FAQ

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Following are some of the more frequently asked questions relating to Better Cities.


Contents

When will the next version be released?

When we're ready to release it, and not before. Might be tomorrow. Or not.


Why am I getting Unhandled Exception error messages when using Oblivion Mod Manager to create OMODs?

You are using an old, outdated version of Oblivion Mod Manager, which was renamed to TES Mod Manager as it now handles more than just Oblivion. Download the latest version here. Anyone who has problems with the archives and refuses to update to the latest version of TES Mod Manager will not be given any further support. However, if you do not wish to update to the latest version of TES Mod Manager, then a possible work-around would be to extract the archives to folders first, then create the OMODs from the folders instead of from the archives, however this may not work.


How do I create OMOD files for installing with TES Mod Manager?

See our guide in the OMOD Install guide.


After installing the main archive using TES Mod Manager, why is it that the only files installed are the Sexlivion patches, even though I don't have Sexlivion installed?

This is due to one of two bugs in TES Mod Manager. TES Mod Manager is meant to be able to handle FOMOD install scripts, but unfortunately it does not read some FOMOD script commands correctly. Better Cities provides FOMOD install scripts for use with Nexus Mod Manager, and also provides separate OMOD install scripts for TES Mod Manager.

If you followed the OMOD Install instructions, there was a question asked by TES Mod Manager, "Do you want to keep it as Fomod?" - the instructions say to choose "No". If you instead chose "Yes" then TES Mod Manager uses the FOMOD install script.

Bug 1) If TES Mod Manager tries to use the FOMOD install script it fails to understand parts of the script so skips almost all of it, then misunderstands the detection for Sexlivion and installs these patches when it isn't supposed to.

Bug 2) Even if you correctly chose "No" when asked if you want to keep as Fomod, another bug in TES Mod Manager also produces bug 1. You can choose to set "Data Files Compression" to either ZIP or 7z - if you choose ZIP then the OMOD is created correctly and will work, however if you choose 7z then TES Mod Manager selects the FOMOD install script instead of the OMOD install script.


Why are there big yellow diamonds everywhere with an exclamation or "WTF" in the middle?

Missing.jpg

A big yellow diamond is the game's way of telling you that an object is meant to be at this location, but the game cannot find the mesh. If there are a lot of these in the cities, then most likely you have not installed the Better Cities resources correctly.

Check that you have downloaded and installed every Better Cities archive from Nexus which is labelled as REQUIRED. Follow the installation instructions to ensure that the mod is installed correctly.

Ensure that you have enabled "Better Cities .esp" in your load order, this is a dummy file which must be enabled for our BSA files to be detected by the game.

If this doesn't help, then the missing meshes are probably for another mod you have installed rather than from Better Cities.


Why are there gaps or holes in the ground for the Imperial City Market District?

FAQ-MarketDistrict.jpg

You will also find a large notice on the ground as soon as you enter the District from the outer gate, and the world map will not be our special custom map of the Imperial City.

Another mod in your game is editing the Market District and is loading after Better Cities, resetting the land height to the original game instead of using the Better Cities land height. You need to change your load order so that "Better Imperial City.esp (or "Better Cities IC Market.esp") is loaded after any other mod editing the Market District.

The best method to handle your load order is to use BOSS (Better Oblivion Sorting Software). But remember that BOSS does not know every single mod - any ESP which BOSS does not recognise will be left at the end of your load order for you to position yourself. So if after running BOSS this has not helped, check the BOSS log "Unrecognised Plugins" page.


I don't like the changes made to some cities or districts, how do I use only the cities or districts I like?

We intend for users of Better Cities to use the entire mod, meaning every city and every Imperial City district. However we do recognise that some people want to be able to choose some cities/districts.

To only use some cities, do not install "Better Cities Full.esp". Instead pick the separate city ESPs from the main archive "Better Cities v#-#-#-16513-#-#-#.7z" in the folder "01 Better Cities".

To only use some districts, do not install "Better Imperial City.esp". Instead pick the separate city ESPs from the main archive "Better Cities v#-#-#-16513-#-#-#.7z" in the folder "02 Better Imperial Districts".

Both the BAIN Install wizard and OMOD Install script give you these choices during installation.

Better Cities contains quests, some of which require visiting different cities. With these quests, we do not allow for the possibility that some cities may not be installed. If a quest from one city requires you to visit another city and you do not have that city installed, then you will not be able to complete that quest.


Why do some buildings have an extra door floating just in front of them?

This happens when the game fails to correctly detect that we have disabled some original doors and replaced them. If you are using OBSE (Oblivion Script Extender) then you can install our OBSE plugin "Better Cities Helper.dll" and "Better Cities Helper.ini" (automatically installed with the BAIN or OMOD installs, or you can manually install it by copying the folder "OBSE" into the "Oblivion\Data\ folder - from the main archive "Better Cities v#-#-#-16513-#-#-#.7z" in the folder "00 Core".) created for us by shadeMe. This plugin should ensure that no extra doors are left floating in the cities.

If the OBSE plugin doesn't help, or if you do not have OBSE installed, then simply leave the city, create a new save in an unused Save Slot (so don't overwrite an existing save), quit to desktop then relaunch the game and load the new save.


