Diablo 2 mods
 

Knowledge Base


Knowledge Base->Interviews->Interview - (2003-02-09) Angst Merchant [ Search ]

Interview - (2003-02-09) Angst Merchant
Title Interview - (2003-02-09) Angst Merchant
Description Mordini freelance for the Phrozen Keep interviews Angst Merchant on his Visions of Valor mod and mod making in general.
Sent by

MORDINI
Tell everyone a little bit about who Angstmerchant is.
ANGST
Well, nobody is an objective judge of themselves-the lens of vanity is relentless. Offline, I like to think of myself as the most determined subversive computer enthusiast you know. Online, I try to be creative and have fun with forums and chatting but I get a little over-the-top when it comes to politics. Hehheh, regulars get tired of hearing about my views.
MORDINI
How did you come up with your somewhat unique username?
ANGST
With deliberate aimlessness. I like to choose names that have little real meaning to them, so that my true personality can show through without any sort of pre-conceived ideas on the part of other users. I was on another forum and I thought for about 3 seconds before choosing AngstMerchant, it was appropriately useless. The same idea determined the name of my domain, BeefyCranium.com. I chose that because Lassiter.com was taken and both names took about 4 seconds to choose.
MORDINI
How did you first get into mod making for Diablo 2 and how long ago was it?
ANGST
Jeff Watts a.k.a. PerfectCell is now authoring a project called 'Diablo II: Eastern Sun' and its a really impressive modification. Lots of good ideas. Well, everyone loves to see something thats done well and I was so stoked when I played ES that I started working on my own project right away. That was back in September 2002 and I have been working on it steady on since then. My professional position is a support situation and I have a lot of unsupervised downtime. So between work and home, an average day sees about 9 hours of work on VOV.
MORDINI
Is Visions of Valor your first undertaking in D2 modding or were there any other lesser known projects you've been involved in?
ANGST
When I first started doing research/tooling around aimlessly with the D2 .mpq files and exploring the possibilities, the first thing I wanted to do was start a small project that would familiarize me with the treasure classes and item generation. The end result was 'Diablo II: Unglued', which featured insanely good drops and a level 99-grade experience point reward with any single kill. It made debugging easier and I still use it now. I was offering it on my personal website as a debugging tool for other mod makers but I took it down when I realized that it could be used to host open Battle.Net games and allow for some serious cheat action. I imagine that Boba Fett's trainers for Diablo started out the same way.
MORDINI
For anyone who might not have heard of your mod, could you give everyone a quick overview of VoV?
ANGST
Visions of Valor is more of a skin than a mod. It has been designed for the die-hard Diablo II player who is just tired of the standard graphics. There are new animations for all of the character skills and for some monster skills, as well. There are several new monsters in the current release (D2:VOV v.1.51) and the next release (which is almost complete) has quite a few more monsters changes. Damage indicators have been altered as well, so that when you get hit with cold or lightning or whatever, you know that you got that type of damage.

The changes made are purely graphics-oriented and there is no interference with gameplay whatsoever. The only person who will be aware of the change in appearance is the player who has installed VOV. The best feature about Visions of Valor is the fact that it is _extremely_ non-instrusive. At the Phrozen Keep, I'm not at liberty to describe specifically how flexible this skin is, but I can say that it is safe for play in any gameplay format.

MORDINI
What features would you have liked to include in the mod but couldn't?
ANGST
Actually, now that you mention it, I think for the first time ever on a project like this I can say that the answer to that is nothing. The only real limitation to this project is the bounds created by what animations are available to me. The constraints for graphical alteration of the monsters, skills and combat-related animations are very few. I'm sure that is another aspect of why I have been so interested in this project: freedom. Academic programming projects that I had in school always had severe constraints on time and sometimes resources. This is different: I can do what I like at my own pace and take my time addressing more involved issues. Of course, thats not to really compare this to programming. . . .thats a whole other ball game.
MORDINI
What plans do you have for VoV or any other modding projects in the future?
ANGST
I'm enjoying the way that VOV is turning out but I think that this step of the development process is drawing to a close. I think there are sufficient changes to the graphics that I can start my next step and begin development on a new version that includes gameplay modifications: new runes, new items, new item modifiers, new uniques, new sets and other stuff. I have been putting it off in hopes that the 1.10 patch will show up but. . . . Don't worry, VOV will still available in its 'skin' format.
MORDINI
Other than your own, what mods either past or present have sparked your interest?
ANGST
That's easy: Eastern Sun. The two most appealing aspect of Eastern Sun are these: it's available and playable. Most of the D2 mod sites that are hosted on PlanetDiablo.com are in a perpetual state of development. Of those that have a mod to download, most are so absurdly hard in the first stages that I lose interest before I reached level 3 or 4. Eastern Sun offered a ton of new features and was engagable from the first encounter. I just can't enough good things about the Eastern Sun mod. If you are reading this and you haven't played Eastern Sun, go download it now.
MORDINI
In your opinion, has D2 mod making suffered much due to the delay in Blizzard releasing the new patch?
ANGST
Horribly. The missing code from the .dlls is shamefully negligent development--they should have emergancy patched that within days of the 1.09d patch release. Furthermore, the balance issue involving the Amazon is glaring. Any knucklehead who knows how to read can now go find a Amazon character template using Guided Arrow and some bow class weapon with Piercing Attack and that player becomes unstoppable in any way. Duels, cow level. . . .a single arrow can do several thousand of points of damage. That's retarded. Add a little mana and life steal and--POOF! instant juggernaut. Umm, yeah, the need for a new patch is desperate.
MORDINI
And finally, what advice do you have for someone just starting out in modding for D2 or atleast thinking about it?
ANGST
Don't be afraid to accept help from other modders. If you try to start a project like this with a Do-It-Yourselfer kind of attitude, you'll end up re-inventing the wheel and taking a long time to do it. Just learn from others and make sure you give credit where credit is due. I am one of the most independent thinkers in my family and have a strong sense of identity, which makes it difficult for me to learn from others. But you have to put stuff like that behind you in a situation like this. Speaking of which, I wouldn't understand anything about .cof files if it wasn't for the help of Paul Siramy and Alkalund. Thanks again, guys!
MORDINI
Thanks a lot for your time.


Anyone wishing to check out the Visions of Valor mod can do so by visiting the official website at http://vov.d2mods.com.


Votes Votes: 0 - Average:

Add a Comment Rate
Comments


Stat
There are 427 articles in the Database
Most Viewed: History of the Phrozen Keep
Most Rated: Guide: How to get rid of your fellow modmakers

Total users browsing the Knowledge Base: 3 (0 Registered Members 3 Guests and 0 Anonymous Members)
Visible members are: