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Bad Mods vs. True Tech Support


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#1
Guest_Tessera_*

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FAMILIARIZE YOURSELVES

Lately, I've seen an increasing number of threads asking for technical help with Oblivion that, in my estimation, are actually referring to problems caused by bad mods. If you haven't seen me post any advice in a topic that you posted, then this is probably why. What I'd rather do is simply create one separate post here -- one that makes a blanket statement about this ever-growing situation. Please bear with me for a moment...

Bethesda did a wonderful thing when they released Oblivion: they included a Construction Set and in turn, this CS encouraged the Oblivion community to try their hands at creating mods of their own. This has proven to be a mixed blessing: whilst it is great to have that sort of flexibility in modifying your own games, the problem is that many, many, many very amateurishly-produced mods are now flooding into most Oblivion-related fansites. I've even gone so far as to label over 90% of today's Oblivion mods "frivolous" or "broken" or even "downright irresponsibly written." Yes, those are just my opinions, but I'm basing that assessment on the number of broken and unplayable installations of Oblivion, that seem to be resulting from this glut of badly-written, poorly thought out and overused (and abused) mods.

Often, the user will think that the problems they're suddenly experiencing are arising from technical issues, such as their video card (or settings), or from their other software, or whatever. Sometimes, that is in fact the case. But lately, I've determined that an ever-increasing number of such "technical posts" are actually coming from people who installed what are -- quite frankly -- crappy mods. In many other cases, the problems arose from crappy installation prcedures by the user.

So, I'd like to offer some general advice: before you start tearing your computer apart looking for solutions to your Oblivion problems, first ask yourself which mods you have installed recently and where they came from. You may simply have created a broken installation of the game.

Always research any prospective mod fully, before downloading and installing it. Be extra careful about conflicts and also, keep in mind that handy utilities such as "OBMM" can not do a single thing to fix critical mod files that were overwritten by another, competing mod's files. EXAMPLE: trying to use Eshme's mod with Ren's, a common source of complaints. The order of installation (not "load order" but INSTALLATION ORDER) is critical with those two mods, as Eshme's mod attempts to overwrite body texture files for Ren's Mystic Elves. There are plenty of similar examples of this sort of thing, with respect to other types of mods. It is up to each user to take such things into account and to then act accordingly. Do not trust the authors of each mod to know better about possible conflicts. With the current glut of Oblivion mods out there, it's simply not reasonable to expect every author to check their work agaist every other mod in its category. There's just too damned many, at this point.

The bottom line is that modifying a game as complicated as Oblivion is should not be attempted by amateurs. Do your best to familiarize yourselves with the layout of the game's sub-folders and all of the files that they contain. The more you know about the ways your game operates, then the far less likely you will be to encounter any nasty surprises from the bazillions of mods out there.

Good luck and happy gaming,

- Tessera -

#2
Abramul

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Personally, I make a habit of using the CS to look at what a given mod alters. While this wouldn't necessarily be useful with large mods, it's certainly worth doing for trivial ones.

#3
Peregrine

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Allow me to shorten your long essay:


Common sense 101: If you're having issues with a game after editing it, you probably did it to yourself. Reinstall and try again.

#4
Guest_Tessera_*

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Allow me to shorten your long essay:


Common sense 101: If you're having issues with a game after editing it, you probably did it to yourself. Reinstall and try again.


If only it were that simple... :P

#5
Povuholo

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This wasn't really a problem with Morrowind. Why? Because Morrowind scared most 9 year olds* with it's little help in completing quests. Too much figuring out yourself. I think that even if you don't understand English you can figure out a large part of the oblivion quests.

So with no 9 year olds on Morrowind, there are no 9 year olds creating bad mods.

* You can replace '9 year olds' with 'People who are too young' or 'kids'.

#6
Switch

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Seems to be some pretty sound advice here, thanks Tessera. Pinned. ^^

#7
FloppyGoat

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This is all true, as I just learned. Be careful about mods you install, Personally, I will back up all previous important save files before I try out any new mods.
flop

#8
I am the orc

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I'm kind of new to the whole modding thing and i'm not sure if this is the right thread to be posting this on, but everytime i try finding the item that the mod added, i instead find bunch of giant yellow and blue cubes where that item or creature should be. Please help.

#9
S2RA

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I have some unsought advice from the MODder poiint of view when creating your MOD use a unique name myself I start all my names off with S2RA31 just to give an example common item S2RA31SH would be SteelHelm unique item uS2RAsK would be DASkeletonKey and so onno chance of conflict placement errors are a little harder to detect when in doubt about a NPC just load him moo him/her then save him under a new name example qS2RASM would be SamiusMatius in Kvatch and his script names would reflect this and that way no possibility of conflict just tweak his face a little and have your neighbor do up his new lines and you have a whole new personwith no conflicts well that's enough to extrapolate from. It's also what I go through to any quest character used in a new mod I download because the lazys and newbies will always try to skate a blatant change modifing GMST amd Globals well good luck on those it's easiest just to tie a unique spript to the main charcter that gets added after game load.

#10
dra6o0n

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In case you don't know... Use Oblivion Mod Manager's conflict checker. I used it and found tons of them in even big mods.




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