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Edited save changes get ignored - How?

So it's a pretty well known thing that if you edit your .dssave file, without jumping through some export and import hoops the game will just say "Yeah cool" and entirely ignore those changes. My question on this though is - From a programming perspective, *how* does it ignore the changes? Does it have some secret backup copy that it refers to in case the .dssave sitting in the Save folder doesn't match what it last saw as the saved game? Just about any other program will actually read the data it's being told to, and process it accordingly.

I've saved the edited .dssave with a new name, confirmed that the edits show up in Tank Viewer, not the original data, and yet loading this file as the only available save in the directory still shows all the old data, including armor / ring prefixes and suffixes etc. If I'm loading a save that has very different data, this simply shouldn't happen - Where exactly is it pulling the old stats from and how can I purge them?

This is after a complete shutdown and startup too, so it's not like it's somehow referencing stale RAM values. It simply should not know the old data anymore.

So I'm looking at a .dssave in TankViewer. It contains 6 files:
- info.gas
- party.gas
- portrait-0.bmp
- thumb.bmp
- world.xdat
- world.xidx
My guess is that the gas files are only for readability, and the actual store of information is the binary .xdat file. So you'd need to edit that in order to get it working.
Might get lucky by simply deleting it - maybe the engine then draws the info from the gas files?

yes, i believe the gas files are there just for importing a single player char into multiplayer without having to load the entire savegame of the game world into memory to find out what the stats and inventory of the said character are as the saved state of the game world can get quite large. so the gas files in the save game are there just for indexing and ease of readability purposes for import into mp like what foerstj said.

the xdat file seems to be some kind of a binary dump of the game world u are playing indeed. it also gets larger the more u play and the more areas u explore, so its saving some kind of incremental changes to the original game world as the player plays through the map. the stats and inventory as the player are also most likely saved in this file as a game object as part of the game world.

while for the xidx file, from its file extension, we can surmise it saves some sort of an index for the game world. maybe its like a table of contents or index for all the game objects and goids in the map.

as for editing it, i tried but unless u know the game's source code and how it saves what information and how it saves it, editing is pointless if u dont know what it is, what the values are or what u are editing... Sad

so in short, no please dont del the xdat file. it will just brick your savegame... Crying