Diablo 2: Ladder vs. Non-ladder

diablo 2 ladder vs. non-ladder
Fan Art by Mark Louie Superales

What is the difference between ladder and non-ladder?

In Diablo II, gamers can play ladder or non-ladder. What is a ladder in Diablo II, I hear you ask? If you’re playing on a ladder you’re on a specific version of the game, where everyone participating is ranked. The rules playing within a ladder are slightly different so if you’re looking to explore more of Diablo II then you should try playing ladder. Consider your choice between ladder and non-ladder carefully since you cannot swap between the two. If you decide to go for a ladder character, it will remain on ladder until there is a ladder reset. If you go for a non-ladder character, then the decision is permanent.

What are the Diablo II ladders?

  • Standard Ladder: this is the original Diablo 2 Classic softcore version, with four Acts.
  • Hardcore Ladder: the Diablo 2 Classic but hardcore version of the ladder, with four Acts.
  • Expansion Ladder: the extended Diablo 2 lord of destruction softcore version that has all five Acts.
  • Expansion Hardcore Ladder: the Diablo 2 lord of destruction expansion of the hardcore version, where there are all five Acts.

What are the pros of playing ladder?

Like all difficult decisions, there are benefits to playing ladder and non-ladder. Here are some of the reasons you should play on a Diablo II ladder.

  1. There are things only available to ladder players. These include items, upgrades and runewords. Because of this, ladder has gained a reputation for being the best place to find good items.
  2. The ladder resets after its season is completed. Each season is a slightly different length and falls between six months and two years. The last 10 seasons have all been around 6 months in duration. Every time a new season begins, you can build a new character and race everyone to level 99. As such, playing a Diablo II ladder is a great way to keep the game fresh.
  3. Although Blizzard automatically moves ladder characters to non-ladder when there is a ladder reset, none of the items in your inventory list are lost.

What are the pros of playing non-ladder?

Some of the factors of ladder can also be seen as a negative. These are the reasons why you should play non-ladder Diablo II.

  1. When you’re playing ladder, Blizzard will normally warn you a week or two in advance that the ladder is about to be reset. Your character will move into non-ladder but you get to keep all your items as they were in ladder.
  2. There is no reset on non-ladder Diablo II. Your character and items will always be there.
  3. There are lots of hacked items in non-ladder, which are very useful to gameplay. These aren’t available in a ladder, so you need to keep things classic to be able to use them.

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