EXTREME Difficulty Mode for XML2

Started by don_mega, February 02, 2014, 05:43PM

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February 02, 2014, 05:43PM Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 01:21AM by don_mega
***A very similar file is almost ready for MUA. If you are an Ultimate Alliance fan, read about it here:  http://marvelmods.com/forum/index.php/topic,9132.0.html  ***

EXTREME DIFFICULTY MODE (npcsats.engb files: same files, one is already correct name, other needs to be renamed to work):
**If you don't know what to do with npcstat.engb, there are instructions below, in the paragraph that begins with "One quick warning/reminder/set of instructions..."**

Do you feel that X-Men Legends 2 is fun, but nowhere that even pretends to approach being close to difficult enough? If so, you should very much continue reading; here, you can find out about and acquire a simple little file that will solve your troubles.

Before I get into the reasoning behind my alterations, here is a quick/official list of the changes that my npcstats file will make to your game:

      1. Every regular enemy will be level 99. Bosses too (there may be a couple of exceptions in the average enemy, but I haven't found one yet)
      2. Every regular enemy will take about 15,000 damage to kill. You'll notice some in act 1 who take a bit less, and some later on who take significantly more, but fifteen thousand is roughly the amount of damage you will need to deal to a single nameless enemy in order to kill them (or just knock them unconscious if you're using a nice guy like Spiderman). Bosses take much, much, more damage.
      3.Everything (every enemy) hits 2-4x harder than before. For example, a spider-demon-creature-thing in act 1 who used to deal 20 points of damage on its best attack will now deal 40-80. I have been hit by regular enemies for over 150points, and encountered some special boss moves that deal over 200. You will still see small, almost meaningless damage numbers (5 to less-than-20), but be prepared to encounter high damage as well (it seems many enemies have multiple attacks that range in damage values).
      4. Just as in another npcstats file posted on this site, my npcstats file will also make non-massive bosses (chumps like Grizzly, Deathstrike, Omega Red) susceptible to knock-back/freeze/stun/etc. Unlike other npcstats files, mine will radically alter the strength of npc enemies.
      5. There is no fifth point, but I prefer that lists end with a multiple of 5 or 10.


My goal is to make the game hard enough to actually provide a challenge (at least half of the time) for those willing to play with a single character. It is still not hard enough, in my estimation, to warrant playing with a full team. Simply put, XML2 is too easy to get through with a full team, and I do not know how to solve this without purposefully making my own character super-weak (add no stats and put only 1 or 2 points in active skills)...I am not into making things weaker on purpose. My goal is to enjoy the heaviest damage dealing, fastest builds at my disposal while still facing the strong possibility of getting my face handed to me. I want to feel powerful, but for the enemies to also carry great power. I think standing still for a few seconds near live enemies should result in defeat and reload. The npcstats.engb file found here has accomplished this to a high degree of satisfaction.

What prompted me to attempt to make the game so much harder was playing solo with wolverine and...well, winning. I'm talking about winning with zero effort: just click-and-win. I do not care for this sort of no-focus-required experience, so, unwilling to play newer, somehow worse games (cough. Marvel Heroes. cough. Diablo 3) I set out to problem-solve. I like winning, but only when losing was just as likely.

Basically, I wanted the feeling I get with my single Barbarian or Wizard in D3 (inferno mp7+) where I can do huge amounts of damage, but can also be smushed by failing to act in time or making a poor move. Diablo 3 itself would be a great source for this experience if it weren't set in a universe nobody should care about, or feature forgetable characters nobody should have invented. Marvel Heroes (a recent online-only, diablo-like action RPG set in the MARVEL Universe) would be great if there were any indication of the existence of its soul (it is an obvious money-grubbing machine; access to a single character with multiple skins cost over 50$ one year ago). Also, the maps are uninspired and quick to stagnate. Man do I ever resent large-scale game producers who lack genuine inspiration...what was I talking about? Oh--altered npc stats. Got it.

One quick warning/reminder/set of instructions: to change the game in the way this post describes, download either of the available npcstats.engb files, and replace the one with the same name in your XML2 install directory (the two files available here, HEROIC MODE npcstats.engb, and npcstats.engb are the same exact file. One needs to be renamed to use, the other is ready to cut-and-paste over your current npcstats.engb file, found in Activision/X-Men Legends 2/Data).
Make certain you copy and back-up your original npcstats.engb, in case you are shocked to find the new changes and wish to go back to Kansas [that's a Wizard of Oz reference, kids]. This simple swap-out of your npcstats.engb is not to be taken lightly. I have altered the course of the XML2 experience according to my divine whims and proclivities. Game on.

