When making games, there are certain realities development teams need to face when confronted with dilemmas that impose on the gameplay experience. For this remaster, two of our core principles are protecting the authenticity of the original Diablo II experience and making it more accessible in this modern age. Our goal is to honor this timeless classic while also opening it to a new generation of players. So, keeping that in mind, as we approach the launch of Diablo II: Resurrected, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some insight on a handful of in-game features we revisited following the Technical Alpha and Beta events.
Console Lobbies / Chat Update
During the Early Access Beta, we identified and fixed a bug preventing console players from grouping up in multiplayer. As we progressed, this system was working as intended for the Open Beta during our testing; and when we modernized the Diablo II experience for the console, we designed the game so players didn’t have to rely on lobbies to play with others. Instead, players can invite their friends into their game directly or utilize the Party Finder to join up alongside other players with similar objectives. With that said, over the past couple of weeks, we have seen many discussions and expressed concern over the difficulty of joining the appropriate games based on a player’s current activities. In Beta, finding other parties on console was confined to a few conditions. For example, if the player was on an identical quest as you, with a similar character level and the same difficulty, you could join into that other player’s multiplayer session.
For modes such as PvP or the Cow Level, console lobbies don’t propagate until you hit a few minimum requirements. For PvP, players need to reach level 9. For the Cow Level, players need to complete that challenge on their own front first. For these two modes, once those conditions have been met, console lobbies of those activities will become visible for those players. There is also a Free Roam option players can opt into if no quest is selected. There is no quest restriction, but players that share similar levels and identical difficulty will be able to share a multiplayer session. A lobby is automatically converted to Free Roam once a player’s character completes the initial quest that a lobby started as in that multiplayer session.
Following our Beta, we’ve seen many console players requesting more options to better navigate activities in multiplayer. We’ve added Bosses and Zones tabs to the Party Finder, so players can better coordinate on that front, alongside the Pandemonium event, Uber Diablo event, and PvP/Dueling. Some console players have also requested the option to create custom lobbies. That is not a feature we’re supporting at launch, but as we progress, we’ll continue to monitor feedback on this topic after the launch of Diablo II: Resurrected.
Shown below is a breakdown of additional parameters players will be able to sort by in the Party Finder at launch beyond the quest options that were present during Beta:Boss Kills
- Andariel: Requires Act 1 completion
- Duriel: Requires Act 2 completion
- Mephisto: Requires Act 3 completion
- Diablo: Requires Act 4 completion
- Baal: Requires Act 5 completion
- Cow King: Act 4 or Act 5 completion depending on Classic or Expansion character
- Free Roam: No requirement
- Tristram: Requires nothing
- Canyon of the Magi Tombs: Requires Act 1 completion
- Chaos Sanctuary: Requires Act 2 completion
- Pindleskin: Requires Act 4 completion
- Maggot Lair: Requires Act 1 completion
- Pandemonium Event: Act 5 completion
- Uber Diablo: Act 5 completion
- PVP/Dueling: Requires level 9
Lastly, we’ve seen a lot of discussion surrounding the Chat functionality on console. We designed the game to be the best experience on each platform you play, for console, the primary way for players to communicate is through native voice chat on their platform. So, we’re not making any changes on that front, but we’ll continue to monitor that feedback to see if it remains a prevalent area of concern for our players. If so, we’ll explore making changes or adding more functionality to the in-game chat system post-launch.
TCP / IP Support
We initially announced the removal of TCP / IP support in our Beta blog, noting that this functionality would not be present in the Beta or in the final game. We want to take this time to share our insight on why we removed this feature. Following the Technical Alpha, we learned that this functionality was enabling significant security-related issues to our game. We’re aware that removing this feature adds a large hurdle for talented multiplayer modders in our community. Still, our priority is to keep this game’s ecosystem as secure as possible for all of our players.
Despite this change, a form of modding will still be possible. Players will have the ability to modify specific files which include adjusting values of skills, items, and more. However, keep in mind the Classic client of Diablo II will still exist and that is not going away. Multiplayer mods will still be able to exist and thrive on that platform by our community there.
Ultrawide Support Changes
Ultrawide monitor support being modified was a subject we saw heavily discussed across our channels following the Beta. In the Technical Alpha, players with Ultrawide hardware saw their full 21:9 screens utilized during that test. However, during that test we identified limitations affecting those players and others. For example, the AI failed to sense the player and trigger attacks. Furthermore, players with 21:9 monitors were able to pull many more monsters into battle at a range limit beyond the original game’s intention. In a scenario where players (for example: playing a ranged class) were attacking monsters, players with 21:9 monitors could hit enemies with that extra screen space, but the monsters would not pull or react, but could still be defeated. Ultimately, the AI doesn’t register getting hit from that additional distance a 21:9 monitor provides. That’s not intended, especially if you’re sharing a game with a 16:9 user. To protect the integrity of everyone’s experience and promote an equal playing field for all, those with Ultrawide monitors will be able to have their game screen purview extended to 19:9 (the maximum length of the in-game limitation zones) with a vignette on the sides of the game screen. We recognize that players have spent a lot of money to assemble their 21:9 hardware setups and seeing black bars may be frustrating for their experience. So, we’ll continue to watch these discussions and explore possible solutions that don’t change how the game is played.
To those of you who participated in the Beta event, we appreciate your time and feedback in making Diablo II: Resurrected a better experience for those at launch. Please stay tuned, as we will be standing up new dedicated forums for the Diablo II: Resurrected community to continue discussing the game and sharing their experiences. We are diligently working on getting everything ready for the September 23 release. We can’t wait for everyone to get back to the Rogue Encampment to begin their quest east. Always to the east.
Diablo Community Team