Diablo Wiki
For the Cosmetic Set of the same name, see Diablo II (Cosmetic Set).
"Many moons have passed since I left the town of Tristram behind me. Since then I've tried to forget the terrors I beheld beneath the cold earth, and the twisted nightmares that have haunted my every waking moment. There’s something dark within me now; I can feel it, driving me towards the East, assuring me that my salvation lies within the ruins of ancient kingdoms. Though I know the way, I know not what perils will arise to hinder my journey, and as I pass through the first gate, I know that the better part of my soul will remain behind... forever."

- The Dark Wanderer narrating the cinematic trailer.(src)

Diablo II
Diablo 2 Box Front Cover NA
Developer(s) Blizzard North
Publisher(s) NA Blizzard Entertainment

EU Sierra Entertainment

Distributor(s) Blizzard
Designer(s) David Brevik
Series Diablo
Version 1.14d
Released NA June 29, 2000

PAL June 30, 2000

Genre(s) Action role-playing game (hack and slash)
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Ratings M
Platform(s) PC/Mac
Media 3 CD-ROMs (Play, Install, and Cinematics discs)
System requirements Mac OS
G3 processor or equivalent, System 8.1 or later, 64 MB RAM plus Virtual Memory, 650MB drive space, 4X CD-ROM drive, 256 color display at 800x600 resolution


233 MHz Pentium or better, 32 MB RAM, 650 MB drive space, 4X CD-ROM drive, DirectX compatible video card
Input methods Keyboard, Mouse

Diablo II, the sequel to the popular game Diablo, is a dark, fantasy-themed action role-playing game in a hack-and-slash or "dungeon roaming" style. After the Stress Test in spring 2000, it was released for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS in the summer 2000 by Blizzard Entertainment. Diablo II was developed by Blizzard North.

By April 2001, Diablo II had become one of the most popular online games of all time. Major factors that contributed to Diablo II's success include what fans found to be addictive hack-and-slash gameplay and free access to Battle.net. Diablo II may be played as a single-player game, multi-player via a LAN, or multi-player via Battle.net, with the last option being the most popular one.

The game was conceptualized and designed by Stieg Hedlund, along with Blizzard North founders David Brevik, Max and Erich Schaefer acting as project heads for the other disciplines. The main production roles were handled by Matthew Householder and Bill Roper.

An expansion, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, was released in 2001.


The story of Diablo II takes place soon after the end of the original Diablo. At the end of Diablo, Diablo, Lord of Terror was defeated by a mortal hero. The hero who slew Diablo (i.e. the player character of the first game) drives the soulstone of Diablo (a magical stone containing the soul of a demon or angel) into his own head in an attempt to contain Diablo in his own body. After this event, the hero is rapidly corrupted by Diablo and slowly loses control of Diablo's soul. In the opening cinematic of Diablo II, Marius, the narrator of the story, witnesses the fallen hero (known only as the Dark Wanderer) totally lose control, unleashing the demons of Hell upon a tavern. Marius is the only survivor (it is implied that rather than just being blind luck, the demons were ignoring him), and he feels compelled to follow the Wanderer for reasons he himself does not understand. The new player character is a different hero following in the wake of the destruction, chasing the Dark Wanderer, hoping to put an end to the demon lord within him. The new hero ultimately catches up to the Wanderer outside the city of Kurast but is unable to stop him. The rest of the story is revealed through the four acts, as the player faces not just the demon lord Diablo, but two new major villains, his equally malevolent brothers, fellow Prime Evils Mephisto, Lord of Hatred and Baal, Lord of Destruction. Diablo is determined to free them from their soulstone incarceration, which was forced upon all three long ago, and from which Diablo managed to break free in the first game. The hero travels through different lands to thwart the forces of The Burning Hells from conquering the world known as Sanctuary.

The story tells about seven "Great Evils" (with 7 totalling the number of the powers of hell); five are killed in Diablo II. Three are directly slain in Diablo III, though all seven are effectively slain at once due to Diablo becoming the Prime Evil.

The "Lesser Evils"

  • Andariel, the Maiden of Anguish (also known as the Demon Queen, slain in Diablo II, Act I)

A fairly powerful enemy using mainly poison-based attacks. She uses homing poison arrows, poison spray and the weak claws on her back in hand-to-hand battle. She is found in the bottom level of the monastery behind a large set of wooden doors, surrounded by her minions.

