Patch 1.07 - 1.08 Development Timeline Analysis

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Patch 1.07 - 1.08 Development Timeline Analysis

Post by fearedbliss »

Hey all,

So we all know that Patch 1.07 was the first expansion version that came on the CD and that there were many incomplete parts of the game still (i.e TC, MF, Runewords, Etc), that there were many bugs in the game, and that the game overall felt a bit beta-ish. We also know that it was only available to be played on Single Player since as soon as you connected to, you would be upgraded to 1.08. I'm sure that the reason for this is simply due to the production and manufacturing process. Normally a company would need to provide some sort of "Gold Image" to the manufacturers so that they could mass produce the physical disks that would need to eventually be shipped out worldwide, and land in store shelves, by launch day. Thus, Blizzard probably sent a "relatively stable enough" build of the game to the production companies for mass production, and in the meantime, Blizzard could spend the next few months finishing up as much as they could by launch date (Hence the Day 1 Update on 1.08).

So this makes us wonder, how did this development timeline actually happened between 1.07 (CD Version) vs 1.08 ( Day 1 Version)? Was the D2 LOD Beta happening in the meantime? Are there any other patch notes available out there between this period of time? Let's dig deeper.

We know that the Release Date for when people got 1.07 was on the LOD launch day: June 27, 2001. We also know that people also got Patch 1.08 on the same day if they connected to (Since it was the day 1 patch).

Following that, we know that the build number for the version of the 1.07 Beta that GalaXyHaXz successfully reversed engineered was 1.07.41.

We also know from these posts made by Blizzard, that there were several 1.4X releases, and we know what the patch notes were as well. The notes in these patches and the dates they were released are interesting because they are all changes that would be available as part of the 1.08 patch notes.

Let's take a look at the contents of the link. I've copied it in its entirety. We will be working backwards in time from the latest post down to the oldest post.
June 4, 2001

Beta Screenshots

We are looking for your exciting Beta screenshots to post on our web site. Screenshots must be in 800x600 resolution without the Automap, Stats, or on the screen. Please make sure the brightness is not set too high (in the options menu) when taking screenshots. We are currently no longer looking for Set, Class-specific, or Crafted Item shots. We love getting good action shots and Druid and Assassin skill shots. Please do not modify the shots, please send them as they are taken in your Diablo II directory. You must be 13 or older to submit screenshots. If you wish for your nickname or name (first name, last name initial) to be listed with the screenshot please state this and your preferred name. Screenshots without a nickname will not be posted. Please make your submissions to Thanks!
Nothing too crazy here, but it shows us the final date available to us from this page which is June 4, 2001. Not only in that they were getting close to the June 27, 2001 release date, but that particular changes were already implemented during the - still in progress - Beta Phases. This is important.
June 1, 2001

Beta Update

Today we have been having some problems with our beta servers.

The servers were not loading the proper data for the new patch. This data file contains the balance information that varies with difficulty levels. Because the wrong file was being loaded, there were many bugs occurring - including many crashes.

This has been fixed. Thank-you for your patience during the Beta. Your testing continues to be extremely helpful.

During this time people were noticing some odd things occurring in Nightmare and Hell difficulty including:

1. Too many unique monsters were showing up.
2. You could not steal mana in Hell difficulty.
3. The changes to static field were not in effect.

These things should be back to the way that they were intended.

Also, we are working on the following changes (along with many others):

1. No triple-immune monsters.
2. Crushing blow is at 1/2 effectiveness on bows.
3. Crushing blow is affected by physical resistance.
4. Increasing the damage of many mid-level Sorceress skills which do not have timers.

Finally, we ask that people wait to form their opinions about the new balance changes until they have played them.
Here we could already see some stuff that exists in Patch 1.07, but not in 1.08. Specifically things like triple immune monsters, crushing blow being nerfed, and the static field changes (In Pre-LOD, Static Field works the same on all difficulties, no cap. In 1.07, Static Field also works uncapped in both Classic and LOD). At this point, it seems that we can be 100% sure that 1.07 is just a particular version of the beta that was printed on the disks and labeled as 1.07 (Excluding the final part of whatever the build number was: 1.07.XX).
May 31, 2001

Patch 1.46 has been released
Simply Connect to to download the patch.

Skill Balance Changes
(We have planned some other skill balance changes.)

- Dragon Tail now has an attack bonus.
- Dragon Tail does not cost mana or knockback when it misses.

- Whirlwind will now alternate between two weapons when you use two weapons.
- Fixed the bug which would allow you to still have armorclass after using Berserk.

