Diablo II fans, your wait is almost over. Today Blizzard Entertainment announced that the long-awaited expansion pack Diablo II: Lord of Destruction has gone gold master. The expansion pack will officially be released on June 29. Retailers and distributors have already placed orders for two million copies, according to Blizzard.
Diablo II is Blizzard’s hugely successful action/role-playing game. The game was released for the Mac last summer. Diablo II takes players to a medieval fantasy realm populated by fantastic and horrible creatures — it’s the sequel to a title first released for the Mac in 1998. Although the first game took months to port to the Macintosh, Blizzard won kudos from Mac game enthusiasts for bringing Diablo II to the platform less than a month after its PC counterpart. Now, the Lord of Destruction expansion pack has been released simultaneously for the Mac and PC.
In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, players travel to the Barbarian Highlands in pursuit of Baal, the last surviving Prime Evil. Baal and his minions plan to corrupt the Worldstone, an object of tremendous mystical energy that protects the mortal plane from the forces of Hell. If Baal succeeds, the land will be overrun by the forces of darkness.
In addition to an entirely new Act added on to the single-player game, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction incorporates two new character classes — the Assassin and the Druid. Each character class comes with 30 unique skills and spells. Of course, more than 50 new monster classes (and seven new “boss” monsters) have been created for Lord of Destruction to challenge players as their skills and weapons improve.
Six new quests have also been included, along with thousands of new weapons, armor, and magical items, including many class-specific crafted items, Rune Words and Elite Unique items. Players gain twice the amount of storage space in their private stash as they had with the original Diablo II, enabling them to maintain a much larger inventory. The expansion pack also adds 800×600 pixel resolution, so you can see more action on the screen.
Players can go back and play the game from the beginning using their new character classes, and the expansion pack supports multiplayer gaming through Blizzard’s own free Battle.net service.
Blizzard indicates that Diablo II: Lord of Destruction will be released in “hybrid Macintosh format” on June 29, with English and Japanese language support.
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction requires the original Diablo II to play. The expansion pack will be available through most retailers (and Blizzard directly) for about US$35. The game carries an ESRB rating of “Mature.”