Addons, Dependencies and Libraries in ESO
Once again, I’m writing a post not out of technical enthusiasm but to try and spare someone else the tiresome bullshit I’ve just had to endure this evening. I wrote earlier this year about the duality of addons in The Elder Scrolls Online. They can be a great boon to the player but they can also be fiddly to configure and frequently break when the game is updated. You’re dependent on the good will of a third party to maintain them. Naturally the recent addition of Elsweyr to ESO meant that a bunch of addons were broken by the expansion. Oddly enough I didn’t initially notice that several of mine had stopped working because I’ve been away from the game for a while, plus I was busy trying to transfer various settings from my previous character to my new alt. However, once I actually got down to the business of traversing Tamriel and questing, it came to my attention that lots of details were missing from my map. Hence, I discovered that all was not well in “Addonsville”.
To cut a long story short when I brought up on screen the list of addons, there were several that had “Dependency” in red text next to the author details. A little research indicated that the addon relied upon a library and that this was out of date. According to Wikipedia “in computer science, a library is a collection of non-volatile resources used by computer programs, often for software development”. On the left-hand side of the addon menu there is a little triangular arrow next to each one that is installed. If you click on this, a list appears of all the libraries that the addon uses. Again several of these were written in red text, indicating they were out of date. Thus I checked on each addon that indicated and out of date dependency and made a note of which libraries needed replacing. This included such all-time classics as LibDebugLogger, LibDateTime andLibMapPing.
I ended up with a list of 11 libraries that needed to be updated. Mercifully, these were all easy to find and install via everyone’s favourite mod manager, Minion. I then logged back into ESO and found that all installed addons were now working, there were no further dependencies showing in red and I now had Skyshards and other collectables showing on the map. However, there’s a very good chance that the next lot of DLC or quality of life patch will fubar everything again. I would therefore suggest to ESO players who are not technical inclined, to regularly check their libraries as described to ensure they are not inconvenienced. So far ESO is still proving to be a fun and entertaining game but it is becoming increasingly high maintenance. I don’t mind tweaking things from time to time but the list of items to check and monitor with regard to addons seems to be growing. For gamers such as I, it can be a dangerous thing to upset the fun to effort ratio.