Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Cleaning the Skyrim SE DLC ESMs + Update.esm

cleaning sseedit xedit dlc esm esp

  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 theblackman

theblackman

    Thane

  • VIP-Supporter
  • 72 posts

Posted 09 November 2020 - 03:24 PM

Since the 'accepted wisdom' of cleaning the Skyrim SE DLC .esms + Update.esm has moved back to not cleaning them, should the guide be updated to reflect this?

 

I had a look for any previous discussion about this but I couldn't find anything.

 

At the moment, most modding guides still recommend cleaning them although very few state why.

 

By contrast many mod authors either don't see any benefit in cleaning them or recommend not cleaning them, including those at the pointier end of providing support.

 

This isn't a thread for discussing the technical issues of cleaning the .esms, rather to address the following:

 

1. Whether STEP should still recommend cleaning the .esms

2. Whether it should be discretionary

3. If certain components of the guide rely on the .esms being cleaned then of course that answers both questions above. But if that is the case, and we agree that cleaning them is unnecessary, then perhaps future versions of the guide could be reconfigured based on this.

 

I've cleaned the esms both times I've done a STEP install and I never experienced a problem.  However, I didn't have a lot of mods installed on top of STEP.  Some people do experience problems as a result of cleaning them.

 

Related note, just FYI: the 'accepted wisdom' also applies to the other Bethesda games' DLC, with the exception of TES IV: Oblivion as those are .esps


  • 0

#2 DoubleYou

DoubleYou

    Wiki Stepper

  • Step Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,868 posts

Posted 09 November 2020 - 03:36 PM

This is all news to me. I can't think of a way that cleaning the DLCs would cause issues, unless the cleaning is bugged or somehow done wrong, but I can think of ways that not cleaning them could cause issues. Granted, with SSE there are less possible issues since there are basically no mods that require loading between the official DLC.
  • 0

#3 theblackman

theblackman

    Thane

  • VIP-Supporter
  • 72 posts

Posted 09 November 2020 - 04:07 PM

This is all news to me. I can't think of a way that cleaning the DLCs would cause issues, unless the cleaning is bugged or somehow done wrong, but I can think of ways that not cleaning them could cause issues. Granted, with SSE there are less possible issues since there are basically no mods that require loading between the official DLC.

Don't worry, I wouldn't post something this consequential unless I had done my homework first.  :)

 

A while ago I saw a post on the Nexus by a technically-savvy modder telling a user to not clean the masters.  I was quite surprised by this so I started reading around and saw more evidence of mod authors recommending to not clean the masters (including one on this forum) and anecdotes from other users about experiencing problems from cleaning the masters.

 

Arthmoor is also on record (Reddit IIRC) as saying that he has documented cases of people experiencing issues as a result of cleaning the masters and that he doesn't do it anymore.

 

I can't remember when I last saw a post on the Nexus recommending that the masters be cleaned and certainly not one objecting to a post where someone said to not clean the masters.

 

Totally conclusive?  No.  But definitely persuasive; hence my post.


  • 0

#4 DoubleYou

DoubleYou

    Wiki Stepper

  • Step Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,868 posts

Posted 09 November 2020 - 06:25 PM

I have a great deal of respect for the makers of xEdit. This is a question that is probably more relevant to be asked of the xEdit devs instead of us, tbh. The advent of quick auto clean may very well have fixed the issues mentioned.
  • 0

#5 Greg

Greg

    High King

  • Step Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,250 posts

Posted 09 November 2020 - 06:48 PM

See the responses from arthmoor on reddit discussing why the vanilla masters should be cleaned.

 

"Cleaning the Official Master ESMs" guide created by alt3rn1ty on afkmods. Also note the last post from May 4, 2019 from arthmoor helping a user clean the masters.

 

i won't pretend this is conclusive, but I expect arthmoor would have edited or posted a message in the cleaning guide to note any detrimental effects if this is the case.


  • 0

#6 theblackman

theblackman

    Thane

  • VIP-Supporter
  • 72 posts

Posted 09 November 2020 - 06:53 PM

I have a great deal of respect for the makers of xEdit. This is a question that is probably more relevant to be asked of the xEdit devs instead of us, tbh. The advent of quick auto clean may very well have fixed the issues mentioned.

That's probably a good idea.

I looked at the xEdit documentation.  There's nothing in there about cleaning the masters other than a clarification point about manually cleaning Dawnguard.esm.