If anybody actually uses my file and thinks about the alterations, let me know: too hard? not hard enough? life-changing glory? magnanimous indifference? monkey-powered laundry machines? Don't be afraid to break into a discussion with your fellow nerd by messaging in this particular post or emailing me directly (kyle.belo@gmail.com). I realize this game is older than some gamers, so an extra thank-you goes out to all who took the time to read this, especially if you did so without even reaping the benefits of the stats file provided.

***this is a link for further information about EXTREME/HEROIC Mode (just takes you farther down the page): http://marvelmods.com/forum/index.php/topic,9125.msg170198.html#msg170198 ***

Long life and prosperity, playaz. Peace.

***this is a link to a small and very simple trainer for raising character levels to 99, discussed farther down in my extended post***

This sounds great and it makes me want to get XML2 again. Should be a few bucks on steam or so. I always thought it was a tad bit easy even on the highest difficulty. Even with my own npcstat edit. Appreciated, thanks for the contribution!

February 02, 2014, 06:46PM #2 Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 07:03PM by Teancum

We follow United States copyright law here as that's where our servers are. Thanks


Just a quick apology to the staff of marvelmods.com for using the forum to offer advice on torrents. I didn't look into anything about your servers or think it through before hand; just wanted to respond to the idea of somebody spending money on a very old collection of files (not that I haven't paid for this particular collection twice in the past).

February 02, 2014, 09:09PM #4 Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 11:59PM by don_mega
I totally forgot to mention that, if you do use my stats file, it is basically non-feasible to start a new game and survive. At all. There may be a few exceptions to this by use of super strong starting teams, if you have certain mod-characters installed, but even then...

My basic ideology is to have a fair, fun game. Using my altered npcstats, fair means having all of your powers and stats from the beginning (not hacked versions, just what you would have if you legitimately got to 99 via repetitive crowd slaying). Because the famous "all characters to level 99" code does not work on most PC versions of the game, I thought I would save anybody who wants to use EXTREME difficulty mode the trouble they might have in safely finding a easy-to-use and effective trainer. I discuss the purpose of this further down.


{above is the original zip file with everything the author of Apache +10TRainer included, and the single apache-xml2.exe, which is the trainer itself and the only thing you need to run/place in your XML2 install directory; I separated this for those who may have trouble unzipping}.

*Note: depending on your operating system, it may be necessary to right click apache-xml2.exe and select "run as administrator" for the trainer to do its thing. You DO NOT need to start X-men legends 2 with the "run game" option the apache trainer gives you (on my system I have to right-click/run-as-admin both programs separately if I want it to work).

All you have to do is put (cut or copy and paste) this thing: http://www.mediafire.com/download/6y8zn86s4g6i1no/apache-xml2.exe in your install directory (Activision/X-men Legends 2), where you find the xmen2.exe launch icon, and run it before you open the game, or after if you want to minimize (some PCs don't take kindly to minimizing).
As long as it is open, it is stupidly easy to operate. there are notes written on the thing, but the F7 function (the one we are interested in most) is not clear, so I took the liberty of clarifying. It works this way: you activate it in-game (there is an obvious beep), and the next thing you kill will take all of your characters to level 99. Unlike the trainer's other functions, this can't be turned off-and-on in game, but it doesn't matter; it does nothing once your toons are all 99.
*Note: if you want to use this and avoid all of your characters having their stats auto-assigned, make sure to get to the first x-station (way point, game-saving thing) outside of town (after the first mini-level).
When you are at the first area with both enemies and a station, make certain you select everybody once (I had to write the 20 names down on paper and put them in five teams I checked off). Be sure to stay away from enemies once you have the F7 function active until you have had everybody in your control (you don't need to do anything but select them and move on until everyone is done). again, WITHOUT leaving the area, once they have all been selected, activate the trainer's F7 command and kill something. BooM. everybody is 99 and no stats have been assigned.

