Players of Hell difficulty Realm games are hereby warned that a new, challenging world-event has been added to Diablo II version 1.10. Players of Hardcore characters should be even more wary when encountering Super Unique monsters during an active world event. Be prepared to execute a hasty Save and Exit, if your situation seems too dangerous.
Fundamental architecture changes/improvements
The skill and monster systems are now completely data-driven. Skill balancing is simpler and quicker. Monster control/populating/creation is simpler. Although done for our needs, mod-makers should like these changes, too. A major result is that nearly any skill can be used by any character class.
A skill now may have synergy Bonuses (similar to masteries) applied by putting points into other skills.
The player stats and inventory system has been completely redone to run more efficiently, improving server performance and stability.
The collision detection system has been sped up significantly. Again, improving server performance.
Increased difficulty for high-level players to reduce future exploitation of the game system.
Made monsters tougher
Beefed up monster difficulty in Act V, Nightmare, and Hell difficulties. This was accomplished by improving monster stats (hp, ac, etc.) and by boosting their AI/behavior in Nightmare and Hell difficulties (that is, by making decisions more often and by simply moving faster). In Nightmare and Hell difficulties monster damages have generally been increased -- dramatically in some cases.
Reduced the effectiveness of Experience runs, power-leveling, and leeching.
Added randomized (especially ranged-attack) monsters to Nightmare and Hell Act V - e.g., Burning Dead, Demon Imps, etc.
Increased the Experience attached to most Act V monsters in Normal, Nightmare, and Hell difficulties.
Reduced the HP of (Act V) Barbarian soldiers in Nightmare and Hell difficulties.
Increased the rate of occurrence of Unique monsters in Hell difficulty.
Reduced the party member Experience sharing to 0 beyond a maximum distance of about 2 screens from the monster death. This prevents low-level characters from joining a party and then staying completely out of harm's way while still getting Experience.
Increased the Experience penalty for Character level 70+ as follows: Character level 1 - 69: 100% Experience Character level 70 - 99: 85% - 0.8% Experience (approximately exponential decaying)
Encouraged players to play in more of the Diablo II areas/locations/levels.
Raise Skeleton - Increased Skeleton Life, Attack Rating, and Defense. Decreased the maximum number of Skeletons that can be summoned as follows: the first 3 skill points in Raise Skeleton still yield 1 Skeleton per point (as in 1.09), however, subsequent Skeletons now require 3 skill points each. Added skill synergy bonuses.
Clay Golem - Added the ability to slow players and monsters on hit. Added skill synergy bonuses.
Raise Skeletal Mage - Increased Damage. Decreased the maximum number of Skeletal Mages that can be summoned as follows: the first 3 skill points in Raise Skeletal Mage still yield 1 Mage per point (as in 1.09), however, subsequent Mages now require 3 skill points each. Added skill synergy bonuses.
Added 46 more Horadric Cube Recipes - upgrades for the remaining Runes and item 'rerolls'.
The highest 19 Rune upgrades are usable only by Ladder characters.
Closed some PvP loopholes/exploits
Terminated the casting of 'absentee' skills such as the Sorceress' Meteor, Firewall, Blaze, Hydra; the Assassin's Sentries; the Druid's Volcano; etc. when the player enters town. This prevents declaring Hostility and doing immediate damage to the unsuspecting.
Prevented 3rd-party hacks from treating background objects as a Waypoint.
Enforced a 10-second delay between declaring Hostility and using a Waypoint or Town Portal to leave town.
Ears and other items dropped on the ground by players (even in town) are deleted more frequently, and even when on the same screen as players. Magic, Rare, Set, and Unique items persist longer.
The attribute "Hit Slows Target" has been limited to no more than 50% slowing when used in PvP.
Fixed the bug that prevented a hostile player from targeting a WhirlwindingBarbarian equipped with a 2-handed sword.
Throwing an Oil Potion no longer crashes an opponent.
New Battle.net features
Introduced a new Lobby. Players now start in the lobby where they may decide to enter battle.net chat as before or to simply create/join a game without entering chat.
Added the ability to recover a forgotten/stolen account password via email registration.
Added a new command '/mail account_name' which sends a message directly to the account's registered email address.
An 'expiration date' is now shown with Realm Characters on the selection screen.
Introduced a new Ladder System for those who prefer to play free from any characters who may have participated in past item duping or hacking. To use this new feature, a player places a check in the Ladder box upon character creation - in the same way that Expansion and Hardcore selection is done. Periodically, the Ladder may be reset, adding the old Ladder characters to the regular population - who, of course, cannot play games with the new season's Ladder characters. Thus, every season each new Ladder character truly starts from scratch, as no 'twinking' is possible from older characters.
