[02-02] February, 2002

[02-02] February, 2002

Description: Archived Keep updates.

Categories: Keep Updates


February 28 Phrozen Heart



Now don't get too used to this bonus update, it's just an addition to yesterday's :-).



The Closure of Bnetd



I received an email earlier today which intrigued me considerably from a guy named
Ernest Miller. LawMeme (www.lawmeme.org), a project
of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School (www.law.yale.edu/isp/),
has posted an article with detailed background and legal analysis of the Blizzard vs. Bnetd
case which can be viewed by clicking here.
I think our visitors might find the legal aspect of the whole situation very informative.
Another very interesting point is an analysis and rebuttal of Blizzard's server emulation
FAQ by Tim Neu which is located here.



Behind the Scenes



While I'm posting again, I might as well let everyone know a little about what I've
been up to in my absense. Let's face it that this place needs a major overhaul in the
HTML coding department. Netscape users receive blank or screwed up pages, some pages
have outdated navigation bars while others don't, that stupid 'Pheremones' banner is
stuck permanently on certain pages due to incorrect codes,the list goes on and on.
The main thing I've been working on is a complete rewrite of the site from scratch,
using the same design and graphics but recoding the site in it's entirety using PHP
rather than just HTML. PHP uses all the same commands as HTML with tonnes of extra
including the ability to have the site template as seperate files so the layout and
nav bar are always consistant throughout. The new template has been tested thoroughly
using the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and AOL. Another
major feature that's near completely is a PHP/MySql file center which allows easy
browsing and downloading of files WITHOUT HAVING TO SCREW WITH FILE PLANET which I'm
sure will please a lot of people.



Doh!



Just noticed a screw up in yesterday's update with the d/l link to the Infinite Gems
plugin being mispelled which results in a dead link. That's been fixed in addition to
adding all four plugins directly to the general plugin page itself. Sorry for any trouble
this might have caused.



Useful Information



Despite the fact that common sense probably should have intervened in some point in the
proceedings, I learned this morning that an evening meal consisting of chili-cheese dip and
chips, followed by salsa and chips, followed by salsa con queso and chips washed down with a
considerable amount of lemon and lime koolaid doesn't make for an overally nutritious
experience. This combined with the digestive after effects being comparable to low-grade
chemical warfare will certainly deter myself and hopefully all of you from trying anything
similar in the near future...




February 27 Phrozen Heart



Hey all, I'm back for a brief period to help Jeff out while he embarks on his
trip half way across the country. I know everyone here wishes him well and hope
to hear from him as soon as possible. For those of you who don't already know,
due to other on and offline commitments, I've permanently demoted myself to
assistant webmaster to help out with certain admin sides of the site rather than
running the place that Jeff does so well. I apologise for any updates Jeff may
have promised anyone, there's a directory full of new stuff here that he's
uploaded but I can only identify a small portion. For the next week or two, anyone
wanting anything posting here can email me at phrozenheart@planetdiablo.com.



The Closure of Bnetd



With several different services available at present that provide realm server
emulation, Blizzard has finally confronted these sites with the threat of legal action
due to their lack of CD-key verification. This specifically pertains to the upcoming
Warcraft 3 as it would allow pirated copies of the game to be played on these
pseudo-realms. Due to Blizzard's request, Bnetd

has ceased service for now with FSGS also suspending further software downloads.
This doesn't boad well for anyone who currently runs a mod server and you can check
out the discussion in the forums on the entire subject by clicking here.



Harry Potter strikes back...



We welcome aboard DjYeLLoJeLLo, Baz and Craft to the Keep with their Harry Potter
mod for Diablo 2. You check them out by visiting their site at http://www.planetdiablo.com/harrypotter/!



'Final' Middle Earth mod released



Version 1.6 of the well-known Middle Earth mod by Varaya and Khan has been released
this week and is available from their site at http://www.vkmods.de.
ME fans don't fret, Khan told me 'It is called final, so we're planning to only provide fixes to major bugs or the adding of
really nifty features (if some are found) from now on' so things aren't grinding to a complete halt..



