I never used Loot even when I was a noob at modding. Here's one reason why. If there's a way to handle this with Loot that isn't as ugly as what I have to describe, please let me know
When I do my load order, I like having certain categories of mods in a certain succession, for example, in Skyrim SSE:
NPC Replacers, then
Grass and Tree texture/mesh mods, then
Water, Mountain and Road texture/mesh mods, then
Weather and lighting mods.
There shouldn't be any conflicts between each of those categories, right? (Note that I do NOT have my mods sorted into *actual* categories, did not find an actual need to do this, as I can find things faster just by having all mods listed alphabetically). But I still like having the mods in given categories as the above grouped together, and it's not just for "visual" or "organizational" reasons (though I don't really get why those wouldn't be motive *enough*), it also reflects my research and conclusions from reading author suggestions about which mod types should be generally higher and which should be generally lower in the load order. Like, the general notion that weather and lighting mods should be near the bottom of the load order, and that Realistic Water Two should be near the bottom as well. When I had Loot sort a while ago in Vortex, I suppose because I installed the weather mods earlier on, it left them all near the top of my load order.
Anyway.... in my "NPC Replacers" mod category, I have 6 mods. I'm fine with setting up rules that order those 6 mods. The last one of those 6 happens to be a mod called "Fresh Faces". And my first mod in my group of 5 "Grass and Tree mods" is Verdant. To get these groups of mods to follow each other the way I want, I have to create a rule that says "Verdant" must come after "Fresh Faces"... which is silly. The mods have nothing to do with one another, there's no conflict, it's an artificial dependency that I have to create. And if I move Verdant lower in my Grass and Tree mods order for whatever reason, now I have to reassign my rules.
Hope that made sense, and if there's a more intuitive way to get these categories to sort in the load order, I'd like to hear it (I really have no experience with Loot prior to this, so yes, I'm a total noob at it. Maybe there's some fantastic way for me to order generally non-conflicting categories, but so far, I haven't seen it.).
EDIT: Another thing... it seems to me that if Loot finds some mods in a load order that it doesn't have any rules for, and doesn't find conflicts for, and basically just doesn't recognize, then it doesn't move them, it just leaves them where they are. This effectively means that the install order determined the load order for those mods. So, if I wind up uninstalling and reinstalling everything for whatever reason (hard drive crash, whatever), on my next install, those mods will probably be moved around. So what, you say, if Loot doesn't find a conflict or require an order? Because I simply don't want moving parts in my load order when I'm trying to recreate something - Loot isn't infallible, and maybe there was an unknown file conflict between two files, both archived in BSA's, that work in one order but not another, and I got lucky and had them wind up in the correct order the first time, leaving me with a perfectly working mod installation, I don't want to have to remember that I either have to install things in a certain order OR set up a rule sequencing EVERY SINGLE plugin in order to duplicate what I had before exactly. If I have to do all that, if I have to set up rules for every single mod in order to fix a specific load order, I'd rather use a mod manager that just lets me put them in the order I want by dragging and dropping rather than creating rules for every single mod. All I need is a text file with my previous load order, order them that way, and I've recreated my previous working installation *exactly* with minimal hassle. And recreating my working installation *exactly* gives me peace of mind.
Edited by Qwinn, 03 February 2018 - 12:55 AM.