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One of the most massive obstacles facing the New Chance-to-Hit system is the fact that it requires a new format for both Items.XML and Weapons.XML. This is thanks to several new tags that have been added to both XMLs, which are required by NCTH in order to operate.

This article explains the difference between the old format and the new format of both files. It explains (briefly) what each tag does and where it should be placed. It explains scale and limits, and what the order of the tags does to change their effects.

There will be examples of items that have been changed from one format to the other, showing why each tag and value were selected.

This article will NOT discuss how the system works as a whole. To understand NCTH concepts, please read the New Chance To Hit article.


Items.XML - New TagsEdit

NCTH adds no less than 18 new tags to Items.XML. These tags allow items to manipulate the NCTH shooting system in various ways.

As with most existing tags, you don't need to add all 18 of them. In fact, most items that even need one of these new tags will have no more than one or two. This really depends on your modding style and the items you've got.

All of the new tags are MODIFIERS: They give penalties or bonuses when the item is properly used. The new tags affect various properties belonging to the NCTH system.

You can place these tags on worn gear (armor/headgear), weapons, ammo, or attachments, just like similar tags from the OCTH system.


Normal and Stance-Based TagsEdit

The new format of Items.XML includes two "types" of tags:

1. Normal Modifier Tags

These work the same as all Modifier tags already existing in the Items.XML structure. These are bonuses and penalties the item gives whenever it is held, worn, or attached to another item, as appropriate. Tags like the existing <NightVisionRangeBonus> belong to this category.

2. Stance-Based Modifier Tags

These tags also cause modification while the item is being used, but the size of the penalty or bonus (and whether or not it is applied at all) depends on the user's STANCE. For instance, you could have a penalty that's applied only when the user is standing, but not when crouched or prone. This sort of tag is similar to the existing <bipod> tag, which only works when prone. However, the new system allows doing MUCH more, and also allows you finer control of the effects of each item in each stance.

New Tags: Normal ModifiersEdit

This section describes the normal modifier tags that can be added to items. As explained above, when such a tag is added, the item will always give the bonus/penalty when used.


<ScopeMagFactor>Edit

Scale: 1.0 and upwards. (Decimal point allowed)

