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Information on 2da files, which are essentially 2 dimensional array tables of information.

Note a lot of information on specific 2da files are on different pages, such as Spells and Abilities for spells.2da.

2da Format

The 2da format is relatively simple:

  • The top line must be 2DA V2.0
  • There may be one or more blank lines before the first line that contains characters, which is considered the header line
    • The first column header must be blank, and that column is ignored (is usually a human readable number)
      • The first column number IDs can be wrong - the game just reads each new line as a new entry (incremented from 0)
    • The second and onwards columns must have the header match the in-game reference loaded, the order of columns doesn't matter. Label columns are generally ignored.
  • Further lines are data rows:
    • Column data - but not the header name - can be in double quotes - "text here" - to include spaces. Whether or not the game understands that one being in quotes very much depends (smile)
    • Column data is separated by one or more whitespace characters (tabs, spaces)
    • Blank data is classified with 4 stars: ****
      • You can quote the stars ("****") or have a blank quoted field which, of course, is blank ("") but any other combination of stars (less, more, or in single quotes) will be returns literally.

This all comes together to mean some very odd looking 2das can be completely valid.

You can find notes on reading 2DA files in scripts at the Lexicon page for Get2DAString. Main thing to note is on error (no column or row matching etc.) and on blank entries it returns an empty string.

Missing Columns versus Blank Columns (****)

There is different behaviour for certain columns where the column is missing entirely (eg; using a old 1.69 version of a 2da) versus the column being present but blanked (****). A notable example is the additional columns in racialtypes.2da which defaults to the 1.69 implementations if the columns are not present to maintain comatibility, and where **** can actually be counted as "Empty value" instead of "Missing value" meaning different behaviour.

Order of Columns

The game generally won't care what order columns are in except for two exceptions;

  • swearfilter.2da cannot be rearranged
  • The first column of the spell preference 2da files
  • itemprops.2da appears to be hardcoded due to the PropColumn in baseitems.2da (although not sure if you can add more columns to it).

Adding Columns

Most game read 2da files (if not all) can have custom columns added but these are only useful for Get2DAString (and it's a much better idea to create a custom 2DA file for additional metadata).

In one instance in NWN:EE this has a valid use case the engine recognises: Additional "Spellbook" columns in spells.2da, which are now referenced by column name in classes.2da.

2DA Line Limits

There are a limit to the amount of lines the engine will properly use for 2da files. This is restricted due to network traffic (even in SP there is a "server" running) since the game was made for dialup so Bioware coded in a lot of practical limits to lower packet sizes (presumably...)

2da fileLine Limit (assuming 0 start)Notes
baseitems.2da255Hardcoded due to network limitations; items may not function as intended.
classes.2da254Hardcoded due to network limitations plus "255" number is reserved as "CLASS_TYPE_INVALID"
feats.2da32,768

uint16 used in network however not recommended to go over 32K even if 65,536 is absolute maximum. There are likely problems with subdial feats if you do this.

skills.2da32Hardcoded due to network limitations to 255 but GUI issues make it a 32 skill limit. May only affect the "Untrained" column however? https://github.com/Beamdog/nwn-issues/issues/171
spells.2da4096Possibly the limit - needs testing, but is to do with 12 bits available for the "spell radial" entry being sent over the network. May have been removed at some point but needs fully testing.
iprp_damagecost.2da127 (or possibly 128)

Certainly going to line 129 or higher works for the server end (damage is done correctly) but the client won't show it correctly in the character sheet because it looks up 2da line as a negative (impossible). Line 159 was tested which had the string "-97 Magical Damage" since 159 - 128 = 31, and 128 - 31 = 97.

It shows correctly on items, and higher lines are safe for NPCs to use.

Unused 2da files

Bioware left in some 2da files from early development (before game release). These files are not loaded by the game, toolset or Get2DAString at all and can be ignored. They do get confusing however.

