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Ini Files vs. Ini Tweaks



What is the difference between Ini Files and Ini Tweaks in the Mod Information Window?  


My understanding from reading STEP, reading various posts, and watching videos is that they both modify (add to, subtract from, or overwrite the particular entry only)  ini files with lower priority in the left pane.  


The only difference that I can see is that Ini Tweaks are toggleable within a particular mod and can therefore be deactivated even if the mod is active, while Ini Files will always be active if the mod is active.


Am I missing something?


Thanks in advance for the help.

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An INI file is the entire INI used by that mod to provide all its functionality. ie. SKSE is useless until you provide an INI that sets the basic parameters for the game in that file. This is for INIs that are needed for that mod only, Skyrim.ini & Skyrimprefs.ini are not changed by these settings.


INI Tweaks are a MO specific feature that allows the mod to make changes to the game's INI file, but only for a specific section(s) of that entire file.

So for example you might have a mod that uses a different set of [Fonts]. Rather than using a completely new Skyrim.ini with those changes in it, you set an INI Tweak in that mod and add the needed changes to that section. Those changes get added to the Skyrim.ini on run and the game will use them as though the main Skyrim.ini was edited.

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Question: Could I use an ini Tweak in a separate "fake mod" an empty mod created especially for ini tweaks in the mod list in the left pane of MO?


In other words, if I create a folder in the "mod" folder of MO called STEP ini Tweaks, then put all the tweaks from the 1.D.1 Skyrim INI and 1.D.2 SkyrimPrefs INI sections of the STEP instructions into the ini Tweak section of the Information/INI-Files tab under say, STEP_start_ini of my "Fake" mod folder STEP ini Tweaks then tell MO to "Ignore missing data".


That way, I would be able to easily reset to default (ini's included) within MO by deactivating all except the default esm's and esp's and my "fake" STEP ini Tweaks mod.


Would that work?

The reason I'm asking about this is because the last time I setup Skyrim using the STEP Core and Extended guide, I kept getting a CTD when I tried to open the 'map' ingame. I admit that I added some mods that weren't listed in the STEP Core, or Extended guide, but they shouldn't have affected the LOD's or Map. And, I also did not install ALL of the Core, or Extended mods. But, I tried to make sure the ones I left out would not have any detrimental effect. The ones I left out were minor and explained as "optional". The ones I added effected game play (not the map) or armor or interior textures. The only real exception was "Climates of Tamriel".
In an attempt to track down the problem, I tried deactivating my additions. When that didn't work, I tried running the default game from inside, and even outside MO, and still got a CTD when I tried to open the "map".
I'm hoping that by keeping as much as I possibly can in carefully isolated modules within MO, it will make it easier to troubleshoot potential problems.
This plan will, where possible, include separate 'mods' for any optional pieces that need specific patches to work with optional mods that affect the same things, such as interactions between different mesh or texture mods that require different installation options according to what 'other' mods you intend to install.
In STEP, there were several mods in the earlier stages that required specific installation options to be installed IF using another optional mod much later in the STEP setup program. Because of this, I found I was unable to test run after different sections without crashing because a required esp was missing. This made for a problematic install. Mods affecting terrain, water, and especially SMIM related stuff were some of the best examples.
Thank you for your feedback in advance.
P.S. If that would work, perhaps instructions for doing so could be added to the next STEP update. Perhaps, even creating a copy and paste insert for all those initial tweaks.
Also, I plan on trying this "tweak" plan, and if I don't hear back and it works, I'll come back and update, or add reply to this post with the results.
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If you are curious the cause of your crash is





iRadialBlurLevel=2 <--


Depending on your setting ULTRA vs HIGH that number gets bumped. Now the game kindly puts this number in the wrong spot. If you correct it, then run the game you get what you describe happening.

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