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Save closed realm characters?
09-23-2014, 07:47 AM
Post: #1
Save closed realm characters?
It might be prudent to find a way to back these characters up before they're lost forever, when - not if - Battle.net finally shuts down. It may seem unthinkable after nearly 20 years of service, but all good things come to an end.

So I ask, does anyone know of a reputable utility that can essentially convert their closed realm characters to single player/open ones? My understanding of how Diablo II's innards work leads me to believe all the Battle.net only items exist in the SP game as well, but are simply deactivated so they don't drop. If so, I don't see why such a program couldn't exist, since all the equipment should be valid in SP.

I was reading around online and saw someone mention that such a utility supposedly does already exist, but I can't seem to find any trace of it after trying searches with various related keywords.

I apologize if this sounds like I'm asking about a D2 hack. I'm only inquiring if any utility exists for the sole purpose of making such a back up. Since I couldn't find any useful information on it elsewhere I thought it best to ask the experts.
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09-23-2014, 03:32 PM (This post was last modified: 09-23-2014 03:33 PM by Taem.)
Post: #2
RE: Save closed realm characters?
When you play on battle.net, your character belongs to Blizzard. I'm fairly certain you'd have to ask them before making copies of their property. Having said that, an old, old, old maphack had that feature built in, but you had to pay for this maphack version and once Blizzard caught wind someone was charging real money for a third party program that interacts with their software, they sued the absolute pants off of the creator and that maphack version vanished forever, as well as the ability to save realm characters. The irony here is most major corporations lost similar battles over 3rd party software, such as with Windows and IE, but a single hacker doesn't have the same legal representation as a huge class action lawsuit does.

"What good fortune it is for governments that the people they govern do not think." - Adolf Hitler
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09-25-2014, 08:00 AM
Post: #3
RE: Save closed realm characters?
Hi there, Taem.

(09-23-2014 03:32 PM)Taem Wrote:  When you play on battle.net, your character belongs to Blizzard. I'm fairly certain you'd have to ask them before making copies of their property.
I believe the storage of character files on their servers was meant as an anti-cheat mechanism, and not a means to claim ownership. And if Blizzard considered these files to be valuable property, the fact that they regularly erase them wouldn't support that claim well in court. Blizzard suffers no commercial loss by their deletion, just as they wouldn't by users making backups.

There's a saying I've found useful when considering the position of monolithic legal entities: "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission." Mind you, I'm not advocating breaking any law, but I'm pretty sure no law was written with the intention of consigning harmless, sentimental things to permanent destruction.

(09-23-2014 03:32 PM)Taem Wrote:  ...that maphack version vanished forever, as well as the ability to save realm characters
Did you mean that the only known tool that could do this was lost, or are you suggesting Blizzard somehow prevented anyone from ever copying Realm characters again? I'm guessing the former, since the latter isn't possible.
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09-26-2014, 01:00 AM
Post: #4
RE: Save closed realm characters?
(09-25-2014 08:00 AM)Belix Wrote:  
(09-23-2014 03:32 PM)Taem Wrote:  ...that maphack version vanished forever, as well as the ability to save realm characters
Did you mean that the only known tool that could do this was lost, or are you suggesting Blizzard somehow prevented anyone from ever copying Realm characters again? I'm guessing the former, since the latter isn't possible.

Definitely the former. That version (I'll PM you the name) would view your character data and output an exact copy. The principle is pretty simple; look at the necessary packets to determine inventory content and character stats, and create a duplicate. I have no doubts this program could be written now, but would have to be re-written with each new patch as offsets would change. It's also very likely this program would be detectable by Blizzard giving the potential to have your account banned, and possibly your cd-key. We will not discuss Warden circumvention measures on these forums, despite your well-meaning intentions.

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09-26-2014, 09:27 PM (This post was last modified: 09-26-2014 11:07 PM by Belix.)
Post: #5
RE: Save closed realm characters?
(09-26-2014 01:00 AM)Taem Wrote:  I have no doubts this program could be written now, but would have to be re-written with each new patch as offsets would change.
Patches are an unlikely concern at this point. Blizzard hasn't patched any of their old games for some time now, even though some of them have serious issues. StarCraft, for instance, currently has an exploit that allows malicious users to steal your CD-key through Battle.net game lobbies; Blizzard has known about this since 2009 at the latest. If they haven't issued a patch for something as serious as a key theft exploit in 5+ years...

Even more recently, it became possible for viruses to be distributed through StarCraft maps, and Blizzard still remains silent despite receiving e-mails about it through the proper channels they provide for reporting hacks.

(09-26-2014 01:00 AM)Taem Wrote:  It's also very likely this program would be detectable by Blizzard giving the potential to have your account banned, and possibly your cd-key.
I've never actually played Diablo II on Battle.net, so I don't have a personal stake here. In fact, that might make me an ideal person to develop a simple tool to allow local realm character saving. If my key gets banned, no skin off my nose.

