ALL MODDERS READ!!Major untapped modding potental for MM9

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Quickshot14
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ALL MODDERS READ!!Major untapped modding potental for MM9

Postby Quickshot14 » Dec 12 2008, 18:27

Hello everyone, first and formost this is important for modders of all types, major or minor. This topic is not joking, there is huging modding potentioal avalible for might and magic 9 that you probley dont even know about, and you start modding it pretty darn easily today, so please bear with me a take the moment to read throughtly and carefully and excuse any spelling/grammer mistakes through-out.

Now I know your probley asking one of two questions, okay how, and who the hell are you? First my name is Quickshot14 i am an avid modder and gamer and a huge might and magic fan, i've played all might and magics starting from 2 to 9. Also most all heros of might and magic even ubisofts new might and magics. For you mm6-8 fans, i've played and finshed, mm6 and mm7 and i have finshed world of xeen (mm4&5) countless times as well. (in its orignal 3.5 format, to first cd format to last format and even tocuhed swords of xeen a bit) so i've been around.

Like all of you, I was very very let down with might and magic 9 and like all of you i pretty much was upset that 3do and NWC died. And thou I enjoy a lot of rpgs like morrwind and oblivion, I love might and magic, because of its old school rpg flavor, and most important the party aspect of the game. Theres nothing i love more then getting make my own party and name it my family and freinds. Just makes it more fun and thats the thing i think of for might and magic, its more about your acutal party stats and skills then just there euipment,

But on to the main event, so love or hate or indiffrent to might and magic ix, theres a huge modding potentional that pretty much everyone doesnt know about. First i bought mm9 when it first came out and even dled the orignal patch, as anyone knows the game is still very buggy with this patch and in most cases totaly unplayable (particlaury conversionations and the promotions) I got fairly far in my orignal playthrough till I hit one of thoese moments and i just put it on the shelf, never to htink of again. I did try to bring it down once but there was a major nvida or some sort of driver issue that didnt make the game run. I put it back on the shelf expecting never to really play it again witch is a shame, its not the best mm ever but it wasnt the worst (thats crusaders of mm period lol)

So here i am sooooo many years latter and i happen upon RPGenies youtube page, for thoese who dont know RPGenie has been playing all the might and magics and puting full length parts of the gameplay up for all to see its really quite neat, then I saw he was playing 9 so i figured i'd give it a check cause I was wondering how. As i'm watching the first video after the very lame intro cinmatic, hes showing a version 1.3 in his might and magic and talking about an unoffical patch. Now I knew and know the modding scene is a buzz for mm but its been strickly 6-8 and nothing for nine. So I did a search and found TELPS 1.3 un-offical patch, what this does is fixes a lot of bugs in the game to at least make it totaly playable (all thoese conversation bugs and esppicaly promotion ones are totaly fixed theres still other bugs and of course fallign through the world is always a rare possiblty) so I picked it up reall small easy to install and played.

I got more curious as they were planing on a 1.4 to acutally add mroe fixes and such to the gameplay and everything so I looked into it. Apprenlty its been prety much delayed but I got info on how to get some tools to mod MM9. Again bear with me, for thoese who dont know MM9 was built/runs on a version of the Lithtech engine. Used for various games (system shock 2, no one lives forever, alien vs preadator 2 etc) the link to the tools is for no one lives forveer tool uttiles that was released. Obviously none were relased for might and magic 9 becuase 3do and NWC went by by.

But intrestingly enough, no ones lives forever lilthtech engine is about the same as might and magic 9's. The tools include pretty much everything you need to mod, some tutorials, model program import/exports, a model editor/viewer, a map/world editor viewer and so on. The most important thing is the rez tool. For thoese who do not know all game files are storted in a rez file format, witch is a type of compresed format, this tools allows the user to export and import and create new rez files easily (its a cmd prompt tool)

