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Heroes Community > Heroes 4 - Lands of Axeoth > Thread: Nimostar's Releases [WITH TOTAL CONVERSION "Greatest Mod"]
Thread: Nimostar's Releases [WITH TOTAL CONVERSION "Greatest Mod"] This thread is 11 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 · «PREV / NEXT»
kkfkkkfk
kkfkkkfk

Tavern Dweller
posted August 04, 2017 05:48 AM

NimoStar,When will it be updated?

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LucPatenaude
LucPatenaude


Famous Hero
Owning all 6 Heroes games
posted August 04, 2017 08:07 AM

@Strigvir: It is strongly recommended that you upgrade your O.S.

Win 7 is still, a Windows version 6.1 Edition. And, the x64 edition doesn't cover, fully, the x86 side of gaming, properly that is.

Even Windows 8 or 8.1(6.2 and 6.3 respectively) x64 editions are still stuck with this 32 bit compatibility problem.

Only Window 10 Home/Pro(version 10.xxxx)at any level of versions(1511, 1607 and 1703) x64 has these compatibily problems solved all the way down to many 16 bit games from the late 1980's era of PC gaming.

If your machine can not take such a grandiose and extremely large O.S. such as Win. 10, then I strongly suggest investing in a 2017 machine via the closest electronics store of your own country.

I have many GoG.com games that run on my Windows 10 Home Edition @ version 1703 x64. The Battle Chess trio, Heroes 2 Gold unmodded, Heroes 3 Complete with the Heroes 3 HD+ mod onto it(no longer needs the GOG launcher any more but, must use a manual launching of the .exe by sending it directly to the Desktop window, Heroes 4 Complete that even the getting very old mod of Equilibris did actually work the same way as for modding the Heroes 3 Complete game then, removed Equilibris and applied the updated files of Nimostar's Greatest Mod onto it(did almost no overwriting of the existing files though-interesting is it not) and runs now, without any help from the GOG launcher configuration.

Here's a curiosity based question: Did you take the time at upgrading the Visual Studio C++ redistributable packages from 2008 up to 2015 that has the x86 and the x64 files for every year such gaming files were released? If not. You must do so on your Win. 7 PC as to see if that improves the launching of your games both in 32 bit and 64 bit alike. Even Windows 10 Edition still requires you to do just that anyway. Does not come included in the O.S. installation procedures.


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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted August 26, 2017 01:12 AM

I play the game with windows 7 both 32 and 64 bits no problem. Check compatibility options, that is it.

In fact most of the mod was made on windows 7 64 bits...

Anyways...

Update will be done when I have broadband internet.

Right now I have only 8kb cell phone internet, this from months. That's a reason why mod development was halted. Also, I wanted to see if new mod toold were done, because playability has reached the limit with current tools.

Next updates of the mod will focus on graphics and music updates.

For example, faction's castle musics will be updated to include their new "feel", which is different from the old one. This also alleviates confusion.

Other musics will be replaced by Heroes 2 or Heroes 3 ones.

As to towns their background pictures and some buildings also could change.

Also, as the Music files are separated, the use of this will be optional.

Another possible updates is on the portraits, to make creatures not have incorrect and confusing "rings".

But I had wanted to wait for Namerutan's tool to be fully featured before doing it. I still don't know if replacing graphics with it actually works.
____________
CLICK on the image to discover H4 Greatest Mod!

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted August 26, 2017 08:08 AM

Regarding portraits, there's an alternative way, in case you still can't get Namerutan's tool working - I haven't seen him online for months, so don't expect an update for the tool.
Anyway you can edit you desired portrait by using the Equi FaceTool. Once pasted and saved, open the proper heroes layer with hexeditor, copy the desired hero portrait and then paste/replace the creature portrait in the creature layer. It's quite easy. Just remember to replace both image sizes 82 and 52 and rename the inserted hero portrait to the proper creature name, that should do it.
Look at Radmutants tread 'how to add new objects/images' if you're uncertain where image info starts and ends.

