Introduction to JC2 Modding

Just Cause 2 Mods Forums Tutorials Introduction to JC2 Modding

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    • #79874
      Nick
      Member

      I didn’t see the basics put anywhere on this site, so I figured I’d go ahead and add a short tutorial.

      There is a tutorial for updating your copy of the Gibbed toolset here. Use it, love it, Gibbed is still researching file types so a weekly update via this thread will keep your documentation up to date. This is important, because they’re always exploring more of the engine and files and unhashing new variable names, which means more text telling you what the hell those values are, and less incomprehensible numbers

      So, we’ve got five programs. Lets go over them. Before we do though, go ahead and open a random folder to your JC2 install directory, specifically the archive folder.

      If you see “pc0.arc” at the top, you’re in the right place.

      Archive Viewer

      This is the program that opens up the games files for you to peruse and save. Most of the content you want to alter (and all the content that anyone so far has modded, to my knowledge) is in pc0.arc.

      When you open archive viewer, you will see a huge list of sections, most of which branch off into many individual files. The modding process is saving these files, modifying them, and then dropping them into an override folder which will let you run off the changed content.

      Bin2XML and XML2Bin

      Many of the files present (indeed, most of the settings and such you’ll ever want to change) are formatted in text files. When you look at them in archive viewer, and save them, they are pulled out in the .bin format. In order to modify them, you must convert the .bin file to a .xml text file that you can modify in notepad.

      These programs simply do that for you automatically. If you drag a .bin on top of the appropriate program and drop it, it will automatically create an XML from that bin and place it in the same directory. Imagine that the program you want to use is a folder you are moving a file into, this goes for both.

      Smallpack and Smallunpack

      Most of the files which are not .bin format come in the form of archives. Basically just packages of associated files. Using the same method as the bin programs, you can pack and unpack archives, and modified archives are placed in dropzone just as other files are.

      There are many file types which can be modded. A link to the file types can be found in the Mod installation tutorial, but I’ll go over a few briefly.

      .bin – Files which are converted to XML for editing and back

      .xml – Text files containing setting data and variables for many of the various objects in the game. Most commonly modified with notepad.

      .dds – texture filetype, changeable with paint.net, a freeware photoshop clone. We’ve even got a texture modding tutorial.

      .blz – General collection of files meant for small unpack. It usually ends up being a folder full of other files. The process for editing a .blz is to unpack it, modify whatever files you want to inside it, and drag it back to small pack. The output is always a .sarc, simply rename it .blz and drop it in dropzone.

      A quick note on .blz files, at the moment (4/6/10) gibbed has said that there are some issues with converting back to .blz. I don’t know if this means all of them or just the file we were dealing with at the time (general.blz from pc0.arc/global/areasets) but if you encounter any issues drop a response somewhere and he’ll probably hear about it eventually.

      .eez/.ee – another format of archive folder, associated with small unpack again. The golden rule, if when you unpack something and alter it, return it to the extension it was before. With this file specifically, you always want the .eez. Thats what you pull out, convert back to, and put in drop zone. Pretend .ee doesn’t exist.

      .rbm – Model file, most common incarnation is character models

      .vdoll – Settings file for a specific vehicle, usually found in the .eez archive for said vehicle. Used with bin2xml to convert into modifiable text format, and back again.

      There are several more formats, but to be honest I haven’t dealt with them much yet, or else the community collectively (meaning gibbed and bolo mostly) haven’t figured out how to alter them yet. These include .lod, .epe, and several others.

      A Quick Tutorial – Editing weapons.bin
      Now, to walk you directly through a basic mod, I’ll go ahead and copy the tutorial I used not too long ago.

      1. Open pc0.tab with ArchiveViewer
      2. Save all, or save settingsweapons.bin to the dropzone directory.
      3. If you saved all, copy settingsweapons.bin to the dropzone directory.
      4. Click and drag weapons.bin on to bin2xml.
      5. Open weapons.xml with any text editor.
      6. Search for “weapon_8” (this is the rocket launcher).
      7. Scroll down and look for the following:
      “ammo_max_range”
      “ammo_velocity”
      “bulletspershot”
      “max_max_bullet_spread”
      8. Change them to:
      “ammo_max_range” to 5000
      “ammo_velocity” to 10
      “bulletspershot” to 40
      “max_bullet_spread” to 10
      9. Save weapons.xml.
      10. Click and drag weapons.xml on to xml2bin.
      11. Start Just Cause 2, if you have done everything correctly, should make
      a nice fireworks show.

