The Big Deal Add-On for BattleTech Extended 3025-3061

TBD Main Cover final

The Big Deal add-on for BattleTech Extended 3025-3061 (aka BEX) is a campaign consisting of a chain of flashpoints similar to the original Heavy Metal DLC. The campaign is meant to be late game content and will require powerful 'Mechs, ace MechWarriors, rare and scarce gear and tactical flair from you: this is NOT vanilla flashpoints, it’s significantly more difficult, but you can be sure – if you can handle it, then your suffering will pay off in full. Here’s what awaits you:
– Sequential campaign with a full story of 6 episodes: the very first one is taken from the vanilla Flashpoint DLC, the other 5 are completely new. Your enemies are for the most part well armed and prepared, so don’t relax.
– Lots of different notes, descriptions and references. Although the plot doesn’t claim to be a masterpiece of literature, I hope you enjoy it.
– 12 new events, 6 of which are random, and it’s up to you whether they happen or not.
– 36 new BattleMechs, including 2 unique chassis, which can only be obtained once. However, you may not get it, it all depends on your choice…
– Several new Ronin Mechwarriors.
– Greetings from MW4 and MechCommander – Rail Gun. An extremely powerful weapon for ranged combat, but very heavy, quite hot and practically useless in close combat; however, even a single hit is enough to terrify your enemies… If they survive after that. It’s not known for certain what war machines were supposed to carry such weapons during the days of the Star League, but if you can find it, it will be worth it.
– 4 new upgrades for Argo that will significantly increase the chances of your MechWarriors surviving when their 'Mechs are destroyed.
– 2 pieces of new unique equipment for your BattleMechs.
– Guardian ECM and Beagle Active Probe are now available not only as fixed equipment: you can find them in stores and FP reward crates (including vanilla FPs), however, these are rare equipment and hard to find; the above also applies to AMS + +. Incidentally, NARC + + and TAG + + have also been added to stores.
– 7 new emblems for your mercenary unit.
– The Hell Of A Deal event has been fixed, so you no longer get some stupid LRM launcher for a million – only ‘Mech parts. However, it can still be either LosTech 'Mechs or quite ordinary models, so it all depends on luck.
– Several minor fixes, extensions and improvements.
– Adapted version of The Big Deal for mcb’s BTX CAC Compatibility mod, patches for compatibility with the Solaris 7 mod, and an optional patch for greater efficiency of new medical equipment. If it’s installed, then with all the new equipment for Argo, your MechWarriors will become immortal: they can still be injured, but it will be impossible to kill them by destroying the BattleMech, its head, or inflicting multiple wounds. This patch is NOT required to play, it’s fully optional – no need to install it if you don’t want to.

The mod is fully compatible with existing saves for BattleTech Extended.

How to start the campaign:
– If you have started a NEW BattleTech campaign or career, The Big Deal campaign will start after completing The Opportunist flashpoint.
– If The Opportunist has NOT been activated by you yet, i.e. even if it spawned, but you did NOT start it, then everything will work as in the previous paragraph.
– If you have ALREADY COMPLETED The Opportunist, the campaign will start at the start of The Letter event at a random time. In this case, I highly recommend installing it on existing saves ONLY if you have a tough team: each episode can be completed ONLY once. If you can’t do it or don’t have time (each flashpoint has 180 days to complete), the campaign will be considered failed.

Current version is 1.1.1, added 05/14/2022.

Requirements:
– All three major DLCs for BattleTech: Flashpoint, Heavy Metal and Urban Warfare.
– Installed modification BattleTech Extended 3025-3061 version 1.9.3.7 with BiggerDrops patch.

