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Main Menu Freeze/Merging EssArrBee's Additional Weapons No Cheat



TL;DR: PROBLEM - After merging EssArrBee's Additional Weapons No Cheat, game will freeze at main menu (i.e. music and background, but no menu, cursor, or DARN head)
            SOLUTION - Utilizing the method of removing errors in FNVedit used in step 6, subsection 7 of the No Cheat merging instructions, remove the errors from MasonJarMineForms and                                                       NV SuperRailRifleForms.
First of all, thank you to everyone here on the forums for supporting the mod community and being helpful and humble. Many times I've been stuck at a certain part of the installation process, and after doing a quick search of the forums here at STEP, found the exact solution to my specific problem (I'm staring at you ADAM...). Also, thank you EssArrBee for creating F&LNV in the first place; you bring much honor to this house.

Now, to the nitty gritty. Up until I reached the EssArrBee's Additional Weapons portion of F&L, I followed the installation instructions precisely, save for omitting a couple of mods that I could live without to make room for others down the road. For some reason, I broke form and installed another weapon mod that I merged into the SRB's Additional Weapons.esp. I meticulously followed the instructions for merging Additional Weapons No Cheat. I am in the habit of doing a quick function check after the installation of every section in F&L, just to make sure I didn't skip a step or mess something up along the way. Everything up until this point checked out, with some finagling, but as soon as I loaded up the game, I got the main menu freeze. Searched the forums, no solutions seemed to work.
The likely explanation was the extra mod I threw in there on a whim (I did do an error check in FNVedit before merging, but it came back clean), so I redid everything minus said mod. Same thing. So, considering the possibility that I missed something or had an erroneous download, I re ran the installation starting from scratch. Downloaded mods, made the tweaks, extracted/hid the BSA, cleaned the dirty mods, merged again...... Same thing. Disabling the merged .esp and running the individual mods' .esps, I no longer got stuck at the menu. 
With a new suspect, I cracked open the merged .esp in FNVedit to take a look-see. I had a hunch that the FormIDs might be a culprit, so that was the first place that I looked. Sure enough, there were unresolved FormID errors from MasonJarMine.esp and NV SuperRailRifle.esp. Removed the errors, saved the mod, and I am now back in business. Just to be sure I could replicate the problem, I completely redid the process exactly as I did before, except for removing the additional FormID errors from the previously mentioned mods. Loaded game, main menu freeze. Deleted FormID errors, game loaded right up. 
Obviously, people using the Cheat method of merging these mods shouldn't encounter this issue, only those using the No Cheat instructions. When I was looking for possible solutions in the forums here, I saw that the main menu freeze was a pretty common issue, and the proposed fixes didn't always work. So I figured I'd share my experience and hopefully help someone out in the process. 


[spoiler=PRO TIPS]

- It's good to get into the habit of doing a function check after installing each section of F&LNV. Even if it's booting up the game, loading a clean save and walking around for a minute or two. This helps alleviate the amount of investigating you have to do when something goes wrong. 

- You should always check merged mods for errors in FNVEdit after completing the merging process and saving the .esp. Some mods have errors that you don't have to worry about, the main enemy is FormID errors. These are easy to check for and easy to fix.

- Try to be as methodical as possible when trying to resolve an issue while modding. Sometimes it can be infuriating, and after drinking too much whiskey, beating your poor keyboard to death, and developing a prescription painkiller habit, you realize you forgot to put a checkmark in a box. The struggle is real.

- If you find a problem or a solution that hasn't been mentioned before, share it! It's part of what makes this community great. Also, be as thorough and descriptive as possible when posting your issue/fix. This aids both people that need help and people that are trying to help. 

- Be humble. I see mod authors and others get berated for the most ridiculous things. These people make good games great, often without any form of compensation other than satisfaction. Modding is not a job, it is a hobby. They spend their own free time and talents making wonderful creations that often outshine the original developers' best efforts. So next time you download a mod that makes your game better, stop by the comments sections and drop some kudos. It might just encourage someone to upload that update you've been waiting 4 months for  :;): .



Edited by DrainO
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