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Heroes Community > Heroes 3.5 - WoG and Beyond > Thread: HoMM 3 Complete & HotA Modding Guide
Thread: HoMM 3 Complete & HotA Modding Guide This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · NEXT»
Juas
Juas


Hired Hero
posted January 09, 2024 04:49 PM
Edited by Juas at 15:26, 12 Jan 2024.

HoMM 3 Complete & HotA Modding Guide for Begginers

Hello everyone
With this post I’m gonna try to explain the stuff I’ve learned about modding HoMM 3 Complete and HotA, here on this community, thanks to you.
I also would like for you guys to help me enhance it, for all of us.

First of all we are gonna need a few programs:
A) MMArchive – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zCsA1cRgBa8u3buxODNEmYWQOxHukZBF/view
B) TextEdit – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o-xqDFvSrjUzbEvxQNE_ERnrGHaqEhjm/view

Part 1: TXTs

1st Step - MMArchive

We open MMArchive, in this Step it is used to extract the TXTs of the game so we can edit them later.

HoMM 3 Complete
We look for the archive “H3bitmap.lod” in the folder “Data” and open it.
HoMM 3 HotA
We look for the archives “HotA.lod” and “HotA_Ing.lod” in the folder “Data” and open them.

We filter the archives by “.txt”.
We look for the ones we are interested in, and extract them anywhere we want.

List of some of them and their use:

CRTRAITS: Stats, Value, Growth and AI Value of all Creatures.
SPTRAITS: Stats, School, Level, AI Value and Text of all Spells.
SSTRAITS: Text of all Secondary Skills.
HOTRAITS: Initial quantity of creatures of the Heroes.
HCTRAITS: Initial Stats, chance of Stats learned per Level, and chance of Skills learned per Level for each Class of Hero.
CrBanks: Monster quantity and Treasure of Banks.
Building: Cost of construction of every Building in every Town.
Artraits: Some stuff about Artifacts and War Machines.
And more...

On HotA, note that the archives must be uploaded to it's correspondent place. There are two CRTRAITS (edit one, I think it is convenient to choose the one in Hota_Ing.lod, since the other TRAITS are there).
HotA.lod
Buildings
CRTRAITS
Hota_Ing.lod
artraits
CrBanks
CRTRAITS
HCTRAITS
HOTRAITS
SPTRAITS


2nd Step – TextEdit

We open the TXTs we want to edit.
We study the table and once we understand it we edit the desired values.
We save the changes.

Personal recomendation:
I made and Excel with all the Vanilla data and then made a copy of each page with my editions to keep track of what I am doing.
Link to my Excel: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1catQMGCOWmUR9iGTCkvspvyASTSCRgFA/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=115451005531609736023&rtpof=true&sd=true

(Don't take into account Gold, AI Values and Growth of Creatures in it, that's some old stuff I modified and doesn't serve, you can look for them on Heroes Wiki)

3rd Step – MMArchive (Again)

We open MMArchive once again, this time to upload the changes.
HoMM 3 Complete
We open “H3bitmap.lod”.
HoMM 3 HotA
We open “HotA.lod” and “HotA_Ing.lod”.
We go to “Edit/Add…”
We look for the TXTs we edited and add them.

----------

Part 2: Hex

We need a Hex Editor program like HxD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DkzcZwv9CcHSSaX1lwpBGGedMHygP9sG/view

We create a new shortcut with HD+ Mod, we will now edit that .exe.

Secondary Skills

1st and only Step

We open HxD.
We open the new .exe.

Each pair of characters you see is 1 byte, the info we are gonna look for is divided in 4 parts of 4 bytes each (Normal, Basic, Advanced, Expert).

We look for the offsets we want to modify.

List of some of them:

HoMM 3 Complete
0023e998 (Luck)
0023e9a8 (Leadership)
0023e9b8 (Necromancy)
0023e9c8 (Mysticism)
0023e9d8 (Scouting)
0023e9e8 (Archery)
0023e9f8 (Offense)
0023ea08 (Armorer)
0023ea18 (Estates)
0023ea28 (Eagle Eye)
0023ea38 (Diplomacy)
0023ea48 (Resistance)
0023ea58 (Learning)
0023ea68 (Logistics)
0023ea78 (Sorcery)
0023ea88 (Intelligence)
0023ea98 (First Aid)

Secondary Skills not edited by HotA keep the same adress

HotA
Mysticism
0x00182616 Basic
0x00182620 Advanced
0x0018262A Expert

Estates
0x001825CE Basic
0x001825DE Advanced
0x001825E8 Expert

(I'll to complete this list with the rest of the offsets as soon as I can)

How to find and edit them?

