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Regarding turning files into ESMs and also question on load order


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Hi, so awhile ago I posted something in the bug tracker and I got this response but what is so bad about turning esp files such as Helgen Reborn, Darkend, Magical College of Winterhold though that was already ESM when I downloaded it and JK's Skyrim into ESMs? I know that there is a tool you can use called ESMfyer, or something like that to where you can safely convert ESPs to ESMs and I did it with Helgen Reborn with no problems and I beat the mod too without any issues.

 

I also have RDO which the description does say that the mod should be near the top, which LOOT will do however LOOT likes to place Alternate Start Live Another Life near the bottom and the description for RDO says to place RDO below Alternate Start so therefor RDO must be at the bottom according to the mod author of RDO when it comes to having both RDO and Alternate Start. Palaces and Castles Enhanced's mod author also says to place Palaces and Castles near the bottom too despite where LOOT likes to put it at the top.

I am very late in my game and I have had no broken quests at all.

(moderators, I overlooked the mod discussion board, please move this thread there. My bad for posting it here lol)

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It makes little difference what tools or scripts are said to fix the problem. Most if not all of them are completely unreliable. It's never as simple as just changing the flag to ESM. This sort of thing can cause those mods to break if certain conditions are not met to the standards the engine expects once that flag is set. Especially with quest aliases. You will often find they just don't fill. It could be that the change in load order is not compatible with expectations put forth by the original author. You can run into CTDs, broken quests, NPCs spawning where they don't belong, or not spawning at all, etc. There's a reason it was explained that way. It's not a fire and forget process. It will require extensive testing by someone intimately familiar with the work to verify that the change won't result in a broken mod. You have no idea how many people report errors to mod authors caused by this but leave out the fact that they've done this, causing them to spent countless hours chasing a bug that doesn't exist when the mod is used as given.

In your separate issue, yes, RDO belongs near the top of your load order. Yes, LAL belongs toward the bottom due to considerations with the MQ101 and MQ102 quests. There is never any reason whatsoever for RDO to load after LAL because doing that will cause RDO to break things in LAL. It then by proxy causes RDO to break a lot of other things in a lot of other mods because their targeted, specific changes to dialogue are wiped out by a global overhaul. All you will miss from RDO in these cases are one-off instances of minor dialogue that they enable for more than the usual number of NPCs. That's it. Nothing critical in RDO will break. So RDO's author should not be recommending this and has probably been told this several times so they must be aware of the issue by now.

I have no idea what the Palaces and Castles mod does, so I'm gonna have to reserve judgment until I've had a chance to actually look that one over to see why it's being recommended near the bottom. In many cases, mod authors do this just to shut people up who might complain about some minor thing.

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I have Project AHO, Gray Gowl of Nocturnal, Carved Brink and Molag Bals Inferno, all which were ESMs when I found them. I had to convert Molag Bals Inferno into a regular ESP just so I could save it in the CK and then I set it back to ESM. Didn't make any changes either.

 

There is also a mod called Magical College of Winterhold and that mod has both an ESP and ESM version for download. I never had any issues with any mod made into an ESM. I did convert Helgen Reborn, Darkend and JK's Skyrim to ESM but I never had issues with those mods regardless if ESP or ESM.

 

Every mod I used to ESM, I used this tool as it fixes characters related to quests. https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/28046

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57 minutes ago, gears86 said:

I never had any issues with any mod made into an ESM.

You mean when they're provided that way by the authors.

 

58 minutes ago, gears86 said:

I did convert Helgen Reborn, Darkend and JK's Skyrim to ESM

This is exactly my point, right here. You did the conversion.

 

58 minutes ago, gears86 said:

but I never had issues with those mods regardless if ESP or ESM

I don't think you've got enough time on any of these mods to say that with any certainty, and IMO I think the fact that you're reporting bugs in your setup after having done this speaks for itself. Those mods are now not where they belong and there could be any number of unknown side effects as a result. They all mess with navmeshes, which is the root problem you're having in your game. Navmeshes are not a completely well understood system and there are known cases of bad interactions when the order in which things are modified causes problems if it's not correct.

That script is not something you should be using on your game because it's making blanket assumptions that are not verified as accurate. "They need to be persistent" doesn't mean "every NPC in the whole mod needs to be persistent", yet that's the kind of thing those scripts do. They make assumptions. Any mod correctly built using the CK will have already flagged all of the relevant NPCs as persistent if they need it. This kind of issue can only come up when people attempt to bypass the use of the CK because someone who doesn't mod told them it's too full of bugs to use, so they used some 3rd party tool that hasn't properly decoded all of the data needed, nor does it know all of the internal relationships between them.

