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Company of Heroes: Mod Watch

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    Forum Farseer Akranadas's Avatar
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    Company of Heroes: Mod Watch


    Issue #1 24th May 2009


    Welcome to the first in a hopefully repeating style of threads based on the intention to showing the regular Company of Heroes community members the wonderful work that our modding community creates. Throughout the course of this thread I will be explaining some information on the modding community itself, highlighting some of the great work that the modding community is doing and hopefully, get some of you interested in even trying out some of the parts that I bring up in this thread.

    To get started, I thought I would do a brief introduction onto what Modding actually is, just in case your not to sure on what I am talking about. You could also just click the links below to skip to a section that will interest you more.

    Introduction to Modding Back to top

    Modding, or Modifying (in the sense of PC Games) is the act of changing game files to create something different. This usually involves a person(s) working on creating something new an enjoyable, using the existing game as a basis in which to create there own product.

    For example, games such as Counter Strike and Team Fortress were all once game modifications which used the Half Life and Quake engines as a backbone to further the creators vision of what a good game would be. Now, they are incredibly popular retail games. So while usually, Modding is a non-profit affair, there are some lucky teams that get picked up to work on commercial products (most recently with Tripwire)

    Modding in Company of Heroes takes a tad different affair as there is limitations to what you can and can't do. You create new units from existing ones, you can add new units into the game (which is still time consuming and hard to work) and you can generally do most of what you want. But the limitations within the game itself can prevent a lot of mod teams from fully creating exactly what they want; this usually results in little to no total conversions and a rather small modding community when compared to Relic's other title; Dawn of War which has a rather large modding community.

    While this limitations are generally hard on the mod teams themselves, limiting ideas and control. This hasn't stop the Company of Heroes modding community from becoming a highly dedicated and resourceful bunch of coders, skinners and artists. Some of their works even rival some of the parts that Relic has implemented into the main game.


    Back to top

    Now it comes to the main section of this thread, the Mod of the Month. How I judge whether or not a mod can be eligible for the Mod of the Month spot light is through the following criteria:
    • Does the Modification work with the latest version of Company of Heroes? (2.502)
    • Is the Modification in a complete enough state?
    • Is the Modification still being actively worked on?


    With these three questions in hand, I located the first Mod of the Month spotlight candidate:



    Have you ever thought to yourself;

    "I've been playing this game for about 4 years now; it's great and all that. But I've beaten all the single player missions, played online to death and that Stonewall gameplay mode, while fun is too easy. I want a Challenge that doesn't require me going into automatch games "
    Then you need to download the absolutely brilliant Joint Operations mod as soon as possible. While not a traditional modification in the sense of adding new units everywhere, what it does is present you with is an impressive collection of custom scripted missions that you can take on the AI, but that's not the end of it. There is also a selection of maps that you and your friends can play cooperatively with your friends, either online or via LAN. Each map is creatively crafted and looks spot on Relic quality thanks to the brilliant creators behind the mod: Mannerheim and Henry666.

    The maps also play differently depending on which map you've selected: From the classic D-Day where its all about holding off the Allied beach landings for as long as possible to Prisoners of War, where its all about rescuing prisoners from the Allies while sneaking around with Storm troopers and gaining reinforcements as you go along. Did I mention it was via a recreation of the worlds first helicopter!?

    These aren't your run of the mill missions either, where it's all about out massing your opponent AI and simply Attack Moving to their base, killing everything on the way there. No Sir, these are deadly hard missions that will take you some time to beat. While play testing Prisoners of War with 2 friends, it took use almost two and a half hours to complete, even then we failed to complete the secondary objectives. We were constantly communicating between each other throughout the entire course of the mission, telling each other when enemy patrols were coming and screaming at each other when one of us would be spotted; resulting in a horde of Allied Soldiers coming to that position. It was heart pounding and devilishly fun with the completion of the map feeling like a real achievement.

    Then I logged onto the Joint Operations server and checked out their fully functional High Scores tracking system and saw how pathetic we actually did compared to some of the players out there. Which only fuelled my desire to do better next time, but perhaps without my team mates 'holding me back'.

