[02-07] July, 2002

[02-07] July, 2002

Description: Archived Keep updates.

Categories: Keep Updates

July 27, 2002

by JBouley (Jeff)

Got another jam-packed update this week. First, there's still no word on patch 1.10 really. No official
word, anyway. Information from Mordini's source at Blizzard indicates that all speculation about patch 1.10 at
diabloii.net, here or elswhere is just that: speculation. So as to whether or not D2:LoD will be more moddable after 1.10
or not, and when the new patch will be released...well, we just don't know. And Blizzard ain't talkin' ;-)

Also, I had hoped version 2.1 of my mod (Sanctuary in Chaos) would be out by this weekend, but it just wasn't in the
cards. Too many little fixes that I had to make, which has delayed my implementation of new features. So, 2.0b remains the
current version of the game, and it's solid except for bugs with the act 3 mercs (mostly when they reach level 61, it seems).
The 'b' in 2.0b doesn't mean 'beta,' by the way. I'm not exactly a rocket scientist when it comes to specifying
versions. I had two sets of emergency bug fixes after I released 2.0. The first was 2.0a; the second was 2.0b. I still
have a couple annoying bugs, but I'm not in beta stage and haven't been since before I released verson 1.0. ;-)
You can get the current version (2.0b) via the 'Staff Projects' link in the File Center box in our navigation bar, or
click here.

What you can also get in the Staff Projects area is a brand-spanking new version of Phrozen Heart's Cubaholics mod
(v. 0.8b), which is in beta stage but still quite a fun little romp for those who want to get some use out of the
Horadric Cube. There's just way too much stuff regarding the cube in this mod to even begin talking about it here. You
can create everything from personal wealth to class-specific items to charged items to...well, Phrozen's documentation says
it all better than I can. Head over to the Staff Projects area to check it out, or just
click here.

Lounge Lizards?...No, Lounger Lurkers

The Lurker Lounge (www.lurkerlounge.com) is back up and running. It's a great source of information about playing
D2, including tips and tests and all sorts of other goodies. We're glad to see it back in full action, and you can link
to the site through the 'Partner Sites' box in our nav bar.

Skill-Enchanted Items

Hey, this week we have a new tutorial from our fearless founder, Phrozen Heart. Actually, the tutorial's subject is not
new (making a skill-enchanted bone maul), but Phrozen expanded on it, improved it and updated it for version 1.09d.
This tutorial is a great way to begin learning how to make major changes to weapons and other items. Use the 'Tutorials'
link in the nav bar, or just click here.

The File Guide Empire Grows

Some more additions to the File Guides section of our site. For one, we have an update to the
monstats.txt guide, with some additional information to help you understand
the columns for 'elemental' damage in monstats.txt

We also have two entirely new file guides. One is on itemratio.txt, by Isolde.
The other is on sounds.txt, and it's a dual effort by Isolde and Myhrginoc.

Gosh, Aren't I Special?

I don't think so, but modesty aside (whether false modesty or genuine), I am the subject of this week's interview
by Deathscythe. Well, actually, my mod is probably the major subject of the interview, but I'm much better looking
than my mod, if I do say so myself. Anyway, head over to our 'Interviews' link in the nav bar or
click here to read it.

Baldur's Gate Mod Reviewed

The latest mod review from Maxx Power is on the 'Baldur's Gate' mod by Ric Faith and Subsanity. Head over to the Mod Reviews
link in the nav bar or click here for instant delivery of this latest review.

