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‘Diablo II: Resurrected’ open beta begins on August 20th

In the midst of a that has engulfed the company in turmoil, Blizzard will give Diablo II fans the chance to play the game’s during two separate early access weekends. The first of those will begin on August 13th at 1PM ET. It will be open to those who pre-ordered Diablo II: Resurrected or the Diablo Prime Evil Collection, which includes both the remaster and Diablo 3, on PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 and PS4.

Diablo II Resurrected beta timing

Blizzard Entertainment

If you fall into that camp, you’ll have until August 17th at 1PM ET to play through Act I and II of the story as the Amazon, Barbarian, Druid, Paladin or Sorceress. What’s more, this time around, Blizzard will allow you to play with up to seven other players, with support for cross-progression enabled. Just note that during the early access weekend, that feature will only work on platforms where you’ve pre-ordered the game.

One week later, starting on August 20th at 1PM ET, Blizzard will open the beta to anyone who wants to take part. At that point, you’ll have until the 23rd to see the work the studio has done to update its beloved action RPG. Unfortunately, neither beta will be available to check out on the Nintendo Switch. And if you want to see how the Assassin and Necromancer play in the remaster, you will also have to wait until the game’s date.

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Diablo II Resurrected open beta dates and details revealed

The release date for Diablo II Resurrected is quickly approaching, but Blizzard will be hosting a pair of beta tests before the full game arrives. The first is an early access test that will only be available to those who pre-ordered the game, while the second is an open beta test that anyone can participate in. Today, Blizzard confirmed the dates for these beta tests and revealed details about each of them.

The early access beta will be taking place this weekend, kicking off on Friday, August 13th for PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, and PS4 players (sadly, no Nintendo Switch) who pre-ordered Diablo II Resurrected or the Diablo Prime Evil Collection. The beta will begin at 10 AM PDT, though you can see the start time for your specific time zone in the image below. The early access beta will run until Tuesday, August 17th, at 10 AM PDT.

The open beta will kick off on the same platforms a few days later, running from Friday, August 20th at 10 AM PDT to Monday, August 23rd at 10 AM PDT. This beta is free for anyone on the supported platforms listed above to participate in, regardless of pre-order status. Once again, you can check the image below for regional start times.

This will be a multiplayer beta, so you’ll be able to link up with friends, but like the technical alpha we saw earlier in the year, progression through the story will be limited to just Acts 1 and 2. However, there will be two new classes to play this time around, as Blizzard has added the Paladin and the Druid to these betas. They’ll be joining the Barbarian, Sorceress, and Amazon, the three classes available during the technical alpha. Sorry, Necromancer and Assassin fans, but it looks like you’ll need to wait for the full game to play as your class of choice.

Blizzard has put together a lengthy FAQ about these betas, and that can be found over on the company’s news site. Diablo II Resurrected is out on Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4 on September 23rd, 2021.

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Blizzard reveals the big Diablo II Resurrected changes after feedback from players

We’re quickly closing in on the release date for Diablo II Resurrected, but before the game arrives in September, Blizzard has shared the big changes it’s making to it based on player feedback. Blizzard collected this feedback during the technical alpha that took place back in April, so if you played through that and submitted ideas to Blizzard afterward, you might want to check the list to see if your feedback prompted some change.

In a post to the Battle.net blog, Blizzard starts by announcing that it has improved several art assets. Skills that have had their art updated include Lightning and Blizzard – two Sorceress abilities – and the Paladin ability Holy Freeze. Blizzard says that it has also updated the visual effects that show when monsters are damaged or immobilized by spells, poisons, or other gameplay mechanics, so those should be more obvious in the future.

In addition to that, Blizzard says that it has updated the visuals on potion, gem, scroll, weapon, armor, and quest item icons to make them more colorful. You can see a comparison in the image below, showing the original Diablo II skull gem on top, the original Diablo II Resurrected skull in the middle, then finally, the revised Diablo II Resurrected skull on the bottom.

