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Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused

I've done some tests with lowering graphics quality, I must say it's interesting to say the least.

I've always felt like 640x480 in Diablo 2 doesn't work very well because of how fast everything moves and as a ranged attacker it's not fair imo. In Diablo 1 it worked better because everything was slow moving. That's the reason why I settled for 800X600 but reduced the view in the first place.

One thing I've tried is to make the graphics appear as if in 640X480 resolution while using the 800x600 resolution.

Bigger pixels. A little bit of a Quake 1 style. I can't say that I dislike it lol.

I've also considered for a long time to render the audio in low-fi using what was common for games in 1996 (8-bit sound).
It sounds more harsh, imagine sound FX sounding like there's some distortion (for those familiar with audio terms).
Idk if I would keep the music as it is, since in the mid 90s music from CD (16 bit 44.1khz) was also common, especially on Macs. So it could be 8 bit sound FX with better quality music.

This whole "making the game more retro" is not a new idea, I've just been hesitant to go the low-fi direction but so far have only used retro gaming influences in this mod.

That's right, those who compare this mod to Dark Souls don't get it. All the games (except diablo 2) that have inspired me in making this mod predate the year 2000.

This mod is already retro in terms of ideas. It just doesn't look so retro. With the release of D2R coming though, there's just no more point in trying to appeal to all Diablo 2 players, since the ones who want a more modern looking game will most likely all move on to D2R.


I would like to see your comments.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused

Read the announcement I added in the mod description.
You can comment on it here.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

Thanks.

I will not port it to D2R. I wanted my mod to look more like a 90's dark game on purpose, there's more chances of me pixelating the graphics than porting it to a remake. I'm not saying I will do that, but you get the idea.

Btw I already dislike the new artwork of D2R.

Good karma+3 votes
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

Actually you know what, I was thinking about litterally the thingy you click on to enter in the jungle, but I could probably add something next to it to distinguish entrance and exit.

Torches, statue, idk what, some kind of object like that.

That would probably be better in case someone gets a bit lost but actually finds the exit and doesn't notice they just exited to the right jungle level

Good karma+2 votes
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

no that was a level up lol

I just meant to say that I rarely (if ever) think to stop to go to town just for gidbin without first getting the organ -- because ormus pretty much rewards you with crap, and because the flayer dungeon is always close to gidbin.

So in my mind it's almost like gidbin and flayer dungeon are the same quest...

What I pretty much always do is gidbin, then flayer dungeon, then tp

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

It's not a bug and I kind of thought this whole section would be interesting to figure out, maybe I'm wrong haha.

Hint: don't stay too close to the door/barrier


Spoiler follows:
-------------------


Just teleport with both feet in the Great Marsh. You can't teleport when in Lower Kurast. It's a one way thing...

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

Well I never actually wanted to make drastic skill changes, that's a design choice.
Personally I'm not a fan of mods where all the skills are changed because I don't want to re-learn everything.

The few skills I changed quite a bit, that was out of necessity to fit my concept better. As you've put it before, what I'm doing is a bit like a fan movie cut.

So unless you point out one skill that really feels like it's totally out of place, you can only expect balance changes, and only if necessary.

Btw I have not had time to test with several stacked evade options that I know you've complained about before

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

True, but the quest reward sucks and in my mind this + the organ quest counts as one since they are in the same spot.

That's how I see it anyways. Plus the fetish shaman in the flayer dungeon gives 2 tps

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

Entrance and exit in the jungle do look pretty much the same... not much I can do about it without getting a massive headache.

The Dark Passage, when you enter it from the Flayer Jungle (which, you should, otherwise you are litterally going the wrong way), you should look for an upwards exit to the Great Marsh.

I know, it's not totally pretty because it's not two upwards staircases, but it's the best I can do for now (and possibly the best I can do period. lol)

Good karma+2 votes
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

I know of 3 monsters that can cause the "poison bug"
- act 2 mummies
- radament
- one of baal's minion (forgot which one but it's in the throne room)

Is there more? Because I've been thinking, imo it would be a cleaner solution to modify those monsters instead of changing potions...
For instance, I could change the elemental damage type to something else, like magic

Can Andariel cause the poison bug? I'm not sure

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

Weapon drop chances are as follows:
Act 1 = Act 1 group
Act 2 = 66.6% Act 2 group - 33.3% Act 1 group
Act 3 = 66.6% Act 3 group - 33.3% Act 2 group
Act 4 = 66.6% Act 4 group - 33.3% Act 3 group
Act 5 = 66.6% Act 5 group - 33.3% Act 4 group

Armors are different, you can't get armors from the previous act.

