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Setting the mod priority you want


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#1 humbye

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 05:53 AM

Problem:

Let's say you have multiple mods, such as texture replacers, that replace the same texture (Iron Sword for the sake of the argument). You start up your game but find that the texture for Iron Sword is not the one you want. Typically, you would load the plugin (.esp file) for the texture mod you want - let's call it Mod A - after the plugin for the texture mod you don't - Mod B - and the problem should resolve itself.

What if Mod A or Mod B doesn't have a plugin that you could reorder? What if neither do? How do you tell Mod Organizer (MO) to prioritise Mod A over Mod B?


Solution:

The first thing you need to do is ensure which mod is taking priority over Mod A's textures.

1. Open Mod Organizer, and on the left hand pane, look for Mod A. You should see a lightning symbol with a plus and/or minus symbol, under a column titled "Flags". The plus symbol means that Mod A is taking priority over other mods, the minus symbol means that other mods are taking priority over Mod A. For our example, Mod A should have a minus symbol, and Mod B should have a plus symbol.

[Note: If you hover the mouse pointer over the lighting symbol, the UI will show a tooltip stating one of three things: "Overwrites files" for the plus symbol, "Overwritten files" for the minus symbol and, "Overwrites and Overwritten" for both. Mod Organizer doesn't actually overwrite any files, hence Mod Organizer needs to set priorities for the mods you use, and decides which files from which mods to use.]

2. Double left click on the symbol for Mod A, and you will see a window pup up.

3. Click on the conflicts tab. You will see two windows. The window on top ("The following conflicted files are provided by this mod") lists the files that MO uses from this mod over others. The window at the bottom ("The following conflicted files are provided by other mods") are the files that MO uses from other mods that replace the files from this one. In our example, you would see the texture file for Iron Sword from Mod B in the bottom window.

4. Close the window.

5. On the left hand pane, there should be a column titled "Priority". What you want is for Mod A to have a higher priority than Mod B. Note that the higher the number, the higher the priority. 

6. Single left click on the number in the priority column for Mod A and you will be able to change the number. Set the number of Mod A higher than that of Mod B. So, for example, if Mod B had a number 10, then you need to set Mod A to 11 or higher. Don't worry if there's already a mod with a priority of 11, MO will automatically update the priority numbers accordingly.

7. Click the refresh button on the left pane (small button to the right of the Profile drop down menu), to refresh the list. The changes should then be apparent.

8. Repeat step 2 and 3, and check that the texture file for Mod B does not appear in the window below.

9. Do the same for Mod B, and check that the texture file from Mod A appears in the window below.

That's it, you should be ready to go. Start up your game and check that the correct texture file got loaded.

Hope this helps!

 

[color=#ff8c00;]DoubleYou:[/color]

[color=#ff8c00;]This information is technically all in the wiki on the priorities tab, but still is a valuable read for advanced info relating to hidden files and such. It does go off-topic later on. I may expand wiki priorities information to be more informative for specific examples like this in future.[/color]


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#2 wolverine2710

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:42 AM

Great post. Seems to be pretty much on the spot. I have a few comments and some additional information.
  • If you have not selected a mod you want to change the priority for you have to single click it to select it. After that indeed a single click in the priority field allows you to change the priority.
  • An alternative way to change the priority for a mod is to select its priority field and then press F2. Note this works for every field except for the 'installation' field.
  • Changing the priority for a mod is also possible by drag&drop. Select a mod and drag&drop it to the correct position. This also works when you have selected multiple mods using the standard windows ctrl and shift multi select feature.
Note: I wanted to add a comment about the refresh button but I believe you had just edited your original post.

In the example Mod A now has a higher priority then Mod B. What if there are a few textures in Mod B you prefer over the textures in Mod A. Two solutions:
  • Remove some textures in Mod A so that those in Mod B are now used.
  • Hide some textures in Mod A so that those in Mod B are now used.
(1) means the textures are deleted from  the real filing system.
(2) means the textures are only removed in the virtual filing sytem. When starting Skyrim in both case the effect is the same.