  • Duriel, the Lord of Pain (also known as the Maggot King, slain in Diablo II, Act II)

A very fast and very aggressive enemy. His pure physical strength can easily overwhelm an unprepared player. He attacks using his large claws, and may also freeze the player, making it even easier for him to quickly dispense of opposition. He is found in the true Tomb of Tal Rasha by placing the Horadric Staff into a pedestal.

  • Belial, the Lord of Lies (also known as the Master of Deception, appears in Diablo III)
  • Azmodan, the Lord of Sin (also known as the General of Vices, appears in Diablo III)

The "Prime Evils"

  • Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred (eldest of three brothers, slain in Diablo II, act III)

He uses several powerful lightning attacks and doesn't have a melee attack. He can be found in his lair in the temple city of Travincal in Kurast by destroying the Compelling Orb that locked him in his lair. You must use a unique flail called Khalim's Will to destroy it, created after finding the relics of Khalim and transmuting them with Khalim's flail in a Horadric Cube. Beware of the many allies and minions he has throughout the Durance of Hate-the Council Members in particular. Maffer Dragonhand is nearly as dangerous as Mephisto himself.

  • Diablo, the Lord of Terror (slain in Diablo II, act IV, also appears in Diablo I and Diablo III)

The Leader of the Three. He uses the fire element. He is a powerful boss, especially in later difficulties. Beware of his Red Lightning Hose attack, which resembles a long red stream of lightning spraying from his mouth, as even characters with good vitality can be killed in one full blast, it is the strongest attack in the game. However, this attack is slower than most of his other ones and can be easily avoided. His attacks include Red Lightning Hose, Fire ring, Firestorm (similar to the Druid's but much stronger, the same released by Hellfire torch), Bone Prison (cast on town portals), Cold Touch (freezes you) and a melee attack, in which he will charge quickly toward the player. He appears after activating the five seals and defeating their protectors, the Lord De Seis (Unique Oblivion Knight), Infector of Souls (Unique Venom Lord) and Grand Vizier of Chaos (Unique Doom Caster).

  • Baal, the Lord of Destruction (slain in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, act V)

He is found in the Worldstone Keep. After destroying the five swarms of his minions, he'll walk into the portal to The Worldstone Chamber, the battleground. He uses fire strikes and a cold attack, the latter of which causes a severe knock back, as well as freezing, a kind of Inferno that drains your mana and also a curse that will damage you if you try to cast any spell (he only uses it if you have more mana than life). He also summons a copy of himself, capable of using all of his attacks, only adding to the troubles of anyone attempting to slay the Lord of Destruction.


The player assumes the role of a hero, fighting monsters while traversing over land and dungeons. The storyline of Diablo II is played through four acts. Each act follows a predetermined path with preselected quests, although some quests are optional. Each act culminates with the destruction of a boss monster, upon which the player proceeds to the next act. The battle is conducted in real-time, using an isometric oblique top-down viewpoint. Players fight monsters to level their character up and gain better items.

Diablo II places heavy emphasis on combat, and randomly generates many monster properties, level layouts and item drops. Most of the maps themselves are randomly generated. In single-player mode, the map is randomly generated but locks the setting thereafter; in multi-player mode, it resets every time the dungeon is restarted.

Diablo II allows the player to choose between five different character classes: Necromancer, Amazon, Barbarian, Sorceress and Paladin. Each character has different strengths and weaknesses and sets of skills to choose from.

In addition to the four acts, there are also three difficulty levels: Normal, Nightmare, and Hell. A character must complete these difficulty levels in order; only once a character completes Normal difficulty can that character play at Nightmare difficulty, and similarly for Hell difficulty. Each difficulty is a greater challenge than the last, with such features as increased creature difficulty, experience penalties upon death, and other challenges. A character retains all abilities, equipment, etc., between difficulties, and may return to earlier difficulties at any time. Upon completion of the game in Normal difficulty, a player may create a hardcore character. While for normal players the game doesn't end when they die, the game ends when a hardcore character is killed.

Diablo II also has a number of other features that enhance gameplay. The player has the option of hiring one of several computer-controlled mercenaries, that follow the player and attack nearby enemies. On occasion, the player might find a rare, valuable item, or one that is part of a set that becomes more powerful when the entire set is collected. Items can be customized using sockets and gems, or transmuted into different items using the Horadric Cube.


