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      Orphan Attachments   07/31/2018

      I have been doing some housekeeping lately and I've noticed that I had a lot of orphaned attachments. Attachments get orphaned when the PM or post is deleted without removing the attachment first. Deleting a PM or post does not delete the attachment and the file or image remain on the server. I'd like to ask all members to go through their attachments and delete any attachments you don't need anymore or those that have been orphaned. Where can I get a list of my attachments? Click on your display name in the upper right corner of the forums and pick "My Attachments" from the drop-down list. How can I tell an attachment is orphaned? If the PM has been deleted, you'll see a message like this in your attachment list: Unfortunately there is no message if the post has been deleted, so please check your old posts. We do purge old birthday threads every once in a while. Also some hosted projects have been shut down, so you may have orphaned attachments on one of those locations. Thanks!
AndalayBay

Tools and Utilities

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Here's a list of some useful tools and utilities that I've compiled. Some are useful for mod developers and players alike, others are for mod developers.

Wrye Bash - Must have tool for large load orders. Simply put, Wrye Bash helps you maintain your load order. It also helps deal with mod compatibility issues with a special patch plugin called the Bashed Patch. And perhaps its most powerful feature is the mod installation component called BAIN.

Wrye Bash Pictorial Guide - If you've found Wrye Bash to be rather intimidating, you're not alone. Alt3rn1ty has compiled this comprehensive guide to get you on your way.

TES4Edit - Must have tool for mod developers, it's also useful for players to see what changes a mod makes. It is the tool used to "clean" mods, which is the process for removing unintentional edits from a mod.

TES4Gecko - An older tool that's still useful. I don't recommend using it for cleaning mods though. TES4Edit is a newer tool that does that function better. I mainly use it for merging patches into a master plugin.

TES4Files - It's a mod packaging tool. It will find all the files that a mod uses and will put them all in the proper directories so you can zip them all up and release your mod. It will also package all the files into a BSA for you.

Construction Set Extender - extends the functionality of the CS and fixes several bugs. Once you've tried it, you won't go back to the old CS. Even though it requires OBSE, it does not make your mod dependent on OBSE.

Oblivion Mod Manager - I mention this one here for its BSA functions. You can extract and create BSA files with it without any fuss. Various compression levels are available. Very old now and of limited utility. Suggest upgrading to TES Mod Manager, below.

 

TES Mod Manager - The new version of Oblivion Mod Manager. This one works for all TES games.

 

BSA Commander - Tool for working with BSA's. I've never gotten this one to work under Windows 7 (64 bit).

PyFFI - Tool for optimizing meshes. Optimizing your meshes with PyFFI improves performance. Requires Python 2.6.6+ It's recommended that you stick with 2.1.11 for now because Wrye Bash doesn't work with Python 3.

 

Milkshape 3D - Low polygon modelling tool. You can use it to make FAR NIF files.

 

TESAnnwyn - 3D landscape heightmap import and export tool.

 

TES Texture Pack Merging Utility - Tool for comparing and merging duplicate textures. Works for Oblivion and Skyrim.

Development Resources

Measures - Provides two static markers in the shape of rulers that can be used in the CS to help you judge distances and the size of objects. They are static markers so they are invisible in-game.

Real Water for the CS - Gets rid of the horrid pink water in the CS. Has several colour options, including pink. :D

TES CS Spellcheck Dictionary - This adds Oblivion specific words to the CS spellchecker. The spellchecker will pop up when you edit dialogue, journal and book text, unless you disabled it in the CS ini file. This will add Oblivion specific words so they are checked properly too. Works really well - I ran it against a couple of our books and it correctly identified the spelling errors. It even detects grammatical errors! We had a word duplicated in some dialogue and it correctly detected it. Very handy.

Landscaper's Little Helper - A little program that displays pictures of the different landscape textures. Really handy if you're doing landscape editing.

TESsnip - Advanced plugin editor. Do not use if you don't understand the record structure of plugin files. Basically take TES4Edit and remove all the safety features and you've got TESsnip. :D I list it here for convenience.

Runtime Debugger - Yes, you read that right. shadeMe has devised a method to debug scripts during runtime. You can actually walk through your scripts one step at a time. No more excuses.

Runtime Script Profiler - Another one from Tree (aka shadeMe). This one generates a bunch of statistics and writes them to a debug log. Helps you track down script inefficiencies.
 
MOM - allows you to have multiple Oblivion installations.
TES4 Manager - another multiple installation manager for Oblivion and Fallout . This is the one I use.
 
Translation Tools
 
Egg Translator - translates your plugin into other languages. Languages: German, English, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian. Thanks for suggesting this WalkerInShadows.
ESP/ESM Translator - translates your plugin into other languages. Will translate and recompile scripts as well. It supports Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim and Fallout. Suggested by WalkerInShadows.
 
Other Utilities

These aren't limited to developers. They are very handy for anybody playing the game with mods, but Refscope in particular can be quite helpful to developers as well.

Form ID Finder - Very simply, Form ID Finder tells you which mod an object comes from. It provides several bits of useful information and I use it frequently during development as well as regular game play.

Refscope - Another utility that is very similar to Form ID Finder. It has some more features, but can be a little more awkward to use. The key feature that I use it most for is that it will list the current AI package that an NPC is executing. It will also list all their AI packages. I also use it to list their inventory. Very handy if you're trying to figure out if they got that fancy new amulet you gave them.

