Allows you to browse the contents of Anno 1404's .RDA (main data packages[nb 1]). The Venice addon main data packages are located at the addon folder in the install directory.

There are six main "DataX" .rda files.
Data0.rda: contains all the AI .csl programming script files that control AI behavior.
Data1.rda: entirely contains config files for game parameters like AI, engine, features, quests, all game texts, ect.
Data2.rda: contains the game's graphics files.
Data3.rda: contains the game's levels (maps).
Data4.rda: contains the game's movies, music (in .mp3), and sound effects.
Data5.rda: only contains the game's shader pfx/fx/fxs files.
eng0.rda or usa0.rda: Europe or United States localization files including voiceover speech. Non-English versions will use a different .rda file named after their languange. You can delete all the language specific .rda files you don't use.

In the maindata folder you'll also have three patch files if running version 1.3 of Anno 1404:
patch0.rda: updated versions of files from all the main DataX.rda's that overwrite the contents of the main DataX.rda's.
patch1.rda: more updated versions of files from all the main DataX.rda's that overwrite the contents of the main DataX.rda's.
patch2.rda: more updated versions of files from all the main DataX.rda's that overwrite the contents of the main DataX.rda's.

In the addon folder you'll also have the following patch file if running version 2.1 of Venice:
patch0.rda: updated versions of files from the Data1.rda that overwrite the contents of the main Data1.rda.

Most of Anno 1404's graphics data is located in Data2.rda.
The textures are stored in .DDS-format (DirectDraw Surface) and compressed with DXT5 (DirectX Texture compression).

So to mod Venice:
1. Locate the "root game install folder\addon\patch0.rda" file. If you don't have this file, it's because you aren't running Venice version 2.1.
2. Create a backup of the patch0.rda, by copying and pasting it somewhere.
3. Download RDAExplorer and unpack it anywhere.
4. Run it.
5. Go to File->Open and browse to your install\addon directory and pick to open the patch0.rda.
6. Make sure you DO NOT EVER pick the File->Open (Read only) option! Doing so will break achievements and medals!
7. Now extract whatever files you want to edit. You'll have to figure out what you want to mod and which files must be edited. Not all files are in the patch0.rda. Refer to the External tools page.
8. Make whatever edits to the .txt or .xml or .dds files or whatever. Now put the changed files in a separate folder with the appropriate directory structure. For instance, if you edited the quests.xml file, make sure it's in "yourmod\addondata\config\quests\".
9. Make sure you have patch0.rda open in RDAExplorer.
10. Go to Tools->Add folder as root … then search for the folder you did your edit work in. Select it and hit OK. This will automatically replace or add files to the .rda, even though no confirmation is provided.
11. You can continue doing the Tools->Add folder as root… option if you have other folders to add.
12. Once that’s done, just go to File->Save. Use whatever default compression settings it has selected, and hit OK. Changing the compression settings can cause the game to not work.
13. Now you’re done. If you did things correctly, the game won’t realize you’ve modded it and you’ll have whichever mods you picked.
14. Run the game and make sure there's no message in the very bottom-right of the main menu saying "Game modification detected

Source: anno1404Wiki

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