Soak this review of the BGmod up savor it and the others...Maxx is on holiday right now, so we might not have a new
review for a couple weeks or so. We don't pay him a dime for his work, so I guess we shouldn't begrudge him wanting some
time for himself. :-) Come to think of it, I don't get paid for my work here either and neither does Phrozen. Guess we
should take holiday, too. Phrozen, grab your wife, I'll grab mine and we'll head to...oh, I guess I have to finish up
here first. :-(

New Tools for You Budding Modmakers

Ever busy, and apparently rarely sleeping considering how much he's done with graphics in D2 modding, Paul Siramy has
some new goodies to add to the 'Tools' portion of our File Center. First is his
DC6Edit utility, which was originally created to extract and
alter all of Mephisto's .dc6 frames, but which has other uses as well for animated .dc6 images...such as allowing
easy creation of animations for the character selection screen. Paul also made available to us his
Paint Shop Pro palettes, so that you can make things like
inventory graphics in PSP without messing up the backgrounds or ending up with weird colors in your images in three
half of the Acts in D2.

Also, iowan has been doing his best to get right back into the thick of things since his return to Phrozen Keep. He's
been working on various tools that might be of use. The first of these is his Command Console Loader, which
allows you to run D2 with console commands, some of which could be useful and others of which may not. But hey, you have
the option now. There are two versions of this utility in our Tools section. One
with an installer, and one
without an installer.

New Animations for the New Keep

For a while there in the old version of this site, we were rocking and rolling with tons of animations to replace existing
monsters with. Well, looks like we're picking up steam on that again. In the Animations area of our Plugins section in the
File Center, we have a few new goodies.

From Har'lea'quinn we have the Orc with Axe from IceWind Dale in both a
.dcc version and a
.gif version, and we also have from him a
Werewolf-to-Balrog plugin
to make the Druid's hairy, loping, slobbering canine form be a scaly, lumbering, slobbering demon form instead.

Also, from Joel Falcou, we have a plugin that not only allows the Druid to become demonic but also to experience
an instant sex-change operation. Yes, it's a
Werewolf-to-Succubus plugin

Going Above and Beyond With Skills

Sonique[OBR] brings us another plugin, but instead of animations, this one addresses skills. It's a set of modified .dll
files so that you can have max skill levels for your character of 30 instead of 20. It's for version 1.09b of the game.
Head over to the Plugins section in our File Center, or just
click here

Paul Gets the Last Word

Yet another gift from Paul Siramy: A tabulated .txt file containing the offset information for all of the original
.dcc animations. Head over to the 'Resources' link in the File Center box in our nav bar, or

click here.

July 20, 2002

by JBouley (Jeff)

A slight delay with this week's update, but we're trying to get back on the schedule of having the updates on the
weekend (except for the occasional mid-week additional offering). In any case, strap yourself in and get ready for
a ride. We have a massive amount of new things to report, and we figured we'd give it to you all at once.

Oh, one other thing before I start: We finally got back over 1,000 registered members in the new forums, and we're
still growing. All right, on to more substantive updates.

Patch 1.10 Delayed Again, Perhaps?

Mordini, who has an inside contact at Blizzard, tells us that Blizzard has indefinitely put on hold plans to hold
a fansite chat regarding version 1.10 of Diablo 2. Considering many of us expected 1.10 to be out already (watch,
I'll probably find out it got posted just as I'm making this update ;-) just to make me look bad), I'll take this
as a sign that Blizzard won't be getting the new patch out anytime in the imminent future. August, maybe?

Two Interviews for the Price of One

OK...well, that 'price' is free, but don't quibble with me, here. :-)

Anyway, Mordini's name comes up again...this time helping out Deathscythe by freelancing an updated interview with the
benevolent (or is that malevolent?) webmasters of the Keep, me and Phrozen Heart.

For his part, our staff interviewer, Deathscythe, offers us all an interview with the talented Brother Laz of the
'Demon Trip' mods. Both interviews can be reached through our navigation bar at left, or just
click here

LOL...We Hope

Speaking of our site's nav bar, we added a new link in there for a 'Humor' section. These items are pulled from amusing
things in the Phrozen Forums, and more will be coming in the future.