Compatibility with other mods:
The Big Deal add-on will definitely conflict with any mods installed with BEX if they do any of the following:
– Modify the MechSettings.json file at BATTLETECH\Mods\BT_Extended_CE;
– Modify AmmoCategory.json and\or Faction.json files at BATTLETECH\Mods\BT_Extended_Timeline\enums;
– Modify the mod.json file at BATTLETECH\Mods\BT_Extended_Timeline, but ONLY if you are using the Solaris 7 patch;
– Change\add the argoUpgrade_medBay_hospital.json file somewhere EXCEPT BATTLETECH\Mods\BT_Extended_CE\StreamingAssets\data\shipUpgrades;
– Change settings in mod.json in BATTLETECH\Mods\IRTweaks;
– Change the settings.json file at BATTLETECH\Mods\MechAffinity;
– The mod is also incompatible with any mods that change the Mech Bay and the internal construction of the ‘Mechs, i.e. MechEngineer, etc.

The above conflicts don’t apply to mcb’s BTX CAC Compatibility mod, a separate version has been created for it: The Big Deal Add-On – BEX + CAC-C archive.

To manually configure compatibility with other modifications, you can use the Data For Manual Compatibility Settings archive – all the new data used in the aforementioned files are indicated separately there, but PLEASE NOTE – it’s NOT intended for installation, only for manually entering values from there into your assembly on BEX basis. ATTEMPTING TO INSTALL THIS ARCHIVE IN THE MODS FOLDER WILL DAMAGE YOUR MODS.

Installation:
ATTENTION! At the moment, the only official download sources are:
GitHub: The Big Deal Add-On
Mods-In-Exile: The Big Deal Add-On – Full Pack.rar (22.8 MB)

If you downloaded The Big Deal add-on from somewhere else, it’s NOT guaranteed to work normal, nor is it safe to use the contents of the archive.

Before installing, ALWAYS put the Spector SPR-4F ‘Mech into storage if you have it, and delete the Oldtimer Pack or 'Mechs, Mercs & Rock’n’Roll mods if you have them installed. If you don’t do this, then your saves may be irreversibly damaged. Also go to your Mods folder and delete the .modtek folder there, it should be the very first one in the list (DO NOT confuse it with ModTek folder in any way! ).

– For an original BEX version:
Install BattleTech Extended 3025-3061, then unpack The Big Deal Add-On – BEX archive and move all folders from there to your Mods folder, confirming the replacement of files.

– For BEX in pair with BTX CAC Compatibility:
Install BattleTech Extended 3025-3061, then install BTX CAC Compatibility following the instructions here: mcb’s BTX CAC Compatibility
Then unzip The Big Deal Add-On – BEX + CAC-C archive and move all folders from there to your Mods folder, confirming the replacement of files.

– For an original version of BEX with Solaris 7 mod:
Install BattleTech Extended 3025-3061, then install the Solaris 7 modification, also confirming the file replacement. Then unpack the archive The Big Deal Add-On – BEX and move all folders from there to your Mods folder, confirming the replacement of files. Finally, extract The Big Deal – Solaris Patch (BEX) archive and move the folder from there to your Mods folder, confirming the file replacement.

– For BEX with BTX CAC Compatibility and Solaris 7 mods:
Install BattleTech Extended 3025-3061, then install BTX CAC Compatibility following the instructions here: mcb’s BTX CAC Compatibility
Then install the Solaris 7 modification, also confirming the replacement of the files. The next step is to extract The Big Deal Add-On – BEX + CAC-C archive and move all folders from there to your Mods folder, confirming the replacement of files. Finally, unzip The Big Deal – Solaris Patch (BEX + CAC) archive and move the folder from there to your Mods folder, confirming the replacement of files.

– For a patch with improved medical equipment:
Install the required set of mods according to the previous instructions, then unpack the Improved Medical Upgrades archive and place the folder from it in your Mods folder, confirming the replacement of the files. This patch is compatible with ALL versions of The Big Deal add-on.

