Draft: FAQ on Gameplay Affecting Mods Over the past months a number of discussions have involved use of mods or commands that affect the D2 game experience. (One is in process as I write this post.) Cauthon graciously :thumbsup: drafted a SPF FAQ addressing this matter, and I edited to reflect the most recent discussions. This is not a final draft, so if you have input, please offer it here. [Some of you will notice this differs slightly from a statement I made in a thread yesterday. It's important to say here that however this FAQ turns out, it will reflect the concensus of the SPF, to the best of my ability. - AE] -------------------------------------------------------------------------- The SPF FAQ on Usage of Gameplay Affecting Mods By: Cauthon Q. Do we really need another FAQ? A. Apparently, yes. Questions regarding the use of character editors, mods, and methods of influencing game play have been increasing in the SPF, and it was felt that a lack of a consistent answer to that question was leading to flames and the perception of the SPF as a hostile place to newcomers. This FAQ is an attempt to provide that consistent answer. Q. OK then. What do you mean by Gameplay Affecting Mods? A. For the purposes of this FAQ, a Gameplay Affecting Mod (GAM) any process that alters the fundamental play of Diablo II. Examples: 1) Usage of a program that allows you to create items that would not be created in the game of Diablo II as issued by Blizzard, 2) Methods that allow you to change character attributes or skills without leveling inside the game, 3) Modifications to the game code that change the frequency or type of item drops or monster spawning. In short, anything that affects the play of Diablo II. Q. What about things Blizzard left inside the game code, like the "-act5" or "-seed" commands that people use? A. Those affect the in-game experience, and as such are considered to be GAMs. "-act5" allows for the creation of a level 32 character with unspent skill and stat points with no effort on the part of the player. "-seed" alters the random number generation process such that all drops are the same throughout the game, and it also affects the monster generation process. Q. But Blizzard left them inâ€¦ A. Yes they did, but they still affect gameplay, and so meet the definition of GAM. Q. So, I guess now you are going to say that I canâ€™t use them? A. Not at all. The stance on the SPF is that you are allowed to do whatever you want on your own computer, provided it doesnâ€™t affect anybody else. Thus, feel free to mod, change settings, use character editors to your heartâ€™s content. However, we ask that if you are using GAMs that you do not trade anything found from those games in the SPF. Most SPFers will also not want to play in MP games with such a character. Q. Why donâ€™t you want them? I found six uber-leet awesome uniques last night, and I want to trade! A. The SPF economy thrives solely on trust. We have to believe that the items being traded are not the result of changes to the game - otherwise, the fundamental value of items becomes meaningless. Someone smart enough could create mods that enable elite uniques to drop with incredible frequency, which would destroy the value of items. For an example of the problems that exploits can create in an economy, note what has happened to the value of items on battle.net following the outbreak of new duping methods. We would like to prevent that here. For more information on trading in the SPF, see the our FAQ on SPF trading. Q. So I can use program XXXX to make my character an unkillable god? A. Yes, go ahead. Just donâ€™t expect to be able to trade what that character finds, or play in MP games with people from the SPF. Q. Where can I find a character/item editor? A. We canâ€™t discuss that here due to forum rules; try a search on Google. Q. What about bugged items and skills? A. Bugged items and skills have existed in every version of the game. In 1.09, Eth runes were bugged, as were the skills that gave characters a chance at critical strikes. In 1.10, Marrowwalk boots have an exceptionally powerful bug for Necromancers. The SPF considers the use of such bugs/features as up to the individual player. However, if you are using known bugs like these, we ask that you be open about it; we wonâ€™t condemn you, but those players who feel strongly about such things may not wish to trade with you. Once again, it is your computer, and we arenâ€™t going to tell you what to do on it. Before you get mad at those who donâ€™t accept the use of bugs or GAMs that you like, remember it is their computer, and they can do what they want on it. Q. But what about ATMA? A. ATMA is a program that does not affect gameplay. It allows for muling between single player characters, and is considered the best method of doing so (other methods do exist). It does not change the character, drops, or items, or any other facet of playing the game of Diablo II. What it does allow is quick and simple transferring of items between single player characters, much like characters created on battle.net enjoy. Some players here reject ATMA as a non-legit way to play; others embrace it; and others limit their usage of it. ATMA is the primary vehicle through which trades on the SPF are managed. Similarly other non-gameplay affecting programs are around, including various spreadsheets for tracking items found and calculators for analyzing build strengths are allowable.