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#1 Mator

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 06:20 PM

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www.modpicker.com

 

Introduction
 
This thread will be about investigating and discussing the viability of integrating Mod Picker into STEP processes and maintaining a STEP mod list on Mod Picker.  Maintaining a mod list for STEP on Mod Picker does not preclude using any current systems in place here on the STEP wiki/forums.  In the long term, it may be possible for STEP to replace parts of their process with functionality if that is determined to be desirable by the STEP staff.
 
A work-in-progress thread about Mod Picker already exists in the Mator's Utilities Support subforum with 5 pages of discussion.  There's a lot of other discussion that has occurred regarding Mod Picker across the internet, which you should be able to track down with a google search if interested. 

 

I have been discussing the possibility of maintaining a STEP mod list on Mod Picker with TechAngel85 on and off for a few months now.  The purpose of this thread is to clearly lay out the advantages and disadvantages of using Mod Picker to maintain a STEP mod list and to centralize discussion on the topic.  I realize that this post is a bit on the long side, please bear with me.

 

 

STEP Mod List

 

You can view an under construction version of the STEP mod list on Mod Picker as put together by TechAngel85 here:

 

STEP Core Mod List
(NOTE: You must allow adult content from your user settings page because the STEP mod list includes Better Males which is an adult mod!)

 

 

Mod Picker Features
 
Below is an overview of what Mod Picker offers.  Unless otherwise stated, all links provided below are to screenshots to illustrate the features being described.
 
Mod Pages
Mod Picker has mod pages which display information about a mod as well as reviews, compatibility notes, install order notes, load order notes, and a mod analysis.
 
- Mods can have a single thumbnail image.
- Mods can have one or two categories.
- Mods can have up to 10 tags.  This limit could be increased to 15 or 20 if we find mods needing more than 10 tags.
- Mods can have custom sources.  Currently only Mod Picker site staff can submit mods with custom sources.
- Mod Picker site staff, mod authors, and curators can manage the mod page.
- The mod analysis includes a full asset map (including assets inside BSA archives) and plugin dumps.  Plugin dumps include metadata on the plugin, an overview of their record composition, the FormIDs and signatures of override records, and a list of plugin errors.
 
Mod Submission
Mods can be submitted to Mod Picker by anyone.  Mod submission is done through a form which requires specifying one or more sources, a mod analysis, mod requirements, mod categories, and mod tags.
 
Mod Lists
Mod Picker allows registered users to build mod lists using mods available on the platform.  A mod list has a name, a markdown description, a status, a visibility, tags, an ordered list of tools, an order list of mods, mod options specified per mod, an ordered list of plugins, one or more config files, and comments.
 
- Tools, mods, and plugins can be sorted into groups for ease of viewing.
- Mods and tools can be viewed in both grid and list view.  List view allows users to customize the information that is displayed.
- Mod Picker offers automated install order and load order sorting algorithms which the user can use with the click of a button.
- Tools, mods, or plugins which are not yet submitted to Mod Picker can be added to mod lists as custom entries.  Custom entries will be automatically substituted with proper entries when the mod they correspond to is submitted.
- Plugins can be marked as merged or cleaned.
- Mod Picker advises users on missing requirements, compatibility issues, install order issues, and load order issues with their mod list.  Users can resolve issues manually or by clicking one of the automatic resolution options.  Users can also batch resolve issues using the Resolve All button.  Issues can be ignored if determined invalid or inconsequential.
- Mod lists currently offer three basic export options. modlist.text is a mod install order document as should be provided to Mod Organizer.  plugins.txt is the plugin load order file.  links.txt is a list of links for downloading the mods.
- Mod list import options and automated mod list setup are both planned.
- The analysis tab displays mod list statistics, conflicting assets, conflicting override records, and plugin errors.
 
Compatibility Notes
Mod Picker allows users to create compatibility notes which make a statement about the compatibility between two mods.  Compatibility notes are created following a template which keeps the information accurate and useful.  Compatibility notes state the mods have one of the following compatibility statuses:
 
- Incompatible: The mods cannot be used together without major functionality not working properly.
- Partially Incompatible: The mods can be used together, but certain functionality will not work.
- Compatibility Mod: The mods are compatible when using another mod with them ("another mod" is defined as a separate mod page).
- Compatibility Option: The mods are compatible when using an optional download, FOMOD option, BAIN option, or compatibility plugin.
- Make Custom Patch: You can make a custom patch using TES5Edit or another tool to make the mods compatible with each other.  Instructions should be provided.
 
Compatibility notes are used several ways in Mod Picker beyond the obvious:
 
- Compatibility notes are displayed on Mod Picker mod lists with automatic resolution options.
- Users can opt to filter mods that are incompatible with their active mod list when browsing mods on Mod Picker.
- A message is displayed when a user views a mod which is incompatible with their active mod list.
 
Install Order Notes
Mod Picker allows users to create install order notes which make a statement about the order in which two mods should be installed.  Install order notes are created following a template which keeps the information accurate and useful.
 
Install order notes are displayed on Mod Picker mod lists with automatic resolution options.  Mod Picker's automated install order sorting algorithm takes install order notes into account.
 
Load Order Notes
Mod Picker allows users to create load order notes which make a statement about the order in which two plugins should be loaded.  Load order notes are created following a template which keeps the information accurate and useful.
 
Load order notes are displayed on Mod Picker mod lists with automatic resolution options.  Mod Picker's automated load order sorting algorithm takes load order notes into account.
 
Reviews
Mod Picker allows users to review mods.  Reviews contribute the reputation of mods and the reputation of the author of the mod.  Users can specify what sections they want to review a mod on, and provide scores for each section they choose.  Reviews are created following a template which guides users to address different parts of a mod.
 

The STEP Process
 
Before we investigate how Mod Picker works for STEP, I'm going to do a quick evaluation of the STEP process.  This evaluation will serve to guide the discussion about Mod Picker.  If I make any mistakes or miss any critical details, please let me know.
 
Step 1: Mod Suggestion
Before mods are added to STEP they go through a process where they are suggested and discussed by the community.  This usually involves creating a thread in the Republic of STEP -> Mods subforum.  In the thread, users discuss the mod, evaluating its necessity, quality, stability, and compatibility.  Based on the discussion and other criteria (such as the STEP Mandate) decisions are reached on whether or not the mod should be part of STEP Core, STEP Extended, or a STEP Pack.
 
When a mod is accepted a forum topic is created in the Republic of STEP -> Mods -> STEP Mod Anthology subforum and tagged "Accepted".  If a mod is later integrated into the STEP compilation, it becomes tagged as "Compilation", and if it is dropped from STEP it becomes tagged as "Dropped".
 
