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> RG4's PC Modding Crisis Thread
Renee
post Dec 22 2013, 01:49 AM
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biggrin.gif Check it out, my very first post in a modding forum. Interestingly enough this forum happens to be rather slow. I can see some threads haven't been touched since summer or even earlier.

Enough with the small talk though. I am starting this thread because (let's face it) I am new to PC gaming and I'm going to need a LOT of help in the upcoming months and years. So this thread is a place to hopefully get all my answers questions, and questions answers. And of course if somebody else has questions they can ask 'em too.

I keep a 'modding file' on a Word Pad page located in one of my PC's folders, and I've been adding a lot of helpful random advice there, but one of my probs is sometimes I'll read something online in some thread, and then later I'll go to have a look at that thread, trying to remember what the solution is to a problem, but I can't find it anymore.

I'm somewhat of a PC dummy, but also a fast learner. I'm not sure if Beth's forums have a decent modding community; I'm sure it's great (and with a low rate of flaming), but I also can sometimes get too overwhelmed by Bethesda's official forums. I also know that Beth is packed with rude gamers, and I don't have time for that sort of nonsense.

Also, Why ask questions there when everybody I trust is already here, right?

I've been hearing about how great Wrye Bash is, so this is one of the very first things I think I'll mess with. I have also heard Nexus is better than Steam to get mods from, so I'm following that advice. When I go on Nexus and try to locate Wrye Bash, I find a page which has several different versions (?) attached to it.

Which one do I choose? I am assuming it's this one?

This post has been edited by Renee Gade IV: Dec 22 2013, 01:49 PM
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SubRosa
post Dec 22 2013, 03:54 AM
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I do not use Wyre Bash, so I am afraid I cannot help there. But Acadian and Wyrd do, and think Grits too. I am sure one of them will chime in with something more useful than this post. wink.gif


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Acadian
post Dec 22 2013, 04:19 AM
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Renee, I started with OBMM for installs and have stayed with it for that purpose. Not because it's better but because I'm used to it and it does what I need for installs. I do have an older version on WB installed so can't help much on current events with WB. WB is good for two main things. First, as a utility. It beats the pants off of any alternative (like Oblivion Animation Fixer - OAF) for fixing the A bomb every few hundred hours. Thanks to WB, that is a simple 30 second operation. It also is very handy for tweaking some things like deleting spells from your spellbook or reweighing potions if you don't use mods for such things. So, even with an OBMM install, I consider WB an essential utility. The second main purpose of WB is for installing mods via the Bash Installer (BAIN). Since I am comfortable with OBMM and somewhat intimidated by BAIN's steeper learning curve, I'm not familiar with using BAIN. There are a great number of OB players whose opinions I greatly respect that absolutely swear by BAIN, and the majority of heavy OB mod users recommend it for install. If I were starting anew, I would spend the time to learn BAIN.

I'm no whiz at installing mods. If I was interested in talking to someone at Chorrol who likely is familiar with WB, I would consider Pseron Wyrd - if he's not a Bash master, I'm sure he can help get you in touch with someone who is. He has another advantage of being familiar with modding TES III, IV and V. Another likely candidate might be ghastley.

One area that I do profess a sound knowledge of however is the command console. I developed a love for the wonderful things it can do years ago and have maintained my love and interest for it.



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Grits
post Dec 22 2013, 04:59 AM
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That's the one I'm using. (The standalone version.) If I remember correctly there is an installer. The main thing for me was to give myself a lot of time and not panic. I am very much a clueless beginner! But it does the work.

I got it so that I could make NPCs out of some of my characters following Pseron Wyrd's instructions. The more I learn, the more I love it.


Oh! I forgot to say that the few mods Iíve gotten from Steam Iíve made sure to unsubscribe from right away so that I donít get automatic updates. I like to wait a little and see if an update adds something I want to the mod (not to mention actually works) before I put it in my game. I've only used Steam for Skyrim, but Iím guessing the process must be similar for Oblivion.

Hereís another thing I didnít know until Iíd been fooling around for a while. On the Nexus you can use the green Track button on a mod's page and then check your tracking center (near the bottom of the Files menu) to see whatís been updated recently. Then you just go to the mod page and figure out whatís been changed.



.


