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Aigar

Patch Guide

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Patches in 8.3

The new game update brings a big change to how patches work, so be sure to read this through if you make or use those. This post will cover the new patch standard in 8.3 and beyond and will not cover how to modify gamefiles from scratch.

From the launcher you are able to install, enable and disable patches. when there are conflicts with other patches, the launcher will tell you so you can choose which one to enable. 

Making a patch with the patch creator

In the launcher's patch screen, you can find the patch creator tool. It lets you add files and does the lookup of the ID for you. All you need to do is select each file to be added and click the entry you want to use to fill in the ID box. Once all files have been added, they are copied into a patch folder with a file that links them to the database entries. 

Manually making a patch

Find the folder called 'Patches' in your '_retail_'  folder. Make a new folder in here with the name of your patch. Make sure the name doesn't have any spaces in it. Put all modified files inside in whatever structure you prefer. 

There is one file that has to be present in the new patch folder. Name this file 'patch.json'. '.json' is the extension of the file, so be sure it's not named 'patch.json.txt'. You can edit this file in notepad. This is the information that needs to be present: 

{"version":"1",
"files":[
{"file":"World/Test.wmo","id":300},
{"file":"m2Changes/Test2.m2","id":400},
{"file":"newMusic.mp3","id":1256}
]}

Change the above so it lists the version of your patch. If you distribute your patch to be used by others, increase this number every time you've made a change. 
For every file you have modified, you also require a registration. Between the [ ] brackets following "Files", add an entry like above, separated by commas. Match the name of each file with their gamefile ID. You can easily look those up by typing in the name in https://wow.tools/files/ Find the unique ID in the leftmost column and add it to the entry. 
Note that keys and values are all between quotation marks except the id for each patched file.

To replace a gamefile, use an ID lower than 10,000,000. Using a file ID higher than this (but below 500,000,000) will conflict with the reserved Epsilon ID range and will make you unable to include the patch when you launch the game. File IDs do not require you to replace an existing file. If you wish to insert an entirely brand-new file, you can invent one. for this, use an ID above 500,000,000.

Try to enable your patch in the launcher. If the json file has been incorrectly configured, it'll let you know.

Distributing a patch

To share a patch with a friend or your roleplaying community, simply put the contents of your patch in a zip file (not the folder itself!) and name it however you named the patch. 

When you send them the patch, all they have to do is click the 'Add' button in the patch screen on the launcher and navigate to the zip file. Once they open it, it'll be installed and ready to be enabled.

F.A.Q.

Q: Can I still use the old way of patching game files?
A: No, this is the new way going forward. It allows the staff to flag a patch as game-breaking and from now on it'll be less of a hassle to determine which one just broke your game.

Q: I use a patch made by someone else. Now what?
A: Ask the author to convert it to the new standard or convert it yourself. Then add the patch zip.file by navigating to it using the 'Add' button in the patch screen on the launcher.

Q: I get an error saying my patch.json file is incorrectly configured. What now?
A: Carefully read the instructions above to make that file. Check if you closed all parentheses and brackets correctly. 

Edited by Aigar

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