godescalcus

Modding Skyrim with Wrye Bash

22 posts in this topic

Im starting a new Skyrim ("oldrim") build with Wrye Bash as my main (only?) mod manager. Are there any configurations and/or procedures specific for skyrim? I've been unable to find anything specific on nexus, step, bethesda, steam or here.

 

Here's what I've done so far:

i. removed old skyrim installation (uninstalled from steam and deleted steamapps/common/skyrim folder, my documents/my games/skyrim and users/appdata/local/skyrim)

ii. fresh install of skyrim in dedicated steam ssd

iii. installed wrye bash standalone (manually copied mopy folder into skyrim main folder)

iv. ran wrye bash one to let it create its default folders in steam/steamapps/common/skyrim mods

v. moved the entire skyrim mods folder to another ssd drive (to save space on the steam drive, I have my downloaded mods and bash installers placed in another ssd, might make take a bit longer to refresh/install/anneal but with 40Gb worth of mods it compensates)

vi. copied bash_default.ini and renamed the copied file bash.ini, opened in notepad and directed the bash files, bash installers and bash mod data to the new location in other ssd drive

vii. copied skse, skse plugin preloader, enb organizer to main skyrim folder

viii. copied champollion, ddsopt, merge plugins, tes5edit, relinker, bethini to their own folders inside the skyrim main folder

ix. added mxpf, kajiit ears show, hishy remove land records to "edit scripts" folder inside tes5edt

x. ran papyrus compiler patch

xi. created app shortcuts in the mopy/apps folder, including LOOT 10.3 which I had already installed for skyrim se

xii. extracted scripts.rar inside skyrim/data folder

xiii. ran loot and applied fixed load order

xiv. now I'm cleaning the game's .esm files accorting to the manual cleaning guide here. (https://afkmods.iguanadons.net/index.php?/topic/4110-manual-cleaning-skyrim-and-skyrim-se-master-files/)

 

And here I hit my first brick wall: in Oblivion I added the cleaned esm's to wrye bash as a project and installed them without a problem. With Skyrim they get skipped... I saw the option to skip bethsoft files and tried to uncheck it but it says it needs to recalculate CRC every time I run BAIN. Should I do it anyway? Should I skip this step and just leave the cleaned esms in the data folder without managing them with wrye bash?

 

Edit: I did uncheck the option to skip beth content. The crc calculation takes 45 second on my computer, I hope it won't be happening too often... Then I added the cleaned esm's as a mod to wrye bash.

Hish's guide for Oblivion also suggests you first add the contents of the data folder without its .bsa files as a mod in wrye bash, which should be the first in the installers tab. I suppose it helps wrye bash restore things when you uninstall mods. Should I do anything of the sort with skyrim?

Edit: I did so, but not having archived the data folder previously I had to perform a couple of extra steps: exit wrye bash, rename the tes5edit backups and copy them to the data folder and then archive the data folder without the esm's, tes5edit backups folder and the scripts.rar file. I did include the dialogue views and scripts folders that were unpacked from scripts.rar.

 

After all this I re-ran loot and everything seems ok in the mods tab.

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I just moved the contents of this post to the main post but wasn't able to delete this one.

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Following what I did as described in the first post, I did the following:

xv. Ran bethini according to instructions on the guide I'm following.

xvi. further tweaked skyrim.ini and skyrimprefs.ini according to the same guide;

xvii. installed enb series 3.08 with enb organizer

xviii. tweak nvidia driver settings with nvidia inspector (same guide)

xix. installed one tweak and grimy plugin (add archives to wrye bash, unpack to projects, rearrange project folders to simple bain structure and deleted documents, etc (so they don't clutter my installers folder - I keep the downloaded archives anyway).

xx. I am now installing the optimized hi-res textures downloaded from nexus, as I'm not yet confident to use DDSopt myself.

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3 hours ago, godescalcus said:

Hish's guide for Oblivion also suggests you first add the contents of the data folder without its .bsa files as a mod in wrye bash, which should be the first in the installers tab. I suppose it helps wrye bash restore things when you uninstall mods. Should I do anything of the sort with skyrim?

Edit: I did so, but not having archived the data folder previously I had to perform a couple of extra steps: exit wrye bash, rename the tes5edit backups and copy them to the data folder and then archive the data folder without the esm's, tes5edit backups folder and the scripts.rar file. I did include the dialogue views and scripts folders that were unpacked from scripts.rar.

