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Thread: Starting to Mod

  1. #1
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    Default Starting to Mod

    Hello everyone!
    I have been considering to start my own modding path in Medieval II - Total War. This one is a game I truly like and always feel like tweaking it and other people's mods.

    In order to start practicing I decided to alter a mod I thoroughly enjoy - Thera: Legacy of the Great Torment. Now, a disclaimer, as it appears, the long disappeared creator of the mod's wish was not to have any sub-mods not approved by him/her be published - I however, don't intend to do so, using it mostly as a training ground for I find it to be more productive to start out with things I truly enjoy.
    I am aware of the modding tutorials on the Total War Forums, and I will be exploring them accordingly.

    My intent with this board is to ask for all of your opinions, if this is feasible, how difficult it is and tips if you'd like!

    As such, I will list my main ideas, from easiest to most difficult as I perceive it:

    1. Nominal and qualitative edits to factions:


    • Units - the first and easiest thing to do (which I have already done) is to edit units across the board: changing stats, abilities, numbers, name changing etc.
    • Regions - I also which to alter the names of certain settlements.


    2. Adding new dynamics to one single faction:

    This will be focused on Povos da Hispānia. It is stuck in a pre-modern style of warfare, however is close to modern factions, with muskets, rifles, artillery and sophisticated plate armour.
    My intent is, in adding a little lore, making it so that this faction is able to recruit such units as well. That would probably not be too hard, apart from creating unit entries and importing models from vanilla or other mods. But I want to make it something more interesting. I have noticed through other mods that the type of events I will describe ahead seem possible.

    I wish that the ability to recruit those units be based on the completion of these conditions:


    • the conquest of determined settlements
    • the initiation of trade relations to a faction which has more advanced armament - I want this to be a one time thing, so it doesn't get annulled after relations break, so it might be something else involving contact with other factions other than trade to trigger this


    This way I wish to simulate an exchange of ideas and technologies, born from connections but also the will of the sovereign to consolidate and modernize his country.

    The conditions would allow the following:


    • new recruitment options (the new units) would be available in the recruiting buildings, and maybe also through certain city/castle levels
    • maybe allow some new buildings
    • at least some of the old units would become unavailable


    Still for this faction I would like to, if possible or easy enough, change the flag and character names.

    3. Mercenary buildings

    The latest Elder Scrolls: Total War mod allows, in the 4th Age Campaign, for loyal Skyrim to build a legion camp and recruit units. I noticed by going through the files a bit that the building relies on an hidden resource in order to be built in a region, and that the units aren't in code the same as the imperial faction.

    Using something like this, I would like to add Mercenary camp buildings that would recruit certain mercenaries according to regions (and maybe the owner?)

    4. Adding new settlements

    This is what I think would be most troublesome, but I also want to learn to add settlements and change borders, etc..

    Conclusion

    This is all! I humbly ask for your opinions on the matter:
    Is it too ambitious? Where should I start? Do you have any tips you can provide?

    Thank you all!

    SirKeeper

  2. #2

    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    I think your version of Thera might be good revision of the original mod.
    Also i like your version of Hispania army, because the original one are boring to play, obviosly because they fight like ancient barbarians despite that other factions can easily recruit some artillery or firearm infantry. Good luck, sir!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    Every faction should have smaller provinces and more settlements. The more settlements of rival factions you conquer the more units you gained. The native american factions should also have armour and have more pike militia and horsemen. I would also consider using models from other mods and incorporate it into this new mod.

  4. #4
    Torvus's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    Some of these changes you're proposing will require copious amounts of scripting, which will affect the stability of the mod. Thera was originally built to be very light on scripts to promote as much stability as possible, so I'd just say be aware of that. It's also really well balanced as is, with campaigns never really going forward in exactly the same way, minus a few regrettable exceptions (the CPU Pale Knights almost always get crushed)

    My suggestion for an easier method of rebuilding the Povos would be to do what TFON did for the Romuli, and make a high tier fire-arm unit only recruitable at the highest level ranged barracks. I would also suggest adopting one of the tactics that Rome II uses for the celtic barbarians and make their units have more men and be less expensive.

    One thing I personally would like to see is more land bridges between continents. Medieval II is so anti aquatic invasions that having land bridges would really shake things up in a good way, IMO.

  5. #5
    Foederatus
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    Thank you!
    I have just started my modding experience in this game but I have already figured, with help from the wonderful tutorials here - Index of Modding Tutorials -how to import units, change textures and swap models, etc. I am still thinking what would be the new war philosophy of the Reformed Hispania - light rifle infantry oriented, with the continuation of axe wielding heavy infantry (like the faustian pioneers) are some characteristics I intend to apply.
    The difficult part, from what I have studied so far, concerns the event bit. It is fairly easy to make it so new units become available, but making previous ones unavailable seems to require some more coding skills.