- Fixed the bug that added javelin damage to Lightning Fury, and made the graphics simpler for the lightning.

- Made sure that Thunderstorm hits.
- Static Field is no longer affected by Conviction and Lower Resist. Also, it will not take a monster below 33% health in Nightmare (50% in Hell).
Increased Frozen Orb damage.
- Cold Mastery will not affect cold immune monsters.

- Increased the delay between the times that Hurricane does damage.

- The hitpoints for a Revived monster no longer reflect the number of players in the game.

- We now average the speed of your two weapons when you do two-handed attacks - Frenzy, Double Swing, Dragon Claw, etc...
- Lower Resist, Conviction and Amplify Damage don't affect immunities.
- You can summon creatures in town - as long as they don't require corpses.
Here we could see that on May 31, 2001, Patch 1.46 was released. This is most likely referring to 1.07.46. We can already see that in this build, the Static Field changes are already implemented in the patch notes (Although it wasn't working 100% due to the the subsequent posts). Some of those other changes are also things mentioned in the 1.08 patch notes (i.e "Whirlwind now alternates between two weapons when using two-weapon style."). 1.07 Retail still has an uncapped Static Field so it would have to be a version before 1.07.46 but above 1.07.41 (Given that GalaXyHaXz had to re-implement some missing pieces of the game in order to get Single Player working. 1.07.41 was a only Beta). Originally I was thinking that there could be a possibility that it could actually be a version before 1.07.41 that just happened to have the Single Player components enabled. Thus we can't be sure that the lower bound is 1.07.42, but we can definitely cap the upper bound at 1.07.45. However, based on the information that I'll be presenting down below (From Blizzard's own post), the probability of this scenario is extremely low and we can pretty much say with a good degree of confidence ( :roll: ) that the lower bound for 1.07 Retail is 1.07.42 and the upper bound is 1.07.45.
May 25, 2001

Sneak Peek
Take a look at The Arreat Summit, the beta version of our new guide to Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Feel free to make comments on new sections. This guide will launch sometime after Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is found in stores.

Patch 1.45 has been released
Simply Connect to to download the patch.

Skill Balance Changes
(We have planned some other skill balance changes.)


- Increased Holy Shock's melee damage bonus.
- Decreased the power of Conviction.

- Increased Fire Golem's melee damage.

- Increased Fire Wall's damage
- Increased Blizzard's duration.
- Decreased Meteor's casting delay.
- Decreased casting time for Chain Lightning and Lightning.
- Increased Frozen Orb's damage

- Increased Freezing Arrow damage.
- Increased Ice Arrow damage.
- Increased Immolation Arrow damage, added a casting delay and decreased the fire duration.

- Increased Fist of Fire damage.
- Increased Claws of Thunder damage.
- Increased Pheonix Strike damage.
- Fixed various bugs with skills that use two claws.

- Turned down the mastery bonuses for the wolves and bears
- Increased Feral Rage's life stealing
- Increased Hunger's life stealing, but increased its damage penalty
For Patch 1.45 (1.07.45) on May 25, 2001, We can see multiple changes that were all included as part of Patch 1.08. Thus we can further reduce the 1.07 Retail version to be a maximum of 1.07.44, and the lower bound is still 1.07.42.
May 9, 2001

New Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Beta Forum

We have created a new forum especially for Diablo II: Lord of Destruction beta testers. This forum is different than our previous forums. Only Official Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Beta testers can make new posts and can respond to existing posts. Anyone, including fans that are not Beta testers, can read any post on this forum. Beta Testers will be asked to enter their Beta CD-Key listed in their Pink instruction sheet when creating their Forum Account. Be warned that this is the only place we ask for your CD-Key. Do not enter your CD-Key in any other web page, especially one that does not begin with Visit the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Beta Forum!

May 8, 2001

If you are experiencing install problems with the Beta

If you are experiencing problems installing the Diablo II: Lord of Darkness Beta CD. Please make sure you do a full uninstall of Diablo II, then reinstall. Make sure your Diablo II play disk is clean and has no finger prints and/or scratches. Then try installing the Beta.

If you still encounter problems:

If you have a single player install of Diablo II, copy the D2Char.mpq file and the D2Music.mpq files form your Diablo II play CD to your c:\program files\Diablo II folder. Then try installing the Beta.

For multiplayer install of Diablo II, copy the D2Music.mpq file from your Diablo II play CD to c:\program files\Diablo II folder. Then try installing the Beta.
Breaking it here for a split second just to emphasize the ramifications of the above... Ok now continue reading the final part.
May 5, 2001

See what has changed since Diablo II 1.06.

