BATTLETECH - How to Fix your Infinite Loading Screen Since the Patch [Modding problems]

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CorVexen

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One line summary of your issue
How to Fix your Infinite Loading Screen Since the Patch

Please explain your issue is in as much detail as possible.
Howdy Everyone

If your launching the game since the patch, and now face an infinite loading screen clicking on any of the main menu options, such as skirmish, new/load campaine, or multiplayer .....

AND you had a mod installed when the patch dropped

Then you've come to the right place to get that fixed.

Steps to reproduce the issue
AndrewT here on the forms dropped the kernal that became a fix for this issue. Heres what i had to do to get things running again.

Launch your game.
Get it to infiniate load.
Close it.
Open the Output_log.txt located in the folder E:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\BATTLETECH\BattleTech_Data for the steam install.
Scroll down to the bottom to find out which files are being called for from the server side Profiles.Dat file. it will say they are NULL or not found.

and then re-add them to your shinny new ManifestVersion.json file located in E:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\BATTLETECH\BattleTech_Data\StreamingAssets\data
doing a clean install will not fix the problem, because profiles.dat on the server is spazing out that your manifest file isn't the same.

Now with your Manifest file matching what it was before the patch was installed, relaunch your BATTLETECH and behold the glory of your lance of 4 mechs getting shot to scrap by 12 assaults.

man, 2 days away was too long.

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Camicon Dachass

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I get that.

However, not being able to resolve this by removing the mods or by performing a fresh install is terrible. There is absolutely no reason why a fresh install shouldn't work. So either they need to give us an ability to remove the data efficiently (EDIT: our save and configuration files that conflict with the fresh install), or fix the uninstall bug that obviously isn't fully uninstalling the game. There is absolutely no reason why a fresh install should not resolve this.
Yes there is. RogueTech touches your registry keys. If the uninstaller doesn't clean your registry keys then every fresh install will contain traces of the RogueTech mod. And uninstallers don't clean your registry keys.

This is why I stay the hell away from anything more heavy-duty than a .json edit.
 

ronhatch

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You know, this is just silly. I don't have time for this garbage. If I can't do a simple fresh install and play, I just want a refund. It's not worth the stress.
Personally, I blame the architecture of Modtek and BTML.

To me the first rule of writing a mod loader is to be able to revert completely to the original game state. On the other hand, Modtek and BTML did actually get written and I never finished mine, so maybe following that rule is just too much work.
 

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Yes there is. RogueTech touches your registry keys. If the uninstaller doesn't clean your registry keys then every fresh install will contain traces of the RogueTech mod. And uninstallers don't clean your registry keys.

This is why I stay the hell away from anything more heavy-duty than a .json edit.
I think any files that are beyond the base game also cause issues (like creating a new 'mechs or equipment jsons) because they can be pulled into the player profiles/saves.You can add files and stuff works going forward from that point, but if that stuff gets removed your profile and saves are still looking for the content, and the game crashes unless it's somehow removed from those places (or everything is reset via the clean uninstall method), or the content is readded.

it's why there's the warning in every patch saying modding is not supported and that saves require the exact same data state to work.
 

ronhatch

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I think any files that are beyond the base game also cause issues (like creating a new 'mechs or equipment jsons) because they can be pulled into the player profiles/saves.You can add files and stuff works going forward from that point, but if that stuff gets removed your profile and saves are still looking for the content, and the game crashes unless it's somehow removed from those places (or everything is reset via the clean uninstall method), or the content is readded.

it's why there's the warning in every patch saying modding is not supported and that saves require the exact same data state to work.
Depends on what you're doing really.

Adding equipment, yeah, you'd better know what you added and be prepared to either wait for an update from the mod author or make the changes yourself. But if you're just changing stats of existing stuff (like changing the movement profiles to be more in line with tabletop) there's really no way that's going to break the saves.

And for most things, even if it breaks a particular save you should be able to run the game and play vanilla saves. Although you do have to watch out for customized mechs in skirmish mode.
 

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Depends on what you're doing really.

Adding equipment, yeah, you'd better know what you added and be prepared to either wait for an update from the mod author or make the changes yourself. But if you're just changing stats of existing stuff (like changing the movement profiles to be more in line with tabletop) there's really no way that's going to break the saves.

And for most things, even if it breaks a particular save you should be able to run the game and play vanilla saves. Although you do have to watch out for customized mechs in skirmish mode.
yup. value edits are generally fine. It's the adding of content that breaks stuff.
 