Good karma+2 votes
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

Definitely will do something about it!

It's just a bit complicated to find a solution to a bug I can't fix lol
One thing I thought of but didn't have time to test is to have all full hp and full rejuv potions also cure poison.

That way it would not render all poison monsters useless, but it would offer a reliable way to counter the poison bug.

Good karma+2 votes
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

Are you sure Treads of Cthon will be obsolete? Because afaik they have high armor class that's great for at least the whole of act 2. Probably not as great for sorcs though.

About req a bit higher than the act: to me, having something to look forward to wear in a few levels is part of the D2 fun.

Removing level req altogether doesn't sound like a good idea imo, it's already not super hard I don't want to make the game too easy...

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

There's a lot of drops, true, it can sometimes feel like it's too much, I agree, but during testing I found that if I reduced it further it became impossible to find a certain item type at a reasonnable rate. Current drops are basically made to let you ignore item types that don't fit your build, same thing with how books now have the spell type displayed on the ground.

Maybe I could test with 5 drops at once instead of 4 to make items drop less often, but other than that I don't have much leeway.

Good karma+2 votes
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

...then you're going to love what I did to act 3 lol ... just remember the level names for the quests and you're good (because I swapped level location)

I played earlier this week, never found it this easy to find the first 2 organs (due to level changes), and next time, I can just use the underground level connecting two jungle waypoints, then it's north east in a quasi straight line to kurast. No more running in circles for 1h30 lol

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

- It's even worse than that (lol), I just looked , 9-17 (falchion) vs 8-17 (2h sword)
Point taken. I think I'll go with nerfing falchions and keep 2h swords the same.
Maybe falchions 6-14 and crystal swords 4-14. It would look weird to me to have crystal swords be better or = to falchions

- Good point, I didn't think about staves. I guess that would be logical to have them also spawn with max charges, I'll see what I can do. Not quite sure it will be feasible, maybe, I currently don't know what trick would force the game to do so.

Cube "free" refills are currently only for bows and crossbows because bows typically have low damage and I feel like it would be too unbalanced to have non-stop javelin usage without having to carry a few different javelins of variable quality. I could be wrong, to be honest I have not tried a "real" javelin amazon build so far.

Good karma+2 votes
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Some of my notes and comments

The new update (as of when I'm typing this comment) fixes a bunch of things I mentionned in this file. Read the changelog.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - February 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

If you are updating from last month's version, your chars will work just fine.

If you are updating from test v 20-12-A (2 versions ago) or earlier, you need to get rid of your books before updating.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused

It's meant for single player and also to be LAN-friendly.

Players location are shown on the map because it's easier in multiplayer.

The map isn't coming back.

It shouldn't be that big of a deal though, act 1 has roads, act 2 no longer has the large desert areas, act 3 now has a less random path, act 4 is well, act 4, and act 5 outdoor areas are mostly just a straight line.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused

I deleted this mod's multiplayer discord.

If you want to play multiplayer, send me a direct message here on moddb and we will find a way.

Good karma+2 votes
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused - January 2021 - A (mod file for Mac & Windows)

Before updating an old char from a previous version, get rid of all your books. Otherwise it won't work.

This is because of a major improvement I did to books that now allow you to know what spell it will give while it's still on the ground.

This way, you can pick up only the ones you want before identifying any of them.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused dev notes comments

Act 3 update:

I went with option 3, it works.

Flayer Jungle and Great Marsh are swappped and linked together by a dungeon.

This means you now how have an optional path that is always in the same order:

Spider Jungle --> Flayer Jungle --> Dark Passage --> Great Marsh --> Kurast

This will not always be the shortest way. However, if you don't want to take the chance of ending up in a dead end (and possibly getting lost), you can take this path and be 100% sure of where it's going to lead.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused dev notes comments

Sadly, the + skill bonus I had planned will not be possible. I tried and it would be so exploitable that you could re-do the quest an infinite number of times and get massive skill bonus boosts.

However, I have other tricks up my sleeve when it comes to making the jungles of act 3 a bit smoother.

Before going further, let's point out what I believe is the actual main cause of confusion for players in act 3.
Unlike every other location in the game (afaik), the jungles are randomly connected in either of the following ways, instead of always the same pattern

A) spider jungle --> great marsh --> flayer jungle --> kurast
or
B) great marsh (dead end) <-- spider jungle --> flayer jungle --> kurast

For a player who is not aware of the 2 possibilities, entering the great marsh and expecting the flayer jungle next can lead to a lot of frustration and confusion.
And for the player aware of it, it can still be a bummer if you realise you've walked all the way there for nothing...

