Diablo II is an action role-playing hack-and-slash computer video game developed by Blizzard North and published by Blizzard Entertainment in 2000 for Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS, and macOS. The game, with its dark fantasy and horror themes, was conceptualized and designed by David Brevik and Erich Schaefer, who, with Max Schaefer, acted as project leads on the game. The producers were Matthew Householder and Bill Roper.
Building on the success of its predecessor, Diablo (1996), Diablo II mobile was one of the most popular games of 2000 and has been cited as one of the greatest video games ever made. Major factors that contributed to the game's success include: its continuation of popular fantasy themes from the previous game, and its access to Blizzard's free online play service, Battle.net. An expansion to the game, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, was released in 2001. Another sequel in the series, Diablo III, was announced in 2008 and released on May 15, 2012. Diablo Immortal, the fourth installment in the series, was announced during Blizzcon 2018 and is set after Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.
Diablo II's storyline progresses through four chapters or "Acts". Each act follows a predetermined path, but the wilderness areas and dungeons between key cities are randomly generated. The player progresses through the story by completing a series of quests within each act, while there are also optional side dungeons for extra monsters and experience. In contrast to the first Diablo, whose levels consisted of descending deeper and deeper into a Gothic-themed dungeon and Hell, Diablo II's environments are much more varied. Act I is similar to the original Diablo; the Rogue Encampment is a simple palisade fort, while plains and forests making up the wilderness area, and the Monastery resembles the typical Middle Ages fortress. Act II mimics Ancient Egypt's desert and tombs; Lut Gholein resembles a Middle Eastern city and palace during the Crusades. Act III is supposedly based on the Central American jungles; Kurast is inspired by the lost Maya civilization. Act IV takes place in Hell and is the shortest, with just three quests compared to the other Acts that have six.
The Lord of Destruction expansion adds the fifth chapter Act V which continues the story where Act IV left off. Act V's style is mainly mountainous as the player ascends Mount Arreat, with alpine plateaus and icy tunnels and caverns. Occasional portals can take the player to dungeons in Hell (seen in Act IV) for extra monsters and experience. After reaching the summit of Arreat, the player gains access to the Worldstone Keep (whose architecture may be reminiscent of Angkor Wat and other Hindu temples).
In addition to the acts, there are three sequential difficulty levels: Normal, Nightmare, and Hell; completing the game (four Acts in the original or five Acts in the expansion) on a difficulty setting will open up the next level. On higher difficulties, monsters are more varied, stronger and may be resistant or immune to an element or physical damage; experience is penalized on dying, and the player's resistances are handicapped. However, better items are rewarded to players as they go through higher difficulties. A character retains all abilities and items between difficulties, and may return to a lower difficulty at any time, albeit it is not possible to re-play the quests that are already completed.
Players can create a hardcore character. In normal mode, the player can resurrect their character if killed and resume playing, while a hardcore character has only one life. If killed, the character is permanently dead and unplayable. In addition, all items and equipment on that character will be lost unless another friendly character has the "loot" icon checked. Standard and hardcore characters play on separate online channels; as such a hardcore player can never appear in the same game session as a standard player.
Diablo II allows the player to choose between five different character classes: Amazon, Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress, and Paladin. Each character has different strengths, weaknesses and sets of skills to choose from, as well as varying beginning attributes. The maximum level that any character can obtain is level 99.
The Amazon hails from the islands of the Twin Seas, near the border of the Great Ocean, and her clan is a rival to the Sisters of the Sightless Eye (known as Rogues). The Amazon is akin to the Rogue of Diablo: both primarily use bows, and both make equal use of strength and magic, however the Amazon can also use javelins and spears. Many of her defensive skills are passive in nature, especially Dodge, Avoid, and Evade. The Amazon is voiced by Jessica Straus.
The Necromancer is a versatile death-themed spell caster. Necromancers are the priests of the Cult of Rathma from the Eastern jungles. His Summoning skills allow him to raise skeletons, create golems, and resurrect dead monsters to fight alongside him. The Necromancer possesses powerful poison spells, which rapidly drain life from afflicted monsters. He also has "Bone" skills, which directly damage enemies, while bypassing most resistances. His Curses also afflict the enemy with debilitating status ailments, sowing confusion and chaos in their ranks. The Necromancer is voiced by Michael McConnohie.
is her damaging spells and casting speed; her weakness is her relatively low hit points and defense. The Sorceress is voiced by Liana Young.
The Barbarian is a powerful melee fighter from the steppes of Mount Arreat. He is an expert at frontline combat, able to absorb great punishment, and is the only class capable of dual wielding weapons. His Combat Masteries allow him to specialize in different types of weapons, and also passively increase his resistance, speed, and defense. His Warcries dramatically increase the combat effectiveness of him and his party, as well as afflicting status ailments on enemies. He has a variety of Combat Skills at his command, most of which focus on delivering great force upon a single foe, while some also give him considerable athleticism allowing him to leap over chasms and rivers. The Barbarian is voiced by David Thomas.
Diablo 2 mobile The Sorceress hails from a rebellious coven of female witches who have wrested the secrets of magic use from the male-dominated mage clans of the East. She can cast ice, lightning and fire spells. Nearly all of these skills are offensive in nature, besieging the enemy with elemental calamity. Her Cold Skills can freeze enemies solid and bypass resistances, but do less damage than lightning or fire. The Sorceress's Teleport spell allows her to instantly travel to a new destination, making her very difficult to hit. The strong point of the Sorceress is her damaging spells and casting speed; her weakness is her relatively low hit points and defense. The Sorceress is voiced by Liana Young.
The Paladin is a crusader from the Church of Zakarum, fighting for the glory of the Light. He is part of the forces that defeated King Leoric's army in the first Diablo, although his Order is eventually corrupted by Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred. To reflect his holy nature, the zealous Paladin's combat skills range from fanatical attacks to heavenly thunderbolts. His skills are split into Combat Skills, Defensive Auras, and Offensive Auras. His auras have a range of abilities, such as increasing damage, resisting magic attacks, or boosting defense. Most auras either affect all party members and allies, or all enemies within the area of effect. The Paladin is highly proficient in the use of a shield, and is the only character that can use it as a weapon. The Paladin also has specialized skills for eliminating the undead. The Paladin is voiced by Larry B. Scott.
Two additional character classes, the Druid and Assassin, were added in the expansion.
The Druid is a shapeshifter with the ability to transform into a bear or werewolf form, summon various creatures such as ravens and wolves, and attack with nature-based elemental magic like lightning or poisonous vines. The Druid offers a wide versatility of skills and can be built in several different playstyles. The Druid is voiced by Michael Bell.
The Assassin is a martial arts based class from the Viz-Jaq'taar clan who fights with claw blades and supplements her attacks with the use of shadow magic skills and fire or lightning elemental traps, which remain stationary and affect groups of enemies. The Assassin is voiced by Carrie Gordon.