Unlike Diablo I, where the monsters all stay dead once killed, and their corpses remain where they fell all throughout the game, if you save-and-exit and return to the game, all of the killed creatures have respawned. Even the boss monsters that you killed for the quest will have respawned as well.

This will turn out to be rather frustrating for any player who is a completist. The up-side, however, is the newly respawned monster still drops loot and can keep earning you loads of riches.

Character classes[]


Main article: Amazon

The Amazon is an active skill-oriented fighter. Her skills are oriented around personal protective abilities, the use of a bow and arrow, as well as the spear and javelin.

The Amazon is most similar to the Rogue of Diablo: both are primarily associated with bows, and both make equal use of strength and magic. The Amazon is different in that she can also use javelins and spears adeptly. The class is loosely based on the Amazons of mythology.


Main article: Barbarian (Diablo II)

The Barbarian is a powerful melee-oriented character in Diablo 2, and the only character capable of dual-wielding. His skills are divided into various weapon masteries, war cries, and combat skills. The masteries are purely passive and allow the Barbarian to specialize in different types of weapons and to gain natural speed and resistances. His war cries can enhance his and his party's abilities in combat, reduce the enemy's abilities, frighten the enemy into fleeing and even cause considerable damage to them. The Barbarian's combat skills are attacks that maximize brute force, his greatest asset.

The Barbarians, in Diablo 2, originated from the Northern Highlands, which is where Act 5 of the expansion takes place, and can also be hired as mercenaries in that Act.

A different Barbarian was planned for Hellfire, the unofficial Diablo "expansion" released by Sierra Entertainment. Though not included in the final version, the character was available as a hidden class in Patch 1.01 for Hellfire. The character had the same appearance and speech as the Warrior but had altered statistics and different abilities.

The Barbarian, despite being a strict melee character, can be very effective. In Hell mode, the natural resistance for all characters drop and the Barbarian is the only class that can passively increase his resistance through a skill.


Main article: Sorceress (Diablo II)

The Sorceress focuses on ranged elemental spells in three areas: ice, lightning and fire. Her ice spells can chill or even completely freeze affected enemies, but do less damage than lightning or fire. Lightning spells can do both very high and very low damage, whereas fire spells deal more consistent damage.

The spell Teleport essentially defines the Sorceress, allowing much faster mobility than any other character. The strong point of the Sorceress is powerful damaging spells and casting speed; her weakness is her relatively low hit points and defence, demanding that the player pay close attention to keep her out of the fray.

Sorceresses are, according to the storyline, rebellious women who have wrested the secrets of magic use from the male-dominated magus clans of the East..


The Necromancer is a spell-caster who relies on summoning spirits of the dead to aid him in his work. His skills are split into curses, summoning, poison and bone spells. The summoning skills allow him to revive various skeletons, golems and any monster killed (Including Diablo). However, it is to be noted that with the exception of golems, all of the necromancer's summons require existing monster corpses. Poison and bone skills are the necromancer's actual means of straight out damage. Bone skills also hold means for creating obstacles and such, making for great PVP support. Curse skills form an integral part of a necromancer's arsenal ability to produce curses and hexes in both PVP and PVE. These powers greatly alter gameplay for both the caster as well as the target.


Main article: Paladin

The Paladin is a religious warrior fighting for all that is good. To reflect this, 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, of which, the latter two can enhance personal abilities, lower the amount of damage dealt by enemies, or facilitate health recovery. These auras are helpful in a multi-player game as many of them can be used to upgrade all of the party's stats. Most auras require no mana which makes a Paladin a very economic character as he needs to spend little to nothing on mana recovery. Paladins are highly proficient in the use of a shield, and they may even use their shield as a weapon. He is the best with defensive skills and is also the best choice if the player wishes to weaken enemies without hitting them or casting any spells. Paladin skills are extremely efficient at eliminating the undead.


Unlike the original Diablo, Diablo II was made specifically with online gaming in mind. Several spells multiply their effectiveness if they are cast within a party, and dungeons, although they still exist, were largely replaced by open spaces.