      In it’s most basic form, that’s the procedure.

      A quick note, if you are trying to convert an XML to a .BIN and the program throws out an error, it’s likely that you somehow screwed up the syntax of the file you’re dealing with. You might have deleted an equals sign or a bracket or something else of that nature. If you get the error and can’t find the problem, always remember you can pull a fresh unmodified copy from the installed game files and start again. Same thing if you mod the hell out of something and break your game.

      Last, some helpful links.

      http://www.justcause2mods.com/index.php/forum?func=view&catid=19&id=633 Basic mod information and mod Installation.

      http://www.justcause2mods.com/index.php/forum?func=view&catid=19&id=359 Weapons.bin modification tutorial

      http://svn.gib.me/public/avalanche/trunk/ – Gibbed’s toolset and documentation. There’s a good bit of helpful information about filetypes you’ll encounter.

      http://jc2wiki.info/ – The JC2 Wiki, bare bones at the moment, just like this site. But it’s got alot of the information here in duplicate.

      http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Am_BS1RkWf3rdE5SWVZ0YS14TVdfcGV1RFRVR0RRTHc&hl=en – And last, a google spreadsheet by a SomethingAwful forum goon with a listing of weapons and the variables they use, in case you want to make your pistol fire rockets.

    • #84065
      curtis
      Member

      thanks dude, really helpfull :cheer:

    • #84100
      Aaron
      Member

      omg sorry but this isnt working for me i got an error like you said

    • #84819
      Nick
      Member

      D.O.M.I.N.A.T.O.R wrote:

      Quote:
      omg sorry but this isnt working for me i got an error like you said

      Gotta give me more than that to go on.

      What file are you working on, what changes are you trying to make, and if possible upload a screenshot of the error it throws.

      Tell me what you did and I’ll see if I can’t figure out where it went wrong. Also, if you can .rar up the file you are altering and just upload that as well, it would probably help.

    • #84066
      Abram
      Member

      Great topic, guy. Very helpful.

      But I’m having no luck getting those.bin files converted. I found a “bin2xml” file pack, but it has no .exe files. I tried the JC2 modding tools pack, but when i run the bin2xml.exe, it jsut crashes without input.

      unless someone wants to do me a solid and extened the grapple range by 50%…. that’s all i want.

      In any case, kudos and karma to OP.

      EDIT: oh, i jsut drag and drop the file to convert over teh actual converter .exe. Don’t i feel stupid.

      EDIT 2: And now the archive viewer crashes and I am unable to extract the original .bin file.

      Whoa is me.

    • #84994
      Nick
      Member

      Abram wrote:

      Quote:
      Great topic, guy. Very helpful.

      But I’m having no luck getting those.bin files converted. I found a “bin2xml” file pack, but it has no .exe files. I tried the JC2 modding tools pack, but when i run the bin2xml.exe, it jsut crashes without input.

      unless someone wants to do me a solid and extened the grapple range by 50%…. that’s all i want.

      In any case, kudos and karma to OP.

      EDIT: oh, i jsut drag and drop the file to convert over teh actual converter .exe. Don’t i feel stupid.

      EDIT 2: And now the archive viewer crashes and I am unable to extract the original .bin file.

      Whoa is me.

      If archive viewer crashes consider redownloading it. http://mod.gib.me/justcause2/tools/bin-rev41.zip

      Not my toolset so I don’t know what else to tell you with it.

    • #84067

      when i try to open pc0 with archive viewer an error message saying unhandled exception has occurred in your application. if you click continue, the application will ignore this error and attempt to continue. if you click quit, the application will close immediately. Could no load file or assembly ‘Gibbed.Avalanche.Setup.Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null’ or one of its dependencies. the system cannot find the file specified.

      Thats my error message.. how do i fix

    • #85835
      Nick
      Member

      Honestly, the best method I can think of is to do a proper update of the gibbed toolset. I’ve never had any of them throw out an error when used properly, and I didn’t make them so I don’t have any real troubleshooting ideas.

      At the top of the page is a link to the faq for setting yourself up to easily update the toolset. Big bold red link paragraph. Click it, and follow those instructions very carefully.

      They forget one step until the bottom, if you follow the steps exactly often you get a list of errors when you build the program. You need XNA game studio or what have you, the link to the download is at the very bottom of their OP. Get it and rebuild and you’ll have the full toolset. It works perfectly for me, if you can’t get it to work go

      Here

      That IRC link often has gibbed and bolo hanging out, post up a question and if he’s online he’ll respond.

