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Diablo II

Diablo II is an action-oriented adventure and role-playing game (RPG) designed as a follow-on to the popular Diablo. It was released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2000. As of 2001 (with the Lord of Destruction expansion pack), it has become one of the most popular on-line games ever, due to the free access to Battle.net.

It is also an interesting study in sociology, as social groups organize to adventure together, usually based on geographical region, language, character affiliation/preferences, playing style and other considerations. Many players form clans to defend themselves from player killers (or PK). There is also a significant economy associated with Diablo II, because the most powerful magic items are rare, and are often traded. Interestingly this trading occurs in-game and in the real world. Certain "unique" items can sell on eBay for upwards of 500 US dollars.

You can play softcore and hardcore, if you play softcore you can die and continue play with the same character. If you play hardcore and you die your character dies permanently, and you must start a new character.

One interesting component of this game is the existence of the Horadric Cube. This is an in-game artifact that can change certain treasures into other treasures. For example, 3 partial rejuvenation potions may be combined to produce a full rejuvenation potion. It also allows you to craft in-game articles that have a combination of properties not found on items dropped by monsters.

Diablo II also offers a bustling online community with its own economy and barter system. It is split up into four different servers or realms, east, west, asia, and europe. Up to eight players can adventure together through the five acts of the game in attempt to level their character so that it can compete in duels. Online many players compete to gain status on the ladder which is a ranking of the most experienced players throughout battle.net.

Cheating and the 1.10 Patch

Currently battle.net issues with cheating or hacking have plagued online play for Diablo II. These issues will hopefully be solved in the upcoming Diablo II 1.10 patch, scheduled for release in the upcoming months. The patch will supposedly add anti-cheating technology that will help keep the battle.net servers free of counterfeit items.

Additional new features in the patch include new items such as unique jewels (e.g., the rainbow facet), and a new "ladder" character; a character that plays on a separate setup such as hardcore. Ladder characters will have any counterfeit items in their possession removed and will exist on a ladder that will periodically restart, sending all players back into the regular non-ladder status.

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