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In a nutshell: Blizzard Entertainment is rebalancing classes in Diablo II for the first time in nearly 11 years. The developer and publisher said they don’t want to “reinvent the wheel” and steer classes away from their core purposes. As such, they’ll be reviewing underused skills, making tooltip quality-of-life changes, assessing casting delays and more with the goal of expanding character build diversity.
Specifics will come later, but for now, here’s an overview of the philosophies behind each class change.
Blizzard said they like the current state of the Amazon class, but see an opportunity to improve the character’s melee skills and will consider buffing skills in the bow and crossbow tree to improve bow gameplay in higher difficulties.
With the Assassin, Blizzard wants to enhance martial arts builds and will do this by re-evaluating how to improve generating and spending combo points. They’ll do the same with various underutilized trap skills to promote more builds.
Blizzard aims to add more diversity to the Barbarian’s combat skills, including the leap attack and grim ward. They also want to give gamers more reasons to use throwing barbarians, and could enhance the double throw and throwing mastery skills.
With the Druid, Blizzard believes there are opportunities to boost underperforming elemental skills like druid fire. The controls for arctic blast could also use some adjusting, with Blizzard contemplating allowing for more free form while channeling it. Summons are also weak at high difficulty, so Blizzard wants to see how they can make it more viable later in the game.
Like the Amazon, Blizzard is quite content with the current state of the Necromancer but feel some specific summons are underused. Bone skill improvements at high difficulty could also use a boost.
The same is also true of the Sorceress. Specifically, they’re revisiting fire skills, lightning skills and cold skills in hopes of leading to an uptick in underutilized ones. The inferno skill is also a bit clunky to use, so the controls will be streamlined a bit, we're told.
Last but not least is the Paladin, which like the others, has some lesser-used skills that Blizzard would like to bring attention to including fist of the heavens. Offensive aura skills are also on the docket for re-evaluation, and Blizzard wants thorns to deal more reliable damage at higher levels.
Aside from class balances, Blizzard is looking into making improvements to mercenaries, adding new rune words, implementing set item changes and baking in new Horadric Cube, in addition to ladder rank play which is slated to arrive early next year.
If you are at all interested in the coming changes, I would highly recommend checking out Blizzard's full blog on the matter as this post only scratches the surface of what's coming in patch 2.4 PTR early next year.