MM6 new modding

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Kaltenberg
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MM6 new modding

Unread postby Kaltenberg » Aug 16 2022, 11:20

Hello everyone! I started a major modding in mm6, based on the Chaos Conspiray Redone Enhanced (with great respect to the developers!). I have done extensive modifications in txt, lua files, ICONS.LOD, GAMES.LOD etc.. I will write a summary of it. One of my goals is to make the game more balanced and harder. The longer part of it is still to come, I'm planning totally new maps, quests, dungeons for it, and there are a few things I'm stuck on. It would be a great help if someone could give me some guidance on these:

- How should I use the maps I have created?
E.g. in the EDITOR save:
.dat file is generated from outdoor maps, then where should I copy this to be used? (Scripts and coordinates are written for it in LUA.)
If I use INTERNAL function:
.blv and .dlv are generated from dungeon, and .odm and .ddm from outdoor maps. I have tried copying these to GAMES.LOD but the game crashed. If I just copy the .blv or .odm over, it works but badly, e.g. the BITMAPs get messed up.
So how does it work exactly?

- Also in MMEDITOR does not work to place specific monster and item on the map. (Create MONSTER and ITEM. If I drop items/monsters with SPAWN, they appear without any problem, but not the special stats monsters.)

- Unique weapons and items
My question is how to set the right color palette to hide the background?
What I mean: I have weapons/armour from real jousting tournaments, I want to put them into the game. I photographed it, cropped it, set a background for it, paid attention to the size and that it is in 8 bit BMP format. But the background was still jagged when I put it in the character's hand, so I need to fix that.

Thank you in advance for your help! I'm a big fan (~20 years) of the series, and there is a big problem with them (MM6-8): there are never enough of them. :) My main goal is to make my modded MM6 with its new quests, maps and dungeons, to take a very-very long time the playthrough! (And never end it..)

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Eksekk » Aug 25 2022, 14:24

Kaltenberg wrote: Aug 16 2022, 11:20 - How should I use the maps I have created?
E.g. in the EDITOR save:
.dat file is generated from outdoor maps, then where should I copy this to be used? (Scripts and coordinates are written for it in LUA.)
If I use INTERNAL function:
.blv and .dlv are generated from dungeon, and .odm and .ddm from outdoor maps. I have tried copying these to GAMES.LOD but the game crashed. If I just copy the .blv or .odm over, it works but badly, e.g. the BITMAPs get messed up.
So how does it work exactly?
.dat file is for out-of-game saving, it's a file format unusable by game but editor recognizes it and you can load it (I recall I had some problems though). Try putting the modded blv/dlv/odm/ddm files (with the same names!) in archive with name like "mod.games.lod".
Kaltenberg wrote: Aug 16 2022, 11:20 - Also in MMEDITOR does not work to place specific monster and item on the map. (Create MONSTER and ITEM. If I drop items/monsters with SPAWN, they appear without any problem, but not the special stats monsters.)
What is the unexpected behavior? Does the item not appear, is there an error message, does the item appear in editor but not in game etc.? Are you pressing "create" button?
Kaltenberg wrote: Aug 16 2022, 11:20 - Unique weapons and items
My question is how to set the right color palette to hide the background?
What I mean: I have weapons/armour from real jousting tournaments, I want to put them into the game. I photographed it, cropped it, set a background for it, paid attention to the size and that it is in 8 bit BMP format. But the background was still jagged when I put it in the character's hand, so I need to fix that.
First color in palette is transparency color.
Kaltenberg wrote: Aug 16 2022, 11:20 Thank you in advance for your help! I'm a big fan (~20 years) of the series, and there is a big problem with them (MM6-8): there are never enough of them. :) My main goal is to make my modded MM6 with its new quests, maps and dungeons, to take a very-very long time the playthrough! (And never end it..)
Good luck! :) I would love to help you if you have more questions.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Kaltenberg » Aug 27 2022, 18:42

Hi, thanks for the advice :D

1. Unfortunately the map does not work. I made a new file "xxx.games.lod" in the data directory, put xxx.odm and xxx.ddm files in it (in same names of course), but the game quit when I tried to travel there. I also entered the location in Mapstats as well, it got line 68.
As a test I also put a working dungeon in "xxx.games.lod", which I didn't change anything (zdtl02.blv and .dlv), and it quit too.

