- TO MAKE A HACKED SAVEGAME: The TRICK is to have a legitimate savegame already created, like MERSAVE1.SAV. COPY it (lest you ruin it...), and use a HEX editor on it. In just the FIRST page or 2, you'll find 3 missions listed then a little further down, 3 more missions listed. Only hack the first, hacking the second does no harm but is unneccessary. The first letter of the first mission choice is at hex location 202.
IF you JUST started the game they'll look like this:
Those are the missions AVAILABLE to you as a player, at that point. The first (TRA1CAM1) is the Training Campaign with Hanson's Rough-Riders, The second (BET1CAM1) is the Counter-Insurgency Campaign, and the Last (RAN1CAM1) is just the first random mission. By changing these to:
That would mean you could choose the Solaris VII Gladiator games (SOL1CAM1), OR Capture the Kodiak Clan Mech Campaign (OUT1CAM1), OR the Wolcott campaign (WOL1CAM1)! And everytime you complete a campaign, you could edit your savegame so you can do them again. Want a WHOLE fleet of Kodiaks? Just do OUT3CAM1 over and over again. Want an EVEN quicker way to get salvaged mechs? Beat SOL1CAM1 over and over again (Plus, you can edit MW2.PRJ so you CHOOSE which 11 mechs you win!!! -- see MERCHACK.TXT for further details!) Want clan mechs and clan weaponry? Do defend Wolcott (WOL3CAM1) over and over again -- You'll salvage a WARHAWK CLAN MECH! (Repeat for more Warhawks...)
When you abort a mission, gametime advances. So, when you go back to the mech bay, a NEW set of mechs are available for sale. You have to hex edit your savegame to point back to the mission that gives you the mechs for sale that you want, play/beat the mission, THEN go to mech bay to buy them. I use CAMP, RAN1CAM1, RAN2CAM1, and RAN3CAM1 for the missions with clan mechs for sale because it has little effect on the game since you normally do not have much money to buy mechs. Mechs for sale of a mission are available AFTER the LAST MISSION in the campaign, so if you set mechs for sale on the FIRST mission of the training campaign, you'd never see them.
- Restarting you game at the VERY beginning: Then when you're all done, set the Camapaign to CAMP, start the game, choose that campaign, abort it, and go back to the starport. Now you're back at the beginning of the game!
To get the CAMP to work, you must REMOVE the CAM1 on the end so you don't have CAMPCAM1. You can't put spaces over CAM1, you must enter zeros (zero-values in hex) over it so you end up with "CAMP",0,0,0,0. THEN, you have to choose that campaign, start it, but IMMEDIATELY abort it. If you actually complete that mission it gives you, the game either locks up or a random? campaign path is chosen.
- PROBLEMS with not having enough ammo / weapons in inventory: The best spread of clan mechs to gain much clan weaponry is quite difficult to get. Especially since certain weapons (such as inferno SSRMs and SRMs, and LB 20x ac) are not available on any clan mech. And other weapons (narc, ams, and flamer) are found on a handful of mech varients that nobody's heard of:
Drw00std - Pulse lasers, plus good to use as a personal mech
Exe02std - ams, other weapons
Exe03std - narc, other weapons
Jnr02std - 5 Splas
Kdk00std - 8 medium lasers, 2 SSRM6s w/ 2 tons ammo, uAC/20 w/ 2 tons ammo
Ktf04std - 2 LRM15s w/ 4 tons ammo, LRM5 w/ 1 ton ammo
Lbk03std - flamer and other weapons
Mdg01std - 6 SRM6 w/ 6 tons ammo
Mdg03std - 2 gauss w/ 4 tons ammo
Nga00std - 2 arrow IVs w/6 tons ammo
Ptm03std - flamer and 8 small lasers
Stm04std - 4 SSRM6s w/ 4 tons ammo, other weapons
Sum03std - LRM10 w/ 3 tons ammo and lots of lasers
Tbr00std - 2 LRM20 w/ 2 tons ammo
Whk00std - 4 PPCs, 2 LRM10 w/ 2 tons ammo
I only included a short list of mechs, and they don't include the SRM-4, SSRM-4, any LB * x AC, and only the uAC-20 of the uAC guns. Not that I included any, but splas are on Jnr02std.
