“It’s like the archeology of video games, learning how these things work,” said Robert Gallerani, design director of Vicarious Visions. “Because we’re using this old system to get things done, we keep everything the same. Since this is not a remake, we don’t have to rebuild [anything]. It’s basically like we’re changing the oil, making sure it’s working fine, but we’re not rebuilding everything. We literally analyze every piece of code. And, he noted with a smile, “when we fix a bug, we have to be very careful because everything is interconnected.”
What he means by that, Fergusson explained, is that the Diablo 2 Resurrected team “embraces the quirks.” That means some of the now outdated (read: goofy by modern standards) animations are still here. But some additions to the quality of life have been made. Some are just cooked, like new ambient noises like the wind rustling leaves in the trees and a shared stash so you don’t have to make a mule character anymore. Others will be opt-in, like automatic gold pickup and loot for those who don’t want to have to click through every piece of loot on the ground.
On PS5 and Xbox Series X, the team is “taking advantage of what’s out there” on new consoles, such as the aforementioned higher frame rates and resolution, as well as faster load times that SSDs allow. Blizzard is considering adding things like ray tracing effects, but Fergusson has made it clear that he is not promising anything and has suggested that if any specific next-gen upgrades are added, they will come after the game’s release. later in 2021.
Finally, when it comes to multiplayer, couch co-op wasn’t added – Fergusson called it “a bridge too far” for this faithful remastering effort – but all of Diablo’s original eight-player online features. 2 are still there. And you will now have the option to store characters on Battle.net to play on a dedicated server. “It’s safer” when it comes to bots, item duplication, and other cheat-related issues that plagued Diablo 2 at the time, Gallerani said.
A technical alpha test is planned for the near future on PC only. Registrations will take place on Diablo official website, and testers will be chosen at random – much like it happened with the original beta of Diablo 2 in early 2000.