Multi-player is achieved through Blizzard's Battle.net free online service, or via a LAN. Battle.net is divided into "Open" and "Closed" realms. Players may play their single-player characters on open realms; characters in closed realms are stored on Blizzard's servers, as a measure against cheating, where they must be played every ninety days to avoid expiration. Online play is otherwise nearly identical to single-player play. The most notable difference is that online maps are generated randomly, with a new map for every game a player enters. Offline, single-player maps are retained in computer memory.

As the game can be played cooperatively, groups of players with specific sets of complementary skills can finish some of the game's climactic battles in a matter of seconds, providing strong incentives for party-oriented character builds. Up to eight players can be in one game; they can either unite as a single party, play as individuals, or form multiple opposing parties. Experience, monsters' hit points, and the number of items dropped are increased as more players join a game.

Players are allowed to duel each other with all damage being reduced in player versus player. The bounty for a successful kill is a portion of the gold and the ear of the defeated player's character.

Patch 1.10 included the option of playing with a ladder character. The ladder system can be reset at various intervals to allow for all players to start fresh with new characters on an equal footing. Ladder seasons have lasted from as short as nine months to over a year. When a ladder season ends the ladder population is transferred to the non-ladder population with all items that the player is holding. Certain rare items and rune words are available only within ladder games, although they can be traded for and exchanged on non-ladder after the season has ended.

Up to twenty-three patches have been released for Diablo II. Through the patch history, several exploits and issues have been addressed, as well as major revamps to the game's balance. Not all patches have affected Diablo II directly, as several were designed to address issues in the expansion to the game and had minimal effects on Diablo II. The game is currently in version 1.14. The exact number of patches is impossible to determine as Battle.net has the capability of making minor server-side patches to address immediate issues.

Easter eggs[]

If a user is to type in 'soundchaosdebug' in the chat window on Battle.net or in single-player mode, every sound file in the game is played in a chaotic muddle that lasts until the player reenters the code.

Secret Cow Level[]

The "Secret Cow Level" is the result of a running joke from the original Diablo that spawned from an Internet rumour about a cow that appears in the game, seemingly without purpose. Supposedly, if the cow was clicked on a certain number of times, a portal to a secret level would open (There were also variations involving Adria's Shack, such as needing to go (counter)clockwise around it a certain number of times before clicking the cow. These were usually used to extend the amount of time that the hoax was believed, as it was usually a high number (ex. 37), and new players could often be convinced several times that they had miscounted in one of the steps, reversed the numbers, or both) The rumour was a hoax, but the legend was born, and player after player asked Blizzard about how to access the level.

In Diablo: Hellfire, the only expansion to the original Diablo (This "expansion" is actually considered an "add-on", since it was not an official release, but instead released by Sierra Entertainment), it was possible to change a parameter in a specific text file (Command.txt), so that the farmer who gives out the "rune bomb" quest was dressed in a cow suit, with appropriate new dialogue ("Moo." "I said Moo!"). This added fuel to the fire. To kill the rumour, Blizzard included a cheat (that automatically won the game) in StarCraft that read "There is no cow level", this being Blizzard's way of officially confirming that there was, in fact, no Cow Level.[1] Among online game enthusiasts, this phrase has become an Internet joke similar to the phrase There Is No Cabal.

Early render cows

April, 1st, 1999 Screenshot of the week

On April 1, 1999, a Diablo II Screenshot of the Week featured cows fighting. People wondered if the screenshot was an April Fool's joke or if there really was a Secret Cow Level planned for Diablo II. It turned out that there was a cow level. To access the level, one must kill Diablo (or, in Lord of Destruction, kill Baal), return to Rogue Encampment in Act I within the same difficulty level, and then transmute Wirt's Leg with a Tome of Town Portal in the Horadric Cube. This will open a portal to the secret level (defeating Baal in the difficulty that the player wishes to enter the cow level in is no longer required, as of Patch 1.11b. One only needs to be able to access a certain difficulty to enter its cow level). There is an item set named the "Cow King's Leathers" which may only be collected in this secret level. However, when a player kills the Cow King for their first time on a difficulty level, the character used to open the portal becomes unable to reopen the portal to the level on that difficulty level.

Chat Gem[]

There exists a purple chat gem that is only visible when inside of a chat channel. There are many theories about the purpose of this gem. There is, however, no purpose for this gem aside from a meaningless message. The gem toggles between an active and inactive state. When activated, a chat message appears stating, "Gem Activated" and likewise, a message "Gem Deactivated" is shown when it becomes inactive. It can also say "Perfect Gem Activated" but the chances, however, are very low. It has also been said that it sometimes can be heard lowing.

