The diehard fans making their own remasters explain what makes this classic so special, và what Blizzard must preserve


This isn’t the first time, though, that someone has tried lớn recreate the classic ARPG. Reign of Terror is a fan-made Diablo 2 remake that has been stitched baông xã together & maintained in another ARPG called Grim Dawn. One of its creators tells me it all started in September 2016 when he tried to recreate Rogue Encampment with Grlặng Dawn’s modding tools. At that point, Ram, who also wishes to lớn remain anonymous, just wanted khổng lồ see if he could vày it. Five sầu years later, the team is still at it. After spending three years recreating all five sầu of Diablo 2’s acts on weekends và other spare moments on holidays, the team is now taking care of the minor tweaks. They’re currently working on a new balance update for progression, items, and more.

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“A few more people offered their help with the project after ,” Ram says, “which I am very grateful for, since that allowed me khổng lồ shift my focus lớn making my own indie game with another former GD modder . But I had lớn return khổng lồ Reign of Terror because the person who was responsible for the project during my leave sầu has suddenly left for unknown reasons, & I couldn’t leave sầu my legacy unattended.”

Other Diablo 2 người projects stretch even further baông chồng. Curse of Tristram is a remake of Diablo 2’s first act which uses Starcraft 2’s tools, and Etienne ‘egod123’ Godbout began work when when the Starcraft 2 beta was still in testing. Today, it features weekly events, fresh items lớn traông xã down, & new economies to master.


What is it about Diablo 2 that has held people’s attention for so long? The sense of community around modding helps, but there’s something special here that players haven’t found in Diablo 3. Notably, everyone I spoke lớn praised the game for the dark, gothic atmosphere that its sequel chose not to lớn emulate.

A Diablo 2 remaster wouldn"t affect Reign of Terror because it was never meant as a remake; it"s a quality mix of Diablo 2 and Grim Dawn


Reign of Terror creator

I ask Ram what elements of Diablo 2 he tries lớn keep intact in Reign of Terror. “It’s a combination of things, but mostly fond childhood memories bachồng from when I was actively playing Diablo 2,” he says. “If I had to name something specific, it would be the dark atmosphere và superb sound thiết kế.”

Yet as players seek lớn pin down và preserve sầu the elusive feel of Diablo 2, its age is inescapable. The genre has evolved in the 21 years since its release, SenpaiSomething observes. Ram sees this as an opportunity, and had his own improvements in mind when making Reign of Terror.

“What I simply couldn’t stvà was the same level kiến thiết used in most of the Diablo 2 areas, và that’s where I had lớn change something,” he recalls. “Also, the endgame in Diablo 2 isn’t particularly rich, so I’ve sầu added more things lớn farm once the player finishes the campaign. Then we have the chất lượng of life improvements such as automatic piông chồng up, loot filters, unique/mix công trình drop notification, & so on, though some of those came with Grim Dawn itself.”


While each of these projects is driven by a comparable wish to lớn preserve sầu what makes Diablo 2 special, they’ve taken on an identity of their own. I ask everyone if Blizzard’s rumoured remaster of Diablo 2 would have any influence on their project’s future. For the most part, everyone believes they’ve created something chất lượng – something sufficiently distinctive sầu lớn still be of value even if Diablo 2: Resurrected is unveiled at BlizzCon 2021.

“As far as I know, the official Diablo 2 remaster is still just a rumour,” Ram says. “However, even if it’s confirmed it won’t affect Reign of Terror in any way because this hack was never meant to lớn be a 1:1 remake of Diablo 2 due to how different the Grim Dawn engine is, which brings limitations to lớn what I can implement. Reign of Terror is a chất lượng set of Diablo 2 và Grlặng Dawn, so it will be very different from a remaster.”

SenpaiSomething also never set out to lớn make a true remaster. Rather, his goal for Project Diablo 2 was to make something more lượt thích a new expansion. “This one differs in the sense that we can reverse engineer Diablo 2 & are not trying lớn create a ‘mod’ or ‘new game’ lượt thích many of the more technically savvy modders tend khổng lồ vày,” SenpaiSomething explains. “We’re a team of experienced people who simply want to improve the game as is and maintain the Lord of Destruction feel.

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“I’d say the biggest distinction for us would be that our team is led by people who are hardcore Diablo 2 players with thousands of hours and deep understanding of all the intricacies và interactions that come with it. For example, I’m the project lead và designer, and I’ve spent the last two years making guides & providing feedbachồng and kiến thiết ideas for other mods. Essentially, we’re trying lớn create Diablo 2.5.”


For Godbout, though, it’s time khổng lồ leave sầu Curse of Tristram behind. Over the weekover the team released a polished yet unfinished version of the gian lận on BattleNet that contains everything they’ve made so far. It’s partly in anticipation of Blizzard’s rumoured remaster, but also of Godbout’s long-held goal khổng lồ dive into indie game development. Besides the timing, Godbout adds that the gian lận is becoming more challenging lớn maintain due khổng lồ Starcraft 2’s engine.

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“The limitations of the Starcraft 2 Engine editor the biggest challenge,” he tells me. “It’s not that it’s a bad engine, it’s just the hack was too big for it. Blizzard helped us a lot, & we nội dung info together as well with updates on the editor, but still, the project was too big. It’s running very slow right now due to a large amount of coding.”

While each of these projects is on different paths, they’ve sầu all been led by people with a deep passion and understanding of Diablo 2. As such – và with one eye on Warcraft 3: Reforged in the rearview mirror – I ask each of them what Blizzard would need khổng lồ vày in its rumoured remaster to lớn make it a success.


Godbout says that Diablo 2 in its current form is still “really good”, but needs to be purged of the bots và hacks that ruin the experience. Ram adds that “story, NPCs, atmosphere, memorable areas, enemies, music, sounds, voice-overs, core gameplay mechanics, và loot should remain, otherwise will đại bại the majority of its tín đồ base”. That may seem lượt thích a long danh mục of things for Blizzard lớn leave alone, but Ram’s own goals in Reign of Terror inspire an equally long danh mục of ideas for modernisation.

An official remake would have sầu lớn add more endgame nội dung, because that"s what Diablo 2 lacks most compared to modern ARPGs


Reign of Terror creator

“What has khổng lồ improve sầu are graphics, animations, larger variety in cấp độ kiến thiết for randomly generated areas, chất lượng of life improvements such as a larger inventory kích cỡ – infinite stash, as in PlugY, would be the holy grail – auto-pichồng up, loot filters, item drop notifications, và more endgame content, because that’s what Diablo 2 lacks the most in comparison lớn modern ARPGs.”

For SenpaiSomething, though, one of the most important featuresisgian lận support. After all, it’s what has kept the original Diablo 2 around 21 years after its release.

“I think the game has an amazing base & I’d love sầu khổng lồ see something like what Jagex did with ’07 Runescape, where they essentially have sầu a continuation of the old game. Tthat’s what we’ve sầu tried khổng lồ do with Project Diablo 2,” he says. “It’s something I would’ve sầu loved lớn see them bởi with WoW Classic, but that being said, if they wanted khổng lồ keep it completely 1:1 I would also understand that approach. But they need to keep mod support, as it has been a large part of what’s kept the game around as long as it has.”

Check out the người projects!Here’s Project Diablo 2, Reign of Terror, và Curse of Tristram. Our thanks khổng lồ the creators for their time & thoughtful comments.

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