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> Wolf Mods, Skyrim (and more!) for Oblivion
Lena Wolf
post Sep 11 2022, 02:05 PM
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That's a good point to keep in mind, thanks Ghastley! I'm having issues with Morroblivion (although not shouting and complaining at people who made it!), so I'll have a pass at cleaning everything - you never know.

My Skyrim mod was actually crashing his game. I reproduced the problem eventually and found the culprit - a corrupt record. I was having a lot of editor crashes at the time, so it must have inserted a corrupt record that only gets triggered every now and again. Fixing it now. But I still feel that shouting was out of line.

Another favourite of mine is "Your mod conflicts with my mod XYZ! Make a patch!! NOW!!!" Yeah, right. Roll up your sleeves, mate, and make your own patch! tongue.gif


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Lena Wolf
post Sep 12 2022, 02:44 PM
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Modding is the game, isn't it?

Yes and no. It's a game, but it is also far more straining and tiring than playing. But it's addictive - worse than skooma! wacko.gif I have a head full of ideas for Skyrim, even though I'm absolutely drained and tired of the big release that I just finished. Crazy. Also ideas for Valenwood are coming in thick and fast, and I already had some before, so may be I'll do Southpoint next. Hint: wasps, carnivorous plants, monster trees and snails, on top of capulari/Davy Jones. Anyone played Dragon Age Origins? Remember the oak poet?

And then there's Morroblivion. Hauk has got a job to do, and Lucien is soon to go to Morrowind as well, and with the two of them I want to explore more of not just Morroblivion proper, but of Tamriel Rebuilt. It still has many missing textures in this build, and I've already been fixing a few, but there will be many more which of course I shall have the compulsion to fix... But that's an easy job, really. All the textures are actually present, you just need to point the system in the right direction. smile.gif

Oh, and then there's Geralt - I made the necessary mods and started a new game for him in Skyrim. He was the whole reason I wanted Skyrim filled in! Well, plenty of monsters there for a witcher to tuck into. biggrin.gif The next release of Skyrim Alive (apart from bug fixing releases) will be a quest release adding all those quests that I had planned to do but scrapped due to having run out of steam. Plus I had a few interesting suggestions for whole new quests, so I might do them as well. And the ideas I had in between... Hint: dragons! ohmy.gif

Once I know my way around Tamriel Rebuilt, Skyrim will get connected to it properly. You already can teleport from Snowhawk to Balmora courtesy TWMP Skyrim Improved. I plan to add boat transport from Windhelm to Solstheim and connect the Rift and Dunmereth mountain passes to their equivalents in Tamriel Rebuilt. I haven't been there yet, but the map markers are there, so it's worth a try.

Of course Skyrim itself is still missing Falkreath and Markarth and the guards in Snowhawk wear the wrong armour (that of Markarth). Also, the Hold borders are not drawn correctly in game, so it tells you you're in Whiterun Hold while in fact you're in the Reach... Will be fixed later. I'm using Ghastley's Falkreath so not fussed about that, but Markarth... Yeah, we need it. But that will have to wait, along with the rest of the Reach, I think this is something for another major pass, may be next year or so. Release 3. smile.gif


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Lena Wolf
post Sep 16 2022, 11:04 AM
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The paint is still wet on Skyrim but new plans are already brewing... ohmy.gif

The second chapter of Valenwood Cities will be about Southpoint. It will still be months and months before it is ready, as I haven't started yet! And won't start for a while - I promised myself a break from modding. However, it doesn't mean I can't think about it... wink.gif

The population of Southpoint has been kidnapped by Maormer pirates! ohmy.gif Why, their ghost ship is floating above Southpoint every night! And it's up to you to rescue the populace...

The people have been taken to an island to work in a mine - this island! I found this unfinished island up for grabs, and it's just perfect for this story. Which is quite a simple story, really: each captive is wearing enchanted wrist irons that prevent him from escaping. That isn't even necessary, strictly speaking, because there is no escape anyway... unless...