  • areaeffects.2da - See vfx_persistent.2da instead
  • caarmorclass.2da - remnants of armour system?
  • catype.2da - remnants of creature parts system?
  • combatmodes.2da - Unused references to (a limited set) of combat action modes
  • doortype.2da - See doortypes.2da instead
  • effectanim.2da - See visualeffects.2da instead
  • metamagic.2da - Appears to be unused by the game making all of these hardcoded
  • nwconfig.2da - Unused as of NWN:EE since it removes the "settings" nwconfig program.
  • nwconfig2.2da - Was this ever used?
  • resistancecost.2da - Blank
  • soundcatfilters.2da - Replaced probably by rrf_wav.2da and would be toolset specific anyway
  • soundtypes.2da - Sounds are not tied to a 2da, but are done by resource name
  • treasurescale.2da - I don't think this is used anywhere of note. It'd be used in the toolset I'd guess but there isn't a treasure generation system there.
  • vfx_fire_forget.2da - See visualeffects.2da instead

Designer 2da files

These are strictly used by Get2DAString and not used by the game inherently. However the systems they relate to are things like crafting, which is called by default game scripts and conversations the PCs can activate.

They are all prefixed des_ - and being only used by Get2DAString they are serverside only.

There is one special case here: x3restrict.2da is used in the default game spells to restrict polymorph spells when casting on a horse. Added for horse support.

Toolset only 2da files

These are only used by the toolset, not directly by the game:

  • environment.2da - Used to load some initial lighting settings in the Area Properties.
  • itmwizXXX.2da - Item Wizard 2da files, they relates to what properties are valid for each item type (eg; Melee) and are generated by the wizards.
  • repute.2da - Used to define the default reputations of Player, Hostile, Commoner and Merchant in a new module
  • rrf_nss.2da - Filters for scripts in the toolset
  • rrf_wav.2da - Filters for sounds in the toolset
  • waypoint.2da - "waypoint" types, of course in game are never rendered

Client and Serverside 2das

The game as a whole is made up of the client and the server. A singleplayer game essentially runs both at once for the local user - of course other players may still join if it is created as a network game. Therefore it is important to understand which is which, since some 2da files you don't need to include at all in hakpack or nwsync resource lists, and can be left in the .mod or override folder on a PW server perfectly fine.

The client ones tend to be based around levelling up, appeareances, visuals (icons, vfx, textures, etc.) and sounds (the latter 3 servers don't even load of course). Servers need to know about all the resources loaded by the game in regards to objects, spells, etc.

It is recommended of course for the server to have copies of everything (if only for Get2DAString lookups) while you can lessen the amount put in client hakpacks or on nwsync if sending certain ones to the client.

Note: If a file is not listed here (or above as a toolset only, or unused one) it might still be used!

Client and Server

2da load reference2da NameNotes
m_paIPRPCostTables // all of themAll cost tables in iprp_costtable.2da column "Name"Example: iprp_bonuscost.2da
m_pAppearanceTableappearance.2da
m_pGenderTablegender.2da
m_pSurfaceMaterialTablesurfacemat.2da
m_pVisualEffectTablevisualeffects.2da
m_pPersistentVisualEffectTablevfx_persistent.2da
m_pCreatureSpeedTablecreaturespeed.2da
m_pDoorTypesTabledoortypes.2da
m_pGenericDoorsTablegenericdoors.2da
m_pPlaceablesTableplaceables.2da
m_pAreaTransitionTableloadscreens.2da
m_pIPRPSpellsiprp_spells.2da
m_pIPRPLightTableNot sure - probably iprp_lightcost.2da ?
m_pIPRPColoriprp_color.2da
m_pIPRPMeleeiprp_meleecost.2da
m_pItemPropDefTableitempropdef.2da
m_pItemPropsTableitemprops.2da
m_pCreatureSizeTablecreaturesize.2da
m_pArmorTablearmor.2da
m_pEncumbranceTableencumbrance.2da
m_pPortraitTableportraits.2da
m_pPartsChestparts_chest.2da
m_pSpellSchoolTablespellschools.2da
m_pTrapTabletraps.2da
m_pLightColorTablelightcolor.2da
m_pIPRPDamageTableiprp_damagecost.2da
m_pPartsRobeparts_robe.2da
m_pItemValueitemvalue.2da
m_pPackagespackages.2da

Presumably also all the relevant class package 2das


chargenclothes.2daClothing items must be part of the base game, or included in the hak as UTI resources

feat.2da

masterfeats,2da

Likely needed for both (chargen needs feat.2da, and server obviously needs it for backend stuff)

namefilter.2daNo bad words, naughty! Probably char gen only?

swearfilter.2daNo swearing for you!

prioritygroups.2daSound related but may be just client side (along with some others) usually never edited by hakpacks anyway.

