Creating Monster Pages

  • #1
    A monster page redesign for Diablo II, which looks much better than the current one, is about to start. Two examples can be viewed here:

    And the actual template is, conveniently, found at DiabloWiki.com - Template:Monster (Diablo II) Template:Monster (Diablo II).

    It turns out however that creating these pages was much more of a hazzle than I originally though. As such, I am writing this post to explain how actually go about and enter all the necessary information.

    Actually using the template is quite easy, as all the necessary formatting is handled by the wiki itself. All you as a user need to is enter the actual numbers, and the rest is fixed automatically.

    First, let's look at how the template looks (some pixels are missing due to it being a screenshot):



    Now, how to get the information? Most fields can either be copied from our existing monster pages, or from the data that Arreat Summit provides, but locations cannot be found this way (neither can abilities exactly, but those are easy enough to figure out from the text Arreat Summit provides, or by just looking in the game). They have to be read from the game files. If you don't want to bother with that info, then just leave a ? in the location place and let someone else fill it out. I will however explain how to find it here.

    Incorrect info in our wiki
    Before you start copying information from our old pages to the new ones, I've noticed that most locations are incorrect. So that information will have to be procured from the game files.

    Finding the location of monsters
    For this, we need three things: levels.txt, monstats.txt and a speadsheet program such as MS Excel.

    First, open up the two files in Excel. Preferably you should freeze the top and left panes so they are always visible.

    In level.txt, we are interested in the following columns:

    • MonLvl2Ex: The level that all monsters will get who spawn on this level in Nightmare.
    • MonLvl3Ex: The level that all monsters will get who spawn on this level in Hell.
    • nmon1-10: Lists all monsters that can spawn in this area in Normal.
    • mon1-10: Lists all monsters that can spawn in this area in Nightmare and Hell.
    • umon1-10: Lists all monsters that can spawn in this area in as either a Champion or a Unique across all difficulties.
    • LevelName:Contains the actual name that the Level uses ingame.
    In monstats.txt, we are only interested in the Id column. The names that appear here are the exact same names that are listed in levels.txt. Unfortunately, most monsters don't have Id's that correspond with their ingame names, this monstats is used to figure out what the actual monster is (for example, the Oblivion Knight is doomknight3, but the Oblivion Knight that appears in Act 5 is dkmag1 and dkmag2).

    Example
    A certain monster, zombie5, is after a search revealed to appear in six different places in the file: as mon, nmon and umon in Act 2 - Desert 4 and Act 2 - Sewer 2 A

    Areas are listed by order of appearance most of the time, so by looking at the 4, you can immediately tell taht Desert 4 refers to the Lost City. Sewers 2 then accordingly refer to the Ancient Tunnelrs, since they are the second sewers to appear in Act 2.

    By searching for zombie5 in monstats.txt after this, we find out that this refers to the Plague Bearer. Now we know where this information is to be entered.

    Figuring out what a monster looks like
    This is something that is not available either at Arreat or in our wiki for guest monsters. Monster color is not related to monster name, so even though a monster may be called Venom Lord in Act 5, does not by any means mean that it also has to be green (it is in fact red).

    Monster color is handled by monstats.txt in the column TransLvl. Of course, there's only a number in that column to tell the game what palette to use. The palette always corresponds to the same monster model; if a monster looks like a skeleton, it will have the skeleton palettes available to it. To figure out what the actual color is, you can do one of two things.

    1. Most of the time, the palettes correspond to the order of appearance for monster. A fallen has 0, a carver 1, devilkin 2, dark one 3 and warped on 4. Sometimes that doesn't work though (zombies for example). So, what you need to do is check, what regular monster has the same translvl value as the guest monster? Since there are images of almost all regular monsters in the wiki, it will then be eaasy ti pick the correct image.

    2. Use Dr Tester to apply the palette and see for yourself.

    Completed Monsters
    Regular
    Super Unique
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  • #2
    Good stuff KrisDragon.
    The Chat Gem Lives!
    Diablo III Analyst
    SC2Mapster
  • #3
    Hmmm...how incredibly confusing. :rolleyes:
  • #4
    Seriously? I'll do a rewrite if it's necessary. I take it you mean the part about finding locations?
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  • #5
    No, not the writing, just how the stuff is set up. Like "Sewers 2" referring to the Ancient Tunnels. I mean, I get that they're both the same tileset (if you will), but why the hell wouldn't they just say "Ancient Tunnels" in the files? It just seems way more complex than it needs to be.

    If there's a place that tells us that zombie5 is a Plague Bearer, why not just write Plague Bearer instead of zombie5? It's Blizz's fault, not yours.
  • #6
    Very nice! I don't think I would be able to help with these pages without messing up somehow.
    Just as the Scorpion hunts...
    Silently Lurking...

