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OIVs suck and why you should never use them



  • The concept of the OIV is well-intentioned but falls short for so many reasons. OIV creators are selfish. Well not all of them. Half are, the other half mean well but are clueless.The OIV modder wants to make sure their Mod is properly installed, even at the expense of others, not taking into account that some of the files they include for installation will be much older than the files they might replace on your system.

    In this post let's look at why OIVs suck and why you should learn how to manually install mods.

    1. OIVs don't have uninstallers. Some do, but read on and you'll see why that doesn't make any sense. So good luck removing an OIV mod if you change your mind or if it conflicts with other mods, or worst case crashes your GTA5.

    2. OIVs replace your dlclist.xml. Many if not most do this. You then lose all the addon mod entries you made into that dlclist yourself - your addons will no longer load until you add those lines back. Good luck. (Note: an OIV can be written to insert a line but most modders don't seem to know that). However OIVs thankfully will not delete the actual dlc.rpf addons.

    3. OIVs replace your gameconfig.xml. Again not all do, but many or most will. The gameconfig.xml they install is highly unlikely to match an updated game version. So you will end up with an old gameconfig, almost certainly a crash, and if you did any customizations yourself, guess what, they are all gone.

    4. OIVs overwrite your files. Aside from dlclist.xml and gameconfig.xml, an OIV can potentially overwrite many other files - creating conflicts or crashes with other mods. An OIV doesn't check for existing files nor file versions. Their file could be from 2013 whereas the current file (eg. gameconfig) is from 2022. So it doesn't care about the possibility of file conflicts.

    5. OIVs can be poorly written. The average modder is hopefully very knowledgeable with 3D modelling but doesn't necessarily understand XML, the concept of paths, and the overall Window file system. This is evident when you look at the innards (assembly.xml) of some OIVs and notice the planned installation of files that are not even included in the OIV or paths that just don't make any sense.

    Manual Installation
    An OIV is an archive. Think a rar, or zip, or 7z. You can extract the contents just as you would a zip file and without even changing the extension if you use an app like the excellent freeware 7z.

    Once extracted, you will notice files such as dlc.rpf, gameconfig.xml, dlclist.xml, etc, in a folder called Content. By inspecting those files you will know what will be installed and which of your files will be overwritten if you do an automatic rather than manual install.

    But how do you know where to install those files? Look once more in the extracted files and you will see a text file called assembly.xml. Although not the easiest file to understand this file will tell you exactly where in your Mods folder to put the files contained in Content. With practice this will be easy although an OIV with dozens of files to be installed in dozens of paths will be a PITA. Remember you will need to update dlclist.xml yourself, if relevant, manually.

    Warning: you need to be careful when reading the assembly.xml locations (paths) because the GTA file/folder structure has many folders, for example X64, that can exist in different paths.

    Hot tip: do a backup of key files whether you choose a manual or automatic install. This holds true for all mods, not just OIVs. Also, if you inspect the Content folder of the OIV and don't see any issues (i.e. no gameconfig or dlclist.xml files that would replace yours) go ahead and do an automatic install.

    Advanced Users
    If you inspect the content of the archive and realize all is good except for some files, you can remove certain files (such as dlclist.xml) from the Content folder, you can also remove the instructions to install those files from assembly.xml, and repackage the OIV. You now have a modified OIV that can be installed automatically with OpenIV but without the offending files.

    Insert line in Assembly.xml - an example
    Here is an example of how a modder can insert a new dlc line for their mod without screwing up your whole system. Path reflects where I personally keep my dlc.
    The example is specific to my own setup which uses comments as headers for organization, but the syntax is the same and the location can easily be the top or bottom of the dlclist.xml file (see last item in this post)

    <archive path="update\update.rpf" createIfNotExist="False" type="RPF7">
    <text path="common\data\dlclist.xml" createIfNotExist="False">
    <insert where="After" line="*&lt;!--CARS --&gt;*" condition="Mask">&lt;Item&gt;./DLC/Cars/American/fairlane64/&lt;/Item&gt;</insert>
    </text>
    </archive>

    As the last line in your dlclist.xml, just before the closing path tag.
    <insert where="Before" line="*&lt;/Paths&gt;*" condition="Mask">&lt;Item&gt;./DLC/Cars/American/fairlane64/&lt;/Item&gt;</insert>

    output:
    <Item>./DLC/Cars/American/fairlane64/</Item>
    </Paths>
    </SMandatoryPacksData>

    Alternative way. Use "Append"
    <add append="Last" xpath="/SMandatoryPacksData/Paths">
    <Item>dlcpacks:/fairlane64/</Item>

    See also safe way to install with OIVs



  • @JohnFromGWN Very well explained. I was installed QuantV 2 (public version) using it's .oiv , and the dumb guy was put delete commands inside assembly.xml and guess what, the ReShade I was spent months making was got deleted all along with the shaders I was downloaded that were took me so many times of search.....

