Diablo 2 just got its first balance patch in over a decade

Diablo 2 balance patch

Here’s info on Patch 2.4

A new Diablo 2: Resurrected balance patch is in town, and is making history as the first major update to the game in over 10 years.

Since the changes are too massive to detail here, instead we have breakdowns of the big picture parts of the patch notes.

Class changes

Every class in Diablo 2 has been touched in some way, and this is the first major balance patch since March 23, 2010. Blizzard says these changes have been made to “expand character build diversity.”

Everything from fire bow skill buffs to martial art skill charge changes are a go. Having played every class at some point in my life a few of these are fascinating, and some were altered more than others (the Barbarian got off pretty light, with a strong buff to leap attack being the most stark individual change).

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Amazon – Melee skills have been changed for build diversity, and passives were overall buffed to add incentives to pick them, while bows were scaled better at higher levels
  • Assassin – Martial arts skills consume one charge at a time instead of all three at once, shadow disciplines were largely unchanged, and traps were buffed overall
  • Barbarian – Tooltips were shored up to be more helpful, throwing weapons were buffed to not consume as much with throwing mastery procs, and Leap Attack was buffed
  • Druid – Casting delay changes mixed up how some abilities are used, shapeshifting Druids were “brought forward,” and summon Druids can summon more allies at once
  • Necromancer – “Lesser-used summons” were improved, including skeletal mages, bone skill synergies were buffed, and weaken now scales based on level
  • Paladin – Tooltip info was enhanced, AOE (area-of-effect) auras were buffed or altered (Thorns had the most changes), and “lesser-used combat skills” were brought up
  • Sorceress – Cold skills generally were buffed, lightning skills got more synergies, and “lesser-used” fire skills were buffed

A big theme of the balance patch is more about adding more viable options rather than taking them away.

Uber Diablo progress has been altered

Uber Diablo was added as a superboss in 2003’s update 1.10, but now in patch 2.4, there’s a few quality of life upgrades to ensure that the process runs a bit smoother. As a recap, players need to offer a certain number of Stone of Jordan rings (known as “SOJs”) to merchants on Hell difficulty. After hitting a certain mark, Uber Diablo will spawn on the map and take over the place of a unique monster.

But now, in 2.4: “Uber Diablo progress for each game type will now be kept by the regional database. When the threshold is met by selling enough Stone of Jordan rings, Uber Diablo will spawn for everyone in the same region, not only those on the same server instance.” Players can also use the /uberdiablo command to coordinate/communicate when he will spawn.

Mercenaries have been buffed

Using mercenaries (NPC helpers) in Diablo 2 is generally useless, but now 2.4 is making them a little more enticing.

Instead of gambling on a “randomized level difference from your character’s level” when hiring them, they’ll now match your level directly. Also, mercenaries can generally use more abilities (like the Rogue Archer utilizing freezing/explosion arrow) so they should perform better overall. For newer solo players, it makes the early game a little more exciting.

Diablo 2 balance patch Horadric Cube changes 2022

New Rune Words and Horadric Cube recipes were added

Rune words have been mixed up a bit, as there will be “exclusive ladder” versions, including insight on bows/crossbows, infinity, obedience, and pride on spears. The main change here is increasing the possibilities for insight, which Blizzard says is one of the more popular Rune Words.

Four new Horadric Cube recipes have been added too, which are “ladder exclusive,” and mainly deal with exceptional and elite sets of weapon and armor. Blizzard says this “can add more possibilities by using lower-level Set items for more character builds.”

Act III skipping has been changed

One of the more interesting parts of 2.4 is how Act III has been changed.

Infamously, many Diablo 2 players would skip heaps of Act III, and some find it to be the weakest act in the game. However, Blizzard is addressing “skipping required content,” by requiring the Khalim’s Will quest to be completed when finishing Act III: so no more “killing the council” and skipping the rest of the act.

Hell level requirements were increased a bit as well to encourage players to stop ignoring “certain optional areas” and pushing through a static critical path.

Quality of life updates and bug fixes

In addition to adding “language support for non-ASCII written language,” there’s now a legacy graphics emulation option, that lets you swap between “GDI, glide, and resurrected” filtering modes to change up the aesthetic.

Pets, summons, and mercenaries now teleport more often instead of despawning, the Barbarian leap has a smoother animation, and some performance enhancements and bug fixes are in tow.

Again, check out the full list if you’re a hardcore D2 player and want those granular details!

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!