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Why does Rockstar break the game?

  • If you've been modding for more than a year, you're hopefully aware that R* updates GTA5 every year, sometimes more than once per year. You also know the R* "patch" invariably will cause game issues affecting your gameplay.

    After a patch and you've waited for SH5 to be updated, it is very likely your game will crash or hang. Your emotions will then range from mere annoyance to unhealthy frustration all the way to raging (no pun intended) homicidal anger. Some of you will indeed want to go Medieval on R* ass, and justifiably so.

    Now if you're new to modding, you could be wondering why your game doesn't work anymore, coincidentally exactly after a R* update.

    Let's start by some clarifications. Whether you feel Rockstar does it intentionally or not, Rockstar doesn't break your GTA5 game, they break your modded game.

    How do updates break the modded game? Well in many respects that is still a mystery. With each patch/update, Rockstar introduces new GTA online content. This content can be found in the dlcpacks folder. They also introduce dlcpatches, but these are in encrypted packages, visible only in OpenIV. Finally there are script changes in Update2.rpf, but I doubt those cause crashes.

    What else? Who knows? The process is not documented or fully understood. However there are two things we can take for granted because they are related to solving our problems.

    1. The RAGE Game Engine.
    After every update, users get greeted with a message that says "Script Hook V Critical Error" and "Unknown Game Version". This error will disappear once SH5 is updated or it can be eliminated by a process called reverting or downgrading, essentially replacing one file, GTA.exe with the previous version (or an even older one).

    But even with SH5 updated, while the error message is gone, there isn't any guarantee your game will even start. That's because the game engine has been modified. Even if your game does start, certain mods, particularly scripts, may no longer work because the RAGE (engine) has changed. Scripts work with so called native functions and these may change, as can other aspects and components of this game engine.

    Either way, updating SH5 is step one in fixing a modded game after a patch. Now let's take a look at step 2.

    2. The Gameconfig.xml
    Once more, experienced modders will know that updating their gameconfig.xml is the logical second step in getting the game to at least load without an immediate crash or just hanging in an infinite loop.

    How does R* change the gameconfig.xml from patch to patch. How do they sabotage this file so that your game now crashes. Well first of all, let's remember that the gameconfig.xml from R* is not at all the beefed up modded version on steroids that we install to replace it. But secondly, you may be very surprised at the minimal changes that R* make to this file.

    In the screenshot below, I've isolated the changes in the gameconfig.xml from the current vanilla patch (2802) with the previous vanilla file (2699.16).

    As you can see, there is nothing earth shattering about the R* changes to their own gameconfig.

    Click on pic for full size, current on left, previous on right side.
    alt text

    So unfortunately those are the only two weapons we have currently, at least documented, to fix this recurring patch problem. Are there other factors? Absolutely, but they are unfortunately well kept secrets.

    Needless to say, many other mods will need to be updated, particularly Trainers. Sadly scripts are often outdated, neglected, and or abandoned after an update - some will be updated, others left to rot. From experience, peds and vehicles are for the most part unaffected - however both peds and vehicles, all entities, can conflict with other entities. For example cars with the same modkits or peds with exactly the same 3D models may conflict with each other, resulting in crashes.

    Maps generally survive as do MLOs, but collision and texture issues may be encountered.

    Besides SH5 and Gameconfig.xml updates, there are permanent solutions which many veterans have adopted including this particular author. You can read more here if interested in putting this to bed forever.

    It's too late for this patch, but now is the time to prepare for the next one, and don't be fooled, there will be a next one.

  • did u write that urself ?


    you could be him one day, commit yourself

  • @Narzhul Yes I did, and my name is John, not Urself.

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