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Thread: A few questions from a beginner modder

  1. #1

    A few questions from a beginner modder

    A few of potentially stupid questions from a beginner modder (and please note that I'm writing things from my memory, I don't have access to my main computer now, so there might be some errors in the folder paths or such):

    1.) I'm making my first simple mod. The first test version includes only an empty map and two imported database records (monster pool .dbr files). When I build the mod in Art Manager, the *modname*.arz database archive is built into "...My Games\Titan Quest Immortal Throne\custommods\*modname*\database" folder as it should be, but in addition to the .arz file, the .dbr files used in the mod are copied to separate folders according to their path in the mod's database (resources...). The .dbr files are already inside the *modname*.arz file, so why does Art Manager copy the .dbr files to the folder separately? Am I doing something wrong or is that normal?

    And, can I safely delete those "extra" copies of the .dbr files (because the .dbr files already are inside the .arz file)?

    2.) This one has been asked a lot of times, but I just want to confirm something. It's about the "mod that bounces you back to the main character selection screen, so that you can use your regular TQIT characters with (such as xmax etc.)" thing. I've undersetood that all that this method requires is to create an empty map, as in create a new world but don't add or change anything in it, and then save it (please correct me if I'm wrong with this).

    That "bounce back method"/using an empty map seems to work just fine, but it has such temporary workaround feeling to it. Is that really the only easy and effective way to create a mod which you can play through the "Play Custom Quest" menu with your regular TQIT characters?

    3.) In Art Manager, there is (iirc) Build menu and there is Build (F7) button. Then there's another menu (can't remember which), where is another "Build" button (no F7 keyboard shortcut shown for it). What's the difference between these two Build buttons? Is the Build->Build(F7) button always enough, or is there some situation where I would need the other Build button inside the other menu?

    Thanks in advance for any possible replies. And my apologies, I should have put the question in as the 4th question in this thread, it would have fit the thread topic quite well.
    Last edited by justdownloading; 05-08-2012 at 07:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Olympian God Violos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    1) That is normal. I suppose they are copied first, then compressed. And yes, you can delete them.
    In fact, you should never forget doing that when you release your mod. Otherwise it will be about 10 times as large as it has to be.

    2) You can import your regular characters into the custom mod area and use their copies there.
    The reasons in favour of using a bounce-back map (which you can also take from any mod that has one) are others, like seeing new items properly and avoiding the necessity to triple-load. But it is not necessary.

    3) Any build will do. Except the right-click menu one, which only builds the selected file.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply. That makes my mind more at ease.

    Just that I don't understand what you mean with 2) -> "like seeing new items properly and avoiding the necessity to triple-load". But I understand that basically it's just good to use the good old "bounce-back map"(i.e. an empty map), which is what everyone else is also using.

    Then I would have another thing to ask about. Templates. I know that there are already many posts/threads about the "missing templates", but I would just like to confirm that I have understood the template stuff correctly. (This is with TQIT 1.17a which should include the "new" TQIT Templates. OS = Windows 7.)

    By default, Art Manager extracts the templates file from the Templates.arc in the TQIT install folder into the following folder (this happens the first time Art Manager is started, and on demand by using Help -> Install Templates button):
    C:\Users\*username*\Documents\My Games\Titan Quest - Immortal Throne\Working\Database\

    However, that seems to be wrong. Art Manager was still complaining about missing templates when trying to edit records. From what I have understood from a few posts here and there on these forums, the template files should go into:
    C:\Users\*username*\Documents\My Games\Titan Quest - Immortal Throne\Working\Database\Templates\

    This is what I did anyway. I moved all the template files (and folders) from ...Database\ into ...Database\Templates\, and the Art Manager didn't complain about missing templates anymore; record editing seemes to work just fine.

    I saw that ASYLUM101 posted that he has the templates in both of the aforementioned folders, i.e. these:
    C:\Users\*username*\Documents\My Games\Titan Quest - Immortal Throne\Working\Database\
    C:\Users\*username*\Documents\My Games\Titan Quest - Immortal Throne\Working\Database\Templates\

    However, from what I have understood (although I don't know how much I have understood), it's enough to have the templates only in the Templates folder (assuming you are using the default paths in Art Manager). Or is there some difference? Do I understand all this right or wrong or something in-between?

    (Alternatively - now I'm just guessing, as I didn't really test this myself - I assume that instead of moving the template files into ...Database\Templates\, one could just add the following folder into the Additional browse directories:
    C:\Users\user01\Documents\My Games\Titan Quest - Immortal Throne\Working\Database
    And then maybe Art Manager would could find the template files from ...\Database\?)

    Also, about the paths in Art Manager. I assume that the 3 first paths are fine with the default values, but, about the Additional browse directories. I have it set at:
    *drive letter*:\Games\THQ\Titan Quest\
    I.e., the TQ (not IT) installation folder, so that Art Manager can load both the TQ database in addition to the TQIT database. I noticed that by doing this, it's possible to browse the database resources from both TQ and TQIT at the same time in Art Manager, as in they show as combined in Art Manager, which is handy.

