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Mator Smash (by Mator)

tool mator mod

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#1 Mator

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 12:17 AM

Discussion topic for whether or not Smash should be incorporated into the STEP Guide.

 

Mator Smash by matortheeternal

Old WIP Thread (To read past discussion)

 

 

I'm creating this because Smash has just been officially released (it's now out of Beta).  I think using Mator Smash with STEP v3 should be seriously considered.

 

Reasons to consider using Mator Smash in the STEP guide:

 

- It enables users who use the STEP Guide to create their own conflict resolution patches if/when they deviate from the STEP guide.

- STEP patches can still be distributed as part of the STEP guide.  A separate guide could walk users through how to create them themselves using Mator Smash + xEdit.

- Mator Smash is already widely adopted by power users in the community.  With the official release and the addition of the quick patch button it's likely to be adopted by other users as well.  The tooling promoted by the STEP guide needs to stay relevant for more experienced users in the community to take the guide seriously.

- I am committed to resolving all lingering issues with Smash to make how it resolves conflicts more robust and correct.

- Mator Smash provides the best conflict resolution solution available for TES/FO games.  Teaching users to use it will have a large positive impact on their modding experience.


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#2 GrantSP

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 12:26 AM

As soon as my desktop system gets fixed (broken GPU) I'll be creating the latest STEP install and using this. I don't see any reason for not using it as the entire premise of STEP is the same as SMASH: making the job of modding easier for the user.



#3 TechAngel85

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:09 AM

I have to learn to use it first since I'm the only one doing the Guide work these days. Depending on how big the learning curve it will depend on whether or not it makes it into the Guide. The resulting patch also has to satisfy my expectations. This all comes down to whether or not the time spent is worth it since the Extended Patches are already made. The only Patch left is the Core patch.



#4 Mator

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 12:00 PM

I have to learn to use it first since I'm the only one doing the Guide work these days. Depending on how big the learning curve it will depend on whether or not it makes it into the Guide. The resulting patch also has to satisfy my expectations. This all comes down to whether or not the time spent is worth it since the Extended Patches are already made. The only Patch left is the Core patch.

As of the official release, the only thing you have to do is click a single button.  There is no learning curve to speak of.

 

Please keep in mind that the current "intended" use case is to generate a patch and then tweak it in xEdit manually after generation.


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#5 TechAngel85

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 12:12 PM

As of the official release, the only thing you have to do is click a single button.  There is no learning curve to speak of.

 

Please keep in mind that the current "intended" use case is to generate a patch and then tweak it in xEdit manually after generation.

That makes things simple. I will test it out for STEP:Core when I get to that point.


I also see this is basically intended to replace the Bashed Patch besides the Merge Patch feature. I'll have to test it there too.



#6 Mator

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 04:27 PM

I also see this is basically intended to replace the Bashed Patch besides the Merge Patch feature. I'll have to test it there too.

It is meant to dramatically reduce the time/effort required to create conflict resolution patches by automating 90% of the process.  It should make the Bashed Patch unnecessary in most situations.


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#7 Razorsedge877

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 04:59 PM

If this is not forwarding some records from Unofficial Fall out 4 patch, Should be build a new CR patch to put after the smash patch so that we don't have to forward the records everytime we make a new smash patch?


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#8 Mator

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:50 PM

If this is not forwarding some records from Unofficial Fall out 4 patch, Should be build a new CR patch to put after the smash patch so that we don't have to forward the records everytime we make a new smash patch?

If you feel smash isn't resolving conflicts correctly you should post a screenshot from xEdit of a record on the Nexus Mods mod page.


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#9 TechAngel85

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 11:26 AM

I tried this on just the Core mod setup. As it is, the "one button" solution will not work for STEP. To be specific:

  • It aggressively forwards all keywords from the UP, when some are purposefully not forwarded by authors. This is especially true for Weapon & Armor Fixes Remade around "material" keywords.
  • It seems to be favoring the UP over a lot of records, which have purposefully been changed. I've found this true for keywords, alt materials, and portions of scripts.

