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[LOD v.1.10] d2:elements v1.01
Title [LOD v.1.10] d2:elements v1.01
Description Reviewed by midoru for the Phrozen Keep.
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Hello!

Since I grabbed that Diablo 1 copy off the shelf I have been hooked to that game and its successor.

After learning that Bnet is a gathering of juvenile idiots I discovered the mods and soon after the keep. And now here I am, reviewing one of them.

D2:elements is a heavily underrated, but quite well done mod. It doesn't change much skillwise, nor does it introduce new monster-gfx or other funky stuff. It changes the overall balance, items and the skillsystem, which leads to a much more polished gaming experience. It is working under 1.10.

GAMING IMPRESSIONS:

I finished normal difficulty with a Sorceres and recently with a Werewolf Druid. First thing I thought when I started it up was: „Heh, what a beautiful Rogue Camp.“ It felt way more like a camp, not this wannabe town in vanilla. The beginning went rather smooth, at one point I had to use throwing pots to kill a nasty unique. I noticed the improved droptables (in the players favor), which combines very well with the rebalanced affix/suffix pool, because I found significant more rares/sets/uniques but they aren't too powerful. In fact I had to farm the superunique in the cathedral a bit to stand a chance in the catacombs. Since the vendors don't sell manapots anymore I was in dire need of manaleech . With further progress I enhanced the standard werewolf skills, namely Werewolf, Lycantrophy, Feral Rage and later on Fury. Also I chose an Oak sage which doesn't provide the huge lifeboost as in vanilla. As the skill costs increased it was more and more useless to increase Wolf or Fury so I fixed me some furry companions.

Diablo was a huge pain in the ass. His lightning hose can kill in seconds. But after alot of hasty escapes he went down.

Overall the experience is close to vanilla but with a huge improvement in balance.

WHAT WORKS:

The skillsystem is simply brilliant.

Every skill has an increasing cost of n=(slvl you want to obtain).

Also initial costs are 1,6,12,18,24,30 for their respective tiers and passive skills (masteries, lycantrophy, etc.) cost always 10 points.

You get roughly clvl/3 skillpoints per level-up. This encourages wide spending and punishes the usual min/maxing. So I ended up with alot of skills I could make use of. When was the last time you did actually build a tri-elemental sorceress?

Synergies are removed. This encourages the wide spending of skillpoints even more. It's not very clever to spend 12 points on increasing your fury damage by 2%, but slvl 4 ravens are.

There is a new stat-synergy to spellpower=energy. The more points you spend in energy the more effective your skills become. This ranges from plain damage boost of fireball to longer duration of curses.

Random immunities of monsters.

There are no preset immunities, instead, every monster spawns with a chance of 2 immunities. This further encourages the use of many different skills and weapons. Also it reduces the running of „good“ areas.

Elemental Weapons.

The adventurer will run across a whole load of new weapons which have an affinity to an element.

They will deal the respective damage (lightning,cold,fire,magic) and might confer resistance and absorb of their element to the user.

This works great together with the random immunities, because now even martial arts specialists can deal various elemental damages.

Itamz and Monsters.

Now you would say: „Hey! Where is the 10k damage of my slvl 20 meteor?“ Zy-El, Nez, Es and Median player shouldn't be worried though. All numbers and modifiers are cut by factor 3 to 5.

There are alot of new sets and runewords (the old ones are disabled) and some new uniques. But the player has not to miss his/her familiar chance guards. Old uniques are still present, but rebalanced.

Monster stats are balanced according to the player's ones.

WHAT DOES NOT WORK:

Although the mod carefully rebalances the game it still retains some of the vanilla shortcomings.

The most obvious is the similarity to the original game. With the heavy competition at the keep this one has a hard time attracting players. But this is also a strength of the mod.

Also there are a few bugs/imbalances of vanilla left, namely the piercing blessed hammer and the FE damage bug.

CONCLUSION:

If you did like the original very much, but loathed at the patch-broken game, this mod is great for you. It is original diablo 2 at its best. Carefully balanced and polished. Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention the change of the town maps. With the exception of the act 4 one, its easier to access to npcs on them.

So what are you waiting for? Grab it and go play!


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