Giskard and False Accusations

Update: In May of 2014, Giskard restructured his entire website. Again. When he did so, he posted another very long rant full of a whole bunch of lies and deceitful posts where he's whitewashed the truth of pretty much everything going back 7 years now. You can read his accounting of things here:' http://www.theengineeringguild.co.uk/featured-stories/15-why-i-quit-the-elder-scrolls-modding-scene'

In short, it's BS, and while the quotes in the original article here have long since been removed from his own site (because, hypocritically, he's hiding his own trolling that he accuses others of doing) the actual substance of the quoted material and the rebuttals to them all remain true to this day.

Original Post Follows:

Alright. I said I wasn't going to get into this before, but this has gone far enough and needs to be responded to so that the record can be set straight. Wall of text to follow, if you don't give a crap, you have nobody to blame but yourself for reading.

In order for this all to make some bit of sense, I'm going to need to go over the history of things as I recall them. Due to the nature of the Bethesda Softworks forum system, linking to specific threads will be impossible. With that in mind, here we go.


I'm heavily into RPGs. In fact, they're practically all I play. My shelf in the closet is packed with stuff going clear back to 1986. I've played every game in the Ultima series, every game in the Bard's Tale series, most of the old gold box D&D games, and of course, every Elder Scrolls title that's been released (except Redguard and Battlespire). I took a particular liking to Morrowind because it was so advanced for its time and no matter how much you played, you could always find something you hadn't seen before. Then there were mods, and I had plenty. I even made two of my own.

I've been an avid player of Oblivion since the day it was released in 2006. I picked it up as soon as it was available and as soon as I could get to the store after work. My box is one of the original collector's edition retail packages that still has the T rating instead of the M rating. I played through 90% of my first character without knowing a whole lot about mods and what they do, and beat the main quest with only a small handful of things that I'd found which I liked. The most ambitious of which at the time was the Open Cities mod, which I picked up because I missed the Morrowind way of doing things so much.

Like many gamers, I shelved Oblivion for awhile and returned to other stuff. Mostly relating to MUDs at the time, and maintaining the several project sites I was a part of. I played other stuff, bounced around a few forums here and there, grew more and more agitated by the actions of our government, launched this very blog, and was generally busy with projects at work as well.

Around March 2008 or so, I got bored with various offerings, wasn't finding any decent RPGs to play, and had pulled Oblivion back down from the shelf. After dusting off the disc and making sure the DVD drive was in good shape, I decided to go poke around on the Bethesda forums to see if any cool mods had been created. I honestly expected there to be a pretty poor selection of ill-maintained stuff, as was the norm for other games. I was quite surprised to see a vibrant and healthy modding community. I decided to see what was what and downloaded a few things.

A new series of mods dubbed "Unique Landscapes" was making the rounds. They looked cool, so I grabbed them. I saw Open Cities had been updated, so I grabbed that. I picked up some weapon mods, but later dropped them because they weren't all that great. I also decided to dive into the world of texture replacers.

Now, because I'd had experience with needing to clean mods in Morrowind due to the CS making messes, I was already conscious of the fact that it was probably necessary for Oblivion too. So I looked around for awhile and ran across just what I was looking for: TES4Edit. It was around the same time I found it that I was also trying to get in touch with Texian and Godhugh to see about releasing an update to Open Cities to fix some of the nagging bugs. Of which there were plenty. The mod also had its fair share of dirty edits caused by the CS.

I plugged away at that for a couple of months as I relearned how to maneuver in the CS, since it was different enough from Morrowind's to be a bother. I learned quite a bit about how TES4Edit worked, and studied several mods in detail with it to get familiar with how it did things. I grabbed stuff at random from Nexus and when I found a particularly bad one, I'd fire of a quiet PM to the author to let them know what I'd found. Most of them were thrilled their mods were even getting attention, let alone that someone was offering to help fix them.

This is where my first encounter with Giskard came up. During a discussion with Elminster about a mod he'd cleaned called Kvatch Aftermath, Giskard showed up on the forum raising hell about how Elminster had released a clean version of the mod. If Giskard had simply asked him politely not to do that, I suspect the issue would have died right there. It didn't go down that way. Giskard flew into a ginormous rage about how TES4Edit had corrupted his mod, broken several things, and made a general mess out of everything. Silly me, I came along and backed up Elminster's claim, and provided logs and screenshots to back it up. Eventually the thread this happened in got so hot the mods locked it and told everyone to chill.

Things appeared to have settled, but somewhere in his hole, Giskard was seething. During the course of the remainder of 2008 and well into 2009, he made several regular appearances on the Bethesda forums to decry trolls, toss firebombs at anyone who claimed TES4Edit was useful, and generally just make a huge ass out of himself whenever possible. Anyone who was around at the time can attest to this, including at least one semi-regular reader right here on this very blog. The monkey poo really hit the fan though the day Giskard called Wrye out in a discussion of the CUO - Cyrodiil Upgrade Overhaul.

You see, Wrye is the genius behind the critically essential tool: Wrye Bash. No modder who delves into overhauls should be without it. So if anyone knows the ins and outs of how the game engine behaves with things like leveled lists, it's Wrye. You can imagine the results when Giskard comes along and declares Wrye Bash is a busted piece of junk and using it will crash your game. Oh, and CUO is compatible with all overhauls, without needing a patch. Wrye proceeded to very soundly prove him dead wrong. With a bit of help from yours truly, along with Vorians, Elminster, and many of the other big names in Oblivion modding who absolutely know their stuff. This made Giskard an angry kitty, and he tossed a large enough firebomb that the mods finally got tired of his crap and banned him.

Following this, the mods made it clear that all talk about Giskard, his mods, his sites, and pretty much anything relating to them was off limits. It got to where people began talking about him as "He who shall not be named". People who missed the controversy or joined after it all happened sometimes ask, and are quickly told it's best to just let it go - those who don't soon find the threads locked. The official BGS forums were not the only place this happened either.

