Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

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Jayborino
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Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

Postby Jayborino » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:26 am

Hi All, it's Jayborino, the guy who is running through this mod on YouTube as linked in another thread. I spent quite a long time trying to get the lotc mods working as it is now 2015 and everything is quite dated. LotC1 was quite simple as a viewer just sent me all the sounds files, but I knew LotC2 would require some actual modifications.

I'd like to share how I made it happen for anyone out there completely ignorant of SC1 mods just as I was at the start of this journey. On that note, this is going to be pretty dense. I spent much of my time trying to decipher vague instructions from others who assumed the reader had more than a basic level of knowledge and experience with any of this. If I'm feeling adventurous in the future, I'd like to put together a comprehensive download pack and/or compile all the links together for the pieces needed. This was all done on Windows 7 64-bit. I ran into two main problems that, when combined, gave me an enormous amount of trouble. First, getting the mod to run at all, then getting Starcraft to run in windowed mode. Separately, these issues weren't very challenging, but together were time consuming.

First and foremost, the mod needs to run on a downgraded version of Starcraft. From what I've read, the upgrader/downgrader that is commonly used only works with Starcraft running off of the original disks or an ISO (which is just an emulation of running off the original disks). I own the disks and also had purchased a separate digital version at some point, so I had no remorse in getting an ISO and mounting it with Daemon Tools Lite. I now have two versions of SC1 - my normal, up-to-date one, and a downgraded one I've messed around with to all shit.

For the most straightforward way to play, install SC1 then BW from either the original disks or some ISO's. Do not connect to Battle.net as it will patch you automatically. Then run an upgrader/downgrader AS AN ADMINISTRATOR to properly patch to version 1.12b. Detailed instructions on the downgrader use is for another day... When you open SC, the version is in the bottom right and should be 1.12. If you run any of the lotc executables AS AN ADMINISTRATOR, they will soft patch and open Starcraft. You can open the maps and everything will work for the specific maps associated with that executable you ran! Everyone fine with not playing in windowed mode can stop here. Keep in mind, even if you've performed the SC1 color fixes, they will not be applied when the game is opened via one of these mod executables that patches stuff. Windowed mode will fix that, but if you're fine with the annoying, wonky colors, have a blast!

Some pre-req info: MPQ files are basically Blizzard's data files - mods like LotC modify these on launch. W-MODE is a great plugin that can launch windowed mode easily via commonly used launchers like ChaosLauncher. Unfortunately, these launchers do not support modded MPQ launches of Starcraft as well. For example, you can't just point ChaosLauncher at lotc.exe as it will just launch an unpatched, original Starcraft. I found a neat little tool called InfectInject (it sounds malicious, but it's not dangerious - it's meant for Starcraft, but it basically functions like a malicious program would) that allowed me to inject the W-MODE 1.02 .dll plugin into a copied Starcraft.exe that I renamed InfectedStarcraft. How this is exactly done is again for another day... Other guides say you can rename this 'infected' file to Starcraft.exe so long as you also rename the other two infected files that come with the pack as well. Theoretically, this would allow everything to be launched via the lotc.exe (as it explicitly looks for Starcraft.exe to patch), but this will not work - trust me. Anyway, now I had a Starcraft executable that would force boot with W-MODE 1.02 running, but I couldn't title it what I needed for the lotv executables to fire. Anyway, I've got this "InfectedStarcraft.exe" - one step closer.

Next, I used WinMPQ to extract everything separately from each lotc executable - there are three lotv.exe, lotc2.exe, and whatever it's called for lotv 19-21. I then continued with WinMPQ to create a new MPQ archive and dumped everything back in. I just remade the .exe files into .MPQ files. Now I was able to utilize MPQDraft AS AN ADMINISTRATOR, a program that allows you to patch existing MPQ files with your own custom ones. I pointed it at InfectedStarcaft.exe (which is forced to start with W-MODE) and had it patch in lotc.mpq or whichever one I wanted to play. MPQDraft cannot patch in the lotc executables, this is why I had to convert them to .mpq. When I want to play now, I have to launch through MPQDraft and patch in whichever lotc mpq file that corresponds to the maps I intend to play.

