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Think of "symlinks" as something like a "desktop shortcut", i.e. a placeholder that links to the actual file in it's actual physical location. "The map is not the thing."


"Mods" are a collection of related individual files packaged together into an "archive" file to make it easy to obtain everything needed in a single download. The "archive" has to be "unpacked" into the individual files which then have to be placed in the "Data" folder in order to used by the game engine. (A "BSA" is a "Bethesda" archive specifically created for use by the game, and is the only such "archive" format it understands. There are differences in the BSA format between different Bethesda games. Creating one requires a special tool such as BSArch.) So, yes, you have to copy all of the individual element files of a mod into the "Datadev" folder. Or you could just "manually install" the mod there as well. (I cover this under the "Terminology" section of the wiki "FNV General Mod Use Advice" article.)


As to the entire process being "tiring", yes: "mod creation/editing" usually is. It is not something to think "I can do this quickly/easily" because there is a steep learning curve the first time, and every time afterwards you attempt something else for the first time. Which is why it tends to be something only someone already in or determined to break into the software/gaming business engages in. It is literally a separate education track: like fixing the "file explorer problem". But it does become easier the next time around; just like everything else as you gain experience.


Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't become discouraged.



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