Mod Troubleshooting Guide

This is a troubleshooting guide for mod users in TW: Warhammer 2. The generic pointers should be valid for all recent TW games.
– Your neighbourhood Cataph

Managing Mods

So, you have subscribed to mods on the workshop. You now open CA’s current mod manager (hereby called George II) and – blimey, they don’t work or something’s not right.

We called it George II cause it’s the new launcher. He’s new in town, prettier than George, but he’s still not good at what he should be doing and forgets to make mods work. We’re sorry but George II needs some time.

First thing to keep in mind, if you have issues with George II you should definitely report them to CA so that they know what are the common issues.

That said, you can just use the community mod manager (normally called KMM). Long story short, George is unwieldy and has grown responsible for a lot of issues of its own, becoming hated by modders and users alike. Among other things, KMM is more reliable and provides mod profiles.

One of the things George I cannot do is let you change load order because it only uses the default alphabetical order. KMM and even George II have that function, so sometimes you’d be tempted to change load order manually, right? WRONG.
The truth is that compatibility-minded modders already handle load order on their own as far as possible. Manually changing load order may do absolutely nothing or break everything.
Some context. There are six main possible categories of folders in a mod pack and this is how they handle load order, either through actual pack name or table name:

  • Db: table name.
  • Scripts: pack name.
  • Startpos: the big bad, pack name.
  • Text: table name.
  • UI: pack name.
  • Variants: pack name.

And that is if the modder doesn’t redirect content. KMM can only affect pack name order, so there are things like balance submods (Db overrides) that are still completely in the hands of the modders and intentionally so.

In other words, there are only two possible cases in which you may want to alter load order manually: UI and variants, basically if you want to use specific reskin B.pack in the midst of larger reskin A.pack, in which case you push B on top.

You DON’T WANT to change script or startpos load order, because bad stuff tends to happen. For example, the Community Modding Framework, aka bunch of script hooks that used to be necessary for a lot of stuff, had to always be LAST or massive breakage happened.

In conclusion, you want to follow KMM’s instructions, give Steam time to download/remove mods and mostly keep load order in an alphabetical fashion (e.g. order by name and save profile), especially after adding new mods.

Which, incidentally, is this:
! # $ % & ‘ ( ) + , – ; = @ 0-9 a-z [ ] ^ _ ` { } ~
Where “!” wins over “a”.

Common Troubleshooting

In an efficient mod, at least half of the reported issues are down to user error or what is technically called launcher f***-up. We’re going to try and cut that amount down for the greater good.

Most common user mistakes:

  1. Not reading the mod description. Seriously, it’s there for a reason. The modder took time to write it and it’s downright disrespectful to ignore it. Some mods will also have FAQs or a list of known issues and instructions. There’s a good chance the question you’re going to ask is already answered in there.
  2. Ignoring the required items. Ditto. The mod may show you a popup upon subscribing, disregarding that is almost always cue for disaster. This popup is not shown when subbing from a Steam collection, so actually check the mod’s page.
  3. Mixing up incompatible mods. Too often, some users will make the said mistakes and just subscribe. The most common example is using two startpos mods at the same time, or two overhauls. Don’t do that. If in doubt, read the description again or ask the modder in a comment.
  4. Not providing details upon reporting an issue. Ok, you did everything right but that ugly bug is still there. That’s fine. The worst thing you could do at this point is comment “mod doesn’t work” because that means absolutely nothing. Modders aren’t telepaths.

Your comment for the modder should include as many as possible of the following:

  • Context: when and how the thing happened. E.g. during the interturn after X’s turn, or clicking this button, whether it was Vortex/ME/multiplayer, custom battle or campaign battle.
  • Mod list: always tell if you have other mods up and which ones, we see people somehow not mention that they were using a total overhaul, and that’s kind of a huge deal. Do not skip on certain mods because you think they can’t be the culprit. Linking a collection is the handiest method you have.
  • Screenshot: always helps, it can at least show the context.
  • Save game: if requested, you can find your save game in (example) C:\Users\%USER%\AppData\Roaming\The Creative Assembly\Warhammer2\save_games. Remember the mod list, because the modder may not be able to load without it.
  • Bonus points: troubleshoot the issue yourself by finding where the issue is to begin with, by narrowing down the mod list until you find exactly when it stops or starts happening. More on this later.

And not to do:

  • The Hit & Run: if you comment about an issue but then solve it on your own, let the modder know. Sometimes people just report a problem and disappear, but that info could save live- well, could be useful to others.
  • Ignoring previous comments: the answer to your problem may lie as far as two comments below. If any, look for the FAQs as well.

This list is of course not meant to insult anybody’s intelligence, but you’d be surprised at how many issues and massive wastes of time are due to neglect of these simple rules. Following them is in the user’s interest in order to find a solution sooner, and it will allow the modder more time for improvement rather than wasted in unnecessary bug-hunts.