Special target code alteration[]

There is a "cheat" for Diablo II and Lord of Destruction. If one right clicks on the Diablo II icon on the desktop and goes to properties they'll see three tabs: "General," "Shortcut," and "Compatibility." Click on "Shortcut," and at the end of the file path located to the right of "Target," enter a space and a dash after the quotation mark, then the act to which the character is wanted to go. For example, " -act 5" (without the quotation marks) will take you to Act V. Click "Apply," start the game, and create a new character. The character will start in whichever act is chosen. Another interesting thing about this is the character level; depending on which action is chosen, the character's level will be set to a specific amount. However, this will not affect a character's inventory, which will be limited to the standard Act 1 starter items.


Tome This page contains obsolete content
This article contains information that is no longer relevant to gameplay.

While developing Diablo I, there was no plan at the time to do a sequel, let alone create a series.[2]

The idea of Diablo II began in the three-month period that followed the launch of its predecessor. Blizzard North bounced around ideas for their next game.[3] At the time, the developers were "kind of sick of Diablo" (according to David Brevik), and wanted to make a different game. Diablo I had been the longest game they'd worked on, and at the time, Blizzard South was shifting from Warcraft II to StarCraft, and it was expected that Blizzard North's next game would demonstrate a similar departure. However, as Blizzard North continued to patch Diablo I, and the issue of cheating became apparent on battle.net, the team began to see how the original game could be improved.[4] Over time, the idea of a sequel crept into their discussions.[3] Fourth months after Diablo I was released,[4] Diablo II was settled on. Staff looked at ideas they had sought to implement for the previous game and compiled customer feedback. It was intended that Diablo II be "bigger and better" in every way.[3] Less than 1% of the code and art of the original game were reused for Diablo II.[5] The first priority was to fix the issue of cheating that had plagued Diablo I. The second priority was to update the classes.[6] Other priorities included reducing downtime, such as loading screens and adding the running feature.[2]

The development team consisted of between 45 and 60 individuals.[7] New staff were hired to work on the game. A two-year development cycle was estimated for the game. Most of the time was spent on perfecting the game's first act, as it would likely be used in a beta test or demo.[3]

Work on the game began in 1997. The first six months of development were slow and relaxed, as the company was burnt out from their work on Diablo I.[3] It was publically announced on September 9 of that year, with an estimated release of 1998 provided.[8] By the second half of the year, the game's first act had been created, including its town hub, surrounding landscapes, and the initial dungeons. By the end of the year, the game's feel and look had been solidified.[3] Planning ahead during development ranged from periods of one week to one month.[9]

Blizzard South was active in the game's development over the 1997-'99 period. The sometimes adversarial collaboration led to the creation of "strike teams," which moved between projects to give feedback and advice.[10] Strike teams continue to be used by Blizzard South as of 2014.[11]

The game's "crunch period" of development began in May/June 1999.[12] It lasted about 18 months, with staff working 12-16 hour days, 7 days a week. The crunch was so bad that developers were held back to work on the game rather than moving onto Lord of Destruction.[7] The developers aimed to release the game by the end of 1999. In late September/early October, David Brevik contacted Mike Morhaime of Blizzard South to announce that the game couldn't be completed within the year. Blizzard South took the news in stride and gave the developers an extension of the crunch period, but urged that the game had to be completed. By this stage of development, the game was in a playable state, but the developers had yet to reach the Hell section of the game (which was implemented in February/March of 2000).[12]

The entire backup of the game's source code and assets was lost at the "eleventh hour" of the game's development. The team was able to reconstruct a lot of the code and assets from the version of Diablo II that developers took home to play.[13]

The game's beta began in March of 2000.[8] The game went gold on June 15, 2000, after a twelve-month "crunch period" of development.[3]

The game has since been remastered and released on September 23, 2021, titled Diablo II: Resurrected.

Design Document[]

"There was no definitive design document [for Diablo II]. There was a loose structure. 'Hey, I know we wanted to go here for Diablo 1, this is kind of the first act. This is kind of the story we're telling there.' And then we get to the second act, and "Hey, where do we want to go," and then, 'Oh, I got this idea for this level, it's going to be in space, it's going to be awesome.' And we'd mock it up. 'Yeah, that's great. Doesn't make any sense in the story, but what the hell, it's kind of cool.'"