I have never heard of this (therefor have never done it). I'm not sure it has any benefit at all.

The only rule I follow is installation order matters as much as load order. Keep an eye on conflicts.

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11 minutes ago, Hana said:

I have never heard of this (therefor have never done it). I'm not sure it has any benefit at all.

The only rule I follow is installation order matters as much as load order. Keep an eye on conflicts.

Thanks Hana. Much of this may sound outrageous to many more experienced modders than myself. I'm compiling whatever information I can but some steps may be redundant, useless or even harmful. So everything should be read with a question mark to it for suggestions are what I'm after. I usually mod with the help of a complete guide and this time I'm having to figure out stuff.

Regarding the addition of the vanilla files, from my modest understanding it allows you to replace those files and revert to vanilla without having to reinstall skyrim. In other words, coupled with adding the cleaned esm's as a mod to wrye bash, it gives wrye bash full control over your modded game and the ability to revert it (the data folder, not things like ini files, enb, etc) back to perfect vanilla state if you want (without a new steam download or a backup of vanilla game). Don't know if it's useless but I like the option and it doesn't seem to harm the game, as I was able to test run it from wrye bash and nothing horrible has happened so far.

I don't know if anything else needs to be done, like adding bash tags or anything.

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I ran into another brick wall.

When installing optimized textures for skyrim, I downloaded the files at nexus because I'm not comfortable with ddsopt yet.

I have the bad habit of not running bain wizards and organizing projects myself. The problem with this mod is it doesn't provide enough info to easily do this.

So, after some digging I'm trying this:

 

a) Add parts 1 and 2 to wrye bash and unpack them to projects;

b) for part 1, copy the contents of 00 and 01 folders to root project folder and delete aforementioned folders and everything else (wizard.txt etc)

c) for part 2, copy the contents of 00, 01 and 02 folders to root project folder and delete the rest

d) install parts 1 and 2

e) run textures install.vbs

f) remove the skyrim high resolution textures via steam

 

Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions!

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xxi. Now I made my skyrim.ini and skyrimprefs.ini read only.

xxii. Added USLEEP, unpacked to project, deleted docs and .bsl file, deleted archive and installed the project.

xxiii. Added all of Bethesda performance textures (here and here) as one project and installed it.

xxiv. Added Auto Unequip Ammo, Better Stealing, Bug Fixes, Crash fixes, unpacked to projects, arranged folders and installed. Added some stuff to crashfixplugin.ini according to guide.

xxv. Added Dragon Stalking, Enchantment Reload fixes, Follower Trap Safety and Fuz Roh Doh, unpacked to projects, arranged folders and installed.

xxvi. Added Horns are Forever, Lock Overhaul, Main Menu Spinning Skyrim Emblem, Point The Way, Skyrim Project Optimization, Smart Souls, Training Dummies and Targets, WM Critter Fixes, animations from EatingSleepingDrinking. Same process as before.

 

Update: crashfixplugin_preload.txt is a necessary file that was skipped by wrye bash due to my configuration. I figured it out after test-running the game and getting an error message, so I added it to the installer and reinstalled crash fixes. I am now removing the option to skip text files and will be cleaning those manually as needed.

Update 2: crashfixes still wouldn't preload... Setting UseOSAllocators=1 on the ini caused an error report (not fatal, the game would still load): "Error: "UseOSAllocators" option could not be applied because the game has already initialized! Either disable that option or follow these steps: 1. Download and install "http://www.nexusmods...im/mods/75795/?" - SKSE Plugin Preloader. 2. Make sure you installed it correctly to Skyrim root directory and not Data."

I double checked everything about crashfixes and preloader but the error persisted.

So, provisionally, here's what I did: set UseOSAllocators=0, installed Safety Load, added

[Memory]
defaultHeapInitialAllocMB=768
ScrapHeapSizeMB=256
to skse.ini
No error message.

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What "Bug Fixes" ?

Not to sound superior or anything, but the only bug fixes you need are in USLEEP.

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27 minutes ago, Hana said:

What "Bug Fixes" ?

Not to sound superior or anything, but the only bug fixes you need are in USLEEP.

Bug Fixes by meh321: http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/76747/?

