Sunday, July 17, 2011

I'm Sorry Too

I'll try to make this as brief as possible.

It's extremely annoying when I have to fix other people's mods before I can play them.

Lately I've been focusing my attention on Morrowind, getting my install with around 200 mods running properly so I can actually enjoy playing it from time to time. This has involved my having to fix a few mods created by other people just to get them to work properly. I wanted to take this opportunity to rant about one such instance which particularly pissed me off to the point of spouting profanity out loud.

For those of you unfamiliar with Morrowind modding I'll try to keep the techno-babble brief, but suffice it to say it's a tad different from modding Oblivion or the Fallouts and in some ways more difficult. For leveled lists and dialog to work properly merged patches have to be created and this can pose unique problems if you're working on a mod or simply adding something new to your load order in mid-game. In Oblivion, for example, you can drop in some new companion characters, load up a save and go on about your merry way (most of the time; I know there are a few exceptions). If you try to do this in Morrowind, however, you're likely to end up seeing duplicate copies of every modded NPC, creature or item in the game, then you have to use a utility to delete or re-sequence the records in your saved game to hopefully fix the issues, as well as having to recreate all those merged lists I mentioned.

So my character is level 4 now, and I decide to add a few newly-discovered mods to my game as I'm playing along. The mods just add some dungeons and NPCs, so this should be simple enough. As expected, however, I get some of these doubling effects produced by some of my previously installed mods and I set out to take all the measures necessary to fix the problems. I recreate all the merged patches and clean my save game as directed, then I load up my game and still see a duplicate NPC walking around. So I go through the entire cleaning process again, and again the duplicates are there. Thinking I must have missed something or not done it properly, I go through the process again. Still the duplicates are there. I try the suggestion of making the .esp into an .esm and then go through the cleaning process yet again. Still the duplicate NPC is there. Finally I get so frustrated that I simply give up and go to bed.

This morning I felt like trying again, but this time I had the presence of mind to find out which mod contains the NPC that's being duplicated and open it in the CS to see if maybe the issue is in the plugin itself. I normally would have done this sooner, but the mod is entitled "Clean Dungeon Mages"; in the world of Morrowind mods, having the word "clean" as the first word in the mod title supposedly indicates that it has been cleaned of all the unnecessary cell references and GMSTs that cause major problems with plugins for this game and the mod is thus totally safe to use. But guess what I discover when I open the mod in the editor?

That's right... the mod author placed two copies of the same NPC in the same cell. No fucking wonder I couldn't get rid of the duplicate from my saved game! I've wasted an entire evening and most of the following morning trying to remove something that can't be removed from the save because it's in the fucking plugin itself!

So to TrevorDemented, author of "Clean Dungeon Mages", I would simply like to say this:

Thanks a lot, you fucking moron!

And with that, I bid the rest of you have a good day...

25 comments:

  1. Yeah, I love days like that.

    Spend fourteen hours trying to figure out what in the holy everloving fuck you did wrong during the install; finally get so frustrated that you have to walk away; come back with a fresh perspective only to check the mod itself and find it's not a bug so much as an "extra feature" from the author.

    I lost two days once to a version of eXCALIBR for Fallout 3. Not the base, but one of the quest driven expansions -- I forget whether it was the book or the shop. Started the game with the plugin active, and it wouldn't load. Not a missing master crash on start, but it would do that thing where you get the background and music, but the main menu never appears? Finally get frustrated enough to go digging through the Nexus comments, only to find one from EARACHE42 that basically amounted to "Yeah I never bothered to actually test the plugin, so yeah it kills your game. I'll get it fixed for the next version." Then the next two or three versions did the same damned thing. It finally got to the point that I just quit using his CALIBR expansion mods.

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  2. Well, I'm hoping that you feel some what better after that outburst. Getting stressed like that can give people a "short fuse" and prone to lashing out, speaking from experience...

    If you already haven't done so, maybe leave a comment, if it is still possible to do so, indicating this oversite on the author's part, so at least other users will have some warning.

    Happy gaming :)

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  3. @Druuler:

    Leave it to you to make a sensible suggestion after I rant like an ass...

    FINE!

