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Skyrim Modding Guide


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Sacremas

Sacremas

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Skyrim Modding Guide

 

NOTE: Some aspects of this guide is outdated, I'll go more carefully through it later but for now just ignore any mention of version numbers for SKSE, MO, Etc. Rest of it should be fine, there are new tools out like some crash fixes related to string count, but I have not tested these myself so can't fully recommend them until I do.

 

 

It's been a long way going, but after years of modding Skyrim I've finally reached a point where I not only can get a perfectly stable game with 200+ mods active at once, I can even help others get there. It's been a painful process of reinstalling the entire game at once, changing around on the computer's settings to make the game run better, and so on, and during that process I've broken every single vanilla quest in the game, from being unable to absorb Fus off the Bleak Falls wordwall, to just things in general failing, NPCs walking around naked or even headless, being stuck permanently bald, and so on. By now I've learned how to get rid of all of that, and so I decided to make this thread in other to help others possibly avoid some of the pitfalls I went through and still get a perfectly modded game.

 

 

First off a user guide to the guide! This thread has gotten bigger than I originally planned and may look daunting. Here's the only thing you need to do however, just read the FIRST PAGE of this thread, all the other pages are just general mod talk and bullshitting and troubleshooting people's problems. Read this page, then you're good!

 

 

Four important prefaces, first off while I have a lot of experience at this point I'm to no degree an expert, I still make mistakes, and if you spot me saying something bad in this thread please speak up and correct me, it'll only benefit all of us. Secondly, this guide is intended for someone looking for a complete makeover of Skyrim, not just someone looking to turn Skyrim into a pure sex game, if that's all you want you probably don't need much help and won't need many of the tips in this guide. Third, I'm going at this with only an idea on what works on my system, if you have a worse system these hints are probably not going to be good for you. On the other hand if you have a better system than me like a very new PC bought top of the line and overclocked, these tips are going to be highly necessary for you because Skyrim just isn't going to be able to handle your computer well enough without many of them. And fourth and most important, in this guide I'm not going to just tell you “do this and this and that and your game will work better, don't worry about it”, whnever I'm able to (as in whenever I'm not working off the assumption of having been told that by someone else!) I'm going to explain why you should be doing this, why you should use Mod Organizer, why those SKSE.ini settings should be that way, and why you should use an ENB. This way you'll be more informed when you decide to ignore me.

 

My computer is an Intel i7-6700k with 16 GB ram and with a nVidia GeForce 980 4 GB video card, and this guide will be written from the perspective of using that system. Note that an older i5, 8 GB RAM (or 6 if you somehow have that, try not going below that though), and a GTX 770, 1050, or equivalent lower card should work fine also, just make sure you don't overload your RAM, use * button on your Numpad with a ENB installed to check your FPS, keep it above 30 at all times and you should be good (that's the human eye's frequency after all, higher than that is mostly to smooth things out during rapid movement), and make sure to do CTRL-ALT-DEL before starting the game to bring up windows task manager, click "more details" and look at the RAM and CPU % use. Skyrim can never use more than 3 GB RAM at once itself (and unless you use 4k textures will rarely top 2GB even), while an ENB can potentially employ more, as well as properly use the VRAM in your graphics card which the game mostly won't use normally.

 

 

First off we're going to be installing Mod Organizer, and this is why; when manually installing a mod there's a good chance you're not going to be able to remember all of the changes you did when you six months later want to remove that mod, conversely when you install a mod using Nexus Mod Manager or Wrye Bash there's a good chance you have no idea what's actually being done and what's overwritten in the process. Even worse, the two problems can combine, Nexus Mod Manager is notorious for not rememebering what files it installed itself (this can happen if a file has been overwritten then reinstalled several times without the parent mod being reinstalled), which can lead to scripts and entire folders getting left behind in your game and causing problems for you even on a new save when you thought you'd gotten rid of a mod. Mod Organizer allows you a combination of the two, you get to install a mod through a manager that will remember what files were involved, you can do it the manual method and move files around during the install in the case of badly packaged mods, or you can use FOMOD automatic installers that some mods come packaged with. After you've installed a mod you can at any time go into it and manually disable and hide ESPs from the mod, or see what files it overwrites from other mods, or what files later have overwritten it, and easily move the priority of the entire mod (not just ESP) if you don't want that mesh to be overwritten after all without being forced to uninstall and reinstall mods.

 

The greatest benefit of Mod Organizer is however the Profiles ability, this allows you to have a full game Profile where you have all the stuff you use on your normal Main character, as well as perhaps a troubleshooting profile with only the bare necessity mods that you can swap to. Mod Organizer does this through the use of a virtual data folder, instead of dumping everything in your Skyrim/Data folder like all other methods do, it keeps each mod in a separate Mods directory, and when you start up the game it creates a virtual Data folder by combining mods together in the order you have specified, this means that you can have a fully modded Skyrim with everything replaced and aside from having put SKSE in your Skyrim folder your base Steam install of the game is completely virgin, including the Skyrim.ini and SkyrimPrefs.ini files which are kept on Mod Organizer, meaning at any time at all you can revert to an unmodded Skyrim and see if it works at all if you run into serious problems.

 

If I haven't convinced you by now I never will, so let's go on to installing it (or skip to the next post if you decide not to use MO after all); You have two options for installing Mod Organizer, the first is putting it in the base Skyrim folder (Steam/Steamapps/Common/Skyrim), the second is putting it on a different disc entirely. First off be aware that MO unlike NMM have to be installed separately for each game you want it to work on, so if you intend to use MO for both Skyrim and Fallout New Vegas for example you have to install it twice. If you install MO to the Skyrim folder then the benefit will be that it will immediately know what game it's been installed for and it'll be called Mod Organizer for Skyrim, otherwise you have to tell it what game you installed it for when you first start up. However if you happen to have low space on your main drive, like if it's an SSD drive for example, you may want to put Mod Organizer including the Mods directory on another disc entirely. This actually works fine and aside from a slow start up of the game as the virtual folder is being built you'll rarely really notice much difference, and you'll have a lot more space available for your mods. My Mods folder is now currently three times as big as I have room on my SSD after withdrawing the space needed for the operating system for example.

