Talk:Mod status

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The "how to read this" section

I've only heard it from a few places and experienced it a couple times in person, but isn't a "how to read this [manual|guide|page|book]" section generally a turn-off for most readers? Often things that have it are implied to be really hard to read, and on the other side there are those few who just consider it insulting. Since that part is really just the icon key, it might be a good idea to rename it. Also, might sneak it in at the very top of the page, so someone just skimming and skipping to the thing they want on the page (mod list) can catch it. Maybe also an unobtrusive link to it from each place that uses it. (If you're confused as to why I didn't just make these changes, it seemed disrespectful to Atahualpa after all the changes they made.) --Nivim (talk) 21:02, 10 November 2016 (CET)

This help material is now in a "Status Indicators" section, so this seems to be resolved. — Darklocq  ¢ 17:00, 22 June 2017 (CEST)

Extensive "stress-testing" under way

Please see User:Darklocq/Mod testing notes for a large (and growing) number of detailed notes on the results of mod testing. These are not tests done in the prescribed one-mod-at-time manner, but are from live gameplay with nearly the max number of mods loaded.

The mods listed as working or mostly working are a) good candidates to add to the Mod status page, and b) good candidates for debugging with regard to what is not working perfectly with some of them. Those marked as not working or mostly not working will need the "official" one-mod-at-a-time testing method to ensure that the problems I've identified with them are not due to conflicts between mods. I do not have the time or patience to run endless tests of "vanilla plus one and only one mod" with throw-away characters. But the work I'm doing should still be a very useful form of triage of the thousands of mods out here, for those who are doing one-at-a-time testing (presumably in VMs or some other convenient way that doesn't mess up your real game?).

My list will eventually hit at least 300 mods if I continue to have time to keep adding entries.

I've also included troubleshooting sections on using mods in OpenMW, and on companions in particular, which may be better as actual articles here or merged into existing ones.

— Darklocq  ¢ 17:00, 22 June 2017 (CEST)

I have been doing something similar for the last month or so, but my testing is split into two groups - quick and simple mods, which are usually done in the "traditional, one-mod-at-a-time" manner, and larger mods which become part of my ongoing game for a week or so. In both cases I rely heavily on "verify" in the CS, and I hope my reporting style is broadly in line with your target - mainly whether or not it works, but wherever possible enough info to get it working. Only very occasional "review" opinions. Loriel

Fake-bumpmapping cleanup tutorial

The article says "Our member lysol has made some efforts to create a tutorial on how to get rid of these shiny textures in OpenMW. Once it is available, you'll find a link here." I'm pretty sure this is available, because I recall reading it, but I do not presently know where it is or how I found it (probably by a mention in the forum), so hopefully someone else can update this passage and provide the link. User:lysol is not an account on the wiki, or I'd've just pinged lysol to update this section. — Darklocq  ¢ 17:00, 22 June 2017 (CEST)

Never mind; I found it, and have updated the page with a link to the tutorial. — Darklocq  ¢ 00:54, 24 June 2017 (CEST)

Split up "List of Catalogued Mods" by mod type?

The "List of Catalogued Mods" is getting pretty long: 229 mods by my count. Should we split these up by type? Off the top of my head:

  • Official (for the Bethesda mods, because I think it's good to show front and center that we support all of them)
  • Fixes (e.g. Morrowind Patch Project, Soulstheim Rumour Fix, Redoran Door Fix)
  • Graphics (e.g. Better Bodies, Better Dialogue Font)
  • Sound and Voice (e.g. Almalexia Voice Addon, Morrowind Acoustic Overhaul)
  • User Interface (e.g. Dark Interface)
  • Game Mechanics (e.g Fair Magicka Regen, Compass)
  • Additional Content (e.g. Less Generic NPCs, Welcome to the Arena, Children of Morrowind)

I think this would make it easier to find mods that people would be interested in, and would make going through the mods more manageable. -Thunderforge (talk) 04:13, 27 June 2017 (CEST)

