So how does Additive .tactics file modding work?

The Spanish update’s changelog said that .tactics file now support additive modding, but this is not the case. The guide for additive files (https://support.ageofempires.com/hc/en-us/articles/360062106732-Additive-Data-Mods) hasn’t been updated for .tactics files.

The naming convention necessary for additive .tactics modding is unknown, the devs forgot to tell us. I tried naming a .tactics file “unitname.mods.tactics.xmb”, but it broke the AI, since apparently, if you name a .tactics file anything other than “unitname.tactics.xmb”, it will break the AI and make games against AI unplayable.

Can a developer share his secrets? In my mod (OligarchyMod), I made some changes to the Outpost’s tactics file, and I really want to make it additive before Knights of the Mediterranean hits and messes things up.

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I have the same question, and would also like an update to the Additive Data Mods page.

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@VitezVaddiszno @pwaopwao apologies for the lack of updates to the Additive Data Mods page. There should be an update coming soon.

In the meantime, Vitez, it sounds like you are on the right track with modding the tactics file. To additively mod the Outpost’s tactics the file should be combatbuilding.mods.tactics.xmb and this should be in the data\tactics folder. And the root node in the file should be named tacticsmods. (Note that you can also skip the xmb step so using the file combatbuilding.mods.tactics should also work).

Here is an example that changes the projectile for the RangedAttack action of the Outpost to be a Flaming Arrow…

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<tacticsmods>
	<Action>
		<Name StringID="38133">RangedAttack</Name>
		<Projectile>ArrowFlaming</Projectile>
		<InstantBallistics mergeMode="remove">1</InstantBallistics>
	</Action>
</tacticsmods>

Let me know if you still have any issues with it.

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Thank you very much for answering @SmokeyTadpole72, please I would like to ask you to also add someday Additive Data Mods for other files like voice files for units <protounitsounddef> and also for unit textures/models <animfile>, etc. and in this way add modifications without altering those original files.

Thank you, it works for me. However, there are some secret pitfalls of .tactics file modding;

If you use brand-new tactics files in your mod (for your new units), they must be converted into .xmb or else it will display an error message upon starting a match, break the AI and make it useless. However, if you’re additively modding an existing unit, it must be in an .xml format, as .xmb formats will once again break the AI. I don’t know the exact reason behind these weird conventions, but maybe there’s some bug on the backend that you guys could look into. It took a lot of trial and error to figuring these issues and workarounds out, and they needlessly complicate modding.

@VitezVaddiszno I’m not seeing the same issue that you are seeing. Using a .xmb or .tactics file for both a new tactics file and additively modding an existing tactics file is working fine for me.

I’ve attached a zip file with a couple of test mods (rename the attached file to .zip - it wouldn’t let me upload a .zip). Both are identical but one is an xmb version. I tested this in the current Update Preview build without an issue.

If you are still having a problem maybe you can upload a small example that shows the issue?

TacticsExampleMods.txt (15.1 KB)

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@pwaopwao thankyou for the suggestive improvements to the Additive Data Mod system. I have added them to our database. :smiley:

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The info on the Additive Data Mods page has now been updated: https://support.ageofempires.com/hc/en-us/articles/360062106732-Additive-Data-Mods

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