I made this post on the Merge Plugins Forum advising a user of a way to manage mods using MO's mod isolation capabilities, it's most advanced application is to manage FoMods for Multiple profiles, especially when those profiles use different options and/or mods that affect many of these types of FoMod choices. A typical example is using different weather mods, my ENB choice give 5 of these:
Vividian ENB - Weather and Lighting - Vivid Weathers - CoT5 - RCRN - Pure Weather - Purity - NLA by Mangaclub and Benhat
Many FoMods also have options for these, and I gave clear examples of how I split these FoMods to enable the multi choice options, to be used. Providing one set of files, for all profiles, whatever options are chosen. See the spoilers in my post.
The main thing I'd add is to do the isolation after merging the plugins, not before, as merging may need to copy certain file-specific assets which requires the plugin to be in the same folder as the mod asset files. In this case you just want to make certain you uncheck the "Copy General Assets" option from the Integrations tab of the Options window.
Now the FoMod methology is the most complex implimentation, but the separation of Plugin(s), from assets can be applied to ordinary mods for plugin only merging in MO.
I have considered Mator's response, and I'm sure he's mistaken, what he says applies to the recommended process, but I never said anything about using the recommended method.
I believe I understand exactly how MO works in my system, but I could be wrong about Merge Plugins functionality, and as I'm advising people, I want the advice to be correct.
Rather than what I think is correct (or Mator), that is much more important than which is right.
THe fact is I'm taking on full responsibility for ordering the assets to match the merging, for easy switching of profiles, where merges may be different, or not used is more important to me than ease of any particular process.
My principle is to do the work required to in advance, so that when I change the profile, it is immediatly ready to go.
Instead of either reinstalling all the Fomods, or having profile specific installs for each one, I simply activate the choices I desire, once for each profile, due to this each play ready at once, no matter how different the choices made.
My SSD thanks me, with freed up Gigabytes of space. The same basic principle is applied to the merged plugins when an included plugin isn't used, another merge already exists, or the individual plugins can simply be activated.
Mator's recommended methods work fine for one profile, or if the same choices are made for all profiles, but I prefer the flexibilty of keeping the mods pristine and ready to use.
So now that long explanation is over, lets get to the simplicity of the method I use, to merge mods.
Merge Plugins Method used
Merge Plugins is used, as if Mod Organizer didn't exist, I ignore Mator's instructions, as far as his tool is concerned (All 3rd party tools in MO), it is the Skyrim Data Folder, it's merging the plugins in.
Given that fact, I use the basic system, exactly like the Manual and/or Wrye Bash user would, all I want merging is the plugins, just like they do.
What happens in MO's mods folder, is under my control, and I take full responsibilty for getting things correct in MO, Merge Plugins has one job, merging the plugins, nothing more.
This makes his response, irrelevant, MO mod management isn't part of the merging process I use, and I don't need to uncheck the "Copy General Assets" option, because I never check the I'm using MO one, thn auto checks it.
I don't tell Merge Plugins what I'm using, because it doesn't need to know that, all it needs to do is Merge Plugins within the games Data folder. Mo and I manage what's in MO's Mods folder, so it doesn't need to even see it.
MOMA (Mod Organizer Manged Archives)
We need a name or acronym for this, I know of none for this system, so offer this feeble effort
How I use MO's BSA options, I go with full MOMA. I never considered BSA extraction as viable or even desirable for Skyrim, using MO.
It still surprises me that the WB supporters pick on that, as it's used by WB users much more than MO, indeed getting STEP to kick that bad habit, brought from WB use, was the main problem I saw
MOMA gave me the best of both worlds, BSA size on my SSD, with Loose files management of assets, I never so any need to extract anything, much as STEP now does, if a specific file inside the BSA needs changing, I extract the file, but still use the BSA.
I honestly don't know why BSA extraction, or built in LOOT even exist in MO.
Tannin always said, something like, "MO should use 3rd party tools, when available, if they can do a better job". My memory puts the phrase, "MO won't reinvent the wheel", in my head, but memory always lies, it's unreliable as source material.
Full LOOT sorts better, due to the UI and user editing feature, MO lacks. BSA extraction, I'm not as clear on, BSAOpt for extraction and BGS's Archive.exe to remake them?
I can't see anything I'm missing, or know of anything that changes the situation, but as I said at the start, it's getting this right that's important, if I'm telling people I'm right, and Mator's wrong, I need to be sure it's correct.
If Mator's right, and I'm the one whose got it wrong, I need to understand why, so what is correct is more important, than who said it.
Feedback is appreciated, and though explaining my methology is not so easy, using the methods described, is much simpler, than explaining them.
Edited by Uhuru, 18 May 2016 - 12:00 PM.