Which leads us to somewhere around December of 2009. The All Natural mod was looking for mirror locations. Clocking in at 125MB at the time, PES was impractical. ElricM as well. Several other mod sites also had insanely small size restrictions. Except for one. They have a 250MB file size limit. So I registered an account and uploaded All Natural. I'll let them remain nameless here, they're not hard to find, but Giskard's goons aren't smart enough to know where it is without being told.

Well, imagine my surprise as I return toward the end of the month to find I've been banned, accused of uploading mods without permission. I badgered the admins about it for weeks until one of them finally told me Giskard had reported me for uploading "cleaned" copies of every last one of his mods to the site. This admin (who shall remain anonymous to protect them) would not tell me the name of the user account that was tied to the uploads, and had to be pushed fairly hard into even revealing it was Giskard who had made the accusation. This admin, probably wanting to avoid responsibility, claimed their "boss" said Giskard had "proof" of what I'd done. I made my case and proved to them it wasn't me who had uploaded anything of the sort. My account was reinstated. With that behind us, I figured it was over. I made a passing comment about it in February 2010.

I was wrong. It wasn't over. Not by a long shot apparently. Early last month, one of Giskard's administrators went on a fishing expedition here and found my passing comment from February. He reported it to Giskard. Giskard posted a series of rants about it all throughout July.
'
http://www.theengineeringguild.co.uk/blog/589-better-cities-people-behind-attacks-on-me-last-year' - In this one I've suddenly been made a member of the Better Cities team. This is the post where he flat out lies AGAIN and repeats the accusation he tried to slide past the mod site that banned me. He claims it was his own curiosity that drove him to look for where the "unusual search term" came from and that he magically ended up on this blog. I know who actually did the leg-work and who actually took the screenshots. I also know when I was and wasn't banned from the mod site.

Giskard: You aren't really hiding much even though you thought you were protecting your fellow forum admin from being found out. He hasn't covered his tracks at all. Also, as you probably realized by now, there's been no effort to hide my identity here. Anyone could have found me a long time ago if they wanted to. BTW, it's libel, not slander. Trust me when I tell you, if I'd been in the same room as you to be able to slander you, I'd have punched you in the face instead.

Suffice it to say, that long winded rant of his is nothing but one twisting of fact after another. My talking about being banned does not prove I did anything. It merely proves I knew who GOT me banned and why the site claims it happened. It's not the only place he's tried to ban me from though, because I was informed by Nexus moderators that he tried to have me banned there too.
'
http://www.theengineeringguild.co.uk/blog/590-when-a-modder-prepares-for-war' - One of his delusional rants about quality, compatibility, and oh yeah, crushing the BC team. Supposedly by making the best set of city mods the world has ever seen. I say more power to him. Competition breeds better mods for everyone. He just shouldn't be surprised if people don't consider his the best.
'
http://www.theengineeringguild.co.uk/blog/592-modding-code-of-effics' - This one is more of a general rant about ethics, despite the URL being spelled wrong. Of course, it's filled with backhanded slaps against the entire Oblivion modding community and how we're all vicious trolls and only want to beat each other within an inch of our lives so our mods will be the only ones out there. Uh huh.

So have no fear around here, unless your rude to us, nobody will be rude to you!
Someone needs to look in the mirror. Since someone launched an all out tirade against an entire community. One need only look as far as the public portions of the forum at his site to see he runs it as an iron-handed dictator. He'd surely fit right in with the MUD community.
'
http://www.theengineeringguild.co.uk/blog/598-a-question-of-compatibility' - Where Giskard professes to know how to perform miracles. To hear him talk about compatibility is enough to make anyone with an ounce of mod knowledge double over in laughter.

[Removing "Identical to Master" records done] Processed Records: 32747 Removed Records: 5227 Elapsed Time: 00:00


This is not how you make compatible mods. 5227 dirty edits - records that are absolutely identical to one of the mod's master files. In this case, absolutely identical to Oblivion.esm records. This is from Kvatch Aftermath 7.7, which you can download from his site. You can verify these findings by following the mod cleaning guide at the CS Wiki. Well over 90% of these edits are landscape, which you can probably guess is going to make a mess of everything.
'
http://www.theengineeringguild.co.uk/blog/600-planning-is-a-wonderful-thing-d' -
Everybody knows I like talking to friendly and polite people when modding.


That quote alone should tip you off - because it's totally untrue. Someone who is polite and friendly to other modders doesn't go around flinging libelous accusations against other modders and doesn't get themselves permanently banned from the largest Oblivion modding community on the internet.
'
http://www.theengineeringguild.co.uk/blog/626-the-moral-of-the-story-is' - This post he dives right in to a boatload of revisionist history. I can't tell if this is his warped accounting of the Kvatch Aftermath incident or of the CUO incident. Likely CUO, because I doubt he'd dare to call Wrye out even from his own blog.
'
http://www.theengineeringguild.co.uk/blog/631-sorry-but-i-cannot-let-this-slip-by-without-comment' - Another post that's filled with revisionist history. This one dealing directly with the Kvatch Aftermath incident. This is probably one of the more insidious posts he makes because anyone who wasn't around in 2008 isn't going to know the real truth of what happened and WHY dev_akm and Vorians were both involved. Which I explained earlier, it was because Elminster and I had already laid down a solid case. That tidbit I dropped in with the 5200+ dirty edits? KA has had those all its life, and that was the topic of discussion 2 years ago.

I asked him to check his tool since it was listing every CS ignore fix I ever made on the mod and he did not even know it.


I don't know where he gets this stuff, but if you tell the CS to ignore a record, buggy as it is, it will do precisely that once you save it. The records in question are *NOT* CS ignore records. And even if they were, the addition of an ignore flag makes them by definition not identical to their master file. TES4Edit will therefore not remove them. Elminster, myself, Vorians, and dev_akm all rightly pointed out what was really going on and were trying to tell Giskard how to resolve it.

