Diablo 2 vs Diablo 3 – A Running List of Differences

Since many Diablo 3 players are current or former Diablo 2 players, I wanted to make a post detailing the differences between the two games.

Even though the basic game mechanics may appear the same from looking at gameplay videos, there are many subtle differences that make huge differences in gameplay. So far, I can honestly say I agree with and enjoy every change and think it is a big improvement over Diablo 2.

Since there are so many differences in Diablo 3 vs Diablo 2, in order to help structure this, I have separated this into two sections: primary differences, which focus on major changes to entire portions of gameplay, and secondary differences, which is a list of miscellaneous changes between the two games. We will start with primary differences below and finish with a list of miscellaneous changes.

Diablo 3 vs Diablo 2 – Primary Differences

There are some major changes between Diablo 3 and Diablo 2 that involve complete overhauls to some of the game’s primary systems. These are things that completely change the way the game is played.


Primary Difference: Emphasis on Co-Op Play

One of the primary differences between Diablo 3 and Diablo 2 is the emphasis on Co-Op (working with other players) rather than playing “every man for himself”. Most people who play public games in Diablo 3 are wanting to team up, whereas many players in Diablo 2 joined public games just to be able to fight stronger monsters.

An example of this would be if the title of the game was “Baal run 104″, there would often be 1-2 Sorceresses who would join the game in order to do a Mephisto run in a full public game to get better loot. There would also be an Amazon doing a run of the Secret Cow Level, and another player clearing out Bloody Foothills. There would only be a few players doing Ba’al. One of the Ba’al runners would then get upset and log on his Barbarian PK character and attempt to kill all the leechers. Just another day in Diablo 2!

As a result of this, there has been a collection of changes which make Co-Op play more appealing and reduce tensions between players which are present in Diablo 3.

  • Public games are based on quests and are level-restricted. This means that if you make a public game for a beginner quest, high level players will not be able to join and run around killing all the late-act bosses. This also makes it much easier to find players on your current quest. Note that you can invite high level players to private games if you want to power-level.
  • Gold and loot are instanced. Even in public games, everyone has separate gold and loot drops. This means no more arguments about someone stealing your drop. It also removes the need to click fast to pick up drops and eliminates the usefulness of third-party auto-looters.
  • Expect a message like this to pop up when someone zones into a boss fight.

    Boss fights are game-wide. You cannot sneak off to fight a boss any more in a public game. You now have to zone in to fight act bosses, and when you do, players are asked if they want to join and can teleport from anywhere. This means that there is no point in a player joining public games and then trying to secretly kill an act boss. If they do, you can tag along for the loot.

  • Friendly party members can teleport to you from town. Every player has a banner in town in a public game which another player can click on at any time to teleport to that player. You cannot hide in public games and portals are not required. Anyone can port to you at any time and vice-versa. You can open portals at any time, but these are for yourself to get back to town rather than for players to get to where you are. They also are no longer instant-cast and take 10 seconds to create.
  • No apparent PvP in public games. In Diablo 2, you could declare hostility on players in town and then attack them anywhere in the open world. This does not seem to be an option in Diablo 3, as there are supposed to be arena battles and maps specific for PvP. This could always change though, but I doubt it at least for the public questing games.
  • Quest rewards share at any distance. If a player does go out on his own and performs a side-quest, these rewards are shared zone-wide. If someone is doing the Jar of Souls while you are doing the Skeleton King, you will get the 1100 XP, 360 coins, and a 1 magic item reward when they finish, even though you were in a different area of the game.
  • Games are now limited to 4 Players instead of 8 Players. The developers found that the best co-operation happened in groups of 2-4, and players seemed to prefer that size of group. As a result, the limit on players in public games is now 4 total players. This means there is less of a chance someone will be off doing something on their own in a public game. This also seems to increase the rate of drops in single player games (in the beta, although limited to normal mode of Act I, I cannot really tell a difference between the drops I get in single player versus 4 player games, at least when fighting near other players).

All of these changes make it much less threatening to join up with other players. Players are no longer fighting amongst themselves for status (loot, experience, etc), which makes party play much easier, more entertaining, and a more rewarding experience. There is no point in going off on your own, so you do not have to worry about other players ruining your experience by filling up your questing game while they pursue their own objectives.


Diablo 3 vs Diablo 2 Primary Difference: Streamlined Mechanics and Itemization

In Diablo 3, there has been a lot of streamlining and simplifying in the realm of stats, mechanics, ability scaling, and itemization. Items and stats now are much easier to understand at first pass, and the underlying mechanics behind the classes has changed quite a bit.

