While trading some IMs with DiabloWikiBashiok last week, I brought up the issue of Blizzard’s plans to support (or not) Diablo II from here on out. Everyone knows that the bulk of Blizzard’s employees are working on WoW, SC2, D3, the other secret projects, cinematics, customer support, etc. There are still some employees focusing on Diablo II though, as various recent announcements about the upcoming v1.13 patch coming soon to a test realm (with a bigger stash) demonstrate.  What will those guy(s) be doing after v1.13, though? Will we ever see another D2 patch? Will D2 continue to receive support and Battle.net hosting once D3’s released?

    I had a lot of questions I’ve seen asked by the still-thriving D2 community. Bashiok couldn’t answer them off the top of his head, but when I asked if I could compile a list and get some official responses, he said to go for it. So here’s your chance to ask Blizzard. What do you want to know about the future of D2? Add your questions here, I’ll select 10 or 15, relay them to Bashiok, and he’ll see about getting them answered officially by someone in the know.

    Look forward and think big; I don’t think this is the best place for questions about specific features of v1.13 (which we’ll find out about soon enough anyway). It’s more about long term plans, ongoing support, major vs. minor future changes, etc.

    Update: This thread is closed since the questions have been sent off to Bashiok. Click through to see the full list, and thanks to everyone who threw in their two cents.

    D2 Patch Issues:

    Who?s working on D2 now? Who did v1.11 and v1.12? Same guy(s) working on the game now? Is there just one guy carrying on with D2, ala Peter Hu?s Herculean v1.10 effort? 

    Can you share any info on the work methods, team composition, timeline, daily schedule, etc?

    Can we get more frequent updates on D2 patch progress? (Or fewer; realm players tend to stop and wait when a ladder reset is announced with no ETA, and that stasis stretches on for months.)

    Can we get an update on v1.13: ETA, patch objectives, test realm plans, etc?

    D2 Content Issues:

    Are we going to see sweeping game changes in future patches, ala v1.10? Such as, rolling back synergies, rebalancing end game play, etc. Or just minor tweaks, some added items, bug fixes, etc?

    Many SP players request that all items be made findable/usable in single player? Instead of continuing with the realm/ladder-only runewords and uniques.

    Many SP players request that all quests be made accessible. Could Uber Diablo and the Pandemonium Event be enabled for single player?

    Many SP players request tweaks to the drop ratios.  So many high end items have been added in past patches (uniques, runewords with the rarest runes, etc) that it?s essentially impossible to find/use them solo/without trading.

    Could a patch add some early/mid-game content, instead of just highest-level stuff, elite items, etc?

    Skill synergies: very limiting of play and builds. Any thought of returning to how skills worked in earlier versions? (They?re not in D3, so clearly the team?s judgment was that they weren?t a great feature.)

    There was a fair amount of semi-incoherent rage that D2 isn?t maintained as regularly as WoW. Address as you see fit.

    D2 Battle.net Issues:

    Are there plans to continue D2 support after D3?s launch and/or on Battle.net 2.0?

    Will D2 remain free to play over Battle.net, when/if fees are added for newer games?

    Countless players request more ongoing support technical (non-content) support and fixes. Run more Rust Storms, fix hacks and dupes, fix the TP/PK exploit that has ruined public Hardcore games, ban 3rd party programs, make speedier fixes to critical bugs, etc. Can these be addressed in a more regular, timely fashion?

    Most players request regular ladder resets: seasonally, or at least bi-yearly, whether or not patch support continues. Can has?

    Battle.net 2.0 features in D2? Game joining/chat/etc changing?

    Battle.net achievements tied to D2?

    Ways to access D2 characters out of the game through Battle.net 2.0?

    Support for software and hardware changes? New versions of Windows, etc?

    D2Classic fans would like ladder support for v1.06b, the last pre-D2X patch, which many feel was the best version of D2C.

    D2 Technical Issues:

    D2 runs very poorly on high end machines these days. Could some improvements be made?

    Have you considered (someday) going (at least partially) open source on D1 or D2, or for Battle.net game hosting? Many players like older patch versions, or prefer various mods that have progressed far beyond the basic game. Players could play whichever version they liked best, while still using Battle.net and viewing Blizzard?s ads. Revenue source!

    The 800×600 resolution is tiny on newer monitors. Some mods display much larger resolutions (by showing more of the screen). Possible implementation into D2?

    Diablo I

    Will D1 remain playable over future Battle.net?

    Will there ever be another D1 patch or technical update?  (It?s impossible to play Diablo I in Mac OS X, or to play multiplayer characters in Vista.)

    Will there be any D1 achievements tied to the new Battle.net accounts?

    Any chance the D1 Expansion: Hellfire could be sold? Streaming download from Blizzard store? It?s not in the Diablo BattleChest, isn?t sold by Sierra anymore, and is impossible to find other than high priced used copies on Ebay.

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