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Battle for Middle Earth II Heaven » Forums » Grey Havens (World Builder & Game Mods) » Resources/FAQ [Modding]
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Topic Subject:Resources/FAQ [Modding]
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Blood Phoenix
Redshirt
posted 03-21-06 04:27 PM EDT (US)         
ModdingResources

»Mod Help
As BFME2 continues to expand, the need for a help thread becomes essential. All modification questions would be best asked in here. These questions can be anything to do with the game, not just good old graphics. As questions continue to get asked, I'll make a mini database of them as an FAQ for quick reading.

Before you ask the same question I've heard time and time again which is, "how do I mod?", try using some of the tools and see if you can get the jist of it. There is a list of useful tutorials below to try out. If you have any links to tutorials or guides related to BFME2 modding, please give me a shout in here, and I'll get them up straight away!

»Mod FAQ

How can I edit reload time on special powers?
head into the relevant summoned.ini file and press ctrl+f. type in "lifetime" and keep pressing the enter key untill you get down to some numbers. Change these numbers to what you like.

Is it possible to change the distance a camera can zoom in/out?
Yes, and very easily also. Boot up gamedata.ini which is located in ini.big. However some people belive that in some campaigns/scenarios that another value takes priority. Currently I don't know the truth on this, but I'm looking into it.

What types of files can you expect to find when you're modding?
The main file type you encounter is .BIG. These are the compression files. The other main types you will come across are W3D (model files), INI (Configuration files) and TGA (Texture files).

What does .ini stand for?
.ini files are initialization files. It is a configuration file that contains data for Microsoft Windows applications.

What can be modified in the game graphically speaking? (i.e. skins, animations, models, effects, etc.)
We can currently edit the majority of the files. It is possible to import models and edit textures (this includes terrain textures), so a great deal is possible.

What's the poly (polygon) count for the average unit in the game?
Each unit has an individual standard poly count. However for standard units (pikemen, archers, etc.) you can probably expect around the 500 poly mark. For bigger units, the poly count is obviously going to increase. Your best bet is to import the model you want to edit, and check its count. Really there's no particular limit, however the game does struggle to handle lots of very large poly counts.

Can someone with a mod installed play someone else who doesn't have it?
You can play all mods online. If the mod involves code you and the other player will both need to have it installed. If it's a graphical mod (texture or model), the other player does not need to have it installed, however he will see the unit differently than you.

What does the BIG format stand for?
BIG files are specific to EA - they use it to hold their mod files: .big file description.

How do we open the .BIG files and how does the extractor work to allow you to see the contents?
You can extract the .BIG files using a program such as FinalBIG. A guide for doing this can be found here.

Where can I find a tutorial on editing BSE files?
An excellent tutorial which teaches about editing the BSE files can be found here! This generally covers creating a new faction, however it does teach the concepts you require.

"Making a new unit" means you're replacing an existing one? If yes, is there any known way to add a new unit?
You can add new models to the game, however this does require code modifications. An easier option is to replace model files already in existence.

Can you place a unit on top of a horse?
It is possible. However, I'm not totally sure on how to do it as I've not done it myself before. However, I would suspect you would need new animation and positioning model files, which at present we cannot edit. Also you would need to edit code, which could get nasty with online play. However, if you're more of an off-liner, it's well worth it.

What file format does BFME2 use for its models?
FME2 uses W3D file formats. There are various importers/exporters located in the modding resources thread. A prime tool for new modders would be Gmax, as you can edit the models in it and it's free. You can find gmax here.

W3D formats? As in .w3d or as in .wings files?
w3d files. However, I would suspect you will be able to find an importer for wings.

What image format does BFMEII use for textures?
BFME2 uses a TGA file format for images most often. The textures can be located in the texture.BIG files.

Does it UV map properly when in use of higher-resolution textures?
UV mapping works fine for higher res textures. Also, most heroes have 512x512 pixels textures anyway, so there shouldn't be a problem.

What are regular texture sizes for standard units?
128 or 256, it varies. For war trolls etc it can be 512 or higher.

How do you add new abilities to units?
Basically you need several things make up a new ability, you need a ability timer, upgrade level trigger, new command button, the command button in the unit's command set, weapon itself, and the add modules to the object, and the FX and FX list. Some abilities cannot be easily switched as they involve special animations.

Regarding the future of modding with BFME2: Is it worth getting started in modding?
Getting started with BFME2 modding is well worth it. There's going to be such a long list of possibilities and options eventually, I would suspect it's going to become one of the top games to mod. I suspect in the near future we can expect some total conversion projects to boot up, as well as lots of new units. My advice would be to get stuck in now, and reap the rewards later on .