Deleting or Hiding a file is done by double clicking a mod or alternatively selecting it, right click and then select 'Information'. Now go to the FileTree tab, select the textures or whatever other asset (ie mesh), right click and either select 'delete' or 'hide'. If you hide a file its gets an extra extension of ".mohidden". Atm its not possible with the MO UI to find those back. A simple work around exists. Start windows explorer and go to the /mods directory and search for a files with a .mohidden extension. If you want to unhide a file just remove the extension. An enhancement request exists for it, its #346.

MO has the unique ability to change the load order of BSA files. For details see this thread.

An alternative for "Start up your game and check that the correct texture file got loaded." is to use Free Commander which shows the virtual filing system which is also used by Skyrim. For details see this thread.

Should I have forgotten something or made a mistake feel free to mention it.
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#3 Uhuru

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:37 AM

All good information humbye great to have your input and wolverine2710 is always a good source of Mod Organizer wisdom just one thing to add.

All Other Managers need you to take great care about your Install Order, as it decides which mod wins when theres a conflict and unless you manually edit, to change the conflict winner, you must change the Install Order. Which means reinstalling the conflict mods and all mods inbetween them. This can be lots of mods, so great care is taken with the install order, to get it right first time.

Mod Organizer is unique as you can install mods in any order you want, install order is irrelevant, as each mod is installed in its own folder. So nothing is overwritten by a later installed mod, which is what install order does.

Mod Organizer has the Priority Order that is mentioned above but because no files are overwitten this can be changed by drag and drop and nothing is reinstalled.

Because all "overwrites" caused by Priority Order happen in Virtual Data Folder only, no real files are actually overwitten.

So you can think of Priority Order as you would Install Order, but without the disadvantages when changing it, that is now Drag and Drop easy.

It's powerful feature most don't think of using because their so used to install order not being changed.

#4 Aiyen

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 12:33 PM

If I did not know what you mean there Uhuru then I would say its a hard pill to get down :P Saying that install order is irrelevant is a truth with modifications.... since you still need to decide which mod "overwrites" what when there are identical named textures, meshes etc. Would properly be more correct and easier to understand saying that no files are lost to overwrite, rather then saying it does not happen.... when in fact it kinda does.

#5 Uhuru

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 01:40 PM

Not sure what you mean, Install Order does not exist with Mod Organizer. Only Priority Order, which can be completetly different to the order you installed the mods. You install them any way you want to and then arrange your priority order afterwards using Drag and Drop method. No Mods are ever actually overwritten they are all in there own folder. Yes, if you are not manually editing each conflict (Like Skyrim Revisted using TES5Edit etc), you have to decide which mod wins the conflict, but you do not have to do it before or whilst installing them. You do so using Priority Order which is shown in priority column of Current Profiles Mods, and if you don't like result aafter playing Skyrim, you can Drag and Drop as many as you like and Try again and do it as much as you want until you are happy and all without Reinstalling a single file They are combined in Virtual Data Folder by Priority Order but what may be thought of as "overwrites" in other Managers don't actually occur. The files that would lose a conflict, because of lower Priority, which Mod Organizer has already established and can be seen in Conflicts Tab of each Mods Information Panel (Right Click on Mod Name and select Information... at bottom of context menu), are never written to Virtual Folder so cannot be ovewritten even Virtually, but end result looks the same, as if they were Overwritten. So no it doesn't kinda happen not even virtually at all, ever. But all that is getting more technical, the key concept I was trying to put across, so put in big bold letters, was the effect of arranging your Priority Order is the same as what Wrye Bash and Nexus Mod Manager achieve using Install Order, but how you get that effect is totally different and much easier to do. Thanks for asking though, as I'm a great believer in the concept that saying the same thing in different ways helps others understand the core idea.

#6 humbye

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 02:55 PM

@Wolverine:

Wow, that's some really useful information! Didn't know that MO had that facility.

Can I quote you and add the information you posted in an edit to the original post?


@Uhuru

Uhuru WroteMod Organizer is unique as you can install mods in any order you want, install order is irrelevant, as each mod is installed in its own folder. So nothing is overwritten by a later installed mod, which is what install order does.

