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..:: INTERVIEW WITH THE BROTHER LAZ - CREATOR
OF MEDIAN 2 ::..

Przemo - What country are you from?

Brother Laz - Belgium.

Przemo - How did your adventure with diablo started?

Brother Laz - Quite simply, I saw a friend play it and was hooked. He wasn't, but I went out and bought it despite not actually having a good enough computer to run it yet. It arrived at about the same time as the expansion and the rest is history.

Przemo - What made you make this mod?

Brother Laz - When 1.10 came out, I already had a cult following for the Demon Trip mods, which were the first mods to replace character animations and the first mods to feature new skill trees. I quickly found out that 1.10 made both character replacement and new skill trees easy as pie, so for me the challenge was gone.

I had also grown up a lot in the meantime, and the Demon Trip mods were honestly rather sloppily made, very bugged and unbalanced. I wanted to do better.

This was the first Median, which was very similar to Median 2, if a lot less advanced. I had hoped to adopt the D1 skill books, but this turned out to be a bad idea in practice, so I had to convert the mod to the current skill list system in a hurry. The end result was less than amazing, because supposedly weak low level spells ended up in the same pool as the high level ones, and due to its D1 influence, there were hardly any melee and bow attacks at all.

Nevertheless, it was by far the first mod released for 1.10 (while 1.10 was still a beta, in fact), so it had a fairly successful launch until Teh Bugâ„c hit, a mysterious bug that corrupted everyone's character somewhere in Act 2. I was unable to fix it and had to scrap the whole mod.

This I thought would be the end of my modding career, until Joel contacted me to help him design the skill trees for Shadow Empires. I did, and this gave me a lot of ideas for new skills as well. Median wasn't all bad, it was just the skills that sucked and now I had many more decent ideas for new skills. In early 2005, development on Median 2 started, using the files from the first Median as a base. As we all know, it was a hit.

After a couple of months, I wanted to fix some issues with Median 2 but was unable to because the fixes would corrupt existing characters. I took the opportunity to add new content and replace some of the existing unbalanced content, and this was Median 2 Special Edition, released in December 2005.

And the rest is history.

Przemo - How long have you been working on this mod?

Brother Laz - Hard to say. Median took me about two months full-time, then Median 2 was based on the old Median files and took about two or three weeks. The weekly patch took me about half a day every week, and then I spent about two full days per week for three months on M2SE. All of it adds up to about four or five months worth of modding.

In short, don't get hooked on modding unless you have a lot of time to waste. ;-)

Przemo - Where have you learned modding?

Brother Laz - One place, the Phrozen Keep (www.d2mods.com). The place to be for all your modding needs.

This was a fairly short answer, so I'll add some advice for newbies, which I learned the hard way:

1/ Start small. Don't attempt a total conversion as your first mod. You'll just give up when you're making no progress.

2/ Never release your first mod. You'll end up getting no downloads and quitting the mod business. I did release my first mod, and counted my lucky stars I released it under a different nickname 'just in case'. Look for D2 Inferno by Myokai to see why.

3/ Use the file guides, the tutorials and the forum search at d2mods.com. You can learn so many things without having to post anything at all.

4/ Make sure you actually have the time to complete a mod. If your mod ends up cancelled due to lack of time, all the time you already invested in it is lost.

Przemo - Do you plan to release other versions od mod and if yes then what's going to be there?

Brother Laz - Median 2 went from version 0.01 to 1.17 (27 'official' versions, plus 3 quick fixes with the same version number), and M2SE went from version 0.01 to 1.03 (13 official versions) adding up to a grand total of 40 versions of this mod so far. This is a lot.

In the future, instead of the weekly patches of the past, I'm going to let the issues accumulate and release larger patches at slower intervals.

For example, several ways will be introduced to remove or cancel a running skill delay timer. With skill timers being so important to the current balance of the mod (see Glacial Nova, Holy Armor, ...), this will probably result in major skill balance changes and consequently monster balance changes.

There won't be any 'Median 3' or similar; I'm determined to make M2SE better instead of randomly starting new projects and having to go through the whole debugging and balancing process again.

Przemo - What do you think is the future of diablo 2? blizzard isn't interested in d2

Brother Laz - Hellgate:London (www.hellgateguru.com), made by Flagship Studios, which was founded by many of the Diablo/D2 people including Bill Roper and the 1.10 programmer Peter Hu. It is basically a sci-fi version of Diablo with some first-person shooter elements.

There are paladins with auras, napalm swords and enchanted chain lightning rifles, randomly generated levels (a first for a 3D game) and quests, and tow hook cannons to pull succubi from the air so you can pummel them with your trusty electrified cricket bat.

Forget Blizzard, they're just going to release commercial crap until the players get fed up and leave.

Przemo - What do you think of Poles? have you ever been to this country?

Brother Laz - It's hard to say what I think of 'Poles' in particular, seeing as I've never been to Poland.

I'm not one to base my opinion towards an entire country with millions of different people, good people and bad people, lovers and haters, Red Cross volunteers and drug dealers, on the posts of two dozen people on an Internet gaming forum. ;-)

So my answer is 'I'm not qualified to respond to this question'.

Przemo - Thanx for the interview :)

Brother Laz - Thanx too :-)


We'd like to invite you to official Modian 2 site: www.planetdiablo.com/median2/


Diablo II
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Diablo 2
  Czy jesteś zadowolony z tego,
   że nastąpił reset laddera w
Diablo 2 ?

  Tak.
  Nie.
  Jest mi to obojętne.
 



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