Diablo 2: Resurrected slipped some much-needed accessibility updates in with its more obvious graphical upgrades, as Blizzard outlined in a new blog post (opens in new tab).
"Between text-to-speech and screen reader support or adding controller configurations to allow players who play predominantly with one hand to swap their analog stick controls interchangeably; as a community we'll continue to evaluate areas to improve," the post reads.
Design and UX accessibility lead Drew McCrory highlighted a few specific features and settings added to Diablo 2: Resurrected, many of them based on feedback and suggestions from players who identified unique "challenges that would hinder their experience or make the game less enjoyable."
The automatic gold pick-up in the upcoming remaster, for example, began as a quality-of-life update meant to make looting less tedious, especially for controller players. However, it also wound up being a godsend for players who can't or would rather avoid clicking rapidly all the time. McCrory highlighted this as an example of the inclusive design pillar "solve for one, extend to many".
"We also allow many controller abilities to continuously trigger if the button is held down for players who can’t repeatedly tap buttons quickly," he said, discussing how this approach evolved beyond sheer quality-of-life stuff.
Other changes examined how audio and visual feedback worked together. To better communicate when an attack whiffs, for example, Resurrected has a toggleable option to add "Miss" messages that pop up in place of damage numbers. This can stand in for, or work alongside, audio cues to make the back-and-forth of a fight clearer and prevent whiffed attacks from looking like a bug, McCrory says.
Blizzard invited players, particularly those with unique feedback to offer, to sign up for the Blizzard Research program which helped shape these accessibility changes.
For a closer look at the artistic changes coming in Diablo 2: Resurrected, check out the post-alpha changes driven by player feedback. The short version is that lots of items and spells will look more retro in the upcoming beta and the final September release.
If you're looking to dig down into the art of Diablo 4, check out the latest batch of character art, which shows off "more in-depth customization than any previous Diablo".