Diablo II: Resurrected Accessibility Improvements
after their major blog post showcasing several gameplay changes based on Technical Alpha feedback
, Blizzard now
released a separate statement
talking about Diablo II: Resurrected's design approach to improved accessibility for all players.
General Philosophy and Quality of Life
Over the course of the last six months, we've learned that Vicarious Visions, the studio behind Resurrected that has been merged into Blizzard, follows a couple of very basic principles when it comes to creating a remake. The core gameplay experience has to be true to the original. However, - and that is where player feedback seems to play a major role -, improvements made to the game that don't disrupt this experience are very much welcome.
The latest blog post shines a light on accessibility - an important topic in the last few years of gaming. Especially remakes should strive for optimal use of modern-age accessibility options - and not only because it became a priority among gamers over the last decade.
The blog post mentions the recently introduced automatic gold-pickup option as an example. At the beginning of development, this feature was meant to support players with disabilities or hand injuries but turned out to have a positive impact on all Resurrected players.
Drew McCrory, Design UX/Accessibility Lead of Diablo II: Resurrected and author of the blog post, calls this principle “Solve for One, Extend to Many”.
Another example of improvements for the sake of accessibility is the so-called "
which will most likely be introduced with the upcoming Beta test in August:
For decades, Diablo II players needed to rely on their hearing to find out if a melee attack was a hit or a miss because the attack animation looked exactly the same. Experienced players will know the distinct sound of missing a hit - but those times of listening to the indistinguishable *woosh* are a thing of the past!
Talking about accessibility, keybindings have always been a major factor. Because all Diablo games focus on "picking up and holding items and persistent clicking". Both hardcore and casual ARPG players on all platforms know the physical struggle of long gaming sessions. For example, a relevant number of Path of Exile players developed carpal tunnel and/or wrist problems over years of intensive clicking and flask-button-pressing.
Based on the before-mentioned principles, Resurrected wants to provide as many options as possible to improve the gameplay experience and introduces several options to enable one-time button-pressing to toggle several actions. The remake's button mapping options will provide a total of twelve bindable keys, even for skills like "Interact".
More Audio Channels in Options Menu
A feature that has been requested by long-time players in particular has been the addition of distinct audio channels - and Blizzard heard the call!
Being able to fine-tune your audio based on your personal needs provides accessibility in all forms for all player groups: Both players with hearing or visual impairments and, for example, streamers that want only Diablo II's iconic music to play in the game's background will be able to make the most out of the improved audio options menu.
Outlook: Controller Support, Text-to-Speech
The last part of the blog post talks about areas to improve in the future.
on the one and
improved controller support
on the other side perfectly showcases both ends of the accessibility spectrum, and it's refreshing to see that Blizzard wants to take care of all ends.
What really resonates with the last two blog posts is that Blizzard actively listens to and develops new features based on feedback - and the reason is mentioned in the conclusion as well: "Diablo II: Resurrected has been a labor of love."
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