I think that one concern for many D2 players have been whether or not Blizzard will encrypt the game files and deny the community the opportunity to make modifications to the game. Looks like we might actually be able to enjoy those awesome D2 mods after all - and who knows, perhaps they'll even take it one step further and provide the community with some real tools for the job (modding D2 can be very cumbersome and what one can actually do is limited because many bits and pieces of the game code can't be accessed).
“We acknowledge that a big part of Diablo II’s longevity is the modding community and we appreciate their enthusiasm for the game. Classic Diablo II and its mods will continue to exist and we’re going to do our best to continue to support the mods for Diablo II: Resurrected as well .."
Many members of the modding community got their hands on the alpha build despite not receiving an invite. Some modders gained access thanks to a Belgian programmer named Ferib Hellscream, who managed to invite himself into the technical alpha by bypassing Diablo II's anti-cheat parameters. Upon successfully manipulating the system, Ferib shared his tool, D2ROffline, with friends and other modders. Trouble arose when someone leaked the tool, opening the door to people charging money for access. To combat this, Ferib open-sourced his work; naturally, more players and modders poured in. Blizzard has now made a few moves of its own.
Speaking with Kotaku, Ferib and another modder said they received cease-and-desist letters from Blizzard, effectively putting the kibosh on their Diablo II: Resurrected mods. One person who goes by Shalzuth claimed a private investigator delivered their warning. In compliance with Blizzard's request, both creators deleted Diablo II: Resurrected projects from their respective websites. Ferib additionally removed YouTube videos related to his work; meanwhile, Shalzuth shuttered his Diablo II-centric Discord server. When reached for comment, a Blizzard spokesperson shared the following statement with Kotaku.
“We acknowledge that a big part of Diablo II’s longevity is the modding community and we appreciate their enthusiasm for the game. Classic Diablo II and its mods will continue to exist and we’re going to do our best to continue to support the mods for Diablo II: Resurrected as well. That said, some mods are atypical and pose security threats to our games. Security has always been a top priority for us and programs that could pose major security issues will not be tolerated."
Blizzard's response to the ordeal is expected and understandable given the circumstances. After all, some of these mods were based on a hacked version of Diablo II: Resurrected's alpha build. At the very least, it seems as though Blizzard plans on fully supporting the modding community whenever the full game actually goes live later in the year.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
"For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and as the last man He shall stand forth upon the Earth."
Based on the response, it doesn't look like Blizzard's reaction was really about modding, it was about (using this term for simplicity) hacking and redistributing their product.
I remember years ago before D3 came out I ran a thing interviewing a bunch of preeminent D2 modders and they all expressed the sincere hope D3 would allow modding with full support, akin to a worldbuilder/map maker like recently released SC2 did. The conversation was very different back then, though. DRM was what big corporate game makers thought was the future, Blizzard was still very much in its heyday, etc. I think we even reached out to the D3 team a couple times for confirmation of modding support. This was back when Bashiok was still with Blizzard, I think we reached out to him and some others.
I was never personally into mods, myself. I tried MedianXL and some others but I just liked the structure of the official game more. I know for many people they added replayability and enjoyment--I was content to farm until I had perfect gear on the base game, which was literally years.
Zhuge spent a lot of time fleshing out our wiki at the time for mod content--sadly, it looks like the wiki has since been split from Dfans. It still has our old logo on it, though, if you go to it.