2 Yes, monsters/items do not appear in the game.
So in edit mode -> Create Monster -> Edit Monster -> then ALT+F1 and when I go back to the game, there is nothing anywhere.

3. the transparency of the background of objects is solved, thanks for the tip! :D Here is my first sword, but I plan to replace/upgrade many more:

Image

4. I noticed another bug, the spells of monsters does not multiplied by the spell level. In MONSTERS.TXT, for example, someone gets a lightning bolt ("Lightning Bolt,M,10"), I type it in the appropriate column (right before the resistances), and damage stays at base 1-8 in game, instead of 10-80. But it's the same for "Lightning Bolt,M,40" and whatever level. Any ideas?

5. By the way, I've thought about a few more things, but they would be really extra. So I'd be interested in your opinions on whether these could be done theoretically, or does it even make sense?
- Identify Monster skill (from MM7-8)
- Harden item (from MM7-8)
- Grandmasters in skills (same; of course, working out the bonuses that come with them)

Sorry for my bad english!

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby cthscr » Aug 27 2022, 21:44

It was reported MM6Patch 2.5.7 together with MMExtension 2.2 produce crashing maps. MM6Patch 2.5.7 with current MMExtension from GrayFace's repo work fine.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Kaltenberg » Aug 29 2022, 5:54

Hm I thought extension 2.2 was the latest version.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Eksekk » Aug 31 2022, 20:08

Adding to what cthscr said, you can have newest MMExt here, follow the instructions at the bottom.
Kaltenberg wrote:2 Yes, monsters/items do not appear in the game.
So in edit mode -> Create Monster -> Edit Monster -> then ALT+F1 and when I go back to the game, there is nothing anywhere.
If you switch the editor off while editing you obviously won't see anything. You have to compile the map (there's right button in the toolbar) and put it into game archives, and probably start new game.
Kaltenberg wrote:4. I noticed another bug, the spells of monsters does not multiplied by the spell level. In MONSTERS.TXT, for example, someone gets a lightning bolt ("Lightning Bolt,M,10"), I type it in the appropriate column (right before the resistances), and damage stays at base 1-8 in game, instead of 10-80. But it's the same for "Lightning Bolt,M,40" and whatever level. Any ideas?
First time I hear something like that. Can you send me your modified monsters.txt file?
Kaltenberg wrote:5. By the way, I've thought about a few more things, but they would be really extra. So I'd be interested in your opinions on whether these could be done theoretically, or does it even make sense?
- Identify Monster skill (from MM7-8)
- Harden item (from MM7-8)
- Grandmasters in skills (same; of course, working out the bonuses that come with them)
First is possible, skill emphasis mod already did it. Second is also possible, but would require quite a bit of work. Third is virtually impossible, you would have to turn game code upside down (the same applies to masteries higher than GM in later games).

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Kaltenberg » Sep 12 2022, 14:36

I've been planning to write this summary for a while, and now I'm finally doing it. My mod is based on the TCC1 Redone, and I'm trying to implement all the ideas I think are good. I draw a lot from here and there, e.g. I took some items from Suicide Squad, and I have to mention the skill emphasis mod (tremendous good work/improvements by its developer!).
My concept is to make MM6 longer, harder and more varied, requiring more tactics and thinking. In the meantime, I would mention that I'm not a programmer, just an enthusiastic amateur, things are moving quite slowly, I'm learning photoshop, blender and lua scripting language (at least at a reasonable level) on the go. So of course I tend to run into errors/obstacles that hm... cause hm.. unpleasant moments.:) I would also like to thank Eksekk for his great help with my problems and questions!

Below I post the changelog with developments so far. You can look through it, add your ideas, or even criticize and discuss here how good or bad each point is. At this stage it's still a very fluid thing, and I'm trying to find out what my options are, and then I'll adapt the new maps, dungeons and quests to them.
Two things are certain: that it will be done, and that it will be done slowly.
(Unfortunately, I have to work as well and I can't take as much time as I'd like, but it will be done sooner or later. With testing now, I'd say at least a year.)

