ESM or ESP?

Post » Sun May 27, 2012 1:41 am

Now that I have my answer I think this topic can be used to discuss the technical difference in both the ESM vs ESP format and, likely most importantly, the difference in how the game treats them. Bellow it my original question.


I'm planning on releasing a small race mod, but I've been using it as a master file for personal use. However, I'm looking at other race mods and they all seem to be plugins. I've had problems with my race mod when it was in plugin form (update problems mostly) so I'm confused, should I use ESM or ESP? From what I can tell when a file is ESM the game keeps track of entries better, even if you change the plugin significantly, change the name or even have an override copy in an ESP it won't make a copy and people with the race will still be that race (instead of creepy, floating head parts). That could all be wrong, they're just problems and observations I've had so I just want to know from more seasoned modders. Thank you to anyone who answers.
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Oyuki Manson Lavey
 
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Post » Sun May 27, 2012 3:50 am

One difference would be that if you release the mod as an .esm file, it will not be possible to upload to Steam Workshop.
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Emma Copeland
 
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Post » Sun May 27, 2012 1:50 am

If want others to be able to use your mod in theirs then esm is way to go ... in other words if you allow then they can select your esm in an esp they do and use the race as a resource in anothr mod. If do not want this or have no intent to allow this then esp is probably preffered. I tend to put actors, architecture and such in esm and then build specific esp mods from the esm. Overall it really is based on what future plans you have for the mod. One thing if go with esm you should keep a copy as esp for change purposes and use 'snip to change to esm when update ... Have fun with it.

if go the esm route as indicated no Steam, but can upload to nexus ....
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Andres Lechuga
 
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Post » Sat May 26, 2012 9:41 pm

One difference would be that if you release the mod as an .esm file, it will not be possible to upload to Steam Workshop.

Wow, really? Steam Workshop well and truly is crippled in comparison to Nexus, between that, and lack of download options or an installer script framework. :ermm:

A lot of users there also seem to have Scriptextenderphobia something fierce, last I saw.

Anyhoo... Something I recall about FO3... ESMs had some special record in their header, called ONAMs IIRC. ElminsterEU basically said that ESMs are broken and don't work right unless these ONAMs are generated, and that it took a while before FO3Edit was updated to properly generate these ONAMs. Are they still needed?
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Meghan Terry
 
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Post » Sun May 27, 2012 5:20 am

If it's any clue, in TESVsnip doesn't show anything special in the header for Update.esm, so maybe it doesn't use it anymore or TESVsnip simply won't show them. Since it's the traditional thing to do, I just posted the mod as a ESP (not uploading to Steamwork shop though) but I'm still interested in the question, perhaps we can discuss this and figure something out, are there anything special about ESM files in Skyrim? All I think of know for certain is making a file an ESM avoids some bugs, like the nav mesh bug (perhaps epic maps could be submitted as such, locks out of steam workshop though) and the stuff I said in my OP are things I've observed but aren't sure about. Having modded Fallout 3 I couldn't forget the Master Update where the game ran more stable with it (at least until the game was patched, but it still seemed to help with crashes). Perhaps a type of Master Update will be needed for Skyrim.... We need TES5Edit (It's the thing I missed the most from every other Bethesda game).
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Beth Belcher
 
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Post » Sun May 27, 2012 12:29 am

Anyhoo... Something I recall about FO3... ESMs had some special record in their header, called ONAMs IIRC. ElminsterEU basically said that ESMs are broken and don't work right unless these ONAMs are generated, and that it took a while before FO3Edit was updated to properly generate these ONAMs. Are they still needed?
Yeah, ONAM lists are still utilized by http://i.imgur.com/VaIrx.png anyhow.

WS ESM: While you can in fact upload an ESM to the workshop, it'll be converted to ESP (extension changed/ESM flag remains intact). http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=7502 on the WS is a false flag ESP, for instance, as it was crashing when contested until http://i.imgur.com/XFRca.png then baiting & switching to get the CK to UL.

TESVsnip simply won't show them.
We need TES5Edit (It's the thing I missed the most from every other Bethesda game).
^These
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Vivien
 
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Post » Sun May 27, 2012 4:41 am

...
WS ESM: While you can in fact upload an ESM to the workshop, it'll be converted to ESP (extension changed/ESM flag remains intact). http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=7502 on the WS is a false flag ESP, for instance, as it was crashing when contested until http://i.imgur.com/XFRca.png then baiting & switching to get the CK to UL.
...
Wow, that's a pretty silly thing for SW to be doing. Talk about misinformation for users. Anyone using a mod manager that differentiates between masters and non-master plugins based on their flags will be safe, but SW users aren't generally such people. AFAIK Skyrim's launcher doesn't respect the "Masters always load before plugins" rule that is enforced by the game (though I could be wrong). If I'm right, then a whole load of people are putting their mods in one order and having the game load them in another.
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Everardo Montano
 
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Post » Sat May 26, 2012 9:30 pm

If, in the launcher's "Data Files", a false flag ESP is set to load after a normal esp, the false flag plugin will load earlier. A false flag ESP can currently load before a bona fide ESM, so the ESM flag seems to be the determining factor.

[00] Skyrim.ESM
[01] Update.ESM
[02] FalseFlag.ESP
[03] BonaFide.ESM
[04] NormalPlugin.esp

Reordering 02 and 03 works either way. Would be nice if load indices were apparent from within the launcher...
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Honey Suckle
 
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