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avrie05

Wrye Bash Wish List

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Starting a new thread so Utumno doesn't beat me up for asking in the official thread :ghostface: Yes I'm still quietly sitting in the corner keeping up.

This is a thread to discuss the direction we'd like to see Wrye Bash take moving forward. (call it version 309 for TES6:)

This is my personal opinion after having switched to WB307 as my preferred manager for Skyrim LE, SSE, and FO4 exclusively well over a year ago now. 

First I'd like to thank Utumno, Alt3rn1ty, Sharlikran, Arthmoor and the rest of the team for their continued hard work and dedication. Now that I've been using WB exclusively for a while I really do consider it superior to all other available managers ... I'm on your side, I want to see WB develop and grow, and I support it, and recommend it in the forums.

So here's my one MUST HAVE wish for future versions ... Teach this old dog to read FOMODS. That's it ... I'm not going to bug anyone for bells an whistles. While I love the game, and I'm getting ready to mod it again, it's time for the team to get their heads out of oblivion, and realize that NO ONE is writing bain wizards anymore NO ONE!  My only wish moving forward to include modding future games is that it can read the installer files that everyone is actually using.

I'm presently putting together a new build for FO4 with approximately 350 mods merged down to under 254 plugins. WB307 works flawlessly, and gives me all the control and error checking features I could ask for (except one) It's embarrassing to admit I have to use it in conjunction with NMM (eol version) for 44 out of the 350 mods, because the FOMODS are just complex enough piecing together the installation file paths that WB simply can't install them correctly without manually populating file structures that WB chose not to make. A good example would be any mod that includes an executable binary like Bodyslide, or mods that create subfolders for texture redirection like Korax glowing plants. 

I love you guys, and feel free to beat me up all you want here without messing up the official threads. But Oblivion is approaching puberty at this point, I'm interested in the games we're modding NOW. I'm not a programmer, and don't pretend to be. I'm a die hard modder looking for the tools that work. (like the vast majority of your users) I'm never going to master converting fomods to wizards and really have no desire to learn how. Can you please teach this old dog to read fomods? That's all I ask. 

Thanks

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Utumno has labelled Issue #380 as an Enhancement request for a future version.

I agree converting some fomods is a bit of an art / detective job, you have to be fully conversant with both fomod and wizard scripting

And have a good idea where all the games files are supposed to go as replacers, be aware of tricks such as meshes can have custom paths for textures (so what you would expect to be loose game replacers is a little more complicated than the norm), and have a very good feel for how the author intends the variations of the mods options to be implemented (and a good knowledge of the game and its loading mechanisms, and where it expects to find files for the mod to work). As a last resort you may have to follow the path logic of each option in the fomod scripting to fully understand the authors intentions, and then translate that into a wizard.

Wrye Bash would need to be able to handle the info.xml files and the moduleconfig.xml files just as well as any fomod based mod manager, and have an interface for the same, replacing as necessary the BAIN interface and scripting ... Though how that would work alongside the rest of the mods using BAIN infrastructure and its granular control of every single file idk. One of the beauties of BAIN has always been its 100% control at the file level of every single file you would expect to be installed actually is, whereas fomod on the other hand historically has had occasional hiccups confusing the state of an installation, so personally I would like to see fomod handling integrated in some way, but not actually taking over from BAIN which is the superior method.

All of that is one hell of a job for whoever takes it on.

Meanwhile Beermotor is doing a fine job of requests to convert mods into BAINs needing Wizards and / or BCFs in Mertz WizBAIN thread

 

Edit : Its worth noting too that learning to do Wrye Bash wizards from a mod authors pov is a lot easier than learning to do fomod scripting. Their choice of course, and if they want to be really accommodating, dual scripting a mod to use either Wizard or FOMod is not rocket science for anyone who is capable of doing fomods already, here's one. Here's another. And one more.

But you cant call mod authors lazy, quite a lot of them have volunteers pop along and offer to make a fomod scripted installer for them, because the author is also often clueless on doing these things. What Wrye Bash needs is more new blood going out and helping authors too :). The community needs more peeps like Beermotor, I have helped many authors over the last 10 years, but the enthusiasm is fading out now.

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We fortunately have some ground work done by other authors and a framework of code is already written in Python, we just need time and bandwidth to look at it and integrate it into Bash.

I've been trying help mod authors in the interim by writing wizards for them, and a lot of them have started including them in their mods, but there are some cases where all I can do is write a BAIN converter which is the nuclear option and isn't viable if the mod is updated frequently.

As @alt3rn1ty said, what we may end up doing is something similar to the OMOD converter, but it will differ in that Bash will read the FOMOD, let you run the installer like you normally would, but instead of automatically installing it to the Data folder it'll output a Mod package that you can review before installing.

There are horrors out there lurking in mods that most users would be appalled to know are being copied into their data folders: executable files, massive Photoshop source files, etc.  A lot of this is due to ignorance, inexperience, and lack of development discipline on the part of neophyte mod authors (Fallout 4 mods are the worst for this). Staging FOMOD mods before installation keeps that garbage from being blindly installed like the other mod managers allow.

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Thanks for the replies,

Trust me I'm not shooting bain installation. I love nothing more than grabbing what I know is going to be a very complex mod, extracting it to a folder, and seeing "00 Core" Etc. in a proper package structure. Makes me smile every time ... it's the mods that make you guys a little nervous that end up back in NMM (shudders) because I have no idea what to do with them. I'm not a layman anymore, or a noob. I already peeled away the fomods from more than thirty of the mods I had in NMM. I'm down to 14 from 44. From experience I defer back to fomod installation when I can't recognize the structure and realize the fomod is assembling sub trees on the fly.

The other thing is the executable containing installation like BodySlide, or on the SSE side any of the reproccer based mods. I understand from following the forums that this is by design (for oblivion? I'm a little fuzzy on the why(s)) But there must be a way to get past that limitation as well. Now that SKSE64 is out, and mods will soon be actively converted that use reproccers We're in trouble there as well.

 

Like I said, I'm not picking on bash ... it's all I use now. I just wish it was easier to use for mods not designed for it. And didn't throw a hissy fit every time you run into a binary. I know I'm being captain obvious here,

4 hours ago, alt3rn1ty said:

I have helped many authors over the last 10 years, but the enthusiasm is fading out now.

And there is the heart of the issue ... it's fading because new modders only see it as a tool for patching. If you could simply throw a mod list at it without concern for what it can and can't actually install it would get a lot more users, and therefor a lot more support. I actually had to remind some of the modders (in my own group!) who were having a slightly heated discussion over the drawbacks of NMM Vs, Mo2 that WB was in fact a viable manager, and better than both.

 

2 hours ago, Beermotor said:

There are horrors out there lurking in mods that most users would be appalled to know are being copied into their data folders: executable files, massive Photoshop source files, etc.  A lot of this is due to ignorance, inexperience, and lack of development discipline on the part of neophyte mod authors (Fallout 4 mods are the worst for this). Staging FOMOD mods before installation keeps that garbage from being blindly installed like the other mod managers allow.

I wish I understood that end of the process better, I would be actively helping you with bain wizard creation in the trenches. I was actually quite surprised by the number of mods with "fomod" folders that contained a single XML identifying the name of the mod and the author only. Unfortunately we also NEED to be able to install executable files as I mentioned with BodySlide, Fnis, Dual sheaths ... Etc. Where it isn't a mistake, or malware.

Thanks again for getting back to me. Bad enough dealing with 300+ mods, having to do it multiple times in multiple managers and not knowing what didn't work until you're out of the vault simply sucks.

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