Recently many people over on the official Torchlight II modding forums have been asking me how I make various monsters and bosses from the game playable with all of their weapons, sounds, skills and etc. I've finally decided to write out a thorough, in depth explanation of the process from start to finish so people will have a guide to refer to when learning how to do this.
In order to do any of this, you need to have a basic understanding of what modding is and how it works. Other than that, this tutorial will teach you and walk you through everything else.
In this tutorial, I will be swapping out the Berserker player character class for the very first mini-boss in the game - The Fallen Guardian. Are you ready to get started? Good! Let's do it.
STEP #1: Round Up Your Tools
Before we get going, you need to download and install all three of the necessary tools. You will need the following:
Go ahead and get them all downloaded and unzipped into whatever directory you want, before coming back here and proceeding with STEP #2. An important note is that you'll need to unzip Jarcho's Modified PAK Extractor to your Torchlight II\PAKS directory.
STEP #2: Extract Necessary Files
Alright, now that you have all three of the tools needed, go into your Torchlight/PAKS folder where you should have extracted Jarcho's tool to. Run PAK extractor and that should extract all of the contents of your main DATA.PAK and DATA.PAK.MAN files into a newly created folder called media.
Now, open up a new window and browse to your Torchlight II folder and create a new folder called 'mods'. Once created, go inside of it and create yet another folder called PlayableFallenGuardian Mod.
Flip back over to the other window with your PAKS folder and browse into 'MEDIA \ UNITS \ PLAYERS' and copy the file called BASE.DAT and the folder called BERSERKER.
Go back over to your other window with your PlayableFallenGuardian Mod folder and go into that folder. Once you're inside this folder, create a new folder called MEDIA and yet another one inside of that called UNITS. Go inside of UNITS and create one more folder called 'PLAYERS'. Go inside of the PLAYERS folder and paste your BASE.DAT file and your BERSERKER folder.
Once more, switch back over to your PAKS\MEDIA window and browse under UNITS\ MONSTERS\SKELETONWARRIOR and copy and paste the file 'BOSS_HONOREDDEAD.DAT' over to where ever you unzipped your DAT conversion tools.
STEP #3: Convert DATs to TXT
This is probably the easiest step of the whole tutorial and also the shortest. Go grab your BASE.DAT folder that you put in the sub directories of your PlayableFallenGuardian Mod folder as well as your HUM_M.DAT and HUM_BERSERKER_BASE.DAT files from the Berserker folder.
Copy and paste these three files into where ever you unzipped your DAT conversion tools. Now one by one (or all at once, if you want) drag and drop HUM_M.DAT, HUM_BERSERKER_BASE.DAT, BASE.DAT as well as BOSS_HONOREDDEAD.DAT into the .exe file called dat2txt.
Good job! Now the DAT files we need are in text format and as such can be read and easily modified.
STEP #4: Swap Appearances
Open up the text versions of both BOSS_HONOREDDEAD.DAT and HUM_M.DAT so you can see them on the same screen side by side.
Copy whatever value is under "<STRING>RESOURCEDIRECTORY:" from the monster's file and replace the same line's value in the HUM_M.DAT file. In the case of the Fallen Guardian, it should be media/models/monsters/skeletons/champ.
Do the same thing with the value on the line "<STRING>MESHFILE:Skel_Champ". Again, in the example used in this tutorial, the value we want to replace HUM_M with is Skel_Champ.
Now, in HUM_M.DAT look for where it says 'wardrobe: true'. This value needs to be changed from true to false or else it will cause serious problems in the game. Monsters and bosses don't have wardrobes and as such cannot have equipped armor display on their in game model.
For certain monsters, such as champions or rares or uniques, you will need to add in an extra bit to specify their custom mesh in your HUM_M.DAT file. To do this, simply locate where it says something along the lines of:
Copy that bit somewhere into the middle of your HUM_M.DAT file. That will tell it to use the Skeleton Guardian's custom mesh rather than your generic skeleton warrior.
The last thing that needs to be changed, in terms of appearance, is the player's size scale. In BOSS_HONOREDDEAD.DAT, look for the line that says "<FLOAT>SCALE:" and you will see that its value is 1.8. We need to go find this same line in HUM_M.DAT and change the value from 1.1 to 1.8 so that we are the correct size of the Fallen Guardian once we load up in game.
Sometimes the monster's use a different weapon scale. If that's the case for the monster you are making playable, you need to change the monster's weapon scale as well. Fortunately for us, it appears the Fallen Guardian does not have a weapon scale entry, which means he uses the default scale of 1.0 for his weapons.
STEP#5: Swap Sounds
Now that the male Berserker looks like the Fallen Guardian, it's time to make him sound like him as well. Fortunately, this step is just as easy as the last one.
With both HUM_M.DAT and BOSS_HONOREDDEAD.DAT open side by side to each other, simply copy all of the Fallen Guardian's lines that have to do with sound to REPLACE all of the files in HUM_M.DAT that also have to do with sound.
For example, you would copy and paste the following into the HUM_M.DAT file:
Then you would delete the following:
Voila! That replaces all of the sounds. Onto the next step!
STEP #6: Swap Stats
By now you should be getting the hang of swapping lines with values from the monster's file into the player character's file. In this step, we need to change all of our character's stats to match the monster we wish to play as -- in this case, the Fallen Guardian.
