Mass Effect 2

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Bosmeroya

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Bosmeroya

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About this mod

Changes the color of Shepard's Combat Drone. Includes 12 color presets and a few custom combinations, as well as instructions on how to make your own custom colors and combos!

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Custom Combat Drone Colors

Description:

This is a DLC mod that changes the color properties of Shepard's Combat Drone. It includes 12 presets, 8 of which come from existing color values from other drones in the game and 4 of which are completely custom. Here is a list of the included color presets:

  • Geth Prime Green                    (default option, uses the green color values of Geth Prime drones.)
  • Legion Blue                              (Uses the blue color values of Legion's base drone.)
  • Legion Cyan                                    (Uses the cyan color values of Legion's upgraded drone.)
  • Tali Purple                                       (Uses the purple color values of Tali's base drone, Chatika.)
  • Tali Pink                                    (Uses the pink color values of Tali's upgraded drone, Chatika vas Paus.)
  • Enemy Red                                (Uses the red color values of enemy drones.)
  • Enemy Blood Orange                             (Uses the blood orange color values of enemy drones.)
  • Enemy Drone                                                (Uses red as a primary, and blood orange as a secondary. This is what enemy drones use.)
  • Turquoise                                               (Uses custom, non-vanilla, turquoise color values.)
  • White                                                      (Uses custom, non-vanilla, pure white color values. Primary and secondary.)
  • Yellow                                                     (Uses custom, non-vanilla, yellow color value.)
  • Vanilla+                                                    (Replicates the blue accent of the Attack Drone and adds it to the base drone + Explosive Drone.)

The first eight options will essentially replace your drone with the appearances of other drones in the game. Using Tali Pink will make your drone look exactly like Chatika herself, for example. The final four options are included to provide examples of what custom color values look like: Turquoise/Yellow are completely new color values, White uses new color values and activates secondary color changes, and Vanilla+ only changes the secondary color.

There are also a few combinations includes, such as R2-D2 (Legion Blue/White) and N7 (Enemy Red/White).



Installation: 

DO NOT INSTALL A PRESET AFTER INSTALLING TEXTURE MODS.
 Like other mods that replace a .pcc package, the presets should be installed before texture replacements like ALOT. Otherwise, something might break. Again: only install before installing ALOT!

1. Install ME3Tweaks Mod Manager. If you already have it installed, just open it up.
2. Download the main file on this mod page.
3. Import the file downloaded here into ME3Tweaks Mod Manager by dragging and dropping the archive onto the main window of Mod Manager. Click the button to import the mod, then select the mod on the left, then press Apply Mod. You will be asked to select which preset color you want to install; you can only select one option. The default option is green.

That's it, the mod is installed! You don't have to do anything else. However, if you would like, you can make your own colors. Hell, you don't even have to install a preset, technically speaking. If you are willing, all you need to do is edit a package in ME3Tweaks' ME3Explorer. . .






MAKING YOUR OWN COLORS:
This is completely optional!

1. Install the ME3Tweaks Fork of ME3Explorer. If you already have it installed, just open it up.
2. Open the "Create Mods" menu and, under the "Core" section, open Package Editor.
3. In the top-left, click File, then Open, then navigate to this file in your ME2 installation: 
Mass Effect 2\BioGame\DLC\DLC_MOD_CustomTechball\CookedPC\SFXCharacterClass_Engineer.pcc.
4. Don't freak out. This is easy, it just looks scary. If you don't have backups of vanilla files yet, make them, though I doubt you'll break something with just this edit.
5. On the left, scroll down to (Exp) 1661 SFXGameContent_Powers(Package). Expand it.
6. Scroll down to (Exp) 386 Default__SFXPower_CombatDrone(SFXPower_CombatDrone). It has a red arrow next to it, and is about a third of the way through the list. Click it.
7. On the right, in the Interpreter tab, you should see "bCustomDroneColor: True", "CustomDroneColor", "bCustomDroneColor2: False", and "CustomDroneColor2" near the bottom.
7a. If these properties are not there, then you did not install the mod. That's fine, it's not necessary to make the edit, it's just an easy-to-use preset collection for those that don't want to dig into the files like this. To add these properties to the SFXCharacterClass_Engineer.pcc package (located in BioGame\CookedPC) yourself, simply click the "Add Property" button on the right, and under the Class SFXPower_CombatDrone, you should see all four of the properties. Add each of them.



What these values do:
- bCustomDroneColor is the property I added to Shepard's drone power information after seeing it in Tali's drone power information. When it is set to True, it allows for custom drone colors. This is how all drones in the game get their colors.
- CustomDroneColor: is the second property I added to the package. It affects the primary color of the drone: the inner core treads + the glow color and intensity. To adjust the X, Y, and Z values, click on each, then type the number you want in the box, then click Set. 
- bCustomDroneColor2: is the third property I added to the package. When it is set to True, you can make a secondary drone color. It is set to False in most presets, as Bioware only used this property for Enemy Drones. Every other vanilla drone simply uses the first two properties. Note that when this is set to true, the CustomDroneColor2 value will override the Blue color of the Attack Drone evolution.
- CustomDroneColor2: is the final property I added to the package. It affects the outer eye shell + spawn/death effects.

