Once upon a time, in the land of videogames, there was a game called Rogue. Rogue was a roleplaying game which involved exploring dungeons, a familiar concept to gamers all around the world. The dungeons in Rogue were randomly generated and changed each time you set foot into them. Rogue was never the prettiest of games, even by the graphical standards of the early eighties, yet people still play it to this day. The addictive exploration and looting mechanic has inspired dozens of games, including the Diablo series. As millions of PC gamers continue to enjoy Diablo 3, now seems like a good time to dust off its predecessor for another play. Diablo 2 might not have the cutting edge graphics of Diablo 3, but it still has plenty of gameplay. If you have several older laptops in your house and want a game that you can play together, Diablo 2 supports LAN (local area network) multiplayer games, making it a great way to keep bored teenagers occupied on a rainy day.
Before installing the game there’s one optional step you may wish to take depending on your PC. Diablo 2 supports both Direct3D and the older, no longer supported 3DFX Glide graphics system. Normally when a game supports both of these graphics standards we recommend that you simply use Direct3D, since it is supported on all modern Windows PC’s. However, Diablo 2 was optimised for 3DFX Glide. Because of this optimisation, you may get slightly better graphical quality if you install a glide wrapper. Glide wrappers are special programs that restore 3DFX compatibility to newer graphics cards. There are two such programs you can use with Diablo 2.
dgVoodoo2 – This is a Glide to DirectX11 wrapper. This is recommended for modern hardware that is DirectX 11 compatible. Using dgVoodoo2 also makes the game compatible with recording software such as nVidia ShadowPlay and in-game/overlay software such as Evolve.
nGlide – If your PC isn’t compatible with DirectX 11 then we recommend nGlide. Installing nGlide is extremely simple, just download and open the nGlide executable file and that’s it, there are no settings that need to be configured. Note that if you have already installed nGlide for use with another old game you don’t need to do it again.
If you don’t want to bother with a glide wrapper the game should still perfectly playable with Direct3D and the difference in visual quality is minimal.
To install Diablo 2, simply insert the install CD and allow it to auto-run. Follow all on-screen prompts, when asked which type of install you would like to do, we recommend that you select “Full”, unless you are desperately short of hard drive space on your PC.
At the end of the installation, the game will perform a video test and recommend a rendering mode. If you are using nGlide, you should see the 3DFX logo appear during these tests and the installer will recommend that you use 3DFX Glide mode, otherwise the installer should recommend Direct3D mode.
If you have the expansion pack for the game (Lord of Destruction) you should install that now too, before proceeding to install the patches.
There were several patches released for Diablo 2, the latest patch (which includes all the previous updates too) can be downloaded from the Blizzard Software support page here. The patch will install without any difficulties on modern systems.
You are now ready to run the game. Start Diablo 2 from the desktop or the Start Menu/Screen shortcut. If you see the 3DFX logo appear, the game is running in Glide mode.
Blizzard Software still maintain and run servers for Diablo 2 multiplayer. You will need a Battle.net classic account to use them. You can find out more about Battle.net classic here. Keep in mind that some of the players you encounter in Diablo 2 might be robots, players send these automatons into the game to grind away at killing monsters and gathering valuable loot. If you have several PC’s in your home you can also create a LAN game. This game will run using your internal home network rather than the internet, typically this results in a blazing fast, super reliable connection. To play a LAN game you will need a copy of Diablo 2 for each PC. One player must host while the others connect. See the instructions that came with your game for more information on this. Playing and exploring the world of Diablo 2 together in the same room on your laptops can be fantastic fun.
Incorrect colours / graphics corruption:- If you experience strange colours or corrupt looking graphics in-game, then if you are on Windows 7, use the compatibility mode options to disable desktop composition. If you are using Windows 8, use the compatibility fix provided by Zeus software here. In Windows 10 we recommend dgVoodoo2 if possible.