Mod Merging


#1

So this is my first time posting here, I’ve never used this site before but I was recommended here from the Steam community. I’m trying to make a mod for my own personal project - I like doing stuff like this to take my mind off of stuff. What I’m trying to do though, is merge CEP and Project Q - I want the expanded tilesets, additional creatures and races and placeables of CEP, but I also want the enhanced vanilla models and better armour pieces offered by Project Q. Is there any existing patch between the two? I have no experience with this, and I tried to merge them together - it worked partially, I have some of the Project Q placeables and a few of the creatures working alongside CEP assets, but I feel like I’m going to mess something up if I keep going down this road of just merging all the haks together. Any suggestions?

https://neverwintervault.org/article/tutorial/combining-hak-packs

I tried following that tutorial, but it doesn’t make sense, so if someone could break that down into steps an idiot could follow I’d greatly appreciate it.


#2

The problem with trying to combine CEP and PQ is that they are incompatible. Among the things that a hak merge does is to identify the resources and entries in various 2DA files (e.g. placeables, appearance, etc.) and create versions that include the resources from both haks to be merged. But CEP and Q often (and obviously, by design) step on each others’ resource names and 2DA entries. It is an extremely laborious task to go through every one of their resource files, deciding which blocks of entries to move in the cases where they conflict, finding a free block to move them to, and updating all of the associated resources to point to the new entries.

A few of us have done versions of it (and speaking personally, it took me months), but I’m not aware of an existing “integration hak” or patch that others can use. If you want to undertake this then more power to you, but you’ll probably find (as I did) that it won’t last because the projects will continue to create new conflicts that break mod content every time they update. Updates from PQ 1.5 to PQ 2.0, for example, reuse resources such as model names that also appear in CEP, and these hosed the blueprints I’d set up to use them.


#3

So without going through all that trouble, there’s no way to get both the nice, shiny models and helmets of Project Q and the more expansive stuff from CEP? I wasn’t sure if maybe someone had a copy of the current builds that they could send me or link me to, that’s what I was hoping for. Still, thank you for your reply, and do you know any other mods that add some nice helmets/armour sets to the game, something compatible with CEP? I’m specifically looking for more “realistic” medieval armour types, and CEP is letting me down in that regard…


#4

I don’t think there’s any one answer to that because it depends on what you want to include. If sounds like what you really want is CEP with selected Q content on top of it (which is more or less how I would have done it if I had it to do over again). That would mean starting with the CEP resources and 2DAs as the base architecture, identifying only the specific things I wanted from Q, moving only them to new 2DA entries as needed, and creating a top hak do only those merges. The more of each system that you want to be available in the merged system, though, the more you have to re-architect a new system to accomplish the merge. The phenotypes, for example, are very different between the two and take a lot of work to try to put together. The shield architectures are completely different as well, and I had a devil of a time getting them to work together.


#5

Well, there’s only a few things I really want out of Project Q. There’s a few character models (the evil/good/neutral Knights, the Neverwinter Militia/Luskan Guard types, and some replacements like the skeletons and better golems. There’s also a few placeables, particularly the ones replacing/upgrading the vanilla ones (the corpse models, a few others), and then a couple of nice helmets and armour pieces that CEP doesn’t have. Everything else I can get out of CEP or other mods, but I can’t find anything else like that anywhere, especially the helmets.


#6

Well, that’s achievable, along the lines that Andarian suggests.

I have done something similar, adding a few Project Q creatures and placeables to my CEP module. I’ve also added armour & clothing from other collections (though not from Q, as it happens). Everything follows the same general principal of merging 2da files.

If the number of Q models required is small, you might want to copy them into your top hak, rather than add the Q haks to your module, to reduce the risk of conflict with CEP - though if the CEP haks are on top, such conflict is less likely. If you do grab the models, you’ll need to grab the textures, too, which are identified by using a text editor to find all the bitmap directives in the ASCII model.

Using only a few Q models, I haven’t yet hit the problem of duplicate resource names. It might be that, on a small scale, it’s simpler to fix issues as they arise. Or you could export all the resources from the many CEP haks into one folder, which you can search to see whether a resource you want to copy from Q has a name that’s already in use.

The problems of fully merging CEP and Q have been clearly described above, but a little tinkering at the margin should be OK.