  • Stats now auto-distribute. In Diablo 2, you got 5 stat points per level which you could apply to any stat. This is now removed and stats will automatically distribute. However, you barely get any stat points in Diablo 3 for leveling up. Most of your character customization is done through gear.
  • Stats have simple effects for each class. In Diablo 2, different stats were useful for different classes. While this is still true in Diablo 3, each stat has a much simpler effect for each class now. Each class has a “primary” stat (Strength for the Barbarian, Dexterity for the Monk and Demon Hunter, and Intelligence of the Witch Doctor and Wizard). Each point of your primary stat enhances your damage by 1%. Additionally, each point of Strength increases your armor by 1, each point of Dexterity increases your chance to dodge, and each point of Intelligence increases your resistances to all schools of magic. Just like in Diablo 3, Vitality increases your health. No class has Vitality as a primary stat.
  • All abilities scale off of weapon damage. This means that spells like Shock Pulse will be based off of your weapon damage. This means that Wizards will boost their damage in the same way that Barbarians would – by getting a more powerful weapon. Rings which enhance damage would work just as well for a Barbarian as it would for a Witch Doctor.
  • Any class can equip nearly any piece of equipment. There is no longer a “strength” requirement on gear like in Diabl0 2; any class can equip nearly any piece of gear in Diablo 3. There are two limitations: each class cannot use a weapon type or two (though most weapons are open to each class) and each class has a few unique, class-specific items. Examples include Mighty Belts (Barbarian only), Wizard Hats (Wizard only), and Spirit Stones (Monk only).
  • Mana is no longer the universal energy. In Diablo 2, all abilities were powered by Mana. In Diablo 3, each class has their own unique bar which offers slightly different playstyles amongst classes. Each class also has abilities to use when this bar is depleted, so you never have to just auto-attack or wait for regeneration.
  • There are 5 new classes. Despite the belief that the Wizard = Sorceress, Barbarian = Barbarian, really all 5 classes play differently due to these new mechanics. The Wizard now just not just spam Frozen Orb (or whatever spell) but rather makes use of a variety of abilities. The 5 classes are Wizard, Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, and Monk, each of which will be discussed at length on this blog.

Runes can drastically change an ability in Diablo 3. Runes are unlocked by leveling up and are not item drops or crafts.

Many players will at first perceive some of this as a negative, as Diablo 2 itemization and stat customization offered players the ability to create vastly different builds on the same character. It was widely considered to always be one of the best parts of the game’s experience.

Rest assured, there is still a wide variety of items in the game. Additionally, players are offered much more customization in Diablo 3 than was available in Diablo 2 thanks to runestones. Runes are unlocks simply by leveling up – you do not need to find them.

There are 5 different runestones which can be equipped to any ability you have and completely change its function. Since each class has ~25 abilities, this means that with runestones you really have access to 125 different abilities based on what runes you choose (25*5 = 125; un-runed abilities do not really count as the runed version is far superior).

Additionally, the developers have stated that they have not finished adding in item effects for Diablo 3 and there will be more cool effects before release. They have also said they need to at least save some of the crazy effects for their expansion. If you compare Diablo 3 even in the beta test to Diablo 2 at release (pre-Lord of Destruction), you will find much more customization and variety is present in Diablo 3.

I for one welcome the change to automatic allocation of stats. Since PvP is supposed to play a bigger role in Diablo 3 when compared to Diablo 2, it will be nice to be able to take my favorite character into the arena without having to actually level up a new character and allotting all its stat points to be best for PvP (and then doing it again next time a patch comes out which adjusts balance).

Finally, this makes it so much easier to have alts. You can share gear easily between classes as they can all wear the same sorts of things. A good leveling piece for your main can be handed down to your first alt.


Diablo 2 vs Diablo 3 – Primary Difference – Abilities

Speaking of abilities, not only was the scaling of abilities revamped, but also the whole ability system has changed. The current ability system is nothing like that of Diablo 2.

In Diablo 2, players earned 1 skill point for leveling up. You could then permanently apply this to one of three talent trees. You could put up to 20 skill points in a single ability, each ability increasing the strength of that talent. Some abilities were spells you casted whereas others were passive abilities (such as +crit).

In Diablo 3, this has completely changed. Here is the list of differences:

  • There are no skill points. Abilities are unlocked by leveling up. You can change their strength and function by adding runes, but you do not put points in abilities to strengthen them.
  • You can equip up to 6 abilities. You unlock ability slots by leveling up. At level 30, you can equip 6 different abilities.
  • Abilities can be changed at any time with no cost. You can swap out which abilities you have equipped at a moment’s notice. Going against a tough enemy that you need a a specific attack for? No problem, bring up the skills tab and swap it out on the fly.
  • Passives are now separate. In Diablo 2, players would have to use skill points on their passive abilities. In Diablo 3, players unlock 3 total passive slots and can choose from a list of different passive traits. These are separate from ability traits and can also be swapped out at any time.
  • Runestones can be used to modify abilities. As mentioned briefly in the previous section, players can get runestones which are then equipped to their abilities, changing their functions. This allows players to really customize their abilities.

You can swap out abilities in Diablo 3 with just a click.


Diablo 2 vs Diablo 3 – Primary Difference – Crafting

Diablo 2's "crafting" system..

In Diablo 2, crafting was something that was very basic and rarely done once Lord of Destruction came out. Players were able to craft a variety of things in their Horadric Cube, but really once rare items stopped being good (at the release of Lord of Destruction), the Horadric Cube and the crafting system in general was not used much.

In Diablo 3, this has changed – crafting is now a major part of the game. In the beta test, the only thing the Horadric Cube seems to do is break down items into crafting components. For example, you can use it to turn useless items into common scraps, unwanted magic items into subtle essence, and so on. These crafting components are then used by Artisans (crafters in the game world) which you befriend as you go through the game.

