Skyrim modders take note - Skyrim Anniversary Edition breaks SKSE and all SKSE-dependent mods

Nickolaidas

Member
This means that once your Skyrim data gets updated with the anniversary patch, your game will automatically become non-playable and will crash as long as you have SKSE installed and any mods that depend on it, UNTIL THE MODDERS OF THE RESPECTING MODS PATCH THEIR MODS.

So, you either have to be offline anytime you want to play your modded Skyrim in order to prevent Steam from patching the main game files (and have auto-update turned off in your Skyrim Properties),

or you have to wait until all SKSE-related mods you use get patched and then you re-install them all, one by one.



For me, this fucking sucks. I've spent weeks and weeks modding Skyrim and tweaking with the mods in order to customize them to my liking and making edits to conflicting mods in order for them to co-exist peacefully.

Then I had to do it AGAIN for the Special Edition.

I don't even REMEMBER what I did to some mods in order for them to co-exist. Now I have to do all that shit again?!

Not to mention that the Special Edition will soon be rendered obsolete and won't be supported any longer once the Anniversary Edition hits.


So, in case you still dabble on Nord territory and loot Frost Giant caves ...

Say it with me.


FUCK.

EDIT: Holy shit, sounds a lot worse than I thought.

The upcoming Anniversary Edition of Skyrim is going to be much more disruptive to the modding scene than is commonly believed. Back up your executable now, and disable updates in Steam.

The native code modding scene around Skyrim SE will have been around for about four years when AE comes out. During that time, code has been developed to make many plugins portable across different versions of the game. Most plugins use the Address Library by meh321. Other plugins use code signature matching, which finds functions that "look like" a specific pattern. SKSE uses an offline tool I developed a long time ago based around position independent code hashing. With the AE update, all of these methods will break, and addresses will need to be found again from scratch.

The reason for this is that as part of the AE update, Bethesda has decided to update the compiler used to build the 64-bit version of Skyrim from Visual Studio 2015 to Visual Studio 2019. This changes the way that the code is generated in a way that forces mod developers to start from scratch finding functions and writing hooks. Class layouts are unlikely to change, luckily. I didn't ask specifically, but the most probable reason for this is that the Xbox Live libraries used for achievements on the Windows Store are only available for 2017 and later. Some games have worked around this limitation by building the code that interacts with Xbox Live in to a secondary DLL that is dynamically loaded by the game, but they didn't choose this option.

Plugins using the Address Library will need to be divided in to "pre-AE" and "post-AE" eras. Code signatures and hooks will need to be rewritten. We will all need to find functions again. The compiler's inlining behavior has changed enough that literally a hundred thousand functions have disappeared and been either inlined or deadstripped, to put it in perspective.

Doing this work takes a reasonable amount of time for each plugin. I can probably sit there over a few nights and bang out an updated version of SKSE, but my main concern is for the rest of the plugins out there. The plugin ecosystem has been around long enough that people have moved on, and code is left unmaintained. Effectively everyone who has written a native code plugin will need to do at least some amount of work to support AE. This realistically means that the native code mod scene is going to be broken for an unknown length of time after AE's release.

Additionally, I can confirm that AE will be released as a patch to existing Special Edition installations, not as a separate game listing in Steam.

I have been in contact with Bethesda since shortly after the announcement, but other than confirming my expectations they had nothing to offer.

Do not harass Bethesda employees about this.

Do not harass plugin developers about this.

edit 2: Bethesda out of nowhere has released an update to Fallout 3 (yes, 3) on Steam that does two things - removes GFWL, and recompiles the executable with VS2019. The vast majority of the mod community works on New Vegas, so there are basically no plugins to rebuild, but surprise?

edit 3: Files to back up to be probably safe:


  • SkyrimSE.exe
Files to back up to be 99% safe:

  • SkyrimSE.exe
  • Data/Skyrim.esm
  • Data/Update.esm
  • Data/Skyrim - Interface.bsa
  • Data/Skyrim - Misc.bsa
  • Data/Skyrim - Patch.bsa
Files to back up to be 100% safe: your entire folder. I cannot fully predict what they will change.

TLDR edit: Scary things incoming if you use SKSE plugins. Change Skyrim SE's update settings in Steam to only update when launched. Never launch Skyrim SE via Steam, only via your mod manager or skse64_loader.