Client Only

While many of these are only loaded by the game client, the toolset would still make regular use of them, for instance, to be able to have a blueprint reference a particular wing model on a suitable NPC.

It is always recommended to have these available on the server if only for Get2DAString lookups.

2da load reference2da NameNotes
m_pPartTableNot sure?Model appearance related
m_pArmorTypesTablearmourtypes.2daSounds loading (cloth, leather, plate, chain)
m_pTileColorTabletilecolor.2daTexture loading
m_pReplaceTextureTablereplacetexture.2daTexture loading
m_pTailModelTabletailmodel.2daModel appearance related
m_pWingModelTablewingmodel.2daModel appearance related
m_pCloakModelTablecloakmodel.2da

Model appearance related

Note: CopyItemAndModify() may use this server-side in some instances (non-PLT based ones which there are none in the base game).

m_pCursorTablecursors.2daFor the cursors for certain default game actions.
m_pActionsTableactions.2daFor GUI icons list (player action list top left)
m_pAmbientMusicTableambientmusic.2daServer tells client which line to load, which refers to this for the sound files
m_pAmbientSoundTableambientsound.2daServer tells client which line to load, which refers to this for the sound files
m_pFootstepSoundsTablefootstepsounds.2daSounds loading
m_pAppearanceSoundsTableappearancesndset.2daSounds loading
m_pWeaponSoundsTableweaponsounds.2daSounds loading
m_pDefaultACSoundsTabledefaultacsounds.2daSounds loading
m_pAmmunitionTypesTableammunitiontypes.2daSounds loading
m_pKeymapTablekeymap.2daClient GUI default keys/shortcuts
m_pPlaceableSoundsTableplaceableobjsnds.2daSounds loading
m_pDamageLevelTable

damagelevels.2da

GUI showing how damaged something is (Formats the text over creatures heads)
m_pEffectIconsTableeffecticons.2daGUI effect icons (top right, inspect panel on items/characters, character sheet)
m_pLoadHintsTableloadhints.2daLoading string text loading
m_pSwearFilterTableswearfilter.2daIt's funny how this is here. I presume it alters incoming messages not outgoing ones? Needs testing. Servers can implement changes to PC chat to implement a filter using OnPlayerChat event.
m_pPhenoTypeTablephenotype.2daModel appearance related
m_pIPRPVisualFxTableiprp_visualfx.2daVisual effects
m_pWeatherTypesTableweathertypes.2daClient is just told which line to load

Server Only

2da load reference2da NameNotes
Any custom 2daeg: des_crft_aparts.2daLoaded with Get2DAString so entirely script based access



m_pStateScriptsTablestatescripts.2daRuns specific scripts
m_pPoisonTablepoison.2daApplies effects / timings of effect changes
m_pDiseaseTabledisease.2daApplies effects / scripts / timing of effect changes
m_pRepAdjustmentsTablerepadjust.2daEngine changes to "reputation" ie; if they're hostile or not.
m_pFractionalCRTablefractionalcr.2daWorks out how much a goblin with 1/4CR is "worth" in the engine XP system/"difficulty" tags (eg; "Easy" enemy when inspected)
m_pEncounterDifficultyTableencdifficulty.2daThe "value" column is loaded when referenced from the encounters GFF
m_pCategoryTablecategories.2daUsed by the functions for talents. Some is hardcoded (eg; potion lines). So yeah.
m_pExcitedDurationTableexcitedduration.2daPresumably amount of time in milliseconds (so 10 seconds) the thing is considered in combat after the events listed
m_pRestDurationTablerestduration.2daAmount of milliseconds to sit on the ground for
m_pPartsBeltparts_belt.2da
m_pPartsBicepparts_bicep.2da
m_pPartsFootparts_foot.2da
m_pPartsForearmparts_forearm.2da
m_pPartsHandparts_hand.2da
m_pPartsLegsparts_legs.2da
m_pPartsNeckparts_neck.2da
m_pPartsPelvisparts_pelvis.2da
m_pPartsShinparts_shin.2da
m_pPartsShoulderparts_shoulder.2da
m_pXpBaseexptable.2daLevelling up chart
m_pAssociatesAnimalCompanionTablehen_companion.2da
m_pAssociatesFamiliarTablehen_familiar.2da
m_pSkillVsItemCostTableskillvsitemcost.2da
m_pRangesTableranges.2da

