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Bell Moddin' Questions

Howdy!

I literally grew  up playing WC2 and am  spending some of my covid seclusion reconnecting to some age old dreams I had for a WC2 custom campaign.

Was wondering if anyone here has experience editing the Dat file via WarDraft of bnet edition WC2? End goal is trying to develop some custom ai behaviors. I've read up on this series, and it all makes well enough sense to me.

Unfortunately, WarDraft errors out with a 113 error when I load the mainDat file. If it helps, I'm using the GOG version of WC2, unsure if they edited the Dat file at all to make that work.

Hey @bell

Welcome to War2USA! 🙂

I don't know tech stuff, but I've let the computer genius people of War2USA know about your question so hopefully they have an answer for you soon.

 

First I would reccommend not using the gog version for anything.

It is 99.99% the same as the standard 2.02 version except it has a few bytes inserted into the start of the data section to support their servers. This moves the entire rest of the data section so no values there are where any mods expect them to be.

I've never really used WarDraft, but IIRC you need to use it with the original DOS (pre BNE) version of maindat.war.

To edit the BNE ai I think you need to open war2dat.mpq and extract ai.bin then open that with wardraft, then put it back (or in patch.mpq) to use it.

Not an expert on wardraft, its a really old app.

 

hf =D

Thanks for the quick replies! I worked it out tonight, and am up and running. Totally correct Lambchops. Tried it with WarCombat and am good to go.

War2dat.mpq seems to include most of the games data. I don't suppose there's any good writeups on what other things might be editable from that file without corrupting the file? Editing the ai does most of what I'd like, but am curious if anyone's done stuff like:

  • Editing heroes or unit names
  • Editing portraits (I've seen tilesets get tweaked, seems like this would be doable?)
  • Manipulating a units spells
  • Changing a Player color pallet
  • Changing cheat codes
  • Increasing the default max values for costs (i.e. making dragons cost 3000, or take longer than 255 ticks)

Would be dope to mess with a Zuljin so that he had a faster attack rate, and also had Bloodlust, for example!

 

@bell

We have a modding channel in our Discord where people have shared what they've done with Warcraft 2, things like edit the landscape and background and trees and buildings.

@Incos is one of the modders. Yes, player colors have also been played with by some users in the past.

I'd invite you to join our Discord channel here: https://discord.gg/NqXcshF

If I see you in there I'll give you access to the modding channel.

You're also invited to game with us evenings of EST time zone and we welcome all skill level players. 🙂

Name strings should be pretty easy to find. The portraits are stored in a single .grp file (one frame for each portrait). I wrote a little app to edit palettes when someone else was doing stuff like this a few years ago (attached). Manipulating spells or changing cheat codes would be exe mod territory, as would be increasing unit stats beyond what the PUD file format can accommodate.

I'm not really the best person to ask about the way things are stored in the mpqs, other people know more... maybe Incos can help?

 

Uploaded files:
hf =D
Quote from Bell on May 6, 2020, 1:43 am

Thanks for the quick replies! I worked it out tonight, and am up and running. Totally correct Lambchops. Tried it with WarCombat and am good to go.

War2dat.mpq seems to include most of the games data. I don't suppose there's any good writeups on what other things might be editable from that file without corrupting the file? Editing the ai does most of what I'd like, but am curious if anyone's done stuff like:

  • Editing heroes or unit names
  • Editing portraits (I've seen tilesets get tweaked, seems like this would be doable?)
  • Manipulating a units spells
  • Changing a Player color pallet
  • Changing cheat codes
  • Increasing the default max values for costs (i.e. making dragons cost 3000, or take longer than 255 ticks)

Would be dope to mess with a Zuljin so that he had a faster attack rate, and also had Bloodlust, for example!

 

@bell

This should be decent start for you. You inspired me to move over most of my discovered information.

http://war2usa.com/index.php/forums/topic/welcome-read-first/#postid-1267

Thanks! Tupac Administrator

Oh gosh, thanks TuPaC! That's proved really useful.

& thanks Lambchops. That demystified the pallets really well, tool is easy enough to use!

When it comes to editing icons, I'm curious what the best options are for converting that .PNG into a .GRP file? Started making some custom ones for ships earlier can't wait to test it out. Attaching the work-in-progresses for the heck of it.

I'm going  to test out the Custom Unit tutorial tomorrow, using existing assets to just try and make a Elven Destroyer Hero unit! Depending on how that goes, will see if I can get Zuljin working with Bloodlust.

Uploaded files:
  • sprite-rough.jpg