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What DA2 mods are possible - and why so few


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#1
eleglas

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This Thread is intended to let people who wish to request a mod know what modders can and cannot do. I will also update this thread with news about recent breakthroughs in modding Dragon Age 2.

There are severe limitations to what modders can do for Dragon Age 2 when compared with Dragon Age Origins. The biggest problem is a lack of an updated Toolset released by Bioware to work with the new file structures. Some of you may be aware that Bioware released a Toolset for modders with Dragon Age Origins; this allows modders to create great works that benefit the game greatly and share them with the public. However Bioware has not yet announced whether it will be releasing an updated Toolset for Dragon Age 2.

Even without such an update, modding can still be done on this game, albeit not to such a great extent as Dragon Age Origins. But new breakthroughs in modding are always coming from unknown directions, we now have the ability to edit models when we did not before, we thank tmp7704 greatly for this breakthrough.

One of the few possible modifications to make can be done using the GFF editor, found here: pyGFF. Using this tool, people can make modifications to existing items in game by changing their save game; or swapping around models for items. The GFF can also be used to change some forms of gameplay such as Talents/Spells. While editing through the GFF can be complicated and daunting for new modders, it is the most versitile modding tool we have at present.

Adding new items to the game is possible now; but can be very difficult, especially to new modders.

Another form of modding which is possible, are retextures; these will change the textures of in game items such as armour or weapons. This will usually require going into the games uti files and finding the appropriate textures you wish changed and extracting them, editing them and placing the newly modified texture (once converted to an ERF) into the Override folder (see below)

At this time, to install the majority of all mods simple requires either the end user (i.e. you) to drag and drop the appropriate files into their override folder, usually found here: "My Documents\BioWare\Dragon Age 2\packages\core\override" (If this folder is not present inside the "Core" folder, just make a new folder and call it Override) or to make the modification themselves, there are several tutorials on how to do this available on the Nexus Forums.

I hope this thread has given you some insight into what is possible to do with this game, and look forward to hearing from you.

If I have missed something, or there is new modding news I should be aware of, please feel free to make a post here and I will edit my original post as needed, giving full credit to those who brought it to my attention.

Thank you for reading.

Eleglas




News Updates:

[6th April 2011]
It has recently been brought to my attention that sound and music files can now be edited, kudos to TehOpheliac for bringing this to my attention and to the BSN member Refara for this awesome tutorial: http://social.biowar...66408/2#6793978

[17th May 2011]
This may have been known for a bit longer, but I only found out today; but thanks to tmp7704 over at the BSN, we now have the ability to edit the models of armours and such. We all thank tmp7704 for this amazing breakthrough and hope to see more from him and kudos to ishmaeltheforsaken here on the nexus for bringing this to my attention. In order to edit the models you will need this tool: http://social.biowar...v=files#details

List of Tutorials:

Custom weapons in DA2 - markoBG
How to run DA2 Windowed (No Border) - XunAmarox
[How] To change the color to the textures - henryXD
How To Add,Remove and Swap Skill/Spell Effect - kurniallah2412
Re-skinning using GFF Editor - GreatFuzzy1
Adding Attribute, Skill & Specalization points through pyGFF - b33tlejuice
Resource & Content swapping or replacing - AmmonLymphater
Editing Music Files - Refara
Armour Retex in DA2 - OdanUrr87


List of useful modding Tools:

pyGFF
Gibbed Save Game Generator
Thought Proccess's ERF Packer
ww2ogg Music Editor
Lightwave import-export plugin

Edited by eleglas, 26 May 2011 - 11:04 PM.


#2
Sabal1984

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...Item creation is also not possible at this time.


But it is! :biggrin:

http://nwvault.ign.c...r.detail&id=669

By the way, nice job on the informative post - it should really help people who know little about modding. It's also nice that you put up a list of all the editors and their download locations. Good job! :thumbsup:

P.S. We should probably get this stickied. :whistling:

Edited by Sabal1984, 04 April 2011 - 09:45 PM.


#3
revan1988

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It IS stickied...

On the item creation matter, that doesn't exactly let you create items from fresh templates. It's more like modding existing items and then renaming them into something unique. And more problems arise when you change the item's templateresref... especially when it comes to adding said items to your inventory mid-game, considering the vanilla vaddin wont work. So, it's either the ubiquitous modding of the rewards file or adding them to your character upon creation.

I'm still trying to find alternatives :wallbash:

#4
Sabal1984

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It IS stickied...

On the item creation matter, that doesn't exactly let you create items from fresh templates. It's more like modding existing items and then renaming them into something unique. And more problems arise when you change the item's templateresref... especially when it comes to adding said items to your inventory mid-game, considering the vanilla vaddin wont work. So, it's either the ubiquitous modding of the rewards file or adding them to your character upon creation.

I'm still trying to find alternatives :wallbash:


Well, you can pretty much edit the item to your heart's content, which means it's as good as creating ones from scratch. Changing the resreft and tag, and giving it another name pretty much makes it its own item, especially if you go and completely change its stats or whatever.

But yeah, I agree with you on the part about adding them to an existing game. So far, it's only thorough rewards.gda (the cool part is that rewards.gda recognizes custom resref strings and will actually spawn a brand new item into your inventory *IF* said item is in the override as an .erf), or messing with vaddin and expanding its list (which, by the way, according to Thought Process should work but always fails for me).

We should petition Thought Process to upgrade Vaddin so it looks for items from the override as well as the game files (if rewards.gda can pull custom items from the override which have had their names + tags + resref changed, then so can Vaddin). I hope this wouldn't be too much work, thought, but not being a programmer, I have no idea.

Also, I can't believe the devs didn't include some kind of 'additem' command that checks for the override folder. I can't imagine how they playtested DA2 during development without such a command. Without it, one would need to re-compile/re-build/whatever the whole item list file each time one wanted to spawn an item into the game. But then again, Bioware games have always been known for their archaic naming of resources, so I wouldn't be surprised to find out their programmers hex-haxx0red their own game each time they wanted to test it...

#5
fruitgnome

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Is it possible to create new tactics???

Edited by fruitgnome, 23 April 2011 - 03:08 PM.


#6
Lionsbarrage

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item creation actually is possible, i have seen a few that havent been in used in origins and nothing about editing a certian item from DA2.

#7
Tair

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Yes, with Addins (read: DLC). There's a few fan ones floating around, but I've only seen weapons - no armor.

#8
Thandal

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And I think that's because the armour and clothing are really body models, whereas weapons are "stand-alone" items. (Well, except for Bianca! :thumbsup: )

#9
Tair

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I believe so too. I'd still love to spend a little time figuring out the Addin system; I'm just not sure if they're worth using if no new textures are being added, though.

Edited by Tair, 28 April 2011 - 08:13 PM.


#10
Matt1713

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Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't there new armor mods with new meshes like nude, sexy underwear, etc. floating around now; so don't they contradict what was said about armors not being possible? Also, Adonnay's Assorted Armoury creates new meshes and weapons into the game (weapons accessed using Vaddi), but he has stated that new weapons and meshes can in fact be made.




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