For D2Re : Racial conversions on characters may violates original D2 concept

  • I write my first article about D2RE because the forum is not open yet after 3days from making purchase of the product : Diablo2 resurrected. Need help.

Hi Blizzard development team, I encourage your effort to revive the old legendary game, Diablo2. But you may already notice much criticism on character design part, and there are roughly two reasons on it. No1: characters are somehow ugly and old. No2: Unnecessary ‘racial conversion’ on playable characters(and NPCs). In my view, No2 is far more serious than No1, because racial conversion(or racial color-washing) is violating original concept of the Diablo2’s world and destroying details of characters that carefully created in original game. So, I will talk about this issue.

I’m a great fan of Diablo2 and playing it almost for 20 years now. So I can’t let them - D2Re character designers - ‘ruin’ the concept of original Diablo2 with racial conversion on characters and NPCs, which might be caused by poor understanding and idle revision on Canon(or Concept) of Diablo2’s fictional universe. It is obvious that they didn’t study or investigate properly on the racial concept of the characters in Diablo2.

D2 original character races are ‘created’ with subtleties and delicacies according to their well-established concept of the world. Yes, D2 character races are ‘creation’, and they are not exactly corresponding to specific existing human races of the real world. However, the creation is based on some existing(or ever existed) human races - even if not based on just one - and many details in the game are motivated by their culture, lifestyle and fashion. That’s why original D2 world is so immersive, even though players know that it is fantasy world.

Unfortunately, ‘D2Re character designers’ are significantly failing in interpretation of original D2’s racial concept, they didn’t properly catch out what is the based race and culture to each character. Hence the result is ridiculously typical ‘racial buffet’ with typical white-washed European Viking style barbarian, typical black-washed African 70’s Afro headed Paladin, and typical yellow-washed Chinese flat faced Assassin. They are all so typical, and typical enough to break down D2’s world concept by imposing too much ethnic traits of certain existing human races, those are not corresponding to original racial concept at all. As consequence, they will somehow deprive immersive feeling of the original game from the players. They are not the same Barbarian, Paladin, Assassin whom we have been played in Diablo2 for 20 years. So, let’s analyze these characters and compare to original D2 characters.

  1. White-washed Barbarian: He has more pale and whiter skin than original and looks like Viking or Nord. His face says that he is European, come from Norway or somewhere. He is similar to the main character from ‘God of War’. Original D2 Barbarian race is definitely not categorized as such typical European race. His pig-tailed long braid black hair is derived from Mongolian people, and Native American has close bloodline to the Mongolian family. Many Native Americans could have such hair style. If you go to Act5: Harrogath, the Barbarian high land, every young NPC has black colored hair including female character Anya. So, original D2 Barbarian race is highly corresponding to Native American who lived in cold region of north America.

  2. Black-washed Paladin: He has more dark skin than original, and his thick lips and 70’s Afro hair style shows that he is definitely African. His face says that he has come from ‘Republic of the Congo’ or somewhere. But what do you think about original Paladin? Is he African? No, I think not. Because of Paladin’s dark skin he could be mistaken as African for many people, but the people of Act3: Kurast has nothing related to African people or culture. Women NPCs in Kurast have natural long slick hairs and their skins are much brighter than African. What do you think about their clothing and fashion? What about their magnificent carved stone structures and statues? Considering their splendid stone architectures and surrounding climate, and their appearance, the best correspondence is the South American Indio with trails of Aztec civilization who lived near to Amazon river and jungle. Or possibly, they could be regarded as Cambodian with trails of Angkor Wat, who built majestic stone structures in jungle regions. In any case, the concept of the Kurast people is far away from African culture, so African Paladin is surely mistaken concept.

  3. Yellow-washed Assassin: Do I need to explain anymore? :wink: What I want to emphasize is that imposing to much ethnic traits that is not corresponding to original game concept, that could be revolting to some fans of Diablo2. I would like it if she has somehow Asiatic face and that is ok. But her face shows too strong scent of Chinese, and probably we can imagine her name as Shao-wei, Bing-bing or some other names that is far away form Natalya the famous NPC assassin.

Conclusion: Please keep original character concept and that is the way to respect original Diablo2 and its fans. Thank you for reading this long text of suggestion.


You could have posted it on the regular D2 forum that one is open to everyone.

Thank you I will. But I need some info why I cannot post on D2RE forum yet.
I bought it already 3 days ago.


Try to log out and log back in that seems to work for some.

This doesn’t seem like much of an issue. The differences are small and mostly just seem like improved variations on the original characters.
I guess they could make the Amazon a little younger, but it isn’t like we can tell any difference in the in game models.

I certainly don’t feel disrespected by these character models at least :smiley:


Let me help you out some DaedraHunter - Blizzard wants sell to all demographics, not just white people - especially when the white demographic in the US is steadily shrinking.

I am sure this is hard for folks that expect everything in the world to default to white, but that ship has sailed (finally!), and it isn’t coming back.


OMG. This is almost as insane as the person claiming that the PTR was racist because the WD got nerfed. :expressionless:


Last time I checked there is no Republic of Congo on Sanctuary. Are you suggesting this Paladin is crossing dimensions or do you just have an issue with the Black guy looking like a Black guy? Because this reall comes off as that. Gotta keep our Black characters looking like white guys with light brown skin tones.


it isn’t insane, LennyGhoul - Diablo started out as a medieval style ARPG, and that (like fantasy everywhere) defaults to European medieval (AKA whites only).

That just isn’t viable anymore.

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How did D2 end up with a “black” Paladin? Why is Tyrael black?

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Yeah I don’t really enjoy how they changed the race of the characters just for sake of catering. I’ve always imagined the paladin as been a brown dude but not straight African more like the male crusader from D3.

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Who knew a bunch of white guys making games in the 90s with accessible internet in its infancy didn’t have broader cultural representation on their radar and likely ran with stereotypes at best.

Otherwise, Sanctuary isn’t Earth. Keep your not-so-subtle racism out of this “purity” argument.

  1. You concluded all this from the pixels?
  2. The rest of the world, our planet, didn’t start to exist after the middle ages in Europe.
  3. The palladins afro is too small after all 20 years have gone past.
  1. Diablo2 was magnificent game, and there was no problem to express every details even with crude pixel graphics.
  2. That is only about Act 1 and hardly can say exactly same because no men lives there. That is women’s land.
  3. Everybody know that he is converted to typical African.
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Am I the only one who always thought, that the Paladin is black and the Assassin is Asian?

From all the D2:R character models I actually like the Assassin the most, so I really hope that they don’t listen to the people who are offended because the “Ninja” class in D2 is Asian :joy:

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It was always my understanding that the characters we play in the Diablo series are just generic heroes.

Do they actually have canon names and stories?

If not, it really doesn’t matter what size, shape, or colour they are. The only canon being, the previous game did it that way.

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if this is your bigest issue with D2R i think we are good.

  1. Yes I know I enjoyed it from start to 2009 or something like that. It’s been ages do can’t be sure.
  2. You missed my point. No big deal.
  3. You win. Please make the paladin a non typical african.

The Moors would like a moment of your time…

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Who has a Diablo 2 license on their Bnet account. Not to everyone.

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