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Well, I wasn't using Roguetech. I only used 2 mods that added more 'mechs to the game (Assassin, Phawk, Warhammer, Marauder). AFAIK, this didn't do anything with the registry, and I'm pretty sure that the registry entry had nothing to do with my issue.

It took me 4 installs to do this. The first two were clean installs because I thought they were corrupt. The third was a clean install by removing the registry entry and manually removing the folder after uninstall. Installed, logged in to multiplayer, this didn't fix it. The FOURTH time was when I found out about the HBS hidden folders after approaching HBS about the issue, so I found those and removed them along with (again) removing the registry and battletech folders. I also shut off cloud storage and didn't log into multiplayer. Now I got it to work, and I can live without all my save games. This leads me to believe that it's NOT the registry entry, but some data that is stored by the game as you use any mod causing issues.

Here's my problem. I saw that some people who had mods basically can't log in again because the game actually stores some of the conflicting data online. Who ever made that decision, if it is true, should have given us the option to clear that data on our own OR at least set the game to find some default settings if something is conflicted. Like, how mine was looking for the Assassin when it didn't exist, could have defaulted to NOTHING. I seriously don't want to log in because I can't fathom installing this game for a 5th time, and it's a shame, because I really want to dabble in the whole multiplayer experience.

I understand the risks that are taken for modding a game. I grew up in an era where mods were slowly becoming a thing. What I don't like is how I'm blamed for the game's design, when it's actually the game's fault, because it can't work after a simple uninstall or clean reinstall in ANOTHER folder. It should not be such a long and drawn out process like this. It's 2018, mods exist for a lot of games, and I can't think of any game in recent memory I put a mod on that required me to find hidden folders or stored information in a cloud that will come back to bite me in the ass if I ever decide to log in after a fresh install.
 

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Well, I wasn't using Roguetech. I only used 2 mods that added more 'mechs to the game (Assassin, Phawk, Warhammer, Marauder). AFAIK, this didn't do anything with the registry, and I'm pretty sure that the registry entry had nothing to do with my issue.

It took me 4 installs to do this. The first two were clean installs because I thought they were corrupt. The third was a clean install by removing the registry entry and manually removing the folder after uninstall. Installed, logged in to multiplayer, this didn't fix it. The FOURTH time was when I found out about the HBS hidden folders after approaching HBS about the issue, so I found those and removed them along with (again) removing the registry and battletech folders. I also shut off cloud storage and didn't log into multiplayer. Now I got it to work, and I can live without all my save games. This leads me to believe that it's NOT the registry entry, but some data that is stored by the game as you use any mod causing issues.

Here's my problem. I saw that some people who had mods basically can't log in again because the game actually stores some of the conflicting data online. Who ever made that decision, if it is true, should have given us the option to clear that data on our own OR at least set the game to find some default settings if something is conflicted. Like, how mine was looking for the Assassin when it didn't exist, could have defaulted to NOTHING. I seriously don't want to log in because I can't fathom installing this game for a 5th time, and it's a shame, because I really want to dabble in the whole multiplayer experience.

I understand the risks that are taken for modding a game. I grew up in an era where mods were slowly becoming a thing. What I don't like is how I'm blamed for the game's design, when it's actually the game's fault, because it can't work after a simple uninstall or clean reinstall in ANOTHER folder. It should not be such a long and drawn out process like this. It's 2018, mods exist for a lot of games, and I can't think of any game in recent memory I put a mod on that required me to find hidden folders or stored information in a cloud that will come back to bite me in the ass if I ever decide to log in after a fresh install.

I totally agree.
Why are they saving config files within our accounts in a cloud we cant delete? This makes no sense!
This smart system is now locking me out from my own account with kickstarter backer bonuses.

If i knew this when they started the kickstarter campaign, i will have never backed this game! No one wants such totally useless features!
 

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I think any files that are beyond the base game also cause issues (like creating a new 'mechs or equipment jsons) because they can be pulled into the player profiles/saves.You can add files and stuff works going forward from that point, but if that stuff gets removed your profile and saves are still looking for the content, and the game crashes unless it's somehow removed from those places (or everything is reset via the clean uninstall method), or the content is readded.

it's why there's the warning in every patch saying modding is not supported and that saves require the exact same data state to work.
That's also just a .json edit though (making sure you have the proper lines added to the VersionManifest, so that the game can find the content you've added). Those don't touch the profile (at least, the extensive .json edits I've made have only ever touched the individual saves), so worst case scenario is you just start a new game.