    Does it seem I understand that correctly? And should I add some other paths too? I saw people mentioning other paths too (something like the Art Manager Working directory etc.), but is there any need for any additional Additional browse directories, and if yes, why?
    Last edited by justdownloading; 05-08-2012 at 12:38 PM.

  4. #4
    Telkine spectre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Where all deleted files come to rest...
    Concerning 2): I always use the map from the xmax mod while testing. Just copy it over to your mod...

    Concerning 5): You got that right, I think...(It's the setup I use, and I didn't notice any problems )
    Avatar by: donut3.5

    My Patchfix for Fanpatch 1.17

    ~~ "Many Kings. Many Empires. Many Gods. Many Gods. All Gone. All Things Go." ~~
    - Anghammarad, "Going Postal" by Terry Pratchett

  5. #5
    Olympian God Violos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    4) I suppose it is enough to have them in /templates, though to be safe just leave them in both.

    Personally I get errors when deleting the "wrong" ones, but partially that may be because I manually selected them upon making new skill records.

  6. #6
    Olympian God ASYLUM101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    It's normal, you can remove the extra stuff UNLESS you imported custom content like animations or models, in which case you MUST leave them in the folder. (unless you're doing really complex modding, you don't have to worry about that, see my mod for custom models)

    Bounceback, just copy the xmax map, or open the map editor, create a new map, SAVE the new map (don't make anything, just name it then save and quit) and viola you have your own bounceback.

    What purpose is there for making your own? Not much, you can create the name you want, but it's not important, i think you can just rename the xmax map.

    Don't worry about there being XMAX mobs in your game, it's a separate file.

    F7 is enough. For the archive build, that's for complex modding, if you're gonna use custom content, in which case when you use the archive build, it builds the stuff from your compiled mod into your working mod.

    It's enough to JUST have them in the database folder I think. I have them in both because of something silly I did a long time ago and couldn't figure out why it wasn't working, ended up making the other directory and it worked, no idea why.

    For paths, I have
    (wherever I abbreviate TQIT replace with what you've seen in your own directories)
    Working; the working folder in my docs, (my docs/my games/tqit/working)
    Build: the one where your mod builds to, (my docs/mygames/tqit/)
    Tools: the one where your game files are located for IT, (for steam its *drive*/steam/steamapps/common/TQIT/)
    Additional: this is where the AM FINDS files from, I have my TQ install directory here(for steam its *drive*/steam/steamapps/common/TQ/) and my extracted files (Documents\My Games\TQIT\Working\custommaps\*stuff*)

    I don't see a reason to put more, but you can if you want to browse mod directories too, you just need to extract them. (but please don't rip mod stuff unless you give credit and ask for permission)
    |ASYLUMSMOD|SageGuide|ThaneGuide|BattlemageHelp|TemplarHelp|EvokerGuide|How to Mod TQIT|
    Please do not PM me asking for modding help or help fixing your game!!! Create a topic!

  7. #7
    Olympian God Violos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    UNLESS you imported custom content like animations or models, in which case you MUST leave them in the folder.
    I just archive those into their own .arc with a batch file... do they even work when "loose"?

  8. #8
    Olympian God ASYLUM101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    |ASYLUMSMOD|SageGuide|ThaneGuide|BattlemageHelp|TemplarHelp|EvokerGuide|How to Mod TQIT|
    Please do not PM me asking for modding help or help fixing your game!!! Create a topic!

  9. #9
    Thanks a lot for informative replies. Now almost all of my uncertainties about beginning to mod TQIT have been cleared.

    Regarding 4.), I have the templates only in ...Working\Database\Templates\ (I moved them from the Database into Templates folder), so my ...Working\Database\ folder is empty, except for the Templates folder in it, and, everything seems to work fine that way. So I guess I'll just keep it that way.

    Also, about this slightly wrongly named thread. Does anyone know about that? I'm using the Templates.arc that came with TQIT 1.17a, as it was mentioned in the fanpatch release notes that updated templates was added for modders, so I assume this is the up-to-date one. However it contains more files than the templates file that's originally from chooch (ex Iron Lore employee), so I'm wondering why is that.

    Then, some babbling:

    I'm making a mod for farming for my own use. (Edit: I removed wrong and possibly misleading information from here.)

    My goal is to keep my farming mod as "clean" as possible, as in not altering drop rates or difficulty, and only making some farming targets spawn in larger quantities. Also I wanted to create the mod from scratch, using the unmodified TQIT 1.17a files as the source, that way making sure that everything that I don't modify is exactly like it is in the unmodified game. So far I only increased the number of Gorgon queens' spawning, and I'm planning to do the same for Troglodyte pools in Hades, as well as increase their chance to spawn champions (yellow) and perhaps Heroes. I may add some other farming targets too.

