Diablo II: New Cube Recipe to Unsocket and Preserve Items

Diablo II: New Cube Recipe to Unsocket and Preserve Items


Diablo 2 has a lot of amazing items that you can find while you journey in your adventure. The best among these are the runewords, magical items that you can craft using a base weapon or armor and runes. As the ingredients for crafting the best runewords are extremely rare, players would not want to lose them. As an item collector, you do not want your efforts in farming and hunting loot wasted. You want items to last forever.

Unsocket items, original cube recipe

Hence, as a runeword collector, you would not want to lose runes when you unsocket them. For example, you created a runeword for Infinity, after farming for days looking for Ber runes. However, a few days later, you found a better base weapon, maybe a Giant Tresher. With the existing Horadric Cube recipes, you would be able to unsocket your Infinity, but it will destroy the runes, preserving the base weapon only. This is the opposite of what you want. You want the runes to be preserved so you can put them into your new and better base weapon.

How to Unsocket Items Safely and Preserve Them

There is no existing cube recipe that will allow you safely unsocket items without destroying them. For this reason, we will mod the Diablo II game. We will not adjust any other game mechanics, only this. Does the action preserve the integrity of the game? Yes, because you already found those socketed items, they are neither duplicated nor generated from nothing. They already exist and belongs to you, after hours of loot hunt.

The steps that will follow might seem complicated, but they are truly straightforward. So don't be discouraged.

Getting the Modding Tools

  1. We are going to mod the game. Hence we will need modding tools.
  2. Download the tools from this location:
  3. Run the downloaded file. It is just a zipped self-extractor

extract modding tools

Deciding the Horadric Cube Formula

Before we proceed, let's establish our goal. We want to create a new Horadric Cube Recipe that:

  • Unsocket items
  • Does not destroy any of the ingredients. It preserves them.
  • Uses a sensible recipe that is still fair. The ingredients for unsocketing should not be too easy to find or too hard. Just right.

The formula we will use for this Horadric Cube Recipe is:

Socketed Equipment + Any 3 Flawless Gems

unsocket items, enhanced cube recipe

Using the Modding Tools

Fortunately, this is very easy to achieve and does not involve complicated modding techniques. We are just going to update a few files.

Observe the folders below. We will refer to them in the steps that will follow.

Adding the New Horadric Cube Recipe

We will now add the new cube recipe we decided above. The new recipe uses three flawless gems of any kind.

1) Go to your Diablo II program folder and look for a file named Patch_D2.mpq
You will normally find it in C:\Program Files\Diablo II

2) Create a backup of that file. Make a copy and put it in a safe location.

3) Go back to your Modding folder and enter this folder: MPQView v1.1 beta

4) Click the file MPQView.exe, and it will open the program below

5) Go to the menu like in the above screenshot, click on File -> Open data file. 

6) It will open a new window, select the file as shown below - Datafile for Diablo 2 Lod v1.09d.txt. It is located in the same folder only.

7) Click on Open archive and select the file you looked for in step 1 - Patch_D2.mpq. This is the actual file, not the backup.

8) It will show the contents of the mpq file. We are interested in the file called cubemain.txt

9) Save the file on your desktop so you can edit it later. Close the MPQ Viewer.

10) Go back to the folders of modding tools and enter this folder - D2Excel v1.0. Inside there is a program called D2Excel.exe. Click to run it.

11) This will open the editor which we will use to load and change the cube recipes. Click on Load txt and then select the cubemain.txt you saved in step 9.

12) The excel editor will load all the known cube recipes in the game. Our goal is to add a new row in this file. 

13) Right-click anywhere in the editor content and a menu will show. Click on Insert Row.

14) In your newly created row, carefully enter these values. Make sure you don't make any mistakes. Scroll to the right of the editor for the columns that are not visible.

  • description: Unsocket via gems
  • enabled: 1
  • version: 100
  • numinputs: 4
  • input 1: "any, sock"
  • input 2: "gem3,qty=3"
  • output: "useitem,rem"
  • *eol: 0

This is how it looks like after the changes are done. See the bottom row.

15) Click on Save txt to save your changes. 

16) Go back to your Diablo II program folder, the same folder as in Step 1. Create a folder there named data. Then inside this folder create a folder named global. Then inside this create a folder named excel. Hence you have this structure: data \ global \ excel.

17) Do you have a Diablo II shortcut on your desktop? If no, create one. 

18) Edit the properties of your Diablo II shortcut: right-click -> Properties. Then add this parameter in the Target field: -direct -txt

19) Copy the cubemain.txt you saved in step 15 to the folder excel you created in step 16. This folder has the path data\global\excel.

20) Run your Diablo II using the shortcut we modified in step 18. Use a new character and go to Town, then exit Diablo II. Go to the data\global\excel folder and observe a large number of new bin files there. 

21) How it works - Each time Diablo II runs using the parameter in step 18, it compiles a new bin file for each available txt file, unless one is already there. 

22) If later you change the txt files, delete all the bin files so you are sure they are all freshly generated.

With these changes, you can now safely unsocket items without destroying any of the ingredients. It will remove the runes, jewels, and gems and preserve them.