Agreed, though there are multiple ways to categorize these things. See my User:Darklocq/Mod testing notes page (which has a lot of mods the Mod status page does not, though tested less formally) for a more detailed categorization system, which could be expanded still; I'm only getting started. In particular, "Additional Content" is too general; people who are companion sluts like I am may have no interest at all in new landmasses, while others only want new quests, or new baddies, or whatever. So, at least some subcategorization is warranted, which is what I've been doing. That said, my own organization scheme could use some meta-organization, such as grouping the categories that are additional content under that label. Maybe I'll do that today.
One issue with the Mod Status page is the collapsed nature of it, which makes it nearly useless. I used a <noinclude>...</noinclude> trick to produce a fully-expanded version (accessible from link at top right of the Mod Status page), but I'm thinking expanded lists should be the default. Having them collapsed saves no bandwidth at all (the content is still all sent) and just makes it hard to find anything.
A potential way to approach all of this is to split the page up into several (perhaps along your lines above), and then also have a combined page that transcludes them into a master list. It will load a bit slowly, but will be useful as a way to checklist one's own potential mod list.
Another thing to consider is that while my own mod list is from live playtesting with piles of mods at once and isn't following the Mod Testing Guidelines, those are not actually needed when a mod does work with other mods loaded; it's only needed when something goes wrong and the problem has to be isolated. Thus, my list can be used to expand the Mod Status list with known-working mods even though I have not been doing one-mod-at-a-time testing. I also don't need it to be "my" list. It could be a mainspace page with signed reviews/playtesting by any contributor. I.e., we may have a place for comprehensive reviews of mods with OpenMW, separately from a list of mods that work/don't work at all.
PS: I've also tried to be careful about separating out mods with "racy" content, since they're not always obvious. Kid-friendliness is arguably important (though this game is a bit on the violent side, and whoTF at Bethesda thought it was a good idea to call a scroll "Mana Rape"?).
— Darklocq  ¢ 17:49, 29 June 2017 (CEST)
You have a good point that "Additional Content" is too broad, and I like your categories you have on your testing page. I agree that the collapsed page is pretty useless as is, and I would be in favor of separating these mods into individual pages, with one transcluded page with everything. That way it's easy to see the types of mods on is interested in, or all of them if they want to.
I also agree with separating out the "racy" content mods. The ESRB rated Morrowind T (Teen) for "Blood, Violence" and PEGI rated it 12 for "Violence". I think that most users would expect mods to keep the same level of potentially objectionable content that the base game has, or want to know going in that a particular mod will change that.
I've created User:Thunderforge/List of User Interface Mods as an example of what this separation might look like. I'm not sure how to deal with the status indicators since they take up so much space. -Thunderforge (talk) 06:35, 30 June 2017 (CEST)
The Status icon columns width can be reduced a little by setting column width to width of images, though the word "Status" will define a minimum width (making the icons and column smaller than 45px won't help). The top-of-list key/legend could probably be put in an auto-collapsed infobox, and transcluded on each of these pages (and with the transclusions wrapped in noinclude so they don't re-transclude on the combined list). Code can also be simplified by doing the status icons as a template, e.g. {{Modstatus|working}} instead of all the width specifics, icon filenames, etc., for them being repeated again and again, in-page.— Darklocq  ¢ 00:07, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
I have created the {{Modstatus}} template. — Darklocq  ¢ 01:06, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Also thinking to add another icon, a light green one for "essentially working", where the only problems are trivial. My own mod testing page has lots and lots of these, and I don't want to put a scary yellow icon on them that looks like a warning. — Darklocq  ¢ 04:41, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Done. Now needs one for "working, with patch", probably using same icon except with a bandaid on it. We'll need that more and more; I have several patches in the works myself, and released one yesterday. — Darklocq  ¢ 05:25, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
And also done. — Darklocq  ¢ 05:45, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
I added the modstatus template to my temporary page. I found that I had to keep the centering code though, otherwise it didn't look okay. Also, {{Modstatus|works}} and {{Modstatus|incompatible}} don't work, so you have to do the other versions. I'm not sure I really see the value in having two versions that do the same thing anyway. Is there any advantage to that? -Thunderforge (talk) 05:46, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Derp. Forgot to code those in [now fixed]. Just included them for different mindsets; some people aren't apt to remember an abbreviation like "incompat", others won't want to type "incompatible" out (and it's prone to typos like "incompatable"). People might not remember "working" versus "works". — Darklocq  ¢ 05:52, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Also, I think the two new statuses are good, but I'm not sure that the gradient in the icons fits well with the flat colors for the other icons. Perhaps the new ones could be changed to match? -Thunderforge (talk) 05:50, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Up to you. I'd picked that one because it had some pale green suggestive of "leaning a hair toward yellow", but maybe I'm overthinking it. I guess the darker part of the background could be made the pale green? — Darklocq  ¢ 05:52, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
We can keep it the way it is for now. Perhaps at some point we can have either the creator of the original images or someone else make them all consistent. -Thunderforge (talk) 06:02, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
I'm starting to wonder: do we need to have a status key on the page at all? It's over half of the size of the table on my test page. Would the icons themselves be enough? -Thunderforge (talk) 06:02, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Yeah! Just a note that hovering over the icons gives status info is likely sufficient. — Darklocq  ¢ 06:05, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
I hadn't realized you could hover over it. There is a ? near the Status header in the table. Perhaps that could somehow become the label? -Thunderforge (talk) 06:09, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Maybe so. However, on a re-think, the key provides details that might be important, so maybe it could just be included as a collapsed thing, with those details (and updated for new statuses I just added). I'm thinking something like wikipedia:en:Template:Collapse top, though we'd need to add CSS classes and stuff for collapsing divs to work. Since this wiki already supports collapsing tables, that might be an easier approach. Just adapt the code we don't want any more for collapsed mod lists, and use it for a collapsed key/legend. Another tactic would be to move that status documentation somewhere and link to it. — Darklocq  ¢ 06:19, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Should that be a template too, that way we don't have to recopy it on every page? -Thunderforge (talk) 06:23, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Surely. The Template:Modstatus documentation itself should transclude it so people know which option to use for what. — Darklocq  ¢ 17:23, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Are you saying that I can just put {{Modstatus}} at the top of the page and it will transclude the key? That just shows the ? icon. And clicking on any of these symbols goes to the image page, rather than the template documentation. -Thunderforge (talk) 19:12, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
