Snigaroo

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  1. I didn't know that actually; I'll edit the text. Still, the fact remains that two of the same files will always conflict with one another, which has always been the biggest problem with the Workshop compared to use of TSLPatcher-enabled mods.
  2. @Sith Holocron requested that I go into some general detail for the community about why the Steam Workshop is generally bad for modding, both to have all the issues laid out and easily referenced, and to clarify some common misconceptions. I can't count the number of issues I've had to troubleshoot as a result of the Workshop and I know its systems and limitations in detail, so I feel fairly qualified to explain what makes the system inadequate compared to the standard methods the community uses for mod installation. I'll first briefly explain how mods installed from the Workshop work, then detail situations where using the Workshop is sensible before explaining why using the Workshop is generally not a good idea. If you'd only like to see an explanation of why you should be downloading mods manually, skip on down to section #3. If you don't use the Steam version of the game with the most recent (Aspyr) patch, needless to say this doesn't really matter for you, as you don't have Workshop support for your title anyway. How the Workshop Works First, it's important to reiterate that the Workshop is only available on the Aspyr patch of the game, the most recent update presently only available on Steam. This update causes not a few issues, which means that even if you own the game on Steam you might want to revert it even before considering modding; an inability to apply new textures to lightsaber hilts, the loss of fog effects, and sometimes extreme game stuttering are but a few of the issues the Aspyr patch causes (though, in fairness, it of course also introduces many useful conveniences, including native widescreen support and controller support). To the topic at hand, however: on a basic level, the Workshop is just a download system for mods. It doesn't truly "install" them as such, as the TSLPatcher would do, it just takes stored data from archives and puts them in a repository which the Aspyr-patched version of the game can read. For example, if you install TSLRCM and two texture mods, the Workshop will take the file data from TSLRCM and those texture mods and separately store them in a containing folder, which the game will then read on startup. A few of you might already see the problems with this, but we'll get into that in a moment. What the Workshop is Good For Jokes of "nothing" aside, the Workshop is actually very good for single-mod installs. If you want to use TSLRCM and only TSLRCM, go for it--the Workshop will download it and you can run it with no trouble at all. The TSLRCM team even realized that this is a much easier and more foolproof method of installation for many users, which is why the Workshop version remains recommended. And, so long as TSLRCM (or TSLRCM + M4-78) is the only mod you're using, it truly works fine. The issue comes in with multi-mod setups, which is how we get to.... Why You Should Avoid the Workshop Put simply, the Workshop was not well-designed when it comes to multi-mod installs, especially in the face of the array of tools the community has developed to encourage mod compatibility over the years, the TSLPatcher being foremost among them. For those that don't know, the TSLPatcher can append strings or modify individual lines within existing files (among a myriad of other things), which allows mods which would otherwise directly overwrite the same files to work together fine, so long as they're not editing the exact same data within the same files. Not only does the Workshop not have this, it also lacks a stunning array of other common-sense multi-mod features: Load orders are based on the order mods are subscribed to. This is a big one. Even the most archaic games have always allowed users to control file overwrites, deal with compatibility issues, and selectively prioritize one mod over another by controlling the order in which mods are installed, and oftentimes the specific files installed from mod to mod. Because the Workshop does not truly install mods as such and instead merely sits them in a folder to be read by the game, it's up to the Workshop which mods get read in which order, and which get prioritized. Mods subscribed to first are read first by the system, but because they're downloaded as complete packages ready-to-launch, it's not possible to remove files selectively unless you know exactly where to look--even then, the Workshop may try to repair your install of the mod, replacing files that you may have removed intentionally. Furthermore, no file manifest is given by the Workshop, which makes it that much more difficult to see which mods edit the same content, and incompatibility is a major systemic issue with the workshop as we'll see. One mod's changes can push out another's. Unlike the installation system typical with major mods where the TSLPatcher can minimize incompatibilities, there's no such protection here. Indeed the opposite, as having two mods with the same .2da file means that one's will inevitably win out, and the other's will lose, and the loser's data will be completely and totally ignored by the game. Not only does this guarantee that some mods are incompatible in function simply