    • #84068
      Daniel
      Member

      Where can I find weapons.bin? :$! Searched for like half an hour…

      -Daniel.<img src="smileys/heart.gif" width="" height="" alt="<3" title="

    • #87309
      Nick
      Member

      When you open archive viewer, there is a long list of items. One of them is “settings” and inside it is a series of files. The “weapons” file is the specific one you need.

    • #84069
      ME
      Member

      where is dropzone, do i make it or where is it??

    • #89091
      NotSoCoolJ
      Member
      Quote:
      http://www.justcause2mods.com/index.php/forum?f&#8230;;catid=19&id=633 Basic mod information and mod Installation.

      http://www.justcause2mods.com/index.php/forum?f&#8230;;catid=19&id=359 Weapons.bin modification tutorial

      svn.gib.me/public/avalanche/trunk/ – Gibbed’s toolset and documentation. There’s a good bit of helpful information about filetypes you’ll encounter.

      jc2wiki.info/ – The JC2 Wiki, bare bones at the moment, just like this site. But it’s got alot of the information here in duplicate.

      spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Am_BS1R…FRVR0RRTHc&hl=en – And last, a google spreadsheet by a SomethingAwful forum goon with a listing of weapons and the variables they use, in case you want to make your pistol fire rockets.
      Please note, although no boardcode and smiley buttons are shown, they are still useable

      The first one in the list. FFS learn to read. You know the one that says Basic Mod Information and Mod Installation.

    • #84070
      Jackson
      Member

      I think someone should make a video tutorial on this…

    • #89467
      fox
      Member

      it’s really not that hard. I figured this stuff out just by playing with the tools, and it didn’t take long to figure it out.

    • #89469
      Alef
      Member

      Hey guys, I extracted the content of the .blz file, modified one .dds file, compress it again, then I put the .blz file in Dropzone, but when going start Just Cause 2, it gives Fatal Error. What might be happening?

      :blink:

    • #89943
      Hubert
      Member

      alefjc2 wrote:

      Quote:
      Hey guys, I extracted the content of the .blz file, modified one .dds file, compress it again, then I put the .blz file in Dropzone, but when going start Just Cause 2, it gives Fatal Error. What might be happening?

      :blink:

      Which file? Some .blz’s crash the game for some reason.

    • #84071
      Alef
      Member

      pda.blz and general.blz, I’m edit something 2 files!

      Sorry for my bad english.

    • #89969
      Hubert
      Member

      general.blz cannot be edited at this time. It is not known why.

    • #84072
      Spazman0
      Member

      Hey, I’m wondering how to recompress the bin and other files back into tab’s and arc’s. I know that a few mods here have done it, so it’s obviously possible. Thanks everyone.

    • #84073
      Huck Jones
      Member

      Is there any progress on RBM editing, i.e. Max or Blender scripts for editing the model files, or at least import them?

    • #84074
      avalanch
      Member

      Ok, I got the thing with tortoise svn… so now what do I have to do to open the csproj & cs files?

    • #84075
      Alex
      Member

      So im trying to mod the barge (the realy big boat) not in texture but in characteristics. kinda like adding speed to the Pell Silverboldt like here: http://www.justcause2mods.com/index.php/mods/Vehicles/Planes/Beefed-Silverbolt/
      Please explain! (I already have the .eez file)

    • #84076
      P J
      Member

      So, since the first post links to a dead thread – how do you update the definitions?

    • #84077

      I’m not very experienced with JC2 modding, but I do have a software tip. Microsoft has an program for editing XML files called “XML Notepad”. Some people may find it easier to use than the standard Notepad (although others may prefer the standard Notepad). It depends. Here’s a screenshot:

      I understand that this has stopped being developed in 2007, but it still works well. Tip: click “View” and choose “Expand All” so you can see everything in the XML file.

      Here’s the link to the download page: http://j.mp/9QgxBR

      This is the least I can do to help the JC2 modding community.

    • #84078
      dayo
      Member

      I cant find the p0 file

    • #94617
      voxbox13voxbox13
      Participant

      dayos123 wrote:

      Quote:
      I cant find the p0 file

      Hi dayos

      It’s here:

      pc0-09240ca21b552ab9ace31b918082b0c1.jpg

    • #89468
      CapoCapo
      Participant

      iNDEED

      oats21 wrote:

      Quote:
      I think someone should make a video tutorial on this…
    • #84079
      BK
      Member

      I would just like to thank you for this fantastic tutorial!