    "Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted." ~ Ezio Auditore de Firenze
  • #7
    Quote from Kickin_It

    No, not the writing, just how the stuff is set up. Like "Sewers 2" referring to the Ancient Tunnels. I mean, I get that they're both the same tileset (if you will), but why the hell wouldn't they just say "Ancient Tunnels" in the files? It just seems way more complex than it needs to be.

    I have no idea, but perhaps because the names were not finalized at the time of creation? But yeah, the structure isn't always as straight-forward as one would wish.

    Also added a part about finding the right color for monster. It's a bit tricky as well, but not impossible.
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  • #8
    We should seriously consider just removing all level entries in the mosnter table.

    Take a look at what I've done for the http://www.diablowiki.com/Fallen so far. It gets extremely cluttered to have levels everywhere, and it just really isn't that important. We could add a level field for bosses, but other than that I see little reason to keep it. Monster levels will be present on the location pages anyway.
    DiabloWiki.com - PlugY PlugY for Diablo II allows you to reset skills and stats, transfer items between characters in singleplayer, obtain all ladder runewords and do all Uberquests while offline. It is the only way to do all of the above. Please use it.

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  • #9
    I'd say it's a little cluttery, but it's a far sight better than the old set-up either way, and I don't think it's so bad that it makes it difficult to read. I think the information is important and pertinent to the monsters themselves, so I think it should be on the monster pages, but besides clutter, are there any other reasons you think it shouldn't?

    On a side note, it's looking like the Champion/Unique cells aren't centering again, but are top justified. Also, why is the Normal row slightly taller than the NM/Hell rows? Even for Dark/Warped Ones, where there hasn't been any info entered that would change the height, it's present. Is there some extra padding added in there?
  • #10
    back from the semester- (now in summer semester :/) but still, I like seeing the wiki flourish all around. I like the re-design, I think the suggestion of using proper names (Plague Bearer etc.) is a good idea. Nicely laid out, I didn't see the problem with centering.
  • #11
    Quote from Kickin_It

    I'd say it's a little cluttery, but it's a far sight better than the old set-up either way, and I don't think it's so bad that it makes it difficult to read. I think the information is important and pertinent to the monsters themselves, so I think it should be on the monster pages, but besides clutter, are there any other reasons you think it shouldn't?

    Well, with the way levels are determined for Nightmare and Hell, all monsters in the cold plains will be lvl 68 in hell. So when you go to the monster page to view the level, what you're really looking at is "what level will be monster be if it appears in this place?". It seems more fitting to just list the area levels on the location pages.

    And take underground passage. Level one is 69, because when a player passes through there they need to be able to survive. Level two however is 83. So for the uniques I have to write out (71-72/85-86), because the levels are different, and because champions are +2 while uniques are +3. It's just not that clear unless you know that the underground passage does in fact consist of two levels. And we can't write out every level of a dungeon specifically, or the tables will never end.

    Quote from Kickin_It

    On a side note, it's looking like the Champion/Unique cells aren't centering again, but are top justified. Also, why is the Normal row slightly taller than the NM/Hell rows? Even for Dark/Warped Ones, where there hasn't been any info entered that would change the height, it's present. Is there some extra padding added in there?

    The extra padding comes from two spaces being generated (thus creating a linebreak in the wiki) if both presets and abilities are omitted. I removed it, but it appears I must have brought it back when I made the normal and nightmare rows optional. I'll fix that.

    EDIT
    back from the semester- (now in summer semester :/) but still, I like seeing the wiki flourish all around. I like the re-design, I think the suggestion of using proper names (Plague Bearer etc.) is a good idea. Nicely laid out, I didn't see the problem with centering.

    Say, you wanna help us out here a bit and create some of these pages? :biggrin:
    DiabloWiki.com - PlugY PlugY for Diablo II allows you to reset skills and stats, transfer items between characters in singleplayer, obtain all ladder runewords and do all Uberquests while offline. It is the only way to do all of the above. Please use it.

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  • #12
    Quote from PhrozenDragon

    Well, with the way levels are determined for Nightmare and Hell, all monsters in the cold plains will be lvl 68 in hell. So when you go to the monster page to view the level, what you're really looking at is "what level will be monster be if it appears in this place?". It seems more fitting to just list the area levels on the location pages.


    Well, while that's true on the one hand, it's not like there are typically a plethora of different breeds of one monster that appear in the same area, so it's not like every monster on the page is going to be level 68. And as far as user-friendliness goes, I think it's contrary to make them go to a location page to find out the monster level that they want to know.