Once again, the order of installation of all options in a shorter and more accessible form:
BEX + TBD: BEX → TBD → Medical upgrades patch (optional)
BEX + Solaris + TBD: BEX → Solaris 7 → TBD → Solaris patch → Medical upgrades patch (optional)
BEX + CAC + TBD: BEX → CAC-C → TBD → Medical upgrades patch (optional)
BEX + CAC + Solaris + TBD: BEX → CAC-C → Solaris 7 → TBD → Solaris patch → Medical upgrades patch (optional)

ATTENTION! If you are going to install BTX CAC Compatibility on an existing save with The Big Deal mod, you MUST put into storage ALL of your 'Mechs equipped with any Active Probes, ECM systems, Chameleon Light Polarization Shield and/or Null Signature System before installing, otherwise your saves may be damaged. If, after installing BTX CAC Compatibility and the corresponding version of The Big Deal, these BattleMechs still have problems, then delete them using the save editor and add them again – in this case, the problem should be solved. Also, you will probably have to replace all Inferno launchers, AMS, ECM and Active Probes from the storage manually with similar equipment from the CAC Compatibility mod using the same editor. After installing the CAC Compatibility, you will also need to update the TBD, replacing it with the CAC-compatible version: to do this, delete the existing fps_TheBigDealBEXCE folder in your Mods folder and install the CAC-compatible version following the instructions above.

Changelog:
Version 1.1
– Changed loadout and Yang’s commentary for the Crusader CRD-1R to better match the BT timeline (thanks lordruthermore).
– Added Ymir BWP-2B, BWP-2E and BWP-3A, as well as Hector HOR-1B and HOR-1C (again, thanks to lordr for the text edits).
– An option to save the game after the second mission has been added for MMRNR due to the increased chance of game crashes on urban maps.
– The cover of The Mackies album has been added to the archive as a bonus.

FAQ:
– I installed this mod and it doesn’t work!
The mod has been tested countless times during development and triple checked before release. Everything worked and the campaign is available for the full playthrough, I’m sure of it. If something doesn’t work for you, then, I suppose, one of the three:

  1. You installed this mod incorrectly: unpacked it in the wrong place, didn’t confirm the replacement of files during installation, or didn’t follow the installation order.
  2. Your installation of BattleTech Extended is corrupt, installed incorrectly, or is below 1.9.3.7.
  3. There is something third-party in your mods assembly that conflicts with The Big Deal.

In this case, I advise you to delete everything that is in your Mods folder, and perform a completely clean installation of all the necessary mods according to the instructions for them. This should fix the issue.

– I can’t find The Opportunist FP, where is it located?
It’s a vanilla FP, but it’s been moved. It’s currently located in the Awano system, northeast of Terra. If you can’t find it, use the search: on the star map screen, press CTRL + F.

– The campaign is too hard, I can’t complete it. Can you make it easier?
Campaign difficulty has already been significantly lowered for release. Either you don’t have a powerful enough team, or your tactics are ineffective. In short, get tougher and smarter, if you’re trying to kick the whole galaxy’s ass with just Wasp, Cicada, Quickdraw and Charger – that’s definitely a bad idea.

– The campaign is too easy, I want more difficulty!
I’m very glad that your mercenary unit is so tough. You can always try higher difficulty settings if the current ones aren’t enough for you, but there won’t be any additional campaign difficulty – not everyone likes crazy hardcore.

– I don’t want to play the campaign, but I need the 'Mechs from this mod. Can you post them separately?
It makes no sense – you can just ignore the campaign or refuse to continue at almost any time, in which case The Big Deal will work like an ordinary mechpack.

– Do you know that %anything% doesn’t match TT/BT lore?
Tell that to Victoria and her King Crab.
Nothing in the campaign plot directly breaks the lore of BT – it’s just a side story about a big deal and a lot of money without any attempt to highlight the already existing lore events in the BattleTech universe. Controversial plot events could well have happened, we just don’t know about it.
As for TT, The Big Deal isn’t a tabletop game mod. All loadouts were close to the original ones from MegaMekLab, as far as technically possible. Unique items and chassis may not match the TT, but they cannot be obtained more than once and don’t cause significant balance damage. However, if you want 100% TT match, then, I guess, it’s worth playing BTA 3062 or RogueTech.