    So I fired up one of the three Single player missions that are included in the modification; and while these present themselves with a rather normal 'Defend' style of camping game play; it's mixed up with secondary objectives. These can include things such as holding a point away from your main base, meaning you'll need to split up your forces, to killing an artillery spotter before the time runs out, or hell will rain down on your base; making defending harder. These missions are cut throat and don't hold back on throwing everything at you that it possibly can, so don't expect simple missions with easy objectives.


    Screenshots of Stronghold Mission Map

    I've only talked about 2 of the 12 different mission maps include in Joint Operations, making having the same amount of mission maps as Tales of Valour (if you include the operation). When you download it you get:

    • Defend the Outpost (1 Player)
    • Defend the Town (1 Player)
    • King of the Hill (1 Player)
    • Das Boot (2 Player)
    • Liberation (2 Player)
    • Ramelle (2 Player)
    • Resistance (2 Player)
    • Stronghold (2 Player)
    • Survival (2 Player)
    • Urban Terror (2 Player)
    • D-Day (3 Player)
    • Prisoners of War (3 Player)


    The amount of polish on each map is near perfect, with little bugs appearing thanks to Joint Operations Mod Launcher, that will keep your version of Joint Operations always up to date and automatically download new maps when they are released. The way that the Joint Operations team has built the modification is always great, as it can run side by side with your regular Company of Heroes game, meaning you don't need to close Company of Heroes to load up Joint Operations and vice versa; just simple launch Company of Heroes with the Joint Operations launcher and you'll always be ready for some cooperative action.

    Joint Operations is as close as your going to get to true cooperative maps in the Company of Heroes world, so if you and your friends are sick of playing stonewall over and over again; Download Joint Operations, I guarantee, the effort and the bandwidth will be worth it. With up to countless hours of game-play and re-playability, this is one modification that no fan of Company of Heroes should miss out on. It gives you more of that great Company of Heroes flavour with zero of the cost. What more could you ask for?

    Click Here to go to Joint Operations Website


    The Ammo Box section is based upon the Ammo Box forum that is within the main Company of Heroes modding forum. Its about showing, what might be smaller is content than their larger modding counter parts, is in no means and less of a product. This section will be focusing mostly on the alternative skins that can be added to your Company of Heroes game, to either give it a fresh new look, or to make it feel more historical for those World War 2 buffs out there.

    For the first issue, I'll be focusing on the works of a awesomely talented skinner who guys by the internet handle of GnigruG. His works focuses on re-skinning the vehicles already present in Company of Heroes and giving them a more historical look then they currently have. This can give your game an entirely different look and really shows you (while they are still some of the best skins in the business) that Relic really could have done better.

    GnigruG has just also released another skin pack, this time focusing on the Panzer Elite selection of vehicles, giving them a much needed revamp. These are some of his best work yet, and when see these units in combat, it really adds to the feel of the World War 2 game.

    I've included the preview images that GnigruG has for his skin packs in the spoiler link below, due to them being so big and it would mess with the page structure, so click the tag to open them up and get a nice good look of what you could have in game.

    GnigruG's Skins


    You can look at these, check out alternatives and find the download links over in his thread; GnigruH's vehicle SKINS

    He is also just one of the number of talented skinners located within the armoury. Which I'll hopefully will get a chance to spotlight them all over the course of time.


    Panzerkrieg, it is a fun alternative to the regular Company of Heroes gameplay, with it being all about that one tank rather than your whole army. But the problem is; there is only one map; which while interesting, gets boring fairly quickly. That is way in this months spotlight, I'm show casing a totally new Panzerkrieg map.

    Community, Say hello to Panzerkrieg: Arras. A brand new map for the Panzerkrieg gameplay mod.





    This map Offers a totally different experience from the default Panzerkrieg map. With a wide open flank to snipe enemy tanks, to the constantly changing Hangers on the the other flank to provide both cover and perfect ambush positions. The map looks polished and plays well, with little to no glitch or bugs found within it. The only criticism I can give it is the total lack of drastic height mapping, but then I guess; it is an Airfield.

    This map is a great alternative to the normal Panzerkreig map and should be a almost instant download to fans of the new game play mod.


    Incoming is all about those Modifications that are still under development and look like they will be an absolute blast to play when they are finally released. For this months Incoming Modification, How could I go past which could possibly be the most anticipated modification in Company of Heroes ever.


