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Restoring default skill point system to Heroes Unleashed


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Greetings. Doesn't look there is much activity here these days but I'm going to throw out a question anyway.

 

I love the HU mod but was always a fan of the original game's skill point system. I liked team members gaining experience and being able to allocate the points to different skills. Of course, this can't be done in HU presently, as the scales for points have changed (instead of 1 to 8 they are now much higher values). While I can edit the .atr files to bring these back to original values I am unsure how this would effect gameplay.  I'd like to know what files I need to look at to restore the original system if the effects would not be too drastic. What specifically needs changed?

 

Thanks and hopefully someone can answer.

 

 

 

 

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My idea is make a mod with the appropriate actor files from the Origmiss folder and run it at highest priority.

-Set up a mod folder and name it as you like, maybe 'Original Actors'. Of course this needs to be in your GR/ Mod folder.
-Make a sub folder called Actor for your mod. Copy the demolitions, heavy-weapons, rifleman and sniper folders  from the Origmiss/actor folder to your new actor folder.
-Make a modscont.txt file which goes in your mod folder. Copy a modscont.txt from another mod, open it with a text editor and change the name to what you are calling your new mod.
-Activate at highest priority if you are using custom mods, like Heroes Unleashed.
 Example how it will look in the activation screen:
 Desert Siege
 Island Thunder
 Heroes Unleashed
 Your Mod

Not sure if this will do what you wish but it is easily deactivated or deleted if wanted.

 

 

Edited by wombat50
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Well just an update this won't work. Copying the original .atr files to a new mod will certainly alter the skill points but the allocation/reward system is non-functional still. Additionally, you lose any references that were in the HU actor files like skins and attachments.

I really have no problem editing the HU .atr files myself. What I really need is to find out what deactivates the skill distribution system so I can remove those files from the mod.

It seems to me that the allocation system would be hard-coded since it requires user interface on the mission prep screen, so I'm suspecting the new HU graphic (showing skill points) which overlays where the points (dots) were just may be a cosmetic addition, and the point functionality may still be there (just inaccessible). To check this, I loaded and prioritized legacy menus but alas it didn't seem to change anything on that screen. 

 

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It has been a long time since I played a campaign but I did enjoy building up combat points for the soldiers in my fire teams. Getting them to survive unwounded meant they could be used on the next mission. Wounded have to sit out one mission. Custom naming soldiers on the fire teams is possible too.

Am I right in thinking combat points could only be earned in a campaign? IIRC, not all soldiers earned a combat point. That maybe three points per mission was the max?
How they are allocated and the actual amount is something I don't know. In the shell/art folder of HU are numerous RSBs relating to the appearance of the UI and one is called pda-points.rsb. So it is possible that, "the new HU graphic (showing skill points) which overlays where the points (dots) were just may be a cosmetic addition,"

I poked around some but didn't come up with anything but being more confused about it.

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2 hours ago, wombat50 said:

Am I right in thinking combat points could only be earned in a campaign?

I was asking myself the same question (my GR needs to be reinstalled before I can check myself).

If you edit the Desert Siege campaign   ..\mp1\missions\campaign.xml  you will see:

<Campaign>
    <ExtraStatPoints>4</ExtraStatPoints>
    <Mission>
        <Filename>d01_beach.mis</Filename>
        <Hero>d_lindy_cohen.atr</Hero>
    </Mission>

(Same in P2: A Cold Day in Hell, but not origmiss, [but that seems to follow a different format/dir structure, so that value may be set elsewhere])

You could try making the same change to a HU campaign, and see whether that helps.

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Posted (edited)

The ExtraStatPoints tag gives you 4 total stat points you are allowed to allocate to your squad members before launching the campaign. You'll find the same thing in Island Thunder, but not the original campaign.

Once the campaign is launched, each soldier who survives a mission gets a point which can then be allocated at the next mission setup screen.

 

Edited by Jeffy775
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Each mission file has a <CombatPoints>6</CombatPoints> tag.

This is the distribution of points for each mission in quick operations but not in the company.

This will work if the sets in the actors are no more than 8 as in the original. In gameplay textures, you can make buttons with an alpha channel so that buttons or dots are not visible. In fashion, they additionally changed the algorithm for displaying these points. But they are supposed to still work.

