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[LoD v1.09x] New Dawn X by 54x
Title [LoD v1.09x] New Dawn X by 54x
Description Reviewed by Maxx Power for the Phrozen Keep.
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Let’s be honest. The skill tree in Diablo 2 is a bitch. The pre-request system is an insult in many people’s eyes, using a perfectly good skill point just to get higher skills. And then there’s the amount of skill points. There are a hundred and ten skills, and thirty skills to spend them on. That’s about 3 points per skill. Its sheer madness! Thank god for New Dawn X, a mod that not only gets rid of the ridiculous pre-requests of the skills, but also gives us many more skill points, to actually make something a bit more useful than the usual Whirlwind barb, or Ice Orb sorc.

What Works
Well, I better explain the above paragraph. You see, the maximum attainable level in New Dawn X is 250. Yes, 250. That’s a total of 1250 stat points, as well as 249 skill points. Many a Diablo player’s dream, you can now happily use all of your points in the best skill in the game, without fear of your character becoming too weak because you didn’t ‘plan’ your character correctly. It’s definitely a relaxed way to play, as you never have to worry about what skill point goes where (well, a little bit). Plus the masses of stat points you receive mean that each of your stats can easily go above the usual invisible 255 mark of Diablo II, and above!

Of course, if this was the only feature of the mod worth mentioning, then this would be nothing more than a power mod. A mod designed to make your character insanely powerful, just to kill wave upon wave of hell’s forces, with an ever increasing ego to match. Needless to say, the author has made a point of improving on the Diablo formula. For a start, the monsters are all more powerful than before, to compensate for your elevated status. The monster’s levels are closer to your characters current level, so a fight is never as unfair as it gets in normal Diablo. This means that the mod concentrates more on the enhanced skills, rather than the increased level (which, lets face it, is what the elevated +151 levels are there for)

All this is without mentioning the brand new class items and uniques. There’s been almost a complete overhaul of the unique items, as well as several new class items to be had. Unlike the original Diablo class items, your characters can now have class specific armors, gloves and helms, along with their original class items. And the logic behind the new items is more sensible. Sorceress’ now have specialized shields to go with their orb class weapons. Staff’s are now the area of the Druid (or Shaman as he’s now known). All of the classes receive new items that complement their class in particular. It makes a change from the strange use of class items in Diablo. There isn’t enough room to even begin to talk about the new uniques and set items. Let’s just say that the Mephisto run fanatic will be in heaven.

Speaking of items, there’s the new cube recipes. These must easily outweigh the original cube recipes three to one, as the amount of new items to craft, imbue etc. is staggering. Items with new magical properties, unique versions of items, rune recipes, extra sockets, superior class specific items, you name it, its in there somewhere, waiting to be found. I suggest taking a look at the official website for a cube list, but be warned. It’s incomplete as it stands, and some recipes are still a mystery, despite the list. But then again, if you knew exactly what the cube recipes were, then there would be no fun involved, would there?

The new innovations in New Dawn X is staggering. The above is just a small example of the amount of work gone into this mod. And that’s without mentioning the fifty new runes, creating brand new rune words for your use, brand new gems which are greatly more powerful compared to the original gems, class-specific gems with all new powers for your characters to use, the new item graphics, as well as the other rhems of items to be had. O yeah, and everything’s nicely color coded now.

What Doesn't Work
For all its credit, no mod is without its flaws, and this mod does have them. The first one to mention is the new item graphics. Quite frankly, they don’t compare to some of the graphics available on the net, and the corruption in them is atrocious, with some of the palettes of the items corrupting on certain acts, numbing the eye sockets as it were. Also, some of the new gems can be hard to tell apart. For instant, on one gem, the normal version of it actually looks larger than its flawless counter part. And two totally different sets of gems are almost identical in color. You can be easily be confused by the different items on offer quite easily, so keep your wits about you.

Also, some of the items seem to have no purpose other than to burn a hole in your inventory, to go and sell back in town. OK, its always nice to have more money, but it seems quite unusual to do it in such a way, as I found myself with more than enough money to buy the items needed. Perhaps they are involved in some cube recipe that I’m unaware of, but to my knowledge, none such a use exsists.

Then there’s the problem with the level 250 cap, namely the magic classes. The mana cost of the skills hasn’t been changed enough to compensate for an energy cost of over 250, so the magic classes can easily raise their strength and dexterity to use the higher end weapons and armor. I’ve always thought that the magic classes in Diablo always had an extra edge to them, and this elevates them even more in the proverbial class hierarchy of Diablo. However, if you’re a sorceress lover, then you won’t have a problem, but it’s still a balanced problem in the mod.

Conclusion
New Dawn X is the sort of mod that most Diablo players should have at least one try of, even if its with just one class to the end of normal. The sheer amount of new trinkets and toys to play with means that the mod is worth is file size in gold (sort of). If you allow yourself enough time to the side to have a good sweep of the mod, you’ll find that the world of Diablo is a much different place, worth your time and effort, if nothing more than to witness the brand new story underlining the mod (usually overlooked by many mod makers, its nice to see someone making an effort for once). Of course, if you can put up with the cluttered style of items, rugged item graphics, and often unbalanced classes, then New Dawn X has more to offer than a Millet’s Hyper-market. A flawed classic.


Anyone wishing to check out the New Dawn mod can do so by visiting the official website at http://newdawn.d2mods.com.


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