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nimostar
nimostar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted August 27, 2017 05:18 AM

Yes, i know its in theory possible that way as was discussed. Just very slow , a lot of work to do individually do like 80 creatures. Lots of chances of mistakes that are game-breaking if I miscopy a single character ir offset. Thst is why I was waiting for a better option, faster, more reliable, more efficient.

But if all that fails, this you say will have to be enough...
____________
CLICK on the image to discover H4 Greatest Mod!

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted August 27, 2017 10:00 AM

I understand your wish, but I doubt we'll ever get a tool that would able of that much. The FaceTool edits layer files and txt files and packs it. Both types are external files. The same would be the case with a tool that could create new objects. But in order to add new heroes or creatures, the tool would have to make changes to the editor (internal), and even though I don't posess any programing skills, I doubt that is possible to setup. But I know of two community members who are programmers. I could forward recent knowledge about modding, and hear why they think would be possible.

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Baronus
Baronus


Supreme Hero
posted August 27, 2017 03:12 PM

Only painting creatures is long time work. Copy paste from facetool is rather fast.

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nimostar
nimostar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted August 29, 2017 01:50 AM

The pasting of text itself on hex not whst i am concerned on but the packaging and testing. 95% of my mod time work is finding errors when something doesnt work. I hace over 50 unworking infernal versions from develooment. I am sure with equilibris team this is similar.

By using n automated program entirely to do the editing for me i would exponentially lower the chances of mistakes.

By the way, has anyone used the mod online yet?
____________
CLICK on the image to discover H4 Greatest Mod!

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted August 29, 2017 06:50 PM

Well I guess that's assuming the program always knows which part to edit or where to copy/paste. The way I see it, in order to reach such point, you'd have to learn what works and what doesn't. One would also need a database of how various info is read/edited - like the difference between adding a new image to an object or changing a heroes class.
From what I understand the intend with Namerutan's tool, was to have a userfriendly program that to some extend could automate the process of adding new objects, but we both know it's unfinished.

Have you had succes with editing the exe file or did you only mod files packed within the h4r file?
I tried editing the editor, and so far I've only been succesfull with replacing. I tried adding a hero keyword, but all attempts so far have resulted in the editor no longer being a regocnized program, so I can't open it. I guess it would make sense if the issue is related to lack of added info to read the change (like 05 anium indicates anium being a 5 letter word), but unlike in objects and potraits, I don't see a clear indicator of similar info

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radmutant69
radmutant69


Adventuring Hero
posted August 30, 2017 08:18 PM

At once I tried to add a new creature keyword to that list in the exe. It wasn'nt caused crash only if I didn't switch the line of last official keyword 'megadragon'. Every other cases the game crashed, no matter I added new keyword or not, and the game never recognised the newly added keyword.

My method was this: I deleted some of the 00's between keywords to make more free space in the list as NimoStar said at once when he shared his idea to add new creatures.

I think it's works as the hero keyword list. You barely can add  a really new keyword just like that. I think we need a programmer to edit the h4.DLL instead. The Equilibris team surely had a purpose to use/make that instead editing the main exe. I think.

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radmutant69
radmutant69


Adventuring Hero
posted August 30, 2017 08:20 PM
Edited by radmutant69 at 20:54, 30 Aug 2017.

At once I tried to add a new creature keyword to that list in the exe. It wasn'nt caused crash only if I didn't switch the line of last official keyword 'megadragon'. Every other cases the game crashed, no matter I added new keyword or not, and the game never recognised the newly added keyword.

My method was this: I deleted some of the 00's between keywords to make more free space in the list as NimoStar said at once when he shared his idea how to add new creatures.

I think it's works as the hero keyword list. You barely can add  a really new keyword just like that. I think we need a programmer to edit the h4.DLL instead. The Equilibris team surely had a purpose to use/make that instead editing the main exe. I think.

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted August 30, 2017 09:01 PM
Edited by Karmakeld at 21:02, 30 Aug 2017.

I know iLiVeInAbOx05 talked about doing dll editing (it might be easier than hex modding or something), but I guess he lacked/lacks some info to know what to edit. I'll point him to this, and see if he has some insight to share.

Radmutant, so what was the result of deleting some of those 00's?

