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Managing the Load Order...


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#91
Ghatto

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I'll just preface my post with a disclaimer that I haven't tried Vortex yet, but am still interested to. This discussion though, just put the fear in me. I think something that nobody has managed to air in their frustrations much here is that for a lot of us who have gone through the 'baptism of fire' of building a massively modded game and having it turned into a nightmare of troubleshooting, we've learned a lot about applying tricks and methods that work just for ourselves. We did so by learning new programs and methods that introduced radical new ways of approaching modding and (most importantly) taught us how to do advanced things. Things that we grow dependent on because they are the perfect mix of knowing exactly what we're doing while also getting the game to run properly. I'm not surprised to see something that works counter to how we've finally managed to 'work it all out' rub us the wrong way. Human nature I suppose.

 

In my case, (and I'm sure others too). I played my first modded games with NMM and it was great, until it all came crashing down - mostly because I didn't know what I was doing. So when I tried again and NMM looked like it wouldn't cut it: the lord and saviour Mod Organizer appeared. So much more complicated but if you just paid attention then you'd gain so much more stability and control. Learning and following excellent instructions on STEP and in the forums here added to this and employed the use of even more granular control over our modlists. LOOT, Wrye Bash, DDSopt, xEdit, Merge Plugins and more built on it even further and added new ideologies and new rules to follow for having an optimum experience.

 

Of course though having to do that does get fatiguing so naturally, when Vortex was announced I was HYPE. I mean seriously, hiring Tannin - the maker of MO. We would get the spiffyness and ease of use of NMM combined with the absolute power of MO while having it as the de-facto mod manager of the most prolific mod depository on the internet! If only those tools I mentioned above could also be integrated somehow - a man can dream!

 

Now it's out and I want to try it but I'm in the middle of my New Vegas playthrough and I do not want to mess with it. So I gobble up everyone's impressions and, well... so many comments about how it doesn't do this thing I like or that thing I like; all things that Mod Organizer does; all things that Tannin demonstrated before. I do understand that it's Alpha - unfinished, and that developers work hard and can't just add every little feature people ask for (especially when embarking on a new project.) It just paints a rather disappointing picture I suppose; the new shiny program can't do what the old busted program did and dispels the illusion that this program will truly be the future for every modder.

 

As I read this feedback I'm left wanting to understand the rhetoric of the developers. I have seen some explanations and also many people pushing back against them. It's a start either way but I do admit it does appear rather lacking. Arguing for the case of improving LOOT for the sake of everyone does sound good, but it also doesn't sound like a good reason to not have a simply drag and drop mod order. I would like to really come to understand the developers vision for having these process work together in Vortex to make it a great modern replacement (or at least alternative) for MO. Personally the kinds of pipe dreams I hoped for Vortex was basically everything MO did but easier to navigate, with some basic functions just built in, like patching and merging and file readers - but hey I suppose that's at the behest of the developers who made those tools. Right now, after reading and watching some YouTube demonstrations, Vortex just gives me the feeling of a shiner NMM and well that just a bit ehhh?

 

But I will eventually try it. I want it to succeed. Having an easy to approach mod manager with hopefully way less splintering of tools is the kind of future I look forward to.



#92
Tannin42

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As I read this feedback I'm left wanting to understand the rhetoric of the developers. I have seen some explanations and also many people pushing back against them. It's a start either way but I do admit it does appear rather lacking. Arguing for the case of improving LOOT for the sake of everyone does sound good, but it also doesn't sound like a good reason to not have a simply drag and drop mod order. I would like to really come to understand the developers vision for having these process work together in Vortex to make it a great modern replacement (or at least alternative) for MO. Personally the kinds of pipe dreams I hoped for Vortex was basically everything MO did but easier to navigate, with some basic functions just built in, like patching and merging and file readers - but hey I suppose that's at the behest of the developers who made those tools. Right now, after reading and watching some YouTube demonstrations, Vortex just gives me the feeling of a shiner NMM and well that just a bit ehhh?

 

A few things:

- Vortex is designed to be the replacement for NMM. Of course we're trying to identify and incorporate what's great about alternatives (be it MO, Wrye Bash, Steam Workshop or whatever) but first and foremost it has to be a better NMM.

- The primary reason we were careful with releasing screenshots and videos during development was exactly because we made a few radical design decisions and wanted people to try them instead of judging based on screenshots.

 

The reason we don't "simply" allow drag&drop mod or plugin load order (based on context I assume you mean plugin load order) is because there is nothing simple about that. For one thing you can't use rule-based and direct manual ordering at the same time, you either set rules and let the sorter do the rest or you set the load order directly (via drag&drop or whatever) and not touch the sort because it would throw away all your manual adjustments.

So offering direct ordering wouldn't be an extension or improvement to what we have now, it would be a parallel approach to do the same thing.

And if we did that (offer a second approach) we would have the cost of developing (*) and mantaining it, we would have to explain it in our documentation, tutorials and videos. When you try to help a user you have to first ask him how he's managing his plugins (or mods) and then give individual instructions based on that.

 

(*) and developing and maintaining direct load order management isn't quite as simple and cheap as people seem to think. The drag&drop control isn't the problem, but people would still expect it to enforce correct order between esm/master esps, esls (creation club and custom) and esps. Fallout 4 and Skyrim SE now have 5 groups of plugins that have to be loaded in a specific order and, if previous investigation by mod authors is correct, setting one plugin as a master of an esl will move it to another group.

It's some work, not impossible but also not negligible, and I'd just much rather invest the time on other features.

