Nexus finally came back up before I gave in and went to bed last night, as did the Bethsoft forums.
Both, as usual, proved to be a complete waste of my fucking time.
Seriously, if you want to know anything more in depth than "HOW I MAEK WPNZ PLZ!!!!one!!twentyseven!" you're shit out of luck on those forums. That and the perpetually asked sideways hat question.
I dunno, maybe there is a wealth of esoterica on those forums, and it's just that their search software is shit.
Regardless, no definitions of game settings.
Worse yet, I did some searching through the AI plugin itself, and fully two-thirds of the settings are not flagged as overriding the FO3 master. Meaning they're new settings.
This not only makes it impossible to patch, but greatly complicates things because I can't find how they're used. Not listed in any scripts that I could find. Can't imagine that the game just uses new settings like that. That would be way too user friendly for these devs.
Going to PM Arwen again, see if I can't get some detail on what these new settings do. Maybe they're hidden settings only accessible via FOSE? Fucked if I know, but it's as plausible as anything else at this point.
It's looking like a total bust, though. I'm not sure it is fixable; at least not on my end, and I don't expect Arwen to be receptive to the idea of gutting part of her mod.
I know I wouldn't be if our positions were reversed.
This is why I dislike game-wide overhauls, though. Perfect example. A hundred settings are messed with, all in one plugin. Not enough testing is done because the author doesn't like/doesn't use whatever facet of the game is affected.
One or two settings are the problem, but they're not removable from the rest.
It quickly becomes an all-or-nothing proposition.
This is one of the reasons I insist on having fifty plugins for the RR Companions Vault. Modularity! Use what you want, and not what you don't. I like to think my player's appreciate that sort of thing, but even more is the fact that I want to be able to easily add or remove content without having to rewrite the fucking master every time.
Totalitarian modders annoy me so much.
Another great example:
Been having an interesting conversation with the Auld Grump via post comments the last several days, for those of you who don't follow them.
He's having issues with FOOK2 in its latest iteration. That being that Phalanx still sucks as much now as it did when I abandoned it a year ago. It's being forced on all players of FOOK2, though.
It is not removable via plugin from the main set of changes. When the issue is brought up, the reaction is most often derision of the player asking, or hostility in their general direction.
After all, the team knows best, and you'd have to be a fucking idiot not to prostrate yourself before the greatness that is the latest mod!
So, he gets to go on a hunt for old versions, which are conveniently gone from most places because - again - you should love the new and trust that the team knows what's best for your game.
I stay away from FOOK primarily because of shit like this. Universe knows I'm an arrogant prick on a good day, but I at least try to give you options.
Last I heard, Auld Grump had lucked out and snagged an old version from a FilePlanet entry that had had deletion requested, but the moderators not gotten around to it yet. Inefficiency has its benefits at times, I suppose.
I wish him luck.
Looks like I'm going to get to make a similar decision with Arwen's Tweaks. I can keep my 'archaic' copy of 4.1, or abandon the whole mess and go looking for another similar mod. Although it's only a matter of time before any 'realism overhaul' becomes overreaching and starts causing mod conflicts and game-wide problems.
If not for the fact that I've taken on too many projects as it is, I'd do what I always end up doing and just create my own realism plugin.
Which I may do anyway. Something small. Carry weight, skills, stats, damage. Combat style overhauls, but no messing with the heavy-duty AI settings.
I dunno. I may also be able to convince Arwen to just leave 4.1 up as an alternative for people who don't fly solo.
I swear, Kiddies, some days I feel like a damned diplomat more so than a modder.