staingar - A;4891984I would advise for those of us out there like me to have some sort of self instalation thing that does all the work and tech tree stuff for you and then another thing for those that want to do it manualy if you there is a way to do it like that with a self installer. Right now I'm just inexperienced and don't want that to ruin my game.
Self installers are nice but they too have draw backs. They are only concerned with installing whatever they are attached to, not adding into what you have already. They will swap out your carefully built gui_global.spr file which includes everything just the way you like it, for the one in the mod which is bone stock except for two lines of code which add a GodShip. If you are concerned about breaking your game and not being able to recover it, then you should make a backup copy right this instant, while you've got everything how you like it. This way, if you break something, all you need do is delete the broken install and unzip the back up and you are right back to where you need to be. I do not consider myself more than an average modder at best, but I can tell you breaking the game once in a while is probably the very best way to learn how to add in things you like and make your personal install, well, personal.
staingar - A;4891984Right now I'm just inexperienced and don't want that to ruin my game.
The best way for you to learn how is to find out the hard way-- try to install a mod you want, screw it up good and royally a couple times, and turn your install into a brick, then reinstall and start all over again.
This is what we call "the learning process". And don't be afraid of it. There isn't a single one of us here that hasn't followed this path. And there isn't an auto-installer in existence that comes close as a substitute for actual learning.
What's the main files I need to be concerned with making a back up copy of. I know the RTS for one but what are the rest of the files I need? I'm sure this is noob stuff but please try to be patient.
Just back up files that you change.
To be honest, if this is your first dabble in using mods, my advice would be to first use a smaller mod, like a single-ship addon. If you try to install a big mod (a full race or two, like you want to do now), and it goes wrong, you'll have no idea what to look for, so won't be able to find the error. If you start with a small mod, then you'll see how it works, with a much smaller chance of messing it up. THEN work up to bigger and bigger mods, and combining mods, etc.
Back up the ENTIRE Star Trek: Armada II Folder. The stock game with Patch 1.1 applied is only 653MB. ZIP or RAR will bring that down to about half in size. Back up everything because everything is needed for the game to work and this way you do not have to guess which files need to be swapped out. I would also suggest storing this backup somewhere else, as well as on your HDD. I have a 16GB flash drive I keep all things A2 on. This way, I need never worry about anything going missing or being corrupted. As long as I make a backup just as soon as I confirm the lastest mod I have added works, I am good to go.
I sent this in a very long time ago because back then I knew nothing at all about adding in ships or anything else and I was tired of having to guess at everything. Made sense to me that if I was guessing then others were as well. One of the things you should keep in mind when looking bemused at a mod you want to install is everyone whom has submitted anything at all to this site was exactly where you are at one time or another.
Short version is: We ain't nearly as smart as you assume(wrongfully) we are.:rofl:
Some modders, such as Dan1025, make installation instructions which are nearly 100% idiot proof. As long as you follow the steps exactly as he has laid them out, you can have Vulcans and much better Cardassians in about an hour. Other modders assume you know what they meant, nevermind what they wrote. So their installation instructions are not quite as detailed. This is okay too. Since we all mod the same types of files to put new things into the game, Dan's directions for installing Vulcans will work quite nicely for installing, say, Talaxians.
I understand well the trepidation and concern you have about messing up your A2 to the point where it is unplayable. Everyone here has had the same concern at some point in the past. We're still playing and modding. This great group of people we call the A2 Community is still kicking hard after nearly nine gloriously fun-filled years. Anything you break, someone else here already has before you did. There is a solution for your problem around here somewhere. A little patient searching of the Forums, a little PMing back and forth, a little posting here and there, and the problem which stopped your A2 cold is fixed. So don't be afraid of breaking something. We all did it already and I, for one, will be glad to help you fix what you break.
I actualy considered making a copy of everything in the folder but didn't think you could do that because of a file or 2 in there that should be write protected, at least in my opinion. Thanks for the help man. At least I can get back to where I was if something happens.
On a side note I actualy had a guy offer me a 16 gig flash drive if I would make him a copy of a2 awhile back but I didn't know how then and didn't think he actualy would but he had the drive. lol moment on me.
thunderfoot006;4891996Self installers are nice but they too have draw backs.
I've always preferred manual installs... even though it takes longer I can control what is installed. The GUI_global is a nightmare if you want to save old work.
My own belief is single ships/stations should not have auto installs especially the ones that don't allow the change from default location