 

There is a link to a 3-year old discussion on afkmods about pros/cons, mostly between Arthmoor (for) and Mator (against).  Of course, Arthmoor now agrees with Mator.

 

See the responses from arthmoor on reddit discussing why the vanilla masters should be cleaned.

 

"Cleaning the Official Master ESMs" guide created by alt3rn1ty on afkmods. Also note the last post from May 4, 2019 from arthmoor helping a user clean the masters.

 

i won't pretend this is conclusive, but I expect arthmoor would have edited or posted a message in the cleaning guide to note any detrimental effects if this is the case.

I've communicated with Arthmoor directly on this in the last few days.  He said his view had changed in the last year or so.
 


  • 0

#7 TechAngel85

TechAngel85

    Akatosh

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,037 posts

Posted 09 November 2020 - 09:12 PM

First I'm hearing of anyone claiming this too. If it's not made it into any of the tools (like xEdit and LOOT), then I would take it with a "grain of salt". Such a discussion needs references.



#8 DoubleYou

DoubleYou

    Wiki Stepper

  • Step Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,868 posts

Posted 09 November 2020 - 11:10 PM

After reading much of the discussion and arguments, some of which I have thought about before reading this, I still would recommend cleaning them, especially with how easy it now is with the quick auto clean feature. I will say that it is not as detrimental to the Special Edition version of the game as it is with the other games, and it can probably be skipped with very little likelihood of problems. I also doubt that not cleaning them would yield substantial issues within the STEP guide in and of itself, but since STEP has always been considered to be a guide providing a very solid platform to mod on top of, it should remain at least as a highly recommended step.

I am open to different ideas, but the arguments I have seen against cleaning them seem rather unnecessary.
  • 0

#9 theblackman

theblackman

    Thane

  • VIP-Supporter
  • 72 posts

Posted 09 November 2020 - 11:30 PM

First I'm hearing of anyone claiming this too. If it's not made it into any of the tools (like xEdit and LOOT), then I would take it with a "grain of salt". Such a discussion needs references.

I can't find any documented instances of users experiencing problems from not cleaning them; perhaps I'm not looking in the right places. 

 

But Arthmoor in his Reddit post (which I now can't find but it was about a year old) specifically mentions bug reports to Github as a result of cleaning the masters, and he confirmed this via email.  And there's other anecdotal content on various forums matching this.

 

Mator is one of the contributors to xEdit and his view has always been fairly consistent - it's a waste of time, assuming one is using USSEP.

 

There's definitely a clear pattern towards not cleaning them, again assuming USSEP is being used.  If it isn't being used then cleaning is recommended.

 

Given all this, perhaps the status quo needs to be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

 

What references do you want, btw?


  • 0

#10 TechAngel85

TechAngel85

    Akatosh

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,037 posts

Posted 10 November 2020 - 12:02 AM

So I've had a separate discussion and it seems, at least some of this, stems from xEdit's mishandling and errors during the cleaning process that have been fixed since (fixes possibly still in beta versions). These are a few of the reports:

Then there is also the argument that the vanilla files work whether they're cleaned or not. Personally, I'm not aware of any negative effects that would result if the vanilla masters are left uncleaned. I conferred with Arthmoor on this and he said the same of not being aware of any issues. He went on to say, "the game seems perfectly content to play with uncleaned masters" (note this is solely in regards to using uncleaned masters and not to mods).

 

I haven't came up with any additional references, either for or against, but this is enough to start a proper discussion...

 

 

In regards to xEdit's handling of the vanilla masters...
One point to note is that, like any tool, there are bound to be bugs. The devs fix such bugs when reported, however, this brings up one "big question", which is the unknown. How many such bugs exist that are simply unknown? The reported bugs very clearly bring up the question of how well is the cleaning of the vanilla masters tested. A missing worldspace is a large thing to miss! However, I understand that testing is a HUGE task and there is no way to cover everything. 

 

With what information we have now, the real question is...
Is the risk worth the benefits? Consider that we've already stated...several have stated this now...that we don't really know of any benefits nor negative effects to cleaning or not cleaning the masters.

 

 

 

Note that this could apply to any game after Oblivion, however, since STEP only offers Skyrim-based Guides, all this is in regards to only Skyrim Special Edition and Skyrim Legendary Edition.