You're lucky I didnt just call you a bunch of wankers and tell you to fuck off.


Actually, he did, which resulted in the thread getting locked and warnings being issued. No doubt one of the several that eventually led to him being banned.

BTW, mid-March 2008 doesn't sound exactly right, but who knows. I'll defer to others who may respond here on that one. I'm thinking more like mid-April, not that it matters, because Giskard is still dead wrong either way.

You see, I have always known you 3 were speaking shit, every real modder that saw you knew it.


My recollection is that this is utter crap. Every "real" modder that saw the exchange agreed with us, not Giskard. If memory serves, Corepc, bg2048, Vacuity, Wrye, and a host of others all popped in, saw the results, and agreed that Elminster was right.

Elminister basically had 'undone all my fixes dating back years and not tested the side effects'.


No. Elminster ran a tried and true cleaning utility on the mod and posted the results. There was no need then and there is no need now to test "side effects" of pulling identical records out of the mod. If a mod says the sky is green, but Oblivion.esm has already told you it's green, then pulling the record that's duplicating it won't break a damn thing.

Elminister said to me "tools do all the testing I need" and you (display name, aka Vorian) and dev Akm agreed with him.


If Elminster actually said that, he was right. At least in this instance. His tool analyzed the mod, found 5200+ records that were absolutely safe to remove, and did so. If other people agreed, it's because they too got the same results. I recall that some folks also verified the findings with TES Gecko, which produced the same results. When several true expert modders all agree that a mod has issues, then it has issues. Period.

You then went on to agree with him when he said "I know more about your mods than you do".


Given the preponderance of evidence at the time, and to this day, I would wager anyone who can work TES4Edit and see the same results also knows more about the inner workings of Giskard's mods than he does. The CS is a high level development tool. TES4Edit is a low level record editor. In the IT world, low level editors win out over the fancy IDE's any day since they can spot things the high level tools won't even tell you about.

At that was the point I asked you to leave my thread and lost all interest in talking to you 3 nut jobs about modding. You proved yourselfs to be raving egomaniacs and that was the end of that.


This would be where the bit about calling people wankers and telling them to fuck off came in. The only one who proved himself a raving egomaniac that day was Giskard, by refusing to admit that his mod has problems. He still refuses to this day to admit it.

Vorians' role in the entire exchange, as I recall, really wasn't that involved. Frankly I have to wonder how I managed to escape the whole thing entirely unnoticed, because Giskard never even mentions me. I was far more central in pointing things out than he was.

So Display Name, since you suddenly agree testing is needed...


There's nothing sudden about it. Vorians has a solid track record on testing mods. He's been a knowledgeable help with the UL Council since we both joined in early 2009. He was making patch mods long before I had crawled out of modding diapers for Oblivion. His work on the BC project is solid.

Does he make mistakes? Yes. We all do. Not a single one of us is perfect. Not me, not Vorians, not Giskard. The CS is also very good at throwing curve balls, and it will turn and bite you in the ass at some point, and despite all the testing you can do, you *WILL* need to fix your mod after release unless you're a negligent asshole of an author. I doubt I need to point out who in all this is an asshole of an author.

Now if that wasn't enough - he's gone off and posted a guide:' http://www.theengineeringguild.co.uk/beth-games-the-secret-of-a-crash-free-game'

I am firmly against the practice Wyre bashing, Patching, Mod Cleaning and forcing mods that conflict to run. That system is largely responsible for the thousands of help threads we see filling up every oblivion forum on the internet.


I'll save you the trouble. Don't read any further than that. For someone who claims to be as much of an expert at modding as Giskard does to so casually dismiss the power of Wrye Bash, TES4Edit, and every other trick in the book just proves his complete lack of knowledge. Following advice given by clueless retards is never a good idea.

The truth will point to it self.


That it will. The truth inevitably finds that those people who report the scads of crash threads have gone and done one of:

* Improperly installing mods.
* Properly installing mods, but not properly configuring a Bashed Patch to go with them.
* Failing to follow directions that are clearly laid out in the readmes.
* Installing too many mods for their hardware to handle.

Full disclosure here, because you all know I've bitched about it enough in the past, I was in the 4th category for a long ass time. I have so many graphic replacers that I don't need a large mod load to cause trouble. Yet, I have a moderately large mod load as well. Despite that mod load being pristine and free of bugs, the game would crash randomly every 20-40 minutes generating a massive amount of frustration. That is, until I upgraded to Windows 7 64-bit, put 8GB of RAM in the box, applied the LAA patch to Oblivion, and configured Oblivion Stutter Remover with a larger memory heap size. My game is now rock solid stable with 160+ mods in tow and several works in progress lying in wait. Barring the oddities around Kvatch, my game has not crashed once at all this week, or last week, and I can only recall a small handful in all of April, May, June, or July. So yes, you can get a stable game if you try.

You just won't be getting it by following the advice of a raving lunatic narcissist who thinks the world revolves around him and his mods and his refusal to use modern mod making aids to help himself. (Bonus points to MUD folk who could draw a comparison to someone else here, makes you wonder, doesn't it?)

You can also make perfectly working mod patches if you're so inclined. It's not quantum physics, but you do need to know what you're doing. My guess is Giskard has no clue what he's doing and is firing blind. Which would explain why he fears mod patches.

Unfortunately the so called self confessed experts that have never actually made any real mods, say it is safe and produce tools to help you make mods work and as a result, oblivion forums all over the world are full of cries for help because they were wrong.


Oh really? Files tab. Tell me with a straight face that I've never made any real mods. Yes, I know that statement was directed at me because I said it's perfectly safe to produce AND use tools to help make working mods. I use these tools all the time on every mod I make, and I think I can safely say that the quality those tools produce shines through in the form of endorsements and votes for file of the month. BTW, that's just the stuff that's uploaded under my account. I've also got UL Brena River and All Natural as well.

Vorians also makes plenty of mods. He's been doing most of the work on the Better Cities additions for well over a year, and he completed well over 50% of the Skingrad Outskirts UL mod. Not to mention the man is a walking patch making machine.

If your oblivion install is not stable, you are not exactly going to be in a position to make stable oblivion mods.


This isn't necessarily true at all. Oblivion can be unstable for a variety of reasons, including inadequate hardware to play the game. That doesn't mean the CS won't run perfectly fine since it doesn't need to do constant rendering work to update the scene. Yes, you'll have trouble testing it, but you can build away happily until you can either correct your hardware woes or find a more capable machine at a buddy's house to test with. Some generous souls have even been known to do that testing for you and report back on the results so you can tweak.

If you previously followed the patch, bash and merge sort of advice, then just uninstall your game, delete your oblivion folder completely along with all your saved games and start again.


Rather than following the advice of a delusional madman and obliterating a perfectly good game and set of saves, go to the official forums, ask for help, learn the correct way to solve problems. Any objective observer will be able to tell you the BGS forum is the most friendly community you're likely to find anywhere on the internet. I've seen far worse, and administered communities of actual flamers and trolls, and even Giskard pales in comparison to what those people are capable of in terms of rudeness and cruelty.

So there it is. If you're still reading at this point, I commend you. You have the whole story now. The real story. Feel free to comment, or just gape in drooling awe that someone could write so much stuff. Unlike Giskard's forum, you won't be banned here if you should decide to call me a liar - just expect to be brutally challenged on it if you do. Keep in mind Giskard has an entirely closed blog platform that denies the people he's accusing a way to refute the claims he's making. So I'm going to allow the floor to open up for those people to do so right here. Brian High, I know you're watching, and you know I'm right.
.........................
RIP United States of America

July 1776 - November 2012.

       
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Posted on Aug 1, 2010 3:30 am by Samson in: | 795 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #1 Aug 1, 2010 4:01 am
It is so nice to finally see an honest, concise, detailed, accurate, hard-hitting response to the two and half or so years of lies and abuse Giskard has been throwing out.

I commend you for writing this, it's long overdue that someone stood up to Giskard's repeated public postings of twisted facts on his own site. Anything I've typed in response (while perfectly reasonable) has been removed by moderators on Beth forums. Even speaking facts in a friendly manner in relation to Giskard is forbidden on the Beth forums as the subject is so inflammatory without having said anything wrong.

This will shortly be screenshot and responded to back at The Engineering Guild, smile for the camera!

Vorians, aka display name is already in use

       
IsmeldaLasombra said:
Comment #2 Aug 1, 2010 4:30 am
Thank you for this post. Now to complete a bit the story and speak about Better Cities you'll be glad to know that Giskard stopped supporting Better Cities:

His madness just continue to raise. As you mentioned he was going in war with Better Cities already but supporting them?

The problem there was that we won his little war by making compatibility patches for CUO cities. We thought that instead of fighting a useless battle against him, the simplest solution was to stop ignoring his ranting and just patch his cities so that they would play along with Better Cities.

I will remind you all that Better Cities needs the support of other modders just to work, it will not work with many mods without patches on its own and to keep those patches working, they require the modders cooperation. So it is very important for the BC team not to go around pissing off other modders whose support they will need.

That is completely false. We didn't need the help of any of the original modders to make the patches we provide and the fact is that Giskard never participate to the patches we made for his mods for instance. Of course he'll claim they wont work with Better Cities. I'll say that if they don't work with Better Cities it just mean they don't know without them already.

But for the past 2 years they have done nothing but piss me off with their constant attacks on me and my mods.

For the last 2 years we tried ou best to ignore him. That's about all the attacks we throw at him.

You see BC need me to stay away from areas they have patched, to limit my own modding activities for their benefit. And I have done that for them for years, I have identified the problems and avoided them. In otherwords, they were considered.

We really don't care of what area he edits or not. We do not ask you anything nor want anything from him. We would have gladly gone continuing ignoring him.

The old considerations that gave BC their chance to remain compatible with my mods is gone, in the future I expect BC to conflict heavily with my mods because I will not be avoiding those known issues anymore.

Geez! I thought we were at war already and that he was already doing all that he could to ensure conflict with Better Cities...

Nobody ever thanked me for it, nobody ever considered what would happen if I simply stopped being so considerate.

Ok I'll start thanking 3000 other modders who don't affect Better Cities... That is going to take long though. But as far I can tell he did what he could to ensure non-compatibility with his mods so he is not to be thanked.

In a sense, I have been a maid, cleaning their houses for them and they have gotten lazy, relying on people like me to do the work for them and in BCs case, becoming rude when I miss something.

This is were the comedian emerge. Instead of cleaning our houses, he should just start cleaning his mods. And talking about rudeness... gosh... Who is speaking there?

       
(Yeah, about Dwip's idea of jumps..?)

First of all, welcome to the new posters and hope you stick around for all the other great, non-ranting, topics here.

Nobody knows me, I just barged into this blog about Jan. of this year. I lurk extensively on Beth, TESA and Nexus. I rarely speak up because I'm still a noob when it comes to mods. In fact, I never knew they existed and wouldn't have known if it wasn't for Samson/Arthmoor (Hey, look, he doesn't hide who he is). I have learned many, many things since then from Samson and the community and I'm still learning. No, I haven't been brainwashed by him. I think I have the brains enough to form my own opinions. I'd have the balls enough to call him a liar but I haven't had a need to. Nor do I have the level of knowledge he has to go head to head. This is my opinion based on his skills and his highly respected reputation around the various sites. The only person who could ever make me change my opinion of Samson is Samson himself. I think I know him well by now to know if/when he goes totally off the wall.

The best advice I'd say I ever got here was to get Wrye_Bash. Once I learned how to use it, which can be tricky let's face it, I'll never be without it. Why would someone knock such a well made useful tool? (small digression to say kudos to Wrye for such an intricate tool when he's not even being paid for it.)

Does he make mistakes? Yes. We all do. Not a single one of us is perfect. Not me, not Vorians, not Giskard.

That's what I like about Samson. He's man enough to admit this. He even calls himself a ruthless bastard yet he's not so arrogant to claim his mods are perfect. I can attest to this personally. I've Beta tested a couple of his recent releases. Bugs, yes, we chuckle over them. Even after release he gets bug reports, and he'll fix them without bitching that it's some other mods fault. So, his mods may not be bug-free (come on, show me one that is) but they are clean.

Of course, it's filled with backhanded slaps against the entire Oblivion modding community and how we're all vicious trolls and only want to beat each other within an inch of our lives so our mods will be the only ones out there. Uh huh.

I had to laugh. I think it's absolutely commendable that mods that appear to be in direct conflict with each other (Better Cities and Open Cities) have mod authors that work together to help the community and are not spiteful mortal enemies. The same can be said about OOO, Frans, MMM. Getting three different overhauls to work in harmony is no small feat either. Seriously, there's no need to start wars over a game.

I don't know Giskard, but I know what I read, and I know how to form opinions. Facts form opinions, plain and simple. Samson has facts. He's shrewd enough to never be without facts to back up his claims. I've seen it in this community and in the MUD community (Yes, I did get the comparison made above.) All the facts here by everyone speak for themselves. It's just a shame posts like this need to be made.

       
Yes yes, jumps. We'll see :)

It is a real shame posts like this need to be made, but I think 2.5 years of trying to ignore the guy only to have it spit back at us all was a valiant effort. People tried to get along with him. I tried to get along with him. He apparently wasn't interested in getting along, and so he's been rightly ostracized from the general community.

It's hard to fathom how being told a mod has bugs in it, caused by the buggy tool they were built with, which none of us wrote, results in carrying a multi-year grudge against the people who simply tried to tell him about it.

He's got yet another post up today about how nobody needs tools. That somehow the CS itself is a glorious miracle worker if only you know how to use it. If this were the case, there would not have been a drive to create all of the various mod support tools that exist now. Such tools exit for Morrowind, they exist for Oblivion, and they exist for Fallout 3. No doubt they'll exist for New Vegas too since it's all built on the same technology. Even if the CS/GECK were actually miracle working tools, people would still make their own for different reasons.

TES4Edit allows a lot of bulk editing that the CS simply isn't capable of. Have you ever tried to set an enable parent on 300 objects at once in the CS? No? Why not? It's not even possible, so be prepared to spend hours clicking through your objects one at a time setting that up. You're also prone to error while trying. With TES4Edit, that's a 10 second operation. Boom, done. On to more interesting things.

Oblivion has a bug where new worldspaces will not display their landscape LOD unless the formID for that worldspace begins with 00. It doesn't matter how good you think you are, you will never be able to get that mod to display its LOD. Unless you flip the ESM flag and force all your users to put it in the 01 slot. What's the answer? You have to use TES Gecko's "move worldspaces" function to inject it into the 00 index space. Then, like magic, your landscape LOD can be displayed regardless of where the mod loads.

Can't figure out how to get a mod to occupy the 01 index, because you're afraid of Gecko? Good luck with that. If the user has other ESM files, that 01 slot is likely already taken. But wait, the CS doesn't make ESM files. Yep, need another tool for that too. Gecko, TES4Edit, and Wrye Bash all supply methods for flipping that flag. In the old days, modders used direct hex editing to do that, which was a messy and error-prone process.

Even if you manage to get the flag toggled, how do you guarantee your 01 slot without using a load order management utility? The only way is to manually redate the file using a general file redating program.

I think I've made the point. Tools make modder's lives easier by allowing them to do things the CS can't. One thing a tool cannot do for you though is test your mod under game conditions. For that, you need to do things the old fashioned way and load it up to see what happens. Nobody has ever claimed otherwise.

Of passing interest, Google Analytics says the blog is generating a significant number of referrals coming from Giskard's site. So chances are good they'll see this soon enough and finally get the truth.

       
Edited by Samson on Aug 1, 2010 1:33 pm
Samson said:

(Bonus points to MUD folk who could draw a comparison to someone else here, makes you wonder, doesn't it?)

Surely you don't refer here to our own self-proclaimed OLC god... :rolleyes:

Vorians, aka display name is already in use

Does this mean he chose to create an account at his own site under someone else's name just so that he wouldn't have to ban someone who didn't have an account yet and for whom he didn't know an IP but also didn't want posting? One has to wonder if there wasn't a better approach he could've taken, I believe he's using wordpress...

Hanaisse said:

First of all, welcome to the new posters and hope you stick around for all the other great, non-ranting, topics here.

Yes, what she said. Welcome aboard to all new posters and readers, please join us in some of the other discussions too. :)

Hanaisse said:

Nobody knows me, I just barged into this blog about Jan. of this year. I lurk extensively on Beth, TESA and Nexus. I rarely speak up because I'm still a noob when it comes to mods. In fact, I never knew they existed and wouldn't have known if it wasn't for Samson/Arthmoor (Hey, look, he doesn't hide who he is). I have learned many, many things since then from Samson and the community and I'm still learning. No, I haven't been brainwashed by him. I think I have the brains enough to form my own opinions. I'd have the balls enough to call him a liar but I haven't had a need to. Nor do I have the level of knowledge he has to go head to head. This is my opinion based on his skills and his highly respected reputation around the various sites. The only person who could ever make me change my opinion of Samson is Samson himself. I think I know him well by now to know if/when he goes totally off the wall.