The Plugins Just Keep On Coming



I've upload 4 new standard plugins to the site but haven't actually had time to link to
them yet so here they are :
2 Player Sim,
4 Player Sim,
8 Player Sim,
and Infinite Gems.
All of which are pretty self-explanatory by their titles but include readme files just in case.



Mods in the Media



I've been informed of a nice article in an online magazine on the subject of
various PC mods which included a mention of the Phrozen Keep as 'the best-known Diablo II mod site' which is always nice :-).
You can check out the article by clicking here.





February 18 Jeff
(JBouley)



Quick update. I'll have more in a couple days. All the items
below were uploaded thanks to Phrozen Heart...my impending move
on March 1 halfway across the country is keeping me pretty busy
with packing and such. I have uploaded some stuff myself...just
haven't had time to organize it and announce it.



Phrozen Solid v1.0



Mordini was kind enough to combine eight of the Keep's plug-ins
into one mod for your convenience. He wants to make sure you
all understand that he didn't write the changes for this mod...only
put existing plug-ins to work. So for those who wonder: Yes,
in many cases you can cobble together several plug-ins to make
a functional mod. For the readme file, click
here
. To download the Phrozen Solid mod, click
here
.



8-Play Mod



Fusman's eight-play mod has been converted for the latest
LoD patch (1.09d). For the readme file, click
here
. To download the mod, click
here
.



Easier Directory Switching



The DOS Here Utility (by Microsoft) lets you switch
to a specific directory in DOS without having to go through all
the paths. To consult the readme file, click
here
. To download this utility, click
here
.




See you in a couple days with more updates. :-)


February 11 Jeff
(JBouley)


Oh, well...had to wait for my normal weekly update to get the
latest news up here...so much for a "bonus" update.
But while I may have made you wait a little, there good stuff
here this week, including some fresh tutorials.



New Lessons for the Weary Modder



The Tutorials section has three
new entries: (1) How to increase the maximum
level
your characters can attain, (2) How to create socketable
rare charms
, and (3) How to make superuniques
drop specific items
when they die. Go read them and expand
your modding mind.



Next update I should have some new resources to help you make
sense of various D2 modding codes and D2 animation file data.
Stay tuned.



Here There Be Dragons! ...and Succubi



Huzzah! The first of what we hope will be many dragons here
at Phrozen Keep is now in the Animation
Plug-Ins
section. King Cold coverted the Red Dragon
from Baldur's Gate II, and I've finally uploaded it. Click
here
if you're too excited to scroll through the plug-ins
page to get the download. By next update, I hope to have the
coverted Silver Dragon by Ratsbane ready for you all.



Also, for those who just don't think the D2 folks did justice
to demonic temptresses, you can also find the original Diablo
1 Succubus files coverted to D2 format in the Animation
Plug-Ins
. Or just click
here
.



Housecleaning



Finally got Darkmage's review of Hell on Earth II up in the
Reviews section. Head over there or
click here for a quick read.



Archived the December 2001 news. You can head to the News
Archives
if you need to catch up on that month or the even
older stuff.



Many thanks to all of those who responded to my call last
week for tutorial translators. If you haven't heard back from
me, it's nothing personal. I'm still trying to catch up from
having been sick almost all of last week. Rest assured that if
you've offered your help, it's not being spurned yet. I just
need to share all your names and credentials with the other admins
and then figure out precisely which tutorials and which languages
we want to concentrate on first. Hope to respond to most (if
not all) of you within the next couple weeks.



Some folks have asked if they can view the .txt files for
my Sanctuary
in Chaos
mod. I have no problem with that as long as you
don't rip off all my ideas and claim them as your own. ;-) You
can get all of the .txt files except cubemain.txt by HREF='http://www.fileplanet.com/dl/dl.asp?/planetdiablo/phrozenkeep/mods/sictexts.zip'>clicking
here
. By the way, I hope to have version 1.02 of SiC ready
before the end of the week.




February 4 Jeff
(JBouley)


Well, I didn't get that weekend update, but hey, Monday night
ain't bad, and it's a few days ahead of the normal schedule at
that. :-)



You Want 250 Levels? You've Got 'Em!



