We have made every effort to ensure that ArenaEd functions as expected and without anomaly. In particular we have gone out of our way to ensure the integrity of your saved-game files. The bottom line, however, is that what you see is what you get. Since we cannot control every possible use to which ArenaEd is put, we must pass the responsibility for its use on to you.
WE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AS TO THIS SOFTWARE, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, FUNCTIONALITY, DATA INTEGRITY OR PROTECTION.
Table Of Contents
1. What is ArenaEd? 1.1. Introduction 1.2. Features In Brief 1.3. Special Features 1.3.1. Temporary Stats 1.3.2. Race 1.4. System Requirements 2. Quick Start 3. Up and Running 3.1. Where To Install 3.2. Getting In, Getting Out 3.3. What ArenaEd Will Do When It Runs 3.4. What Can You Edit 3.5. What You Can't Edit 3.6. What To Do After You Edit 4. What You See On Screen 4.1. Menu Bar 4.1.1. Commands for the Menu 4.2. Status Line 4.3. DeskTop 4.4. Save-Game List 4.5. Character Window 4.5.1. Commands for Windows 4.6. Other Windows 4.7. Edit Fields 4.7.1. Commands for Edit Fields 4.8. "Edit …" Buttons 4.8.1. Commands for Buttons 5. General Good Advice 5.1. Protect Yourself 5.2. Where To Find What You Are Looking For 5.3. Where To Look If You Can't Find It 6. How Does ArenaEd Work? 6.1. Editing The saveengn Files 6.2. Saving Edits: File/Save 6.3. Discarding Edits: File/Reload 6.4. Make A Backup: File/Backup 6.5. Restore From Backup: File/Restore 7. Help in ArenaEd 7.1. Status-line Help 7.2. Help file 8. If Something Goes Wrong 8.1. Get Me Out Of Here! 8.2. Restore Your Backup 9. Hints On Playing Arena 10. About ArenaEd 10.1. Who We Are 10.2. A Few Thoughts On Shareware 10.3. The Difference Between Editing And Cheating 10.4. How To Contact Us 10.5. Respect for Bethesda Softworks ™
1. What is ArenaEd?
ArenaEd is a gamer's utility for editing the saved-game files in The Elder Scrolls: Arena ™ (version 1.05) from Bethesda Softworks ™. ArenaEd is a DOS application that uses a sophisticated, window-based user interface.
The interface can be controlled using a mouse or keyboard.
1.2. Features In Brief
Arena allows the user to have up to ten (10) different save-game files, each file can save the status of a different character.
ArenaEd will allow the player to edit all features of each character, in each of the saved games: race, gender, name, temporary and permanent attributes, current spell points, current and permanent health, current fatigue, gold, experience points and level are all editable.
1.3. Special Features
1.3.1. Temporary Stats
Although it is not immediately apparent in the game, each character has two distinct sets of stats (Str, Int, Wil, etc). The first set of stats is temporary and the second set is permanent. All other things being equal (i.e. no disease, etc) the temporary stats will be reset to the equal the permanent stats the next time the character gains a level.
Since the temporary stats are reset every once in a while it makes them a great choice for temporarily giving your character a boost. Feeling a little overwhelmed by those Minotour? Bump up your Strength a bit to even the odds. When your character gains the next level your Strength will be reset and your character will carry on as before.
So you didn't really what to be an Argonian after all? In the game your only choice is to start a new character. Using ArenaEd you can change what the fates had in mind for you (at least a little) by changing your character's Race. The portrait you get is more or less random but at least you can be the Race you prefer.
1.4. System Requirements
ArenaEd has been extensively tested on a 486/33 (8 meg RAM) and a 386/25 (4 meg RAM) under DOS 5.00. It runs nicely in a DOS-box in Windows 3.1 or from the DOS prompt itself. It neither uses nor requires EMS/XMS but is fully compatible with popular memory managers (eg. 386MAX and EMM386).
ArenaEd can be mouse-driven but is fully controllable from the keyboard. Fully installed, ArenaEd requires about 350k of disk space.
2. Quick Start
To get started quickly, simply run ArenaEd from the DOS prompt.
If you are not in the right directory ArenaEd will tell you that and allow you to move to the directory where Arena is installed (see File/Change Directory). Once there, you are in business. That's all there is to it.
3. Up and Running
3.1. Where To Install
Generally speaking, your life will be simpler if you install ArenaEd in the same directory that you have Arena installed.
While this is not necessary, since you can always change to the Arena directory from within ArenaEd, it will speed up the editing process by removing the need to change directory.