There are three proposed Artisans: a Blacksmith, a Jeweler, and a Mystic. In the beta test, you can work with the Blacksmith. Through your travels, you will often find “Pages of Training” as loot pieces. You can combine 5 of these into a Tome of Training. A Tome of Training plus some gold and some crafting materials will allow the Blacksmith to level up and learn new recipes.

You can then give the Blacksmith gold plus crafting materials and he will make an item that you select out of the recipes he knows. You can also find recipes as loot in the game world and teach them to your Artisan so you can craft those in the future. It looks like the best and rarest recipes will be drops rather than learned from training.

Crafting in Diablo 3. Most items have random property traits just like this, which allows for perfect (or close to perfect) rolls being worth quite a bit of gold.

It looks like at least a few of the best in slot pieces will come from this part of the game, so you will want to take care to level up your Artisans. One interesting thing about Artisans is that they share account-wide, so when you start a new character, you already have advanced Artisans. If you train them on your new character, your old character will benefit from it as well. No need to learn the same recipe or do the same training twice. This makes leveling up a new character a lot more appealing.


Diablo 3 vs Diablo 2 – Primary Differences – Questing

The quest check-list and mini-map are linked, making questing much more intuitive.

In Diablo 2, the quest system was fairly basic. There were 6 quests in the game, each of which could be done one time. When you finished a quest, sometimes you got a reward which resulted in a permanent stat increase or extra skill point for your character. If you wanted, you could skip over many of the quests in the game and move on to the last quest in each act and fight the final boss, which would allow you to progress to the next act.

Diablo 3 is much more linear. The quests are not abstract but specific, and there is a lot more story involved. You have a quest tracker which appears on the right side of your screen, and if you get close to your target, a ping will appear on your mini-map which will tell you where to go. If you take too long to find your target, an arrow will sometimes appear to point you in the right direction.

There are many quests and objectives in Diablo 3 compared to Diablo 2. You join games based on the current quest you are on. In the beta test, we have access to four primary “quests”, but each one has many parts and you get rewards as you work through these quests. Completing quests so far seems to offer experience points, gold, and occasionally an item.

Typical quest reward for the Jar of Souls or The Matriarch's Bones (both are side quests).

There are also side quests and events, such as the Jar of Souls, which allow you to earn even more experience, gold, and items. Some side quests are bonus objectives of the main story line, and some are random spawns. For example, finding the Blacksmith’s Apprentice is a bonus objective of A Shattered Crown and can only (but always) be completed when working on that quest.

On the other hand, the Jar of Souls and The Matriarch’s Bones are a random Act I side-quest that spawn in one of the Defiled Crypts. You can either get the Jar of Souls or The Matriarch’s Bones, but not both, in a single game of Diablo 3.

There are many side quests and bonus objectives available as you play through the game which helps keeps things interesting. It is a definitely a big improvement over the Diablo 2 quest system.


Diablo 3 vs Diablo 2 – Miscellaneous Changes

Not only is your stash now shared amongst all your characters, you can purchase huge amounts of extra space for gold, much like buying extra bank slots in WoW.

There are also a lot of small changes in Diablo 3 vs Diablo 2 which did not fit into any of the major categories. Here is a list:

  • Monster level is now more appropriate. In Diablo 2, monsters were, for the most part, too low of a level. Players could hit 99 in and most monsters in the game even in Hell mode were level 80 or less. Before Uber Diablo, the highest level enemy in the game was 95 (Baal) and aside from that, few monsters were above level 85.
  • Inferno Mode has been introduced. This is a fourth level of difficulty in which all monsters have a minimum level of 61. Since the level cap is 60, players in Inferno mode will actually get to fight against hordes of higher-level monsters.
  • Gems now have many more levels. In Diablo 2, there were five grades of gems: chipped, flawed, regular, flawless, perfect. In Diablo 3, there are 14 grades of gems. Just like in Diablo 2, it is rumored that 3 gems of a lower grade can be combined to make a higher grade gem. Additionally, it is rumored that the best gems players can find in the game world are level 8, even in Inferno mode. This means you will have to combine 729 of these gems to get a level 14 gem, making the max-level gems incredibly valuable if this goes live.
  • Introduction of an auction house. In Diablo 2, players traded items in trade chats and it was extremely chaotic. There is now a game-wide auction house that players can access. Furthermore, the auction house has a real-money element, where players can sell items for real money. Sellers can receive payments via paypal!
  • Dungeons are destructible. As you walk through dungeons, you will be able to attack and destroy practically everything. There are also things you can interact with that will cause the dungeon to destroy enemies, such as walls falling on top of them or dropping chandeliers on them.
  • Introduction of Resplendent Chests. Sometimes you will find a large treasure chest called a Resplendent Chest in the game world. This always drops good items and in my experience typically drops better loot than a mini-boss, but less loot than the Skeleton King.
  • Your followers can learn 4 of eight total abilities. You pick which ones you want him (or her, depending on the Follower) to have.

    Introduction of the Shared Stash. The old “stash” in town in Diablo 2 was character specific. In Diablo 3, it is account wide. Any item you put into this stash will be shared amongst players. Now there is no need for risky trades or the game crashing when your valuables are laying around in town.

