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FAQ for the Megamods.


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#1 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:13 PM

Frequently&Fast Asked and Answered Questions for the Megamods. By the Imp.

It had been forever since anyone had put this kind of topic in these forums... I took up the charge.
So what is Megamoding? It's generally accepted idea that Megamoding is taking about combining two or more of big or small game modifications in one install. The original term only included large mods, but nowadays what's large and what's not is not a size question, but of content.
And this evolved a lot, and now we are able to install more than 300 mods into one game, if one want to... but none of those are required to be counted as Megamoding, just a general wish to push the envelope to or more than 10 mods, or two of the big mods.
But as this guide is not strictly aimed to Megamoding, I have also included a lot of other useful stuff, that helps with other Infinity Engine games. This is because the ultimate aim of the true Megamoding is to make a single engine able to run every modification of the Infinity Engine has to offer. :devil:

The content of the FAQ:
0.) Step by step setup manual installation guide for BWP. Or just use the BWS.
1.) What is WeiDU.exe, and what you should know about it. View Post
2.) The common Windows Vista and Windows 7 problems. View Post
3.) Knowing why and how to use the BWS. View Post
4.) General list on how to avoid game slowdown problems. View Post
5.) Good links to knowledge. View Post
6.) How to: --change-log View Post
7.) How to: Edit the "BiG World Install.bat" file. View Post
8.) A nice way to have multiple working copies of the same IE game. View Post
9.) Few other unimportant things... View Post
10.) Why Biffing is dangerous? View Post
11.) Installing moding tools. View Post
12.) How to use the LStest. View Post
13.) Starting the modified game. View Post
14.) The Forum Help... View Post
15.) Use the latest version of the BWS.View Post

_______________________________________________________
If you would like to comment these posts, I would appreciate if you would do it in this topic, as I created it for that, or make a new topic or start a private conversations with me via the messenger, and if you know me, you know that I like to have only one conversation per person, so you can comment this topic on any former private conversation to me that's already up which is not locked.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 22 August 2012 - 04:51 AM.

Cerberus v1.05, MegaModKits v1.01L, iiSpellSystemAdjustments v7.1; mods by Jarno Mikkola the Imp. FAQ for the Megamods. The Frequently Answered Questions.
BWS - Standard = not imba items spells or cheats. Tactical = AI hardly stupid = stupid hard. Expert = broke.
In case the BG2 game crashes post the content of your baldur.err file. To get it to record stuff, open up the 'baldur.ini' in your game folder with Notepad, and under the [Program Options] section in the file, make a new line and type in 'Logging On=1' (without the '' quotes, unless the line is already there)... Save the file and exit. Now go back into the game and try to reproduce the crash. Then look in your game folder again for the Baldur.err file and open it with the Notepad to analyze its contents, or let us do it.
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#2 Jarno Mikkola

Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 07:41 AM


1. The WeiDU.exe .
WeiDU.exe is the program you use to install almost any todays Infinity Engine game mod, BG2 mods included. The WeiDU.exe is actually the installation .exe just renamed as setup-*modname*.exe, so it can take orders from the file called setup-*modname*.tp2. Now there are few bugs this knowledge can sort out, as the WeiDU.exe is still in revision, as new mods need new functions, the versions are updated every now-and-then. This leads to a problem, which has been tried to solve by the auto-update feature that is build in the .exe, but as it is not the most perfect system of them all, so it can cause problems if the proper steps are not taken.

They can almost all be solved by updating all the WeiDU.exe's to the most current version of the WeiDU.exe, which can always be found in here(the Windows Binary archive), you first do the auto update by running one of the setup-*modname*.exe's, and after it has succeeded to update most, you need do the manual update to know what files you need to update manually, and you do that by searching the folder by size, all the up to date setup-*modname*.exe's are about 655Kb's in size(that version is/was v22600), the outdated are smaller, so you delete the old setup-*modname*.exe, and then you copy the new WeiDU.exe from the archive to the game folder and then you re-copy it to the same folder so you have many of them, and then you rename one of the copies as the deleted one so you can run it.

The WeiDU.exe is also moding tool that has it's interface if it's named as WeiDU.exe, and for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, remember that you have to disable the UAC, read the answer #2, or use it as Administrator, whenever you try to use it cause it won't work without the proper user permissions and file allocations. :wacko:

Additionally, the WeiDU.exe renamed as setup-*modname*.exe has many times falsely detected as a virus by many anti-virus software programs. It's a false alarm and if you get that, you have to turn off the anti-virus program so you can install the mod. And usually it's recommended that you turn off the anti-virus program even before you start moding the game at all, as you can then turn it on again after you have finished the mod installations and scan your entire hard drive. *

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:03 AM.


#3 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:32 AM

2. The common Windows problems.
The games require a few steps be taken so they work correctly, so they can be modified, and that the characters behave as they were originally intend to(patching).

2.1. Don't use the default directory.
Install the game to anywhere else than the default Program Files folder. "C:\Program Files\Black Isle\BGII - SoA\"

This is, so far at least a problem on Windows XP SP3 with or without the 64-bit, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
So don't install the game to the C: -drive's Program Files sub-folders(it's actual name changes according to your Operation System's language selection and the byte set, and between the different OS'es too), this is because the Operation Systems protect that folder from overwriting by mirroring the files, with is an extra security layer that actually puts the files into another directory, so your changes will not even take effect if you launch the game under a XP SP2 compatibility mode, under the Vista or Windows 7.
In Windows 7, the changed files are actually written into your User Profile's Virtual Storage... from which they cannot be ran in XP SP2 compatibility mode.
The Windows 7 x64 is said to be exception, as the "Program Files (x86)" is not mirrored... I have no personal knowledge on this. And I bet it has to do with the exact version of the program, as there's more than the basic today(Office, Professional, Ultimate). <_< Update: Yep, my Ultimate versions folder is indeed mirrored. <_< :ROFL:

But anyway, in megamoding the BG2 game, you should essentially install the game to the "C:\BWP\BGII - SoA" -folder, or whereever. But NOT into "C:\Program Files (x86)\Black Isle\BGII - SoA\" NOR to "C:\Program Files\Black Isle\BGII - SoA\" !!!
The other Infinity Engine games neither should be installed to the Program Files, but to C:\Games\ sub-directories, as an example.

2.2.1 Disabling your User Account Control, in Vista and W7.
Now, Windows Vista and Windows 7 have these annoying new features called User Account Control, which even with Admin permissions stop everything mod related, as it prevent programs from altering other programs, at least without your permission, which in turn says that you have to re-enter the program code after the permission is given to the said program which doesn't suit with BiG Worlds programs cause the user didn't code program, nor typed the .exe's need special features to actually do things they do. You disable this feature by going this path in;
Vista: Start -> Control Panel -> User Accounts and Family Safety -> User Accounts -> Turn User Account Control on or off -> Uncheck the box next to 'Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer', and push OK, and then restarting the computer, in annoyance...
W7: Start -> Control Panel -> User Accounts and Family Safety -> User Accounts -> Change Your User Account Control settings... set to the bottom most option and done, and then restarting the computer, in annoyance...

2.2.2 Disabling the Program Compatibility Assistant on Windows 7.
To increase this annoyance, the clever idiots at the MacroHard have invented this assistant that always asks: 'Did this x program install successfully?' on 32bit system, and in 64bit system it can and will stop you from overwriting useful files, like the BGMain.exe when you upgrade the SoA to ToB. :clap:
To remove it push the Start -> type to the console: gpedit.msc and start it, then User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Application Compatibility
Double click the option "Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant", and inside its configuration mark the "Enabled" -> Apply -> OK. Restart the computer.
The gpedit.msc file can also be found usually manually from C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows\System64 -folder, in most machines, but as said in the link some versions of the Window 7's don't have that, meaning that you are stuck with the original setup... whatever that is, so you don't have to disable it.

