Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mod Problems

People wonder, why I don't switch to a more 'advanced' system in my mods.

I could have a sorter that worked with all items without mod plugins. Could have more advanced features, et cetera, et cetera.

Yesterday, EARACHE42 - author of Ling's Finer Things and its satellite mods - released a hot-fix for his other mod series, eXCALIBR.

I didn't see what exactly it was supposed to fix.

Last evening, I went to do some playing and testing and whatnot, and my game wouldn't start. Would load to the intro screen, and then stop. Freeze up. No accepting of mouse or keyboard input at all.

I try the usual. Removing the intro screen disabler, remove/reapply archiveinvalidation, and so on. No dice. Remove the last couple plugins I'd installed but not yet activated. Still nothing.

Just as I'm waffling between reinstalling the game again, and abandoning FO3 altogether; I happen to glance over my load order, and notice eXCALIBR.esm is above Fallout3.esm. Nothing good can come of this, I think - along with loudly wondering why people insist on setting the creation dates on their plugins earlier than the main game master.

Fix the load order, still NFG.

I remember, I didn't just install new plugins; the esm was out of place because I installed the hot-fix. Roll back to the plugins in the .fomod and the game starts perfectly.

Check the file's comments. No specific mention of problems; and one vague reference to "fixing the fix".

By this point, it's after midnight, and I'm in no fucking mood. I abandon the idea for the time being.

Flash forward to this morning. I decide to check the file entry anew, and still there's really no comments specifically mentioning it... but the hot-fix plugins are two mod versions newer than last night.

I haven't installed it, yet. I don't know exactly what was wrong with 2.01, but it's a pretty good illustration.

People wonder often why I don't institute some new feature, or why I waste so much time on testing my plugins.

This kind of stuff is why. I can not for the life of me imagine not testing a plugin at least once before uploading it.

Unfortunately, this also sets back my testing schedule... putting me a day behind on not just 5.63, but also the cosmetic resource; as well as Toad's People PK2, and the re-uploaded-possibly-findable-this-time Chesapeake companion.


  1. Thank you for this post, Nos. It reminds me that with the volume of companions I'm creating in my current WIP that I must be thorough in my own testing rather than being as I usually am overly anxious to get my work uploaded.

  2. Hey, we all make mistakes. You will, if you mod long enough; I have - and will again.

    But to upload a plugin without even seeing if the game starts with it enabled? That's a bit much.

    Especially one that has the potential to destroy so much play-time. eXCALIBR munitions has items whose availability spans level three to thirteen or so, and requires messes of items and stacks of caps to get.

    The old "just pull a clean save" thing could ruin dozens of hours of play time. Tends to turn players off in a hurry.

    And as flighty as FO3 is on the best of days, debugging is often more involved by a long shot than just turning the game on.

    I know I come across as taking way too long on some of my mods - getting too detail oriented... but I've seen GREAT mods that had one little fatal flaw that kept people from playing. By the time the author got it figured out, half the playerbase for their mod was gone. Some recover... some don't.

    I'd personally rather not have my own sloth relegate the RR Companions Vault to category B of those options.