Step 2: Mod Page Creation
Note: This often happens at the same time as step 1.  This involves creating a page on the STEP wiki for the mod.  The STEP wiki page is created by and can be edited via a form.  The STEP mod page displays the following information:
 
- Full name of the mod
- Author(s) of the mod
- STEP section
- Mod source (Nexus Mods, Steam, or Other)
- One or more external URLs
- STEP Forum Thread
- DLC Requirements
- DLC Supported
- Resource packaging details (Loose, BSA, None, or Undefined)
- Documentation Flags
- Content Flags
- STEP Flags
- A gallery of screenshots (optional)
- Detailed instructions for download & installation
 
Step 3: List Compilation
Semantic MediaWiki is used to pull mods into the STEP Guide based on the section they are categorized in.  The mods are then displayed in tables on the STEP Guide using the ModTable template to pull from MediaWiki categories.  Table rows display the following information:
 
- The mod name
- A link to the mod's source page
- A link to the wiki page about the mod
- A baseline mod option
- Quality options
- DLC requirements
- Notes/a link to detail instructions on installing the mod.
 
Step 4: User Experience
Users follow the STEP Guide wiki page to download and setup the mods.  The guide page provides a step-by-step process which a user can follow to set the STEP mod list up.  STEP Packs function in a similar fashion.
 
Airbreather currently has a project for automating the setup of STEP mod lists.  His software requires the manual compilation of an XML file.
 
 
The Mod Picker Process
 
This section will describe a STEP process involving Mod Picker analogous to the process described above.
 
Step 1: Mod Suggestion
Discussion about a mod being included in STEP can and should still happen on the STEP forums.  Mod Picker doesn't really have a good place for this kind of discussion anyways.  A few things can be added to this step:
 
- In addition to linking the STEP wiki page for the mod, the user could link the Mod Picker page for the mod.  If the mod isn't already on Mod Picker and the OP doesn't want to submit it, another user could submit the mod to Mod Picker and reply to the thread with a link.
- Results of research on compatibility, install order, and load order could be added to Mod Picker.  This allows the entire community to more directly benefit from the efforts of the STEP project and allows STEP to better organize this information on a single page about the mod.
- Well formulated opinions about the mod can be made into reviews on Mod Picker.
- Issues with the mod's stability, or the mod becoming obsolete can be submitted as appeals on Mod Picker.  (appeals can change a mod's status between Good, Outdated, and Unstable).
 
Step 2: Mod Page Creation
The STEP mod page could link to the Mod Picker mod page.  At some future point in time the Mod Picker mod page could completely replace the STEP mod page.  Below is a comparison between the functionality offered by the STEP mod page vs. a Mod Picker mod page.  Some of the things I list as being only available on Mod Picker or STEP are debatable, and have explanations.
 
Both:
- The mod name
- The mod author
- A source link
- Custom source links
- Category.  STEP has a "section", which is different from Mod Picker categories.  STEP can still retain their sections as groups in STEP mod lists.  I personally feel the categories for mods on Mod Picker are better than the STEP sections, but I don't expect the structure of the STEP guide to change any time soon.
- Resource packaging details (Loose, BSA, or None)
- Required DLCs
- Content flags and STEP flags.  Mod Picker handles these in various ways.
- Installation recommendations.  You can do this on a Mod Picker mod list by specifying the mod options for the mod.  You cannot indicate a mod option is "optional" currently.  This could be added if deemed absolutely necessary, though I personally feel it's not the best idea.  The ability to specify custom notes on mods/plugins in your mod list is something that we will be adding to Mod Picker soon.
 
Only STEP:
- Baseline version.  Mod Picker does have default mod options, but these aren't exactly the same.
- Resource packaging details.  Mod Picker doesn't display this directly, but it does track the asset paths for mods (so it does know whether a mod has mod options with BSA files or loose assets).
- Supported DLCs.  Mod Picker can sort of do this through compatibility notes, but there isn't a clean "list" of them.  It would be fairly easy for me to make a way to generate/display an overview report on a mod which would list the requirements/compatibility relationships between it and other mods, if that is desirable.
- Screenshot gallery.  There are no plans to upload screenshots beyond the mod thumbnail to Mod Picker currently.  I don't think this is necessary for Mod Picker to have when all major mod sources (Nexus Mods, Steam, and Lover's Lab) do so in an effective fashion.
- Documentation flags.  There is a plan to add a new feature to Mod Picker to allow mod authors to provide a short description, detailed installation instructions, and detailed uninstallation instructions on the Mod Picker mod page.
 
Only Mod Picker:
- Mod aliases (acronyms).  STEP does have a secondary name listing which sometimes specifies acronyms for the mod.
- Multiple primary mod sources
- Required mods (other than official DLCs)
- Open tagging
- Mod Analysis
- Reviews
- Compatibility Notes
- Install Order Notes and Load Order Notes
 
Step 3: List Compilation
Once Mod Picker's RESTful API has been made public you will be able to pull and list information on Mod Picker mod lists from anywhere.  Until then, the Mod Picker mod list page should be sufficient.  A lot of the STEP guide content can be put into the mod list description.  Some of the STEP guide content which isn't just relevant to STEP (e.g. Guides on tools and INI files) can be made into help pages in the Mod Picker Help Center.
 
Below is a comparison between the functionality offered by the STEP guide vs. a Mod Picker mod list.
 
- The STEP guide is made with wiki code, where a Mod Picker mod list's description is in Markdown.  I may be able to add some features to Mod Picker's markdown such as tables, but it will be somewhat more limited than wiki syntax.  The biggest limiting factor I can see is no way to color text outside of pre-defined styles for code blocks if we add code syntax highlighting.
- The STEP guide page is 49,880 characters, the current limit on the Mod Picker mod list's description is 65,535 characters.
- Mod Picker mod lists can be cloned, converted to various data formats, exported, imported, etc.  The data exists in an accessible format in our database - we can develop pretty much any feature you can imagine.
- Both the STEP guide and Mod Picker provide a list of mods with grouping.  Mod Picker separates things into tabs which makes the mod list less overwhelming.
- The STEP guide presents mods in tables.  Mod Picker mod lists can present mods in grid or list view, and you can customize what columns are displayed while in list view.
- The STEP guide doesn't provide a specific load order - it advises the user to use LOOT instead.  Mod Picker lets you specify an explicit load order.
- Mod Picker mod lists display missing requirements, compatibility issues, install order issues, and load order issues.  This means that if someone else in the community were to discover an issue between two mods the issue would be immediately presented on the STEP mod list, which allows STEP to benefit from the efforts of the rest of the community without having to go out and discover new information.
- The mod list analysis tab could provide a lot of valuable insights (statistics, conflicting assets and conflicting overrides) to guide STEP in creating the STEP mod list faster and more effectively.
 