2.3 Install the official game patches.
As the Bioware.com was updated a sometime ago, the old games don't have an official site to download the patches from, but there was a net archives that had the content, it seems for a while that the wayback machine was updated and thus the previous links were no longer in action, but these new should work:
Baldur's Gate; use the v1.1.4315, without the DirectX 8+ patch, cause they were betas from long ago!
Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast; the v(1.3.)5512 without the DirectX 8+ patch, and even though the link says not to patch the Original Saga version, the Original Saga version can be patched to gain the most compatible version of the game, so it's recommended.
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn; the 23037.
Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal; the v(2.5.)26498... DO NOT use the 26499!

Other good patch links to non-Bioware links with patches to Infinity Engine games:
Planescape: Torment; the v1.1 ...
Icewind Dale; v1.06
Icewind Dale Heart of Winter; Trials of the Luremaster, also known as the v1.42 patch.
Icewind Dale II; v2.01

2.4 Make a quick icon from the BGMain.exe to the desktop.
This is made because you want to make sure you actually start the right game files, as the Baldur.exe uses the Windows Registry, which might not be the current game files in the same game folder you wish to modify the game in. (8.)

2.5. Start the games.
The game's installation is finalized when you start a new game, you only need to only be able to save the game, and no, you won't be using the character you create as the save at this point will not have any of the modified content, so you can delete it if you want to... the reason why you need to start a new game is that you can see if there's something wrong with the game at this point, that it actually starts, that there's no graphical errors etc.

2.5.1 Get rid of the graphical errors before you modify the game.
The BG2 engine shouldn't have any black boxes under statistic animations nor any other black boxes, GUI flickering etc. If you have them, your configuration is not properly made, or your graphical settings are screwed, and you need to look at the 5.I for help.

2.6 Remove the unnecessary files.
The game folder contains unnecessary and sometimes even buggy files if they are not removed when you start the modified game. The folders that have them are the temporary folder, and the later unusable files, so that is; "temp", "tempsave" and "cache", "save" "mpsave" folders, if they exist. You can delete them, or their content.

2.7 Make a backup.
This is optional, but I heavily recommend copying the game directory, or making a .rar archive from it. As you can then skip all the steps before this.

2.8 Modify the game.
Now you can install the mods you want to. Or use the BWS.

2.Q1 Why, install in non-Program Files folder, disable the UAC, and the PCA? And then install the patch...
Well, cause we need to, and because we can enable them after the game and the mods (or the auto installers like BiG World Setup.vbs and BiG World Install.bat) have run their procedures to completion. (Or you go through the horror of making manually all the installation of the BWS without much gain, but suffering).

2.Q2 And why we need to ?
Think about it. Because the game wasn't originally designed to use user profile's virtual storage, because the original game engine was made in 1990's(released 1998-2002), not after the 2006 when the Virtual Storage first became commonly available with Windows Vista. So because the WeiDU.exe is not, nor is the original games 'certified' for Windows Vista nor Windows 7 as they do not support the User Account Control, you just have to do what is said in this picture:
Posted Image And use that option.
Or, you could do this in Vista, but I haven't given it much though as I use the W7 now.

2.Q3 What should the GoG BGII [Alias] section look alike ? If one installs in to the C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\ directory... and what else.
[Alias]
HD0:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD1:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\data\
CD2:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\data\
CD3:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\data\
CD4:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\data\
CD5:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\data\;C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\CD5\
OR
[Alias]
HD0:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD1:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD2:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD3:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD4:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD5:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\;C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\CD5\
Because the GoG version is not totally alike the original, you should rename the readme as "BG2-ToBPatchReadMe.txt" and copy the 25movies.bif file from the data directory to the C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\CD5\movies\ -directory. This is because the BWS is build to check those files, so it can be considered genuine updated BGII - SoA + ToB game.
And so you know, the CD6:=... definition doesn't exist in the BGII games memory, so it's redundant.

2.Q4 The latest BWS'es BGT-WeiDU doesn't like that the BG1 game is not installed to the default folder... can I easily fix this.
Well, not easily, but if you wish, you can have the BGT understand that the game is installed to the default folder by setting a fake copy there.
You do this by installing the game to anywhere else than the default folder, then you make sure it works and you have no errors in it after you have installed the latest patch etc. etc.
Then you edit the baldur.ini file in the BG1 directory and have the [Alias] section to be exactly this on 32 bit Windows:
[Alias]
HD0:=C:\Program Files\Black Isle\Baldur's Gate\
CD1:=H:\CD1\
CD2:=H:\CD2\
CD3:=H:\CD3\
CD4:=H:\CD4\
CD5:=H:\CD5\
CD6:=H:\CD6\
The CD1-CD6 drives don't matter as you have to have a full install, meaning all the data is stored to the HD0... and then you go and copy the game folder the default install folder, that is empty: => C:/Program Files/Black Isle/

2.Q5 The BG1 saves disappear to somewhere with Window Vista/7, help, while I went stupidly and installed into the Program Files folder ?
The files, if you have access to them are hidden somewhere close to:
C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Roaming\VirtualStore\Program Files\Black Isle\Baldur's Gate\save\
OR in:
C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Black Isle\Baldur's Gate\save\

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 24 November 2012 - 12:53 PM.


#4 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:32 AM

3. Knowing why and how to use the BWS.

3.1 Why use the BiG World Setup ?

There is of course other ways of doing things, but BWS is overall the most variable while still being stable platform for BG2's multiple mod install management, as you can and should only install the mods you want and not the mods you need... to get: a potentially more than 99% bug free 'Tactical' installation.

3.2 Installing mods with non-ANSI compatible language systems.
The WeiDU.exe uses a preset non-Unicode codepage to load and copy resource files. Some of the resources in mods like the Infinity Animations use characters like £/µ/Þ/... which map to different numerical values on different language code pages. Therefore, when some mods like the Infinity Animations, detect the codepage other than the Windows-1252 "ANSI" codepage used with most Western languages, it can force a registry change to take the 1252(English/United States) as the current codepage and prompt to reboot the system so the change takes effect. Now, this has problems within the BWS as the mods are supposed to be installed in sequence and so a reboot in the middle of the operation will just crash the whole thing, so to fix this issue, you need to preset the language code page to the right one, namely to English(United States) one.

If you have a different codepage and wish to change it manually yourself (and only if), you can set the default system locale for non-Unicode applications to English. This can be done as follows on Windows systems:
* Start ->
* Control Panel ->
* Regional and Language Settings in Classic View OR:

Clock, Language and Region -> Region and Languages, in the fancy view ->

* Click on the Advanced or Administrative tab ->
* Then where it talks about non-Unicode programs, change the language to English(United States) ->
* Then remember to click the Apply. And you need to restart the computer for it to actually take effect.
This whole thing is copied straight from the Infinity Animations readme file, with small edits of course, yey.

3.3 Knowing how to use the BiG World Setup.exe.
As the BiG World Setup.exe is just an extractor program for the real program's files, which are run by the "BiG World Setup.vbs", the "BiG World Setup.exe" should only be run once, and that can be done even in the desktop.
The "BiG World Setup.exe" program does start the "BiG World Setup.vbs", but if "BiG World Setup.vbs" is stopped in the middle before all the files are downloaded, you just have to run the "BiG World Setup.vbs".
Now, when the downloads and extracts are done, the "BiG World Setup.vbs" will start the "BiG World Install.bat", you can then exit from the cmd.exe window started by the "BiG World Install.bat" if you want, make some custom changes to the "BiG World Install.bat", and then run that again to apply the custom changes... and it's needed to be done this way cause, the restarting of the "BiG World Setup.vbs" will just re-extracts the "BiG World Install.bat", making your changes invalid.