My experience suggests Warden's attention is focused on very specific areas of their games that cheaters target. Unless Warden goes so far to actively scan for any process accessing Diablo II whatsoever, I don't anticipate detection. And that seems very unlikely, since I hear of all these Diablo II bots playing the game constantly to farm items - these are most certainly external processes reading memory from Diablo II.

EDIT: I get the impression there is some single function that exists in the game code that reads all of the character information and writes out a save file. Some testing has shown that the mechanism that saves the character file does -not- require a character file to exist first, since renaming the character during a single player game and exiting yields a new file with the appropriate name.

Backing up Realm characters may be as simple as manually invoking this save function while on Battle.net, but after digging around for awhile I have been unable to find it. Perhaps someone with more skill than I could locate the save function and figure out what parameters need to be passed to it to request Diablo II to save the current character at any time? This seems like it would be quite easy.

It would be better still if the dynamic name field read by the save function could be pinpointed, and the condition that prevents it from running on Battle.net disabled. If I had this information I could easily create a little program that makes D2 save a local copy of your Realm character each time you quit playing it (though care would need to be taken to watch out that you don't already have an existing local character with the same character name, or it would be overwritten).

I might investigate further on and off, but since I don't have any characters of my own to back up and I'm still new enough that this kind of thing is unnecessarily difficult for me, I'd rather spend my time elsewhere.

Hopefully I eventually figure it out, or this information leads someone to a solution...
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09-27-2014, 06:57 AM (This post was last modified: 09-27-2014 06:59 AM by Taem.)
Post: #6
RE: Save closed realm characters?
(09-26-2014 09:27 PM)Belix Wrote:  EDIT: I get the impression there is some single function that exists in the game code that reads all of the character information and writes out a save file. Some testing has shown that the mechanism that saves the character file does -not- require a character file to exist first, since renaming the character during a single player game and exiting yields a new file with the appropriate name.

On realms, the attacks and damage is calculated serverside, but the character data is clientside, however it's located in memory, not as a savefile. You seem like a pretty smart guy, I'm sure you can figure it out from there. As for the rest of this conversation, we can't have this conversation on these forums. You're getting into territory that may be construed as cheating, and that is not allowed on these forums, sorry. I advise you to check out some legitimate D2 modding sites, such as The Phrozen Keep. See my PM.

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09-27-2014, 07:34 AM
Post: #7
RE: Save closed realm characters?
(09-27-2014 06:57 AM)Taem Wrote:  I'm sure you can figure it out from there.
I figured it was likely a tool to do this already existed; I have no desire to create it myself (so many other things I'm much more inclined to spend time on), but I appreciate you offering your insight.

(09-27-2014 06:57 AM)Taem Wrote:  You're getting into territory that may be construed as cheating, and that is not allowed on these forums, sorry.
I'm only interested in exactly what I said in my first post. If I had any interest in cheating, the last place I would talk about it is in a forum full of people dedicated to exploring every facet of legitimate play.

Although, I'm not terribly optimistic anyone will contribute information about a working tool here now after the past several posts have thrown around words like lawsuits, Warden, and cheating. Tongue
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09-27-2014, 07:42 PM (This post was last modified: 09-27-2014 07:43 PM by Taem.)
Post: #8
RE: Save closed realm characters?
(09-27-2014 07:34 AM)Belix Wrote:  I'm only interested in exactly what I said in my first post. If I had any interest in cheating, the last place I would talk about it is in a forum full of people dedicated to exploring every facet of legitimate play.

Let me reiterate in case I was unclear, I have no doubt you've the best intentions. I actually enjoy discussing the mechanics behind games and would love to talk theory with you, however the information we'd disseminate could most definitely be used maliciously and to that end, despite the good intentions, I don't feel comfortable discussing the mechanics on this site. Take this for example:

Belix Wrote:Backing up Realm characters may be as simple as manually invoking this save function while on Battle.net, but after digging around for awhile I have been unable to find it. Perhaps someone with more skill than I could locate the save function and figure out what parameters need to be passed to it to request Diablo II to save the current character at any time? This seems like it would be quite easy.

Using this knowledge, once the packets are known, someone could find a way to edit certain aspects of a character so they save that way realmside. There are already attack animation speedhacks built from this premise alone, knowing that certain information is clientside and can be manipulated in memory. Discussing this in detail would give scriptkiddies the tools they need to do harm. I've seen it happen before. In addition, the only tool I'm aware of that is capable of doing what you'd like is built into a flagrant cheat tool, albeit for older patches. Perhaps if someone were to remove the realm saver from that tool, it could be discussed further on these forums, like Foxbat's graphic decelerator program, D2-Glide, and other such useful D2 programs.

So, my apologies that you feel my words may have negatively influenced others from contributing to this thread in a constructive manner, but I hope you understand better where I'm coming from.

"What good fortune it is for governments that the people they govern do not think." - Adolf Hitler
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09-28-2014, 04:23 AM
Post: #9
RE: Save closed realm characters?
Of course. I don't have any desire to empower anyone seeking to abuse Battle.net. Not that there's much of it left to abuse these days.

It's sad to think no similar utility may exist just because the one that was made got into a big mess due to other included 'features'... what a shame.
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