Well, within the mud community where I've been active since 1994 I am actually fairly well known, and I've been a part of this blog site since its inception, but within the Oblivion community I am also a complete unknown. Suffice it to say that I've known Samson since 2003 and I will second everything Hanaisse just said about him. I've certainly not been brainwashed nor am I a sycophant for him but I do know him well. In fact, even though we've never met in person, I really do feel that I know him quite well on a personal level. I would have no problem boldly pointing out if he was lying or even just mistaken and I have been known to do just that in the past when the situation called for it, but it's been extremely rare and I can't say that I've ever known him to knowingly lie about things, if anything his biggest problem is being too openly honest and a bit rash about decisions at times.

Hanaisse said:

All the facts here by everyone speak for themselves. It's just a shame posts like this need to be made.

Again, strongly seconded. Well commented, Hanaisse. :)

(Thanks to the RSS feed, I saw this latest comment appear while I was still typing the above, so with a quick page refresh before I go posting...)
Samson said:

Yes yes, jumps. We'll see

Thankfully they wouldn't be needed all that often, but every now and again you've had posts this long previously that really could've benefited from them.

Samson said:

It is a real shame posts like this need to be made, but I think 2.5 years of trying to ignore the guy only to have it spit back at us all was a valiant effort.

Oh, don't misunderstand. It absolutely is a shame that posts like this need to be made, but not because you're in anyway in the wrong for having made it. If anything, I find it an amazing display of personal restraint on your part to have held off this long. ;)

Samson said:

It's hard to fathom how being told a mod has bugs in it, caused by the buggy tool they were built with, which none of us wrote, results in carrying a multi-year grudge against the people who simply tried to tell him about it.

We all know how ridiculously defensive people can get about their favorite utilities. It's never logical, but it's not really that unusual in itself.

Samson said:

Even if the CS/GECK were actually miracle working tools, people would still make their own for different reasons.

This is the truth, regardless of how good that particular tool might be, there'd still be others because some folks would want a different interface if no other reason existed, but based on the few tools I've seen for this stuff, there were far more urgent motivations involved. Let's face it, Bash and TES4Edit aren't exactly prettified.

On an unrelated note, it sure would be nice if quoting retained formating.. :sigh:

Samson said:

In the old days, modders used direct hex editing to do that, which was a messy and error-prone process.

I don't know about for modding Oblivion, but I certainly remember hex editing.. :shudder:

Samson said:

Of passing interest, Google Analytics says the blog is generating a significant number of referrals coming from Giskard's site. So chances are good they'll see this soon enough and finally get the truth.

Unfortunately, I'd be more willing to bet that it'll all be folks loyal to him that will provide him fodder from this for his next pack of lies, er, rant against you... :rolleyes:

       
Unfortunately, I'd be more willing to bet that it'll all be folks loyal to him that will provide him fodder from this for his next pack of lies, er, rant against you...


Which would not be unexpected. Much like our self-proclaimed OLC god. Giskard doesn't seem to have a once a year alarm though. Which is sad.

       
:lol: That would be easier if he'd adopt Locke's pattern and just be a pain in the ass annually instead of constantly, but as Locke's demonstrate, even annual appearances are disruptive and annoying, especially considering his annual appearanes tend to last a few weeks each time. :facepalm:

       
Epic Thread +1

Sounds like the Oblivion community is not all that much different at times to the mud community, there is always one dick who thinks he is far more superior and important than he really is.

The_Fury, you are commenting on: Giskard and False Accusations


LMAO, there is such an irony going on in Sandbox's title for my comment, but i think i will leave that for another thread derail, guess i should pop into MB and TMC now and see whats been going on in the last few months, all this stupidity has piqued my curiosity for my old haunts.

       
Nah. Giskard is definitely an isolated case. Trolls like him get kicked out swiftly. Bethesda booted his ass, Nexus booted his ass. If you're not on either one of those places, you get largely ignored by most of the Oblivion community. He just has a tendency to send his goons out to dig up dirt to throw around and try to get people angry.

If this was like the MUD community, then BGS would be its TMC, the place would be beyond cesspool status, and Giskard would be spreading his filth with the blessings of the administrators.

       
Edited by Samson on Aug 1, 2010 6:21 pm
Well after a trip down memory lane i can report that i am missing nothing on TMC and MB, instead of wasting 20 mins there reading stuff i should have went to work so i can play WoW for an extra 30 mins tonight.

       
Sorry, Fury, if I'd still been around keeping up with posts when you stopped by I could've saved you the effort/time since I'm still reading the daily summaries from TMC and watching the RSS feed at MB. There's nothing particularly new at either of late except that at TMC it's Locke's time of year again and at MB there's an amusing discussion going on about computer/golem intelligence in the context of charm spells in a thread titled Wouldn't it be cool if.... :shrug:

       
Vorians [Anon] said:
Comment #12 Aug 2, 2010 5:52 am
Conner said:
"Vorians, aka display name is already in use"
Does this mean he chose to create an account at his own site under someone else's name just so that he wouldn't have to ban someone who didn't have an account yet and for whom he didn't know an IP but also didn't want posting? One has to wonder if there wasn't a better approach he could've taken, I believe he's using wordpress...


Those are just the two screen names I'm known by in the Oblivion modding community. Vorians is my preferred name as used on TES Nexus, but I wasn't able to use it on Beth forums and no other choices I tried were available either. Instead, when I tried to register it kept informing me that the display name is already in use, so I took this as a sign that I should adopt those exact words as my name!

