The gates of Diablo 2: Resurrection’s technical alpha test have opened. This news brought excitement to those who enjoyed Diablo 2 in the past. I was also one of those that was addicted to Diablo 2 at one point in my life, so I really longed for this day to come.
Frankly, when Blizzard first announced that they’re working on Diablo 2: Resurrection, I had mixed feelings of concern and excitement. The graphics or certain conveniences improving was good news, but my concern was about how the 20-year-old game would change. The unfamiliar image of Amazon that was released also made me anxious.
However, as soon as the gates to Act 1 opened, my concerns dissolved in no time. My hands were busy shooting Fire Balls and Charged Bolts, and when I came back to my senses, I was already done with Duriel. Now, let’s have a look at Diablo 2 with brand-new clothes.
My biggest curiosity was the graphics. I was able to feel the improved graphics as soon as I arrived at the Rogue Camp of Act 1. The details of the characters, NPCs, and even the animals walking around in the camp were really alive. By checking the original graphics by pressing the G key, the graphics stuck out even more. Also, I was able to see how the monsters really looked for the first time — I never knew they looked so scary.
The colors in general were darker, and it was even darker in the dungeons. I was only able to see very close quarters and was sometimes surprised by the monsters that popped out of nowhere. It felt more like Diablo 2 than the original Diablo 2. At first, it was rather uncomfortable, but I adapted soon enough.
The skill effects are bright and flashy. They can even be used to brighten the paths in dark dungeons. When I saw the revealed screenshots before the test, I was worried that the skill effects might make my eyes tired, but it was manageable.
▲ Inside the dungeons are really dark.
One of the most inconvenient parts of the original Diablo 2 was that the stash was too small. Since the stash was small, many users created characters to store items. I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t only me who lost items while trying to transfer them to another character because the game exploded.
In Resurrection, the stash is bigger, and it can be shared among the characters within the account. I was able to check this in the Technical Alpha Test. The stash size was increased to 100 cells from the original 48 cells, and it was open for sharing with the other characters too.
When I used it, the stash was quite big enough. I tried to collect runes, amulets, and rings to fill up the whole stash, but I wasn’t able to fill the whole stash even after finishing Act 2. The shared stash was empty. I thought it would be better if stacking the same items were possible, but the enlarged stash was quite enough for now.
Other than the stash, two more things were made convenient. One of them was “Auto Collect Gold”. If you activate this in options, you can collect gold by just going close to it. It used to be tiring to click all that gold in the early stages of the game, but now it’s much more comfortable.
The other thing was in the character window. In the character window, they added an “Advanced Stats” window. I was able to check the item effects on the character. Back then, we needed to check this by adding up all the options on the items — faster cast rate, faster hit recovery, or finding magic item chance. Now, you could just simply open the character window.
As it was announced, Diablo 2: Resurrection focused on reviving the original game. Besides the improvement in graphics or conveniences, it’s quite the same. The interface didn’t change much as well, so the original users could adapt in no time.
The design of the items didn’t change much as well. They just became classier. The shapes of the amulets — star, sun, cross… Or the shapes of the charms — footballs, horns, bear claws — are recognizable right away. The biggest design change with the items is the potions.
Resurrection is based on the most recent version of the original, 1.14, so the rune words are the same. When I was working on Act 2, I made “Stealth” and the options were the same as the original. The items' runes weren’t that clearly visible in the original, but now, you could see them clearly.
Obviously, the quests or the gameplay didn’t change at all. The routes for Acts 1 and 2 were the same as the original. Starting from Den of Evil, saving Deckard Cain, and killing Andariel. Or trying to kill Duriel by sacrificing the mercenary. The conveniences and graphics were improved, and the gameplay thoroughly followed the original.
By slaying Duriel, my first encounter with Diablo 2: Resurrection was concluded. The initial anxieties that I had before starting the game were completely forgotten. As I continued to level the character and farm items, the sun came up. I met Meshif, who didn’t have a ship heading to Act 3 prepared... I’ll be heading to play Amazon and Barbarian now.
▲ Duriel was always difficult — the brave mercenary sacrificed himself to aid my journey.