Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dawn of War II - How to restart a mission without advancing the Day counter

(Click here for a list of all our posts on Dawn of War II.)

In Dawn of War II, you do not get multiple save game slots for the same character/campaign. Whenever you complete or abort a mission, the day counter advances, with consequences to the campaign.
You cannot also save midway during a mission. You can abort a mission and return to it later, but the day counter advances.

In this post, we present two ways to get around both.

Simple Way: Backup Your Save Game
Basically, find where the game saves your campaign progress and make a copy of it. Typically, the save game will be called <force commander name>.sav. So if your Force Commander's name is "Rommel", the save game name will be "Rommel.sav".

I recommend adding the day and mission to the name of your savegame to help you keep your backups organized (obviously you will have to rename it back properly before using if you restore a savegame). For example: "Rommel.sav d8x2 Greenskin Armour" to indicate this savegame for character "Rommel" finished the mission "Greenskin Armour" on Day 8 using the second extra deployment for that day.

To "restart" a mission, just abort it (End Mission) and return to the Main Menu. Your progress will be saved as usual. Dig through your copies of previous save games and overwrite the current save game, then load the campaign again.

Advanced Way: Saving Mid-Mission
WARNING: Read the bugs.

It turns out that the vanilla Dawn of War II campaign simply disables your ability to save during a mission. You just need to re-enable it. Combine this with making backups of your saves to have the ability to roll back to previous missions.

DOW2 load mission in progress

The Dawn of War II campaign is packed into .sga files, but you can create override files and put them in the GameAssets\ directory. In order for the game to accept these override files, you need to run the game with the command line switch "-dev". Just add -dev to the end of the execution target in your shortcut.

The override file you need is Data\campaign\space_marines\campaign_description.lua. If you are not running any mods, you should not have that file anywhere. Cut and paste the code below into a text file and save it in GameAssets\Data\campaign\space_marines\ as campaign_description.lua.

campaign_description =
 campaign_title = 602508, -- LOCDB [602508] 'Dawn of War II'
 id = "aurelian_crusade",
 intro_video_path = "movies:w5.lua",
 campaign_choice_button = "DATA:UI/Textures/generic/fe/select_race/dow2_campaign",
 first_mission = "ss1_sep1",
 last_mission = "me1",
 multiple_deployments_enabled = true,
 can_be_saved = true, -- defaults to "false", which disables saving during a mission

 savior_bonus =
  secured_stratagem = 40,
  wargear_items_acquired = 10,
  defense_mission_expiry = -20,
  resilience_stars = 100,
  secured_territory = 10,
  tyranid_rating = -10,
  mission_expiry = 0,

 warrior_bonus =
  enemies_killed = 1,
  assassinate_mission_expiry = -100,
  speed_stars = 100,
  zeal_stars = 30,

If you are already running a mod, look for campaign_description.lua in the mod. If the mod does not have this file, add it to the mod. If the mod does have this file, open it and look for the line can_be_saved = false, and change it to can_be_saved = true,.

When you are in a mission, you can now open the menu and you should see the option to save the mission in progress. The mid-mission save file will be in the same place as the regular save games, but called <force commander>.sv. When you load a campaign, if you have a mid-mission save there will be a button "Load Mission in Progress" and you can pick up where you left off without the Day counter advancing.

This method comes with certain bugs. Basically, it looks like some things are NOT saved. We'll update this list as we find them.
  • If you are capturing a Automated Factory, Communications Array, or Shrine for the first time on a map, a script drops field generators and gives you an item that grants you limited uses of a power associated with that type of strategic asset.
    • This will NOT happen if you are continuing a mission. You must capture that asset before your first mid-mission save for it to work properly.
    • You may be able to capture both assets because the scripts aren't working properly. Since you are normally only allowed to capture one, I recommend you just capture one.
  • If you destroy one of the resupply boxes that give you additional uses of limited-use items, AND if you do NOT pick it up, the item will disappear when you reload a mission save. It appears that things dynamically spawned are not saved.
  • If you are playing a Defense mission, do NOT use this. It appears that your current objective to destroy the current wave of attackers will never update, and new enemy waves will not spawn. Since the enemy waves do not complete, the mission never completes.
  • There is a bug regarding the awarding of extra deployments:
    • If you haven't gotten any extra deployments for the day yet, and you reload a save, you will only get an extra deployment at 15/15 stars (or 14 stars if you hold all 6 Automated Foundries).
Since there are so many issues, the best way to use it is to play through a tough mission with it. This way, you can incrementally work your way through the mission instead of having to start all over again whenever you make a wrong move. Afterwards, load a mod with the damage-received settings for your difficulty lowered and play through the mission safely. You will generally want to make your own "God mode" mod anyway in case you need to roll back to a previous save and don't want to have to re-play tedious missions at regular difficulty.

If you save just prior to a boss, you can retry that boss as well as try various strategies on it, without having to replay an entire mission to get to the boss.

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