Sunday, March 20, 2016

Improvement Mod 6 is out for the Patcher

This is still NOT the full, official version 6 release, this is another PROTOTYPE!

The mod's patcher has now been updated to support the new installation system of version 6 and because of that, for easier testing of the prototype, I will release Imp Mod 6 through the patcher as well. For further testing. TESTING!

Because yes, we have a lot more to test now. As you might know, there's been a huge breakthrough in the AoE3 modding community in the past week, a breakthrough which allows modders to finally and completely add new civilizations into the game!
Yup, we can now add an infinite(ish) number of new civs completed with AIs and ESO support.

And because of this, I went back and revived my American civ from the dead. Went through it, updated everything, fixed most bugs and I am now releasing it in the prototype as well.
You can now create a new American homecity just like you create for all other civs, same for ESO.

So do a clean reinstall of the game, get the patcher, download everything and start playing! I mean testing. Please report all the bugs that you find.

Also, I need to stress this again, people who have the old version of the mod, if you plan to run the patcher again from this point onward, please reinstall your games first or else it will break everything.

When you reinstall the game and install the mod, make sure you run the original game (Asian Dynasties) at least once so you enter your cd key and all that. Only AFTER that you can run the mod.

That's all. Have fun.

Installation (on a fresh game)
- copy the 'AoE3ImpModPatcher' to your AoE3 directory, by default:
/Program Files/Microsoft Games/Age Of Empires III/
- for the Steam version, use this path (always inside the bin folder!):
/Steam/steamapps/common/Age of Empires 3/bin/
- run the patcher as administrator and make sure it's not blocked by firewalls

Also make sure you run the original game first (to enter the cdkey and all that) and THEN run the mod's exe (this applies for both Steam and non Steam versions)!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Improvement Mod 6 Prototype

This is NOT the full, official version 6 release, this is a PROTOTYPE!

Alright, so, you're probably asking yourself "WTF IS THIS?". Well let me explain, this is the next logical step in the mod's development, and is what other big AoE3 mods have already done.

I'm talking about making the mod not affect the original games by having a different executable and different file paths. What this will end up doing is allowing you to play the modded game while also being able to go back and play the unmodded game at the same time, from the same installation.

It will also render the past three blog posts useless... Because it fixes all of those problems.

With Improvement Mod 6 you will be able to play AoE3, TWC and TAD without problems and without errors on ESO with people who don't have mods, while also being able to play the mod separately and it will still work on ESO as well, and you will have a uninstall option (FINALLY).

As you can tell by the title, this is a prototype, but it's not the first one. I already had people testing it and so far everything works perfectly.
All of this is more like a warning, because as soon as this will hit the patcher's server, it will break the game for everyone who had the old version.

To install Improvement Mod 6 and beyond you will need a clean reinstall of your game!
And after you install everything, including the mod, you will need to run the new exe, "age3m", in order to play the mod. To play the original games just start their own exes.

And that's all! I will give some time for this news to sink in for as many people as possible, because as soon as the new system hits the patcher, there's bound to be people who will have broken games without knowing why and blame me...

If you find any problems in the prototype be sure to let me know.
Thanks for playing!


Installation (on a fresh game)
- copy everything from inside the 'imp_mod_6_prototype' folder to your AoE3 directory, by default:
/Program Files/Microsoft Games/Age Of Empires III/
- if you plan on installing the mod over the Steam version, use this path (always inside the bin folder!):
/Steam/steamapps/common/Age of Empires 3/bin/

Make sure you run the original game first (to enter the cdkey and all that) and THEN run the mod's exe (this applies for both Steam and non Steam versions)!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

AoE3 and TWC are fixed!

After 6 years, Age of Empires 3 vanilla and The WarChiefs expansion finally work once again with the Improvement Mod.

BUT, they do have problems. As I mentioned in the post bellow, the mod modifies files used by all three games and as such, it will force these files upon the older games as well.
This was the reason it broke the older games in the first place, but I didn't knew which files specifically did it.

Attention has been brought to me on this issue again recently and so I finally managed to fix it.
The bugs you will encounter will most likely be sound and UI bugs (do not use the minimized UI in AoE3 and TWC, you have been warned) and yes, I know it's bad that they are bugged but at least they work now.