So here is the changelog + the plans:
https://www.mediafire.com/file/urbmtd63 ... g.txt/file

And some pictures:

Image
A real falchion

Image
Crusaders will be happy!

Image
Types of crossbows

Image
Crusaders will be sad

Image
Staffs have evolved a lot, you have to decide which of the two best you prefer.

Image
There is something here in Norseland.. Oh really, I put this here!

Image
It's the pirates again, in Baal's Garden.. And this time it's the badasses!

Image
This old oracle hasn't been the same since some cultists moved in.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Tomsod » Sep 12 2022, 15:35

Looks nice! I especially admire your intent to make THREE new outdoor maps. That's huge. Looks like Newton's efforts have been an inspiration for everyone.

Some critique: I don't think restricting some skills to a single class is such a good idea. One of the advantages of MM6 is that any skill can be fully mastered by at least two classes, which allows party creation to be flexible. MM7 moved away from it, with most grandmasteries being an unique class feature, and as the result everyone has to play with a cleric and a sorcerer because no other class has magic GMs which are vital. I've tried to fix it in my MM7 mod, but you intend to move in an opposite way. There are only six classes for the four party slots, which is not as bad as the later games, but your changes still feel restrictive to me.

Also, if you want to double every source of XP, wouldn't it be simpler to just halve XP requirements for training instead? It would be effectively the same.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby raekuul » Sep 12 2022, 15:58

It's... actually easier to just double every monster's EXP, since that can be done with a simple iterative pass over MonstersTxt after GameInitialized2 (we do something similar with Skill Emphasis, only with 1.09x instead of 2x).

Code: Select all

function events.GameInitialized2()
	for monsterID = 1, Game.MonstersTxt.high do
		Game.MonstersTxt[monsterID].Experience = Game.MonstersTxt[monsterID].Experience * 2
	end
end
I haven't looked into iterating over quest rewards but presumably it's the same basic idea.

With changing the training requirements you'd currently (likely) need an ASM injection, plus you'd need to hit a couple other locations to make sure that the Player Stats Page and Z-View are correctly adjusted for the updated requirement scale, but it would definitely be more comprehensive when done that way.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Tomsod » Sep 12 2022, 16:09

Oh, you're right! I somehow managed to forget that not everyone is as into reverse engineering as me. Never mind then.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Kaltenberg » Sep 12 2022, 18:55

Tomsod wrote: Sep 12 2022, 15:35 Looks nice! I especially admire your intent to make THREE new outdoor maps. That's huge. Looks like Newton's efforts have been an inspiration for everyone.

Some critique: I don't think restricting some skills to a single class is such a good idea. One of the advantages of MM6 is that any skill can be fully mastered by at least two classes, which allows party creation to be flexible. MM7 moved away from it, with most grandmasteries being an unique class feature, and as the result everyone has to play with a cleric and a sorcerer because no other class has magic GMs which are vital. I've tried to fix it in my MM7 mod, but you intend to move in an opposite way. There are only six classes for the four party slots, which is not as bad as the later games, but your changes still feel restrictive to me.

Also, if you want to double every source of XP, wouldn't it be simpler to just halve XP requirements for training instead? It would be effectively the same.
Glad you like the idea, and thanks for your review! That's why I wrote down my ideas, to be able to talk about them.
I understand your arguments perfectly, but I disagree. I think that if more classes could use similarly important skills, they would lose their unique qualities and values. A directly exaggerated example of what I mean: if 5 out of 9 classes can use dark magic and 6 can use light, it won't matter how you build your team anymore. Everybody knows everything (again: exaggerated), the optional characters will be a homogeneous mass, they won't be that interesting. So in MM6 you will have to skip 2 out of 6 different classes, and you will feel their absence. At the same time you will feel the uniqueness of the other 4, they all add their own unique qualities to the team, the Lich is still the Lich and you can't replace it with a Ranger or Archer or Cleric (I'm mixing MM6 and MM7 a bit, I know, just illustrating). But of course these are completely subjective opinions, you don't have to agree with any of them, that's how I see it. And I really appreciate and welcome your critic! :)

The reason I didn't lower the training XP requirement is because I don't know how to do it :D But actually it's already solved, just as I wrote, I'm not a programmer and usually I might take the most complicated way to get to a solution. Tomsod and raekuul, I don't even understand what you are talking about here :D :D

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Tomsod » Sep 12 2022, 20:21

My point was rather that if you make a skill unique to some class, and I think the skill is so good I can't play without it, then I must take this class, always, which limits the party variety. That was exactly the MM7-8 problem. That said, it's probably not that bad for your mod after all, as the only universally must-have skill in MM6 is water magic, and you still provide two options here. Air would qualify too (for Fly), but it seems you purposefully restrict it, so that makes sense too. Okay, it's your mod, just be careful not to overdo it.