Your task is to find the keys for each of the captives, they are all individual keys hidden somewhere on this dangerous island. I don't plan on making caves, this will be mainly an overland adventure, but if you've ever tried to locate a small chest in a dense undergrowth - or a grey Ayleid step stone among grey rocks covered in moss wink.gif - then you'll know it's not that easy! In particular while being frequently attacked by tigers, spiders and hummingbirds... and other stuff! (Evil trees, carnivourous plants, giant wasps, man eating snails and the like.)

Once the magical wrist irons are off, the person returns to Southpoint. But for you to return, you need to find a teleportation stone which is also hidden somewhere in the undergrowth...

That's the idea, nice and simple. There will be also stuff to do on the ghost ship itself - you'll need to find your way to the island through that ship. Once everyone has been rescued, the ghost ship will vanish too.


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Lena Wolf
post Sep 20 2022, 02:58 PM
Post #244


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I am stepping back form modding for a bit. I think something is seriously wrong with the latest version of xEdit that I'm using. I am getting very strange effects, sporadic crashes and just unexplained unstable behaviour. Yesterday I made a very small mod that worked fine out of the CS, but after cleaning with xEdit it crashes the game when you are trying to save. There was no backup and nothing to go back to either because apparently xEdit didn't do anything... Except of course it did. I have redone the mod by hand (it was a small mod) and promptly the game is working fine again.

I think something similar happened to TWMP Skyrim Alive and Lena's Companions ESM that came with it. Lena's game is now crashing even with the previous release of Skyrim, but I changed other mods as well, it must be one of them (may be even the Companions ESM!). I shall investigate it, downgrade xEdit and get Skyrim fixed up as best I can, but after that I'm going back to Lena's story writing. I still have backups of old setups that were working properly, and with that I'll get the game restored. I'm sure Skyrim can be made "playable" as they say, and that was really all I wanted.

EDIT: Suspicion confirmed!!! The weird problems started when I upgraded xEdit to the latest version 4.0.3. I found a spurious duplicate cell <0,0> in Skyrim Alive, and that cell later "vanished" leaving weird problems in its stead. Version 4.0.3 lists this as a solved bug: "#669 - CELL at 0,0 may be spuriously added to worldspaces during cleaning." Now I don't know whether it removed too much or whatever else happened... There are a lot of scary bugs listed there, apparently fixed, but it makes me very mistrustful of this whole unsupervised automatic cleaning thing... I always feel computers require human supervision. wink.gif


Another thing is support. I found myself spending too much time and energy dealing with other people's issues, and I'll be stepping back from that too.

So expect less in the way of huge mods in the future and more in the way of stories!

This post has been edited by Lena Wolf: Sep 20 2022, 03:22 PM


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macole
post Sep 20 2022, 04:13 PM
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QUOTE(Lena Wolf @ Sep 20 2022, 08:58 AM) *

... I always feel computers require human supervision.

As a former mainframe master console operator, DP shift supervisor, and release candidate stress tester I can confirm this to be true.


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Lena Wolf
post Sep 21 2022, 08:39 PM
Post #246


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QUOTE(macole @ Sep 20 2022, 04:13 PM) *

QUOTE(Lena Wolf @ Sep 20 2022, 08:58 AM) *

... I always feel computers require human supervision.

As a former mainframe master console operator, DP shift supervisor, and release candidate stress tester I can confirm this to be true.

Confirmed. Installed additional diagnostics tools which finally reported something that looked like a fatal conflict - two mods were trying to insert two different cells at the same coordinates. This is not allowed. wink.gif The two mods were: Elsweyr Anequina and... TWMP Skyrim Alive. What??? Why the heck was Skyrim inserting cells South of Anequina???? I certainly didn't put them there! mad.gif

Cleaned these cells and a bunch of other suspicious cells inserted for no reason. Much better. No more strange behaviour or crashes where I've seen them before. Not saying that all crashes are now solved, but this is certainly a step in the right direction!