So with these tools we can export everything out of the might and magic 9 rez files, sounds, voices, scripts, levels, textures, sprites, models, skins, ui etc. you will find all these files are pretty easy and usable to edit, for example all voice files are waves all sound files are waves, all textures are dtx's all sprites are spr files, all skins are dtxs and so on. The most important parts here, the scripts and data information are all uncompolied easy to read and editable. All scripts are in pure format heres a code snipet for exmaple from one of the files (BANKORB.INC)

Code: Select all

;--------------------------------------------------
;BankOrb.inc
; timmy
; handles Fiachna A'Lanth for the Orb of Linking
;
; edited by Bones 6/12/02
; TELP Patch 1.3 -- prevents Fiachna from taking extra orbs
;      (except for one extra at quest completion)
;--------------------------------------------------
#include globals.inc

#number      nKey
#String      sLocation

#number      nRude
#number      nKey2

; flag variables
#number                     Visible = 1
#number                     Solid   = 8192
#number                     Gravity = 131072

;Parameters

;p0 the key to CheckFor when player placed the orb



;--------------------------------------------------
:OnRude
;--------------------------------------------------


haskey 330 g_ntemp
if (g_ntemp==TRUE)
   takekey 330
   haskey nKey g_ntemp
   if (g_ntemp==TRUE)
      Playsound sounds\events\quest.wav, DoNothing, 100, 24000, FALSE, 100
      takeitem 252
      givekey nKey2
      Gosub CheckAll
   endif
endif
exit

As you can see its pretty lua/c based in format. The script files come in two types, .inc and .scr these are obvious to anyone whos done most scripting, .inc are include files and .scr are source files. ALL of these and i mean all are uncompressed and editable!! This includes and probley isnt limted to, the ai functionlay, conversations, quests, traps, doors, factions etc. anything thats scripted is here ready to play with. The reason these files are so open is because NWC left them that way. Acording to what I read and understand, since NWC was pressed by 3do for time to get this out in order to try and make a profit to stay afloat, they lost an extra 2-3 months of 12 hour working days on the game. So of course a lot was left unfished, slopply thrown togetehr and so on, but they left pretty much everything, ESPPICALy these script files totaly open so they could easly patch and make changes/fixes and so on latter on (like they did for 1.2 just before 3do went bankrupt)

Now modders if that alone dosnt wet your appiatate theres even more, but just to wrap you head around what this means let me put it this way, were looking a good code changes for a lot of diffrent things, not just bug fixing, but the possiblites are big and small. A small example would be the adjustment of hireable npcs in the game, making them not only more cost worthy but usable, to large, adding a new quest line or even new ai for example. So now lets move on to the next important part that is also script related but is not pure script and is simple just noted as DATA. I'm happy to say this is fully editable and has even more potetional in conjuction with scritping. most of these data files if there not a script is all pretty much in a table or CSV format.

A simple example is the .rude files. These files despiste there funny name deal with npcs conversations, there all in a table or CSV format. Heres an example of one of the files. (NPC4.RUDE) (this is displayed in its pure format from notepad)

Code: Select all

4,999,1,"Goodbye.","goodbye",-1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
4,2,1,"We have one of those.","Somewhere on the Isle of Ashes, inside the ruins of Verhoffin's Tower is his diary.  We are very interested in what the diary might contain regarding what he did.  Retrieve this for us, and you shall become Mages.",13,205,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
4,5,1,"Sorry to bother you.","You are not sorry, but certainly bothersome.  Good day.",999,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
4,4,1,"We wish to become Mages.","Our tasks are reserved for those Scholars who would become Mages.",2,205,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,2082,0,0,0,0,4,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
4,3,1,"We will take this quest.","Then do not dally.  Good luck.",997,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,4,0,0,0,0,285,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
4,997,1,"Goodbye.","asdf",-14,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
4,20,1,"We found a silver one.","Oh my!  This is terribly interesting.  We better get to work on this right away!",4,281,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,286,0,0,0,0,286,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
4,13,1,"You want us to get it for you?","Yes.  There are some reports that it may not be in the Verhoffin Ruins at all, and that it is actually in Drangheim.  Wherever it is, find it and bring it here.",3,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
4,2,2,"We don't have one of those, but perhaps we could work for you.","Our tasks are reserved for Scholars only.",5,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0


Most other files are like this as well, for example there are simple .TXT files that are CSV format that contain things such as AISPAWN, MASTERITEMLIST, MONSTERS, SPELLS, PCVOICES, WEAPONS and much more. And if that isnt enough for you lets move on the acutal interface now.

