Date: July 21, 2021
Really, it makes sense to make a beloved classic more accessible.
Some of the players who put hundreds of hours into Diablo II twenty years ago might have less flexible fingers now. (It’s called aging.) Perhaps some have acquired an unfortunate disability or even have been dealing with one all their life, barring them from trying some major titles they really wish they could play. Some of us exclusively play on consoles now. And, let’s admit it — some of us are just too used to the conveniences of the modern interface…
Guys, what matters at the end of the day is, more people can enjoy Diablo II: Resurrected on their own terms and I, a purist, can turn off automatic gold pick-up and never let go of my Alt key to always see the shiny loot on the ground.
I may or may not then switch to the old graphics and you cannot stop me.
Diablo II: Resurrected devs get me. I rambled on and on about how deep they dug inside the forgotten tombs and amidst jungles of infested swamps to uncover smallest of details and implement them into the remastered game, like the legendary fanboys they are.
Recently, devs mentioned more options that will be available in the game menu while discussing some polishing done on item icons and spell graphics. Larger font sizes, UI scaling on PC, gamma and contrast settings — our first alpha testers can confirm that developers are doing great so far with introducing the changes pretty much all of us would love to see.
Auto-gold pick-up feature alone was something that spoke to the players with controllers and PC players with limited mobility alike. And those who do not want to drastically reduce the lifespan of their left mouse key every time they go through a dungeon or finish a boss fight.
However, there are a couple more interesting features developers are working on now, and that’s what we are going to look at in this post.
Miss Text and More Key Bindings
Playing on lower volume or with sound off, you just can’t always tell how many times you miss. Your miss rate might be horrible, but you won’t really be able to tell until the game screams in white text at you:
Diablo II: Resurrected developers added toggleable miss text as an accessibility feature, but also something the more modern RPG player might be used to seeing on the screen. Newer players will also probably have an easier time with this kind of visual feedback instead of needing to turn their speakers up and pay attention to the whiffs.
With the devs figuring out console adaptations for the remaster, it was only appropriate to introduce more bindings for both controllers and key-and-mouse configurations. If you hated how the actions and skills were assigned in the original, now it’s something that you can change!
Worthy of note is the newly added toggle to see lootable items on the ground, as opposed to the need to tap and hold.
Likewise, for controller players, a held button can translate into a continuous ability trigger to allow for less aggressive button-mashing.
Expanded Audio Settings
Remember what I said regarding miss text? How in the legacy version of the game we hear the event, not see it? A few other Diablo II interactions are mostly or purely audible.
Which is very neat for “feeling” the game, but might become a problem if you are playing on the TV and are sitting a few feet back. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, if you have a headache and a particular hit sound is really pounding your brains.
To be honest, not all of the sounds in the game are perfectly balanced, so it makes sense that devs want to give the player more control over monster, skill, ambient, item, combat, and user interface sounds.
Some sounds might be a little more gruesome (a little moist, so to say), others might be very important to hear to a particular class (consider vulnerability to poison or other status effects), and yet others were just designed for Windows 98 speakers, piercing right through modern headphones.
Even if developers make sound effects a little softer to account for the latter, there is no denying that Diablo II is… quite noisy.
It sounds like the old graphics look, if you know what I mean. That gritty look is still absolutely great, if you were to ask me, but feeling all those pixels scratching against my gentle eardrum did make me feel tired a few times in the past. Turning down and muting parts or all of the game’s sounds makes sense as a feature of the remastered game.
Now, let’s all give some credit where it is due: coming up with genuinely useful features that can be toggled on and off regardless is just a good way to do right by old and new players alike.
It’s not even as much of a compromise to involve more players (arguably, an approach that made some of the recent games a little less fun to play), but is a proper customization feature. If you don’t want anything to do with any of the things on the list, just turn them off. Turn all of it off, all of it. Just play old Diablo II, who cares?
But, what do you guys think? Do these changes make sense to you? Are there some underground stones that the developers aren’t seeing by introducing settings like these? Are you worrying that more features like the expanded shared stash will be added into the game without the option to turn them off? We want to hear from both newly interested and veteran players alike — let us know in the comments below!