  6. #6
    Foederatus
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    Thanks for the response.
    As I am just starting, I felt like going with some smaller goals first, and start with Hispania only, although I do share the sentiment about the settlements in that there should be some more, and smaller, but that might just have to wait some more.

  7. #7
    Foederatus
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    Thank you very much for the feedback!
    From what I've read I would need to add an event script. Since this is only for one faction, do you think that would cause too much instability? I do like the idea of making the modern units available later on instead of through event though, as that would indeed simulate the effort and investment needed to make such changes.
    I did think about adding a few land bridges to make it so that the campaign becomes somewhat more dynamic, and the A.I. less prone to get stuck.
    What do you think of adding settlements, making some areas of the map more dense? Having just started modding, I feel like this would be the more work heavy task.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    Hey! I have encountered some difficulties.
    I am trying to add a new unit to start, and I keep getting a CTD on startup.
    All the textures are in place, as well as the models, sprites and pictures.
    Here is the export_descr_unit entry:

    type infantaria de ordenanca
    dictionary infantaria_de_ordenanca
    category infantry ; professional, neworld, sword, quality ,heavyinf ; V4 BALANCED
    class heavy
    voice_type Heavy
    accent Mediterranean
    banner faction main_infantry
    banner holy crusade
    soldier infantaria_de_ordenanca, 48, 0, 1.2
    attributes sea_faring, hide_forest, very_hardy, can_withdraw
    formation 1.2, 0, 2.4, 2.4, 3, square
    stat_health 1, 0
    stat_pri 7, 4, no, 0, 0, melee, melee_blade, piercing, sword, 0, 1
    stat_pri_attr no
    stat_sec 0, 0, no, 0, 0, no, melee_simple, blunt, none, 0, 1
    stat_sec_attr no
    stat_pri_armour 7, 5, 6, metal
    stat_sec_armour 0, 0, flesh
    stat_heat 3
    stat_ground 1, -2, 4, 0
    stat_mental 10, normal, trained
    stat_charge_dist 15
    stat_fire_delay 0
    stat_food 60, 300
    stat_cost 1, 400, 200, 100, 75, 400, 4, 400
    armour_ug_levels 3, 4
    armour_ug_models infantaria_de_ordenanca, infantaria_de_ordenanca_ug1
    ownership portugal
    era 0 portugal
    era 1 portugal
    era 2 portugal
    info_pic_dir portugal
    card_pic_dir portugal
    recruit_priority_offset 50
    and here is the battle_models.modeldb entry:

    23 infantaria_de_ordenanca
    1 4
    51 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/ordenanca_lod0.mesh 121
    51 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/ordenanca_lod1.mesh 900
    51 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/ordenanca_lod2.mesh 2500
    51 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/ordenanca_lod3.mesh 6400
    1
    8 portugal
    70 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/textures/modern_plate_portugal.texture
    68 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/textures/modern_plate_normal.texture
    58 unit_sprites/portugal_Dismounted_Conquistadores_sprite.spr
    1
    8 portugal
    59 unit_models/AttachmentSets/Final Iberian_spain_diff.texture
    59 unit_models/AttachmentSets/Final Iberian_spain_norm.texture 0
    1
    4 None
    14 MTW2_Swordsman 0
    2
    18 MTW2_Sword_Primary
    14 fs_test_shield 0
    16 -0.090000004 0 0 -0.34999999 0.80000001 0.60000002
    27 infantaria_de_ordenanca_ug1
    1 4
    55 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/ordenanca_ug1_lod0.mesh 121
    55 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/ordenanca_ug1_lod1.mesh 900
    55 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/ordenanca_ug1_lod2.mesh 2500
    55 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/ordenanca_ug1_lod3.mesh 6400
    1
    8 portugal
    70 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/textures/modern_plate_portugal.texture
    68 unit_models/_Units/povos_modern/textures/modern_plate_normal.texture
    62 unit_sprites/portugal_Dismounted_Conquistadores_ug1_sprite.spr
    1
    8 portugal
    62 unit_models/AttachmentSets/Final Iberian_portugal_diff.texture
    62 unit_models/AttachmentSets/Final Iberian_portugal_norm.texture 0
    1
    4 None
    14 MTW2_Swordsman 0
    2
    18 MTW2_Sword_Primary
    14 fs_test_shield 0
    16 -0.090000004 0 0 -0.34999999 0.80000001 0.60000002
    I am using these two guides from Stephan and Gigantus, what could I be doing wrong?

  9. #9
    Virian's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    1)I would like to propose that you do something about the Calypso priests of the Uruks... those things hit WAY ABOVE what their 100 denari price in custom battles would imply.