 

Download Mod Organizer from the Nexus here and the version you want is the 1.2.18, if the main page's version number updates to 1.3X something then change to that, for now the 1.3 versions while they add a lot of new functionality is just too buggy overall to deal with, and 1.2.18 works great still. Download it manually of course, and pick the Installer version, install it to either the Skyrim directory or a separate drive as said, and pick all the options form the install, including letting it handle Nexus links and put a shortcut, as you're going to for now use this program more than you will the game you're installing it for (that will change later on, using MO to install mods leads to much less work later instead of more). When you'll start it up you'll want to go through the tutorial it wants to show you, it'll make things easier.

 

Here's Gopher's tutorials on Mod Organizer, they're long but they give you a lot of basic information, including how to do things like SkyProc Patchers like those of Automatic Variants or ASIS, information that you can also use to make things like FNIS work for Mod Organizer. These videos also cover importing your mods from Nexus Mod Manager, I decided when I last installed Skyrim to start all over again with a fresh install and manually install all mods so I have not seen that and cannot provide help in that manner.

 


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Sacremas

Sacremas

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Basic Setup and Maintance

 

Now with Mod Organizer installed (Or not...), we'll want to start doing some basic maintance on our Skyrim, and make sure it'll be ready for everything. First off the easy part, you'll want to install SKSE, or Skyrim Script Extender, you'll need this to use mods like... well Sexlab obviously, odds are very good you alredy know this and have SKSE installed, but here's what you're going to do;

 

First go to SKSE's homepage and download the latest version, for now let's install version 1.7.2 that's latest "stable" SKSE. Note that while 1.7.3 may be "beta" it also contains more bugfixes than the Stable version, I'm always using the Beta version and some mods will require it. Unlike mods you'll want to put this in your base Skyrim folder (Steam/Steamapps/Common/Skyrim or wherever you manually installed it), the same folder that has TESV.exe, if you cannot find this Exe file then you are in the wrong directory. Use the installer, it'll detect where Skyrim is installed, you'll want the core files but not the desktop shortcut (unless you skipped the MO install, get the shortcut then).

 

SKSE did not install a SKSE folder, including the necessary SKSE.ini file, so we'll want to make that manually. Go into the Skyrim Folder to the Data folder and create a new folder called “SKSE”, now go into that folder and create a file using notepad called SKSE.ini, now edit that file and put in the following numbers;

 

 


[General]

ClearInvalidRegistrations=1

[Display]

iTintTextureResolution=2048

[Memory]

defaultHeapInitialAllocMB=1024

scrapHeapSizeMB=384

 

 

Clear Invalid Registrations: I don't entirely know what this does, but I know it's good! This is one of those cases of “do this and it works” I'm afraid, if anyone more technically minded want to tell me what it does I'd be appreciative. Regardless it makes your game run smoother, with less chance of CTD.

 

EDIT: As joemonco says below, it keeps your save game from bloating by keeping orphaned scripts from messing up your save. However this doesn't have a full effect on your actual save, you'll still get the leftover scripts in your save that could cause papyrus related issues, but they can be cleaned easier with a tool like Save Game Script Cleaner.

 

Tint Texture Resolution will make things like warpaint and other things consisting mainly of one texture stand out starker, this is as high as you need to put it on, and even on this setting odds are your warpaint will look very grainy and you'll need to install HD versions if you want to use it... or just imagine it's realistically dried and flaked off.

 

The Memory part is the most important section, this will HUGELY decrease your chance of CTD as you add more mods later, these settings are the highest you'll be able to put it on, and as far as I know there's no problems in putting it that high even if you don't need it as long as you got a good RAM amount. The way Skyrim normally deafults memory is that it creates memory blocks of normally 256 mb, when it's filled one block it sends that off to the Scrap heap and creates a new 256 block to fill up. This is very unstable and can easily lead to crashes if the game needs significantly more than 256 mb of memory at once, in fact if you have a lot of things going on at once as well as high resolution textures and you crash a lot, this is probably the main reason. The Scrap heap some will advise not to put higher than it's default 256 MB, however if you try it with 1024 MB default and 256 scrap there's a very good chance that you are going to crash from the main menu, this is what works best for me. If you are unable to maek 1024 work for you, try putting Scrap back to 256 and default to 768 instead, that's quite high and you'll need to pour in a lot of textures to crash with that.... but personally I need it even higher to remove all crashes from this reason.

 

Next up, you'll want to install some extra tools to make things easier; TES5Edit, Wrye Bash and you may want to install LOOT as well despite it being included in Mod Organizer (and for sure if you didn't install MO). We'll be using these tools extensively following. I suggest installing these programs to your Games folder, or wherever you put Mod Organizer if you put it on a separate drive.

