ComicNovember 14, 2001, Dark Horse Comics published Diablo: Tales of Sanctuary, a comic book that connects many characters from the game, like barbarian, necromancer, and some more, telling three new stories and setting a new quests in the middle of Baal's invasion.
Easy MapA few days after the release of 1.11 patch, players could see Blizzard's new anti-hacking method called Warden in action. Over 30,000 cd-keys and battle.net accounts have been banned for the use of Easy Map - a utility intended to reveal the whole map. Players didn't really care about the bannings as for the last couple of months Blizzard took no action to reduce cheats or fix bugs in Diablo. The creator of Easy Map, a German programmer nicknamed Netter, infamous for modifying his meph bot to steal user's cd-keys which were later sold on Netter's site, was suspected by some players to actually be employed by Blizzard, hired to create a flawed map hack and thus detect players who had used it. Blizzard denies any connections though.
PatchOn October 28th, 2003, over 2 years after announcing there would be another patch, Blizzard released Patch 1.10 for Diablo II and Lord of Destruction. The patch did not only fix bugs, but add many new gameplay features, made the game a lot harder in hell difficulty and made it much more difficult to achieve level 99 by making it so you could not visit the "Secret Cow Level" more than once and adding penalties to experience gaining. It also added more than 100 new unique items as well as better stats on rare items (such as 400% enhanced damage, which wasn't possible before). Included were new cube recipes, which enabled the player to upgrade their runes even up to ZOD runes. The most important change was the addition of the "ladder mode", a special realm which could only be entered by ladder characters - so it was not possible to move the godly items from 1.09 to that realm, giving every player a fair chance to compete on the ladder ranking list. The leveling curve was steep; about five months after release, there were only two characters at level 99 on the EU realm with a third on the way.
Another addition was the "World Event" - after vendoring a large number of "Stone of Jordan" rings, there was a chance to spawn "Uber Diablo" - a beefed-up version of the original monster - in a random game. Killing it rewarded the player with the extremely powerful "Annihilus Charm", the only unique Small Charm in the game.
The most important changes in the 1.10 patch were play balance changes. The most powerful character skills were weakened, the least powerful ones strengthened. The concept of "skill synergies" was added, making characters that grew naturally toward specific goal skills more powerful than those who kept their skill points unspent until the best skills were available and spent them all there.
The immediate result was that all the players with the "best" characters custom-built to exploit the imperfect balance of skills became much much weaker. Of course, a new generation of optimizations followed, with a new family of "best builds" coming out. But on the whole, the question "what is the most powerful character" now gets the answer "There are many. Here are some ideas, pick the one you like most" or even "pick the attack skill you like most and max out the skill and its synergies" instead of "Do exactly this."
ReferencesOn official Diablo II site Blizzard Ent. published information of a monster called Reziarfg. This beast cannot be seen neither in Diablo II nor Diablo II: LoD. It is a joke as Reziarfg read backwards is Gfrazier - one of Blizzard employees.
ThanksIn the Manual, the developers give thanks to several people you wouldn't expect. Sluggy Freelance, Isaac Asimov, and Scott Kurtz of PVP.
- 2001 – Expansion Pack of the Year (Readers' Choice)
- 2001 – Best CG or Full-Motion Video Cinematics of the Year