due to the Workshop's architecture, it means that you could encounter serious bugs if important files from one mod are overwritten by another. This is part of the reason why TSLRCM and M4-78 had to be combined on the Workshop eventually--despite being completely compatible with one another, the Workshop was ramming them together in incompatible ways. Mods installed manually don't play well with Workshop mods. Jumping off of the above, because mods aren't truly installed with the Workshop, a user can mod their game by installing files onto their game directory in steamapps/common as one would normally do, but also subscribe to mods on the Workshop. Yet the same issues as two mods editing the same file on the Workshop will now occur in this scenario: a loose .2da file in the override will conflict with a .2da file from a Workshop mod and one will completely cancel out the other, rather than taking each other into account whatsoever. This is a big reason why it's a good idea to do all one thing or all another, since combinations like this are invariably more work than simply modding with the right tools from the start. The Workshop has limited selection, and few exclusives. This is an indirect rather than direct issue with the Workshop, but it's worth pointing out all the same. Because of many of the above issues, the Workshop has a rather limited base of modifications, and most modifications released on the Workshop have also seen standard releases, either here on Deadlystream or on the KOTOR 2 Nexus. Because those mod versions would be more compatibility-friendly anyway, there's little reason to use the Workshop just for the sake of the mods on it; there's more variety and less headache installing mods elsewhere. While the above is by no means an exhaustive list, it does represent the bulk of the problems with the Workshop. I want to reiterate a final time that the Workshop is an easier install method, as it's a simple one-click solution, but, much like the dark side, it's an easy path that often brings its own problems down the line. It's never worth it to use the Workshop for a couple of mods only to find out that you have a serious incompatibility late into the game, and no clue how to resolve it. Manually downloading mods isn't much more difficult, and neither is their installation, while the compatibility benefits from doing so are significant. I hope this post has helped explain exactly why that is, and encouraged you to look into a traditional install instead. If concerns about compatibility now seem significant to you, or if you're new to modding and worried you'll simply be overwhelmed by the install process for mods, I (though biased) strongly recommend the mod builds on the subreddit. As fully-compatible mod lists, you won't need to worry about crashes from their use, and all the mods listed come with detailed instructions where necessary; spoiler-free builds are even available if you're a first-time player. With the builds as an option, there's really no reason not to skip the Workshop in favor of a much more content-rich and stable experience.
  3. Steam copy, legacypc beta, Windows 10 OS. TSLRCM and a handful of other mods, none of which should impact the situation given that JC also experienced it.
  4. Hello everyone! Recently, we at /r/kotor hosted a general survey about the games and posting habits on the subreddit. Most of these results aren't very interesting for Deadlystream and modding in general, but we also asked some specific questions about modding and modding habits which we restricted to only users on the subreddit which had previously installed a mod for either KOTOR or KOTOR 2. I think these results are both very interesting and quite relevant to Deadlystream, and so I thought to bring it to everyone's attention. The survey thread, which includes links to all the various sections of collated survey responses, can be found here. But, for those who just want to see what's relevant, we're most interested in the two modding sections--here and here. Now, there are some really interesting results in these two categories, including how frequently users on the subreddit mod each of the individual games, how many users have used the mod builds and the ways in which they choose to do so, and some feedback and usage statistics on K1R, TSLRCM, and M4-78; for anyone here with any fingers in those pies, it's worth taking a look at the results. There are two charts I really want to bring to everyone's attention, however, and I'll repost the first of these here: As you can see, these are the usage values for typical modding sites, with the one on the left representing usage for all users, and the one on the right excluding those who have only ever installed TSLRCM before (which we suspected granted the Steam Workshop disproportionate weight, and was largely borne out). These charts show clearly that Deadlystream sits in third place for all major modding sites, even the Steam Workshop, and even after excluding TSLRCM-only users. This means that the Workshop, which only hosts content for KOTOR 2 (and a very small selection at that), and which is only available to users who own the games via Steam, is beating out Deadlystream for usage on the subreddit. This is despite official subreddit resources like the mod builds utilizing Deadlystream; this is despite official and regular subreddit warnings about the Workshop's reliability; and this is despite