An update to one of the game's most popular mods has increased the max character level to 125 and removed the cap on monster health, making the grind more deadly than ever.
Median XL 2017, the latest season in the Median mod, was released yesterday. The latest update to one of Diablo 2's most robust mods, it adds a number of new features and improvements to a beloved game that came out seventeen years ago next month. The changes include tons of new skills, improved monster AI and more endgame uberquests — everything a committed Diablo 2 player could hope for.
Of course, one of the most welcome changes brought with the update will no doubt be the auto-gold pickup. Outside of towns, the coin netted by slaying grainy monsters will now update players' purses without them having to physically collect it.
While Diablo III gets official season with content and player resets partitioned out by Blizzard, so does Diablo 2, just with the help of dedicated fans instead of a paid staff. But just because Median XL is a labour of love doesn't mean it's not fine-tuned and highly detailed.
In the "highly conceptual" portion of the change log, the modders note several changes that came with the update which any but the most ardent Diablo 2 players might have trouble recognising. For instance, "All animations which were previously four or five frames long are now one frame longer," and to get even more technical:
"With the removal of Heroic Shields and the revamped monster resistances it was necessary that we re-evaluate the amount of crushing blow as well. Due to the multi hit nature of virtually all skills this stat has always been vastly more powerful in Median than ever intended within the design of the Diablo 2 engine. Therefore we have reduced the amount of crushing blow present on items and skills by 50% with some exceptions."
The result can get esoteric but is also greatly appreciated by the deeply invested, ongoing community surrounding the game. "In all honesty, thank you and the team for all the hard work and dedication for us mere plebs," wrote one long-time forum poster, Zennith. "I hope we can show our dedication right back at you by helping to build the community, and providing helpful feedback for the new players that have decided to join us on this amazing journey."
Utilising the mod requires having already downloaded Diablo II with a valid copy of the game key. You can find more information about how to download and setup the mod here.