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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!
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Towards a lightweight Unique Landscapes

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I noticed that there's a pretty wide discrepancy in the weight and scale of the UL mods, with some being just lightweight esps and others with heavy esps and resource packs. Since certain UL mods were causing crashes for me, I thought I'd take a closer look at them, with an eye toward discovering which mods were most likely to cause performance or stability issues. Hence, this chart:

5ad64b8556834_ULimpact.thumb.png.1fa0813679b325d38438f35783309966.png

Method: Size/cells added should be straightforward enough. Size is in MB. The weighted size/cells is based on whether the mod is outside of Cyrodiil and whether it's close to a city. UL + cities of course cause problems especially with Better Cities or Open Cities installed, so those got weighted more heavily (Lost Coast and Cliffs of Anvil aren't right up to the city walls like other mods, so they get a lower weight). I have no technical knowledge that would lead me to believe this, but it seems that mods outside of Cyrodiil that therefore aren't modifying much of the core gameworld shouldn't have as much of a performance impact. But I could be totally wrong! Speaking of me not knowing what I'm doing, these weights are completely arbitrary, fyi.

Notes and Observations:

The "Outside Cyrodiil" weight only applies if a mod is mostly outside of Cyrodiil, which only really applies to The Eastern Peaks and Brena River Ravine. Colovian Highlands is about half in and half out of Cyrodiil, so one could argue that it's outside of Cyrodiil. That would actually make it the second-heaviest UL mod by my method if we weighted it accordingly.

There are other ways I could have weighted these, like weighing the size of esps vs. resources, but I wouldn't really know where to begin. Do scripts have more of a performance impact than resources, or vice versa? I don't really know. I did calculate The Dark Forest twice, with one calculating excluding the cinematic files it includes.

My biggest issue with UL related crashes so far has been around cities, especially trying to get them to work with OCR. I'm therefore not surprised to see Skingrad Outskirts relatively high on the scale. I am surprised that Cheydinhal Falls, which has given me a ton of trouble, is about the same as Chorrol Hinterlands, which has been fairly stable for me. I saw that Cheydinal Falls includes a bunch of models for fish, so I wonder if that's a difference. I'd like to try removing the fish references in xEdit and see if it makes a difference (Cliffs of Anvil also has a bunch of fish models).

I know that the larger UL mods include a bunch of new models, which explains their large size. I do wonder if a lighter version that excludes these new models would be possible or desirable. There's a difference of a couple of orders of magnitude between the weighted sizes of the lightest and heaviest UL mods, and it makes me wonder if that gap could be closed.

I'm still trying to learn more about the technical aspects of modding, so I'm happy to be told where this analysis is off, or how it could be improved. But I hope someone finds it helpful in deciding which UL mods to install.

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Your focus is entirely wrong, I'm afraid.

Size of ESP is irrelevant until you get to around 500mb (might be far higher, it's been a long time since I needed to know this sort of stuff) - and ESMs can be much larger than ESPs without upsetting the game.

Number of cells edited is also irrelevant as you could have a mushroom added in one cell while 500 trees are added to another cell - measuring by the fact the mod edits two cells takes no account into what those cell edits are.

Edits being outside the invisible borders of the original game also have no relevance, at least until you hit the limit beyond which the game engine bugs out (that's a long way away, you'd be looking at mods adding entire new landmasses for this, again I forget but there's an exact number of cells away from centre up to which everything works fine, then beyond that point things get a little odd, then progressively more odd the further you go).

Proximity to a city, now you're looking at something important, though a city is merely one obvious example. Cities place a large number of objects in close proximity and also have NPCs with their AI packages and their animations and the extra textures for clothing and skin etc. being loaded into the GPU memory. If the city is in its vanilla closed state, then the NPCs will have no impact but their AI will still be running. If the city is open, then all the content of the city will be in the Tamriel worldspace, and all the NPCs will be too.