  • Items take up much less space. In Diablo 2, the amount of space an item took up in your inventory was fairly realistic, with a belt taking up 2 slots of space whereas a large weapon could take up to 8 slots of space.
  • You cannot leave games instantly when out in the game world. No more third-party applications that let you leave games instantly when you are about to die. This was very frustrating in PvP. Additionally, this will help weed out hardcore players who are using hacks to reach a high level by using computer programs that let you leave games when your health dropped under a certain %.
  • Dedicated PvP system. This is not in the beta at the moment, but there is supposed to be some sort of dedicated PvP or arena system which allows players to join games specifically designed for PvP. In Diablo 2, most players just had to random games named “duelzz121″ or challenge people in chat, which was not the best system for finding skilled opponents.
  • Followers have replaced Mercenaries. In Diablo 2, you could get “mercenaries” which were hired help that you could take out with you in the game world. These were worthless except for the Act II mercenary which had a nice aura which improved your attack. Followers from Diablo 3 have more abilities and buffs at their disposal. You also gain 20% of the magic find and gold find you equip to them. While Followers do not deal too much damage (at least the Templar does not), but you can learn up to 4 abilities (you pick). The Templar follower can even tank for you it seems and has decent healing abilities. You cannot use followers in public games.


Diablo 2 vs Diablo 3 Differences – Contribute!

If this article seemed long, it is because it was! There are truly quite an amazing amount of differences between the two games. They may appear similar on the surface, but Diablo 3 is truly worthy of being considered a vastly improved Diablo 2.

As we have only seen a portion of the game at this point, this is a comprehensive, running list that will be updated over time. If you notice something that I missed, please add it to the comments section and I will update the list. Thanks!

Leave A Reply (66 comments So Far)

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  1. Overhed
    3 years ago

    Great list. Nice work.


  2. Bob
    3 years ago

    Dunno about dumbing everything down, but i’ll just wait and see how it plays i guess :)
    PS: WTF are you on about regarding mercs! Act 2 mercs did ridiculously high DPS with good items!!!


  3. Pawel
    3 years ago

    That is a very nice article, just what I was looking for. Would like to contribute, once I get access to beta. Keep up the good work.


  4. Shaun
    3 years ago

    Many thanks for the breakdown :)


  5. Osiris
    3 years ago

    @Bob – I’m thinking around the peak of D2′s popularity from 1.07-1.09 when I made that comment on Mercs. I know once people got ethereal runed weapons in later patches their DPS was a lot higher.

    Since I made this post they significantly reduced Follower damage so now they deal almost no damage but rather just provide buffs and special effects through their abilities.


  6. Jt3z
    3 years ago

    Great article, just what i was looking for


  7. OnFire
    3 years ago

    Thanks for this, exactly what I was looking for.

    I have to say I feel like I wont like the game…I wanted D3 to be the same thing as D2 overall, something like a new D2 but with the same skills/stats system n everything… after reading ur text… wow…I dont know man…I feel like it will sucks compared to a classic game like Diablo 2….they changed too many things. Im disapointed and when I read that I almost fell : ”There are no skill points” WHAAT ??? Wow… also : ”Stats now auto-distribute” Uhhh…it sucks….

    The game will be nice but compared to Diablo 2 it will be a piece of shit cause the team who created D2 isnt working on D3.


  8. Instant Flop
    3 years ago

    I feel just like you ”OnFire”

    That game will SUCKS ! sad for D2 lovers like me…cant believe they change so many primary things

    Diablo 2 will always be a classic and ill never forget all the fun I had with this game. D3 wont live to the hype.


  9. Emre
    3 years ago

    The automatic stat allocation is depressing. It means without clothes, all characters are identical.


  10. Osiris
    3 years ago

    @Emre – Actually, there are a lot of more unique characters in DIablo 3 even at level 13 thanks to the skill and rune system. With ~100 abilities per class and 13-15 passive skills, when players choose 6 and 3 respectively you have wildly different builds even with the same stats.

    Additionally, your gear contains way more stats than it ever did in Diablo 2, so you can push up your stats if you like through gear.

    In Diablo 2, you had 2-4 cookie cutter builds for each class and then most players dumped everything into Vitality anyway after a certain point, with the possible exception being maxing Dex for Bowazons pre-nerf. Way more variety in Diablo 3 from what I have seen.


  11. narfman0
    3 years ago

    I’m with you Osiris, these changes sound good. I was cautious/apprehensive before starting the article, primarily about stat autoallocate and skill customization. After reading about runes and gear changes however, I think there are more options and I’m excited about starting the final version. Thanks!


  12. Osiris
    3 years ago

    @narfman0 – Thanks for the comment! I think once players actually get their hands on the game and make it to level 60, 99% of the complaints about stat auto-allocation will disappear.


  13. roar
    3 years ago

    I’m actually quite disappointed with some of the changes, but haven’t played the beta, i’ll just have to wait and see.
    I just re-installed Diablo 2 and the game still is very enjoyable, with the stat\skill allocation and the gameplay itself, so i’m concerned with some changes… auto-stat allocation? Why!? No skill points? I actually feel the game is completely being dumbed down, and it will backfire.

    Oh well, wait and see, i’m just glad i can still enjoy diablo 2 if this one tanks.