This tag gives the item a Magnification Factor. It represents an optical sight that magnifies objects at a distance. A "Scope". :)
What items do I give this to?
In general, any item that qualifies as a scope - I.E. one that magnifies objects at a distance. So basically, all scopes. If you're not using the NAS (New Attachment System), then you've also probably got some weapons with built-in scopes that would need to receive this tag.
What does this tag do?
The magnification factor kicks in when the weapon is aimed with at least one Extra Aiming Click (right mouse button).
With a Mag Factor of more than 1.0, the accuracy of the shot is multiplied by the listed value. A 2.0x magnification factor makes a shot twice more accurate!
Note that until you add an extra aiming click, the weapon will have a 1.0 magnification factor.
What existing tags does this replace?
This tag completely replaces <MinRangeForAimingBonus> on all scopes. In addition, it kills the need for <AimBonus>, which is basically obsolete in NCTH anyway.
Scope Optimal Distance
Scopes work by making the target appear larger. Of course, if the target is too closer, it will appear TOO large and will be hard to focus on. If the target is too far away, then a little magnification isn't going to help enough. Each scope has a certain distance at which it magnifies the target to a perfectly good size.
So how does this work?
In NCTH, Iron Sights on a gun are equivalent to a 1.0x scope. We define all other scopes based on the same scale. If the difficulty of hitting a target with Iron Sights is X, then the difficulty of hitting the same target with a 2x scope is X/2. The difficulty of hitting the same target with a 4x scope is X/4, and so on.
So to figure out the optimal distance for each scope, we need to know the optimal distance for Iron Sight use. It is actually defined in the NCTH INI file as exactly 7 tiles - this is known as the "Normal Shooting Distance". Based on this value, we can make a chart:
Scope Mag Factor Example Item from 1.13 Formula Optimal Distance
1.0x Iron Sights Normal Shooting Distance * 1.0 7
2.0x Small Scope Normal Shooting Distance * 2.0 14
4.0x ACOG Scope Normal Shooting Distance * 4.0 28
10.0x Sniper Scope Normal Shooting Distance * 10.0 70
So you can see, there is a direct correlation between the magnification factor on a scope, and the distance at which it works best. Note of course that you can use ANY value greater than 1.0 for your scopes - you are not limited to the ones listed above!
Scopes used beyond their Optimal Distance
The reason scopes need a magnification factor is because the target becomes smaller as it moved further away. The Mag Factor counteracts this by making the target appear closer.
Therefore, if the target is beyond the scope's range, then the magnification still takes place, but the distance is too great to effectively eliminate it with the use of the scope.
For example, if the scope is 2.0x, its optimal distance as 14 tiles. At this distance, the target is twice smaller (14 = Normal Distance * 2). The scope counteracts this by making the target twice larger. So the end result is:
Target Size = (Original Target Size * 2) / 2 = Original Target Size!
The target remained the same size, thanks to the Mag Factor counteracting the distance.
But when the distance is larger, then obviously a factor of 2.0x is not enough. For example, using the same 2x scope, assume the target is at 28 tiles of range (equivalent to 4x Normal Distance):
Target Size = (Original Target Size * 2) / 4 = Original Target Size / 2
In this case, the target is half as small as it was originally, and hence much harder to hit. So while the 2x factor DID help a little, it's not enough to really counteract the distance. It is still better than no scope at all (1.0x magnification).
Scopes used BELOW their Optimal Distance
This is where it gets a little tricky. As you know, as an object gets closer, it gets increasingly harder to use the scope. It's hard to even see the target, not to mention put the reticle in the correct place. To simulate this, NCTH does two important things when the target is BELOW the scope's optimal distance:
  1. The effective Scope Magnification Factor is reduced to the distance ratio of the target.
  2. The scope dishes out a penalty that reduces the effectiveness of each Extra Aiming Click.
The first effect works based on the Distance Ratio compared to the Normal Shooting Distance. We divide the range to the target by the Normal Shooting Distance to get this ratio. So a target at 28 tiles has a distance ratio of (28 / 7) = 4x.
If this is LESS than the Scope Mag Factor, then the factor is automatically reduced to 4x, regardless of how powerful the scope originally was.
So, for instance, a 10x Sniper scope aimed at a target 14 tiles away (2x Normal Distance) gets only a 2x Magnification Factor, the same as a small scope.
But, thanks to the second penalty, the 10x scope is actually MUCH MUCH worse than a 2x scope for this distance. It reduces the benefit we get from extra aiming clicks by a factor of (10x - 2x = 8x), which is a MASSIVE penalty. It's so big that for all intents and purposes, extra aiming clicks will provide virtually no benefit at all. The weapon becomes unaimable.
In some cases, if the target is only slightly closer than the Optimal Distance, this isn't too bad. You can still aim at it despite the penalty. If the target is way too close, as in the example above, it might actually be better to remove the scope completely before taking the shot. That choice is up to the player, of course.


<ProjectionFactor>Edit

Scale: 1.0 and upwards (Decimal Point allowed)

This tag gives an item a Projection Factor. It represents displaying a red dot on the target, either through a laser pointer, or through collimation on the item itself. This makes shooting much easier.
What items to give this to?
Lasers and Reflex Sights both project a red dot. Lasers do this by sending a beam of light to strike the target and reflect a red dot off its surface. Reflex sights are plain displays on the weapon itself that feature a red dot calibrated to the point where the weapon will hit when fired.
What does this tag do?
When the weapon is given at least one Extra Aiming Level, this tag raises the Projection Factor of the shot to the listed amount.
If the Projection Factor is greater than 1.0, it will make the shot proportionally easier, by multiplying accuracy by the listed value. A 2x Projection Factor makes a shot twice easier!
Until at least one Aiming Click is added to the shot, the Projection Factor is always 1.0 (no bonus).
Which existing tags does this replace?
This tag renders the <BestLaserRange> tag obsolete. In addition, the <ToHitBonus> associated with lasers is also obsolete, but that's due to not being used at all in NCTH anyway.
Optimal Laser Distance
As with scopes (see above), the Projection Factor works best at a certain range. This is again relative to the range at which Iron Sights (which have a Projection Factor of 1.0) work best.
Projection Factor Example Item from 1.13 Formula Optimal Distance
1.0x Iron Sights Normal Shooting Distance * 1.0 7
1.2x Laser Sight Normal Shooting Distance * 1.2 8
1.4x LAM-200 Normal Shooting Distance * 1.4 9
2.0x Old Aimpoint Projector Normal Shooting Distance * 2.0 14


