Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
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|RPGs, Games Like Sekiro, Diablo Series
As the second expansion, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is everything a great follow up should be. Blizzard actually took control of this one and it really does show. If you already liked Diablo II then without a doubt, you will freak out and have awesome time with Lord of Destruction.
Meet My Brother
The story of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is awesome and actually way deeper and more interesting than you may expect from an expansion. It adds a brand new act onto Diablo II. You may wonder how you carry on after what happened with Diablo at the end of the main game. However, things are not good as the brother of Diablo, Baal is causing havoc and you need to head to the lands of the Barbarians, destroy the World Stone and save the day. I thought the story was awesome and actually, they could have maybe even made a full-on game about this concept.
What Is New?
While the story is great, an expansion really is only as good as the extra content that it is bringing to the dance. The first thing that is worth noting is that Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is the game that introduced, The Assassin and The Druid class to the world of Diablo. Getting two new classes to play as was awesome and I actually played through the whole act as both classes.
That is not all. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction also gives you lots of new enemies and skills. You can really get in there deep and customize your character just the way you want. The amount of time you can spend playing with the runes and getting the character you really want is just insane! There are new enemies’ items, animations and more. It really is quite impressive the amount of new content in addition to the story and classes that the game has.
The gameplay is nothing “new” but they did not need to change this aspect of Diablo II. It plays like a charm and I think one of the main things that so many people love about this game is that it is easy for new players to figure out. On the flip side of that, you can really master this game and become an epic warrior!
Play With Friends
Thanks to Battlenet, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction had an awesome multiplayer community going along with it. While I enjoyed playing the game in single-player, playing with a couple of friends is an experience I will always remember. It is cool how they will let you play with 7 other warriors. So if you have enough friends, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction can be quite the amazing multiplayer experience for all those involved.
I think that Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is a fantastic addition to Diablo II. I would bet many people have just ignored this (well those new to the series) and just jump into Diablo III. That is a huge mistake as Lord of Destruction is a wonderful experience that may not be super long, but it is an experience that is well worth having.
- The two new classes are fun to play as
- Tons of new skills and buffs to enhance your characters with
- Tons of new content in general
- The story is actually very well done
- The multiplayer is fantastic
- It is a bit on the short side
- The story is so good; it could have been its own full game!
Download Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
I remember my dad calling me and raving about how great Diablo II: Lord of Destruction was! I had started university the year prior so I had no gaming PC in my dorm, just my PS2 and I remember being so jealous that I could not play it and it would not be for several months until I went home that I would get the chance to play it and play it I did! I played through the whole thing by myself so I will admit I missed out on all the multiplayer stuff they added, but I loved it and to this day it remains one of my favorite pieces of DLC or expansions ever made.
He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother!
How about that for an obscure reference? Anyway, I loved the whole plot and lore of Diablo II and with Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, we get a new fifth act to play through. It follows the story from two of the prime evils of hell, Diablo and Mephisto being defeated. However, these two deadly sadistic brothers have another brother called Baal and he has raised an army and we need to put a stop to him before it is too late. It is epic dark fantasy stuff and I thought that it was very well done.
Two New Warriors Enter The Battle
Of course, you cannot have an expansion and not have new character classes! Diablo II: Lord of Destruction gives us two new character classes and they are both a lot of fun to play. My initial playthrough was spent with The Assassin. This badass female warrior is quick, and nimble and makes use of traps. I liked how you did not need a key to open chests and I just thought that she was really cool. However, over the years, I must admit that I do prefer the spellcasting Druid. The Druid is a lot of fun to play as and the way that he uses spells and has some pretty awesome minions allows you to do a lot of damage at a safe range, well as safe a range as you can be in a Diablo game of course.
Quite A Long List You Have There!
I cannot possibly list all of the improvements that Diablo II: Lord of Destruction offered, but it is truly staggering what they added to this. You have a whole bunch of new weapons and armor. You can get items that are specific to certain classes which makes your chosen class feel even more unique. New runes, recipes, and more have been added. They have given you a lot more to think about when it comes to customizing your build. It is honestly a lot to take on and I would understand why some people may find it a bit intimidating.
More Of The Same Is Not A Bad Thing
Visually, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is pretty much what you would expect from an expansion. I would bet that apart from the new characters, many people would struggle to tell you a screenshot from the base game, the first expansion, or this! I am not putting the game down for that, this is the way expansions and DLC were for the most part back in the early 00s. I love the dark gothic fantasy world that Diablo is set in. It is so dark and brooding, that I get a huge kick out of it all.
I know that it has been surpassed by Diablo III and of course Diablo 4 and the additional content that those games offered. However, I have a real soft spot for Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. I think a huge part of the allure of this game for me was that I had to wait so long to play it! I loved the base game and enjoyed the first expansion, but this felt bigger and better in pretty much every way.
- The Assassin class is quick and nimble
- I liked using magic as the Druid
- The story is a lot of fun and feels like a sequel in many ways
- They added and improved a lot of stuff with this expansion
- Of course, you need to have played and liked the original to like this
- I love the art style, but it is showing its age
It's probably fair to say that Blizzard has encouraged Diablo II fans to buy the expansion pack, Lord Of Destruction, in the same kind ot way Don Corleone encourages loyalty. The character skill and spell modifications imposed on the online community in their last tew patches have meant many players have found their elite characters dampened and have been 'persuaded' to buy the expansion pack to play through the higher nightmare and hell modes and pick up some new weapons to try and regain their status. Blizzard need not have been quite so militant because Lord of Destruction is good enough to have sold itself, but you can't help but have respect for that kind of sneakiness.
