Let's hope for the very best and that they learn from the Warcraft III: Reforged fiasco .. would love to see a Diablo II remake (who wouldn't?) but if they manage to mess that one up in any way, shape or form I think both I and half the internet with me would probably cry. Could you imagine if they somehow made even classic D2 online only or something equally ridiculous?
If youre hoping for a straight remaster of D2 thats offline youre setting yourself up for a huge disappointment.
Its pretty much proven now that making games require online means both an increase in sales and a reduction in cheating/modding. Its also no great leap to assume that since WC3 is using battle.net, so will other remasters. But given the mess they apparently made of WC3 (dont play it myself so just going on what websites have reported), It would probly be better if D2 is left alone so we can continue to remember it fondly and not as a screwed-up mess.
Although that does raise the question of whether theres any game that has actually been remastered and recieved positively?
but if its a remaster of the remaster, was the remaster any good or is that why they remastered the remaster?
Excellent question! I'm not an expert on AOE II but I played the original a lot. My impression is that the "HD remake" was so-so, higher graphics resolutions but nothing really new or anything. I don't think they really messed anything up and those that liked the original had no problem with this version afaik. The "remaster of the remaster" seems like one step up where they really revamped the graphics, fixed all kinds of things and added some new stuff as well. The reviews on the Steam store page (linked above) reflect that they apparently did a very good job with it.
Can only hope that any D2 remake would be just perfect and exceed all expectations. Because it's very possible and it's certainly what the player community expects. They'd do well to talk to the modding community before doing anything for instance. By that I mean that those who kept modding the game for years are the real experts on what would make for a good remake. I don't mean that they should incorporate new mods or anything but these are the guys that have spent a lot of time with what's left of the game code and know how to do numerous little fixes and adjustments that makes sense such as making experience gain at higher levels more accessible in other areas than Throne of Destruction only.
QoL changes such as auto-pickup of gold and potions (until belt is full) would probably make sense also, they could even make such things optional for the more purist players. Higher FPS would be great - the game has always been capped at 25 FPS (no matter what typing /fps tells you). There's a million things they could improve upon, I think all veteran D2 players know what kinds of things could use some touches so I won't go into all of it right now - but what they must NOT do is take away anything, change it too much or make things worse in any way, shape or form.
What would be better - a straight remaster of the original game (gameplay and mechanics unchanged) or a remake (with actual gameplay and mechanics updates as well as enhanced graphical elelements)?
As much as I love the original D2, I could see room for improvement - though I'd be concerned that too much unnecessary tweaking could be problematic.
Perhaps if they released a 'remake' with a 'classic' / 'vanilla' option that could be a good compromise (though that seems like much more work).
This said - I'm skeptical they would remaster or remake D2, as they are still actively making so many new entries into the Diablo franchise. Re-releasing the most beloved entry in the series might cannibalize a good portion of their audience for the newer titles.
There is a difference between a remake and remaster, SC1 was a remaster, slightly upgraded grapics and a few ui improvements, versus a remake that is suppose to be rebuilt from the ground up and introduces new story elements like new cut scenes, new animations, new ui, new graphics ect...
The probablem with reforged was that it was promised to be a remake but ended up being a remaster, and people were not happy.
it could have singlehandedly ruined all of Blizzard's plans for future projects as people will have lost trust.
Yeah but the classic team doesn't have the resources to remake a game from scratch. They couldn't even remaster War3 correctly.
Also that link headline is misleading. They recovered enough source code to have a game, how do you think they made patches and an expansion. The thing it sounds like they didn't recover is the 3D models used to generate the sprites and backgrounds in the game. Note that Starcraft Remastered didn't have those either, they touched up everything like pixel art, but that would get pretty challenging on Diablo II with it having so many more characters and animation frames at larger sizes, also many of them being complex "paper dolls" composed of interchangable parts.
I'm not speaking up against you but it's funny how "the classic team doesn't have enough resources" when Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision made $28m the same year that the company fired 800 employees.
For even $1 million of that sum they could:
- Pay 50 people working on a potential remake/remaster 20,000 dollars each
- Pay 25 people working on a potential remake/remaster 40,000 dollars each
Or let's say we leave the "honorable" Bobby Kotick with a "measly" $25m:
- Pay 50 people working on a potential remake/remaster 60,000 dollars each
- Pay 25 people working on a potential remake/remaster 120,000 dollars each
Can you imagine if even a small part of that money was earmarked towards the literal legion of modders out there?
Surely their business model at this point is all about greed and not about wanting the best for the franchise.
More precisely; It's about not taking any chances. They've got a working business model and they're not straying away from that.
I'm only glad if indeed they've got enough of the source code on their hands to make something happen though.
Alas I fear that even if they do endeavor to go for a remake/remaster they would fall way short of the actual potential.
It'd probably be FAR better at this point in time if they simply released the source code to the internet and left things in the hands of all the amazing, dedicated people out there that still love the Diablo series. - There are so many great modders out there still that have literally spent over a decade of their lives creating good Diablo II mods simply because they love the game to bits and they would be ecstatic for the opportunity to contribute. - They're so passionate about it that they even leave their careers behind. I've spent a lot of time modding D2 myself (to the point where I could do just about any change that I wanted to make within the limitations (not having access to the source code)); there are some things (many things) that one simply can't do without the source code at hand. These guys would if given the opportunity completely take Diablo II to a whole new level - with reverence!
Blizzard would ONLY gain from doing such a thing. Diablo II is one of the best computer games ever created and it could be taken to new heights for sure. Blizzard could for example set up a community program where they themselves host the mods, the servers, provide the tools (not that there aren't many good ones out there anyway) and they (rightfully so) could take a piece of the pie in return. Even a 10% return to the mod makers would make the internet boil over. The interest would skyrocket and they would probably make far more money taking this approach than they could ever hope to do releasing a half-effort remake/remaster by themselves. Interest = money. They could release some so-so new version of the game and reap some short term benefits but I'd say that their profits (and popularity for doing such a thing) would far outweigh what they could ever hope to do in house simply because of the fact that people out there love their games and are willing to spend a lot of time improving upon every single detail.
They best thing that they can do at this time is to work with the community and certainly not against it. It seems like they are shooting themselves in their own leg by ignoring the massive fanbase that they have accumulated over the years. It could be said that profit might be king but they (Blizzard) are simultaneously completely oblivious to what is actually going on here; they already had a gold mine on their hands but by embracing the vast modder community out there the sky is the limit. The day that they open up the flood gates to the modder community they might as well be mining asteroids for diamonds. Question is, do they even have the capability to think along these lines .. hopefully they may come to their senses.