3.2. Getting In, Getting Out
To start ArenaEd, simply type "ArenaEd" at the DOS prompt.
To exit ArenaEd, select File/Exit or use the "accelerator" key command Alt-X.
3.3. What ArenaEd Will Do When It Runs
When ArenaEd runs it will present a list of the saved-games in the current directory. When you select a saved-game to edit ArenaEd will look to see that you have a backup file (if you are editing the third save-game, saveengn.02, the backup file will be called engn02.bak). If the backup file exists, ArenaEd will load the save-game file and you'll be in business.
If the backup file does not exist, ArenaEd will try to create it. Once the backup file exists, ArenaEd will be happy and will proceed to load the save-game file for your editing pleasure.
3.4. What Can You Edit
ArenaEd has been designed to give the user maximum control over the player's character. We've tried to allow the user to edit anything and everything related to a particular character's stats and abilities, insofar as it is safe to do so.
If something isn't in the editor it is simply because (a) we don't know how to edit it or (b) editing it could corrupt the game. Whatever we do know how to edit safely we've made editable by you.
3.5. What You Can't Edit
As powerful as ArenaEd is, it can't do everything. Whatever you see on the screen during game play is pretty much beyond our control (i.e. spell effects, weapon types, character portrait, etc).
One feature that we did not allow edits on is a character's Class. Since a character's class is integral to the game (determines whether spells are available, etc) we decided to disallow edits in order to avoid corrupting the save-game files.
Spells and weapons are not editable in ArenaEd version 1.0.
3.6. What To Do After You Edit
As far as characters in Arena are concerned, the gods work while the character sleeps. You've probably noticed that most changes that happen to the characters stats, abilities, etc happen while you camp. The same is true of changes you make via ArenaEd. To get the benefit of your edits, we recommend you Camp as soon as you restart the game after an editing session. Resting for one (1) hour will usually do it.
4. What You See On Screen
4.1. Menu Bar
The line at the top of your screen is the menu bar.
All features of ArenaEd appear as items on the menu bar or as items on the drop-down menus that are controlled by the menu bar.
4.1.1 Commands for the Menu
The menu can be controlled with the mouse in the usual manner. Left- click on something to select it, left-click and drag to move the focus. The usual stuff, nothing fancy.
The menu system can also be fully controlled from the keyboard: o F10 moves the focus to the menu bar. o Alt-? will select a menu bar option where "?" is the highlighted
character on the menu option (eg. Alt-F will drop the File menu, Alt-W the Window menu, etc).
o Alt-Spacebar will drop the System menu (left-most on the menu bar). o Arrow keys can be used to move between menu items. o Enter will select a highlighted menu option.
4.2. Status Line
The line at the bottom of your screen is the status line.
The purpose of the status line is to show the user the "status" of ArenaEd. This usually means that it will display a helpful message.
Everything between the menu bar and the status line is the desktop.
When a window is open it is said to be "on the desktop". If something is on the desktop the user has control of it and can manipulate it.
4.4. Save-Game List
When ArenaEd begins it will open a window that lists the games you've saved, as indicated by the text you typed when you saved the game.
To select the save-game that has the focus (is highlighted) press the Spacebar.
Selecting one of your saved games from the list will open a window that has the character's name in the title: let's call this the 'character' window.
4.5. Character Window
If you want to edit a particular character, or something related to that character, then the character window for that character is where you start.
The character's name in the title is prefixed by the number of the saved game file. This prefix is just for informational purposes.
4.5.1. Commands for Windows
o Items on the Window menu allow the following window operations:
o Size/Move the current window (Ctrl-F5) o Cascade all windows o move to Next window (F6) o move to Previous window (Shift-F6) o Close the current window (Alt-F3)
o Tab will move the focus to the next field or button; Shift-Tab will
move back to the previous field.
4.6. Other Windows
ArenaEd organises the details of a character into sub-windows accessible from the Character window.
The title of each window fully specifies the "ownership" of the data within that window. For example, a window entitled "03:WilliamTheRed/Temporary Stats" contains data relevant to the temp stats of your character WilliamTheRed as saved in the fourth save-game on the save-game list.
4.7. Edit Fields
If something is editable from a given window then an edit field will be available within the window to allow the user to performs the edits. What the user can do within a given edit field depends on the type of data the edit field represents.
When a particular edit field has the focus (is highlighted) the status line will display a message indicating what form of input is expected in that field.
