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Thread: Complete guide to ETW's localisation files (aka "The Loc")

  1. #1
    Okmin's Avatar In vino veritas
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    May 2010

    Default Complete guide to ETW's localisation files (aka "The Loc")

    Introduction: I know there's a lot of guides out there on how to add new units and stuff, and new units make up about 95% of loc edits, but here's something for anyone who's ever wanted to change some obscure bit of text. Actually half this stuff isn't that obscure, but that last part sounds a lot better than if I gave a huge list of examples, right?

    I sense agreement. Now onto the huge list of examples.

    Okmin's list of stuff you can do while messing with the loc, assuming you know how to mod the DB part of these things:

    • Add unit names and descriptions
    • Add technology names and descriptions
    • Add event names and descriptions
    • Change said names and descriptions
    • Change faction names and descriptions
    • Change character's names but not descriptions (because there aren't any)

    You're probably getting bored by now, so I'm going to put you out of your misery and just say

    • Change every single bit of text you ever come across in Empire: Total War

    Now for the actual guide.

    Stuff you need:
    1x PackFile Manager by LtChambers and basic knowledge of how to use it
    1x Working ETW install
    Knowledge of some written language (this guide assumes you at least know English... You know, because you're reading this)
    The part you actually want to read (aka, The Guide):
    Getting to the loc

    1. Open the PackFile Manager, then go to File --> Open and browse to the your ETW data folder (usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\empire total war\data).
    2. You're looking for a file called local_*.pack, where * is en for English, fr for French, etc. I have local_en.pack. Open it.
    3. On the left there should be three things: advisor, font, and text. advisor is full of the sound files you get to listen to whenever your advisor has something to say. font is the fonts ETW uses. We're looking at the last one, text. Click the little arrow.
    4. Now there's localisation.loc and ui.loc. This guide is about localisation.loc, but ui.loc works exactly the same way. Only difference is it has most of the interface text (like the stuff you see in multiplayer lobbies) while localisation.loc has everything in the game itself.
    5. Click localisation.loc. You shouldn't edit vanilla .pack files directly, so right-click it and press Extract Selected, then put it somewhere.
    6. Use the PFM to create a new .pack file from your extracted .loc. Set it to movie type. Now you have a lock you can edit.

    Editing the loc Open your .pack and open localisation.loc. It shows up in the right pane, all nice and unorganized. It's basically impossible to work with it that way. Click Tag to sort it alphabetically. The stuff in the left column actually means something to the game, so don't touch it, unless you need to add a row. The right one is what you mess with, since that's the text that ETW displays. Just click on it and type, and that's a modded entry.

    Important: Don't mess with the checkboxes all the way to the right, they should all be unchecked.

    Saving: The PFM doesn't notice changes you make in the loc if it's still open. Basically, that means you can't save until you click on something else in the left pane. Click something, wait for localisation.loc to turn red and italicized then you can save.

    List of all entries and what they do This part will be in alphabetical order, just like in the loc. Most have two variations: description/text and title/name. I shouldn't need to explain the difference, but both are editable.

