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SPF FAQ on Gameplay Affecting Techniques

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by AlterEgo, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo IncGamers Member

    Jun 22, 2003
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    SPF FAQ on Gameplay Affecting Techniques

    The SPF FAQ on Usage of Gameplay Affecting Techniques
    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 Techniques?

    A. For the purposes of this FAQ, a Gameplay Affecting Technique (GAT) is any process that alters the fundamental play of Diablo II. Examples:

    1) Usage of a third-party 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. These can fall into several categories:
    I). Any third party modification to gameplay, whether or not it gives the player advantage. This includes, but is not limited to: runestats, drop mods, maphack, d2hackit, mods such as the Middle Earth mod for D2.

    II). Use of command line edits. These include the "-seed," "-act5," "-w," and other commands that can be placed on the command lines at start-up.

    III). In game commands, such as /players X and /nopickup.

    Q. Ok, so now I know what they are. What does the SPF think about them?

    A. Let's consider each category in turn, shall we?

    I). Third party modifications to game play: Those that provide advantage to the player (maphack, drop mods, d2hackit) are frowned upon both by the membership and the forum rules. Other types of mods, such as the Middle Earth mod for D2, are viewed neutrally by the community - they are different versions of the game of D2.

    II). Command line edits: These include commands that are considered innocuous, such as the command that allows you to play in a window or skip directly to the bnet login screen at startup, to those that are considered methods for abusing the game. The two in particular that have caused a lot of discussion are the "-act5" and "-seed" commands.

    -act5 allows for the creation of a level 33 character at the beginning of act 5, with all skill and stat points unspent. Since this involves no effort on the part of the player, it is not considered an acceptable command to use.

    -seed affects the random number generator in the game. If abused, it can lead to the creation of games wherein powerful items can drop with some frequency. This usage is not considered acceptable.

    However, it also allows for the recovery of maps if a player accidentally changes difficulties or joins a multiplayer game. The consensus of the SPF is that the -seed command can be used to recover a map. However, once the map is recovered, the player should exit the game, clear "-seed" from the command line, and return to playing as this prevents abuse. Under no circumstances should map seeds be shared with other forum members. You should be up front about your use of this command when seeking to trade as well.
    Commands that ease the workload on your CPU by running D2 in windowed mode or without sound are not considered GATs.

    III). In game commands, such as the "/players X" or "/fps" commands, are viewed as part of the game by the SPF.

    Q. So, what are you saying? Can I use them or not?

    A. The stance on the SPF is that you are allowed to do whatever you want on your own computer, provided it doesn't affect anybody else. Thus, feel free to mod, change settings, use character editors to your heart's content. However:

    -open discussion on the use of third party programs that create an advantage (cheats, hacks or editors) will not be permitted, as per forum rules.

    -if you are using any game mod or command line edit, we ask that you be up front about that when seeking to trade or seeking multiplayer games. Many SPF members may not be using the same mod (and thus unable to trade with you), or may be uneasy about accepting trades for items found by characters using these methods. They may also prefer not to play in MP games with such a character, and these characters will also not be welcome on either the SP Softcore or Hardcore ladders.

    You do not need to declare the use of in-game commands when proposing trades.

    Q. But I found six uber-leet awesome uniques using XXXXX 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 following the outbreak of new duping methods. We would like to prevent that here.

    For more information on trading in the SPF, see Trade Rules.

    Q. So I can use program XXXX to make my character an unkillable god?

    A. Yes, go ahead. Just don't expect to be able to trade what that character finds, play in MP games with people from the SPF, or join the ladders.

    Q. Where can I find a character/item editor?

    A. We can'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 won'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 aren't going to tell you what to do on it. Before you get mad at those who don't accept the use of bugs or GATs 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 directly 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 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.

    ATMA can be used to "hot-mule." This refers to muling items off a character while that character is still in an active game, and has been primarily proposed as a means for enabling a single player character to deal with finding a second Gheed's Fortune charm during play so that both charms can be kept. The player would mule one charm off into their stash, and then return to the game, delete the charm just muled (as otherwise it would be a dupe), and continue playing. Consensus on this issue has not yet been reached.​

    [Edit: 28-Oct-2006] ATMA can be used to mule items from Expansion (Lord of Destruction) characters to Non-Expansion (Classic) characters. This is considered an abuse of ATMA, and is not allowed in the trade and MP pool for the forum.​

    Similarly other non-gameplay affecting programs are around, including various spreadsheets for tracking items found and calculators for analyzing build strengths are allowable.

    Quick Reference

    Trade Rules Has a handy reference of allowed mods.

    28-Oct-2006: Added information about muling from LOD to Classic. -Cattleya
    29 Feb 2008 Added trade rules link - Thyiad
  2. farting bob

    farting bob Banned

    Sep 16, 2003
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    nice FAQ, and needed as well, with the increased 'i want a lvl 99 character but cannot actually play legit past act 1 so i need a hack' threads. god, they annoy me.
  3. MorbidDoom

    MorbidDoom IncGamers Member

    Nov 14, 2003
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    Indeed, it's just too bad that none of the people posting those kinds of threads will ever read this FAQ :(
  4. wildjinn

    wildjinn IncGamers Member

    Nov 13, 2003
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    Nice work. This is (again) very well written and extremely concise. Thanks!!
  5. TekkaZeroX

    TekkaZeroX IncGamers Member

    Jan 9, 2004
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    That is a definately a nice faq. It is a pity it was not here when I decided to use a new map using the seed coomand and found Tyrael's Might after a few days. At least I did not leave the command activated, but it would have been helpful to know the seed command was a no-no.

    With that said, I do have one minor question.

    I don't believe any of the techies said that powerful items would drop, because the seed command is activated. It just screws up how treasure classes are chosen. Remember the game has no idea what a powerful item is, so rather useless items can drop with frequency as well. It is all chance (the seed command could screw you over with nothing but cracked items).
  6. SabreCat

    SabreCat IncGamers Member

    Dec 4, 2003
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    I think that's what's meant by "if abused"--sifting the seeds to find ones with which a certain good TC or item becomes more likely to drop. Sure, a given seed could give you purely junk items, but those aren't the seeds that people would trade around if they were allowed to.

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