There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the new Diablo 2 Resurrected features and its release later this year. In this article, we take look at the quality of life changes/new features that are being added.
It’s worth pointing out that the team involved in Diablo 2 Resurrected are doing their best not to mess with the gameplay players have come to know and love. With that in mind, the release version of Diablo 2 Resurrected is utilising the v1.14 patch as their base to develop from moving forward.
When you break it down, there is not actually that much changing, but when put together as a package, the simple changes should make a big difference to how the game feels for players. For new players, the changes below might not seem much, but for new players sometimes the simplest things can make the world of difference.
The most noticeable change in Diablo 2 Resurrected is the new enhanced visuals. These have been made possible by keeping the core original game running underneath a new 3D renderer layer that sits on top.
This has allowed the development team to recreate Diablo 2 without messing with the core mechanics of the original. The results are quite spectacular with the team retaining that dark atmosphere players have come to know and love in the original game. You really can’t reiterate enough how important this is to the feel of the game. Remember the Diablo 3 rainbow unicorn outcry? Yep, we all do.
Players will of course be able to flick between the new and old visuals with a simple key press.
This is one of the new features that can be toggled on and off. Let’s face it, while clicking like a demon on that mouse button may be part of the Diablo experience, doing it to pick up gold can be a pain in the backside. This is one addition I approve of. If you love clickedy-clicking to pick up gold at least that option is there still.
This is one of the new Diablo 2 Resurrected features, that if it weren’t there, I wouldn’t notice. Sure, it nice to take a quick look at the character but it doesn’t really serve any other purpose. Having played just about every ARPG ever made, I can’t think of a time when the zoom feature was actually that useful, certainly not in combat or when out adventuring. Still, there’s no harm in adding it, it doesn’t offer an advantage to the player.
Advanced Stats Screen
There will be many a Diablo 2 player rejoicing at this addition. Now players can see what’s going on with stats without having to try and figure it all out. I’ll admit, I am not a stat junky in Diablo 2, or most games for that matter. If you’re like me and you hate number crunching, this is going to be a real help because numbers do matter in Diablo 2. Big thumbs-up for this new feature.
Not having a shared stash to move stuff between characters had just become fact of life for Diablo 2 players. Everyone accepted it and it spawned the idea of mules to shift gear around. It could be perceived as an annoying part of the game so this new addition should be welcomed by players both old and new. This is a great quality of life addition taking a lot of the hassle out of item collection.
Items Looking as they Should
One of the great things about the early Diablo games was watching your character pull on a new piece of gear and seeing the character change. In Diablo 1 it could take a while to see armour change and in Diablo 2 that problem was somewhat rectified. However, not every item you used or put on was represented as it should visually. Thankfully the developers of Diablo 2 Resurrected revisited all the items creating new models and that include items that didn’t look quite as they should when put on the character.
While this may seem like a minor thing in the big scheme of things, it shows the attention to detail this development team is going to which will make the game look and feel revitalised.
There’s been many an ARPG that has either left this feature out or created a compare interface that’s really annoying to use. Thankfully, now Diablo 2 has an item compare that allows you to see whether an item is better than the one equipped with an interface that’s simple and easy to understand. In Diablo 2: Resurrected on PC this is activated with the SHIFT. Another simple but solid addition.
Atmosphere and Lighting
We have already touched on the visuals but it’s worth pointing out the lighting. The atmosphere is everything in the first two Diablo games, and I’m not talking about pentagrams or alters. The lighting and the view radius played a really important part in giving the game the right feel.
When you are running through a dungeon or enclosed space, the reduction in the view radius helped add a feeling of claustrophobia and foreboding. It made the player feel vulnerable to attack from all sides and you wouldn’t necessarily see it coming.
In some of the new footage, it can look like they’ve increased the lighting to make the levels a lot brighter, but in the footage below, you can see that they have managed to keep that sense of foreboding and also keep that light radius tight in enclosed spaces where it’s needed. A job well done.
Yes, there are UI changes in Diablo 2 Resurrected. If you’ve been playing Diablo 2 continuously since it was released, the updated UI won’t make much of a difference. After all this time you’ll be used to how it is. For new players, a cleaned-up UI will look more polished and it’s worth doing if new players appreciate that it now takes up less space and doesn’t stretch over the whole screen horizontally.
The good old days of US East, US West, etc will be long gone. Thanks to technological advancements there will now be one single global server. No more faffing around trying to figure out which servers your mates are on. This change to the new BattleNet is really important and even more so if they do manage to actually stamp out any cheating and bots. We’ll have to wait and see if they do manage to make it a clean environment to play in because so far they have refused to say outright that BattleNet will be 100% cheat-free. They said they will do their best which hopefully will be enough.
Diablo 2 Resurrected Features Done Right
While we wait for the two tech alpha tests, we can only speculate on how this is all going to play out in the end. Are these Diablo 2 Resurrected features going to be enough to satiate the Diablo 2 fanbase? Possibly, but we are already seeing players asking for new features to be added which is unlikely going to happen prior to release, and there may be very little development post-release apart from some balancing. So far balancing is the only thing they have mentioned that would be changed. We shall have to wait and see.
The key thing to note is the development team constantly reiterating they have not messed with the base game. This point alone indicates that Diablo 2 Resurrected is likely to turn out to be the Diablo 2 reboot we’ve been waiting for all this time.
There are a select few games from the past that warrant a remaster, one of the most recent successes being the Command & Conquer remaster on the PC. With that remaster of the RTS classic, the development team kept the core unchanged and simply revamped the visuals and added a few quality of life improvements. Perhaps Blizzard kept a close eye on how that was received (it was received extremely well by fans) and has made sure they stick to a similar path for this highly anticipated remaster. I know I can’t wait to play this.
Finally, don’t forget to get your name down for the alpha test.