    Pretty self explanatory, text that shows up when an agent/unit can do something. I wouldn't recommend changing this, unless you want to confuse someone and make it say "Can not blah blah blah"
    Changes achievement descriptions and titles. I've been too afraid to touch these because I have no idea how Steam would react.
    The text that shows up when your adviser talks. The cryptic numbers at the end make it kinda hard to figure out which ones you should edit. Plus changing them would make the speech not match the text... Like bad subtitles. Oh, and there's about a million of these, so use the scrollbar
    Name and description of the attributes generals, admirals, and agents can get. The %+n part points the game to the DB entry to figure out how many stars the guy got, so don't change it.
    Mostly worthless placeholder entries (clearly marked by PLACEHOLDER at the end), but some are useful, because they actually show up as agent descriptions for rakes, brahmins, priests, missionaries, etc.
    Ancillary descriptions and titles, with the name of the ancillary conveniently provided as part of the tag.
    Apparently for scripted battle events, but I've never seen them in the game, except the ones for the tutorial.
    Just the name of the battle type. Interesting only because one is called "Capture Point Battle" and don't actually get those.
    Er... really shouldn't need to explain this.
    Names of the buildings you sometimes see on the battle map. Enjoy the confusion when you change Ruins to Earthquake-Damaged Lavatory. This part also has names for un-implemented siege equipment.
    Describes and names the custom battle maps. You could edit these to attempt to confuse people about the maps, but CA took the fun out of doing so by putting in pictures of the maps.
    Tooltips you get when pointing at buildings on the campaign map.
    Names cultural variants of all campaign map buildings. This part is why we see Governor's Mansion, Thakur's Mansion, and Bey's Mansion even though they are all called governorsmansion in the DB.
    As the name says. There are two versions: long and short. Very self-explanatory.
    Same as building_culture_* except this changes things for specific factions instead of cultures.
    Not used in-game, which makes it very interesting...
    Names the theaters.
    Very good stuff here; it's all the farm, plantation, and mine slots' names.
    Contextual tooltips that show up when, for example, you select an army and point at another countries army.
    Names every single town and port on the campaign map. Have fun with Dublin, Persia; Gibraltar, Egypt; and Louisburg, Scotland.
    You know those magic white teleportation boxes in the ocean? This names them.
    Describes the episodic campaigns. The Grand Campaign faction descriptions are somewhere else.
    Names the episodic campaigns.
    Descriptions, names, and various other text you see in the traits window. Some of them require pointing at the trait and waiting for the tooltip to change. There's a ton of these.
    The units used to count trade goods (bales, barrels, hundreds, tons, etc.). Comes in singular and plural form.
    Those things you see when you go find out why someone hates you. Some are interestingly unused.
    The stuff that random diplomat says to you when you open relations with a faction. Entries are sorted by faction/culture, government type, and how much they hate you.
    These tell you what building/researching that thing is going to do.
    The most interesting un-used thing in ETW. Apparently it was supposed to feature real empires, and this is where the names are.
    Names and descriptions of all those events you see popping up.
    Names (e.g. Britain) and adjectives (e.g. British) of every faction.
    Names of real people that got put into the game.
    The stuff that comes up for those messages you get on the left of the screen. Lots of stuff we saw in old TW games (Most Advanced, Strongest Army, Largest Empire, Richest Faction) that never got used in ETW.
    Names of all the minister positions.
    This stuff only gets used in RTI and for the British, Spanish, and French handover missions. But it looks like there was supposed to be other stuff.
    Ever seen those movies for a duel or revolution? This is where the text comes from.
    Names of forts, people, and royalty; by faction/culture. This is the longest part of the loc.
    Lets you rename the classes. Maybe you'll go with Nobles, Laborers, and Everyone Else?
    What you see when you point at the little public order pictures.
    Those quotes that go on loading screens.
    All the stuff CA didn't bother to group logically. Includes button tooltips, the "You are attacking/defending against a <faction> army" things, menu options from every menu you can think of, types of battle outcomes (Valiant/Crushing/Close Defeat, Heroic/Close Victory, etc.), unit status tooltips (when you point at a unit and it says stuff like Running, Firing, Routing, etc.), prestige titles (Majestic, Feeble, Terrifying, etc.), stats like how many battles you've won, and all the other random tooltips and words that you can't find anywhere else.
    Tooltips for the Region Wealth icons.
    No idea what these do. Judging from the displaced_irish one, CA planned on simulating mass migrations.
    Changes the names of regions. So much potential here... Plus there's stuff like "Empire of China", "Congo", "Beaver Territory" (old name for the Northwest Territories), "Rift Valley", "South Africa", and "Tartariya".
    As above, except with water. Here we find such things as "Pacific Ocean" and "Doldrums" (equatorial water).
    Names of religions. Only one unused entry here, "Nonconformism".
    Names of the trading resources. Again, some unused stuff here.
    Er... Summer and winter.
    All the names that can get assigned to ships. About a million of these, and they're numbered instead of sorted by faction, so it gets hard to know what you're modding in here.
    That menu that lets you change the keyboard shortcuts.
    Tooltips that tell you whether a town is Very Poor/Poor/Growing/Prosperous/Wealthy and a farm/winery/plantation has Meagre/Low/Average/High/Abundant yield.
    Status of your relationship with a country (Allied, Neutral, your Patron, your Protectorate, at War).
    # is the description ID number found in the startpos PRE_OPEN_MAP_INFO. This lets you change faction descriptions (very useful if you made a minor playable, or made a new faction).
    Names of the forts existing at the beginning of a campaign. Has a number ID corresponding to one in the startpos.
    I have no idea why these are here. No regions start as rebels.
    Still don't know why these are here. And this time every entry has a duplicate.
    Names and long and short descriptions of the techs.
    Tooltips for the Other goods and Long term trading partner icons.
    Names of unit classes, not individual units.
    Descriptions of individual units. Comes in regular and long varieties.
    When you open a units info card and go to abilities, this is what you see.
    ETW auto-names regiments. This place just lets you know it will name them up to #th Regiment of *. You could change these to random names you want your units to have.
    Names of units. Like First Rate, 24-lber Foot Artillery, Grenadiers, etc. Somewhat sorted by culture and faction.
    The wind levels you can choose for custom naval battles.

