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Wednesday, May 9, 2001

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Diablo II Media Mania
8:12 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Since the beta for the Diablo II expansion has opened to a wider number of people the web has been flooded with new information, impressions, and screen shots of this Lord of Destruction add-on. We though it would be easiest to wrap up all of this isometric RPG goodness into one, easy-to-swallow story.

If you're looking for new media, there have been a host of new screen shots of the game made available of late. PC.IGN has a few new ones, as well as RPG Planet, who have made an entire 'pictoral preview' out of new images. It's a nice quick way to preview the game, so give it a look. New gameplay movies are also available at GameSpot if you're tired of static images. These eight MPEGs range from about 9-15MB a piece, so those with higher bandwidth should consider giving them a once-over.

The impressions also begin at GameSpot, where they dish out many new details on what has changed in this add-on. Not only has Blizzard added two new characters and a fifth Act, the company is also tweaking many skills and characters to better balance the original game. They also talk about the many new items, socketed weapons, and resolution change to 800x600. Here's a clip:

It's been reported previously that one of the big changes introduced in Lord of Destruction is a technical enhancement to the game, which will let you play it at an 800x600 resolution, rather than Diablo II's (and Diablo's) fixed 640x480 resolution. It takes no time to get accustomed to this change, though the improvements it yields are instantly noticeable. You get to see more onscreen, and yet the characters remain large enough to be easily discernible. The new, less obtrusive minimap option (which can replace the full-screen automap overlay) also works great. The higher resolution makes all the characters in Diablo II look sharper and makes the 3D-like parallax scrolling effect of the isometric terrain even more pronounced.
And lastly, another quick look at the title has been posted at GamePen. They give a more general look at the game along with some excited reporting on what's new and exciting in the expansion. While the new Assassin and Druid classes will be much talked about, the mercenaries are now much more powerful as well. Here's an excerpt explaining more:
The biggest and best improvement is the new revamping of NPC hirelings.  Now, you can equip them with weapons and armor, and heal them during battle.  Morever, they can be resurrected when killed with all of their items intact.  You have actually have someone to give hand-me-down items to.  For example, my hireling Amplisa has a triple-sapphire bow (which gives her 3-9 additional cold damage), some good leather armor, and a magic cap that increases attack damage.  She now kicks ass, and the one time she was killed, she was resurrected for a mere 1,600 gold.  As Blizzard says, "Hirelings aren't just paid mercenaries-they are co-adventurers.  They fully share experience for their kills with you and your party, and they receive a smaller share of experience for monsters that you or your party members kill." They even follow you from act to act, so Amplisa, whom I received as a reward in Act I, can follow me to the bitter end! 
It looks like there will be much for Diablo II fans to love in the add-on. With the stress test fully underway now, the final version is expected out this summer.

Screen Shots at PC.IGN
GameSpot Preview of Diablo II: LoD
Pictoral Preview at RPG Planet
GamePen Preview of Diablo II: LoD
Gameplay Movies at GameSpot
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

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OS X F.A.K.K.2, PCI Radeon Issues Revisited9:08 AM
More Red Faction Info8:52 AM
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• Diablo II Media Mania8:12 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, May 9, 2001 on one page

Mac Games News for Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Adams on Carbonizing UT, Music Issues2:23 PM
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Bushfire at 1.10, 'Airburst' On The Way9:58 AM
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Beta Details9:54 AM
Diablo II Protest8:55 AM
Giants Interviews8:44 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, May 8, 2001 on one page

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