Ever since the faulty 250-level plug-ins were taken down from
the Keep, people have continued to ask where they went. Well,
Syntaks has given us not one but two 250-level plugins...let's
hope there are no bugs in these ones. The "Genuine"

version will allow you to level up at the rate the game originally
intended, while the "Boost" version lets you level
up at twice the rate. Both are available on the General
Plug-Ins
page, or click on Genuine
or Boost
for immediate service.



Some Mods Have Gone, Some Have Returned



Site maintenance was not kind to the links for some mods for
version 1.09 of the expansion, and those missing mods and broken
links have been removed for the moment. But there are still bunches
of 1.09 mods in the Archives and I
was able to get Frodo's D2
Plus Plus
mod and Bilbo's
Mod
back up.



And don't forget to visit our hosted sites, which have mods
of their own available...which you won't find in the Mod Archives.
:-)



Can You Speak the Lingo?



We would like to be able to offer more of our tutorials in
other languages, given that we have so many people here from
so many different parts of the world. If you are equally comfortable
in English and in another language, click my e-mail link at the
top of this news update and let me know. I'd like to know who
is available, interested and has the time for some translating.
Let me know...



Until Next Time...



I have much more I wanted to be able to announce, but the
weekend wasn't as kind to me as I had hoped. However, I will
be uploading some new tutorials and resources that explain various
codes you might need to worry about while modding. For those
who have sent me stuff and are waiting to see it uploaded, have
patience, please. I hope to be posting another update in a couple
days. Thanks.




January 30 Jeff
(JBouley)


I know...11 days later is hardly what one would call a "weekly"
update. How about I make it up to you with a bonus weekend update
in a few days? :-)



Fixed Datafile, New Text Files & Missing Mod File



Good news: A while back, I uploaded my personal datafile for
use with MPQView, to help out people who weren't able to view
important files in the D2 .mpq files (it's in Tools
of the Trade
, right under the download for MPQView itself).
Well, silly me...I uploaded it as a .txt file, which caused it
to be pulled up kind of like a Web page. Somebody finally pointed
that out to me. It is now a .zip file, so that you can just unzip
and get a nice, clean .txt file for immediate use as a datafile...instead
of having to do an ugly copy-paste job.



Also, I have uploaded a .zip file of the clean, unmodded .txt
files for classic D2, for those people still modding the
pre-expansion game. You can click
here
to get them, or visit Tools of the
Trade
.



Not so good news: The D2 Plus Plus mod by Frodo seems
to have run away from home. The link no longer work and the file
is no longer on the server. Several people have been looking
for it, and I am trying to get my hands on a copy of it to re-upload.
For the moment, I'll be deleting its entry from the Mod Archives.
Hope to have it back up soon.



Mod Madness



Thankfully, we have some other mods for version 1.09 of the
D2 expansion to keep you busy. First in the lineup, we have an
update: version 1.01 of the Monster Enhancer Mod from
Shadow. It's in the Archives, or if
you want to download the new version right away, click
here
. The key changes in this version seem to be to hirelings.
Their health and defensive ratings have been increased, as well
as the per-level values for those stats. They gain strength at
a faster pace. They also will cost you significantly more gold.



Next, we have the Bleak Times Mod from Kobu. Visit
the Archives or for instant gratification,
click
here
. The mod is intended to be more stategic than "normal"
D2. Some aspects of the game have been simplified and redundancies
minimized or eliminated. Kobu reports that you will find very
few magic items in the game. You can create powerful items, though,
by socketing gems, runes, jewels, and monster body parts. Charms
also now can give you many skills that were previously available
only to other classes.



Also, mandzo, Goldjas and Stargazer are working on the Legends
of the Ancients
mod. They have a forum set up, which you
can reach by clicking
here
. I think they are still working on the actual Web site.
Features of this mod project include a totally revamped inventory
system that handles armor and weapon components in a new way
(it's quite cool), new skills and slow character levelling, among
other things. They are also working on a new skill point system
and heavily revamped acts...Here's hoping Blizzard hardcoding
can be soundly beaten down by this team.



For those of you still playing classic D2 (non-expansion),
several mods for version 1.09 of classic are in the works. We
hope to have some mods to upload in the near future for you.
We don't want anyone left out just because they haven't bought
the expansion. Just be patient for the moment...please?



