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Mator

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matortheeternal

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About this mod

Mator Smash is a tool that generates conflict resolution patches, similar to Wrye Bash's Bashed Patch.
Smash is capable of handling conflicts in all record types.

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Mator Smash


Overview
Characters, items, quests, music tracks, leveled lists, weathers, magical effects, etc. are all represented in plugin files as records.  When multiple mods modify the same records, only the last loaded mod's changes get used by the game (with some exceptions).  This is known as the rule of one.  Many plugin patches combine the changes of multiple mods to resolve conflicts, but there is no way to create and distribute patches for every possible combination of conflicting mods.  This is where tools like Mator Smash come in.  Mator Smash allows for conflict resolution patches to be generated following rules.  This allows users to quickly and efficiently combine the edits of multiple mods.

Smash is not capable of completely replacing handmade conflict resolution patches.  Please verify your patch in xEdit after generating it and make changes as necessary where smash's conflict resolution was insufficient.


Installation
Mator Smash is a utility, which means it should not be installed through your mod manager or into the game's data folder.  Instead, you should download and extract the archive into a folder manually.  Install smash to its own folder in Program Files or wherever you store your modding tools.

Note: Because Mator Smash has a profile system there's no need to have multiple installations of the program.


Basic Usage
1. Start Mator Smash.  If you're using Mod Organizer you should start smash through Mod Organizer.
2. Select the profile for the game you want to create a smashed patch for.  If a profile is not automatically created for your game you can create it manually.
3. Check the plugins you want to load into Smash.  You must not load more than 254 plugins, as Smash cannot have more than 255 plugins active (the final plugin slot will be used by the patch you will generate).  If you have more than 254 plugins you should merge some.
4. Click the Quick Patch (green arrow) button.
5. Close the program.
6. Use xEdit to verify your patch and fix any issues by hand.

Note: If you're using MO you'll need to create a new mod from the overwrite pseudo-mod unless you set your patch destination directory to MO's mods folder.

If you add or remove plugins from your load order you will need to repeat this process to update your smashed patch plugin file.


Additional Usage Notes
- Mator Smash is not intended to be used with any other conflict resolution patches.
- Run other patchers (DynDOLOD, SkyProc, UPF, etc) after generating your smashed patch.  Do not load these patch files when generating your smashed patch.


About Smash Settings
The Smash.All setting should be the only one you need to use for all plugins.  Mator Smash may automatically assign settings based on Bash tags, but you can override these with Smash.All.   Smash only copies values to the patch when they have been changed relative to the most recent master record.

Load order can be relevant to how Smash resolves conflicts, but often is not.

Smash.ForceAll is a special smash setting which forces smash to use records from the plugin it is applied to, and ignore conflicts with these records unless they belong to a plugin which requires the plugin as a master.  This should be useful to users running Requiem.

Smash.All excludes records which merge at runtime as well as navmeshes.

Smash.All does not merge unsorted struct arrays (such as Conditions) or VMAD - Virtual Machine Adapter elements - the last changed array gets used in its entirety.  This is usually correct.


Troubleshooting
If smash is not saving settings or plugins correctly verify your antivirus is not interfering with it (try disabling it or excluding Smash's installation folder).

If you're experiencing CTDs due to a smashed patch please report them so I can look into it and fix the problem.  If you're experiencing CTDs you'll be asked to identify the records responsible by the following process:

1. Open the Smashed Patch in xEdit.
2. Delete one or more groups/records.
3. Save and create a backup.
4. If the problem persists, repeat from step 1, else restore the backup and delete a smaller number of groups/records until you've identified the exact record(s) responsible for the crashes.
5. Post or send me screenshots of the record in xEdit which show how smash resolved conflicts, including an explanation of the circumstances in which the CTD occurs.


Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can/should I use the xEdit Merged Patch with the Smashed Patch?
A: No.  Smash does everything the merged patch does and more.

Q: Can/should I use a Bashed Patch with the Smashed Patch?
A: You can, but you only should use it if you want to use the Bashed Patch's tweaks or plugin merging functionality.  The Smashed Patch does more conflict resolution than the Bashed Patch.  You'll run the Bashed Patch prior to the Smashed Patch.

Q: I'm using MLU/Requiem and Smash doesn't appear to resolve the leveled lists correctly, what gives?
A: Try using the Smash.ForceAll smash setting on them and make sure their patches have them listed as a master.  It may also be important to load them and their patches in a single contiguous block in your load order.

