A lot of eyes are on the upcoming release of Diablo 2: Resurrected, especially after its closed and open betas were recently revealed. It's easy to get excited for a chance to check it out, but it seems said excitement also served as a small smokescreen for some potentially unfortunate news.
Hidden away in the FAQ section of the Diablo 2: Resurrected closed and open beta announcement came the reveal that Blizzard was removing TCP/IP support from the game. Blizzard had previously said that the feature would appear in-game, and for those unfamiliar with it, it essentially allowed people to play online with a peer-to-peer connection instead of via Diablo 2: Resurrected's dedicated servers.
In the FAQ, Blizzard's exact words were that "TCP/IP support will not be available in the upcoming Beta or the final game. After careful deliberation, we will no longer be supporting this option as we identified potential security risks and are committed to safeguarding the player experience." However, as many have pointed out, a LAN connection being a security risk is highly unlikely, with many expecting Blizzard of having an ulterior motive here. With TCP/IP support, players could theoretically play hacked or pirated copies of the game online (as was done with Diablo 2's technical alpha), and it stands to reason Blizzard is attempting to avoid this.
While TCP/IP support's main ability was to play over LAN, there were other benefits and aspects to it as well. For example, it could complete bypass Battle.net, with the downside being that it used local save files. This opened up players to encountering cheaters when playing with strangers. On the other end of the spectrum, TCP/IP multiplayer is also important to the speed running community, as it is the only way to quickly reroll maps without external tools. Most of Diablo 2's smaller mods also become unplayable online without this feature, which limits players to using the most popular which have dedicated servers.
While it's a reasonable action on Blizzard's end to combat piracy and the like, it's also unfortunate for many who looked forward to it, as it had been promised since the start. It's a rare feature nowadays (though not completely irrelevant), and one that would have worked well for various players. Regardless, it's something to keep in mind as Diablo 2: Resurrected's release date nears, even if it won't prevent players from sinking as many hours in it as they did the original.
Diablo 2: Resurrected releases September 23 for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.