Modding troubleshooting

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JC’s Q&A for Novice Modders

This is sort of a misc question guide for mod troubleshooting.

Question 1: WTF Geck?

I am going to assume that you already know how to save your mod, but I’m willing to bet many of you out there (Vista Users) are having trouble locating your mod when it doesn’t appear in the Data folder. This is because your mod is in a shadow directory within the Data folder. In order to locate your mod first click your windows icon at the bottom left of your screen and type esp in the Search Now box. This will pull up all the links to your most recent esp’s. Right click the one you want and select open file location. It should pull up an icon reference in Windows: Recent. Select your esp again by right clicking it and once more choosing Open File Location. Wait for the system to browse and find your file. It should open up the shadow directory where you can now move your file wherever the hell you want it. I would choose to burn a backup in a Winrare folder and then place the esp into the Data folder… Not the Shadow Folder. Right then, now you just it check off like normal and you’re good to go for product testing.

Question 2: LOD Problems

The LOD is a land texture distance rendering packet used in Fallout 3. If you’re lowering the landscape, placing items on top of other items, or placing large objects then the LOD (WILL) be a problem. Common Problems with LOD: Ghost objects which were deleted, but are still in the game. Large objects which I placed, but now appear out of nowhere when I approach there location. Ugly landscape which is glassed over after I lowered it beyond its original height. In all of these cases the only solution is to generate a new LOD which may take several hours if you’re editing the Capitol Wasteland.

Question 3: What is Navmeshing?

This is very simple. Navmeshing is a path finding system used in Fallout 3. What I mean by that is that all NPC’s including Leveled Creatures use navmeshing to navigate the environment. That having been said you must navmesh everything you lay out otherwise all these creatures will fall through what you laid out and follow the original navmeshing laid out for the environment. I recommend for simplicity sake that you build your environment out of objects so that you can just navmesh the objects instead of going through the process of setting up a temporary border and navmeshing everything in the border. Common Problem with Navmeshed Objects: You get an error message when saving asking that you check the navmeshes in Cell… Just click Ok to everything. This is because you layered navmeshes which actually DOES NOTHING to the game.

Question 4: How do I add objects?

Unless you’re an idiot this should be fairly obvious. You select an object from the Object menu and drag it into the Free Camera Perspective window representative of the Cell View window. From here it’s stacking legos. Hard to Find Objects that I want: RW for stone work, DLC… for any DLC pieces, Lvl for creatures, SW for sidewalks, ultcat for catwalks, bld for buildings. If you want something more specific just drop me a line.

Question 5:Esm vs Esp?

Esm are master files to Esp files. If you intend to create a mod, most mods are best done in an Esp format. Why an Esp? This is so that other people can take your work and merge your esp with their own esp then convert it into an Esm. Otherwise, you need to convert your mod into an Esm so that other people can attach mods to your Esm. This can be troublesome since there is no way to reverse an Esm back to an Esp, and because you cannot merge Esm's. This really boils down to a question of using an Esp so that your work can be merged with other Esp(s) to create a new and unique Esp, or using an Esm which limits attaching mods down to just your mod only. Also, Esp files mouch data from Esm files. This is why you see signs that say (Requires... DLC). This is because that Esp is using data from that Esm. When picking if you want to release your mod as an Esm or Esp it helps to think if you want people using your mod as a base for something else in its entirity, or to use your mod as a resource for to use in something else.

To illustrate, lets suppose you created a new suit of armor. If you want to just have people use your armor (as is) or be added in a large mod which contains numerous suits of armor, it would be best to pucblish your mod as an Esp so that the Esp can be merged with other Esp's which contain other suits of armor in order to create a mod which contains several suits of armor. However, lets assume you create a unique landmass for people to place their mods on. In this instance you would require publishing you mod as an Esm so that Esp's which use your mods Esm data can be attached and published for your Esm. I hope this helps you understand how the two are different and how they relate to your work.