How to Change the Login and Character Creation Screens

Published

There are a few things that you'll need before editing a DBC file. I've seen many programs, and even more people recommending each program over every other program, but the majority either didn't work or corrupted the DBC files. I'll only be recommending the programs that work for me. So, before you continue reading, please download this; it has everything that I use. These programs will only work on Windows.

Just in case anyone wants to know what Iā€™m running:

Assuming that you've followed my instructions and have downloaded the tools that we'll be using in this tutorial, lets begin!

The first question that you should ask yourself is "Which screen do I want to change, and to what do I want to change it to?". Pick out something and then refer to the bullet-points below to figure out where the files you will need are. I haven't tested the majority of these, but from the few I've tested I believe that these will all work.

The only other file location that I can think of which is worth mentioning is Interface/GLUES/COMMON/ in locale-enUS.MPQ. This is where the blue WotLK and red Vanilla/BC button looks are stored. I'll add a short section on switching to the red buttons near the end of this tutorial.

Tip:

When editing any files that can be packed into an MPQ file, you can just go into your Data/enUS/ folder and create a new folder, lets call it "patch-enUS-n.mpq", and place all the files that you would place into the MPQ file in there. This is extremely useful if you don't want to keep on creating a new MPQ file every time you go to test new edits. When you release the edits you should place them into an MPQ file as it hides everything from the average user.

Credits to MyLilSuccy for this information.

If you already know how to open up the MPQ files, extract files, rename those files, and place them back into an MPQ file, then you can stop reading here and go have some fun changing the character/login screens.


Assuming that you've downloaded the tools that I linked to earlier, let's begin!

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be showing you how to change the login screen to the Orcish character creation screen. Near the end of the tutorial we will also be changing the buttons from blue to red and removing the WoW logo from the upper left-hand corner.

The first thing you should do is open up MPQEditor.exe within Tools/mpqediten64/. Next click Open MPQ(s), navigate to your Data folder, and open locale-enUS.MPQ. In the screen on the right-hand side, or in the main screen, double-click Interface, then GLUES, then MODELS, and finally UI_Orc. Now click on the main screen and select all the files, right-click on one of them after they've all been selected, and click Extract, and then click OK. You can close the program now.

In the mpqediten64 folder you should see a new folder called Work. Double-click the Work folder, then Interface, then GLUES, then MODELS, then UI_Orc. Look at the bullet points below and rename the files just as I tell you to.

Note:

Every single screen contains a .m2 file and a few .skin files that follow the naming convention that you can see in the bullet points above. To switch any screen with the WotLK login screen, just rename the files as I've already told you to. I haven't tried switching character creation screens yet, but I'm certain that you can follow the same steps as this tutorial, but with different file names. Hopefully this note makes sense to you.

The next step is to change the buttons from blue to red. Reopen the MPQEditor and then open locale-enUS.MPQ, navigate to Interface/GLUES/COMMON/ and export the files Glue-Panel-Button-Down.blp, Glue-Panel-Button-Disabled.blp, Glue-Panel-Button-Highlight.blp, Glue-Panel-Button-Up.blp, and Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.blp. Hopefully you've managed to remember the steps we took before and that you have successfully exported the files I said to.

Note:

Within the locale-enUS.MPQ in the Interface/GLUES/COMMON/ folder, there are two files with very similar names. So, when exporting Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.blp, make sure that it's named exactly as I have it written here.

Just as we've done before, go into the Work folder, then into Interface, then GLUES, and finally COMMON. For each .blp file, excluding Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.blp, you need to add "-Blue" to the end of the file-names. When you're finished the files should have the following names:

The last thing that we're going to do before creating an MPQ and testing out these file-swaps is to get rid of the logo in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. You could replace it with whatever image you want, or even another one of the logos, but for this tutorial we will be removing it.

To do this we need to convert Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.blp into a .png file and then edit it in a program such as GIMP, Paint.net, or Photoshop. Don't use MS Paint, it can't edit the image in the way we need to. To convert Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.blp into a .png file just copy Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.blp into Tools/BLPConverter_8-4, and then drag Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.blp onto BLPConverter.exe. There should now be a file named Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.png, open it up using the image editor of your choice. Don't use MS Paint! You will need to select the entire image and delete it. The image needs to be completely alpha. After that, just save the file, delete Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.blp, drag Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.png onto BLPConverter.exe and then copy the new Glues-WoW-WotLKLogo.blp back into Tools\mpqediten64\Modified Files\Interface\GLUES\COMMON.

Phew, that sure was a lot to type. Don't worry though, we're just about done!

Note:

Before continuing on to the last step, go into your Work folder and rename the folder at \Work\Interface\GLUES\MODELS\UI_MAINMENU to \Work\Interface\GLUES\MODELS\UI_MAINMENU_NORTHREND.

The final step, before testing, is to create the MPQ file. To do this you will need to open up MPQEditor, click New MPQ, type in a patch name such as patch-5 (which is what I'll be using), then click Next, select the option to build the MPQ from an archive or directory, click the little button to the left with three periods on it, then select your Work folder, press OK, click Next, click Finish, then exit the program. Now just copy your newly packed MPQ file into your Data folder and launch the game.

Please ignore the News box, that isn't part of this tutorial. For that you should refer to this tutorial.