Modding FAQ

Mods and development for mods. Including WoG & Equilibris (RU) subforums.

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Wulfstan8182
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Modding FAQ

Postby Wulfstan8182 » Jan 1 2008, 7:11

Ok, i was looking through the whole Modcrafting guild and i noticed that there are a lot of threads with a small question which could be answered once, and does not need a discussion. So, i decided to make a thread where people could ask questions, and other people, would answer them. yeah, just like the one on HC :D . since this is copied, i just want to let you know that a thread like this was originally made by sfidanza on HC. I just thought that CH needs such a thread because of an overwhelming number of small questions needing just one reply. so, from the next line and on, it is sfidanza's words.

--- Using a mod ---
What is a mod?
The mod is a .h5u, .h5m or maybe .pak file, that is nothing more than a renamed zip archive. The various extensions have historic reasons: the handling of user content has been improved over patches after the initial release of the game.
At first, mods had to be .pak files, like the game original data, and placed in the same folder (which is not at all safe, should you make some mistake in handling the files). With the release of the map editor, in september 2006, user-made maps with the .h5m extension have started to appear, and we used it for mods as well (in Maps/). Finally, with the release of ToE in october 2007, mods now have their own extension (.h5u) and place (UserMODs/).

How do I install a mod?
You just have to place the mod in the correct subfolder inside your game's installation folder, depending on its extension. The recommended extension depends on your game version:
» 1.6+, 3.0+ (ToE): .h5u file, to be placed in UserMODs/
» 1.3-1.5, 2.0-2.1 (HoF): .h5m file, to be placed in Maps/
» 1.0-1.2 .pak file, to be placed in data/
Warning: The data/ folder already contains a number of .pak files (data.pak, sound.pak, texts.pak, ...), that are ESSENTIAL to the good working of the game. Do NOT touch these files, or you will have to reinstall the game.
If the indicated folder does not exist (like UserMODs/ in 1.6), you can just create it. If the mod has another extension, you can rename it (but first check that it is supposed to work with your version of the game).

Where is my game's installation folder?
By default, it is "C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\Heroes of Might and Magic V" for H5/HoF, and "C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\Heroes of Might and Magic V - Tribes of the East" for ToE. If you changed it during the install process, well... you should know where it is. Inside it, you will find various folders like "bin/", "data/", ...

How do I uninstall a mod?
Just remove the corresponding file from where you installed it.

Can I play online with a mod?
Yes you can. However, depending on the mod, all the others players might need to have it installed as well. It is not necessary for interface mods (like the Xazardous mods), among others, but any mod that change some game mechanics (creatures, heroes...) will have to be shared by all players. This integrity check ensures that multiplayer games are fair.

Knowing exactly which folders or files are checked for multiplayer integrity still requires further investigation.

--- It doesn't work! ---
When I download a mod, I get a .zip file, with folders inside
You are using Internet Explorer, which automatically renames files (without asking - thanks IE!). Just rename the file back to .h5u.

When I download a mod, I get a file with no extension
You are using Internet Explorer, and Windows is hiding .zip extensions from you. This setting is the default Windows configuration, and certainly one of the most stupidest setting regarding security... Anyway, change the setting to view file extensions, and refer to the previous question.

The mod has the correct extension and is in the correct place
First, if you added the extension yourself, refer to the previous question: the file might still have a hidden .zip extension.
If not, it might be a file date problem: the files inside the mod might have an older "modified date" than the corresponding game's file, or maybe another mod's. This "modified date" is used by the game to determine which version of the file should be used, when multiple copies are found. When you install a patch, this is usually the reason why your mods might stop working.
You can remedy the problem yourself, through the Mod Manager: select you mod and use the "Change Date" tool on the left. If you know your way around, you can also unzip the mod, use a date changing tool, and repack.

--- Creating a mod ---
I wanna be a modder!
.pak, .h5m, .h5u files are zip archives, and can be opened with any good archiver (use winrar to be safe). Start by having a look around in mods made by others. Have a look in data/data.pak as well (but do NOT change anything in it): this is where all the moddable game data is stored. And come to the Modders' Workshop to discuss your ideas or get help from the Heroes Community.