I've never tried registering on Giskard's forum as Vorians as I know he would ban me the instant I registered. He also accused me of trying to hide my identity by using one name on Beth forums and another on Nexus, in spite of the fact that my Beth signature has ended with "Vorians" for longer than I've known of Giskard's existence. He has however threatended to call the police on me for cyberstalking him. He has "proof" of my cyberstalking as he has spent a lot of time following me around on forums taking screenshots of my public posts and then putting them up on his site to rant about with inventive lies. His actions would make a good definition for the term "cyberstalking", I feel.
==========
It's nice to have a place like this where I can speak openly and honestly without fear of having my post deleted by moderators.
His latest verbal assault against myself and Ismelda (we are the two primary modders for Better Cities, and he especially hates Better Cities for no good reason), is amusing, while unusually brief, as he makes a big deal about having managed to make CUO Chorrol compatible with "Chorrol Jewelry Shop" without needing a patch, when BC needs patches to be compatible with other mods. What he neglects to mention, is that Chorrol Jewelry Shop is a mod hosted on his own site, that he participated in its creation, and that both CUO Chorrol and Chorrol Jewelry Shop are very small mods, making minimal visual changes in-game (nothing wrong with that, they both look good, but they barely scratch the surface of Chorrol). Meanwhile, Better Cities reshapes the content of entire cities, and yet we managed to ensure that both "Better Cities: Bravil" and "Better Cities Bravil: Blood & Mud Edition" are fully compatible with "The Lost Spires" without need of a patch, even though we had nothing to do with the creation of The Lost Spires - something which cannot be said for CUO Bravil, which is incompatible with The Lost Spires and would require a patch to resolve.

And there are many other mods we have ensured are compatible with BC without the need of patches - including Giskard's own mods Origin of the Mages Guild (until his recent latest versions in which he redesigned the Arcane University, and for which I created a compatibility patch for use with BC) and The Elder Council, both of which conflicted with BC, and both of which I resolved by repositioning the conflicting objects found in BC. Now that he has "declared war" on BC by trying to force users of BC to drop BC in favour of his own city overhauls, I have produced compatibility patches for each of his city overhaul mods, thus completely nullifying his "war" and giving everyone three choices instead of two: BC, CUO, or BC and CUO. I'll be using BC and CUO myself, when I finally get around to playing this game again. Mods which add quests and enhance the cities always get my interest.

       
Yes, being able to brag about compatibility with your own mods without patches isn't much of an accomplishment since you know where they both put stuff and can deliberately avoid any problems. When he figures out how to accomplish compatibility with things like TIE without needing patches he can feel free to sing about it from the mountain tops :)

       
Ah, that explains the odd user name, and it doesn't bode quite as badly for Giskard as it initially sounded. He does seem pretty determined to make an ass of himself from what I've read here and at his site so far.

In Samson's previous post about Giskard, Samson threatened to have Giskard charged with cyberstalking based on California rules which are pretty severe because of the very same sort of practices you're attributing him too.

Nice to meet you, Vorians (and you too, Ismelda, in case I didn't say that before), you've definitely come to a place where you can post whatever you want without fear of your posts being deleted or you being banned (within reason - there a couple of people who've crossed the line in the past here that got banned, but basically it was for continued personal attacks against Samson).

As Samson points out, it's really not that hard to make two mods compatible with each other without the need for patches when they're both your own mods and both relatively small, but it sounds like Giskard is trying to compare apples to oranges in that one. Perhaps if Giskard really wants bragging rights he should figure out how to fix his CUO to be compatible with Lost Spires and TIE without patches because then, it sounds like, you'd both be willing to give him credit/praise over that issue instead of him just trying to lamely smear BC over it.

Well, if mods which add quests catch your interest, help us push Samson to get Faregyl done in the Googleblivion thread, or at least check out his other mods at' http://www.iguanadons.net/downloads/Oblivion/' - in fact, you might take particular interest in A Brotherhood Renewed which is quite a good mod in my opinion. (Not to slight Dwip's mods in any way, but I don't have any handy links for those to offer atm. :shrug:)

       
Oh, I suspect they can find them easily enough if they like. :)

*waves hello to Vorians and Ismelda*

As far as the actual subject of this post, I don't know Giskard at all and so don't have a lot of dog in this particular fight, but:

- If the opinions on the technical problem come down to you versus the whole community, pretty likely it's not the community who's wrong, especially given the people in said community;

- In any event the, well, utility of the various Oblivion utilities are utterly self obvious to anybody who's ever looked into the matter;

- As above, if the opinions on who's being a bannable jackass come down to you versus the entire community, it's going to be pretty evident who the jackass is.

- It strikes me, as somebody's who's lived through a few MUD community fights, that this whole thing is pretty amateur hour by comparison, and if this is the worst thing going, that speaks pretty well for the Oblivion community.

But anyway. I have a mod to finish.

       
You're probably right about that Dwip, but I was handing out links and didn't want anyone thinking that I wasn't endorsing your mods too.

As for the rest of your post, I'll just save time and finger leather by saying that I second all of it, except that I have no mods to work on at this point. ;)

       
Vorians [Anon] said:
Comment #17 Aug 3, 2010 5:41 am
The Chorrol Jewellery Shop mod is not actually one of Giskard's mods, but he had a hand in its creation, and I believe his site is currently the only download location.
Anyway, it's perfectly reasonable for Giskard to be proud of his ability to make mods compatible with his mods without needing patches. One day he may even progress to learning how to make mods compatible with his mods with compatibility patches, at which point his user-base can expand greatly, and he'll really have something to brag about with his new-found skills.
I've already made a few compatibility patches for his mods at the request of the Dragon Captions modding team which I was a member of until Giskard drove me away. He gave DC permission to take over and update his mods (and then removed permission when the community accepted DC's releases, and he claimed that one team member was bullying the others into doing things they didn't want to do, such as cleaning the mods - in reality, Giskard was bullying them to turn against their team member, who quit along with another member and myself in response).
There's a rant about that somewhere on his site, in which my name is of course fairly central because it was around the same time that I sent him a PM asking him what his problem actually was with me, in hopes we could resolve it and move on to a more friendly acquaintance. He responded to my PM with a long email of all my supposed wrong-doings, to which I was able to respond that he had just described my view of him very well (this is where he accused me of being a cyberstalker and threatened to call the police, and I responded by suggesting that if he did call the police, they'd be more interested in his obsession with me and his wasting of police time).
His 2nd PM in response to that was much calmer and subdued, and he suggested that I should stop flaming him (which is hard since I never started flaming him). I sent one more PM, where I agreed that I would continue to not flame him, and asked that in return he would stop his public postings about me, and I believe I stated that I would take a lack of response to that PM as agreement. He didn't respond, and then about two weeks later posted a new rant, with a screenshot of part of one of my PMs (not all of it, and not all three PMs, and none of his replies), where he claimed that I had lied in that PM by continuing to flame him after posting it. So that didn't end as well as I'd hoped, and I continued to ignore him since there wasn't anywhere I could post a response. So pleased this is no longer the case!

