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A humble help request: Understanding modding basics + adding abilities

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Hi all, very simple request incoming!

TLDR: Want to add a melee ability to Soulblade subclass, but due to current condition I'm struggling to grasp the basics of modding

I'm trying to figure out a way to add a simple melee ability (or two) to the Soulblade subclass; nothing too OTT, just something to try and make slightly more self-sufficient with focus generation (and perhaps something to add mobility too). Stuff like the less OP rogue strikes, or perhaps even some sort of tuned-down Flaggelant's Path.

Now I'm well aware there are some fantastic tutorials and resources pinned to the top of this board. But tldr: I've recently suffered a bit of a mental breakdown, and the upshot of this is that for the time being, I'm really struggling to process and decipher even some of the simplest instructions. Even just the act of trying to follow the 'Basics of modding guide', understanding how to re-format code, and then trying to pick things up in subsequent tutorials has been beyond challenging. I've tried going it alone and struggling on, but I'm sad to say that it feels like the process of trying to find the right kind of file editors, locating the correct strings of code, and troubleshooting any problems etc. may be beyond me at this point in time.

So (incredibly) greedy request - would anybody be able to help me with a clear, simple, step-by-step walkthrough from the very start of the modding process through to adding/modifying some of these skills? The simpler, the better tbh. (Heck, at this point even just explaining if there's a way to do this via Unity Console or something like that would be great!)

At this point, any sort of help will be welcome... although I also appreciate that it's a big ask, and I absolutely recognise that the existing tutorials may already well be the simplest way of explaining the processes involved. Should that be the case, I'll just have to put this modding exercise to bed for the time being. 

Many thanks in advance. 🙂

Edited by Jrllo
Updating title, adding TLDR section
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  • Jrllo changed the title to A humble help request: Understanding modding basics + adding abilities

1. Install visual studio code

2. Configure the settings to recognize .gamedatabundle files as json format as shown on the tutorial

3. Copy an existing mod - atlas folder is for icons, design folder is for code, localized folder is for names and descriptions for your code

4. Make the ability in Visual Studio.  The game data sequence is Ability or Item --> Attacks --> StatusEffects.  Those link from one to the other

5. Before you start, you'll want to open up a browser with one tab for the random guid generator website, one tab for the Obsidian enumeration documentation (Concepts documentation), and one tab on the Fextralife abilities list.  GUIDs are the unique identifiers for a code section, used for linking together and referencing them.

6. Create a text file for the text strings you're going to make to name and describe the ability, item, statuseffect.  All of these will have names so you'll need to keep a running list of the text string number you give it.  Make it a big number so other people don't choose the same one, then each new number is 1+ the previous number

7. It's extremely helpful to have a textfile of helpful guids, such as keywords, animation times, class IDs, tick rates, etc.

8. Copy the exported folder in your game file and look at the copies for reference.  Look at similar abilities and statuses and use those as a base for your new ability.

9. Create a ring that gives you the ability so you can just use the console command giveitem ring_name and then put the ring on you, and test it faster that way to see if it works.  Visual effects are a pain.  If the game won't load because of spinning gears on the main menu, you screwed up your localization text strings.

10. Icons are created using the Sprite Sheet Packer in the tutorial.  Just make one big sprite sheet and don't worry about other folders with the same name as your sprite sheet.  It's all loaded.  The icon location is ...../abilities/icon_name.png

11. Use the Append method in the tutorial to add the ability to the ability tree.  Subclasses use special Conditional code that you have to copy and use.  All of the base code is in the pt_progressiontables file

12. Your first ability might take 40 hours.  If you keep doing it and make nice text files to help you reference easier, you can make an ability as fast as 30 minutes without testing it.

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On 6/10/2021 at 6:11 AM, Grape_You_In_The_Mouth said:

2. Configure the settings to recognize .gamedatabundle files as json format as shown on the tutorial

I'd love this, but to what tutorial are you referring, please? [edit] nm, I found this: https://zilbest.com/tutorials/deadfire-modding-tutorial/

I'm just using VS code as a text editor at the moment and Notepad++ does a better job of that because I know how to change the language.


[edit] your post has a LOT of great info packed into it. Thanks for taking the time.

Edited by Svartypops
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Meh, I wanted to try to make a Citzal Spirit Lance scroll/item, but it seems to be beating me. :(

There are so many interconnecting pieces >< which do I need and which don't I need? I've tried copying a scroll of Firebrand but ... 

Item -> Ability -> Attack -> What's all that keyword stuff in the Attack section?

I did a text compare between the Melee Attack for Firebrand and the Melee Attack for Firebrand Scroll version. The differences were;

  1. a thing that only appears in scrolls, so I guess that's a scroll signifier keyword, and, 
  2. a thing that points to uni_ReadScroll_99 for scroll version OR Spell_General_Target_50 for non-scroll version. 

That's when I was completely lost. What are those? Which do I need (I'm guessing the scroll version - is it an animation thing?).


Why can't I just point the item at the spell?

Edited by Svartypops
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Thanks doubly. This is the result of your encouraging words! 

As you can see, it's nearly there. I just need to figure out how to solve this weird quirk. Look at that - "No uses left", so I changed the number of uses to 10, then it says hey there's 10 uses but there's still no uses left. Haha! :)

I'm guessing that the SCROLL has 10 uses, but the Ability(?) has none? 


It turns out, you need to also make a custom ability (I don't get why, but I'll go with it). Here is my test character hitting three of the Pirates at the start of the game with Citzal's spirit lance conjured from the scroll.

Thank you so much for your help, Grape_You_In_The_Mouth. Sometimes people just need to be prodded. ;) 

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