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Why LOOT is much better than BOSS ever could be


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Why LOOT is much better than BOSS ever could be

First



Yes it's very Long and detailed, but it is easily readable by normal users, there are detailed parts that prove the statements, they can be passed over if you accept the statements as true, even if you read every wordof this post and/or my detailed responses to other posts, you can read them 100 times over and still be much quicker than I, writing them once, I write this as an addition to this post and must point out that many, (not all) posts are asking about things already answered here, Last I'm just a user, I am very knowledgable because I RTFM, I rarely ask questions and have been told many times I write very good guides that both Noobs and Experienced users find helpful, that's not an easy balancing act, the main trick is explaining the same thing in different ways. Damn even my short notes are long, Deal with it, I have to write them and deal with it.


I 'm very thorough but not perfect, factual mistakes are very rare, if you find one, usually I prove you wrong, prove me wrong and I'll correct the Error.


I started to write this post in the Private Needs support Topic, in response to this comment, made at the end of a longer post unrelated to this subject.
It became longer than planned (My posts always do) and the subject is unrelated to the Private Needs Mod. So as it's important and covers Skyrim Modding in general I've posted it here instead.
 

Problem with BOSS, it is no longer being supported. I have the latest version of BOSS and when I use it, get the error of unable to download the latest list. After an internet search, found that BOSS is to be replaced with another program, LOOT, I believe is the name of it. Seems the creators never heard of the saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Note: if unsure of an Acronyms meaning point cursor (Mouseover) at the letters for full version. How did I do that use Special BBCode Icon to Left of Font drop down box and choose 1st option of Special BBCode's drop down box called "Acronym".

You think BOSS wasn't broken, really?, you must have a magic MasterList that auto updates when mods change and it adds the brand new ones also, yes please share this super MasterList with us all.

Seriously though the BOSS program was great but it relied on a man made list where every new mod and all updates required a new entry, Only 20 people have ever added to that list, in entire time since Skyrim's release, of them only 5 or 6 were active at the same time. Every day the unlisted mods increased, it meant only the most popular Nexus mods ever got added quickly, many mods even when they were added, had already updated again. All them mods unssorted at bottom of the list that you had to sort yourself manually or using BUM.

That's what LOOT fixes, 99.9% of mods are sorted automatically with LOOT as soon as they are made they will be placed in the correct Load Order with no MasterList enty at all.
The wise may notice LOOT has a MasterList though, so whats it for. Mainly things like Bash Tags, the Delev, Relev notes you had in BOSS, Dirty Edit Notes and other Warnings.
Then theres the 0.1% of other mods that need special treatment the Game Files, Unnofficial Patches at top of LO. the Dynamic Patches like the Bashed Patch and SkyProc Patchers all of which have variable masters depending on your mod list, they go to bottom of LO, Next we have Plugins that must be Loaded after another even though not a required master file.
Putting it in context
Nexus ModID Number is 50,000+ estimating that all other sites including Steam Workshop match that number, gives approximately 100,000 Mods
BOSS a single Mod entry could be a single line or as many as 20+ lines and long lines as well. the MasterList has 43,000 Lines, so even if we assume 1 line per mod thats over half of mods unlisted, the actual number is nearer 30,000 at a generous guess, so more like 2/3 of mods totally unlisted and we've not even considered updates at all.
A big nasty hidden problem managed by concentrating on the most popular mods first, but still growing worse day by day.
Now LOOT is a Planned Mod designed to fix this major issue, partly caused by BOSS changes being done as the issues appeared, It's MasterList is logical and designed.
So we can say for certain exactly what number of mods are affected. I will still give rounded approximations and will Round Up for LOOT. Down for BOSS.

The Numbers

  • Total Mod ESM/ESP Files's
    • 100,000
  • BOSS MasterLists ESM/ESP Files's
    • 33,000
  • BOSS Sorted Mod ESM/ESP Files's
    • 33,000
  • BOSS Unsorted Mod ESM/ESP Files's
    • 67,000

BOSS was a great tool but that's not sustainable, it is not that obvious as the popular mods we all tend to use are updated first, the fewer Nexus Mods you use the worse it is for you.