Just those two things alone would lead me into a few hours of verifying record forwards and fixing/removing what shouldn't have been forwarded.

 

For this to be viable, I will have to play with the Bash Tags to see if I can get it to produce more of what I'm expecting. I would also need to verify the leveled lists are all being taken care of, probably comparing it to a Bashed Patch. I can see this being a valuable tool once and if you get your own custom settings worked out. This might not be the best time to try to work through this process, though, as it will take a considerable amount of testing to do so. In any case, I'm going to need a handmade patch to compare the Smash Patch to. If we can get Smash to mostly reproduce our handmade patch, then this tool could be very valuable when doing large edits to the Guide or when needing to pass the settings between staff and/or users.



#10 Mator

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 04:12 PM

I tried this on just the Core mod setup. As it is, the "one button" solution will not work for STEP. To be specific:

  • It aggressively forwards all keywords from the UP, when some are purposefully not forwarded by authors. This is especially true for Weapon & Armor Fixes Remade around "material" keywords.
  • It seems to be favoring the UP over a lot of records, which have purposefully been changed. I've found this true for keywords, alt materials, and portions of scripts.
Just those two things alone would lead me into a few hours of verifying record forwards and fixing/removing what shouldn't have been forwarded.
 
For this to be viable, I will have to play with the Bash Tags to see if I can get it to produce more of what I'm expecting. I would also need to verify the leveled lists are all being taken care of, probably comparing it to a Bashed Patch. I can see this being a valuable tool once and if you get your own custom settings worked out. This might not be the best time to try to work through this process, though, as it will take a considerable amount of testing to do so. In any case, I'm going to need a handmade patch to compare the Smash Patch to. If we can get Smash to mostly reproduce our handmade patch, then this tool could be very valuable when doing large edits to the Guide or when needing to pass the settings between staff and/or users.

As I said before, some manual tweaking after generating the smashed patch is almost always required.
 
The Smashed Patch isn't intended to be "click one button and done" unless you don't care about how it resolved conflicts (aka very lazy users).
 
There are a large number of users who have been using the Smashed patch with the UP (successfully limiting what is forwarded from the UP) who I think you could consider reaching out to.  It may be that you just need to make a single custom smash setting for the UP, or a custom patch which you include prior to/after running Smash which resolves the conflict(s) as desired.
 
Off-hand, I'd recommend reaching out to Alt3rnity, Deorder, and DarkladyLexy.
 

So I removed all my handmade / combined settings and only started using Smash.All, actually by cloning it and calling it Custom.All + some extra modifications ("Leveled Lists" to use "Override Deletes", remove the "CELL" node so changes from only selected plugins are forwarded). This seems to do the best job. Better than using Smash.All + Bash settings. I then only had to create several versions of Custom.All. For USSEP (to forward some NPC_ cleanup scripts, CELL water directions etc.), CRF (some small things), Luminosity (to forward CELL light and lightingtemplate) and Immersive College of Winterhold (to forward CELL flags, owner and music). Everything else seemed perfect. I think I could not have done it any better by hand.


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#11 TechAngel85

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:04 PM

The point I'm making is this isn't going to make the job of patching for STEP any easier until the all the ground work has been laid, which is exactly what you're saying too. I feel right now is not the time to be focusing on this. I can see how it would be very handy in the future, once the ground work is complete, and STEP will likely find a use for it. But getting to that point will take a lot of time and effort that could be put towards actually getting the v3.0 Guides completed. This is my main focus and concern right now. Smash will likely be incorporated at a later time when time can be spent putting together custom settings for the Guides.



#12 Mator

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:18 PM

The point I'm making is this isn't going to make the job of patching for STEP any easier until the all the ground work has been laid, which is exactly what you're saying too. I feel right now is not the time to be focusing on this. I can see how it would be very handy in the future, once the ground work is complete, and STEP will likely find a use for it. But getting to that point will take a lot of time and effort that could be put towards actually getting the v3.0 Guides completed. This is my main focus and concern right now. Smash will likely be incorporated at a later time when time can be spent putting together custom settings for the Guides.