This post has been edited by Grits: Dec 22 2013, 05:14 AM


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SubRosa
post Dec 22 2013, 05:29 AM
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I forgot to say. I always use the Nexus for my mods. The reason is that way I can save the zip file the mod came in to my backups folder. Then I manually copy the contents to my Skyrim or Oblivion folder and/or make an .omod file out of it using Tes Mod Manager. Anything that has loose files gets turned into an .omod. The .omod you can create with Tes Mod Manager is basically an archive that stores all of the mod's filed within it. When you active it through the TESMM interface it extracts all the files to wherever they are supposed to go. When you deactivate it, it automatically deletes all of those files. That makes it easy to clean up when I find I don't want a mod anymore. It also makes installation simple. Anything that is just an .esp file just gets copied to the Oblivion or Skyrim/Data folder.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Dec 22 2013, 06:41 PM


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King Coin
post Dec 22 2013, 05:35 AM
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QUOTE(Grits @ Dec 21 2013, 09:59 PM) *

I've only used Steam for Skyrim, but Iím guessing the process must be similar for Oblivion.

I don't think there is a Steam Workshop for Oblivion.



I use Nexus for the reasons Grits said. Sometimes I want to see what the mod update includes before putting it in my game. And there's the occasional screw up by the mod author that ends up breaking something...


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Renee
post Dec 22 2013, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Dec 21 2013, 09:54 PM) *

I do not use Wyre Bash, so I am afraid I cannot help there. But Acadian and Wyrd do, and think Grits too. I am sure one of them will chime in with something more useful than this post. wink.gif


What do you use instead of WB? Just curious.

Cool, lots of advice here, thank you all. The Wyrdster seems to be missing in action lately, maybe he's been sucked in by CoD: Ghosts. laugh.gif Last night I did go to Beth's forums to simply read their mod FAQs, lots of cool stuff there to read. I now know what an 'install' is, and how they affect modding (the last mod wins or something, assuming several mods which affect the same thing are being employed).

And I found a website which will help me get my wired Xbox-style controller working. Arena definitely recognizes it (I'm starting with Arena) but the way the dude wrote the site is all bass-ackwards!

Like he says: 'then download the files here and put the .cfg files in the JoyToKey folder.' What the **** does he mean by "here"??? That alone had me stumped for probably close to an hour, until I finally figured out "Here" means the two configuration files he personally linked on the bottom of his page.

I am nowhere near to getting my first Oblivion game (which will probably be Lady Saga) up on PC, but when I finally do get her going, I will definitely be ready to roll in no time, instead of struggling to get anything happening.

QUOTE(Grits @ Dec 21 2013, 10:59 PM) *


Oh! I forgot to say that the few mods Iíve gotten from Steam Iíve made sure to unsubscribe from right away so that I donít get automatic updates.
.



That sounds interesting. I've heard so many bad things about Steam, and I'm not sure I understand what these automatic updates entail, but I'll try my best to just use Nexus.

QUOTE(Acadian @ Dec 21 2013, 10:19 PM) *

Renee, I started with OBMM for installs and have stayed with it for that purpose. Not because it's better but because I'm used to it and it does what I need for installs.


Is this the one you speak of? http://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/39522/?

Oh wait, I see that one's for Zelda.

This post has been edited by Renee Gade IV: Dec 22 2013, 02:12 PM
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mirocu
post Dec 22 2013, 03:44 PM
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I donīt use Wrye Bash or anything like that. I have enough with the few mods I use and donīt need a program with an overly complicated installation or UI dry.gif

I also donīt know what BAIN or OBMM is and I still manage! laugh.gif


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Acadian
post Dec 22 2013, 05:15 PM
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QUOTE(Renee Gade IV @ Dec 22 2013, 05:09 AM) *

QUOTE(Acadian @ Dec 21 2013, 10:19 PM) *

Renee, I started with OBMM for installs and have stayed with it for that purpose. Not because it's better but because I'm used to it and it does what I need for installs.

Is this the one you speak of? http://www.nexusmods.com/oblivion/mods/39522/?
Oh wait, I see that one's for Zelda.

Here is the link to Timeslipís mod, Oblivion Mod Manager (OBMM). OBMM is simple and works well but, again, if starting anew, I would pick the brain of folks like Grits and try to go for a Bash Installer (BAIN) install via WB.







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King Coin
post Dec 22 2013, 06:42 PM
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I would definitely use a mod installer of some type. Otherwise it turns into a mess fast, especially if you are trying mods and may want to remove them. OBMM is easier to use and I never had any issues with it. smile.gif I am not sure what the Bash installer offers that OBMM doesn't so I am not any help there. I just know, USE an installer.


