Jump to content
  • 0
TechAngel85

Profile Sharing

Question

As some of you may know, Nexus Mod Manager 0.60.+ is out into open beta. With the update, NMM now has profiles which work for all the games that NMM can handle (scroll down to the "Works on" section at the link posted. This is a great feature which we've all enjoyed for far longer with Mod Organizer. Nexus seems to be one-upping MO with the announcement of Profile Sharing which will be coming soon. My question here is directly towards Tannin, but for all to discuss...

 

Will MO be getting a similar feature to be able to share profiles?

 

Also, a note to all:

Don't be fooled by the "VirtualInstall" with the new NMM. It's not the same as MO and will still place files into your data folder for your games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0
Also, a note to all:

Don't be fooled by the "VirtualInstall" with the new NMM. It's not the same as MO and will still place files into your data folder for your games.

I was totally fooled by that and immediately considered switching back to NMM, having only just started a fresh install based on MO. Glad to know I made the right choice.

 

If Profile Sharing can work well, that's a killer feature. My concern is whether it can share not just your data/ folder or mod list, but also the ini files in documents as well as changes within the skyrim install directory. Sounds like a beast to tackle, yet a fantastic feature to have.

Edited by d3monic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I read it more as Nexus is trying to play catch up with the Mod Organizer combined with various cloud services, but Nexus seems to be opening the door for automated mod installations with the profile sharing feature. It'll be interesting to find out whether the license terms/terms of use is a Nexus Mod Manager exclusive, though. If Nexus is allowing automated installations with Nexus Mod Manager, it seems the logical next step is to support profile sharing in Mod Organizer and share the STEP Core and STEP Extended profiles.

 

I don't see any reason to migrate to Nexus Mod Manager for several reasons. The new "virtualization system" sounds like Mod Organizer on the surface, but it's implemented with symbolic links in the Skyrim/Data folder back to Nexus Mod Manager's mods folder. Users must reinstall all mods (and it sounds as if "reinstalling" also means redownloading every mod from Nexus), which means all customizations are deleted. Finally, I don't see any mention that Nexus Mod Manager has any intelligence in how it sorts the load order. I know in the past it would blindly sort the load order into a semi-random mess every time I installed a mod without notification or question, and I assume this is still the case today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

It sounds all well and good but the people who want all their mods installed for them automatically are most likely going to not really understand things like load order, bashed patches, xEdit, etc. I figure that most people who know how to mod are going to want to install all of their mods themselves so they know what's going on. NMM breaks frequently when I install a foMOD which is why I don't use it. I cannot even imagine what a mess NMM would make of your Data folder if it crashed after installing mod 25/50 or whatever the case may be. When something finally breaks in their load order or whatever who are most people going to blame? The person that set up the automatic list instead of trying to figure it out themselves. There is a reason I don't want my mods to be managed automatically. Mod manager's are meant to be tools and not meant to do everything for you. That is only asking for trouble in my opinion. :\

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Since the entire structure of NMM's and MO's "profiles" are based on different methods I think it will be a very difficult task to get MO's profiles to install an identical copy onto someone else's computer.

 

We can make tweaks and edits to files in the mod after it is "installed" and then use those files in the modded game because MO stores the extracted mods away from the 'data' folder. This means the actual 'mods' are different to those provided by the mod authors. When they are downloaded from Nexus and installed by others, based on our profiles, there is no way to make those same changes to that set of mods.

 

Add to that the few necessary mods that don't come from Nexus, such as DarnUI and its variants, and the troubles start to emerge.

 

Further, every modder worth their salt knows the importance of making patches based on their specific set of mods. How exactly is any mod manager going to automate that process? Then you add to the mix the other patching tools that we use regularly: DynDoLOD, FNIS, DSR, etc.

Not only do these tools need to be added externally, some of them rely on assets that have nothing to do with the actual game e.g. the merge scripts in the xEdit 'Scripts' folder.

 

This is yet another attempt to remove the "process" from the modding process. Can't be done!

 

I'll state it now: if this thing actually works ie. it reliably provides a working copy of someone's profile on a completely separate computer, I will sell all my worldly assets and take to living with the penguins in Antarctica!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

@Greg

That is exactly why I'm asking. Many people would love a STEP version of a profile that they can just install and watch the magic happen. I think there would still have to be some manual work, though. But this could be a saving grace for some users.

 

Tannin could one-up NMM by using a 3 phase process. Phase 1, MO downloads all the required mods for the profile. Phase 2, MO installs the mods according to how the profile has them set (FOMODs would be installed automatically...all this would have to be recorded by MO for the profile). Phase 3, MO processes the installed mods by hiding or deleting files for each mod. Bonus Phase, MO automatically runs LOOT after Phase 3! I could see STEP supporting such profiles shares. This, of course, would be great for backups as the NMM Team suggests.

 

@Audley,

Those are all good points. That is why I suggested Phase 3 above.

 

As for NMM breaking FOMODs, I agree. They are behind MO on that as well. MO is currently the better installer. I often ignore the mishaps in NMM for my FOMODs installers.

 

@GrantSP

Well, that's all a bummer...

