Diablo 2 is on the list of those games that we still enjoy playing today. Originally released in 2000, Diablo 2 + Lord of Destruction have been a staple action RPG hack and slash in the gaming community. In fact, it’s one of the only games we know of that has been played many years after it’s release.
With the gaming industries shift into remastered old games for the new generation of gamers and hardware. There had been some hype about Diablo 2 HD remastered, amongst the other blizzard classics.
With the news of Starcraft Remastered, that hope and anticipation has rekindled.
Seeing the execution of Starcraft Remastered, watching the interview with the producer and the most recent job posting. Not only is the Diablo 2 Remastered most likely happening. But it will be everything we hoped for, and more.
Diablo 2 and other classic titles should still be improved on and updated so that they remain staple titles for the gaming community. With basic and straight forward improvements that will allow players to enjoy these games with their new hardware and gaming standards.
So what would these improvements and updates look like?
Simple Features & Improvements Diablo 2 Needs
Performance Improvements For New Hardware
Comparing the PC’s of early 2000’s with today’s machines is like comparing primitive stone weapons to assault rifles. There has been a dramatic rise in power and performance and even the most basic laptops outperform the high-end desktop computers of the years passed. Your 512mb of ram is a joke now and no longer the envy of your friends.
Games like Diablo 2 should naturally better utilise this power and performance.
In saying that, my return has come by very few performance issues and the shift from disk to standalone game client as been a part of that improvement. Very little graphical glitches, lags and hike ups, but I may be one of the lucky few.
Auto Coin Pickup Feature
Another feature that stood out and would improve the gamers experience. Is the auto-coin pickup feature that Diablo 3 has and that Diablo 2 has been missing all these years. Clicking to pickup coins seems excessively time-consuming in comparison and in many ways stops the flow of the game.
Sure, we are happy to pick up potions, scrolls and others important items needed for our survival. However, having to watch out for large stacks of coin and running around picking them up, quickly gets old and tedious. And something the new generation might not have the patience for when they are continuously fed more user-centric titles.
Why pickup coins when items sell for good prices and you can save hours, ignoring them. So the auto coin pickup feature could be a reasonable move forward.
More Resolutions For The Wide Screened
Being able to play the game on higher and more diverse resolutions has been a common desire from the Diablo 2 community. The current resolutions being 640×480 and 800×600 are quaint.
However, when mods such as MultiRes exist that grants players more options, there is really no reason for the actual game to not incorporate such features. Blizzard can easily bring on the person responsible for the MultiRes mod to come on board and build the feature in-game. A major win-win scenario for all.
This leaves the issue with the 4k screens. To expect old titles to meet the standards of today’s 4k monitors is a bit too much, even Age of Empires II HD did not meet this demand. And nor should they. The problem needs to be solved by us, the consumers.
We need to eradicate this privileged & demanding mentality if we are to live up to our potential as a species.
Expecting classic titles to all invest in 4k resolutions (which will never happen) so that you can play it on your 4k monitor is a symptom of you living in a fairy tale. Fortunately, Blizzard has the resources and has managed to make Starcraft (1998) into a 4k title. Which will most likely mean the same for Diablo 2 (2000).
Read this discussion on steam about Age of Empires II: HD Edition, for a better understanding of the situation.
Right Click to Sell and Move Items
Having to individually drag and drop every item when selling or moving about gear and gems is archaic, like the original 56k dial-up the game was played on. Streamline the process by simply bringing in the right click to sell and move mechanic, that so many other RPGs have adopted todays.
Turns out ctrl + left click on item = 1 click sell
Wish someone had told me this a long time ago. But no matter, now we know. Perhaps a tutorial/tip feature is what is needed here.
Upgradable Stash and Stash Share
Might be asking for too much here. But having the opportunity to expand the size of our stash (Chest) is very appealing to the human instinct to hoard loot. A rare item triggers new incentive for new characters and builds and that means more play time. This would be appealing for both the singleplayer and multiplayer player base.
Respecing of Skills and Attributes
One thing Diablo 3 did that really improved the gaming experience was it allow players to respec and change their builds. This was a major feature that Diablo 2 had lacked and was a major frustration for the more casual players that needed more time to level (Single Player). Because if you changed your mind or accidentally misplaced a skill point. That was it, you had to start all over or live with that misused skill point for the rest of your characters lifetime.
Thankfully Blizzard made a change to this in patch 1.13 all the way back in 2010. It makes it much more playable today, with my short attention span and reduced gaming hours.
Mouse Sensitivity Option
Accurate mouse targeting on Diablo II has always been a bit tricky, but something that we often overlooked. Though it becomes more obvious when you play melee characters or switch up your mouse. So the option to be able to manage this better through a cursor sensitivity option would be excellent.
Eliminate or Limit Those Bots
Item and currency selling bots have been a long term theme of the Diablo 2 Battle.net experience. However, coming back to it now, it seems that they are uncontrolled and running amuk. Having a bot enter games every 5 minutes and spam four to five lines of advertising quickly becomes annoying and affects player experience and perception. One or two intelligently placed limitations can dramatically reduce their activity.
D2 Facebook community comment “Add a captcha for joining games, gets rid of the botters. Come oooon blizzard!”
Having the game incorporated into battle.net would be hugely beneficial and most likely the case, as is with Starcraft Remastered. Which will enable systems for shared Stash features and better bot eliminating infrastructure.
With it’s old-school graphics and gameplay, Diablo 2 still has a great deal of charm and much to offer all types of gamers.
And for those that are still on the Diablo 2 vs Diablo 3 debate, answer me this. Why would anyone, after so many years comeback to the game when they own Diablo 3? Sure the game has many added conveniences and gameplay features. But, Diablo 2 still conquers when it comes to ambience, sound, music and story. And thousands of active players will agree.
We are at a time when huge systemic and mechanical changes aren’t surprising in the gaming environment anymore. And both players and developers should be open minded about minor changes and overhauls that improve older, timeless games and make them more relevant with the times.
Who needs Diablo 4? When Diablo 2 has huge potential for market growth and player base expansion with one third, if not less of an effort, budget and marketing.
If you’re on a non-gaming setup, running old low-spec hardware or somehow thing Diablo 4 is what you need, think again. Go grab yourself the Diablo 2 Battlechest for $30 dollar or less and enjoy a lifetime of action-RPG goodness. It’s going to be some time before the D2 remastered, so don’t torture yourself 😛
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