Once again, you don't have to use the above values, you can use whichever value fits your laser best.
Lasers used BELOW their Optimal Distance
The key benefit from Projection devices compared to Scope devices is that they don't actually magnify the size of the target - they improve aiming by telling you where your bullet is going to go. Since no magnification is involved, an operating laser will bestow its FULL BONUS at anywhere up to its Optimal Range!
What this means, basically, is that a simple Laser Sight (1.2x) makes all shots 1.2 times easier at anywhere up to its optimal distance (7 * 1.2 = 8 Tiles). This makes it clearly better than Iron Sights at these ranges.
Thanks to this awesome bonus, it's important to keep Projection Factors to relatively low levels. For instance, the Old Aimpoint Projector, with its 2.0x Projection Factor, is better than a 2x scope at anywhere up to 14 tiles (both items' best range), especially below 14 tiles where the 2x Scope gets various penalties (explained above). If it is given a HIGHER projection factor, it would make 2x scopes nearly obsolete!
Also note that with such a high projection factor, it makes shots twice easier even when very close. This can make it an uber-accurate weapon at close range! So do try to keep the Projection Factor low enough, or restrict projection items to appropriate weapons. For instance, since long-rifles are harder to aim at close range, it's fine to allow attaching an Old Aimpoint Projector (2x) to it. The weapon is harder to aim, but benefits from the projector, resulting in the two cancelling each other out. Now the rifle is as easy to aim in close range as an SMG or a pistol, though obviously still costs a lot of APs.
Conversely, a pistol with a powerful projector attached would be... pretty damn accurate anywhere up to its own max range... So avoid that by not allowing pistols to carry powerful lasers.
Lasers used ABOVE their Optimal Distance
As we discussed earlier, Scopes retain their Magnification Factor when distance increases beyond their optimal range. Since distance keeps giving penalties as it goes up, and the scope's Mag Factor stays the same, the result is that scopes are less useful at beyond their optimal range (though still better than Iron Sights).
Lasers and other projection devices, however, stop being effective past a certain range. In fact, the Projection Factor diminishes for each tile beyond the Laser's Optimal Range, until a point where the Projection Factor drops to 1.0 and the laser is no longer useful.
Lasers lose a little over 0.1x per tile beyond their maximum range. This means that the Laser Sight (1.2x) will lose all its power at 2 tiles beyond its optimal range (8 tiles). An Old Aimpoint Projector (2.0x) will lose all its power at 7 tiles beyond its optimal range (14). At that point both these lasers will offer no projection factor, and no penalty either. They simply do nothing.


<PercentAccuracyModifier>Edit

Scale: -100 to +1000

How does Accuracy work in the game?

During aiming, the player tries to minimize the area where the shot might end up by pointing the muzzle of the gun as straight towards the center of the target as possible. Accuracy, however, plays its part AFTER the trigger has been pulled.

Using the gun's accuracy value, the game determines a "bullet deviation" - a random distance by which the bullet will stray from the point where the gun was aimed. The lower the gun's accuracy, the more the bullet might stray.

Guns with 100 Accuracy will, therefore, always shoot exactly where they were pointed. Note that this DOESN'T make an uber-weapon, it simply means that the weapon can reliably hit a target at vast distance if it is aimed properly. If the muzzle of the gun is not pointed directly at the target when the trigger is pulled, the bullet will not hit the target either - it's set to fly at the wrong place!

Conversely, even if you aim the gun perfectly at the target, a gun with low accuracy may fire its bullet so inaccurately that it will STILL miss the target. That is the main reason why pistols can't hit a target at 500 meters - the small bullet is simply not stable nor fast enough to keep flying straight for that long. It will eventually destabilize and veer off.


For more on this issue, you can read below about the Accuracy tags for the weapons themselves (<bAccuracy>).