In my own mod I actually made every important skill rank available to two or three classes, and from my analysis it increases variety greatly while still keeping the optimal team a puzzle to solve -- it's just that there are a dozen solutions now. I just find it strange that no other modder to my memory have taken this approach, despite it making perfect sense to me.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Kaltenberg » Sep 12 2022, 21:17

Tomsod wrote: Sep 12 2022, 20:21 My point was rather that if you make a skill unique to some class, and I think the skill is so good I can't play without it, then I must take this class, always, which limits the party variety. That was exactly the MM7-8 problem. That said, it's probably not that bad for your mod after all, as the only universally must-have skill in MM6 is water magic, and you still provide two options here. Air would qualify too (for Fly), but it seems you purposefully restrict it, so that makes sense too. Okay, it's your mod, just be careful not to overdo it.

In my own mod I actually made every important skill rank available to two or three classes, and from my analysis it increases variety greatly while still keeping the optimal team a puzzle to solve -- it's just that there are a dozen solutions now. I just find it strange that no other modder to my memory have taken this approach, despite it making perfect sense to me.
The way I approach it is that there is no essential skill, you just have to approach the problem differently. If you can't fly over the mountain, you go around it. If you can't use dark magic, you use something else, what can happen? You don't beat monsters in 10 minutes, maybe you beat them in half an hour. So?
I also don't understand what's so indispensable about water magic, because if you mean Town Portal, it's just a convenience feature after all, NPC can replace it, Lloyd's can be much more useful, but I don't think it's nearly indispensable. One more question: what kind of that puzzle, which has dozens of solutions?
Of course, you may be right, and many of my ideas will turn out to be unfeasible or just plain bullshit when tested :D

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Eksekk » Sep 13 2022, 9:40

I think most players will want the easiest route, which means necessary classes in party. But the opposite is hard to achieve in MM6, since there are only 6 classes as opposed to MM7's 9 (or if you diversify light/dark as in elemental mod, even 18). Also, town portal on M allows you to teleport to town in any moment, even if you're at the end of a dungeon, dying, with a legion of monsters surrounding you. You can basically never die with it if you use it right. Also applies to lloyd's (but this one even on novice!). For me fly is a convenience feature, I don't use it to fight outdoors, but really important convenience feature which would warrant archer/druid/sorc.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Kaltenberg » Sep 13 2022, 15:27

Eksekk wrote: Sep 13 2022, 9:40 I think most players will want the easiest route, which means necessary classes in party. But the opposite is hard to achieve in MM6, since there are only 6 classes as opposed to MM7's 9 (or if you diversify light/dark as in elemental mod, even 18). Also, town portal on M allows you to teleport to town in any moment, even if you're at the end of a dungeon, dying, with a legion of monsters surrounding you. You can basically never die with it if you use it right. Also applies to lloyd's (but this one even on novice!). For me fly is a convenience feature, I don't use it to fight outdoors, but really important convenience feature which would warrant archer/druid/sorc.
Yeah, I can believe that could be. But most players have played through all the MMs about 528 times, 529th time why would they need an easy mod? But I would approach MM7 differently, I wouldn't dare to limit everything to just one class.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Kaltenberg » Sep 16 2022, 20:40

Okay, let's say I accept that most players always take the easy way out (although I still don't understand why, based on the above). Everybody can fly, everybody can cast Town Portal and Lloyds (again, the question here would be, wouldn't it be more exciting if you didn't let yourself get into a situation where you didn't have to shake your way out of an army of monsters at all, but I don't want to repeat myself)?
Okay, all well and good. Why make mods?
I may rethink all of this, but in the meantime, I've thought of some more ideas:

1. I know it's blasphemous to write this, and how dare i, but i'm going to write it anyway, because I think it's true. In addition to REALLY acknowledging the great work, Grayface's MMEditor and patch is the most unstable program I've ever come across (ctr.. and many other consonant have written that 2.1 and 2.5.7 are not work well together, just not written what the solution might be). I've finally gotten to the point where I can manage to produce completely new maps, with the current problem (after a very long time and other problems) being:
everything works fine for new map, but when it comes to load map, the game quits, freezes. For now I don't know what the problem is with it, it will be solved somehow. Now I will have some more technical questions for Eksekk, for the rest of you there are my first and second questions.

2. You could easily be in a similar situation as me, who read through all the topics on this (and other) forum for the last 10-12 years to see if I can learn something from it.
So, referring back to an amazing idea (amazingly good -- > Skill Emphasis). Couldn't the identify monster skill in MM6 be tied to the perception skill for example? I don't know yet.. at novice rank, you could see hit points, at expert, damage, at master, resistances?

3. Bring (some level of) the arcomage game to MM6?

P.S., I really mean no disrespect to anyone, especially not to the person(s) who put an awful lot of effort into making the game modifiable. But I don't usually write/say anything other than what I think.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Tomsod » Sep 16 2022, 21:48

About the travel spells: yes, their removal makes the game more difficult and yes, vanilla MM6-8 are very easy, but there's good difficulty and bad difficulty. Town Portal's ability to escape danger was never the selling point to me, I like it for the fast transportation. If it and Fly are taken away -- and I've tried it -- I have to tread the same roads over and over, dozens of times, and after the monsters on these roads are killed, it becomes a challenge of patience rather than skill. If not for the double speed key, I wouldn't have managed. So yes, I'd rather have these spells in every game.

Other questions:
1. Have you tried Eksekk's link? The git version of MMExt should work fine.

2. It's not within MMExt's interface, but since SkEm already hooked the right-click-on-monster function, you could copy its modifiedDrawMonsterInfoName() function (also the hook below) and change it to only show the data if the current player's perception skill is high enough. (Don't forget to ask permission though.)

3. It's not literally impossible, but I believe it would take a gigantic amount of programming effort. Better forget about it.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Kaltenberg » Sep 19 2022, 10:13

Okay, you may be right. I'll work on something in between to get some balance. I might stick to raising the hills in some places and making the Fly more expensive.
Yes yes, I have the git version of MMExtension, and apart from freezing relatively often, everything works fine now.
Arcomage would have been nice, but it's not important at all, I'm asking so I know, then I don't plan to use it. Thanks.

One more idea:
I've noticed that (especially when fighting many and strong opponents), I severely limit my field of view on the damage I deal, in the grey area. I don't know if anyone else has this? Is there a way to make it display the damage next to the monsters as well (or just there)? Right where the blood is splattering all over the place.

Image

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Tomsod » Sep 19 2022, 20:04

It's possible with a bit of work, I think. The game engine already supports e.g. debuff animations as temporary objects over the monster's head (or really anywhere else), so you could create separate digits of damage over the monsters as they're hit. You'll need to:
1. Draw pictures (optionally animated) for all ten digits, add them to the LODs.
2. Register the digit objects in SFT.txt and ObjList.txt.
3. Find out (likely ask someone) the address for the "create object" function in MM6, as I don't see MMExt exposing it.
4. Optionally: get good at MMExt scripts. I don't know how familiar you are with them now, but judging by your ambitions, you'll definitely need to write at least several scripts for your mod.
5. Write the MMExt script that spawns the digits when a monster is damaged.
6. Account for the possibility of damaging a monster several times (e.g. with Master Bow or Sparks) which could lead to an unreadable mess of digits.
Absolutely doable with enough persistence.

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Re: MM6 new modding

Unread postby Eksekk » Sep 19 2022, 21:16

There's evt.SummonObject, but I don't know if it will work, I never used this command let alone implemented something like additional information with objects. Also a nitpick: won't numbers as objects be hidden behind other monsters, sprites etc.? Note: I don't know how to implement actually drawing numbers on the screen, so that is good solution (unless I am wrong about numbers being hidden, then it's perfect solution).


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