  14. Lance
    3 years ago

    Good stuff. I haven’t been keeping up with much news concerning D3 so I didn’t really know exactly how much changed from D2.


  15. Osiris
    3 years ago

    @Roar – I think you will not be disappointed once you actually get to play. I think a lot of the negative beta sentiments are simply stemming from the beta being very limited. It would be like reviewing Diablo 2 based off only doing the Den of Evil and fighting Blood Raven.

    @Lance – Thanks!


  16. Smokoff
    3 years ago

    So they nerf the skill points and stat points? Idk also spending real money in an auction house so that means if I wanted to I just get some super godly armor at level 2 and just pwn everyone in pvp?


  17. Fx
    3 years ago

    As a fanatic D2 player, I think most (if not all) changes are for the best.
    Lots of complaints come from a thing called nostalgia. D2 has been there for so long, it has become a standard, and people tend to ignore the fact that D2 was ridicilously unbalanced. I love the game, but if D3 was just a “modern copy” of D2, you could just keep playing D2.

    Things change, it is a new game after all. D2 was not a modern D1 either.

    Skilltrees just give fake variety, because there will always be 1-2 preferred builds per class. The rune system is a pretty effective solution because you can modify your spells to your liking instead of adopting a small subset and discarding the rest.

    After playing around in the beta, I think it was one of the best balanced beta-experiences I’ve ever had. Every class has its own unique merits, and I’m very grateful they didn’t just mold every class into the damage/healer/tank model.

    Some people complain about the difficulty (in the beta), but don’t seem to remember you could take a barbarian and run practically naked through the first few areas as well in D2. Diablo 3 has 4 difficulty playthroughs, and I suspect many hardcore players will struggle to even reach Inferno.

    The only thing I will be really missing is my cube, I loved all the different combinations you had to figure out. Artisans seem to offer a fun alternative mechanic to this though. :)


  18. Osiris
    3 years ago

    @Smokoff – Level restrictions are a lot tighter in Diablo 3 than they were in Diablo 2 – you have to be max level to use the best gear. It’s not like 1.08 Diablo 2 where you could get a Buriza at level 41 and blow up max level players. As far as nerfing skill points, I think you will find in Diablo 3 that you still can customize your skill points significantly since gear is allotted much bigger budgets for your primary stats. For example, a level ~25 weapon can have +30-40 strength as a stat, and at this level your base Strength will be no more than 100.


  19. Osiris
    3 years ago

    @FX – Thanks for the comment! I definitely agree about the difficulty level – D3 beta was plenty difficult given that we only saw the first half of the first act of the easiest difficulty mode in the game. I don’t think we will be seeing any more of these complaints come May 15th – I’m anticipating a lot of complaints on the game being too difficult!


  20. Dan
    2 years ago

    Thanks man, this is JUST the article I was looking for. Wow I cannot WAIT for this game.


  21. Suka
    2 years ago

    You forgot to say that Runestone is not a drop item but are unlocked with level and can be switched at will.

    That still mean that only gear will do any difference between a player and another. The exact same gear you can buy with real money…


  22. Osiris
    2 years ago

    @Dan – Thanks for the comment!

    @Suka – Thanks for the catch on runes – when I wrote this post it was back in the old beta build before runes were just unlocked and I forgot to unlock.

    As far as buying real gear for money goes, it will be no different than Diablo 2 except people will use the in-game service instead of D2JSP or eBay. I think people forget that at D2′s peak popularity before all the dupes and rune word exploits that you could never trade for the absolutely best in-game gear with items or currency. I remember back in 1.08 there was no items in the game that were worth trading straight up for a perfect Windforce.. I had to sell a Shako and 60 SoJs on eBay to get enough $$ in my paypal account to buy a Windforce since there was no way anyone would actually trade me in-game for a Windforce.. lol.


  23. Osiris
    2 years ago

    @Suka – I’m talking literally back in fall of 2001/winter 2002 when LoD came out. I’m not sure how many people remember how D2′s economy worked pre-exploits and pre-annhilus/hellfire torch, but it was a freaking disaster.


  24. donken
    2 years ago

    Hey dude great job on the article i was shocked about the no skill points thing but could u tell me how to get some of those runes? :)


  25. Osiris
    2 years ago

    @Donken – You just unlock them by leveling up. You can swap them any time you want.


  26. donken
    2 years ago

    Awesome ;D when i get the game send me the account name and ill pawn u in a pvp match. :D


  27. Osiris
    2 years ago

    Haha sure


  28. donken
    2 years ago

    What class do u think is best in close-combat Barbarian or Monk? :) Cause i feel like the monk is better.


  29. Osiris
    2 years ago

    I like Barbarian better – not necessarily from the Beta experience but just looking at later runes and passive skills I think this class is definitely more powerful offensively. The Monk has a lot of great defensive and group skills, so both classes are good – I just prefer more damage for solo play


  30. donken
    2 years ago

    Ye, Many of my friends who got the beta said Barbarian had more damage but the monk would survive longer cause of the dodge and speed is that true?


  31. Osiris
    2 years ago

    Donken – Yeah the Monk definitely has better survivability. It is way too early to tell though which class will be better at soloing late in the game since we have not been able to play past level 13.


