Wednesday, December 29, 2010


You people have it, I swear.

A guy tries to take a couple days off, to wade through all the crap involved in getting Lovers running in an Oblivion install (a mod that I am so not linking here, by the way) to see if it's actually as good as people are always going on about. Complex, pain in the ass in general; lots of readmes in Japanese, translated into a form of English that bears no semblance to the real thing. Rather like the old Babelfish translations, now that I think of it...

Anyway. While I was playing with silly adult mods, malcontents have started in again.

A new modder going by badreaper001 has kindly released a new NCCS package with about a half dozen companions. Hampered at the moment by a player who decried that the mod needs the wheel. When pointed to ttomwv's wheel addon for NCCS, he now complains that the wheel conflicts with some other companion mod.

Fucking duh.

Tarrant predicted this about a week after NV went gold; and I've been telling it to people for weeks. No one listens. The problem is the "wheel" buttons don't do anything directly. They're like shortcuts to dialog commands. Trouble is, these shortcuts are hard-coded to be read from only one dialog topic; and the game only allows one override to any given topic. Any further changes simply override the previous override. This means that you get ONE companion mod that will work with the wheel.

I can't fix it. Don't ask. There is no way to code out around it that I'm aware of.

If you people would pick a freaking mod and be done with it, it wouldn't be an issue; but everyone has to have eighteen different companion mods running at any given time.

This is why I won't add the wheel to NCCS by default. I said it before, I'll say it again: conflicts. When and if I can make it reliably selectable, then maybe - but for now I'm not willing to compromise compatibility for the legions of indecisive players who don't read the manual but love posting derisive comments.

The one and only fix I'm aware of to the situation would be to create a sort of merged patch. Problem is, the auto-patch creators that are so favored by the community won't do it. They can't combine multiple edits into one, as far as I'm aware - they only allow you to select which of the combined plugins' edits you want to make dominant. The fix would be to combine all plugins (or at least make one plugin that references all companion master files you use), and manually write in the dialog commands for each companion (or system) into a single edit of the pertinent quest.

Doable? Absolutely; but not on my end. There are simply too many companion mods out there; too many permutations and combinations and options. I could write a hundred merge patches and not cover the possibilities.

And considering that I don't even use NCCS, my odds of spending a week or six writing compatibility plugins for NCCS and every other companion I can find are somewhere akin to the odds of Mars slamming into the Earth next week.

Malcontent #2 is from my RR Companions Pack for FO3. He thinks my eye textures look bad. To which I reply: fuck you and the horse you rode in on. You don't like them? Upload better, or sit down and shut up. I do not take shit about the quality of my mods off of people with eight posts, no kudos, and no uploaded files.

Malcontent #3 actually brought me to a dead stop. As far as I could discern from the PM, the issues revolves around the fact that he is for some reason using Notepad++ to edit a companions plugin for RR, and this is resulting in the script not staying set on the companion. I got an email with an rtf file attached (rich text? Really? What, did I stumble into the wayback machine and end up in 1999?) that when opened was full of encoded game data, master file lists, and resource paths for what looked like a custom race. I offered what advice I could without invoking profanity... but I haven't read the reply PM yet. I did receive another email though that claims to have a copy of the esp file attached... which I also haven't read yet. I'll get around to it; I just need ample time to zen-ize my mind to prepare.

I was telling Herculine the other day that I'm thinking about giving up modding as a hobby. I'm considering taking up something more relaxing... like defusing old Soviet mines in Africa. Anyone know how to say "I need QuikClot!" in Kirundi...?

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to go to the Obsidian HQ, find whoever came up with the "companion wheel", slap them in the face and tell them that people who have never actually played a video game before really have no business designing things for them.

    That's the conclusion I've come to: whoever came up with that must be someone who has never actually played these games, because if they had they would like the rest of us realize that creating an additional superfluous interface to access dialog that every other character in the game could use without this stinking wheel is basically nothing more than a programmer saying: "Look at what I can do!" without any inkling of what it's actually like to use said wheel interface while playing the game.

    And where were the game playtesters during all of this? I know they actually had some, or at least claim to have had, because they are listed in the credits. Did none of them express a dislike for this new feature? Had none of them ever played any other Bethesda game and thus thought the companion wheel was a really neat thing? Or perhaps the only responsibility of the playtesters is to play the game to make sure it runs and nothing more; perhaps beyond that aspect of quality control they are not permitted to give any feedback. If that's the case, I renounce my nearly life-long dream of working as a professional video game playtester because I know I would get myself fired due to my inability to resist the urge to say something like: "Dudes, this part of the game really sucks and really should be changed or removed all together."

    Yeah, probably a bad idea for me to work in that field. I had a job in quality control once but it had nothing to do with games or computers, and I remember that a certain level of imperfections are "acceptable" in a finished product. I have no doubt that the same goes for games, and again I'd get myself fired for saying something like: "Are you seriously intending to make people pay over half a C-Note for this crap?"