our policy to link to mods on Deadlystream and recommend Deadlystream's usage whenever a user comes to us with a modding question. Now, if it was just a battle between the Workshop and Deadlystream that would be more understandable, as convenience can always win out against common-sense, and other responses to the survey showed that KOTOR 2 is by far the more modded game out of the two. But we have here the Nexus as well, which is also beating out DS on usage. It's very clear from these results that, despite the subreddit's partnership with Deadlystream and all our best efforts to encourage its use, DS is losing the race on convenience (the Workshop) and popular usage/word-of-mouth (Nexus). And this is on a site which is partnered with DS and where we do our best to support it; the prognosis for use outside reddit is likely more grim still. I bring this to everyone's attention not to be a doomsayer, but instead to illuminate the issue and open up a dialogue about how we can fix it. As everyone here knows, Deadlystream is now where the most (and the most-updated) mods are hosted; users who utilize the Workshop and Nexus not only deprive themselves of many mods, but also deprive themselves of stability due to the Workshop's poor architecture and the outdated nature of many of the mods on the Nexus. This, then, is not merely a perception problem affecting the userbase here--wherein users quite likely believe the KOTOR mod community anemic or even dead based off of perceptions surrounding the infrequent uploading and support of mods to the Workshop and Nexus--but also a usage problem, in that the end-user is being deprived of a stable game with maximum available content. I've already looped @Tyvokka into this discussion and we had a chat earlier today about wiki integration and how the subreddit (which is tied to reddit's very limited wiki functions at present) might migrate our entire wiki here in the future, which might well serve to encourage more cross-site traffic and familiarity. We also again discussed cross-site administration, events and support, and hopefully on the administrative level we can do some cooperative work to combat this trend. As has been mentioned before, at the very least when wiki support is added here and the mod builds are next updated I'll post them here, and begin dual-site support between reddit and DS. I don't want to understate the work that can be done on the level of the individual user here either, however. For example, let's take a look at the second chart, I spoke of earlier, an entirely more hopeful one: As you can see, about 50% of polled users would be potentially interested in making a KOTOR mod! The subreddit currently has a little over 37,000 subscribers, of which I'd estimate about 15,000 are still for accounts which are active on the site. I know this is a bit of guesswork, but let's just say that 75% of the "Maybe" category will eventually decide they don't want to make a mod or modding tools, and 85% of the remainder doesn't have the skills to do so and will never learn them. If you add them all up, that's still 450 users who would want to make a mod and would have the skills to do so. And I fully admit these are hypothetical approximations of skill, availability and dedication, but it's not a number to scoff at. Regardless of outcome, it's clear that there is potential here; a userbase which contains individuals who are at least willing to try their hand at modding for KOTOR, but have not as yet. I see the subreddit as a pool of potential resources for users on deadlystream, potentially containing not just users willing to do the gruntwork of testing mods, but also artists, users with modeling experience, and maybe even programmers with sufficient skill to make tools still desperately-needed by the modding community. Not everyone will agree with the need (or desirability) to look to the subreddit and its userbase for work which, in some modders' minds, is perhaps not even necessary; that's okay. I understand that considerations for mod development differ, both based on the mod and the user. But I point out this base of interest because, for those who do see potential in it, I want you to know it's there, and as subreddit staff, we're entirely on board with any efforts to harness it. We firmly believe that greater cooperation and collaboration between Deadlystream and the subreddit--which is certainly the largest KOTOR fan community on the internet now--will help drive the word-of-mouth which will help present Deadlystream as the principal KOTOR modding site, and in so doing reverse any false presumptions in the KOTOR fanbase at large that KOTOR modding is dead. Beyond that, with the recent announcement that a KOTOR movie is likely in the works, there's little better time to present a strong and vital face for the classic games than now, when interest in the series is revitalizing. Of course, the subreddit does not necessarily need to factor into this at all, beyond serving as the vehicle for bringing this issue to everyone's attention. I invite anyone reading here to share their thoughts, possible solutions, and even further concerns; we all use Deadlystream, and how frequently it's used for its intended purpose impacts all of us in one way or another. Anything that could help, even if it's impractical to implement at present (or at an administrative level), is worth mentioning. Thanks everyone for your time!