#11 theblackman

theblackman

    Thane

  • VIP-Supporter
  • 72 posts

Posted 10 November 2020 - 12:22 AM

Elminster's amusing summary from one of those GitHub links about Skyrim's DLC:
 

In summary, the DLC are all a horrifying broken mess that Bethesda somehow frankensteined together in a way that CK would never save it, and any modification to the them outside of the carefully controlled environment of QAC is not supported.


  • 0

#12 TechAngel85

TechAngel85

    Akatosh

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,037 posts

Posted 10 November 2020 - 12:26 AM

Mator is one of the contributors to xEdit and his view has always been fairly consistent - it's a waste of time, assuming one is using USSEP.

Link to citation? Why only if using USSEP:confusion: 
 

There's definitely a clear pattern towards not cleaning them, again assuming USSEP is being used.  If it isn't being used then cleaning is recommended.

Reference? Same...why if only using USSEP?
 

What references do you want, btw?

https://wiki.step-pr...erms_of_Service

  • It is expected that any information added to The Wiki or The Forums is clearly cited, where applicable, as many users do not appreciate unverifiable speculation, unless it is plainly stated as such. That is to say, feel free to write what might or might not be factual, but qualify what is intended to be factual with verifiable information by posting a link where appropriate. However, we want to facilitate community contributions, so we encourage all users to get involved.
    • When citing any user, please include a link to the citation. When citing from our forums, it's recommend to use the "Quote" button at the bottom of the post.

​​
I accidently removed those points with my recent edits, but I put it back and up top since it applies to both wiki and forums. It's always been expected when discussing topics like this to post references to your citations, especially important when quoting users. I'm sure you can understand why.  :;): I also gave the bullet the same update I gave the rest of the Guide the other day.

 

 

EDIT:
One of Mator's posts.

 

 

EDIT #2:
Another point that should be noted is that console users are not likely to have "cleaned" vanilla files. This seems roll off one of the point Mator makes of authoring without cleaning the files. However, later on he does say, "The chance of that harm is extremely low and requires you to be a mod author creating plugin files." in reference to the only known harm that can come from cleaning the files. So basically what Mator is saying is that for 100% of users cleaning the masters is nothing but a placebo. However, there is a remote chance a mod author could cause a CTD within a specific set of circumstances.

  • Is it possible to cause a problem? Yes.
  • Is it likely? No.

That seemed pointless...seems we're mainly back to the question of benefit vs risk.

  • Mator (yet, another user to the count) says no benefit to cleaning.
  • Mator's reference is the only one so far to any potential negative effects to cleaning.
  • Still no references to actual issues as a result from not cleaning.


#13 TechAngel85

TechAngel85

    Akatosh

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,037 posts

Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:06 AM

See edits to post above.



#14 theblackman

theblackman

    Thane

  • VIP-Supporter
  • 72 posts

Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:11 AM

 

Reference? Same...why if only using USSEP?
 

IIRC it was in Arthmoor's Reddit post, which I now can't find, but it was the reason I emailed him.  He also confirmed it via email to me but as it is personal correspondence I can't cite it.

 

As to why if only using USSEP, no specific reasons were given, just Arthmoor recommending cleaning for 'patchophobes'.


  • 0

#15 TechAngel85

TechAngel85

    Akatosh

  • Administrator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,037 posts

Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:30 AM

Reference to Zilv: https://www.afkmods....&comment=164020

"...Technically there are no critical problems left in the current SSEEdit build. Some records like SPGD still need investigation, but that's it."

 

Several posts later is where this discussion started took to take off on AKF Mods: https://www.afkmods....&comment=166166

  • I believe the comment from Arthmoor is on the post following where he states: "The most obvious benefit is that if someone is not using the unofficial patch, Dawnguard has dirty edits that break house upgrades for Hearthfire. Failing to run the ITM removal will result in people complaining they can't buy Breezehome upgrades and that the steward is stealing their money. So there's no truth to the claim that ITMs in official DLC are harmless."
    • The important part here is: "...if someone is not using the unofficial patch...". Assuming this is fixed with the patch and not fixed without it, but cleaning will fix it. However, we never recommend running a modding game without the UPs installed. So does that point even matter?...maybe not for us, but for a broader scope?

Mator follows up and the conversation can be read on your own. Try to ignore any tones of hostility or passion...both? Such a fine line...





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: cleaning, sseedit, xedit, dlc, esm, esp

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users