This tag modifies the accuracy value of a weapon. It represents changes to the velocity and/or flight-stability of bullets fired by the weapon.
What items to give this to?
At the moment, NCTH gives this tag to Match Ammo, because such ammo has better flight stability than normal bullets. An extended barrel also increases this slightly, thanks to increased muzzle velocity.
You can potentially give this tag to any item that makes the mechanics of a gun itself more (or less) accurate.
What does this tag do?
This tag gives a percentage-based modifier to the Accuracy value of a weapon.
A NEGATIVE value will decrease the gun's accuracy, making its bullets less likely to fly straight. A POSITIVE modifier will increase bullet stability, making the weapon shoot more straight.
Which existing tags does this replace?
In essence, this tag can serve as a replacement for several others, but that really depends on what the item is supposed to do. Previously, CTH-related bonuses like ToHitBonus made no distinction between effects that work on the SHOOTER and effects that work on the GUN. Since NCTH makes that distinction, you would need to decide for yourself which of these two options your attachment should take.
The difference between Accuracy and CTH
NCTH's primary goal was to separate the effects of aiming from the effects of gun accuracy. Previously, our final CTH value for a shot was made up of a combination of these two factors. This presented a problem, because it meant that with good shooting skills and proper optical equipment, a pistol could reliably hit a target well beyond its maximum range.
NCTH splits these two things apart. On the one hand we have aiming-related modifiers. These change the way the gun is aimed, how difficult it is to aim the gun, how easy it is to swing the gun around, and so forth. Such modifiers change the amount of CTH we get when adding extra aiming levels, for instance, and so are related to changing conditions on the battlefield.
Accuracy, on the other hand, is related strictly to the properties of the gun itself: How long is the barrel? How much spin does the bullet get while traveling through the barrel? How much velocity does the bullet have when leaving the gun? In real life, these factors determine how far the bullet will fly in a straight line, before air resistance, gravity and other factors change its trajectory. NCTH follows this realistic approach, setting Accuracy as a measure of bullet flight stability.
Therefore, modifying the accuracy value is something that's done INTERNALLY. For instance, installing a better barrel on an AK-47 will yield better flight stability for its bullets, increasing its lethal range. This is something you need to do BEFORE combat - it's not as simple as adding a few extra aiming clicks. In fact, aside from reloading the gun with better bullets, all modifications to accuracy are usually done outside of combat, as they require reconfiguring the gun itself.
Take this into consideration when deciding whether an item should give an ACCURACY bonus, or one of the various CTH bonuses. If it makes the gun easier to handle or aim, don't modify accuracy.
The strange workings of the Accuracy Modifier
This tag works by percentage, but that's a little misleading. If the gun has an accuracy of 20, and the modifier is set to +10%, that won't give us 20+10% (=22) like it should.
Instead, the percentage is applied to the difference between 100 and the gun's accuracy. The formula is like so:
Final Accuracy = Original Accuracy + (((100 - Original Accuracy) * Accuracy Modifier) / 100)
For example, let's assume again that the modifier is +10%. The gun's original accuracy is 20. We run the formula with these numbers, and we get 20+8 = 28. If the gun's original accuracy was 90, we run the formula to get 90 + 2 = 92.
Why does it work this way? The reason is that in the game, the difference between 20 and 28 is negligible - it only adds a couple of tiles to the gun's effective range (the range at which bullets shot from this gun are reasonably accurate). On the other hand, the difference between 90 and 92 is IMMENSE, it basically adds more than a DOZEN tiles to the gun's effective range. Therefore, the percentage is scaled to the original accuracy of the gun.
This makes sure that when your item is attached to different guns, it gives roughly the same proportional increase in accuracy. The 20 acc. gun got much better than it previously was, compared to its originally LOW accuracy, while the 90 acc. gun got much better than it previous was, compared to its originally HIGH accuracy.
For more information about accuracy, please refer to the <bAccuracy> tag as explained below, in the section about Weapons.XML.


<RecoilModifierX>Edit

Scale: -100 to +100

This tag modifies the recoil of a gun by the specified, flat amount. It represents a force pushing the gun in a certain direction, either with or against the gun's original recoil.
The ModifierX tag controls horizontal (left/right) motion.
What items to give this to?
Items that modify a gun's recoil by a flat amount are mostly ones that change the contact points between the gun and the shooter. For horizontal recoil modification (X Axis), an item that modifies the weapon's grip (like a side-mounted pistol grip and trigger) might cause a gun to reverse its original recoil direction. Since most (if not all) guns pull to the right after each bullet, such a modifier would cause them to pull LEFT instead.
In all honesty, there is currently no item or weapon combo that requires such a modifier. It is presented as an option only.
What does this tag do?
This tag increases or reduces the horizontal recoil of a gun by a certain, fixed amount.
For example, if the gun has a horizontal recoil of +3, and the item gives a -4 modifier, the gun's final recoil will be (3-4)=-1.
You can also increase horizontal recoil the same way. If the same gun gets a modifier of +4 instead, its final recoil will be (3+4)=7.
Note that unlike the PercentRecoilModifier (see below), this flat modifier CAN push the gun's recoil past 0 into negative (causing it to recoil to the left instead of to the right), or if the gun had negative recoil to begin with, can push it past 0 into positive (cause it to recoil to the right instead of to the left).
Which tags does this replace?
All recoil modifiers are meant to replace the existing AutoFireToHitBonus and BurstToHitBonus. As mentioned above, there is no existing item in 1.13 that should get a Flat Recoil Modifier, but if you come up with one, feel free to do so.
Modifying Recoil vs. modifying Counter Force
This tag directly modifies a gun's RECOIL. As such, it is reserved for items that modify the structure of the gun itself, and the way that bullets fired from this gun produce angular momentum.
If you are designing an item that makes a gun harder to control during burst/autofire, use the appropriate Counter-Force Modifiers instead. They control the difficulty of firing a volley and maintaining accuracy throughout. Conversely, the Recoil modifiers change the inherent forces operating INSIDE the gun as it is being fired, and should be used only for items that change the gun's properties.