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SubRosa
post Dec 22 2013, 06:43 PM
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QUOTE(Renee Gade IV @ Dec 22 2013, 08:09 AM) *

What do you use instead of WB? Just curious.

I forgot to mention. TES Mod Manager is for Oblivion as well as Skyrim. It works on both. It is the updated version of OBMM, that Acadian linked to.


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Grits
post Dec 22 2013, 06:54 PM
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For installing Oblivion mods I mostly did it manually to teach myself how it works. I always keep copies of the mods I have tried, whether I keep them in my game or not. That way I can figure out exactly what has gone where when thereís an issue. I also always keep carefully labeled backups whenever files get overwritten this way. Itís much safer to use the utilities that automatically handle such things. If you do it manually just be very careful. Iíd highly recommend following everyone elseís advice on using a mod installer (but not the Nexus Mod Manager) and not doing it my way!

The next time I have to install Oblivion (on a new machine) Iíll just use BAIN for installing mods. I use the Skyrim version a lot more than the Oblivion one, since my Skyrim is still very much in flux. I still unzip the files and take a look first, though, since sometimes you can tell right away that something looks screwy.


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Renee
post Dec 23 2013, 05:13 PM
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Awesome, thanks again, all. I'm pretty confused about which installer to choose, but once I start getting into it I'm sure it'll make more sense. Plus, I don't intend to throw so many mods into my game early on. Actually, now that I just said that out loud, I'm liking Grit's plan of installing manually. I'm planning on starting off slow (that's the plan, anyways).

Actually, that is a good question: I do have one mod that I want to get into my first PC Oblivion game from Day 1. It's a hardcore mod (makes food and eating and sleeping matter more) and I forget which one it is, but I have it written down at home.

The question: is it possible to start a mod before the game actually is even being played? Before the Tutorial starts, and before Character Creation even begins? OR will this screw something up?

I suppose I'll have to find the name of hte mod I speak of first, but it doesn't seem to be a very big one. On the other hand, I DO want to get Better Cities into Joan of Arkay's game before she gets of the Tutorial (so the Imperial City starts off being filled with this mod's stuff). How viable is this plan?

I know BC requires OBSE and I've already got this on my PC.

This post has been edited by Renee Gade IV: Dec 23 2013, 05:16 PM
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Acadian
post Dec 23 2013, 05:23 PM
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Once you have the game installed (you did install outside of Program Files, right?), then you can indeed install mods that will be effective when you start the game. My caution here would be this: Normally, I'd only add one mod at a time, then test and play it to make sure it causes no problems. The challenge with adding a handful at a time at once is that when you play and get some sort of an unpleasant surprise, it can be very difficult to find the culprit. When you have a stable game and add only one mod at a time and fully play test it before adding any more, then if you encounter a problem, it is pretty easy to figure out what mod caused it.

Oh, and you are wise to have OBSE installed. A great many wonderful mods require it.


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King Coin
post Dec 23 2013, 05:26 PM
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QUOTE(Renee Gade IV @ Dec 23 2013, 10:13 AM) *

The question: is it possible to start a mod before the game actually is even being played? Before the Tutorial starts, and before Character Creation even begins? OR will this screw something up?

There should be no issue with that.

And I strongly encourage you to use a mod installer of some type. Especially if you start adding a lot of mods, it can become messy very quickly if you install mods manually. Installers are not really there to make adding mods easier, it's there to make removing them easier. If you do decide to install manually, then keeping a copy of the mod is a must. That way if you do want to uninstall it, you will have something to refer to when you are deleting files.


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Grits
post Dec 23 2013, 08:11 PM
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Yikes!! Letís rename the Grits method ďAsking For Trouble.Ē ohmy.gif I think itís a great idea to install one or two very simple mods manually so that you get comfortable with the system, but pick something like a mod that adds a new set of armor or maybe one bow. Please, please use an installer for any major overhaul mods. Eventually you will come across a conflict that you have to puzzle out, and adding/removing things one at a time with an installer makes solving issues much simpler.

Iíd suggest a test character so you can check the game out every time you add something. Fast Travel, use the console, do what it takes with them to make sure the mods are working together. Then add another mod and load up Testyís game again.