When developing a new version of STEP, I imagine the STEP team would clone the STEP mod list, mark it as unlisted and under construction (so it won't appear in search results) and build it over the span of several weeks or months.  Mod Picker does not currently offer a way for a user to allow other users to edit their Mod List, but the functionality could be very easily built.
 
Step 4: User Experience
We are working on building an automated mod list setup utility leveraging the data stored on Mod Picker mod lists.  This utility would function similar to AirBreather's StepperUpper, except no manual data compilation would be required.
 
Due to the way that Mod Picker works as a data center, we can also potentially automatically compile various information based on mod lists such as installation instructions (once we support them to the platform), FOMOD/BAIN installation instructions, a compatibility report, etc.
 
I imagine that STEP Core, STEP Extended, the STEP Packs, and any variants on these would be separate mod lists on Mod Picker.  Mod Picker users could easily clone STEP Core to make their own personalized STEP mod list which they can publish and share with their friends.  If STEP Extended and the STEP Packs are flagged as Mod Collections on Mod Picker users could add them to their STEP mod list by clicking a single button.
 
 
Advantages
 
I've already covered a lot of the advantages to maintaining a STEP mod list on Mod Picker, but here's an overview as well as some that I haven't mentioned yet.
 
Shared Benefits
Maintaining STEP mod lists on Mod Picker would allow STEP to share benefits with the rest of the modding community.  Compatibility, Install Order, and Load Order notes are the biggest and most important shared benefit.  There's also the shared database of mod-related information, and overall promotion of modding knowledge.  These shared benefits will make both STEP and the modding community better for everyone.
 
Exposure
Right now Mod Picker isn't extremely popular (we only just launched), but the addition of STEP to the platform could really help us get more attention.  If Mod Picker becomes a big deal in the community, and STEP is the first and most notable mod list on Mod Picker it could really increase the exposure of STEP to the community.
 
API
Mod Picker will be offering a full RESTful API for other developers to tap into.  This API could be leveraged by STEP in any number of interesting ways, including embedding a Mod Picker Mod List on the STEP website.
 
Accessibility
Mod Picker enables users to work with mod lists in a way that is incomparable to any other platform.  The ability to clone the STEP mod list, customize it, add STEP packs to it, and be guided to resolve any missing requirements, compatibility, install order, or load order issues is something which Mod Picker offers which isn't offered anywhere else.  Automated mod list setup will make it even easier.  Mod Picker will make STEP more accessible to the community.
 
Data Insights
Mod Picker is going to become a massive database of mod-related information.  The insights Mod Picker will be able to offer in the near future will be incomparable to that of any other platform.  We live in an age of big data, and the insights that data can provide can be very valuable.  Mod Picker is set to become the "Big Data" of modding through mod analyses and crowd-sourced community contributions.  The insights we will be able to provide about mod compatibility, conflicts, install order, load order, and other relationships will greatly benefit STEP and the community as a whole.
 
Development
Maintaining a STEP mod list on Mod Picker will drive the development of Mod Picker and STEP to new heights.  I think the opportunity for growth is very real given my dedication to make Mod Picker an awesome platform for STEP and the modding community combined with STEP's long and well-established experience with maintaining a large mod list.
 
 
Disadvantages
 
There are some disadvantages to maintaining a STEP mod list on Mod Picker:
 
Opt Out
Mod authors can opt out of Mod Picker.  We have chosen to respect the wishes of mod authors who do not want their mods to be listed on Mod Picker (remember, we aren't actually hosting their files).  We plan on continuing to honor this agreement for the foreseeable future.  Opt out is enforced in mod submission - you cannot submit a mod to Mod Picker that was uploaded by an author who has opted out of Mod Picker.
 
Currently, two mod authors whose mods are in STEP core who have opted out of Mod Picker: Arthmoor and Shurah.  You can still list their mods and plugins in a Mod Picker mod list using custom mod/plugin entries.  The major disadvantage with mod authors opting out is there is no mod page for the mod on Mod Picker.  That also means there is no analysis information (mod option, asset, and plugin information), no requirements, no compatibility notes, no install order notes, no load order notes, and no reviews.
 
We do hope that we can eventually convince the mod authors who have opted out of Mod Picker to allow their mods to be listed.
 
Mod List Setup
The current plan for the Mod List Setup Utility is to make it available only to users who pay for premium accounts on Mod Picker.  The current plan is for premium accounts to be $5/mo, and giving users premium for life after $30.  I think this is a very fair way to set things up, and also very reasonable.  We also plan on giving premium away to many users in the community on a regular basis through contests, site contributions, mod authorship, etc.
 
Sign Up
Currently you have to sign up for a Mod Picker account before you can view the site.  Please note that this is only temporary - we will be making the site publicly accessible in the near future.

 

 

Conclusion
 
If you have any questions or concerns please reply and let me know.
 
 
Regards,
- Mator


Edited by Mator, 27 April 2017 - 03:22 PM.

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#2 TechAngel85

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 11:51 PM

Several issues from reading that...

 

@STEP Mod Pages
The use of our mod pages is specific to our needs. The information these contain is also specific to our needs and most of it should remain static. STEP needs mod pages to contain the information we need (mainly install instructions and flags), and sections of these pages should only be editable by the Staff. We likely wouldn't need the analyzer for our own purposes, but it seems to be fairly integrated.

 

@Mod List
This is the equivalent to our mod tables, but again, we display custom/tailored information per mod that is different and streamlined to our purposes. The list would be very different on Mod Picker in terms of how all the information is displayed and set up for the user. We try to keep all information as streamlined as possible. Within the last few releases, much of the Guide has been altered in favor of streamlining. I feel if we moved to Mod Picker for all our needs, this would be a step in the wrong direction because the information would be broken up again.

@The STEP Process
Step 1: Mostly right. Whether a mod is accepted or not is based on several criteria as you mentioned, but isn't not all discussion. Each mod must be tested against the current set of mods in-game. All mods must first fit the STEP Mandate before anything can be done.

 

@Opt Out.

Right out of the gate this will be causing issues for creating and maintaining a STEP list on Mod Picker. Arthmoor and Shurah have no issues with STEP (I personally have author access to ICAIO and have gotten help from Arthmoor on many occasions. Great, smart, and easy going guy). This alone is a very good reason to stay away from third-party solutions which you don't control. In my opinion it trumps all the good. Having authors opt out due to the platform and not anything to do with STEP is a deal breaker, imo. Not only do we lose the control over the mods that can and can't be in the Guide (in the detail we need), but we also lose the flexibility to expand in the directions we want....say into other games that Mod Picker doesn't support and has no plans to.

