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Diablo II, despite its great success, is a mockery of a game. Blizzard's record until its release was essentially flawless -- their other games are almost entirely bug free, very well balanced, and of extremely high quality.

Diablo II Is Buggy

  • Until recently, several high level items didn't even drop, due to a typo in the data files. Players of the game had already identified, and fixed (through mods) this bug months ago.
  • Damage mods on bows do not work.
  • Bugged Barbarian Skills:
    • Bash: +Damage does not affect unarmed attacks.
    • Leap Attack: Resistances are applied twice. Earlier versions listed a range limit on Leap Attack... this was "fixed" in 1.0.3 by removing the text, not by applying the limit.
    • Berserk: This skill is supposed to do magic-type damage, for use against physically resistant monsters. It does not do magic-type damage. It also may INCREASE defense rating significantly if a high level of shout and iron skin are in effect.
    • Frenzy: Frenzy ignores attack speed, meaning it does not speed itself up.
    • Throwing Mastery: The other five masteries add a critical strike chance at 2 * skill level, throwing mastery does not.
    • Iron Skin and Natural Resistance: These skills do not update correctly in the character screen when the character is wearing +skills items.
    • Taunt: Taunt experiences display errors.
    • Grim Ward: Some grim wards have no effect.
  • Bugged Amazon Skills:
    • Guided Arrow: This skill's +damage is not applied. Shots at all levels do 95% damage.
    • Strafe: This skill's damage is applied on top of all other bonuses.
    • Evade: "Evade Lock" can occur when attacked by Diablo's LBOD.
    • Penetrate: Penetrate applies strangely to non-bow weaponry.
  • Bugged Necromancer Skills:
    • Blood Golem: The blood golem absorbs a percentage of any monster it attacks' TOTAL hitpoints, not the damage done by the attack. This makes necromancers more or less invincible.
    • Revive: Sometimes revives die but are not removed from the count of active revives.
    • All Poison Attacks: Poison damage is dealt oddly, and is essentially completely ineffective.
    • Bone Wall and Bone Prison: Bone structures' hitpoints increase in nightmare and hell difficulties, but this is not noted in the description.
  • Bugged Paladin Skills:
    • Zeal: Zeal has serious targeting problems that result in its missing monsters frequently.
    • Vengeance: Vengeance applies each element's damage twice, resulting in six times the damage the skill description shows.
    • Conversion: Converted monsters can often rendered "invincible" with a sliver of health left when they unconvert.
    • Blessed Hammer: Blessed Hammer is affected by Concentration.
  • Bugged Sorceress Skills:
    • Blizzard: Blizzard does not hit monsters standing in certain positions.
    • Fire Mastery: Fire Mastery does not affect Hydra, despite the skill text.
    • Hydra: If Hydra kills a Flayer Shaman, it will fail to target the normal flayer produced.
    • Thunder Storm: Thunder Storm often misses, or appears to hit targets but does no damage.
  • Many effects, especially the sorceress' attacks, are drawn twice to everyone but whoever cast them. Even in single player, attacks like the Vampire class monsters' meteors are drawn twice. The result is huge framerate slowdown.
  • Monsters have four times the AR they are listed to have in the data files. This wouldn't be a problem, but the character screen calculates your defense based on the data file values, not the real values. The result is a number that basically does not correlate to your actual chance to be hit.
  • Many unique items list "increased attack speed" among their attributes, but about half of these increase attack speed by 1% rather than the 10% - 30% they should.
  • Spell effects radiate out from the player in a four-pointed star shape, not a circle. The result is that most area effect skills actually cover an area three times larger than they should, and extend very far to the N, S, E, and W, but only 'normal' distances to the NE, NW, SE, and SW. Static Field and Auras are examples.
  • Certain monsters that are supposed to be vulnerable to attacks from a specific element are actually very resistant to those attacks.
  • The character screen does not correctly display resistances above 75% (that are achievable through certain items.)
  • The "freezes enemies" special effect does not work on bows. It is present on a Set that includes a bow, so it is clearly SUPPOSED to.
  • Items beyond character level/attribute requirements can be equipped through a simple process, allowing low level characters to run around with godly equipment.

This is by no means a complete list. I doubt I've cataloged a tenth of the known bugs. It's just off the top of my head.

Diablo II Is Unbalanced

Look at the ladders. Barbarians outnumber every other class easily 10 to 1. Why is this? Because they are disgustingly overpowered. Whirlwind is the game's most powerful attack. Add onto that combat masteries, which apply to the TOTAL damage, not just the weapon damage like every other skill. To top it off, they add a large chance for critical hit, and barbarians get passives to boost their resistances and Defense Rating. No other class can even begin to approach the raw power of barbarians.

Diablo II introduced skill trees, which supposedly allowed you to customize your character. Unfortunately, for that to work, there would have to be multiple, viable skill plans. There aren't. There is one "good" skill plan for each character (WW, BG + IM & Revives, FO, Strafe, BH + Conc), a cookie cutter template that everyone uses. Sure, you can make characters using the generally "unused" skills, but they're basically crippled.

For that matter, most of the skills aren't even worth investing a point into. Take Fist of the Heavens for example - it is utterly useless. I challenge anyone to come up with a legitimate FotH strat that allows you to do something you can't do better and faster with another skill.

At least half the skills are either totally useless or completely eclipsed by a later skill, like Ice Bolt -> Ice Blast -> Glacial Spike. Or Leap and Leap Attack... one point in leap attack gets you everything 20 points in leap would, AND the ability to attack rather than just jump around.

Diablo II Is Of Low Quality

Many areas of Diablo II show evidence of extremely poor game planning. The game uses an "active load" system in which areas are loaded "on the fly". This supposedly means that you don't have to look at any load screens -- what it actually means is that unless you have extremely recent hardware, far above the game's "minimum requirements", you get a black screen just like a load screen, except that monsters can hit you!. Being beaten down while waiting for the game to load a waypoint, or, especially, Duriel (an extremely powerful boss who gets to attack you while you're loading his room), has killed more characters than anything else. The whole system is really, really stupid.

Other features that were touted as major new features, like gems and set items, play a very minimal role in the game. The fact is that they suck, like many of the skills.

Diablo II was put through a hurried beta process. This is obvious - if anyone had ever taken five minutes to USE Frenzy, they would notice it did not work properly. In the original release, WW was several orders of magnitude more powerful than it is now. Blizzard has also failed to respond reasonably to being notified of the existance of bugs. It took them months to resolve the item drop bug, despite the availability of SPECIFIC instructions on EXACTLY how to fix it. The exact reasons other skills don't work, even to the point of what is happening in the code (they aren't passing a pointer in the Berserk skill's function, for instance), is known, and yet Blizzard fails to fix them.

This is Why Diablo II Sucks.

In reply to achtung man:

Yes, my writeup is fairly dated. Many of the bugs I've listed have been fixed by now, a year after the game came out. As far as the double draw bug is concerned, it happened for MANY spell effects. Meteor, Frost Nova, Nova, Frozen Orb, etc. -- they were all double-drawing for everyone except the originating source. They were NOT drawn for the caster - a sorceress firing off a frost nova would see one ring. Everyone else would see two.

I would note, however, that despite the fixing of many of these bugs, a huge number still remain. And these are just the bugs. Relativley little has been done to address the imbalances and other play issues with the game.