All interface art files are .PCX format, And animations for such as the loading screen or just button highlighting seem to be controeld by simple text files. For example, The boat for the loading screen, is contained in the ART/LOADSCREEN directory, there is 3 files, 2 pcx's and 1 txt file. The pcx fles are of the boat going left and back right and the txt file seems to be a controler for it. Loading

Code: Select all

All ya gotta do is make the little boat move right and left in
the space provided.  Use the "Right" boat when moving right and the
"Left" boad when moving left.

Boat Space   298x 346y   209x36

Yippy skippy!

Obviously i'm not 100% sure but thats some intresting stuff.

So far so good right, you can feel the possiblites in your head but theres still a couple major points we havnt addresed, models obviousl and the most important levels(or worlds as lithtech likes to call them)

So first the models seem totlay open and changeable/editiable, as i said the tools come with some exporters (for some olders 3d programes but its there) these shoudl owrk fine and theres an entire viewer/editor of some sort, i havnt played around with this that much yet.

So this brings us to the levels/worlds. And this is where things seem to hit a bit of a hurdle, so let me explain this throughlty. There are two file formats for level/world files. Theres a .ED file, witch is an uncomplied editor read version of the world/level, this allows the included edtior tool to open and view the world/level and is fully editable. From there it gets complied using another included tool (called processor.exe) into a .DAT file, this is much larger and is used specfilty for running in the game engine/playtime.

So whats the problem here? All .DAT files are included and intact, but only a handfull of .ED files are included, and unforuntly none of them are major outdoor/city areas. There are still some .ED files of note here, particlary the 1000TERRORS and CHASMOFTHEDEAD levels/worlds are of particualr note, also included are the ANSKRAMKEEP, ARSLEGARDCITY, BATHHOUSE, BEETHOVEN and BOOTCAMP(witch i belive is the first starting island) are all included and fully editable with the editor tool. So theres plenty there to play with and learn from. BUT the major issue here, for at leats thoese looking to learn/do/change major world/level areas we dont have the orignal .ED format to edit and all my attempts to look for anyway to convert a complied .DAT level back to .ED has been in vain.

So this is probley the only major obvious hurdle right now that I can see for might and magic 9 editing, and it can only really be resovled one of three ways. The first and most obvious and hard way is just remaking these level from scratch, witch i see no reason it couldnt be done...it would of course be very hard since a lot of the refrences and such needed would have to been doen and its deifnlty the most time consuming.

The second and third and the biggest possiblity I belive with this mm modding community, one of two 3rd party programs. The first being a compiled map editor of some sort, in other words a way to edit/add spawn points and things of that nature. The other witch i think is the best soultion and should be able to do with the resources we have is a decompiler from a compiled .dat map back to a .ed format. These 3 seem like the most obvious solution to this problem. Beside this there is still huge possiblites, brand new worlds/levels should be and i belive are totaly possible!

So this is all the extent that I know so far, I have been draging myself all over the net the last 24 hours looking for more info but there isnt much if any, and it seems like all our major modders here didnt even have a clue (like me) that mm9 was even editable let a lone a lot easier the any of mm6-8 and if you need one final reason for modding mm9, i dont see any reason wht a tc of mm6 or 7 or 8 into 9 couldnt be at least a very good possiblity???!!! And if anything we can make the game better, hell the TELP patch alone as deifnlty made the game at least funner.

So this is my plea and information to you the MM community and modding community a like, BDJ, mastero, and everyone whos up, take a look at this seriously for yourself, i will continue my investagations as I can, i'm a bit limted since I dont have some software installed (i guess its baout time i reinstalled photoshop already) and i'm not very profecitnt and this is definlty no a one person job. I know if we all poke our heads into it we will see just how deep the rabit hole goes and we already have a porven working and knowing mod with the TELP 1.3 patch. It works, it runs, it simple, no exe hacking needed no changes to the exe and it dosnt even break older game saves (read up on it for more) so lets all check it out.

