Technical Alpha Learnings
Evil has survived. . . More than twenty years after the release of Diablo® II, fans and new players alike returned to the timeless classic in the DIABLO® II: RESURRECTED™ Technical Alpha. From the beginning, we’ve set out to make a game that would honor the legacy of the original. Whether you participated directly in the playtest, sent us valuable feedback, or watched the game during a livestream, your input has been greatly appreciated.
Following the April test, the Diablo II: Resurrected team continues to make significant progress towards getting the game into everyone’s hands. Today we’re thrilled to share what we learned from the Technical Alpha, leading to key visual improvements, quality of life and accessibility changes, and more. For now, let’s explore how your feedback is helping us return you to hell, like you’ve never seen it before.
PLEASE NOTE: Diablo II: Resurrected is still in-development. Game content discussed in this blog is not final and subject to change.
Table of Contents
ART & VISUALS
Our team of artists has remastered this old-school ARPG with the graphical fidelity of the current generation. They’ve taken great care to advance the visuals of monsters, heroes, items, and spells while preserving the familiar aesthetic of the original. We hope Diablo II: Resurrected reignites treasured memories of gaming’s past for veteran players. For new players, we hope it captures the same wonder and awe felt by fans two decades ago.
The Sorceress may use Lightning, a powerful skill which shoots a bolt of electricity from the Sorceress’ fingertips. Based on community feedback, the Lightning VFX has been enhanced with a whiter and thicker visualization that is more reminiscent to the original VFX.
The Sorceress may summon an ice storm to rain cold death onto her enemies. Like Lightning, the VFX for this spell has also been adjusted to better capture the destructive force of the original.
Using this aura, the Paladin can constantly slow and freeze enemies in near proximity. The VFX for this AoE aura has been updated to better represent the distinct wispiness and colors from the original game.
The VFX for when monsters are damaged or immobilized by spells (i.e., cold spells), poisons, or other status effects underwent a color revision based on community feedback.
Mana & Health
The speed of the animation when mana and health return to your character now better aligns with the filling of the health and mana globes.
The color of scroll, gem, and potion icons has been amplified to bring out the more brilliant colors, bring more attention to the focus point(s), and add clarity to the image.
Weapons, armor, quest items, and charm icons have also been given the same touch-ups and treatments. Shown below are examples of that evolution.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Quality of life (QoL) elements reflect a broad range of features designed to make games easier to play without impacting core gameplay. If appropriately implemented, QoL changes can enrich the game’s playability and make it more fun. For Diablo II: Resurrected, we wanted to streamline this experience without compromising what made the original game memorable. There are so many unique quirks and systems in this game that, if modernized, would ultimately sabotage the original experience we adore. So, we’ve exercised restraint to protect the authentic experience, while also considering player feedback throughout our development process.
From auto-gold pick up, large font modes, UI scaling (for PC players), and gamma/contrast settings to enhance readability, we’ve taken strides to equip players with customization options to suit their needs. With these options, players may tweak the visibility of their HUD and graphics, finding the ideal balance between beautiful and gritty, or whatever their preference may be. We’ll be touching on our efforts to make Diablo II: Resurrected more accessible in a later, more detailed blog post.
USER INTERFACE SETTINGS
Item Names: Toggle Update
We heard you loud and clear. Now you can choose to have item names be toggled on or off with a press of a button—or keep the original "press and hold" method. We leave it at your discretion; go to your User Interface settings to toggle item names on or off.
Shared Stash: Tab & Storage Updates
After careful deliberation, the Shared Stash will now have three tabs, rather than just one. Many players felt one tab wasn’t enough. When it comes to a player’s personal storage chest, we understand it’s serious business. This change will enable players to better organize their loot across three tabs (100 slots each) of storage space and store many more items.
Compare Tooltip: Toggle Update
The Compare tooltip that propagated on every item (Hold “button” to Compare) can now be toggled on or off in the User Interface settings under Show Item Tooltip Hotkeys. Many players thought this prompt added unnecessary clutter to their HUD.
The Automap has always enabled players to better navigate the game by providing a faint overlay of their level by clicking the “tab” key. We’ve implemented new assets to improve the readability of the Automap. For example, the faint overlay(s) color has been tweaked, so they don’t blend too much into the game world the player is exploring.
Map Settings: Option Update
The initial Map settings caused some confusion in Technical Alpha. Now there will be a single Map option with three settings. Those settings will be left-minimap, right-minimap, and center-fullscreen. Simply enable your preference for how you want your map displayed on your HUD.
Hell, it’s about time. Based on many requests, a clock has been added to Diablo II: Resurrected. To enable the clock, go to your User Interface settings and click the checkbox next to Clock.
Loading Screen: Character Vulnerability & Time
Characters will no longer spawn in a hostile place until the game is fully loaded, preventing characters from getting attacked or harmed during a loading screen. Additionally, the overall load times will be faster.
Based on community feedback, we’ve removed extra grunts and yelps that were initially added.
The improvements detailed above are just some examples of the changes we’ve made to improve Diablo II: Resurrected based on player feedback following the Technical Alpha test. To all who participated, thank you. The bug reports, constructive criticism, and data you provided by playtesting were vital to making these changes. As we progress with more tests, we’ll continue to be vigilant observers as we learn more from your experiences playing Diablo II: Resurrected.
This August, players will be able to experience these latest changes firsthand! For a limited time, the gates of Hell will reopen, allowing players who preordered Diablo II: Resurrected to step into Sanctuary in the early access beta. Soon after, all players (on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation) will also have the chance to confront the demons of the Burning Hells in the open beta. Rally your friends; together, you’ll be able to play between five different classes (Amazon, Barbarian, Paladin, Sorceress, and Druid), with access to many unique skills, and cooperatively form a party with up to 8 players.
When we started working on Diablo II: Resurrected, we were humbled by such an incredible opportunity to plunge into the past and rebuild our nostalgia . . . but we also recognized that the original game is a classic for a reason, so we’d have to be prudent. So many people, us included, love this game and want to see it reimagined authentically. We want to do right by this game and its players. Since our announcement at BlizzConline, it's been an incredible journey of development. Our collaboration with the community has given us the confidence and motivation to craft a title worthy of your expectations.
As we move forward, we implore you to continue sharing your feedback and accounts of your experience. These learnings will help us mold the Diablo II remaster we've dreamed of. We can't wait to share more about this labor of love. So, stay dialed in on the Diablo channels for more updates to come on this front, especially as the open beta approaches! And please share your impressions on the official Diablo II forums or r/Diablo subreddit.
Thank you, Players!