An unexpected bonus of the incoming new /save_layout and /load_layout process that will be released with GU53 will be the ability, with a bit of file editing, to adjust the layout of house items in 3 directions, instead of just two.
Previously, if you wanted an item to be tilted at an angle, instead of just moving it up & down, backwards & forwards, you had to find something to place the item on, then move the placement surface out of the way, etc. Convincing a portrait to have the slight tilt needed to lie properly on the easel, for example, used such things as the warped bedposts on a warped fir bed or other such contortions.
Before I talk about the new way of angling things, let me quote something from EQ2TC's database guru, Barx, from a discussion on the SOE forums:
We are not being given this functionality directly, but rather as a consequence of something else. Adding ways to directly modify it in-game would be more work and something that they may not have 'budgeted' for in terms of time.
We're not being given a tedious workaround. We're being given a save/load feature that has an easter egg - the ability to do all three axes of rotation. Think of it along the lines of the ability to 'hover' items in mid-air: We had it before, but it was a 'tedious workaround,' we had to put something under it until it was the right height, then take those out. Much much later they came back and let us do that directly, so it's not unreasonable to think they might add a direct manipulation method for those rotations somewhere down the line.
Also, we're running out of modifier keys for house items . Ctrl, alt, and shift are all used in some form or another, so they'd have to come up with some other way of moving things on those axes.
Yep, that bears repeating and highlighting. This isn't some feature that was intentionally added for us, but an "extra" that was found, and can be used, with a bit of effort. It is going to be kludgy. Complaining that it doesn't work better, isn't easier, etc. isn't going to do you much good, and is mostly just going to irk the developer(s) who would be the ones requesting that coding time be budgeted to make it an official feature. (Translation: don't tick off the very folks who have to go to bat for us and ask for permission to fancy it up, k?)
Since the layout files are still being tweaked during the testing phase, a more complete explanation of the "how to do it" will have to wait. At this point, I can tell you a few things, though. Files are saved in a folder in your EQII directory called "saved_house_layouts". While the current method someone found of changing the tilt of an object in these layout files is to edit the binary save file (ugh!), Rothgar has stated:
FYI, we're going to be changing the house layout file so all the data is in easy-to-read text instead of the current binary layout. We'll also include names of the objects so you won't have to try to look them up from ID numbers. So yeah, it'll be pretty easy to modify the pitch and roll of the object by editing the file.
As things become finalized, and details become firmer, I will update this article accordingly. In the meantime, those wanting to follow the discussion can find it here on the SOE forums.
Created: 2009-09-11 06:50:05
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother
Last Modified on: 2009-09-11 06:50:05
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