I thank you for taking the time to read all this and i hope your as excited about the potentional here as I am getting, i know it would be a lot of fun, and yes the engine isnt the greatest but netheir is mm6-8 as well. So please take a look.

Here are the links:
To the No One Lives Forever Tools to use: CLICK HERE
To the TELPs 1.3 Patch page: CLICK HERE
To the TELPs forum with some refrences of the info i found: CLICK HERE
To RPGenie's Youtube page for mm9 gameplay w/ 1.3 patch): CLICK HERE
To My Blogs Youtube page (also w/ mm9 gaemplay w/ 1.3 patch): CLICK HERE

comments questions etc please ask. Thanks.

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Postby bungleau » Dec 12 2008, 19:16

Welcome to the boards, Quickshot14! And what a way to make an entry, too... :)

Very cool... I don't have the bandwidth right now to create a mod, but with handy tools like that, I might be able to help out.
*B*
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Postby DarthVadre » Dec 12 2008, 19:26

Hey, click on edit, copy the entire post, paste it into a word processor, and spell check.

Wow- I read the whole thing :tired:

The potential is definitely there, I'm just not sure about the motivation. You see, unfortunately, I'm not feeling any anticipation or desire to mod MM9, and I'm not sure if anyone else does.
Your perception determines your experience.

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Postby Corlagon » Dec 12 2008, 20:33

Well done on finding this out. I too discovered WinRez a few months ago, planned to provide a guide but never got around to it.

And yes, BOOTCAMP is Ravensford (and JYRKAVIK is the battlefield between Chedian and Beldonia).

I was wondering about the possibilities of editing MMIX's engine in detail, especially after reading what Flamestryke wrote here, but I didn't really look into it. Can you explain how to work with / edit the area map files (like Thjorgard, Isle of Ashes and such) a little more clearly (what tools to use etc)? They stumped me, though I'm no expert anyway.

By the way, I don't think anyone should have reservations about using this engine just because Might and Magic IX was botched due to its nine-month development phase. There really is an awful lot of potential in it.

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Postby Vector » Dec 12 2008, 20:53

This is definitely very interesting, I for one never knew this game could be modified. Great job finding this out. I believe Vladimir Maestro was inquiring about modding this game, so he may be interested.

Corlagon wrote:I was wondering about the possibilities of editing MMIX's engine in detail, especially after reading what Flamestryke wrote but I didn't really look into it. Can you explain how to work with / edit the area map files (like Thjorgard, Isle of Ashes and such) a little more clearly (what tools to use etc)? They stumped me, though I'm no expert anyway.


Correct me if I am wrong, but to me it sounds almost like modding with a construction set. Much like doing such with games like Morrowind. Seems like you can mod whatever you want with the exception of a handful of maps which are in the wrong file format. If someone figured out how to covert them to the right format, then 100% of the game could be modified. Though I never liked MM9, with this, there is a lot of potential.

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Postby vladimir-maestro » Dec 12 2008, 21:02

Welcome to the site.

I knew something like that - about packing lichtech resources. But I have no idea about formats inside it. I do not know how to edit monsters, places...is it possible to add new locations, items and so on. What kind of animation each person uses...many other questions.

And If I even could create new monster with 1.000 polys - I do not know how to animate it inside MM9 and how to put it in game.

I had an idea of recreating some kind of Nordik mytholody "The World Tree" with Their Pantheon of Gods and new places to visit such as Valhalla, Nifleheim and so on...

But for now I do not feel ready for this without any knowledge of MM9 formats and editing. Maybe it will be easy to change some sprites or monster's textures but it is almost useless without any advantages in the game.
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Site about MODs: http://www.mmgames.ru
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if you wish to upload some materials for this site - let me know.

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Postby Quickshot14 » Dec 12 2008, 22:33

vladimir-maestro wrote:Welcome to the site.