3.4 Where should you 'install' the "BiG World Setup.exe" to ?
Install it to the 'C:\BWP\BGII - SoA' folder... Why there? Cause that should be where your BiG World game directory is, and that's cause the 'BiG World Downloads' folder is the 'C:\BWP\BiG World Downloads' and you can manually download as many mods as you wish and drop them there too, without the worry that they'll be deleted when you delete the already downloaded files when you get the idea of removing the 'BGII - SoA' directory. Read the post 9's answer for more info on how to copy the original game directory to 'C:\BWP\BGII - SoA' folder, and how to configure it to have it working, with the original game being your primary working backup(for EasyTutu, and other Total Conversion mods).
Posted Image To pick components of individual mods, use the red boxed button.

3.5. The best ways to reinstall everything.
There comes times that you see, it's best to just start over...

3.5.1 BiG World Setup.vbs's... The "BiG World Setup.vbs" has inbuilt system for that, all you have to do first is to make sure you have a clean install before you start the "BiG World Setup.vbs" for the first time, as it will ask if it can make a backup for itself, this takes only about 50 MB's, which is really small space, so you go and answer yes... next, you need to install some WeiDU-mods to mess up the clean install. Posted Image
Then the "BiG World Setup.vbs" will recognize that you have installed one or more mods, so when you continue to the installation of the mods, it will give you option to continue, quit or reinstall the whole thing, to which you reply ... and the "BiG World Setup.vbs" will eventually remove all the previously installed mods, their mod folders, their files etc. so you'll start from fresh install, first by extracting the files from the mods.
3.5.2 The second best way... have; the currently registered game folder that is a clean, patched and already started game; made into a backup .rar archive before you modify it anyway, and if you run into a situation you need to use the backup, delete the old game folder before you unrar the archive to the same location. This will only work if the game is not installed into the "Program Files" or "Program Files (x84)" sub-folders.
3.5.3 The third best way... that is if you have not used a clean install and done the clean backup routine, or do not wish to use the BWS...
Is to uninstall the whole BG2 game, delete the whole game folder (but remember to move the BiG World Downloads folder to somewhere else first, if it was inside the game folder), and then reinstall, and do remember to re-patch the new game, and then make a .rar backup of the game folder.
3.5.4 The forth best way... in my opinion, is to use the premade backup in here. So read the instructions there throughly !
But the best way is to mix and match. So that you use the ¤1,¤2,¤3,¤4 and the question #8's answer ways, depending on what exactly you need to do.

3.6 After the BWS has installed the mods...
If you have done as you are instructed here, your computer should be:
- Offline from Internet.
- Without virus protection.
- Using the United States -codepage.
- Without User Account Control and Program Compatibility Assistant(if you are on Vista/Win7).
- Unmount all your CD/DVD -image drives, remove the games CD/DVD's from the disk drives.

... by the time the BiG World Install.bat is ran, up until it has finished; this is done both to save time and headaches, as the virus scanners usually freak out for nothing, that the changes actually take effect(UAC&PCA), protect you from Internet viruses(disconnect from Internet connection), and that you are able to install all the programs like they need to be(US codepage).
And no, the setup-*modname*.exe is not a trojan horse, as it's a version of WeiDU.exe just renamed(like I said above).
After the BiG World Install.bat has finished its install processes, you should revert back to the default states after you have scanned the computer for viruses, why I say that, it's because all those reverts need a restart of the computer, and that can give time for the dormant viruses to do a lot of havoc, not that there should be any viruses on IE mods, but just to be sure, you can never be sure, unless you try first and fail. And last but certainly not least, connect back to Internet. Hih, never said a word about restoring the User Account Control or Program Compatibility Assistant, hih hi.
3.7 Now, if you didn't do as you were told on the US code page thing and your install gets stopped...
...and you don't want to restart the whole BiG World Setup, do alike this poster did. Posted Image

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:03 AM.


#5 Jarno Mikkola

Jarno Mikkola

    The Imp in his pink raincoat.

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:32 AM

4. To set the game up right the first time, the only time.

1. Always patch the game(s) with the latest official patch, start a new game and exit after the game has auto-saves itself(so you have to make a char or choose a pre-made one), before you install any mod, and you might as well make a safe backup from the important files: data and override -folders, baldur.exe, BGMain.exe, dialog.tlk and CHITIN.KEY, baldur.key, baldur.ini, in the unmoded game this should take about 960 to 1020 MB's, depending on how the computer counts it, or use the BWS to do it with a lot less space required.
2. Put the ambient sounds off from the BGConfig.exe, as some of the areas might have no ambient sounds and so the game tries to start them many time continuously, and so looses processing power. So the baldur.ini should have these:

