I've been playing with different mod versions and load orders for the past week and after lots of helpful advice, I now have a setup that works flawlessly for me. I thought I'd try to give something back to the community so I've written down what to install and in what order.
@mods: I hope it's okay to attach it to this thread - if not, just delete this reply or ask me to make a new thread Goals
A) I wanted to make the Oblivion characters look better. I tried "Beautiful People", "Modular Beautiful People", "Modular Beautiful People++", "Xeo 4" and "Xeo 5", but while they definitely look nice, it was too Anime-styled to me (imagine those scruffy old gate guards having the faces of teenage Anime heroes). So I picked some mods which improve the looks of vanilla Oblivion characters without radically changing them.
I wanted some sexy armor for my B-Cup heroine. Looks like E-Cups are the standard for Elder Scrolls heroes, so I had to search a bit. I discovered a huge mod called "Apachii Shop" that adds a shop to the Waterfront with hundreds of items and a patch for that mod which converts some of those items to B-Cup size.
C) I wanted to play the Lovers mods, including LoversCreatures and LoversBitch because I'm a dirty bestiality freak Quirks
On my first attempt, I decided to create a set of mod directories that I just had to copy into my Oblivion "data" directory in the right order. I even unpacked some OMODs. This seemed to work fine at first, but when I installed the HGEC Body High Rez Textures, Oblivion suddenly reverted to the underwear-struck stock bodies again even though it had used the HGEC Body just moments ago.
Here's the reason: Archive Invalidation
. Oblivion's "Archive Invalidation" (what makes it use custom files instead of the original ones contained in the .bsa archives) is buggy. Oblivion Mod Manager contains some creative techniques that take care of this, so I did a 180 degree turn and packaged everything
Also, as I found out, using the wrong skeleton causes weird graphics glitches. If you find your character's boobies extending to somewhere on the other side of town, with graphics garbage all over, read this: Corrupted Meshes in LoversBitch 0.5StepsA. BeautificationB. Armors and Clothes (Obviously, make your own choice here)C. Lovers Mods
That's my install and load order both in one. As I said at the top, I went berserk and packaged everything
as OMODs so I wouldn't have to worry about the issues described at the top. In hindsight, it's a pretty neat solution, too: whenever I want to try a new mod, I just deactivate my mods down to the point where I want to integrate the new mod, then reactivate them and it's like a clean install all over again.
I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about Oblivion Mod Manager at first, but after figuring out how to create OMODs (hint: they're just fancy zip archives) and that OBMM basically just displays what's in Oblivion\Obmm\Mods and lets you "Activate" (install) and "Deactivate" (uninstall), this turned out to be a very tidy way of handling things.
This is my end result:
Hopefully this will help others get up and running quickly.