Monkeying Around With Mods

Spiral Simian has given us three nice, simple mods for those people who just one want one or two things changed when
they play. The three currently in our Mods Section (reachable via the File Center portion of our nav bar), are three
of the most commonly requested kinds of mods, those that help you level up faster or find more goodies. They are the
Turbo Levelup mod, in which monsters
grant insanely increased numbers of experience points, the
Uniquely Yours
mod, which drastically increases drop rates of uniques and drops massive numbers of rares as well,
and the Zombie Drop mod, in which Act 1 zombie-type monsters
drop amounts of treasure and other goodies much, much, MUCH better than what is normally associated with the most
stupid of the walking dead. ;-)

Speaking of Mods, how about mine?

Version 2.0 of Sanctuary in Chaos (SiC) was a little shaky last time I made an update here...but
SiC v. 2.0b is looking pretty good. There are still
a very few crashes here and there, but they are sporadic for the vast majority of players, and will hopefully be
gone entirely by 2.1, which I should have ready after this weekend. So far, the biggest problem bug I know of that
isn't sporadic is that if your hire an Iron Wolf specializing in Crystal Magic, he may start crashing you when he
reaches level 61. Other bugs seem to be related to a few unique monsters that only sometimes spawn in specific areas. Use
the 'Staff Projects' link in the File Center portion of the nav bar to get at mods made by me and Phrozen Heart.

The Game So Nice, You Want to Play It Twice...

...with yourself. Many people ask about whether they can mule in single-player. Yup. Before he went AWOL from the
modding community, Goldark of the 'Hell on Earth' mods made a modified version of the d2gfx.dll file used by D2
so that you can have two copies of D2 open and uh, play with yourself. That's play D2 with yourself, mind you.
Get your minds outta the gutters, you rapscallions, you. Go to the 'Plugins' section of the File Center and enter the
'DLL Plugins' section to find it, or just click here

More Pretty Items to Play With

I've released my second item pack for the Plugins section of the Keep,
this time with a heavy emphasis on charm-type graphics and other miscellaneous items (almost 80 of those alone), as well
as many new druid pelts and necromancer heads. I've also got a few new gems, polearms, swords, staves and other goodies.
If you want to get it now instead of heading for the Plugins section to find it (Under the 'Image Plugins' subsection), just
click here. As of
the time I am posting this, Phrozen Heart had just uploaded it to File Planet, so it might not have mirrored to the
free servers yet. If the free servers aren't showing up yet on the File Planet page, you can just

click here instead for the
version of the .zip that I uploaded to our temporary upload folder.

Catch Your Breath, Go to the Bathroom

'Cuz I'm only about halfway through our news. Told you we had a ton of stuff this week. ;-)

DT1 Format Explained

Paul Siramy, who has been doing some wonderful things in terms of creating tools to mod D2, has written a guide to the
DT1 file format. Go to the Mod Making section of our nav bar and click on 'Resources,' then head down the page a short
ways, or click here for instant results.

More Resources

In the 'Resources' section reachable through the File Center box in the nav bar (not to be confused with the other
resource-oriented link noted in the previous news item), we have a couple new goodies added to the index.

First, from a member named spin we have his DLL Offset Collection v1.0.

Second, from Myrhginoc we have an Animation Data resource guide.

A Prodigal Son Returns

For those who haven't noticed (or those who weren't with us five or six months ago), iowan has returned. He had to vanish
for a little while...I hear that some international intrigue was involved (he likes his martinis shaken, not stirred, by
the way, and he likes hidden rocket launchers in his sports cars). OK, well, it wasn't quite like that, but he took a
leave of absence and is now back as a senior moderator in our forums. For those who don't know, iowan was the architect
of the previous Phrozen Forums and was a member of the staff long before I came to share power with Phrozen Heart.

More File Guides

In our quest to get file guides up for all the moddable .txt files in D2, we have three new guides from Mordini (boy,
he sure is getting around this week, isn't he?). They are
RarePrefix.txt, RareSuffix.txt and
experience.txt. Go to the Mod Making Box in our nav bar and click on
'File Guides' to check them out.

Phrozen's E-mail Went 'Boom!'