According to description: "How is this different from USLEEP?
USLEEP fixes content related bugs for example things that go in ESM, mesh files etc. This mod fixes bugs in the game EXE itself."

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6 hours ago, godescalcus said:

xxi. Now I made my skyrim.ini and skyrimprefs.ini read only.

xxii. Added USLEEP, unpacked to project, deleted docs and .bsl file, deleted archive and installed the project.

Update: crashfixplugin_preload.txt is a necessary file that was skipped by wrye bash due to my configuration. I figured it out after test-running the game and getting an error message, so I added it to the installer and reinstalled crash fixes. I am now removing the option to skip text files and will be cleaning those manually as needed.

Update 2: crashfixes still wouldn't preload... Setting UseOSAllocators=1 on the ini caused an error report (not fatal, the game would still load): "Error: "UseOSAllocators" option could not be applied because the game has already initialized! Either disable that option or follow these steps: 1. Download and install "http://www.nexusmods...im/mods/75795/?" - SKSE Plugin Preloader. 2. Make sure you installed it correctly to Skyrim root directory and not Data."

I double checked everything about crashfixes and preloader but the error persisted.

No wonder you get a CTD for two reasons.

 

1. Never set an ini file to read-only, because what will happen when you install a mod or something else and the setup must add/change a setting in one of those .ini files or in both .ini files.  You will get a CTD.

2. Getting a CTD is likely the result for deleting a .bsl file, which are not recommended to do.  IIRC a .bsl (Bethesda Softworks Library?) file is a sort of a required file for a mod, but you need to ask Arthmoor about it since he know what purpose a .bsl file has.

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22 minutes ago, Leonardo said:

No wonder you get a CTD for two reasons.

 

1. Never set an ini file to read-only, because what will happen when you install a mod or something else and the setup must add/change a setting in one of those .ini files or in both .ini files.  You will get a CTD.

2. Getting a CTD is likely the result for deleting a .bsl file, which are not recommended to do.  IIRC a .bsl (Bethesda Softworks Library?) file is a sort of a required file for a mod, but you need to ask Arthmoor about it since he know what purpose a .bsl file has.

Thanks for replying!

I unchecked the read-only on my ini files. However... I'm not using ANY wizard, not even bain wizards, nor checking subfolders. I'm manually setting things up in project folders and if the mod page says I need to make changes to ini files, i make them manually. Takes a long time but forces me to read.

Regarding bsl files, the guide I'm following specifically tells you to delete them all. I ran a check and this is what I read: "BSL files are just for housekeeping. They are not used by the game itself, only by the Archive.EXE program that creates your BSA files.
All file paths inside a BSA are relative to the games root directory. The BSA does not store information where the file actually came from on your computer because that doesn't matter to the game. However, this matters very much to Archive.EXE if you want to rebuild your BSA because you changed some source files. The BSL file simply contains a table that stores the absolute file path for each file in the BSA. It will make your life as a modder easier but you do NOT need to distribute this file to users. The game doesn't use it and it is virtually useless for other modders."

Seems like a pretty categorical proposition, so, I delete them, like the guide says...

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4 hours ago, godescalcus said:

...I'm not using ANY wizard, not even bain wizards, nor checking subfolders...

What's wrong with them? If selecting sub packages through Wrye Bash, it amounts to the same thing, except that extra care has to be taken about what to select. Which means reading the documentation closely, or if there is none, referring to the wizard scripts anyway, which can end up making modding rather tedious. :blink:

Checking which subfolders for what exactly?

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BSL files serve no purpose for SSE, and are only useful for Skyrim LE if you're using the official archive tool to unpack a BSA file. You don't need to delete the BSL files though. Any guide insisting you NEED to do that is untrustworthy. It obviously won't hurt anything but it's definitely not a required step.

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3 hours ago, Arthmoor said:

BSL files serve no purpose for SSE, and are only useful for Skyrim LE if you're using the official archive tool to unpack a BSA file. You don't need to delete the BSL files though. Any guide insisting you NEED to do that is untrustworthy. It obviously won't hurt anything but it's definitely not a required step.

That helps, thank you! The guide is an update of Neovalen's, both being pretty popular, and I'm trying to make it work in wrye bash... They don't insist on deleting bsl's, just mention them for deletion when a mod has them (along with docs, screenshots, fomods, etc). I usually tidy up my project folders of any clutter but bsl's are pretty small actually, so I'll leave them. I still don't know if BSA extraction is a good thing (and when you have 100 mods with bsa's, how to tell which ones might have conflicts?) but it seems like a good idea to leave them preserve some flexibility. Do other apps like BSAopt also need bsl files to extract bsa files?

