X-MEN LEGENDS II ULTIMATE PATCHPROGRESS POST AND INFO
The X-Men Legends II Ultimate Patch (X2UP) is an upcoming project that hemlot, Cohollow, Lags, Enchlore, Ninja Kyden, Enigma, and I have been developing for X-Men Legends II. The day I originally posted this thread marked my 5 year anniversary with the Marvel Mods community. The Patch is not ready for release, but to celebrate my anniversary I wanted to give an outline and some previews of the coming features of the X2UP. This project has been discussed frequently on the Discord server, but I wanted to also give a formal announcement on the forums.
The X2UP is going to be XML2’s first base mod pack. It is intended to be installed before any other mods, like Ultimate Alliance’s Official Character Pack (OCP). The X2UP will feature a variety of fixes, improvements, restored content, and extra bonus features that will bring the base game up to an improved standard. The X2UP is being created to work on the PC, GameCube, PS2, and Xbox versions of the game, and some of the content will be ported to PSP to the best of our ability.
Every single power in the game has been thoroughly combed over to ensure that they function the way they were intended to work based on their descriptions and talent values. The timing of everything within a power has been verified to make sure that the powers function as smoothly as possible. A few powers that could not be made to work as intended were changed. Missing effects, such as Sabretooth’s, will also be restored. Pyro’s radiation shield boost is being changed since it doesn’t make sense for his character.
For example, Colossus’s boost was supposed to absorb a certain amount of damage before turning off. However, the effect would not reliably turn off at the end of the power even if the damage threshold was met, so it was impossible to tell when it ended. The power was instead changed to block a certain amount of damage for a certain amount of time. This way, the effect always turns off, so you can tell when the power ends
Certain characters with unique walk/run animations (Nightcrawler and Toad) will receive custom movesets that will allow their footstep sounds to properly play when they're walking in hub areas.
By default, the PC version of XML2 has 20 characters. The console versions have 18, and the PSP version has 22. The exclusive characters don’t exist for the other consoles. We will be including all the playable characters in every version of the game. Since the roster size can’t be increased, we will just be adding the files for these characters to each version; the rosters for each version will not change. Pyro and Sabretooth will be ported to consoles with their regular improvements. The PSP exclusive characters (Cable, Cannonball, Dark Phoenix, and X-Man) will be receiving updated mods (since their PSP assets are not compatible with the other versions of the game) and will be added to PC and consoles. Additionally, we will be adding the 5 XML1 playable characters (Beast, Emma Frost, Jubilee, Magma, and Psylocke) to round out the roster.
Package Mod Updates
Since the X2UP is going to be a base mod installed before any others, other mods are being updated to take this into account. There are 3 package mods for XML2: the All X-Men Edition (AXE), the Brotherhood Edition (BHE), and the Marvel Universe Edition (MUE). All 3 mods are going to be updated with compatibility updates to make sure that they work with the X2UP and don't introduce any clashes or complications. Any updated characters/features that have come out since the release of these mods will also be incorporated.
Visual Fixes and Improvements
The visual assets of the game are undergoing vast improvements. Aside from loading screens, the assets for all versions of the game will be using PNG8 (PS2) format textures, which look better for the lower resolution textures that XML2 uses. Many of the visual assets are also having their resolution increased. On all platforms, conversation portraits and character select portraits are going to be increased from 64x64 to 128x128. On PC and Xbox, power icons and loading screens will also be doubled in resolution. GameCube and PS2 still need to be tested to make sure these resolutions will load. Click the spoiler to see previews.Spoiler
Conversation portraits. Before: 64x64 DXT3 (this one is from PC). After: 128x128 PNG8
Character select portraits. Before: 64x64 DXT3 (this one is from PC). After: 128x128 PNG8
Skins. Before: 256x256 DXT3 (this one is from PC). After: 256x256 PNG8. Click to expand the image
Power icons. Before: 128x128 DXT3 (this one is from PC). After: 256x256 PNG8. Click to expand the image
Loading screens. Before: 512x512 DXT3 (this one is from PC). After: 1024x1024 DXT1. Click to expand the image
Skins will not be undergoing a resolution increase due to file size limitations. However, all character skins will be switching to PNG8 format textures. All the existing skins are undergoing total revamps, and every character will be receiving additional skins to fill out their selection. We will be adding every default skin that a character has used in XML1 (including prototype/early development material), XML2, and MUA1. Each skin is being thoroughly reviewed to make sure it is of the highest quality, and we are ensuring that the skins are standardized and all look like the same character. Many allied NPCs and enemy bosses will also be undergoing skin improvements, but most minion/generic NPCs will not unless they have a critical issue. Additionally, each skin will be receiving a skin-specific default-style conversation portrait. Mission briefing models will also be updated to reflect the skin improvements. Playable Character SkinsSpoiler
Playable Character Skins (Package Mods)Spoiler Allied NPC SkinsSpoiler Enemy NPC SkinsSpoiler Bonus SkinsSpoiler Mission Briefing ModelsSpoiler
Our team has slightly expanded the definitions of XML2’s default skin categories to allow for each character to have the maximum number of skins possible. The default version of XML2 has an average of 3.5 skins per character, but with the X2UP, there will be an average of 8.2 skins per character. The redefined skin categories are as follows (click the spoiler to show):Spoiler
- Skin: the character’s default skin
- Skin_astonishing: a more recent comic book outfit for a character, preferably from the early to mid 2000s. It comes sequentially after all the other comic book outfits.
