Fotds: August 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The information presented in these archived FotDs is now outdated, but that's often the most interesting thing about them, seeing how much the game has changed from then to now.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. Explanatory 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.
August continued much like July, with with tons of site work, tons of traffic, a dozen news items a day sometimes... and very few FotDs. There was just so much more to do, we forgot about them and they were hardly noticed by visitors with always new news and a game to explore.
August 6, 2001
- A new type of fun for Necromancers, Iron Golems made from Ethereal items are transparent in the Expansion. It looks nifty, at least, and is something to do with the low-sell price Ethereal stuff you find. Also on Iron Golems, in v1.09 they will probably be improved to transfer between games, so if you make one from a really nice item, you could keep it until it died.
The v1.09 change did indeed come about, and you can make an Iron Golem last multiple games now, if you are careful with it. They are the best golems now, in most cases, since Iron Maiden is so much less effective. High level Iron Golem with a Thorns merc and Amp Damage is the only effective way to get monsters to beat themselves to death anymore.
August 14, 2001
- An interesting bug (?) with SuperUnique monsters that generate with a random "Aura-Enchanted" modifier in D2X is that you can change their aura. You just need to leave the area with a town portal, and when you return the monster will have a different aura. This can be very useful if you get some boss with Holy Freeze or some other very annoying aura.
This still works and isn't well known. If you get Shenk with Decrepify or something annoying, and there aren't any players near him for a bit, the game puts monsters that aren't active right then due to player proximity into a sort of storage sleep, to save on system resources. When you return to activate the Aura-Enchanted monster again, they keep on being Aura-Enchanted, but the aura is rerolled.
This only works with Super Uniques, not random boss monsters, for some reason.
August 23, 2001
- A new command available for off-Realm play in v1.09 is "players X". This will simulate the number of players in the game that you say, with 2-64 valid options. Each additional player doubles monster base hit points, adds .67 to the exp they give, and causes them to drop more items. Just start a game, then have your player say "players 8" (without the quotes) for example. Nothing will happen other than your character saying that, but you should notice the monster hit points are much improved as soon as you leave town. More details here.
We still get emails about this all the time. The valid options are 2-64, though past 8 the increased experience drops off very sharply. "Players 64" gives you about the same experience as 10 players would, if the ratio kept increasing at the same rate, so 8 is the optimum if you are going for the bigger experience and don't want monsters to have almost infinite hit points.
This is a very popular feature addition, since before this it was virtually impossible to level up past 50 or so single player, and very slow to there. It also adds some challenge to the game.
August 28, 2001
- Amplify Damage is especially useful in D2X on Hell difficulty, where it amounts to triple damage. If you do 100 physical damage, all monsters in hell have at least 50% physical damage, so you'll only do 50. However if they are Amp'ed, they lose 100% resistance, so will go from 50% to -50%, and your 100 damage will actually do 150. This makes a fast weapon with 5% Amp on it better in many cases than one with far more damage but no Amp in Hell.
This is still not known by many players, but since hardly anyone plays Necromancers anymore (they are just too weak in Hell) it's not surprising. Amplify damage on items is tremendously valuable, and was much sought after early in in D2X, before most had Burizas and Baranar's Stars and Cruel Colossus Blades. I can remember how much improved my early Bowazon was when she went from a 180 damage Cruel Rune bow to a 156 Blood Crafted Grand Matron, that had 5% Amp Damage on it. Of course these aren't even very good Merc weapons now, with so many better bows found.
Amp damage with an Iron Golem is a much better Necro tactics than high level Iron Maiden on any type of golem, since the Amp Damage cuts through the 50% physical resistance much better.