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Gallerani had a very clear answer to this (24th Sep 21 at 5:32am UTC)
D2 Resurrected Items
Gallerani had a very clear answer to this: "The first thing we had to do was we're preserving this game. So, we're bringing the game people remember into this era. What we're not doing is iterating on the franchise." He also pointed out that they considered what players remembered as well, because what you remember isn't always exactly what was there; even so, the memory of the experience is an integral part of the equation. They tried to consider if they were going to make any changes how that might affect the experience of D2R. For example, going in and making the bosses easier than they were wasn't an option because that would fundamentally change how the game felt to play. However, going into your friends list and inviting someone to your game is something they could add that doesn't change what Diablo II was.D2 Resurrected Runes

He also went on to clarify that in areas where they decided to make a change that they weren't sure if it would have a significant impact on the experience of playing Diablo II or not, they decided to let the players decide for themselves if they had that change active or not. One prominent example is the auto gold pickup, which, not having to run around picking up all your gold from mobs does change a bit of a gameplay aspect. After all, it removes the danger of not paying attention enough and missing some gold you might need. However, having it is also a huge quality of life bonus, and I prefer having it on than off. However, the team felt some players might not like this, so they gave the option to have it on or off. Allowing this level of choice with players seems like it will probably be a great decision in the long run. They were especially considering that so many modern games of this type allow a lot of player control in the settings menu, so allowing these options does bring D2R more into a current game level.

Along with the discussion of changes that should be made and which shouldn't, Bukowski brought up the way they approached things when they started working on console support. Having everything work exactly as it does on PC would make for a poor console experience, so they quickly zeroed in on adding action buttons for consoles but didn't add them for PC to preserve the PC experience. Gallerani also piped up to say that initially, on consoles, they thought they would have inventory be a list similar to D3 on console, but that became an issue because, with cross-play, the computer wouldn't know where to put stuff when you went back to PC. Additionally, not having the gameplay of deciding where in your inventory you wanted things did feel like it took something away from D2R.
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