  32. diablomad
    2 years ago

    rune system detroyed no pickup or combinations in the cube that was the best part auto blah blah levelling up i think il stick to me diablo 2 i can tell this will be on and then off my computer too quickly all the funs gone damn you blizzard why have you ruined it i agrree with every1 thats says d2 is a classic and u dnt mess with the formula you just get it right in my eyes i feel this is a half assed attempt the soul of the game has gone and damn bioware for not makling a new baldurs gate yet dragon age sucks monkey balls(just thought id get that in there)


  33. Rune
    2 years ago

    Personally I played the beta on the stress test for about 1 hour since my old computer couldnt handle it very well. Enjoyed it enough to go buy a new rig that could rock this bitch maxed out. It sounds like this game will kick some major ass compared to D2.


  34. Osiris
    2 years ago

    @Rune – Bought a new rig for D3 myself. Just a few more days – can’t wait!


  35. Flabberghasted
    2 years ago

    Why would they have 8 players in D2 and only 4 in D3, more is better, the more the merrier.


  36. Osiris
    2 years ago

    @Flabberghasted – They said from internal testing they rarely experienced more than 4 players doing co-op. Most games never reached 8 players and when they did get that large there was always someone out running rogue meph/cow runs or griefing or doing something other than what the game was intended for.
    I also think reducing the # of players made balancing inferno much easier, as 8 players might trivialize Inferno due to the much large number of group buffs in D3.


  37. Taylor Delacour
    2 years ago

    You are completely wrong about rares being not so good in LOD. Rares were the best items you could get in most cases. If you have ever been a part of d2jsp you would know this. Most runewords and unique items had nothing on rares. Trust me, search godly rare items in google images. Im sure youll find some of the highest tier items in the game.


  38. Osiris
    2 years ago

    @Taylor Delacour – In 1.08/1.09 the BIS items for most characters were uniques – 1.08 shako, windforce, the godfather, etc. Sure there could be good rares for slots which already didn’t have a dominant unique like gloves. When I talk about LOD I’m referring to D2′s peak popularity right at LOD release (June 2001) before the first wave of socket/personalization dupes chased off about 1/2 of the game’s active population.

    D2JSP did not even exist until 2002…


  39. Osiris
    2 years ago

    @Taylor Delacour – Also, rare items were buffed significantly in patch 1.10, after the decline of D2′s popularity. In 1.08/1.09 a rare weapon could never dream of coming close to the best uniques.


  40. eXs
    2 years ago

    Brill blog man, 3 hours to go!


  41. Dan
    2 years ago

    This seems like a better and easier game then the 2nd edition. But could get boring with less competition.


  42. Osiris
    2 years ago

    @eXs – Thanks!
    @Dan – I think Inferno mode will be far harder than any content that was ever in D2!


  43. james
    2 years ago

    the game should have stuck with 5 player max co op instead of 4 since there are 5 classes,

    just saying


  44. Sam
    2 years ago

    I just wanna know if you work for blizzard. No d2 fan would consider these changes to be an improvement. Yet you seem to think they are the greatest things ever done to the franchise! You obvious opinion stated in this article completely ruins you credibility and brings up a serious question… Did blizzard pay you to write a positive review when this was supposedly a list of differences?


  45. Osiris
    2 years ago

    @James – True, that would make sense.. but then I am sure we will see another class or two added with each expansion (there is already 2 planned).

    @Sam – No, I do not work for Blizzard. I do think these changes are good for the reasons I outlined in the article.


  46. pim
    2 years ago

    even though maybe the actual customization is “more” you can’t really be unique , built your character in a unique way you can be proud of, be different from other players. every1 has every ability at all time. nobody is unique. this totally ruins the game for me .


  47. Tyler
    2 years ago

    Excellent article! Both the manual and website for Diablo III left out these changes and having not played the beta, I had no idea what to expect. This really is an essential read for everyone. Thanks for putting this list together Osiris. I think I love the game even more now!


  48. mocabe
    2 years ago

    played on first day. terrible.

    guys, this is an ONLINE ONLY game. Unless you have stable net connection, DO NOT buy this game. otherwise, you will get kicked out of the game so often and so you will have to redo everything (talk to people, go here, go there, pick this up, pick up that).

    it was a mistake for blizzard to change this game that drastically. Diablo has always allowed offline play and Gawd knows I’ve played offline more times than onine.


  49. trolikk
    2 years ago

    You know what I honestly feel like everyone forgets? The little things that made games what they were. Some of you may call things “broken” or “unbalanced”, but thats what makes games memorable. First example that comes to mind: strafe jumping in Quake 3! I don’t believe it was intended, but the devs embraced it because it was awesome.

    As for the previous comment about getting a buriza at lvl 41 and blowing up max levels…. so? When did games become about grinding through 60 levels and then finding the best gear so you can end game… wait a minute…. oic what I did there!

    My point: I know I’ve yelled “unbalanced” at games before too, but it’s the outrageous things and events that makes games memorable, and interesting. I for one LOVED D2, and I’ll miss all the uniqueness it had to offer. I’m not a total basement nerd, so I’m not going to keep playing D2 by myself for another 10 years. I’ve already embraced World of Diablo… errr…. Diablo 3 for what it is. There’s a lot of casual gamer elements I could seriously do without (or with), but WoD has been extremely entertaining thus far.