Low Mem Sounds 1=0
Low Mem Sounds 2=1
3. Get a huge RAM storage, and set the Cache size to huge from the BGConfig.exe... the recommendations wary, but it can be from the 300 to 2048(Mb's) depending on the size of your installation and how large the .bif files end up being. This will eat your hard drive space fast, but only temporarily, especially cause you can remove the files after playing the game, like the point in the 15. tells you.
4. Don't mess with the game configurations so the speed adjustment percentages stay on "normal" ratings even if you have very high end machine, as the game has own it's internal fps counter, it sometimes tries to correct the fps on it's own by lowering graphs etc. Also the games frame rate should be set to about 30, as that's the default.
5. I wouldn't recommend to anyone to install any of the speaking item mods, as they use the only script the game uses to control everything essential, and as the mod changes the complete structure of the baldur.bcs to fire the comments everywhere, that's bad for the frames/second count, and can make the everything essential not to work, and that's bad and worse.
6. Trying to avoid too many effects on a character(about 20 is fine, 200 is too many, and 20 000 is way way too many...)
7. De-fragmenting your hard drive might also help... as you don't have to go find the data in the pieces. (hmm, there is a joke in there, hih)
8. Before installing the mods, plan the exact order, so they are in correct order, and make sure if you uninstalled the game, that you deleted the old mod files, the data and override folders(don't go and overwrite them) so you can start from a clean install, so there is no leftovers from old mods.
9. Helpful links for Tutu and BGT(the English and German .pdf files) -based Megamods. And the most recent BWP vX, which today is the v9... Oudated, check the rest of this thread for BWS. And for PST.
10. Take note that you should have done all the points 1-9 before you install any mods! But you should be able to do them still, with few alterations.
11. When you make an install order, make it the final install order, so do not expect yourself be able to install and uninstall any mods or their components after you have started a new game, and if you use biffing; a new install restart, or your saves and probably the whole game will get cheesed if you uninstall and reinstall/change install components. The only exception is the so called 'Hot Fixes'. So if a mod is updated with a new version, DO NOT INSTALL IT, unless you wish to restart the current game from a totally new game, and probably from a new install too.
---
12. And when you have installed all the mods you are going to, it might be a good idea to test your game to make sure your mods work, particularly any newer or untested mods. Once you are satisfied your install works, and only then, you will want biff your override folder, but do that knowing that you generally can't change the game much after. The easiest way to do this is to use the End_biff from here, or the more modern* Generalized Biffing. *=The Generalized Biffing can be uninstalled.
13. Repeat the step 7 again, if you think it might help.
14. Run as few programs on the background while playing as possible, if you think it might help. And scan for viruses, but do so when you are not playing the game... so don't have the Anti virus program running in the background. *
15. When you quit the game, delete all the files from the Cache, temp and tempsave folders, if the game even puts any files in these. This might cause a little loading time increase, but it is worth it, cause it removes lags and assertion errors when playing the game.
---
16. Avoid using the cheat CLUAConsole:MoveToArea("...") like a plague as it doesn't sever the area scripting connections when you jump.
17. Inventory management(no stacks that have more than about 200 items, in a bag, arrows etc.), -might also help, as in if you drop an item to the ground and or store it in a stash the stuttering might go away in a few seconds there after. And do not carry too many bags of holding and the like storage_items, or give into the your greed and use the moving bag of holding in the donkey mod(W_mule).
18. NPC management, some mods might cause lag if a particular NPC is in the party for some odd reason or another, so if dropping the NPC from the party and waiting a few seconds, results in the end of the lag or stuttering, you should do so. And don't forget that somebody needs to know about it, the circumstance this happens etc. good debugging info...
19. Play the game yourself! So, if needed for large battles etc. heavy AI usage requiring encounters, turn the group AI's off by pushing the glowing lantern on the bottom right corner of the screen so it's not lightened anymore, unless it's strictly necessary for 1 action or another... as it might be needed to be running... for example while you level up with a few mod installed Kits, and if possible make the characters AI to be the None, or very limited and small script, such as auto attacking an seen enemy if the character is idle in battle.
20. Leave no summons alive, especially if you have the party AI enabled and they use an enhanced version of that, as they won't be moving from one area to another, but their AI will still be active and so be responding to no stimuli... which can cause lag.
21. Complete all the quests you are given, as in a long game, some scripts that are looking IF you have this-or-that quest active, will be screaming and causing lags, if their checks are in global category and they remain true all the time... it can be very bad, but the mod doing this should be fixed.
22. For some unexplained reason, -when you have played the game quite long time, starting a game in ToB by importing your current save game from really anywhere so that it autosaves in game and then killing the NPCs with the Crtl + Y cheat, and then loading the saved game you used to import the game- might help to clear out some of the stutter from the save, even if it's in the BG1 or SoA portion of the game. Now because we are not completelly sure why this helps, we should investigate this bit as we have not come up with a reason that would apply to every case.
23. And if you know your way around coding a .tp2 file and have file name knowledge, you can debug files with a custom made mod based on this.
23.1 The yet other is to play the game as far as humanly possible can with the growing stutter/lag/slowdown until you can't take it anymore, and make more than one save along the way, then install the LStest mod from the Answer #12 of this thread, use NearInfinity to export the script source of the .bcs's that are reported by the dialog window the most frequently, and report us what it gives and upload the exported .baf files as they are easier to read, and someone should be able to help you then. Then you can uninstall the LStest mod, copy the fixed .bcs file to the 'override' folder if someone is able to help you, and then you get to play the game once more. If you do not have a NearInfinity, then follow the Answer #11 in this post.
23.1.1 Or you can go here and use the tools provided there to make better tests, at least for one's own mods.
24. Keep in mind that these advices won't solve the whole problem, and they are generally put into the order of most releaf providing, as there can be things that make a lot of lag for no apparent reason, until they are found, and then it's more than obvious... like the ambient sounds caused lagging problem, it's caused by missed files that references have never been rechecked to be accurate, or files that are somehow just bad. Also if the game would be perfect, you wouldn't need to disable the ambient sounds... or do a thing to it, it would be perfect without the list of 25 cures to it. :ermm:
25. The last miracle cure, while you are desperate, and so still reading this, let me remind you that there is nothing at the bottom of the barrel unless we have a hole in knowledge, so you have probably missed one of the earlier tweaks, so it's time to recheck them again. And the latest version is of this Mini infopack is the only accurate one, as I might have changed a few of the above mentioned things, after the last time you have read them, and don't just dismiss a point because it didn't help before as all these are here for a reason and that's to help in the lagging, so read them again. And, again. :devil:

These is also a large problem with a few "Realtek HD Audio" cards, and the lag can be eased with turning the sounds off... but that's not a good solution to the problem, if you have a working solution, please state it here, and make it known to others.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 19 November 2012 - 03:06 AM.


#6 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:33 AM

5. As there are several good knowledge pages all over these sites, I listed them according to function and importance.
I.
You have NVidia graphics card, DDraw thread, mostly for PST. And if you have an ATI graphic card and the screen flickers, go into the Catalyst Control Center, in the "3d" section, the "all settings" tab, there is "tripple buffering" unchecked that.
II. You have troubles with the basic BG games, like when you can't install or uninstall.
III. You have a Crash to Desktop problem.
IV. You would like to have an original copy of a game file, so you can see what the structure was before you modified it the first 100 times.. And a .2da files.
V. The pinned topics at any BG2 moding forum, especially the Mega Mod Help.
VI. Clean installation, and clean backup files.
VII. Learn from my mistakes, warning, it's not easy for your eyes.
VIII. Advice on the use of Widescreen mod.
IX. Troubleshooting advices.
X. The use of the cheating Console, in BG1, in BG2/BG1Tutu/EasyTutu/BGT, in IwD, in IwD2.
XI. The German BG2 moding forums. Translated "Linklist" page.
XII. Old tips on installing/reinstalling the game while Megamoding.
XIII. Area code list of the possible areas in a Megamod. The same in translated to English from German forums.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:04 AM.


#7 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:33 AM

6. If you are asked to make a --change-log from file called "########.###", you do it like this:
You download this new version I have attached;
Attached File  change-log.zip   607.21K   1032 downloads
Extract that directly into your game folder; overwrite if and when asked to, and then Edit the "change-log.bat" with Notepad, change the "########.###" and perhaps the "*********.***" and remove the "::" in the last line in case you need to make change-log's from multiple files. There is a folder in the archive, it is important that you do extract it too, so the logs and files have a free space to be saved to.
Then you just run the change-log.bat, it will use the WeiDU.exe that's included inside the archive... the process is fast and should only take a few seconds... or thousands of seconds if you make thousands change-log*.txt's, but then you are insane, just like the Imp is. :ROFL:
The process will print the files into the folder the archive had inside it(by default it's called the "change-log" -folder), well, you can actually change that too, but then you have to rename it if you want to use it. Unfortunately this cannot extract the vanilla backups from the .bif files, so you'll be missing the .00000. file if the file is from the vanilla game, or if it's biffed by with the old style that deletes the backups. You also won't get a notice if the file is overwritten by you, edited by one of the Infinity Engine Tools besides WeiDU.exe or if it's overwritten some by some .bat file, or you manually do the same, as those leave no marks in the WeiDU.log . Which is a good reason to learn to have a clean install directory before installing any mods on it.

The "BiG World Installpack v9.9.7z" includes a little better file than these, but not much, so you can use them too, and you start by editing the "change-log.bat" file, alike above.

Or, if you have installed the BWP after the v7 but not v9.9, then you have the old version of the change-log.bat available, you can use it by editing the file with Notepad, insert the file name on the ####.### and save, when it's run, it will make you the change-log.txt which is a text file that opens again with Notepad... but it prints the files all over the place, so I suggest using either of the newer versions.

These all also works with Vista and Windows 7, but you have to disable the User Account Control like always.