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Lena Wolf
post Sep 22 2022, 10:32 AM
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Further review of the log files show that we have a conflict between Elsweyr Anequina and TWMP - the same sort of thing that I had with Skyrim. Both ElsweyrAnequina.esp and Tamriel.esp define cells at the same coordinates with different formIDs - nearly 700 cells overlap like that! Zelazko - this could be the source of your instabilities that you wrote about earlier.

These cells will need further investigation. I've been talking to Haldar about it - he maintains TWMP now. He immediately suggested that the overlapping cells should be deleted from Tamriel.esp, however that was before I told him just how many cells we're talking about. I think some of them may be in Valenwood, and so that would mean that they need removing from Anequina. I am going to make a proper cross-reference of this between Anequina, TWMP and Valenwood Improved Original. All three of these mods operate in the same area, and we need TWMP if we want to have Pelletine. With this cross-reference we can then devise the best course of action to make it possible to combine Anequina with the neighbouring mods without conflicts or potential instabilities.


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Acadian
post Sep 22 2022, 12:10 PM
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When you combine magic with gremlins the result is likely to be unpredictable and often unpleasant.


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ghastley
post Sep 22 2022, 02:43 PM
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When you mentioned that Anequina and Skyrim overlapped, my first reaction was that X/Y coordinates were wrapping, but the XCLC records hold two 32-bit values, so that shouldn’t happen. Unless the CS is internally assuming that a signed byte is enough. The Cyrodiil map fits in -64 to +64 in each direction, and Anequina would only go a little further south, and may still fit. It certainly would not reach -128. So the only question would be if Skyrim might exceed +128 going north? I still do not think it would wrap far enough to reach the bottom of the map, but empty Ocean may be defined beyond the explorable range.

It may even be a conflict of empty cells anyway. I don’t recall how much padding with those there is. A long time since I turned off borders and walked off the edge of the world.



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Lena Wolf
post Sep 22 2022, 03:00 PM
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Skyrim does extend further North than +128, just a few cells up to +132, but still. Solstheim however extends far further, and it's been a part of TWMP for a long time already. No, this isn't the problem. The X coordinate was all wrong for the cells that I was working on. All in all 288 bogus duplicate cells were inserted in the Anequina region, not contiguous either, and I strongly suspect not so much the CS but rather xEdit, TES4Gecko and Merge Plugins. I was merging in several mods and I think this is where it went wrong. Plus xEdit definitely introduced garbage as well, I've had problems also with other mods, although it wasn't bogus cells. Some untraceable rubbish - a different CRC but apparently the same content, and one version crashes the game while the other works perfectly.

It is only a few days ago that I discovered this fantastic log file produced by MessageLogger, and now I'm finally able to clean up that rubbish - this is where I saw the cell conflicts. We'll get it sorted yet! biggrin.gif

QUOTE(Acadian @ Sep 22 2022, 12:10 PM) *

When you combine magic with gremlins the result is likely to be unpredictable and often unpleasant.

Gremlins, definitely. Or possibly goblins. Goblin shamans with their foul zombies, I'd say! tongue.gif


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Lena Wolf
post Sep 23 2022, 11:04 AM
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I have analysed which cells overlap between Elsweyr Anequina and TWMP, and I found that they are exactly the same cells that also overlap between Anequina and the original Valenwood Improved - and all those cells are in Valenwood! Basically it is excessive padding attached to Anequina - this sort of thing can happen automatically in the CS. This is the reason why Valenwood Improved Original or Tamriel.esp for the TWMP version has to be loaded before Anequina, which seems counter-intuitive.

What happens here is this. These new lands have to create new cells outside of Cyrodiil because they do not exist in Oblivion.esm - they go beyond the existing padding. These new cells are created automatically by the CS when you scroll around the land, and the CS assigns them some formIDs. Naturally these IDs turn out different for the various mods, so if you try to load them together, you have multiple cell definitions for the same coordinates. When the game encounters this, it keeps the first definition that it finds and destroys all other cells defined for the same coordinates. So in this case the first definition overrides all subsequent ones, which is the opposite of what happens with everything else.