I don't really agree on it not making things easier or it requiring a lot of extra effort seeing as you have several other users you can tap as resources, per my previous post, but I can see why you might think that.  Ultimately it's your decision, so do whatever you feel is best.  :thumbsup:


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#13 kabepo

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:38 PM

I tried this on just the Core mod setup. As it is, the "one button" solution will not work for STEP. To be specific:

I have not used the quick patch button, but I presume it uses the "Smash.All" setting, which will produce very different results to Wrye Bash, and probably not the results you are expecting.

 

To use Mator Smash for STEP it may be better to start off with the more conservative "Bash.All" setting - it is more compatible with Wrye Bash, and the results will look a lot more familiar to you. Then at a later date STEP-specific Smash settings can be developed and tested to improve patching for STEP.


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#14 mentaltyranny

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 12:52 PM

Okay, I'm having a major problem with the program. I'm using version 1.0.2 and I used the "bash tags for Wyre Bash" script to detect the appropriate tags for all my plugins. After doing so, I wanted to fix some of the logics for the tags and Mator smash. In order to leave the default tags I simply cloned them and then made the necessary edits. However, what I did so I noticed Mator smash was not automatically updating the combined tag logic with my edits. Accordingly, I went to the tag manager and highlighted necessary plugins and then swapped the tag with my new one, making sure that combine tags was checked. For some unknown reason, after exiting, it filled every mod with a .Bak file, completely removed The Unofficial legendary edition patch, and for some reason, ripped the official high-resolution patches out of the unmanaged folders. Even more disconcerting, some of the Bak files do not have the same file size as the new plug-in.

So far, I have only found the file size mismatch with one plugin, modern brawl bug fix, which is weird because it was skipped in my Mator patch. It was a difference between 104 bites and 100 bytes. I am really concerned that Mator smash may have destroyed my mod installation. I am scanning the mod folder in modmanager for Bak files now and checking if the matching plugin is there with the same file size. I will let you guys know what I find later tonight.

As an aside, I strongly believe this program should have been left in beta. There are significant issues with the logic change in bash tag settings. For example, under bash graphics, in the ingestible record among others, what model sub record does not include alternate textures, even though it does in the smash all setting. I would highly recommend that the bash tags be completely rebuilt. Also, the program as a whole makes strange decisions, overriding some records and not others with the same mods involved. These bugs are really disappointing considering the power of the tool.

Finally, if I am posting this to the wrong spot, please let me know. I have done an internet search and I am not finding a better forum.
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#15 Mator

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 11:32 PM

I'm using version 1.0.2 and I used the "bash tags for Wyre Bash" script to detect the appropriate tags for all my plugins.

There is absolutely no good reason to use that script when using Mator Smash, use Bash.All instead. Bash tags are a thing of the past and make no sense with the algorithm Mator Smash uses. Support is only present to ease people's transition to the program and provide clarity in the differences. Using the detect bash tags script is pointless if you're using Mator Smash, using Bash.All will yield identical or superior results in a fraction of the time.
 

After doing so, I wanted to fix some of the logics for the tags and Mator smash.

If there's an issue with the logic in a Smash Setting that is provided with the program you should report it on GitHub.  Currently I am the only person who builds/maintains smash settings that are available publicly, and I am also very busy actually programming, so my time is limited.  The Bash.* smash settings are for legacy support/fallback if Smash.All doesn't work properly, and are a secondary concern.
 

In order to leave the default tags I simply cloned them and then made the necessary edits.

The tagging functionality in Mator Smash uses tags based on the group name. If the plugin description has {{BASH:TAGS,HERE}} then Smash will use tags from the Bash group. Cloning the settings will cause you to do even more work. This is why you should just use the program per the tutorial on the Nexus Mods mod page instead of carving out your own, entirely unnecessarily complicated workflow.
 

However, what I did so I noticed Mator smash was not automatically updating the combined tag logic with my edits.

Because your edits are in different Smash Settings that don't correspond to the tags in your plugin descriptions.
 

Accordingly, I went to the tag manager and highlighted necessary plugins and then swapped the tag with my new one, making sure that combine tags was checked.

