Tes4Mod:FCOM/FAQ

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I've installed everything according to the instructions but Oblivion crashes immediately when I try to launch the game. What did I do wrong?[edit]

Missing Master File

Missing a master dependency. This is a common mistake. Generally, crashes when loading Oblivion indicate that you're missing a required master dependency file from your load list. You almost certainly forgot to install one of the required source mods, or installed the wrong version of OOO. You can easily figure out which master dependency is missing by looking to see if any of your FCOM plugins are highlighted pink in Wrye Bash (actually it often looks like a sort of peach color). If so, then select the pink plugin(s) and examine the Masters list displayed in the lower-right corner. If you see any masters listed there that are unchecked (the checkbox will be pink, too), then you have your answer.

This problem is frequently caused by failing to get the correct version of Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. FCOM 1.0 requires the Oscuro's_Oblivion_Overhaul.esm, which did not exist prior to OOO 1.32. You need to install the latest version of OOO (1.35).

Install the missing master files, activate them, and update your Bashed Patch. If you did this correctly, then the game will not crash when launching.

I tried that, but I'm still getting a CTD on launch...[edit]

Another common problem that can cause CTD (crash to desktop) on launch is if your Oblivion is not patched to version 1.2.416. This prevents Fran's mod from loading, which in turn causes a missing master dependency crash as described above. Many times people think they have installed the official 1.2.416 patch, but for some reason the patch install did not work properly. To find out for sure if you're running 1.2 or not, start the game and check the version number displayed in the lower-left corner of the main menu. It should say 1.2.0416. If it says anything else, then that's why you're crashing.

If your attempts to install the patch fail, here's the process for getting it to work. First, make sure you downloaded the correct patch for your version and make sure you downloaded the correct one for the location where you live (US, UK, etc.). You do not need to install the 1.1 patch since it is included in the 1.2 patch. Once you have the correct files, you must install everything in this order:

  • Oblivion
  • Oblivion Patch 1.2.0416
  • DLC mods
  • PC mods

--- or ----

  • Oblivion
  • Shivering Isles Cd
  • Shivering Isles Patch 1.2.0416
  • DLC mods
  • PC mods

If none of the aforementioned solutions work, try deleting the Oblivion folder that should be in My Documents under My Games. This does not get erased when you uninstall the game, and failure to erase it will result in a crash after the initial BETHESDA logo movie plays.

If you are running the Steam version of the game, you automatically have the latest Oblivion patch.

Help! I have invisible/pink NPCs and huge yellow exclamation marks running around in my game! How did that happen?[edit]

This means that the game can’t find certain meshes (3d models) and/or textures. You probably didn’t install them correctly or forgot to install them. Many people forget to download the base OOO 1.35 BSA file (~400Mb) and/or the Francesco optional new items file (500Mb).

If you're not sure which files you're missing and/or where to find the missing files, you should check the OOO Quick Start Guide to make sure you got all the required files for Oscuro's. For Francesco's, you'll need to get the optional items file, which is a huge BSA that can usually be downloaded from the same place you downloaded Francesco's base file.

If you've already got all the files, then you may be suffering from the official Bethesda 1.2 patch. The patch itself is great and provides a lot of added stability to the game, but Bethesda removed the ability to have an ESM file automatically load an associated BSA (BSAs that are associated with ESP files still autoload correctly). Since Fran's optional items is an ESM and it uses a BSA for its artwork, many users got burned by this change.

The typical solution is to register the Fran optional items BSA in your Oblivion.ini file so it always gets loaded when the game starts. To do this, add the Fran optional items BSA filename to the SArchiveList entry in your Oblivion.ini (\My Documents\My Games\Oblivion\Oblivion.ini). If you do this, however, you should make sure the Fran optional items BSA has a nice short filename -- like FraNewItems.bsa -- because the SArchiveList cannot be more than 255 characters long.

There is one other way to solve this for Fran's mod (and any other problem BSAs). It's slightly more involved, but probably more elegant since it doesn't involve editing your Oblivion.ini (which can be a big help if you frequently recreate your ini file). The trick is to create a standard placeholder ESP that doesn't really do anything except autoload BSA files. For example, if you create a new plugin (or rename one that has a few simple game tweaks in it) to something like:

BSAloader.esp

then you can rename the Fran optional items BSA to be called something like:

BSAloader - Fran New Items.bsa

and as long as the BSA starts with the same name as the (active) dummy ESP file, the BSA will load automatically without needing to be registered in your Oblivion.ini.

Alternately, if you're using BSA-Redirection, then you'll already have an empty plugin named:

Oblivion.esp

(note the .esp part -- this is not the same as Oblivion.esm)

If you already have this plugin loading, then simply rename the Fran BSA file to take advantage of it, like this:

Oblivion - Fran New Items.bsa

This will force the BSA to load without having it registered in your Oblivion.ini file.

Why can’t you make a self-extracting installer so I won’t have to spend all day figuring out how to get this to work?[edit]

FCOM merges several huge mods, some of which are updated frequently and usually followed by several patches and fixes. Bundling all of the files would not only result in forcing people into gigantic downloads, but also in a tremendous amount of work to keep updating the whole file with patches or fixes. But the main reason is that FCOM uses the other mod as a resource and we will not redistribute their intellectual property, period.

