Blizzard Entertainment have confirmed Diablo II: Resurrected will not be replacing the original game.
The news comes via a a Q&A during BlizzConline 2021 with principal designer Rob Gallerani. Other key members of Diablo IV and Diablo Immortal‘s development also answered questions about their own games.
At the very end, Gallerani was asked “will D2:R overwrite an original D2?” Gallerani replied “No, absolutely not! Everything you have about D2 currently will stay D2. This is a separate product, separate game; you can play both at the same time if you want!”
The question was likely asked due to the fiasco with Warcraft III: Reforged’s launch. The abysmal reception at launch was brought about due to numerous issues.
Those problems included (but were not limited to), poor graphics, the promise of cinematic cut-scenes being broken (despite being shown in earlier gameplay footage), and a new EULA that effectively banned many custom maps and game modes- along with making said game modes property of Blizzard Entertainment.
This was all compounded by the game being a free- and forced- update to the original Warcraft 3, stripping away many online elements in the process.
The Q&A also re-affirms the Diablo II: Resurrected cinematics will be remade shot-for-shot, complete with remastered soundtrack and voice acting. While the game was also confirmed at announcement to have cross-progression, but cross-play would not be available “right now.” The global leaderboards on Battle.net are rated across all platforms however.
The game will support controllers on PC, local co-op on Nintendo Switch (but not couch co-op via a single screen in order to avoid compromising the original vision), and that there will be more protection against bots and cheats thanks to Battle.net (and reporting players for toxic behavior),
Player collision will also return; even though it means Maggor Lair will still be tough to navigate. Characters are still moving in a grid based world, but presented with 3D graphics. Gallerani compared the original Diablo II as a puppet-master, while Resurrected was the puppet. He also semi-jokingly asked players not to stand in doorways.
Diablo II: Resurrected will be based off the 1.14 version of the original, complete with skill synergies and enemies immune to certain elements. This was to keep the game feeling authentic; even at the cost of balancing elements that some players may have found restricting or annoying.
The game will run up to 4320p on on PC with uncapped frame-rate, and 2160p on next-gen consoles at 60fps, and have 7.1 sound. As the original game ran on frames rather than time (utilizing break-points when skills would result in actions between frames), so will Diablo II: Resurrected.
It was also confirmed that Rogues and Druids in Diablo IV will no longer keep their continuity as a single-gender class (women for Rouges, men for Druids); with hints that other groups than the Sisters of the Sightless Eye are acting as Rouges- even aside from player-based role playing.
Trading will have quality of life improvements; where you can item-link to show other players an item, compare stats with item compare, and chat. No new Runewords will be added, and players cannot load a character from the original Diablo II into Resurrected. On Twitter it was confirmed the game would have mod support.
You can find the Diablo Q&A bellow.
You can find the full rundown (via the official website) below.
A Timeless Classic, Resurrected
Diablo® II: Resurrected™ is a remastered version of the quintessential action RPG Diablo® II. Pursue the mysterious Dark Wanderer and fight the denizens of hell as you uncover the fate of the Prime Evils Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, now in up to 4K (2160p) resolution on PC. Diablo II Resurrected features:
Remastered graphics—monsters, heroes, items, spells, all resurrected.
An epic story told through five distinct acts.
Classic gameplay—the same Diablo II you know and love, preserved.
Updated Battle.net support.
Planned support for cross-progression—take your progress wherever you play.
… and much more!
The Lord of Destruction Returns
Diablo II: Resurrected includes all content from both Diablo II and its epic expansion Diablo II: Lord of Destruction®. Battle your way through icy caverns, horrific tombs filled with undead abominations, and frozen wastelands to the frigid summit of Mount Arreat and stop Baal, the Lord of Destruction. Raise hell with two Lord of Destruction playable classes—the cunning Assassin, master of traps and shadow disciplines, and the savage Druid, a bold shapeshifter and summoner who commands primal elemental magic.
Diablo II: Resurrected launches 2021 for Windows PC (via Battle.net), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.
Image: Diablo II: Resurrected official website