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.
Azure Monk: Don't get me wrong, it's a REALLY good node (you obviously know more about the game than 99% of the people on battle.net) but it's not really factually correct. Ah, let me nit-pick it...

The "Unbalanced" and "Low Quality" sections were accurate (except for the part about all non-cookie-cutter characters being crippled -- have you even tried one? Some of them are fairly easy -- it's more a case of the cookie-cutter characters being OVERpowered.) The "Buggy" section, however...

A lot of those bugs were already fixed by patch 1.04. That patch had been released for a while when you wrote the node (It was also the patch that fixed undroppable items, BTW).

Damage mods on bows do not work.
That is wrong in two ways.
  1. All damage mods aren't affected by the bug. Only damage mods that add damage by a percentage are not working. Mods that add elemental damage, maximum damage or minimum damage work properly on bows.
  2. This bug was fixed in patch 1.04.

Guided Arrow: This skill's +damage is not applied. Shots at all levels do 95% damage.
Fixed in patch 1.04.

Strafe: This skill's damage is applied on top of all other bonuses.
Fixed in patch 1.04.

Evade: "Evade Lock" can occur when attacked by Diablo's LBOD.
This cannot occure only when attacked by the LBOD. This can (and will) happen every time you are attacked many times rapidly in a row. LBOD is just the most common reason this happens, as it deals 25 separate attacks per second. However, if you are swarmed by lots of monsters that attack fast, you can experience evade-lock then too.

Penetrate: Penetrate applies strangely to non-bow weaponry.
Nope. It applies perfectly normal to all non-bow weaponry. It does, however, apply strangely to BOW WEAPONRY (and crossbow too, for that matter). When used with a bow, it gives 2x the bonus it should give.

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.
Fixed in patch 1.03.
However, another bug that you DIDN'T mention with Blood Golem is the BG/IM bug. You see, a Blood Golem steals 33% of the damage it inflicts back as life. However, if a monster attacking it is cursed with Iron Maiden (a skill that makes the monsters take damage whenever they hit things), he will steal 33% of the damage dealt by Iron Maiden, too. This can make a Blood Golem literally INVINCIBLE vs. physical melee attacks. Oh, and it'll make your necromancer get lots of HP too in the process.

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.
Some nits:
  • It's not MANY EFFECTS. It's fires and hydras. That's TWO effects.
  • They are drawn twice to the caster, too.

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.
Fixed in 1.04.

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.
Fixed in 1.04.

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.
Fixed in 1.04.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, comes a lot of bugs that Azure Monk DIDN'T write about.
  • Bugged Barbarian skills:
  • Bugged Amazon skills:
    • All spear skills except Jab, Fend and Impale are miserably worthless. They are downright pointless. Thus, spearazons only have 3 viable attack skills. Whoohoo.
    • Freezing Arrow inludes all physical damage from the bow in the cold splash damage.
    • Valkyries get more HP when more players join a game, just like monsters do.
  • Bugged Necromancer skills:
    • If you cast Dim Vision on some monsters when they're in the air (Monsters that can jump or the Bog monsters from Act III), there's a chance they'll be unhittable when the curse wears off.
  • Bugged Paladin skills:
    • Fist of the Heavens' Holy Bolt damage can't heal you nor your party members.
    • Sometimes when you Charge enemies, their life will be reduced to 1, and then they'll turn invincible.
  • Bugged Sorceress skills:
  • If you have several items on your body adding poison damage, the poison damage will stack in a very odd way, giving you WAY too much damage. With good equipment, you can get about 250-300 poison damage per hit with your weapon. That's the only way to make poison remotely useful, too.
That being said, I just wish to state for the protocol that Diablo II is my favourite game, and that I play it more than any other game I have. =)

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