Diablo Immortal Beta will take place sometime in 2021, as stated in the August 3 update blog:
With only 76 days remaining in 2021, and signs that point to a really close Beta announcement, it seems like a good time to share some cool things I found while playing Diablo Immortal Closed Alpha (which lasted from April 24 – June 30, 2021).
One of those cool things I found felt more like a sneak peek into what Blizzard Entertainment might be planning after the game launches — in terms of new content updates every few months, and new expansions — and I say sneak peek, because there was not a lot of this specific feature in closed alpha.
Diablo II: Resurrected is the best Blizzard-game-remaster when it comes to technology innovation. I mean, really? A 3D layer on top of the old game’s code and graphics. As Rob Galleriani responded to my question during the BlizzConline D2R Press Q&A:
Blizzplanet (Tomas Hernandez): What kind of technologies or tools were used to superimpose 3D over the old 2D sprite engine?
Gallerani: Magic! No. Basically, what it is… the game has the 2D sprites running underneath. It’s actually always running. At the press of a button, you can flip over to it (toogle) and you’ll see them.
We have a 3D engine on top that is being told what to do by those sprites; and so in a modern game, usually you have like 3D collision, and… Oh, you know, there’s an attack sphere on a sword, and when the attack sphere hits a vulnerabilities around a monster and like that’s how it works.
That’s not how ours works. The only reason for our visual engine is to run things that are visuals, right? So there’s a little bit of geometry and collision because of clutting or if a monster’s bones get scattered on the ground, like the bone bounces off the ground, but all of the logic is it’s pretty much being run by that sprite engine.
And so that’s pretty much what the purpose of that engine is. It is a visual only engine. It’s almost like a puppet, and the original game is the puppeteer.
The game looks beautiful, detailed, and the console controller support for Windows 10 PC truly makes the game shine. This game feels like it was always meant to be played with a console controller. I haven’t had this much fun since Diablo Immortal. You can tell by the many hours I have already put into Diablo II: Resurrected.
Early on, I tried a Summoner and Wind build against Duriel. I learned something from that aweful experience. Pets are too weak to last 2 seconds against Duriel, and Tornado is too expensive with only 15 mana resource, leaving my pet re-summoning dry. It didn’t go too well. I did defeat Duriel eventually without dying, but it was costly in gold with the countless mana potions and health potions and scrolls of town portal.
For Mephisto, a few hours later, I wanted to try a different build. I went to Akara to use the respec option.
This time I placed all my Skill points in the Summoning Skill Tree. What a damn good difference. I went through Act II quests, and found myself barely drinking mana potions.
The Knights of Westmarch who felled the armies of mighty Leoric are pure at heart and closely follow the teachings of Zakarum, the Religion of the Light. A battle-ready warrior for whom faith is a shield, the Paladin fights for what he believes to be right. His steadfastness gives him powers to bestow blessings to his friends and wreak cruel justice on foes. There are those who call the Paladin an overwrought zealot, but others recognize in him the strength and goodness of the Light.
These are the Crusader skills in Diablo Immortal (closed alpha).
CRUSADER PRIMARY ATTACKS
Strike an enemy for 2580 to 3096 damage and gain Hardened Senses, increasing your Block Chance by 30% for 2 sec.
(ULTIMATE): Counterattack Storm: Enhance Punish for 12 se, striking all enemies in front of you, increasing its damage per hit to 3541 to 4301, and increasing its Block Chance bonus. You also gain a shield that absorbs damage equal to 20% of your max Life for 3 sec.
Ignite the air with holy flames from your weapon, dealing 4683 to 7494 damage to an enemy and 25% as much to all other enemies in front of you.
(ULTIMATE): Burning Heart: Enhance Sacred Fire for 12 sec, increasing damage done to 6387 to 9224. Each enemy killed grants 1% increased Sacred Fire damage for 240 sec stacking up to 10 times. You also gain a shield that absorbs damage equal to 20% of your max Life for 3 sec.
Build up a massive explosion, dealing 5427 damage to all nearby enemies after 3 sec. Activate again to detonate early, but for less damage in a smaller radius.
Cooldown: 9 sec.
Conjuration of Light
Call down a beam of holy light from the heavens, protecting you and all nearby allies with damage immunity for 3 sec.
Cooldown 26.4 sec
Consecrate the ground around you, dealing 12552 damage to all nearby enemies over 6 sec.