X, Y, and Z:
These values control what primary/secondary color is emitted from the drone. XYZ approximate to Red, Green, and Blue, but that's not all — they also control the glow intensity of the drone. Set the values to 0, 0, 0, and you get an invisible drone; set the values to 255, 255, 255, and you get a white drone. BUT! Because the glow intensity is also linked to the values, don't use regular RGB values. For example, one of my favorite colors has an RGB value of (16, 126, 126). Imagine that's the color you want your drone to be, right? If I were to input those exact values as XYZ, the drone would look like this:
 
The glow is very intense — far too intense, compared to vanilla drones. So, when you have the RGB value of a color you want, in order to bring its appearance more in-line with the vanilla glow, you have to limit the range of the values. According to Mgamerz (shoutout!), these are multiplicative linearcolors, meaning what matters most are the proportions of the values. [20 10 10], [4 2 2], and [2 1 1] have the SAME EXACT COLOR. The difference being: the smaller the numbers, the less the glow. [2 1 1] practically has no glow compared to [20 10 10], but both have the same color.

What I do with my custom colors is limit the range to around 20, which is what most of the vanilla drone values are around. So how do you turn an RGB value like (16, 126, 126) into three values ≤20? Remember: what matters most are the proportions. 16/255, 126/255, 126/255 = [0.063, 0.494, 0.494]. (You divide by 255 because that's the max number of an RGB value.) However, with those values as XYZ, we run into the opposite problem: instead of the glow being too intense, it doesn't exist.


To fix this, multiply each of the three values by a single integer of your choosing. For this example, we'll multiply by 20, as again, that is the value most vanilla drones tend to stick to as their max number. You can multiply the values by any number to increase the glow, just as long as the values are proportionally the same (so multiply by the same number!). However, multiply by a value that's too high, and you'll run into the first problem (too intense) again. So: 0.063 x 20, 0.0494 x 20, 0.0494 x 20 = [1.26, 9.88, 9.88]. Let's see how that looks:

Looks good to me! From there, you can tweak the magnitude of the values as you see fit. For example, I felt this was still a liittle too dim, so I multiplied by 2 to make the glow juust brighter and closer to my preferred number, 20. For the record, this is how I got the turquoise preset: 


There are no set rules for what your custom drone SHOULD look like, of course! I'm just giving you examples and the guidelines I use. Go nuts! Here are the color values of the provided presets, so you can use them as starting points for your own custom drone:

  • Geth Prime Green       [2, 20, 5] (primary only)
  • Legion Blue                        [2, 10, 20] (primary only)     
  • Legion Cyan                       [2, 15, 18] (primary only)
  • Tali Purple                                 [5, 2, 20] (primary only)  
  • Tali Pink                             [25, 2, 25]  (primary only)          
  • Enemy Drone       primary red is [20, 0.1, 0.1]; secondary blood orange is [30, 0.5, 0.1]                                 
  • Turquoise                                 [2.52, 19.76, 19.76]
  • White                                         [20, 20, 20] (both primary and secondary)
  • Yellow                                       [15, 9, 0.1]
  • Vanilla+                                      [5, 7, 19] (closest I could get to recreating the Blue accent of the Attack evolution]

Remember, you can combine colors! For example, here's what a primary Legion Blue looks like with a White Secondary:

This one was supposed to be just an example, but I loved how much it reminded me of R2-D2, so I added it as a preset just because :)


Let me know if you have any feedback. Enjoy!


Known bug: unfortunately, due to how the game loads drones, there will be some combat instances where the color changes are not accounted for. Recruitment missions seem fine, but some side missions against enemy factions that use their own drones can temporarily reset your drone to default colors. Not really sure if this can be fixed, but luckily it only happens in a few areas.



Q&A:
1. "I already have ALOT installed, and I don't want to reinstall everything for something as small as this. Is there a way I can use this mod with ALOT already installed?"
Yes, but only if you're comfortable with editing Package information yourself. It's really easy, I promise. Just read the "Making Your Own Colors" section and pay particular note to 7a. If you just want to use one of the provided presets, don't worry about the information dump on how the XYZ values work — just input the XYZ preset values provided at the end of that section.

2. "Why is this a DLC mod? Shouldn't this be a texture mod?"    
I wish, but no, it's not a texture. There's only a single texture for every drone in the game, and it's greyscale. For some reason, Bioware stored Drone color information as property parameters inside specific packages. For the Engineer, that's SFXCharacterClass_Engineer. It's the same process you'd use to change Gameplay elements like Cooldown Time, which makes it more complicated to change than just storing as a .tpf or .mem. That's why I provided these presets as DLC mods: to easily allow people to have custom color drones.

3. "Is this compatible with X mod?"
This should be compatible with any mod that DOESN'T change the SFXCharacterClass_Engineer.pcc file. So, pretty much any gameplay mod is compatible as far as I can tell. As for texture mods that change the file: either install the preset before installing the texture mod, or ignore installing the preset altogether and make the color tweaks yourself (see question 1).

4. "Does this mod affect the combat drones of other NPCs?" 
No. This mod only touches Shepard's Combat Drone, exclusive to the Engineer class. Other drones are not affected.

5. ". . .Why does this mod have both Cyan and Turqoise? Aren't they the same color?"
NOOOO!! Cyan is blueish-green, turquoise is greenish-blue!! In all seriousness, Cyan's the default value of Legion's upgraded drone while Turquoise was a custom input I used to demonstrate the conversion of RGB values. In hindsight, it would have been better to choose a different color since it is very similar to cyan, but it was already packaged into the mod when I was testing, so I thought "eh, why not!"

5. "Will you be making this for ME3?"
I want to! Problem is, ME3 drones are... very, very different from ME2 drones. These properties don't exist in ME3, at least not that I can find. I need to look into it further.


SPECIAL THANKS TO:
  • JimbobJeffers for helping me understand how the drone files tick, being a FANTASTIC friend, and getting me addicted to the color green (which is why I made this mod, and why Green is the default option :P)
  • Mgamerz for ME3Tweaks Mod Manager, ME3Tweaks' Fork of ME3Explorer, and helping me figure out how the heck the XYZ values work!