Then we come to the quality of life updates, with Blizzard kicking off by saying that it will detail new accessibility options in a separate, larger blog post in the future. For now, we get confirmation that Diablo II Resurrected will be getting an item name toggle, so you’ll no longer need to hold a key to see the names of the items that are on the ground. We’ll also be getting a new toggle for Diablo II Resurrected‘s Compare functionality. Moreover, there will be some tweaks to the Automap color that help it out from the in-game world better while you’re using it in overlay mode.

In what is quite possibly the biggest update detailed in this post, Blizzard also revealed that it’s expanding the amount of space in the shared stash. Storage in the shared stash has increased from one tab to three, and with 100 slots on each tab, that should give players a good amount of space to start with. We’ll also be getting a clock, which will undoubtedly be necessary for some of us to avoid playing into the wee hours of the morning, and Blizzard has implemented some changes to ensure that players do not spawn in a hostile area before the game is fully loaded.

This probably isn’t the only batch of changes we’ll see hit Diablo II Resurrected before its release date on September 23rd. In August, Blizzard will be hosting a closed beta for those who pre-ordered the game, and then it’ll open Diablo II Resurrected up for everyone through an open beta. Once both of those betas have run their course, we can probably expect new rounds of changes as Blizzard will likely be working with even more feedback from fans at that point.

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‘Metroid Dread’ gets resurrected on the Switch this fall

We already knew Metroid Prime 4 was on its way, but Nintendo had an even bigger bomb to drop on us during today’s Nintendo Direct: Metroid Dread, the first new 2D side-scrolling Metroid game in 19 years. And it already has a release date — October 8th, 2021.

Long-time fans will find that name familiar, as it’s actually the name of a cancelled Game Boy Advance game. It was meant to be a sequel to Metroid Fusion, but the November 2006 release date came and went and the game was thought to be dead. However, it looks like development was restarted and now we’ll finally be able to play the title on the Switch this fall. 

It’ll even get a new Amiibo set featuring Samus and E.M.M.I., the robot she battles in the trailer. Collectors will also get a treat in the form of a SteelBook Special Edition containing the game, a 190-page tome of art and five cards featuring images from past installments in the series.

Meanwhile, fans of Metroid Prime need not worry, as Nintendo assures us the team is still hard on work on the next title.

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Diablo 2: Resurrected Will Be Released This September

A trailer for Diablo 2: Resurrected that debuted at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase at E3 reveals the game’s release date. Diablo 2: Resurrected will be releasing on multiple platforms on September 23.

The game was first revealed at Blizzcon 2021 and has been long-awaited by fans of the Diablo franchise. Diablo 2: Resurrected will be a full HD remaster of the game’s original release, as well as its Lord of Destruction expansion. While there will be a lot of changes visually, players can expect the same top-down view that the Diablo games are known for.

Today’s trailer for Diablo 2: Resurrected showed the game in action, with multiple characters in various classes, destroying hordes of the undead with magical powers.

While Diablo 2: Resurrected will be available on multiple platforms, today’s trailer focused on the Xbox Series X|S version of the game. On Microsoft’s new-generation console, players will be able to play the game at up to 4K/60 frames per second. Cross-progression will also be implemented for anyone who plays the game on other platforms.

For those who haven’t played Diablo 2 before, the game takes place immediately after the end of Diablo 1. That game’s unnamed hero is corrupted by the Lord of Terror’s essence, which he traps in his own body. This corruption causes demons to begin entering the world, causing mayhem and havoc. A party of adventurers appears, which players take control of to find the source of the demons and bring it to an end.

Diablo 2: Resurrected is launching on September 23 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.

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Diablo II Resurrected alpha impressions: Back to Hell we go

Diablo II Resurrected‘s first technical alpha wrapped up earlier this week, giving us a brief glimpse at the game Diablo fans have been requesting for years. This is the first of at least two Diablo II Resurrected tests Blizzard plans to hold, and this one was fairly limited in scope – not only did we just have the weekend to check out the game, but we were limited to three of the game’s seven classes and just two of its Acts.