A SOLUTION to the lack of mechs with the ammo/weaponry you need is to DESIGN your own in INSTANT ACTION, then by using the filenames of the mechs you create (TBR00USR for instance), tell MW2.PRJ to put those mechs up for sale in the single-player game's campaigns.
Any ammo-dependant weapons aren't something you want in abundance because you'll need HUGE ammo stockpiles. Take an uAC-20, you'd need at least 6 tons of ammo on your mech and you'll use that much each mission. You could have 300 tons of ammo and run out before the game ends. Or LRM-20s, with only 6 shots per ton, probably 1-3 tons of ammo per mech per mission. So, over the course of 40 missions, you'll need about 40-120 tons of LRM-20 ammo PER mech used! Or how about the AMS, which the enemies MAKE you use. (In Battle-net, a funny way to overheat a hot enemy is fire a few LRM-5s at them.) Figure on putting 1 AMS on every mech with 2 tons of ammo and using 1 ton of the 2 per mission, which means you'll need about 40 tons of AMS ammo minimum over the course of the game. (And I haven't been able to turn the AMS off, except in Instant Action.)
The only good news on ammo use is if you DON'T use the full ton of ammo, that ton of ammo is REFILLED for free before the next mission. So only fire a LRM-20 5 times, an Arrow IV 4 times, a LRM-15 7 times, a LRM-10 11 times, a LRM-5 23 times, a SSRM-6 14 times PER mission and you'll never use their single ton of ammo up. Lasers should be your main weapons, and you may even want to use the IS Arrow IV and the IS AMS (which you can buy ammo for) - but they are heavier. Use ammo weapons as secondary weapons, never use a full ton of ammo and you'll never use up your ammo.
In version 1.06 of Mercenaries, items simply DISAPPEAR from your inventory if you have many inventory items, go and customize a mech, then change your mind and hit NO to accept changes. So, even if you had 100s of tons of ammo for each weapon, it could disappear on you for no reason! One way around this disappearing inventory items bug is to buy Altas mechs and strip them of everything, including armor. Use them as storage mechs - fill them full of everything that cannot be bought, like clan weaponry. Strip items off them as neccessary. Works for me, but I don't care about costs in C-bills.
There is quite a few mech lists in your savegame. The first is the mechs for sale at the mech bay, but you'd have to edit them exactly to get what you want. I >have< made some IS mechs think they're clan mechs that way, but it was a LOT of work and I don't recommend it. The second list is the mechs you own in their damaged condition. The third mech list is the mechs you own in their fully repaired condition - for use as a comparision with list 2 when you go into repair/reload menu. Sometimes this results in errors, such as when you upgrade heat sinks then go into the repair menu and "repair" that mech.
Exact hex locations for the Mechs for sale will prove unnecessary. After all, if you're using a good hex editor with even primative search capabilities, you could easily find the CAM1 you're looking for. That's how I do it with Orbit. And since I've already gotten all the CAM1.BWD locations written down in MercHack.Txt, I only need to find the CAM1.BWD and then I edit the mechs for sale directly by typing over the old ones.
- AVOIDING AUTOMATIC RETIREMENT: (hacked savegame method) The byte location 01FE in the savegame file holds what is internally called the "Campaign type".
Valid values are:
01 Next mission, go directly to the first mission listed in the group three missions to choose from at comstar, using either the successful or failed list based upon the mission results. Used to chain multiple missions into Campaigns.
02 Starport. takes you back to Comstar. If executed mid-mission the contract screen often says "the Undersigned will bequeath his soul." Accepting the contract will return you back into the mission you left when your done. The mech factory has 24 different IS mechs to choose from, but the arms merchant is almost bone dry. I guess this is the Mercs version of Half-Time entertainment.
03 Special condition that causes the audio portion of Holly Harris's message to be played upon access of the comstar terminal. Other than this it operates like code '02'.
04 DEATH. Runs the battle video, followed by the rich/poor video, and then terminates. This function is completely independant of the "Death" mission choice, and will override all other mission choices. Will force ANY mission into this termination sequence.
This byte alone permits one to overcome automatic retirement. Just set for '02' and set mission list for the missions you want to choose from in comstar. upon your return.
- Changing the money in a savegame: Edit your saved game file (mersave?.sav). At the address "0000012A" look for "40 42 0F", this is your starting money of 1 million C-Bils. If replaced with "FF FF FF 02", it will give just over 50,000,000 C-Bills. I found this to be much better than the mere 1,000,000 C-Bills they give you to start with.