Cooldown: 15 sec
Draw and Quarter
Mount a celestial war horse for 6 sec, dispelling all movement impairing effects, increasing your movement speed by 65%, and replacing your Primary Attack with a strike for 2838 damage. Holy chains will bind up to 8 nearby monsters and drag them as you ride for 2086 damage.
Cooldown: 16 sec
Impale your holy sword at a location where it deals 6097 damage over 5 sec to all nearby enemies. Activate again to launch yourself into the heavens and come crashing down at the sword's location, dealing 6182 damage to all nearby enemies and retrieving the sword.
Cooldown: 15 sec
Plant a holy banner that inspires nearby allies for 11.2 sec, increasing Critical Hit Chance by 100%, but decreasing Critical Hit Damage to 150% instead of double. Critical Hit Chance over 100% will grant up to 50% additional Critical Hit Damage. The banner's Life is equal to your Life.
Cooldown: 24 sec
Pass judgement on all enemies within an area, dealing 4292 damage and Slowing them by 50% for 3 sec. The center of the area will explode after a short time, dealing 3321 damage to all nearby enemies and Stunning them for 3 sec.
Cooldown: 24 sec
Throw holy chains that bounce between enemies, striking up to 6 targets and dealing 4188 damage to each. The chains Stun enemies for 8 sec, but are dispelled by damage. Duration reduced to 3 sec on players.
Cooldown: 14 sec
Charge forward with your shield, pushing all enemies in your path and inflicting 6813 damage. Enemies colliding with terrain will be Stunned for 3 sec.
Cooldown: 12 sec
Light erupts from your shield, dealing 3162 damage and Binding all enemies in front of you for 3 sec. Players will only be Blinded if they are facing you.
Cooldown: 12 sec.
Hurl a spinning shield, inflicting 4868 damage to all enemies in its path. The shield will return to you, pulling enemies in its path to you and dealing an additional 3245 damage. Maximum 3 charges. Players can only be affected by Spinning Shield once every 3 sec.
Cooldown: 12 sec.
Sweep a mystical flail through enemies in front of you, dealing 2971 damage. Charging longer increases range, and damage up to 3764. When fully charged, Sweep Attack will also knock enemies away.
Optional Dungeons always spawn in every Diablo II: Resurrected game in the same zone, but they spawn in random-generated locations that you must explore.
Usually these dungeons have 2-3 Levels down, and at the end there is a purple-glowing treasure chest that has a chance to drop unique items and even Runes.
Below is a list of Optional Dungeons. Follow the links to a YouTube video. The video descriptions have a list of Mobs, Unique Rare Elites, all white/gray/blue items that dropped in the video (with timecode to jump there); and which runes and gems dropped in that dungeon (if any).
One of the most simple Helm runewords is the Lore runeword which only requires ORT and SOL runes (in that order) in a 2-socket Cap or Tiara.
The ORT and SOL runes have a chance to drop in Act 4 and above; but if you are in Hell difficulty, you can also farm the Crypt and the Mausoleum in the Burial Grounds (Act 1). My Sorceress earned 4 levels farming these two dungeons a few times. The Countess has a chance to drop ORT and SOL in Nightmare and Hell difficulties.
I was also able to farm a Tiara helm in the Crypt.
Blizzard Entertainment has published the Diablo IV Quarterly Update (Oct 7) featuring the sound design of the game. The update starts with an introduction by Joe Shely — the new Diablo IV game director (after the post-DFEH lawsuit triggered the departure of Joe Mosqueira).
After the intro, Kris Giampa introduces himself as the sound supervisor; and shared several 50 minutes long YouTube videos showing a scene of Diablo IV with ambient sounds. and explains the process to record and refine the sounds digitally into something that may be used in the game.
Diablo II: Resurrected was originally announced on February 19 at the BlizzConline 2021 event. Fans didn’t have to wait years to get their hands on this remaster. In fact, technical alpha started on April 8, followed by an early access Beta test on August 13; and while the game launch was far from perfect, I can say this is the best Blizzard game remaster by far.
StarCraft: Remastered was pretty good, but Diablo II: Resurrected adds beautiful, detailed modern 3D graphics and special effects to the game. Even character reflection on water, great shadows and textures, very detailed props and things that weren’t as evident in the sprite version of Diablo II… like decapitated or tortured people. Vicarious Visions / Blizzard put the “M” back into the Mature-rated label in glossy and bloody 3D.
Diablo II: Resurrected is finally here and servers are online. The best Blizzard Entertainment remastered game will once more consume thousands of hours of your time in glorious 4K — if you have it — and great modern graphics and cinematics. Read the press release and check out today’s D2R press kit screenshots.