Diablo 2: Resurrected Is Getting D2's First Class Balance Patch In More Than A Decade
Diablo 2's last balance patch was back in March 2010.
Diablo II: Resurrected has already brought changes both big and small to Blizzard's classic action-RPG since its September launch, but a patch to be released in early 2022 will push the game further into uncharted territory, bringing significant balance changes to Diablo II for the first time in more than a decade alongside with the game's first ladder season.
The original Diablo II received its last balance update back in March 2010 with patch 1.13c, and ever since then has been considered a "solved" game. Veteran players know the game like the back of their hands and know which builds work and which ones don't. That will change with Diablo II: Resurrected patch 2.4, which will tweak various class skills, add new Runewords, bring changes to various set items, and update the game's various recruitable mercenaries. The upcoming balance changes to Resurrected will not affect the original version of Diablo II, which is still playable.
As detailed in a Blizzard blog post, the goal is to foster new class build diversity while still staying true to the "fantasy and specialty" each class provides.
"We want to empower you to be creative with the builds you want to play, but we don't want to 'reinvent the wheel' and steer classes from their core purposes," Blizzard states.
While the blog post doesn't dive into the nitty gritty details, it does outline general changes players can expect to come to each of the game's seven classes. Changes to the Amazon, for example, will see buffs to various melee-focused skills like Impale and Fend, while the Assassin will see updates to make Martial Arts builds more viable at higher difficulties. Summons will see some improvements across classes like the Druid and Necromancer, with updates to lesser-used summons. Paladin, perhaps Diablo II's most popular class, will see changes to lesser-used skills like Fist of the Heavens to make them more appealing, as well as updates to offensive auras. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Balance tweaks coming to Diablo II: Resurrected aren't just limited to class changes. Updates are coming to other areas of the game as well, including underused set items and the game's various recruitable mercenaries. The desert mercenary from Act II is widely considered the best option for players thanks to their high-damage output and built-in beneficial aura. But that might change come patch 2.4, though details on specific mercenary changes are still unknown.
"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," Blizzard writes.
Diablo fans have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the game's first ladder rank season, and that will finally be coming with the release of patch 2.4. Those playing ladder characters will even get access to new Runewords inaccessible to those playing normal characters, at least for the duration of the season. As for how long each ladder season will last, Blizzard states it is currently considering four-month seasons, though that doesn't appear to be set in stone just yet.
In a recent interview, Diablo II: Resurrected design lead Robert Gallerani said balance changes didn't come to the game at launch because the team wanted to provide an "authentic experience." Now that the game has been out for several months and the team has had time to absorb player feedback, they are excited to make bigger changes like those included in patch 2.4.
Fans eager for more details on the upcoming balance changes can tune in to a livestream featuring Gallerani and Diablo content creator MrLlamaSC on December 16 for more information. The announcement of patch 2.4 comes as Activision Blizzard continues to deal issues surrounding multiple lawsuits and investigations alleging a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination at the company.