Using the new Mark Levelers feature in Wrye Bash (0.98 or later) gives me a much longer list of Leveler plugins, but not everything is listed. Is this correct?[edit]

Yes, it's correct. The list of Levelers is now much longer than with previous versions of Wrye Bash. The main reason for this is that Mark Levelers needs to work for everyone, not just FCOM users. Also, list merging is improved now to support a wider variety of Levelers. The step-by-step FCOM guide for creating your Bashed Patch now includes an expanded sample of what it might look like. See the FCOM_Convergence main FCOM page.

Many plugins that you might expect to appear in the list do not. This is also correct. Plugins that just add new things should not be listed as Levelers. Nor should plugins that just tweak creatures or NPCs without changing existing leveled list entries. Levelers are very specific plugins that move existing things around in the leveled lists (Relevs) and/or remove existing things from leveled lists (Delevs).

Let's review once more for good measure: plugins that just add new things should not be listed as Levelers. The new things they add will get merged into the Bashed Patch automatically even though they are not listed as Levelers.

Why don’t you release a pre-bashed Bashed Patch?[edit]

It is important to understand that the modularity of the whole package is important to us. We don’t want to force people into making choices they don’t want to make. Also it would need to be updated very often, so we would much rather spend our time bringing FCOM to a higher standard.

Do I have to download and install all of the mods to get FCOM working?[edit]

The three base mods will always be Oscuro’s Oblivion Overhaul, Francesco’s Leveled Creatures and Items and Martigens Monster Mod. Those three are essential to install, as FCOM was initially an attempt to get these three mods to work together. Oblivion WarCry and Bob’s Armory are optional, but will drastically increase the variety in the game. When installing Fransesco’s there is no need to install the creatures add-on, as creatures will come from OOO, MMM and WarCry.

What options should I pick when installing Francesco’s?[edit]

Our recommendation is that you choose MOBS, separate files, and hardcore loot (any other loot setting will simply have no effect) and choose none of the optional files, as most of them will have almost no impact on the game (although a few of them can be used in the Expanded Load Order for Shivering Isles). Do not install Francesco’s optional creatures, because it will have no effect and all of the same creatures are included in MMM anyway. More detailed instructions for installing various Francesco options are included in the Installation section of the main FCOM page.

I have downloaded and installed the mods, what do I have to do now?[edit]

FCOM acts as the glue between the different mods. It prevents unwanted faction wars and rebalances a lot of items to be in line with the FCOM world, which is mainly dominated by OOO. To get the whole thing going there are a few very important steps that must be followed. As stated before, some fair knowledge about OBMM and Wrye Bash is required. We’ll go through this process step by step.

First, make sure that you copy the Bashed Patch,0.esp from Wrye Bash (located in the Extras folder) to your Data folder. With that done, read through the following Questions and Answers.

What is the load order of all these files?[edit]

It is recommended that you download BOSS which automaticaly sorts your mods and tells you if mods are not for FCOM.

Note that you can adjust your load order in either OBMM or in Wrye Bash (by changing the date or using CTRL + arrow up or down). If you want to adjust the load order in OBMM, make sure you disable the Lock Times feature in Wrye Bash first. See the Oblivion Mods FAQ section on Setting the Load Order for more details.

You can also refer to the FCOM Standard Load Order. Once you get that working you can refer to the FCOM Expanded Load-Order Guide.

What do I do with the Bashed Patch in Wrye Bash?[edit]

Copy the Bashed Patch, 0.esp into your \Oblivion\Data\ directory and make sure it's set to load last in Wrye Bash. Next, right-click on the Bashed Patch, 0.esp and select Rebuild Patch. (There are separate instructions for older versions of Bash on the Old Bash page.) This will give you a menu with a bunch of patch options. Configure any options you want and click OK. Let it process for a bit and you're done! The Bashed Patch section of the main FCOM page has a step-by-step walkthrough of the procedure.

Can I use the optional files of MMM in my FCOM set up?[edit]

Yes, of course. Most MMM optional plugins should go after any FCOM spawn adjustment plugins. There are a few exceptions. See the FCOM Expanded Load Order for examples.

  • Oscuro's_Oblivion_Overhaul.esp
  • Mart's Monster Mod - Additional Enemy NPC Vars.esp (Optional, but it should go before FCOM_Convergence.esp)
  • FCOM_Convergence.esp (Required if using MMM and OOO!)
  • Any FCOM optional spawn adjustment plugins you want to use
  • Any MMM optional plugins you want to use. You can use ALL of them EXCEPT the few that are specifically warned against in the "don't use" list or are replaced by FCOM_ versions.)
  • TamrielTravelers
  • Any FCOM optional add-ons, such as MoreRandomSpawns, MoreRandomItems
  • Quest plugins & override plugins
  • Mart's Monster Mod - City Defences.esp (Optional! Needs to load late to prevent guards from falling off walls.)