Q. Why doesn't my character show up on the Expansion Ladder?
A. The Expansion Ladder is for newly created characters only and converted characters will not show up in this list

May 3, 2001
This Beta includes all of the full game’s items, quests, monsters, and player characters. However, it is playable only through You can play any of the seven character classes completely through all 5 Acts of the expanded game. If you have characters on the USWest Realm, they are waiting for you under your normal account name and password. Please remember that these are COPIES of your USWest Realm Characters and changes in them while you are playing on the Beta Realm will NOT affect them on USWest. Characters from any other Realms will not be available for play on the Beta Realm. Also, excluded from this Beta are these features of the full game-single player mode, multi-player LAN games, and the new cinematic sequences.

The principal purpose of this Beta is to test game server stability and capacity. As a result, the Beta Realm may be unstable for extended periods of time. In fact, rather than avoiding playing during periods of lag or instability, we prefer that you help us stress the Beta Realm by logging on when others are most likely to be playing - for example, during the evening hours of Pacific Daylight Time.

Of course, we appreciate all bug reports and suggestions about play-balance, game features, and interface ease-of-use. However, these issues are not the focus of the Beta. Questions, Technical Support, Hot Topics, Realm Updates, Strategy and Tips and Beta Forum information will all be available at this location.

We expect the Beta to run a minimum of two weeks. Also, while the Beta may run until the release of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, it may also be stopped prior to the release of the finished game. NOTE: In order to play Diablo II or the release version of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction on the Realms you must uninstall Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Beta first, and then reinstall Diablo II followed by Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.

Finally, we are looking for your exciting Beta screenshots to post on our web site. Please make your submissions to

Again, congratulations, and we will see you on!
Alright, so this has a lot of interesting stuff. These posts were made on May 8 and May 9, 2001. Specifically introducing the LOD Beta Forum to beta testers, and some technical support for getting the Beta running. May 3 and May 5 started discussing the Beta itself, expectations, and even a very light timeline prediction of how long the beta would last (minimum of two weeks till potentially release day or a bit before.. which it seems it definitely ran a lot longer than 2 weeks).

Given that it seems there was only one wave of beta disks shipped out, that would indicate that the Vanilla D2 LOD Beta Images that were posted by ChickenBuckets was exactly for this beta, and that this is 1.07.41, as indicated by GalaXyHaXz. At this point it is highly probable to say that the lower bound for 1.07 Retail is 1.07.42 and the upper bound is 1.07.44. Moreover, I want to further emphasize, the beta was still running after 1.07.44, because we saw above that 1.45 and 1.46 were still released (1.07.45 and 1.07.46 - Which were all changes bundled into 1.08).

Soooo what does this all mean? Well, it seems to indicate that the official 1.07 release that was on the disks was in fact an actual beta build of the game while the beta was still in progress! The subsequent weeks lead to more 1.07.XX beta releases distributed exclusively via to the existing LOD beta testers, and ultimately when the beta concluded, Patch 1.08 was created and published as a Day 1 patch. This also means that for people that were looking to specifically play the 1.07.41 beta (aka 1.07 Beta), the incentive to play that particular version is further reduced given that Patch 1.07 is actually a beta patch at the code and development timeline/process level, despite it being an official release published on the LOD Gold Disks! GalaXyHaXz and I actually mentioned that Patch 1.07 is actually 1.07.44 back in 2017! This would make sense in that if we have a clean timeline in the development process, and that that assumption is correct, and also given all of the existing evidence discussed above, Patch 1.07.41 would be the version on the beta disks shipped out / received by beta players around that May 3-9, 2001 period. The subsequent post made a few weeks later on May 25, 2001 (22 days if starting on May 3, or 16 days starting on May 9), and announced Patch 1.07.45. On June 1, 2001 they were still releasing updates to the beta server which is already 28 days after the initial announcement. Given that the launch day of LOD was coming up on June 27, 2001, Blizzard still needed time to get a build stable enough to send to the CD manufacturers for production and worldwide distribution, the beta period happened to be a perfect time to send build 1.07.44 to manufacturers as the gold build for the physical 1.07 disks. Blizzard would also continue to collect data in parallel from the beta players for the beta's remaining period of time, and conclude the beta with Patch 1.08 on release day (In reality, Patch 1.08 was most likely marked as gold internally a few days before Day 1 Launch, but we all know that D1 & D2 were on heavy time crunches, so even though there were improvements in the workflow for D2: LOD's development lifecycle, there was also a bunch of crazy stuff happening at the company ranging from Starblo, Diablo III (Blizzard North Edition), and other internal issues, I'm not sure of the exact timeline for these though.. It could have been all over the place with multiple projects being juggled, paused, and then resumed).