  50. Allecto
    2 years ago

    In reality D3 is quite lackluster compared to D2 …

    Then again D1/D2 were made by Blizzard North, D3
    by WoW developers … nuf said!


  51. boognish
    2 years ago

    so question here. New to diablo. A buddy and i are currently playing this game. We want to know that if we stop playing co-op and then later in the day say i continue a quest or act beyond what we already completed together, will my buddy not be able to complete the quests i already did if i come back into co-op and help him?


  52. Osiris
    2 years ago

    @pim – I’ve successfully used a dozen builds already on my Barb for different situations – I don’t ever think there was a dozen different good Barb builds in d2?

    @Tyler – Thanks!

    @Mocabe – Yeah, playing on release was a disappointment server-wise. I barely got on.

    @Trolikk – Some things are definitely “overpowered” in D3.. it’s definitely not on wheels like WoW was. I hated WoW for its over-balanced nature.
    @Boognish – Yes, you can join players games for quests you have already completed and still help them – and vice versa as well. If you join a friend’s game for a quest you do not qualify for, you do not get quest credit though (you still get bonus XP/gold, just not the mark in your journal).


  53. steven
    2 years ago

    wandering how much you where paid by blizzard to write this player prefer smaller groups since when? d2 players prefer 8 and most wow player which from what i see this game resembles more than diablo 2 prefer 10 or 20 man partys. as for stats you get more stats by leveling up in d3 than you did in d2 (6 as apposed to 5) you just cant put them where you like preventing you from making custom builds (not that the rune words or other sources of 0 skills have turned up to aid this any way) weapon damage scaling as opposed to skill damage scaling fear my 2 handed axe wielding wizard for his spells strike with far more power than your puny wand user…(not the balancing on the spells is dire i respec’ed a mates lv 20 wizard the today as its damage out put due to having the wrong (ie not best in slot . yes another silly wow idea) was pathetic he was focusing arcane but the new set up dosen’t like diablo 2 styal specialized builds. sigh dunno if i cant even go on with this its just sad this is not diablo this is wow fighter 3 turbo with 3 stars on. sad arse runes make me cry they look to much like wow glyphs.


  54. malurek 1445
    2 years ago

    setting, ambience, censorship, streamlining, armor models – differences between diablo 2 and diablo 3.

    in diablo 2 players got to see what it was like to live in a world over ran by the spawns of hell. sacrificial chambers, pentagrams in hell levels, satanic worship in hell, dark foreboding dungeons you could barely see into, (for those who may not get it, when you’re in a dark, barely lit room, you cant see around the corner for a reason), which of course added to the idea of running blind into a room, and being over ran by packs of monsters, (which is of course what would actually happen).

    in diablo 3 however, you can see around everything , which of course takes away from the fact of caring how you approach the game. you are not over run, (unless there is a unique enemy, then, and only then do you have to run back somewhat), there is no sacrficial chambers with detailed past sacrifices of what had took place in some random structure. there are no demonic drawings you can recognize as being a part of the coming of diablo. there are no pentagrams where they should be, no worship in hell, (because this is a game about raising diablo, and worshipping him, and being the force of light to vanquish the evil. lest we forget what this game is about).

    in diablo 2 you had very nice artwork of armor models. you could make out the details in your armor, each peice of armor had its own personality, and life to it. in diablo 3 you get simplified pieces that lack detail, has no life, or personality to it, its just all round very very basic.

    diablo 2 was not streamlined, and you could not faceroll your way through the game the first time through. you died… alot. character customization was wonderful. i had the choice where i wanted to put my points in, i had the choice of what spells i want to make more powerful, i had the choice of how i wanted to play my character. i was not held by the hand, and forced into a cookie cutter build that works for everybody! and there was no level cap!

    diablo 3 has been censored so hard, (as stated above), and its sad, very sad that a game titled diablo, where you fight in hell against the devil, has nothing to represent that. overall i give this game a score of about 6/10, which does not include graphics, or sound.


  55. malurek 1445
    2 years ago

    7:36 am est, edit – yes i have completed the entire game on normal difficulty. 31 hours and 41 minutes, wizard.


  56. Jayb
    2 years ago

    Nice write up work.I just buy D3 and D2 was alot better i think they completly fail on the new game design especialy on the skill and ability part also the graphics are really not impressive (almost 2d..) …


  57. horsesattack
    2 years ago

    This is all well and finely written but for me in the end the game looks far to like a cartoon and kiddish. Diablo 2 had a dark atmosphere, gritty and the game had character, with its graphics. “mind you the limitations they had compared to what can be done today.” We are talking about a twelve year gap between Diablo 2 and 3 yet Diablo 2 takes itself for serious and is graphically more appealing.


  58. North
    2 years ago

    You are so one sided you claim that they fix problems just because they changed them. Yeah so maybe having to create new characters for new stats was wrong. That doesn’t mean remove all the stats all together…add a reset button at a cost. So we can customize with gear…you mean like how we already could? Mercs did NOT suck. That is just plain wrong and it goes beyond just the act 2 with ethereal weapons. Followers DO suck beyond their auras and tiny perks they are a joke and there’s only 3. Removing skill points is also bad…yeah the runes are nice but it actually nerfs PvP diversity not improves it. Unique builds played right could surprise and overwhelm people expecting the cookie cutter. Where are the real runes and the horadric cube? Were these two concepts too much for this dumbed down version of D2! 4 players instead of 8… dumbed down! Cooldown on switching skills..dumbed down. The whole game has been dumbed down and prettied up to make it appeal to a younger and more diverse audience. I wont even go into the new aspects that are poorly done like the 10 item limit on the auction house or the acts all being separate waypoints.

