some ideas for the setting of Act Five, and the plot. Rumors about the Assassin and Druid being totally finished and held out of Diablo II are just not accurate. There were some very early and rough descriptions of their skills left on the Beta CD by accident, but virtually none of them at all resembles what their skills are like in the final game.
If the Asn and Druid had been done a year in advance, the D2X team would have had plenty of time to get other features, like Guild Halls or Arena Games in, with just the items and Act Five quests and monsters and such to finish. It was easy to see numerous changes to the Asn and Druid skills as they Expansion Pack progressed, icons changing, skill names changing, skill descriptions changing, etc, so they clearly weren't all done well in advance. And Diablo II was released 18 months after their earliest projected release date (1998), and 6 months from the second firmer date (Xmas 1999), so obviously they didn't have two other characters all finished and ready to go.
October 24, 2000
- Lightning Enchanted & Multiple Shots: An extremely dangerous Boss combination that you can find on any ranged attacking monster on Nightmare or Hell difficulties. The reason it's so deadly is because the Multiple Shots multiplies the charges emitted when the monster takes damage. They will emit 5x more on Nightmare, and 7x more lightning on Hell, doing that much more damage. If you hit hard and fast from close range, such as with Jab or WW, you can be dead in a blink.
MSLE is now well known to pretty much everyone, as a boss to really watch out for. Back then they weren't so notorious, and as this was my highest level HC char at the time (I used to have an inevitably suicidal fetish for Jabazons.) I certainly learned the lesson the hard way.
These are even worse in D2X, since now other mods stack their damage on the MSLE, so you can get FE or CE or Extra Strong or Might or others, and the bolts will add the fire or cold or extra damage on top of them. Of course there are also now lightning absorb items, the potential for much higher hit points and leech, etc, so maybe it balances out.
October 30, 2000
- Perhaps the most-eagerly awaited change in v1.04 Diablo II is the fix to a problem that now prevents four exceptional items from dropping. The War Club, Grim Helm, Holy Water Sprinkler, and Lance are impossible to obtain in v1.03 Diablo, but all four will be enabled in with the next patch. More info and screenshots of the stats of all four are just a click away.
For a long time these four Exceptional items weren't possible to find. Lances were the biggest one, in terms of game usage, since after they were enabled the Lance Barb using WW became the real dominant character in big hell games, able to kill at a colossal rate in Hell, with the massive damage and no speed check on the slow slow lance, as you get with WW in D2X.