    Quote from PhrozenDragon
    And take underground passage. Level one is 69, because when a player passes through there they need to be able to survive. Level two however is 83. So for the uniques I have to write out (71-72/85-86), because the levels are different, and because champions are +2 while uniques are +3. It's just not that clear unless you know that the underground passage does in fact consist of two levels. And we can't write out every level of a dungeon specifically, or the tables will never end.


    Yeah, I noticed that and it took me a minute to figure out what the /'s were all about. Of course, we could maybe do (Level 1:71-72)(Level 2:85-86) which would make it easier to figure out at a glance, but would also add to the clutter that you're already worried about...
  • #13
    But they won't be looking at the monster level. It's irrelevant to know a monster's level, you cannot make any decisions based on it. It's not "damn, megademons keep hitting me, I need to figure out what level they are", it's "damn, megademons keep hitting me, I need to see what area I keep dying in."

    It's a size issue too though. I'm sitting on 1600 so it's fine for me, but remove even 200px and it starts to get cluttered fast, and the locations are half of the page.

    It is a needless piece of information here I believe. I'll test without levels and see if there's any benefit to it.

    EDIT: Hmm. I looked at it without levels, and it just seems redundant at that point to lits locations for all difficulties. They'll mostly be the same outside of Act 5.

    One thing I want to do however. Champions always get +2 level, and uniques +3. We shouldn't list both levels. We should just list the champion level and explain on the template page or something that uniques have +1 more. That will cut down on clutter.
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  • #14
    Maybe just make the header read: Champion/Unique(Mlvl+1) or something like that. I don't see what putting that clarification on the template page will accomplish, since the average user is just going to be looking at the monster page, not the template page. Unless you mean something different.
  • #15
    Quote from Kickin_It

    Maybe just make the header read: Champion/Unique(Mlvl+1) or something like that.

    You're right. we hsould just say in the header that champions are +2 and uniques +3.

    It will create some problems for act 5, where some monsters don't always spawn in the same place as champions and regulars. But they can still click on the link to find out what the level is. I mean, it's not like anyone goes out to farm champions and uniques, what level they possess is a little irrelevant.
    DiabloWiki.com - PlugY PlugY for Diablo II allows you to reset skills and stats, transfer items between characters in singleplayer, obtain all ladder runewords and do all Uberquests while offline. It is the only way to do all of the above. Please use it.

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  • #16
    Oh dear. It turns out that I was slightly wrong about monster spawning. In Nightmare and Hell, only one column (nmon) determines where regular/champion and unique monsters spawn. It seems to be a bug, but it's how the game works. So it's completely unnecessary to have two columns for regular and CHampion/superunique for nightmare and Hell, because they will always be the same.

    Consequently, two columns are still needed for normal (mon and umon), because for normal it works as intended.

    EDIT: That may have been a bit rushed. Man, I should not try to figure out these things at night. There are some exceptions. Fallen, blood hawks, fetishes and similar will spawn as minions if there's a shaman or blood hawk nest in the region. However, appearing as minions they cannot spawn as champions, but they can spawn as unique minions with the little minion title.

    There are also some special places where minions will always spawn in a specific way. Dark Shamans in the catacombs will always appear in the exact same number, and will never be champion or unique. Their spawn is not handled by levels.txt, but is part of the actual map. this may be true for other static areas as well.
    DiabloWiki.com - PlugY PlugY for Diablo II allows you to reset skills and stats, transfer items between characters in singleplayer, obtain all ladder runewords and do all Uberquests while offline. It is the only way to do all of the above. Please use it.

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  • #17
    Updated it with some more finishes monsters.

    So... will anyone else try a hand at this, or is it too much?
    DiabloWiki.com - PlugY PlugY for Diablo II allows you to reset skills and stats, transfer items between characters in singleplayer, obtain all ladder runewords and do all Uberquests while offline. It is the only way to do all of the above. Please use it.

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  • #18
    I don't really feel that confident in going through the files, since your post made me confuzzled :mellow:

    But, if you want to just pull the info and put it in a thread somewhere, I'd be happy to help remake the pages (even though I haven't exactly been blazing through the rest of the base weapons...)
  • #19
    Quote from Kickin_It

    But, if you want to just pull the info and put it in a thread somewhere, I'd be happy to help remake the pages (even though I haven't exactly been blazing through the rest of the base weapons...)

    This is as much as I can do.

    I've removed all the useless data in the files, and left only what is relevant. Most info is there except for abilities, which you'll have to grab from arreat summit or memory in the cases where arreat doesn't exactly provide all the info.
    ATTACHMENTS
    • Levels shortened
    • MonStats shortened
    DiabloWiki.com - PlugY PlugY for Diablo II allows you to reset skills and stats, transfer items between characters in singleplayer, obtain all ladder runewords and do all Uberquests while offline. It is the only way to do all of the above. Please use it.

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