6.1. What's the use of the --change-log after it's made ?
It first of all prints out the change-log.txt, and it also extracts all the backup files it can into the "change-log" folder as <filename>.*****.<file extension=""> where the * are the numbers of the backup files it is from, so you can take a look at them, or you can put the folder into an archive(.zip, .rar or .7z file) and post it in a forum, you usually have to be a member, for others to look at it, and you should post it on the forum the question was made, so the megamod maintainers and the people responsible for the mods maintainers can take a peek and make the right connections on why a bug happened. And generally, it's a mark of good behavior, that you attach the whole folder after you archive it, to the forum you were asked to make the --change-log, so they don't have to ask you a thousand times... <_<

6.2. The expected result...
It can look like this:
[WeiDU.exe] WeiDU version 21900
[WeiDU.exe] Using scripting style "BG2"
override/ARAM00.bcs
override/ARAM00.bcs BGTNeJ/backup/0/ARAM00.bcs
override/ARAM00.BCS BGTNeJ/backup/7/ARAM00.BCS
override/ARAM00.BCS BGTTweak/Backup/400/ARAM00.BCS
override/ARAM00.BCS BGTTweak/Backup/800/ARAM00.BCS
override/ARAM00.BCS BGTTweak/Backup/1800/ARAM00.BCS

Mods affecting ARAM00.BCS:
00000: /* from game biffs */ ~SETUP-BGT.TP2~ 0 0 // Baldur's Gate Trilogy - Core: 1.10 (28 August 10)
00001: ~SETUP-BGTNEJ.TP2~ 0 0 // Continuous and Custom Kit Imoen: v1.1
00002: ~SETUP-BGTNEJ.TP2~ 0 7 // More Items from BG1 (BGT required!): v1.1
00003: ~SETUP-BGTTWEAK.TP2~ 0 400 // Add Semaj's Cloak and Upgraded Koveras' Ring of Protection: 9 (31 Dec 09)
00004: ~SETUP-BGTTWEAK.TP2~ 0 800 // Import more items into Shadows of Amn (WARNING: This can be considered a cheat): 9 (31 Dec 09)
00005: ~SETUP-BGTTWEAK.TP2~ 0 1800 // Import more NPCs into Shadow of Amn: Alora: 9 (31 Dec 09)
The above is a shortened result "change-log.txt" of the following line(in the "change-log.bat") I made from a modified BG2 game some time ago:
::mkdir change-log
WeiDU.exe --log nul --change-log aram00.bcs >change-log/change-log.txt --out change-log
It shows the used WeiDU.exe's version, and the game it thinks is in that directory, and then it lists the files that the WeiDU.has created it into, or that contain it, and where the backup was moved to.
It then gives the exact order of the mod components that modify the file as they were installed in and their backup files *number* that are in the game folders "change-log" folder now that the --change-log has been made. The "/* from game biffs */" -backups are not moved to the "change-log" folder as they are from the vanilla BG1 or BG2 backup files/bif archives. The file currently in use is still in the override folder(so you might wish to retrieve it from there).
So from the above example the "change-log" -folder would contain 5 files, the ARAM00.00001.BCS, the ARAM00.00002.BCS, the ARAM00.00003.BCS, the ARAM00.00004.BCS, the ARAM00.00005.BCS, each of which can be opened with any normal IE file editor to check what they contain, or just export them as the source code(.baf file) that can be read without the exact install you have with Notepad and other text editors.

The attached file should contains the v227 WeiDU.exe .
If the logging ends with parse_error, the WeiDU.exe just needs an update to the one used in the installing of the mods, or you could get the latest from here, the(Windows Binary) archive.</file></filename>

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:04 AM.


#8 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:34 AM

7. The "BiG World Install.bat" editing.
Normally the BiG World Setup.vbs downloads and extracts the BiG World Install.bat from this package(or the more customization friendly BWSbeta), and normally it's fine to let the BWS run the program. If you wish to add in custom content and don't wish to install the last 299 other mods after yours by hand, you can automate the process by editing the "BiG World Install.bat" file after the "BiG World Setup.vbs" has ran up until the "BiG World Install.bat" is started, it's noticeable from the black CMD.exe -dos window showing up, in which point you need to end it from the white X on the red background, just like it's said in the answer #3.2 . And then edit the file.

Editing a .bat file is easy, as hard as it first looks, the functions all have their quite well intuitive signatures. To open the file, you just need any text editor, the Notepad comes with every Windows version I know that exists, so use it if you do not have a special tool(like the Notepad++), here is a good link for a newcomers to the .bat editing. Though the "BiG World Install.bat" has went far from those origins, the code and the chaos still apply to the today's "BiG World Install.bat". Also, I have noticed that sometimes it helps staring the .bat code, at 2 AM, sometimes. Here is another good link if you are going to use the "BiG World Install.bat" but want to remove or add things to it. The 'BiG World Installpack read me <language>.txt' also contains helpful info. The English net version.</language>

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:04 AM.


#9 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:34 AM

8. Setting up multiple working Infinity Engine- game copies.
To have multiple copies of the same game is useful when you are trying to archive the most remotely resembling BG2 game ever, AKA megamoding, the problem is just that the game(ToB) is build up not to be modified at first glance as it uses the Windows InstallShield that doesn't allow to have multiple copies of the same program.
This can be circumvented by copying all the original game files(from full installation) that take about 2,5 GB's + cache, and then using the BGMain.exe to create quick icon from it to the desktop to use to start the game, not from the baldur.exe that relies to the InstallShields programs registers to start the BGMain.exe to initiate the start the game. :P The other factor that is restricting the multiple installations, is the baldur.ini's [Alias]'es, which need to be redirected for the copy to work independently. But there is a trick for that, it should be modified after all the other modification is over, -unless you have a mod that needs the all the general files, and then the redirection needs to be done so that you first direct all to the current folder and then you later remove the 4 last-, as only the two first columns are need to direct to the current directory for all games, when the modifying has been finished. So the trick is, you can actually just delete the additional 1,49GB's of files that are in the CD2, CD3, CD4 and CD5 directories, as you can redirect them from the original copy of the games files. This also works for the Black Isles Fallout games.
For a storage purpose, we recommend that you store the backup game folder in a .rar archive, this makes it extra-fast to extract.
*
I also suggest that when you use the LStest mod, that you actually use it onto separated copy of your BiG World game, this is cause it makes the dialog screen have all the debugging info always on, making the game look unreal at best, and you then don't have to uninstall the mod the 1000th time, as you can just copy the saves between the two games. This is cause it took me 81 minutes to install the little mod onto a Tactical BWS game, cause it changes every script that the game can run, so it's not an instant help tool.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:04 AM.


#10 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:34 AM

9. A little info...
About BiG World's.

Unlike most of the new users might think, the BWP is not, nor is BWS a mod, but tools to a compilation of many of them, and so it follows very tightly a few the preset perimeters, but unlike many of it's predecessors, it's also much more user friendly as it checks many things during the auto-setup and installation process, and you can make choices at the start of the setup to what to include.

And here begins a small history lesson.
About the Big Picture.
The old non-WeiDU Big Picture, was a mod combination that housed few of the old big mods used today in BWP, but the updating of the combination stopped when it's primary maker retired from IE moding. Now, as there were a lot of people that wanted to use the previous work of other people to build their own mod combination while most of the base mods were still being developed... one of them had been developed for the base of Shadows of Amn -not for the Throne of Bhaal=TDD... One mod was still in development, and is still today=TS... and AI and some high end AI and creature enhancements... And then the mega mod makers wanted to add mods like, one that was based on the legacy of half-failed experiment by the original WeiDU coder/inventor and a BG2:ed BG1 total conversion=BGT-WeiDU... a near total conversion mod of another Infinity Engine game(IwD)=NEJ...

It lead to troubles that no one even today has been able to solve :( This lead to it that the today's latest BP v1.61-1.80a being made into just an enemy AI and creature enhancing mod, with WeiDU installer, that has had some bugs if its installed with other mods and if they aren't taken into account. So leave it's forums alone unless it's specifically about the latest BP mod itself, if you are using the BiG World based works... it went this way, cause first some, and then more of the old mods became not available from the Internet as new versions were rolled out, and because the mods essence wanted to be stored in a WeiDU mod, "a bad move" commented the original mod maker, then and again later.

