With the upcoming Patch 2.4, Diablo 2 Resurrected receives its first set of balance changes since Patch 1.13c! Today we get a glimpse into the upcoming changes that include:
- First Ever PTR
- Ladder Rank Play and Post Ladder Characters
- Class Balance Changes
- Mercenary Updates
- NEW RUNEWORDS
- Set Item Changes
- Area Changes
- Misc Updates
While many of the specifics are still to be seen, we can glean a good amount of information from what has been shared in the News post which can be viewed here, and the Developer Stream-Update! So let's hop right in and uncover these secrets.
First Diablo 2 PTR
Diablo 2 is seeing its first ever PTR prior to Patch 2.4's release. "We’ll continue monitoring the community’s opinion and preference on this front as we approach PTR for Patch 2.4 early next year." - news.blizzard.com
The changes are going live prior to the game's first Ladder. This helps to smooth out the transition, work out any potential bugs, and give players insight on what's to come. The details on how the PTR will look are not finalized yet. We might see vendors that give access to any items in the game for testing purposes. The exact date of the PTR is still to be announced.
Ladder and Post Ladder
Ladder Play is broken in four distinct Ladder modes, just like classic Battle.net. The Ladder seasons last 4 months, to give players the most time to experience the Ladder, without getting burned out.
|Classic||Classic Mode created characters race to level 99 in the first 4 Acts of Diablo 2.|
|Classic Hardcore||Classic Hardcore Mode created characters race to level 99 in the first 4 Acts of Diablo 2. These characters only have 1 life to live, and become unplayable after death.|
|Expansion||Expansion Mode created characters race to level 99 across the 5 Acts of Diablo 2: LOD.|
|Expansion Hardcore||Expansion Hardcore Mode created characters race to level 99 across the 5 Acts of Diablo 2: LOD. These characters only have 1 life to live, and become unplayable after death.|
Ladder Stash Tab
Your Ladder character's Shared Stash now roll over into non-Ladder "Remove-Only" tabs. The logistics boil down to being able to access and take items out of this new tab for use on non-Ladder characters. Once the items are removed, these tabs cannot be accessed anymore.
Class Balance Changes
The biggest changes in this Patch are coming to the 7 classes you can play as in D2R. According to the news post, each class's meta build(s) are largely untouched, since they are already in a good spot. The focus seems to be in off-meta Skills being reworked or empowered to increase build diversity. Skills with casting delays are being addressed to either remove or reduce the CD across the board should be more informational. An interesting inclusion is "retain class fantasy and specialty" which points towards maintaining RPG consideration for the changes to come.
The Amazon is seeing buffs to her Physical Javazon, "melee" skills and certain Bow and Crossbow skills targeted at gameplay in higher difficulties.
Javelin and Spear Skills
- Impale and Fend receive buffs to their damage and overall behavior.
- The Lightning Skills receive changes in their synergies to add more build variety.
Bow and Crossbow Skills
- The Fire themed Skills receive buffs across the board.
The Assassin is probably the most challenging class for the devs to rework. Their post points to Martial Arts scaling poorly into the late game, and improving how Combo Points are generated and spent. Unused trap skills are seeing a synergy rework and damage scaling buffs.
Martial Arts Skills
- The charge skills (Left and middle of the tree) get buffs to their Attack Rating.
- You only lose 1 Charge when using a Finishing Move (Right side). This greatly improves the playstyle.
- Death Sentry is removed as a synergy from all Skills.
- The Fire and Blade Skills in this tree receive buffs to bring them closer in power level.
The Barbarian is seeing a rework to Combat Skills to promote more synergy point allocation and viability of iconic Skills. For the Throw-Barb enthusiasts, buffs are incoming to throwingmastery and doublethrow.
- grimward and findpotion receive some buffs.
- The damage scaling of Warcry is getting improved.
- increasedstamina is getting added as a synergy to Frenzy
- berserk's Synergy from shout is moved to battle orders.
- leapattack and leap are improved.
- Chance to Pierce is added to double throw.
The Druid is getting the biggest overhaul.
- The Fire column receives a MASSIVE overhaul, which includes changes to the casting delay and damage scaling!
- Arcticblast and twister receive some changes as well.
Shape Shifting Skills
- You can cast Elemental Skills in Werebear or werewolf form.
- Buffs to Skills within the tree, mostly by adding Attack Rating.
- Fire Claws has its number of synergies reduced for variety.
- Damage Scaling is adjusted across the tree.
- Raven is changed to become an "active" Skill of a Summon Druid.
- Life becomes a static value rather than being random within a range.
- All Vines and Spirits receive changes to improve their usability.
The Necromancer is already in a good spot power wise. The changes here seem to be targeted in increasing Summon diversity and viability.
- Buffs to raiseskeletalmage, bloodgolem, firegolem and Iron Golem (Thorns will be flat damage rather than percentage based!)
Poison and Bone Skills
- bonearmor receives changes to its Absorb scaling.
- bonespear and bonespirit receive improvements in their late-game scaling.
- weaken receives a buff.
The Paladin's foundational builds are left alone, and lesser-used Skills are getting touched to increase their utilization.
- holyfire, holyfreeze and holyshock have increased damage for close by enemies.
- thorns will be changed to flat rather than percentage based damage.
- fistoftheheavens and Holy Bolt will be improved with piercing projectiles.