Yes, that's one of the great advantages of MO. I think its worth noting that people should always check that their mods are in the correct priority order. I have found, for example, that MO did not properly order the unofficial patches for Skyrim. A typical install order would be Unofficial Skyrim Patch, then Unofficial Dawngard Patch, then Unofficial Heathfires Patch, and lastly Unofficial Dragonborn Patch. I did find, however, that MO gave USKP a higher priority than the other patches, which I quickly fixed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the other unofficial patches should have a higher priority than USKP, i.e. their files "overwrite" USKP's.
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#7 Aiyen

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 03:16 PM

Imo there is so much overlap between the two terms that it seems like one is just there to make MO sound special hehe ;) And in a manner of speaking it is not wrong... yes you can install them in any order, but the MO still compiles all the info in the virtual dir to "install" what you see ingame. I have called it install order since day one (Again I do not consider individual mod installs, only the end product.), since that is what people can relate too... But I am not going to go into a semantics argument here! Most because you are technically correct, but just saying that it will take time for that to sink in for many people, since they just think install order. As for the unofficial patches... they "should" be ordered in the same way as the DLC where released (But I as I recall it does not even matter, since all DLC resources have their own folder for unique stuff. And their own .esm´s which unique stuff.)... with the HDDLC one last.

#8 wolverine2710

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 04:18 PM

@Wolverine:

Can I quote you and add the information you posted in an edit to the original post?

You can add whatever information you need in your original post. No need for quotes.
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#9 Uhuru

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 05:06 PM

Aiyen, Thats what I'm trying to make clear, the main point behind the technicalities, is to get to that same end result in game, Mod Organizer is using a totally different, unique method, that does not rely on carefully selecting which mods get installed when.
It only relies on the order in your profile, when priority Tab is selected, also because the mods files are untouched, that priority is easily changed. With other managers it is not easily changed, it is time consuming and difficult.


If only end results mattered and not the methods used to get to that result there would only be one mod manager.

Propaganda
Because the methods used to get to the end result do matter at that result there will only be one mod manager.

Its Name is Mod Organizer

#10 Uhuru

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 05:55 PM

@Uhuru

Uhuru WroteMod Organizer is unique as you can install mods in any order you want, install order is irrelevant, as each mod is installed in its own folder. So nothing is overwritten by a later installed mod, which is what install order does.

Yes, that's one of the great advantages of MO. I think its worth noting that people should always check that their mods are in the correct priority order. I have found, for example, that MO did not properly order the unofficial patches for Skyrim. A typical install order would be Unofficial Skyrim Patch, then Unofficial Dawngard Patch, then Unofficial Heathfires Patch, and lastly Unofficial Dragonborn Patch. I did find, however, that MO gave USKP a higher priority than the other patches, which I quickly fixed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the other unofficial patches should have a higher priority than USKP, i.e. their files "overwrite" USKP's.

Don't think this applies to anybody whose posted but some readers may not know so worth saying.
Don't Confuse Priority Order or Install Order with Load Order (What BOSS sorts for you) they are totally different systems.

humbye
You're only wrong on one thing, but that error has made me think of something which Aiyen may nave been thinking about in our discussions here. So it's a good error, as it makes me now say something relevant I may not otherwise have said.
The Priority Order only is the same as Install Order when you Install Mods and do not arrange your priority at all.
You install 1st Mod so it has priority 0
You install 2nd Mod so it has priority 1
You install 3rd Mod so it has priority 2
...
...and so on this is what a new Mod Organizer User might do and because they have always done so they are installing the Mods in the correct Install Order and therefore never use the Priority Order sorting method they just don't know it exiists.
Tannin may have thought of this, but its the easiest way for new users, to continue as they always have.
I actually read about all mod managers before I chose Mod Organizer I was new to modding and so I never learnt to even use the Install Order method. I always used Priority Order and only learnt about Install Order as a historic method from the dark ages of modding

So thats your answer, Mod Organizer didn't sort the order of your patches, it never does and if you don't, only then are they sorted by Install Order.
I knew this, but just never thought about it, until your error made it slap me in the face

[Note to Self: Error Slaps make me think about them, get slapped by errors more often.
Aiyen things make more sense now this is a good feature but has drawback of making users unaware of priority order feature exists so they continue using Install Order because it still works.

