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Adding DLC

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Adding DLC

Postby JohnP » 28 May 2014, 23:18

This was started amongst the people in the MEHEM dev group over on BioWare forums. It works, but some questions remain unanswered and need further testing before a full tutorial can be made.
 
Adding DLC can be ideal for story/content modders as you can add modded files without having to worry about editing SFARs and the main game conditionals, tlk, and coalesced files.
FemShep Edit: This will not work for MP as all players must have the same DLC installed. If they don't, players can't connect to you and you cannot connect to them.
 
First, some screenshots.
 
Here you can see my DLC (DLC_CON_JAM) in the DLC folder:
 
Image
 
 
One folder in. Note the PCConsoleTOC.bin. Contrary to an earlier post of mine here, this actually CAN be removed from the sfar:
Image
 
 
And the CookedPCConsole folder. Also note here the Mount.dlc. Again, contrary to what I thought before, it also can be removed from the sfar:
Image
 
 
Wait, so what's left in the sfar if TOC.bin and Mount.dlc are removed??? Absolutely nothing. The sfar here contains no files and is just the sfar header. The game looks for a valid Default.sfar when checking DLC and will reject the DLC as corrupt if it's not present.
 
 
The other things that need to be present to pass the corrupt DLC check:
 
There must be a valid PCConsoleTOC.bin
 
There must be a valid Mount.dlc (more on this file later)
 
There must be a valid Coalesced. This is the Default_<DLC name>.bin file. More on this later.
 
Those four items are all that need to be present to pass the corruption check. However, the game must also see a tlk file for the language your game is configured for. Otherwise, you will get a message that the DLC does not run in that language and that you must download the correct version.
 
More in the next message.

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Re: Adding DLC

Postby JohnP » 28 May 2014, 23:20

Now for Mount.dlc. It's a simple enough file that just visually comparing the various DLCs to each other was enough to comprehend (most of) it.
 
 
 
This group is the same in all DLC, so nothing needs to be done here:
 
Image
 
 
 
Bytes 16-17 are very important. We know that different DLC have files with the same name in them (e.g. BioD_Nor_203CIC.pcc is present in Leviathan, Omega, and Citadel). How does the game pick which one to use if the user has two or all of these? This number seems to do that. Looking at all the variations of this file, you can see that this number goes up as you progress through the DLC in order of release. So, the DLC with the highest number here will be the one that is used for duplicate files. The last DLC, Citadel, has CB2/3250 here. I used E50/3664 to be way above that.
 
Image
 
 
 
Up until this next group, the bytes are always the same: all zeroes with a 09 in there.
This highlighted group is a tlk ID that contains the friendly name of the DLC e.g. Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut.The next four bytes then repeat that same ID. Not sure why it's there twice. 
After that is always a bunch of zeroes.
 
Image
 
 
 
This highlighted group is always the same in all DLC. No idea what it does.
 
Image
 
 
This group is all zeroes in some DLC. Others have values here. Again, I don't know what what these are for. Mine works fine with all zeroes.
 
Image
 
 
To sum up, the only bytes that need to be changed are the priority number and the tlk IDs. Pretty simple stuff here.

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Re: Adding DLC

Postby JohnP » 28 May 2014, 23:21

Now for the bin. This is the DLC's Coalesced.bin.
 
For DLC, the game checks for a valid bin file named like Default_<DLC name>.bin where <DLC name> is the folder name e.g. DLC_CON_JAM, DLC_EXP_Pack001, etc. So here we have Default_DLC_CON_JAM.bin.
 
For this, I took the Extended Cut's bin and cut almost all of it out since it isn't relevant.
 
I'll start the screen shots at the bottom and work my way up.
 
 
This one is unchanged since it's just a list of the other files in the Coalesced:
 
Image
 
 
 
 
bioui.ini I completely stripped of everything. Note: the Coalesced editor will not save the file unless the "name" and "sections" sections are present. That's why I left them here.
 
Image
 
 
 
 
biogame.ini is the same:
 
Image
 
 
 
 
bioengine.ini is a little bit more substantial, but not nearly what it is in real DLC:
You can see the familiar "name" and "sections" areas. For bioengine, the editor will not save it without also having the "alternateonpackageresources" section populated.
 
I also kept in the "engine.dlcmodules" section with the "dlc_con_jam" subsection. Without this, the game wouldn't see my ConditionalsDLC_CON_JAM.cnd file. Other than that, I don't know what the "Type" and "Value" data mean.
 
Image
 
 
 
 
 
That's pretty much all I have for the Coalesced. I've never been a Coalesced modder, so all of you probably know more stuff to do here. I know emails and I think codex entries are located in Coalesced, so I imagine those could be placed here instead of modding the main game's file.

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Re: Adding DLC

Postby JohnP » 28 May 2014, 23:22

Ok, now the tlk. I think everyone here knows how tlks are structured so I'll be brief:
 
 
Looks like all the other tlks in the game. ID must be unique (I used a large unused range from the Extended Cut). Position starts at zero and goes up by one every time:
 
Image
 
 
 
738369 is where I placed the string that Mount.dlc uses to find the friendly name of the DLC:
 
Image

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Re: Adding DLC

Postby JohnP » 28 May 2014, 23:25

Some relevant discussion on the other forum:

Not sure if this was covered in another thread but how do you update the PCConsoleTOC.bin file?

 
At the moment, users would have to do it manually. The DLC TOCBinUpdater currently will only work if TOC is in the sfar since up until now, we thought it had to be.
 
I jury-rigged AutoTOC's source code to build the TOCs I put in my installer. Let me see if I can make it all-purpose. No promises as I'm not a programmer.  :)
 
The nice thing about this method of distributing mods is, if we coordinate ourselves properly, the user shouldn't have to do this. Let's say you had a "DLC version" of CEM and you wanted to make JAM dump you into the apartment. You could put the modified memorial files in the CEM DLC instead of modifying the one in the JAM folder. As long as the priority number in the Mount.dlc was higher than JAM's, that is the file that would be used and the user wouldn't have to mess with modding JAM at all.
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Re: Adding DLC

Postby Deager » 29 May 2014, 00:40

To confirm just a few things. It does appear the (AK86) version works very well for this which is great. Sure, if AutoTOC could work so much the better but easily done as is.

The tlk file is the one which may be tripping me up. I gave mine a unique name at the beginning but I'm not sure if that was enough or if the entries I want to have edited must have new numbers as well. If they do...yikes, over 200 to do and test since I'll be adding a new step which could cause breakage.

Still, I love the concept of this. If only I could get authorization since I'm missing something; unless it's the tlk causing me trouble.
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Re: Adding DLC

Postby JohnP » 29 May 2014, 02:43

Wait, are you getting an authorization error or a corruption error?
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Re: Adding DLC

Postby Deager » 29 May 2014, 02:45

My mistake.
The following downloadable content is corrupt and cannot be used. Please re-download this downloadable content and try again.

I know I'm close to getting this to work...probably.

Another suspicion I have is that I'm not dealing with the original Pack003 Coalesced properly since I think it has more parts than the EC and I'm not sure if I'm cutting out too much (like your setup for JAM) or not enough (leaving everything intact except for pointing the dlcmodules to dlc_exp_cemf = 41 and alternatenopackagereources)

Oh, random thought. Citadel DLC is Pack003 and Pack003_Base. Could one look for the other to make sure it's there?
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Re: Adding DLC

Postby Deager » 29 May 2014, 23:31

I have confirmed that I don't know the proper way to update the PCConsoleTOC.bin file manually. Is it not the (AK86) editor? I ask because when I open that all your links are red showing no real data but your mod obviously still works. If I manually add the info with the (AK86) editor it says the DLC is corrupt.

Or is the rigged AutoTOC the key here?
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Re: Adding DLC

Postby giftfish » 29 May 2014, 23:48

Deager wrote:I have confirmed that I don't know the proper way to update the PCConsoleTOC.bin file manually. Is it not the (AK86) editor? I ask because when I open that all your links are red showing no real data but your mod obviously still works. If I manually add the info with the (AK86) editor it says the DLC is corrupt.

Or is the rigged AutoTOC the key here?

Ah ha! That was the problem I was having. I figured the red highlighting meant something, but I didn't know what, since I hadn't used the tool before. So, apparently I didn't screw something up, lol!
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