"Should transclude" was ambiguous. I meant that transcluding the key into the documentation of Template:Mod status would be a good idea; not that I think the template is likely to perform such a transclusion. It serves a rather different purpose. :-) — Darklocq  ¢ 22:28, 16 July 2017 (CEST)
Article hierarchy: So, do we want names like [[List of foo mods]], [[Foo mods status list]], [[Mod status: foo]], [[Mod status/Foo]], or ... ? One of the latter two sorts of approaches might be more orderly, and proceed more naturally from the existing Mod status page. I think the / syntax implies subpages, though the main namespace might not literally treat them as such (it doesn't at en.Wikipedia, but that's a configuration option that was made over there, to account for encyclopedic topics whose name contain that character). Also thinking about how to take the mod playtesting work I've been doing and move that into the mainspace. That could result in [[Mod testing: foo]], etc., or maybe combined pages with known status and provisional playtesting sections (though playtesting material can get long, and multiple contributors might have their own notes about the same mod). There are multiple ways to crack the information architecture nut, I suppose. — Darklocq  ¢ 17:41, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
I started by just copying what Wikipedia does with [[List of foo mods]]. I don't really care about following from the existing Mod status page, and would be fine deleting it in the future if it no longer fits after reorganization. Come to think of it, we probably ought to specify that these are Morrowind mods, since OpenMW can be used by Example Suite and theoretically other projects. So I would recommend either [[List of foo Morrowind mods]], [[foo mods for Morrowind]] or [[Morrowind foo mods]] (with a slight preference for the first two). I've never seen a wiki use a style like [[Morrowind mods/foo]] in the mainspace (obviously, I'm using it for my test page), so I'm not sure about the value in adding it. Then have a new page like [[How to test Morrowind mods in OpenMW]] that provides the instructions. -Thunderforge (talk) 19:28, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
Regarding personal playtesting sections, could we just create separate pages for the mods that need it? I could see a value in adding a [[Tamriel Rebuilt]] page for more detailed information, but I don't think that there is enough to say that would warrant a [[Soulstheim Rumour Fix]] page. For the majority of mods, I think the short description in the table is sufficient, and we can make separate pages for those mods that need more space. -Thunderforge (talk) 19:28, 1 July 2017 (CEST)
As long as Mod status redirects somewhere or becomes a disambiguation page, I guess all will be well. Or it could be where the status lists get transcluded into one master checklist. But the URL to it has been mentioned far and wide, so it still needs to work. Wikipedia's naming conventions have evolved for dealing with millions of articles, and are a bit pedantic at times. [[Foo mods for Morrowind]] doesn't need to be disambiguated further from anything, so "List of" doesn't seem necessary. The lead section can clarify that this stuff is OpenMW-specific, for anyone who arrives there via link without knowing really what they're being taken to. Do we really need to include "for Morrowind" yet? Is Example Suite producing mods? I haven't been following it at all. If not, maybe [[Foo mods list]]? Front-loading the actual topic is probably preferable to "List of ..." on a site like this.
Agreed we don't need playtesting/debugging pages on a mod-by-mod basis (except maybe massive things like TR, in theory, though TR works better in OpenMW than it does in Bethesda's engine). Rather, I'm thinking of having them for categories of mods (travel mods, companions, whatever). My own list, with only my own notes, is getting "yuge", and is only about 1/4 done. If it wasn't buried in my userspace, other people might be adding their own notes. I haven't done a thing with Redoran, Telvanni, either religion, Imperial Legion, Morag Tong, Thieves Guild, vampire, NOM, TR, etc., etc. Others surely have, and might be writing up what works, what doesn't, and what the workarounds are – if there was a place for it. Well, sometimes they do, in various forums (openMW's, comments sections for particular mods at Nexus, various subReddit threads, yadda yadda), but this info isn't easily findable, and is rapidly buried.
We need a very concise works/fails/works-with-some-issues list (or, as we've been discussing, a divided series of such lists), arrived at by following the Mod Testing Guidelines. But we also need a place for more detailed info on what the issues are and how to resolve them, as well as comparing the utility of similar mods, mentioning load order requirements we've figured out, and other notes. I was already almost set to split my page up and mainspace it, after some further categorization cleanup. The current Mod Status page probably has more annotations than it needs due to lack of division. If my detailed page were mainspaced as topical pages, all those notes would have a place to move to (with an HTML anchor at the playtesting page entry for the mod), resulting in the status lists being even more compact and easy to use as checklists. So, for each broad category of mods, have a status checklist, and a playtesting notes page, which cross-reference each other. [[Foo mods list]] and [[Foo mods testing]]? [[Foo mods checklist]] and [[Foo mods playtesting]]? Maybe testing/playtesting isn't the right wording: [[Foo mods notes]]? [[Foo mods details]]? I dunno. If we do need to include "Morrowind" in there, then maybe [[Morrowind foo mods list]] and [[Morrowind foo mods testing]], which seem reasonably concise.
PS: I created Template:dlmod for very compactly linking to mods' download pages at various sites that still exist.
— Darklocq  ¢ 06:21, 2 July 2017 (CEST)
I suppose I could get behind [[Foo mods list]]. To my knowledge, no mods have been made for Example Suite (given that any development would just go to Example Suite), so I suppose that adding "Morrowind" to the name is unnecessary at this time. And I agree, Mod Status should remain as a redirect if it gets moved. As for the other information, I know that some people are interested in the detailed analysis, but for me personally, all I care about is "does this mod work or not", which the existing tables pretty well answer. I agree that it would be nice to have instructions for fixing mods on this wiki, but some of the stuff on your mod notes page appears to be a mini-review (with a number of personal thoughts, like with the Vivec Gondolier system). I'm concerned that a a Wiki isn't really the right place for mod reviews, as anything can be edited on a wiki, but editing someone else's review just seems wrong. But perhaps I am misunderstanding what you are saying. Maybe you could create a mockup page in your namespace with two or three mods on it to demonstrate what you are envisioning? -Thunderforge (talk) 07:48, 3 July 2017 (CEST)
No disagreement with any of that; I'm starting to remove the personal views. It began as a mod notes page for myself, then a "here's what I'm testing right now, check back soon for results" bulletin, then morphed a bit into a reviews page. More lately I've realized it would be most useful as just info on what the mod does (in OpenMW, anyway), how to fix issues (if known, and I've already made one patch, and linked to some forum discussions that most people wouldn't find), compatibility problems with other mods that work in OpenMW, and other practical concerns like strong effects on gameplay. That's what I aim to pare it down to, then split into chunks for mainspace. Both that kind of list and a table of "works/fails" serve their purposes.