  5. Thanks for the ping @Qui-Gon Glenn. You want the honest to goodness truth, the answer is just a lot of trial-and-error. Before I reached my first stable build release I had to play the games through, shifting order and switching mods out, 4-5 times before I could even complete one. That was back before I was more familiar with what I was doing, but the moral of the story, if you will, is still the same--depending on what you're trying to get to work together, it might just come down to a lot of tinkering. That said, JC is absolutely correct that incompatibilities are pretty rare. The most common type you'll have are obvious straight file overwrites, which are disproportionately texture or model changes. In those cases it's as simple as installing what you want last. More rarely you have file overwrites that involve more important files, which you can sometimes get away with overwriting if you know that the file from one mod is just minor changes (a rebalance of values in spells.2da, let's say) while another makes additions. Obviously in that case you keep the one that makes the additions, if you're dead-set on both mods, and either manually re-implement the balance changes or just eat the loss. Properly major file overwrites, like two loose appearance.2da files, can still be made to work if you've got the know-how and patience to merge the data from both files. Otherwise it's a matter of deciding which mod you prefer. TSLPatcher mods are more stable, but whether you'll encounter stability issues as a result of them is often less obvious, as they tend to do more (just by the nature of what mods benefit from using the TSLPatcher) and warnings the patcher spits out can sometimes be intentional, or benign even when unintentional. You don't always know which is which, and even if you go through everything with no errors thrown at all, you can still get a conflict at the end of the day. There's nothing you can do for that, though, except try to structure your install order logically and be smart about what mods you want to integrate. The more you add, and the more that anything you add edits, the more risk you inherently run. Determining a provisional load order is where you're going to be doing most of your legwork, and it's the step that will most directly impact the stability of your final build. This is probably the one thing I might be able to give some useful advice on. For the builds, the install order favors installing loose-file mods first, then larger TSLPatcher mods descending down to those with the most minor changes. The order of importance thus goes from the most trivial loose-file mods to the most important loose-files, then shifts to the most important TSLPatcher/.exe content down to the most trivial. In addition, mods of similar styles (texture replacers, model edits, mechanics changes, etc.) and those with similar thematic foci (Dantooine, let's say) are also grouped somewhat closely together. I've found that this is helpful in determining where you're likely to have conflicts, because by starting with the smallest mods first you'll have less stuff to go through in your override when/if you have a direct file conflict so you can easily determine what mods you're going to be forced to select between, and by grouping themes you're more likely to run into those potential conflicts back-to-back. From the TSLPatcher side of things, installing the largest mods first lets you know right away whether or not your most important mods are throwing any errors in their install phase, and also allows for mods with more specific changes (which are generally smaller) to overwrite the changes made by your larger, broad-stroke mods. Your final functional order might not be similar to that, but installing a test run in this way is the best way I've found to quickly diagnose problem areas or potential issues in what you intend to install, which will let you fine-tune what you're using and when you're installing it to get better results. Once you've cleaned up the obvious issues, though, there's nothing for it but to do a run and make sure everything works. Sometimes it won't--most times it doesn't, for me. A little over half the time I have to restart or modify a test partway through due to unforeseen issues that didn't crop up during the install phase. If you're bound and determined to use a bunch of mods, that's just how it goes.
  6. I've moved it to the proper category for you now.
  7. I see, I did misunderstand you. Thanks for the clarification.
  8. I'm not a modder and typically I stay away from these sorts of things, so now in butting my head in I hope I'm not misreading your intent, but am I correct in saying you're suggesting that you would like to create an offsite for users to collaborate with you for the development of mods and porting of content in a way which you would define as being beneficial and compatible with the game's original aesthetic/design, and to reduce the frequency of projects created which are contrary to that interpretation? The online thing aside, I'm not sure I understand what you would want out of such an offsite, and why you're worried about alternate aesthetic/design interpretations--universes, as you call them--being developed. Is not the point of creating a mod to allow users and modders to decide what kind of content they would like to use, whether it be in their games, with compatible mods, or simply to draw inspiration from? What is the downside of users having open access to this content, if whatever mods come of it are the user's choice to utilize or not? The only mods which are ever going to be universalist are TSLRCM and a few assorted bugfixes, after all; there is no great likelihood that the entire KOTOR community would become so reliant upon the usage of one new mod that it would become a standard, as TSLRCM has. Forgive me if I am misinterpreting you, I'm simply not clear on this.
  9. I'm well-aware of the situation regarding the K1 mobile release, and I made my statement with that in mind. A market cut would be the likely result of such an act because the "free" mobile version would be more accessible to many, and thus the paid PC version would drop sales as people figured out ways to just use the mobile port alone. No purchase validation is flawless, and platform-to-platform just makes it easier to spoof and much, much more visible when it happens. There may be ways to mitigate the risk, but from a legal perspective it's not something I think Ty will want to mess with. I'm not the one who will make that call, though.
  10. Thanks for the ping, @jc2. From a rules standpoint we have absolutely nothing against a full-game port. Porting some content from one game to another is quite different from porting all content, but again from the standpoint of the restructured rules there is nothing which prevents such a project from being undertaken, discussed, and uploaded here on Deadlystream. With that said, that is different from an attempt at cross-platform porting (IE making a hypothetical KOTOR 2 for mobile), which we did not think to address at the time that we restructured the rules. Frankly I have my doubts about how feasible such a concept would be anyway, but until @Tyvokka and the rest of the staff can weigh in I would offer an initial assessment that we would be against that--no discussion of it, no condoning of it, certainly no uploading of it. While a hypothetical KOTOR-to-KOTOR 2 port could (and probably would) need some form of purchase validation for both titles in order for us to feel comfortable with it being hosted here, a KOTOR 2 made mobile-compatible would be a direct cut into the market for the game, which would quite likely damage sales and increase the chances of ire being drawn over the issue. Keep in mind that this is my initial, singular opinion and assessment of the issue based on the wording of the rules, which as I noted don't fully account for this particular circumstance. When other staff have weighed in, the final consensus may be quite different.
