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Load Order versus using a patch


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I've been modding Skyrim SE ever since I bought. I have yet to play it due to the many wonderful mods I found and the excellent modding community.  Now that SKSE and SKYUI are out, I'm determined to find my sweet spot between the different skills and leveling mods, the combat options, and the game play effects and changes.  The real trick is to avoid CTDs which I was successful when I finalized my load order.

My question is: What is the difference to having a mod being loaded last versus using a patch?  For instance, if I have Wildcat, Combat Evolved and Deadly Combat loaded in that order, would there need to be a patch used in that scenario?  What if I added Advanced Adversary Encounters to the list of mods and placed it last after Deadly Combat.  What happens to the records without a merged or bashed patch?

Is it always true - Last Mod Wins?


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Yes, when two mods edit the same record only the last one loaded has any effect on that record in the game. The exception is records that merge at runtime.

Here is a link to a video that explains record conflicts pretty well and explains how to patch such conflicts in xEdit. After watching this you should get a good idea how load orders and conflict resolution patches work, and why conflict resolution patches are necessary when running multiple mods that are trying to edit the same records. 

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