Still, that was more than enough to get a feel for how the remaster is progressing, and though I didn’t get to play as much as I wanted thanks to being sick during the technical alpha’s weekend, I played enough to say that this is shaping up to be every bit as exciting as Diablo fans were hoping it would be.

It really feels like Diablo II Resurrected is the Diablo II many of us remember, only with souped-up graphics. If you’ve played Diablo II before, it might not even seem like the graphics have changed all that dramatically when you first boot up Diablo II Resurrected. When I was playing through the opening stages of the technical alpha and broadcasting it in Discord for my friends, we all commented on the fact that Diablo II Resurrected looks like what we remember the original Diablo II looked like when we first played it 20 years ago.

Obviously, Diablo II Resurrected looks a lot different from the original game that released back in 2000, and when you see images of the game side-by-side, those differences are clear. You can see the difference between the two versions in-game anytime you want with a simple keystroke. If Blizzard’s goal with Diablo II Resurrected was to make it feel like you were coming home again, it definitely succeeded.

I think the new graphics look great – they almost have a retro feel to them despite being one of the only truly new components of Diablo II Resurrected. Most of the original game is left intact, which means that a lot of the quality of life features implemented in Diablo II‘s spiritual successors, descendants, and derivatives aren’t present here.

Think those Town Portal scrolls should stack? Well, they don’t, and until you buy a tome to store them in, each of those scrolls will be taking up one slot in your very limited inventory. In Diablo II you have a stamina bar that you have to manage, and when it becomes fully depleted, you can’t run anymore. I’d entirely forgotten about the stamina bar before I booted up Diablo II Resurrected for the first time, because it’s something that I haven’t seen since the last time I played the original nearly two decades ago.

I’m positive there’s a large contingent of players out there who are thrilled by the fact that Blizzard hasn’t made a ton of quality of life changes to the game, but for any newcomers who might be thinking about diving in for the first time when Diablo II Resurrected releases, it’s important to know that this game – despite being a remaster – is still very much a product of its time. Some of the mechanics feel a little bit clunky at first just because we’ve had 20 years of refinement in the action RPG space since Diablo II was the big dog on the block.

Outside the graphics update, it isn’t as if Diablo II Resurrected is exactly the same as Diablo II, though they are close. Blizzard has made a few common sense quality of life changes to the game to make things flow a little smoother. There’s an auto-pickup option for gold now, and I can safely say that I will never play with that option off. There’s also a shared stash now, which is a big win for people who like to maintain multiple characters (and who doesn’t?).

Outside of that handful of quality of life changes, though, Diablo II Resurrected sticks to the original Diablo II formula and does not deviate from it. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so, but for me this is a trip down memory lane, not a new experience that I’ve been hearing about for 20 years and am now only checking out with the remaster. I think some new Diablo II players might be turned off by how slow and methodical this game can be at times, especially if they’re coming from faster-paced games like Diablo 3 and Path of Exile.

With that being said, I would like to see a couple more quality of life improvements made to the game before it launches. The biggest thing I’d like to see is an show loot toggle that I can set and forget. As it is, you need to hold the Alt key to see the loot that’s on the ground, and I’d prefer to just see that information all the time. I’d like to see that extended to lootable containers like chests and hidden stashes as well, because even with the new graphics, they’re easy to miss.

Aside from some small quality of life tweaks, though, I think Blizzard’s approach to Diablo II Resurrected – that being “make it look pretty on a widescreen monitor but leave most of the other stuff alone” – is the right one. We already know that Diablo II is a fantastic game that doesn’t need many changes to be good in 2021.

