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.BSA and .ESM File Help


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#1
zygster525

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Ok so here I have created a Large Mod.  I Used FOMM to convert the regular files into  .BSA file with Sound, Texture and Meshes, Then I used FOMM to make the .esp into a ,esm,  the Textures and Meshes seem to work, but the sound is not there. 

 

NOTE: I have not deleted the Original files from the Data Folder, could this be the problem?  or did I do something wrong?  Every mod I have seen that uses a .BSA and .ESM for the mod seems to work, and adds files to the Data folder after it is activated.

 

Before anyone asks, I have removed the original .esp I created into a back up folder.



#2
DrakeTheDragon

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Be careful with your use of ESMs.

 

BSAs are just what their name implies, archives. They contain resource files like NIFs, DDSs, sound files and whatever, and are used instead of distributing loose files with your mods.

They will not, however, "add files to the Data folder" when activated, as this is against their intended use concept.

The game uses the resources from within these files right out of them. If anything's 'extracted', then only inside some kind of 'temporary' folder, and it will be removed again as soon as the game's closed. Though I'm not sure there even 'is' anything extracted at all to begin with. You will never find resources from inside a BSA lying around somewhere in your Data folder while playing the game or anything.

 

ESMs now are something completely different, and also quite unrelated even. An ESM is a Master File, that is the same as a Plugin but its records are meant to be overridden by the same records used inside other ESPs. That's how modding the base game even works to begin with. The game uses all records from within the original ESM and overrides them with the same records when found in ESPs loading later. And ESPs are always loading later than ESMs for that reason.

 

An ESM cannot, however, be used to introduce a record into the game that already exists in the base game ESM(s). Only 'new' records can be introduced through an ESM. That's why not everything from inside an ESP can be converted into an ESM without causing issues later on. ESPs will always override ESMs' records, but the same is not guaranteed for another ESM. An ESM, basically (the actual results are random and unreliable in fact), cannot override records from another ESM or the base game, and, of course, will also always loose against an ESP doing the same.

 

 

So in short, I'm not exactly sure what you intend to achieve by converting your totally fine ESP into an ESM here. But chances are it isn't doing what you think it does.

 

 

Second point, and likely far more relevant to your topic though, is the folder naming convention for voice files and such. If I recall correctly, they are found inside a folder named after the ESP or ESM which uses them, and if I'm not mistaken, the folder name even contains the "suffix" as well. So chances are, if you change your ESP into an ESM, but the voice files are still inside a folder named "MyCoolMod.esp", this will not work out for the very simple reason that "MyCoolMod.esp" is now actually "MyCoolMod.esm" instead.

 

 

(And my usual disclaimer:

This is all deduced knowledge from Oblivion modding, only brought up because the GameBryo games actually haven't changed much in most regards ever since and what I know from Oblivion in many cases still applies to all the others as well. So take it with a reasonable amount of doubt and as a pointer rather than an answer, and wait for others more knowledgeable than me in this specific regard to chime in first before taking anything told to you for granted.)



#3
zygster525

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Thanks for the Info,  and the help, as a result I did find the Voice file issue...it was set to .esp

The .esp file is huge, and so are the Textures, Meshes and Sound files....I've been working on this mod for 6 months, the Idea of a .ESM over a .ESP, is to make sure that the .esm file loads over the  .esp files as a master file, and since there are a few game play effects changes that need to load over a bunch of other things making the file a .esm helps to make sure it loads after the main game .esm files, so that it winds up in the correct load order,  (Because we know that SOME don't read install instructions very well, yes I am guilty of this myself at times.) the other reason is to make the mod a little harder for someone else to steal.

 

I know the .bsa files are an archive, they are a compressed archive, and because of the size of this mod, I need all the compression I can get, before I can upload it.

 

I will change the extension on the voice files I found that were wrong, and give it a try.  The Help is much appreciated.



#4
chucksteel

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For the most part DrakeTheDragon was spot on about .ESM's but there are a few cases in FO modding .ESM's are needed. 

 

There are several issues you'll find when your mod is an .esp With FO3 and FNV

 

  1. Custom NPC's will have mismatched heads and bodies depending on race.
  2. AI packages may not function properly
  3. There will be NPC Pathing issues. (Custom and Vanilla NPC's going places they shouldn't)

Converting a mod to an .esm will fix these issues. Any mod that even edits or add navemesh in a FO3 or FNV mod really need to be converted to an .esm. 

 

As for the sound issue changing the folder names to Mycoolmod.esm will fix the issue as stated above. 



#5

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 Any mod that even edits or add navemesh in a FO3 or FNV mod really need to be converted to an .esm.

Just to be sure I understand right: do you mean editing or adding Navmesh to FO3 or FNV Vanilla spaces or editing/adding Navmesh to new created cells as well?

The later would mean all Player homes should be ESM, right?.



#6
Fallout2AM

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do you mean editing or adding Navmesh to FO3 or FNV Vanilla spaces or editing/adding Navmesh to new created cells as well?

 

 

Absolutely.



#7
Jokerine

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I've been working on a big mod, myself, and was thinking about trying to make it an esm file with FNVEDIT but every time I do a bunch of activators stop working and such. Besides, I think that means you can only continue editing it if you use the GECK PowerUp, right? Not the default GECK? I wonder if I'm doing something wrong somewhere...



#8
M48A5

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I've been working on a big mod, myself, and was thinking about trying to make it an esm file with FNVEDIT but every time I do a bunch of activators stop working and such. Besides, I think that means you can only continue editing it if you use the GECK PowerUp, right? Not the default GECK? I wonder if I'm doing something wrong somewhere...

 

You can use FNVEdit to change your .esp to an .esm and also reverse the process.  This is so that you can edit your plugin.



#9
Jokerine

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As I said, I've tried that but whenever I do it my activators randomly stop working. :(



#10
chucksteel

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Your activators stop working in an .esm because they really should be Persistent Ref's and need to be if there in an .esm. 

 

You can get a way with "sloppy work" (for lack of a better word) in an .esp but in .esm's you have to dot all your I's and cross all your T's. 

 

About the navemesh I mean edits to the vanilla Navemsh. Example is if I add to one of the existing casinos and ave to expand it's navemsh. this is when you'll start having problems. 


Edited by chucksteel, 28 February 2015 - 02:53 PM.





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