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Interview - (2004-09-03) Volf
Title Interview - (2004-09-03) Volf
Description Onyx interviews Volf for the Phrozen Keep on his rejected Volf's Mod, the Cheater's Choice series and the new A Pledge To Evil Mod.
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ONYX:

First of all, could you please say several words about yourself?


VOLF:

I'm a 26 year old Swedish Finn who used to work as an artist, mostly decoration painting such as illusion wall paintings,, an example would be a doorway painted at a wall, when done properly people wont notice the difference until they try to open it. Did that kind of work for a few years then I started working as a freelance regular house painter and carpenter as my main job,, still do a bit of illusion painting. Guess you could say that my real life is wary far from computer related, my computer hobby started around the time when internet came(unless you count basic 2000 and c64 as computers). Moderated in some Finnish forums but I didn't post mush. Spent many years on the web without really knowing anything about computers, only started learning when playing games,, for some odd reason I never liked any game to mush (except d1),, always wanted to modify them and my first modification to a game was in a game called Caesar,, my modification didn't make the game good thou. I spent some years without a computer, got back to computers same year d2 was released,, played a while and started looking in to modding it, found an mpq extractor and messed around cluelessly with the txt files,, then found the keep and here we are.


ONYX:

You are famous about your great maps and as a fellow mapper I should ask you - do you think mapping is the best aspect of modmaking and why?


VOLF:

Mapping is not that far from what I do in real life, only instead of a paint brush I use a computer. I don't really think mapping is the best part, its just something I have done allot. I do like any kind of graphical modding just as much,, mostly I like making my own graphics, sadly that takes to long in d2 so I haven't done that as much as id like to.

One thing I like about mapping is the surprise,, when I start working on a new map I never really know how it will turn out, the idea for a map can come from a wary small thing like a color or one detail.


ONYX:

You have recently burried your first project, Volf's Mod. Why did it happen and was it a hard decision?


VOLF:

Reason was that my hard drive was fried and to much data was lost. It was a hard decision, spent months trying to fix the damage before I made the decision, finally I came to the conclusion that it was not worth the effort to rewrite the mod.


ONYX:

You have also announced your new project, A Pledge To Evil. Could you tell us the main features you're planning to include?


VOLF:

One of the most important features will be sub quests and modifications to some of the existing quests. Naturally there will be allot of changes to the scenario and many new areas as well. New Item types such as throwing stars, slingshots and chakrams will be common in this mod. Al unique items and runewords were deleted and they will be replaced with around 4000 new uniques and runewords. There will be new skills, mostly to be used on items but if al goes well al characters will get a couple of new ones or some old ones will be replaced. Other features worth mentioning,, 3 different kinds of clue scrolls, Al items can be compressed to 1x1 and back to original size, gembag, loads of new base weapons and armors + many minor changes.

We have more planned for this mod than I had planned for volf mod but with the team and the current paste we will have this mod done in a reasonable amount of time.


ONYX:

Are there any mistakes you've done with Volf's Mod and you wouldn't repeat with APTE?


VOLF:

Yes I did many mistakes that I wont repeat. But two of them were serious ones. The first mistake was that I started a huge project without a good plan,, I did have a plan but there was nothing unique about it, nothing that made it my mod.

Second mistake I started a project learning al the way, kept changing the base idea in a project far along.. then I got in to trouble coz of some noobish bugs from months earlier. Never solved al of them just kept on going at crazy speed.

I did hit many dead ends but always kept on going coz I was to stubborn.

When 1.10 final finally came,, more than a year later I had huge txt files that needed to be updated and got some new bugs in the process..

What I should have done was first make a small mod,, then start a new project once I had more experience.. Also I should have teamed up with someone back then.


ONYX:

Can we think of APTE as of a mix between Volf's Mod and Cheater's Choice? Are there things that are unique for APTE?


VOLF:

APTE will be wary different from both my previous projects, but there will be some familiar elements from both projects,, there will be one feature from the never released ccm5 (don't worry there will be a ccm5 to ), this feature is related to the Ancient bosses that existed in the earlier ccm's. These bosses will drop empty unique items and modifier items that allows the player to build their own weapons. From volf mod there will be some of the maps (don't think al of them will suite the new project), al skills that were made will be used etc. Unique in APTE will be sub quests that form a parallel story and the whole layout of maps will be unique. The balance of the mod will also be different from ccm's easy way and from volf mods hard way,, a bit to early to give detail about that thou.


ONYX:

Your Cheater's Choice series are very popular. What in your opinion is the feature that draws people's attention?


VOLF:

Guess many people have different taste in mods than I have
As I have mentioned a few times, ccm was meant as sarcasm against cheating but people seemed to like the mod and kept asking for updates,,, I thought it was kind of fun to have ccm as a side project sense I never thought about balance or details, also many half done ideas and material I couldn't fit in my main project ended up in ccm. CCM3 was the first version that you could consider a full mod but still there was no balance, you could get powerful items fairly easy. In the fourth version I started to make some things a bit more challenging by raising prizes and small things like that. While working on the fifth version the whole concept changed so I decided to scrap al the files and start fresh,, this new concept finally became a completely different project and ccm5 was canceled but due to many requests I have decided to make a ccm5 at some point.

I didn't really answer the question did I, just seems like many like easy mods for a reason unknown to me.


ONYX:

Why have you decided to stay a little aside from the Phrozen Keep by not getting hosted and by running a separate forum on your site? What are the ups and downs?


VOLF:

There were many reasons why I decided to host myself, the 3 big ones are. I like buildings sites and running them, there is more freedom this way and more options and final reason is File Planet, my host has some settings that don't work well with FP,, they did explain it to me but didn't understand half of it. I have been hosted elsewhere in the past but it didn't feel right.

Ups and downs,, well as I se it there is only 1 down side and that is that its very expensive these days to rent server space. The upsides are far greater than the downside, well the upside is that I get to make the rules and shape the site,, the site has turned in to a separate hobby that I enjoy working on.


ONYX:

Aside from D2 modding and running your site, do you have any other hobbies to fill your spare time?


VOLF:

I have had many different hobbies but the last few years my working hours haven't allowed me to have any hobbies,, most of my free time is at night these days,,I don't need allot of sleep so modding works out perfectly. Whenever possible I try to do some fishing, work on an old house, paint a few painting and sometimes I take a long trip to se my girlfriend.

At winter things are different, then i have more spare time but I hate the cold so i don't go out to often, instead I work on the mods.


ONYX:

Thanks for your time.


VOLF:

Np
Thanks for the interview

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