I understand the risks that are taken for modding a game. I grew up in an era where mods were slowly becoming a thing. What I don't like is how I'm blamed for the game's design, when it's actually the game's fault, because it can't work after a simple uninstall or clean reinstall in ANOTHER folder. It should not be such a long and drawn out process like this. It's 2018, mods exist for a lot of games, and I can't think of any game in recent memory I put a mod on that required me to find hidden folders or stored information in a cloud that will come back to bite me in the ass if I ever decide to log in after a fresh install.
The game was not built with mod support in mind. This was explicitly stated by HBS. If you mod a game that wasn't designed for it, and it breaks, that's not the fault of the game.
 

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The game was not built with mod support in mind. This was explicitly stated by HBS. If you mod a game that wasn't designed for it, and it breaks, that's not the fault of the game.

Yes, I know that. It's why I reinstalled the game. That should have fixed the problem.
 

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i placed a support request. This backup-feature is more striking against customers than helping them. I hope they give us at least an option to clear corrupted/modified data
out of the Paradox/HBS cloud data, so that we can use our accounts/games again.
 

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Yes, I know that. It's why I reinstalled the game. That should have fixed the problem.
RogueTech touches the registry keys on your computer when you install it. No uninstaller is going to clean your registry keys, nor will reinstalling your game.
i placed a support request. This backup-feature is more striking against customers than helping them. I hope they give us at least an option to clear corrupted/modified data
out of the Paradox/HBS cloud data, so that we can use our accounts/games again.
If memory serves, a few users on this forum requested exactly that when RogueTech corrupted their cloud backups, and were accommodated after they submitted a ticket.
(https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...modding-problems.1095485/page-2#post-24347060)
 

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I don't think the method I used messed with registry keys... I'm not sure though. I believe you.

Clearing corrupted cloud backup actually helped me out (I believe), along with the super helpful guides cited in this thread. I was frustrated, but I do appreciate the time taken with the ticket I submitted. I was a backer too, and I can't wait to try out the Linux version when I get the chance. I know I shot myself in the foot using a mod, but maybe something can be done to make it easier to revert back to a vanilla install?

I'll miss using the ASN-21 Assassin, though. I love that 'Mech.
 

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For anyone still having trouble, the solution I posted previously still works with this update:
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...modding-problems.1095485/page-3#post-24631270
(it should be noted that I did not have any mods installed that edit registry keys)

The mods I use now are fairly lightweight so all I had to do was roll the game back to 1.2.1 to allow me to recover my old saved games. Not sure this will work for everyone, but to get Flashpoint working for me, I had to:
  1. Revert to the last version of the game I played with mods (in my case 1.2.1). I used Steam's game properties beta options, but it may be different if you are using GOG or something else.
  2. Loaded modded saved game.
  3. Deleted/removed any modded content in-game (ie. sell modded weapons/mechs) and make a new save file with only vanilla content retained.
  4. Quit game and went back to game properties to switch to the current version (not opting into any "beta")
Hopefully this will get people running again.

As I stated earlier, I'm almost 100% certain that what causes this problem is any mods that modify the VersionManifest.csv file (RogueTech is one, but there are many others). I had not heard that RogueTech edits the registry files of the game, but if so, that is very concerning. If you think your registry keys were messed with, AndrewT posted a good update on this: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...modding-problems.1095485/page-3#post-24892384

In my experience, mods that do not modify the VersionManifest (such as those that simply change stats of existing vanilla weapon or mech files) seem to not have as many problems with patch updates.
 
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Well, I wasn't using Roguetech. I only used 2 mods that added more 'mechs to the game (Assassin, Phawk, Warhammer, Marauder). AFAIK, this didn't do anything with the registry, and I'm pretty sure that the registry entry had nothing to do with my issue.

Those mods edit the VersionManifest which is one half of the problem caused by mods (the other being mods that edit registry keys). To my knowledge, any mod that claims to add new mechs or weapons to the game is probably editting the VersionManifest. If you want to save yourself a ton of headache, I recommend avoiding these. The good news is that there is a simple solution salvaging your savedata in this specific situation (I posted above).

Ultimately, avoiding mods altogether is the easiest solution. However, if you are like me and love a few good mods, the best solution is to avoid any mods that modify the VersionManifest.csv AND registry keys. As AndrewT and Timaeus stated, this includes ANY mods that add additional mechs or weapons (to clarify, mods that modify existing files to vanilla mechs/weapons should still be safe). The tricky part about this is most modders are not forthcoming with what files their mods change, but you can usually get a good indicator by checking the mod folder after downloading it. A few modders are also pretty good about explaining exactly what their mod changes. When in doubt, ask the author.
 
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ronhatch

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It sounds like you're misunderstanding how the version manifest file works.