I changed a file, but the game doesn't use it
The first possible cause is that you placed it in the wrong path.
If the path is correct, then you should know that the game will not replace some of its files. I've mostly seen it with .dds files (textures), but not only. The trick in this case is that the game always uses a .(Texture).xdb file that references the actual .dds file. This .xdb file itself can be overwritten: give your new .dds another unused name, and point the .(Texture).xdb to the new file.

What archive format should I use to package my mod?
A mod is a ZIP archive (normal compression works fine). It will NOT work if you use a RAR archive. Once you have your .zip file, you can change its extension to .h5u (unless you are targeting HoF 2.1 only, in which case you might use the .h5m extension).

What user content is considered by the game?
Mods and maps are actually the same for the game. The difference is made to keep things clear for the players. In the same spirit, the game also loads user campaigns and duel presets, so let's sum up all the possible extensions and places for user content:
» .h5u archive in UserMODs/
» .h5m archive in Maps/
» .h5c archive in Campaigns/
» .h5p archive in DuelPresets/
» .pak archive in data/
» raw files in data/ (not archived but with the correct folder structure)

This could be investigated further, but as far as I know, any method gives the same result in-game.
The map editor, however, only loads files from data/ (.pak or raw).

--- Sharing a mod ---
To share a mod, you first have to host it somewhere. Like for images, there are many sites where you can host files for free, for example mediafire.com or megaupload.com, among others.
Once your file is hosted, start a thread here with subject "[Mod] My mod title" (obviously not "My mod title", but the title of your mod - well, you get it). In your post, describe your mod, give the link, a screenshot if relevant, the author(s), the targeted game version, and anything that might help players, like multiplayer compatibility.
If your mod is useful and used, and if you agree, we might host it on AoH so that the file stays easily available in the long run.
Copyright sfidanza co. all rights reserved. published by sfidanza on HC on December 8th 2007.

Have fun! ;)

EDIT: nvm, fixed it. B-)
Last edited by Wulfstan8182 on Jan 1 2008, 17:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby magnomagus » Jan 1 2008, 13:13

Good work! This thread should be sticky.

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Postby Wulfstan8182 » Jan 1 2008, 17:38

thanks ;) and i have a question to everyone, does anyone know how to remove stuff from the models? I am working on an Azure and i want the spikes at the back of the talk gone.
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Postby magnomagus » Jan 1 2008, 18:41

The parts you want to be removed must be made transparent. I believe there are several tutorials on the internet about transparency in .dds files, but I haven't searched for links.

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Postby Warmonger » Feb 9 2008, 17:04

Mods won't work for me. I follow your instructions and try to ccombine Mod Manager with my new TotE, but game crashes at launch returning no message. Previous versions of the game did the same, no matter if patched or not. Any clues?

I also think this thread should be sticked.
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Postby Metathron » Feb 9 2008, 18:24

Let's make it clear:

1. So you're trying to use a mod designed for TotE? While some mods designed for previous versions of the game might work, others won't.

2. You have put the mod in your UserMODs folder.

All correct?
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Postby Warmonger » Feb 10 2008, 8:10

Edit: I did it! Just turned Mod Manger off. It was so obvious, but the option of "Start game" made me confused. Will let you know about further success.

Edit: None of the mods has any visible effect. Game runs as if nothing has happened.
Last edited by Warmonger on Feb 10 2008, 16:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Metathron » Feb 10 2008, 12:12

;|

I have no "mod manager" and everything works fine for me.
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Postby Warmonger » Feb 13 2008, 16:34

I'm afraid there is a little info missing. Do mod files still need to be inside the folders before they are zipped? So I put one inside another and then zip the whole to h5u.
Is GameMechanics\RPGStats right directory for DefaultStats file modification?
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Postby Gnoll_Mage » Feb 15 2008, 21:27

Which mod manager, may I ask?

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Postby Warmonger » Mar 2 2008, 6:37

There is only one Mod Manager to choose and I choose not not use it anymore.

My question still needs to be answered :S
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