While we only got to play the first couple of Acts in the technical alpha, I do wonder if Diablo II Resurrected‘s endgame is going to be enough to keep players interested in the long run. After all, we’ve had 20 years of action RPGs that have only expanded the endgame grind. Path of Exile is the best example of this, because with that title, the main story can largely be viewed as the prelude to endgame maps, which these days are the true meat of the game.

You can play a game like Path of Exile (or even Diablo III) forever thanks to endgame grinds that never really end. While you can also play Diablo II forever, it doesn’t have that same endgame structure to keep people hooked. Does it need that structure, though? Does Diablo II Resurrected need to compete with newer ARPGs on the never-ending grind front?

I’m not convinced it does. Of course, it’s been a long time since I last played Diablo II, so perhaps I’m forgetting just how addicting this game is. For now, all I can say is that whether it keeps me occupied for 30 hours or 300, I’m looking forward to playing the full version of Diablo II Resurrected when it launches later this year.

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Diablo II Resurrected technical alpha kicks off this week: How to opt-in

With Diablo IV still a ways off, there are a lot of Blizzard fans out there who are looking forward to the release of Diablo II: Resurrected. The game is coming at some point later this year, but in the lead up to launch, Blizzard has indicated that it’ll be hosting multiple tests. The first test – a technical alpha – is kicking off later this week, and it’ll give fans an early look at the game.

Blizzard has detailed the content and classes that will be available in this technical alpha, and it isn’t a shock to hear that we’ll be fairly limited. Players who gain access to the alpha will be able to play through Acts 1 and 2 using the Amazon, Barbarian, and Sorceress classes – three of Diablo II: Resurrected‘s seven classes.

Blizzard says that there won’t be a level cap implemented during the technical alpha, so if you fancy yourself a Diablo II power leveler or speedrunner, you’ll be able to level up to your heart’s content. You’ll only have a limited window of time to do that, though, as the technical alpha kicks off on Friday, April 9th at 7 AM PDT/10 AM EDT and runs until Monday, April 12th at 10 AM PDT/1 PM EDT. Blizzard also notes that this technical alpha will only focus on single-player, with multiplayer tests coming later this year.

So, how do you get into the technical alpha? You’ll first need to opt-in to the technical alpha by heading over to the Diablo II: Resurrected website, logging in with your Battle.net account, and then clicking the “opt-in” button. Sadly, not everyone who opts-in will be able to participate, but Blizzard does say that participants will be selected randomly and emailed with instructions on how to access and download the alpha in the coming days, so at least everyone has an equal shot of getting in.

Those who participate in the technical alpha will be able to record and stream the game, so at least those who don’t get selected will be able to head over to platforms like Twitch and YouTube to see the game in action. Blizzard says there will be at least one more test beyond this technical alpha, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled for information on those test. For more on this particular alpha test, be sure to check out Blizzard’s blog post about it.

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Diablo II Resurrected live on Twitch and YouTube starting Thursday

Blizzard announced that this weekend Diablo II: Resurrected will be available to play in a limited Technical Alpha experience. This means you won’t likely get to keep what you find, and your characters might never see the light of day after said Alpha is complete. BUT you’ll get to play… if you’re lucky enough to be invited to play. If not, there’s always YouTube and Twitch for watching streamers who have said opportunity.

Throw away your homework and quit your day job, Diablo II is about to be back to steal your entire waking life. Diablo II: Resurrected appears to be like Diablo II in most ways – save the improved graphics and updates in the way the game is run.

Per the Blizzard Entertainment representatives presenting this renewed game, this Alpha is a test of a couple of key points. “We want to know if we’re upholding the authenticity of design with our new visuals and quality of life changes.”

This new version of the game will work on up to Ultra High Definition 4K (2160p) graphics on both PCs and consoles. That’s IF the user has the hardware to deliver said software experience.

The first Alpha will include both Acts I and II. That means we’re in the forest, in the Rogue Monastery, ready to roll up on Andariel. We’re also in the desert, in Lut Gholein, ready to take on beetles aplenty. Users will get to choose from three of the original heroes: Amazon, Barbarian, or Sorceress. We’ll see the rest when the full game is launched – and perhaps in a Beta before then.

