In a word: Blizzard Entertainment rebalances the classes in Diablo II for the first time in almost 11 years. The developer and publisher have said they don’t want to “reinvent the wheel” and distract classes from their main goals. As such, they’ll go over underutilized skills, make tooltip quality of life changes, assess casting delays, and more with the goal of expanding the diversity of character build.
Details will come later, but for now here is a Overview of the philosophies behind each class change.
Blizzard said he liked the current state of the Amazon class, but saw an opportunity to improve the character’s melee skills and would consider upgrading bow and crossbow skills to improve. the arc gameplay in higher difficulties.
Along with the Assassin, Blizzard wants to improve martial arts builds and will do so by re-evaluating how to improve the generation and spending of combo points. They will do the same with various underutilized trap skills to promote more builds.
Blizzard aims to add more diversity to the Barbarian’s combat skills, including jump attack and grim protection. They also want to give players more reasons to use throwing barbarians, and could improve the skills of double throwing and throwing.
Along with Druid, Blizzard believes there are opportunities to improve underperforming elemental skills like Druid Fire. The controls for the Arctic Blast might also need some tweaking, with Blizzard considering allowing freer form while channeling it. Summons are weak at high difficulty as well, so Blizzard wants to see how they can make them more viable later in the game.
Like the Amazon, Blizzard is quite happy with the current state of the Necromancer but believes there are some specific summons that are underutilized. High difficulty bone skill upgrades could use a boost as well.
The same goes for the witch. Specifically, they’re revisiting fire skills, lightning skills, and cold skills in hopes of leading to an increase in underutilized skills. The Inferno skill is also a bit clunky to use, so the controls will be streamlined a bit, we’re told.
Last but not least is the Paladin, who like the others has lesser-used skills that Blizzard would like to call attention to, including the Fist of the Heavens. Offensive aura skills also need to be re-evaluated, and Blizzard wants the Thorns to deal more reliable damage at higher levels.
In addition to class balances, Blizzard is looking to make improvements to Mercenaries, add new runwords, implement set item changes, and incorporate new ones. Horadric Cube, in addition to the ranking game which should arrive early next year.
If you are interested in the upcoming changes, I highly recommend you check it out The full Blizzard blog about that, because this article just scratches the surface of what’s coming in patch 2.4 PTR early next year.