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radmutant69
radmutant69


Adventuring Hero
posted August 30, 2017 09:11 PM
Edited by radmutant69 at 21:40, 30 Aug 2017.

Hmm...? What I said. The game did not recognize the newly added data if I did not delete enough 00s to change line of the last official keyword. That did not work at all.

And if I changed line it just crashed the game. I think this is why the Equi team made their major changes (like new artifact/treasure buildings) via that dll.

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iliveinabox05
iliveinabox05


Adventuring Hero
posted August 30, 2017 09:20 PM
Edited by iliveinabox05 at 21:22, 30 Aug 2017.

I did some brief research into dll stuff and I definitely think that's the way to go, but I don't really have the time (nor the knowledge) to pursue it.

That way you don't have to worry about breaking the .exe. It's more hooking methods and editing memory locations if I recall correctly.

Edit. I think I first looked into dll's for my H4 Map Editor because I wanted to be able to insert scripting onto purchased heroes and do other cool stuff like add objects to a map that is currently being played.

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radmutant69
radmutant69


Adventuring Hero
posted August 30, 2017 09:31 PM

iliveinabox05 said:
(nor the knowledge)


Oh yes. It is the real problem of all of us I think...

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radmutant69
radmutant69


Adventuring Hero
posted August 30, 2017 09:33 PM
Edited by radmutant69 at 21:37, 30 Aug 2017.

iliveinabox05 said:
(nor the knowledge)


Oh yes. It is the real problem of all of us I think...

Edit: sorry for duplicated posts. I really don't know WTF was this...

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iliveinabox05
iliveinabox05


Adventuring Hero
posted August 30, 2017 10:31 PM

If I had the time I could find the knowledge

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NimoStar
NimoStar


Promising
Famous Hero
Modding the Unmoddable
posted August 30, 2017 11:49 PM
Edited by NimoStar at 21:58, 31 Aug 2017.

Except that time could be almost unlimited to get a limited amount of knowledge. Humans took thousands of years and hundreds of generations to know how to farm. If a man on himself tries to learn without resources, they are doomed...

Anyways... Dll editing is still "hex editing", AKA, it is done mostly by machine code, AKA, it's written on Assembly most like the .exe you can see.

Surely there are ways to write on universal programming languages, and then compile DLLs, but then you have to know what works with the .exe - this is not feasible from my limited understanding without having the source code/ recompiling the .exe itself.

From what I know the only viable ways to expand modding in the labyrinth that is H4 is either:

- making an Open Source reprogram (from scratch),

- Or petitioning Ubisoft to release the source code for this "old and obsolete" game.


VCMI and ERA did open code versions of H3, one of them is written from scratch. OPENRA does it with classic CNC games. they don't use existing code, they write code all over again to reach the same functions. From this is open source and unlimited modding.

Sadly we don't have such project for H4 (maybe because it was kind of a failure and a rushed game and not a "masterpiece" like H3 is considered :V) , but on the other side H3 is pretty generic HOMM TBS formula, while H4 with fighting heroes and independent creatures is much of an innovative game. Not to mention fully isometric prerendered graphics have much more possibilities than generic square grid map/hexagonal bidimensional combat.

***

Little programming lesson

Having said that, manually extending .dll is much superior to exe editing, mainly because DLL can be indefinitely extended while the .exe has a fixed extension that should not be changed from lenght a single byte, since all adressess are fixed and this will f*ck them up. that is why karmakeld attempts will never work.

As a simple lesson in .exe editing for those that don't understand, the program for example says after a creature "go to adress ff832a5 and read the values there". By changing a byte of lenght you are displacing the whole code (like when you write a character back in your text and the line drops), therefore the computer will not find the expected piece of code on the expected location, and the program will fail execution. Since you cannot practically change each instance of "go to X" "jump X", etc., these edits are doomed to fail in long, complex programs like H4.

I have certainly edited parts of the exe, but I have always replaced some bytes with other bytes; I could never add more bytes when needed, for example to give creatures MORE abilities than they already have, or to create more creatures, more artifacts, more adventure objects, more classes, more than three starting skills per class, etc.
I could only use the "blank" space left by null instructions, or the "used" space by other values by replacing them.