The alpha runs from Friday, April 9 starting at 7AM (PT) and distributed in waves throughout the day. It’ll last until Monday, April 12, at 10AM PT. You’ll find YouTube Gaming and Twitch jammed full of Diablo II Resurrected starting early – on Thursday, the 8th, starting at 10AM PT.

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Diablo II: Resurrected will support your ancient original game saves

Blizzard has just dropped a somewhat surprising detail about its recently announced Diablo II: Resurrected remastered game: you’ll be able to import your decades’ old game saves from the original title, allowing you to pick up where you left off. The original Diablo II game was released in June 2000 and now has the honor of being a cult classic.

As you’d expect from a remastered title, Diablo II: Resurrected brings support for the latest consoles, as well as PC, with 4K, updated graphics, and more. The game is expected to be released by December 2021, but can be preordered now for $39.99 USD (Standard) and $59.99 USD (Prime Evil Collection).

Ultimately, fans are promised the game they fell in love with 20 years ago, but with the polish and tweaks necessary to make it an even better version of an already great game. This effort was recently detailed by the title’s game producer and game designer Matthew Cederquist and Andre Abrahamian in an interview with IGN Middle East.

As expected, players will be able to cross-save the game so that they can enjoy the experience across all of their supported hardware — however, cross-play won’t be a thing, at least not at launch. As the final question in the interview, the duo was asked whether players will be able to import their original game save files.

“Yes!” Matthew said, “Yes, keep those!” He went on to explain that the team behind the remastered title wondered whether the original game save files would work, ‘and we kind of shoved it in and it worked!’ The support covers the local single-player original game save files.

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Diablo 2 Resurrected gets some good news for fans of the original

At BlizzConline over the weekend, Blizzard revealed the long-awaited Diablo 2 remake, which will be known as Diablo 2 Resurrected. Obviously, the reveal of Diablo 2 Resurrected sparked a lot of questions among fans, especially after the disaster that was Warcraft 3 Reforged. Blizzard – or more specifically Vicarious Visions, the Blizzard subsidiary working on Diablo 2 Resurrected – has answered some of those burning questions, especially a very important one about whether or not Diablo 2 Resurrected will overwrite original Diablo 2 installs.

The answer to that question is “Absolutely not,” according to Diablo 2 Resurrected principal designer Rob Gallerani in a Diablo Q&A session during BlizzConline. When asked if Diablo 2 Resurrected would overwrite an original Diablo 2 installation, Gallerani answered, “No, absolutely not. Everything you have about D2 currently will stay D2; this is a separate product, a separate game. You can play them at the same time if you want.”

In a follow-up to that question, Gallerani confirmed that players will not be able to bring characters from the original Diablo 2 forward into Diablo 2 Resurrected, so it looks like all of us Diablo veterans will have to start fresh when Resurrected lands on the scene (not that anyone is likely to complain about that).

That part about Diablo 2 Resurrected not overwriting original Diablo 2 installs might seem like a strange question to anyone who didn’t witness the launch of Warcraft 3 Reforged at the beginning of 2020. Reforged replaced the original Warcraft 3 entirely, forcing players of the old version to update to the new client even if they hadn’t purchased Warcraft 3 Reforged. That didn’t sit well with many fans, so Blizzard is understandably looking to keep the original Diablo 2 and Diablo 2 Resurrected separate.

Other interesting tidbits about Diablo 2 Resurrected that were revealed during that Q&A session include the fact that D2R will be based on Diablo 2 version 1.14, which is the current live version of the game. Furthermore, while there will be cross-progression – which means items, characters, and progress through the game will carry over from platform to platform – there isn’t cross-play planned for the game right now. You can watch the full Q&A in the video embedded above, but otherwise, we’ll keep an eye out for more details about Diablo 2 Resurrected.

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