Brother Laz

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Brother Laz is a very well known Diablo II game modder who has made a very strong imprint on the Diablo community at large.

Background[edit | edit source]

Brother Laz is a Belgian Diablo II fan who started modding in Patch 1.09. He released his first mod, Inferno (download) under the name "Myokai", and was in hindsight regretting publishing his first mod, as he felt it was so bad, looking back.

Brother Laz's first set of mod gathering followers under his own name was the Demon Trip mods. They were the first mods to replace character animations and the first mods to feature new skill trees. These mods were in Laz's own opinion sloppily coded, but as time passed and he felt he grew mentally he wanted to do better.

The mod he has become widely known for is the Median mod, however. In 2003, when Patch 1.10 was still in beta, he worked for two months full-time to create the mod called Median. It had a skill system similar to Diablo I, where skill books were used to learn new skills. Unfortunately, a massive bug appeared. Somewhere in Act II, characters got corrupted, and he could not find the cause, thus scrapping the mod.

In early 2005, development on Median 2 started, using the files from the first Median as a base. The development took about two or three weeks (spread over a long time) and became a hit among fans. After a couple of months, Laz wanted to fix some issues with Median 2 but was unable to because the fixes would corrupt existing characters. He took the opportunity to add new content and replace some of the existing unbalanced content, creating "Median 2 Special Edition", released in December 2005.

Many hours have been spent patching and improving Median 2 SE, and Laz has said "in short, don't get hooked on modding unless you have a lot of time to waste. ;-)"

In December 2007, Brother Laz released Median 2008, wich enhanced his series of mod to an even higher standard with more features and more fun. The median mods started looking less and less like a mod, and more and more like a Diabloish game on its own.

During 2008, Laz featured on [1], writing his Dead Fish column. Three entries were made, reflecting upon Diablo II, and the fact the sequel, Diablo III had been announced that same summer at WWI 2008. The column was put on ice, and is technically not finished today.

The sequel to Median 2008 was released in October 2008 together with a new website. Median XL was the new name, and the mod that has been continuously updated since then.

Over 2009, Laz returned to and started a new column, called Mad Prophecies, talking more about Diablo III, and related concepts. Many entries were made, and Laz is still adding entries now and again, the latest one added in March 2010.

Known Works[edit | edit source]

Honourable Mentions[edit | edit source]

Median is popular and technically proficient enough that it was commented on by some of the Diablo 3 designers during an interview at Blizzcon 2009. [2]

GamePlanet: Have you guys ever played any of the mods that you get for Diablo II, the likes of the Median XL mod? Have you heard of that?
Kevin Martens: Oh yeah, I played that like crazy! I love it!
GamePlanet: So have you taken any sort of inspiration from some of the changes he has made at all?
Kevin Martens: You bet! It kinda hit us a few months back, people started playing a lot of it and brought it in and we took a look at it. There's some things that people have done with that game that I think are exemplary. He's done an awesome job actually of monster placement and creating combat scenarios where monsters tend to 'bleed in' from the outside, and take a combat situation that at first seemed like it was something you could handle, and then suddenly grows into something that is way out of hand! And it creates these really awesome moments. He came up with some really novel monster abilities and skills and stuff. It's a terrific example of a mod.
A lot of people will look at Diablo changes that we make sometimes and say "if you do that you'll ruin the game!", and then here's an example of somebody who's changed almost everything about Diablo II, but somehow preserved the game, you know, it still feels a lot like Diablo II! Even though lots of things have changed, including the health system -- things that are like, totally taboo, don't change that or it's over! And yet they did it. So that's a terrific example of exactly the kinds of forward thinking that we like. I don't know how he got half that stuff in there! In fact I went back and I asked one of the original artists on the game, how did he do that?! And they were like, I don't know! (laughs)

Modding Tips from Laz[edit | edit source]

1/ Start small. Don't attempt a total conversion as your first mod. You'll just give up when you're making no progress.

2/ Never release your first mod. You'll end up getting no downloads and quitting the mod business. I did release my first mod, and counted my lucky stars I released it under a different nickname 'just in case'. Look for D2 Inferno by Myokai to see why.

3/ Use the file guides, the tutorials and the forum search at You can learn so many things without having to post anything at all.

4/ Make sure you actually have the time to complete a mod. If your mod ends up cancelled due to lack of time, all the time you already invested in it is lost.

Related Links[edit | edit source]

Reference[edit | edit source]