<RecoilModifierY>
Edit

Scale: -100 to +100

This tag modifies the recoil of a gun by the specified, flat amount. It represents a force pushing the gun in a certain direction, either with or against the gun's original recoil.
The ModifierY tag controls vertical (up/down) motion.
What items to give this to?
Items that modify a gun's recoil by a flat amount are mostly ones that change the contact points between the gun and the shooter. For vertical recoil modification (Y Axis), a modified stock (one that puts the gun at a strange angle to the shoulder) might cause a gun to reverse its original recoil direction. Since most (if not all) guns pull upwards after each bullet, such a modifier would cause them to pull DOWNWARDS instead.
In all honesty, there is currently no item or weapon combo that requires such a modifier. It is presented as an option only.
What does this tag do?
This tag increases or reduces the vertical recoil of a gun by a certain, fixed amount.
For example, if the gun has a vertical recoil of +5, and the item gives a -7 modifier, the gun's final recoil will be (5-7)=-2.
You can also increase vertical recoil the same way. If the same gun gets a modifier of +7 instead, its final recoil will be (5+7)=12.
Note that unlike the PercentRecoilModifier (see below), this flat modifier CAN push the gun's recoil past 0 into negative (causing it to recoil downwards instead of upwards), or if the gun had negative recoil to begin with, can push it past 0 into positive (cause it to recoil upwards instead of downwards).
Which existing tags does this replace?
All recoil modifiers are meant to replace the existing AutoFireToHitBonus and BurstToHitBonus. As mentioned above, there is no existing item in 1.13 that should get a Flat Recoil Modifier, but if you come up with one, feel free to do so.
Modifying Recoil vs. modifying Counter Force
This tag directly modifies a gun's RECOIL. As such, it is reserved for items that modify the structure of the gun itself, and the way that bullets fired from this gun produce angular momentum.
If you are designing an item that makes a gun harder to control during burst/autofire, use the appropriate Counter-Force Modifiers instead. They control the difficulty of firing a volley and maintaining accuracy throughout. Conversely, the Recoil modifiers change the inherent forces operating INSIDE the gun as it is being fired, and should be used only for items that change the gun's properties.


<PercentRecoilModifier>Edit

Scale: -100 to +1000

This tag modifies a gun's horizontal and vertical recoil by the same percentage. It represents an increase or decrease of the total force produced by the gun after each bullet is fired.
What items should I give this to?
Items that make a gun's recoil more or less powerful should get this tag. For instance, ammo that contains less powder will generate less gas when fired, and thus produce less recoil. A muzzle brake or a silencer tend to vent gasses more efficiently, also producing less recoil for the gun. In short, if your item reduces or increases the gun's "kick", give it one of these.
What does this tag do?
This tag is a straightforward percentage modifier that's applied directly to the gun's Horizontal and Vertical axes.
For example, if the gun has recoil values of +3 X (horizontal) and +6 Y (vertical), a modifier of +100% will double these values to +6,+12. A modifier of -50% will reduce each by half, resulting in +1.5, +3, which is automatically rounded down to +1,+3.
You can also use -100% to eliminate all recoil from the gun. In fact, a high enough negative modifier might cause this inadvertantly, due to the automatic rounding-down effect described above, so watch out.
Which existing tags does this replace?
All recoil modifiers are meant to replace the existing AutoFireToHitBonus and BurstToHitBonus. In the case of the PercentRecoilModifier tag, it should replace these whenever the effect deals with how much force the gun creates, rather than how easy it is to fight that force. For that effect, see the Counter Force modifiers below.
The difference between Flat and Percent Recoil Modifiers
We saw above two modifiers that give a FLAT modifier to either the horizontal or vertical recoil.
Since they give a specific, static modification, they can push recoil in the OTHER direction (causing, for instance, a gun to recoil downwards instead of upwards). The Percent modifier cannot do this: It can either diminish recoil down to 0, or increase it. It can never reverse recoil to the other direction in either axis.
In addition, the Percent modifier works for both axes at the same time, while the flat modifiers change either the horizontal or vertical axis as appropriate. So the Percent modifier changes the overall kick force of the gun, not the specific direction in which it kicks.
Modifying Recoil vs. modifying Counter-Force
I'll reiterate this point because it's very important:
If you want the gun is produce less recoil, through better venting of gas or through the use of less gunpowder in ammo, this is the tag you need.
Conversely, if you want the gun to be easier/harder to control during autofire/burst, thanks to things like a lousy stock or a good foregrip or even a bipod, use the Counter Force modifiers which are explained below.


