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Install Order - Online List for modders/maintainers collaboration

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It's a good time to discuss install order online list which is maintained by the modders or current mod maintainers.

There are currently 3 people who are trying to create publicly available optimal install order for many mods:

Leonardo Watson - it's only for classic BGT but it can be partialy used for BG2EE
Roxanne - separate lists for BG1EE, BG2EE, EET, IWD1EE, PSTEE
Subtledoctor - combined list for BG1EE, BG2EE, EET, IWD1EE

General remarks:
- due to the dynamic nature, defining install order by using mod local files would be ineffective for it's goal and a nightmare to manage, centralized service is the best way to go
- history of changes is important so we know who change what
- Github is used by similar initiatives, with good results
- contributing into a Github-based solution can be done without storing mods there

So I've created an experimental repository: https://github.com/ALIENQuake/InstallOrderList/blob/master/BG2EE.txt

The overall goal of such 'online list' is to be included by any mod manager into some automated install routine, as a default one. The main benefit is that modder/maintainer can include all of his mods and fulfill all needs of his mods like kit/class dependence, NPC cross-mod banters etc.

The format is:
- the mod ID is tp2 filename without extension and 'setup-' prefix
- uses designated numbers of the components
- * means all components of the particular mod, except any explicitly defined component from the same mod ID

This is an example of how it look like:

#UI-Overwrite
DragonspearUI++ *

jimfix 0 1 100
iwdification *
stratagems 1500 1510 5900 6000 6010 6030 6040
spell_rev *
Faiths_and_Powers *
TomeAndBlood *
wildmage *
iwdification 60
hammers *
UnofficialItemPack *
item_rev *
Divine_Remix *
song_and_silence *
RR 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
A7-GolemConstruction *
A7-ChaosSorcerer *
might_and_guile *
IHateUndead *
willowisp *
cdtweaks *
Divine_Remix 1000
AnimalCompanions *
shadowadept *
sword_and_fist *
refinements *
scales_of_balance *
stratagems *
jimfix 2 3 4 5 400
RR *
atweaks *
scales_of_balance 180
klatu *
jimfix * # it will install remaing 201 202 203 204 205 300 components

#Portiats
ppe *
thepicturestandard *

#UI-Patching
EEUITweaks *

Goals:
- by no means a perfect install order for unlimited amount of mods
- main game quests aren't broken
- NPC mods installed correctly for their cross-banters/interactions
- Kit mods adding kits before other NPC mods can relay on them
- Tweaks mods actually works for all previously added mod content
- UI tweak mods can correctly patch other UI-overwrite mods

Workflow:
- list is read from top to the bottom
- modders/maintainers are added to the repository as collaborators
- modders/maintainers can make changes to the repository
- modders/maintainers are adding/changing only their own mods
- minimum amount of collaboration and caution is required

Features:
- easy and straightforward solution for players (read) and mod managers (download and apply)
- easy way to contribute via web interface: you simply choose file, click edit and that's it
- it has history of changes, everyone will know who change what
- placing NPC mods in order to fulfill all cross-mod banters/etc is very easy
- for certain games like IWD1EE, PSTEE, it will be very small

Disadvantages:
- having to manage separate lists for different games
- for certain games like BG2EE or EET, it will be still a big one
- placing UI/Portiat/Sounds mods is not straightforward because there are no 'sections/groups' at such list I've added sections as comments

I don't want to assume that such list could be easy maintained by modder/maintainer so I would like to hear from you about:
  1. As a modder/maintainer, how do feel about contributing into such list?
  2. Which things makes you don't want to contribute to such list?

Please share you feedback, I agree that there are many difficult aspect of the install order but "done is better than perfect".

Edited by AL|EN

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First a big thank you to you and all who are dealing with install order as it is the one and all where players need input for a working installation.

 

What I do not like (but I don't have a better solution, either): it looks like the component numbers need to be inserted by hand with the numbers they have internally upon installation. For some of my mods, I do not know the exact numbers (e.g. bg1re with a lot of optional components) of each component (without spening time to count them etc.)

In principle, having such a list where I need to put in things by hand scares me, but it should be feasible for my own mods.

 

Question: is this list for PI to be included into some automated install routine or is it merely for players to look at for guidance? The former would be preferable but i don't know whether it is feasible, if it is the latter then using "user friendly" component names might be preferable (as  player, I would have no odea what e.g. "stratagems 1500 1510" would actually mean.

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33 minutes ago, jastey said:

Question: is this list for PI to be included into some automated install routine or is it merely for players to look at for guidance? The former would be preferable but i don't know whether it is feasible, if it is the latter then using "user friendly" component names might be preferable (as  player, I would have no odea what e.g. "stratagems 1500 1510" would actually mean.

The overall goal of such 'online list' is to be included by any mod manager into some automated install routine, as a default one. The main benefit is that modder/maintainer can include all of his mods and fulfill all needs of his mods like cross-mod banters etc. Players are no longer require to read 5 or more readme files to determine all correct dependence.