– Is it possible to fail the campaign?
It’s possible, and there are more than enough ways to do this. The campaign will automatically fail if you fail to complete any episode within 180 days of its spawn (except The Opportunist, its respawn is unlimited), and if you fail the flashpoints, it will not be able to respawn. In addition, you can make the wrong choice directly during the playthrough of flashpoints, but this isn’t difficult to avoid: carefully read the texts of conversations, in most cases the wrong choice is quite obvious. In situations where it’s not completely obvious, you will have the opportunity to change your mind.
Are there any choice situations in the campaign that will not affect the further playthrough? Yes, there are, but there are very few of them. As a hint, it doesn’t matter how you finish The Opportunist, but you’ll have to deal with the rest of these situations on your own.

– Will The Big Deal be adapted to RogueTech, BTA 3062 or BattleTech Revised?
No, as I don’t play these mods, but you can always make your own adapted version. If someone makes it, tests it thoroughly and is sure that it works 100% – no problem, I can add such a version to GitHub.

– Can I play The Big Deal on vanilla BattleTech?
No, because TBD requires some mods from the BattleTech Extended pack. It makes no sense to try to adapt – too much work, will be easier to just install BEX.

– Can I play The Big Deal without one or more DLCs?
No way: some DLC content cannot be recreated using mods. So you need all three main DLC for BT anyway.

– I didn’t figure out how to start a campaign?
Apparently you didn’t read the description. I’ll explain again:

  1. If you have started a NEW BattleTech campaign or career, The Big Deal campaign will start after completing The Opportunist flashpoint.
  2. If The Opportunist has NOT been activated by you yet, i.e. even if it spawned, but you did NOT start it, then everything will work as in the previous paragraph.
  3. If you have ALREADY COMPLETED The Opportunist, the campaign will start with the start of The Letter event at a random time. In this case, I strongly recommend preparing your mercenary unit as much as possible before installation.

– Is The Big Deal compatible with existing BattleTech Extended saves?
Again, you didn’t read the description carefully. The modification is fully compatible with existing saves for BattleTech Extended.

– What do I need to play this campaign through?
All the best weapons and equipment you can get your hands on, as well as ace pilots and a fair amount of ‘Mechs. I advise you to prepare at least two assault lances, the same number of heavy BattleMechs, and at least one full medium lance.

– I’m looking for new 'Mechs from the mod, where can I find them?
Here is the complete list:

PLG-3Z, BLR-1GBc, BLR-1Gc, SPR-4F, CRD-1R, WVE-5Nsl, GLH-1D and KY2-D-02: Find ComStar or WoB and kick their asses. Probably they will deploy these ‘Mechs. Some of them are also used by Snord’s Irregulars.

SPR-5F: Davion and Steiner forces, their elite units and ComStar, but only after 01/01/3053 – the 5F model was put into production after this date.

RFL-2N: Pretty common model, so literally everywhere, stores included.

KY2-D-01: Primitive 'Mech, can be found in local troops and peripheral states.

PLG-1N: It’s found in about the same places as the Victor models A and A1, but has a slightly lower chance of appearing. The entire 'Mechs and parts for assembly also can be found on the markets of the Liao and Davion Houses.

WHM-6Rk:

  1. You can try to fight Kuritan elite units any time and maybe you’ll find it, but the chances are extremely low until 3047.
  2. 'Mechs refitted from stock 6R into 6Rk can be encountered in battles against any troops using the Draconis Combine tables, but after the beginning of 3047.
  3. If you have a high reputation with House Kurita and completed some Kuritan flashpoints with the correct ending (i.e. finishing the job), then sooner or later Yamaguchi will call you with a business proposal.

BLR-1Gd:

  1. You can try to fight Davion elite units any time and maybe you’ll find it, but the chances are extremely low until 3043.
  2. 'Mechs refitted from stock 1G into 1Gd can be encountered in battles against any troops using the Federated Suns tables, but after the beginning of 3043.