...More of the History.
So when the chips began to fall everything went to left, right, North, South, up and down all at the same time... which made a horrible mess of the mod compatibility and so there was many tries -some more buggy than others- to create the ultimate megamod of the megamods, and this process is not finished, yet! ...

The BGT-WeiDU.
One day, a idiotic genius and semigod of creation played tricks on the mortals mind of Bardez?s by making him have a day dream of both of the original Baldur's Gate games to that would run under the same engine, of course Bardez was instantly fooled by the trickery of the arts, so he went ahead and made it happen, here is a link to the original site. One hero down.
Now, the latest full Bardez?s Baldur's Gate Trilogy originally took about 658 MB's to download a single auto-executable archive(.exe) + a patch ... and it still required the BG1&TotSC install to be properly applied to the BGII - SoA & ToB game to make a game that would include the BG1's content to the BG2, it was a Total Conversion mod meaning that the BGII had to be almost original to have any chance of it working properly, it took a lot of Infinity Engine research, a few totally failed TC conversion experiments and neat timing, but one day Ascension64 came to rest on his laurels to rose up and uploaded and released the v0.99 BGT-WeiDU, which was followed by, now at least 12 full updates. Truthfully, he had a lot of help, and he wasn't just sleeping in mid air. But that's not for the historians to tell.
The benefit: the archive now takes about 14 MB's, and now the original resources are actually used, so the archive doesn't contain many of the original once, it's totally a WeiDU.exe based mod that's far more compatible than it's predecessor.
As you can read from the above, it has taken heroic measures to code this thing, with two professionally made games and their extensions, large amount freelancer coders, and more than 10 years later, it's not finished to perfection, but on it's limping it's way there, as in it works 99% of the time.
It's also the base from which the BiG World Project was created from, but today it too can be skipped.
Now, the BGT-WeiDU requires a clean(unmodified) full custom install of Baldur's Gate + BG:TotSC + v(1.3.)5512 patched game(or full Original Saga game), and a separately installed BGII - SoA & ToB game that's patched to v(2.5.)26498. Now, there is option in the BiG World Setup to not install that, and so it's mostly optional, but many mods require it cause they only effect the BG1 areas, only available from the BGT-WeiDU, but if you don't have the required parts, then the BWS lets you skip it when you put the "-" mark(without the quotes) to the proper line on the program.

The SCS & SCSII.
After the Tactics and BP had dominated the BGII enemy AI moding for a long time, a version of the Tutu enemy AI(SCS) -mod was converted to be available for BGT(-WeiDU) too, and the original modder had taken the challenge of making the inhumane BGII AI's less idiotic, while using the original and some modded resources -if they were installed into the game- into account and so making them even more clever.
This some times fail at some point as some of the enemies wait for commands that never come, but to avoid those, one usually install either the BP(-WeiDU v180a) AI's or SCSII AI... the BWP can install both, which usually doesn't have too many of problems.

The BiG World Project, and later the BiG World Setup have their's roots in each of those, but they are the v2.0 and v3.0 of those, as they are tools, not an individual one sided -mod that makes a predefined mod compilation, but they can make a compilation of the few needed and the 1000 other components the BWP/BWS now has been enabled to install.
And so the BiG World Project is most likely the best suited Mega Moding guide and tool for many of us, but it's not the only one. Read this if you wish to know more about the others.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:04 AM.


#11 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:35 AM

10. Why 'Biffing' is dangerous ?
Cause you have to reinstall everything if you wish to re-change any changes to a file that was already biffed with the old biffing method.
And the list of the large quest mods compatible with BWS, the WeiDU.exe is unable to uninstall: NEJ, TDD, SoS, CtB, TS-BP and, BGT-WeiDU, NeJ2 for the BG2, and also an old BP... as well as the big BG1 mods: DSotSC, NTotSC, SoBH, Drizztsaga and the BG1NPCmusic(but you can go and delete that mods .bif file and you'll be OK). Also none of the Total Conversion mods can be uninstalled with WeiDU.exe, they include: BG1Tutu, EasyTutu, Tortured Souls, Icewind Dale in BGII, Classic Adventures, and a few other Total Conversion mods. So if any of those are in your WeiDU.log after the mod you wish to uninstall, you have to restart the installation of the whole game again or use appropriate backup, which you probably don't have... unless you wish to use tricks like in the answer #8 of this guide, they include BWS's backup, and the one provided in here, but in those cases too, you have to re-extracts & reinstall everything or almost everything, as they are clean backups.
The good news is that the new Generalized Biffing can be uninstalled, so if you made the mistake of not removing that from the list in BWS, so it will firing that up while you slept, you can uninstall it, although it will take it's time if you have many mods installed.
I installed the ~300 mods in BWS and it took less than an hour to uninstall the Generalized Biffing. But installing it back took about 3 hours.

10.1 So what does the biffing do then ?
It packs the game files into an archive type file(a .bif file), that the game engine can easily read. It also generally removes the files from the override folder, so they cannot be read from there.

10.2 So why do we use the Biffing then ?
Cause it's how the games files are stored in the CDs, in .bif files, and so it makes the game load the files faster, and so the game is faster. Also the game start when you click the quick icon in about 5 to 10 seconds, not 5 to 20 minutes. ^_^

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:05 AM.


#12 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:35 AM

11. Installing moding tools.
11.1 Near Infinity.

There are a few different versions of the Near Infinity, but the most advanced and easiest to install should be the v1.33b20 or later, compiled by Sam.

Now, you'll also need to have the Java Standard Edition Runtime Enviroment or Java Standard Edition Development Kit 1.6... meaning that you'll have to download the JRE6 or later edition from here for example, or the JDK6 or later from here for example. The JRE6U18 took about 15 Mb's, while the JDK6U18 toke about 75 MB a while ago, while the Near Infinity v1.33b20 itself takes only about 1 MB. The newest Near Infinity project page is in Github.com's address... the original NI's pages by Jon Olav Hauglid.
Near Infinity has gone around a lot of changes, so it's recommended that you always use the latest version.

11.1.1 Configuring the Near Infinity.
Near Infinity will need to be configured so it finds the game file, you do it simply by opening the program followed with Game -> Open Game... -> Get the path to the game folder and there a file called CHITIN.key -> Open. This will locate all the files in the game.
The configuring is only needed if you have multiple games, or the Near Infinity.jar is not in your game folder.

11.1.2 Updating the Near Infinity's memory.
As the Megamods change the basic game a lot, the NearInfinity's memory can run out fast if you change more than a few files, you can use the Sam's program made just for this, in the previous link, or use the following with thanks given to the bigg, I attached this update for the starter file that you can download if you want to change the game more than a bit:
Attached File  NearInfinity-1024MB.zip   197bytes   607 downloads
You just need to extract the 'NearInfinity-1024MB.bat' file into the same folder that your 'NearInfinity beta 20.jar' is in, and then you just run the .bat file to get lot more memory capability to the editor. I would also recommend that you make a quick icon from the .bat file to your desktop. The .bat files content should be self-evident, but I'll say that it needs the .jar file to be named as 'NearInfinity beta 20.jar'(without the quotes) in the same directory, so it works with the original from the source I recommend(from Sam).

