Fotds: April 2001
The information presented in these archived FotDs is now outdated, but that's often the most interesting thing about them, seeing how much the game has changed from then to now.
The original FotDs are indented and italicized. Comments below them were written by Flux at the time the FotDs were archived, usually a couple/few months after the original FotDs had been presented.
April 1, 2001
- One of many skill changes in the Expansion is to the Barbarian's popular Whirlwind skill. Blizzard has announced that weapon speed will become a factor, but in order to even things out more, they are also planning on making the damage start at -100% and increase 1% per skill point, as well as having a 25% chance of self-cursing with Iron Maiden. IM Slvl = Slvl/3*Clvl, though this is still subject to tweaking. A name change to "Whirlwhine" is also planned to predict Baba player response.
Obviously another joke, April Fools and all, right? Well, not so obviously, this one nearly set off a panic, with gullible Baba players thinking the sky was falling. This one I made as bad as I could imagine, I mean almost no damage, and then self-cursing with IM would be instant death every 4th hit, so no one could possibly believe it, and would get the joke. Or so I thought.
Never underestimate the gullibility (or inability to recognize sarcasm) of people on the internet. This is a lesson you'll learn over and over again if you do any sort of tongue in cheek humor on a website. Of course the fact that people actually believed it, and were still being panicked about it weeks later, just made it more fun for the people who did get the joke. ;)
April 3, 2001
- A nice feature of the expansion is the ability to recover experience when you recover your body. The 5% and 10% exp loss will remain the same on Nightmare and Hell if you exit the game, but if you make your way back to your body and recover your items with a click, you'll only lose half that much exp. Of course the risk lies in dying again in the process and losing even more.
This projected feature came to pass just as planned, and seems to be popular. Hardcore players wonder what this means, this "corpse retrieval" concept. Apparently you can die and keep playing that character, they tell me.
April 6, 2001
- Shrines in the Expansion have new graphics, but will mostly have familiar effects. This is an armor shrine, but there will be some new ones as well. Blizzard has confirmed that one will restore full durability to all your equipment (though it seems doubtful that this would work on Ethereal Items) and in our Expansion section we list several shrines that were in early D2, but didn't make it to the final game. Might some of these re-appear?
Here is a projected feature that didn't come to pass. No Blizzard North programmer every had time to work on the Shrines, we were told, so no new ones got added. It's a shame they can't get to that, it's easy to add new shrine effects in mods, and there are so many good ideas for them that would be easy to implement, though you'd need graphics added also for some. Magic Find Shrine, Leech (mana and/or life) Shrine, Faster Run Shrine, IAS Shrine, Rune Shrine, HPS or Mana + shrines, just to name a few that are often suggested.
The repair all one would be nice too, even if it didn't fix Ethereal Items, it would be a money saver. If it did fix Ethereal stuff that would open up a whole new aspect of game play, where Ethereal items would be usable, you'd just have to stop using it when it got low and carry it around (or put it on your merc) until you found a Repair All Shrine.
April 9, 2001
- Charms are a new type of item in the Expansion, unlike anything now in Diablo II. Charms are small objects that you carry in your Inventory. While there they provide passive bonuses of various types, just like any other piece of equipment you might be wearing. No Charm has ever been seen, but they are expected to add a little bit to such things as Dex, Str, hit points, etc.
How big a part of the game these would become was a surprise to everyone. Blizzard figured players would use a couple of them, to help them meet item requirements, or add some hit points. They were shocked at virtually all players filling nearly their entire inventory with Charms at all times in the Beta, and had to nerf a lot of the Charm bonuses so they wouldn't be overpowered when someone had 10 of them at the same time. There were Grand charms with +20 to max damage, +20 to Str or Dex, huge bonuses to hps, and many more that far dwarf what you can find in the game now.
The nerfing isn't at all consistent in D2X. It's impossible to add a decent amount of physical damage from charms now, but you can get quite a bit of elemental damage or AR. Also you can get huge bonuses to resistance or hit points or mana, but the bonuses to your stats are much smaller.
The point is that the quality of bonuses to various types of modifiers aren't consistent, it's clear that you should add hps or mana charms and put your stat points into Str and Dex, for example, rather than adding stat points to Energy or Vitality, since you get much smaller bonuses from those than you can from Charms, compared to the +stats on Charms. The Clvl requirements go up and down quite a bit on charms also, with some things much too high and others probably too low. It's evident they were slapped at from several directions during the beta, and there was never any careful overview to equalize their benefits.
April 15, 2001
- The pesky "N-1" bug has been fixed in the Expansion, so modifiers will occur with their full allowed range of bonuses. Currently in Diablo II, the top numerical level for every variable suffix or prefix never occurs. For example "of the titan" is supposed to add from 16-20 str, but only occurs from 16-19, never +20. See our Expansion Changed Affixes page for more details.
A nice bug fix. The pages in the Expansion section aren't current now, they were only updated until the game was out, when we started putting the info into our existing content sections as we updated them.
April 18, 2001
- The Sorceress' Telekinesis spell is very versatile. It can be used in town (and often in trading scams, never drop anything with a Sorcy around) to open the stash from any distance away. It knocks back and briefly stuns monsters, (this can be used to kill monsters with the zero hp bug that's most often caused by a Charge Paladin) it's useful to pick up loot from a distance (and can make a greedy Sorcy hated by all in a game very quickly) and can also open from a distance every sort of barrel, hidden stash, door, etc. One thing you can not do with TK is loot a player corpse; you have to run up and click for that.
Telekinesis was finally nerfed some in the Expansion, with the instant grabbing of items removed (it can only grab things like potions and scrolls now). There were endless trade rip offs in D2, where people playing Sorcs took advantage of others who didn't know TK would work in town.
April 24, 2001
- Chatting while playing Diablo II is generally very easy, you just hit Enter and type away. However there are some times when you can't chat, namely when you are at your stash, with it open on the left and the Inv open on the right. Enter doesn't work then, but oddly enough the "N" key does. Normally "N" is useful to clear all messages from the screen, but when at the Stash it opens a chat window. Whether this is a bug or intentional is unknown. Thanks to Adam Pennell for discovering this.
This still works, and it's still undocumented.
April 27 , 2001
- One of the more interesting bugs in Diablo II has to do with how the game calculates the enhanced damage modifiers on a lot of two-handed weapons. There are 1H and 2H damages listed for all 2H weapons in the game, and the 1H damage is always used for +%damage modifiers, such as Kings or Merciless. Since the 1H damage is always lower, (sometimes a lot lower, see Exe swords and Becs) lots of weapons can never have anywhere near their theoretical max damage. This problem is corrected in the Expansion.
This was a little-known bug for a long time, the whole year D2 was out before it was fixed in v1.08, when the Expansion arrived. The problem was on some items, especially Bec de Corbains, the maximum 2H damage was 15 or so points higher than the maximum 1H damage. You never saw the 1H damage, just the 2H was listed, but the game used the 1H for it's calculations. So you'd see 13-85 damage on the Bec, and if you had 200% damage on that, you'd expect 39-255, but would actually get like 39-230.
Most every bow had a listed one-handed damage of a few points lower than the two-handed, but it was much worse on Becs and Executioner Swords, and a few other odd items. Thankfully fixed in v1.08 and later D2 and D2X.