Today I would like to talk about a particular series that I’ve been with for the last twenty years. Diablo, specifically.
What made Diablo such a good series?
It was easily accessible for anyone, even newbies, to get into. Combine that with its dark atmosphere & interesting game play, it’s one of the few game series with a legacy that only a handful can match - let alone exceed. The first one came out in January 3rd of 1997 in NA, & November the 2nd in EU/PAL terrirtory. A port of it came out on the PSX/PS1 sometime during March in NA, & April of 1998 in EU/PAL.
The sequel came out in June 29th/30th of June in NA & PAL respectively. The sequel to Diablo 2, Diablo 3 was released on May 15th of 2012.
I’ll be honest, I am curious about the rumors going around, though I won’t lie here - I am a bit wary of it as well, what with what they did with Warcraft 3: Reforged - The alleged “remake” that may as well be a botched port of the original - A discussion for another time.
With all that outta the way, I wanted to talk about the alleged remake of “Diablo 2: Ressurected” that’s coming out.
I couldn’t exactly discern much from what was shown, since it came from a French site called “Actugaming” & Forbes. Then I had to see if this was even legit. According to Forbes, Actugaming “accurately” reported on Diablo 4 & Overwatch 2 leaks before they were announced at Blizzcon 2019. IGN has also confirmed that Blizzard will appear during its Summer of Gaming event. Maybe the company might announce the remaster/remake/reimagining/whatever at that point.
Then again, it would be tedious & expensive to pull off - Max & Erich Schaefer had said during a ExileCon panel transcribed by GameSpot in November of 2019 that any/all assets they had, source code included, had been lost: The files & source code had been corrupted, with no chance of it being restored.
Now THAT had to have sucked - Losing just about everything due to technological failure. It’s the same thing that happened with Silent Hill & Kingdom Hearts. Of course, I say this, knowing that even after all that, they still got re-released. And from what I understand, bonus content to boot.
I wouldn’t exactly say it wouldn’t happen period. Just means that they would have to spend time & money. The last bit being what would decide if it was worth going through. I suppose I should say “take it with a grain of salt,” or however that saying goes.
Then again, the gaming world is full of surprises & odd rumors, if the recent Super Smash Bros Ultimate character roster update & the rumors for an actual remake of Metal Gear Solid & the Silent Hills/PT are anything to go by, IF it is indeed PT.
Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction.
Now, for the main meat of this topic - For the sake of argument, lets say there IS a Diablo 2 remake/re-release/reimagining/whatever-have-you in the works - What changes would make Diablo 2 better overall?
Mind you, I’m speaking as a person who’s played both games for almost twenty years - I’m also sort of only talking about the gameplay mechanics. The story, graphics & soundtrack, I’m not touching, largely because I feel that the gameplay mechanics, well… part of them, haven’t exactly aged as well as I had would have hoped.
A shared stash that you could expand. The reason for this being that the inventory you have is so small, & the stash you have just isn’t enough space. One would have to create a character specifically for holding onto stuff you may find later that you would like to keep - “Mules,” as they’re sometimes referred to - & transfer them to another character by means of joining/making a game, & that’s a chore & a half. What’s to stop the other player from running up & taking it while you’re swapping out characters? Not a damn thing, my friend. And if the game crashes while you’re swapping characters out, you can kiss that item goodbye.
Don’t make items soulbound/player bound like in World of Warcraft. I say this because when Diablo 3 was released, I couldn’t help but notice that D3 just felt like it was trying to emulate World of Warcraft, &… I’d rather not run into the issue of finding/making an item via runeword/Horadric Cube & then I can’t give it to other players who may make better use of it.
Don’t drop the player cap. In Diablo 2, you could have up to eight players, & when Diablo 3 came out, it went back down to four.
Make it so the runes & essences stack. There’s no reason for these to not to stack. Either that, or make it so they don’t take up inventory space & they stack. Seriously, the inventory issues in Diablo 2 here are almost as bad as the inventory issues with Chris Redfield in Resident Evil 1.
Have the attributes of your character affect the skill tree to some extent. I say this because it isn’t up until late game, when you’re in the final stages of the game, that your skills are largely doing all the work for you. However, there are occassions where sometimes your skills aren’t enough & it’s your gear - besides your own skills as a gamer - that ultimately decides whether or not you progress. Then there’s times where no matter what, your skills & gear aren’t enough. Here’s an example.
Necromancer : Have his attributes affect his summoned minions or his poison & bone skills.
Sorceress : Have the energy attribute affect her spells. It would make the most sense, being that she’s a spell slinger. She would need this boost to some degree, particularly in Hell mode, since most of the monsters in Hell mode tend to have multiple magical immunities or resistances that force you to have a weapon that bypasses magical resistances &/or immunities - which isn’t exactly easy to come by.
Also, for the love of Mephisto, DON’T take away the freedom of allocating attribute points to said attributes. I’d rather NOT see a World of Warcraft clone in the image of Diablo 2, like what they essentially did with Diablo 3. Stats being “static,” with no real way of directly changing them. Really, the only way of changing ‘stats,’ so to speak, were the paragon levels. Which isn’t the same. I’m also talking about the fact that your attributes, for the most part, don’t exactly do much. Strength only affects what you can equip & barely increases the damage you do. Dexterity only affects your to hit rate, block chance & armor class. Vitality only affects life & stamina, nothing more. Energy? Only affects how much mana you have. They could have done a lot more with the attributes/stats, I think. Though, I’m also willing to bet that some of this is largely due to the development hell that this & the previous game had gone through - David Brevik & his crew went through a hellish work cycle just to get everything up & running, and it seemed like, from my point of view when I was reading up on the development history & guides regarding this game, that the game looked like it wasn’t even going to be released. Kudos to the creator, David Brevik & his crew for the hell they all went through - and I’m not saying that for the sake of a pun.
I know there’s someone out there who probably had an easier time, but for me, this would simplify matters. Truth be told, I actually work/have worked with Diablo 1/2 veterans, & I spent about three months talking things out.
Anyways, this was a sort of fun thing to do. Let me know in the comments what you would like to see in the supposed Diablo 2 remake.