 

To begin with we'll have to do Bethesda's job for them and clean our Master files of problems, these are Dawnguard.esm, Dragonborn.esm, Heartfires.esm and Update.esm. “Whut, I need to clean even those?” you might go? Yep, these files contain tons of errors that by themselves don't do anything at all wrong if you have an unmodded game, but once you start putting mods in these errors can cause mods to fail working, or even cause crashes. So fire up TES5Edit once you have that installed, it'll list your active plugins, this might be a metric ton of them if you are going at this from the opposite direction and have already a lot of mods installed, or may be just Skyrim Exe and ESM, Update.esm, and whatever expansion you have installed. First off we want to make sure that your game can even load these mods at all, so leave your entire load order checked (especially if you have that metric ton of them) and start TES5Edit, this will take a while but either it'll go through all your mods and load them in successfully, or it'll stop once it encoutners problems. This is is your main error finding tool later on, if you have a missing master that you are unable to find, load your load order in TES5Edit and see where it stops up. Once it's successfully loaded your entire load order (and you'll want to rearrange your load order until it does, hint LOOT or Mod Organizer's Sort Mods button is a very good tool to expedite this) exit the program, start it up again, left click the list of mods before it starts loading them, deselect all and this time only select Update.esm, let it load in, and then right click your mods once it's done and you get the message “Background Loader: Finished”, select “Apply filter for cleaning” wait until it's done it's work, then right click again and select “Remove “Identical to Master” Records”, a big scary “WARNING!” sign will appear but you can ignore it and let it clean. Next select “Undelete and Disable Refrences” as well once that's done, and once both of them are done close TES5Edit and save your work. Start up the program again and redo the steps for each of the Dawnguard, Dragonborn and Heartfires expansions you may have and clean them one by one.

 

This is also very important: Under no circumstances do not ever clean Skyrim.esm and Skyrim.exe, I have never tried it because I was told not to so I don't know what kind of problems it'll cause, but it'll probably cause mods to stop working as unlike the other dirty edits the ones in the base game is needed for a lot of mods to work!

 

Cleaning your master files can be done by starting TES5Edit the normal way, however later down the line you'll want to clean your other mods as well from dirty edits (more on how to know when to clean and when to not later), and if you followed my advice and installed Mod Organizer you're going to have to run TES5Edit as well as Wrye Bash from Mod Organizer instead of the normal way. So this is how (you'll know this if you spent 2-3 hours watching Gopher's videos); In the Mod Organizer main window click the green gears button that has a help tip saying “Configure the executables that can be started through Mod Organizer”, on the window that appers type in TES5Edit on the Title column, click the “Start in” column's “...” button and maneuver to where you installed TES5edit, and on Binary find TES5Edit.exe and click open, then hit the Add button and exit, now in the drop-down menu where you can find Skyrim and Skyrim Launcher you'll find a TES5Edit selection, select it and click Run and it'll find all the mods installed for that profile. Do the same for Wrye Bash, and later on for GenerateFNISforUsers.exe as well as things like Automatic Variants.jar. Basically any program that needs to exit mods you have installed through Mod Organizer have to be run this way, and that even includes the Creation Kit and SKSE.exe.

 

Next up we'll want to get some better ini files than the ones the game ships with, I really suggest you get Ewi's High Skypref Inis for this (see the bottom of this post), they are great. Pick the ugrids 5 version, you can download it off RealVision's page under Optional Files here. Download the inis manually (not even through MO), open them with notepad, and then if you are using MO (see a pattern?) click in the MO interface the “Puzzle” button with an arrow pointing down and a help popup reading simply “tools”, select “Ini Editor” then copy and paste over Ewi's Skyrim.ini and Skyrimprefs.ini into the windows that appear . On the SkyrimPrefs.ini page roll down to under Display where you'll find the lines “iSizeH=” and “iSizeW=”, these are your size and with, input what you prefer (I have mine to iSize H=720 and iSize W=1280 because I'm using a widescreen TV as my monitor and don't like squinting to read text on the screen), then save and exit, but note all the helpful arrows and notes added by these inis. The immediate benefit of using these inis is that you'll be skipping right by the Bethesda logo so you'll load up faster, but they in general just make your game run smoother. Note that these are set up for an ENB, which we will install in the next step.

 

LARGE EDIT: I completely removed my recommendation for Stable uGrids to Load as that is now on the Dangerous Mods list due to memory allocation problems, and that means that uGrid 5 is the only option for you, as such the "use any ugrid you want" thing has been taken away.


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Sacremas

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ENBs and ENBoost

 

By now you probably know what an ENB is and may have tried one previously only to find your system couldn't run it. That's fine, we'll be going for performace friendly versions here, as well as one that only uses the performance enhancement part of an ENB (the ENBoost), as well as some prettyfication mods that are very performance friendly even to older and weaker computers.

 

The main benefit of an ENB and how it works is that it takes a lot more advantage of your video card and VRAM than the game is capable of, and also runs a separate program called ENHost.exe while Skyrim is running that will manage a large degree of your graphics, this uses it's own storage from your RAM that Skyrim normally even with the >2 GB enabling step is unable to use, so if you have more than 4 GB ram on your computer you want to use an ENB or ENBoost regardless of if you care for the pretty graphics.

 

To begin with I really suggest that you try to install a full ENB even if you've tried it previously and found you couldn't run it, using this guide you should end up with a very performance friendly version that'll still make your game much much nicer to look at. As such we'll be covering that first, then the ENBoost version if you find you're unable to run Skyrim without stuttering with an ENB active.

 

My favorite ENB because I have so much else going on and because my computer isn't the best available any longer (it was three years ago when I bought it however) is the very performance friendly Realvision ENB, this comes in two versions (well four to six really), a normal full version, and a much more performance friendly light version, as well as a realistic and fantasy version. With all the mods that is suggested going there and with the Fantasy set enabled, this is what your game will look like (and what my game looks like);

 

 

Now to get the game looking like that you need not just an ENB, you need a LOT of textures, if you go to Realvision's page and look through the list you'll see that practically every texture in the game will be replaced by the time you're done.

 

One performance enhancing tips I also have one that will seem both obvious and counter-intutive at once; the game only spends resources on what it needs to render at any moment, if you're looking to the north then it's not spending much on rendering what's to the south... and if you have a big bushy tree or dense grass concealing the background, the game doesn't need to draw whatever that tree is blocking. So by putting in something like Skyrim Flora Overhal (SFO) full version it may look horribly resource drawing but if you have big LODs and complicated mountains or the like behind those trees, that mod will actually make your game run faster, not slower! Aside from SFO I really suggest Verdant as well, not only do the grass look insane,it's also so big that it'll block your view while providing immersion, making your game run faster. To install Verdant you need to edit your skyrim.ini, find the [Grass] header and change iMinGrassSize to either 50, 75 or 100, where 50 looks the best, and 100 gives the best performance gain. When in game if you find that the grass is blocking something you need to find (like a disarmed weapon or a corpse) or simply appearing somewhere it shouldn't go into the console and type “tg” that toggles grass off for those instances, and then reenable it the same way once you've found your Dawnbreaker.

