Don't call it a remake.
Click image for larger version

Name:	Diablo_II_Tristram.jpg
Views:	606
Size:	1.02 MB
ID:	3508680

This past week at BlizzCon 2021, Blizzard Entertainment revealed that they were very much hard at work on a remaster of the much beloved Diablo II. More specifically, Vicarious Visions, the studio behind the highly praised Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 remake is the main studio responsible for this remaster, a fact that has put a lot of minds at ease as to the final quality of this upcoming remaster. Blizzard, alongside Vicarious Visions, have a very specific design philosophy in mind for Resurrected.

Executive producer Rod Fergusson and principal designer Rob Gallerani recently spoke with Polygon about their design philosophy for Diablo II Resurrected. They flat out say that this is not a remake.

"This isn’t a remake," said Fergusson. "We’re not reverse-engineering it; we’re not rebuilding it and trying to make it look and sound like [Diablo 2]. This is [Diablo 2]. [...] It’s right there, underneath the surface. The entire simulation, the engine for this game, that lifeblood of this game, is [Diablo 2] right underneath. So there’s a toggle switch, a legacy toggle, that when you press the button, you’ll see behind the curtains, and there is Diablo 2 in 2D sprites running right there, and you can play the way that you played 20 years ago."
From the sounds of it, Blizzard and Vicarious Visions are trying to avoid the mistakes made with Warcraft 3 Reforged. As you may recall, Reforged strayed too far from the original formula, a decision that resulted in a sub-par release. Furthermore, Reforged also did away with the original Warcraft 3, preventing players from playing the original game that that paid for back in the day.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Diablo_II_Burial-Grounds.jpg
Views:	74
Size:	728.1 KB
ID:	3508681

The teams at Blizzard also quickly set aside the ideas that the game needed to be "modernized" for the current gaming climate. This means that there will not be waypoints showing up on maps telling players where to go. Gallerani says that they were looking into doing something like that. However, "it totally changed the vibe of the game" and they decided against it. This also means there will not be anything included like a real-money auction house. Those of you who played Diablo III at launch probably have fond memories of that. Of course, if you want to spend your money, you should check out Meta.reviews for the latest and greatest betting sites.

The team wants Diablo II Resurrected to be a very social experience. They do not want the game to hold your hand and tell players where to go. Instead, they want the community to come together to share information with each other like it used to be in the times before waypoints became commonplace in games. It seems especially useless in this day and age when answers are nothing more than a quick Google search or Discord message away.

However, there are some changes with Diablo II Resurrected. Obviously, the big one is the change from 2D sprites to full 3D models. These models are still based off the original artwork. Another improvement is the inclusion of a Shared Stash. This will allow players to share items and gear between their characters without having to make a mule character. Another improvement, one that is a bit more controversial with purists, is the ability to automatically pick up gold. The team understood that a lot of players may not like this particular change so they made it an option that can be toggled on or off. Other improvements include a revamped ladder season and a slightly redesigned user interface that is more friendly to modern screen resolutions.

At its heart, Diablo II Resurrected is still Diablo II. It is just Diablo II with a more modern look and some modern features like cross-save progression between platforms. Fans have already voiced their excitement for this one. As of right now, Diablo II Resurrected is slated to be released later in 2021 for the PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and the Nintendo Switch.