In a program before compiling (AKA the "source code"), you can change this much more easily, since basically it has not been translated to "Machine-readable" instructions.

.dll s are machine-readable ionstructions too, but these are in this case made as "auxiliary" files to the .exe, they are thus extendable and much smaller and more manageable. Conciabvably, yuou could even have many of them (DLL library structure), each one extending on some aspects of the game.

***

There is an extension program for modding Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge CNC RTS for example. This one uses an even better method than Equilibris (if not more "machine-efficient" method than Equilibris).
This project is called Ares and is like its thirteenth incarnation or so, highly sucessful and used by almost every  RA2:YR modder (until OpenRA is now becoming the more popular platform, but it took years of development by a dedicated team of programers).

Equilibris uses a single .dll that is launched by a modified executable. That is why the .dll takes it's "cues" from the .exe, and only runs what and when the modified .exe tells it to.

The Ares project uses a "Syringe" .BAT file, that is launched INSTEAD of the .exe - The .exe is not modified at all, but is launched by the .bat, which also has other functions. This .bat file "injects" the code of external .dll into the .exe at real time execution. Thus, you have a "modded" .exe with extra and modified features by its code being replaced and complemented with the DLLs by the real-time, constant execution of this batch (.bat) script.

Something like that could be made for H4 too, since it's also based on a pre-compiled program in assembly without the source code (RA2:YR), complemented by this "injection" of later, independent code.

The thing is having knowledgable and interested people that do it - they could even examine the Ares code since it is written as open source and then compiled later from what I understand (something not possible with the Equilibris method): https://github.com/Ares-Developers/Ares


***

Anyways, I would still start a petition to Ubisoft for the H4 and earlier source codes and pray... since they are using Unreal Engine 4 which is open-source now, maybe someone there is sympathetic to the plea and how it will positively affect their PR and "frasnchises" since it's their IP now. Who knows, it costs little and we could gain much. If they say no we could slowly proceed on the project ourselves with that certainty at least.
____________
CLICK on the image to discover H4 Greatest Mod!

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Karmakeld
Karmakeld


Famous Hero
posted August 30, 2017 11:50 PM
Edited by Karmakeld at 00:16, 31 Aug 2017.

iLiVe.. we'll send you a life time supply of Increase Time potions ;-D

Nimo,
I know others are interested in the source code, but has anyone actually tried contacting UbiSoft about it? (Though I doubt it will bear fruit).

Also I know this community has some programmers like iLiVe.. FrostyMuadib, Namerutan and Duzeom.. No harm in trying to reach out for them or others with your request..

I also want to clarify one minor thing, although we can't add new types of objects, new adventure objects CAN be added.

As for exe editing, that was quite enlightening for someone with little knowledge of what goes on inside a program file.

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iliveinabox05
iliveinabox05


Adventuring Hero
posted August 31, 2017 12:13 AM
Edited by iliveinabox05 at 17:24, 31 Aug 2017.

Well, I do program for my job, so I would say getting the knowledge wouldn't actually take that long nor be that difficult

And I would also code the dll from my own source, not edit a binary file that someone else compiled.


NimoStar said:
The Ares project uses a "Syringe" .BAT file, that is launched INSTEAD of the .exe - The .exe is not modified at all, but is launched by the .bat, which also has other functionjs. This .bat file "injects" the code of external .dll into the .exe at real time execution. Thus, you have a "modded" .exe with extra and modified features by it's code being replaced and complimented with the DLLs by the real-time, constant execution of this batch (.bat) script.

Something like that could be made for H4 too, since it's also based on a pre-compiled program in assembly without the source code (RA2:YR), complimented by this "injection" of later, independent code.


This injecting is actually what I was talking about. Hooking methods to redirect to our own methods to fix or modify what we want.

Eh, hopefully I'll be able to pull myself away from my current addiction soon (Pokemon Go). I would have plenty of time without that directing my life >.< (and the game is trash now)

Edit: Ultimately, getting a hold of the source code would make things easiest!

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