11.2 The DLTCEP.
The latest DLTCEP can be found from here, it needs the .dat files from here(it's at the very bottom of the page, dat.zip ). They total to ~1.1Mb's, so it's not huge thing to get them.
You install the tool by first opening the .zip archive to somewhere, then you run the extracted .exe file and it will extract it's files to an asked folder, I would recommend the "C:\BWP\DLTCEP" -folder, then you should extract the dat.zip to the "C:\BWP\DLTCEP\dat" -folder. Then you need to start the DLTCEP.exe and make a configuration for it, a few clicks later it will say run the Setup, so you click the button at the bottom left corner which will open the "Compatibility options" -window. You first need to name the setup, then you should set the game type to "Baldur's Gate II/ToB".
And then there is two paths to set, you can copy paste to them, or use the file searcher on the right. In my case the first one was "c:\BWP\bgii - soa\chitin.key" and the second one was "C:\BWP\DLTCEP\dat\bg2Effects.dat", both without the quote marks. And you should notice the "Read only" marked, if you wish to do more than just stare, you need to remove the mark. And then just push the Save&Back button. It will most likely report that you don't have the Moraleai.2da file, but no one has that unless you install a mod that makes one, like the "Glory of Istar", as the tool is a legacy of that mod.

And there, you go modify the files.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:05 AM.


#13 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:35 AM

12. How to use the LStest mod.
The LStest mod is a basic WeiDU.exe debugging tool made to detect what scripts fire (without a good reason), it's an 'install-now' mod, meaning that it will only detect scripts that were in the game when it's installed, so if you install a mod that modifies them further(I don't recommend this because this mod brakes the game, a little more on that later*), then the produced text might refer to the wrong line of code, but as the text-displaying addition is within the opened scripts source code, it's easy to find even if the scripts' has been further modified. You download it from the LSTest mod form this post:
Attached File  LStest.zip   605.47K   820 downloads
Now, the mod actually inserts just a line of code that makes your primary character say what scripts are being run, so it will stop the character as a consequence, but that can be corrected by uninstalling the mod. Yes, it's funny how you'll have to produce a scripting stopper to the player1 just to get rid of all the other stopper to all the others, but that's life.

12.1 Technical splash.
This is all done by adding a line to the start of all of the responses, on all the scripts:
ActionOverride(Player1,DisplayString(Myself,~Running block %x% of %SOURCE_RES%.BCS~))
I stole/borrowed this code.
From the bigg, so this is not actually my mod at all.
12.2 The LStest mods results.
When you have successfully installed the LStest mod on your game, it will produce a line like this in the Dialog window:

1st_party_members_name - Running block 43 of SK#NEH25.BCS

When you run the game that has a lot of lag and you suspect that its reason could at least partially be contributed to the fact that the LStest mod detects more than a single instant of the same block running "all the time", you should report it on a forum, I would suggest that you also --change-log the file so you can trace the source of the change...

12.3 Reporting the 'xxxxxxxx.bcs' running error
When you report what you have found, it's best if you can use the latest NearInfinity, open the files with it and once you have found the file, it should be in the "Override" category(unless it's .bif-fed), you just select the file and use the "Export..." "script source" that's at the lower part of the editor, it will save the file as xxxxxxxx.baf file, you should then open the files with Notepad and copy/paste the whole thing --or at least the sections(from the "IF" before ... to the "END" after them) that say the lines in question-- to a new .txt file and save it, then re-open that .txt file and re-save it. This is done so the files structure is changed from no line ends to one with them. You should then either attach the files you made or the text in them to the forum you report the error, and when you do the report, you should mention all the relevant facts, so we don't have to make our own install.

12.4* WARNING: The LStest mod will botch the games cinematic sections(cut scenes) and so the game, among the problems is that one can't proceed with a new ToB game past the stone-face talk, as the cinematic will never end if you have installed the mod. To prevent this from happening, you'll have to uninstall the mod when the game is not running, when you wish to proceed with the cut scenes. Or you can install the mod to a copied install with the answer #8's knowledge.*

12.5 Small additional note;
You need to have the G3Fixpack or something else installed, so all the game scripts are compilable by WeiDU.exe, or the mod will not install. This is because some of the files are corrupted by default in the original game, which of course the G3Fixpack will fix them.

We'll hope to update the mod someday... well, I doesn't seem to be able to code this easily... so I'll have to try later... and you are welcome to try to help me at it, PM me if you wish.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:05 AM.


#14 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:35 AM

13. Starting the BGT'ed/BWP'ed/BWS'ed game.
As few people have asked 'how to', the usual answer is, from the 'ToBLauncher.exe' that's made available by the this mod, and if that doesn't exist in the game directory, use the 'BGMain.exe'. The reason why the baldur.exe is not recommended is that it opens up a front end program, that uses the computers register, that should have the BGMain.exe logged in, but it might not be the right one when you have multiple copies of the game, and you are just waisting the computer resources by opening another program.*
The game should start in a few seconds after clicking the .exe, or a shortcut made from it. If it doesn't, it might be that you'll have to wait for the program to read all the info it's given from the override folder(read #10.1) because the biffing wasn't done. And depending on what GUI was installed(setup-gui.exe), the interface should make it clear about what you are about to start.

13.1 Different starting possibilities within the normal Megamoded game.
For instance, in a normal BGT'ed/BWP'ed/BWS'ed game, you can start in:
1) Candlekeep (BGI) -> Click "New Game" in the SoA portion, this requires the BGT... and no, there is no premade BG1TotSC save.
2) Chateau Irenicus (BGII-SoA) -> Click "New BG2 Game" (which replaces the BGII-SoA tutorial button) in the SoA portion.
3) Forest of Tethyr/Watcher's Keep (BGII-ToB) -> Click New Game" in the ToB portion of the game, the Watcher's Keep will be the starting point if the SCSII was installed.
There's a lot of other things you can start with the same way, in the game engine if you have different setups, like the Classic Adventure, or IwDinBG2, just to mention a few.

13.2 Modify first, play later...
As the Infinity Engine games save data into the savegames, they can create garbage if you load a savegame that was started before the last mod was installed, and so the principle is as simple as "Modify first, play later", there is theoretically a possibility to actually correct all the faults that the savegame has in it, but it's only theoretical at least in a game that has 1000 modifications(mod components) installed in it.
This makes the BWS'ed games savegames and exported characters invalid after reinstall, so you cannot just go and update and assume that they work the same, they won't, so you need to start a new game.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:05 AM.


#15 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:36 AM

14. The Forum Help.
This is a free forum, for (most of) the users, meaning that you don't have to even log on to post, it might be more respectable to use your own username, but no one really cares about that, much. Except The Imp.
Not one member of these forums is a "professional", meaning that we don't do this for money... but for the satisfaction of creating something, or helping someone and so ourselves. So if you think you can help, go a head and post, we need you... and most of the help will be paid back by other members replying to your questions, it's not a 'money back' guarantee, but it's something. And then there's also a good chance that you were actually wrong and can learn something from that. Just like The Imp never does.
The, not being professional, doesn't mean that none of them are any good at what they do at their free time, it actually means that the people are interested in most if not all of the problems you run into and they probably have already ran to most of them, so more they post, more they can be subject to good influences, even if they take the worst sides of them(they'll eventually have to learn a few good trades).
This also makes the forum it's own little class room that everyone is invited to, and the invite says "try to help", and even if you fail someone else might try and so succeed and you can learn form it at the same time, and then pass the info along. The Imp has done this a lot, as a matter of fact this whole FAQs about that. :lol:

The SHSforums users use English to usually communicate in the forums, but we also have various backgrounds and so have multiple languages under our grasp, so if you wish to use other languages, of course you are allowed, it might be best if you could first post in English that the topic is non-English, and then say what you have to say, so we don't look it as Spam and it gets thrown away. And our English skill is probably that bad that if you try, you'll get help even if you don't make sense for a normal English user, even if he is clever.
What comes to the forums, they are sectioned just like the download section, so it follows that you should ask your questions, and make comments under the mod's own forums. And thus:

14.1. The unforgivable mistakes.
They can be started with;
Forum: any SHS forum.
Post: "I downloaded the BGT-WeiDU mod from SHS using the BWS, and now I wish to ask if you could come and wash my car?"
Why: We don't do car washes.
-addendum, well the Quayle's Circus could be the place to give your sanity a small rest and relief. Especially the one thread where you can post 2500 times and no one knows how you got the +2000 post to your account.