Personally, I want my hero's hp around 950, and auto-assign gives some toons way more than this (based on their fight-style, I think). I also want focus and strike both maxed, so I also use the Apache trainer's F5 function, which simply gives far more stat points and skill points than is possible to use (1000 of each, I think).
For the purpose of my specefic alterations, I also use more skill points than I would really have(without sticking with the same save data and re-doing danger-room missions with +skillpoint reward hundreds of times) for the sake of getting right to the game.
The npcstat alterations I have made are not for gamers who are into level-progression (unless they are at least willing to drop that interest in regards to this special XML2 difficulty mode). This is not about getting more and more powerful, but rather finding your favorite and most powerful character and starting right off with a decent challenge that lasts all the way through. I made the stat changes I made, and used the trainer the way I did, in order to be as powerful as possible from the beginning (in a semi-legitimate sense), but having to deal with a decent challenge for the game's entire duration.
Oh, and if you do use Heroic Mode's npcstats, EPIC prefix gear is your new best friend. The hunt for +100 damage gloves, shield, and belt is critical.

As an aside, I should put a little emphasis on the fact that I refer to my npcstats file as "heroic" or "extreme" for a reason: it will actually make the game hard. For realsies. I have personally used every single mod available at marvelmods.com for xml2, and ran through the list of which toons can hack it using their most powerful builds. The verdict? Most toons can not hack it (in which case, if I love them anyhow, they may be reserved for team-only play).
If anybody is actually reading this and wants my personal insight on the matter, add to this post with your request. Otherwise, to volunteer such information without being prompted would be much too geeky and involved. Even for me.

*Note: the following is for people who are already comfortable with decompiling/editing .engb and .xml files using XMLBCUI or (I think?) HeroSelect.

I just realized I neglected something semi-crucial. If you are using my stats file, it is very easy to change the damage the average enemy takes before K.O.
Changing the boss's and a couple of special enemy's values is a little more involved, but if you want to raise or lower the damage capacity for most enemies in the game, simply decompile and open up (edit) npcstats.engb (not the original game's, the "HEROIC" one I provided, which I think needs to be renamed to it's proper title, 'npcstats.engb' before you can successfully edit it). and do the following:

select (in notepad) at the top taskbar the 'Edit' tab, and then, from its list of options, 'Replace'.
in the 'Replace' window's search-field ('find what'   ____:), type exactly this (without the "" ):
"specific_health = 3500"     *use 'find next' to make sure you typed it right. notepad should find alot of them.
in the 'Replace with' field, type the exact same thing, only change the number 3500 to whatever you like.
Obviously, a higher number means enemies take more damage, a lower one means they take less.
Choose 'replace all' with your new value, or just click 'find next' and 'replace' a bunch of times (doesn't take that long, and I like to see each change).
Because I went through the trouble of making the vast majority of enemies share the same initial health value, this is a great way to change to whole feel of the game quickly and easily at will.
Experiment. Have a good old time while you're at it.

I am pleasantly surprised anybody has looked at my post at all, as I was afraid of being years too late to do anything fresh with this classic game ( I really wanted to offer something to the people who made one of my favorite games exponentially greater). I'm happy to talk strategy with anyone who's interested, and would love to know what anyone finds if they do change out their npcstats.engb file with the altered version available at mediafire.

Keep the faith, true believers.

Just wanted to give my two cents on this, first of all this is something I thought of doing but never did it due to laziness anyways I been playing this and I gotten threw all the way to about half of the third act and I love it. Sure sometimes it takes a really long time to kill certain enemies,(the insects from the first act or enemies with health regeneration) it makes it way better cause half of the roster must be set up wisely. I'm playing with a full x-men cast(XML2 default minus Brotherhood members and unlockables replace by Jubilee, Dazzler, Polaris, Havok, Psylocke, Beast, Cannonball, Magik, Cable, and Angel) and so far most characters are useful somehow but I notice Matt710 mods have many issues like there health recovering powers causes many issues anyway lucky I don't even need a boost like that since the game is harder but not to hard that your like barely surviving unless you also don't use equipping items which I do and they make it way easier, so yeah thanks a lot for making this and I 'm happy some people are still enjoying this game instead of MUA which is to easy and dull if you ask me.

just want to say. With Energy Fury + any tank(Jugs, Wolvi and Colossus) its a not so hard mod, but Apocalypse health,  yeah...i fought with him about 2x time than on normal npcstat. Anyway - its great mod.
but, in this mod only physical rules, mental and other not so good cause u cant get about 3k dmg mental or smth.