EDIT 2: Not entirely sure, but if you disable auto update from Skyrim's properties on Steam and launch it via SKSE Loader (not Skyrim.exe), the update won't occur, even if you're online. Need a confirm on this to know for sure.
 
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Larxia

Member
One more reason for me to stay on the original version forever.
Biggest reason was that Enhanced Camera never got ported to the Special Edition, and it was the best camera mod.
 
Why mod a re-re-rerelease when there are more, and better, mods for the first version? The graphics mods alone make the first release of Skyrim look better than any of the newer versions. I’m fairly certain the new additions to the game are mods too.
 

Nickolaidas

Member
One more reason for me to stay on the original version forever.
Biggest reason was that Enhanced Camera never got ported to the Special Edition, and it was the best camera mod.
This mod is a perfect camera mod, tbh.

Customizable Camera at Skyrim Special Edition Nexus - Mods and Community (nexusmods.com)

Why mod a re-re-rerelease when there are more, and better, mods for the first version? The graphics mods alone make the first release of Skyrim look better than any of the newer versions. I’m fairly certain the new additions to the game are mods too.
Because the original versions become obsolete at some point and you'll never get new mods for them.
 
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Larxia

Member
This mod is a perfect camera mod, tbh.
Hi, thank you but this isn't actually the kind of camera mod I'm talking about. Enhanced Camera was a mod that merged 3rd person character model with 1st person gameplay, to allow you to see your body, riding on first person, being able to see all the various animation / interactions in first person.
Many other mods attempt to do this by just putting a 1st person camera on the 3rd person mode, but it's a huge motion sickness deal, with a weird gameplay / controls etc. Enhanced Camera was great because it combined both 1st and 3rd persons properly and it felt really natural.

This video talks about it:
 
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Saber

Member
Bethesda seal of quality assures the player that level of polishment only Skyrim have.
 
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Nickolaidas

Member
Hi, thank you but this isn't actually the kind of camera mod I'm talking about. Enhanced Camera was a mod that merged 3rd person character model with 1st person gameplay, to allow you to see your body, riding on first person, being able to see all the various animation / interactions in first person.
Many other mods attempt to do this by just putting a 1st person camera on the 3rd person mode, but it's a huge motion sickness deal, with a weird gameplay / controls etc. Enhanced Camera was great because it combined both 1st and 3rd persons properly and it felt really natural.

This video talks about it:
I see.

You can port mods from regular Skyrim to Special Edition Skyrim - it's a 10-15 minute process as you go through the steps with a YouTube tutorial. Check it out.


I used this and it works 100%.
 

Larxia

Member
I see.

You can port mods from regular Skyrim to Special Edition Skyrim - it's a 10-15 minute process as you go through the steps with a YouTube tutorial. Check it out.


I used this and it works 100%.
It seems to be a lot more complicated in the case of Enhanced Camera, because it was closed source. Some people really wanted it to the point of putting a "bounty" for it, some people tried to reverse engineer it but it only reached a beta state years ago with some problems, and was never finalized.
 

Barakov

Gold Member
This means that once your Skyrim data gets updated with the anniversary patch, your game will automatically become non-playable and will crash as long as you have SKSE installed and any mods that depend on it, UNTIL THE MODDERS OF THE RESPECTING MODS PATCH THEIR MODS.

So, you either have to be offline anytime you want to play your modded Skyrim in order to prevent Steam from patching the main game files (and have auto-update turned off in your Skyrim Properties),

or you have to wait until all SKSE-related mods you use get patched and then you re-install them all, one by one.



For me, this fucking sucks. I've spent weeks and weeks modding Skyrim and tweaking with the mods in order to customize them to my liking and making edits to conflicting mods in order for them to co-exist peacefully.

Then I had to do it AGAIN for the Special Edition.

I don't even REMEMBER what I did to some mods in order for them to co-exist. Now I have to do all that shit again?!

Not to mention that the Special Edition will soon be rendered obsolete and won't be supported any longer once the Anniversary Edition hits.


So, in case you still dabble on Nord territory and loot Frost Giant caves ...

Say it with me.


FUCK.

EDIT: Holy shit, sounds a lot worse than I thought.

The upcoming Anniversary Edition of Skyrim is going to be much more disruptive to the modding scene than is commonly believed. Back up your executable now, and disable updates in Steam.