Take the following values from BOSS_HONOREDDEAD and replace the values in HUM_M.DAT with them:
HUM_M.DAT *shouldn't* have the following values, so place them where ever you would like within HUM_M.DAT:
It is important to note that in the case of the Fallen Guardian, there is no Strength, Dexterity, Focus or Vitality stats specified. However, in many monsters, they do have those values specified in their .DAT files. It is important that, when that is the case, you swap out those values as well as you may not be able to use their weapons or spells unless you do.
Once you have done that, save and close HUM_M.DAT. We are practically finished with it. We need to now change the speed of our character and the health as well, but those values are stored in alternate files.
Open up BASE.DAT. Replace the following values in BASE.DAT with their values from BOSS_HONOREDDEAD.DAT:
While we're at it, if you are making a creature that use's it's claws or no weapon for it's attacks, it's important that you change '<BOOL>USEWEAPONDAMAGE:true' to 'false', within BASE.DAT. This will allow you to use the damage amount specified in HUM_M.DAT with no weapon equipped.
Save and close BASE.DAT.
STEP #7: Swap Weapons
The next step is to give yourself whatever weapons you want your monster character to start out with. In our example, we'll be giving our skeletal hero the Fallen Guardian's giant dragon tooth sword.
To do this, open up HUM_BERSERKER_BASE.DAT. Scroll down to where it says:
Okay, so now we are going to find the same section where it marks equipment in BOSS_HONOREDDEAD.DAT and copy and paste whatever values it says into our HUM_BERSERKER_BASE.DAT file to replace the equipment.
It looks like the Fallen Guardian's equipment says:
Once you have swapped the equipment, save your work.
STEP #8: Swap Skills
The last bit of data we need to swap is the monster's skills. Now this is the most requested part of the tutorial I have been getting, yet it is also the most complicated so please bear with me. Once we finish this step, you can package your mod up and play it.
What we're looking to accomplish here is simply making the player start with all of the monster's skills ready to go. We're not going to tamper with making skill trees or adjusting mana cost or any of that jazz in this tutorial. This is simply going to show you how to use the monster's skills.
Alright, with that being said, make sure you still have both HUM_BERSERKER_BASE.DAT and BOSS_HONOREDDEAD.DAT open and next to each other. The first thing you're going to do is scroll down on each file to where the skills are listed.
The first skill listed in the Berserker's file is:
Whereas the first skill in the Fallen Guardian's file is...
All you need to do is swap the <STRING> NAME value out with that of the monster's. Then just set <INTEGER>LEVEL: to 1 and <INTEGER>LEVEL_REQUIRED: to 0. You must do this with each skill that you swap out with a monster's skill in order to have it unlocked and ready to use immediately after creating your new monster character. It's that simple!
Now go through and do this with all of the skills. Replace as many Berserker skills as necessary to give your character all of the monster's skills.
Once you do that, come back here cause there's one more step in order to make them work.
Save HUM_BERSERKER_BASE.DAT once you have finished that and go ahead and close out of that file as well as BOSS_HONOREDDEAD.DAT.
Now, go under your Torchlight II\PAKS\MEDIA\SKILLS\MONSTERS\SKELETON (or whatever monster you are making playable) and find the .DAT files of the skills you just gave your character. Copy and paste the .DAT files to where ever you installed your DAT conversion tools. Drag and drop them on the dat2txt executable and it will create two text versions of them.
Open them up and copy the following lines anywhere within each of the files:
This will give them a display icon in-game which is necessary to be able to select and use them. Save each file after adding those lines.
Once finished, you're ready to package it up and play it!
STEP #9: Package Your Mod Up
We're just about finished! Now, drag and drop each of the .DAT files you edited on top of the txt2dat executable file in the folder where you unzipped your DAT conversion tools to. This should include BASE.DAT, HUM_M.DAT, HUM_BERSERKER_BASE.DAT and every skill's .DAT file you added a display icon to.
Doing this will create an equal number of DAT files.
Now it's time to put each of these new DAT files exactly where each of them belongs.
Copy BASE.DAT to Torchlight II/mods/(your mod name)/MEDIA/UNITS/PLAYERS/
Copy HUM_M.DAT and HUM_BERSERKER_BASE.DAT to Torchlight II/mods/(your mod name)/MEDIA/UNITS/PLAYERS/BERSERKER
Copy each of your Skills to Torchlight II/mods/(your mod name)/MEDIA/SKILLS/MONSTERS\(your monster name... in our case SKELETON).
Now everything should be in place! Copy torch2packer to your Torchlight II/mods directory and drag and drop your mod's folder into the executable file. This will create two new files with the same name as your mod folder. One will have the extension .PAK and the other will have the extension .PAK.MAN.
Copy and paste both of these files int your Torchlight II/Paks folder. Start up your game and voila! You are the Fallen Guardian or whatever other nasty boss or monster you set up.
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Rec on February 10, 2017:
Maybe there some mods already done with custom heroes to play?
Rec on February 10, 2017:
Its not working.
Ingame its seen usual male berserk, not skeleton boss.
Maybe i need to launch this mod somehow?
P.S. convert dat to txt and txt to dat manually, by changing name to .txt and .dat cuz this dat2txt tool not working (seems new game version
BQ on October 09, 2013:
It does work.
Zomboy99 on June 03, 2013:
when i open the PakExtract. it gets a fatal error
Salan on October 10, 2012:
awesome write up.. bookmarking this for later