The new Diablo II Resurrected remaster may look like a new game, but it's really not. The old-school classic Diablo II experience is still running underneath, complete with bugs, quirks, and frame timings. That means breakpoints are still in the game, and players can still stack faster cast rate or increased attack speed and technically break past animation limitations.
Diablo II's breakpoints can be pretty fun to manipulate. The game runs at 25 FPS, and the new Resurrected remaster will also be sourced on the 25FPS timings of the original despite running at higher frame rates on consoles and PC (it can hit uncapped FPS at 8K resolution on PC). The underpinning core logic remains the same, though, allowing breakpoint builds.
Although the game ran at 25FPS, gamers could stack boosted upgrades like IAS (increased attack speed), FBR (faster block rate), FCR (faster cast rate), and others like FHR (faster hit recovery) to "break" the animation barrier; the characters animations could technically go past their limitations. This lead to some pretty godly builds, and breakpoints are kind of a science for high-level D2 play.
Luckily, the remaster will preserve the breakpoint system. D2 Resurrected's principal designer Rob Gallerani explains:
"There is a lot about the old game's feel. The original game, like a lot of older games, ran on frames and not time. And so if you imagine the game running like a bicycle wheel with the spokes, if something happened in between a spoke, it wouldn't really click over. So that's what the breakpoints are; breakpoints in the game are you've upped your stats so much that it would go faster and fall in between a frame so you don't get credit for it," Gallerani said in a recent Q&A stream.
"So there were builds made that would hit certain breakpoints. Now we have to preserve that. So our modern game still runs with all the spokes. All we're doing is we're adding a much smoother tire around the outside so we're throwing a lot more visual frames in.
"So the animations that you see can run very very smoothly, but these moments when the game is checking to see what happens are still in the exact same spot as they used to be."
Gallerani also talks more about how the timing system interacts with the new console version:
Animations of when a hit frame occurs how long it can recover at all of that--that all matches exactly. Now it can run at a faster frame rate.
Modern games run on time not frames. So we've done that but all of the logic still runs on those same things. So you can wait for your breaks to occur, all of those things still happen at the exact same and that was through no small effort, but it's super important right because even if you can't see it right away. you feel it when it's when it's different.
We've done that on lots of areas.
So for example, the original game only had so many sprites to render your rotation. So you'd have your character and they're rendered out at so many angles and the monsters even less, but you could actually walk at greater directions. I think it was 64 different squares around you that you would path to and you'd have feet sliding.
We've increased that so now there's more clarity. Obviously, it's 3D, our character can run straight, but underneath the hood...I mean this is a game made back when the inspiration was tabletop games. And so the game is a grid, so it's still respects that grid, right like on the controller will still allow you to move small amounts because you push the stick a little bit but it's still you're either in a run state or a walk state--stamina still thing.
You're still on a grid, all of that logic once again is all being driven by the old game that hasn't changed.
Diablo II Resurrected is due out sometime in 2021, and will cost $39.99 across PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Check below for more information:
A Timeless Classic, Resurrected
Diablo® II: Resurrected™ is a remastered version of the quintessential action RPG Diablo® II. Pursue the mysterious Dark Wanderer and fight the denizens of hell as you uncover the fate of the Prime Evils Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, now in up to 4K (2160p) resolution on PC. Diablo II Resurrected features:
- Remastered graphics-monsters, heroes, items, spells, all resurrected.
- An epic story told through five distinct acts.
- Classic gameplay-the same Diablo II you know and love, preserved.
- Updated Battle.net support.
- Planned support for cross-progression-take your progress wherever you play.
... and much more!
The Lord of Destruction Returns
Diablo II: Resurrected includes all content from both Diablo II and its epic expansion Diablo II: Lord of Destruction®. Battle your way through icy caverns, horrific tombs filled with undead abominations, and frozen wastelands to the frigid summit of Mount Arreat and stop Baal, the Lord of Destruction. Raise hell with two Lord of Destruction playable classes-the cunning Assassin, master of traps and shadow disciplines, and the savage Druid, a bold shapeshifter and summoner who commands primal elemental magic.