       
:lol: Sounds like he really is a bit on the deranged side. From what you're saying one can only assume that he's hallucinating and self-projecting terribly. I wonder if he's supposed to be taking medication for that... :tongue:

       
Vorians [Anon] said:
Comment #19 Aug 3, 2010 11:20 am
Oh and I forgot to respond to you, Conner:
Perhaps if Giskard really wants bragging rights he should figure out how to fix his CUO to be compatible with Lost Spires ... without patches


This is very easy - clean CUO Bravil with TES4Edit and undelete & disable (a function within TES4Edit) all deleted objects. The conflict (which requires a patch to resolve only because Giskard refuses to accept the concept of mod-cleaning) is not the fault of CUO Bravil, it's the fault of Lost Spires. A very, VERY common mistake found in mods (and so easy for any of us to do) is to duplicate a nearby object you want a copy of (ctrl+D) and then move the original instead of the duplicate, leaving the duplicate in the original's place. Lost Spires does exactly this for the building the mod adds to Bravil - it duplicates the building mesh of Varon Vamori's House, then moves the original, vanilla building mesh west and south, between the chapel and the city walls, where Lost Spires adds a book-shop quest location.
CUO Bravil deletes most buildings in Bravil and replaces them with retextured copies. Since deleted means gone for good, even if a later loading mod tries to move the object, the building is therefore missing, and the book shop is just a door and sign floating in the air. Meanwhile Varon Vamori's House is duplicated - there's the copy from Lost Spires, and the retextured copy from CUO Bravil. A patch would need to move Lost Spire's duplicate building over to the book shop. However, merely undeleting and disabling on CUO Bravil would restore the building (if Lost Spires loads after CUO Bravil) just leaving the duplicated Varon Vamori's House, which is a less important conflict.

So for this conflict, it's really Lost Spires which contains the fatal mistake of moving the original mesh and leaving the duplicate behind - if CUO Bravil were properly cleaned as all good mods should be, most people wouldn't notice the conflict anyway.

       
Having never examined his CUO city mods, I'm rather dumbfounded that Giskard would think it necessary to delete the original buildings and drop new retextured ones in their places. That sort of hackish modding is prone to a whole bunch of mistakes, and ironically leads to an assload of compatibility issues waiting to happen. Ironic because Giskard claims to be so compatible with everything under the sun. Doubly ironic because deletions lead to instabilities when other mods are involved and he's such a huge advocate for game stability. :rolleyes:

       
Vorians [Anon] said:
Comment #21 Aug 3, 2010 1:02 pm
Actually he advocates that disabled objects will crash the game. The only safe way to remove unwanted objects without fear of CTDs is to delete them.

He does get some things right though. Several months ago he announced an amazing discovery he had made, and decided to share it with others: an NPC's inventory, face, AI and stats are all stored in a single record, so if you edit any one part of an NPC, your mod will include the entire record of that NPC! Even though you edited his inventory and didn't touch the NPC's stats, those stats are still in your mod and will override other mods editing the same NPC! A most impressive discovery, but one which was made long, long, long ago by the rest of the modding community, and quite obvious if you just looked at an NPC record in TES4Edit for 5 seconds. Oh wait, TES4Edit is evil, so he can't do that...

       
Yes, and since he distrusts Bash so much, he can't work around it easily and safely by using an import tag to pull the edits he wants forward.

I can't really imagine how he does the things he does while trying to mod like it's still 2006.

       
Wow, Vorians, having not ever cultivated quite enough interest after seeing the Samson bashing he was doing to actually try any of his mods, I'm a little surprised that his major mod mistakes aren't really even his own mistakes and would be so easy to fix. It really is a shame he's so leery of using the right tool for the job. It's a bit like a carpenter who refuses to use anything but a screwdriver and hammer when chiseling even though other carpenters are on-hand and willing to lend him their chisels and mallets...

Samson, at least he's not trying to do Oblivion mods with the tools for making mods for Doom II and insisting that it was good enough for 1994 so it should be good enough for 2010.. ;)

       
Vorians [Anon] said:
Comment #24 Aug 4, 2010 5:23 am
Actually CUO Bravil is still a very small mod, it's not one of his major mods, and that's just one conflict. Most conflicts between his mods and other mods are directly through dirty or wild edits within Giskard's mods.
Your comparison to a carpenter is slightly off. It's more like a carpenter who refuses to use anything other than a chisel and mallet for chiselling, when additional tools might make the work easier and better.

       
I see. As I said, I really haven't given his mods very much attention because of the hostility toward Samson from him so I haven't had the displeasure of seeing his bugs & conflicts first hand.

Hmm, so he's using the right tools for the job, but not the newest and best tools for the job.. perhaps, to extend my carpentry example, it's like using a chisel and mallet with a vise when he should be using a lathe and appropriate chiseling tools for that lathe? Or perhaps he's using a chisel and mallet when he should be using a router? (Sorry, I'm not a carpenter, but lately my wife and I have been working on a series of projects here at the ranch that involve routing even though I don't own a router and can't afford to buy one. So we've had to use a dremel and a cordless drill with mostly sanding bits instead because those are the closest tools that will more or less do the job that we do have. Of course, I've done plenty of wood working in the past and wouldn't hesitate to use better tools if they were available to me, but I'm no carpenter by any stretch.)

       
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