    I guess you all can imagine the amount of madness my brain was boiling through after something like. and no it wasn't even uninstaller, it was the installer that got deleted those. I didn't have ENB back then but in the xml I saw it is set to delete all the ENB files as well.

    I was contacted about this absolute shitness with OpenIV team in gtaforums, asked them to either remove the OpenIV's ability to delete files and folders or at least show a warning message if there is delete command inside assembly.xml before the installation begins. Of course the only answer I got was "We will look into it." which they didn't do anything at all...

    Now imagine someone writing so many lines of add commands and hides a delete command between them to have it delete your mods folder... Then say goodbye to everything you did, maybe years worth of things ..



  • @Aurora11 Sorry to hear that, but other forum members can hopefully benefit from your story. Thank you for sharing.



  • @JohnFromGWN I hope so too. Oh and guess what, I just downloaded to check did he fixed his mistake, but I guess that was too big of a thing to expect from an imbecile...

    alt text

    Here you go, the delete commands are still there... And also they can very easily been missable when hidden between add commands ..



  • @Aurora11 the sad part is that they can include a warning in the installer text. OpenIV at least warns you when it nags you to update update.rpf and then overwrites all your customized files. It makes me cringe at the thought of how many users lost their addons and game stability after accepting that less than clear warning, likely feeling they needed to update and not having backups.



  • @JohnFromGWN Oh and exactly that too. It shows a message you need to copy the new update.rpf but never mentioned all of your modified things will be gone for good. and people doesn't have enough knowledge can easily suffer from this like you said.

    To be honest with you OpenIV itself just sucks. I have had so many problems with it in the past. One day I was editing the textures of a ped inside my AddonPeds folder. OpenIV crashed while I was saving the .ytd file and corrupted the entire dlc. It would be goodbye to everything I did if I hadn't do backups...

    Then just another time I was decided to delete the global.gxt files inside some addon cars since some modders are sure as well put the most weirdo names for the cars they make instead of just writing their real names. So I did that and launched the game, crash at startup. I thought I did something wrong so I started checking all those dlcpacks but there was nothing I deleted accidentally. I decided to just move those dlcpacks to another location and add them at small chunks to see which one causing problem, turned out even after removing all of them game crashing on startup.
    I guess at this point it was just a pure luck I thought of this and sorted the folders inside dlcpacks by date modified and saw many other dlcpacks got changed as well. Did a detailed inspection to them and noticed setup2.xml file size 1 KB. Opened it and it's just empty.... Funny thing is this happened to the dlcpacks I wasn't even touched at all and there were 6 of them suffered this ..

    So once again, OpenIV itself sucks! I just had enough of that shit after that switched using CodeWalker instead. The first thing I told myself, why the frak I didn't switched to this amazing thing before... No crashes, no file corruptions, no problems at all... The only thing OpenIV is good at is for searching files. CodeWalker has that too but OpenIV's is better, but I never enable Edit Mode in OpenIV anymore .. If one day CodeWalker can implement a bit better search feature I would be happily wipe that useless junk from my hard drive...

    I understand the thing making a program is nowhere close being an easy job, but fixing such critical problems should always be priority, and there was an update to OpenIV long after I was reported all these problems and non got fixed. It's still crashing inside .rpf files, although since I don't enable Edit Mode it doesn't corrupt the .rpf luckily...



  • @Aurora11 I really don't mind OpenIV overall. Keep in mind that while you can stop using it to edit you will still need it, well the asi file, to load your addons.



  • @JohnFromGWN Well yeah, unfortunately need it for some things that I can't do with CodeWalker. For example exporting to open formats so I can load the models to 3DS Max. but yeah, I'm doing all this in a folder I created at the gta 5 root folder so it doesn't effect any of my mods if it crashes while Edit Mode is enabled.



  • @Aurora11 my default setting is to have edit enabled and OpenIV doesn't crash. What may cause a crash is modifying game or mod files while it is open, it does not refresh, instead it will crash.



  • Great point, however if you're planning on modding GTA V extensively, inevitable really.

    A graphics mod like NVE installs so many files in different rpfs that it will take hours to manually install it each time.

    I would use OIVs with caution but backup your working mods folder before installing any big mods so that you can revert to it if needed.