That's all it is, there is no attempt to patronise users or force them into a certain way of doing things, we just implemented one way of solving the problem, a way that works fine for beginners and advanced users and we don't want to impose the cost (immediate and indirect) of implementing a second officially supported one.

 

But as I've said before: I consider extensibility the biggest strength of Vortex and I have little doubt that others will eventually provide an extension for direct load order management, it just won't be in the core application. But Vortex is out publicly for less than a week, there is no proper documentation for the API yet, give it a bit of time.



#93
Brabbit1987

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I'll just preface my post with a disclaimer that I haven't tried Vortex yet, but am still interested to. This discussion though, just put the fear in me. I think something that nobody has managed to air in their frustrations much here is that for a lot of us who have gone through the 'baptism of fire' of building a massively modded game and having it turned into a nightmare of troubleshooting, we've learned a lot about applying tricks and methods that work just for ourselves. We did so by learning new programs and methods that introduced radical new ways of approaching modding and (most importantly) taught us how to do advanced things. Things that we grow dependent on because they are the perfect mix of knowing exactly what we're doing while also getting the game to run properly. I'm not surprised to see something that works counter to how we've finally managed to 'work it all out' rub us the wrong way. Human nature I suppose.

 

 

 

A lot of features are just not available yet because it's an alpha. You need to remember that this isn't a full release. This isn't even a beta. If your concern is about load order, Vortex gives you the tools to sort your load order just fine. It's just done a bit differently. You still have the controls you need.
 
 

In my case, (and I'm sure others too). I played my first modded games with NMM and it was great, until it all came crashing down - mostly because I didn't know what I was doing. So when I tried again and NMM looked like it wouldn't cut it: the lord and saviour Mod Organizer appeared. So much more complicated but if you just paid attention then you'd gain so much more stability and control. Learning and following excellent instructions on STEP and in the forums here added to this and employed the use of even more granular control over our modlists. LOOT, Wrye Bash, DDSopt, xEdit, Merge Plugins and more built on it even further and added new ideologies and new rules to follow for having an optimum experience.

 

Technically speaking if you know what you are doing NMM works fine, MO just had additional features to allow much more detailed control over things, but you can get an equally stable game using either manager regardless. The STEP guide teaches you how to use LOOT essentially and uses the rules system to sort, which is the exact system Vortex uses. So if you have been following the STEP guide you should already know how to use Vortex's method of load order. It might not be going into a list to just drag and drop the plugin, but you still can tell where each plugin needs to go pretty easily. It honestly shouldn't take anyone all that long to do if they are not sorting plugins that don't need sorting.

 
 

Of course though having to do that does get fatiguing so naturally, when Vortex was announced I was HYPE. I mean seriously, hiring Tannin - the maker of MO. We would get the spiffyness and ease of use of NMM combined with the absolute power of MO while having it as the de-facto mod manager of the most prolific mod depository on the internet! If only those tools I mentioned above could also be integrated somehow - a man can dream!

 

 

That's literally what he did with LOOT. 
 
 

Now it's out and I want to try it but I'm in the middle of my New Vegas playthrough and I do not want to mess with it. So I gobble up everyone's impressions and, well... so many comments about how it doesn't do this thing I like or that thing I like; all things that Mod Organizer does; all things that Tannin demonstrated before. I do understand that it's Alpha - unfinished, and that developers work hard and can't just add every little feature people ask for (especially when embarking on a new project.) It just paints a rather disappointing picture I suppose; the new shiny program can't do what the old busted program did and dispels the illusion that this program will truly be the future for every modder.

 

 

The reason it's not doing it the old way is simply that it doesn't need to. If you go on about trying to include every feature everyone wants just because they don't want to use the method that already exists in the software, then that means more time is being spent on features that aren't improving the software for everyone, but a select few who can't seem to move on. But not only that, Vortex is built with customization in mind. This means if these people really want this feature, they can quite literally develop an extension themselves. Why waste time developing a feature that really isn't needed for the core functionality of the software, when others can do it?
 
 

As I read this feedback I'm left wanting to understand the rhetoric of the developers. I have seen some explanations and also many people pushing back against them. It's a start either way but I do admit it does appear rather lacking. Arguing for the case of improving LOOT for the sake of everyone does sound good, but it also doesn't sound like a good reason to not have a simply drag and drop mod order.

 


Because it's literally not needed. This isn't like a situation where you can't sort your load order manually. You can. You just can't do it in the exact manner as you could previously. But why does that matter so much when all you have to do is create a rule and it does the same exact thing? People keep wanting to understand, but Tannin has explained this repeatedly over and over again but they don't seem to want to accept his explanation or either that, they don't seem to understand what he says.



I would like to really come to understand the developers vision for having these process work together in Vortex to make it a great modern replacement (or at least alternative) for MO. Personally the kinds of pipe dreams I hoped for Vortex was basically everything MO did but easier to navigate, with some basic functions just built in, like patching and merging and file readers - but hey I suppose that's at the behest of the developers who made those tools. Right now, after reading and watching some YouTube demonstrations, Vortex just gives me the feeling of a shiner NMM and well that just a bit ehhh?

 

Again, it's an alpha. A lot of the features that were in MO are planned for Vortex, and more. Of course, it's not anything like MO yet. Of course, it doesn't have those features yet. It's planned though and you just need to be patient. The only feature I know of that Tannin has said isn't going to be worked on is this load order drag and drop situation and with very good reason. Because no one has come here and gave a decent enough explanation for why it's absolutely needed. Keyword needed. Not want, but need. He is the only person working on the software at the moment, and he has said, he wants to work on other features that are more important.

Edit: Lol plus, all the reasons above that Tannin commented.


Edited by Brabbit1987, Today, 03:57 PM.





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