Greetings, fellow travelers! This is fearedbliss, creator of Cactus, Singling, and Alpaca.
Today I wanted to introduce The Moving Caravan - A new forum focused on Diablo II Time Traveling. We are specifically focused on playing and historically analyzing all versions of the game released by Blizzard North, which covers Patches 1.00 (June 29, 2000) till 1.10 (October 28, 2003), mostly without mods. These dates were selected since it's the period of time at Blizzard North where the founders and leadership were still actively developing the game and making critical game decisions. It's also when Peter Hu, the Chief Architect of Patch 1.10, was still at the company. The Blizzard North Exodus, where the core leadership left the company and formed Flagship Studios, happened around July 2003. Peter Hu stayed behind the next 3 months to finish what he was working on for many years, Patch 1.10.
A few months after Peter completed and released Patch 1.10, he left and joined Flagship Studios as well. Due to this, all changes introduced to the game after Patch 1.10 (October 28, 2003), are not considered part of Blizzard North. This includes Patch 1.11, and the "Ladder Runewords", which were introduced server-side during the second ladder season of 1.10 (July 8, 2004). The first ladder of 1.10 was on its release day (October 28, 2003). This is the reason that people even need a mod to enable "ladder runewords", the patch just wasn't released with them, and thus the files don't contain the data. It is highly probably that Blizzard wanted to update the game without releasing a new patch and thus they went with the server side solution. I've also read that they wanted to encourage people to explore different runeword combinations, so releasing a new patch with the data would have meant that the runewords would have been instantly data mined. For completeness, Blizzard announced the closure of the corporate vehicle of "Blizzard North" on August 1, 2005, and Patch 1.11 was released on August 13, 2005.
On another note, there are no rules preventing the discussion of any other versions of the game or mods, but I wanted to be transparent about the purpose of the forum. After all, all of these versions are in the past and require you to play on Offline Single Player which is on your own computer, or LAN. Thus you have the liberty to play the game as you see fit, and to choose who you want to play with over LAN (if you choose to do so).
Lastly, you can use the following tools to aid you in Diablo II Time Traveling. Cactus is a modern Diablo II version switcher that allows you to easily play and switch between any version of the game that ever came out. It has full version and character isolation and thus you don't need to worry that your characters will get mixed with the wrong versions. Singling is an opt-in modification for select versions of Diablo II that you can choose to use, which contains a carefully selected list of non-gameplay modifications. Things such as CPU fixes, FPS Unlock, Players Command for 1.00 - 1.08, Etc. Check out the links at the beginning of this post for more information. Cactus and Singling are tools that I've been developing for over 5 years and are in a very refined state. I hope they help improve your life and bring a bit more happiness to it, just as they have for me.
I don't want to make a forum that's too dictatorial and would prefer to have a nice, positive, organic community. Most rules tend to be things that people should probably already know they should or shouldn't be doing, however below are a few highlights:
- The most important rule is to be respectful to each other.
- No discussions about anything illegal. (This goes without saying but you never know)
- No discussion of game hacks or dupes. We are not a hacking forum. However, if it's something that can be done within the game itself (exploit) without the use of third party tools, then it's a different story (i.e Diablo 1 Duping or Sharing/Using Diablo II Map Seeds via -seed .. It's your choice but is it truly fun?).
- Stay on topic. Visit the Tavern of the Rising Sun to post anything off-topic.
- When attaching screenshots to a post, please try and use the built in attachment feature rather than uploading to an external image host. This helps make sure that the images are available to everyone regardless of the external image service. Check out the following post in order to learn some tips/tools to reduce image size.
- If uploading a lot of screenshots to a post, consider using spoiler tags where appropriate.
Honestly, it was a name that kinda just came to me recently. Originally I thought about using the name that I made for my previous channel: The Cactus Sanctuary. However, this forum will have an unique attribute about it which I think will be fun and healthy for everyone. It won't always be up!
In 2021, people are usually always connected, and people expect websites and platforms to always be available. There is no room for downtime. No room to disconnect and spend your time doing something else, whether from, yes, playing more Diablo II ( ) or just unplugging from the computer and doing something else. It's just not a healthy thing for one's mental health, and also for the society as a whole. The downtime in this case is a feature of this forum and a symbol as well. You know that feeling you get when you haven't seen a good friend for a long time but then so much has happened that you can't wait to meet up and catch up? Yea, that's what I'm talking about.
And due to this ephemeral attribute, The Moving Caravan is a fitting name. We may not always be available at the same time, but we are all always moving together, independently, a moving caravan.
Why create a forum in 2021 and not use something more modern and dynamic like Discord?
That's a good question. I actually experimented making this community a few times over the past few years with different objectives and different solutions. Most of the times I used Discord. Discord is an excellent piece of software, however, for the type of content and goals that I'm trying to achieve, it is not the proper tool for the job.
When I was using Discord, I started the community there because I wanted to bring people together around a very niche topic: Diablo II Time Traveling. When people started joining the Discord, we were all discussing a bunch of specifics about the patches and sharing screenshots, debating particular points, and so on so forth. However, since Discord is a real-time chatting platform, all of that information was essentially being lost to anyone that wasn't actively engaged in that topic at that point in time. Of course people can always continuously scroll for hours on end, but nobody is actually going to do that, especially if you are in an intensive chat room, it would be difficult to find these conversations and read everything that was said by everyone at that time. You will also not be interested in every single thing that was said in the channel, so there is now more mental load on you to filter out (by possibly minimally processing, but still ever-fatiguing) messages that aren't related to topics you care about. If something really cool happened, an awesome item drop, some pretty cool hardcore death story, or something else, all members that weren't there at that particular moment will not be able to easily find that particular thread because it is lost in the timeline. It is also not reasonable to pin every message either since even skimming many pinned messages is also not good.
Essentially what was needed was a simple, flat, structured tool that allowed people to either have long form conversations over an undetermined period of time, or for people to be able to just share short bursts of information that may yield additional discussion points, that are also over an undetermined period of time. This archiving mechanic allows for information to be easily retrieved in the future, even if it's 15 years later! While at the same time there is reduced mental load on people because there is less noise to be filtered out. Instead of filtering out all of the messages between people that were happening all at the same time on the particular channel, in order to find a "topic" that you care about, you are now just filtering out based on people's already self-organized forum posts, and selecting particular posts of interest. An old school flat forum solution is perfect for this use case.
Ever since I started getting involved with the Time Traveling Community (Circa 2013), I spent years googling and finding different resources and tidbits of information on various forum communities, the way back machine, etc, and it's amazing to be able to still find pieces of information from 2004, 2000, 2001 and being able to read people's conversations or debates from exactly when that event occurred. Some example niche search topics that are very interesting for me:
- Diablo II pre-LOD vs post-LOD
- Diablo II pre-LOD Classic vs post-LOD Classic
- Diablo II 1.10 vs 1.09 debates
- 1.07 Rack Running Techniques
- History of Blizzard North
- 1.08 Deadly Crafts
- Any other weird combination of stuff