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Interview - (2003-05-29) Kato
Title Interview - (2003-05-29) Kato
Description dojo105 freelance for the Phrozen Keep interviews Kato on his Zy-El mod and mod making in general.
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dojo105
How did you get into Diablo 2 mod making?
Kato
I played un-modded "vanilla" LOD and finished it in single player (SP). Then I read some stuff on Planetdiablo about what was happening in Bnet. I felt ripped off because of the all the neat stuff that was happening on Bnet. It seemed to me that Blizzard had tailored their product to people playing multiplayer. Then I found a link to Phrozen Keep. I dabbled a bit in one or two mods but found them too easy (I won't name names). I wanted to make the game a challenge but also offer greater rewards like Bnet - or better than Bnet.
dojo105
Is this your first modding project, or did you do another?
Kato
Zy-El is my first mod. To be honest, I never expected to go public with it and was content to play it on my own in SP. Nobody would have known about it except me. That lasted for about two months - then I wanted to change things that I did not know how to change. I had to ask questions of the "mod gods."

They were so eager and willing to help me. I must have asked over a hundred questions and they were only too willing to share their hard-learned secrets with me. I was quite grateful and as a sign of my gratitude, I decided to release my mod to the public. Because I had delayed releasing Zy-El 1.0, it allowed me to do more play-testing. As a result, the mod was simple yet fully functional - very playable because I had worked out most of the balancing issues.

dojo105
Could you tell us a little more about your mod?
Kato
How much space do you have? You can get more details about the mod at the official website: http://zyel.d2mods.com. Pictures too. The players really like the babe pics (no offense intended).
dojo105
When did you start your mod?
Kato
June 2002 and still perfecting it. A mod is finished only when the modder runs out of ideas. I'm still working on it.
dojo105
Were there any features you didn't put in your mod?
Kato
Set Items, new runes, new gems, new armors - the game already has a lot of these items. Set items were buggy in 1.09, maybe I'll add them in 1.10 as the Myrada mod.
dojo105
Have you ever modded another game before D2?
Kato
Nope.
dojo105
What is your favorite part of your mod?
Kato
Crafting items. This mod has always been a crafter's dream. The only problem with this is that players have hit the maximum damage cap that nobody knew existed - it's somewhere arount 87K. Yes, my players have crafted items that allow them to do more than that several times over.

It amazes me how very involved players can get into their characters. The Zy-El mod allows characters to reach level 5000 - not a short-term feat by any means. I put this into the mod to allow players to play their characters for a very long time.

I like pushing the limits of the game and seeing how far I can go with it. I've done things in Zy-El that the original Blizz programmers never anticipated - sometimes with horrendous results and sometimes amusing results.

dojo105
Have you ever played a diffrent mod? If you have which was your favorite?
Kato
I've played a couple other mods, but I still prefer my own. Rightly so since I designed my mod to my own tastes. I've always stated that as part of my mod design mantra: I make this mod the way I like to play the game. Period. I don't care if players don't like certain features. If I make this mod to please me, I know that I'll have at least one satisfied customer.
dojo105
After Blizzard releases its next patch are you going to make any changes?
Kato
Well, yes and no. My current Zy-El mod will be retired. At some point, I will stop modding Zy-El. I'll start a new mod called Myrada which will contain most of Zy-El's features but with 1.10 patch capabilities. It will be ambitious and I will push the limits once again.
dojo105
Thanks for your time answering all these questions.


Anyone wishing to check out the Zy-El mods can do so by visiting the official website at http://zyel.d2mods.com.


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