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Diablo 2 Sundered charms. Where’s the challenge now?

Diablo 2 Sundered Charms

Sundered Charms. No longer are you held hostage to demons stabbing you while you cast wave after wave of Blizzard. Equip your sundered charm and feeeeeel the powerrr! They will die like the fallen in normal Cold Plains. Busted up and bruised and posing no risk to you, while dropping only the best because well they are all dropping TC87! All-non-stop-power with minimal downtime and distractions

Last week I wrote an open letter to Blizzard to really take a look at single player and how to implement certain aspects of that style of gameplay into Diablo 4 to benefit all.  While eagerly awaiting the upcoming patch 2.5 notes of Diablo 2 Resurrected so I could finally write a worthwhile article about my thoughts on the patch as I was anticipating some really cool things. Such as a couple of sets updated and maybe some unique item changes.

Why is this a thing?

Instead, we get a bombshell of a new modifier that drops on Sundered Charms. Built-in Immunity breaking of a resistance and then capping that resistance at 95% before any modifiers come into play.

What?  Why is this a thing? Immunities are the best part of Diablo 2 and monsters. They make you think about how to proceed if you’re solo. Diablo 2 has Mercenaries, lower resist wands, amplify damage, Decrepify, and Infinity.  Basically, you can kill anything it just slows you down.  And then it dawned on me. The developers don’t want players to slow down.  They think we want to mindlessly click buttons and collect loot, Diablo 3 style.  Now we have Diablo 3 numbers. Ease of transition into Diablo 4 maybe? I really hope not.

Don’t they play the game?

Disappointed is an understatement. Does anyone at Blizzard actually play this game? I mean, really play it?  For example, today I’m going to make a Barbarian and use only Mauls and then play the game.  I am beginning to think the only way any developer has remotely played this game recently is in a large party and just rushing to 80 and going into free drop games to get some gear and then playing.

Why even bother with monster levels or difficulties really? Just make the game scale like Diablo 3.  At level 40 you gain -40 and at 70 -100% resistances.  Anya quest gives you a single scroll that increases resistances by 30. No more Act 3 Flail quest 3x or anything else. Just mindless grinding.

Let us all be honest with ourselves. If you’re reading this article, you already have bought Diablo 4. You know it and Blizzard knows it.  In 8 years, they release Diablo 5.  You bought it.  And so, on a so forth.  You’re chasing the dream.  The dream that the next iteration is better than your favorite. All the while they can continue to release subpar patches, events, seasonal content, and the like.

That is what happens when you have a hit game and are selling the franchise. Look at Call of Duty and the new game released every year for years. Oh, you’re playing in Diablo 4. Well, you got to purchase this area of the world over here to play with people and to get to the new level cap, because those mobs aren’t going to get you there.

What I see is a developer who doesn’t fully understand the legacy of the game when changes such as this appear. They haven’t made too much of an effort to see why a game 20+ years old still has so many active players. I would say they are doing the opposite and taking what is unique to Diablo 2 in the ARPG genre as a whole and pulling from Diablo 3. The game will now become easier for all to kill and get loot.

Keeping classes in check

What keeps some classes in check is immunities.  A 95% cap and with easy ways to lower resistances widens the gap between physical damage and elemental. I mean at least be consistent.  I want all my Melee/Ranged weapons to improve base damage by at least 50% and honestly, make it 100-150% to put it on par, so people don’t feel the need to wear a Grief or stack crushing blow.

I recently played a 2-Handed Axe Paladin and became a guardian without any of that stuff and had a blast.  Subpar equipment in places?  Check.  Had to be tactical and not play mindlessly?  Check.  Awesome! Hoping for good drops and not finding them, yep. Knowing I have a choice to continue to farm for better drops or take a chance that my play skills are good enough? Fantastic! I completed my journey and had an absolute blast.

Diablo 2 Resurrected is in danger of going down a path of lessening the fantastic design of Diablo 2.  I actually understand Terror Zones to a point, but honestly, if you want more ways to level, all you got to do is not reduce the experience gain.  Find a good number and time investment between 1.09 and 1.11 differences. No Terror Zones needed. Or did someone not notice that in 1.09 you could level to 99 very quickly?

Part of the appeal for nearly all players is the challenge of the game and making new classes. We are playing a game we love because there is gameplay in Diablo 2 that isn’t available in any other ARPG. What could end up happening, at least based on this latest addition, is that the game could turn into Diablo 3 with huge damage numbers with the gameplay not being enhanced in any way.

Forget the Hammerdin

I want to finish this off with, leave the Hammerdin alone. Who frankly cares how powerful they are? They have been for the last 15+ years. Do you remember how pathetic a Zealer was in 1.05? I do. I don’t even play Hammerdins.  I don’t think I’ve ever made one as the appeal isn’t there for me.  But guess what, it’s a relatively easy class that beginners can play that doesn’t require a lot of gear and is effective.

Stay challenging

Diablo 2 still needs that to ease new players into the Diablo 2 game mechanics. But we also need the rest of the game to stay challenging. This game is about the journey. It isn’t about the endgame, because people, in general, are going to be whatever class build that is effective for them to get what they want the quickest.  With the end goal of being able to acquire the stuff they want.  Once acquired, they try out the stuff they want to do the journey with.

We shall see if these Sundered Charms change over the testing period. I’m certainly hoping there is some sort of rethink or rework to this new addition.

What do you think of Sundered Charms?

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2 thoughts on “Diablo 2 Sundered charms. Where’s the challenge now?”

  1. I am guessing some of this may be tweaked on the PTR. While it seems to tackle the viability of some builds, it’s by no means all of them (summons, traps etc) so in a way, it’s not really achieving exactly what they are aiming for. I expect we’re going to see some fiddling with it.

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