If you played Diablo 2 back in the day, there is a good chance you have a backup of your favourite character somewhere. In my case it is probably deep in a spindle of backup DVDs, lying forgotten. But many years ago it was something I was very careful with, and it often travelled with me to LANs, just in case we found ourselves diving into hell once more.
The old save files were discovered to be working by chance. According to Matthew Cederquist (game producer), one day they just tried it on a whim and it worked.
“That was one of the coolest things we had back when we were working on it, we were like ‘I wonder if this works’ and we just kind of shoved it in there and it was just beautiful with new 3D art and we were like okay, that’s the best feature ever.”
The developers of Diablo 2 Resurrected are aware of the memories and ways that people are playing their games and they have tried to make sure that certain things stay the same. If you ever hit the lobby in Diablo 2, you probably went on a Baal run or two to try and get the best loot. The team is aware of this, and have modelled the lobby accordingly. Andre Abrahamian (game designer) explains how it works.
“We’re still gonna have the Battle.net lobby with your characters at the bottom of the screen and the chat channel and a way to browse games and you’ll still be able to create games with your own custom names and browse them that way and still be able to play the game in many different ways. Like with the Baal runs or the Chaos Sanctuary runs or anything like that so we understand that this is the way the game is meant to be played there’s a lot of replay value with going through all the beats in the story and things like that and we definitely want to keep that supported. We’ve seen that this is how the community loves to enjoy Diablo 2.”
When the development of Diablo 2 stopped, a lot of mod makers took up the mantle to keep the game running. To this day, there are still mod makers out there supporting Diablo 2, and the developers are aware of that legacy and will make sure that things can continue for the original, while talking of opening doors for Resurrected, within reason.
“Online is very important to us as well as the community and to start off, the original Diablo 2 is still going to remain online with legacy Battle.net, that’s going to remain untouched and as for Diablo 2 Resurrected we’re pushing it on a separate release on modern Battle.net. We still are going to be allowing modding to be possible for Diablo 2, but with modern Battle.net, with additional security, we’re also preventing any kind of hacking within game files so some things that were possible before might not be in Diablo 2 Resurrected.
Andre: “We are also improving a lot of how the game is built. I’m referring to data files and a lot of things are hard-coded in the original that are no longer hard-coded and more supported in the data files. This can allow more opportunities to change things around for the game so we’re excited to see what happens with that going forward.
Matthew: “I mean one of the best things about mods themselves is that they’ve kind of kept the game going for 20 years till 2021. Because of that passion that people have, mods will still be supported in that sense and then when we move into Diablo 2 Resurrected we did a ton of improvements so there’s a ton of new opportunities for mod makers as well.”
One thing that players might be worried about is botting and duping. Both have plagued Diablo 2, but the team feels that modern Battle.net stop a lot of the casual attempts to get around security.
“We’re very aware of the botting and duping and we’re happy with moving the game and releasing it on modern Battle.net and that gives us a lot of benefits around security. I can’t speak to the details on how specifically we’re going to be countering things but there are efforts being put into it and we definitely don’t want to have botting and duping in the game.”