Morrowind Save Hacking Guide
Posted 14 May 2005 - 12:21 AM
To continue, you will need:
-FTP access to your Xbox
-Morrowind Enchanted Editor 0.91c
-any Hex Editor of your choice (Hex Workshop, XVI32 both work nicely, I'm using Hex Workshop here)
First, if you haven't done so already, go ahead and install any of the above utilities you are missing.
Fetch your Morrowind save from your Xbox harddrive that you want to modify. Go to E/UDATA/42530005/. Under here, you'll have a list of funny looking hashes in hexadecimal. There is a way to calculate what the hash will be for a given save game, but it's easier just to check in each folder until you find the savegame you want to modify. It should look like yoursavenamehere.ess, and there should also be a vv.dat file in the directory as well. Transfer the .ess file and the vv.dat file over to your computer to some easy to remember folder.
Done with that part? Not so hard was it?
Run Morrowind Enchanted Editor (might take a little while to start up on slower computers). Go to File > Open..., find and select your ess file. Enchanted editor will chew on it for a little while, then you should see a nice listing of every element inside your save file. Most of it should be relatively straightforward, except for a few parts we are primarily concerned with:
Your main character information will be under Player Reference Data (REFR):
Character Attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Willpower, etc) is under REFR > ACDT. You will notice that there are two variables for every attribute, the current value, and base value. The only time they won't match in a save file is if they have been permanently modified by something.
Character Skills (Armorer, Athletics, Alchemy, etc) is under REFR > CHRD. Same thing for base vs current attributes goes here.
Alrighty, now that we can fix that stuff, onto some more important areas, namely your inventory (including gold!). This is actually stored under the NPC copy of your player. To check this out, go to Non Player Characters > NPC_player. Here, you can edit your Name, your Head, your Hair, your Race, your Class, and even your Level. There is a copy of the original values of your strength, intelligence, and such for your race, but this has no effect on your actual attributes. Current Health, Magicka (SpellPoints), Fatigue can also be modified here. Following the information at the beginning of this section and the FLAG section, is a list of the current items in your inventory! Inventory items have the NPCO tag, and list the internal name of the item (ItemID) and how many of this item you have (count). You can change the ItemID to something else if you wanted just by typing in a new name there, or click the "..." button next to the ItemID box to view a whole list of internal names in the original Morrowind.esm file.
You may notice some funky ItemIDs in your inventory if you are into Alchemy. This is because custom made potions here are referenced by a number in the Alchemy section. If you want to edit the potion, go to the Alchemy section, hopefully find it by its name, weight, value, etc and edit those attributes accordingly. I can't say I know exactly what all the EffectID / SkillID numbers refer to, but here's a few:
The rest you (or maybe someone else on this forum) can find out on your own by making specific potions and looking at how it shows up in the save file.
Spells that you have will show up under your NPC_player as NPCS. They only list the names here as well; just like with Alchemy, the actual spell information is listed under Player Spell Data.
Inserting records of any type is relatively easy, but can be dangerous. Just find the header of the section that you want to add to, then right click on it and click Insert Record. Then, using a similar record as a template, copy information from that record and change the name or quantity or whatever as needed.
Also, a sidenote: to those looking to slimfast their saves to fix Dirty Disk Errors and such, for now I will recommend checking under Containers Altered by Player (CNTC LootBag) to cut and paste records from your LootBag or whatever into other containers, Creatures Altered/Killed by Player and NPCs altered or killed by player to clean up some corpses by deleting records, and if you really know what you are doing you can do a search through the Cells to clean up things you left behind on the floor, though it makes things a lot easier when they are lumped together in containers. Maybe more on this later.
A warning: Deleting records with Enchanted Editor can take a long time for large savefiles!
Aside from that, I'll leave you on your own for the actual savehacking. Feel free to contribute to the scene and share your experiences or knowledge!