If you've sent an e-mail to Phrozen Heart recently and not received a response, consider re-sending it. He had to work on
his computer to deal with some crashing problems (up to 10 crashes an hour, he says...whoa!) and virtually all of his
e-mail, current and archived, has been somehow wiped out in the process.

Two Unmodded Patches

A little oversight in our Tools section. While we managed to upload unmodded .txt files and unmodded .dll files there,
we completely overlooked the inclusion of unmodded patch_d2.mpq files, for those people who lost their backup and need
to start from scratch for their mods. They've been added in there now, just go to the File Center box in the nav bar,
click on 'Tools' and then click on 'Clean Patch Files.' Don't go through the 'Patches' link in the nav bar...that leads
to the .exe files for updating your version of the game to a higher version...the patches that Blizzard releases.

Anyway, we have an unmodded 1.08 patch_d2.mpq and an unmodded
1.09b patch_d2.mpq in there so far. Mind you, Phrozen just uploaded
them today, so if the free servers on File Planet aren't showing up, check back in a day or two.

Old News Is Still Good News

Phrozen archived the old news for June, so if you need to check out something from that month, or even from
days WAY gone by...all the way back to 2000 in fact, visit our News Archive.

Wait, That's It?

I'm done?! You can't make me go. No, I'm just getting warmed up. Get away with that cattle prod, Phrozen. I was just about
to tell them about my week and how I...(***zaaaap***).

July 11, 2002

by JBouley (Jeff)

I had intended to announce the release of version 2.0 of my Sanctuary in Chaos mod, but I'm not going to
get too excited about doing that in any grand fashion. The mod IS available (you can check out the 'Staff Projects'
link on the Main Page of the File Center, or check out the announcement in the Sanctuary in Chaos forum for download
links), but some people have reported crashes upon trying to enter Act 5. This was a wholly unexpected problem, and
dealing with it is part of the reason this home page update is a day late. You're welcome to play the mod, and you might
not even be one of the people who gets crashes, but just be aware that you might. I uploaded a version 2.0a
(announced in the act 5 crash bug thread in the SiC forum), but I don't have any reports back on whether the people
with act 5 problems will stop having them now. The mod is stable for all players from Act 1 through Act 4, as far as
I've heard.

You can also find a mod by Phrozen Heart in the 'Staff Projects' portion of the File Center, his Cubaholics Mod. I'm
sure there will be even more to come in the near future in 'Staff Projects.' Just stay tuned.

Because of my SiC mod making travails and other time commitments, I've backed off on my pledge to make some simple mods
for unique drops, set drops and faster experience gain. Instead, I've gotten someone else to do the work...Spiral Simian,
who mostly lurked in the old forums. I've pulled him out of retirement since he's found a renewed interest in D2 modding,
and convinced him to do my dirty work for me. He promises to have at least the unique and set items mods to me sometime
this week.

'New' Map Plugin

Last time, I mentioned a map plugin by Hellbound. Well, now we have a new version of that plugin. Both versions are in the
Plugins Section under the
map plugins subsection. Each has its stregths and weaknesses, so instead of trashing the old Act 1 graveyard plugin,
we've decided to keep both. I encourage anyone else with interesting map plugins to help us flesh out that section. You can
send such plugins to my jbouley@planetdiablo.com address (my regular MSN address doesn't allow me much room to receive file
attachments to e-mails). Just make sure you put a nice, clear message in the subject line so I don't confuse you with any
spam I regularly receive. ;-)

Phrozen Keep Staff Working for You

Several members of the staff are busy working on new software tools to help you make mods better and more easily. The first
couple offerings, both from NNy, are the the Dt1 mask map tool and DC6conman image tool. Go to the File Center, under 'Tools'
in the navbar at left, to get them. Or, for the impatient among us,
click here for the image
tool and click here for
the map tool. You can probably figure out what the map tool is if you've been modding long enough and dreaming of adding
dt1 tile images to maps in Diablo 2. Dc6conman is a front-end utility to make your life a bit easier when using the program
dc6con to translate your images into the proper format for use as inventory graphics.

