Are you removing the event files too? I’ve changed a few of the .ship files, removing both the .hod & .events files. (Nothing but .ship files in any directory under /ship/. [8 modified, 2 added.])
I haven’t had any unusual crashes. (Only crashes have been some LUA error on my part.)
Any mod file is supposed to supersede the vanilla ones. If a file isn’t included it should fall back to the vanilla one. This should be just as true for .hod files as any other file.
I don’t say this to indicate what the engine should do, but rather, this is how the engine currently operates. I’ve never had a problem with failing to find a file.
Please post your current command line switches. I’m wondering if this is some unintended bug resulting from different combinations of the mod/data command line switches.
My current HW2RM command line: HomeworldRM.exe -luatrace -logonverbose -logfileloads -hardwarecursor -ssNoLogo -dlccampaign HW2Campaign.big -campaign Ascension -moviepath DataHW2Campaign -moddatapath GregHW2
NOTE: I don’t have files packed into a .big file. Perhaps this is the cause of the bug?