After you have modified your save, however, if you just copy it back to your Xbox as it is it will not work. Why? All game save files on the Xbox have computer "signatures" to make sure they were not tinkered with or corrupted. There are two solutions for this:
1) Calculate the new signature for the file, and update it. This works for any save file on modded or unmodded Xboxes.
2) Hack the XBE file to not check signatures. This is only possible if you are running a modded xbox with Morrowind ripped to the hard drive.
I might post a tutorial on option number 2 later, but for now, lets stick with option number 1.
First, you will need to go to the directory where you presumably installed XSavSig, and open up the resign.ini file in a text editor like Notepad. Add one of these entries (or both if you want) to the file depending on what version of the game you own:
Title=Morrowind Game Of The Year
where yournamehere is replaced by the actual name of your save. Put your modified ess file into the temp folder in XSavSig (if it doesn't exist yet, make a "temp" folder in your xsavsig folder), then run XSavSig. Select your version of Morrowind from the list and it will give you the current signature (not valid, ignore it) and the calculated signature. Now, open up vv.dat with your Hex Editor and overwrite the first 20 bytes of this file with the signature calculated by XSavSig (a byte is 2 hex digits). Save vv.dat, transfer your ess file and vv.dat back to your Xbox into the folder you got it from and you're finally done! If it worked, give yourself a pat on the back :D
If not, fire off a message so I can help you and / or see if the guide needs to be revised.
Posted 14 May 2005 - 09:40 PM
Reduce a 5mb Save Game File to 1MB (major FPS increase and kills most "doubling"")
This technique has some quirks like resurrecting all dead characters but does not break quests or change characters attitudes to you etc. The vast majority of space taken in in your save is NPCC (characters you've stolen from, killed etc) and CELL (Cells you've altered) records, so...
1. Load the save game
2. Turn OFF safe editing (Edit/Editing Options/Safe Editing or just click the symbol like a roadsign on the toolbar till it warns you and the symbol turns bright yellow and red)
3. Click the check box next to the "Cells" node to mark all cells.
4. Click the "Cells" node (not the checkbox) to expand it and show all cells and scroll down till you see the cell or cells where you keep all your loot (your home, if you have one). Uncheck this cell in the check box or you lose your loot.
5. Click the check box next to "NPCs Altered/Killed by Player" (NPCC) node to mark all altered NPCs.
6. CRITICAL: Click the "NPCs Altered/Killed by Player" (NPCC) Node to expand the node and show all NPCC record. Scroll down to the "PlayerSaveGame" record and UNCHECK it. You don't want to delete this specific record or your save game will be ruined.
7. Press Delete. All CELL and NPCC entries apart from your home and the PlayerSaveGame will be deleted.
8. Save your game. I got a 5MB game (LOTS of mods and Neverine) down to 1MB like this. Everyone I knew still thought I was the bees knees and I could walk around Balmora without feeling like a crippled snail on downers afterwards (much better FPS).
Quoted from the author's (Farren Hayden) savegame cleaning with Enchanted Editor guide. 1 block on the Xbox = 16,384 bytes, or 16 kb, this will most likely help with the 150 block savegame size problem.
Posted 21 May 2005 - 11:53 AM
One thing that's unclear is, you must choose between two ways before you upload the save back to your xbox. You have to either click cancel or ok in XSavSig, if you click ok or apply it resigns your save, if you click cancel, it does not. Do you want to hit ok and resign the gamesave, or do you want to cancel out and leave it like it is? Big difference. Also, do you know a way, with that editor, to remove being expelled from the temple?
Edited by Hopeful, 21 May 2005 - 11:55 AM.
Posted 22 May 2005 - 12:09 AM
i was mucking around with dis and all xasvsig does is changes the hex just like when u hex edit the vv.dat file. there has to be a way for this to work! post up how to hack the defualt.xbe so it doesnt check the signatures!!!!!! and i dont think that u can use that editor to remove getting expelled
Edited by hoa, 22 May 2005 - 12:10 AM.