The game never had an official design document.[3] What became the game's equivalent was effectively a wish list for features created by Erich Schaefer.[14] Reportedly, the document was only half a page long, and stuffed in a desk drawer and forgotten about soon afterwards.[7]

The team sought the following additions:

  • Four towns, instead of the original game's single one.
  • More character classes.
  • More dungeons, along with wilderness tilesets.
  • An expanded list of items, magic, and skills, along with a greater variety of appearances that stemmed from which items were equipped.
  • Random monster generation.
  • Improved graphics, with true transparency, coloured light sources, and a quasi-3D perspective mode.
  • The story would be factored in from the beginning, and have bearing on the quests.[3]

Design Teams[]

The staff working on Diablo II were divided into the following teams:

  • Programming
  • Character art (anything that moved)
  • Background art (anything that didn't move)

The design was largely an open process, with members of each team contributing outside their field. Blizzard South also contributed to the game's network code and battle.net support.[3]


The development team began working on the game's art in mid-1997.[15] Almost all of Diablo II's in-game and cinematic art was constructed and rendered in 3D Studio Max, while textures and 2D interface elements were created primarily with Photoshop. The programmers wrote in C and some C++, using Visual Studio and SourceSafe for version control.[3] Early comments on the graphics stated that they were too pixilated. Erich Schaefer defended the graphic choices but commented that Diablo II would likely be Blizzard North's last 2D game.[15]

Detailed sketches of settings preceded the actual modelling of the background art.[3] The environments themselves were constructed using algorithms.[6] As soon as a piece of the landscape was painted, it was added piecemeal.[16]

The developers considered making the game 3D, given that other PC games at the time were taking advantage of new 3D hardware. However, the decision was made to make the game 2D, as according to Brevik, 3D technology "wasn't quite there" (at the time), and it was felt that as a 2D action game, it could look better and have more stuff on screen at the time.[4]

When designing the game's locations, Blizzard North took inspiration from real-world locations.[17]



An example of the game's class artwork

Each player character in the game is 75 pixels tall. However, all were modelled and rendered in high resolution for use on the character selection screen and in promotional materials.[3]

The idea of five classes was hammered out over several months.[6] During the development of the game, it was originally intended that the classes be archetypes (albeit with slight differences from standard RPG classes)[9] that boiled down to the roles of fighter, rogue, and spell caster, based on a sub-class principle. The rogue would branch out into sisters (of the Sightless Eye order) and hunters/rangers, the fighter into a templar/paladin or berserker, and the spell caster into the sorceress or necromancer. Blizzard North decided against the idea because multiple genders would mean animating a total of 10 models, that, combined with the game's component system, would make the task too large to undertake.[18] The game's skill trees were effectively away to formalize class pathways/builds, and make it easier for players to specialize their character.[9]

More emphasis was put on the visual effects of gear on classes when compared to the original game (which had possessed limited visual representation of gear due to a lack of budget). The characters were designed like dolls, in the sense that every body part would be treated as a separate component (from a design sense).[6]

Development of the classes was carried out on the fly; balance concerns were addressed at the end of development.[9]

Locations and Map Design[]

"If you look at Diablo 2, there are a lot of conflicting ideas that happen to click. The game still has a creepy vibe, but it’s also much more vibrant than the first game. There are dungeons, but you spend most of your time running around outside."

Location-wise, Diablo II had a set of locations that were thrown out during development.[4] The locations of the game were made up on the fly, the development team has the idea of going to a "desert area," a "jungle area," and then eventually deciding to enter Hell.[9] Blizzard South originally objected to the game beginning in the "Irish countryside" (Khanduras), due to the shared location with Diablo I.[10] but the game nonetheless began in the region.

An idea that never made it into the game was the idea of the "Battle.net Town." The idea was that players wouldn't start in the b.net lobby, but in an actual town, where the player's character could interact with other players and go to vendors before entering the game's acts. This was partially inspired by Ultima Online, in which members of the development team were playing over the course of Diablo II's development. The team aspired to make a game where one could walk seamlessly between areas of the world, but this did not make it into the game, and the act structure was used instead.

