Hi Diablo lovers,
I am a bit concerned about the talk of Blizzard making D2 Classic the “purist” mode of D2 gameplay. The fact of the matter is, classic players are typically NOT purists, though we of course have a few purists among us. A great deal of players (and perhaps Blizzard) do not really understand what makes classic play unique. The point of this post is to highlight why D2 Classic and D2 LoD are fundamentally different games. I hope that by clarifying this, Blizzard will understand why a majority of classic players want to see the same QoL updates as LoD players.
Quick notes: First and foremost, “Classic” does NOT refer to the 2001 Diablo II title or legacy mode. It refers to NON-EXPANSION play. D2R will have both Classic and LoD. Second, this is not an argument about which is better (Classic or LoD).
A casual player would have no reason to pick Classic over its expansion. They appear to be the same game, except LoD has more items, levels, and classes. When zooming out and examining the games in their entirety, however, Classic and LoD are very different. Put simply, Classic is a game of specialization, while LoD is a game of generalization. This difference is why there is a significant player base for both.
In Classic, there are five classes. They each have very distinct skills/strengths, which gives them distinct roles as well. This carries into every aspect of the game. Let’s take a sorceress as an example… as the only class that can teleport, the sorceress is a vital for ferrying other players around the Chaos Sanctuary (CS) in the Classic PvM endgame. On a PvP team, the sorceress is often the quick strike, kiting, forward player. The sorceress fills speed roles. The paladin has a niche as well. In a CS run, the paladin is the seal boss killer and provides strategic auras for the team. In PvP, the paladin can play both defensive and offensive roles, and is responsible for supplying a team with auras. Each class has similarly specialized roles that make them an integral part of a team.
LoD has all of the same classes and skills, but the introduction of runes blurs the lines and makes characters less specialized. Enigma gives any character teleport, and therefore makes a sorceress less unique. Call to Arms gives any character BO, and therefore makes a barbarian less unique. Pride grants the Concentration aura, making a paladin less unique. You get the idea. This is not a bad thing, it’s just different.
This difference also impacts the value of items. In LoD, runewords create most of the important items, and uniques fill in many of the gaps. This emphasizes uniques and runes as the most valuable drops. In Classic, since players need to fill particular roles, the ideal gear specs depend heavily on the purpose of the character. This means that rares are the most valuable types of drops, and a larger variety of rares can be valuable and fulfil a purpose.
This brings me to the key point: most Classic players play because they prefer the specialization it emphasizes and would therefore benefit from and appreciate QoL updates. Let’s break down specifics:
Since Classic builds try to fulfil highly specialized roles, the display panel that shows advanced stats (such as MF or FCR) would be extremely helpful
Because Classic players have to collect a huge variety of rares (and some uniques/sets), they need a lot of storage space. This is why Classic players typically have more mules than LoD players. Increased stash space and shared stashes? So helpful!!
Classic players level up by doing thousands of CS runs. It requires a team of players, each with a specific role. Toggleable auto-PP would be amazing. Everyone hacked back in the day to get auto-PP anyways.
Blizzard… Classic matters. The way we play the game is not defined by “purist.” We play classic because it is a game of teamwork and specialization. QoL upgrades should be considered through that lens, NOT the “purist” assumption. If you want to sell the game to Classic players, they need a reason to pick D2R over the original game, so please do not exclude us.
TLDR: For anyone who read my essay, I appreciate your time. If you feel that Classic matters too, whether you play Classic or LoD, please reply and voice your support!