      So thanks!

      Yup.

      Yes.

    • #84081

      Hey so I came to this to see how to open and mod a .rbm file, I have tried opening it with the SmallUnpack but it won’t work, suggestions?

    • #84080

      RBM files are model files. They are VERY important for skin editing and the like. To open them, you use Gibbed’s Modelviewer, which should come with most older revisions of gibbstools.

      You can’t directly edit a RBM file with modelviewer, since modelviwer can only be used to view the models. Right now, you have to hex-edit. See this post for more on that:

      http://www.justcause2mods.com/forum.html?func=view&catid=19&id=5218#5218

    • #84082
      jesse
      Member

      thespiritfox wrote:

      Quote:
      I didn’t see the basics put anywhere on this site, so I figured I’d go ahead and add a short tutorial.

      There is a tutorial for updating your copy of the Gibbed toolset here. Use it, love it, Gibbed is still researching file types so a weekly update via this thread will keep your documentation up to date. This is important, because they’re always exploring more of the engine and files and unhashing new variable names, which means more text telling you what the hell those values are, and less incomprehensible numbers

      So, we’ve got five programs. Lets go over them. Before we do though, go ahead and open a random folder to your JC2 install directory, specifically the archive folder.

      If you see “pc0.arc” at the top, you’re in the right place.

      Archive Viewer

      This is the program that opens up the games files for you to peruse and save. Most of the content you want to alter (and all the content that anyone so far has modded, to my knowledge) is in pc0.arc.

      When you open archive viewer, you will see a huge list of sections, most of which branch off into many individual files. The modding process is saving these files, modifying them, and then dropping them into an override folder which will let you run off the changed content.

      Bin2XML and XML2Bin

      Many of the files present (indeed, most of the settings and such you’ll ever want to change) are formatted in text files. When you look at them in archive viewer, and save them, they are pulled out in the .bin format. In order to modify them, you must convert the .bin file to a .xml text file that you can modify in notepad.

      These programs simply do that for you automatically. If you drag a .bin on top of the appropriate program and drop it, it will automatically create an XML from that bin and place it in the same directory. Imagine that the program you want to use is a folder you are moving a file into, this goes for both.

      Smallpack and Smallunpack

      Most of the files which are not .bin format come in the form of archives. Basically just packages of associated files. Using the same method as the bin programs, you can pack and unpack archives, and modified archives are placed in dropzone just as other files are.

      There are many file types which can be modded. A link to the file types can be found in the Mod installation tutorial, but I’ll go over a few briefly.

      .bin – Files which are converted to XML for editing and back

      .xml – Text files containing setting data and variables for many of the various objects in the game. Most commonly modified with notepad.

      .dds – texture filetype, changeable with paint.net, a freeware photoshop clone. We’ve even got a texture modding tutorial.

      .blz – General collection of files meant for small unpack. It usually ends up being a folder full of other files. The process for editing a .blz is to unpack it, modify whatever files you want to inside it, and drag it back to small pack. The output is always a .sarc, simply rename it .blz and drop it in dropzone.

      A quick note on .blz files, at the moment (4/6/10) gibbed has said that there are some issues with converting back to .blz. I don’t know if this means all of them or just the file we were dealing with at the time (general.blz from pc0.arc/global/areasets) but if you encounter any issues drop a response somewhere and he’ll probably hear about it eventually.

      .eez/.ee – another format of archive folder, associated with small unpack again. The golden rule, if when you unpack something and alter it, return it to the extension it was before. With this file specifically, you always want the .eez. Thats what you pull out, convert back to, and put in drop zone. Pretend .ee doesn’t exist.

      .rbm – Model file, most common incarnation is character models

      .vdoll – Settings file for a specific vehicle, usually found in the .eez archive for said vehicle. Used with bin2xml to convert into modifiable text format, and back again.

      There are several more formats, but to be honest I haven’t dealt with them much yet, or else the community collectively (meaning gibbed and bolo mostly) haven’t figured out how to alter them yet. These include .lod, .epe, and several others.

      A Quick Tutorial
      Now, to walk you directly through a basic mod, I’ll go ahead and copy the tutorial I used not too long ago.

