Vortex 1.0.3 by Cymatics VST, VST3, AAX x64

Vortex 1.0.3

Preface: I really only play and mod Bethesda games at the moment, so my recent experience with mod managers is pretty well limited to that. I thought I'd post something with a little more feedback for Tannin and crew in case it leads to development or explanation of current ways to do what I find isn't possible or easy in Vortex. I never did have real problems with Vortex once I read its guides. I'd been using it since late alpha or early beta if I recall correctly, up until a few months ago. It worked fairly well out of the box, and most of the 'complaints' I had about it were addressed as I learned. I do not buy the comments about a mod not supporting use from Vortex. I've never met a mod I couldn't use from Vortex successfully, even ones that pretty strongly suggested that I don't. Am I an advanced modder? Maybe. Depends on who I'm compared with.

 One of the Vortex features I thought was the most cool once I figured out how to tweak the installed archives properly is it can actually install SKSE/F4SE etc. and manage it from the mods list. Yes, Vortex CAN install the .dll and other files to the base game directory. It requires a little massaging (that might not be for beginners) of the downloaded .zip archive (not the installer version), but it works and works well. Cue other mods that want files dropped into the base game folder, and it becomes much easier to know updates are available and get them handled for the ones that are hosted on Nexus. That also means that mods of this type can be toggled on/off easily. You could even group all script-extender-required mods on and off along with the script extender really easily. I haven't tried it, but I'd imagine ENB could be handled like this also if you were careful and knew just what you were doing. Again, not exactly for beginners, but a cool feature. I use MO2. Why? The overrides folder primarily. It helps immensely to keep the data folder clean as long as I don't mess with the data folder without MO2 being open. For example, when I run a game and a mod creates files for personal configurations made through in-game SkyUI and similar menu systems, MO2 will show me what's been created in the override folder, and I can put them either in the mod they belong to or a personal empty mod created just for that mod's settings. That way the settings survive mod re-installs, updates, etc. The end result is I don't have files laying about that the mod manager has no idea what they go to, which leaves the data folder cluttered. If Vortex has a way to indicate which data folder non-stock files it isn't managing are so I don't have to purge-and-guess, then move the files to the appropriate mod folder, I haven't been able to find it. With MO2, starting with a fresh base game is as easy as wiping out my mods list or creating a new profile. With Vortex, my data folder gets filled with 'managed by vortex' files, empty folders, and other files that Vortex doesn't know to belong with whatever mod I've run and later uninstalled, for example. Do these hurt a new mod build? No. Do these trigger OCD? Yep! Really though, you don't have to be OCD to appreciate a clean data folder. It also makes hopping between mod managers if you're inclined toward trying new things out for fun, a breeze.

 That's one of the larger beefs I have with Vortex actually - when I ask Vortex to purge the entire mod list, please get rid of those managed by Vortex files, and clean up the empty folders properly. When I remove or deactivate a mod, I'd like it to remove the mod entirely like it already does, and if the folder associated to those linked files is suddenly empty and it isn't a stock folder, get rid of that too. I want a purge to leave me with a clean, pre-mod-manager data directory outside of anything I put there myself from outside the mod manager. Another feature I'd love to see in Vortex is a way to browse the data folder and see what files belong to which mod like can be done in MO2's data tab. I don't use this tremendously regularly, but it's handy. See a script error with no mod associated? In MO2, look for the script in the data browser and you find out which mod it's from very easily. With Vortex, it's a matter of opening.. every.. mod... Or I guess I could use a command line to find it, but this really ought to be something the mod manager makes a simple task. Oh, and please make the dashboard's launch section able to be resized so I don't have to scroll when I have so much unused horizontal screen space in the dashboard. While you're at it, why not make the blocks (I'm calling the dashboard a 'block') resizable and lockable? That could make the launch section tweak unnecessary if it auto-repositions the launch buttons as the dashboard is resized. Reorganizing those launch buttons would be nice too, and I don't recall that being possible from the Vortex UI after they're created. If anyone knows how to get any of what I've mentioned done in Vortex, do let me know. I liked Vortex. I just don't like messy folders!

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