  • @Suzerain001 Not sure how you would define "extensively". I have about 500 addon-cars and about the same number of peds.

    I have all the trilogy maps (LC, SF, LV, SA, VC), Chicago, Riviera, Cayo Perico as addon, Lake Louise, Red Dead Desert, etc and about 15-20 different race tracks (including Nurburgring Nordschleife and Le Mans) - none of which were installed by OIVs. All those maps/worlds that did have OIVs were installed manually. I also have about 12 MLOs, give or take a few.

    I have about 10,000 lines of C# in my LemonUI menus.

    So I guess that would be extensively modded.

    Having said that, thankfully I have a good graphics card and a good Ryzen 9 CPU so I would rather giving up playing GTA5 than use junk like Unnatural Vision Evolved.

    If I wanted fake looking colours and artificially boosted contrast, I could do that from my monitor settings - no mod required to make my graphics look artificial.

    • Just my opinion ofc.


  • Interesting - I too have a ton of add-on vehicles (> 1000) but only one ped (Niko Bellic).

    Regarding the add-on maps, always had trouble with those - Does your performance drop precipitously in Liberty City? I just installed it yesterday and my FPS is halved when going to Liberty City - it becomes unplayable and I have a 10900K and RTX 3090.

    Would you be kind enough to share your mods folder with these add-on maps and MLOs (homes/buildings add-ons?)??

    Regarding graphics, I guess we disagree - QuantV looks stunning and some aspects of NVE are great as well. LA Revo 2.0 buildings are good but it's plagued by missing/conflicting textures/collisions etc.

    @JohnFromGWN said in OIVs suck and why you should never use them:

    @Suzerain001 Not sure how you would define "extensively". I have about 500 addon-cars and about the same number of peds.

    I have all the trilogy maps (LC, SF, LV, SA, VC), Chicago, Riviera, Cayo Perico as addon, Lake Louise, Red Dead Desert, etc and about 15-20 different race tracks (including Nurburgring Nordschleife and Le Mans) - none of which were installed by OIVs. All those maps/worlds that did have OIVs were installed manually. I also have about 12 MLOs, give or take a few.

    I have about 10,000 lines of C# in my LemonUI menus.

    So I guess that would be extensively modded.

    Having said that, thankfully I have a good graphics card and a good Ryzen 9 CPU so I would rather giving up playing GTA5 than use junk like Unnatural Vision Evolved.

    If I wanted fake looking colours and artificially boosted contrast, I could do that from my monitor settings - no mod required to make my graphics look artificial.

    • Just my opinion ofc.


  • @Suzerain001 I'm not sure what you mean by share your folders.

    I use a non-standard structure that allows me to share one DLC folder with about a dozen different mod folders. I do this for many reasons:

    • to avoid conflicts with map placement/location
    • to avoid having maps in the sky above LS or other
    • for stability
    • for FPS/overall performance.

    I avoid duplicating assets and everything is controlled by a Windows batch file menu which simply does renames of folders for immediate customization and play.

    I don't think I get FPS drops in LC, I will however in the Forests of Chiliad for example. I've removed vsynch to allow increased FPS, thankfully without any tearing.



  • @JohnFromGWN Clever dawg clever! Hey if you ever in the D, Michigan specifically you are welcome to pop in, stay for dinner do you like soul food? Sleep over and while you are at if you wouldn't mind streamlining mines GTA V files too please.



  • @gtavjamal deal and thanks, but ain't travelin until it's safer.



  • Added a video to allow you to use an OIV without destroying your configuration by replacing your new files with older ones.

    Read this post for the video.



  • What about a mod manager like Vortex? While not manual, it at least should let one turn on/off or uninstall a mod vs the way OIV files work based on your initial post. (nicely done btw.)



  • @Anonymoused281 No mod can do a perfect job uninstalling mods, even mods it installed. For example if a mod, thru Vortex or an OIV, overwrites your dlclist.xml, your changes are lost forever.

    To save your changes the mod would need to be able to extract dlclist.xml from update.rpf and make a backup of that file before it installed. Aside from the fact that update.rpf can't be accessed without a tool like OpenIV, if you tried to do a restore you would have your dlclist.xml at the time you installed the mod. Any addons added after that would be missing from the addon unless incremental changes were made with each new addon installed.

    I'm not familiar with Vortex but from its description it can't do this.

    Enabling or disabling mods is a very different issue. This can be accomplished easily with batch or powershell files. Simple and foolproof approach.



  • helped a lot! Now I've even lost my fear of OIVs. I will even start using them. 😳



  • @Niziul Good! :)


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