There are three different difficulties in Diablo 2 Resurrected: Normal, Nightmare and Hell. Upon completing Normal, the player then has the option to continue on to Nightmare, and once Nightmare is finished, Hell opens up.
Each difficulty plays through the same acts, areas, quests and monsters, but with changes to make it harder for the player and to adjust the areas for higher level characters. A player might be around lvl 40 when defeating Baal in Normal, so upon entering Act 1 in Nightmare he will still be lvl 40. In Normal Difficulty, the Fallen encountered in the Blood Moor are Level 1, so their level is increased in Nightmare to match the player.
This is the standard difficulty in Diablo II: Resurrected and the one all new characters start on. That means the monsters in this difficulty also start on level one and will progress with you as you work your way through each of the five Acts. There aren’t many notes about Normal because it is the very basics of Diablo II: Resurrected. It is important to remember that Hirelings and Summons deal 50% damage to Act bosses, but everything else is standard.
For completing Normal difficulty, you’ll unlock Nightmare difficulty and gain a new title. If you’re using a standard character, you’ll gain the Slayer title, while Hardcore players gain the Destroyer title.
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Nightmare difficulty makes some big changes. Your character’s level and all of their equipment carry over, which is great because even the enemies in Act 1’s Blood Moor are now bumped up to around level 40. As expected, every enemy in Nightmare will be leveled up and have increased stats. Monsters also usually receive buffs to their resistances, making them much sturdier against your elemental attacks. Meanwhile, your resistances, as well as your Hireling’s, are reduced by 40.
You also might notice that your Hireling and Summons are only dealing 35% damage to Act bosses now. Nightmare also reduces the effect of Life and Mana Leech by 1/2 and the effects you AI-affecting curses are also reduced by 1/2. Once you hit Act 5, you’ll also start to see “Guest Monsters,” which come from other acts to increase difficulty.
Nightmare also introduces bigger maps for you to work through and introduces an experience point loss on death. If you die, you’ll lose 5% of the experience needed for the next level. Retrieving your corpse will restore 75% of that lost experience. Once you complete Nightmare difficulty, you’ll unlock Hell difficulty and two new titles. Standard characters will get the Champion title, while Hardcore characters will get the Conqueror title.
As with Nightmare, all of the enemies you face will be leveled up and have increased stats, plus almost all of them will have at least one immunity, making them much tougher to kill. Players and Hirelings will see their resistances lowered by another 60 points for a total of 100 points. Hirelings and Summons will now only do 25% of damage to Act bosses.
The difficulty changes don’t stop there though. Life and Mana Leech are reduced by 2/3, while the duration of Freezing, Chilling, and other AI-affecting curses is reduced by 3/4. You’ll also notice the larger maps and new “Guest Monsters” in Act 5 popping up again. And, the experience penalty when dying is increased to 10%.
Additionally, two end-game events can only happen in Hell difficulty. If you’re looking to fight Uber Diablo or take on the Pandemonium Event, you’ll need to be in this difficulty. Once you beat the difficulty, you’ll gain one last title. Standard players will now have the Patriarch or Matriarch title, while Hardcore characters get the Guardian title.