Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Mod Organizer 2 : Stalker Anomaly Setup Guide

artwork credit https://twitter.com/NDTwoFives/media?s=09  

What is Mod Organizer 2 (MO2)? 

MO2 is a "professional" grade mod manager, it provide far better mod management systems than any other applications. The key importance of MO2 is to keep your original game clean, so you will never get into a situation of re-downloading your whole game due to irreversible damages caused by modifications.

MO2 was primarily developed to serve heavy modding games like Elder Scrolls & Fallout, where mod setup can amount into the thousands.

What are the advantages of MO2?

  • do not modify the original game files, instead it load mod files on top of the game upon launching the game, by utilizing something called "virtual file system".
  • no duplicate mod files in different directories. Unlike other applications like JSGME which have two copies of every mods (one under it's care, one copied into game folder), MO2 only stores one copy of installed mod - and 'magically' link it with the game upon launching the game, without physically moving anything.
  • speed. Because mods are linked with the game without any physical file movements, this means disabling & enabling mods, re-organizing mod order are INSTANT without any waiting or loading.
  • MO2 shows you exactly which mod conflict with which other mods, providing a detailed list of every single file which is affected. It also tag any mods which got overwritten completely as 'redundant' with a special icon.
  • you can store multiple profiles of different mod combination setup, switching profile is instant - because as mentioned above, managing the mod list do not causes any actual physical file movements
  • unlike JSGME, you can update or make changes to any addons at any time, without needing to disabling & enabling them...

Can MO2 works with _insert name of game_ ?

Yes. MO2 can be configured to works with virtually any games. Although in this case, we will need to dive into writing the plugin file, which will tell MO2 about the game you want to manage - it's main directory, exe file, mod directory, etc.

It isn't as hard as it sounds, really. If you can write in English then you can do it. All we need is a notepad, although Notepad++ (a programmer's notepad) is recommended.

▶ jump to article of configuring MO2 plugin script to work with other games:

Setting up software

To play Stalker Anomaly, you need to be on a 64-bit operating system. If you aren't on 64-bit system, please start by format/upgrading your Windows. You can grab Windows 10 installation media for free at Microsoft's website. How do you check if you are on 64-bit system? Easy, just go to your C: drive - if you see both "Program Files" & "Program Files (x86)" then you're good.

7Zip can be found at https://www.7-zip.org, of course we want the 64-bit version. Why 7Zip instead of WinRar? Because you will find many things nowadays are packaged as "___.7z" format.

The lastest version of MO2 can be found in GitHub: https://github.com/Modorganizer2/modorganizer/releases. You can pick the installer or zip version, up to you. I will just use the zip version. Install or extract it wherever you want, I just place them at C:\MO2\

You also need the latest Visual C++ Redistribution installed to start MO2 correctly, head over to this Microsoft page to grab the 64-bit version: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2977003/the-latest-supported-visual-c-downloads

Now we need the plugin for MO2 which will allows it to recognize Stalker Anomaly.

It can be found at GitHub: https://github.com/ModOrganizer2/modorganizer-basic_games. Scroll down the page and the download link is in the description. The installation instruction is already there on the page. Technically just copy it into MO2/plugins/ folder and you're done.

See picture for reference:

Pairing MO2 with Stalker Anomaly

Launch C:\MO2\ModOrganizer.exe, or wherever you installed it. You will be greeted with a dialogue to setup an 'instance', choose to create a new one and give it any name you like, I'd just call it "Anomaly".

You are told that a mod data directory has been created in user's AppData directory. This isn't exactly the best place to store our mods/addons, we will change it later.

Next you are asked to browse to the game's main folder. Pick wherever you stored Anomaly, for example mine is C:\Anomaly RC19\. Afterward it will ask if you want to go through the MO2's interface explanation tutorial, pick whichever you like.

Upon reaching the screen above, congratulation -- you have successfully paired MO2 with Anomaly. The game's launcher is successfully recognized as shown at top-right corner, and a list of files inside the game folder is displayed below it.

The empty space at the left is where your addon lists will be later. You can close the "log" windows if you don't need it.

MO2 interface & configuration

Quick interface walkthrough:

Before we start installing addons, first we need to configure where we want to store the addons, preferably somewhere with plenty of space. Hit the "setting" button and go to "path". Just change the "Base Directory" to your desired location.

We are done and ready to install addons.

NEXT ▶ Jump to addon installation article : https://lazystalker.blogspot.com/2020/11/mod-organizer-2-stalker-anomaly-addons.html

Launching game through MO2

Remember to always launch the game through MO2 by hitting the big RUN button. If you simply run Anomaly's exe without MO2, you will be playing a clean-game without any addons.

Sharing MO2 mod/addon setup

You can share your addon setup as a repack of sort (such as Muh Immersion or Provak packs) by simply sharing the addon files as well as the profile.

Navigate to where you set your "Base Directory" in previous step, you will find multiple folders. What you want to share to other people are just "mods" and "profiles". Easy. Users just need to drop these two folder on their own Base Directory and restart their MO2.

You can rename your profile to something unique first if you wanted to, by clicking the "manage" link on the profile list:


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