    The Eastern Front Mod aims to bring the Russians into the Company of Heroes game, and from the looks at all their videos and screenshots; they're getting close. With an Arsenal of weapons that will include the likes of:

    The team behind this modification is doing wonderful work, adding an entirely new army faction into Company of Heroes (there actually adding 2 if you included the Ostfront German Faction!), which includes new infantry, tanks, abilities and weapons. The amount of work going into this modification is mind boggling, which so much detail already present (and they haven't released even a beta with stand in models).

    If your a Company of Heroes fan and you were hoping for Relic to have added in the Russians by now, then this is probably your best chance to see those Ruskies in action in a Company of Heroes game. If your still not convinced, just follow this link to check out the videos of the units in action - Eastern Front Videos

    For more information about this modification, you can follow one of the following links: Eastern Front ModDB page, Eastern Front Website, Eastern Front Thread.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Well, that is all for now my fellow Company of Heroes Players. I hope you enjoyed reading my thread and hopefully I inspired some of you to take a look into the hard working modding community that is making new and exciting ways to play this game we love. I'll be back again next month with another round of Mod of the Month, Ammo Box, Map of the Month, Incoming! and generally bring you more news on the Company of Heroes modding community.

    Akranadas Out.


    Last edited by Akranadas; 24th May 09 at 5:11 AM.

  2. Modding Senior Member Company of Heroes Senior Member  #2
    Celéstial by heart Celution's Avatar
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    Wow Akranadas! This is the best idea I've seen in a long time! I can see you've put alot of time in develope this, and I hope alot of people will keep an eye on this! It looks very profesional, and I hope this will go on for a long time.
    This may be a gateway to get more people into the modding community.

  3. #3
    Member LloydyBoy's Avatar
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    WOW Great Work Akranadas now i can see how things are going with the Mod of the Month

  4. Company of Heroes Senior Member  #4
    Senior Member Q77's Avatar
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    Very nice post, and deserved if you look at all the work the modders etc have put into their mods. I dont know that many but Joint Op for example blew me away, gamewise and also the overall impression.
    Now thát's a Knight's Cross.

  5. #5
    Great thread, I'll be sure to check out some mods in the summer. Joint Ops looks very promising.

  6. #6
    Member []inveigle[]'s Avatar
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    Amazing thread brother.

  7. #7
    Member Soldier13's Avatar
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    I second that.Great work.
    "Fire and maneuver.That's the name of the game."

  8. #8
    Excellent idea and thread! Good job and I look forward to reading more from you.
    Avatar13

  9. #9
    Member LordEmperor's Avatar
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    Akranadas
    Introduction to Modding
    Very good idea I hope you can add it in the sticky thread.

    MODS
    'But' when Relic release a new patch it has a Mod Bomb in it, thats the only problem in making a mod, now if Relic was to add a Mod Manger to the COH like they did with DOW and their expansion packs that would be great.

    Map of the Month.

    Good Idea again keep the good work up

    "But" the only problem is WB is not working with TOV and crashing all the time, that's the real problem most of us are facing now on here. it takes the fun out of the game and becomes boring play the same maps over and over again.

    I like Relic to fix the WB and Mod in there patch that will be good to see.
    Last edited by LordEmperor; 24th May 09 at 8:24 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Panzer Jager's Avatar
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    Worldbuilder works fully functional for most people. And the only patches that 'bomb' mods are the ones released at the time of expansions; 2.100 and 2.500.

  11. #11
    Member LordEmperor's Avatar
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    Panzer Jager

    Worldbuilder works fully functional for most people
    You are the first & only one to tell me this.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Panzer Jager's Avatar
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    Really? I see lots of maps being released for 2.502.

  13. #13
    Member LordEmperor's Avatar
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    Panzer Jager

    Really? I see lots of maps being released for 2.502.
    but do they work? Anyway I am not geting into this, has this thread is not about what the OP is talking about I just had my opinion and you had yours End:

    Akranadas
    Like to see more infor added in the future.
    Last edited by LordEmperor; 24th May 09 at 8:45 PM.

  14. #14
    Forum Farseer Akranadas's Avatar
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    Map Editor works for me as well.

    Lord emperor, what do you mean; more info add in the future?