    2)Also the Mesoamerican roster could use some rework as the warriors of Kukulcan have most of the units of the other 2 mesocalan factions making the paynal roster look like a joke if I'm being honest. Either take some of the Kukulcan's unit from their roster or add 1 or 2 to the paynal.

    3) Perhaps you could buff the pale knights a bit on the campaign map? there hasn't been a single game I actually managed to fight the pale knights even when playing as the romuli which are relatively close.

    4) I'm not sure if it's just me but the units seem to be moving cluncky, sometimes refusing to move or attack even when I order them multiple times. I have to order them to run behind the enemy units in order to attack or wait for the enemy to reach me

    5)Glad to see this mod isn't dead, because I absolutely love it

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    Thank you!
    Since I have just started I decided to stick with the povos as per my 2nd point. I am currently giving them the militia units of the Reich and the Ducado which is easy enough. I am having problems with adding entirely new units though. (since I am a Portuguese speaker I will also give them proper and logical names).
    1) This is definitely in the plans, as per my 1st point. I am also thinking of making the Dominion into more of a horde faction, and less of a super elite small unit focused one.
    2) and 3) those factions rosters will have to wait. Changing stats and numbers is easy and I might make their units larger, but adding new units is proving somehow troublesome (which it really shouldn't, but I am already getting some help). I also think, as per the lore, that the Kukulkan are supposed to have a mix of both factions, but I do need to check.
    4) that just seems like the game in general, I don't really see much difference between the mod and vanilla med 2 in that respect

  11. #11
    Virian's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    2 and 3, the kukulcan are suposed to have arts of the other 2 faction's rosters but I doubt having 90% of their roster is normal
    4. I don't think sono, it might be because I'm playing romuli with their javelins but on med 2 and even most mods when I order my units to attack they actually attack and not just sit there.

    Also yeah take your time, I was just giving suggestions on what I'd like to see. I'm not the type of guy to just expect everything will be done super fast because I want to.All said I'm looking forwards to seeing how your submod will turn out.

  12. #12
    Foederatus
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    That's a good point yes. I might look into it. What would you suggest one should add it to make the faction more unique?
    About the 4th point that is quite odd indeed, I might try and see but the romulii infantry, having javelins, might be slower to start a charge if that's what you mean.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    A small update:
    It seems like the mod is already using the 500 unit entries available! I would like to add some new units, which units do you think the mod could do without?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    Romuli should not have javelin but more gladiators or possibly more cavalry. Or even more musketeers.

  15. #15
    Foederatus
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    I am considering doubling the numbers on their gunner units, but still keeping them hard to get, as the Romuli compensante the lack of guns by fielding what is arguably some of the best infantry. The javelins are contentious though, I'm not sure I would remove them.
    The gladiators on the other hand, they just feel somewhat odd to me, and out of place.

  16. #16
    Virian's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    Hmm, try and test the units with and without javelins and see how they do... as for what units should be removed... well you could do without some of fausts, let's say extra gunner units that nobody uses, for example the only gun units I bother using with the fausts are the line infantry and the militias, everything else is quite frankly an extra when it come to guns, but I believe that's just me. The kulcan's roster can also be thined out as they have a lot of them. In the central continent ( with the muslims, christians and pagans messing around) there are some mercenaries that are dirt cheap to get and while not great they are quite frankly better than their price would suggest and their upkeep is quite low, perhaps removing some of them and increasing the recruiting rate of the others would balance things out? In fact doing so for most mercenary pools would probably be a boon as you take a few of the mercenaries that aren't really useful, or simply superfluous and add other units in the faction's roster.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    I shall yes (I already have a mounting list of things to test!).
    I assume you're talking about the Guard units. Would the feeling be similar to the Ducado Units?
    About the kukulcan, I don't think thinning the roster would work, most units are shared which means that, even though the units are shared between factions, they only count as a single entry in the EDU.
    The mercenaries solution is totally a valid solution. I personally never really liked the gladiators down south for example, they seem out of place and odd.

  18. #18
    Virian's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: Starting to Mod

    Never played with Valiente to be honest, they just rub me the wrong and I could never start a campaign.

    As for that gladiators? quite frankly in the early game as the romuli I'm pretty much on a mercenary recruiting spree so that I can get a lot of the eastern conquests before the Uruks . I swear it even when I'm quite literally moving straight there and then taking the settlement in the same turn they still manage to move there faster than me most of the time. If you wanna remove some units (please don't remove the spartan units and the pike unit) then please add a larger recruiting pool to the ones that are left.

    Also I think the gladiators on the battlefield make perfect sense. The romuli have named their empire the Constant Empire, because they're constantly at war, getting slaves/ pop stars to join in into the fun is expected of the little war maniacs. I'm honestly surprised the women don't join in as auxiliaries from how warlike I imagine them to be from the description and the quotes.
    Last edited by Virian; December 24, 2019 at 02:01 PM.

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