Important Site Docs
- Category: The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Guides
- Last Updated on Thursday, 29 March 2012 17:11
- Written by Giskard
- Hits: 28080
Update: 29 Match 2012
Bethesda introduced a modding system for real world mod users that expect modders to make mods in a certain way so they work in a world full of other mods. Yet many modders just edit everything and do not think that if they release their mod to the public, it will cause problems.
This has lead to players trying those bad mods and having issues, making complaints gave rise to the appearance of tools like BOSS and Wrye Bash that force those bad mods in to your load order so they will work. Good mods do not need those tools and do not suffer from the problems those tools have created.
Beths official system does not allow for those tools because it expects you to choose between 2 conflicting mods and promises you that if you do that, your game will be stable and work as intended.
Its only when you ignore Beths official system and force the issue using tools like Wrye and Boss that you effectively infect all the mods in your mod list with the disease the bad mod brought to your game.
Which is why there are 10,000s of threads from tool users about load order issues and only a handful of comments about people who follow Beths own system. After all, how often do you post on a forum "Hay guys this mod is working in my mod just and just wanted to say that in public".
You dont... but players do not stop and look at all the threads about problems either and when they do, they certainly do not notice they are all BOSS or Wyre Bash users having these problems because one of their mods does not work well with other mods in the real world but wanted to force the issue anyway.
Beths Official System.
Beths official system only really has 1 rule, if 2 mods conflict, pick one and stop using the other. That advice may be unpopular because its not what players want to hear but it works 100% of the time. IT gives you a stable game and ironically, you end up using more mods than the tool users not less for 1 simple reason.
Where a tool user sooner or later gets to the point where they are too afraid to add that one new mod to their game because its already a house of cards and would not take much to bring it crashing down.
Followers of Beths own system have very few problems, so they try mods out more often and because their games are stable, when a new mod causes a crash, they know instantly its that mod causing the problem and can seek help.
The Illusion of Truth behind mod load orders.
People that install conflicting mods without caring about such things have a lot of random problems they know about and even more they have no clue exists. Yet that always gives them away to experience eyes.
The way Beths mods are loaded means some of them get blocked and so are "Switched off". Where as others are "Switched on" by the same system. So when a user reports a problem and is told to move a mod higher up the load order, they switch off one problem and switch on another different problem. The random nature of the next bug triggered by this tells us what is actually going on.
They are just shuffling the problems that already exist in their mod list by moving mods up and down, nothing more.
Both problems exist in their game but only 1 of them is working at that point. This makes it appear as if moving a mod up the load order has fixed the problem when in fact it just caused another mod to block it. The problem is still alive and well and taking a holiday, expect to see it return one day.
The same action in large mod lists usually unblocks several new problems with different mods. So the player ends up back in the same thread a week later with something else to moan about on the official forums.
Too afraid to try new mods because any changes at all may cause his house of cards to collapse.
Fact is when 2 mods conflict, you stop something from working, forcing the issue using tools does not make both mods play nicely with each other. Nor does it magically fix the problems. It simply allows them to run, bugs and all.
You then have to live with those bugs that YOU CREATED by forcing them to work together. Usually the 2 conflicting mods have no bugs if you run them separately, its only when you are a idiot and try and run both at the same time do you create a problem out of thin air for your self.
If your unlucky, the item that gets blocked will be scripted (very likely in Skyrim) and that will cause bad information to be fed to the script or quest causing your saved game to get a little larger every 5 seconds as junk data gets written to it because the script or quest is now out of control or broken.
A few weeks of that and bang... good by saved game.
Have you had any Skyrim quest problems lately ?
How is your saved game anyway, healthy I trust ?
This can and does lead to saved game bloating, suddenly you have a 20meg save at level 40 and it only loads half the time, random crashes are common and some funky stuff is happening in your game.
The correct size for a healthy save game at level 40 having done most of the quests in the game is between 10 and 15 meg, if yours is bigger than that, then your about to find out what I am talking about here the hard way.
Either change your ways or lose your game save... its your choice.
To be fair, using a console command to advance a quest or change something in a quest can have the exact same end result in the exact same way. So that is another bad habit to get out of.
Your modlist is a Mega Mod
The game does not look at your mod list a series of mods, it sees the mod list as a giant mod. Anything that gets blocked, the game does not see, only the code that is not blocked gets loaded so what the game sees is usually very different from what you see when you look at your mod list or use tools to force a issue.
For example if your mega mod had 2 potion mods, one would be blocked, you may see 2, but the game will only see 1. If you use tools to force both to load, your still only going to get 1 set of potions because the tools in this case just do what the game does automatically.
Another example is if 2 mods edit the same script, one says "do not nuke solutide" and the other says "do nuke solitude", merging them using tools would still cause 1 mod override the other because you cannot nuke and not nuke the same place. The same rule is true for NPCs who have their stats edited.
In the end the job tools do well, is actually already done by the game it self in your mega mod.
Each mod becomes a little bit of code for your giant program I call your mega mod. Because 1 dodgy bit of code can cause the whole mega mod to crash out, you really want every single bit of code you add (the esps that make up a mod is the code i am talking about) to be as health as possible.
When you follow beths own system you will have very few problems so when a bad bit a code is added to your mega mod in some new mod you installed, you can tell right away and remove it.
Just as you may treat your own body as a temple, or not, you should treat your mod list like at temple because a nice healthy mega mod full of healthy smaller mods means a nice stable game for you.
Following Beths rule "if 2 mods conflict, use one and stop using the other" is the only secret you need learn.
Of course their are exceptions, loose textures for example that do not use esps and are not in BSA files have none of these problems. They are an exception to the rule.
And not the only exceptions either, but as a new player your going to be a long time understanding what the exceptions are so your much better of following Beths rule to the letter until you start to learn those exceptions for your self.
Some mods, even some of my own mods are designed to conflict, for example a potion mod I made using janix potion bottles for oblivion would conflict with other potion bottle mods but if run after the other mod would allow both my mod and the other potion mod to work as a single mod. But 99.99999999999% of the time, if you let the other potion mod run after mine, that potion mod would entirely block mine because it was not designed to play friendly with other mods. Where as mine was.
But examples like that are rare, the level of experience with modding a modder needs before he understand these tricks is pretty high. So its best not to assume mods are designed to conflict unless it says so in the mods documentation.
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