Fans of modern ARPG hits such as Diablo 3 and Path of Exile who expect the same kind of isometric, action-packed, RPG goodness might have mixed feelings when playing Diablo 2: Resurrected. After all, if Blizzard indeed remasters the classic Diablo 2 for modern setups, this means adapting D2‘s fast-paced yet equally technical gameplay for both pros and newcomers to enjoy.
In fact, those waiting for Diablo 4 might want to keep an eye on how Resurrected differs from D3 in terms of overall mechanics. Moreover, players with intense expectations might walk into D2 expecting a breeze and end up encountering a storm. In these cases, what exactly can ruin someone’s Diablo 2 playthrough? Here are a few things to note.
10 Don’t Expect Concepts For D3 Callbacks
Essentially, newcomers should enter D2 much in the same way a completely new player would treat the game. While it’s true that background information in D3 ties into D2, players need the help of both D2 and outside media (e.g., books) to understand these references.
9 Don’t Follow Any Guides Yet
Given Diablo 2‘s age, it’s normal for new players to want to finish the game as soon as they start playing it. After all, Russia’s 327 just speedran the game for 57:45 as of November 2020. However, D2 newcomers might not enjoy the game if they plan on rushing it in a couple of days. Remember, build guides will likely mention items that only appear hundreds of hours into a playthrough.
While D3‘s Seasons focus on the “rush” of acquiring the best items and killing enemies the fastest, D2‘s endgame is all about the journey. Before players embark on cheesing or optimizing their builds, it helps to focus on carefully learning stat synergies between Attributes, Skills, Gear, and Sockets. Unlike D3‘s endgame that focuses heavily on gear, character builds in D2 invest greatly on how everything affects a character’s stats.
8 Don’t Rely On Multiple Saves
As with Diablo 3, players in Diablo 2 have multiple character slots – but only one Save Slot for each. Essentially, D2 does away with the typical “multiple saves” formula. Instead, all progress that happens to one character gets stored in its own character slot. In turn, players who want to get serious in the endgame might have to redo their entire character if they feel unsatisfied with their progress.
To avoid frustration, players should take note of all their character choices carefully. Thankfully, even stat distribution ensures players confirm their choices first before finalizing them. While the same “one save” formula is present in D3, the lack of respecialization in D2 makes character decisions all the more important.
7 Don’t Ignore Dodge
Players who tried Diablo 3 might discover that dodging isn’t always an essential element of play, especially for high-defense builds. However, in Diablo 2, mobility determines survival. Mobs in D2 tend to punish players more due to their unpredictability and their interaction with stats. In turn, players need to pay more attention on their distance, actively moving out of enemy attacks, and even spamming teleportation scrolls.
Remember, while players don’t have Nemeses stalking them after resurrection in D2, revived players do lose all their items and leave them where they died. This means that players who die in a boss battle will have to retrieve their items from that exact same place. In short, dying in D2 is an inconvenience, and dodging can leave players less frustrated in the process.
6 Don’t Forget Essential Statistics
Players who want to get into D2‘s endgame seamlessly shouldn’t forget essential statistics even in their first run. After all, ending up with a weak character might force D2 players to restart just to get an optimized character for the endgame.
In turn, players have some essentials to remember. For defense, players need to take note of Vitality (for Life) and Resistances for damage mitigation. Most enemies love using Lightning and Fire, meaning Resistances to them matter the most. Meanwhile, the best offensive stats differ depending on the class. For spellcasters, Faster Cast Rate ensures combos and proccing spell effects happen faster. Melee specialists use Attack Rating to achieve the same benefit with their physical attacks.
5 Don’t Depend On Respec
Fans will remember that Diablo 3 allows players to tinker with their builds. In fact, players can even mix and match various skills into their arsenal. However, D2 forces players to decide on their builds carefully. In turn, one wrong miscalculation can cost serious players their chance at optimizing their characters.
Fans who don’t like this concept might not enjoy D2‘s strictness. However, it’s exactly this approach that makes D2‘s characters more “personal” compared to D3‘s more convenient “automatic respec.” In fact, fans who want to respec in D2 only get one free respec every difficulty. Moreover, players need to build a Token of Absolution in the Horadric Cube just to get a respec option. And this artifact alone requires four rare essences, obtainable only from the Act Bosses.
4 Don’t Sell When In Doubt
Players who plan on “getting pro” in the endgame need to pay attention to items they acquire early on. Remember, given item rarity, there’s almost always a chance of acquiring good gear at an early level. Granted, players who want to save inventory space in their stash will want to sell useless items. However, players who encounter “odd” items shouldn’t sell them immediately.
Instead, try to determine if those items have value. Players might find it frustrating to have sold a rare item by accident just because it had a low level requirement. This principle applies to salvaging items, selling to vendors, or even selling to other players.
3 Don’t Neglect Hirelings
In Diablo 2, players can get Hirelings as assistants of sorts in their journey. Players get four kinds of Hirelings to choose from by the time they reach Act 5 of the game. In turn, each Hireling has advantages and disadvantages. However, just because Hirelings exist don’t make them meat shields. In fact, players frustrated over a Hireling’s performance might mean they’re not taking advantage of them enough.
Despite limited skills and equipment, Hirelings can become extremely efficient support characters. For instance, Classes in the front-lines like the Barbarian could use a support-focused Hireling such as the Rogue Archer. Meanwhile, spellcasters like the Necromancer could use a battle-hardened Hireling such as the Iron Wolves to handle the frontlines.
2 Don’t Look For Direct Lore
Fans of Diablo 3 can thank the various journals and notes found in the game to learn more about life in Sanctuary. Thanks to these audio snippets, players can kill monsters while learning more about the areas they’re in or the monsters they’re facing. However, in Diablo 2, extremely subtle background details offer more insights to the world of Sanctuary than NPC dialogue in the game in itself.
For instance, unless players go through different playthroughs, only unique Class dialogue with certain NPCs reveal snippets of backstory in the lives of each player Class. Even certain rare items have backstories that tie to Sanctuary’s past. Moreover, if it weren’t for Deckard Cain, players may not even gleam direct information about some lore aspects as a whole.
1 Don’t Expect A Focus On Endgame
While Diablo 3 prioritizes endgame content with Seasons, Conquests, and Rifts, these concepts don’t exist in Diablo 2. In fact, aside from multiplayer, “replaying the game” as their characters remain the only means of endgame in D2. Players notice this lack of endgame optimization as D2 doesn’t even have an official New Game Plus mode.
In turn, players only get to the gear-collection part of the game if their Barbarian or Assassin is willing to spam different mobs, bosses, and areas in the title. Players will have a hard time appreciating D2‘s endgame if they don’t have the patience to spam boss packs across different difficulty levels.