4.7.1. Commands for Edit Fields
The best advice here is to look at the help text on the status line. The edit fields are fairly sophisticated and provide a wide range of options to the user. The help text will detail those options. Here is a quick summary:
o Text fields: type the text you want, Del to delete, Backspace to
backspace-and-delete, Home to go to the start of the text, End to go to the end.
o Number fields: Up-arrow to decrement, Down-arrow to increment, Home
for first valid value in the number's range, End for the last valid value in the number's range. You can also enter a number from the keyboard.
o Named fields (eg. race, gender): Up-arrow to go to previous "value",
Down-arrow for next "value", Home for first "value", End for last "value".
4.8. "Edit …" Buttons
As mentioned above, ArenaEd is organized into windows. To move to a sub-window, select the appropriate "Edit …" button (left-click or Spacebar).
4.8.1. Commands for Buttons
o Using the mouse: simply left-click on the button. o Using the keyboard: press the Spacebar to select the button.
5. General Good Advice
5.1. Protect Yourself
The old saying goes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the world of software, a minute of prevention is worth an eternity of recovery.
We strongly suggest that you take that minute and copy your "saveengn.*" and "engn*.bak" files to a safe place, preferably a diskette that you reserve for just this purpose. The word is that the sequel to Arena (Daggerfall?) will use characters from Arena so the backup will doubly useful.
5.2. Where To Find What You Are Looking For
Everything is in the menus. Step through the menus to see what is there.
Try things that look interesting. The editor won't do anything drastic without warning you first and you will have the option to cancel.
5.3. Where To Look If You Can't Find It
If you can't find what you are looking for on the menu, try Help on the Help menu. You'll get a text window showing this file. Scrolling works so you can zoom up and down through the file.
6. How does ArenaEd work?
6.1. Editing The saveengn Files
ArenaEd does one thing: it edits files called "saveengn.0?". Those files contain all of the information related to each character's 'numbers' in Arena. Using the editor, you modify the contents of the saveengn file. The next time you boot the game, you will see the changes you made.
Any window that has had edits made in it will have the "unsaved changes" marker, '!!', in the title. This is a quick visual indicator that you need to save.
6.2. Saving Edits: File/Save
Once you've made your edits, you'll want to save them: select File/Save. When you save your edits the "saveengn" file is updated (i.e. the changes are written to disk).
If you exit ArenaEd without saving your edits they will be discarded and you won't see them next time you play.
To be on the safe side ArenaEd will warn you if there are edits ("unsaved changes") that have not been written back to the save-game file.
Try a few edits and then select File/Exit. This will pop up the warning box. Now you know that you can trust ArenaEd to protect you from accidental loss of your edits.
6.3. Discarding Edits: File/Reload
Sometimes you make edits that you would rather discard: perhaps you made a mistake, or been a little more generous than you think is best.
To discard all the edits you've made since the last time you saved simply reload the save-game file (File/Reload). This dumps all your current unsaved changes and gets you back to a "clean" character file.
6.4. Make A Backup: File/Backup
ArenaEd will automatically make a backup for you the first time you start an edit session. If you are editing the second file in the list, the file you are editing is actually called 'saveengn.01'. The backup file is called "engn01.bak". The first time you edit saveengn.01, a backup will be made. Subsequent edits will not automatically create a backup since the backup already exists. As mentioned above, we do suggest you copy these files to a diskette and put the diskette in a safe place.
If you really want to update your backup file, select File/Backup. You will be warned that you are going to loose the old backup, but if that is really what you want to do, carry on. The current saveengn file, say saveengn.01, will be copied to "engn01.bak" and the old "engn01.bak" will be lost.
6.5. Restore From Backup: File/Restore
If you want to restore "saveengn.0?" to what it used to be, File/Restore will copy "engn0?.bak" to "saveengn.0?".
The next time you play Arena, you'll see the character stats, experience, gold, etc, as they were when the backup file was made.
7. Help in ArenaEd
7.1. Status-line Help
The status line is the first place to look for help in ArenaEd. Every attempt has been made to assist the user by displaying helpful messages on the status line.
ArenaEd is context-sensitive and the help text on the status line will change to reflect the current context.
7.2. Help file
You are reading the help file now. This help file can be displayed from within the game by selecting Help/Help.
The Help file window is like any other window: Size/Move, Close, Cascade, Next, Previous all apply as per 4.5.1.
The help file itself (arenaed.txt) is a straight text file. This file can be printed using your favourite print utility. At the very least you can type "print arenaed.txt" at the DOS prompt.
8. If Something Goes Wrong
We really don't think that anything bad will happen using ArenaEd. We have designed it such that the safety and integrity of the game data file is of primary importance. Extensive tests have shown that the data is well protected and that ArenaEd behaves properly. But the unexpected does happen when you least expect it.