The tag manager is also only present for legacy reasons and isn't intended to for heavy usage. You're going to get some weird results if you don't understand how Smash deals with tags, which you clearly don't.
 

For some unknown reason, after exiting, it filled every mod with a .Bak file, completely removed The Unofficial legendary edition patch, and for some reason, ripped the official high-resolution patches out of the unmanaged folders. Even more disconcerting, some of the Bak files do not have the same file size as the new plug-in.

"For some unknown reason" - no, it is completely known. When Mator Smash is saving plugin files it does the following:

1. It renames the existing plugin file(s) to .esp.bak so you have backups in case it does something wrong/that you don't like.
2. It saves plugin files at the original filenames.

If you have an antivirus/filesystem permission issue then the second step can fail. Also note that with MO the newly created plugin files may be put into the overwrite folder.
 

So far, I have only found the file size mismatch with one plugin, modern brawl bug fix, which is weird because it was skipped in my Mator patch. It was a difference between 104 bites and 100 bytes. I am really concerned that Mator smash may have destroyed my mod installation. I am scanning the mod folder in modmanager for Bak files now and checking if the matching plugin is there with the same file size. I will let you guys know what I find later tonight.

Mator Smash uses the xEdit framework internally. The file size will change if you change the description of the plugins, which is exactly what happens when you apply tags through the Tag Manager. As I said before, you clearly have no understanding of how Mator Smash settings or tags work and need to go back and read the supplied information and watch tutorial videos. Tags are not Smash Settings. Tags are strings put into plugin descriptions which advise Wrye Bash/Mator Smash on how to perform conflict resolution. In Wrye Bash tags map directly to hardcoded logic, where in Mator Smash tags are mapped to Smash Settings based on the setting's name. However, using tags is absolutely unnecessary in Mator Smash and is not the recommended workflow put forth in every guide/video on how to use the program. Mator Smash can track the "settings" assigned to plugins internally within its own settings file (a JSON file which is saved in the program's installation folder). "Combined settings" are automatically assigned for plugins which have multiple tags in their description and have not been manually overriddedn to a particular Smash Setting by the user (as stored in the settings json file). "Combined settings" are pseudo-settings which are created at runtime by merging multiple other settings together, that's why they have a hash in their name.

It is highly recommended to not use combined settings or tags in Mator Smash because this system was built for Wrye Bash which forwards subrecords/fields purely based on what tag is present. Mator Smash, on the other hand, only forwards fields that are detected to be changed based on load order and master dependencies. This means that applying the "Autodetect Bash Tags" script is exactly the same as just combining all of the Bash tags into a single smash setting (which is what Bash.All is, in case you were wondering) and using that.
 

As an aside, I strongly believe this program should have been left in beta. There are significant issues with the logic change in bash tag settings. For example, under bash graphics, in the ingestible record among others, what model sub record does not include alternate textures, even though it does in the smash all setting. I would highly recommend that the bash tags be completely rebuilt. Also, the program as a whole makes strange decisions, overriding some records and not others with the same mods involved. These bugs are really disappointing considering the power of the tool.

You are using it wrong. You just have no idea how to use the tool and you're applying old workflows to a new tool without actually understanding the power present. What you have said here is frankly insulting. You've basically said "this tool is **** and should have stayed in beta" in so many words. I am dissappointed in your absolute lack of interest in understanding how the tool works and jumping to your own conclusions based on poorly researched information. I don't know if anyone has been as rude to me in asking for support as you have been here in this post.
 

Finally, if I am posting this to the wrong spot, please let me know. I have done an internet search and I am not finding a better forum.

Did you read the OP at all? Did you really do a google search for "Mator Smash"? The first two results on google are the Nexus Mods mod page and the old WIP Nexus Mods topic. Both places would be better than here, as this forum thread is specifically about discussing Smash's inclusion in the STEP guide. The OP in this topic ALSO links to the Nexus Mods page and to the old WIP STEP topic. I'm not sure how you decided this was the best place to post your rude complaint, but it was the absolute worst place you could have chosen.


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