Bashed Patch file with Marked Mergeables

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Contents

Overview

The process of building a "Wrye Bash" style "Bashed Patch" (BP) file is relatively straight forward in concept:

  • Deactivate any previous BP file.
  • Activate all the plugins to be included in the current "load order".
  • Run the "Mark Mergeable" process. (This step is overlooked in most descriptions of the build process.)
Why? "Mark Mergeable" identifies which plugins can be completely included ("merged") into the BP, and thus "deactivated" in the "load order", freeing up "active plugin slots" enabling other plugins to be added while staying under the "plugin cap".
  • Configure the "Build Patch" process options.
  • Build the "Bashed Patch" file.
  • Enable the newly built BP file.

Creating a BP has a few more sub-steps than the concept, but is still straight forward once you have Wrye Bash (or any of it's various game specific "flavors" like "Wrye Flash") installed correctly. (WB has most of it's functionality buried in "context menus" accessed by < right-click > in various areas, which is what makes it puzzling to first time users.)

WB should be installed manually according to provided instructions; NOT from a "mod manager" as it creates a "Mopy" folder that goes into the game root folder at the same level as "Data". (Mod managers typically assume things should be installed under "Data".)

Your "load order" must be sorted properly. (This usually means with LOOT or the equivalent normally used with your game.)

  • If you are still doing so manually for "Fallout New Vegas" (FNV) in particular, at least ensure your DLC files are in the order given in the 'Vanilla "Load Order" ' section of the wiki FNV General Mod Use Advice article.

From here on, the term "Wrye Bash" or "WB" applies to any and all game specific "flavors". The primary reference document will be the Wrye Bash Pictorial Guide (WBPG) at Oblivion Nexus; specifically the "WBPG - Basics and Installers Intro.pdf" document. Each image in the document has a labelled "Bookmark" such as "Basics 1". (It may help if you download the optional "Wrye Bash Pictorial Guide Complete PNGs" file from the WBPG download page, as it contains the original image files which you can view full size in any preferred "image viewer" if the PDF image is not clear enough.) This document is a supplement to WBPG and refers heavily to it's images. If you haven't downloaded it, do so as you will need it.

The provided "Wrye Bash Readme" files (General, Advanced, and Technical) contain all sorts of details. But they are references; not tutorials. While the WBPG provides an excellent tutorial style guide to the complexities of WB, there is a (useful to know but not essential) missing gap concerning how to fully merge compatible plugins into the BP so they can be deactivated, removing them from the "active plugin" list and reducing the number that need to be loaded by the game engine. This supplement covers that process (step 6) which is more important in some games (i.e. "Fallout New Vegas") than others due to a lower plugin cap, and hopefully provides some clarifying instructions that the original author assumed to be known by those completely new to modding in general while focusing strictly on the steps necessary to building a BP.

Those completely new to playing modded games on the PC are advised to read the wiki FNV General Mod Use Advice article for an introduction to the terms and concepts common to the process among all Bethesda brand games.

Wrye Bash Development

Be aware that "Wrye Flash" (WF) is currently used for FNV. There is development proceeding on an updated and "refactored" version of "Wrye Bash" (WB) to work with all versions of Bethesda RPG games, including Fallout 4, but it has not had the "patcher code" updated for FNV at the moment and is not recommended for that game at this time. The same applies to Morrowind to the best of my knowledge. There are plans to include those games when the "patcher code" refactoring begins.

Progress on WB's development can be followed at the official Wrye Bash development thread on Bethesda.net. It is anticipated that these instructions will still apply to that version when it is released for all games.

Programs and Tools

Details

1. Launch Wrye Bash, either from within your mod manager if you have it configured to do so, or from the desktop link.

2. Select the "Mods" tab. (See the first image on the page (i.e. bookmark "Basics 1") of the "WBPG - Basics and Installers Intro.pdf" document.)

3. Check the "Bashed Patch, 0.esp" file exists at the bottom of your "load order" as displayed on the "Mods" tab page. (One should be automatically created when you install WB.) If not, follow the instructions provided in the description in "Basics 1" regarding how to create one.

If the worst case comes to pass and none of that works, you should be able to copy an empty "template" "Bashed Patch, 0.esp" file from the "Fallout New Vegas\Mopy\templates" folder to the "Fallout New Vegas\Data" folder. Be sure to "copy" and not "move" the template file. See "The Windows Club" web page Windows Explorer Drag and Drop behavior explained if you are not clear how to determine and change which operation is about to occur.