 

Otherwise to make Realvision run properly you'll need to install the lighting mods it asks for, these are Climates of Tamriel, and for the fantasy version that I'm using (I don't find much realism when it includes dragons and magic anyway) Enhanced Lights and FX or for the realistic version Realistic Ligthing Overhaul. Then install the others piece by piece, turn on godmode and a high speedmult then run around inside the game and look at things, look at the ivy on the walls in Riverwood then install HD Ivy while wondering what the hell you need a mod for a single plant for... and then realize how much you need that mod all of a sudden, go hit up a cave then install cave textures one by one, keep doing that until either your framerate drops or you get a satisfactory result. Currently I have maybe half the listed mods installed and some I found on my own and I'm very happy with the result.

 

To install realvision first off there's some settings in Skyrim Prefs that the Ini install on the previous step handled, but if you didn't install Ewi's high prefs what you want to do is to turn off Antialiasing, Anisotropic Filtering, and FXAA. Now go into your video card driver (like nVidia dashboard) and do the same things as well as turn off Ambient Occulusion (SSAO) and make them either Application controlled (nVidia) or Use Application Settings (AMD). The way that both these programs and Skyrim do these things is horribly inefficient and turning off these things will not only enable the ENB to work properly, it will make the game run better. Now download enbseries from ENBDev.com of the version you want (0.265 as of this writing) and extract only d3d9.dll and enbhost.exe and put them in your Skyrim folder (Not your Data folder, the folder where you found TESV.EXE and possibly modified it), install Realvision with Mod Organizer, now in MO go into the Data folder on the same part of the interface that holds your ESMs and ESPs, scroll down all the way to the bottom of that huge list and look for Realvision_ENB_Files, open that with the arrow, find RV_Install.exe, right click it and choose run, you can add it as an executable but as you're going to be running this maybe once or twice that's not really necessary. Because you're using Mod Organizer the program won't find your Skyrim likely at first, so hit in the letter of the drive you installed Skyrim on (C most likely), then on the next page of the pop up tell it your VRAM amount (1 GB = 1024 MB, so if you have a 4 GB video card put in 4096), then finish the install. Launch the game, and look how pretty everything looks with just this, shiny and beautiful.

 

If you find your game is stuttering a lot from running around normal Skyrim (try running from Helgen or Riverwood to Whiterun), you may want to downgrade a bit on Realvision. Exit and launch RV_Uninstall.exe, then install the Performance version of Realvision instead, you'll see a lot fewer nice effects like depth of field but it's a LOT more performance friendly while still looking sharper and running better than the normal game does. Go through the same install procedure as for the full version, then launch the game. If you still are stuttering during normal play (at this point try godmoding and starting some fights and the like, you don't want to see the game slowing down at all during fights or you'll be dying a lot), then you may not be able to run an ENB at all. But that doesn't mean you can't get the benefit of it's technical muscles, or even that you have to use ugly vanilla look.

 

ENBoost is a severely cut down version of ENBseries that includes only the performance enhancing bits of having an ENB, and none of the eyecandy. It's made by Boris Voronstov, same guy who makes ENBseries, and it's included in the new versions of ENBseries, DO NOT use both ENBoost and an ENB. First off you need to undo all the things you did during install of an ENB, this means reenabling SSAO and so on in both your game and video drivers, and deleting the installed ENBseries files.

 

Download it and open the zip file, go to your video card and your VRAM listed (if you have 8 GB VRAM or more then you SHOULD be able to run a full ENB and you have something wrong with your system if you are slowing down on Realvision Performance version), extract the enblocal.ini of your choice to your Skyrim folder (same place you put the ENBseries files previously, same folder where TESV.EXE can be found), run the game and run around. If you still get stutterings and slowdowns at this point install Verdant with grass size set to 100 for sure, that will actually increase performance a little bit.

 

A very performance friendly option instead of an ENB that has a lot of the same graphical enhancements is I can't Believe it's Not an ENB 2, as well as Dynavision, I have not used these mods at all so I can't help you with their install or use unfortunately, but you may be able to use these mods and ENBoost to get something closer to the eyecandy of what you saw when Realvision was running in full mode without the system draw your PC wasn't capable of.

Also here's another tweaker mod that could help out and give you some framerate back if you are really suffering; Genesis Skyrim Performance Config simply turns off a lot of the more uneccesary features that may not add that much to the whole picture all things said but take an inordinate amount of VRAM, like dynamic shadows and distance views. You may be able to combine it with the two above for a good looking game that can still run on basically a potato.

 

 

 

One final note on ENBs; due to how they work they destroy how Nightvision and other shader effects in the base game work a lot of the time, but we can fix that easily. Go into enbseries.ini after your chosen install is done, then change UseOriginalPostProcessing=false to true, save and exit, and that's it, night vision and kajiit and vampire vision will work fine, as will a mod like Gopher's excellent Predator Vision which is another must-have for me (and was the mod that told me how to do this). This also means that in places in the game where the game would want to change shaders on you in vanilla such as during the Skull of Corruption quest or during the 'timestop' events in the College of Winterhold questline will work as intended. I do not not know if this setting has a negative impact on your ENB but I have certainly not noticed it.