      1. Open pc0.tab with ArchiveViewer
      2. Save all, or save settings/weapons.bin to the dropzone directory.
      3. If you saved all, copy settings/weapons.bin to the dropzone directory.
      4. Click and drag weapons.bin on to bin2xml.
      5. Open weapons.xml with any text editor.
      6. Search for “weapon_8” (this is the rocket launcher).
      7. Scroll down and look for the following:
      “ammo_max_range”
      “ammo_velocity”
      “bulletspershot”
      “max_max_bullet_spread”
      8. Change them to:
      “ammo_max_range” to 5000
      “ammo_velocity” to 10
      “bulletspershot” to 40
      “max_bullet_spread” to 10
      9. Save weapons.xml.
      10. Click and drag weapons.xml on to xml2bin.
      11. Start Just Cause 2, if you have done everything correctly, should make
      a nice fireworks show.

      In it’s most basic form, that’s the procedure.

      A quick note, if you are trying to convert an XML to a .BIN and the program throws out an error, it’s likely that you somehow screwed up the syntax of the file you’re dealing with. You might have deleted an equals sign or a bracket or something else of that nature. If you get the error and can’t find the problem, always remember you can pull a fresh unmodified copy from the installed game files and start again. Same thing if you mod the hell out of something and break your game.

      Last, some helpful links.

      http://www.justcause2mods.com/index.php/forum?func=view&catid=19&id=633 Basic mod information and mod Installation.

      http://www.justcause2mods.com/index.php/forum?func=view&catid=19&id=359 Weapons.bin modification tutorial

      http://svn.gib.me/public/avalanche/trunk/ – Gibbed’s toolset and documentation. There’s a good bit of helpful information about filetypes you’ll encounter.

      http://jc2wiki.info/ – The JC2 Wiki, bare bones at the moment, just like this site. But it’s got alot of the information here in duplicate.

      http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Am_BS1RkWf3rdE5SWVZ0YS14TVdfcGV1RFRVR0RRTHc&hl=en – And last, a google spreadsheet by a SomethingAwful forum goon with a listing of weapons and the variables they use, in case you want to make your pistol fire rockets.

      How can i put the files in archive viewer?

    • #84083

      Open ArchiveViewer>click the “open” button>go to your “archives_win32” folder (this should be in your main JC2 install directory)>double click on one of the pc.tab files. Then find whatever file you want to modify, select it, then right click and save it somewhere. And then you can get to modding! ;)

    • #84084
      jesse
      Member

      i cant find the setingswapens.bin

    • #95995
      voxbox13voxbox13
      Participant

      jesseGmeester wrote:

      Quote:
      i cant find the setingswapens.bin

      Okay, I think I finally understand the issue.

      The file you want is simply called weapons.bin … NOT settingsweapons.bin

      The file is located here pc0 / settings / weapons.bin



      TIP:
      Where thespiritfox says…
      1. Open pc0.tab with ArchiveViewer
      2. Save all, or save settings/weapons.bin to the dropzone directory.
      3. If you saved all, copy settings/weapons.bin to the dropzone directory.

      I recommend the Save All option.
      This way, when you’re looking for other files in the future, you can just do a Search by File Name.
      Makes it very easy to find files, and also makes it easy to go explore thru the files.

    • #90330
      Bob joe
      Member

      is there any way to take contents of a .tab file with the archive viewer (outpust those files into several documants) extract them, change them and then put them back into the .tab or save them all as a .tab?

    • #84085

      You can’t save directly as a TAB file using archiveviewer or any part of gibbstools, but apparently you can with JCCE (Just Cause 2 Content Editor). Shame that the author of that tool never bothered to write a tutorial for it or patch it, as it has a considerable amount of bugs.

      The usual method is to clear your dropzone except for the files you want to save as a TAB, start the game, minimize the game, and copy+paste the separate_files.arc/tab from the dropzone to wherever and rename them.

    • #98260
      voxbox13voxbox13
      Participant

      @megaeverything

      Yep, CoconutFred is exactly right about the process to create .arc & .tab files via dropzone.

      Here’s a little more info
      How to convert files into a set of .arc & .tab files
      http://www.justcause2mods.com/forum/19-tutorials/12368-how-to-convert-files-to-arc-a-tab.html#12368

      Second / alternate link (sans www)
      http://justcause2mods.com/forum/19-tutorials/12368-how-to-convert-files-to-arc-a-tab.html#12368

    • #94626
      mannyss
      Member
      Capo wrote:
      iNDEEDoats21 wrote:

      Quote:
      I think someone should make a video tutorial on this…

      true it would be great if someone made a tut on this topic !!!!

    • #84086
      JMfcWSqmct
      Member

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