SUCCESS! If you're able to figure out how to use:
- a program to mount ISO's
- a downgrader/upgrader
- InfectInject/InfectedStarcraft
- W-MODE 1.02
- WinMPQ
- MPQDraft

then you can follow my extremely detailed guide above. I never used any of these things prior to last night, nor was there a guide explaining how you can mix/match them to make this work, which is why it took me 4 hours. Special thanks to community paragon IskatuMesk, who I am sure many people here are familiar with as he is a regular around here, for walking me through MPQ extraction and re-creation. More special thanks to one of my viewers, Nate31891, who provided me explicit instructions with where to get a clean and usable ISO as well as how to use the Patching tool to get it to 1.12b. Lastly, Remnazuo, another viewer who chatted with me during this process and sent me several helpful blurbs from varying sources that I ultimately was able to piece together for the final solution. Remnazuo also sent me me the sound files for lotc1, which got this whole ball rolling.

Anyway, I'd like to make a barebones guide that lacks all the overly-explained logic I used to figure out this process. I'll also include the download bundle with all the tools needed too, but for now I shall rest.

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CowardI
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Re: Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

Postby CowardI » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:59 pm

This is great! Thanks, Jayborino. :)

I will try it out soon. :)

I still have and old windows XP computer with Starcraft & LOTC installed lying around if i cant get this to work tough. :P

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Re: Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

Postby Lavarinth » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:32 pm

If you want a really old school experience, I recommend using an emulator to install Windows 98: http://www.essjae.com/virtualization/Wi ... gWin98.pdf
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Re: Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

Postby Revolta » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:16 pm

Assuming you can run them normally then just use mca69launcher to record and call it a day. idk why nobody's tried this before it works fine for me

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Re: Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

Postby CowardI » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:20 pm

Lavarinth wrote:If you want a really old school experience, I recommend using an emulator to install Windows 98: http://www.essjae.com/virtualization/Wi ... gWin98.pdf


Interesting. Thanks for the link. Seen this before. When i had a summer job as a security guard once we had to have an external virtual windows 98 on our company PC so we would be able to get the CCTV footage to work. The program affiliated with the cameras was old and would just crash when trying to open it in any other windows program.
And before you ask, yes. The footage was crap. :P You would probably be able to cut the metal fence with a blow torch without us being able to see what was going on. That company was very conservative with its equipment. :P


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Jayborino
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Re: Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

Postby Jayborino » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:34 pm

Revolta wrote:Assuming you can run them normally then just use mca69launcher to record and call it a day. idk why nobody's tried this before it works fine for me


Again, I had no basic knowledge of any of this when getting started. I did actually download mca64launcher to see what the possibilities were and also searched around for any info to be able to use plugins with modded MPQs. Can you elaborate how this launcher can do this? It would be great to hear about how much easier this could be, I just found no indication of it anywhere as I worked on it yesterday.


Revolta
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Re: Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

Postby Revolta » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:57 pm

So you go into a/v tab (do nothing with anything else unless you plan on using it with regular scbw, as you are just using it to capture instead of to start sc with some optimisations, not recomended for your LPS)
Image

Then you want to configure your stuff, so basically you microphone and capture (monitor usually), and your audio and video settings for recording kind of like fraps o r obs has
Image

Then tick local recording (saves to folder you can access by pressing folder icon) and tick pass the mic to capture your sound (works like fraps/obs)
Image

finally when you are ready hit record, maximise or start sc with your mods, and edit out any unnecessary starts (i dont think theres hotkey to start and stop recording so you will record desktop until you have scbw started and active - also some mods can crash if you click off towards a new monitor so disable second monitor to prevent this but should only be on lower scbw patches like 1.10)
Image

You can get recordings (mine save to mkv yours might save different) and convert to format for vegas editing or other video editor and edit them


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Jayborino
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Re: Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

Postby Jayborino » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:49 pm

Oooooooh very cool, you can record right through it!


Revolta
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Re: Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

Postby Revolta » Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:03 pm

Ya I know a lot of people use it like he who can not be named xd


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Re: Steps to play LotC in the Modern Age

Postby gamegearsmasher » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:34 am

Any update on how to follow this tutorial to actually play? It's pretty vague and I cant follow the step by step process very well.


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