Most common launcher or game issues (with either George I or George II):

  1. Failed to download/remove mod. This happens relatively often and if in doubt you should always check in the mod download folder (example: Z:\Steamsteamapps\workshop\content\594570\??????) whether that mod was successfully downloaded/removed. Open George/Steam again until it is. The final folder id is the same as the one on the mod’s Steam url and you can sort by date for the most recently poked folder.
    • More on this if using KMM: Kaedrin’s manager moves active mod packs back to the data folder. Moreover, when mods update you will likely need to refresh/restart KMM.
  2. Ghost mods. Definitely spooky. You have toggled off that mod, but somehow it turns out it was still being loaded and crashing your game. Or a mod updates and self-enables. Using KMM seems enough to prevent this kind of poltergeist.
  3. Corrupted download. This is more frequent than I’d liked. The mod’s download is botched and it either crashes the game or presents less visible problems (e.g.: this lord’s graphics are wrong/missing). Go again in your content or data folder, delete the mod pack and let George download it again. In theory, you should do this every time a mod that is clearly not supposed to do that crashes on game start, especially when the mod hasn’t been updated recently and nobody has reported such a glaring problem in a while.
  4. Random crashes: sometimes stuff just breaks and you have to verify your game’s cache: Steam Library>right click on game>Properties>Local Files>Verify yadda yadda. Or check with the game’s support.
  5. Failure to enable mods or borked load order: sometimes George simply won’t fire what you want, or you’ve accidentally touched load order and now it won’t revert. Use KMM.
  6. Soft cap: this is a semi-mythological problem that varies across all computers no matter the launcher used, including KMM. Basically you have too many mods for your machine and you may experience otherwise unmotivated crashes at game start just by enabling one more tiny text mod. Usually happens between 80 and 100 mods. No known solution other than merging mods.
    • As of Shadow&Blade patch, for yet unknown reasons this soft cap turned harder and started hitting sooner, even at 45ish mods, no matter the mod manager used. Still same conclusion.
    • King’s Shilling update: this is completely fixed and the cap is allegedly indefinite. You can stop merging stuff or believing conspiracies about CA intentionally capping mods.

Most common KMM issues:

  1. Doesn’t work: KMM can be installed anywhere, BUT in the game’s stuff. Don’t install in data/ or anywhere close. Hell, plop it in the desktop.
  2. Doesn’t work cause I’m pirating the game: KMM can smell piracy. Buy the game.
  3. KMM freezes on start: reboot it.
  4. Game crashes on load: if you get that or suddenly crash for no good reason, just refresh/restart KMM first thing. If it persists, time to actually troubleshoot.
  5. Something weird with the mod list: always keep in mind that movie packs will always be enabled no matter if you’ve toggled them on or not. KMM shows if a mod is a conventional pack file or movie pack. If you want to get truly rid of such a mod, you’ll have to physically unsub and delete. They are mostly used for vfx, but sometimes also come with data baggage that you don’t want around. Modders: you usually want to only have harmless vfx in the movie pack.

APPENDIX: Trimming the Mod List

Before WH2 1.8.3 (King’s Shilling) there used to be a local hard cap on how many mods you could enable. That’s not a problem anymore, putting an end to the running pontus of “CA bad they be limiting mods”, and potentially you could have beyond 100 mods up. Of course, making that work is up to how careful you are, and even if a mod list doesn’t produce an instant crash you can’t be sure there aren’t hidden issues or future crashes down the road.
As a rule of thumb, try not to overload it, or use the mod list of someone that has very carefully being curating it, or slowly check it yourself, possibly with the help of the modders themselves.

Finding the culprit

The usual problem with large mod lists is this: bad, I got a crash; worse, which one of the N mods I have is the culprit?

Generic pointers:

  • Pure Text, Variant and UI mods can NEVER crash the game for the user. If they do, it’s a botched download.
  • Sort by date either on KMM or George to find the most recent updates, if you didn’t add additional mods those may be responsible.
  • If you had the issue during a campaign, do not remove mods that have custom items, units or buildings because you’re just going to crash harder if those are around in the campaign map.
  • As mentioned above, watch out for movie packs.

One of the things you should try upon encountering a reproducible crash is to toggle off all mods from the ground up by loading the bare minimum to make that mod work, in other words mod+whatever required mods that comes with. And up from there, adding one or small groups of mods at a time until you can reproduce the issue.
Keep in mind mod requirements while you do this.

It’s patient work but the modder will appreciate it, because chances are we don’t have the time to do it ourselves.
Remember: a happy modder is a happy user.

APPENDIX: Scripts

Scripts are being increasingly used by mods. Scripters are getting smarter by the day to maintain compatibility, but some mods still require frameworks like CMF or UIMF (we’ll read about them later).

You may encounter symptoms of broken scripts, due to botched downloads, bad compatibility or just plain unforeseen issues because we can just mess stuff up sometimes. Script glitches tend to be quite tricky.

A few examples of broken scripts:

  • Rites button on a faction that shouldn’t have that.
  • You’re playing Tomb Kings or a modded faction and you see foreign mortuary cult/crafting options.
  • Sword of Khaine button is unchained right off.
  • Chaos and all Rogue armies may spawn immediately.
  • Campaign camera on a fresh campaign starts zoomed-out and doesn’t pan in.
  • Chivalry starts at 0.
  • Some LLs appear as trapezist Loremasters (e.g. in TEB), or some mods’ LLs don’t spawn at all.
  • One of the worst, characters do not gain XP (this may sometimes happen in full vanilla too, requires repair).

What do?
In most cases, it’s just a botched download (see Launcher error 3). Otherwise it gets trickier and requires you to start trimming the mod list to find the culprit. When/if you report the issue to modders, remember to provide as much info as humanly possible because finding a script break can turn ugly and complicated. As always, try to trim down the mod list until you know what combination is causing it.
Particularly useful to help with scripting issues: please enable this debugger mod and send the resulting log, generated in Steam\steamapps\common\Total War WARHAMMER II. Specific scripty mods may come with additional instructions.

Quick note about Communiy Modding Framework: it’s basically only used by Crynsos’s unlocker at this point in time (march 2020) and will cause issues more often than not when enabled and not required. Basically disable it unless you’re using CFU, which is currently not completely up-to-date anyway.

APPENDIX: UI Modding Framework

This framework is technically not required to do UI modding at all, but it may be used as a framework by some scripty mods. Unless it happens to have broken functions after a patch, there are zero reasons not to have it around just in case one of your mods is actually using it or starts doing it.

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