More Help With .txt Files

We have two relatively new file guides to announce. One is by Maxx Power, explaining charstats.txt, and the other is by
me, explaining uniqueitems.txt (along with a couple addendums in the file courtesy of some fellow modders who know more
about a couple of the columns in that file than I do). Just use the navbar at left to visit the
File Guides section.

Phrozen Heart Loves You, Too

Always working hard, but so often behind the scenes that people forget to thank him, Phrozen has been fixing broken links
and a bug in the index.php file which caused the recent news to display in what Phrozen tells me was a 'screwy'
fashion. I didn't notice it, but I trust him. And if not for him, this site wouldn't be half as nice as it is right now.

More to Come Soon

We should have a new interview up soon, and probably more modding software tools as well over the next week or two (I hope).
Also, I should have a second item pack by me uploaded before next week, this time focusing more on class-specific item
and gems than on weapons and armor like my first item pack.

July 3, 2002

by JBouley (Jeff)

Yeeeehaaaaa! The File Center, as some of you may have noticed by its reintroduction in the navbar at left, is
officially back in action. There may be a few things we still need to add, but it's mostly ready to rock and roll.
All thanks go to Phrozen Heart for his tireless efforts. I helped upload a few of the largest files to save him
some time, but he did the lion's share of the work...and if you've seen how nice and organized the File Center is,
you probably have some idea of just how much work he had to do to create those tons of new pages.

The Idiot's Guide to Modmaking has taken a temporary leave of absence from the links as it's undergoing a revamp
to fix some errors, make some things more clear, and generally spruce it up. It will be back, have no fear. Also, we're
trying to make some improvements to the FAQ section, too. We aren't perfect, but we sure try to be ;-)

Two New Plugins

We have a new plug-in from MikeMayhem...the Cube Item Upgrader, which is primarily intended for upgrading items to
their exceptional and elite versions. It's in the
Plugins section amongst the
'Standard Plugins,' or you can just
click here

for immediate download.

And in the 'Map Plugins' area, we have an offering from Hellbound (so far our only map plugin) that tweaks the Act 1
graveyard just a bit. You can get it right away by
clicking here
if you'd rather not hunt around the Plugins section.

Another Item Pack

It's been a while since I've contributed anything major to the downloads for the Keep. So, since folks have been asking
more often for new graphics lately, I've provided another inventory image pack to add to the others already available.
Most of these images are from my mod or are slightly altered versions of items in my mod. A few are images I'm not
really going to ever use. Among other things, there are a wide variety of wands, orbs and scepters in the pack, several
new polearm graphics, swords, some armor and some gems. My thanks to all the image-makers who came before me
(particularly Riparius and Stargazer) and thus provided much of the raw material for my cutting/pasting/manipulating. The
pack is in the Plugins section as well, under the
Inventory Image Packs
subsection of the 'Image Plugin' area. Or, if you prefer, just
click here

to download now.

Baldur's Gate Mod Back for More

The Baldur's Gate Mod Beta 1.06 is available for download. You can head over to the site, which is in the Hosted Mods
portion of our navbar over on the left, to find out more, or click here
if you're a lazy sort. ;-)

The Scoop on 'The Ancients'

Maxx Power's review of 'Ancients: the Fury Within' is available in our
Mod Reviews section, which is listed in our
navbar, or you can click here

to read it right now.

Coming Soon...

I've written up a file guide for uniqueitems.txt, which Phrozen will code when he gets the chance, and then add to
our file guides. If anyone wants to write up guide to files we haven't covered yet, please do and e-mail them to me.
We welcome such submissions. Also on my 'to-do' list is to make a couple very simple mods for specific desires: an
experience mod and a set items mods. I hope to have one or both finished by next week.

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[url=https://d2mods.info/forum/kb/viewarticle?a=138&sid=8d7a42f290985e194398d6cacf2998aa]Knowledge Base - [02-07] July, 2002[/url]