 

EDIT: According to SkyrimTuner, the author of RealVision, setting this enbseries setting will mean that the ENB will not work as intended and a lot of effects will not work. So here's an alternate solution; Go reverse UseOriginalPostProcessing=true to false again, then go into enblocal.ini and copy/paste in the following under [INPUT];

 

[INPUT]
//no key
KeyCombination=0
//Key N
KeyUseEffect=78
//home
KeyFPSLimit=36
//num /       106
KeyShowFPS=106
//print screen
KeyScreenshot=44
//Numpad 5
KeyEditor=101
//f4
KeyFreeVRAM=115
 

THat way when you hit Numpad 5 your ENBeditor will come up in-game, and when you hit N to turn on Predator Vision you'll also turn off the ENB, enabling Predator Vision to work properly even with the ENB working for full. This change will work for ANY enb, even ones where UseOriginalPostProcessing=True destroyed the whole ENB.

 

EDIT: Changed my Grass on Steroids recommendaiton to Verdant instead, thanks to Snares for this!


Edited by Sacremas, 20 September 2015 - 10:29 PM.

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Sacremas

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I'm going to continue on the big stuff tomorrow, bit too tired now, but here's some more perforamnce and stability tips;

 

First off NEVER uninstall a mod that includes scripts or complicated worldchanges mid-game, I don't care if the mod doesn't work or you didn't like it, if it adds a building or a script you leave it in, or you start all over again on a new character when uninstalling. Be very careful when picking your load order, if you find something you're not sure of if you'll like, like a scripted house mod you've never tried before, then from the main menu open the console and type COC Riverwood without loading a save or starting a game, you'll now be in game as the default blonde male nord named Prisoner (the game has actually loaded with this character already from the main menu when starting), now add to your inventory whatever armor or jewlery or weapon you are trying out, and use "TCL" and "player.setav speedmult 500" to run really fast through the air to wherever your home mod is placed, and just check it out if you like it, if you find you don't then uninstall it before starting up your new game. Whenver you uninstall something big, always start a new game, I don't care if you use script scalpels or whatever, it's not going to work entirley, and there's no such thing as a clean save, just a 'safer' save. Always before installing something you're unsure of open the mod (this is done easily by exploring it in Mod Organizer, otherwise open the archive it came in), if it contains scripts, the description said it contained a worldspace, or it includes a BSA archive, think carefully about adding it to your game, and consider letting Prisoner check it out first.

 

Mods that do not contain these things such as most weapon and armor mods, hair mods, skin mods, misc items, and spells that specifically is stated not to contain scripts (such as the no scripts version of Apocalypse spells) you can freely uninstall at any time, just be aware that if you uninstall a hair that your character has currently you will be permanently bald, whenever you load that character again even if you use showracemenu to change the character's hair you will be bald again. Weapons, monsters, textures, unscripted things in general is free to uninstall at any time, just don't uninstall a monster while you're fighting it for example. If you want to be sure that uninstalled monsters or things in vendor inventories are gone, find a safe cellar with where no random encounter can reach you (turn off such if you can, and definetly turn off frostfall and needs mods) then type player.setav timescale 50000 and wait five minutes or until 30 days have passed, then player.setav timescale 8 to 20 to make the world not spin you by any longer, all worldspaces and vendor inventories will have refreshed. Save, exit, reload, this is as close as you can get to a clean save but it DOES NOT work if you uninstalled a worldspace or a script. As an example, I once had a quest mod that happened north of Solitude early in the game, I found I didn't like it so I uinstalled it, no scripts in that mod just a stupid dungeon and an armor I found I didn't want, but once I got to Diplomatic Immunity in the main quest and had to go to the Thalmor embassy I CTDed every single time the game loaded, because the game was trying to load the dungeon's entrance which was now gone. This was half a week of play after I'd uninstalled the mod (I tend to delay the MQ), and it was half a week of play that was wasted unless I wanted to reinstall that mod.

 

Next up, Live Another Life, you should be using this mod regardless as not only does it give you tons of new ways to start the game to make it fresher, it's also useful for maintaining your current character. Whenever you settle on a mod load order that you're satisified, make a new character (Male blond nord works fine!) in the LAL cell and name him "Janitor", now exit as soon as the game autosaves. Whenever you become unable to load your main character's save (mainly because a runaway script got decapitated during your save or last play, such as if you got killed while it wanted to do something, in that case there's a good chance you'll CTD as soon as the game tries to automatically load your last save) , load Janitor and let him clean up your scripts for you, once he's done his job load the character you wan to load. Using this method you can even load a character who's armor they were wearing, hair and skin they were using, scripted weapon they were wielding, and castle they were standing in were uninstalled, in the above case you'll find yourself naked and headless in the Sleeping Giant inn when the save  loads. But as I said that's a really bad idea anyway, this is mainly for basic maintainace, but it does tell you just how well Janitor does his job. If you ever uninstall a mod mid game (anything that contains an ESP or ESM, even if it's just Moss Rocks or The Thegn) make a new Jantior as this has a marked failure rate on loading Janitor at any time he protests about missing mods. Call the new one Janitor 2 just in case you forget which one to load, and the next one Janitor 3, and so on until you start deleting your saves (more on that later). Additionally LAL will automatically block some lives that your mods make impossible, for example if you have Helgen Reborn installed there's no way at all to do the vanilla start as of now without the horse carriage ending up in the clouds because HR destorys the navmesh that the carriage needs to follow, so that life will be blocked (they're working on fixing it now however). So if you don't have LAL or another similar mod installed, you won't even be able to begin the game at all with HR installed.