Note that initially, no matter how created, this is an empty file; a place holder for the actual patch file you will build in the next steps. The image shows two such files, but this is merely an illustration that more than one can exist. Normally only one ("Bashed Patch, 0.esp") is needed or used. The ", 0.esp" is the numbering convention assumed by WB. You can manually change it, but each new BP will use that name if it does not find it already existing. If it does exist and is still enabled, the new BP will automatically be given the next incremental number: i.e "Bashed Patch, 1.esp".

4. < Right-click > on the column header "File" field (see the second image on the page ("Basics 2") of WBPG) to display the "context menu". The "context menu" is displayed in the second image. Follow the instructions there.

It should be noted that the "Lock Times" context menu setting should normally be "unchecked" or "disabled" with LOOT so it can sort or so you can manually re-position plugins as necessary by dragging them up or down the list, or selecting them and using < Ctrl+Up/Down cursor> to move them. WB uses the "date/time stamp" of files to determine their "load order". "BOSS" was less tolerant of changes to the "load order" not under it's control. Hence the need to use the "Lock Times" control with it, which led to the described "automatic unlock and re-lock" behavior for BOSS (and only BOSS). (BOSS is not recommended with games other than Oblivion unless you are prepared to manually update it's "master list" yourself.)

5. The third image on the page ("Basics 3") of WBPG refers to "BOSS", which is specific to Oblivion and has been superseded by LOOT for later games including FNV. (This is not to say BOSS can't be used with FNV; just that it is not typically used or publicly maintained.) You should have already performed the steps described in this third image, but should understand that you can toggle the "Mods" tab display to show plugins in alphabetical order (or reversed) by clicking on the "File" column header, as well as the same for numerical "mod index" order on the "Load Order" tab.

6. There is an intervening step undocumented in WBPG but visible in image "Basics 4", which is necessary to enable your "bashed patch" file to be able to "disable" certain plugins from being active because they are "merged" (fully incorporated) into the BP. (They will be "ghosted" with the addition of the extension ".ghost" to their current filename so the game engine will not recognize them as plugins. This is why you needed to enable the "auto-ghost" option in the second image.) This reduces the number of your "active" plugins, enabling you to keep under your game's plugin cap, and this step identifies and marks those that can be so "merged". Omitting this step is not fatal or even a problem, but does deprive you of one of the advantages provided by a BP.

  • Uncheck (deactivate) the "Bashed Patch, 0.esp" file. This will remove the "green +" in the checkbox of any plugins that were previously "merged" into the BP and "ghosted", "unghost" them by removing the added ".ghost" extension, and leave them "deactivated" with empty "check boxes".
  • Enable (< click > in the checkbox, turning on the "green check mark") all plugins to be active in the "load order". In particular this is needed for the "deactivated" plugins that had previously been "ghosted" because they had been merged into the previous version of the BP.
(See the first description in the fourth image: "Basics 4". Any that are not "green" have problems, which need to be fixed but are beyond the scope of this guide. They are explained in the "What Symbols & Colours Mean" section of the "Wrye Bash General Readme" document.)
  • Select (highlight) ALL of the active plugins filenames (which should be all present in the "Mods" tab list with a "green checkmark" in their checkbox; top to bottom) EXCLUDING only the "Bashed Patch, 0.esp" file itself, and < right-click > anywhere in the selected list. Any plugins that are not "active" with a "green" checkbox will not be examined for their "merge-ability" nor included in the final BP. Double-check all files are enabled or you will have to start the process over from the beginning.
  • Select (highlight) by < click > on the filename (not the checkbox) of the first file ("FalloutNV.esm"), scroll down to the bottom of the list and (while holding down the < Shift > key), <click > on the last file just above "Bashed Patch, 0.esp". The file "Bashed Patch, 0.esp" should now be the only file not highlighted.
  • < Right-click > anywhere in the list of selected (highlighted) files to display the "context menu" shown in the fourth image: "Basics 4".
  • In the "context menu" that is displayed, < click > the "Mark Mergeable" option (just above, and instead of the "Rebuild Patch" option shown in the fourth image: "Basics 4"). This will initiate the process of identifying the plugins that can be merged, and at the end of the process will display a list of the results. You can examine the list (divided into "Mergeable" and "Not Mergeable" sections) if you wish, but your only option is to < click > the "OK" button. You will need to re-run this process each time you make any changes to your "load order".

