Diablo 2 Gets First Major Patch in 11 Years: Class Rebalances, Ranked Ladder and More
Blizzard just announced that Diablo 2 Resurrected will be getting a balance patch in a surprising blog update. The previous patch, 1.13c, was released over 11 years ago and will be sunset in favour of Patch 2.4. This is an exciting time to jump back into Sanctuary and discover all the new goodies!
Diablo 2 Gets First Major Patch in 11 Years
For those who need a refresher on Diablo 2 Resurrected, here it is in a nutshell:
- Genre: Action-RPG
- Developed by: Vicarious Visions & Blizzard Entertainment
- Published by: Activision Blizzard
- Release Date: September 23, 2021
- Patch Date: To be Announced
- Platforms: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Blizzard Entertainment dropped a huge blog entry on December 15, 2021 that detailed a lot of changes that will be coming to Diablo 2: Resurrected. Surprisingly, it contained teasers for a host of balancing updates for many aspects of the game. This came as an unexpected, but welcome surprise.
The following updates were discussed in the blog post:
Diablo 2: Resurrected Class Balance
Blizzard intends to focus on expanding the class build diversity in this new patch. What’s even more refreshing is that it seems there will be no nerfs done to any of the popular skills. Instead, all of the underappreciated skills will be receiving buffs or usability tweaks which we will outline later on.
The design philosophy here is that they want to “empower you to be creative” in building up your character but not going too far off from each class’ theme. While Blizzard did not give any specific numbers (sorry, theorycrafters!), they did outline their thought process for each of the 7 classes.
So in Patch 2.4, they will be tweaking melee skills such as Impale and Fend. They will also be looking to create more synergies between melee skills.
Lastly, some Bow and Crossbow skills will be buffed to be more efficient in the Nightmare and Hell difficulties.
At the moment, Assassins in Diablo 2 Resurrected are very popular being built as trappers. One of the most popular builds is the Lightning Trapper. This time, Blizzard plans to buff the various Martial Arts skills to make them stand out more.
They will be looking particularly into the combo system and how Compo Points are managed as the Assassin’s secondary resource.
The Barbarian is one of the strongest classes in terms of pure potential raw damage. They are very popular since they are also effective in buffing allies with Warcries.
Combat skills Leap Attack and Grim Wars will be buffed to become more effective. Finally, Double Throw and Throwing Mastery are getting tweaks to become more powerful. This should be refreshing as Throwing Barbarians aren’t too common in endgame builds like the Whirlwind Barbarian.
The mighty Druid will be getting a few tweaks on the casting controls for some of his Fire skills and Arctic Blast. In fact, damage is being reevaluated across the board for Fire Skills.
Summoning skills also seem to be ineffective in higher difficulties and are thus also getting buffed. Synergies between the lower level summons are being added in as well as buffs to things like damage, duration and health values.
Necromancer, clearly a fan favourite in Diablo 2 Resurrected, is pretty balanced where he is right now. The underrated skills Skeletal Mage and less popular Golems will be getting a balancing pass.
Personally, this will be a welcome modification as Skeletal Mage is usually just taken as a prerequisite for the more powerful Revive skill.
The Paladin is getting a few Combat skills updated in Patch 2.4 though Fist of the Heavens is the only skill specifically mentioned. Next, Offensive Auras will be modified, in terms of AoE range and damage efficiency.
Like the Amazon and Necromancer, Blizzard seems to be quite satisfied with where the Sorceress is. Skills like Frozen Armor, Shiver Armor and Chilling Armor are all getting some tweaks that will make them more distinct and have specific use cases.
Some of the less popular Fire and Lightning skills are going to have more synergies applied to them as well. Cold Sorceresses that use Frozen Orb should remain to be pretty popular.
Mercenary Balance & The Horadric Cube
The overwhelming majority of players will always take the Act 2 Nightmare Desert Mercenary instead of anything else. There is just no comparing the raw power that the Desert Mercenary’s Aura brings to the table. Therefore BLizzard will be improving the Rogue Scouts, Iron Wolves and Barbarian mercenaries to be more effective, but still retain the theme they have. Hopefully, we will see more Iron Wolves running around Sanctuary!
Also coming are new recipes for everyone’s favourite item combiner, the Horadric Cube. Players will be able to upgrade the quality of certain Set Items. This would possibly allow even lower end item sets to be more viable in the end-game. Additionally, more Rune Words will be implemented as part of the new Ladder season. These new Rune Words are planned to also emphasize the Class skill and Mercenary updates in the upcoming patch.
Ranked Ladder and Developer Stream
As with Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 before it, Diablo 2 Resurrected will finally get a ladder system. It will be broken into four different modes, namely:
- Standard Ladder: Softcore Ladder composed of Acts 1 to 4
- Hardcore Ladder: Hardcore Ladder Ladder composed of Acts 1 to 4
- Standard Expansion Ladder: Softcore Ladder composed of Acts 1 to 5
- Hardcore Expansion Ladder: Hardcore Ladder composed of Acts 1 to 5
Totally new Runewords will be available as well in D2R’s first ladder season. However, no specific runes or effects have been announced. At the end of the season, Ladder characters will be placed into the standard “Non-Ladder”. Then, a new season will begin wherein players will need to create a new character and start over.
Next Developer Update Stream
For more information, there will be a developer update stream on December 16, at 11:00 AM PST, hosted by MrLlamaSC on Twitch.
Hopefully, we get to see more specifics during the Developer Update Stream. Maybe it will be a perfect opportunity for Blizzard to drop the specific patch notes or a release date.
While waiting, be sure to check out our Diablo 2 Resurrected Complete Beginner Guide or the Diablo 2 Resurrected wiki for more info about the game. Perhaps Diablo 2 Resurrected Farming Guide for those Ubers as well.
For more news, check out the 2021 Fexy Awards – The Best Games of 2021 and Undecember the Korean ARPG Gets Trailer and Gameplay Revealed