Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing - Cheats

This post will outline how to do various simple cheats with The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, by manipulating the save game directories. For a list of all our Van Helsing posts, click here.

Find The Save Games
You first need to find your save games. Start by creating a character, then exiting the game. For example, if your character's name is "Ritter", the game will save it on your computer as Ritter.sav.

Now, do a search on your computer for the savegame -- in this particular case, we would search for the file "Ritter.sav". There should be two locations -- one primary location and one backup location. They look something like this:

C:\Users\ ... \Documents\NeocoreGames\Van Helsing\SaveGame\...
C:\ProgramData\Steam\ ... \storage\save

The game will automatically restore data into the Documents folder (even if you erase all data there) from the Steam folder, so we also need to manage the save\ folder in the Steam folder.

In C:\ProgramData\Steam\ ... \storage\save\common\ there are two files: "achievements.sav" and "storage.sav". These are files common to your computer profile. If you want to reset your achievements or clear your shared character storage, erase the files here.
Do NOT put either of these files in the \save\ directory because the game tries to read .sav files as character files. If you do, the game will crash before it reaches the main menu.

Backing Up and Restoring Save Games
To back up your current game state, make a copy of the save\ folder in C:\ProgramData\Steam\ ... \storage\ .
If you need to restore from backup, you need to first delete these two directories:

C:\Users\ ... \Documents\NeocoreGames\Van Helsing\SaveGame\...
C:\ProgramData\Steam\ ... \storage\save

Then, restore from backup in the in C:\ProgramData\Steam\ ... \storage\ directory. When you start the game, it will automatically restore data from this directory into the C:\Users\ ... \Documents\NeocoreGames\Van Helsing\ directory, rebuilding the entire folder tree if necessary.

If you simply delete data from the C:\Users\ ... \Documents\NeocoreGames\Van Helsing\ folder or try to overwrite it, it will restore data from C:\ProgramData\Steam\ ... \storage\save, overwriting your changes.
If you do not delete data from the C:\Users\ ... \Documents\NeocoreGames\Van Helsing\ folder, the game will read from that directory first and ignore any changes in the C:\ProgramData\Steam\ ... \storage\ directory.

Now that we know how to restore from a backup file, we can do some cheats.

Roll back your game
Van Helsing periodically saves your progress, so you cannot normally undo your progress to, for example, choose events and dialogues (like the wisp encounters) differently. Using the process described above, you can.
You really only need to restore the character .sav file, especially if you don't want to undo any progress made toward your achievements.

Redo an area / Farm an area for loot
Items in your storage chest in Markovna are recorded in the storage.sav file. Since you only need to restore the character .sav file to undo your single player story progress, you can do that to re-play areas several times. Before restoring your game, put items in the shared storage chest and do not overwrite the storage.sav file when you restore the character to a previous backed up version.
  • In this way, you can get multiple copies of unique non-quest items (quest items cannot be dropped or put in the chest), such as Excalibur. You can also farm an area for loot, or get a different random item reward.
  • You can duplicate epic items, but only one copy can be in use by either Katarina and Van Helsing. Even if you have multiple copies of an epic ring, for example, only one can be used.
  • Note that you can farm certain locations, like the Werewolf Lair in Croakwood, which will reset each time you load a game until you successfully defeat the boss and talk to it.
Clone Gear
There are two ways to clone gear:
  • Clone from character - Put items in shared storage, then restore the character .sav file.
  • Clone from storage - Take items from shared storage, then restore the storage.sav file. 
Simply making a copy of the character .sav file and putting that character's gear in storage does not work as there is some kind of link to the original .sav file.
Get more money / "Free" respec
By re-doing an area several times, you can accumulate money quite quickly and re-spec your character at the gypsies in Croakwood.
Another way to quickly get money is to load up your shared storage, then make sure you have a copy of the storage.sav file. Then, have your character take everything out of the chest and sell it. Exit the game and restore the storage.sav file to get all your gear back.

Modding Files
.CFG files in ..\SteamApps\common\The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing\Cfg\ control some aspects of the game. They are plain text files that can be edited. One of the files controls loot drops.

Loot drop rates are controlled by the "None" and "Chance" values. The basic chance before modifiers for game difficulty and Magic Find for an item to drop is (that item's Chance value) / (sum of all None and Chance values for the entry). Therefore, by changing the "None" entry to 0, you can force drops to occur.

Something you can try is to change the "gambler" entries to drop epic items with more frequency. This way, you can see what epic items (uniques and set items) are available at Van Helsing's current level. Once his level advances, lower-level epic items will no longer be available, so if you want to come back for an item later, be sure to make a copy of your save game whenever Van Helsing levels up. Note that epic items first show up around level 6.
Also, when you buy an epic item from the gambler (e.g., in the Scenario mode HQ), it's sell-back value is almost always higher than the price you paid at lower levels (up to around level 8). This is therefore an easy way to generate gold without grinding or inflating Van Helsing's level.

Another tweak to try is to change all "trophy", "champion", and "epic" entries in the loot drop tables so that "None=0" and the chance for gold is also zero. This forces item drops, and you have a much higher chance of seeing rares and the occasional epics, as a reward for killing a powerful mini-boss level creature.

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