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godescalcus

Oblivion BSA extraction

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Does anyone extract bsa archives in Oblivion? I do it for all skyrim mods that don't specify against it. I think it's pretty common practice, too. How about Oblivion? How do bsa's work in this game, regarding overriding assets and such? Do they get priority? Or, on the contrary, are they always overridden?

Back to the extraction, I think wrye bash doesn't do this automatically but there are tools, like BSAopt that do it. One could extract the bsa to a folder and place the plugins in the same folder, then add that folder to wrye bash - if there were anything to gain from it. If you have a ton of texture mods it might make it easier for the game to decide which assets to choose.

Thanks!

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Actually for Skyrim it's not considered common practice. That's a fallacy perpetrated by fans of Mod Organizer. There is no reason to ever extract a mod's BSA file under normal gameplay conditions.

For Oblivion that's a whole other thing. Since BSA load ordering doesn't work, any mod packing one that has files overriding something else is not guaranteed to work, or even keep the game stable. So you'd have to determine if the BSA file accompanying a mod has only unique assets. If it does, there's no need to unpack it. If it has overlapping files, then you should or the game isn't going to behave properly.

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Thank you, Arthmoor. I was digging into Kvatch Rebuilt's bsa, so far my only bsa except for base game. All assets "seem" unique but no way to be sure except trying to manually copy them into the data folder... I have a backup of the vanilla game but copying there would only allow me to see if there are assets in common with the vanilla game... Yet I suppose other modders wouldn't just wildly use assets from a mod, especially if it could cause conflict with the original mod, would they?

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Kvatch Rebuilt should be fine. Last I checked it's entirely unique assets only used by that mod so you can leave the BSA intact there.

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There's a dispute whether packed or loose files get assimilated faster by the game engine, whether the bottleneck is disk read speed or cpu/memory (for unpacking). For what I've read they're pretty matched up on modern systems with m.2 ssd's and stuff.

I use wrye bash's unpack to project feature to avoid cramming my disk with redundant full mod archives (since I keep those in classified folders for faster reference). I strip those projects of docs, options, screenshots, picking all the optionals and rebuilding a simple folder structure. I unpack omod's and add the folders as projects do wb and treat them the same way, so I never have to use obmm or any other mod manager. I leave the projects unpacked because I redirected wb's folders to a drive different from the steam drive (steam = m.2 ssd, downloaded mods and bash installers = sata ssd), so my steam drive doesn't get cluttered. Since whether or not to unpack bsa's is an advantage seems unresolved, I'll probably take your advice on kvatch rebuilt but unpack others as a rule, unless someone tells me it's fine too. Thanks again!

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As a general rule, Oblivion modders have always been more aware of what can and can't be offered as a BSA. Unless you're dealing with something newer than about 2012, I would go with whatever you get when you download it. We all knew what the engine would and would not do, and even with mechanical drives it's been largely debunked that unpacked vs packed is a significant enough difference to matter.

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5 hours ago, Arthmoor said:

As a general rule, Oblivion modders have always been more aware of what can and can't be offered as a BSA. Unless you're dealing with something newer than about 2012, I would go with whatever you get when you download it. We all knew what the engine would and would not do, and even with mechanical drives it's been largely debunked that unpacked vs packed is a significant enough difference to matter.

I take your point. It's true that I've seen really fewer mods with bsa archives in oblivion. And then, I've always seen bethesda's engine being beaten up by modders!

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