Greetings, Heroes of Sanctuary!
Blizzard has announced that a Patch is under development, and it's inminent to its release. We're talking about Patch 2.4. Now, what's new on this patch? Well, there are absolutely great news, and I'm sure that Diablo players will love it.
First Ladder Season
Diablo II: Resurrected was launched with no Ladder season, as testing purposes. Blizzard has had many troubles with servers, few bugs, and long queues. All this needed to be fixed prior to releasing the Ladder Season, as it would make impossible for everyone to play properly. They said that their priority is that the Ladder has to be a smooth experience for all players.
Blizzard has stated that the Ladder Season will be launched early next year.
Diablo II Resurrected will have the following Ladder modes:
- Standard Ladder: The casual version of Ladder play that encompasses playing with four acts.
- Hardcore Ladder: The hardcore (only 1 life) version of Ladder play that encompasses playing with four acts.
- Standard Expansion Ladder: The casual version of Ladder play that encompasses playing five acts, as it includes the “Lord of Destruction” expansion content.
- Hardcore Expansion Ladder: The hardcore (only 1 life) version of Ladder play that encompasses playing five acts, as it includes the “Lord of Destruction” expansion content.
The duration of the Ladder climb is still not defined yet. Blizzard is thinking about it, and trying to find the best timeframe for Ladder rotation that meets our expectations. They will keep taking a look at our preferences, and they will finally state it with the new patch coming out earlier next year.
New Ladder Runewords!
What we thought it was impossible, turns out that they've made it! There are new Runewords, which there are not details yet, but Blizzard has stated:
"For the first time, players will have the chance to unlock a host of new Rune Words in the Ladder system! To be clear, these Rune Words have never existed in the game before, and they will not be accessible in non-Ladder play like the previous set of Ladder-only Rune Words in the original Diablo II experience. At the end of a Ladder season, players who successfully made these Rune Words will have their Ladder characters be moved into a “non-Ladder” version of the game. Then at the beginning of the next Ladder season, players will make a new Ladder character and start all over again to earn new rewards. Currently, we don’t have specific new Rune Words to showcase, but if you tune-in to our Developer Update Stream (more details below) hosted by content creator MrLlamaSC, you’ll be able to receive a glimpse!"
Class Balance Changes
After many requests from the community, Blizzard has stated that they will do some class balance changes to find new ways to play within the characters. One fun fact: this is funny, as the last patch to make balance changes to classes in Diablo II Legacy was Patch 1.13c, which was released on March 23, 2010 (maybe the new patch will be around same date?). Here we have all characters:
The Amazon's agility and versatility are profound. Generally, we like the current state of the Amazon class and believe her to be quite balanced. Nonetheless, we see an opportunity to improve the Amazon's melee skills. We want to buff the strengths of certain underused melee skills such as Impale and Fend to give more reasons to use them. We are also looking into freeing up synergy requirements for melee skills to give more skill point freedom for other possibilities.
Additionally, we are also considering buffing certain skills in the Bow and Crossbow tree to help improve bow gameplay in higher difficulties.
The Assassin vanquishes evil from the darkness with great ease. However, for this class, we see an opportunity for the Martial Arts builds to shine brighter. Martial Arts skills can become increasingly challenging to perform in higher difficulties, so we are re-evaluating how to improve generating and spending Combo Points.
Furthermore, various Trap skills are not often used. So, we’re re-evaluating synergy requirements to promote more trap builds and damage scaling buffs.
The brawn of the Barbarian is unmatched. Nonetheless, we see opportunities to add more diversity to Combat skills. We're looking into adding more possibilities with Combat Skills such as Leap Attack and Grim Ward, while also re-evaluating skill synergy requirements to promote more reasons to spend points on certain Combat Skills.
Additionally, we think Throwing Barbarians can be more viable, so we are looking into enhancing the Double Throw and Throwing Mastery skills.
The bestial ferocity of the Druid makes all tremble. With that said, we see exciting opportunities to level up certain aspects of this class. From our perspective, Druid Fire skills are underperforming. We're re-evaluating Casting Delays for Fire skills, exploring improvements to some of their Physical Damage components, and improving synergies. We’re also looking at potential tweaks affecting other Elemental skills that are underused. We want to improve the controls for Arctic Blast too, such as allowing more free form while channeling and no longer locking your targeting onto one enemy at a time.
Regarding Summon skills, we believe Summons are weak in high difficulty. On this front, we’re evaluating health gains per level, quality-of-life improvements, damage output, and new synergies for Ravens, Wolves, and Vines.
Lastly, we're evaluating improvements to the Werebear skills, primarily focused on synergy improvements.
The commander of death sends his foes to an early grave. Like the Amazon, we like the current state of the Necromancer class. Nonetheless, we see an opportunity to improve specific Summons we believe are underused. We're balancing elemental damages of Skeletal Mages and making lesser used Golems more effective.
Additionally, we see opportunities for Bone skill improvements in high difficulty. We’re tweaking synergies on this front.
The wrath of the holy zealot is glorious. Despite this, we believe certain Combat skills are underused. We’re exploring ways to make lesser-used skills (I.e., Fist of the Heavens) more utilized, so players have more reasons to spend skill points to unlock these skills.
We also see an opportunity to scale Offensive Aura skills as well. This includes making improvements to AoE Damage auras to make them more effective at closer range. We also want to improve Thorns so that it can scale better and deal more reliable damage at higher levels.
There is no greater master of elemental magic than these mages. We're very satisfied with the Sorceress’s current state, but we see a few of opportunities for improvements.
Regarding Cold Skills, we believe there can be more diversity with the armor skills (I.e., Frozen Armor, Shiver Armor, and Chilling Armor) for distinctive advantages.
We are also looking into adding more build possibilities around lesser used Lightning skills by exploring more skill synergies.
Lastly, we’re also revisiting Fire skills, to improve underused ones, like Hydra. Similar to Arctic Blast, we're exploring making player control improvements to the Inferno skill so that it is less clunky to use.
Mercenary Changes & New Rune Words
And we’re not done. Class Balance changes aren’t the only updates players want to see. We’ve seen a lot of feedback from the community around the subject of Mercenaries, and we are making improvements to Mercenaries in a variety of ways. Many players enjoy using the Desert Mercenary, and we want to give more reasons to use the other three mercenaries, so we are looking into improving their skills and stats to enhance their identity and fantasy.
New Horadric Cube Recipes, Set Item changes, and new Rune Words are on the horizon! New Horadric Cube Recipes being implemented will allow for upgrading the item quality of Set Items to give more item build possibilities. Set Item changes will update underperforming Set Items, to have more bonuses, giving players more incentive to pursue Partial and Full set items that can complement the skill changes alluded above. Lastly, new Rune Words will be added to complement the Skill and Mercenary changes coming in the update.
Developer Update Stream
Everything we've explained in this article will be explained by the community content creator, MrLlamaSc, Diablo II: Resurrected Design Lead, Robert Gallerani, and Senior Game Producer, Matthew Cederquist, in their upcoming livestream.
This stream will be scheduled for today, December 16th 2021, at 11:00 AM PST (8 PM CEST) in: https://www.twitch.tv/mrllamasc