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D2 was optimized for Glide. Direct3D mode in D2 was an afterthought and it has severe performance penalties (even on modern hardware).
A lot of current gen video cards will not run D2 without Glide mode. Glide actually no longer exists, it was a 3dfx thing, and it only worked on their cards. It was a limited subset of OpenGL, back in the days before PC video cards could actually handle full OpenGL. The good news is that it is possible to do Glide to OpenGL conversion VERY easily with a simple wrapper, and modern PC's are more than capable of "emulating" Glide on a current gen video card with OpenGL support.
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