Destruction of a cell during load means that every non-persistent object in that cell is deleted, so the landscape, the path grid, trees, buildings, flora, rocks - all that is deleted, but persistent objects like NPCs, doors and markers are preserved. Disembodied doors, anyone? Yep, that's where they come from. It means then that it is only safe to allow unimportant empty cells to be deleted, otherwise you are erasing content and creating disembodied markers, people and doors.

Of course it is better not to force the game to clean up your mess. It is better to delete unwanted padding cells from the mod yourself, so that there are no conflicting cell definitions.

And this is exactly what I'm doing for my own game: trimming off padding from Anequina. The border between Anequina and Valenwood is quite clear, both in the original and in the TWMP version, and it is the same in both of them. Unfortunately Iliana is no longer replying to messages, so I won't be able to release this trimmed down version since it is explicitly prohibited to release alternatives to the main download, and cell deletion is not something that can be done with a patch. Besides, it is not strictly necessary... It's just something that I am uncomfortable with.


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Lena Wolf
post Sep 26 2022, 12:00 PM
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An update on the overlapping cells between Anequina and Valenwood.

Valenwood Improved original and its TWMP version cover exactly the same cells (in terms of coordinates), while Anequina extends all the way to the West coast of Valenwood and also a great deal to the South. That territory has landscape with texture, rocks and trees but is unreachable from Anequina - there is a solid collision barrier along the border, you can't go beyond it. I suppose the landscape was generated so that you could still see the land beyond that point with LOD.

Valenwood Improved however has a different structure. It simply ends at its Eastern border, and if you don't have Anequina, you would see a giant drop to level zero and fall into that gigantic land tear. Perhaps it was always meant to be used with Anequina - you do get some land tears along the border, but they are small.

However, about half way between Skingrad and the sea in the South, Anequina Western border and Valenwood Eastern border start diverging - Anequina turns East and Valenwood turns West. This produces a very sizeable hole, a hole that is covered by the padding of Anequina. This hole is filled in by TWMP which follows the border of Anequina exactly.

The conclusion is then that if you want to trim the padding off Anequina, you have to make two different versions: one for Valenwood Improved Original and the other for TWMP (with or without Valenwood Improved in it). You still need a patch to repair the land tears along the border - use whatever patch you were using before. This trimming is purely for stability.

I have now trimmed Anequina for TWMP to use with my own game. It shaved off about 15 seconds off loading time of the first save of the game session. It also made every loading of Tamriel noticeably quicker and smoother with a much shorter "settling in" period after loading. I am satisfied. biggrin.gif


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Lena Wolf
post Sep 30 2022, 11:20 PM
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I've been having visions while cleaning up my TWMP Skyrim Alive. I think this will be coming to The Reach. To complement this and this. Lore police begone! biggrin.gif

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Lena Wolf
post Oct 10 2022, 05:30 PM
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TWMP Skyrim Alive is getting slowly debugged. I am still not feeling like playing it all that much, so most reports - but not all! - come from other people. Fortunately the really bad stuff seems to be over, and now we get the peanuts. I've been doing a lot of cleaning and other xEdit work aimed at making the mod more stable and purging more of the weirdly corrupt records that somehow got into it in the first place. I think there must be some floating point number overflow going on because some rocks are found on the other side of the planet... quite literally. Assuming that Tamriel is in fact a continent on a spherical planet, then the Z coordinates of some of those rocks put them firmly to the other side of the globe. Alice going down the rabbit hole all over again.

I have also been adding notice board quests. Some of these are quite simple, others are a bit more involved, and yet others have interesting consequences like enabling ship transport between a port town in Skyrim and a port town in Cyrodiil. It may not be obvious from the start which quest has "hidden extras". I have a list of quests I want to put in, and I'll be working through it over the next month or so, I expect. The quests come from the background stories that I imagined for the NPCs as I've been creating them - they come from the core of it rather than being a lump added on top, which should ensure that the world feels natural and any weird requests that you might get stem entirely from the weird nature of the NPCs rather than their creator. wink.gif

Oh, and we'll have a rats quest. Cannot possibly do without! biggrin.gif But it's Skyrim, and rats are more... hairy.