Note the "45.0M" range for streaming in usable placeables is hardcoded, and a maximum of visibility regardless of values here of any creature object.

m_pPolymorphTablepolymorph.2da
m_pDamageHitVisualTabledamagehitvisual.2daSends a relevant visualeffect.2da line number to the client
m_pBodyBagTablebodybag.2daReferences a placeables.2da line
m_pIPRPFeatsTable

iprp_feats.2da


m_pIPRPMonsterDamageTableiprp_monsterdam.2da
m_pOnHitTableiprp_onhit.2daNote this pretty much is hardcoded
m_pOnHitSpellTableiprp_onhitspell.2da
m_pOnHitDurationTableiprp_onhitdur.2da
m_pIPRPACModTypeTableiprp_acmodtype.2da
m_pIPRPWeightIncTableiprp_weightinc.2da
m_pIPRPArcSpelliprp_arcspell.2da
m_pIPRPBonusCostTableiprp_bonuscost.2da
m_pIPRPSRCostTableiprp_srcost.2da

NWNX Reference

Source of what is referenced by the game engine (not complete - some 2da files seem to be loaded from elsewhere such as swear filters). It relates to this file: https://github.com/nwnxee/unified/blob/master/NWNXLib/API/API/CTwoDimArrays.hpp

 Click here to expand...
    // client+server
    m_paIPRPCostTables // all of them
    m_pAppearanceTable
    m_pGenderTable
    m_pSurfaceMaterialTable
    m_pVisualEffectTable
    m_pPersistentVisualEffectTable
    m_pCreatureSpeedTable
    m_pDoorTypesTable
    m_pGenericDoorsTable
    m_pPlaceablesTable
    m_pAreaTransitionTable
    m_pIPRPSpells
    m_pIPRPLightTable
    m_pIPRPColor
    m_pIPRPMelee
    m_pItemPropDefTable
    m_pItemPropsTable
    m_pCreatureSizeTable
    m_pArmorTable
    m_pEncumbranceTable
    m_pPortraitTable
    m_pPartsChest
    m_pSpellSchoolTable
    m_pTrapTable
    m_pLightColorTable
    m_pIPRPDamageTable
    m_pPartsRobe
    m_pItemValue
    m_pPackages
    m_pRuleset

    // client only
    m_pPartTable
    m_pArmorTypesTable
    m_pTileColorTable
    m_pReplaceTextureTable
    m_pTailModelTable
    m_pWingModelTable
    m_pCloakModelTable
    m_pCursorTable
    m_pActionsTable
    m_pAmbientMusicTable
    m_pAmbientSoundTable
    m_pFootstepSoundsTable
    m_pAppearanceSoundsTable
    m_pWeaponSoundsTable
    m_pDefaultACSoundsTable
    m_pAmmunitionTypesTable
    m_pKeymapTable
    m_pPlaceableSoundsTable
    m_pDamageLevelTable
    m_pEffectIconsTable
    m_pLoadHintsTable
    m_pSwearFilterTable
    m_pPhenoTypeTable
    m_pIPRPVisualFxTable
    m_pWeatherTypesTable
    m_pProgFxTable

    // server only
    m_pStateScriptsTable
    m_pPoisonTable
    m_pDiseaseTable
    m_pRepAdjustmentsTable
    m_pFractionalCRTable
    m_pEncounterDifficultyTable
    m_pCategoryTable
    m_pExcitedDurationTable
    m_pRestDurationTable
    m_pPartsBelt
    m_pPartsBicep
    m_pPartsFoot
    m_pPartsForearm
    m_pPartsHand
    m_pPartsLegs
    m_pPartsNeck
    m_pPartsPelvis
    m_pPartsShin
    m_pPartsShoulder
    m_pXpBase
    m_pAssociatesAnimalCompanionTable
    m_pAssociatesFamiliarTable
    m_pSkillVsItemCostTable
    m_pRangesTable
    m_pPolymorphTable
    m_pDamageHitVisualTable
    m_pBodyBagTable
    m_pIPRPFeatsTable
    m_pIPRPMonsterDamageTable
    m_pOnHitTable
    m_pOnHitSpellTable
    m_pOnHitDurationTable
    m_pIPRPACModTypeTable
    m_pIPRPWeightIncTable
    m_pIPRPArcSpell
    m_pIPRPBonusCostTable
    m_pIPRPSRCostTable
    m_pIPRPNeg5CostTable


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