Installing mods is far too annoying

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PalThunder
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Installing mods is far too annoying

Post by PalThunder » 24 Apr 2017, 11:16

I shouldn't have to edit a text file, the program should just detect the folder names and automatically add it a list

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wareya
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Re: Installing mods is far too annoying

Post by wareya » 24 Apr 2017, 17:35

The launcher looks for plugin mods automatically, and doesn't need to keep track of data file mods. Without your workaround, what exact steps are you taking, what do you expect, and what actually happens?

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Ravenwing
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Re: Installing mods is far too annoying

Post by Ravenwing » 24 Apr 2017, 20:23

I believe PalThunder means an easier way of using the multiple directory method that we officially recommend in the documentation. Wareya is right that you can just add the mods to the data files folder directly, but as we state, this is not recommended due to difficultly of later uninstalling mods and difficulty in resolving conflicts. We do have at least one user on the forums who is building a mod manager, so you might want to search for that. I believe Zini has a general concept for how we'll implement mods and mod installation in the future that should make things much easier, but that would be very much a post-1.0 feature.

In the meantime, I would recommend using a hybrid method where you manually edit the text file to add a couple of data directories you can use, then just install mods the vanilla way by dumping stuff into those directories. It may not handle conflicts as well as having one directory per mod, but it will help keep your original data files pristine, so if you do mess something up, you can always delete that directory and start over without reinstalling the game. Perhaps use one directory for testing new mods and another for the mods that you've tested and know work 100%.

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AnyOldName3
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Re: Installing mods is far too annoying

Post by AnyOldName3 » 24 Apr 2017, 20:48

I think Zini's long-term idea is to assign each mod a single archive file, which, unlike traditional BSAs, would contain everything, including the openmwaddon file. As this completely replaces the multiple data directories system as it currently exists, IIRC, his opinion is that anyone capable of implementing a nice GUI to add data directories could benefit the project more by doing something else with their time.

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heilkitty
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Re: Installing mods is far too annoying

Post by heilkitty » 25 Apr 2017, 03:04

Single file mod would be the final form only, it's not very comfortable for mod development.
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psi29a
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Re: Installing mods is far too annoying

Post by psi29a » 25 Apr 2017, 06:24

It's just a zip file. You can work in those natively in newer windows versions.

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lysol
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Re: Installing mods is far too annoying

Post by lysol » 25 Apr 2017, 08:04

AnyOldName3 wrote:I think Zini's long-term idea is to assign each mod a single archive file, which, unlike traditional BSAs, would contain everything, including the openmwaddon file.
This is a great idea imo.
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MrDowntempo
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Re: Installing mods is far too annoying

Post by MrDowntempo » 25 Apr 2017, 16:07

I think there's no reason the game couldn't support mods as a directory and as an archive since it'd just be decompressing the archive behind the scenes anyway. Then mod devs could develop it in a directory, testing and all. And then compress it for release.

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AnyOldName3
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Re: Installing mods is far too annoying

Post by AnyOldName3 » 25 Apr 2017, 16:36

psi29a wrote:It's just a zip file. You can work in those natively in newer windows versions.
Only sort of. For example, the context menu is missing most items when you browse into a zip archive, and you can't set the working directory of a process to somewhere within the archive. Under the hood, when you open a file within a zip, Windows extracts that one file to a temporary folder and launches whatever program is associated with its extension with the temporary version. It's definitely a massive pain.

Another consideration is that it could significantly increase load times and cause problems streaming content in after loading if everything needs extracting. While Bethesda games still do this, they've recently gone as far as developing separate archive formats for textures and other data, as this allows mipmaps to be loaded without waiting for the whole file to be decompressed. If OpenMW goes for an archive format optimised for the type of use we'll make of it, then it won't be something Windows natively supports.

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psi29a
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Re: Installing mods is far too annoying

Post by psi29a » 25 Apr 2017, 19:55

https://icculus.org/physfs/
This makes for easy access to ZIP files in the same way as you access a file directly on the disk, and it makes it easy to ship a new archive that will override a previous archive on a per-file basis.
It doesn't matter what archive format you use, really. This has been available for years now, we should probably link against it and be done with it. It doesn't even have to use compression, just use it as a container thus negating any CPU overhead due to compression. It could even be a tar ball. It really doesn't matter so long as you can pack it up and ship it. I mean seriously, almost all mods are shipped as either: zip, rar, p7 with the odd ace file. Just having zip support would be a boon, ;)

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