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z929669

Mod Organizer Lovers & Haters of BSA Extraction

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Take a look at the thread on BSA extraction.

 

We want to inform our members and are looking for input on the subject. no Harsh opinions please, just an open discussion to help us come to a consensus on how STEP should be guiding its users with regard to BSA extraction and to help mod authors and users alike come to terms with respect to the ramifications of BSA extraction in Skyrim.

 

And to figure out exactly hos MO handles BSA prioritization!

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I have done a new install of skyrim revisited without extracting any BSAs. I no longer get the mod install order warning. To me that is a plus. I am also still able to go into the mods file tree and hide textures and so on. From what I have gathered reading Tannin is not exactly for extracting BSAs and says the only reason he has it is because users requested it from the Oblivion days. 

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Let me get this straight:  I have been left to believe that by extracting the BSA, I am able to select which resources (that was inside the BSA) gets priority in conflicts.

 

Are people now saying, keeping resources in BSA allows mods to use its own resources and hence reduce conflicts in the first place?  

 

What is the down side to BSAs?

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Take a look at the linked article. It should explain everything. What is not clear will be gleaned by posting over there. I will update the OP as necessary

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This is z929669:

 

I completely messed up and edited rather than quoted DocClox's post!

 

I totally apologize DocClox.

 

If you have a copy of your original or if you could paraphrase what you were saying, that would fix it. Otherwise, it is GONE.

 

My bad :wallbash:

 

PS: this is why admin priviledges are not given out to everybody .... multiply this error by 4000 ... O_o

 

No problem.

 

The central point was that, if MO lets you hide assets that are nevertheless inside a BSA, did we really need BSA extraction? Especially given that Tannin would sooner drop the feature and that some modders, Arthmoor most notably, were refusing support to MO users.

Edited by DocClox
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I quite like extracting. I can see what's in there, edit or alter it as desired, etc. examining and editing meshes and textures can be done. I can recombine them in my own new mods, rename and repurpose them as desired etc. I can't imagine not extracting them.

Edited by statmonster

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.... snip/ With MO the principal difference is that assets can be hidden without extraction. /snip...

 Actually, the assets must be extracted in order to hide. This is the one limitation in MO. Otherwise, BSA assets can be made to behave as loose files and prioritized by the Mod (install) Tab. BSA extraction has benefits as stated in the updated OP on the thread linked.

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Actually, the assets must be extracted in order to hide.

I must admit,I did wonder how the asset hiding was accomplished :)

This is the one limitation in MO. Otherwise, BSA assets can be made to behave as loose files and prioritized by the Mod (install) Tab. BSA extraction has benefits as stated in the updated OP on the thread linked.

Wow. That post has changed quite a lot since I went to bed last night.Personally, I'm not too worried which way it goes. From what I've learned following this debate I think I'm going to be leaving my BSAs packed from here on in unless a particular mod presents a compelling reason otherwise.As regards MO, I think the wisest course would be to drop the feature. Opposition from prominent mod authors can only hurt the tool's adoption and if Tannin himself would sooner drop the feature then dropping it might be the wisest course.Like I say though, I'm happy either way

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I just downloaded all the latest unofficial patches again and installed their un-extracted and un-fondled BSA versions into my mod build.

 

 

For the life of me I still don't understand why it should matter if the ESP's were enabled and the respective data file folders were in the proper and correct order; but if there's some mystery monkey business behind the curtain that is MO...I can leave it there.

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I'll sit on the fence thank you very much.

 

I hardly ever extract BSA's when I install or update in MO, but I like having that built in. I have not problem using BSAopt or DDSopt, though, for that purpose.

 

I don't normally unpack because MO's BSA management feature allows me to set priority and not have to worry about whether each mod has loose files or a BSA. I also like being able to save a few plugin slots by disabling "dummy" .esp plugins for BSAs that MO can handle the loading of.

 

So, though I don't necessarily love or hate MO extraction, I'm sure I would definitely miss MO's BSA management features, which is why I get worried when I see Tannin frustrated with troubleshooting the Potential Mod order problem detection system, and threatening to remove it, along with BSA management and extraction, from MO.

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I personally like BSAs because everything is tidy. The only exception is when the you can extract the contents to get rid off the esp(e.g. bsa with texture/mesh replacers only).

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I did extract BSA archives till now but mostly because BAIN doesn't show BSA conflicts. Does MO tell you if there are texture conflicts with BSA archives in a clear way? If yes I would say keep the BSA for mods if it doesn't save  a plugin. Don't change things that do not need change. Shorter plugin lists are desirable not only to avoid hitting the limit with packs but also to reduce clutter if working with them.

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You have to check the BSAs in the Archive tab for them to show up in conflicts. Otherwise they do not show up because normal priority of loose overwrites BSA always takes over for that BSA. 

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It's a lot like the divide between commercial, share/freeware, and open source. Diametrically opposed classes of control-freak whipping each other into a froth.

 

Given the design of the game engine, the way it consumes data resources, and the behavior of mod authors: the smarter mod users have no choice but to become mod authors of a kind. In that kind, we learn to consume mod author assets as intelligently as the tools allow, and perform our own quality assurance and conflict resolutions. That involves unpacking someone else's precious BSA where they "did everything right" within the isolation of their use context.

 

Bottom line is that the monolithic packaging approach (in this case, BSA) causes more harm than good when paired with the extreme fragmentation that is mod authoring and distribution.

 

STEP has two choices:

  • Continue recommending BSA extraction, and continue providing least error prone practices, instructions, and even patches.
  • Switch completely to open source project management, wherein all STEP components exist within a version controlled and inherently documented environment.

Unless the BSA packages are specifically designed to be free of all conflicts (including data records and scripts, because textures and meshes are the least of our end-user stability problems), then the BSA packaging method itself is a flawed practice in this environment.

 

See: Dependency Hell

Edited by whatrevolution

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