4 hours ago, lmstearn said:

What's wrong with them? If selecting sub packages through Wrye Bash, it amounts to the same thing, except that extra care has to be taken about what to select. Which means reading the documentation closely, or if there is none, referring to the wizard scripts anyway, which can end up making modding rather tedious. :blink:

Checking which subfolders for what exactly?

The reason I don't use wizards is that they leave the full downloaded package in the installers folder. If I make my choices manually, I may cut my drive usage to 50%, sometimes much more, depending on the mod. It's tedious and sometimes it takes a lot of reading to make the necessary arrangements, but at the same time I get much better acquainted with the mods ;) it's like walking instead of driving. I have my bash installers in another drive but still, when you have 80Gb of downloaded mods and ony 40Gb in bash installers (and would be even less if I repacked my projects, which I don't), it makes you think it's probably worth it. When I had wrye bash's folders in my steam drive I had to uninstall games to make room for modded elder scrolls. 

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Ah, limited space. Why not try putting the Bash Installers (sInstallersData) on a flash drive? Running the extraction might be a bit slow initially, but once the extracted files from the BAIN wizard are in the C:\Windows\Temp folder, the install process speeds up.

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10 minutes ago, lmstearn said:

Ah, limited space. Why not try putting the Bash Installers (sInstallersData) on a flash drive? Running the extraction might be a bit slow initially, but once the extracted files from the BAIN wizard are in the C:\Windows\Temp folder, the install process speeds up.

I do :) One of the good features in wrye bash, IMO. My steam drive is an m.2 ssd partition of the primary drive, and I have the bash installers on a separate SATA ssd. Still like to keep things tidy! I have all the original installers classified (I have them in folders according to the type of mod and add numbers before the archive name so I can easily sort them) so I don't need to have the same files copied in bash installers. Having the installers classified in an easy to find manner helps a lot when you go back to the "modding pad". My folders more or less match the markers on my installers tab and the numbering corresponds to the mod order within that tab.

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xxiii. I installed a bunch of mods without much trouble.

xxiv. Trouble came with Vividian ENB - no bain installer and a very complex folder structure that I couldn't make anything of. So i figured out how to use mod organizer as a helper tool for wrye bash (muahahah): downloaded mo standalone (not the installer) and placed mod organizer in my skyrim folder, fired it and simply installed the fomod with mo, then navigated to mo's mods folder and dragged the installed mod's folder into wrye bash's installers folder. Voila! All the needed files and in good presentation. You can even use this with oblivion for omods, not need to use obmm that overwrites everything and makes a mess of your data folder! I bet some may get the fine irony in this :) Disclaim: I have nothing against mo. But I resent the fact that vividian enb doesn't provide an alternative to its fomod installer.

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This is great!

I just ran skyrim with wrye bash after installing over 100 mods! I'm still under 1/3 of the total mod list that I'm going to install, but I carefully checked all the mods for missing masters (that will be installed later), sorted plugins with loot, sorted masters with tes5edit, moved the esp's with missing masters after the bashed patch and deactivated them, rebuilt and activated bashed patch and there you go! Solid green mod list and the game runs flawlessly! All of the stability patches, user interface, weather, lighting, ENB, new and modified quests including huge ones like falskaar and wyrmstooth and many retextures (namely potential fps killers like SMIM and No ble Skyrim) are installed and running. No flora mods yet but the game is already looking beautiful! And fast, no fps drop at all (flora mods will take care of that, probably ;)

I'm getting more and more fond of wrye bash!

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Good work. Did you clean all your mods with TES5Edit? ;)

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12 minutes ago, Hana said:

Good work. Did you clean all your mods with TES5Edit? ;)

Sure did! There were a lot of manual edits too according to the guide. I think tes5edit tells you about wild edits so one can figure out if something needs cleaning, but I'm in no way ready to do that unless I have someone telling me specifically what to do. Same with bash tags and load order edits.

Just added another 40 mods and it's still working :D

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Down to 270 mods and everything's working (no thanks to me, but to the mod list authors and wrye bash :)

Posted a video in this thread.

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