This is a step by step guide to create your own Fraction using XML modifications. It's really not that hard and once you know how to manage it, you can probably create a new fraction in roughly 10 minutes (however, the 1st time is likely to take you a few minutes more).
First, you can use Notepad to open the XML files or you can use an XML Editor (Link to free MS XML Editor: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=72d6aa49-787d-4118-ba5f-4f30fe913628&displaylang=en ). I usually end up using a combination of the two. I find somethings a bit easier to do via Notepad, but if I'm attempting to make line by line changes or if I'm attempting to get my head around the purpose and outline of the XML file, then I use the editor.
There are two locations that you need to be aware. First, YOUR modifications should go into your Documents/My Games/Elemental location. Game files will be found in \Program files (x86)\Stardock Games\Elemental\data\English. If you are using XP then it will be: \Program files\Stardock Games\Elemental\data\English.
There are some files that I ended up changing in the game directory ONLY because I was unsure of how to localize the change.
DISCLAIMER: Changing game XML files could sigficantly change the way the game plays OR make the game completely unplayable. Modify game files at your OWN RISK!
Okay, the first file we will need to open can be found in the Game files directory: \Program files (x86)\Stardock Games\Elemental\data\English. You will want to open the CoreRaceConfig.xml file using NOTEPAD (only because it seems to be easier). What you want to do is copy one of the Pre-Configured races to start your modification. For the purposes of this guide, I will copy the Altar race selection:
- <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
- <DataChecksum NoParse="1">
- <Ignore>DisplayName, ShortName, Capitol, Description, UnitSkinColor, UnitHairColor, UnitClothColor, BuildingPrimaryColor, BuildingSecondaryColor, BuildingRoofColor, BuildingStyle, UnitStyle, WorkerName</Ignore>
- <Translate>DisplayName, ShortName, Capitol, Description, WorkerName</Translate>
- <!-- ********************** -->
- <!-- ** Kingdom of Altar ** -->
- <!-- ********************** -->
- <RaceConfig InternalName="KingdomOfAltar">
- <DisplayName>Kingdom of Altar</DisplayName>
- <LeaderName>Lord Relias</LeaderName>
- <Description>Altar is the melting pot of the kingdoms of the West. Welcoming all races and creeds, Altar values accomplishment rather than pedigree. Its people are fiercely independent and have little tolerance to being told what to do.</Description>
- <!-- Race Stuff -->
You can now close the XML and now create a new text file using NotePad and paste your copied code into it. Make sure you add the </RaceConfigs> if you didn't copy the code from the text above.
Save the file as <yourRaceName>.xml in the \Documents\My Games\Elemental\Race directory using whatever Fraction name you want to use as <yourRaceName>. In my case I choose Rivans.xml.
Okay. Now you have the basics of a new Fraction. Now is when I switch over to using the XML Editor because many of the edits I will make are line edits. If you are using the XML editor above, click on the plus sign in the left column next to RaceConfig. Here are some of the line changes you might like to make, my changes are in BOLD and you can change these to what ever you want. I am going to continue my Rivan example:
DisplayName: Kingdom of Riva
LeaderName: King Belarion
Description: Riva is the premient culture of the kingdoms of the West. Welcoming all races and creeds, Riva values accomplishment rather than pedigree. Its people are fiercely independent and have little tolerance to being told what to do.
EntityID: 12 [Use a unique number, 1-6 are taken]
PreferredLogoType: KingdomCrest12 [We will make this later]
Save your changes. Obviously you can make other changes, like UnitSkinColor, UnitHairColor or SelAbilityBonusOption. Look at some of the other pre-configured Fractions in the \Program files (x86)\Stardock Games\Elemental\data\EnglishCoreRaceConfig.xml file to get an idea of some of the options.
At this point, if you start a new game when you get to the Fraction selection you will see your Fraction (Rivans) but it will not have any crest yet. So to add a new crest we need to do a couple more things. First go to \Program files (x86)\Stardock Games\Elemental\data\English directory and open the CoreLogos.xml file in NOTEPAD. We are going to modify this file, only because I'm not sure how to impliment a local logo source. Once you have this file open in NOTEPAD add the following text under the LogoType listed as "KingdomCrest6"
- </p><LogoType InternalName="KingdomCrest12">
- <DisplayName>Kingdom Crest 12</DisplayName>
This will add a pointer to the icon crest we are going to use for your custom fraction. Save the file.
Now we need to go to this location: \Program Files (x86)\Stardock Games\Elemental\Gfx\Logos
Here are where the different graphic assets are stored that are used in the game. For this example we are going to make a copy of Crest_44.png and rename it Kingdom_Crest_12.png. So find Crest_44.png, right click on it and copy it, then paste it in the directory. Now rename the copy, Kingdom_Crest_12.png. You should reconize that this is the code we added to the CoreLogo.xml and is the same as the PreferredLogoType in the Rivans.xml file we created.
Now when you start a new game you should see Rivans as a new Fraction along with the new crest that we created. Of course, it is basically just a copy of the Altarian fraction at this point, however, by selectively modifing other elements in the Rivans.xml file, you can basically add abilities or change out aspects of this fraction to make it truely your own.
Note: for the EntityID I just used 12, you can probably use 7 and above, I just wanted to use something that probably wouldn't get used by the main game when it first comes out.