Improving game and mod interaction with Desert Kingdoms

Total War: ROME II

Michael.Whelan
March 6 2018

Improving game and mod interaction with Desert Kingdoms

One problem we’ve been wrestling with at CA for a while now is the interaction of mods with our games when an update lands. As nearly a third of users use mods for ROME II, there’s quite a high chance of an out-of-date mod causing issues within the newly updated game.

Frequently, players can sort it out themselves; and if you’re reading this you’re quite likely to be someone who would realise this, disable/uninstall the problem mod and reinstall it when an update for it is released by the mod maker.

 

However, there are a huge number of people still playing ROME II and with many players using mods, not all of them necessarily have the understanding to manage their mods accordingly. This leads to understandable frustration but also negative reviews where players assume the game is at fault. This can then impact our ability to release future content.

You may know already that we provide a selection of modders early access to code should they wish to update their mods for launch day (though sorry, we aren’t going to automatically provide all modders with advance code). And now, we’re introducing a new feature to help players of all abilities to filter their mods and help solve their own out-of-date conflicts.

We’re also continuing to work on the Total War Launcher, and the mod manager within it, so more on that soon, but hopefully this new Mod Filter will help you get up and running if you experience a crash after a new update in the future.

 

Introducing the Mod Filter

The Mod Filter is a new feature we’ve added to Total War: ROME II that checks for out-of-date mods. From release day, if you try to load the game with outdated mods installed, the filter will catch them and give you the option to disable them.

The filter activates the first time you run the game after a new patch, or the next time you run the game after a crash. This will hopefully prevent outdated mods from affecting your gameplay experience.

Specifically, the new filter checks for three things:

 

  • Outdated mods (those which were created for a previous version of the game)
  • Mods that are flagged as containing BINK movies
  • Mods explicitly loaded via commands in the game’s user.script file

 

If any such mods are detected after a patch or crash, you’ll be given the following options:

  • Disable out-of-date mods

All outdated mods, movie mods and mods specified in the user.script file are disabled, and the checkbox for automatically loading these mods gets unchecked

 

  • Ignore the warning

The game will load all activated mods, unless they are disabled in the mod filter’s new in-game mod menu (by default they are not)

The new in-game options sub-menu (found beneath the credits button) gives you the power to fine-tune which mods are loaded into your game.

Checking Enable- out-of-date mods in the mod manager will let these regular mods to be loaded, but they will be detected by the Mod Filter and the user will be warned about them. All other mods undetectable by the Mod manager will have an option inside the game:

 

  • Load Movie mods

This loads any movie-type mods that are placed manually in the data/ folder

  • Load mods specified in user.script file

This loads any mods that are specified to run via ROME II’s user.script file

Please note that if a mod is both a movie-type mod and specified to run via the user.scipt file, it will load if either of these options is on.

 

 

Mod loading log file

To give some transparency to which mods the filter is detecting as outdated, there is now a log called Mods.log.txt which records all the detection and loading logic executed by the game. To view this log file, open a Windows Explorer window and type %APPDATA% in the address bar and hit Enter. Then browse to: The Creative AssemblyRome2logs folder.

Likewise, if you wish to view your user.script file to check if modes are being run from there, Follow the same instructions but instead browse to: The Creative AssemblyRome2scripts