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Skyrim Modding Diary - 21 February 2022



Welcome back, everyone. Hope all of your in the USA had a good President's Day! Today's going to be another fairly short entry as I've been following the news pretty closely and that's distracted me from hobby time. However, we'll at least get finished up with Frostfield and then take a look at what's new on the Nexus.


We're starting today with 1,365 mods installed, 1,379 plugins active, and a final load order index of EF.


Finishing Frostfield


If you recall yesterday's diary, we need to make just a couple small changes to Frostfield. We need to change the location of a bench, we need to address a landscape gap, and we need to break up the file for ESL flagging. 


Fixing the bench is pretty straightforward. We're just going to move it to a working file, add the appropriate masters, and then adjust its position in the CK. We'll figure out what do do about the landscape gap while we're in there too. Editing the landscape is one option, but we could also put a rock or something there to fill in the space.


Here's our rock static to fill the gap, and below you can see where we moved the bench to a different location:




With that taken care of, now let's find the best way to split the file. We'll start by just moving all the cells (and the navmesh info map) to a different file. Unfortunately, that moves too much to the overflow and just creates the old problem in a new file. What if we just move the temporary exterior references? That gives us the opposite problem. So the answer is? Move the interior cells, the NAVI, and the persistent exterior refs. 




There we go. Third time's charm. Now we need to move our overflow file into correct load order, to ensure any downstream edits in my conflict resolution patches get properly updated. 





We also need to copy the AI packages as overrides (not for full replacement yet ) to the overflow file, because some of them reference the new cells. We'll also copy the NPC records, also as overwrites, and those will stay as overwrites to avoid problems with facegen. We need to do this to avoid null reference scenarios that'll happen otherwise when we renumber the cells (see below). 




Once the packages have their form IDs updated, we'll remove them only from the original file, while leaving them (with the new Form IDs) on the override versions in the overflow file.




Fun reminder - if you have downstream patches that reference the original file, make sure you add the overflow file as a dependency before you start renumbering navmeshes. If you don't, you'll have to waste a bunch of time later fixing null pointer errors :/ 


Now that we've cleaned up that mess, let's run FaceGen ESLify to reindex the facegen files, then apply the ESL flags. That'll reclaim EF for other uses.






On The Nexus Today...


I didn't find too much that was meeting my needs, but these mods looked valuable:



The Void Salts mod is just a texture replacers, which is easy to install. The other mod is a nif replacer which should also be easy to work with, but we do want to pay closer attention to its conflict status. Almost everything looks good, however, except for the last two conflicts.




There's also a conflict with Rapid Rocks, and in both cases I'm a little hesitant to knock out those mods' additions, so we'll put this mod in our "foundation" section where those texture mods can override it. 




The neon green reflection bug is pretty annoying, so I'm looking forward to this mod hopefully putting an end to it!


Is It Time For More Bandits?


I've been watching Rogues 'N Raiders with some interest for a while. I generally like what this mod does, except for the way it replaces vanilla assets. Fortunately, that's fairly easy to trim out. Let's grab the latest version and take a look at it. 


The mod itself has 3927 records, of which 3920 are unique. This file will need to be split for ESL flagging. The mod also is going to need a fair amount of work to integrate into my setup. For example, it contains many novel leveled lists that only use vanilla equipment. This means I'll need to update all these records to conform to my variant tables. Similarly, it messes around with vanilla leveled NPC distribution.




Copying the cell edits and leveled lists to an overflow file leaves us about 500 records short of what we need. This one is definitely manageable, but it'll have to wait a bit until I can put a proper amount of time into it. For now, we'll deactivate this mod and save it for later.


Selective Scars


Northborn Scars (no relation to the Northbourne NPC series as far as I know) is an older mod that I've had recommended to me a few times. It looks like it should indeed improve the look of my game, but I need to be careful about how I install it. This is because it conflicts in part with a male skin replacer mod I have and I want the higher quality textures from that mod to still apply to male characters. We'll put it here to manage the relationship of those files:





Next we need to look at the plugin that this mod comes packed with. This is an uncompacted ESP file with only 38 records, so we'll start by compacting it and adding an ESL flag. The mod was free from errors, and also did not conflict any vanilla records. The contents of the mod are all new headpart records, so we will need to keep this in mind if we run into mods that directly rely on this... but I'm really installing it for the improved vanilla textures and not for its new headparts. 


All in all, that was a pretty easy install. Let's see how this looks in game.






Well, that's it for today. I'd kind of hoped that I could use this weekend to knock out some of my big projects, but there's nothing wrong with taking a relaxing long weekend instead. We ended the day with 1,368 mods installed, 1,381 plugins active, and a final load order index of EE. 



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