Saturday, January 14, 2012

Improvement Mod version 4.8.1 (works with Steam)

It contains many tweaks and fixes, mostly requested from the community, plus a couple of new features of course.

The Portuguese Consulate can now send Cassadores instead of Musketeers.
The Ottomans now have a new Minuteman model.

The U.S. Consulate has been further improved and the very reported Flag Bearer has been fixed.

This is pretty much all for this update, all those 'tweaks and fixes' won't be mentioned because they are too many... but, the people who reported bugs these days should have an idea.

Keep reporting problems and make sure you do your part in making this mod more popular and known to everyone who plays AoE3 and wants more from it without changing the 'CORE' of the game!


  1. Hi Mandos
    Is it ok to install your updates straight over your old versions for example 4.8.1 over 4.7.7 without reinstalling Asian Dynasties or uninstalling the old mod version?

    1. Yes, no problem. There are times when reinstalling the game is recommended, especially when the mod isn't working, but for now you can install new versions over older ones.

      I will tell you when reinstalling the game is absolutely necessary.

  2. Hi Mandos,

    one single question, because I wasn't able to find anything about it in the readme:

    I've had a German version of AOE+TWC+TAD with the latest patches installed but after installing your mod over it, the localization is English.

    Since there is no way to change it back in the game itself I just wanted to know, if there is any way to change the localization to German? Or would changing the localization somehow interfere with the additional content of your mod pack and isn't possible due to that?

    I would be glad to see this mod progressing because you've did a really great job so far making this already good game even better with your changes and additions. Thumbs up! :-)

    1. Well, a, yeah... I knew I will run into this problem one day...
      My mod is available only in English, and even if you get it back in German, many, many, MANY things, actually everything my mod changes or adds will be screwed up... names, descriptions, everything!
      I actually don't know how you can even change it back, I never had to deal with such things, but if you really want to, go to your AoE3 folder (for Steam go inside the 'bin' folder from AoE3), then go to 'data' and delete 'stringtabley'. But as i said, the game will be screwed up.
      I see you know English pretty well, so why change it back...?

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    3. Is it only the stringtable which has to be adapted or are there additional soundfiles you have inserted which are only available in English language. Because, if it's only the stringtable, there should be no problem to translate the new entries you've added and change the old ones back to their original German counterparts.

      Bit much work for one guy alone, but I'm sure, there are some German fans of your work out there with me, willing to support me on that task.

      Are you interested in a little localization project? It's not, that I have a problem with English, but I know some guys who prefer their mother-language over English (me included). Not that we can't speak or understand it but everything is a bit more intuitive and familiar when you can play in your own language.

      Any idea, what the worst case scenario would be like, when just plain deleting the stringtable? I mean, since the y stands for the TAD stringtable, will TAD be still playable without it?

    4. Well, deleting 'stringtabley', both of them, shouldn't make the game unplayable, because the original ones are somewhere else deep inside the game archives.

      But a... as far as spoken languages for units... doesn't every unit from every civilization speak their civs language?
      None speak English except for the British, which are suppose to and that's an old type of English, and the US I added.
      As for the campaigns, my mod shouldn't affect the languages spoken there.

      Now about re-translating the 'stringtabley'... it's not that easy... I mean, manually or with a program? Both seem bad alternatives with horrible results. I mean, we all know Google Translate which fucks up all the time. And manually, it wouldn't be as accurate as the original translations.
      And it's not only about new entries. While i tried to add the new ones at the end of the original ones, many, many of the original ones have been also changed, and tracking them ALL down is near impossible...

      But I might be wrong, maybe there is an easy way which could work.
      Can you explain to me how you plan to do it?

  3. "None speak English except for the British, which are suppose to and that's an old type of English, and the US I added."

    Exactly! And did you use the original soundfiles from the English civilization for your U.S. civilization or did you add additional soundfiles?

    I just ask because it seems to me, that the soundfiles get referenced in the stringtabley.xml as well like in this example:

    String _locID="69913" soundfilename="YNANI5036" gamecharacter="Lieutenant Nanib"
    The wall has collapsed. Now is our chance! Into the fort!

    If that's the case, we have to take account for that in the translating process. Or are those references only for the campaign and the comments of the units are stored completely elsewhere and have nothing to do with the soundfile references in the stringtabley.xml?

    "Can you explain to me how you plan to do it?"

    Yes, since the stringtabley.xml is written in XML I should be able to write a program which reads out the locID and the string from your adapted stringtable and the corresponding string from the original german stringtable with the same ID.

    This planned program will then show me the string from your stringtable in the upper window pane and the string from the German stringtable with the corresponding ID in the lower window pane.

