Diablo II Expansion Unveiled at ECTS 2000

For the last two months, PC RPGamers have been in a blissful state, partially because of the upcoming release of Baldur's Gate II, but mostly because they've been spending every waking moment playing Blizzard's Diablo II. After being delayed literally over a year from their initial estimated time of release, which surprised few, Blizzard released the masterpiece and watched it fly off the shelves and up to the top of the sales charts.

Then a month ago a small site called Infoceptor found something interesting. They came across some files talking about two character classes that were not in the game, the Druid and the Assassin. Here is that story. It was assumed by many that these were to added to the game via an add-on. Well, now we know that is true.

At ECTS 2000, a European trade show, Blizzard unveiled the Diablo II Expansion Set, which was actually in the works while they were finishing up on Diablo II. The add-on will add the two classes, Druid and Assassin, and a separate act, which will be set in the highlands of the Barbarian. A very nice feature is how integrated the add-on will be. With the add-on, you will be able to play through the four acts of Diablo II with a Druid or Assassin, and also be able to play the add-on with one of the five original characters. Also new are thousands of types of items, new monsters, new combinations for the Horadric Cube, and to the delight of many players, a much needed addition of space to your stash.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, here's the story behind the expansion. Baal, the angry middle-child of the Diablo family, is tampering with something called the Worldstone. If he is successful with his tamperings, the mortal realm can and will be invaded by the forces of Outworld Hell. You, as a mortal, don't think that's the most swell idea, and want to stop him.

The Diablo II Expansion Set, which currently has no name besides "The Diablo II Expansion Set" is currently scheduled for a release sometime early next year for both PC and Macintosh. While that might seem like a long ways away, RPGamers can be reassured that playing through Diablo II with each character class can feel like five different games in itself, and should be able to keep most fans busy until the expansion is finally released.

by Doug "Stom" Hill    
Source: [Blizzard]
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