 

Papyrus logging! This should be easy (...), if you open up SKyrim.ini (the Ewi Mod Organizer version, or whatever you have without) you need to go down to the [Papyrus] section, switch bEnableLogging=0 and bEnableTrace=0 both to 1 if you want to find out what's going on in your save, now run around and do some stress test, the easisest way to break the game is to head to the Windhelm Docks and engage in a big fight, go punch everyone around, then use something like Sexlab Match Maker to force a sex scene in the middle of that, then maybe use a scripted spell to kill people like Apocalypse's Fire Seed or Finger of the Mountain. Exit if that didn't crash your game, and check your papyrus, there's a very good chance you have stack dumps at this point, but the mods dumping are not the problem; 95 % of the time a stack dump will occur when a perfectly healty mod just runs out of resources, so it dumps it's stack/script to keep it from crashing your game instead, this does not mean that the mod in question (frequent dumpers include Frostfall, Wet & Cold, various needs and vampirism mods, basically mods that need to update a lot and take a lot of resources, none of these mods are of the 'dangerous' variety) is a bad one, it means it's a starved one that you just don't have resources to run. Look carefully through your mod list, find things with a lot of scripts going on on (especially look for updates more often than once ever 3-5 minutes or so from any mod at all from that Papyrus log) and deeply consider uninstalling those mods since your system clearly can't take the strain. Make sure you run more tests in game for more papyrus logs to compare to than just that Windhelm fight before you start taking things out, but later in the game you hit the 40-60 levels you'll have more and more scripts active at the same time that's not shutting down and just running all the time, so suddenly every fight will be like that Windhelm docks, and you'll want to make sure you can load the Alduin fights for sure or you'll never be able to finish the main quests, as at best you'll be dealing with a stupid dragon unable to do what he should, and at worst you'll be dealing with an immortal dragon that can't even be console killed.

 

Something to keep in mind for stack dumps and problem scripts however is that they do not ruin your entire game, just the scene they are dumping on, if you get stack dumps during combat from all your AI and localtional hit mods your sex life is still safe and going to run fine... unless somehow you get combat during sex, this includes whipping during BDSM scenes or just a random wolf attacking you while you're bonking your Lydia out in the wilderness, in that case there's a good chance sex or the scene will fail. This is a very frequent reason why many have problems getting past a certain scene in Fishburger's Sex Slaves mod, because the whipping invovled in that scene triggers your dumping combat scripts, which chews up all the resources that scene needs to run to it's conclusion. If you can avoid mixing combat and sex however you can ignore your combat stack dumps entirely, just be aware that during combat some of your mods are not going to work as they should.

 

Whenever you've found out all you need to know about your mods and ongoing scripts and is satisfied you can run the game without things messing up too much, disable Papyrus logging by switching those 1s back to 0s in the Skyrim.ini file, because Papyrus logging actually chews up a certain degree of your resources (it can even cause stack dumps, think about that for a moment and groan... you have actually the real-world example of Schroedinger's Cat; your game is both alive and well and filled with problems and untenable until you actually look at it, then the act of observing your game by turning on Papyrus actually makes the situation worse whatever it was before... quantum phycisist students should play Skyrim!) and you should not have it enabled during normal play.

 

This is just basic maintaince to keep your game alive, but there's a good chance a few of these tips will actually turn what was an impossible game crashing all the time to one that crashes maybe once every 5 hours or so even with 200+ mods and an ENB active.

 

EDIT: Here's some more ramblings on stack dumpings that may prove useful.

 

When modding your game and trying to put in new script mods and evaluating them, I want you to picture the Papyrus system as two narrow paralell ducts that you're trying to float small boats with a packet of information up on. Now you got Big Mod 1, and Big Mod 2, and Big Mod 3. Now if Big Mod 1 and Big Mod 2 were floated up at once, they'd have each a canal to go on, and your papryrus holds up, and your run fine. Unless you were sending a lot of smaller boats up all the time with tiny packet and update information that is (this is why it's important to watch out for mods like Enhanced Blood, not because it's bad but because the tiny thing it adds might block something more noticable), in which case you may not be able to send more than one at a time. Now if Big Mod 1 and Big Mod 2 don't run together, or runs together and you got nothing else, then you'll be fine with that, they're big mods but you can handle it just fine. Now you add Big Mod 3. It only runs some of the time, and shouldn't have been a problem, except if it decides to run at the same time the other two, or while there was already a clog filling with the smaller boats you were sending. If one of your little canals get clogged up, everything stops, and rather than crash your game outright the scripts Stack Dump to just get out of the canal and avoid you going CTD. Some mods refuse to get out of the canal and CTDs you regardless though. The effort of cleaning things out of your duct and getting things running will take up a lot more resources from you than just running the water down those two ducts did, and so you will lag in the process, probably badly, this is effort put on other aspects of your computer (the parts of the computer the game allows to run it at least, which our SKSE.ini and ENB kind of got around partially but not entirely, lets just say running downloads and music in the background and turning off the game music won't put any more strain on your computer most likely or lower what it can spend on the game unless you only have bare minimum system requirements in terms of RAM and processor), but not out of the duct system.

 

Now here's an important addon to this; some mods, especially the big ones, kinda expect you to be able to run them if you install them, and so doesn't put in certain failsafes. Let's say in the duct example that the script that was floating up one of your canals was related to another script running at one end, and was to set off a third script at the end of the canal, which was siting there waiting, possibly even counting down how long it took to reach it. When the stack dump occurs mid-canal and the boat that the script was waiting for was cleared out... it never got any instructions to stand down. Ten hours of gameplay later, it's still running in the background in your save, counting down, waiting for that boat to reach it. Meanwhile your save game starts to grow as the script waits, and waits, and waits, and likely records what's going on to take that into account when it's boat reaches it, except it never does, so it never clears that information out of it's memory.

 

One thing I've noticed that is very common with modders is that they rarely use any other mods than their own, and their friend's mods. Few modders have a mod list higher than the 50s, and basically just automatically don't consider the fact that you might have a lot of other important things going on, because you installed their mod after all and so it must be the most important thing in your game. And this attitude basically is what leads to dead savegames.