 

Finally, if STEP decides to go Non-profit one day, then the water is going to get muddy in how we're merging onto and using the platform. For our plans for the future, I just don't see many wins for STEP in merging onto Mod Picker. If anything, it sounds like more work (we're already limited on time), would be more restrictive than our current solution, and would restrict us from flowing in the direction the winds take us in the future.

 

 

With all that said, I see no harm in maintaining a STEP Guide (to the best of our ability) on Mod Picker. I do agree that Mod Picker could offer some insights into the load order of STEP. I also agree that Mod Picker's custom solution is very similar to what we're doing now, but not exactly the same. 

 

Honestly, Mod Picker's platform would likely work for STEP with a few tweaks, but we'd want to have the freedom to customize for to our needs as we have with the forum/wiki software. If you consider selling a software license or issue a usage agreement, we just might be game! ...unless you want to do it for free or work out a deal, of course.  :^_^:



#3 Mator

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:20 AM

@STEP Mod Pages
The use of our mod pages is specific to our needs. The information these contain is also specific to our needs and most of it should remain static. STEP needs mod pages to contain the information we need (mainly install instructions and flags), and sections of these pages should only be editable by the Staff. We likely wouldn't need the analyzer for our own purposes, but it seems to be fairly integrated.

Install instructions can be part of the STEP mod list on Mod Picker, which will only be editable by STEP staff.

There's no reason for flags to be only editable by STEP staff or limited to STEP. I don't see you not "needing" the analyzer (mod analysis*) being a point against Mod Picker. Having more things is not a bad thing.

 

@Mod List
This is the equivalent to our mod tables, but again, we display custom/tailored information per mod that is different and streamlined to our purposes. The list would be very different on Mod Picker in terms of how all the information is displayed and set up for the user. We try to keep all information as streamlined as possible. Within the last few releases, much of the Guide has been altered in favor of streamlining. I feel if we moved to Mod Picker for all our needs, this would be a step in the wrong direction because the information would be broken up again.

What custom/tailored information do you display? Can you be specific?

The information I see displayed is as follows:

1. Mod name and link
2. Baseline mod option (if relevant)
3. Quality options (if relevant)
4. DLC Required (if relevant)
5. Notes

All of these things could be displayed on Mod Picker with some minor tweaks or through a custom view generated using data fetched from the Mod Picker APIs.

In terms of "streamlining", the solution Mod Picker offers is far more streamlined. Requiring less manual entry when creating the mod list/guides and less manual steps from users in the setup phase.

 

@The STEP Process
Step 1: Mostly right. Whether a mod is accepted or not is based on several criteria as you mentioned, but isn't not all discussion. Each mod must be tested against the current set of mods in-game. All mods must first fit the STEP Mandate before anything can be done.

That's fine, I don't see how that would be a problem.

 

@Opt Out.
Right out of the gate this will be causing issues for creating and maintaining a STEP list on Mod Picker. Arthmoor and Shurah have no issues with STEP (I personally have author access to ICAIO and have gotten help from Arthmoor on many occasions. Great, smart, and easy going guy). This alone is a very good reason to stay away from third-party solutions which you don't control. In my opinion it trumps all the good. Having authors opt out due to the platform and not anything to do with STEP is a deal breaker, imo. Not only do we lose the control over the mods that can and can't be in the Guide (in the detail we need), but we also lose the flexibility to expand in the directions we want....say into other games that Mod Picker doesn't support and has no plans to.

You still have complete control over what mods can be in the guide. You just need to do more manual legwork in order to set them up properly. All of the details that you lose from using custom mod entries are details you've never had as part of the STEP guide (Reviews, Notes, Mod Analysis, etc.). To claim that being required to use custom mod entries "trumps all the good" is an absolutely insane hyperbole. You lose nothing that you already had for those mods.  If there is something important that's missing let me know and I can probably add a way to enter it and display it for custom mod entries.

In regards to other games: we are adding SSE support in the next few days and FO4 support in the next month. We'll be supporting Oblivion, Morrowind, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 3 in the coming 5 months assuming the site is reasonably successful. If there is another game that I have not yet mentioned that you would like to make a STEP guide with, please let me know. We are planning to expand Mod Picker to as many games as we can, assuming it is reasonably successful.

 

Finally, if STEP decides to go Non-profit one day, then the water is going to get muddy in how we're merging onto and using the platform. For our plans for the future, I just don't see many wins for STEP in merging onto Mod Picker. If anything, it sounds like more work (we're already limited on time), would be more restrictive than our current solution, and would restrict us from flowing in the direction the winds take us in the future.

Again, it seems like you're just not reading the thread. I never said anything about STEP "merging" with Mod Picker, all of my language has been about "managing a STEP mod list on Mod Picker". I do not think you guys should jump in right now to replacing all of your current infrastructure with Mod Picker. What you guys have here works. What I want is for you to give Mod Picker a try and offer it as an option to users who are interested in STEP that way.

Mod Picker does nothing except save you time. It's not more restrictive in any way that's actually important to the people maintaining STEP or using it. I'd be willing to wager it will be liberating to the STEP project more than anything else.  Per dreadflopp:
 

 

I've been trying Mod picker and I really like it so far, maintaining a STEP-pack with it should be much easier then managing the mod list yourself. Great work!

You really have big plans for Mod Picker and seeing what you have done before for the community I'm certain you will succeed. Modding will be so much more convenient in the future. Thanks!

 

---

 

With all that said, I see no harm in maintaining a STEP Guide (to the best of our ability) on Mod Picker. I do agree that Mod Picker could offer some insights into the load order of STEP. I also agree that Mod Picker's custom solution is very similar to what we're doing now, but not exactly the same.

Honestly, Mod Picker's platform would likely work for STEP with a few tweaks, but we'd want to have the freedom to customize for to our needs as we have with the forum/wiki software. If you consider selling a software license or issue a usage agreement, we just might be game! ...unless you want to do it for free or work out a deal, of course. :^_^:


I'm not willing to sell the Mod Picker software at any price you would be willing to pay, sorry. If you need to customize something just let me know and I'll see what I can work out. As I have said before, I would be willing to develop a lot of things to make Mod Picker a better fit for STEP.

In the end, you may still need to be a little flexible on a few things because they will be different on Mod Picker, but I think you may be surprised how similar I can make things to your current solution if you give me the opportunity to do so.


Edited by Mator, 07 December 2016 - 12:27 AM.

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#4 TechAngel85

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 02:58 PM

So if you're not suggesting we completely move to Mod Picker, what you are suggesting is maintaining both what we have now and a list on Mod Picker. This basically doubles our work which doesn't sound appealing, but I could see a mix happening if the right information could be provided. Basically a mix in my mind would be maintaining both mod pages (Mod Picker and our wiki pages). Then, using APIs, we would pull information from both sources to build the Guide on the STEP website. I could see that working, if everything played nicely together.

