Fotds: December 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The information presented in these archived FotDs is now outdated, but that's often the most interesting thing about them, seeing how much the game has changed from then to now.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.
December 9, 2001
- Some items seem to turn up nearly every game in D2X, due to how the game picks items to drop. One of the most common (and hated) item types is Breast Plate, especially in Venom Ward and Isenhart's Case forms. Why? Armor 18 is a very commonly-dropped Treasure Class, especially by Act Bosses. The five items in it are Antlers, Breast Plate, Heraldic Shield, Horned Helm, and Unraveller Head. Class specific items (other than Claws) are 1/3 as likely to drop as normal items, so Breast Plate will drop 3/7 of the time Armor 18 is picked, and with good MF, set or unique is quite likely. Thanks to oneko.
As the joke goes, "Rare Breastplate" is an oxymoron.
Oneko had mentioned this to me in an email, and I thought it was interesting.
December 15, 2001
- Setting a level limit when you create a game on Battle.net is very easy. Just check the box, and select a number for the +/- limit. This is useful to keep high level chars from coming in and pk'ing everyone in low level character games, or especially to keep very low level exp-leeches from clogging up your Bloody Run or Cow level games. Set it to keep chars lower than 50 out, and the level will be cleared much faster.
There were actually nasty emails about this, obviously from people who made a living stealing their experience and were angry that anyone might not be happy to let them continue doing so. If you compare the time in a big Bloody or Cow run with 8 Clvl 70+ chars Vs the time for one with three sub-level 30 leeches, it's pretty obvious why you want to have all big players in the game.
December 19, 2001
- Blizzard produced a number of TV commercials for D2X. You probably saw one or more, with the standard scenes from the cinematics, ominous narrator's voice, exciting music, etc. There was another commercial made but never shown on TV, and it's worth a look and a laugh. It's Everywhere features a man seeing characters from the game everywhere, in his real life. You can see this commercial on your D2X cd (in the root "D2com_01.exe"), and it's also on the D2 cinematics page.
This one got a lot of mails, and it turns out that file is not on the Diablo II CD in non-English language versions. Readers from Sweden, Spain, Mexico, and elsewhere mailed to say they didn't have it. So nice that Bliz put it on their website, so players can at least download it.
There were also a few mails insisting that they had seen that ad on TV, but since Bliz told us that they'd never aired it anywhere, I assume those emailers are just confusing the normal D2 cinematic-showing commercials for this funny one. Or they hadn't read the whole FotD or seen the file, and didn't understand. We get a lot of mails from people with that problem. ;)
December 24, 2001
- The Friends List on Battle.net is a helpful way to keep in touch with numerous people. One convenient command is "/f m" which will send a message to everyone on your list at once. If you are trying to organize private cow runs, or find someone to mule items with, or brag about the Shako you just found, this is a fast way to do it. It's a good practice to make it clear that your message is to everyone though.
This one got a lot of mails mostly from people who had never heard of the friend's list thing and wanted to know more about it. Bliz didn't exactly publicize it, though it was in a Bnet Status Forum post at one point. There isn't anything in their www.battle.net/support pages now though, that I've been able to find. There are a few other less well known friends commands we'll be running in January. I got the idea to write some of them up one day, but didn't want to do 3 or 4 in a row on the same topic, especially one of no interest to players who aren't on Battle.net.
Type "/help friends" on Battle.net to get a nearly-complete list of the friends options. You'll have to experiment with them somewhat to get the hang of them, the help info isn't exactly comprehensive.
December 27, 2001
- Experience Shrines make all monsters killed by the one enjoying the shrine effect worth 50% more experience. This is on top of any monster bonuses for additional players in the game, and adds to the experience your merc gains as well. There is no truth to the rumor that clicking an Exp shrine always sets the nearest boss monster to Cursed, though it seems that way at times.
This is sort of odd if you think about it, since the exp for monsters is otherwise set when they are spawned. It seems like that would be how it's always done, but of course it can't be with Experience Shrines. We considered that maybe an Exp shrine set bonus exp on everything spawned then, which would have called for some mad running and spawning tactics, but they don't work like that.
It was going to start this one off with, "Summon Cursed Boss Shrines (AKA Exp Shrines) ..." but thought that was a bit much. It's just superstition to think that more Cursed bosses appear after you get an Exp shrine, you just notice it more when you lose that shrine bonus than you do other times, but that doesn't make it any less annoying. I've gotten to where I'll never open an Evil Urn with an Exp shrine on, since I just know I'll lose it if I do.
December 30, 2001
- The friends list on Battle.net is a very useful feature, enabling you to see where you friends are playing, and show then were you are. One sneaky way to use the list is to add a PK who tried to get you. You can track their entire account and see if they are on with another, lower level character, and then go after that one for revenge. Not that we recommend that sort of thing, of course.
Another in the friends list info series. This one generated the following charming email:
"ok I would just like to say who ever wrote the little article one diabloii front page is a complete f***ing moron. No you can't use the friend list to seek out players in the manner stated in the article the only way that would work is if the player add you to his f list also then you would be able to know what game he was in. If he didn't all you would know if he came onto bnet and is in a private game you bounch of f***ing morons get your s*** straight before you put this s*** online you dumb s***s"
Yes, we added the ***'s here. Surprising that someone could figure out the FotD email, while not knowing to call it an "FotD" rather than a "little article". I'm sure there's no way you could possibly guess his ISP, given the quality of writing and obvious intelligence, but I'll give you a hint, it's an American on line service.
There were a few others who didn't understand the FotD, but none in such a disastrously idiotic fashion as OOo here. He's wrong of course, or choosing to misinterpret the FotD.
The way the /f list works with a non-mutual friend is that you don't get the green text whispers when they join a game, but you can see what game they are in, if it's not private, when you type "/f list". This is a lot faster, especially if you have multiple accounts you want to check on. It wouldn't matter if they were mutual anyway, you don't get the password for private games in any event, and if it's someone you are chasing with murder in mind, they certainly aren't going to tell you.