 

So yeah, when modding try to look at the contents of the mod you are installing, now I don't know shit about reading a script or figuring out how often it expects to run so this is something you must do by feel, and experience, even if it's other people's experience. Read the comment threads, if more than two people had problems with the mod and they didn't seem like knobheads then don't automatically remove it from your load order, rather consider it up against your load order as a whole. The Papyrus engine can really only run two threads at a time (please for the sake of volumetrics of sperm from Talos that got flushed up Barenziah's pipes give us a more robust scripting system with at least four threads next time Bethesda!), and so you need to try to be aware of what's going to run at once. You can have tens of thousands of scripts in your folders but if they all run two by two you're never going to have any issue, it's when they bully each other for space within the same second you have your issues.


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#5
halieslade

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Sacrenas, Let me be the first (?) to give you a huge thank you hug for doing this.  I always thought I knew how to install and run Skryim with mods, but trying to tweak it since I discovered SexLab and Lovers has given me a huge dose of humility.  I think I've uninstalled and reinstalled Skyrim about 5 times now, and from what I hear of others that may just be the beginning.

 

In view of my latest issues (stuck in T-pose, MCM not showing SkyUI or ZAZ even after I removed SexLab), I've just begun my newest "do it over again" project.  I am bookmarking your thread and will be following it for future updates.  You've given us (me) a wonderful source for information so we don't have to Google every little annoyance and get 100 conflicting suggestions - most of which are just plain wrong.

 

Thank you!!!


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#6
fishburger67

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Thanks so much for this Sacremas.  Expect it will help a lot of people, including me.

 

Hope to see more soon.


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#7
Sacremas

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Thanks for the kind words, hopefully more will find this thread and be helped by it. Moderators, any chance of a sticky, pretty please?

 

Meanwhile, let's continue!

Help Tools and Setting up your basic Profile

 

Okay, the previous post I made should have given you some pointers towards what you can do to get a cleaner game and to get characters working, and by now Live Another Life or a very similar mod like Random Alternate Start should be part of your load order even if you always start off with the vanilla start (I kinda like it). This post will focus mainly on things to set up for your other mods to work better or at all.

 

First off, something obvious; Sky UI, this mod should always be part of your load order, so just install it now. It includes the MCM ability that you'll be using on several other mods, such as this cool thing I've heard of called Sexlab Framework. I don't find installing SkyUI for Mod Organizer any different than installing it on NMM, so just use the regular method and it'll work fine.

 

Some mods to make Sky UI even better; Lover's Lab's own Papyrus Util is great, get it and keep it at the bottom of your load order, in particular make sure that the outdated version of the util that's included in Schlongs of Skyrim do not overwrite it, but don't worry if Sexlab Framework overwrites it as that's the main mod you're installing this for! Another Lover's Lab enhancement is Show Armor Slots, this is great to find out why you can't wear that Devious Device with that Piercing. Extended UI puts the finishing touches on your UI, and allows you to do things like wait for 72 hours at the same time rather than 24 three times, may sound trivial but it saves time, and it just simply makes other UI mods work better, such as some extended description mods. And in case you don't want an UI in your way or don't always want to see that compass or crosshair, Gopher's Immersive HUD is awesome, get the 2.4 version for the least amount of Papyrus impact. Finish off your UI with HD Skill Interface, it's really pretty and it has no effect at all even on a slow computer because it only draws resources when you are looking at your skills, and at that point your game is paused and you're not looking at anything else. Make sure you skip the extra sounds however they're just... not very good at all IMHO (though you can try them out if you like them).

 

EDIT: Sorry folks, forgot this part entirely! Another mod that is UI extending that should always be part of your load order! RaceMenu should always be on your mod list. At this point RaceMenu has been expanded substantially from what it was a few years ago, and IMHO you don't need Enhanced Character Edit any longer, especially as that's dependant on other mods you may not want, but it could be a good add on, just be aware that ECE is made almost entirely to make supermodel girls, I would not recommend using it if you're making a male character. But that's just my experience, and yours may differ. At this point the Overlays part of Racemenu that was an optional plugin a year or two back is an intergrated part of RaceMenu, so you don't need to install that separately any longer. RaceMenu Overlays gives you not only a ton more warpaint and tatto options, it also gives you options for body, face, hands and feet texture overlays like extensive tattoos, and by now a lot of tattoos that previously you bascially had to make a custom race and fit it in yourself with Creation Kit has become Overlay plugins instead so you can swap them out at any time and use them on the base races.

 

Next we're going to install some mods to basically manage your other mods and make sure your game can always be balanced according to your tastes. SkyTweak starts this off, this is considered by some to be a cheat program but it's a tweaking program, if you wanted to cheat there's an unlimited amount of ways to turn yourself into a level 1 godling able to kill Alduin by being in the same worldspace as him, this is a tweaker utility rather to both change how things work, and to monitor how other mods change your character. For example you can look up what your magic overhaul mod has done with the Dual Cast feat, how fast your shouts recover, how much damage you take from falls, how many times you have to hit a friendly NPC accidentally during combat to turn them hostile, how many times per level you can train, how much damage you deal and take on Legendary difficulty, and so on... and then you can change any of them. For example I use a lot of monster mods that give opponents Unrelenting Force type abilities that ragdoll me and throw me back, it's very cinematic but due to how falling damage works it has a VERY high chance of one-shotting me at any time, so I use SkyTweak to simply turn off falling damage and make sure I myself don't abuse it by jumping off the throat of the world too much. Even if you don't intend to actually change any of these things, you should still have the program installed in order to easily look up for example what your Speedmult is or why your weapon is either swinging too fast or too slow. With this mod you're not going to have to remember nearly as many obscure console commands because this program will do it for you.

