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Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Mac Version of Diablo II Middle-Earth Mod Available
1:31 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

As many fans of Blizzard Entertainment's role-playing blockbuster Diablo II already know,
there are a number third-party modifications that offer new vistas of gameplay for the player looking to spend even more time with the game.

One such modification is the V&K Middle Earth Mod for Diablo II: Lord of Destruction:

We tried to adopt the storyline, items and monsters to J.R.R. Tolkien's World of Middle Earth. In order to do this, we used various sources ranging from the Lord of the Rings or the Silmarillion to I.C.E. MERP sourcebooks about Middle Earth and of course much much totally made-up stuff for which good old J.R.R. would probably like to see us burning in Orodruin :)
The Middle Earth Mod has a long history, taking shape originally for the first Diablo and its expansion set, Hellfire (never released for the Mac), and then taking shape again and growing through many versions first for Diablo II and now for its expansion, Lord of Destruction.

Earlier versions of the Middle Earth Mod for Diablo II used the Mac-compatible ".mpq" distribution format, but more recently V&K, the mod's authors, switched to the Windows-only "-direct" format. Yesterday, Inside Mac Games wrote to V&K's "Khan" about the possibility of again making a Mac-compatible version available, and Khan replied this morning with good news:

You are right, any modmaker should make a Mac-usable mpq version available. Keep in mind though that since we changed two dll files, there will be minor differences between Mac and PC versions. These would be that Mac users would have less powerful potions, get more XPs by the Ancients Quest (act 5 statues) and would "suffer" from the critical hit bug (Assassins and Barbarians have 100% chance to deal double damage if they spent points in mastery skills, while they only should have 20% at the max skill level). Otherwise mpq and direct txt versions are compatible. If a Mac user is the host, the above mentioned differences will be there but for all players. If a PC user is the host, the game will run correctly. I would suggest having a PC host if one is available.

We have an mpq version of the current mod and we'll put a link to it up soon. We just didn't do so in the past because of the aforementioned differences. But it has been stated by people who should know about this stuff, that it will not cause any asynchronous behaviour.

Our thanks to Khan for making a Mac-compatible version available. While the Middle Earth Mod's web page has not yet been updated with the link, Khan was good enough provide it for IMG's readers, and you can download the .mpq version of Middle Earth Mod 1.7, the latest, via the link below.

Version 1.7 requires the English or German version of Lord of Destruction 1.09d; it will not work with classic Diablo II, nor with earlier versions of the expansion set, nor with versions localized for other languages.

Here are the steps to install the Middle Earth Mod, or any other Diablo II .mpq mod, in Mac OS 9 or X:

  • Open your "Diablo II Files" folder.

  • Backup your copy of "Diablo II Patch" (and, for Mac OS X, "Diablo II Patch (Carbon)").

  • Rename "DiabloIIPatch.mpq" (or whatever the mod's .mpq file is named) to "Diablo II Patch". (For Mac OS X, also duplicate this new "Diablo II Patch" file and rename it "Diablo II Patch (Carbon)".)

  • (Optional: change the new "Diablo II Patch" file's type to "D2pq" and its creator to "Dbl2"; this will give the file its proper icon but is not necessary to play the game, as the Diablo II application looks for this file by name only.)

  • Place the new "Diablo II Patch" file (and, for Mac OS X, "Diablo II Patch (Carbon)") into the "Diablo II Files" folder (replacing your original(s), which you backed up in step two).

As with all third-party mods, V&K warn players not to use their original game characters with the Middle Earth Mod, or at least to strip them of any unique or set items beforehand. Failure to do so can corrupt characters and crash the game. (Naturally, you'll want to back up your original characters first so you can continue to use them with the original game.)

Naturally, while Diablo II mods work in single-player and in open TCP/IP games, they are not usable on the Realms.

While this editor cannot attest to this mod's faithfulness to the spirit of Tolkien's great classic, it promises to offer entertainment at the least. If you begin to feel that life has lost some of its freshness as you run your seventh Diablo II character through the Barbarian Highlands on Hell difficulty, you might want to check out the V&K Middle Earth Mod. Or put the mouse down and go reread The Lord of the Rings.

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
The Phrozen Keep
V&K Middle Earth Mod for Diablo II
Middle Earth Mod 1.7 (4 MB control- or right-click to 'Download Link')
Middle Earth Mod 1.7 Readme (16 KB)

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