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Thread: How to mod unit experience (the benefits of chevrons and how quickly units get chevrons)

  1. #1
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default How to mod unit experience (the benefits of chevrons and how quickly units get chevrons)

    On the 'suggestions' thread for the Imperial Splendour mod, Yerevan asked about modding the benefits of experience for units. If you feel that experience should provide greater benefits for units (e.g. larger bonuses for accuracy and reloading) here are some suggestions.

    The db table you're looking for, if you would like to mod the benefits of experience for land units, is:- unit_stats_land_experience_bonus_tables.

    If you're a beginner to modding, you might find the information in the spoiler below useful.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    You'll need either a Pack File Manager or a DB Editor to create and edit modded files. If you're new to modding, I recommend reading the tutorials on this forum about creating mods. Experienced modders recommend that we copy database files and edit those copies to make mods - they recommend that we never edit the game's original files themselves. It's worth knowing that modding can cause crashes, expected side effects and save game corruption. I suggest modding when you are not tired and have plenty of time. I also recommend working slowly, making a few changes and testing their effects in the game rather than making a lot of changes all at once, which can lead to disappointment if one tiny typing error causes the game to crash when you try to start it.

    Mods only have effect in the game when they are in the game's data folder: C:/ProgramFiles(x86)/Steam/steamapps/common/empire total war/data folder (that's the path on this Windows 7 PC; different computers may use different paths).

    You also need to activate the mod in one of three ways:-
    1. With a script file (called user.empire_script.txt, 'save as' in Notepad using Unicode) in your C:/Users/[your username]/AppData/Roaming/The Creative Assembly/Empire/scripts folder. I made an example of a script file, which I'm using to play Imperial Splendour, here. If you use this method, the names of the mods must appear precisely in the script file. If there is a typing error or if the script file lists a mod which is not in your Empire/data folder, then the game will crash.
    2. When you have the modded pack file open in Pack File Manager, changing the pack file's type to 'movie' - if you do this, it works automatically when it is in your Empire/data folder, without needing to be activated using a script file or mod manager
    3. With a mod manager (there is one for Empire: Total War; I was not able to get it to work, which may just mean that something went wrong when I downloaded it)


    When testing mods, if you are unlucky enough to experience saved game corruption (when loading a saved game crashes the game) here is a way which I have found to make the game playable again without needing to completely re-install ETW:
    - Find your scripts file. On my Windows 7 PC, this is in: C:/Users/[my user name]/AppData/Roaming/The Creative Assembly/Empire/scripts
    - Make a copy of the preferences_empire_script.txt file and put that copy somewhere else in case you ever want to put it back (I never have, but it seems wise in principle to copy a file you are about to delete)
    - Delete the preferences_empire_script.txt file
    - Start the game normally; you don't need to replace the preferences_empire_script.txt file beforehand, because the game should automatically detect that you don't have a preferences file and should create a new one for you.


    The unit_stats_land_experience_bonus_tables is included in Luntik's Battle AI mod (the link in the first post doesn’t work, but you can download the mod here on the final page of the thread.) When I was using Luntik's battle AI, I experimented with editing the figures in that table. I increased the benefits of experience for units, to see what would happen. The improved scores showed up on the unit card - but only on the battlefield (if you look at the unit card of a unit on the campaign map, the benefits of the experience do not appear.)

    If you'd like to create a mod by extracting a copy of this database table, you'll find unit_stats_land_experience_bonus tables and also the unit_states_naval_experience_bonus tables in the game's main.pack file in the Empire/data folder: C:/ProgramFiles(x86)/Steam/steamapps/common/empire total war/data folder (that's the path on this Windows 7 PC; different computers may use different paths).

    If you want to adjust the number of kills required for a unit to acquire experience chevrons, the patch.pack file (also in the Empire/data folder) has a db table called unit_experience_threshold_tables. Presumably, it would be possible to extract a copy of that database table as part of a mod to affect experience, if you wanted to do so.

    Edit: the attached pack file, which you can download, unzip (e.g. with 7zip) and open (with Pack File Manager) shows how a unit experience mod might look. This is a very simple mod which (if it worked) would increase the morale bonuses which units receive for experience (in vanilla, there is no bonus to morale for the first chevron; this mod would give +1 to morale for each experience chevron). I made this by extracting the relevant tables using Pack File Manager 3.1.8. I also included the unit_experience_threshold_tables, so that a player could adjust the requirements for unit experience if you wanted to. Unfortunately, this mod does not work. When I saved it, this file had a tiny padlock icon - and such files do not make a difference in the game in my experience (even if they are placed in the empire total war/data folder and activated with a script file, in the scripts folder). If anyone knows how to overcome this problem, please let me know. (I can remove the tiny padlock icon by right-clicking on the file and selecting a 'share with' option, but that makes no difference - such mods still do not affect the game.)

    Edit to add: I learned how to make a working unit experience mod, you can find it here (scroll down after the pictures of units to find the tuc_experience mod).

    My other basic guides to modding ETW are listed here.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Alwyn; September 06, 2015 at 02:23 AM.


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  2. #2
    Nordlaender's Avatar Foederatus
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    Default Re: How to mod unit experience (the benefits of chevrons and how quickly units get chevrons)

    This is good information. I found one of these files on my own and lowered the kill threshold as well as the casualties threshold, but I could not find the bonuses file, which I remembered from NTW, but could not find in ETW. My units now increase dramatically after just a single battle sometimes, so that helps significantly. There is no point in having chevrons if they do not give any real bonuses to the unit.

    Thanks for letting us know where to look for that table. Plus rep!
    Last edited by Nordlaender; April 23, 2017 at 02:05 PM. Reason: spelling mistake

  3. #3
    Frunk's Avatar DRYFT
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    Default Re: How to mod unit experience (the benefits of chevrons and how quickly units get chevrons)


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