If -heaven forbid- a game data file (saveengn.0?) has been corrupted somehow, ArenaEd will detect the invalid data and give the user LOTS of warnings about it. You can correct the data from ArenaEd on a field by field basis. If the file is truly corrupted this process can get annoying. The best option is to bail out of the editor and restore the backup file. Here's how:
8.1. Get Me Out Of Here!
Ctrl-Alt-Q means "get me out of here, now!". No saves are done, no backups, no nothing. This is the only "secret" command in ArenaEd and is there for emergencies only. Hopefully you'll never need it, but at least it is there if you do.
8.2. Restore Your Backup
If the game data has been trashed somehow, your best bet is your backup file "engn0?.bak". You can select File/Restore from ArenaEd, or simply copy "engn0?.bak" to "saveengn.0?" at the DOS prompt. Yes, you'll loose the latest stuff in your game, but this should recover from the corrupted game data file.
9. Hints On Playing Arena
We have logged more hours than we can count playing Arena. We like the game a lot and that is why we wrote this editor. We have learned a few things along the way. Perhaps some of it will be useful to you.
o Giving yourself a temporary break is sometimes all you need. Let's say you're in a real slug-fest and you just want a temporary boost to get you through the day. Boost your Current Health, Current Fatigue or Current Spell Points (as appropriate to your character). Health and Fatigue will be reset next time you sleep, Spell Points will wear out as you use them up; these boosts are truly temporary.
o Getting started in a wicked world. Arena can be pretty rough on the neophyte character. A standard trick we use is to boost our new character's level to say 2 or 3. This will get you hitting better and spells will be cheaper to cast. When you've actually earned those levels (i.e. your experience has reached the appropriate magnitude) your character will gain levels as normal. Note that there is a down-side to this technique: you'll loose the benefit of Health gain that comes with each level gain.
o Getting ripped off at the local vendors? A judicious increase in Personality will make the shop owners a lot more reasonable in their pricing. Barter can be fun - if you have the Personality for it! You can save a bundle in gold too.
10. About ArenaEd
10.1. Who we are
ArenaEd's authors, Trevor Flory and Joe Mooney, are both professional software designers with a combined total of over 20 years in the business. ArenaEd is the second in a series of game editors we are producing.
10.2. A Few Thoughts On Shareware
We think "try before you buy" is good for everyone. We like it ourselves and we think it is one of the best ways to ensure that the user get what they pay for. We encourage you to avail yourself of shareware's advantages: try the software, see if it works for you, make sure you can trust it to do what it says it will.
As wonderful as software is, it won't happen if it isn't worthwhile to do it. If you like ArenaEd, please give serious consideration to registering. See "Shareware!" on the ArenaEd menu bar for further details.
10.3. The Difference Between Editing And Cheating
If a game does something you don't like, we think you should be able to change it. We feel that users have the right to edit games because they paid money for them: the game designer's don't own the game, the user does. Editing isn't cheating, it is called getting your money's worth.
10.4. How To Contact Us
The fastest way to get our attention is through CompuServe. Either of the following will do the job:
Trevor Flory, CIS: 70711,3712 Joe Mooney, CIS: 71171,3042
If you would like to send us money or simply prefer communicating via the postal service, our business address is:
Box 119 - 154 Chadwick Court North Vancouver, B.C. CANADA V7M-3K1
This information is also available from within ArenaEd: see "Shareware!" on the ArenaEd menu bar.
10.5. Respect for Bethesda Softworks ™
Bethesda Softworks ™ has been remarkably attentive to their Arena customers. They've hung in for 5 upgrade cycles and all the attending user requests, suggestions, complaints and flames. What this really means is that they have invested time, money and effort in keeping you and every other Arena user happy.
Most companies don't like game editors because a buggy game editor can make their jobs infinately more difficult. If we have one request it is that you be up-front with Bethesda about the fact that you have used a game editor. If you talk to their customer service people don't 'forget' to mention that you have used an editor. They won't like hearing that, but at least you will be telling them the truth.
If fact, to ensure that everyone is happy, reproduce your problem in a save-game that has NOT been edited. That will ensure that the problem is really their's and not ours, and it will be respecting the valiant efforts of their customer service people and their play-testers.
For what it is worth, even though we wrote ArenaEd, we would never even think of calling their customer service department until we had reproduced any problem we were having in a save-game that had NEVER been edited, not even a little bit.
Th-th-that's all folks. Have fun, play safe, pay as you go.