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ghastley
post Oct 10 2022, 06:37 PM
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Doesn’t xEdit’s undelete action do something strange with the z coordinate? You might be reinstating conflicts, like rocks blocking entrances.


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Lena Wolf
post Oct 13 2022, 10:58 AM
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I hear you, Ghastley! This would be most annoying. The newer versions of xEdit use a different technique to undelete records: they give them the Player as the parent and set their "enabled" status to be opposite to the parent. This is an awful choice on so many levels! But anyhow, the rocks on the other side of the planet were caused by a bug in the CS (I hope it's a bug!), I think. They most likely got introduced when I was relocating a castle from the Gnoll Mountain (near Bruma) by selecting a range of objects with the mouse (click and drag to select several objects). I am not exactly sure how or why, but often when you do this, you also get items from the cells on the other side of the world deep underground or high in the skies. With the Gnoll Castle relocation I got both, plus several duplicated cells as well. It took a major effort to clear (and to figure out in the first place).


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Lena Wolf
post Oct 28 2022, 02:41 PM
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Skyrim is getting bigger. I looked through my notes for each Hold and found an awful lot of quests waiting to be implemented... blink.gif And I thought I didn't do quests! Ok, quests it is...

Quests are coming to Skyrim in batches. With the big release done and mostly debugged, I can take it easy and work in bite-sized chunks again. These are all point releases (2.7, 2.8, 2.9, etc.), I feel this is still material that belongs to release 2, not release 3.

The first chunk of this type was release 2.8 that I did yesterday. It took a couple of weeks to complete, but not working on it every day, at a nice leisurely pace. It contains a bunch of quests for Dawnstar, long distance travel by ship and the Docks district of Kogotel. Err... in Morrowind. wacko.gif I was going to connect the gates at the Rift and Dunmereth Passes to the corresponding gates in Tamriel Rebuilt for Morroblivion, but those areas are too unfinished to be playable. Missing meshes and textures everywhere, no interiors or NPCs, no path grids, plenty of CTDs... Not surprising really because these areas are not yet a part of the official Tamriel Rebuilt but only a part of Preview - they are still very much work in progress, in particular in their Morroblivion conversion.

So I decided on a different approach. Build a small settlement just over the border in Morrowind, give it a port, put a ship there and arrange transport directly to Vvardenfell. And thus Kogotel Docks came to exist - just the docks district of what is supposed to be a big city. Whether the rest of Kogotel will appear as well, is anyone's guess...

Kogotel Docks

With a sizeable cargo ship going to Vvardenfell

Distinctive architecture - this is Morrowind

Definitely not Skyrim!

The same ship arriving in Gnaar Mok (the best place for smuggling trade, they tell me)


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ghastley
post Oct 28 2022, 03:42 PM
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Does this mean Kogotel is the first stop on your ship journey from somewhere in Skyrim, or do you reach there overland?

In TESV, you sail from Windhelm to Raven Rock, and I assumed that was the remnant of a larger trade with all of Morrowind, that existed before the eruption. So I expected Windhelm to Vvardenfell by ship.


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Lena Wolf
post Oct 28 2022, 04:03 PM
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A map of the area would help, wouldn't it. wink.gif

Raven Rock is not on Vvardenfell though - it's on Solstheim. And yes, we also have ship transport between Windhelm and Fort Frostmoth - the original destination on Solstheim, quite close to Raven Rock.

Kogotel is reached by road taking the Rift Pass from Riften. It crosses the Velothi Mountains. From Kogotel you can take a ship sailing into the Inner Sea, so basically anywhere. I let it sail to Gnaar Mok because it is pretty much on the other shore of the Inner Sea where you come out into it from Kogotel.


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macole
post Oct 28 2022, 08:21 PM
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Good job! I was thinking of starting a new TES V game just the other day. Now I wonder, why did I do that?

This post has been edited by macole: Oct 28 2022, 08:21 PM


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