Looking forward to getting all your friends together for an in-house game of Diablo 2 just like in the good ol’ days? Well, not so fast.
Blizzard has updated the FAQ page for Diablo 2 Resurrected on the game’s official website, including some sections about the nature of online play. With that, the company quietly revealed that a number of online features from the original game are set to be removed, with all multiplayer being forcibly funneled through Battle.net. This means that there will be no LAN play, no P2P connectivity, and no custom servers.
“TCP/IP support will not be available in the upcoming Beta or the final game. After careful deliberation, we will no longer be supporting this option as we identified potential security risks and are committed to safeguarding the player experience,” Blizzard said in the FAQ.
The removal of TCP/IP support flies in the face of previous promises over what will be coming in Diablo 2 Resurrected. Blizzard developers explicitly stated that features of the original Diablo 2 would be left intact in Diablo 2 Resurrected, including TCP/IP support. Blizzard executive producer Rod Fergusson discussed the matter in February in an interview with Eurogamer.
“A lot of the stuff that we’re doing is what was there in the original…[TCP/IP support] was there in D2. It’ll be there in D2R. We’ve really focused on making sure that if there’s something about the core experience you loved, we’re bringing that over,” Fergusson said at the time.
The reveal of these removed features came in the lead-up to the game’s open beta launch.
Starting tomorrow 🛡 🗡
— Diablo (@Diablo) August 12, 2021
Officially, Blizzard said that LAN play, custom servers, and P2P support were removed from Diablo 2 Resurrected due to “potential security risks.” Given the vagueness of this explanation, many questioned the existence of these security issues and wondered if Blizzard simply wants to ensure players are subjected to any additional monetization features the company adds to the game.
The quiet removal of features from a remastered Blizzard game harkens back to the wildly unpopular Warcraft 3 Reforged. Blizzard announced the game as a complete remake of Warcraft 3, with new cinematics, improved multiplayer features, and an overhauled campaign that would bring the events of Warcraft 3 better in line with the lore revisions that have come up in World of Warcraft and other media.
None of those features made it into the 2020 release of Warcraft 3 Reforged. Not only that, but Blizzard also removed a long list of multiplayer features from the original game including clans, cross-region support for custom games, and tournament mode. There also wasn’t a ranked ladder available in the game at launch, though this was added in a later patch. Topping everything off was that Warcraft 3 Reforged suffered from serious performance issues.
These factors all contributed to Warcraft 3 Reforged having a disastrous launch that is exemplified by the game’s 0.6 average user score on Metacritic. While one might have expected Blizzard to take a lesson from this when it comes to over-promising and under-delivering on remastered games, that evidently wasn’t the case.