I knew something like that - about packing lichtech resources. But I have no idea about formats inside it. I do not know how to edit monsters, places...is it possible to add new locations, items and so on. What kind of animation each person uses...many other questions.

And If I even could create new monster with 1.000 polys - I do not know how to animate it inside MM9 and how to put it in game.

Thanks and let me try to anwser your question from the best i can from what I can see with the tools provided here, it looks like the model/viewer and editor deals with animations as well, i cant post a screenie atm cause i dont have an easy place to host it so i'll try to describe (and of course dl the tools and see for yourself) there is play stop, and looks like step buttons, there 5 group boxes (labels include, Nodes, Pieces, Animations, Child Models, Sockets) theres an enimation edit protion, and then many antimation scroll bars so it looks like it would be all edited and controled/peiced togetehr there, i'm not sure. ANd again i want to be clear these tools come with at least exports for various 3d modeling software, inlcuding softimage for no one lives forever nad i belive maya and 3ds max for alien vs predator 2)

As for a complete idea/instrcutions, i'm assuming, that the included tutorials for no one lives froever models would at least fundamitly apply to the mm9 models, as there the same model types for the same/very simlar engine type, that information would be a good basis to start with.

As for placing monsters in game, it appears from what i've seen all monsters are spawned by level groups/randomly so changeing these tables are adding to them should work. All the code is there it just needs to be sortered and catalogued and understood as to the basics of the engine information all that is there toop rovided with the tutorials for no one lives forever, granted there not going to be EXACTLY the same but it gives i think a good starting ground.

I had an idea of recreating some kind of Nordik mytholody "The World Tree" with Their Pantheon of Gods and new places to visit such as Valhalla, Nifleheim and so on...

But for now I do not feel ready for this without any knowledge of MM9 formats and editing. Maybe it will be easy to change some sprites or monster's textures but it is almost useless without any advantages in the game.


Understandable, and i'm not a modler or not much of a good one, i can barley do leveling and scripts as it is, so its something to look into, fidle with and research. So if you get bored or just plain curious.

As for other questsions/comments i'll try to anwser them best I can, first vectors anwser to Corlagon is right in his assiment so thats anwsered. Also thank you for your kind welcomes and i would copy and paste for spell check but i dont have any of my major apps installed...i'm getting lazy lol and my poor windows hard drive is too small, stupid xp limt with sata hard drives stuck with a poor 10giger for the ide side and a 500giger for the stata bahhh lol Thanks all and keep it comin.

Deyja

Postby Deyja » Dec 12 2008, 22:46

Welcome Quickshot14

hmm i have looked aroud a bit with that engine (as for most old M&M games a little bit) but was not much intrested in that time.
still know you mentiond it hmm :devious:

hm

Yes RPGenie made nice vid's for M&M (but still its pity he never made a vid for the dark side in M&M7 :( )

Flamestryke wy.... :(

Flamestryke hmm best M&M & wizardry 8 site & was a good supporter for wizardry(especialy 8) modding community .

about wizardry / have anyone here tried too mod that?






.

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Postby Deadguy118 » Dec 12 2008, 22:54

Welcome to the site. We talk about 10+ year old PC games here. It's quite awesome.

I did not play MMIX and probably never will because of all the terrible things I have heard about it, but mods are good for the community because it gives us something to talk about.
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Postby Corlagon » Dec 12 2008, 22:54

I extracted some .abc and some .ed files from the MMIX directories and tried to open them using the ModelEdit and DEdit tools you linked to. Error messages ensued.

I'm sure there's a way to open them up and view them, though. Am I missing something?

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Postby Quickshot14 » Dec 12 2008, 23:04

Corlagon wrote:I extracted some .abc and some .ed files from the MMIX directories and tried to open them using the ModelEdit and DEdit tools you linked to. Error messages ensued.

I'm sure there's a way to open them up and view them, though. Am I missing something?