  11. I have serious issues with Apeiron in general, especially the progress of its development over the past three years and its online "presence," if you like. I think it's only fair for me to disclose that bias first thing. With that made clear, though, I have a deep distaste for the way the project has thus far seemingly been managed, and absolutely with how it's been conveyed to the fanbase at large, which I believe I would still have even without this accumulated bias. You say that the project lead is the one to speak to about these issues, but you are the first Apeiron volunteer that I have ever communicated with on any forum (to my knowledge, at any rate). I was on the subreddit the day that Apeiron was announced, and I still see every thread that passes through the sub as part and parcel of being a mod. Every Apeiron topic ever posted has only had fans in it to speak on the team's behalf, and the overwhelming majority of those fans have genuinely and innocently pushed the narrative that Apeiron is a mod which is free from C&D threat from any rights-holder. They've believed what you've said, and it's all so much empty words. I don't hold you to blame for this personally, or hold any ill-will towards you or even the idea of KOTOR being remade. My problems are twofold: a complete lack of communication on any channels which aren't dominated by Apeiron fans, and what is--in my view--the deliberate and continued misinformation that Apeiron will be legally treated as a mod. In defense of your team, I should have stepped forward with these issues myself a long time ago, but in my own defense I had (and still have) zero faith that the project will ever see the light of day, in all honesty. With that said, I still find the lack of communication outside of Apeiron-dominated channels disturbing, and the misinformation downright distasteful. Now that it seems that at least some elements of your team are attempting to be more communicative with other parts of the community, I think it would be to both of our benefits if these issues were addressed. I've made unpleasant claims about the Apeiron team's work, including about its overall competency to bring the project to fruition. Many have taken this to be unreasonable hostility on my part, but having been involved with indie development in the past, what I've seen thus far seems to me simply to be a reflection of the same lack of available volunteers that laid my own project to waste. Contrary to those who assume I'm simply hostile for the sake of being hostile, however, I would love to be proven wrong; I have simply never been put in the position of being able to ask questions of a developer before without going out of my way. I don't know how to contact your director, so if you could pass on to him my sincere hope that he would consider immediately removing the mod portion of the FAQ on your website, it would immediately alleviate many of my concerns about how Apeiron has portrayed itself thus far. If you would be further willing to request that he get in touch with me here or on reddit, I would love to coordinate an AMA with your team and the subreddit as a whole. Much of the trouble that exists thus far, I feel, stems from the perception that your team is uncommunicative and intentionally misleading your fans; if both of these misconceptions could be clarified through engagement, it would go a long way indeed toward engaging the remainder of the community with the project. Finally, because most of this post has been presumptuous on my part and I'm well-aware of it, I do want to say again that I don't wish you or any member of your team any ill will. If I'm being entirely honest I still have serious questions about the project, your team's capabilities, etc., but that's why I want to open a dialogue regarding it. I have been incredibly hostile toward the project in the past, but, again, I would love to be proven wrong and to find out this has all been a large misunderstanding on my part. If you all are willing to have an open dialogue, I'm very willing to change my views.
  12. I know, and that was why I was clarifying. Though there's no reason why the Steam version wouldn't run on Windows 10; I've only ever had a single user report an irreparable issue with Windows 10 before, and to be frank I don't really believe even that is unfixable.
  13. It's not the case, Steam version works fine with non-Workshop mods. Indeed, that method is recommended. The Workshop isn't particularly good for modding, and only an option for KOTOR 2 anyhow.
  14. If you already own the games on Steam, there's no reason to repurchase them. Even if you encounter Aspyr-based bugs, the KOTOR 2 Steam version is perfectly functional if you revert to the legacypc beta, and if you don't encounter issues the Aspyr version doesn't cause auto-minimization on cutscenes, which can save quite a bit of time and doesn't necessitate manually patching in widescreen or upscaling cutscenes. That the traditional plethora of fixes is still an option on the Steam version means that you have more options with it than the GoG version.