Simple and sweet...can you provide a list of what you are suggesting gets moved to Mod Picker and what stays a part of STEP. Draw a clear line for me to view, if you can.
 

Install instructions can be part of the STEP mod list on Mod Picker, which will only be editable by STEP staff.

There's no reason for flags to be only editable by STEP staff or limited to STEP. I don't see you not "needing" the analyzer (mod analysis*) being a point against Mod Picker. Having more things is not a bad thing.

I see no way of adding custom install instructions per mod on the Mods tab as we have it in our mod tables. If the description has to be used for that, then that's the separation of streamlined information I was referring to (having users constantly clicking back and forth between tabs to get all the information they need.
 
If making a "mod notes" area isn't planned, I think it should be. Dreadflopp has already asked for this, in the other thread. If you're going to make successful "Guides" on Mod Picker, then you are going to need to take a page from the most successful modding guides in the community: STEP, SRLE, FLNV, etc., and get all your information about a mod needed for a mod list installation all in one place. This means allowing the list authors to provide things like install notes. The mod list is the best place for this, imo, because it'll be all together. A small arrow that users can click to show and hide these things under each mod would be efficient. Don't forget that STEP is foremost a Guide, not just a list of mods. We need to be able to provide details on what to install, when to install, how to install...all specific to our Guide. Generalized install instructions on mod pages aren't going to cut it for our needs.
 
Your answers to dreadflopp in the other thread has me concerned as well. From what you said both there and here, I'm interpreting that you're expecting some features (like FOMOD instructions) to be behind your paywall because users will have to use your Mod List Setup Utility which you are providing at a cost. That doesn't work for us because STEP is free and will always be free. Other things, like which mod options to download, you mention that the plugin list is provided. Non-paying users would be out of luck here, if the mod options will also be provided by the Utility. So I'm interpreting that as you're expecting non-paying users to do some work on their own or have the list authors provide this information in the descriptions.

As for the flags, only the STEP Flags are the ones that are of real interest. They are the flags used to display information within the mod tables for users, along with input from other fields. The Document Flags aren't really necessary, and the Content Flags are mainly covered by Mod Picker already.
 

What custom/tailored information do you display? Can you be specific?

The information I see displayed is as follows:

1. Mod name and link
2. Baseline mod option (if relevant)
3. Quality options (if relevant)
4. DLC Required (if relevant)
5. Notes

All of these things could be displayed on Mod Picker with some minor tweaks or through a custom view generated using data fetched from the Mod Picker APIs.

In terms of "streamlining", the solution Mod Picker offers is far more streamlined. Requiring less manual entry when creating the mod list/guides and less manual steps from users in the setup phase.

All of the content of the STEP Flags are tailored to us. Core Mod marks the mod as a Core mod on the mod tables. FPS, VRAM, Performance, Quality, all display information within the mod tables of the Guide so users can know this information at a glance. And of course our mod notes is the, "what to install, how to install it for STEP" bit. This would work if we're using both solutions and mashing it all together via APIs.
 
I have to disagree. I've used Mod Picker just enough to know that it's no quicker or easier to set up the list than what we're doing now. The STEP process of getting mods and information added to the Guide, overall, is nearly equivalent in terms of time. Hence why I said adding Mod Picker to our process would nearly double the maintenance for us. If we merged things with APIs, though, I believe the time and maintenance would be equivalent enough to what we have now to consider Mod Picker an option. This is because we'd be adding Mod Picker which adds several things to the mix, but we'd also be doing away with having to maintain a couple things on the wiki. It would mostly balance out in terms of time and level of maintenance.
 

You still have complete control over what mods can be in the guide. You just need to do more manual legwork in order to set them up properly. All of the details that you lose from using custom mod entries are details you've never had as part of the STEP guide (Reviews, Notes, Mod Analysis, etc.). To claim that being required to use custom mod entries "trumps all the good" is an absolutely insane hyperbole. You lose nothing that you already had for those mods.  If there is something important that's missing let me know and I can probably add a way to enter it and display it for custom mod entries.

In regards to other games: we are adding SSE support in the next few days and FO4 support in the next month. We'll be supporting Oblivion, Morrowind, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 3 in the coming 5 months assuming the site is reasonably successful. If there is another game that I have not yet mentioned that you would like to make a STEP guide with, please let me know. We are planning to expand Mod Picker to as many games as we can, assuming it is reasonably successful.

Custom mods still aren't ideal, but I agree that you've probably done the best you can with an unfortunate situation. As for control, we're still losing some of it. Anytime one moves to a third-party platform, one must relinquish some degree of control over aspects of the situation. If Mod Picker fails, we're set way back in what we do vs is if we retained the information we needed on our own resources. If we want to expand to X-Com 2 next week and we have everything in place to do so, we loose the ability to do this if Mod Picker doesn't support the game (or we have to come up with yet another solution) Plans are just plans until they take fruit. STEP has existed in the community for years and we want to continue growing, so we have to weigh the options extremely carefully. If we decided to use Mod Pick and Mod Picker falls away, where is STEP left standing? For these reasons and more, I'm very caution about using any third-party solution that isn't well established yet. You're asking us to take a risk and we're going to have to weigh out those risks.
 

What I want is for you to give Mod Picker a try and offer it as an option to users who are interested in STEP that way.

Mod Picker does nothing except save you time. It's not more restrictive in any way that's actually important to the people maintaining STEP or using it. I'd be willing to wager it will be liberating to the STEP project more than anything else.  Per dreadflopp:

Anything added to a process without taking something of equal or greater value away will not be saving anyone time, but rather would be adding to the time and maintenance of the process. I can interpret this no other way unless you can provide examples of saved timed. :huh:
 

In the end, you may still need to be a little flexible on a few things because they will be different on Mod Picker, but I think you may be surprised how similar I can make things to your current solution if you give me the opportunity to do so.

That I completely understand. Hence my explaining of what we do and need in this reply and others. Honestly, if we could use APIs to mash this all together into a nicely laid out Guide on the STEP website, I think it would be a win-win. You get the benefits of all our mod testing being put into Mod Picker, and we get a better solution than what we have in place now with (hopefully) a lighter load on our servers...which is the entirety of where this discussion stemmed.

 

I will likely await S4N's thoughts before replying again.



#5 Mator

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 03:53 PM

So if you're not suggesting we completely move to Mod Picker, what you are suggesting is maintaining both what we have now and a list on Mod Picker. This basically doubles our work which doesn't sound appealing, but I could see a mix happening if the right information could be provided. Basically a mix in my mind would be maintaining both mod pages (Mod Picker and our wiki pages). Then, using APIs, we would pull information from both sources to build the Guide on the STEP website. I could see that working, if everything played nicely together.