    The second thing that I'm including in the mod is changing yellow items to white (filterable). I learned that by checking m4ssboss3s mod's "commonaffixes" property. That commonaffixes mod was originally made by another user here, and instead of just copying that mod, I wanted to learn how that mod was made and re-create it myself. After doing some file comparison and also searching info on these forums, I found out it's done simply by changing the itemClassification of an affix from Magical to Common (and also changing the Unhindered, Unconstrained and Unshackled into Rare affixes, so they show as green). So, after some mass-replacing (Notepad++ works well for this purpose) I had my own re-creation of the commonaffixes mod. Curiously though, after doing a comparison of all the files (WinMerge = gg) with the original commonaffixes mod, all the files were identical, except for one, just one. The file is "defensive_resistmulti_lightningcold_03.dbr". In that file, my version, as well as the original one from TQIT 1.17a, do not include this line:
    Whereas the same file from the commonaffixes mod does have that line. From what I understand, that line doesn't make any difference whatsoever, because it's a zero value anyway. Just that it's curious how come that is the only difference in that mod and my re-creation of the mod based on the original TQIT 1.17a files (the same line is "missing" in the unmodified file too).

    That's enough babbling for now - edit: for this post I mean; I'd still appreciate any possible replies. Thanks for the help again.
    Last edited by justdownloading; 05-26-2012 at 03:46 PM. Reason: removed some wrong information

  10. #10
    Ok now I think I understand a couple of things more.

    Templates directory. The Templates.arc from TQ 1.30 (not IT) installation folder contains TEMPLATES folder, and that's where all the actual template files are.

    The Templates.arc file from TQIT 1.17a installation folder does NOT contain a "templates" folder, as in the template files reside directly in the root of the TQIT 1.17a Templates.arc file.

    So I am assuming that if Art Manager would extract the Templates.arc file from TQ, a folder called "TEMPLATES" would be created inside the Working\Database\ folder, and the template files would be inside that folder.

    All that suggests that IF the TQIT 1.17a Templates.arc file would be so that all the template files would be under a "templates" (the folders are case insensitive, so doesn't matter if uppercase or lowercase) folder, instead of being directly in the root of the archive, Art Manager would then extract the Templates.arc file so that all the template files would be inside Working\Database\Templates\.

    So, that would seem to quite perfectly explain why Art Manager seems to copy the Templates.arc file's contents into a seemingly "wrong" directory (when using the fanpatch 1.17a at least) - it's because the "templates" folder is missing from the Templates.arc. Seems perfectly logical to me, although I cannot say that for sure of course because I didn't actually test that. But AFAIK, Art Manager simply extracts the whole Templates.arc file into the Working\Database\ folder, so if there is no Templates folder inside the Templates.arc file, the template files go directly to the Database\ folder, in which case the Templates folder should be created manually and the files moved there.

    Another thing, about the TQIT templates: One that chooch released, and one that comes with the fanpatch. By doing file comparing, I found out the following:
    The fanpatch TQIT (1.17a) Templates.arc file is made by combining the regular TQ (1.30, not IT) Templates.arc file's contents with the TQIT templates provided by chooch, so that the TQIT templates overwrite any files of the same name. Only thing is that the fanpatch Templates.arc file doesn't contain the folder "templates", instead all the template files are in the root of the archive. "Mystery" solved, yey. : P

    In other words, to demonstrate the test/comparison:
    1. Extract the TQ Templates.arc into a folder called "combined" for example.
    2. Extract the separately downloadable TQIT templates (I mean the ones provided by chooch, NOT the ones that come with the fanpatch) inside the same folder ("combined"), so that the TQ template files are overwritten by the TQIT ones.
    3. Not all of the files will be overwritten, because TQ's Templates.arc includes some files which TQIT's templates do not include.
    4. Extract the Templates.arc file that came with the TQIT fanpatch (I used the one from 1.17a) into another directory, for example "fanpatch".
    5. Compare the two folders. "combined" and "fanpatch" in this case.
    6. Both folders will have the same number of files and folders (exclude the "TEMPLATES" folder in the "combined" one, because the fanpatch's Templates.arc file doesn't have that folder, instead the files are in the root of the archive, as mentioned earlier).
    7. Both folders will have the exact same file contents.
    8. Profit. Well not really, but peace of mind.


    Conclusion: The Templates.arc that comes with TQIT fanpatch 1.17a, is more "complete" than the templates released by chooch, because the fanpatch one includes the missing template files from regular TQ 1.30, i.e. it includes the TQIT templates + the templates from TQ which are not included in the TQIT templates.

    I do not know is there any situation where the TQ templates which are missing from chooch's TQIT templates would make any difference to the functioning of Art Manager, but I rather use the more complete package, which - as explained before - means the TQIT Templates.arc that comes with the 1.17a fanpatch, or, if you want, combine the TQ templates with the TQIT ones from chooch, so that the TQIT ones overwrite the TQ ones.

    (I also updated my thread where I was asking about the difference between the TQIT templates.)
    Last edited by justdownloading; 05-10-2012 at 05:39 AM. Reason: Clarified slightly.

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