Diablo 2 Awakened – Why Removing A Hard Rim Can Break A Game

Diablo 2 Awakened - Why Removing A Hard Rim Can Break A Game

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Game Rant: What feature/change were you itching to make but didn’t so that you could stay true to the original experience?

The answer went on to start examining how to make the game work for console users, especially in terms of managing inventory…

Blizzard (Rob and Michael): When we first started – We already were doing more than we should. Thinking things like, “Man, can we get rid of that stamina meter?” Nope. That’s kind of part of what the game is. If we got rid of the stamina meter then there are stamina potions, there’s armor that gives you stamina. Everything is intertwined and if you change one thing it’s like pulling a tiny block out of a Jenga.

Story Highlights

  • During a recent press event, Game Rant had a chance to connect with Studio Design Director Rob Gallerani and Project Lead Michael Bukowski. A lot of the conversation focused on what made the original Diablo 2 so special and how important it was to not lose any of that by trying to “improve” the experience.

  • Although the team definitely seemed to love talking about the nostalgia, Game Rant tried to ask them what systems they went into the project thinking about changing, adding, or improving but then realized they couldn’t do those things without changing the fundamental D2 experience. Some players may not be surprised by the first thing that came to mind – The stamina meter.

Blizzard: … When we said we were going to bring this game to console, we knew those players would be using a controller. Inventory grid is tough with a controller. So we looked at D3, how’d they do that? But we have cross platform to think about… So we couldn’t even make that change. Changing that didn’t feel right. Taking things away or changing them too much really matters. Even things like auto-gold pickup. The amount of items on the ground is now different. The mad dash to click stuff when someone dies changes.

In the end, the team decided to stick with some minor quality of life improvements, like auto gold pickup, but also offers players the option to toggle those changes on or off. It sounds like it was a delicate balance to modernize the game without changing its core difficulty and darkness that helped make it an iconic and timeless gaming experience.

With Diablo 2: Resurrected set to launch in just a few days, players are clearly gearing up for some serious gaming sessions. Whether newcomers or veterans, players may want to start brushing up on their Runewords.

Diablo 2: Resurrected releases September 23 on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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Denny Connolly is an editor and contributor who joined the Game Rant team in 2014. He specializes in game guides, MMO coverage, and the Pokemon GO beat; but is a lifelong fan of all game genres. He’s a graduate of Penn State where he studied English and Education. More
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Denny Connolly
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