Correct, I'm suggesting you incorporate parts of Mod Picker into your process as seems fitting to you. I think viewing it as doubling your work is inaccurate given the fact that I can guarantee someone will want to maintain STEP on Mod Picker (whether or not they're a part of STEP staff is another question). Sirius, Thallassa, and myself are all willing to help out as well. And there's the fact that a lot of what you compile on STEP gets automatically compiled on Mod Picker (FOMOD and BAIN mod options), or can be effectively copy-pasted to Mod Picker.

Yes, I think you should continue using your wiki mod pages. Maybe at some future point in time Mod Picker mod pages can replace them, but for the time being you should definitely stick with the wiki pages you have here.

 

Simple and sweet...can you provide a list of what you are suggesting gets moved to Mod Picker and what stays a part of STEP. Draw a clear line for me to view, if you can.

I thought I outlined that in the "The Mod Picker Process" section in my OP? I don't really know exactly where you guys should draw the line, that's up to you. Honestly, I don't think you should stop doing anything that you're currently doing on STEP until you've been using Mod Picker for awhile and feel a transition would be desirable. We can, however, make some preliminary steps to set up the possibility of transitioning parts of STEP to Mod Picker. (most notably the mod pages)

 

I see no way of adding custom install instructions per mod on the Mods tab as we have it in our mod tables. If the description has to be used for that, then that's the separation of streamlined information I was referring to (having users constantly clicking back and forth between tabs to get all the information they need.

If making a "mod notes" area isn't planned, I think it should be. Dreadflopp has already asked for this, in the other thread. If you're going to make successful "Guides" on Mod Picker, then you are going to need to take a page from the most successful modding guides in the community: STEP, SRLE, FLNV, etc., and get all your information about a mod needed for a mod list installation all in one place. This means allowing the list authors to provide things like install notes. The mod list is the best place for this, imo, because it'll be all together. A small arrow that users can click to show and hide these things under each mod would be efficient. Don't forget that STEP is foremost a Guide, not just a list of mods. We need to be able to provide details on what to install, when to install, how to install...all specific to our Guide. Generalized install instructions on mod pages aren't going to cut it for our needs.

As I noted in my OP and in my replies to Dreadflopp, that's a feature that we have built on the backend but don't yet have a frontend interface for. It'll probably take me no more than hour of work to put it together and deploy it to the platform, which I'll do immediately after I finish this reply to you. (EDIT: I did finish the feature in about an hour, but deploying it will have to wait due to the scale of the changes.)

Also as noted in the OP, you currently can specify WHAT to install in terms of FOMOD/BAIN Options and optional archives on Mod Picker currently.

 

Your answers to dreadflopp in the other thread has me concerned as well. From what you said both there and here, I'm interpreting that you're expecting some features (like FOMOD instructions) to be behind your paywall because users will have to use your Mod List Setup Utility which you are providing at a cost. That doesn't work for us because STEP is free and will always be free. Other things, like which mod options to download, you mention that the plugin list is provided. Non-paying users would be out of luck here, if the mod options will also be provided by the Utility. So I'm interpreting that as you're expecting non-paying users to do some work on their own or have the list authors provide this information in the descriptions.

I think you misintepretted that. FOMOD instructions will not be behind a paywall. The only thing that requires premium is the "automatically install the mods for me" feature.

 

 

I have to disagree. I've used Mod Picker just enough to know that it's no quicker or easier to set up the list than what we're doing now. The STEP process of getting mods and information added to the Guide, overall, is nearly equivalent in terms of time. Hence why I said adding Mod Picker to our process would nearly double the maintenance for us. If we merged things with APIs, though, I believe the time and maintenance would be equivalent enough to what we have now to consider Mod Picker an option. This is because we'd be adding Mod Picker which adds several things to the mix, but we'd also be doing away with having to maintain a couple things on the wiki. It would mostly balance out in terms of time and level of maintenance.

Here are some explicit examples of things that make it "easier" on Mod Picker:

1. Mods may be submitted by other people before STEP gets to them. Imagine if mod pages existed for all the mods you wanted to include in STEP without you or other people in the STEP community having to make them - that's what Mod Picker offers if it becomes reasonably successful.
2. You don't have to manually compile a table on FOMOD/BAIN mod options, the mod analysis determines that automatically.
3. You can add/remove mods from a Mod Picker mod list faster and more effectively (how do you even do that on STEP?). To remove a mod: go to the mod list, click the X by a mod, and save. To add a mod: go to the mod list, enter a mod name into the mod search, select the mod, move it into a group if relevant and save.
4. The advantage of a single shared knowledge-base of compatibility, install order, and load order information saves STEP from the need to do certain research.

 

That I completely understand. Hence my explaining of what we do and need in this reply and others. Honestly, if we could use APIs to mash this all together into a nicely laid out Guide on the STEP website, I think it would be a win-win. You get the benefits of all our mod testing being put into Mod Picker, and we get a better solution than what we have in place now with (hopefully) a lighter load on our servers...which is the entirety of where this discussion stemmed.

I will likely await S4N's thoughts before replying again.

Yes, this sounds like a good avenue to pursue.


Edited by Mator, 07 December 2016 - 08:10 PM.

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#6 TechAngel85

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 04:04 PM

Okay, so something that you HAVE to implement is some sort of auto-save feature on the lists. I am entirely frustrated right now because I've lost work and have had to redo several things multiple times. If I accidentally clicked on the mod name while editing, it takes me to the page and when I hit the back button on my mouse, all work is lost.  :wallbash: I don't feel like I should have to hit the save button religiously or fear losing my work. Also, disabling the links on the mods when in "editing mode" would be of help to prevent accidental clicks.



#7 Mator

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 04:16 PM

Okay, so something that you HAVE to implement is some sort of auto-save feature on the lists. I am entirely frustrated right now because I've lost work and have had to redo several things multiple times. If I accidentally clicked on the mod name while editing, it takes me to the page and when I hit the back button on my mouse, all work is lost.  :wallbash: I don't feel like I should have to hit the save button religiously or fear losing my work. Also, disabling the links on the mods when in "editing mode" would be of help to prevent accidental clicks.

Yeah, I realized this could happen the other day.  I'm on it.  :geek:


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#8 TechAngel85

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 04:49 PM

How long does it take for a submitted mod to show up for addition to the lists? I submitted a mod, BethINI, a while ago and it's still not showing up in the search so I can add it.