#11 humbye

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 03:02 AM

humbye
You're only wrong on one thing, but that error has made me think of something which Aiyen may nave been thinking about in our discussions here. So it's a good error, as it makes me now say something relevant I may not otherwise have said.
The Priority Order only is the same as Install Order when you Install Mods and do not arrange your priority at all.
You install 1st Mod so it has priority 0
You install 2nd Mod so it has priority 1
You install 3rd Mod so it has priority 2

That should be the case. I install the unofficial patches in the traditional install order starting with USKP. So USKP should have had priority 0, but in my experience, it didn't. I wrote that comment as a precaution for new Mod Organizer users who might not understand the difference between install order and priority order.

I'm a new user (first version I installed and used was 1.04), and certainly didn't understand the difference until I started investigating the issue and wrote the initial post.

As an aside, I started modding with Morrowind when it first came out, so some habits are hard to shake, and I assume (maybe incorrectly) that many new users, and especially those who've been modding for a long time in the "traditional" way, will assume the same applies to MO.

Thanks for the input, though, very informative :)

EDIT: I noticed that every time I write a new post, the thread title becomes "un-bolded". How do I set it to bold because someone is setting it back to bold, and I'm sure they're getting annoyed with the constant change back and forth?
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#12 Aiyen

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 05:01 AM

Aiyen, Thats what I'm trying to make clear, the main point behind the technicalities, is to get to that same end result in game, Mod Organizer is using a totally different, unique method, that does not rely on carefully selecting which mods get installed when.
It only relies on the order in your profile, when priority Tab is selected, also because the mods files are untouched, that priority is easily changed. With other managers it is not easily changed, it is time consuming and difficult.


Like I said, you are technically correct! And I know what you are talking about. 

Aiyen things make more sense now this is a good feature but has drawback of making users unaware of priority order feature exists so they continue using Install Order because it still works.


But like I was trying to get into, when explaining to people who are not technically on top of the pyramid, then it becomes a bit of a semantics argument. Because to them then it is still just an install order, and when they setup their mod list, it happens from a guide and they will install the mods in that order. And while MO might be special and use priority order, then I doubt the average user is going to notice it! That it is a brilliant idea for the experienced modder is a totally different story! :) 

#13 Uhuru

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 12:04 PM

We are coming from the problem from different starting points, the final aim is also diifferent. You're starting from STEP, which has always been a guide list of modding Skyrim. Also as a STEP Moderator your bias is the overall improvement of STEP. I'm starting from Mod Organizer, which has always been a mod manager for The Elder Scrolls and Fallout Series, Also as an OMOSF (Official Mod Organizer Support Forum) Moderator my bias is the overall improvement of OMOSF. There is no fundamental reason that we can't discuss these matters, like anyone else can. Well thought out reasoning of different opinions is the only criteria required for good debates to occur, when all have the same opinion there is no debate, so all opinions are welcomed.

Most users do not follow a guide like STEP, even ones much simpler. They generally start by installing one or two mods, add to and remove them as they go with little regard for the consequences.
  • Many will never learn from the error this practice inevitably creates and are typically of the "Only use mods on Steam Workshop" mindset.
    • Steam Workshop is worst Mod Site for Skyrim ever, because the one click and you're done sytem implies it's so easy, which would be great if true, it's irresponsible to do so when it's not, but that's another topic.
  • Most users do learn from there mistakes and improve they're modding to an extent and are typically of the "Only use mods on Nexus" mindset.
    • A Sizable subset of users exist who follow Gopher's Videos, while his advise is good his Nexus bias distorts it, are typically of the "Only use mods recommended on Gopher's Videos" mindset.
  • The small section of users who take great care of there mod list whether they follow a guide or not are typically of the "Only use mods recommended on STEP" mindset.
    • A Sizable subset of users exist who follow Neovalen's Skyrim Revisited Methods, take extreme care of there mod list, whether they follow his guide or not are typically of the "Only select mod files using Neovalen's Skyrim Revisited Methods" mindset.
The OMOSF must cater for all these generalised mindsets, except the first, plus those who don't neatly fit in these boundaries and are between them.