Diablo II takes place in more open spaces than its predecessor—the development team took time to make sure that they weren't completely empty, and that borders were in place around the edge of the maps. In some cases, walls. This caused some controversy within the team at first due to the artificial nature of the restriction, but the concern disappeared once they started playing it. Much playtesting went into the fields to ensure that there were enough objects to allow position-based tactics to be used, but not so many that the areas felt claustrophobic.[9]

David L. Craddock has opinionated that Diablo II represents a shift from Diablo I, given the proliferation of outdoor areas. He attributed this to the arrival of new staff to work on the project, and ergo, new ideas.[7]


"We didn't really have almost any story in mind at all, other than you are following the guy from the first game, who stuck the gem in his head. You just got to track him down and kill him at the end. That was the entirety of the story. Really, it was Blizzard South who was tasked, their film department, it was called Blizzard Film Department back then, I think, they were tasked with making cinematics for the game, and they really in making the cinematics invented the story. We really had very little to do with it. At times, we thought their story was very strange. But, in the long run, I think it was a collaboration between our sort of setting the tone and populating the world with recognizable and unique looking characters and things, and them turning it into a story. It was kind of contentious. At times we hated each other, thought the other guys were screwing up the whole game. But in the end, I think it was very strange, and probably wouldn't work out very well, but it ended up almost everyone liked it, and people like yourself just say, 'rich story.' It didn't really. If it were just me, it wouldn't have had a rich story at all."

A cinematic shot of the "desert area" of the game (later called Aranoch)

Blizzard North barely had a story in mind during the development of the game. The initial idea was that the character would be following the proceeding hero from Diablo I who had stuck the soulstone into their forehead, kill him, and end the game there. The Blizzard Film Department (part of Blizzard South) was tasked with making cinematics for the game, that, in Schaefer's words, "invented" the story[10] (it has been stated that the general story arc was crafted by Chris Metzen).[19] These sequences bracket each of the game's acts. The Film Department also collaborated on the storyline.[3] The decision was made to use the cinematics to tell a separate but parallel story, which generated some internal controversy,[15] and contention from Blizzard North's part, whose approach was to use story only as a means of bridging areas of the game (e.g. creating a means of connecting the Act II desert area to the jungle in Act III).

One of the game's first cinematics was someone serving patrons cocktails in a desert bazaar. At the time of delivery, this cinematic had "no basis in the game whatsoever." This cinematic made no appearance in the final game. However, at times, Blizzard North made changes to the game based on the cinematics produced.[10]


"It was the good old days. Men were men, women were women, and elders in robes would tell you everything about anything if you'd stay a while and listen. The Lord of Terror was traipsing about Sanctuary spreading evil like it was going out of style, and the only way to stop him was to fill your pack with identify scrolls and start clicking."
Diablo II 10 Year Anniversary small

10-Year Anniversary artwork.

Diablo II 20 Year Anniversary

20-Year Anniversary artwork.

Diablo II was a runaway success for Blizzard. The game has achieved an overall score of 88 on Metacritic.[20] Gamespy awarded the game an 86 out of 100,[21] IGN awarded the game an 8.3 out of 10,[22] and GameSpot awarded the game an 8.5 out of 10[23] along with earning the 2000 runner-up Reader's Choice Award for the role-playing game of the year.[24] It was awarded a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records "2000 edition" for being the fastest-selling computer game ever sold, with more than 1 million units sold in the first two weeks of availability, by January 2001, it had sold 2.75 million copies worldwide.[25] At the time of its release, it was the fast-selling computer game in history.[26]

Over the years, Diablo II has moved in and out of the top twenty games of NPD's sales list and since 2007, sometimes even in the top ten. The game's popularity was boosted even further by the announcement of Diablo III and Blizzard intends to continue to support the game.[27] It has also become one of the top thirty best selling computer games ever. Including Diablo II, the Diablo series has sold 17 million copies.[28]

Some negative reception towards the game occurred after seeing its desert areas—a departure from the Gothic aesthetic of its predecessor.[29] David Brevik has commented that he prefers the darker aesthetic of the original game to its sequel.[2]



This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • When the Player visits Diablo II's Tristram, the same music plays that did in Diablo's Tristram.
  • Many of the characters, items and places in Diablo II have the same names as prominent figures from the game's development team:

or are anagrams or other manipulates of such names:

