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Diablo 2 Gets First Class Balance Changes After 11 Years

Diablo 2 is getting its first major update after 11 years. Technically it’s for Diablo 2: Resurrected, but it’s still a milestone nonetheless.

The upcoming 2.4 patch will adjust every character for the sake of expanding build diversity and provide more opportunities to explore the unique capabilities of each class.

“This is incredibly special, as the last patch to make balance changes to classes in Diablo II was Patch 1.13c, which was released back on March 23, 2010! Now, 11 years later, we’re making new changes to expand character build diversity, and retain class fantasy and specialty! These goals are crucial. We’re reviewing underused skills, assessing casting delays, making tooltip quality-of-life changes, and more to fulfill these goals.”

Here’s a breakdown (via the news site):

Amazon

Blizzard want to buff the strengths of certain underused melee skills such as Impale and Fend to give more reasons to use them. Blizzard is also looking into freeing up synergy requirements for melee skills to give more skill point freedom for other possibilities.

Assassin

Martial Arts skills can become increasingly challenging to perform in higher difficulties, so Blizzard is re-evaluating how to improve generating and spending Combo Points. Furthermore, various Trap skills are not often used. So, Blizzard is re-evaluating synergy requirements to promote more trap builds and damage scaling buffs.

Barbarian

Blizzard is looking into adding more possibilities with Combat Skills such as Leap Attack and Grim Ward, while also re-evaluating skill synergy requirements to promote more reasons to spend points on certain Combat Skills. Additionally, Blizzard thinks Throwing Barbarians can be more viable, so Blizzard is looking into enhancing the Double Throw and Throwing Mastery skills.

Druid

From Blizzard’s perspective, Druid Fire skills are underperforming. Blizzard is re-evaluating Casting Delays for Fire skills, exploring improvements to some of their Physical Damage components, and improving synergies. Blizzard is also looking at potential tweaks affecting other Elemental skills that are underused. We want to improve the controls for Arctic Blast too, such as allowing more free form while channelling and no longer locking your targeting onto one enemy at a time.

Regarding Summon skills, Blizzard believes Summons are weak in high difficulty. On this front, we’re evaluating health gains per level, quality-of-life improvements, damage output, and new synergies for Ravens, Wolves, and Vines.

Lastly, Blizzard is evaluating improvements to the Werebear skills, primarily focused on synergy improvements.

Necromancer

Blizzard is balancing elemental damages of Skeletal Mages and making lesser-used Golems more effective. Additionally, Blizzard sees opportunities for Bone skill improvements in high difficulty. Blizzard is tweaking synergies on this front.

Paladin

Blizzard is exploring ways to make lesser-used skills (I.e., Fist of the Heavens) more utilized, so players have more reasons to spend skill points to unlock these skills.

Blizzard also sees an opportunity to scale Offensive Aura skills as well. This includes making improvements to AoE Damage auras to make them more effective at closer range. Blizzard also want to improve Thorns so that it can scale better and deal more reliable damage at higher levels.

Sorceress

Regarding Cold Skills, Blizzard believes there can be more diversity with the armor skills (I.e., Frozen Armor, Shiver Armor, and Chilling Armor) for distinctive advantages.

Blizzard is also looking into adding more build possibilities around lesser-used Lightning skills by exploring more skill synergies.
Lastly, Blizzard is also revisiting Fire skills, to improve underused ones, like Hydra. Similar to Arctic Blast, Blizzard is exploring making player control improvements to the Inferno skill so that it is less clunky to use.

Ladder Play

In addition to class updates, there will be ladder play where exclusive Diablo 2 runewords not seen in the regular game reside. So you’ll have to level up from scratch for four months to get these powerups.

Four ladder modes will be available:

  • Standard Ladder: The casual version of Ladder play that encompasses playing with four acts.
  • Hardcore Ladder: The hardcore (only 1 life) version of Ladder play that encompasses playing with four acts.
  • Standard Expansion Ladder: The casual version of Ladder play that encompasses playing five acts, as it includes the “Lord of Destruction” expansion content.
  • Hardcore Expansion Ladder: The hardcore (only 1 life) version of Ladder play that encompasses playing five acts, as it includes the “Lord of Destruction” expansion content.

In addition, Blizzard will be improving mercenaries, adding new Horadric Cube recipes, making changes to set items, and also patch out some bugs.

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