    If I like the translation of the original German stringtable I simply click next and the program will change the string in your mod's stringtable to the string from the original German stringtable. If I don't like the translation from the original German stringtable or the ID doesn't exist there I can type my very own translation in the lower window pane and the program will put the translated text in the stringtable of your mod.

    Sounds not that complicated, but I will see how it works out when I got the time to program it and you've told me that I'm not missing something crucial.

    I will translate it manually so no Google translate will mess something up. :-)

    1. The voices from my US units are from heroes and other campaign characters... Like the US male settler uses Nathaniel Black's voice from TWC campaigns, and so on.
      Now, even in German, this should remain the same, right? I mean it is the civs language.

      String _locID="69913" soundfilename="YNANI5036" gamecharacter="Lieutenant Nanib"
      The wall has collapsed. Now is our chance! Into the fort!

      Ah, yes. Now this is how voices from campaigns are choosed for in-game languages. So yes, they can be changed from here to use German voices. Though I must admit that I only saw versions in English in the game folders... but, again, I might be wrong.

      Now only one big damn problem remains.

      Normally, or logically, this shouldn't be a problem. I mean, you change the in-game language and boom, it should work, but it doesn't. What this means?

      Well as I told you, the original 'stringtabley' is located in one of the game's archives, more exactly in '' from the 'data' folder. Now, problem is, with mods, you get the 'stringtabley' outside the archive, directly in the 'data' folder, like with my mod. Because of this, the game prioritize the file outside the archives and the one inside the archive gets second place, meaning it's totally ignored. So, if there is a file outside, like mods have, the game uses that and totally ignores the one from the archive, with the same name. And more 'stringtablesy' in more languages might be located in 'Data3' but because of the one outside, they are ignored no matter the in-game language.

      And this is the reason languages can't be changed with most mods, and when I say most mods I mean about... 98% of them... like maybe 1 or 2 mods translates stuff in other languages.

      So, a...

      There could be a solution though...

      I saw in the mods that do have translated stuff, that they modified 'Data3' and added the new files ('stringtabley' and others) inside, not directly in the 'data' folder, but I have no idea how to do that... Yet...

  4. I see and it totally makes sense to me. So I understand that your usage of Nathaniel Black's voice from TWC campaigns isn't referenced somewhere in the stringtabley.xml. So no problem there. And even if it was referenced there it's going to remain the same in a localized version due to the fact that it's the civs language.

    But there won't be any problem to just offer a translated stringtable for download with a description on how to exchange the modified english stringtabley.xml in the data folder with the modified translated stringtabley.xml so that people who like to have your mod localized have the opportunity to do so? Am I right?

    By downloading the translated stringtabley.xml and replacing your mod's English stringtabley.xml in the data folder with that downloaded and translated version everything written in the game should be appear in the localized language, right?

    Probably there even is a way to incorporate that stringtabley.xml exchange process into the installer of your mod. Say by determining the appropriate localized stringtabley.xml to put into the data folder by analyzing the games original installation language like stated in Age3Log.txt (My Games/Age Of Empires III).

    Challenge of that will only be, to find out where the installer can get the installation language when Age3Log.txt is not available because the game has never been played prior to the application of your mod. But with a fall back English installation of your mod and the given opportunity to change the mods language by simply exchanging the stringtabley.xml manually there should be no problem. No need to fiddle around with if it's been done that way, right?

    In short the only thing to do from my perspective is, to manage to get the localized stringtabley.xml from the original game installation out of that file somehow. Then we can use that as reference for translating your mod's stringtabley.xml and offer fans of your mod a localized version by giving them the chance to simply replace the stringtabley.xml with the localized one. Am I right? What do you think?

    1. Yes, units voice are not configured in 'stringtabley', every unit has it's sound file in the 'sound' folder.
      And yes, a separate download would work. Not the most professional way but yeah...

      The installer i use is a very simple and basic one and doesn't give me more options than I already used...

      Well, the only thing I can do to help you with this is to give you these simple programs necessary for AoE3 modding which could help you open files and archives like ''.

      Look here, download from the provided link and see what you can do with them.

  5. Thank you very much. Now I only have one problem: I launched the ArchiveViewer to take a quick peek into the file in my current AoEIII/Data folder and there was no stringtabley.xml file in there. Looked for it in and as well but found nothing.

    On my CD I only find a *.cab file which I opened using 7zip but haven't found a original stringtabley.xml either. Any hints on where to find the original stringtabley.xml?

    1. I dunno man... I'm in the dark of how languages change in this game... The original 'stringtabley' could have been in the 'data' folder and not in 'Data3', meaning that after installing my mod you have no access to the original one...
      I forgot from where I took it to modify it.

      But if this was the case, then changing languages should still be possible even with mods...
      See, nothing ties up...

  6. Aight! Then I have to install it again. I keep you posted.

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