If you don't want to see any of MMM's giants, but you want increased spawn rates for everything else, then you have to put those optional plugins after an MMMSpawnReleveler such as Mart's Monster Mod - Spawn Rates - Increased.esp.

This also works with the MMM optional plugins for Spawn Rates - Reduced (SRR), Spawn Rates - Reduced Reduced (SRRR), and Spawn Rates - Increased (SRI) -- in other words, you can use these if they come after the SpawnRelevelers . Note that the names of these plugins changed in MMM 3.1 RC (previously they were called Increased Spawn Rate, Reduced Spawn Rate, etc.).

If you are using an old version of Wrye Bash, you may need to add the {{BASH:Relev}} tag into the mod description field for each of these Releveler plugin files. You don't need to worry about this with Wrye Bash 0.98 or later as long as you use the Mark Levelers process described in the FCOM install instructions.

Important: Do not use the optional Diverse Imperial Armor plugin for MMM, unless you want to see duplicated guards shoving each other around! Also, do not use the Fran's Leveled Quests plugin.

Enemies are respawning immediately each time I leave and re-enter a cell. I can't kill them all! Help![edit]

This happens sometimes due to the increase in spawn counts, which can cause the total corpse count limit to be exceeded. This means the corpses vanish and get replaced with new spawns before the normal respawn timer is reached. MMM increases the standard number, but if this problem bothers you a lot you may need to increase it even further. See IRemoveExcessDeadCount.

Why do the city guards keep pushing each other away?[edit]

You are probably using Mart’s Monster Mod – Diverse Imperial Armor, remove this mod and wait a few days for respawn to solve this issue.

Where in the load order do I put all my other mods?[edit]

Well, here comes some common sense into play. As long as you keep in mind that if two mods alter the same thing, the one last loaded will be dominant, you should generally be fine. Some specific mods may need to be moved up or down in the list to minimize conflicts -- usually related to OOO because it touches so many areas of the game.

See General Load-Order Guidelines for more detail.

Based on that, here's how you might arrange other mods around FCOM Expanded Load-Order Guide.

Can I use MOBS and Combat Behavior from Francesco’s?[edit]

Yes, this is recommended. OOO uses a modified version of MOBS, so picking this option when you install Fran's mod will ensure that Fran's weapon stats are similar to those used for OOO weapons. Bob's Armory has also been rebalanced to include MOBS-style weapon stats. Future updates of FCOM will hopefully include rebalancing for any other source mods that need it.

I see lots of creatures and NPC’s fighting each other, is that normal?[edit]

Every faction fight you’ll encounter in the game is intended, so yes, that’s normal. It’s fun not to always be the center of the universe.

Can I use TNR together with FCOM?[edit]

Yes, with the help of Wrye Bash you can import TNR faces into your Bashed Patch. Use the Rebuild Patch->NPC Faces config and simply select the TNR faces you want in your Bashed Patch.

Can I use DLC SpellTomes without conflict?[edit]

Yes, you can, with Wrye Bash. Just see to it that it’s loaded before your Bashed Patch. You need to update your Bashed Patch in Wrye Bash. SpellTomes will be automatically added to the Bashed Patch.

Do I have to start a new game when using FCOM the first time?[edit]

No, you don’t have to. Just use Wrye Bash to update the NPC levels in your savegame. To do this, go to the Saves tab, select your savegame, right-click it to bring up the context menus, and pick Update NPC Levels. Travel to a safe interior cell (such as one of your homes) and wait/sleep until respawn (by default this is three full days). You can also wait/sleep in an inn or guildhouse if necessary.

Do I really have to worry about waiting for respawn in a safe place after I upgrade from MMM 3.0 to 3.1 or 3.2? And can I use an existing character "template" without fear?[edit]

The TestingHall, which you can get to using the console ~coc TestingHall, is by far the best place to rest for respawn when you're ready to upgrade from MMM 3.0 to MMM 3.1 or 3.2. The reason for this is that some of the MMM scripts were changed in a way that could cause very bad things to happen on an existing game if you are near any NPCs or creatures when you do the upgrade. This is not normally something you need to worry about so much when upgrading mods, but in this one case it's potentially a very serious issue. The technical details on the problem can be found at the Elder Scrolls Construction Wiki under Common Mistakes.

If you created a character "template" (i.e., a savegame just before the exit from the starter dungeon) before installing MMM, then you don't have to worry about it. If you created it with MMM 3.0 active and you're now running MMM 3.1 or 3.2, you should probably recreate the template from scratch.

When using the Spawn Rates - Increased option, I started getting audio problems when near heavy spawns. This included odd glitching noises and sounds being cut off. How can I fix this?[edit]

Try this setting in your Oblivion.ini file (in \My Documents\My Games\Oblivion\):

iMaxImpactSoundCount==64

(The default is 32.)

What can I do to help make FCOM even better?[edit]

Post your comments, thoughts and criticism in the FCOM thread on the official Oblivion Mod Forum. Constructive criticism is always welcome. (Of course you are also welcome to just stop by and tell a story about a hectic or amazing experience your character went through in the FCOM world!)