    I've posted an un-banworthy comment at the Nexus file:

    http://www.thenexusforums.com/index.php?/topic/25134-name-dungeon-mages/page__view__findpost__p__3375265

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  4. Umm, you didn't have to if you didn't want to, I was just thinking (and it hurt, I tell you) that if you did, someone else could be spared the same frustration, or those that have experienced it, could alleviate it :)

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  5. Oh, and I resent being called "sensible" :P

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  6. @Druuler:

    No worries; it was the right thing to do; others need to be given the heads-up, as it were.

    It just really pissed me off because something like that would have been the first thing I would have checked the plugin for if it had been one of the newer games. But I've spent the last week or two reading up on the ins and outs of Morrowind modding, and one of the things I've seen mentioned repeatedly is this infamous, apparently widely-known Morrowind doubling bug and how to go about repairing saves afflicted with it. I knew it to be a real thing because I've already dealt with it a few times since I've come back to the game. So of course I wasted several hours that could have been devoted to actual gameplay instead trying to fix a problem that couldn't possibly be fixed how I was trying to fix it.

    So you can see why I was irritated...

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  7. I sure can. I haven't started playing Morrowind yet myself, even though I did load it up on my system, nor had I installed any mods, but given what I have learned in the past week about Morrowind mods, I am quite happy I haven't started yet. Had I modded the game and started it up soon after installing it, I would have been totally lost as to what the frack was going wrong. I would have been whining in your inbox for help, lol! Oddly enough, Morrowind is the only game I have disks handy for that will run (probably) on my borrowed system. Everything else exceeds the limits of this system, is packed away in storage, or wasn't backed up onto my external, like Classic Doom...

    Note to self: Back up data like a dragon hoards treasure >.<

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  8. Broken by design stuff is sooo annoying. I still haven't started with my Morrowind and stuff like this is kinda intimidating.

    BTW, did you know the Steam version of Morrowind doesn't have the CS with it? Must be even more fun for owners of that version >_<

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  9. Oh, don't get me started on Steam...

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  10. No, wait, I've got my prodding stick around here someplace; we'll get her going.

    ...What? I shouldn't be the only one that rants like a nutjob around here.

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  11. @Nos:

    You're not fooling anyone; we know what you really use that stick for...

    @Druuler:

    I think that adequately summarizes my feelings about Steam as well:

    Grrrrrr...........

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  12. I originally thought Steam was a good idea until I saw they could just cut you off with no warning or recourse. That's why I only buy from the DRM free shops.

    All Hail GoG! ;)

    @Herculine: What problems have you had? I haven't had any, other than the fact that it exists of course...

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  13. @Kirtai:

    With me it's more a matter of principles rather than any actual technical difficulties I've had.

    Some people purchase home computers primarily for the internet and games are secondary. In my case it was entirely the opposite. I purchased a computer solely so I could play cool video games and I survived a number of years with no internet connection in my home.

    Steam and games like Fallout New Vegas demand that I must create another monthly household expense in order to play them. To put it simply without going into another long rant, I'm not one who likes to be controlled by racketeers.

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  14. @Herculine:

    Ah, that problem. Yes, that's part of what I alluded to with the "that it exists" remark.

    Basically that you're required to allow the publishers to monitor you at your own expense.

    And cut you off, again at your own expense (I'm looking at you Ubisoft!) :P

    I have my internet connection for other stuff but when I buy games online, I prefer to download them once and store them offline. It's infuriating that so few places allow that -_-

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  15. Speaking of DRM games and the internet, my service has been on and off intermittently all day; another prime reason why relying upon it to play my favorite games is a real pain in the ass and why I prefer to play some good ole pre-DRM games so much.

    Also, just to clarify something for those who have said here that my little rant might put them off Morrowind: this is just a rant regarding a single mod. Modding Morrowind really is not as bad as it might sound and, though it's a bit different from the newer games, once you get used to it you can throw together some neat stuff and have some fun.

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  16. I'm not defending Steam in any way -- indeed, I hate them as much as anyone; I don't trust any distribution method that can result in you losing access to all the games you bought and paid for because a forum moderator didn't like one of your posts and banned you (this is not conjecture, it has happened to people on the Steam forums) -- however, I feel in the interests of fairness I should also note that Steam does have an offline mode.