  • Total Mod ESM/ESP Files's
    • 100,000
  • LOOT MasterLists ESM/ESP Files's (that's right the actual number is less, this is the only mods in LOOT MasterList that are needed just for correct LO)
    • 300
  • LOOT Sorted Mod ESM/ESP Files's
    • 100,000
  • LOOT Unsorted Mod ESM/ESP Files's
    • 0

LOOT is a great tool that will simply sort the LO however new the Mod as with Private Needs as soon as it's uploaded by the author. LOOT will sort it. Unless it's one of the 0.1% then it needs a MasterList Entry which can now be dealt with as soon as its reported.
The Final Nail is this
BOSS sorted mods by groups and each group was sorted alphabetically solely for the benefit of the updaters, no other reason.
This has resulted in the myth that only one correct LO exists for any given group of mods, a common cry of the LO of:

  • Looks Wrong
    • If you can tell by looking, you don't need a mod to do this do you. No one can know by looking, Try it if game loads you're good to go.
  • Author says his must be the Last Mod
    • There can be only one mod that must be the Last Mod, how many times have you seen this written and why?
    • Last mod will work usually without error, you don't bug author about compatibility, all he cares about.

One point the first and last mods are set in LOOT by a Priority Number and the highest priority is currently as these entries from LOOT MasterList show

  - name: 'EzEWorldMap.esp'
    priority: 1997000
  - name: 'EzEMapSolstheim.esp'
    priority: 1997000
  - name: 'Warburgs Paper World Map.esp'
    priority: 1997000

So if you happened to have all 3 of these ESP's they would then be in the LO shown here, if Warburg tells you his map mod must be last, he alone is actually right, no one else.

LO has only one Purpose to Load the Game.
If you are running about in Skyrim the LO is Right. It needs no changes at all. Read this to understand

[Edit] It has been rightly pointed out that this appears to take no account of BSA's which can contain Scripts, technically this appear to be correct.
Theoretically,

  • If every Mod contains just ESM/ESP and BSA files MP/IO has absolutely no effect at All !
  • If every Mod contains just ESM/ESP and Loose files MP/IO has absolutely this effect whatever else was involved.

The reality is usually somewhere inbetween most installs will have some mixture of the these, but regardless all eventualities must be accounted for.
So though I didn't make such a huge mistake as to totally forget or ignore BSA files (that would be a big fuck up for sure), I didn't explain why it might look like I did. So here's why.
This is all about LOOT and the benefits it gives us over BOSS. Both take account of BSA files in their Sorting Methods, for 99% of BSA files that means nothing at all because they have no actual effect on LO, the few that do are ideally already in the MasterList or simply need an entry adding. The issue will likely be a script conflict but must be between 2 BSA files and not involve Loose Files which would be better dealt with using MP/IO.

Standard Procedure for Identifying Conflicting Plugin Pairs


Note: First you need to have found one conflicted Plugin with a BSA not Loose Files and that moving to bottom of LO Fixes the issue (above Bashed Patch is usually required).
Now most Likely this is a script issue, usually are the cause of these things, but it does not actually matter as the mods got a BSA we are dealing with the entire package.
Now we can be pretty certain this isn't an absolute position error, that would almost certainly have been picked up by now, as it's not a new mod.
So we work on the assumption it's a mod conflict, so we need to find the other mod, Lets narrow the suspects first.
First do a normal sort with LOOT and confirm if the issue is present or not (Never Assume, Check)
Now we have a starting point:

  • Confirmed Issue Present = TM is After CM
    • Manually place CM half between established end points (This becomes next times end point)
      • Confirmed Issue Present = TM is After CM Go to 1 and Repeat
      • Confirmed Issue Absent = TM