A bit yes, i havnt tried opening model files just yet but i'm sure its as picky as the level/world files, you need to unextract everything it just a good idea put it all in the same directory then you'll need to copy a couple extra files from your mm9 data directory, thoese being mm9.dep and mm9.lyt once you have done that just open a new porject and select the mm9.dep file, then you can click on the world tab click on the world folder and all the avalible .ed/world/level files will be avlaible there, just double click it and it will load it in...as to how to navigate and such refer to the guides included for that i havnt messed with it yet.

And i aplogize for not pointing this out it took me a bit to figure out, but thats the basics, i'm pretty sure the loading the models is the same idea you'll need all the files related with it extrated and avalible to load it in the viewer again i havnt tried just yet. I hope that helps/makes sense.

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Postby Corlagon » Dec 12 2008, 23:46

Wicked! Thank you!

http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z199/Cepheus_03/RavensfordModding.png

Still having trouble with models, though.

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Postby motter28218 » Dec 13 2008, 1:15

Hey quickshot, welcome, just wondering can any of this be used to mod 6-8 or is just 9? Thanks for the info at any rate.

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Postby Talin_Trollbane » Dec 13 2008, 1:50

the 1.4 patch isnt delayed, it has been discontinued, why i dont know, but Bones isnt working on it anymore. but if i remember correctly he is willing to give it to someone who is capable to finish it, so maybe you should ask him?
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Postby Quickshot14 » Dec 13 2008, 15:16

Talin_Trollbane wrote:the 1.4 patch isnt delayed, it has been discontinued, why i dont know, but Bones isnt working on it anymore. but if i remember correctly he is willing to give it to someone who is capable to finish it, so maybe you should ask him?


Heyaz talin, motter and corlagon. First talin I didnt know that maybe i miss read that...i may do that if I have the time, i'm kind of up in the air right now cause of RL issues why i crashed early last night (fell asleep and just got up now) but i definlty wouldnt mind take a look I may try to contact him on the telp forums then. Ty.

Motter, np asking questions are always a good thing, unfrountly no this is just for mm9 editing as its for the engine. Hope that clarify.

And corlagon your very welcome as for the modeledit i've had problems with it too i can mange to open it with the alien vs preadtor 2 modeledit tools (at least not the same error) but i cant see a model and it crashes...so i'm not sure....this may not be a breaker but it may mean we just cant open up orignal models in the editor it will need more checking.

Thanks everyone for your welcome and intrest. I just mainly wanted to share this with you all :) After all any might and magic modding is good hehe.

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Postby vladimir-maestro » Dec 18 2008, 19:56

NOLFTtoolt - is this editor for MM9 or I need something else to be able to open lichtech resourses?

Can you explain how to save\edit MM9 resources?
You can contact me here:

maestro_mod@yahoo.com

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Postby Corlagon » Dec 18 2008, 22:32

You'll need WinRez to open and extract files from the .rez archives. It's free, though, and works much like WinRar.

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Postby vladimir-maestro » Dec 28 2008, 16:58

Do you know something about World, Monster format? Is it possible to move them into 3D max or OBJ format (or another 3D format)

I'm interested if I could to do something in low-poly modeling =)

I really interested in Yggdrasil Tree + Ragnarok legend extension for MM9. It could be very interesting things!!

BTW: Are there a possibility to extend classes to add 4th promotion with something new?
You can contact me here:

maestro_mod@yahoo.com

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Site about MODs: http://www.mmgames.ru

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if you wish to upload some materials for this site - let me know.

BigBadPig
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Postby BigBadPig » Jan 26 2009, 9:39

Excuse me for the outright specific question, but where do I edit the damage range of a weapon? I'd like to up the damage of two-handed swords a bit, however, in the text file called "Weapons" there's no such thing as "Flamberge" or "the Chopper". Anyone have an idea?

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Vinevi
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Re: ALL MODDERS READ!!Major untapped modding potental for MM9

Postby Vinevi » May 17 2020, 10:52

Mod tools for Might and Magic IX and Legends of Might and Magic now available here:
https://www.moddb.com/games/might-and-magic-9/downloads/mmix-tools
Last edited by Vinevi on May 17 2020, 10:53, edited 1 time in total.


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