- Skin_aoa: a character’s look from the Age of Apocalypse universe. If they didn’t appear in the Age of Apocalypse universe, or their appearance was insignificant, another non-Ultimate alternate universe can be used, such as Heroes Reborn.
- Skin_60s: a character’s earliest notable comic book outfit.
- Skin_70s: an earlier comic book outfit for a character that comes after the choice for skin_60s.
- Skin_weaponx: if the character was in Weapon X, this will be their outfit from their time in Weapon X. Otherwise, it can be used for another comic book outfit that comes after skin_70s and before skin_astonishing.
- Skin_future: for X-Men, this is for X-Treme Gear skins. For non-X-Men, this spot can be used for Ultimate skins. If Ultimate is already used for a character’s primary skin, this category can be used as a miscellaneous category.
- Skin_winter: if a character has a winter gear outfit, that skin goes here. Otherwise, this is a catch-all category for any default skin that doesn’t fit another category.
- Skin_civilian: If a character has some sort of armor for their default skin, this skin is the main skin without armor. If their main skin has a mask or helmet, this skin will be the default skin without the mask or helmet. If a character is known to fight in street clothes, or they have a street clothes outfit as a default skin, it goes here. If a character is a scientist, this skin will be their main skin but with a lab coat.
Below, you can see previews for the completed playable character skins. Click the images to enlarge them
|Cyclops||Dark Phoenix||Deadpool||Emma Frost||Emma Frost (Diamond Form)|
|Gambit||Iceman||Iron Man||Jean Grey||Jubilee|
|Juggernaut||Magma||Magma (Fiery Form)||Magneto||Nightcrawler|
In addition to the default content that exists in the game, we have combed through the files to look for any unused content from the game that can be restored. This includes missing NPCs, conversations, objectives, interactive elements, and other things. Cyclops’ NPC in the Sanctuary was almost complete, so we added him to the intended place and added his conversation. Various sound effects and other elements that were supposed to occur during boss battles have been restored. The hero and villain bio menu (codex) is being restored as well, and will be accessible through the mission computer. Click the spoiler to view screenshots and videos.Spoiler
One of the focuses of the X2UP is ease of use for anyone who wants to mod the game. First and foremost, the Patch will come as a single install that’s ready to drag and drop into the game. The X2UP will include the Online Patch exe, which will allow players to be able to play the PC version together online. It will also feature full support for OpenHeroSelect (OHS) to allow for quick and easy roster changes. The skin numbers for all characters have also been changed to use a more practical order. For example, Cyclops’s skin order used to be 0103, 0101, 0102, 0120, 0121, and 0123. Now, his skin order is 0101, 0102, 0103, 0104, 0105, 0106, 0107, 0108, and 0109. Even if they don’t have a full 9 skins, each character will feature 9 packages so that skins can be easily added to them. New tutorials will be created to help people more easily mod XML2.
In addition to the pre-installed content, the X2UP will feature plenty of optional bonus content. One feature will be alternate skins without cel shading since some people prefer this visual style. Another optional feature is to add back the cut Bishop NPC. He’s missing his voice sounds, and he won’t fit into the Sanctuary due to conversation limits, but this optional feature will add his NPC to the Weapon X facility. Other things include scripts to unlock all skins and characters, as well as the quick play mod. As we get closer to the completion of the Patch, any other features that we believe are useful but too far from the default game will be included as bonus features.
Although the X2UP has a lot of content already done, there's still a lot of work to put in before it can be released. Many skins still need to be updated or made. The planned characters can be identified by the "Work in progress" images above. Additionally, the mods for Beast, Cable, and X-Man are still being worked on. The package mod compatibility updates are still ongoing. Lastly, tutorials and other necessary information still needs to be created. There's still a few months' worth of work to do, but we hope to work through it as soon as we can to deliver the X2UP!
The X2UP is a really ambitious project, and nothing has been done so far like it in XML2. We’re incredibly excited to be working on this project, and we’re hoping to bring it to completion as soon as possible! There’s still lots to do, but we’ve also finished a considerable portion of what we’ve wanted to do. Thank you to everyone for your continued support, and thank you to the Patch team for the hard work you’ve put in!