The native code modding scene around Skyrim SE will have been around for about four years when AE comes out. During that time, code has been developed to make many plugins portable across different versions of the game. Most plugins use the Address Library by meh321. Other plugins use code signature matching, which finds functions that "look like" a specific pattern. SKSE uses an offline tool I developed a long time ago based around position independent code hashing. With the AE update, all of these methods will break, and addresses will need to be found again from scratch.

The reason for this is that as part of the AE update, Bethesda has decided to update the compiler used to build the 64-bit version of Skyrim from Visual Studio 2015 to Visual Studio 2019. This changes the way that the code is generated in a way that forces mod developers to start from scratch finding functions and writing hooks. Class layouts are unlikely to change, luckily. I didn't ask specifically, but the most probable reason for this is that the Xbox Live libraries used for achievements on the Windows Store are only available for 2017 and later. Some games have worked around this limitation by building the code that interacts with Xbox Live in to a secondary DLL that is dynamically loaded by the game, but they didn't choose this option.

Plugins using the Address Library will need to be divided in to "pre-AE" and "post-AE" eras. Code signatures and hooks will need to be rewritten. We will all need to find functions again. The compiler's inlining behavior has changed enough that literally a hundred thousand functions have disappeared and been either inlined or deadstripped, to put it in perspective.

Doing this work takes a reasonable amount of time for each plugin. I can probably sit there over a few nights and bang out an updated version of SKSE, but my main concern is for the rest of the plugins out there. The plugin ecosystem has been around long enough that people have moved on, and code is left unmaintained. Effectively everyone who has written a native code plugin will need to do at least some amount of work to support AE. This realistically means that the native code mod scene is going to be broken for an unknown length of time after AE's release.

Additionally, I can confirm that AE will be released as a patch to existing Special Edition installations, not as a separate game listing in Steam.

I have been in contact with Bethesda since shortly after the announcement, but other than confirming my expectations they had nothing to offer.

Do not harass Bethesda employees about this.

Do not harass plugin developers about this.

edit 2: Bethesda out of nowhere has released an update to Fallout 3 (yes, 3) on Steam that does two things - removes GFWL, and recompiles the executable with VS2019. The vast majority of the mod community works on New Vegas, so there are basically no plugins to rebuild, but surprise?

edit 3: Files to back up to be probably safe:


  • SkyrimSE.exe
Files to back up to be 99% safe:

  • SkyrimSE.exe
  • Data/Skyrim.esm
  • Data/Update.esm
  • Data/Skyrim - Interface.bsa
  • Data/Skyrim - Misc.bsa
  • Data/Skyrim - Patch.bsa
Files to back up to be 100% safe: your entire folder. I cannot fully predict what they will change.

TLDR edit: Scary things incoming if you use SKSE plugins. Change Skyrim SE's update settings in Steam to only update when launched. Never launch Skyrim SE via Steam, only via your mod manager or skse64_loader.

EDIT 2: Not entirely sure, but if you disable auto update from Skyrim's properties on Steam and launch it via SKSE Loader (not Skyrim.exe), the update won't occur, even if you're online. Need a confirm on this to know for sure.
No. I think I will harass Bethesda about this.
Howard The Duck Dancing GIF
 
Does it matter since we're talking about Skyrim?
I guess I’m just trying to understand your logic. I can’t think of a single game that becomes obsolete with mods. The original release of Skyrim has 25,000 more mods on Nexus than the special edition. It gives the impression that maybe the special edition is the obsolete one, despite being newer.
 
I see.

You can port mods from regular Skyrim to Special Edition Skyrim - it's a 10-15 minute process as you go through the steps with a YouTube tutorial. Check it out.


I used this and it works 100%.
Yes EC was the best of them.

EC use's a dll that is run with skse. The dll would need to be redone for the newer build. There isn't an automated tool to do that.

So many mods will just get broken and not updated, Same thing happened to Fallout 3 :(
 
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Zug

Member
Well it's a good thing that Skyrim VR has been left in the ditch by Bethesda.
Maybe they'll do something with it when the PSVR2 will be out though.

Also this anniversary edition is stupid, most creator content sucks, it's amateurish and unbalanced, I tried most of it and eventually left it all disabled.
If the engine isn't significantly updated, this bloated version will be srictlly inferior to the SE one.
 
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