»Mod Central

BFME2 Specific Tutorials
Mini Guide Series: The .BIG Files
Mini Guide Series: CSF Files
Mini Guide Series: Installing Mods - The three roads
Mini Guide Series: Importing Models - 3D Studio Max
The -Mod Command

LOTR Skinning Tutorials
Texturing A Gondorian Shield
Clothe - Introduction and Leather | Part 2
Scale Mail

BFME2(/1) Tools
BIG Editor
CSF Editor
Asset Builder 2.0
Gil-Galad's Particle System Editor
Note: I have not tested all these tools yet with BFME2, however I have been informed they work.

Viewers/Plugins
Photoshop DDS Plugin
Windows TGA Viewer
RenX - Gmax Model Plugin
ChilliSkinner - Gmax Skinning Plugin
W3D Gmax/3dsMax Importer Plugin
XnView Image Viewer

Useful Free Graphical Tools
Paint.Net (2D)
GIMP (2D)
Gmax (3D)
Wings (3D)

Recommended Costly Graphical Tools
Studio Max 8 (3D)
Maya (3D)
Photoshop (2D)
Paint Shop Pro (2D)

»Finishing Off
Any contributions are welcome to thread, and will help us greatly. If you find anything useful or interesting, don't hesitate to tell us .


B L O O D P H O E N I X
Lurking at HG since 2004

[This message has been edited by BP (edited 12-12-2006 @ 03:51 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
QuantumMechanic
Dúnadan
posted 06-26-06 11:25 AM EDT (US)     51 / 89       
Oh, don't be stingy, jbv3737! It would only work if someone else had the same mod anyway. Let's say, saviour, that it's an elf you want to change - the file is data\ini\createaherosystemarcher.inc in the ini file. There's a similar file for each CAH type. Find the sub-class you want to make the change to, then the line that says SpendableAttributePoints = 30 (or 25 for the wizards). This is what you need to change. Using the MaxValueAttribute lines further down, you could probably push this even further.

If you have thought up some way of somehow getting your superpowered CAH into an online game, I implore thee - repent, REPENT!


~ Signature closed for refurbishment ~

BILL POSTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED

jbv3737
Dúnadan
posted 06-29-06 01:27 AM EDT (US)     52 / 89       
lol,
all the cah have the same abillity moodules, so if u made ur self a mod, then made ur hero the way u wanted it, then go back to default version form it will be a cheat hero :P
QuantumMechanic
Dúnadan
posted 06-29-06 02:25 AM EDT (US)     53 / 89       
Shhh! I thought so to, but in case they hadn't I didn't want to give them the idea too - oh, never mind

~ Signature closed for refurbishment ~

BILL POSTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED

Serrty
Dúnadan
posted 06-29-06 07:39 PM EDT (US)     54 / 89       
where can I find the relevent summoned.ini file to edit the refresh times of my powers. I extracted the .BIG file but cant find it. I also searched it for summoned.ini and didnt get anything.

[This message has been edited by Serrty (edited 06-29-2006 @ 10:04 PM).]

MightyFireball
Dúnadan
posted 03-28-07 05:29 PM EDT (US)     55 / 89       
I'm sorry for not knowing this and it's probably been asked before, but I couldn't find it. What folder do you put a downloaded mod in to get it to run with the game?

Smoke Rings Award Winner
Chill with me.
MR ANCALAGON
Dúnadan
(id: Ancalagon_4554)
posted 03-28-07 05:33 PM EDT (US)     56 / 89       
It should contain instructions, or a readme file. I'd follow those. If it doesn't contain those, then go to Program Files / Electronic Arts / LOTR:BFME2 - The folder isn't really named this.

You'll see a ini.big file. Backup the file and then replace it with the mod file.

MightyFireball
Dúnadan
posted 03-28-07 05:50 PM EDT (US)     57 / 89       
All righty then. Will do. Thanks for the clarification.

Smoke Rings Award Winner
Chill with me.
Stokeworth
Dúnadan
posted 04-04-07 00:22 AM EDT (US)     58 / 89       
is there any way to re-pack .big files? i've looked all over the internet and came up with nothing.
MR ANCALAGON
Dúnadan
(id: Ancalagon_4554)
posted 04-04-07 04:22 PM EDT (US)     59 / 89       
Use FinalBig.
Stokeworth
Dúnadan
posted 04-04-07 08:59 PM EDT (US)     60 / 89       
you can't edit .inc files with finalbig, so you have to edit them w/ notpad after you unpack them w/ finalbig.

i'm trying to re-pack them after un-packing them...

Scotty the Fallen
Dúnadan
posted 04-04-07 09:18 PM EDT (US)     61 / 89       
You can edit them in fact, just press a key on an ini file and FinalBig will prompt you to enter edit mode.