Which I'm not sure if it's such a good thing either, at least previously it forced players to play Asian Dynasties, which is the proper way to play and the game for which this mod was designed.
Now I fear I'll get people telling me they've installed the mod and it bugged their game, because they will not be playing Asian Dynasties...

Oh gods, I can even see it... If this will happen a lot I swear I will break it again.

By running the patcher you will get all of them working, if it doesn't happen then do a clean reinstall of everything.

Outdated, check THIS!

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Oh gods... I forgot to mention something in the help/ranting post from bellow... Something that keeps coming up and... Here it is.

The Asian Dynasties expansion contains EVERYTHING the other two games, Age of Empires 3 and The WarChiefs, have, all content, including the playable Native civs (Iroquois, Sioux and Aztecs) and The WarChiefs campaign!

IF you DON'T have TWC content in your TAD game IT'S NOT MY MOD'S FAULT!
It's because of the broken TORRENT you used to install the game!
Yes, there is a popular AoE3 torrent that contains all expansions (or separate) which doesn't properly register The WarChiefs into your Windows registry.
And so, when you start TAD it will not register as having TWC installed, thus not showing TWC content.

You can try it without the mod as well and see it still happens. Simple.

Why do I have to mention this all the time? Because yes, my mod breaks AoE3 and TWC. Sometime during the mod's development I touched something that makes the other two games crash upon startup.
I tried to fix it but couldn't figure out what was wrong. So it stayed like this.
However, this doesn't affect TWC content not appearing in TAD. As I said above, this happens either way.

BUT, as I've mentioned in this post already, The Asian Dynasties expansion contains EVERYTHING the other two games have and MORE! So there is literally no reason to play the other two if you have Asian Dynasties, which is also required for the mod.
And no, using the other two to play on ESO with unmodded games is not an option either, since the mod modifies files used by the other two games as well (which results in the crash).

Outdated, check THIS!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

ATTENTION, please!

Why do you guys make me repeat the same things over and over again? If you spend just 2 minutes looking around you can find the answers you're looking for.

But fine, I'll try to explain everything once again. I just hope someone (who needs help) will bother to actually read it.
A TL;DR version will be at the very end.

It is true that how I recommend people to install the mod has changed over time. It started with almost daily new versions on AoE3 Heaven and now it's mostly the patcher's work.
Here's how things work now...

How do you install the mod?

You have a few options here.

First there's the old, familiar, mainstream installer. When new installers are released I recommend using them, but as time passes by and I use the patcher to release updates installers become obsolete.
Some files might be added, others might be removed, and if you install the mod with the installer and then use the patcher it can get a bit messy.

Second, the almighty patcher. The last installer I released was about 2 years ago, since then I've been using only the patcher to quickly and safely deliver updates. The main problem here is that some people don't understand that the version 5.4 patcher (from the version 5.4 installer) is outdated and doesn't work anymore.
And no matter how many times I repeat to get the updated patcher it seems it's never enough...

And finally, manual installation, either by using the manual installation files or by downloading the mod straight from the Github server, where the patcher connect to (the latest version will always be available there). This is the final, ultimate solution for people who can't get the patcher working, because they just have to press download on a link and "copy > paste" the mod into the game.
If they don't know how to do that then it's beyond my help.

How do you uninstall the mod?

Not by having a uninstall option and let me explain why. The same problem as I mentioned before, the differences between the installer and patcher, makes this kinda hard to impossible.

But first of all, having a uninstall option in the installer means the installer needs to be like twice as big, to also contain the original files. I always tried to keep files as small as possible so people can quickly download them, so that's that.

The other big problem is the patcher one, files added by the installer will be removed, but files added by the patcher which you ran after installing the mod (which can be new, different files), how can the uninstall program know how to remove those? Which would make the entire uninstallation process useless.

This is why the most recommended way of getting rid of the mod is to completely delete the game, yes, delete, not just uninstall, there will be remaining mod files from just uninstalling the game.

(Yes, I know how other mods do it but it doesn't work with my system)


Install the mod using the patcher and if that doesn't work just download everything from the Github server and copy everything inside the game's main directory.

To remove the mod simply delete the entire game.

(Remember that I didn't made the patcher so don't ask me for in-depth info about it)

I guess this is a bad time to mention the installation video tutorial I made a few months ago as it seems it didn't help a lot either...

Ah, and remember... "If you have problems with the UI not displaying resources correctly go to "Options" and press the "Restore Defaults" button!"

Outdated, check THIS!