Heh heh. Testy. tongue.gif

Anyway when you unzip your first mod and take a look at the files, youíll probably get a gut feeling. If that feeling is ďholy skitt,Ē Iíd say pick a smaller one to start with. If it looks like something you can un-do, just be careful. smile.gif




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Renee
post Dec 24 2013, 03:33 PM
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QUOTE(Acadian @ Dec 23 2013, 11:23 AM) *

Once you have the game installed (you did install outside of Program Files, right?), then you can indeed install mods that will be effective when you start the game.


I haven't installed (or touched) Oblivion yet. What do you mean 'outside of Program Files?' Won't the computer automatically put those files wherever it wants to put them?

On Windows 8, there are actually TWO program file folders: Program Files, and Program Files(x86). The latter folder is where the game automatically puts gaming files, I have noticed.

QUOTE
Oh, and you are wise to have OBSE installed. A great many wonderful mods require it.

I have heard we're supposed to use OBSE to load the game too, correct?

QUOTE(Grits @ Dec 23 2013, 02:11 PM) *

Please, please use an installer for any major overhaul mods. Eventually you will come across a conflict that you have to puzzle out, and adding/removing things one at a time with an installer makes solving issues much simpler.


Okay hon, thanks. The test character idea is great; I'm too impatient to get Joan or Saga's game up from the get-go, and that's probably asking for trouble.

QUOTE
Anyway when you unzip your first mod and take a look at the files, youíll probably get a gut feeling. If that feeling is ďholy skitt,Ē Iíd say pick a smaller one to start with. If it looks like something you can un-do, just be careful. smile.gif


Okay. smile.gif The very first one I want to add (the hardcore one) seems rather small, while Better Cities of course is gigantic.

This post has been edited by Renee Gade IV: Dec 24 2013, 03:34 PM
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Acadian
post Dec 24 2013, 04:58 PM
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On Windows Vista and above, mods sometimes get into a peeing contest with the virus protection features afforded by windows to residents of 'Program Files'. That is why most modders install the game in a different place. What you can do is click on 'Computer' to open up and display your drives. Then open your main hard drive (where Program Files and some other folders live). Now, right click in an unused area of you screen and follow the prompts New > Folder to create a new folder. You can name the folder whatever you like (My Games, TES4, or whatever). Then, when you install the game, don't accept the default install location (Program Files); rather, tell the game to install in your newly created folder.

Regarding OBSE, yes, if you have it installed, you need to start the game via OBSE instead of auto start or the normal game starting procedures. The read me for OBSE should tell you how to do this. What most of us do is put a shortcut to the OBSE file that opens the game onto our desktop. Another feature of OBSE that ties to WB is that if you are going to fiddle with a script created by OBSE, you must have the construction site open via OBSE. Happily, one of WB's many features is a little button along the bottom tool bar for WB that opens the CS via OBSE with a single click - very handy and that is now the only way I ever open the CS.

All this makes me sound much smarter than I am. Mostly I'm simply relaying what I do and what I know works for me. I would certainly defer to most other folks here that use mods, since probably most of them are way smarter about puter stuffs than me. At my age, I attribute most puter things to some sort of unknowable magicks. laugh.gif


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Thomas Kaira
post Dec 24 2013, 05:22 PM
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On the topic of Wrye Bash: I swear by it. It has saved my Oblivion installation on multiple occasions (read: full reinstall and I could still use my saves from before the wipe). It is also required if, like me, you use a lot of mods and require merging records for compatibility. Of all the people here, I think my Oblivion is the most heavily modded:




All that and Wrye Bash can still save the installation thanks to its wonderful installer? Go Bash or go home, is what I say. Do not hesitate to ask about Bash, as it is well worth it, but does have a learning curve.

Acadian is right about Vista and this carries over to 7, as well. If you install your game in "Program Files" Windows will likely block mods from loading properly. That is why I install all of my games to the C\:Games directory and NOT program files. This prevents UAC from causing problems for me, while also allowing me to keep it turned on.

OBSE is needed for certain mods. I actually have several that are not listed there which do some more low-level things, like let me copy the contents of the Console (which OBSE prints debug messages to) to a text file, or optimizes the game engine's memory management a bit so to reduce the stutter. Just remember, as said, you need to launch the game through the OBSE loader, as OBSE uses the Injection method to insert itself into Oblivion's EXE file.


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Renee
post Dec 26 2013, 11:46 PM
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Awesome! Thank you Acadian and Thomas Kaira.

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