Q: Older versions of smash had a feature to "merge redundant plugins", similar to what Wrye Bash does, why doesn't smash have this feature anymore?
A: Smash is built on the xEdit framework, and the xEdit framework is not capable of loading more than 255 plugins (and likely never will be).  Because of this limitation, smash merging plugins comprised entirely of overrides would be purely placebo and wouldn't actually create space in your load order.  If you want to merge plugins, use Merge Plugins.

Q: Should I clean my plugins/fix errors reported by xEdit before generating a smashed patch?
A: It's not necessary.  Smash uses a few tweaks to the xEdit framework so it can copy records with "errors" in them.

Q: Is smash still in Beta?
A: Nope.  This is the official release (after 3+ years of "development").

Q: My followers/horses are invisible, what gives?!
A: Smash has an issue currently where the Biped Body Template element on Armor Addon (ARMA) records sometimes doesn't copy correctly.  Open your Smashed Patch in xEdit and expand the Armor Addon group.  Drag the Biped Body Template element from the previous override into the smashed patch override for each Armor Addon record in the Smashed Patch where it is missing.

Q: How can I remove my smashed patch?
A: Just delete the smashed patch ESP.  Save games should not be negatively effected in most situations.

Q: How does this compare to the bashed patch?
A: Wrye Bash 307.beta2's Skyrim Bashed Patch only handles conflicts in LVLI, LVLN, and LVSP records.  To compare, Mator Smash handles conflicts in AACT, ACHR, ACTI, ADDN, ALCH, AMMO, ANIO, APPA, ARMA, ARMO, ARTO, ASPC, ASTP, AVIF, BOOK, BPTD, CAMS, CELL, CLAS, CLDC, CLFM, CLMT, COBJ, COLL, CONT, CPTH, CSTY, DEBR, DIAL, DLBR, DLVW, DOOR, DUAL, ECZN, EFSH, ENCH, EQUP, EXPL, EYES, FACT, FLOR, FLST, FSTP, FSTS, FURN, GLOB, GMST, GRAS, HAIR, HAZD, HDPT, IDLM, IMAD, IMGS, INFO, INGR, IPCT, IPDS, KEYM, KYWD, LAND, LCRT, LENS, LGTM, LIGH, LSCR, LTEX, LVLI, LVLN, LVSP, MATO, MATT, MESG, MGEF, MISC, MOVT, MSTT, MUSC, MUST, NPC_, OTFT, PACK, PARW, PBAR, PBEA, PCON, PERK, PFLA, PGRE, PHZD, PMIS, PROJ, PWAT, QUST, RACE, REFR, REGN, RELA, REVB, RFCT, RGDL, SCEN, SCOL, SCPT, SCRL, SHOU, SLGM, SMBN, SMEN, SMQN, SNCT, SNDR, SOPM, SOUN, SPEL, SPGD, STAT, TACT, TREE, TXST, VOLI, VTYP, WATR, WEAP, WOOP, WRLD, and WTHR records.

Q: How do Smash and Merge Plugins compare?
A: Smash resolves conflicts so you won't be missing content due to the rule of one - it does not reduce the number of active plugins in your load
order.  Merge Plugins combines plugin files following the rule of one, reducing the number of active plugins in your load order so you can work around the 255 plugin limit.

Q: How should I use Smash and Merge Plugins together?
A: Creating a smashed patch for just the plugins you're merging prior to merging (and including the patch in the merge) can make your merges "better", assuming the resulting smashed patch has any records in it.  Your full load order smashed patch must be regenerated whenever your load order changes, so you will want to get your merging out of the way prior to generating it.

Q: Why does my Smashed Patch have so few records in it?  It has fewer records than the Bashed Patch!
A: Smash removes Identical to Previous Override (ITPO) records after a patch has been generated.  ITPOs don't actually do anything - they're just cruft.  You can see what ITPOs Smash removed at the end of the patch log.  Wrye Bash does not remove ITPOs from the Bashed patch, so it may have more records than the Smashed Patch in certain situations.

Q: Why does smash remove ITPOs?
A: Because they don't do anything.  Removing them means users don't have to review as many records in the Smashed Patch.  In the near future a feature will be added to preserve ITPOs.


Resources
- There is a channel on the Modding Tools Discord where I provide support and updates for Mator Smash.
- Mator Smash is open source.  You can find it on GitHub.
- You can find additional information and discussion in the STEP forum topic as well as the Nexus Mods forum topic.


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