 

is Before CM Go to 2 and Repeat

  • Confirmed Issue Absent = TM
  • is Before CM
    • Manually place CM
    half between established end points (This becomes next times end point)
    • Confirmed Issue Present = TM is After CM Go to 1 and Repeat
    • Confirmed Issue Absent = TM
    is Before CM Go to 2 and Repeat
  • When only one Mod is between CM from both sides that's the TM
  • Now you know both Mods a User entry can be made for CM to always Load After the TM.
    With a single issue as you describe this of course gives you no real benefit, the payback is communal, before you had nothing to report to LOOT Team.
    All you could say is CM coflicts with a mod in my LO hardly useful and nothing to actually Test and confirm.
    Now though you have a Valid and Confirmable Issue to Report.
    LOOT can quickly Open Multiple MO Test Builds add the pair of Mods and Confirm your Findings. Then immediatly change the MasterList and everybody gets the fix applied.

    Summary
    BSA's are accounted for and dealt with by LOOT this section assumes that is already done.
    [End Edit]
    Lastly and more a hope than expectation is we might finally stop the constant posts that changing the LO fixed an in-game issue, it's not that these posts are lying, but LO actually has nothing to do with the fix in-game. This may seem a contradiction after all they changed the LO and it fixed the game, the next guy doing the same thing though finds it doesn't work for him. Why? Because what actually fixed the game was another change that happened because of what changing the LO also altered. I'll give a simple example.
    First we need to consider something always neglected, MP/IO.
    Modder wants Mod B to go before Mod A because he wants Mod A's Texture to win a conflict. Now LO puts A before B
    So we Have
    MP/IO LO
    Mod B A.ESP
    Mod A B.ESP

    This could be fine just for textures, but if B changes what A does and they both have script files that B also needs to replace the A versions suddenly an in-game issue is caused, the LO is correct it's the MP/IO that is actually the issue. The Correct procedure is to swap the mods and with a good manager MO or WB adjusting the Textures is easily done without messing with any order at all, as shown below.
    MP/IO LO
    Mod A A.ESP
    Mod B B.ESP

    The LO appears to work also as the issue goes away, the reality is the issue is gone because now Mod B has no effect at all everything it is meant to do is now reverted by Mod A, as Shown Here.
    MP/IO LO
    Mod B B.ESP
    Mod A A.ESP

    It is posted this fixes the issue by changing LO and the issue is gone. Not a correct solution though.

    Now I've chosen the simplest possible situation to show the basic facts, in reality this may involve many mods and many different orders resulting in varied results, that alone is indicating another underlying cause. When other mistakes are eliminated, a fix must work for all users with same issue.
    Modding is difficult and pinning down causes can be hard enough without these false positives clouding the issue, luckily LO is very basic it has a single purpose given by the name. Load Order, when the Game Loads that Order has been obeyed in full.

    [Edit] A transfer of response content
    Moved here as more suitable, the poster in Private Needs replied there to my link post I put there pointing to this thread.
    I've asked he reply here as it's not appropriate to talk about LOOT in a Mod Support Thread but I felt the need to put this response there first.

     

    Two points it is posted as v3 Alpha Rebuild, mistakes can occur, as to BSA error, author may have had loose files masking the error. So things seemed fine at his end, he works and likely posted last thing before sleeping, then straight to work in morning. So give him a liitle time, now issues been reported, if you can't fix the BSA yourself.

    2nd

    Problem with BOSS, it is no longer being supported. I have the latest version of BOSS and when I use it, get the error of unable to download the latest list. After an internet search, found that BOSS is to be replaced with another program, LOOT, I believe is the name of it. Seems the creators never heard of the saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    I've made a reply to this moved to general Skyrim Forum as became to big and off topic for here. Everybody should read it but especially you sgtsnorkles because you are mistaken BOSS is well and truly broken and becomes more so every day.
    Why LOOT is much better than BOSS ever could be
    [Edit] This linked to this Topic so I've removed link as it's pointless when you're here already [End Edit]

     


    Well, yes and no. LOOT does have its points, yet I have problems with it. For instance. It places the unofficial patches behind each of the DLC esms that they are for. USkP is just after Skyrim.ESM, UDgP is after Dawnguard.esm and so on. Problem is that this load order has caused problems with one or two mods. I forget which ones. It does get many of them correct, yet the reason is, the same reason BOSS did so, the master list is up to date. The master list for LOOT has more mods and in their correct order than BOSS did, because BOSS was not updated as much. You watch, eventually, LOOT will have issues because it will not be kept as up to date as it should be. A lot of work goes into keeping the list up to date and down the road it will screw things up. Just like everything else having to do with programming, it all comes down to GIGO.