New Tags: Stance-Based ModifiersEdit

The rest of the new tags belong to a special group called "Stance-based Modifiers". They are even put into the XML in a different way from all existing modifiers.

The idea behind these tags is, obviously, that their effect is based on stance. In other words, the modifier is only applied when the user of the item is in a specific stance. If they are not in that stance, they don't get the modifier.

Alternately, you can add the same tag to affect all three stances if you want, or to give different effects in each of the three stances as required. We'll discuss how to do this in a later section.

In the meanwhile, just remember that these modifiers work basically the same as all other modifiers - they increase or decrease a specific property.

Also note: All these modifiers will change values related to the New CTH system, and in particular the interaction between the shooter and the gun.


<FlatBase>Edit

Scale: -100 to +100

This modifier increases or decreases the amount of Base CTH we get when shooting the weapon by a flat number.
What items to give this to?
Since Base CTH represents a shooter's ability to quickly bring their weapon to bear WITHOUT using any of the weapon's aiming systems (like scopes or even iron sights), an item that increases Base CTH is one that makes shooting "blind" easier. Conversely, the item could be giving a negative modifier to make snapshots harder.
Remember that since this modifier is flat, it applies the same exact bonus or penalty to ANY weapon. Consider this carefully, as you might prefer using the <PercentBase> tag instead (See below).
Currently, no items in 1.13 are suitable for a flat base modifier.
What does this tag do?
The tag increases or decreases the base CTH by a flat, static amount. By doing so, it changes the amount of CTH the shooter has before applying any extra aiming clicks.
Decreasing the Base CTH means the shooter will have less CTH during snapshots (unaimed shots).
Conversely, increasing the Base CTH means the shooter will have MORE CTH during snapshots.
The modifier cannot cause CTH to drop below 0, nor can it cause it to rise above 99.
What existing tags does this replace?
Like all other CTH-related tags, this new tag may replace several other existing ones. For instance, the ToHitBonus performs a similar function in the old system, increasing CTH by a flat amount. However, it's not a simple matter of replacing one with the other - the NCTH system works very differently from the old one.
What does changing the Base CTH do to aiming?
One important effect to note is that changing the Base CTH also changes the benefit we get from each aiming click.
In general, the lower your Base CTH is, the more benefit you get from each aiming click. This is because, by the LAST aiming click, you'll have reached your maximum CTH regardless of how much Base CTH you had in the beginning.
The opposite is also true: Increasing the Base CTH causes each aiming click to be less effective.
However, this doesn't mean that increasing Base CTH is bad. The effect of each aiming click is reduced, but thanks to starting from a better position (a higher Base CTH), the shooter will be more accurate after each aiming click than he would've been without the increased base. The same is also true (in reverse) when Base CTH is decreased: Each aiming click gives more than it did before, but the lower starting level means that overall this is still bad for you.
Once the last aiming click is added, of course, it doesn't matter how high your Base CTH was. You'll always reach the same CTH once all aiming levels are applied.


<PercentBase>Edit

Scale: -100 to +1000

This modifier increases or decreases the Base CTH by percentage of its original value. This is akin to altering a shooter's ability to fire snapshots (shots without any extra aiming).
What items to give this to?
Base CTH reflects how easily we can put the gun on target without spending the time to aim it properly. Therefore, items that increase this ability make snapshots (shots without extra aiming) more accurate. Such items would need to make it easier to acquire the target, and possibly even aim the gun without having to look directly down the its sights.

Items.XML - New FormatEdit

Changes - General StructureEdit

The new format of Items.XML includes two "types" of tags:

1. Normal Modifier Tags

These work the same as all Modifier tags already existing in the Items.XML structure. These are bonuses and penalties the item gives when held, worn, or attached to another item, as appropriate. Tags like the existing <NightVisionRangeBonus> belong to this category.