  • Diablo II also uses the concept of undecidable figures to represent the "Arcane Sanctuary" level, since it is an extradimensional, magical construct of the wizard Horazon . Players are able to walk on a flat surface and find their characters below their starting point, similar to M. C. Escher's woodblock print Waterfall. The algorithm for impossible geometry was not difficult to achieve; instead, the program sees the level as a plane and the visual representations do the work of creating this effect. The level plays with and takes advantage of the limits of isometric projection.
  • There are traces of a deleted event/quest in Act II that can still be heard by playing the character speech files. Apparently it involved some kind of invisible, magical barrier that blocked the player from venturing further. The player was then supposed to head back to town. The quest was apparently deleted when the palace came to be the place where the player should be heading. It is unknown what the background of the 'forcefield' was.
  • It is the only game in the series to not be ported to consoles.

See also[]


  1. "The Secret Cow Level". http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp/ The Arreat Summit.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2024-06-07, The Making of Diablo - David Brevik Interview. YouTube, accessed on 2024-06-10
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 Schaefer, Erich (October 25, 2000). "Postmortem: Blizzard's Diablo II". Gamasutra, archived on November 30, 2018
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 2017-07-30, 20 YEARS OF DIABLO: AN IGN RETROSPECTIVE. IGN, accessed on 2017-08-04
  5. 2000-10-25, Postmortem: Blizzard's Diablo II. Gamasutra, accessed on 2015-07-04
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 2018-06-29, Designing Diablo 2: Building Blizzard's Iconic World. US Gamer, accessed on 2018-07-08
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 2019-06-28, Diablo 2 Legacy Recounted by Stay Awhile and Listen Author. Diablo.net, accessed on 2019-07-03
  8. 8.0 8.1 Diablo Anniversary, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2017-01-14
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 2015-09-08, Page 2: In Their Own Words: An Oral History of Diablo II With David Brevik, Max Schaefer, and Erich Schaefer. US Gamer, accessed on 2015-09-13
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 2015-09-13, Page 3: In Their Own Words: An Oral History of Diablo II With David Brevik, Max Schaefer, and Erich Schaefer. US Gamer, accessed on 2015-09-15
  11. 2014-10-03, THE THREE LIVES OF BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT. Polygon, accessed on 2014-10-04
  12. 12.0 12.1 2015-09-13, Page 4: In Their Own Words: An Oral History of Diablo II With David Brevik, Max Schaefer, and Erich Schaefer. US Gamer, accessed on 2015-09-15
  13. 2019-11-18, How Diablo 2 Was Almost Lost, And Why A Remaster Is Less Likely
  14. 2015-09-08, In Their Own Words: An Oral History of Diablo II With David Brevik, Max Schaefer, and Erich Schaefer. US Gamer, accessed on 2015-09-11
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 2000-10-25, Postmortem: Blizzard's Diablo II. Gamastura, accessed on 2015-07-05
  16. 2018-08-07, How Diablo 2 Evolved from Gothic Horror to Epic Fantasy. Shack News. Accessed on 2018-07-08
  17. 2021-02-20, BlizzConline 2021 - Diablo II: Resurrected Deep Dive. YouTube, accessed on 2021-02-21
  18. 2012-10-12, Diablo Was to be Classless, Diablo II Almost Received a Second Expansion. GameBanshee, accessed on 2013-09-10
  19. 2008-08-12, Designer: ‘Diablo III’ Rounds Out Trilogy, But Not The End Of ‘Diablo’. MTV, accessed on 2016-01-23
  20. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/diablo2?q=diablo%20II
  21. http://archive.gamespy.com/legacy/reviews/diablo2_a.shtm
  22. http://pc.ign.com/objects/010/010629.html
  23. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/diablo2/review.html
  24. http://www.gamespot.com/gamespot/features/pc/bestof_2000_rc/p6.html
  25. "Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade". Official U. S. Playstation Magazine.
  26. Blizzard North: Condor and Diablo, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2017-07-10
  27. 2009-05-08, Blizzard Will Dominate PC Market. Inc Gamers. Accessed on 2009-05-18
  28. "Introduction to Vivendi Games". http://www.vivendi.com/ Vivendi's online website. Retrieved on November 20, 2006.
  29. 2011-11-29, Diablo III feature: Blizzard's plans to satisfy their fanbase and still deliver a fresh experience. PC Gamer, accessed on 2014-11-10
Wikipedia This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Diablo II. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Diablo Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under a Creative Commons license.

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