Diablo

D2R – Idea for “controversial” QoL features

TL;DR in bold.

I'm very keen for Diablo 2 Resurrected, but like many others, I feel that there are certain things the developers can do with the game to make it even more appealing over the long-term. I imagine some of these are somewhat controversial (although I've seen similar opinions on this subreddit), which could be a reason as to why they haven't yet been included.

In particular, it would be great (in my opinion) to have:

  1. Ladder-only rune-words and recipes in single player and non-ladder
  2. More stash than the currently-proposed 1 personal + 3 shared tabs
  3. Cow level able to be re-opened by a character that kills the King

People that have played PlugY would be familiar with the fact that the mod allows all these things (barring non-ladder, as PlugY cannot be linked to bnet) and I know a lot of people would argue that these aren't even very controversial, but I can imagine the main counter-arguments from the developers' perspective to the first 2 points being:

  1. Having ladder-only rune-words/recipes in non-ladder would draw players away from playing ladder, as this is a large incentive for many to play ladder.
  2. Infinite stash (or "too much" stash) encourages hoarding and could be technically challenging to implement online.

I would argue that having ladder-only rune-words and recipes is important for non-ladder/SP for people that can't commit over 3-6 months to farming but would still like to slowly (over 6+ months) build towards all end-game items. For example, maybe you've spent a lot of time creating a strong Lightning Sorc or Javazon on ladder and you'd love to find a Griffon's Eye but life gets in the way and your character is relegated to non-ladder; you'd be forced to start all over, which could put you off from continuing to play. Not having access to certain recipes on non-ladder/SP (like upgrading Dol+ runes and upgrading Exceptional items to Elite) also significantly slows down endgame progression when playing on non-ladder. If the restrictions were eased, people could build their characters for years at their own pace while still having access to the multiplayer features provided by bnet.

But then what would be the incentive to play ladder, aside from starting afresh and competing? My idea is that the shared tabs for your ladder characters would be permanently added to your non-ladder characters at the end of the ladder, assuming the completion of certain challenges during a ladder playthrough. For example, it could be as simple as completing every quest on a character, or acquiring an account-bound Standard of Heroes or Token, or reaching Level 85/90 on a character, or some combination of challenges. Players familiar with Diablo 3 seasons will recognise that this is similar to the system involved in acquiring stash tabs in that game too (although in D3 this is only 1 tab per season with a sad cap of 5, iirc). The result of this idea would also ease the transition of adding the items you acquired during ladder to your non-ladder stash, while providing a tangible goal for players that enjoy the luxury of having more space (i.e. probably most players).

For many people (including myself, Grail completionists, avid crafters, etc), having significantly more stash space from the beginning would be more ideal but I think this idea is a good balance between what we currently have and what might be most ideal for some, while providing an incentive for online players to play ladder and allowing everyone to play at their own pace.

A potential hurdle to the idea might be the character limit – what if we already have the maximum number of characters on our online account and we don't want to delete any, but we'd like more stash space? Considering that we could have unlimited characters in D2 (due to unlimited free accounts), I'm hopeful that Blizzard/VV will significantly increase the cap on the maximum number of characters per account.

Of course, this idea doesn't translate well to single player – in my opinion, the game would hugely benefit from having the PlugY features (ladder rune-words/recipes enabled, infinite stash, Ubers, infinite respec, etc) by default in this mode, but if it doesn't, then hopefully mod support will be sufficient for those that would prefer to play offline or friends-only and have these features.

What do you think? Is it possible or likely that Blizzard/VV would implement this or something similar?

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