2. Stance-Based Modifier Tags

These tags also cause modification while the item is being used, but the size of the penalty or bonus depends on the user's STANCE. Such modifiers are grouped together in an XML sub-level. The format for these is a little less simple to understand.

And finally, Items.XML renders some tags completely obsolete. Once again, these are modifier tags that provide bonuses or penalties, but will no longer have any effect in game once NCTH is activated. Most of these tags have been replaced by one or more tags that do the same thing within the rules of the new CTH system.


Old StructureEdit

The old structure of Items.XML is pretty straightforward. Here's the general syntax:

<ITEMLIST>
  <ITEM>
    <uiIndex>15</uiIndex>
    [... Various properties and modifiers of this item ...]
    <AutofireToHitBonus>7</AutofireToHitBonus>
    <LaserBestRange>30</LaserBestRange>
  </ITEM>
  [... Other items are defined the same way ...]
</ITEMLIST>

The two example tags shown inside are the kind we'll be working with - Modifiers. They define special properties of the item when used. They always reside inside the <ITEM> tag, and are usually nearer the bottom, after the item's text, class, index number, and unique properties like <SINKS>.


New StructureEdit

The new structure adds several tags, and it adds them in an important order as well as grouping.

Simple Modifier TagsEdit

Firstly, we add several new tags that look and work the same way as the old modifer tags (see syntax, above). There are exactly six possible tags you could add this way. Let's see that:

<ITEMLIST>
  <ITEM>
    <uiIndex>15</uiIndex>
    [... Various properties and modifiers of this item ...]
    <AutofireToHitBonus>7</AutofireToHitBonus>
    <LaserBestRange>30</LaserBestRange>
    <ScopeMagFactor>2.0</ScopeMagFactor>
    <ProjectionFactor>1.2</ProjectionFactor>
    <PercentAccuracyModifier>10</PercentAccuracyModifier>
    <RecoilModifierX>-1</RecoilModifierX>
    <RecoilModifierY>-3</RecoilModifierY>
    <PercentRecoilModifier>-10</PercentRecoilModifier>
  </ITEM>
  [... Other items are defined the same way ...]
</ITEMLIST>

You don't have to add ALL of them, of course, just the ones you want for your item. It is highly unlikely that any item will need all six. No current 1.13 items fit that description at all.

Also, note of course that the values here are just examples.

So you can see that the format hasn't changed - these are just new tags. I will later explain in this article what each of them does.

Stance-Based ModifiersEdit

The structure of Stance-Based Modifiers is a little more complex.

What these kinds of modifiers do is to define how much bonus or penalty the item gives when the user is in different stances. This sort of modifier is used when the item itself is more or less effective when the user changes stance.

First let's see how this is written into the XML, that may help clarifying things. The example below shows how a single set of these tags have been added to the XML:

<ITEMLIST>
  <ITEM>
    <uiIndex>15</uiIndex>
    [... Various properties and modifiers of this item ...]
    <AutofireToHitBonus>7</AutofireToHitBonus>
    <LaserBestRange>30</LaserBestRange>
    <ScopeMagFactor>2.0</ScopeMagFactor>
    <ProjectionFactor>1.2</ProjectionFactor>
    <PercentAccuracyModifier>10</PercentAccuracyModifier>
    <RecoilModifierX>-1</RecoilModifierX>
    <RecoilModifierY>-3</RecoilModifierY>
    <PercentRecoilModifier>-10</PercentRecoilModifier>
    <STAND_MODIFIERS>
      <FlatBase>2</FlatBase>
      <PercentBase>-10</PercentBase>
      <FlatAim>-1</FlatAim>
      <PercentAim>10</PercentAim>
      <PercentCap>5</PercentCap>
      <PercentHandling>-20</PercentHandling>
      <PercentTargetTrackingSpeed>5</PercentTargetTrackingSpeed>
      <PercentDropCompensation>-90</PercentDropCompensation>
      <PercentMaxCounterForce>-15</PercentMaxCounterForce>
      <PercentCounterForceAccuracy>-13</PercentCounterForceAccuracy>
      <PercentCounterForceFrequency>-10</PercentCounterForceAccuracy>
      <AimLevels>-1</AimLevels>
    <STAND_MODIFIERS>
  </ITEM>
  [... Other items are defined the same way ...]
</ITEMLIST>

Once again, don't be (too) startled by all this, because you don't have to add all those tags to every item (actually, you'll never add ALL of them to a single item anyway).