    And that concludes my guide/catalog/whatever you want to call it thing.
    Last edited by Okmin; January 17, 2011 at 01:09 PM.

    Under the patronage of The Lizard King
    Patron of Narf
    and Starlightman

  2. #2

    Default Re: Complete guide to ETW's localisation files

    Well done, +rep

    PATRON OF: Wangrin, ♔Sir Digby Chicken Caesar♔, Geronimo2006 and Narf!

  3. #3
    Harout's Avatar Laetus
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Kingdom of Holland

    Default Re: Complete guide to ETW's localisation files (aka "The Loc")

    Halo, thanks for the explanation,

    I am very new to using dbe and pfm, I have been able to edit with dbe successfully but I cant get the movie file to work, I changed region names.

    If you need to know more please let me know,

    thanks in advance,

    regards, Harout

  4. #4

    Default Re: Complete guide to ETW's localisation files (aka "The Loc")

    You should have provide more infos about your pack. Changing region names demands only loc changes so you do not need DbEditor but only PFM. I suppose you have made your own loc pack of "movie" type. If there is not a problem to that then probably the problem is in your entries. Here is an example:

    If you want to rename Iceland to, lets say, Neverland you should change the line:

    | regions_onscreen_iceland | Iceland | False|


    | regions_onscreen_iceland | Neverland | False|

    If you think that everything is ok. then zip and upload your pack here to have a look.

  5. #5
    Harout's Avatar Laetus
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Kingdom of Holland

    Default Re: Complete guide to ETW's localisation files (aka "The Loc")

    Test loc.rar

    Thanks for answering, the part of "| False|" doesnt show up for me only a check box,

    I hope i am in the right place.

    The db editor was used for tightening the ranks and battle adjustments (I am trying to make empire to my taste and learn how to use the tools, eventually I will try and help modders who have provided me with epic hours of entertainment).

    In this movie file the names for the papal state and Venice are changed.

    Let me know if you need more information

    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Harout's Avatar Laetus
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Kingdom of Holland

    Default Re: Complete guide to ETW's localisation files (aka "The Loc")

    I dropped the movie file in the data foled, like I used to do with ntw3 movie files. No luck, apologies for the double post

  7. #7

    Default Re: Complete guide to ETW's localisation files (aka "The Loc")

    The changes you've done are correct but the file itself is not working (I can't see why). I made a new one and tested (attached):

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Have you added a new faction name with region name as well ? If yes, you should change the faction on screen instead, because vanilla faction name will be still there.

    EDIT: I found the problem. You have used local_en.pack as the tutorial says which is wrong. You should always use the patch_en.pack.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by husserlTW; March 09, 2013 at 05:00 PM.

  8. #8
    Harout's Avatar Laetus
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Kingdom of Holland

    Default Re: Complete guide to ETW's localisation files (aka "The Loc")

    Fantastic thanks for your time and effort, apologies for the late reply (because of the temporary bad connection the browser kept failing to load). Thanks again.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Complete guide to ETW's localisation files (aka "The Loc")

    Ok what do I do after I've created my loc file? I exported the localisation.loc, edited it, put it back into a .pack file in a folder named "text" named the file Modtest1_loc.pack, and left the mod type as movie. I could not see the file in my ModManager. I tried switching the mod type to "Mod" but it still does not show up in mod manager unless I turn on the option to "show all pack types" but then I cannot select it. I tried running the game without turning it on w/ mod manager (because I cant) but the text i put in did not work. My mod pack file "Modtest1.pack" worked and my units appeared in game but the names on the recruitment page and when moused over is blank. They have class names such as "light infantry and Missile Cavalary" and they also had regimental numbers, but they did not have a unit name such as "Jack's Raiders".

    How do I activate my new loc pack? AFAIK I have edited the units on screen name in the tag section correctly. Im just testing my first loc mod so I only did the units_on_screen_*MYUNIT_NAME* thing. Did I miss something? Am I not activating the mod pack for the loc? cause I cant see it. Is it something in the DB I missed?

    Please help!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Complete guide to ETW's localisation files (aka "The Loc")

    I am trying to change the description for a custom 4 deck naval unit for britain. I have created the new unit and it works, is recruitable and displays the custom name i have given it but for some reason i cannot change the description (background historical info you get when right clicking on a unit). No matter what i do i always get the same description for the santissima trinidad (the unit i cloned to make my custom unit) but here is the thing. After realising these changes to description hadn't work i went back to the loc and changed a portion of the description. This change shows up in the game. So, i assume that somehow the description for the ST is overriding my new custom description so i completely remove it from the loc file. It is still showing up in the game instead of my custom description.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

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