Players can look at for guidance and they can easy match SCS 1500 description component because '1500' it's displayed at the treeview of the mod components. But the goal is that they won't have to: PI/other mod manager will load such file from Github and sort all mods/components accordingly.

33 minutes ago, jastey said:

What I do not like (but I don't have a better solution, either): it looks like the component numbers need to be inserted by hand with the numbers they have internally upon installation. For some of my mods, I do not know the exact numbers (e.g. bg1re with a lot of optional components) of each component (without spening time to count them etc.)

In principle, having such a list where I need to put in things by hand scares me, but it should be feasible for my own mods.

Not all mods require component numbers. That's the point of *. If the mod occurs only once at such install order list, you can put "bg1re *" and you are done. The component numbers are only required for mods who's components are spitted between mods, like "RR". And even then, you fill components for only the 'one instance' of the mod, the second can use *. See RR as example.

Edited by AL|EN

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Are there that many dependencies out there in the still maintained mods? And will it be feasible to keep such listings up to date?

Don't really know much about modding but maybe it is possible to gather for every mod(-component) the information, which resources it creates/reads/updates? This information could be used to calculate such dependencies instead of maintaining them manually. But this is a wild guess.

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Having install order lists that are at least somewhat maintained by crowd sourcing them is certainly a good idea.

I'd argue that those lists are actually the core of any mod manager, without a proper install order all the mod manager does is save me a few dozen clicks, the real work lies within the install order. 

It might be a good idea to ask the people mentioned in op to use their lists as a starting point. Roxanne for example probably has the most comprehensive and tested EET install order out there.

With how blank the current BG2:EE list looks, I would honestly be at a loss as where to put my own mods in that install order.. :P

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Could look at LOOT as inspiration for possible ways of implementing install order for mods: https://github.com/loot

LOOT is used with other tools for fallout and skyrim to optimize load order for plugins and mod files, having separate master lists for each game. Not sure it would directly translate, but might give ideas on how to do something similar with IE and EE games.

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8 hours ago, fearless said:

Could look at LOOT as inspiration for possible ways of implementing install order for mods: https://github.com/loot

LOOT is used with other tools for fallout and skyrim to optimize load order for plugins and mod files, having separate master lists for each game. Not sure it would directly translate, but might give ideas on how to do something similar with IE and EE games.

It was the first thing which I did: do not reinvent the wheel. But LOOT is designed only for fallout and skyrim and while it's fantastic tool, it can't be directly used for IE mods. Also the main difference: it's maintained by community because it's possible for those games and mods. For IE games, modders themselves must be involved, thus this discussion.

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10 hours ago, Ulb said:

It might be a good idea to ask the people mentioned in op to use their lists as a starting point. Roxanne for example probably has the most comprehensive and tested EET install order out there.

With how blank the current BG2:EE list looks, I would honestly be at a loss as where to put my own mods in that install order.. 😛

That's the idea: give modders/maintainers the mesue to maintain the install order list and make sure that it's actually used: instead of explain install order and answer every question related to it just tell the players "use mod manager, it has correct install order". Now is the chance for it to come true.

This is only an experimental/example list. If you mods need to account for the mods which aren't present on that list, name them so we can see full picture.

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This is how short PSTEE list currently is:

https://github.com/ALIENQuake/InstallOrderList/blob/master/PSTEE.txt
 

PST-UB-Reloaded *
A7-BanterAccelerator *
PowerOfBelief *
bagsoftorment *
cdtweaks *
A7-LevelUpTweaks *
HiddenGameplayOptions *
A7-ResizeableCombatLog *


@CamDawg ,@argent77 and @Aquadrizzt - you are authors of the majority of the PSTEE mods. Does creating itsuch minimal list from scratch and maintaining it only for you own mods involves any difficulty/challenges?

Edited by AL|EN

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I think there is some useful info here for the PI install order (I didn't check whether it is already implemented):

-"bgqe: Brage's Sword" should be before BG1NPC Project (content reasons); you can install all of bgqe onto the BG:EE/SoD partition before EET transition

- "Wheels of Prophecy" must be installed before "Djinni Companion" (technical reasons)

-it is recommended to install "Djinni Companion" after "QuestPack", "Unfinished Business" and "Golem Construction" (content reasons)

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Hello

I've created an install sequence for BGT using the BWP pdf as a guide. It contains a lot of mods, not all the mods, but quite a few. I'll do a test install shortly.

Couple of questions, where should the Druid Grove Makeover go? From what I've read it can pretty much go anywhere and from the install sequence i created it was between BGT and Ascension. Would that be ok?

Can Tome and Blood v0.8.38 be used in BGT? It's not in the BWP guide so im not sure. If so where would a sensible place be? Would it be worth installing different parts inbetween other mods? IE Tweaks/Revisions earlier on with other tweaks and kits later or would this cause unexpected issues?

Thanks

Install completes but there were a load of errors, most of which would be fixed with bwfixpack. Game loads but get ctd when trying to start a new game

 

Edited by Nathan82

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18 minutes ago, Nathan82 said:

Can Tome and Blood v0.8.38 be used in BGT?

No, it's an EE-only-mod.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola

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