The Sorceress is seeing buffs to under-used skills and the addition of Synergies in the Lightning Tree. blaze will get a movement speed increase, time to start trailblazing new builds!
- Frost Nova receives a buff to its damage scaling.
- shiverarmor and chillingarmor are assessed for buffs that makes them worth using.
- nova and thunderstorm receive synergies to increase their damage scaling.
- hydra receives buffs to see more use of the beautiful art! The Cast delay is removed and the maximum amount of active hydra's is increased.
- blaze receives changes in damage and has a Movement Speed buff added.
- The functionality of inferno is being reworked to feel much better.
Not too much is said about the Mercenary changes, but it's clear that players are incentivized to use other Mercenaries.
- Act 1 Rogue Mercenary sees increases to her damage output and increased frequency of icearrow and firearrow. They are gaining AoE Skills that scale into the late game, potentially freezingarrow and explodingarrow?
- Act 2 Desert Mercenaries can be purchased in all variations in the Nightmare and Hell difficulty to give easier access to all Auras. The core of this Mercenary is untouched.
- Act 3 Iron Wolf Mercenary sees increased Skill levels for lightning/inferno/glacialspike. They are also gaining utility Skills that are in line with their element.
- Act 5 Barbarian Mercenary sees increasd damage output for bash and stun. They gain access to battlecry which adds a TON of utility, especially to attack based Characters.
- All three Mercenaries may be able to wear some new Runewords that have been alluded to.
The new Runewords that will be locked to Ladder-only play, similar to the classic D2:LOD. "...new Rune Words will be added to complement the Skill and Mercenary changes coming in the update." heavily hints at Mercenaries being able to equip the new items. We can expect Runewords which give access to useful Skills/Auras that complement a new field of meta builds. They also hint at the underused chamrune and zodrune.
Confirmed Runewords: Plague and Pattern! With additional Runewords to come. These 2 Runewords have been in the game files for a long time and their stats are known. They hinted at small adjustments to those stats. Take a quick peek at the currently known Stats:
THESE STATS MAY CHANGE & THEY ARE NOT LIVE NOW - DON'T TRY TO BUILD THEM!
Pattern (Claw Only)
Required Level: 21
+30% Faster Block Rate
10% Bonus to Attack Rating
+40-80% Enhanced Damage
Adds 17-62 Fire Damage
Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage
All Resistances +15
+6 to Strength
+6 to Dexterity
+2 to Mana after each Kill
Required Level: 67
25% Chance to Cast Level 15 Poison Nova on striking
20% Chance to Cast Level 12 Lower Resist when struck
Level 13-17 Cleansing Aura when equipped
+1-2 to All Skills
+260-380% Damage to Demons
-23% to Enemy Poison Resistance
+0.3% Deadly Strike (Based on Character Level)
Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
25% Chance of Open Wounds
Freezes Target +3
+10 to Strength
These new Runewords MAY become available in Single Player play-throughs at the end of the new Ladder season. While you'll have to wait to start crafting the new GG items, you can possibly get your hands on them. This is a great way for the Single Player experience to stay up to date with the Online experience.
Set Item Changes
Under-performing Set Items are being buffed. The goal is to bring early and mid-game options up to par with current meta options. An AMAZING change is the ability to upgrade the base item of a Set to its Exceptional and Elite versions using the Horadric Cube. This adds a great diversity to Set items that were powerful, but couldn't be used without sacrificing something important. Death's Guard is an amazing Belt that sadly only adds 4 potion slots. Now you can equip a 16 slot version!
Set item's strength is being baked into the Set bonuses. This incentivizes trying out all the early-game sets to see how powerful these changes can be. They name-dropped Bul-Kathos' Children and Naj's Ancient Vestige as examples.
Some Areas receive increases in their Area Levels. This adds a lot of new high-value farming areas that can help to open up under-utilized builds that might flourish in the new places. Arachnid Lair and Ruined Temple in Act 3 were mentioned to become Area Level 85.
Quest progression in Act 3 requires the Compelling Orb to be smashed. This changes the normal rushing procedure for characters on Battle.net. Now each Organ needs to be collected and khalim'swill forged before your character can travel down into the Durance of Hate.
These were discussed in the Developer Update but without hard-pressed facts or numbers:
- Diablo Clone (DClone) is being assessed to make it more accessible to a wider audience.
- We won't be getting any more Character slots or Stash Tabs. This might be reassessed at a later point.
- teleport on a shape-shifted Druid might be possible soon.
- They are not currently looking to add new monsters to the game.
- They keep going to the root to combat spam-bots and spam in general. No shared ignore list like in LoD.
- All changes that can affect Classic will do so. This includes the changes to Skills and Sets.
- Unique Items are not currently being assessed for balance changes.
- Nothing is currently planned for Crafting changes.
- They are assessing the addition of a Stackable Stash Tab for Runes/Gems.
- Loot Filters are not currently on the table because of the workload. This might be reassessed in the future.
- Players Settings will not be added to Online play.
Maxroll D2R Team
We are excited and can't wait to dive into all of these upcoming changes in the PTR. Hopefully Patch 2.4 adds a lot of variety and increases the playability of currently unused Skills. There is potential for smaller and bigger changes to our existing build guides, and we are looking forward to creating more based on them. Let us all give Blizzard the feedback they need to improve our Diablo 2 experience even further!
The D2R Maxroll Team