     


    No you have not read my post actually at all or you would know less than 300 Mods need Masterlist entries for LO Reasons that is the whole point LOOT is automatic this Mod will be sorted correctly now without updating the MasterlList as for how it sorts Unofficial Patches no you are wrong again this is one of those less than 300 Mods that have been placed specificaly to fix issues actualy confirmed to occur. There is always a possibility a unreported issue will be found provide valid repeatable evidence and the LO will be ajusted to fit valid evidence.
    The LOOT Masterlist contains many warnings and Bash Tags also but these are a convenience for modders that are additional and have no bearing on LO.
    The entire purpose of LOOT is to eliminate the MasterList Requirement by actually checking the required Master Files for each Mod.
    99.9% of Mods are sorted this way entirely automatically without any MasterList Entry at all. This is verifiable fact
    These are the key words
    • Priority the Default for this is 0 and assumed a negative means before positve after the number is relative position
    • After this means a named file must go before it some files have both keywords
    The entire total list
    • Priority (92 hits)



    D:\GameData\AppData\Local\LOOT\Skyrim\masterlist.yaml (92 hits)
    Line 77: priority: -1999000
    Line 95: priority: -1999000
    Line 128: priority: -1999000
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    Line 27383: priority: 1990000
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    Line 37022: priority: 1994000
    Line 37027: priority: 1997000
    Line 37029: priority: 1997000
    Line 37031: priority: 1997000

     


    • After (204 hits)



    D:\GameData\AppData\Local\LOOT\Skyrim\masterlist.yaml (204 hits)
    Line 129: after:
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    Under 300 files in total check the facts yourself these are the line numbers given by Notepad++ word search.
    [End Edit]

    Summary
    BOSS was good LOOT is much better.

Link to comment

Hear, hear!  I think the problems people are supposedly having with LOOT are based on fear of change.  It's admittedly daunting to see that first result when LOOT finishes and it looks like it just played 52 Pick-Up with your mods, but it's completely worth it when your game suddenly runs a lot more smoothly.

Link to comment

I never used BOSS except for a few very short attempts. I never liked the way it did the work and always I had to go back in and fix the things it changed.Therefore it ended up being more effective to use the ###edit programs (for which ever game I was using) and manual sorting to get the job done. 

 

I have used LOOT for about two weeks testing both my mods (variations) and games and found regardless of what I put in even if I know there was a problem it found it and told me about it. I have had as many as two hundred esps running at one time on a test and it worked each and ever one and warned me properly on each issue that arose. Sure it was too much to actually play the game reliably Due to game engine design but that isn't  the fault of LOOT. I have used it for Skyrim and so far haven't used it for Fallout or Oblivion. If it is even close to the quality of what I have experienced so far it will be in constant use as I add or modify my load order.

 

I hope it continues to be as good as it is and if possible improve. How to improve it ..? Don't really know... :)

Link to comment

After reading this thread I decided to finally download LOOT and run it. I wasn't really surprised that a few things were changed in my LO, especially since a few of those I would manually change anyway.

 

I just installed it as an executable in MO, just like I did with BOSS, and it ran perfectly. No issues whatsoever. Now to play a bit and see if there are any changes or improvements.

 

I let it sort Oblivion, too. :D

Link to comment

Yea, It worked quite well, so well in fact I did exactly what you did and left it in MO exe list. I grabed everything and the kitchen sink, well not actually a kitchen sink but you get the idea. It was very good indeed. I think you will be very pleased. You have more experience with Skyrim than I do so I am looking forward to your input on how it worked for you as well

 

 

I let it sort Oblivion, too. xbiggrin.png.pagespeed.ic.yJVH25T4ne.png

Let us know how it worked with Oblivion as well (especially if you have lovers mods included ;))

Link to comment

Your pardon, but I was trying to run LOOT through MO and I can't seem to be able to do it. Is there something that I am doing wrong? I run the exe through MO but nothing seems to happen.