The important part to note in the new tags above is the use of the <STAND_MODIFIERS> opener and </STAND_MODIFIERS> closer tags. These essentially create a second "depth" to the XML structure. All these modifiers that are between these tags will only affect the user when in STANDING stance. Well, sort of, read on for more of that.

Note that these modifiers CANNOT be placed outside of the STANCE-RELATED tag. They must always be inside, or the program will ignore them completely.


The Trickling Down Effect

So, what do we do if we want the modifier to work regardless of stance? We can't move it out of the STANCE tags, so do we need to write three of them, one for each stance?

Well, the answer is no. To make an item work the same way in all stances, like the "Simple" Modifier Tags above do, we only need to create this <STAND_MODIFIERS> tag, put the modifier we want inside, and close the </STAND_MODIFIERS> tag.

The effect of the modifier will "trickle down" from the STAND stance to the CROUCH stance, and from there to the PRONE stance. In other words, if you define only a STAND modifier, all stances will get the same modifier.

So for example:

<ITEMLIST>
  <ITEM>
    <uiIndex>15</uiIndex>
    [... Various properties and modifiers of this item ...]
    <STAND_MODIFIERS>
      <AimLevels>-1</AimLevels>
    </STAND_MODIFIERS>
  </ITEM>
  [... Other items are defined the same way ...]
</ITEMLIST>

This item will reduce the number of allowed Extra Aiming Levels by one, regardless of what stance we're in. It works just like all other modifiers we've seen so far.


Trickling down from CROUCHED stance

Let's say we want an item that reduces the number of Extra Aiming Levels by 1 ONLY if we're crouched or prone? We use the same trickling effect, except this time, we start it at CROUCHED level:

<ITEMLIST>
  <ITEM>
    <uiIndex>15</uiIndex>
    [... Various properties and modifiers of this item ...]
    <CROUCH_MODIFIERS>
      <AimLevels>-1</AimLevels>
    </CROUCH_MODIFIERS>
  </ITEM>
  [... Other items are defined the same way ...]
</ITEMLIST>

We've defined only that the weapon gives this modifier during CROUCHED mode. Thanks to the trickling effect, we'll get the same modifier in Prone mode as well. And since we didn't define a modifier for STAND mode, that mode gets no bonus or penalty.


Setting a modifier for just one stance

Of course, what happens if we want a modifier to work only in ONE stance, without the bonus trickling down to the others? For instance, giving a -1 Aim Levels bonus only while STANDING?

Here we need to do a little more work. We'll need to create two groups:

<ITEMLIST>
  <ITEM>
    <uiIndex>15</uiIndex>
    [... Various properties and modifiers of this item ...]
    <STAND_MODIFIERS>
      <AimLevels>-1</AimLevels>
    </STAND_MODIFIERS>
    <CROUCH_MODIFIERS>
      <AimLevels>0</AimLevels>
    </CROUCH_MODIFIERS>
  </ITEM>
  [... Other items are defined the same way ...]
</ITEMLIST>

You can use the same method to restrict a modifier to only STAND and CROUCH stances:

<ITEMLIST>
  <ITEM>
    <uiIndex>15</uiIndex>
    [... Various properties and modifiers of this item ...]
    <STAND_MODIFIERS>
      <AimLevels>-1</AimLevels>
    </STAND_MODIFIERS>
    <PRONE_MODIFIERS>
      <AimLevels>0</AimLevels>
    </PRONE_MODIFIERS>
  </ITEM>
  [... Other items are defined the same way ...]
</ITEMLIST>

In this case, the -1 modifier applies to STAND, trickles down to CROUCH, and is removed when PRONE.


Complete Variation

Of course, it's always possible to add all three STANCE groups to control the modifier separately in each of stance:

<ITEMLIST>
  <ITEM>
    <uiIndex>15</uiIndex>
    [... Various properties and modifiers of this item ...]
    <STAND_MODIFIERS>
      <AimLevels>-2</AimLevels>
    </STAND_MODIFIERS>
    <CROUCH_MODIFIERS>
      <AimLevels>-1</AimLevels>
    </CROUCH_MODIFIERS>
    <PRONE_MODIFIERS>
      <AimLevels>-4</AimLevels>
    </PRONE_MODIFIERS>
  </ITEM>
  [... Other items are defined the same way ...]
</ITEMLIST>

In this case, each stance will give us a different modifier as defined above, and no trickling occurs at all. Some items may require this sort of setup, while others don't necessarily need it. You can also set any of these to 0 to make sure that no modifier applies in that stance, so basically this sort of setup gives you full control (which you don't always need, but it's good to have options!).

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