Presented by: Mozgus, Ivo, and Racketboy
New To Together Retro? Check out the introduction to the club
What’s The Deal With This “Special Weekend Edition”?
Motivated by Blizzard’s announcement of Diablo 3 (and the rather enticing gameplay video), forum regular Mozgus suggested a revival of playing Diablo 2 on Battle.net (most likely, playing with the expansion, Lord of Destruction which noticeably improves the original). Also, Blizzard recently released patch 1.12, which conveniently lets you play without the CDs (you obviously still need to have legit CD-keys!)
The idea was basically to play with other members of our community rather than with unknown people. Anyone interested in this is welcome to join channel “racketboy” on Battle.net’s US East. Other members will hopefully gather in that channel before / between games, or try directly joining games named “racketboy”, (or, if there’s need for it “racketboy1” etc), with password “retro”.
Although anyone is obviously free to join whenever and create their “racketboy” games, without set times and dates it is relatively unlikely that many people will be online to play together – for this reason we decided to make this blog post to give the idea more notoriety, and also to suggest weekend “official” sessions, which I decided dub with a silly name to help people remember it: ORDERS (“Official” Racketboy Diablo 2 East Revival Sessions).
The idea is to play D2+LoD from start to finish with the same party of seven players, one with each class (details: normal difficulty only, Ladder characters on Battle.net’s realm US East. Those characters are meant to only be used in the group sessions, until it is finished when you can then use them for anything else)
When To Play
I’m counting on two Sundays. I want to start on the Sunday 13th, and conclude on Sunday 20th (we might have to play a bit more to complete Act 5 on the 20th).
Starting Time of First Session
9:30 EST = 15:30 BST = 14:30 GMT
(then after finishing Act 1 on the session 1 (13th) we decide together how much time we need for a break and reconvene for Act 2;
the session 3 (20th) starts again at 9:30 EST, and we decide how much time until we reconvene for Act 4, and Act 5.
Depending on how long each Act takes us, we don’t need to be too strict in this other than everyone showing up on the STARTING TIME)
This concept was kinda a spontaneous idea, so not all the information has been finalized for this post. Check these forum threads for more discussion of times, teams, and other details…
Obtaining Diablo II from Blizzard
Mozgus writes, “I suggest also mentioning that people with legit keys can register them at http://blizzard.com/store/, after registering for an account. This lists the game as legally owned and gives you access to the new digital download version of Diablo 2 and Lord of Destruction. This disc-less installer is much more modern and slick, installs much faster thanks to it not asking you to swap multiple discs during the process, and it also installs pre-patched to 1.12, which obviously will never ask you for a disc. When you register your CDkey, there will be a link that says Show Key, which actually shows a new 26 digit key, which replaces your old 16 digit CDkey.
I followed this process with Warcraft 3, Frozen Throne, StarCraft, and Brood War. All 6 games nicely fit on one DVD-R, if you remove the Direct X installers. You can always use the 300KB DX web update exe from Microsoft. Some installers will mention the DX portion is missing, but just proceed anyway.
Another tip: All my machines run Diablo 2 poorly in Direct3D mode, so run the Vid Test from the Start menu, then select DirectDraw instead. Runs much better, and looks the same aside from D3D’s “perspective” mode being enabled, which just makes me go cross-eyed anyway.”
Finding Diablo II In Retail
Even though the game has been around for a while, you should be able to find it in just about any major retailer that sells games. This includes the likes of Wal-Mart, Target, and GameStop. You will probably be most likely to find the Diablo II Battle Chest.
How To Play Diablo II
Instead of spending too much time trying to explain the games, check out these guides at the useful StrategyWiki