 

 

Any advice would be welcome. Thank you!

 

-C

Link to comment

I just removed BOOS from the executable list, added LOOT, started LOOT with MO, picked Skyrim in the game list and let it run. That was it. Totally painless and no tricks needed. So if you're having issues I have no idea what they could be.

Link to comment

Well the issues are exactly what it is that I have stated. BOSS and BUM both removed from the executable's list. I then used LOOT's installer to install it. Found its EXE with MO, installed it to the executable's list same as I did boss and other things I have in there. Have clicked RUN and -nothing- happens. So I wonder what could be wrong, or if there is a special way to go about it. Since clearly this must be user error. 

 

Well either way I will keep messing about with it. 

 

Thanks anyway :)

 

-C

Link to comment

@Carida

Have you run LOOT at least once outside of MO? I don't' know if it matters but that is what I have done and it updated something if I remembered correctly. Then I added the exe to the list. Also double check to make sure you just didn't edit some other exe instead of adding it , also make sure you have the proper exe linked.

 

Perhaps even just delete LOOT and reinstall it. If you still are having problems try going to the unofficial MO thread here. There will be alot more MO users there that might come up with a solution.

 

http://www.loverslab.com/topic/20492-mod-organizer/

Link to comment

Your pardon, but I was trying to run LOOT through MO and I can't seem to be able to do it. Is there something that I am doing wrong? I run the exe through MO but nothing seems to happen.

 

 

Any advice would be welcome. Thank you!

 

-C

 

Details needed it should be easy

MO Location and version

LOOT Location and version

Exact entry you have put in to run it

 

Although its not full LOOT the latest MO v1.21 Beta has LOOT built in, instead of BOSS. Much like BOSS was, it just sorts your order with no user settings available (The middle LOOT screen you have to apply to get the sort set).

 

One warning for other games than Skyrim. All the 0.1% special treatment mods may not be in the MasterList for Oblivion and Fallout Games. The LOOT team rely on users to report these mods, Skyrim is well tested and only new mods may have issues, they will be caught very quickly and added.

Other games are much less used though and you may still find incorrect mods. I do not keep up with these games. They may be well sorted by now, just be aware if you do find out of order mods, they will only be fixed by Reporting the Error to the LOOT team on the current Bethesda forum.

[REL] LOOT Thread #8 - Skyrim Mods - Bethesda Softworks Forums

be aware these change after 200 posts so if locked, its not dead, it's just a new thread is active now.

 

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@Carida

Have you run LOOT at least once outside of MO? I don't' know if it matters but that is what I have done and it updated something if I remembered correctly. Then I added the exe to the list. Also double check to make sure you just didn't edit some other exe instead of adding it , also make sure you have the proper exe linked.

 

Perhaps even just delete LOOT and reinstall it. If you still are having problems try going to the unofficial MO thread here. There will be alot more MO users there that might come up with a solution.

 

http://www.loverslab.com/topic/20492-mod-organizer/

Good tip and was relevant for internal one with v1.20 Beta it isnt required for v1.21 Beta as Tannin fixed it but great to see so many MO users Posting.

 

Very good video explain LOOT By Gopher.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzoyWugzZAw

He usually does, he does have 3 major flaws though NMM, not using Bashed Patch and deleting Archives, all are bad habits he passes on to others who follow everything he says and does, though 90% of it is very good and with these faults made clear I do recommend his guides. He's not withouit fault, few people including myself, are that perfect.

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BOSS a single Mod entry could be a single line or as many as 20+ lines and long lines as well. the MasterList has 43,000 Lines, so even if we assume 1 line per mod thats over half of mods unlisted, the actual number is nearer 30,000 at a generous guess, so more like 2/3 of mods totally unlisted and we've not even considered updates at all.