BattleAxe BKX-7K, BattleAxe BKX-7NC, Hammerhands HMH-3D and Hammerhands HMH-4D: Technically, these chassis are extinct, but occasionally they can be found in Davion local troops.

Phoenix PX-3R, Phoenix PX-4R, Ymir BWP-2B and Ymir BWP-2E: Technically, these chassis are extinct, but occasionally they can be found in Steiner local troops.

Ymir BWP-3A: The very few remaining 3A 'Mechs are used by ComStar and Steiner elite troops.

Von Rohrs VON 4RH-5 and Von Rohrs VON 4RH-6: Technically, these chassis are extinct, but occasionally they can be found in Kuritan local troops.

Hector HOR-1B and Hector HOR-1C: Technically, these chassis are extinct, but occasionally they can be found in Marik local troops.

Archer ARC-5CS, Marauder MAR-5CS, Phoenix Hawk PXH-1bC, Rifleman RFL-5CS, Shadow Hawk SHD-2Ht and Warhammer WHM-7CS: These all are ComStar refits used in the Battle of Tukayyid. They can be stumbled upon in missions with the participation of ComStar or WoB after 01/01/3052 with a small probability.

Annihilator ANH-1X: Skirmish only.

Both new unique chassis are only obtainable once, and you’ll have to find them yourself to avoid spoilers. Whether you get them or not depends on your actions.

– I’m looking for new Ronins\Argo medical upgrades\chassis upgrades, where can I find them?
Again, in all cases, this will be a spoiler, but you definitely won’t miss Ronins or ship upgrades. Speaking of ‘Mech upgrades, you will encounter one of them one way or another, while the second upgrade can be obtained through a chain of events, but the launch of this chain depends only on your actions.

– Is it possible to get unique ‘Mechs or new unique equipment more than once?
Not by in-game methods, so if you lose them, you can’t replace them. Unless you’re a cheater, of course, but that would be too easy, right?

– I can’t find the Rail Gun, where can I find it?
These weapons can be found in Former SLDF planets stores or in flashpoint reward crates (including vanilla ones). The weapon is rare and expensive, it’s very difficult to find it. You’ll have a couple more opportunities to get it and you won’t miss them, but think carefully before you take them – maybe Rail Gun right here and now isn’t worth it, and it’s worth waiting for another chance?..

– How to unlock new emblems for the team?
They are available immediately after installation in the paint settings of your unit.

– Some ‘Mechs look weird! My Pillager looks like a Kodiak, is that normal?
It doesn’t look like Kodiak, it just uses the Kodiak model. The problem is that some 'Mechs don’t have models in CAB, so they use models from other 'Mechs. If someone makes an appropriate model for this or that BattleMech this will be fixed, of course.

– Are there any further plans for the development of mod or new flashpoints?
No, but I won’t think ahead. All development of the mod is planned to be limited to the necessary maintenance, since this is a finished story. Although it can always be expanded…

Bugs:
Not noticed, but nobody’s perfect, so various minor flaws, despite repeated testing, may still be present. However, there are things you should be aware of.

  1. Some BattleMechs (e.g. Pillager, Kyudo, Galahad, Spector, Hammerhands and some others) don’t have their own models in CAB, so they use models from other 'Mechs. If someday there will be their own models for them, then this will be fixed, of course.
  2. Due to the lack of own models, some ‘Mechs don’t have their own affinities, so don’t be surprised, say, that the pilot of your Pillager knows how to drive a Kodiak. Again, this will be fixed if suitable models appear in the CAB.
  3. Due to fewer internal slots than in the TT, some 'Mechs have a different heatsink layout relative to the TT. In particular, some heatsinks had to be built into the engine. This means that the cooling system is working fine, you just can’t dismantle them to get more free tonnage, but at the same time, you can’t lose these heat sinks in combat – unless, of course, your machine’s CT is destroyed.
  4. Placement of Endo-, FF- and Endo + FF slots doesn’t match completely with TT loadouts. This is due to the smaller number of internal slots in BT MechLab, and also because BEX reduces the volume of this equipment by 1 slot. Not a problem, but you should be aware of it.

