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[CD2 v1.06] Werzion X v1.05 by Fusman
Title [CD2 v1.06] Werzion X v1.05 by Fusman
Description Reviewed by Darkmage for the Phrozen Keep.
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What works
Items - Love the new weapons/armor. Great graphics for the ones with new stuff, and a nice touch using unique item graphics for all applicable exceptionals. I also like how the tomes and horadric cube only take up 1 square, and then the fact that the inventory is 10 X 8. You just can't go wrong with a big inventory. As a nice bonus, all new uniques were created from scratch, which follow certain "themes", and a new idea for sets was implimented. No longer do you search all over the game for 5 or 6 items to complete a set... they're all one ring and and amulet. There are three different sets for each character, ranging from basic to excellent, and once you find the ring and amulet, you've got a nice character boost. Before people start complaining how easy that would be... I've never found a complete set. heh. It's damn hard.

Skills - Whirlwind got a type of nerf I hadn't seen before this mod... it only works on 1 handed weapons. A few mods have since included that feature, but it was new when I first checked it out. Makes Lance Barbs a little less invincible, since whirlwind ignores their slow speed. To compensate, Frenzy is now a really nice skill. It works with ANY weapon, and lasts longer per level. You can really get some insane speeds with an already fast weapon, and it's a lot of fun to use. Some of the warcries (War Cry, for example) were spiced up a bit as well, since it's well-known that that's a pretty empty tree for most Barbs.

Monsters - Monster HP is really varied, depending on a few things. Skeleton archer-types don't have much, if any, of an HP boost. Fusman took a cue from RTS games seeing how archers generally die really easy, but are hard to hit. Mage-types gained about a 2X boost to make them a little less fragile, and fighters got 4X more HP. Zombie's have 8X, since they're supposed to be really hard to kill, and most of the other enemies vary between 2X and 4X, aside from bosses and such, which are generally higher yet. Most all the super-uniques are different, names and types and such, and it made for a few scary moments. Especially with the Butcher. heh. The Act bosses are not quite as strong as you would expect because they come back in the Chaos Sanctuary as super-uniques, and it's definately a battle there. That's what some other modders forget, or at least should really think about, is that superuniques have 8X more HP than their normal counterparts, so making impossible Act bosses and then having them come back later in the game 8X stronger is kind of insane.

What doesn't work
Well, not much really. I REALLY want the brass knuckle idea to be possible throughout the game though, and it just isn't. It's only meant to be a starter weapon, but it's a cool idea and shouldn't go to waste so quickly. I say, replace the dagger-class of items (good speed/damage similarities) completely, and used hand-to-hand in it's stead. Yeah, you'd have to work out something else for the poor meleemancers, but I'm sure it could be done. Having at least three different types of knuckles for normal, and three more for exceptional would help to make them viable throughout the game, especially with double swing or frenzy since they're so quick to begin with. One other issue I see is with a Mageazon early on. With her slow casting speed and low-damage skills, it's REALLY hard to be a Mageazon all the way through the game. Specializing in bows until later in the game when you've found a faster cast item or two, and then switching over with some of the higher level skills is definately possible, but a pure Mage variant would be a real tough job. If lots of people have had success with it, I guess I could be wrong, and I just suck.

Final Thoughts
I worked with Fusman on this mod from the very first beta, and all the way up until release. At that point, I turned it over to the rest of you to find issues. It's a much different mod from Beta 1, and I think it's incredible. I've read a few threads where people claimed it was too easy, and if it is I've certainly got to take a lot of the blame for it, but I found the progression pretty nice. I also helped to convince him to keep monsters on the automap, which I know is ALWAYS going to be an argument back and forth. The Amazon, and perhaps the Sorceress to an extent, are the only characters that can really "cheat" so to speak, but killing offscreen enemies. For one, you can do that without knowing where they are with skills like multishot pretty easily. Secondly, the Amazon isn't as much a bow person as she used to be, so it's not as big a deal. The reason I like it, and will always use it, is because getting stronger and finding better items is what I want to do, period. With enemies visible, I can head out wherever the action is and start taking things down, rather than wondering around empty wilderness and wasting time. Quests like the Den of Evil are a lot less tedious when you aren't tracking down one little fallen that's gotten away, and if you just like doing full clears in general. Certainly, it's possible to exploit this feature, but it's also possible to cheapen the experience in a lot of other, more serious ways. If you don't want to cheat, attack what you can see. I don't see how this feature makes someone do anything. My two cents.

Well, a little longer than I probably intended, but had to get a few of my opinions out the door and this seemed a good time to do so. Obviously, I'm a huge fan of this mod and urge anyone who's growing a bit tired of whatever flavor of D2 they currently play to give it a shot. You'll be pleasantly surprised. And this is one of the only mods I've played from Level 1 all the way to Level 78 or so. I went through all the difficulties with one Barb who was born in Werzion X. Lots of you probably do that all the time, but I just don't have time for it. Most guys of mine make it to about level 20. heh. Feel free to post comments on your thoughts with other characters, or with your own Barbs, and cover anything I missed.

(Note - My only real strong impression on this mod, and most others, is for the Barbarian, so the focus of this will be on playing through the game as him.)

-Dan


The Werzion X mod has since been discontinued.


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