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In quick operations, there is a checkbox to automatically assign combat points. If you remove it, you can assign these points in any mission every time. In UH this checkbox is made invisible and all actors have 255 points by default.

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I did an experiment using a Frankenstein version of HU which doesn't use the HU/shell/art folder. I edited the demolition folder in the HU/Actors folder to have stock skill points. That is using numbers eight or below.
In the setup screen the difference is noticeable in the point section.
A rifleman with points in HU format looks like this:

Points HU.jpg

The demolition soldier where his skill points are in RSE format(8 or less) looks like this:
Points_Standard.jpg

I haven't experimented yet how it affects awarding points in the setup screen.

Edited by wombat50
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9 hours ago, wombat50 said:

I did an experiment using a Frankenstein version of HU which doesn't use the HU/shell/art folder. I edited the demolition folder in the HU/Actors folder to have stock skill points.

The same worked for me. I went into a quick mission and was able to assign points, so as long as the combat points tags are present in the missions it should work. In campaign mode, I also got the same allocation screen as you did.

 

However, removing the entire art folder gets rid of the kit avatars (getting blue boxes where the weapons should be)...not sure why they are still there for you. It would be nice if we can narrow down precisely which file to remove. May work on that next.

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Looks like the file is ike.res in the root /shell folder

Removing this reveals the buttons/toggles in the mission prep screen. For HU, however, looks like the combat awarded points are absent from each mission file, so they'd have to added in manually. The .atr files will have to be edited to bring the skill points back down to 2 or 1. All the enemy .atr files will need fixed as well. Will take some work but it's doable.

 

The next question is...by reducing those values so drastically it may severely impact (or negate) some of the AI improvements the mod made. May do the edits for one mission and see what it's like.

 

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I misspoke about my HU setup. I didn't disable the entire shell/art folder.
I left the backdrop, kit and reticle folders along with the main menu and shell_bgd RSBs.

I use Notepad++ and it has a very powerful 'find and replace' feature.
It makes changing all the skill values in the ATRs a much quicker task.
Open all the ATRs in for example, the heavy-weapons folder(about 60 files)

Highlight the line to be edited in one of the ATRs, in this example:
<Weapon>225</Weapon>

Hit Ctr+f which brings up the Find dialogue box
Change the value 225 to a wildcard:     (.*)
<Weapon>(.*)</Weapon>  (this is the find field)
now switch to the 'replace' tab and enter the desired value, for example:
<Weapon>2</Weapon>

*Important note, in the lower left-hand corner of the dialogue box select 'regular expression'.

Use the 'Replace All in Opened Documents' button.
This will replace the line <Weapon>any value by using the wildcard (.*)</Weapon>
to this:<Weapon>2</Weapon>

Go to file in the menu at the top of the and choose 'Save All'

Make a backup of anything you are changing. Test on 2-3 files to get the hang of it.
For all enemy ATRs I'm guessing these should be broken up into more manageable blocks. Maybe 200 at a time is just a guess.
Example:
Dialogue Box.JPG

 

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16 hours ago, wombat50 said:

Open all the ATRs in for example, the heavy-weapons folder(about 60 files)

 

 

Thanks for the notepad++ tip. Playing around with this I can see that you actually don't have to open all the files. You can place the path to all the files in 'directory' field and it will change all those files for you. Even quicker!

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Okay we're in business. I edited all the .atr files with the exception of the weapons ratings for enemy soldiers, which Apex had set as decimals below 1. I believe in the FAQ somewhere he explains some reasoning for it (ai being to accurate), so I didn't touch those. For ghosts, I used the following formula to transfer ratings back to what the developers originally had (or close to it)

225 = 2

200 = 1

175 = 1

 

For civilians and VIPS: all values set to 1

For enemies, I looked in the original files and looks like the skills range from 2 to 4, so I did the following:

255, 250 = 4

225, 200, 175 = 3

150, 125, 100 = 2

 

I set up a campaign, set the skill to 'sandbox' and played the first mission. Upon completion, I was able to assign a combat point to each surviving soldier. So it works. Now all that's left is to play through and see if changing these values alters gameplay too severely. I didn't notice anything on the level I played, but then as I said before, I was playing on the easiest level.

 

 

 

 

 

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