Permissions:
All original files from BT Extended CE, BT Extended Timeline, FullXotlTables, MechAffinity, Mission Control, VXI FlashpointShift, IRTweaks and BTHospitalFix belong to their authors. If you plan to use the files in your own mods, then please contact them. The same applies to the fixed actuators of the new ‘Mechs.

If you would like to use The Big Deal in your mod pack for public release, please contact me:
GitHub
Nexus
And you can contact me about TBD at the BattleTech Extended discord server in the other-mods channel: BattleTech Extended discord server

Credits:
Amechwarrior – awesome guide to making flashpoints, which you can check out here: Paradox forum

lordruthermore – Rail Gun stats calculations, help with advices on BT lore and 'Mechs design.

RJPhoenix – technical assistance with customizing the design of some 'Mechs and provided content from VXI_RealPirates.

mcb – tech help with code and BTHospitalFix mod created specifically for TBD.

CWolf – Mission Control extended lances fixes for TBD.

Holda-volk – holoscreen images refinement, as well as portraits for two key characters in episodes 5 and 6. You can see more of the artist’s works here: DeviantArt gallery

Anna Shekhovtsova – face and appearance of one of the key characters of the campaign, albeit episodic.

Pode – main idea behind The General’s weaponry.

Lullbaby of me – minor editing of the third episode.

Winterless – text edits for the WHM-6Rk and related event.

Taliesin – detection of one of the critical bugs in pre-release builds.

Morgen – translation of the second episode.

Berghild – proofreading the second and third episodes, as well as participating in the testing of the second.

Goodtry – proofreading the second episode, as well as participating in its testing.

Suryn – participation in the testing of the second episode.

Xaero – proposal to add ECM and BAP to stores and reward crates.

Dephylr, aka Sidika – idea for the fanciest new emblem.

And many other people from the BattleTech Extended discord server who helped with countless little questions and ideas.

I express my special gratitude to Waladil for a truly titanic work on proofreading and correcting 67 pages of text used in the modification.

I would also like to thank Haree and everyone who had a hand in the creation of BattleTech Extended 3025-3061 for a great mod, the Sarna.net team, whose descriptions were used in the files of the new BattleMechs, and the MegaMek team, since MegaMekLab data was used to create new ‘Mechs.

The mod has been updated to version 1.1. Here’s what’s new:
– Changed loadout and Yang’s commentary for the Crusader CRD-1R to better match the BT timeline (thanks lordruthermore).
– Added Ymir BWP-2B, BWP-2E and BWP-3A, as well as Hector HOR-1B and HOR-1C (again, thanks to lordr for the text edits).
– An option to save the game after the second mission has been added for MMRNR due to the increased chance of game crashes on urban maps.
– The cover of The Mackies album has been added to the archive as a bonus.

All download links have been updated. To update your TBD to version 1.1, go to the Mods directory, delete the fps_TheBigDealBEXCE folder there and reinstall according to the usual instructions.

The mod has been updated to version 1.1.1 Here’s what’s new:
– Slightly changed the loadout of The General.
– In the “Good Company” event, the text of one of the answer options was slightly changed (it was too ambiguous).
– The ammo rack capacity for the Rail Gun has been increased from 4 to 5 rounds per ton.
– The Rail Gun version + has become a little cheaper and lighter by 3 tons, the bonus for a smaller size is also preserved.
– Fixed the price of the Rail Gun + + version, it was cheaper than it should be.

All download links have been updated. To update your TBD to version 1.1.1, go to the Mods directory, delete the fps_TheBigDealBEXCE folder there and reinstall according to the usual instructions.