 

As we are talking numbers how many/what percent have you deducted for mods that don't have a esm/esp to be sorted?

 

Other than that ya make a pretty good case tbh though as i've not had a problem with boss (i use tes 5 edit to work out where to place mods in load order that boss doesnt recognise) i'll probably hold off on switching.

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@Carida

Have you run LOOT at least once outside of MO? I don't' know if it matters but that is what I have done and it updated something if I remembered correctly. Then I added the exe to the list. Also double check to make sure you just didn't edit some other exe instead of adding it , also make sure you have the proper exe linked.

 

Perhaps even just delete LOOT and reinstall it. If you still are having problems try going to the unofficial MO thread here. There will be alot more MO users there that might come up with a solution.

 

http://www.loverslab.com/topic/20492-mod-organizer/

Good tip and was relevant for internal one with v1.20 Beta it isnt required for v1.21 Beta as Tannin fixed it but great to see so many MO users Posting.

 

I am still using good ol' v1.1.1... :) Haven't upgraded. I couldn't get the version above this one to work properly (believe it was 1.1.2 or something along those lines) Something about the internal installer and such. There are alot of MO users here because Sexout developer Ashal is using MO for Skyirm also AwefulArchdemon and other are religiously preaching the benefits of MO. Lots of new converts... :)

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Ive tested loot and so far it works fine, got 200+mods, ive not yet seen any thing wrong with my build.

 

Some mods i still place lower loadorder it's just better.

 

I use NMM(never had any trouble with but i know what i am doing).

 

If you see faults in the gopher video pls mention it here people wanne learn :)

 

Just trial error it's all not that hard.

 

Good luck

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I am trying out LOOT. However, it doesn't recognize Skyrim. Is there a way for me to point it in the correct direction? It's in the same drive and main folder as Skyrim.

 

No need you can place loot also in your documents and it work.

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I only found 1 issue with LOOT (so far).  The mod Bound Armory ( http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/45042 ) had a conflict with another mod that caused the bound pickaxe to not be recognized as a pickaxe.  The BOSS masterlist had the BA mod sorted so that the conflict didn't appear.  Unfortunately I had a machine issue so I haven't had a chance to investigate and report it to the developers.  Other than that, I haven't had any other issues come up using LOOT.

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Should I be afraid if Loot cannot update masterlist?O.o

 

Not for a temparary error, it will rarely be changed as far as the vital LO mods go there's less than 300 out of about 100,000 and I could be wrong, but I think they haven't been added to since LOOT came out of Beta and became a full release.

What does change still quite often is the Dirty Edit Warnings and Bash Tag info, the Dirty Edit Info should mainly be reported to the Author for them to fix by cleaning the mod for everybody or explaining to LOOT team why they are required (Some are) then LOOT MasterList can be changed to report "Dirty Edits Intentional do not clean".

 

Generally because of intentional dirty edits you should not clean active mods, the author should sort it out, but for abandoned mods you should clean them, users must report these as intentional if they find the mod requires the edits, explaining why they think it is required.

 

A permanent error is more serious in the long term though and needs sorting, 95% will be user error when checked out, 4% windows error and only 1% mod error. With a new release the mod error is more like 10%, these are usually typing mistakes and quickly fixed, when found by users.

 

Update errors are usually connection or access issues.

 

[Edit] A transfer of response content

Moved to OP More Appropriate place for it

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The only problem I've had with LOOT is patches that don't necessarily have both esp's in it's dependency table (forget the correct term, but I hope that's descriptive enough) They're mostly my own patches so it's easy for me to create rules for them, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are some in the same category floating around the nexus. CCO patches come to mind first.

 

So I've been running LOOT on my current load order for the dirty edit, delev/relev and other info, then resorting with BUM. 

 

Edit: I'll probably take the leap on my next play through, but I really dislike the metadata editing in LOOT ;)

 

Edit2: 'cuz I think I'll learn a bit here about better usage of LOOT  :)

 

 

 

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