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Previous saved game?

Guest JPme2187

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Guest JPme2187

I am halfway through chapter 2 of my current play through. I thought I had installed this mod but now realise I did not. Is it a game breakingly awful idea to install now and continue with an existing save? Do I need to start new? 

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25 minutes ago, subtledoctor said:

Copy your entire game folder, install it and play, see if it is messed up.  If it is, trash your new game folder and restore the old one. 

This is to say that before you start to install the mod, you should make a backup of the game, so you can restore it if the result is a not wanted so you don't waste the game you have made, then install the mod and see what happens. subtledoctor clearly ate a few of the words from his reply.

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It depends on the exact nature of the mod in question.  You might get away with a small tweak here and there, especially to items or spells which are never stored in save files.  But mods that substantially alter areas, stores or characters or make non-trivial changes to dialogs probably won't work too well with a game in progress.  It also depends on whether you add a small mod at the end of your stack, or completely alter the order of already installed mods.

As subtledoctor and Janno already said, if you want to try it you should first make a copy of your game directory.  Technically a copy of dialog.tlk and the contents of override is enough unless you have a mod that adds biffed (compressed) resources, but better safe than sorry here.  If it fails and you want to continue with the old save you should restore the game directory exactly as it was before.


The most common issue of altering mods on a game in progress is messed up string references.  As you play the game, your save file accumulates copies of npcs you have met, areas you have been to, and stores you have visited.  All of these contain string references which are mapped to dialog.tlk.  If a mod alters these string references (which can happen if the installation order is altered), the copies of files in your save will not be updated and will be using the old values, which will now point to random nonsense.

Also, if a mod adds something to an area or store, like a new item, this will not show up in your saved game.  The same goes for the world map, new areas added won't show up in your saved game.

Finally, dialogs are implemented as state machines, with the states in the form of global variables added to your save.  If a mod alters these, the state in your save may no longer represent a valid situation, resulting in broken dialogs.  In extreme cases this may prevent you from progressing in a quest, or in the main story.


When in doubt, it's best to just start a new game when you alter mods.


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