Your focus should be on the number of objects in each cell within ugridstoload-distance of each cell which is within ugridstoload-distance of any UL-edited cell. By default, ugridstoload is 5, which is two cells out in each direction (a grid of 5 cells by 5 cells, with the centre cell being the one where you the player are standing). The more objects being loaded by the game engine, the more textures also need loading into graphics memory.

Certain placed objects have a higher weight than others, such as NPCs as previously mentioned. Also harvestable plants have a big impact on FPS - and anything with collision (anything you can bump into instead of walking straight through). High poly meshes of course, and any object with high resolution textures (e.g. texture replacers offering HD textures). Combat strains the game engine, so NPCs fighting creatures (or other NPCs) will be a concern, until the fighting stops.

 

Forget the ESP sizes, forget how many cells are edited or where the UL is placed. Look at how much content the game has to load in and around each UL (accounting for other mods installed as well), and consider whether the custom meshes and textures are optimised or not, whether there might be anything wrong with them (as far as I am aware, all in UL are optimised and none are faulty, but there could be a bad one here or there - don't forget to consider this for other mods too).

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Well shucks. Thanks for setting me straight, at least.

Not to be a pain, but is there any consensus as to whether certain UL mods are more or less stable or performance-heavy? I definitely notice a difference between Skingrad Outskirts and Cheydinhal Falls (both super-crashy) versus Chorrol Hinterlands and Bravil Barrowfields (relatively stable), even though all four are adjacent cities.

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As far as I am aware all four of those are perfectly stable on their own - when you start adding other mods in like BC, OCC or OCR, it ceases to be a question of UL stability and becomes a question of your personal setup's stability. I believe Colovian Highlands can impact on FPS, at least when the DistantLOD is generated. The Dark Forest has caused problems for some people, partly due to conflicts with scripts from other mods. Earlier versions of Rolling Hills had some bad meshes for the chickens but that was fixed. Certain locations in some of them may drop FPS but not unreasonably (except when combined with other FPS-affecting mods in the same location).

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To further illustrate Vorians' comments, Black Marsh (the project hosted here) is currently an ESP and it's 99.7 MB in size. The BSA is 915 MB. It's a large worldspace outside Cyrodiil with its own open cities. We have a lot of high polygon count meshes and custom races with their own skeletons. The performance is fine. As usual it can get a bit crunchy in cities with the NPC's running about, but I don't even get any stuttering.

One thing to remember with Oblivion is that it's CPU intensive. The engine doesn't use graphics cards very much - all the processing is done by the CPU. It's important to have a fast, multi-threaded, multi-core CPU, especially if you want to run mods that add a lot of content.

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19 hours ago, AndalayBay said:

It's important to have a fast, multi-threaded, multi-core CPU, especially if you want to run mods that add a lot of content.

Wait, I thought Oblivion mostly only uses one core physical core and would not use any virtual cores at all?  So I always understood that for Oblivion you wanted a CPU that ran fast on one core and the number of physical and virtual cores and the CPU’s ability to multi-thread was largely irrelevant, since Oblivion would not use any of that anyway.  

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1 hour ago, Turija said:

Wait, I thought Oblivion mostly only uses one core physical core and would not use any virtual cores at all?  So I always understood that for Oblivion you wanted a CPU that ran fast on one core and the number of physical and virtual cores and the CPU’s ability to multi-thread was largely irrelevant, since Oblivion would not use any of that anyway.  

You are correct, the game was developed before multi-core processors were commercially common, so they did not optimise for them. Also even though there are various entries in the ini relating to multithreading, most of those were found to be ignored by the game.

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I was thinking more of a fast i-5 vs spending additional money for an i-7. There may be other reasons for spending more for an i-7 but if you just want to run older games a good i-5 seems just as good as an i-7 and a fair bit cheaper. 

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Bang for the buck--sweet-spot--is an i5.  Dollar-for-dollar you won't get a better deal.  I haven't read too much about Ryzen in games and the soon-to-launch Ryzen 2.  But Ryzen holds it's own against Intel in the benchies, so the same probably applies to games.

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