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[Guidelines] Attempting a mega-modification installation

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#1 Ascension64

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:03 PM

This topic answers a number of frequently asked questions on usage of this subforum and other subforums within the Mega Modifications forum for people new to mega-modification installations.

Please read this carefully and follow the guidelines while using this subforum.

What is a mega-modification install?
A mega-modification install is the installation of any combination of mods that includes at least TWO (2) of Baldur's Gate Trilogy, The Darkest Day, Shadows Over Soubar, Tortured Souls (BP version), Check the Bodies, and Region of Terror, Never Ending Journey, and The Big Picture. As long as your installation contains any two of these mods, it can be referred to as a mega-modification installation regardless of what and how many other mods you have, or intend, to install.

Is there a 'stable' mega-modification installation? Why or why not?
There is no such thing as a 'stable' mega-modification installation. This is because (1) mods that formulate a part of most mega-modification installs are still under active development; (2) many mods contain bugs that may or may not still be under active development; and (3) combinations of mods tend to conflict with each other in a variety of ways, introducing compatibility-specific bugs. While there is no such thing as a 'stable' mega-modification installation, the 'most stable' mega-modification installation is one with as few as mods included as possible, and the 'least stable' mega-modification installation can be considered as one with the largest possible amount of mods included.

Where do I find help on a mega-modification installation?
You can find help on a mega-modification installation here, regardless of which mod you think is causing a problem in your installation. If it is confirmed here that a problem can be attributed entirely to a single mod, and that mod has a forum, then the problem can be forwarded to that forum after confirmation. Please do not go directly to a particular mod's forum unless you are 100% sure that a problem you experience is due to that mod alone.

I want to install a mega-modification. What should I do?
Before installing mods onto your game, ensure you backup pertinent files correctly and safely, as described in this topic.

The first thing you should do is to browse through a list of mods, such as the IE Modlist at Pocket Plane Group, and identify the mods that you would like to use. If you would like recommendations as to what mods might be interesting, post a topic at the IE Modding Discussion forum, and be specific as to what sorts of mods you are looking for. Do not ask for mod recommendations here.

Once you have a list of mods that you would like to play, have a browse through the resources in the Directory of Mega-Installation Guides topic, and work out an installation order by noting when each of your desired mods appear in a document that describes the sequence of mods to install.

If you wish to install mods not mentioned, caution is advised. Unmentioned mods have most likely not been tested, are probably not being actively tested, and thus may not be compatible with mentioned mods. If you need help on the compatibility of an unmentioned mod, it is recommended that you thoroughly search this subforum for any discussion on that mod before posting.

If you wish to install a mod that has a higher version than that mentioned in these two resources, it is generally OK to use the newer version in place of the mentioned version. However, there may be some exceptions, and it is recommended that you thoroughly search this subforum for any discussion on replacing an older version of a mod mentioned in a guide with a newer version before posting.

Why is mod installation order important in some cases?
Mod installation order is important in some cases because (1) changes made to the game often work linearly and not concurrently -- this is like writing two paragraphs in a book. Writing the second paragraph before the first does not make sense -- and (2) one of two mods that directly clash may have specific code that prevents part of it from installing or changes its installation procedure so that it remedies the clash.

When installation order isn't important, two mods do not clash at all, work concurrently, or both mods of two mods that directly clash have special code that compensates for the clash.

I want to play mods X, Y, and Z. In which order should I install them?
If you ask this question, you will often find youself redirected to one of the resources above. It is recommended that you follow the instructions above, and only if you are extremely confused after reading the guides that you request specific help with your installation order.

I followed the instructions in the resources, but my mega-modification installation doesn't work properly. Why?
Mega-modification installations are not 'stable' and thus may contain numerous bugs, from trivial to fatal. By making a mega-modification installation, you are subscribing yourself to a high risk of frustration from game-breaking bugs to crashes-to-desktop. A higher risk is associated with a mega-modification installation that includes more mods and less widely-used mods, as well as an installation combination or order that deviates from those that are highly discussed in this subforum. At the same time, using an installation method that strictly follows any of those that are highly discussed in this subforum does not alleviate that risk in any way. A highly discussed mega-modification installation does not imply anything other than that it is being actively tested. Therefore, using such a mega-modification installation does not make it 'stable' in any way, either.

A mod does not install correctly for my mega-modification installation. Help me!
If you require help because a mod is not installing correctly, first perform a thorough search of that mod's forum as well as this subforum to check if the issue you have has already been discussed. If it is not, ensure that you post the text contents of the .DEBUG file associated with the mod you are trying to install, and describe the problem as best you can. Unless you have an identical problem to someone else, do not hijack other people's topics, as this will only facilitate confusion and reduce our ability to help you.

I have bug X in my mega-modification installation Y. Help me!
Identifying the nature of bugs in a mega-modification installation is extremely difficult due to the size of the installation and interactions between mods. It is recommended that players of a mega-modification installation have some familiarity with some editing tools like NearInfinity and DLTCEP, as they help greatly in diagnosing the problem when further information is requested.

If you would like help in resolving bugs, first perform a thorough search of this subforum to check if the issue you have has already been discussed. If it is not, make a new topic containing the text contents of the WeiDU.log found in your mega-modification installation directory, and a detailed description of the problem. Ensure that you post the text contents of your WeiDU.log, and do not hijack other people's topics, as this will facilitate confusion and reduce our ability to help you.

Edited by Ascension64, 23 December 2007 - 04:58 PM.

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