Behave, Now, Folks. ;-)



There have been some recent flame-ups in the forums. This
is bound to happen as we get more members, but I want to emphasize
that we need to get along around here. That means not getting
inpatient when people don't answer you right away, it means not
cross-posting or multi-posting on the same topic, it means not
getting nasty with people. We pride ourselves on being more "grown
up" around here in how we relate to each other...at least
compared to a lot of other forums out there (D2 or otherwise).
Let's keep it that way, please. Thanks.



On that note, be aware that Zhoulomcrist and MPHG both have
been elevated to admin status in the forums. Yes, iowan still
rules supreme in the forums, with me not far behind...but Zhoul
and MPHG are there to back us up in terms of helping people,
putting out fires, moving threads, and generally keeping watch.
They're both fair and experienced in moderating these forums.
Let's give them a warm welcome and not give them any reasons
to get mean.



Animation Avalanche



I have received a huge number of animation conversions of
monsters from Diablo 1, Baldur's Gate 2, and IceWind Dale recently.
I cannot get all of these up right away, so I'll be rolling them
out a few at a time. Here's one teaser (and something to look
forward to in a future update): an honest-to-God red dragon that
can be inserted into D2.



Even though I'm holding a lot of stuff back, I have a pretty
good number of new ones to announce right now. Visit the HREF='plugins-animation.htm'>Animation Plug-Ins area for
the stuff mentioned below...and for other files.



From Nefarius, two Diablo monster conversions: the Hidden
and the Vipers.
Click on their names if you want the converted files right away.



Incandescent_One has three more D1 conversion for us, which
as usual are available as simple plug-ins or as files that you
need to do your own work on. You can find both options for each
monster in the Plug-Ins section. To get the simple plug-ins immediately,
click on the names: Dark
Mage
, Advocate,
Black
Knight
. The Black Knight is the same mnster as the Blood
Knights I uploaded long ago...but this one makes a bit more sense
in that it replaces the Oblivion Knights instead of the Mosquitoes...so
in this case, I don't mind the duplication. The Dark Mage plug-in
replaces the Will-o-Wisps and the Advocates replace the Zakarum
Priests.



On the Baldur's Gate 2 front, I have re-uploaded three files
from King Cold that had been buggy before. These ones should
be good. If you want these converted files this very second,
click on the name of the one you want: Lich,
Fire
Elemental
or Dark
Knight
. Otherwise, just go visit the Plug-Ins section.



To Come...



Some nice tutorials and resources have been bequeathed to
me recently. I'll try to build pages for those in the coming
week to help out all your busy, beleagured modders. ;-) I also
hope to finally get around to writing up my guide to missile
and overlay modding, which may or may not be part of a larger
tutorial on skill modding. Also, I will archive the December
news soon, probably with the next update.




January 19 Jeff
(JBouley)


Just a quick update. I hope to have a more comprehensive one
in a few days...however, I've been busy with mirroring all the
stuff I've uploaded over the past month to another site as a
backup to Fileplanet...in addition to daily life and making a
living. With a 56.6k modem, well, you can imagine how quickly
that goes. ;-)



I forgot to mention last week that TeknoKyo, author of several
mods here and a hosted site as well, is now officially part of
the Keep's staff. It's nice to have a little more backup to deal
with modding questions, problems and...rarely (thank God)...the
occasional malcontent who needs to be ejected from the forums.
And TeknoKyo is an accomplished modder, which makes him all the
more welcome.



New Tool, New Resource



Quantum officially released the public version of his MPQDraft
tool earlier this month on our affiliate site, Camelot Systems.
You can click on the link on the left side of this page to visit
the site, or just click
here
. As my good friend DigiBO said of this new tool:



"It creates self-executing MPQs.With other words it creates
exe files from MPQ files.You double-click on the exe and the
game starts with the mod. No MPQ changing, no nothing."



Sounds pretty cool to me, too, Digi. My thanks to him and
to Phrozen Heart for bringing this new tool to my attention.