Can I use Better Cities with Open Cities Classic or Open Cities Reborn?

In Oblivion, all of the cities are in a "closed" state, meaning that to enter or exit a city, you must use a door to teleport you, then wait for a load screen to display. A city in an "open" state has no load screens, the city gates will swing open instead of teleporting you. It may be possible to reach the top of the city walls and jump into or out of the city.

Better Cities includes Open Better Cities, a feature allowing you to toggle any city open or closed (except the Imperial City).

The differences between Better Cities (BC), Open Cities Classic (OCC) and Open Cities Reborn (OCR) are:
Better Cities: By default all the cities are closed. If you wish to toggle any of the cities open then you will need to install an additional ESP "Better Cities - Open Better Cities.esp" from the main archive "Better Cities v#-#-#-16513-#-#-#.7z" in the folder "05 Open Better Cities". Both the BAIN Install wizard and OMOD Install script give you this choice during installation. All of the changes and additions made to the cities by Better Cities are included when a city is toggled open. Better Cities does not allow for any part of the Imperial City to be toggled open.
Better Cities FULL.esp - this edits every city except Kvatch and the Imperial City. There are also separate ESPs for each city. All content originally from the mod Blood & Mud is included
Better Imperial City.esp - this edits every District in the Imperial City. There are also separate ESPs for each district

Open Cities Classic: OCC makes almost no changes or additions to the appearance/layout of the cities. OCC retains the original "classic" layout of each city, changing them all to open.
Open Cities Classic.esp - this edits every city except Kvatch and the Imperial City
Open Cities Outer Districts.esp - this edits the Imperial City Prison District and Arcane University

Open Cities Reborn: OCR completely changes the layout of each city, changing them all to open.
Open Cities Reborn.esp - this edits every city except Kvatch and the Imperial City
Open Cities Outer Districts.esp - this edits the Imperial City Prison District and Arcane University. It is the same as the one in OCC

It is possible to use the Open Cities Outer Districts with Better Cities. Instead of "Better Imperial City.esp" install the separate BC Imperial City Districts, excluding Prison District and Arcane University.

You may use "Open Cities Classic.esp" or "Open Cities Reborn.esp" with Better Cities' Imperial City but not with any of the other cities.

We do however provide a compatibility patch for OCR, which adds all of the new buildings, NPCs and quests from Better Cities (excluding the content originally from Blood & Mud) into the OCR cities. Both the BAIN Install wizard and OMOD Install script give you this choice during installation.


I have toggled the cities open, why can't I see content added to the cities from other mods?

When a city is toggled open, all of the content from the original game plus everything added by Better Cities is duplicated into the Tamriel worldspace, so that you no longer need to visit the original city worldspaces. Other mods will still add their new content into the original city worldspaces, so without a compatibility patch, or unless the other mods are designed to also duplicate content into the Tamriel worldspace, you will not see this new content.

But you can still access the content added by these other mods. We provide hidden doors which will teleport you to the closed city worldspaces, where you can do whatever you need to do, then simply use a city gate or Fast Travel to return to the Tamriel worldspace.

Here is where each hidden door can be located: Anvil Castle Courtyard - door stone beneath lamp post between door to castle barracks and door to castle great hall Anvil - door stone between docks city gate and Newheim the Portly's house, top of pavement steps Bravil - broken crate by city walls north-west of Varon Vamori's house, west of squatter's house Bruma - broken crate beside Jearl's House, south-west corner of city Cheydinhal - gravestone closest to chapel's east wall in graveyard Chorrol - door stone behind Rimalus Bruiant's House near north city gate, beneath wine barrel Leyawiin - door stone behind Blackwood Company Hall beside open barrel, south-west corner of city Skingrad Castle Courtyard - door stone against wall at bottom of steps in south-east corner Skingrad - door stone behind Hammer and Tongs near open barrel, south side of north quarter of city


There are so many files in the Better Cities archive, what do they all do?

There is a document named "What Does Each File Do.rtf" found in our \00 Core\Docs\ folder in the main archive "Better Cities v#-#-#-16513-#-#-#.7z", which lists every file in that archive and gives a brief summary of what it does and when to use it. You can also view this here on the Wiki.


After installing Better Cities, why does the game quit or crash as soon as I try to start it, without even reaching the menu screen?

ESM and ESP files are dependant on certain other ESM or ESP files. If you try to use an ESM/P which depends on another ESM/P and you do not have this other ESM/P, then the game will immediately quit as soon as you start it.

If this happens after installing Better Cities, then you have installed part of Better Cities which depends on another mod which you don't have (most likely a compatibility patch). Take a look at What Does Each File Do, this lists every single ESM/P file and tells you what each file requires and when you should or should not install it.


Why do I fall through the deck of one of the ships in Anvil Bay?

The ship in Anvil Bay is called the Evening Star and it can be bought and then controlled, moving it across the sea.

This is not a bug in Better Cities, it is a game limitation. The problem with falling through the deck sometimes happens in every mod where a ship can be sailed by the player. Sometimes the game fails to load the collision for the ship for some reason.

