Manual Load Order Management: A guide for not using LOOT

General modding guides and authoring tutorials.
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Boschpiper
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Manual Load Order Management: A guide for not using LOOT

Post by Boschpiper » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:44 am

A GUIDE FOR NOT USING LOOT


The following is a Load Order guide composed of tips from Tgspy (Frontier Dev), Roy Batty (TTW Dev), and the XEdit Team. You should not use LOOT with TTW or FNV, and this is how you manage load order effectivelly.

Whilst LOOT is a powerful tool for modding many Bethesda titles, it shouldn't be used as a crutch for bad modding; Hence, it's better to learn how to maintain your setup yourself, rather than having a program try do it for you.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Reason being is that it’s no better than a pinch of non magical fairy dust. Using LOOT will not magically fix your game.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here is an incredibly easy way to sort your load offset. This can be applied for FO3, NV, TTW, or even FO4.

Load Order:

FalloutNV.esm
DeadMoney.esm
HonestHearts.esm
OldWorldBlues.esm
LonesomeRoad.esm
GunRunnersArsenal.esm
Fallout3.esm*
Anchorage.esm*
ThePitt.esm*
BrokenSteel.esm*
PointLookout.esm*
Zeta.esm*
CaravanPack.esm
ClassicPack.esm
MercenaryPack.esm
TribalPack.esm
TaleOfTwoWastelands.esm*
YUPTTW.esm*
UI Mods
Scripted mods
New world / quest mods
Armor / weapon mods
Mods that make significant changes to the landscape / terrain
ONE weather mod
Merge patch**

*Ignore the TTW related files if you don't use it (duh); in that case, use normal YUP inplace of YUPTTW.esm

*Some weather mod's (like Nevada Skies and RWL) advise to put their esp after your merged patch. If you have issues with the above, try that.


Merge Patches

Everyone is more than capable of making a simple merge patch; here is a guide on making a merge patch if you don’t know how to. You will need to follow "The Method" in FNVEdit.

Initially:

1. Start with just your vanilla TTW load order and TTWYUP
2. Create a mod group for all now installed files to get you to show 0 conflicts after running -veryquickshowconflicts

Then, for each mod you install repeat:

1. Install the mod as usual
2. Run FNVEdit with -veryquickshowconflicts (will ONLY show conflicts caused by that new mod now)
3. Look at conflicts to see if they can be fixed or minimized by changing load order (on the new mod or another). If yes, do so, and then run -veryquickshowconflicts again
4. Look at conflicts to see what needs to be patched (you can also check if any pre-made patches are available by the mod authors, and install them).
5. After everything has been patched and you are sure everything now showing as conflicts are false positives, create mod groups to hide them (again, small focused mod groups for particular conflicts between 2 mods, not one huge one for everything)
6. Run -veryquickshowconflicts one last time to make sure you are back to 0 conflicts showing
7. repeat for next mod.

This is all any basic mod user would need to do. If you are having issues with some mods conflicting with each other, swapping positions aren’t necessarily going to make a difference unless one mod has bad dirty edits. You’ll need to learn how to fix things in FNVEdit if you want to prevent compatibility issues.

Other Tips
  • Use Mod Organizer 2 (MO2) . While a bit complicated at first, it is by far the most powerful tool for managing your Load Order
  • Use separators to group your mods, making them easier to manage
  • LOOT will tell you to clean the FNV plugins. Never do this.
  • Try not to exceed 90 plugins. The actual limit depends on your hardware, but this is around where things start to turn upside down.
  • Read the mod description. Sometimes an author may stipulate that his or her mod requires a specific position in a load order to work (See RWL and Nevada Skies above). If that's the case, then do as they say.
Sources Tl;Dr: Don’t use loot as a crutch, it’s not magic pixie dust. Do the work, learn and you’ll become a better mod user overall.
Last edited by Boschpiper on Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:46 pm, edited 33 times in total.
"I drink coffee and worry about things"

UsagiPyon
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: A guide for not using LOOT

Post by UsagiPyon » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:03 am

Boschpiper wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:44 am
SpoilerShow
Load Order:

FalloutNV.esm
DeadMoney.esm
HonestHearts.esm
OldWorldBlues.esm
LonesomeRoad.esm
GunRunnersArsenal.esm
Fallout3.esm
Anchorage.esm
ThePitt.esm
BrokenSteel.esm
PointLookout.esm
Zeta.esm
CaravanPack.esm
ClassicPack.esm
MercenaryPack.esm
TribalPack.esm
TaleOfTwoWastelands.esm
YUPTTW.esm
Any UI MODS you want
Any scripted mods
Any new world or quest mods
Any armor or weapon mods
Any mods that make significant changes to the landscape / terrain
One weather mod (no more than one).
Merge patch
Nevada Skies wrote:
Make sure the Plugin load as Last and dont include it in any Bash, Smash or Merge Patch it will break Nevada Skies.
https://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods ... escription
FNV Realistic Wasteland Lighting wrote: It is imperative that this mod is loaded very last after your merged patch, even if no conflicts are showing in FNVEdit. Not following this will cause bugs.
https://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods/52037

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Boschpiper
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Re: A guide for not using LOOT

Post by Boschpiper » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:07 am

Updated OP
Last edited by Boschpiper on Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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UsagiPyon
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: A guide for not using LOOT

Post by UsagiPyon » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:36 am

I use the much hated LOOT, but also manually adjust my LO. No problem so far asides from bugs that were documented and not fixed.

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Boschpiper
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Re: A guide for not using LOOT

Post by Boschpiper » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:38 am

Fair enough. Fact of the matter is LOOT will work sometimes. But it isn't really fixing anything automatically. You can get away with using it, and there's nothing wrong with it (especially if you edit it afterwards), but learning to do it manually is the much better option.

Hence, the reason for this post.
Last edited by Boschpiper on Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I drink coffee and worry about things"

UsagiPyon
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: A guide for not using LOOT

Post by UsagiPyon » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:53 am

Good to know that my luck was at 10 for the past year and thanks for your effort in providing this guide for those who need them.

tgspy
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Re: A guide for not using LOOT

Post by tgspy » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:25 am

I tend to not recommend using LOOT for the simple fact that people may use it as a crutch for bad practise and assuming that it will fix their issues. Always better to learn how to do stuff yourself rather than having a program attempt to do it for you.

UsagiPyon
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: A guide for not using LOOT

Post by UsagiPyon » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:02 pm

If you say so. You're the man heading the frontier project so your words should be regarded as a doctrine. I shall purge the evil that is LOOT and burn any heretics that uses them. I have been reborn :lol:

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jlf65
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Re: A guide for not using LOOT

Post by jlf65 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:41 pm

Weird, but I've never seen an issue using a weather mod before the merged patch... probably because when I make the merged patch, I go through and fix all the stuff the automated process misses.

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katnerd
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Re: A guide for not using LOOT

Post by katnerd » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:59 pm

UsagiPyon wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:36 am
I use the much hated LOOT, but also manually adjust my LO. No problem so far asides from bugs that were documented and not fixed.
The dislike of LOOT by many modders is due to users and mod-makers alike treating it like a cure-all for load order conflicts. Many mod-makers simply put a line on their description page that says: "Let LOOT sort your load order", even though they are fully aware of the problems with LOOT.
LOOT is a tool, not a cure-all. There's nothing wrong with sorting your load order with LOOT, it's actually very good as a quick start as it will get many things right. Depending on how many esp's are in your load order and what game you're sorting.
The thing to remember is that it will never, ever, be more than a starting point. It will never be able to sort new mods correctly, many mods it will simply never know they exist. Very many actually, regardless of game (yes, even Skyrim). Add to the fact that LOOT may have a rule that mod "X" goes after mod "Y". But you prefer mod "Y"s changes for most records.

I will say that you'll never be able to properly add mods to these games if you rely on LOOT. Regardless of whether you use LOOT or not, you still need to review the load order in xEdit and adjust your load order accordingly. And you'll always have to make adjustments. If you don't you missed something :)

Sorry, I'm a bit long-winded today, heh.

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