Another:
Forum: Mega Mod Help.
Subject: BiG World Project (BWP) v7.0
Post: "Hey... Love the mods so far..."
Why: The latest update to the thread is almost older than the 'made date' of the vacuum contained & expired food you can see yourself throwing up, from it's surface. Moral of the story: Check the latest BWP thread. This will be a bitch to update.

Yet another is to make a post like these:
Forum: Baldur's Gate I and II / IE General Help / Big Picture
Subject: Big World Project transition from BG1 to BG2: Which characters/items/valuables get transfered?
OR:
Post: "I have started a BWP game ..."
Why: The subject says itself that the forum is wrong... it should be at the BGT-WeiDU or the Mega Mod Help forums.

The forums generally responsible of maintaining one of the big mods:
Baldur's Gate Trilogy(-WeiDU).
BiG World Project & BiG World Setup, the BWS beta.
Check the Bodies.
The Darkest Day.
Region of Terror.
Shadows Over Soubar.
Notice how I left the BP unlinked, it's because people tend to post on it's forums without a good cause.
Why this is relevant is because most if not all of the BiG World Project maintainers are not native English speakers, and thus they don't all visit every area the SHSForums.net contains, which could cause them to miss your entire topic, and the proper help might need to be lead to the thread, with gets complicated fast, and even worse is the situation where the 'default' solution to a problem is in a thread, but that thread is million miles from where it is supposed to be in, and so not even the forum search can find it.

When asking a "Yes" or "No" -question, learn NOT to use the word "or" in it !

14.2. The line in the sand during the hurricane... I saw it! Aka my forum policy.
... each of these can be forgotten, and almost surely will be automatically, so there's no need to be sorry, but they won't be forgiven because all your n00bines belongs to us. And if you make any, you'll almost surely begin to receive more and more hostile replies, that is if you should continue, so don't. Even if a staff-member of the forum personally approves your approach, as they don't know everything, and you might wish to re-think a bit (a day or 5). As a game created using the BWS is a totally different beast than vanilla BG2, and so different approaches are required.

Such as: Your own topic, your exact computers and Operation System specifics (including the byte count Service Pack and version tag), posting of the WeiDU.log's content in:
[spoiler]text[/spoiler]
-tags and --change-log'ging, LStest:ing and reading a bit and then a lot, like all the info in this thread that tell about the two.

14.3. The forum search...
Should be online again, but just in case the old info is ever needed again:
As the shsforum's search function went off-line at the start of the year 2010 in the forums update, after 5 months, we started to suggest that you should use Google or something else, Google can do this easily, just go here and replace the "BWP" with your search parameter, and remember, Google is evil, as it drools.
Or you could use this plug-in, but don't ask how to use it, as I haven't ever used it.

14.4 The spirit of the Infinity Engine moding community.
Well, it's dead, it was killed a long time ago with an Email directed to a person who then send it to another, of which the snails ate the hard copy off and thus a lot of porn was produced...
That's to say that there are a few personal feds between the IE communities, we shouldn't try to fix them, but leave them in the past while at the same time, we should try to find the best solutions for problems we face/find and then try to ask the original mod-maker to correct the 'mistake' if s/he is still around. If not, we try to make notes of the fixes to the BiG World Fixpack's readme, as the Fixpack is usually the place the fixes end up being in.

Now what comes to the forum help, as said you can and actually should try to help people, as you can learn from those mishaps and success stories.
But try not to be an asshole while doing so, there's already one and he is enough, yes, I am taking about one Jarno Mikkola that's also commonly referred as The Imp, he never invents anything new, he just silently copies, näh he steals... to help other peopleitself, as if he had created something new and creative. Here's an advice when encountering him; Weird as he is, he doesn't forgive, he forgets. Try to abuse that.

And so it goes without saying, you are welcomed to the SHSforums, your apologizes are unwelcomed, but accepted and your help is appreciated ... as I don't have the habit of saying those anymore.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:05 AM.


#16 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:36 AM

15. By the pantheon.
Use the latest version of the BWS(BWS v20121017, last time this was edited).

This topic is constantly updated :clown: , well anyway, so some of the indexes might be off by a mile, but I'll try to edit it the best I can... so if you wish to comment on the sgnilleps or other stuff, you can PM me or post in the comment thread.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:06 AM.


#17 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:45 AM

16. Help to properly form a good thread to log and reports errors in once own megamod.
As the title say, if you run into a problem, error or Crash to Desktop -type bugs, it's usually a good thought to put such a report to a public forum...
And here a few good thumb rules to go by;

1) Post in your own topic, you can link to other posts that have same kind of problems, especially if you have other problems as well.
2) Post on the appropriate forum, usually you'd better use the Mega Mod forum, especially if you use one or more of the big mods(BGT, SoS, TDD) with other mods.
3) Post your .txt, .err, .log -file contents, do not attach them, so open the files with Notepad and copy paste the text to the post, nobody is interested loading the files thousands times, well at least I am not. Unless attaching the only good way to do so, and then put them into a .zip archive. I wouldn't use the other archive file tools because the Windows today comes with an .zip unpacker, but the others need to be loaded up and configured, and the space save using the others should be minimal, in file sizes less than 30 MB's that you can upload.
4) In order for the post to be readable, post the file contents in spoiler tags if they are more than ten lines long and the post becomes more than about 100 lines long just because of the files content, ie; put it in these:
[spoiler]text content of the file goes here[/spoiler]

What to do in case of crashes:
If you haven't done it yet, enable logging. This might have already been done by the BW Install automatically.
You can do this by opening baldur.ini with any text editor (such as notepad; better not to use Word or other sophisticated programs); just below [Program Options], add the following line:
Logging On=1
And try to reproduce the crash.

If you can't reproduce the crash, please leave logging enabled, post as much information as you can, and post your baldur.err as soon as a crash occurs again (hoping it won't happen again...).
And if the crash is caused by an assertion error, the modified game itself tells you nothing of real relevance, as the game uses temporary files to actually work(.cpp), you should have the ToBEx's extra logging enabled to make it easier to identify the cause.

Reporting the CtD; Post your baldur.err, and some description of what you were doing when the error occurred;
If you were loading an area, if the crash occurred just after it was loaded, or before, and how much of the loading bar had already been displayed.

Post to be edited... hopefully. :P

Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 10 November 2012 - 08:07 AM.


#18 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:49 PM

DO NOT POST HERE!!!
If you have comments, they are welcome, but post them here instead. Thank you for your cooperation.
(posted here so it doesn't get unnoticed)
Cerberus v1.05, MegaModKits v1.01L, iiSpellSystemAdjustments v7.1; mods by Jarno Mikkola the Imp. FAQ for the Megamods. The Frequently Answered Questions.
BWS - Standard = not imba items spells or cheats. Tactical = AI hardly stupid = stupid hard. Expert = broke.
In case the BG2 game crashes post the content of your baldur.err file. To get it to record stuff, open up the 'baldur.ini' in your game folder with Notepad, and under the [Program Options] section in the file, make a new line and type in 'Logging On=1' (without the '' quotes, unless the line is already there)... Save the file and exit. Now go back into the game and try to reproduce the crash. Then look in your game folder again for the Baldur.err file and open it with the Notepad to analyze its contents, or let us do it.
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