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    Member LordEmperor's Avatar
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    Akranadas

    Lord emperor, what do you mean; more info add in the future?
    What I mean to say was information to be added in text like you can update it like the 'Map of the month', and 'Mods of the month', and "Ammo box" links to new skins, and add more info about "Eastern Front Mod" Has time goes on something like "Celéstial" did in the "The Grand How-To"

    Maybe you should put it in the sticky thread. so other members can still see it and reply, But if you just put it in the thread post it over time it will be lost.

    I see your map editor works for you mine did work at first and I made one map but now for some strange reason it don't work anymore.
    Last edited by LordEmperor; 25th May 09 at 1:10 AM.

  16. #16
    Forum Farseer Akranadas's Avatar
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    It's going to be a monthly thing, If I kept adding to this thread; it would become to congested and not useful

  17. #17
    Member LordEmperor's Avatar
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    Akranadas
    It's going to be a monthly thing
    That's will be good idea.

    If I kept adding to this thread; it would become to congested and not useful
    I understand

  18. #18
    Moderator Darkbladecr's Avatar
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    nice job Arkanadas! This is really a good idea, it will get the modding community some sturdy interest!

  19. #19
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    You should add a download link for that map :P.

  20. #20
    Thats a very good idea!!

    Would be perfect with a little tutorial to make it work

    For example: how to apply the new skins for MP, how to play the new blitzkrieg map in MP (versions, -dev, all players need the map,...), etc.

  21. #21
    This is a great idea indeed...especially for for newcomers in the forum, great job Akranadas

  22. #22
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    Nicely done, Akranadas.

  23. #23
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    This thread is a great idea. I just feel for the mod teams that had their mod ruined because of the new patches. My favorite mod is the Battle of the Budge modification. I don’t know how many of you have played it, but it is hella good. Yet, it still does not work with 2.502 and I was mainly forced to upgrade to the new patch thanks to having an internet connection and steam. So I now can no longer play it.
    Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat!

  24. #24
    Member Rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Thanks for mentioning more mods that otherwise I might have not taken the time to review. Joint ops looks like one that I would enjoy and I intend to review as soon as I get home from work.

    Holy hell it's hard - but a lot of fun!
    Last edited by Rory_20_uk; 28th May 09 at 4:19 AM.

  25. Company of Heroes Senior Member  #25
    Moderator Lethal Dosage's Avatar
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    Good job Akranadas! A monthly "Newsletter" is definately something these forums could use, especially one that focus' on drawing attention to the modding community.

    This'll also be good to rouse some of us lazier modders to keep updating out works for the Mod of the Month category.

  26. #26
    Member LloydyBoy's Avatar
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    EXTRA. EXTRA Read All about it

    AKRANADAS HAS DONE IT AGAIN

    you should post this as an actual Newspaper Aticle

    ah i can see it now

  27. #27
    Forum Farseer Akranadas's Avatar
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    I'll try and do something a little bit different for next months

  28. #28
    Member lilmat1's Avatar
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    I don't to this area much, glad I did though.

    It's great to see a thread such as this one.

    It's a great Modding Community and there are soo many amazing, creative people here.
    Well done Akranadas and to all the modders out there.
    As well as Relic for giving us at least some tools so this Modding Community can continue. Oh AND of course Corsix for his Mod Studio.

    Good work!!

  29. #29
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    Arras for Panzerkrieg? I am SO there.
    11 US / 11 Brit / 11 Wehr / 11 PE

  30. #30
    Yeah, that nice map unfortunately slipped through and not many players got it.

    Get it here:

    http://files.filefront.com/Panzerkri.../fileinfo.html


    EDIT: The link Unkn0wn posted in the original thread doesnt work anymore, please post a new one. I've uploaded it here, but it's for registered users only.

    And awesome work here, hope no one expect me to do something similar.
    Last edited by Maniac; 28th May 09 at 10:59 AM.

  31. #31
    To play custom maps online with friends its enough that all players have the map? Do you need anything else?

  32. #32
    Installing this one is very easy, you only need to put 2 files in the correct place and you're good to go, read the txt-file included to see where to put these.

  33. #33
    But I mean, in order to play online this map with friends, I need the -dev parameter?

    Edit: Feel free to clean this posts if they are too off-topic (but answer me before plz )

  34. #34
    No, dev-mode is not needed, just install the 2 files at the correct position and start the game as usual. Everyone who did so can play it. Very nice to use.

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