Hell of a ride folks. Pun intended. :lol:

1. It's funny that on the May 8, 2001 post they called Lord of Destruction: Diablo II: Lord of Darkness Beta CD. Given that on the May 3, 2001 post they referenced it as Lord of Destruction, and also all of the artwork, Forum, and other material already had the Lord of Destruction name, it's funny seeing it called as "Lord of Darkness". Maybe it was actually a potential candidate name that people now needed to train themselves away from.

2. I'll leave the Diablo II: LOD Beta Forums as a little gift. Haha.

3. I also found this reference mentioning the following, the beta mention at the beginning is the main point of interest:
The expansion was released in Summer 2001 as version 1.07, the same version as the beta, but the 1.08 patch was available for download on the same day. Within a few months, 1.09 was released...
That last sentence is incorrect regarding 1.09. 1.09 was released on August 20, 2001, and the expansion was released on July 27, 2001. So in just about 23 days, Blizzard North finished completing the refinements to the game. Subsequent 1.09 patches (b, c, and d) were released in the following months but they didn't include any significant changes in the patch notes. After that, the game was pretty much complete and in maintenance mode. There were no further patches until two years later, Peter Hu released the final 1.10 patch on October 28, 2003. After that patch, he left Blizzard North and joined Flagship Studios with the rest of the original Blizzard North leadership. Thus if you wanted to play the most refined version of the expansion as originally released, 1.09b would be the candidate (for p64 and working CtC. 1.09d only has p8 and broken CtC). If you want to play the expansion at an earlier stage with interesting stuff that could still happen, you can either choose 1.07 (if you wanna go into the beta territory, thus the game still has many incomplete parts (TC system not complete, MF works very differently (essentially useless, it reminds me of prelod to tell you the truth cause mf was also useless for me there as well), completely different (and not many) runewords that are pretty much useless), but also crazy good and bad bugs are still in there), or you can choose 1.08 (if you want to play an expansion version that still has some similar mechanics and items to 1.08 but it's a bit more stable and a bit more complete (TC system completed but MF still is useless for the most part, the drop system has issues in many parts of the game including bosses. It had completed runewords - almost identical to 1.09 - but the runewords were only available online at the time and they had issues as well, like runewords would break if you gave them to another character or their variable stats would reset every game - as per 1.09 patch notes. You can use Singling to get 1.08 runewords on Single Player).

4. The following link reveals some more useful information: Source
May 4, 2001

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Item Screenshot Blowout!
In celebration of the release of the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Beta we have many new item screenshots for you to see. Start here.

May 3, 2001
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Beta Testers Selected
We have selected the beta testers for the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Closed Beta. If you have been selected, you will be receiving an e-mail shortly. If you were not selected, you will not receive an e-mail. The CDs have been sent via Federal Express®. If you are one of the Beta testers, you should receive your Beta CD within the next few days. We would like to thank everyone for signing up. Please stop by our web site regularly for more updates on Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. For more questions about the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Beta go here.

Attention Beta Testers
We're looking for your exciting Beta screenshots to post on our web site. You can submit them here.
Diablo II Expansion F.A.Q. Updated
Click here to see our recent update to the Diablo II Expansion FAQ.

New Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Screenshots
An Amazon takes in the view in this new screenshot from Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.

Take a look at a Charged Item, a new item type found in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.

Check out Eaglehorn, a new Elite Unique Item in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.

Learn more in this Forum Post (read the replies).
Particularly here we can see that Blizzard said that the beta testers were selected (and CDs shipped) on May 3, 2001. They also announced the celebration of the LOD Beta on May 4, 2001. This helps our timelines above.

5. I actually haven't found an exact date announcing the "closure" of the beta, but I would logically say that it's on Release Day, and thus 1.08 is not a beta patch. However, the source for 1.08 would obviously be pretty much patches:
1.07.45 + 1.07.46 + Any other 1.07.XX versions that weren't documented + Any final changes Blizzard North wanted to make before 1.08 = 1.08
Thus you could consider 1.08, a very late beta build given that 1.09 followed less than a month later (August 20, 2001) and really wrapped things up. 1.10 came two years later so.. That's just a different story, but the expansion as originally released was basically complete and in maintenance mode once 1.09 hit.

6. I don't actually know 100% if 1.07.44 was the exact build released as 1.07 Retail, because it could also have been 1.07.42 or 1.07.43. But most likely it would have been 1.07.44 assuming Blizzard sent the latest build available at the time before the 1.45 patch was introduced and that already included changes that we would later see in 1.08.
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