Leaving the vicinity of a Super Unique monster and returning after 20 seconds, now properly respawns the Super unique for treasure drops.
The erroneous action of the Reduce AC modifier. which had shown in the item pop-up as x% Target AC has been corrected. It now no longer sets the target's AC equal to the percentage, but properly reduces the target's AC by the percentage. The display has been corrected to say "-x% Target AC." The modifier's effect is reduced by one half when player characters, Super Uniques, hirelings, and Act-end bosses are targeted.
Fixed a bug in damage calculation for weapons which computed +min/+max damage prior to +damage%.
If Holy Bolt is assigned to the right mouse-button and Charge or Smite to the left, left-clicking on a party member no longer sticks one in place.
A player character standing on a player corpse is no longer immune to missiles.
Auto-targeting skills when assigned to the left mouse-button no longer repeatedly cast, if one is holding the button down to move. Auto-targeting skills are those that nearby target if one is not selected, e.g., Fist of the Heavens.
The Paladin's non-aura skills now attack appropriately, when one clicks on a foe without enough Mana to use the skill.
A class of bugs that had reduced the effectiveness of alternating weapon attacks when equipped with two weapons has been fixed, including the various dual-claw Assassin attacks.
Io, Shael, and JahRunes now have Korean, Japanese, and Chinese translations.
Corrected localization (translation, text box sizes, etc.) for a number of issues in French, German, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish.
Enhancements and other changes
Implemented a new system to detect and delete 'duped', 'hacked' and other erroneous items from the inventories of Realm Characters as they are loaded.
Increased the damage of nearly all skills above skill level 20.
Added synergy bonuses to many skills. The bonuses boost the effectiveness of the higher-level skills based upon the number of points allocated to the lower-level (synergizing) skills. Players are rewarded for using skill points earlier rather than hoarding them all for later 'cookie-cutter' distribution to high-level skills.
Rebalanced the rate of Unique/Set/Rare/Magic items drop.
Lower Resist and Conviction skills now work properly against immune monsters.
Improved monster drops by boosting the base item types and by increasing the chance for Rares.
Increased the chances that dropped items have the magic properties of Enhanced damage, Life-stealing, Mana-stealing, and + to all Resistances. Increased hireling Life/attack rating/defense/level. Also removed the skill cap from Act III hirelings. (Hireling level at hiring is now different between Diablo II classic and Lord of Destruction.)
Increased life regeneration for hirelings.
Boosted the effect of Health potions upon hirelings.
Lowered the cost of resurrection of hirelings.
Increased the leash range of hirelings.
Summonables except for Revived monsters and pets that don't attack or defend - e.g., Vines now get Defense and Attack Rating based on their level.
Bone Walls are now friendly to the caster's party - that is, not attackable.
A player may have up to 16 corpses now. Only the first (oldest) corpse holding items is saved between games.
In Nightmare and Hell difficulties recovering one's corpse now restores 75% of the Experience that had been lost at death. This applies to all of a player's corpses.
Block lock' has been eliminated. When a player character has just blocked an attack, the player cannot block again for a short period of time, the length of which increases as Blocking speed increases.
The levels of the Forgotten Tower are now larger in Nightmare and Hell difficulties.
Increased the likelihood of dropping Elite items.
Only a very few Unique items and new 'uber' items are now over level 85. That is, the best items now drop more often.
Jewels and other modifiers can now boost the elemental damage of a melee weapon if that trait is listed as part of the Jewel description.
The Buriza's level (not its level requirement) was increased to 59.
Items that grant skills bestow a lower skill level to those character classes who natively have the skill in their skill tree. Note that Charged items receive synergy and mastery bonuses, but don't receive bonuses by assigning extra points to the skill.
Boosted the ChamRune freeze effect on weapons from +1 to +3.
The Eth Rune's effect is now "-25% to Target AC". Thus, 4 Eth Runes reduce the target AC to zero.
The modifier "Ignores Target AC" no longer acts upon Super Uniques, hirelings, and Act-end bosses. Its lack of effect upon player characters and unique monsters remains unchanged.
Changed the Horadric Cube recipe that had used 3 chipped gems to require 3 standard gems as follows: 3 standard gems + 1 socketed weapon = socketed, magic weapon.
Changed the two Horadric Cube recipes for Rejuvenation Potions to require a chipped gem and a standard gem.
One may sell items to an NPC without the confirmation dialog by ctrl-left-clicking on them.
Increased the size of the message log from 32 to 128 lines.
Reduced the density of the graphic special effect displaying curses.
Added optimizations to light map computation and added various levels of light map fidelity which automatically adjust to keep the frame rate acceptable.
Selecting "Show Party - No" in the Automap Options now shows one's pets.
In the inventory an unidentified Unique item is now shown as its generic item type.