 

I'm asking because adding mod pages on the wiki shows up across the board for use pretty much instantly in our current setup. The only thing that is delayed is the refreshing of the actual Guide once information has been changed. The Guide itself will re-cache a couple times a day, I think. This was done to limit that page's affect on system resources.



#9 Mator

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 05:15 PM

How long does it take for a submitted mod to show up for addition to the lists? I submitted a mod, BethINI, a while ago and it's still not showing up in the search so I can add it.

 

I'm asking because adding mod pages on the wiki shows up across the board for use pretty much instantly in our current setup. The only thing that is delayed is the refreshing of the actual Guide once information has been changed. The Guide itself will re-cache a couple times a day, I think. This was done to limit that page's affect on system resources.

There's no delay but the mod has to be approved by Mod Picker site staff before it becomes publicly visible on the platform.  This gives us an opportunity to verify the entry is correct and add anything that was missing.

 

Users with 160 or more reputation don't need to have their mods approved by the site staff.

 

 

EDIT: Approved both of the mods you submitted.


Edited by Mator, 07 December 2016 - 05:18 PM.

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#10 Mator

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 05:25 PM

Deployed a hotfix for accidentally leaving a mod list while there are unsaved changes.  A dialog will now appear if you click a link on the mod list page while there are unsaved changes:

 

sHJjh.png

 

 

EDIT: You will need to reload the page in order to get this update. :)


Edited by Mator, 07 December 2016 - 05:59 PM.

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#11 TechAngel85

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 05:37 PM

There's no delay but the mod has to be approved by Mod Picker site staff before it becomes publicly visible on the platform.  This gives us an opportunity to verify the entry is correct and add anything that was missing.

 

Users with 160 or more reputation don't need to have their mods approved by the site staff.

 

 

EDIT: Approved both of the mods you submitted.

Okay. Got ya. I just finished watching your "advanced mod submission" video. I analyzed Deathbell HD incorrectly as I didn't get all the options for the mod. Just letting you know.

 

You should consider having something for authors to get around these rep point thresholds. I can image it would become a point of frustration for authors when you're wanting well established authors to join your platform, but are asking that they "reprove" themselves when they're already well "proved" elsewhere. Authors automatically get elevated privileges at STEP and Nexus. Just some food for thought. :^_^:

 

Deployed a hotfix for accidentally leaving a mod list while there are unsaved changes.  A dialog will now appear if you click a link on the mod list page while there are unsaved changes:

 

sHJjh.png

Sweet! That works.



#12 Mator

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 05:52 PM

Okay. Got ya. I just finished watching your "advanced mod submission" video. I analyzed Deathbell HD incorrectly as I didn't get all the options for the mod. Just letting you know.

I'll take care of it. :)
 

EDIT: Handled.  I wonder why fadingsignal put a fomod\info.xml file into the archives when they don't have fomod installers?

 

 

You should consider having something for authors to get around these rep point thresholds. I can image it would become a point of frustration for authors when you're wanting well established authors to join your platform, but are asking that they "reprove" themselves when they're already well "proved" elsewhere. Authors automatically get elevated privileges at STEP and Nexus. Just some food for thought. :^_^:

We already do have some things, actually! See the Reputation Help Page.

As an example, Enai Siaion has 124 reputation. He's getting 50 reputation from his Nexus Mods account statistics and 63 reputation from his authored mods (Apocalypse has 52 reputation and Ordinator has 11).


Edited by Mator, 07 December 2016 - 05:58 PM.

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#13 TechAngel85

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 07:01 PM

I'll take care of it. :)
 
EDIT: Handled.  I wonder why fadingsignal put a fomod\info.xml file into the archives when they don't have fomod installers?

He may had been planning on putting it all into one installer. Nexus users tend to be naggy when you do that because they have to download a bigger file.
 

We already do have some things, actually! See the Reputation Help Page.

As an example, Enai Siaion has 124 reputation. He's getting 50 reputation from his Nexus Mods account statistics and 63 reputation from his authored mods (Apocalypse has 52 reputation and Ordinator has 11).

Hmm... Does it recognize users listed as co-authors? I'm no longer an "author" of a single mod on Skyrim Nexus (am on SSE Nexus) due to my mod being absorbed into the original mod. I am, however, listed as the co-author of several mods on Nexus (8 to be exact), one of which I'm actually the only active author of.

 

 

Mod Picker Mod Submission

After only submitting a couple mods to Mod Picker I would have to say that, overall, proper mod submission on Mod Picker is easy and mostly effortless but in some circumstances can take significantly longer vs the STEP Wiki. This is mainly due to the mod analysis. When you get a mod like Farmhouse Chimneys which has options for mods users do not use (in this case 9 additional mods), a proper mod submission to Mod Picker requires users to download all additional mods. In this case with Farmhouse Chimneys, I had to download and install 12 :O_o: additional mods just to get a proper mod analysis and the analyzer not to fail. Keep in mind, a few of these mods were not small files, and Wyrmstooth can only be safely downloaded from an obscure Reddit post.

 

If there is anything that I can tell you from my experience with STEP, it's that users are lazy:yes: They will do the least amount of work possible to get it done. In cases like Farmhouse Chimneys, users will likely just skip the options for the other mods during the analysis; however, in Farmhouse Chimney's case, it couldn't skip them due to the mod packing everything into a FOMOD...which is common practice...so... users will be going through this process a lot when submitting mods. Else, skipping options would leave incomplete mod pages and a lot of maintenance to be done by staff. Which ties into my next question...

 

How are the mod pages updated when the authors update the mods? I'm assuming if the update added new resources, the mod would have to be rescanned with the analyzer. How is this aspect being maintained? By staff?...there's no way that's maintainable for the future... I don't see any place to resubmit new analysis results from the user side. If it's author/staff only, it would be beneficial if list authors were allowed to resubmit these results since, in most likelihood, it's the list author that submitted the mod in the first place. Of course, that might not be a good idea either. I can see this mod analysis thing being a handful to deal with and being messy if too many hands were allowed to mess with it.

 

This is one of the downsides to submitting mods, imo. A lot of mods are packaged into FOMOD so going through a bit of a process of getting the mod analyzed will likely be a common thing, and likely a more tedious process than most users will want to go through. Just my 2 cents.

 

Lastly, you should somehow pull the first image from Nexus to use as the thumbnail when submitting mods with no thumbnail chosen. I don't think most user submitted mods will go through the hassle of downloading an image to use for the thumbnail...specially after having to add an additional 10+ mods just to get it submitted...nope, nope, nope. :no:



#14 Mator

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 07:50 PM

He may had been planning on putting it all into one installer. Nexus users tend to be naggy when you do that because they have to download a bigger file.

I figured, still odd that the fomod info.xml file was left over.