I see two primary pools of users: 1) Long-term MW people trying out OpenMW already have a good sense of what mods they want to use (lots of forum posts from them, about things like fixing Julan, Ashlander Companion and other faves). They're already steeped in the mod archives for "what this does" material. They're best served by a works/fails checklist, to compare to their preferred mod load. 2) The just-OpenMW people – either Mac and Linux users excited to be able to get into TES finally, or former Windows users (like me) who had fun with Oblivion and Skyrim and excited that they can do Morrowind with modern improvements to get more TES. They mostly don't know what mods they want, and as I've learned from making it my hobby for a while, it's a tremendous amount of work to trawl mod sites, learn what is what, and what works with what, then try to figure out if it works in OpenMW. They're best served by more detailed info on mods with OpenMW, to build a mod load for the first time. For both, I've written the general mod tips and general companion tips as likely separate articles (some of the latter is even good for Bethesda-engine players, though I don't have them in mind; most of the problems with companion mods are particular to OpenMW). I might be able to separate the general-companion-tips material and move that to UESPWiki's Tes3Mod namespace, though.
— Darklocq  ¢ 22:28, 16 July 2017 (CEST)

I think you're spot on with identifying the two groups, and I suppose I'm in the latter camp; someone who dabbled with Morrowind in the past and is now happy to be able to play it on a Mac. I also tend to want to play with a close to vanilla experience, and I have no idea what certain mods do. General guidelines pages sounds like a good idea. Sometimes it may make sense to put them on a mod group page; e.g. how to get a companion mod to work would make sense below the companion mods table. I appreciate the hard work you've put into this! -Thunderforge (talk) 04:46, 21 July 2017 (CEST)