Also, there is new Web site out called the Horadrim Library,
which covers set and unique items in detail as well as game concepts
and mechanics. It's at www.horadrim-library.dk



More Mods for You...From Me



Might as well announce version 1.01 of my mod, Sanctuary
in Chaos
, while I'm here. More items, more new graphics,
more uniques...more fun. Updated links are in the Mod
Archives
or if you want to be lazy, you can click
here
. The .zip file for the new version includes four
readme files to give you plenty of information on the mod, in
.doc and .txt formats. Expect version 1.02 in one or two more
weeks.



People who don't know how to mod themselves have been asking
me a lot lately about mods with better drops or the ability to
create unique and set items. I've made a very simple mod (not
a plug-in but an actual mod) that achieves both goals.
No other gameplay changes were made besides the new Cube recipes,
the better overall drop rates and quicker access to uniques.
I call it the Power Item Mod...and if this is the sort
of thing you're into, get it in the Mod
Archives
or click
here
for immediate download.




January 12 Jeff
(JBouley)


Well, the flurry of activity when I had time off for the holidays
certainly ended quickly, didn't it? OK, despite a load of other
work on my plate, time to give you fine people some more stuff...a
bit late, but it's good stuff.



New Info to Help Modders



There is a new addition to the Resources
Section
: A guide to the Levels.txt
file
specifically for the expansion, written by Nefarius,
who also is the author of our Levels.txt resource for classic
D2. I made a few minor edits to what he wrote and added some
additional information at the end. Hope it brings clarity to
your modding lives.



In the Tutorials Section there
is another new item, also by Nefarius: A tutorial on converting
D1 animations
for use in D2 modding.



New Mods



Well, it's actually been out a week or two at least now, but
there have been complications getting it uploaded. But, here
it is, the Magic: The Gathering Mod. Go to the Mod
Archives
to get it, or just click
here
for download. Be warned, it's a big file. But it sounds
like a good mod. There have been some complaints from people
who weren't sure how to install it. But there's just two things
to know on that score: (1) Read the tutorial here on the Keep
about using the -direct -txt method (many mods are now released
this way to make the download smaller), and (2) the download
comes with modified d2game.dll and d2client.dll files that also
need to be copied to your Diablo 2 folder for proper playing
of the mod. Remember, always back up any file in your
D2 folder before replacing it with a modded one and store
that backup in a safe place...if you want to play other people's
mods or normal D2 ever again. ;-)



The Spawns Extreme Mod from SPAWN_VN has been updated.
Head to the Archives or click
here
for instant gratification. A few of the new features
include: 20 stat points per level and 2 skill points per level,
as well as changes to skills.



New on the scene is the Monster Enhancer Mod from Shadow,
which gives you somewhat tougher monsters, more unique monster
spawns, better drops from some of the bosses, reduced gambling
cost for rings and amulets, new Cube recipes, and more. It's
in the Archives, or if you want to
download it right away, click
here
.



And finally, the modder named "timeless" brings
us the Horadric Mod. New Horadric Cube recipes allow you to generate
unique, set, rare, and magic items (all generated items are legitimate
and follow original game rules); monsters are harder to kill,
more abundant and greater experience rewarded; and saved characters
work with original unmodified Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.Yes,
yes, it's in the Archives; the lazy
can just click
here
. ;-)



More Animations from D1...and Other Places



In addition to conversions of D1 animations for D2...we are
also seeing some nifty work on Baldur's Gate monsters that are
being made to work in D2 mods. In fact, I had uploaded some BG
animations from King Cold to the Keep, but they turned out to
be buggy. I will upload the repaired files as soon as I can and
announce them here.



In the meantime, enjoy a few more D1 conversions. For example,
Lord Qapla has given us the Crypt Demons. Go to the HREF='plugins-animation.htm'>Animation Plug-Ins area for
download. You have to do the work of assigning the animations
to a monster type yourself...but I'm told these guys work great
as Yeti replacements.



Incandescent_One has again provided the one-two punch of straight
animation files for you to work with on your own, as well as
actual plug-ins with the hard work all completed for you. This
time, he gaves us the original Fallen from D1 (much taller
than the dinky ones we get in D2) and the Defilers. Head
to the Animation Plug-Ins

area if you'd like to download them.