The OMOSF is after all not now just for STEP users, most of whom seem more knowledgable than the average user, some may be just follow guide and install types, it is true, but they tend to just post if the have a specific problem.
This is now, the Official Mod Organizer Support Forum for all Mod Organizer users even those that are not using Skyrim never mind STEP. As such, some discussion will be on technical aspects, not really of use to ordinary users, who want it to just work.
The place for the simplified guide will be the Wiki which is being updated now, there has been discussion about Technical Sections on the Wiki as well as the basic guide.
The Wiki will become the Official Documentation for Mod Organizer.

We are only a week into this new Support Structure and are still learning the STEP way, we are guests on STEP and must follow the established methods, we will make mistake, though we'll try to minimise them.
These more technical discussions will (are intended to) make clear what are the important sections of information to provide for these general groups.
  • How do I just use Mod Organizer program users
  • I want to know how every thing works Users
  • I want to know how and why it works in depth Users
All have different levels of understanding and we are trying to cater for all, but Group 1. Having the most users are the second priority not the first.
Group 3. must come first and this is not an elitist thing, as I'm obviously in Group 3. it is a common sense requirement, because those educating Groups 1. and 2. must learn and know their facts and be sure of the advice they give.
The Main Mod Organizer Advisors, who are not just the Moderators of this forum, must know the material and thus will be from Group 3.
That does not mean Groups 1. and 2. can't pass good advice on to others, once they know it, just that it all ultimately comes from the Main Mod Organizer Advisors.
One additional groupng point is that we all start at Group 1. and most are happy to stay at that level, they get what they need and move on. Some want more control of their Mods and move to Group 2. that dividng line is quite clear. The divide between Groups 2. and 3. is a gradual slope and not so simple to assess.

Whatever level of ability the user has, I have taken two key points, from this analysis of the Priority Order Methodology, that combined with woverine2710 and humbye's Mechanics discussions key facts, should be added to the Documentations Basic Guide (What all users should know). Only one of which I had thought of adding, though I knew both, the significance of the point 1. I had not thought about in an advice context.
  • If you don't manually alter your Priority Order it is actually also your Install Order, Mod Organizer will treat any conflicts like other managers.
  • If you do change your Priority Order at all Instll Order ceases to have any meaning, Mod Organizer will treat conflicts Uniqely,which basically means no reinstalling to switch conflct winners around.
All in all this is a good result of this discussion as all Mod Organizer users will benefit when challenging and probing discussions provide new insights and cleare thought processes so keep on challenging us!
Also a good example of the advantage to Mod Organizer of having support on STEP so thanks Aiyen

Lastly where these sort of debates should be will become clearer whenwe get organized properly.

#14 Aiyen

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 12:17 PM

Very nice post... (Continually amazed by the time you must be spending on it! Oh and your layout is getting better by the day! :) ) I agree with what you are saying, and it does make perfect sense! I am biased in that I have been doing this for a while now, and have learned it the hard way. But others are not that (un)fortunate. Also looking forward to see what you figure out in terms of setting up specialized MO help, since as it is now all we say in the help is essentially... (Use MO because it is easier and better!). And then have people coming in the next day when they fail to getting BUM working since they fail in linking to the correct .exe.

#15 wolverine2710

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 01:29 PM

@Uhuru. Indeed a very good post.  Your diplomatic and writers gen is much more developed then mine. The real challenge of the the wiki and/or specialized MO help is to gather for both the "just want it to work" and "show me the real details" users. That's gonna be hard. On the one hand it must be concise enough that users actually read it and on the other it must contain enough information to be useful and complete. I think the videos by Deathneko11 and Bridger are really useful here. When I try to explain something its hard for me to leave out details because I think that information is needed. But is it? Do users really care about that kind of stuff I wonder? I really would like to have an advanced section in the wiki where I can just point users to for more information when when I try to explain things in a concise (not even close to being complete way).  I've explained a lot of things over and over again and its gets tedious. However good technical information which is understandable is also hard to create. Now that I've retested the NMM importer for the third time I have time till Tannin creates another MO RC before I have/want to retest that importer again. I miss the screams of the importer when I put it on the rack and stretch it even a bit further till the importer joints snap. Probably starting tuesday/wednesday I can start editing the sandbox version of the wiki again. BUT I should not forget to play Skyrim once in while ;-) It so easy to get burned out when spending to much time with this MO thing.... I'm a perfectionist and sometimes I have to apply the brakes for my own good.....
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