To resolve, stand on the docks near the ship, and save your game (use a new save slot). Quit to desktop, then relaunch the game and load your new save. The game will correctly load the collision this time and you can walk onto the ship's deck. This will resolve the issue for ships from any mod which allows the player to sail the ship around.


Why are parts of Skingrad castle invisible?

You're looking at the castle from a long way away, if you were to go closer you would be able to see it all.

Skingrad Castle viewed from afar with no mods installed

First, for those who know nothing about these things, a general explanation. Every placed object visible in the game is a mesh. Some objects fade to nothing the further away you travel from them, while others remain visible, but if you look closely they actually look slightly inferior to how they appeared when you were nearer the object. This is because objects which are Visible When Distant (VWD) have two meshes - one high-detailed for when you are close, and one low-detailed for when you are distant (VWD or _FAR meshes).

In the original game very few objects have VWD meshes, and even less are actually set to appear VWD in-game. With TES4LODGen you can make every object which has a VWD mesh actually appear VWD in-game, and if you install Really Almost Everything Visible When Distant (Really AEVWD or just RAEVWD) you can add a whole load more VWD meshes for TES4LODGen to make visible in-game (don't forget to re-run TES4LODGen after installing RAEVWD, and be sure to read the readme for RAEVWD before installing, you may only want to install parts of it).

So now back to the original question. Well you might be surprised to learn that in fact it was completely invisible when distant in the original game! The only reason you are even noticing this after installing Better Cities is because we have expanded the castle, making it larger, taller and overall more impressive. Some of the towers and walls used do have VWD meshes in the original game, so after running TES4LODGen you will see these parts when looking from a long way away. If you install the castle meshes from RAEVWD and run TES4LODGen again, then almost all of the castle will become VWD. There are still some parts we need to create VWD meshes for.


Why does FPS drop in cities when using Better Cities?

Because we add a lot of new content to the cities. A large increase in objects in a small area will reduce FPS, as will a large increase in the number of NPCs each with their own AI schedule to follow. Other contributing factors include using other mods which add NPCs to cities, and using high resolution texture replacer mods.

Oblivion was never optimised for multi-core processors, so you could have a six-core processor, the game will still only use one core and ignore the other five. The game also does not make proper use of multi-threading even though there are references to it in the INI. The game uses a 32-bit process EXE, so it cannot take advantage of 64-bit processing. Because it is 32-bit, the game can only use up to 2gb of RAM, regardless of how much RAM you have. Using the LAA switch patch (also known as the 4GB patch) will allow the game to use up to 3.4gb of RAM, but never any more, even if you had 32gb in your PC.

Try installing Oblivion Reloaded - OBGE (read the installation instructions first and ensure you have all requirements) as reportedly this provides a massive improvement to FPS.


Why can't I Fast Travel into/out of the Imperial City like I could before installing Better Cities?

Because of a design feature in Better Cities (this does not include the Waterfront). To minimise compatibility issues with other mods which edit the Imperial Isle around the Imperial City, we created a new worldspace containing all of our land height edits for the Imperial City. This required using a new world map for the Imperial City which contains all of the Fast Travel markers. It is impossible with this design to Fast Travel between world maps (the original one still used outside the Imperial City and our own used inside the City), so instead we add new map markers immediately outside every gate. You can Fast Travel to the gate, use the gate, then once in the Imperial City you can Fast Travel to any other marker within the City.

If you are in the Imperial City (not including the Waterfront) and the world map is not our custom one showing just the Imperial City, then your load order is wrong. See this FAQ entry to resolve.


Why can't I hear the voices of many of the new NPCs when I speak to them?

Better Cities adds a LOT of new NPCs into the various cities, and most have been given something unimportant to say if you choose to speak to them. The majority of our new NPCs have not been voice-acted, which means that they will speak their lines silently - some NPCs do have voice-acted recordings and will speak aloud, these NPCs are listed in the Credits document along with who gave their voice for the NPC.

Some gamers think that the lack of voice is a fault in the mod or their game, but it is not, many mods which add new dialogue are unvoiced, because it requires a lot of time and effort to find voice actors and persuade them to record lines for your mod, and then there's all the fiddling around with the recordings and generating the LIP synch files.


Will the cities of Shivering Isles ever be included in Better Cities?

No. At least not created by us. If another modder were to create overhauls for New Sheoth, Bliss and Crucible and asked us to include their work in Better Cities then we would consider it, but otherwise no.


This FAQ doesn't answer my question. What now?

Read some of the other pages here on the Better Cities Wiki, and take a look at the documents we included in the folder \00 Core\Docs\ from the main archive "Better Cities v#-#-#-16513-#-#-#.7z".
Post in the Comments thread on Nexus.
Search for the latest official Better Cities thread on the Bethesda forums and post there. Bethesda locks any thread when it reaches 200 posts so there is no point in linking directly to our thread, it may be locked and a new one started by the time you need it.
Post in our thread on the Dark Creations forum (which hosts our Wiki).
Post in our thread on The Assimilation Lab forum.
Before asking, please first check through some of the fairly recent posts made by others, you may find the answer there.

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