My current possible solutions:
------------------------------

- One option (tested working) is to reconfigure the levels as so:

A) spider jungle --> flayer jungle --> great marsh --> kurast
or
B) flayer jungle (dead end) <-- spider jungle --> great marsh --> kurast

This has the benefit that 100% of the time if you enter the great marsh before finding the 2nd organ, you know you should turn back immediately. Plus, Kurast is always to the North East, so having no quests in the great marsh, you could just run in a quasi-straight line to the exit.


- Another option that remains to be tested (in case it doesn't work) but that likely would work in light of recent tests I did :

Have 2 "swampy pit" entrances. One in the Greath marsh near the wp, and the other near the Flayer jungle wp. Both would be linked together by some kind of big maze level. I'm not sure I like this option or not, but I have a feeling it would be less helpful than option one.


- Option 3, combine the two previous options (not sure if it's possible)
This is potentially cool, I guess. I'm not sure.
When you get a Flayer jungle spawning as a dead end, you could then take the optional underground path to the next wp...

--------

Frankly, none of these truly satisfy me, but there's limitations everywhere.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused

For those interested:
I've completed the Act 1 quest order change for the next version.

1. Tristram
2. Countess
3. Charsi's hammer
4. Bloodraven
5. Andariel

And in case you didn't know, act 2 is already like so:
1. Radament
2. Harem (not really a quest but whatever)
3. Arcane (Horazon)
4. Duriel

To know about level and quest changes in act 3 and 5, look at the changelog that comes with the mod file.

Good karma+2 votes
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused dev notes comments

So, after extended testing I have to report that sadly it won't be possible to have a clean looking way to block the path to the burial grounds.

If there's a way, I don't know it, and frankly I think there is no soft-coded way to do it without making the game unstable and crash prone.

So what I did is to enclose the entire bloodraven level in a stone wall. Not a fan of how you can still enter the level and then realise there's no way you can reach the inner fence, but whatever. At least it does the job.

On the plus side, everything now seems stable, meaning the quest order change is complete.

I've also adjusted the red skeletons.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Guild - The Mercenary Overhaul 2 (Mac & Win)

This is a Mac and Windows compatible version. It's like the other "Guild - The Mercenary Overhaul 2" download but without the "-direct -txt" on a shortcut.

"-direct -txt" on a shortcut is for Windows only.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Guild - The Mercenary Overhaul 2 (Mac & Win)

No problem! :)
I like the idea of better mercs with more possibilities.

Feel free to test it, it should be the exact same thing as running -direct -txt with your data folder over a clean 1.14d patch. (1.14 patch is 100% compatible with D2 version 1.13)

I updated it today because the first time icons for tokens of absolution and other things were missing from the patch. It should be fine now.

By the way, I might make a tutorial on how to make mac & windows compatible mod patch files.

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused dev notes comments

After more testing, I discovered that red skeletons are too strong for my taste. Skeletons should be adjusted.
(ultra hard skeletons in the cathedral and catacombs)

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused dev notes comments

Bloodraven level update:
------------------------

I'm testing with Jail --> Inner cloister --> Cathedral --> Crypt (renamed tower level 1) --> Burial Grounds --> Catacombs.

The countess' tower has 4 levels in this scenario, as one is used as a link between the Cathedral and Bloodraven's level. In my tests, you exit the crypt through the former mausoleum, kill Bloodraven, and then go to the catacombs using the former crypt entrance.

I've also found a not great but better than nothing way to block bloodraven's level. It creates a dead end blocked by a bunch of trees, this part looks good, but in bloodraven's level, you can see the level's black borders. Not great, but not a deal breaker either in my opinion. I'm also testing with a repaired fence and closed gates, so you can't walk to that black border.

So far it looks cool, but I'd have to test more to make sure it can't crash the game. I will admit it annoys me that I was not able to make a one way exit (to prevent going back to the crypt), I'm not sure I will be able to do it. I'm not a fan of the idea of exploiting going downstairs to hide from bloodraven, get more hp and come back...

Anyhow, unless I change my mind, this means the quest order for act 1 would become: 1. Tristram 2. Countess 3. Charsi's hammer 4. Bloodraven 5. Andariel

Good karma+1 vote
Vince_Helm
Vince_Helm @ Dark & Focused

Cool! Thanks

Google translate:
"Thank you for sharing, I will always follow the updates of Dark & ​​Focused. . Thank you! !"

Good karma+2 votes
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