LAA Patch - Patches the Oblivion executable so that it can access up to 4 GB RAM. Is only effective if you have more than 4 GB of RAM and a 64 bit OS to take advantage of all that RAM.

Runtime Editor ID's - Allocates Editor ID's for forms when the game is run. Allows you to type EditorID.disable or player.addItem lockPick 100 instead of having to figure out what the Form ID is. Very handy.

Conscribe - This will take all console output and write it to a log. It also gives developers enhanced logging abilities. I will often ask users to install this when they are asking for help with one of my mods. It makes it much easier to report the full results from console commands.

Better Oblivion Sorting Software (BOSS) - You can pretty much guarantee that the first thing I will ask someone asking for help is "Have you sorted your load order with BOSS?". Stop arguing with me and use this. :D It uses a comprehensive database of mods to sort your mods in the proper order. It also gives you report on all your mods, telling you which ones need cleaning or if you're using an outdated version and you should upgrade.
 
Optimizer Textures - optimizes and resizes textures. Since textures are the same across games, can be used on any DDS file. Suggested by WalkerInShadows.

Edited by AndalayBay
Updated tools

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I'd also like to add:

 

Egg Translator: The new tool for easily translating plugins. Already embedded languages are: German, English, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian. You can translate into all languages, for which you'll create or download a specific database. Also can be used for editing!

 

Optimizer Textures: Great tool for optimizing textures, or merely downsizing them (resolution-wise; you can reduce 4K to 2K to 1K). SInce textures are the same everywhere, you can use this on any dds file.

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Now where is TES4LODGen (necessary to run every time you're changing your loadorder) I can't see it in the list of tools/utilities.

 

I would advice people to use Oblivion Mod Manager Extended (requires Oblivion Mod Manager to be installed) since it has a feature to update both omod's and mod archives if you're online and the mod in question is hosted on Nexus.

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My preference would be to keep them separate since this is mostly development tools, not modding resources.

 

I've updated the OP with a new translator and have added some of the suggestions made by others.

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What about things that are not game specific? Should those be in a separate thread instead?

 

These are tools or utilities that you'll use to make your game run better, so I prefer to keep everything in one place.

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Does anyone know of a tool which will batch-read a load of NIF files, and extract from BSA and/or Textures folder a copy of every texture referenced by the NIFs?

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That's not what he's looking for. He wants a tool that will extract DDS files from a bunch of BSAs which are referenced by a bunch of NIF files.

 

Vorians, I'm not sure. NIFOpt may have some options to spit out the DDS files needed, which could then be passed to BSAOpt's unpacker, but I'm not sure.

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Thanks, but NIFOpt no longer exits, BSAOpt and DDSOpt  supplanted it, and neither of those can do what I'm after. The DDS files don't have to be in a BSA, they can be in a folder instead, I just need any tool which will determine every DDS referenced by a bunch of NIFs. Probably isn't any tool made to do that.

 

I wonder if I could trick TES4Files into doing it. If I created an ESP which has a base static object for every NIF which I need the textures for, and does not have any records for the NIFs which I do not need the textures for, it should extract the textures, right? I'll give that a go tomorrow.

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Scratch that...  I need to rephrase myself a little.

 

 

Most people know that TESFiles for Morrowind can miss a file or two when packing mod files into an archive, but fortunately there is Overunity to overcome the missing mod files issue.  Does TES4Files has the same missing a mod file(s) issue?

 

However, I've no idea if a tool(s) for Morrowind does work for Oblivion mods or not, but it seems PyFFi work for Morrowind.  So I guess that there could be other Morrowind tools that could work for Oblivion.

Edited by Leonardo

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Thanks, but NIFOpt no longer exits, BSAOpt and DDSOpt  supplanted it, and neither of those can do what I'm after. The DDS files don't have to be in a BSA, they can be in a folder instead, I just need any tool which will determine every DDS referenced by a bunch of NIFs. Probably isn't any tool made to do that.

 

I wonder if I could trick TES4Files into doing it. If I created an ESP which has a base static object for every NIF which I need the textures for, and does not have any records for the NIFs which I do not need the textures for, it should extract the textures, right? I'll give that a go tomorrow.

Yes, I would use TES4Files. It can also process multiple ESP's, if that helps any. I always use TES4Files to package up my releases because it will find missing files for you too.

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Work PC isn't allowing me to use the MultiQuote or Quote buttons today so....

 

@ Leonardo: I don't know what OverUnity is and have never used TESFiles for Morrowind, but I am unware of TES4Files missing files.

 

@ VM: Wait for me to try TES4Files, it'll probably work right.

 

@ Andalay: Yes I often use TES4Files too, but what I neglected to mention is that I'm talking _far.nif files only, which typically an ESM/P does not reference. If I create an ESP with base records using _far.nif files then TES4Files should pull all the required non-vanilla textures for me. That's why I called it tricking TES4Files, by making it think the _far.nif files are not _far.

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I have the results I wanted! Adding _far.nif files as static objects into an ESP makes TES4Files extract all the referenced textures without cluttering up with all the high res textures.

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I have the results I wanted! Adding _far.nif files as static objects into an ESP makes TES4Files extract all the referenced textures without cluttering up with all the high res textures.

You should write this down into a guide/tutorial and post it here. :)

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