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Grey Havens (World Builder & Game Mods)
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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:
MR ANCALAGON
Dúnadan
(id: Ancalagon_4554)
posted 04-16-07 06:52 PM EDT (US)     76 / 89       
This is the wrong place for this discussion. Start your own topic.
Haldir_FTW
Dúnadan
posted 04-17-07 07:52 PM EDT (US)     77 / 89       
Great Job! Must say, you are the wind beneath my wings! CAn't wait to start modding!
Maereandil
Dúnadan
posted 07-20-07 10:43 AM EDT (US)     78 / 89       
Question: Can i change the music of Bfme2?
I really love the music and i really want to change the music, but if i can do it, is it for the beginning modder, or more an advanced aspect?
Thanks!

"Fat hobbit is also so polyte. Smeagol shows them ways, nobody else can find, and they say: sneak! very nice friend, my precious, very nice friend."
"You just scared me, that's all. What were you doing anyway?"
"Sneaking...."
Kenushi
Dúnadan
posted 01-07-08 03:31 PM EDT (US)     79 / 89       
Just to come back at the hero attribute thingy, when you change back .ini file so that you can play online with other players your extra attribute points seem to disappear,, does anyone has any suggestions about how to avoid this? not for cheating purposes fcourse just figuratively speaking
tictic
Dúnadan
posted 03-08-08 09:06 PM EDT (US)     80 / 89       
I've had success in increasing the zoom out for Battle for Middle-earth 2:

Thanks to Blood Phoenix I got started and after unpacking maps.big (see instructions in this article for those just googling) had to unfortunately edit the map files individually in the world editor. You can edit the map setting and raise the max zoom out there. I do not recommend past 800 as cut-scenes are affected and the fog increases too much at that point.

Make sure you backup your original maps.big, and put it somewhere else, so that the game only looks in the newly unpacked & edited maps folder. Otherwise it will default to the maps.big file.

There thankfully aren't that many maps to edit. If I have time I will make the edits for all maps and post it.

Thanks to Spartan and Steve Campen for getting me started as well.

[This message has been edited by tictic (edited 03-08-2008 @ 09:24 PM).]

theodoric13
Dúnadan
posted 05-12-08 02:52 PM EDT (US)     81 / 89       
Hi i am new on moding i had downloaded all the programms that i need to make a mod.If i need help for something(that i will need some help) can i am based on everyone of you dudes?Also my best regards for everyone making mods for bfme2 and rotwk keep doing such a good jod.
Greetings
Theodoric
PS.I think now it's time for someone in Greece to start making mods excpect if began some other already.

For the West Side!
Megasaw
Dúnadan
posted 05-14-08 10:18 AM EDT (US)     82 / 89       
I would like to put in some more terrain textures for Worldbuilder. Is this possible, and if so, how can I do it?
Kingeragon007b
Dúnadan
posted 06-06-08 08:33 PM EDT (US)     83 / 89       
Hello im making a map mod so people can play a mod on just a map and then refresh again after.

So i want to create a new units.
One being rohan swordsmen. so i want to use the gondor captain as the model but make him into like 12 people for a horde.

Can u tell me how to do this?
ive tryed all kinds of things but none have worked yet.
ive tryed child objects and ive tryed just changing the SKN and animations for gondor fighters, but none have worked.

This is the last thing i tryed: but it doesnt work

ChildObject GondorFighterHorde GondorCaptain

AddModule
Behavior = HordeContain ModuleTag_HordeContain
ObjectStatusOfContained =
InitialPayload = GondorCaptain 12 ;GOOD_MEN_GIANT_HORDE_SIZE
Slots = 12;15
PassengerFilter = NONE +INFANTRY
ShowPips = No
ThisFormationIsTheMainFormation = Yes;Used to determine which armorset to use (and anything else we want!)
RandomOffset = X:2 Y:2
MeleeBehavior = Amoeba

End

; Banner Carrier info
BannerCarriersAllowed= RohanBanner
BannerCarrierPosition= UnitType:RohanArcherPos:X:70.0 Y:0.0

RankInfo = RankNumber:1 UnitType:GondorCaptain Position:X:27 Y:1Position:X:30 Y:18Position:X:28 Y:-21

Position:X:30 Y:38
RankInfo = RankNumber:2 UnitType:GondorCaptain Position:X:9 Y:2Position:X:8 Y:19Position:X:10 Y:-22

Position:X:11 Y:39
RankInfo = RankNumber:3 UnitType:GondorCaptain Position:X:-10 Y:-1Position:X:-12 Y:22Position:X:-10 Y:-18

Position:X:-11 Y:40

RanksToReleaseWhenAttacking = 1
MeleeAttackLeashDistance = 25;
End
End

End


can someone plz help me with this?

thanks,

Kingeragon007
EtherEel
Dúnadan
posted 02-02-09 11:24 PM EDT (US)     84 / 89       
HEY !!
No one ever answered Stokeworth's question.

I'm at the same impasse -- I've managed to crack open the ini.big and edit the desired parts...

NOW, how do I recompress this collection of .ini and .inc subfiles (packaged together in a file named simply "ini") back into the required .big file ???

Ahhhhhhhh........... just found out:
just move/copy and drag it into an open/blank FinalBIG file...err, the left side. Then it pops-up with "This file already exists -- do you want to save blah-blah-blah". Pick "YES".

--------------

Well, the game doesn't seem to appreciate my editing. Ah well, back to the drawing board


--EE/kft

[This message has been edited by EtherEel (edited 02-03-2009 @ 01:49 AM).]

michaelspar
Dúnadan
posted 08-11-10 01:15 AM EDT (US)     85 / 89       
"Hello im making a map mod so people can play a mod on just a map and then refresh again after."

Thanks for creating the map mod, players can play their choice.

Learning Italian And Studying Art & Design

[This message has been edited by michaelspar (edited 08-24-2010 @ 00:01 AM).]

hussey
Banned
posted 08-25-10 02:21 AM EDT (US)     86 / 89       

Very well explained. I would like to say that it is very interesting to read your post. i will come again this forum site as soon as possible

Term Papers
Arklay
Dúnadan
posted 11-14-13 11:07 AM EDT (US)     87 / 89       
People, is there a way to disable friendly damage? I mean, when I summon a dragon, can I make my units invulnerable to his flames?
NazgulLord
Dúnadan
posted 03-11-16 09:30 PM EDT (US)     88 / 89       
Where is the World Builder download?
Gotyam
Dúnadan
posted 04-20-16 08:58 AM EDT (US)     89 / 89       
Hi, I am a bit new to worldbuilding, but I am wonderwing whether or not I can make a building NOT in the WOR section of the worldbuilder a fortress (say I want to make a Gondor Barracks my fortress). How can I do that?
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