Sunday, July 1, 2012

On Official Breeds and Messed-Up Body Data

While going to make female body data for the treehuggers, I noticed something that might be of interest to those of you who ever had messed-up body data for things like the C1toDS grendels or the Neko Ettins.

As it turns out, the official breeds (well, the norn breeds - I'm pretty sure the banshee grendels don't do this) not only install body data for the corresponding norn slot, but for the corresponding grendel and ettin slots (e.g. the treehugger norn agent installs body data for Norn H, Grendel H, and Ettin H). The extra BD isn't tailored for the grendels and ettins, either - it's a carbon copy of the BD the norns use.

The result? Any grendel or ettin who shares a slot letter with an official breed and lacks body data for any of the usual life stages (baby, adolescent, adult) will start using the body data the official breed installed when they hit that lifestage. Usually, that winds up making them look like this.

That junk BD is also part of the reason why automatic install from an egg agent isn't quite as reliable as installing a breed manually. When an automatic installer agent injects for the first time, it reads filenames, and if any of the files are missing it installs them to the correct folders. However, it only looks at filenames, and you can't tell the difference between two files by name and type alone if they share a name and type. So if the agent comes across one of the junk BD files installed by an official breed, it assumes that the file in question belongs to the breed it's trying to install and skips over it. Again, this results in grendels and ettins using BD meant for norns and looking very odd as a result.

Fixing it is relatively simple: Delete the body data for the breed slot in question, then reinstall the breed. With grendels and ettins that have typical proportions and lifestages, this means you can use the official agent again without repercussions as that agent will assume that the body data for the grendel or ettin breed is the same as the body data it's trying to install and skip over it.

However, for grendels and ettins that only have BD for one lifestage (the C1toDS grendels, for example), then you'll have to repeat this process every time you use the official norn breed agent whose slot has the same letter as the grendel's or ettin's. As such, it's a good idea to make copies of the one lifestage with original BD and rename them so they occupy the adolescent and adult lifestages as well, preventing the official breed agent from reinstalling the junk BD.

The official breeds only install BD for the male, as the female usually uses the same body data (although this practice causes issues on its own accord - try hatching a female treehugger in C3 standalone after installing the Gecko Norns, and you'll see what I mean). For this reason, it's more likely that you'll see messed up males than females, as it's the male slot that gets filled with garbage and not the female.

Why CL made it this way is beyond me. My best guess is that it's a failsafe should the original norn BD get deleted and the norns have to rely on grendel/ettin body data, but if that happens simply hatching another egg should fix it. As it is, the "extra precaution" wound up causing nothing but inconviences.

Hopefully, this little tidbit of info should help those of you who can't get their C1 grendels, Micro Grendels, and other grendel and ettin breeds to look right after installing them!