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Diablo II, a game that pretty much defined the entire hack ‘n’ slash action-RPG subgenre, was released two whole decades ago, on June 29, 2000. And in order to commemorate the 20th anniversary since the game’s release, Blizzard Entertainment brings us a humorous video, a live speedrun, an impressive piece of merch, a Diablo III cosmetic giveaway, and a lengthy retrospective article that focuses on Diablo II’s legacy and how it continues to influence Blizzard’s design process to this day. Here’s what you get:
Multiple Great Evils (not just one). Hardcore mode. Gem socketing. Fighting demons outside for the first time. Diablo II has a legacy, and it’s in the bloodstream of every game we’ve worked on at Blizzard since the year 2000.
It taught our artists, engineers and designers about mood and atmosphere, about randomness, and about what makes plate mail dress-up so persistently delightful. For DII’s 20th anniversary, we’re stoking the campfire and reflecting on a game that shaped how we make games.
In the process, we’ve dreamed up some cool stuff, and we hope you’ll check it out and celebrate with us.
We’re honored that you’re still enjoying one of our favorite games of all time this long after its release, and we’re grateful to spend a little time reminiscing with you.
- To start, watch Baal Runz 101, a video developed by animation sorcerer Carbot Studios that we think is among his funniest work yet—and maybe the truest depiction of battling the Lord of Destruction.
- Read our Diablo II retrospective, with comments from Blizzard employees who’ve grown up developing, playing, and hanging out in the world of Sanctuary.
- Follow speedrun record-setter MrLlamaSC on a day-long live speedrun through Diablo II beginning at 9 am PT today. He’ll be playing through the entire game up to and including the Pandemonium event and conquering the “Uber” bosses.
- Bear witness to the unspeakable evil that is this limited-edition Lord of Terror bust. It looms 9” wide by 7-1/8” deep by 10-1/2” tall–the perfect size to desecrate your computer desk. Diablo’s never looked more terrifying (or more enthusiastic).
- Log in to Diablo III any time after June 29 to unlock your own tendinous Prime Evil Wings and represent the legacy you forged on Arreat Summit. Baal—as we saw in him in Diablo II—did not have wings, but try to imagine what they would’ve looked like if he did, and if you could’ve fastened them to your hero’s shoulders.
The Diablo Team