For those not so familiar with the Diablo world, Lord Of Destruction contains two new characters, the druid and the assassin, a fifth act that picks up from the end of Diablo II, two combat sets, plus a host of new weapons and items such as runes and jewels. Among some of the most notable 'tweaks' is the increase in damage of the Amazon's strafe arrow and the reduction in damage of her multi-arrow, which has meant a few pissed off Amazons who have previously poured all their skill points into multi-arrow.
A Bit Of A Tweak
There has also been a reduction in the amount leeching weapons leech, and the whirlwind skill of the Barbarian is now dependent on the speed of their weapon, rather than the standard whirlwind speed. Blizzard seems to be trying to create a level playing field to incorporate the new characters or it could be just a way of getting players to abandon their grip on the original five to give the two new ones a going over.
This has obviously worked, as the two new characters are proving immensely popular, and have boosted battlenet's already healthy attendance. The assassin has proved particularly tasty, as she employs the traits of most of the other characters, plus her own unique charge-up skills. The druid works in a similar way to the necromancer, but instead of summoning skeletons he summons wolves, bears and poisonous vines to his side. If tweaking the sorceress's spell-casting speed helped combat the ever-present problem of online lag, then this guy makes up for it.
Achange Of Face
What makes this expansion pack good value, is that by making-over the original characters, it changes the way the original game is played. Although the fifth act is sadly rather short when compared to the previous four, the enhanced difficulty levels, new weapons and rune words, have kept the trade channels buzzing, and you can't build a superior online character unless you jump in and show off the colour of your money. Blizzard has cleared things up since we last saw Diablo 2 online, the play is quite smooth even on a 56K modem, although there's lag with larger games. Lord Of Destruction is a good package for newbies and veterans alike.
Diablo is dead, hammered back to his own little Hades with a little help from yours truly. Only problem is the little devil's got a big brother and he's smokin' mad. So it's time to stock up on health potions and call up your friends because brother Baal is a callin' and he ain't going away without a fight.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Most expansion packs tend to focus on extending the gameplay of a game without tinkering too much with the actual game itself. Not so in Lord of Destruction.
The most noticeable additions to LOD are the creation of two new character classes, the assassin and the druid, which in itself make replaying the game's original levels worthwhile. Surprisingly, Blizzard managed to create characters that stand out from the original classes in both graphics and tactical advantage, each equipped with 30 unique skills and spells.
The assassin is a master of martial arts, which allows her to do increasingly deadly damage through charge-up attacks and finishing moves, deadly traps ranging from thrown fire bombs to complex proximity-triggered sentries, and the powerful shadow disciplines, a kind of psychic magic which modifies her attributes. The assassin is also the only class that can use the powerful and quick claw-class weapon.
The druid plays a bit like the necromancer with the ability to call creatures to his side, like ravens, grizzlies or deadly plants. He also can manipulate the elements, calling forth volcanoes, twisters or even hurricanes. My favorite druid skill is his ability to temporarily shape shift into a werewolf or werebear, creatures with increased speed, agility and fighting prowess.
The drawback with using the new character classes is that you will need to start the game, multiplayer or single player, fresh and fight your way through to vanquishing Diablo to get to the new levels. But the uniqueness of the new characters makes it a fun ride. If you decide to skip the replay and stick with your old characters you just need to convert them -- a one-time, one-way process.
The game still has lots of new things to play with even without the use of the new classes. Thousands of new class-specific weapons, armor and magic items are included in the game as well as new item sets and new unique items. The expansion adds rune words and jewels to the mix as well, making it easier to create or modify items. There are also charms, items which when held in your backpack grant magical enhancements, and ethereal weapons and armor, which are imbued with magical properties but are irreparable.
Lord of Destruction features a lot of minor changes that make gameplay more fun. Now you can heal and equip your hirelings, and even take them to new Acts. The game allows you to set up two sets of weapons/armor configurations and hotkey switch between them. LOD also features a larger character stash chest, eight new skill hotkeys, "repair all" commands, new automap features and a "fill tome" command. The biggest feature, of course, is the new Act, a fantastic addition set in the Barbarian Highlands and featuring six new quests. Not only does the new Act contain eye-catching glacier graphics, it also includes some of the hardest creatures, 50 new classes and seven new bosses to be exact, and the most difficult quests in the game.
As in the original Diablo II, you can play single or multiplayer, but the added unique items and increased difficulty make multiplayer a near must. Unfortunately the expansion doesn't include any changes to Blizzard's multiplayer Battle.net.
Although the graphics haven't really been changed in the game, the expansion does now allow you to play in 800x600 mode, which gives a wider view and seems to make the graphics less pixilated. Of course you can't forget the cinematic scenes for the new act, which remain at Blizzard's high standard.
Windows 2000, 98 or 95 PC, Pentium 233, 64MB of RAM, a 4X CD-ROM drive, the multiplayer installation of Diablo II, an additional 800MB on your hard drive, and a 28.8 modem or better and internet connection for Battle.net play.
It may cost a bundle at $30, but Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is worth the price. The expansion is so packed with new features, creatures, classes and items that you could mistake it for a new game. And with at least an additional 10 hours of play, the expansion is definitely worth the price. The best game of last year may feature the best expansion of this year.