For example, we will try to find Necromancy (0023e9b8).
We search for the line 0023e9b0 and we add 8 bytes to the right.
We study the table and compare values so we know where we are located.
On Necromancy we will find, the first 4 bytes will say “00”, and then "CD CC CC 3D CD CC 4C 3E 9A 99 99 3E", wich in this case will be:
CD CC CC 3D = 10% (Basic)
CD CC 4C 3E = 20% (Advanced)
9A 99 99 3E = 30% (Expert)

List of Values (they also serve as percentages):

05 - CD CC 4C 3D
07 - 29 5C 8F 3D
10 - CD CC CC 3D
14 - 29 5C 0F 3E
15 - 9A 99 19 3E
18 - EC 51 38 3E
20 - CD CC 4C 3E
25 - 00 00 80 3E
30 - 9A 99 99 3E
40 - CD CC CC 3E
45 - 67 66 E6 3E
60 - 9A 99 19 3F

To find more values we need to use, for example, Windows calculator in “programmer mode” (I haven’t tested this), take into account the calculator will return results in Big Endian, while we need to put them in Little Endian in the .exe; so we have to translate them turning the code around.

Example:
Big Endian = 3D CC CC CD
Little Endian = CD CC CC 3D

Once we decide on wich changes to do, we interchange the values (without modifying the size of the archive nor the position of the characters).
We now save the changes.

Allright, that’s it for now.

Stuff I'd like to add next:
More complete guide for editing HotA's Secondary Skills.
How to edit HotA's Creatures.
Changing initial creature types for each hero.

Happy modding!

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phoenix4ever
phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted January 09, 2024 05:40 PM
Edited by phoenix4ever at 17:42, 09 Jan 2024.

Hey Juas

Are you familiar with BTB's excellent modding guide?
I don't think he had anything to do with modding HotA, but you can still learn a lot from the guide.
You can find his guide on the first page here:
http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=46202

I don't know if BTB is active here on HC anymore, it's been a while since I've seen him, but he is usually very helpful.

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Juas
Juas


Hired Hero
posted January 09, 2024 05:54 PM

Phoenix!

Yes, I knew of it a few days ago.
I will study some of it when I find the time for it and improve this guide if I can.

The objetive here is to keep it simple for begginers.

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Phoenix4ever
Phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted January 09, 2024 10:24 PM

Ah that's cool, I just wanted to point you in that direction in case you did'nt know about it.

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LordCameron
LordCameron


Known Hero
Veteran of the Succession Wars
posted January 10, 2024 01:43 AM

Thank you for this! Definitely made me understand Hex editing a little better, and nice to have a reference for HotA.
____________
What are Homm Songs based on?

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Juas
Juas


Hired Hero
posted January 10, 2024 02:37 AM

You're welcome.

I'll update the guide as soon as I learn more about it, there are some more stuff I'd like to put in. Phoenix is helping me.

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BTB
BTB


Famous Hero
Moist & Creamy
posted January 11, 2024 04:01 AM

phoenix4ever said:
Hey Juas

Are you familiar with BTB's excellent modding guide?
I don't think he had anything to do with modding HotA, but you can still learn a lot from the guide.
You can find his guide on the first page here:
http://heroescommunity.com/viewthread.php3?TID=46202

I don't know if BTB is active here on HC anymore, it's been a while since I've seen him, but he is usually very helpful.


I pop my head in from time to time. Just been taking a break. I tend to push myself too hard for awhile and then deal with long periods of burnout as a result.

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Phoenix4ever
Phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted January 11, 2024 08:24 AM
Edited by Phoenix4ever at 08:24, 11 Jan 2024.

Hi BTB

How are you doing?
Yeah you need a break sometimes or it becomes too much. Take it easy mate.

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Juas
Juas


Hired Hero
posted January 11, 2024 12:29 PM

Hello BTB, thank you for comming in.

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BTB
BTB


Famous Hero
Moist & Creamy
posted January 12, 2024 07:03 AM

Phoenix4ever said:
Hi BTB

How are you doing?
Yeah you need a break sometimes or it becomes too much. Take it easy mate.


