[LoD v1.09x] Seasons After v3.20d by Enq

[LoD v1.09x] Seasons After v3.20d by Enq

Description: Reviewed by Eisead for the Phrozen Keep.

Categories: Mod Reviews

After a long winter of frozen cold hail, blistering wait lines, and ice-cold white rings. The snow is starting to lift and I see bright clear skies. Yes, it’ s the Season After version 3.20. If you are a blizzard employee and you know the two programmers working on patch 1.10, please tell them the url of this review and tell them to take notes. This is what you call balance. ~Because I got sunshine in a bag…

Yes that is an interesting way to introduce a mod to the review stage. Let talk about the mod in general first. Basically the common goal of this mod is make Diablo II fun and balanced, at the same time. I was able to take 2 character builds though nightmare and 1 though hell. It was the throwing barb I took through hell, and hell was, well hell. The rest of the world was balanced well for standard player vs monster difficulty. As you go from act 1 to act 5 you see it noticeably get harder, so Act 5 is no longer the super experience leech act.

The mod features a new level up system, you'll get an extra skill point every level. With two skill points a level it allows you to more strategically create characters based on your current needs rather then saving up until Multi-Arrow or Guided Arrow comes along

You'll also notice something that you may of never seen used in Diablo II, throwing Clubs, and Swords, and a Flail. These were a lot of fun just to throw around. With the added weapons it makes the throwing barbarian more fun to play due to the increased variety of weapons. Speaking of new weapons you'll also find Class Specific Bows. These bows were created for the sole purpose of giving you a chance to fight back Lighting Enhanced, Extra Fast, Aura Enhanced, Dung Beetles (well not Dung Beetles, but you get the idea of the usefulness these bring). I like this because it gives a practical use to the 'w' key on your keyboard (for those of you that haven’t used it in a couple of years, that changes your weapons the 2nd spot).

Also still on the subject of unique and great item ideas would be that each armor has its own player graphics. Although not a huge feature, for those of you that are very observant when killing hordes of monsters (like me) you'll notice the little changes. Making the smooth transition between items to monsters brings me to the point of how superunique drop special unique items. For example, Ancient Kaa the Soulless will drop the Skin of the Vipermagi in nightmare, giving you a good reason to seek him out and kill him. Strangely the masses of free uniques you'll get won't tip the scales much in either direction.

But as I said this mod is balanced, and balanced it is. Unique monsters in general are sometimes hard to the point of staggering and once or twice I got mad and in a fit of anger turned off my computer (not suggested). But I see this as a good thing. Unique monsters are supposed to be hard right? This is why those Bows are great things, saved me a few times. But that’s not the worst part about dying. It’ s the 100% experience toll, I'll say in a few other ways to empathize the massive death fee: 1 0 0 %. While it is harsh (and it is harsh, it hurt me deep when I first died not knowing about this feature) and you nearly put a fist through a wall when your just a hair from level 80 and a lighting enhanced, Extra Fast, Aura Enhanced Dung Beetle comes out of nowhere and blows you away. I wouldn't change this despite my whining. It’s a feature.

All the above is true and great but I most speak of both sides of the spectrum. The version I played was the 1.09d version, not the skill-enhanced 1.09b. So I couldn't tell you whether or not the amazon’s skills helped or hurt the game. Also, some parts in this mod can be slow. It’s pretty evident that enq tried to keep that from happening, there are spots that still need work. The Catacombs are a good early game example. And as always, this mod lacks the neatness of new monsters. I would try to add them a couple releases some time in the future, but as Seasons After shows, it’ s about what's on the inside that counts, not how many Diablo 1 and Baldur’s Gate II Graphics you can cram in right? Well, a little.

Overall I would say this mod is doing well. It has a while to go before it will reach 'legendary' status but it did actually achieve the goal of balance and playability, but re-playability is a different story. It was great to take the first guy to nightmare but the other 3 it was a bit of a crawl. I'm also sure that this mod is going to eventually need to get into the mainstream of .ds1 editing and more customized skills.

Note to Blizzard: Take notes, this mod is 'balanced.' Notice the way a Throwing Barb can kill cows just as good as a Amazon?

Think I'm crazy? Think I'm right on target? Let me know and post your own review of Seasons After here

Quick List of Features

  • Death experience toll is 100%

  • New throwing weapons

  • Harder Act 5

  • Changed Unique monsters

  • Superuniques are worth killing now

  • Each armor has its own player graphics

  • Class Specific Bows

  • Anyone wishing to check out the Seasons After mod can do so by visiting the official website at http://sa.d2mods.com.

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