    I used it months ago to play Bloodlines while my internet connection was out; mostly just to see if I could. It's been awhile, but as I recall you don't just enter offline mode; Steam has to fail to connect to its servers so many times (three, I think?) and then it offers offline mode to you.

    While I still very much prefer the hardcopy method of distribution, Valve at least wasn't that short-sighted as to disallow any play without an internet connection.

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  17. Perhaps the choice of whether or not to use that off-line mode is dependent upon which game you're trying to play, but whenever I launch Steam and log in it gives me the option. However, I've not tried to play every one of my Steam-purchased games without it, so I'm not sure which ones would work and which ones wouldn't.

    But it's irrelevant. The point is that even if I buy the FNV disc from Wal-Mart and carry it home in physical form, I still need the internet and Steam to give me permission to play it, at least that one first time. That's still racketeering in my book.

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  18. No arguments here.

    I've hated "activation" since the first time I had to deal with it in Windows XP. It's increasing prevalence has not been one of modern society's better points, in my book.

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  19. ...and after over ten hours without any electricity whatsoever, we're back...

    That's the Karmic Wheel for ya...

    "So this one wants to complain about her little video games? Let's see how she likes THIS..."

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  20. Fate has a warped sense of humour...

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  21. Look on the bright side, NekoNeko, you could've had my Monday, that involved a favorite ink pen of four years vanishing; no fucking idea where it went or when exactly it went missing -- and oh yeah, it would cost $125 to replace if I could afford to, which I can't.

    Tell ya what: you can have access to my 3mbit cable connection for the next twenty-four hours instead of me, and the universe can give me back my goddamned pen.

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  22. Storm run rampid through your area Herculine? I hope it didn't cost you more than a little frustration and boredom. Wouldn't want you to have to replace everything in your refridgerator/freezer O.o

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  23. @Druuler:

    Aye, 'twas a storm the likes of which ye have ne'er seen, Lad...

    ...or maybe not.

    We took all the perishables to Mom's place and this was during the dark hours so I could sleep through most of it, so it wasn't really so bad; it just wasn't too comfortable with no electric fans or anything.

    The kicker was that people at the other end of the street never lost power; thus I maintain my theory that it was some sort of Karmic retribution.

    @Nos:

    Why the hell did you have such an expensive pen to begin with? You can get a dozen Biros for a buck, you know...

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  24. Ah, my dear, didn't anyone ever teach you to accessorize? You must have a proper pen to go with Armani...

    ...What's that? You don't believe for a second I'd wear Armani even if I had the cash banging around? Well fine.

    I've mentioned before I do a fair bit of wheelin'-dealin' around gun shops, and have for many years now. One trading session years ago resulted in my having a surplus of store credit -- not an amazing amount, a bit over a C bill's worth.

    Well, they didn't have any ammo I needed/wanted, and a hundred bucks is hardly enough to buy another gun... so rather than have the money languish in a gift certificate, I picked up one of the new-at-the-time Benchmade "Defense pens" that had recently come on the market, and they got a couple in. I'd read several glowing reviews in periodicals, and having never owned a nice pen anyway... I figured what the hell. It's not like I could've gotten cash for the balance or something.

    Loved that pen. Not only was it an outstanding writing implement -- those space pen cartridges will write anywhere, on anything, and never clog up or need to be primed on scrap paper before you can write with it -- but it also functioned as an impromptu kubotan or non-piercing impact device; and because it's "just a pen, officer!" you can carry the damned things almost anywhere. I got mine into two court houses without a second glance from security.

    Plus, the things are just nice looking and feeling. Solid casing made of CNC-milled aircraft aluminum, black anodizing, sharp knurling, a nice O-ring seal on the cap.

    Personally, I hate cheap pens. They never fucking work. Either the tip is clogged, of the ink has run away from it and it has to be primed, or the whole ink tube has dried out...

    While I can't afford another Benchmade, I'm not quite broke enough to resort to those Bic or Pilot pieces of shit just yet. It looks like I can get a Rite in the Rain pen that uses the same Fisher cartridges for $11 next time I place a USTS order.

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