Now, I'm sure someone from one of those teams is going to read this and say "Gee Arthmoor, you sound like Giskard!" To which I'll respond: Build your mods properly. Use the tools only to clean up the loose ends after you're done with the primary work. xEdit is NOT a substitute for using the CK. It's a supplement to it. There's a huge difference between running QAC to clean up after the CK and using xEdit to build the entire mod - that's where these kinds of mistakes come from to begin with.

Yes, the game has a reference handle limit. Yes, there's methods to use to fix that. No, those methods are not to use some random script on Nexus to fix what may not even be broken because chances are the script will end up being what breaks something.

The bottom line is, don't just take this sort of thing at face value. Don't assume that all is well. That's not something you can assess after an hour's worth of testing. It's also not something you can ever assess if you didn't write the mods.

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Ok, so I was playing around with my load order and I redownloaded all my mods that I ESMifyed. Project AHO, Darkend and Carved Brink were up top as master files as we can obviously see. But this time I downloaded the non master versions and they on the other hand are being placed by LOOT around not the top nor bottom but the middle of the load order. Helgen reborn is not too far from the top, JK's Skyrim and Magical College of Winterhold are placed by LOOT near the top.

 

I'm so confused here as I do not know if I should use the ESP or ESM versions of Carved Brink and Project AHO as they are huge.

 

And how do I know that mod authors have botched up their mods by making them masters? Mod authors can make mistakes with their mods too. I do appriciate your advice though and I believe you, but I also question many mod authors too for those who masterfied their mods.

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The middle is probably fine. I'd leave it alone now unless you find specific conflicts that require adjustment.

A mod being big doesn't mean it's a candidate for conversion. It's a process you should only pursue if your load order is extremely close to the limit (approximately 1.2 million). And I'd pursue it by letting the mod author know so they can evaluate if it's even possible to do such a conversion on their mods.

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Also, should I demasterfy Molag Bals Inferno and Gray Cowl of Nocturnal? I know they were masterfied by their mod authors but also, I do not know if they should or shouldnt as they do touch navmeshes in the Tamriel worldspace. The only reason why I had to demasterfy Molag Bals Inferno was just to save it in the CK and then I mastered it back to what it originally once was.

 

I did one of those scripts that counts the refs, mine is 240188.

 

Now I do not know why, but I bet the reason why the esp version of these mods goes into the middle of the load order may have something to do with them having Navigation Mesh Infomap but I could be wrong, I need verification of this first.

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If the mod author flagged it you should probably leave it that way.

At 240K your ref count is fine and you really don't need to be worrying about this at all. Worry when you're at 900K or more.

LOOT places things where its algorithm thinks is best based on what's in it so I'd suggest leaving them where it puts them unless someone says otherwise.

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One final thing.

I have finished both Project AHO and Carved Brink as ESM versions of the said mods without any trouble. The masters were provided by their mod author and the mod author has a regular ESP version of those said mods too.

 

So for my next play through, should I keep the ESM version of those 2 mods or switch over to the ESP versions instead? Like I said, I finished those 2 mods without any issues and both mods have both ESP and ESM versions that were provided by the mod authors and not other players.

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Sorry, I forgot to mention this, but I notice that most of the crashes I have had happened right after killing any type of LvlPredator such as an LvlForestPredator. Shortly after I kill any predator, the game crashes but I noticed a pattern and almost all my crashes happen if only a predator is killed and nothing else. I do not have any mods that touch predators and this happens mostly with wolves, bears and trolls which are vanilla enemies, I have no mods touching those either. Is there anything that needs to be fixed in the predator script that USSEP has? I can confirm that there are no monsters from any creature mods around me when this happens. Like I said, it mainly happens to LvlPredators if they are wolves, bears and/or trolls.

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On 1/2/2021 at 2:29 AM, gears86 said:

Hi, so awhile ago I posted something in the bug tracker and I got this response but what is so bad about turning esp files such as Helgen Reborn, Darkend, Magical College of Winterhold though that was already ESM when I downloaded it and JK's Skyrim into ESMs? I know that there is a tool you can use called ESMfyer, or something like that to where you can safely convert ESPs to ESMs and I did it with Helgen Reborn with no problems and I beat the mod too without any issues.

Why do you want to convert a working mod from esp into esm just because you can do it.  Do you have to and if so why for what reason?

Now, I don't possess the knowledge in modding that Arthmoor has, but I know a thing or two and one thing that comes to mind are the records and I think esm uses different record(s) than esp.  And from what I understand those unique esm records will be removed (replaced with other records?) from the esm once a mod is converted into esp from esm or vice versa.  I also know that Wrye Bash can convert esp into esm or esm into esp.

I know one mod there you must convert a mod from esm to esp and that's Chesko's Campfire mod, otherwise you can't create a mod that is based on the Campfire mod.

http://skyrimsurvival.com/home/campfire/

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