 

Well, I did say that some manual work would likely still be required.

EDIT:

They also state that in that article:

For casual NMM users this update should be relatively painless. If you're a power user with an extremely fine tuned and touchy setup then it might require a little more work

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

LOL! I imagine the odds of winning the lottery is significantly better than the odds of you having to move to Antartica.

 

I'm also wondering whether Nexus Mod Manager has thought about the ability to allow BSAs to override loose files. I doubt it, but I haven't see anything mentioning this.

 

EDIT: I'm specifically thinking the bashed patch and running DynDOLOD aren't gonna happen with Nexus Mod Manager.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

 

@GrantSP

Well, that's all a bummer...

 

Sorry about that, I sometimes go overboard in my negative assessments of things. It's just I was so dismayed by the notion that someone who is running, arguably the most used and trusted mod site there is, still thinks installing a bunch of mods is the same as modding a game! What has he, and his software development team, been doing all these years? Do they actually mod games? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I am not saying we should disregard the notion of making the modding process easier. However, I do believe that trying to make it as easy as pushing a button and having all the mods you want installed perfectly is a bit unrealistic. There are just too many variables to account for. I agree with Grant that you "cannot take the process out of the modding process". Personally I find modding and installing mods half the fun. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask people to learn a few things and figure some stuff out before starting to install mods. If you want to play a modded game but don't want to take any time to learn how mods work or how to install them then maybe that says you should stick to the vanilla game or console gaming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

There are other more useful sides to a profile share. Backups for one. If your computer crashed, it would at least far easier for you to get back up and running. Say your friend/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner is also into the same games like Skyrim but don't have the aptitude for modding. Sharing your profile with them would be an easy way to help them out. It could even be in introduction into modding itself. I won't discount the merits, but I do agree that real modding isn't this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'm not sure how NMM will implement profile sharing but if they can really implement this: "NMM will be able to download all the mods you had installed in your profile (...) and install them exactly how they were installed before, with no need for any further interaction." in the presence of skyproc tools and xedit I shall be impressed.

It can be done of course, the easiest would be to include those files in the profile that don't exist (identically) in any of the archives but that still seems complex. And it will still break the moment one author removes the specific file version from nexus.

 

But if NMM starts to allow automated downloads from their page that would still open some nice possibilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

There are too many variables in a game like Skyrim.

 

If you don't mod and just accept someone else's choice you can reduce the number. For other games this feature may play well. 

 

Nothing replaces a human, except a thinking human.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'm not sure how NMM will implement profile sharing but if they can really implement this: "NMM will be able to download all the mods you had installed in your profile (...) and install them exactly how they were installed before, with no need for any further interaction." in the presence of skyproc tools and xedit I shall be impressed.

It can be done of course, the easiest would be to include those files in the profile that don't exist (identically) in any of the archives but that still seems complex. And it will still break the moment one author removes the specific file version from nexus.

 

But if NMM starts to allow automated downloads from their page that would still open some nice possibilities.

Downloading and installing mods (perhaps even remembering settings in FOMOD installers) is the easy part. I doubt this will work quite so easily with bashed patches, DynDOLOD, FNIS, or patchers and will likely require at least some integration APIs with the likes of Wrye Bash, xEdit, etc.

 

I think you make a very good point when you say that updated mods can very easily break this system. Simple updates shouldn't theoretically be that difficult (meaning the mod author fixed something and bumped the version number), but we've seen enough cases in which a mod author introduces significant changes, merges all his mods into one basket and deletes the individual mods, deletes all his apples and goes home, or is banned by the Nexus sheriffs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Most these tools I envision still being the manual work part of it. As for updates breaking things, that is a possibility if the original author of the shared profile hasn't updated the profile accordingly. This is no different than mod updates breaking other mods which now require a patch or something re-worked for compatibility. Things like that always get fixed eventually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The problem is not that updates could break things, the problem is that you can't just automatically update a mod.

Many mods provide several files (i.e. variants of the same file).

If you have a mod file like "Night_sky_redmoon_v1_0.zip" and "Night_sky_bluemoon_v1_0.zip" and they get updated to "Night_sky_redmoon_v1_1.zip" and "Night_sky_bluemoon_v1_1.zip" it's easy for you to see which is the update to which but that's only because of your wonderful human brain, no computer can reach its pattern matching ability.

Things get even worse when actual update files are in play, like author has released v3.0 of his 2GB monster mod, noticed a single script problem and released a patch v3.01.

The automated installer would probably pick 3.0 and say "done". User wouldn't even notice there is a problem until his save game is ruined because he wouldn't assume he has to verify the result of a fully automated process. That's the problem with automated processes: Unless they work as expected they suck.

 

The other thing is: How does NMM replicate interactive fomod installers without user interactions? I can think of two ways: Either they store the menu choices with the shared profile or they store the hashes of all installed files and during profile "restore" they search for the hashes in the archive.

Both break with an update. The former breaks if the menu choices change, the latter always breaks with any file update.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

All good points! I'm really interested to see how they do this.

 

What possibilities do you have in mind if they open up automatic downloads?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.