Posted 22 May 2005 - 05:39 AM
The resigning process for morrowind is quite different from other games. You do not want to click OK or APPLY when XSavSig calculates the new signature for the modified file. Instead, take this 40 character long string in the "calculated" box (20 bytes in hexadecimal, 2 characters per byte) and overwrite, in hexadecimal, the first 20 bytes of the file vv.dat. The vv.dat file should have come from the same folder as the ess file, and be 40 bytes long in total. There are two signatures in there actually, but the second signature we really don't care about. Just make sure you overwrite the first 20 bytes of this file with the calculated hex bytes, and you should be fine. Do not copy the characters as ascii text characters; this will not work. If all is well, you should only be rewriting half of vv.dat.
Posted 22 May 2005 - 01:00 PM
Don't get me wrong, this guide is quite very helpful, but... It's a great idea to also do the other guide, because there's a shitty-ly stressful amount of dicking around for exactness every time - save the file in enchanted, avoid accidentally re-signing, type in a precise sequence of 40 characters 1 by 1, and then make sure to save the vv.dat file and transfer them both. Also, if you can't load the save, you don't know if the problem is from the morrowind editor or a typo in the 40 hex characters. 7 out of 10 times, no matter how carefully you check, you're liable to make at least one typo. Plus even after you spend an eternity to get it exactly right it still doesn't always work for some reason. With a .exe file that doesn't check signatures, it may be a lot of fecal semantics one time, but then all the bullshit is dealt with from then on. Just an encouragement to your idea earlier of posting a guide on removing sig-check alltogether. Once again, thanks because I was able to fix the expelled problem in the save.
Posted 22 May 2005 - 07:05 PM
I'll get right on hackin out the main save signature checks and post them both when I'm done.
Posted 22 May 2005 - 10:02 PM
Posted 23 May 2005 - 12:43 AM
I'll get right on hackin out the main save signature checks and post them both when I'm done.
Xx-L-nt! If you run into some kind of ridiculous problem, then I think people will even applaud your effort to help. I'd be interested to see a section of the guide that even describes how to skip those videos since they're annoying as fuck, if you felt like adding that. But, I could do without it if it's too much writing for ya. The main thing is that it would just be real loveable to skip all that resigning crap.
(On a totally unrelated note, I heard that you can eventually own strongholds. I want to own these and be able to put belongings in them, but I want to delete all other cell nodes to shrink my save size. If anyone figures out which cells these are, that would be a great detail with this fantabulous guide.)
Thanks once again, roofus. I'm sure a number of peepulz appreciate your guide.
Posted 23 May 2005 - 05:27 AM
Can't the computer version be used to locate the cells?
Even though the PC and X-box versions of the game are different, I'm pretty sure that the cell locations are the same. So why can't someone just locate them that way?
This was just a thought.
Edited by grifter66, 23 May 2005 - 05:30 AM.
Posted 29 May 2005 - 05:27 AM
Posted 29 May 2005 - 05:42 AM
and i got a fee more questions
(1) is it possible to create a gamesave via the editor?
(2)how do u change gold?
(3) how do i upload support files?
that it is all
Posted 29 May 2005 - 07:13 PM
(1) Not without a Template.
(2) There is an item called Gold_001 in your current inventory, which is actually under NPCs Altered / Killed by player (NPCC), under NPCC PlayerSaveGame. Change the quantity of this to anything up to 4.2 billion, roughly (it is an integer value). You can also, if you wanted, manually add NPCO records to this section, and spawn items for yourself like a full suit of Daedric armor, for example . If you are running the GOTY edition, and it doesn't like the order your inventory's in, it will just correct itself usually by reordering the section that was messed up.
(3) If by support files you mean Mods for morrowind, Grifter66 has quite a few guides on this around this forum
Posted 30 May 2005 - 07:49 AM
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