Housework Around the Keep



Speaking of converted animation files, you might have noticed
that I have split the Plug-Ins Section into two parts: one of
them specifically for animations. This will make it a little
easier for you to navigate, as the list of plug-ins was getting
quite long for a single page. I may need to do even more changes
soon if we keep getting so much new stuff. :-)




January 1 Jeff
(JBouley)


Welcome to the New Year...here are some updates to get you revved
up and ready for the next 12 months of modding. :-)



And there's lots to let you know about, so in the immortal
words of crusty old Deckard Cain, "Stay a while...and listen."



Mod Updates



New Mod Uploaded...it is the Spawns Extreme Mod for
LoD version 1.09d, by SPAWN_VN. There are some skills changes
and such...but the focus seems to be on tougher monsters and
better damage from weapons. Most changes in this version are
to Act 1, so the author probably intends quite a few more changes.
There are, apparently, now two different ways to complete Act
1. Head to the Mod Archives to get
it, or just click
here
if you're lazy.



Mandzo has finished his Magic: The Gathering Mod. He
has announced it and provided a link in the Mod Releases Forum...but
geocities isn't being as cooperative as he (or we) would like.
I hope to get the mod uploaded to our archives soon for those
having trouble getting their hands on it right now.



It seems the info about Klay's D2 Game Enhancer Mod
I provided in my previous update might have been hasty. Klay
informs me he didn't even mod anything having to do with the
amulet in question. It might be that a character editing program
messed up this particular player of the mod due to incompatilities
with version 1.09 of D2. Just a theory. Anyway, Klay will be
returning to the mod scene soon with more new stuff...he's just
gotten a new hard drive and still needs to install D2 before
he can get back to work on modding. In the meantime, you can
get the current version of his mod by visting the Archives.



Version 1.01 release of TeknoKyo's Descendants of the Dragon
Mod
is available. Head over to the Hosted Sites links to
the left on this page to visit his site, or click
here
.



Last time I posted here, I mentioned Fix #1 for the Baldur's
Gate Mod
...since then, Ric_Faith has been quite busy. There
is now a Fix #2 and Fix #3. The link to the site is on the left
side of this page under Hosted Sites, or you can waypoint over
there by clicking
here
.



Nefarius, who has been pretty busy working up some tutorials
and Diablo 1 animation conversions, says he'll be updating his
XYRAX Mod to be compatible with the D2 expansion in the
near future. Stay tuned...we'll let you know more when we do.



Info to Mod By...



Speaking of Nefarius, he has helpfully provided a Token Datasheet
to help people identify which monsters, NPCs, nests, etc. the
MonType.txt tokens refer to. Head over to the Resources
Section
to view the page, or just click
here
.



Also, I updated the FAQ section here at the Keep. Some of
the info was outdated, and I added a couple new questions and
answers with regard to common problems with the runes.txt and
itemstatcost.txt files.



Even More Animation Conversions from D1



Well, we continue to have a steady flow of animation coversions
allowing you to plant Diablo 1 monsters into your Diablo 2 mods.
(We are getting so many that I will probably have to create a
special subsection for the Plug-Ins Section
soon just to handle D1 animation conversions.)



First, from Incandescent_One, we have the Acid Beasts
and Gloombats. As with his other conversions, he has provided
two sets of files. One gives you the files themselves so that
you can choose the monster to replace animations for, and the
other gives you simple plug-ins to replace monsters Incandescent_One
has already picked out. Here, the acid beasts replace quill rat-style
monsters, and the bats replace the various swarms in D2.



Lord Qapla has given us the Shredded monster to replace
D2's wraiths, and also the Gargoyle to replace the electrified
bat demons in D2.



Next, mandzo has converted five Diablo 1 monsters. You have
to do the work of picking your own D2 monsters to replace, renaming/replacing
the necessary files, and making any other adjustments that are
necessary. But at least you don't have to extract the animations
from the D1 or Hellfire CDs yourself. The monsters are the Biclops,
Hellboar, Lich, Overlord and Na-Krul.



For all the above animations, visit the Plug-Ins
Section
to get them.



Housecleaning...



Finally cleaned up this home page and archived the October
and November news items.

Link to this article: Select all

[url=https://www.d2mods.info/forum/kb/viewarticle?a=133&sid=26a4243c6b0d1db4975fde4546209a5a]Knowledge Base - [02-02] February, 2002[/url]