7. Now < right-click > to select the "Bashed Patch, 0.esp" filename ONLY to display the fourth image ("Basics 4") "context menu". (This should normally be the only "unchecked box" in your "load order". DO NOT "check" it's box.) It should now be the only selected (highlighted) file. Select the "Rebuild Patch" option, which should only be available to you when only the "Bashed Patch, 0.esp" filename is highlighted. Note that the described prompt about "auto-deselect" of some mods in the fourth image ("Basics 4") will only occur if you ran the "Mark Mergeable" (step 6) process first.

8. The fifth image ("Basics 5") is the "Rebuild Patch" configuration display. (This is the process by which you actually create the BP.)

  • If you ran the "Mark Mergeable" (step 6) process earlier, then you will be presented with a "Deactivate Suggested Mods" window, listing specific plugins which can be merged into the BP and "ghosted". Normally you will wish to < click > the "Yes" button; but if you think you are missing some, select "No" and re-run step 6. If this window is not presented at this point, you failed to run step 6. It must be done each time you rebuild your BP.
  • Read the description in the fifth image ("Basics 5") carefully.
  • The descriptions in this image tend to be specific to Oblivion. You may safely ignore any references to mods/plugins you are unfamiliar with as not pertaining to your game. Consider them general guidelines for similar mods. Ask someone in the forum about the specifics if you are concerned. Similarly ignore any references to specific versions of "Wrye Bash". For the purposes of building a BP, they are essentially identical.
  • Basically, the "left pane" is a list of "configuration sections" much like the "[General]" or "[Display]" (etc.) sections of the game INI files. You need to work your way down through the list in the "left pane", and when each is selected, enable or disable options in the "right pane", which changes with each selected "section" much like a "context menu". Some "sections" have no options displayed in the "right pane". That simply means no plugins are selected that provide any options for that section.
  • In general, any plugin names that appear in the "right pane" should all be selected.
Note that the options of the left-pane section "Merge Patches" appearing in the right-pane lists the same plugins identified by the "Mark Mergeable" process (step 6) above. If you do not select (enable/check) all these then you will have a discrepancy between the two lists. This is not a problem or error. It just means the non-selected plugins will not be fully merged into the BP (even though they could be), nor deactivated. It is your choice, and there are situations where a technically "mergeable" plugin should not be merged. (You could add the "NoMerge" bash tag to the plugin to prevent it being considered "mergeable" in future in that case.)
  • Before selecting the "Build Patch" button, especially if this is the first time you have built the BP, < click> on the "Export Patch configuration" button first. This will save all the configuration selections you just made in a "Fallout New Vegas\Data\Bash Patches" folder as "Bashed Patch, 0.esp_Configuration.dat" or whatever you named the export file. This can be imported if necessary, but normally once configured, this is remember from one session to another. Update this exported configuration file whenever new plugins are added to the configuration section list.
  • Now you are ready to select the "Build Patch" button shown at the bottom of the fifth image ("Basics 5"). This can take a couple of miutes, depending upon the number of plugins involved, but a progress bar is shown. Have patience.

9. The report of the result of building the BP is shown in the sixth image ("Basics 6"). This informational only, organized by the "configuration sections" of the "left pane" of the "Build Patch" process, and your only option is to < click > the "OK" button.

  • You are then provided the option to "activate" the "Bashed Patch, 0.esp" file or not. Normally you will choose "Yes". Note that at this point the BP file itself has been built. This last option merely "enables" (checks the box of) the plugin in your "load order".

10. Once the BP has been enabled, you should see that the "merged" plugins are now marked with a "green +" in their check boxes. They also no longer have the "mod index" number. This is because they have been fully incorporated into the BP and the plugins themselves have been ghosted. WB still knows about them, but they are now "invisible" to the game engine and it will no longer attempt to load them into memory. This has reduced your "active plugin" count by the number of such plugins.

From here you can play the game, knowing that any "record level conflicts" have been resolved so only one record "wins", but all other records from that and other plugins touching that record still include their changes to other, "non-conflicting" records (circumventing the "rule of one" which otherwise would exclude all plugins but the "winner").

If you ever have need to request assistance on your game's forums, you will usually be asked to provide your "load order" list. See the image of the bookmark "Tips 1 - PYLO" in WBPG for the easy way to do this, and include it with your problem statement. This will save time for all concerned. Please provide the other information requested in the wiki How to ask for help article as well.

You may have noticed that none of this has touched on the subject of "bash tags". While not essential, they are a help to WB when building a BP. However, they are applied to individual plugins, and not are part of building a BP. LOOT and the like generally apply such tags from their "master list" when they sort your "load order". See the wiki article Bash Tags and the Wrye Bash Patch if you need to delve into the matter of determining and manually adding such tags to a plugin.

References

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