Scotty the Fallen | One-time Angel Reincarnate, and Former BFME2H and TWH Downloads administrator, and BFME2 Strategy Administrator.
"And I shall go softly into the night, taking my dreams, as will you." - EoJ
"Scotty's probably the only forumer here who can make every post a defiant claim of his own superiority." - Atzy
Stokeworth
Dúnadan
posted 04-04-07 09:52 PM EDT (US)     62 / 89       
you can edit .ini files. not .inc files.
Scotty the Fallen
Dúnadan
posted 04-04-07 10:02 PM EDT (US)     63 / 89       
Oh my bad.

Scotty the Fallen | One-time Angel Reincarnate, and Former BFME2H and TWH Downloads administrator, and BFME2 Strategy Administrator.
"And I shall go softly into the night, taking my dreams, as will you." - EoJ
"Scotty's probably the only forumer here who can make every post a defiant claim of his own superiority." - Atzy
Smeagolfan24
WICH Fanfic Moderator
posted 04-04-07 10:25 PM EDT (US)     64 / 89       
What are .inc files?

.:|Smeagol|:.
World in Conflict Heaven Cherub
Battle For Middle-earth II Heaven Replay Reviewer and Ledgend

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness.
Oh, I would have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life...
Scotty the Fallen
Dúnadan
posted 04-04-07 10:38 PM EDT (US)     65 / 89       
I think what they are are Hardcoded .ini files, which you need to extract with FinalBig before you can edit them.

Scotty the Fallen | One-time Angel Reincarnate, and Former BFME2H and TWH Downloads administrator, and BFME2 Strategy Administrator.
"And I shall go softly into the night, taking my dreams, as will you." - EoJ
"Scotty's probably the only forumer here who can make every post a defiant claim of his own superiority." - Atzy
Stokeworth
Dúnadan
posted 04-05-07 05:30 PM EDT (US)     66 / 89       
they are. but how do i get them BACK in after i extract them?

[This message has been edited by Stokeworth (edited 04-05-2007 @ 05:31 PM).]

Smeagolfan24
WICH Fanfic Moderator
posted 04-05-07 07:28 PM EDT (US)     67 / 89       
Won't FINALBig pack them back up?

.:|Smeagol|:.
World in Conflict Heaven Cherub
Battle For Middle-earth II Heaven Replay Reviewer and Ledgend

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness.
Oh, I would have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life...
Stokeworth
Dúnadan
posted 04-06-07 12:07 PM EDT (US)     68 / 89       
if it can, i don't know how.

once you unpack it i have no idea how to get it back.

MR ANCALAGON
Dúnadan
(id: Ancalagon_4554)
posted 04-06-07 08:54 PM EDT (US)     69 / 89       
Adding the file back?
Stokeworth
Dúnadan
posted 04-08-07 08:24 PM EDT (US)     70 / 89       
but how? i've extracted the file and edited it. when i open filabig, i can't find anywhere to "add" a file.
NotoriousJB
Dúnadan
posted 04-09-07 01:42 PM EDT (US)     71 / 89       
i know i am a noob at this.. but how would i go on adding the Dunedain rangers to the archery range for Gondor? or any other barracks?

Also, how would i edit the amount of units in each horde. I tried adding 15, but the remaining units are stuck at the entrance of the barracks and never move, and the original 5 move on.

help?

Commander Deviss
Dúnadan
posted 04-09-07 10:06 PM EDT (US)     72 / 89       
check out T3A they've got some great tutorials one being for that very question. Hey BP or anyone else who can help. ive asked this on many forums and never get any answer. just wondering how would i go about making it so that at a certain level say level 5 a hero will change its costume eg. the witchking changes from normal nazgul robes to his armour at level 5 like gandalf changes from grey to white.

"And in the end, as the darkness takes me, I am nothing."
C2S: Confederacy to Seperatists
C2S BETA 1.0 out now
JCW KOTOR MODS
SWGBH | BFMEH
NotoriousJB
Dúnadan
posted 04-10-07 09:56 PM EDT (US)     73 / 89       
the tuts arent up yet
Commander Deviss
Dúnadan
posted 04-11-07 00:18 AM EDT (US)     74 / 89       
here i copied this before the tutorials went http://www.megaupload.com/?d=2ISQVO9D

"And in the end, as the darkness takes me, I am nothing."
C2S: Confederacy to Seperatists
C2S BETA 1.0 out now
JCW KOTOR MODS
SWGBH | BFMEH
NotoriousJB
Dúnadan
posted 04-11-07 08:19 PM EDT (US)     75 / 89       
I tried following the tut, but whenever i try to create the rohan fighters, it makes gondor ones. it selects both gondor and rohan fighters and makes on gondor fighter horde.

why?

[This message has been edited by NotoriousJB (edited 04-11-2007 @ 10:49 PM).]

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