I'm not bad, just been spending time catching up with where the game industry is at these days. I kinda stopped paying attention to new stuff back in 2005, so the leap between that and what we have today is pretty huge. Also rescued a stray kitten a few months ago, so it's been nice having an animal again.

I have been chipping away little by little at updating my mod, as well, but it's been pretty low-priority compared to the serious crunch time I was putting in for the last update.

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Phoenix4ever
Phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted January 12, 2024 08:25 AM

Yeah I'm not really up to date with modern gaming either, Heroes 3 never grows old for me though.
I'm waiting for PS5 Pro or Nintendo Switch 2.
And I finally got the platinum in Final Fantasy X, which I have owned on PS2, PS3 and PS4. There is a stupid mini game, were you need to dodge 200 lightning bolts in a row, I have never been able to do it, but I finally did a few days ago. (I thought getting older was supposed to make your reflexes worse or maybe I was better able to focus and concentrate now.)

Rescuing a kitten, that's cute.
I don't have any animals, I don't think they would enjoy my rock/metal music either.
My parents always had dogs though.

Yeah no need for crunch time, just do what you want.


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Pol1123
Pol1123

Tavern Dweller
posted January 12, 2024 11:27 AM

Hello everyone, I would like to change the statistics of hot units, do you know how to do it? because I know that you have to use hexedyotra because they are encoded there, but I don't know anything about this program

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Juas
Juas


Hired Hero
posted January 12, 2024 12:03 PM

Well, I still don't know where HotA's creatures are and how to edit them (since they have a lot of spaces to edit).

At the moment, Phoenix said he could help me with HotA's Secondary Skills (Intelligence, Logistics, Necromancy and First Aid), I guess when he finds the time for it. He is helping a lot, I don't wanna ask more of him now...

After that I'll see how can I learn about creatures, it has to be somewhere on the "How to edit HotA" thread. In fact, if you can help find it, come here and give me the links to the pages so I can order the info and put it in the guide.

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phoenix4ever
phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted January 12, 2024 12:12 PM
Edited by phoenix4ever at 12:14, 12 Jan 2024.

Juas I already said what I know about Intelligence, Logistics, Necromancy and First Aid in HotA or was there something I did'nt address?

HotA creatures are actually quite easy to edit.
They are all in the beginning of HotA.dat, you can even see the text description on the right (at least in Hex Editor Neo) which creature it relates to.
It should be fairly easy to figure out what the numbers around these addresses stand for or I can maybe help, if you tell my exactly what you want?

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Juas
Juas


Hired Hero
posted January 12, 2024 12:18 PM

Good morning! (at least here in Argentina)

You said you were gonna help me modify them, I suppose you meant giving me the adresses. I don't have those.

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phoenix4ever
phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted January 12, 2024 01:03 PM

Good morning or here in Denmark it's mid day.

But I explained to you what I know about those skills in How to edit HotA thread, I mean I gave you the addresses at least, but maybe you don't know what to change them to?
Then tell me exactly what you want and I'll tell you how.

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Juas
Juas


Hired Hero
posted January 12, 2024 02:55 PM

Oh, sorry I forgot about that. It is that I still haven't got the Necromancy adress.

Well, I didn't try yet, I suppose it is the same as in Complete? with 12 bytes to edit next to each other. If not, tell me!

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Juas
Juas


Hired Hero
posted January 12, 2024 03:27 PM

I made a little update on the section where I list some of the ".txt" there are to edit, it is important to know in wich ".lod" goes each ".txt", if you mistake it may bug the game and will have to reinstall.

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phoenix4ever
phoenix4ever


Legendary Hero
Heroes is love, Heroes is life
posted January 12, 2024 04:10 PM
Edited by phoenix4ever at 16:14, 12 Jan 2024.

As I said in How to edit HotA, I don't know the address for Necromancy, but I said you might find the answer in that thread, as I think other people have asked about getting the old Necromancy back.
Maybe you should read our discussion in How to edit HotA again?

Yeah, regarding the txt files most goes to HotA_Ing.lod only a few goes to HotA.lod, but you can always check in the lod if a certain txt file already exists, otherwise you should not add it here.
You can also use a feature in MMArchive, so it only displays txt files, makes it a little easier to see which files are actually there.

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Kabanos
Kabanos

Tavern Dweller
posted January 17, 2024 08:31 PM

Great tutorial I learned a lot from it. Do you have any advice on how to edit spells or special abilities of heroes. I tried searching all over the executable file for the value I want to change but that didn't help.
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