And honestly, they have a right to be naggy. While FOMODs can be a better user experience for mods that have a lot of options, the fact that you have to download ALL of the mod options in order to run the FOMOD is really annoying (all that wasted bandwidth, poor Nexus ::(:). A better installer would allow users to choose their options and then download the mod files needed based on the options the user chose. ^_^
 

 

Hmm... Does it recognize users listed as co-authors? I'm no longer an "author" of a single mod on Skyrim Nexus (am on SSE Nexus) due to my mod being absorbed into the original mod. I am, however, listed as the co-author of several mods on Nexus (8 to be exact), one of which I'm actually the only active author of.

See the Mod Authors Help Page.

 

Mod Picker Mod Submission
After only submitting a couple mods to Mod Picker I would have to say that, overall, proper mod submission on Mod Picker is easy and mostly effortless but in some circumstances can take significantly longer vs the STEP Wiki. This is mainly due to the mod analysis. When you get a mod like Farmhouse Chimneys which has options for mods users do not use (in this case 9 additional mods), a proper mod submission to Mod Picker requires users to download all additional mods. In this case with Farmhouse Chimneys, I had to download and install 12 :O_o: additional mods just to get a proper mod analysis and the analyzer not to fail. Keep in mind, a few of these mods were not small files, and Wyrmstooth can only be safely downloaded from an obscure Reddit post.

Yes, I'm aware of this. It's true that some mods can be a pain to analyze. I analyzed AOS the other day, that was tough. X_X

Mod Analyzer has a hidden setting which tells ModDump (the library which produces plugin dumps) to use dummy master plugins if a plugin master isn't found. This setting is off by default and can only be turned on from the settings.ini file found alongside ModAnalyzer.exe. The reason this setting isn't on by default is because certain plugin errors cannot be determined properly if a dummy master is used (any references to records in the master file will be unresolved unless the record was overridden). This option should be a last resort to be used only if a master plugin is absolutely unobtainable.

We could potentially determine the masters for plugins before performing an analysis and check to make sure they are present and activated. This would at least improve the UX for analyzing mods with multiple patches, though it doesn't fix the fact that the mods the master plugins are from need to be present and activated on the user's machine.

 

If there is anything that I can tell you from my experience with STEP, it's that users are lazy. :yes: They will do the least amount of work possible to get it done. In cases like Farmhouse Chimneys, users will likely just skip the options for the other mods during the analysis; however, in Farmhouse Chimney's case, it couldn't skip them due to the mod packing everything into a FOMOD...which is common practice...so... users will be going through this process a lot when submitting mods. Else, skipping options would leave incomplete mod pages and a lot of maintenance to be done by staff. Which ties into my next question...

Yup. That's why we really need to get Mod Authors involved on Mod Picker. But you also have to remember, each mod only needs to be submitted once. Once submitted, their analysis will need to be updated when the mod updates, but asides from that the job is done.

 

How are the mod pages updated when the authors update the mods? I'm assuming if the update added new resources, the mod would have to be rescanned with the analyzer. How is this aspect being maintained? By staff?...there's no way that's maintainable for the future... I don't see any place to resubmit new analysis results from the user side. If it's author/staff only, it would be beneficial if list authors were allowed to resubmit these results since, in most likelihood, it's the list author that submitted the mod in the first place. Of course, that might not be a good idea either. I can see this mod analysis thing being a handful to deal with and being messy if too many hands were allowed to mess with it.

This is handled through the curator system on Mod Picker. See this imgur album for how the system works: http://imgur.com/a/CwNVw

 

This is one of the downsides to submitting mods, imo. A lot of mods are packaged into FOMOD so going through a bit of a process of getting the mod analyzed will likely be a common thing, and likely a more tedious process than most users will want to go through. Just my 2 cents.

You're not wrong, it can be kind of tedious. However, it's not really something we have the power to change...

Actually, I may be able to add a flag to plugins that were analyzed with dummy masters that indicates we don't have error information on the plugin. That would allow users to analyze plugins using dummy masters if they are too lazy to get the mods the master plugins are from and the fact that they used dummy masters would be known (so someone else can come and do a proper analysis at some future point in time).

 

Lastly, you should somehow pull the first image from Nexus to use as the thumbnail when submitting mods with no thumbnail chosen. I don't think most user submitted mods will go through the hassle of downloading an image to use for the thumbnail...specially after having to add an additional 10+ mods just to get it submitted...nope, nope, nope. :no:

I'm fine with adding the image myself for every mod that is submitted to Mod Picker.  I have a pretty quick process figured out.  I've added thumbnail images to 835 mods so far.  :)


Edited by Mator, 07 December 2016 - 07:59 PM.

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#15 TechAngel85

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 09:21 PM

See the Mod Authors Help Page.

So I found the WATER mod page that I'm the co-author of and I see no way to edit the page. I am going to say that answer was, "no". It does not automatically add co-authors as curators or as co-authors to the mod pages on Mod Picker.
 

Mod Analyzer has a hidden setting which tells ModDump (the library which produces plugin dumps) to use dummy master plugins if a plugin master isn't found. This setting is off by default and can only be turned on from the settings.ini file found alongside ModAnalyzer.exe. The reason this setting isn't on by default is because certain plugin errors cannot be determined properly if a dummy master is used (any references to records in the master file will be unresolved unless the record was overridden). This option should be a last resort to be used only if a master plugin is absolutely unobtainable.

We could potentially determine the masters for plugins before performing an analysis and check to make sure they are present and activated. This would at least improve the UX for analyzing mods with multiple patches, though it doesn't fix the fact that the mods the master plugins are from need to be present and activated on the user's machine.

Yup. That's why we really need to get Mod Authors involved on Mod Picker. But you also have to remember, each mod only needs to be submitted once. Once submitted, their analysis will need to be updated when the mod updates, but asides from that the job is done.

You're not wrong, it can be kind of tedious. However, it's not really something we have the power to change...

Actually, I may be able to add a flag to plugins that were analyzed with dummy masters that indicates we don't have error information on the plugin. That would allow users to analyze plugins using dummy masters if they are too lazy to get the mods the master plugins are from and the fact that they used dummy masters would be known (so someone else can come and do a proper analysis at some future point in time).

That is not a bad idea. If a user just needs to get the mod up, they can do so without much fuss. This would still create some re-work from either staff, authors, or curators so that is the trade-off.
 

This is handled through the curator system on Mod Picker. See this imgur album for how the system works: http://imgur.com/a/CwNVw

Glad you shared that. I was looking for more information on what a "curator" was. The first time I encountered it was on the mod submission page so I was looking for information about it there. Didn't find it in text, nor in the videos (outdated?) I also tried to follow those instruction to become a curator to WATER, but the button to submit a request didn't do anything. Still an unfinished feature?





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