It is essentially just a list of what other files to include. While it is possible to leave it unchanged and modify the files it points to in place, a far better approach is to copy the files you want to modify and change the entries in the version manifest to point to the modified version of the files... even when not adding any equipment of any kind. That way updates to the game do not overwrite the mod you've created since you haven't touched any of the standard game files except the manifest itself.

In short, more-or-less all mods are going to modify the version manifest in some way... except possibly for personal mods that people hack in the easiest way they know how.

Knowing what the mod is intended to do should be enough to make a reasonable guess whether or not it will break your save upon future updates. Think of it this way... if there is something in the game that is specific to your playthrough and needs to be kept track of, that will end up in your save and could break things. So when I change the stats of all mechs in some way, that should be very safe since the game just tracks whether or not you have those mechs... but if I add new mechs and salvage one in my campaign, that fact is recorded in the save and the save won't load unless it can find the stats it needs about the mech you have.

The other way things can break is when they change the behind-the-scenes implementation of some part of the game. This is what happened with shops in the 1.3 update. The new version is much more flexible and looks very likely to actually be easier to mod, but the mods that used the old system simply don't work any more. The good news about this sort of breakage is that it doesn't invalidate your save, just the mods. In other words, if a mod made Gauss ammo really easy to find and you bought some, that doesn't break your save because the Gauss ammo is already in the game. (Although if the shops were modded to ADD items, that would cause problems for the reasons previously mentioned.) You won't be able to find Gauss ammo easily until the mod gets updated, but your game is still playable.

Hope that all makes sense. It seems pretty straightforward to me, but then I wrote my first computer program almost 40 years ago, so I often don't get the "layman's terms" thing right.
 

MagnusEffect

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In short, more-or-less all mods are going to modify the version manifest in some way... except possibly for personal mods that people hack in the easiest way they know how.

Forgive me, I don't mean to sound argumentative when I say this. Just to clarify:
I can specifically think of three mods I personally use where that has not been the case at all. Am I really "misunderstanding" something to say that messing with the VersionManifest increases the risk of causing your game to not load correctly? It has already been established in previous posts by multiple people that modifying the VersionManifest.csv file is a leading contributor to problems with patches. I will not go so far as to say it causes ALL problems, but it definitely is a major contributor (for reasons I will readily admit you probably know better than I). Perhaps the difference lies on individual mods and how the author modified the VersionManifest, but that is generally not easy for most people to parse out.

Totally agree with what you said about adding mechs causing problems when loading saves, btw. But to my understanding, any mod that adds new mechs (or weapons) must also modify the the VersionManifest in a way that official patches do not like to deal with. There's a cause and effect happening there. I welcome the thought of being wrong about that, though. Do we know any mods that add new mechs/weapons files that don't change the VersionManifest?

After messing with modding for awhile, I've reverted back to using mods that specifically do not modify the VersionManifest.csv and ever since I have not encountered any serious problems when there is an update; worse case scenario I've seen is they just fail to load and the game goes back to using vanilla files instead. For a specific example, I used a mod that changed pilot abilities. However, they didn't change anything in my VersionManifest and so when the update came, the game just "ignored" that mod and reverted to using vanilla abilities. I understand that there are specific reasons why that happened, but this is just one example and I don't feel it's appropriate to go into a long explanation for that here.

To be clear, I'm not saying you are wrong, but for the purposes of giving general advise here to anyone seeking help on this issue, I don't think it's wrong to say that official patches generally "don't like it" when you mess with the VersionManifest. On some "technical" level, my previous post may not be 100% accurate, but my intent was just reiterating what Timaeus said further up the page. Also, if it sounded like I was saying "mods that change the VersionManifest are bad", that was not my intent either; only that they are generally not the "safest" mods to use.

All that being said, the fact that the game looks like it might be more friendly to mods with the 1.3 patch (as you stated) makes me hopeful. So maybe some of what has been true in the past may not be true for the future. Fingers crossed.

 
Last edited:

ronhatch

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It has already been established in previous posts by multiple people that modifying the VersionManifest.csv file is a leading contributor to problems with patches.
I haven't seen those posts, and I thought I was quite up-to-date on the forums here.

Let's be clear... the VersionManifest.csv file is really only a table of contents... nothing more.

Now when you use a mod loader, you don't have to specifically change the table of contents yourself... but the mod loader IS doing it for you. Depending on how the mod loader is implemented, the mods that you think of as not changing the version manifest may be the ones where the loader can figure out things automatically because no new files were added.

So your way of looking at things may be true in a sense when using ModTek and BTML despite being inaccurate from a technical standpoint.