    Now that I’ve got that off my chest…I’m very happy they instanced loot. The crafting is very neat. I like how inferno mode is actually a little bit of a challenge. But this is half the game diablo 2 was but with the bugs and kinks worked out of it. I miss the bugs, kinks, and complexity.


  59. Tragon
    2 years ago

    You forgot the biggest difference of all.. The items! In D2, if you killed a boss, the chance of getting decent items were pretty high. In D3, you get blues and sometimes rares. I’m currently in Inferno and have only found One legendary item.. One… And that was in Act II normal mode by myself with under 10% mf. D3 is awesome, but the lack of item drops is a Huge letdown. I was expecting a lot more.


  60. James Martin
    2 years ago

    I don’t think we were playing the same game, because in the into you said “basic game mechanics are the same”. They are not. It feels like playing some god-awful console title. Have you ever played Marvel Universe on Wii? If so, have fun? Thats Diablo 3 with some more colourful graphics.

    The only way this could have been made less fun is by putting it in a browser and changing the combat over to tower defence. The skills UI is so broken you can’t swap out skills beyond your four rechosen abilities. The abilities tooltips are so convoluted as to sometimes add damage to the base skills with a rune, or override it. The whole rune system is ridiculous. I bet at some point you had to collect runes to upgrade your skills, but that was nerfed in favour of more streamlined play. All lvl 20 wizards are the same carbon copies except what they are wearing, skills wise.

    If you have not bought this and want an almost 1-for-1 comparison, read a review for EA’s Command and Conquer 4. In case you don’t know, C&C is an RTS game… a game where you build bases and armies and kill the enemy base and army. C&C4, EA decided players probably didn’t want to build bases and the formula would be more successful with a single mobile unit building factory. Its the same story, but Diablo X compared to Diablo 3. On the other hand, if you like WoW….


  61. JFKWT
    2 years ago

    Yes, mercs seem to deal almost no damage. Thankfully I use mine as a tank and healer (Templar) so it matters less.


  62. Henry
    2 years ago

    the list is great… however EVERY SINGLE THING that diablo 3 has changed is the reason why i prefer D2 over it. THEY RUINED D3!


  63. kmp
    2 years ago

    although there are several things i disagree with, i won’t say your wrong because its just my opinion, your statement saying the D2 mercs were worthless in comparison to D3 mercs is far off. Even though the mercs other than the Act 2 weren’t as useful, they could still deal some serious damage with the right gear. As for the act 2 merc he completes a character, with the right gear he can dish out several auras as well as pretty decent damage. The D3 mercs in my opinion are almost useless, the templar might throw you some extra health every now and then, but with their ridiculously low damage they go unnoticed, not to mention you can’t use them in co op.

    Overall, my opinion, blizzard took a big step back with this game, im not sure if they were trying to appeal to players new to the franchise but for someone who lived on D2 several of the changes are disappointing. Don’t let new graphics trick you into believing its a better game. The auction house was a good idea, but it should have been for trading, not for gold, now its far to simple for anyone to have the best gear available. and i wouldn’t consider it customization if i have the exact same skills as another character, im just not using the same one, it really takes away from the replayability…


  64. JOLAE
    2 years ago

    you are a mad guy, but good work at swapping every shitty feature of D3 into a positive one.


  65. Stelliferous
    2 years ago

    Since you know a great deal about Diablo 3, I would like to know more about the future of it. I’ve already learned what the game is now but you mentioned two expansions you know of. Could you let me know what you think, or know, will be included in the expansion(s)? A fifth act with Baal? Uber Diablo? Legendary items with actual legendary benefits? New item abilities allowing a class to use a skill, uncontrolled, from another class? I know the game does seem real simple right now but I hope they add a LOT more to it through expansions to make it even more enjoyable. I’ve also noticed the item ability where you get like 1-25 extra experience per kill. Really? That’s the worst thing. It takes probably a couple million just to get to level 35. Also once you hit 60 that will become completely useless. I’ve seen level 60 items that give +2 xp per kill. I figure they implemented this as a randomization filler that way when you craft an item with 3 random abilities it is a lot more difficult to get 3 great abilities, or good for that matter. Anyway, great job.


  66. PJ
    2 years ago

    It’s all about making the game more mainstream to get more players.

    And how do you make a game mainstream:

    - Make it like another popular game (WOW clone, anyone?)
    - Make it easier to play (You can change your runes anytime you want, instead of thinking beforehand about a nice build)
    - Give the game a friendly look (It is all peace, love, icecream and killing monsters on this one, instead of the dark atmosphere that was present in all D2)

    I think this game can be fun, but don’t pretent that this game isn’t made more mainstream for financial reasons. And for a lot of D2 players that is a shame.
    I guess I’m with ‘malurek 1445′ on this one.

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