 

EDIT:

 

Here's a mod from a Lover's Lab member that will replace SkyTweak in your load order, as it includes that and a lot of other things you are guaranteed to find very useful. UKC Utilities by the UKC - UglyKidCid merges A Closer Look Auto Unequip Ammo, A Matter of Time, Better Eagle Eye Redux, Body Slots, Grimy Utilities, Helmet Toggle, Jaxonz Archery Util, Diagnostics, Lights Please, SkyTweak and Timing is Everything in two ESPs. A Matter of TIme also includes a "less annoying" preset. Also make sure to get Immersive Hud so you can hide A Matter of Time's widget when you don't need to know the time.

 

Note that UglyKidCId only made the merger that combined all of these files, they're still the same mods that you can find on the Nexus if you search for their names. All questions on how they work should be directed towards their original authors.

 

 

Balance Your Own Game - BYOG is more of the same, more utilities to change aorund on how things work, maybe you think this sword you got just does too much damage, or you've really fallen in love with a steel quality knife with a really cool look that you just want to keep using on level 81 without being hobbled by it, use BYOG to change either one of their damages or other abilties, or the damage of a spell you like but think kills too fast or conversely has a cool effect but just not enough damage.

 

Deadly Dragons you probably already know of, but even if you don't want super dealdy dragons you should still install both this mod and the optional Deadly Monsters plugin. With this you can do simple things like change how much dragonbone and dragonscales weigh and make all vendors and quest givers essential and protected from those damn random vampire attacks or thieves in Riften. Deadly Dragons and Deadly Monsters also allow you to at any time edit what any creature type is capable of in terms of their health, magica/stamina, damage and magic damage, maybe you are happy wtith what your AI mods did to humanoids like bandits and falmer, but you think undead like Draugr should be much tougher, or you think Giants should do even more damage and have much more hit points than they already have. With Deadly Monsters you can change these things while playign, even while fighting those monsters, without having to go into the creation kit or TES5Edit to change them around.

 

With SkyTweak, BYOG and Deadly Dragons/Monsters you can basically overhaul your entire game experience mid play and adjust things without having to install mods like High Level Enemies or ASIS mid play only to find you didn't like them, and so they should always be part of your load order simply to manage other mods.

 

Now for some patches! Even with the Update.esm Bethesda left a lot of errors in their game already, but the modder's community have gotten rid of some of them. As such you'll want to install for sure the Unoffical Skyrim Patch, and if you have the expansions you'll also want to install Unofficial Dawnguard Patch, Unofficial Dragonborn Patch, Unofficial Heartfires Patch and even the Unofficial High Resolution Textures patch. The load order on these is very important, you want to put USKP at the very top of your load order in the left panel in Mod Organizer (or make it the first mod you ever install) and put it right after update.esm in your plugin list, put Unofficial Dawnguard Patch right after Dawnguard, Unofficial Dragonborn Patch right after Dragonborn, etc. If you do it any other way, like letting Dragonborn and the Unofficial Dragonborn Patch load before Unofficial Skyrim patch, bad things will happen like you being unable to absorb dragon souls because the Dragonborn expansion changes how that works.

 

WIth these mods combined with the graphical mods you settled on during setting up your ENB, you have the groundwork for the profile that will be your base profile that all others will be based of when using Mod Organizer. Those who skipped Mod Organizer can skip the rest of this post as well. For the rest of you here's how to manage your profiles;

 

If you in MO click the white "Identiy Card" looking button that reads "Configure Profiiles", you get into the manager for that. If this is your first time in here, first off we'll want to on the profile you have selected now do a few things, first off click the Rename button and change the profile you put the mods above and things that you are never uninstalling into something like "Basic Profile", and also checkmark "Local Savegames" and "Automatic Archive Invalidation", click close once that's done and make sure that the "Profile" header above your mods list is on the profile you want. You are probably never going to change this profile around much, any profiles you make in the future you'll make by opening the Configure Profiles button, marking your Basic Profile, and selecting "Copy", now copy that to "Perkus Maximus profile" or "SPERG Profile" or "Werewolf Walkthrough" or "Herman the Dragonborn" or whatever, all the mods and the load order that you had selected before gets copied over, and so does the Local Savegames setting.

 

The Local Savegames setting means that for example your Janitor script clean-up character in the LAL cell I had you make before that's on Herman the Dragonborn will have a different load order than the identically made (and looking possibily) Janitor on your Werewolf Walkthrough. At any time you can go into Herman the Dragonborn on Configure Profiles and click "Transfer Saves", you'll now see a list of the characters on that profile like Herman, Janitor, Janitor 2, and so on. Maybe since you have Janitor 2 you don't need Janitor 1 any longer presumably, so select Janitor in the right pane (at which point you'll see the specific individual saves that you can move over), then move Jantor over to the other panel, now when you start up the game on Herman the Dragonborn, all saves related to Janitor is gone so you don't have to worry about them. If you are keeping all of your saves and characters on your MO Profiles with local savegames and no saves you want to actually keep in the left panel, what you can do now is go into your normal save folder (My Documents/My Games/Skyrim/Saves) and just delete everything in the folder even if you don't intend on going back to those saves any longer. Not only will this save space (some of those save games may be 20 MB or more, and if you've been playing this game since it came out you could have hundreds of them), it will just make things neater as you know where everything is.

 

Note that if there were characters you actually wanted to keep you could have done it the other way around, let's say you had a mage character called Danielle once upon a time that you have no idea what mods you used on her that you really want to recover, create a new profile by copying the must-have mods profile into a new profile called perhaps "Resurrection of Danielle" or whatever you want to call it with local savegames set, now go into Transfer saves and scroll down on the list of characters on the left pane until you find Danielle, click her and transfer her over into your new profile, then close by Xing out of manage profiles windows, and change to Resurrection of Danielle. Now below the big button where you normally start the game or switch to TES5Edit for MO where you find all your active plugins, you find a list of tabs called "Plugins", "Archvies", "Data", "Saves" and "Downloads"; it's the "Saves" tab you want, click it then you'll see all the saves on the Danielle character. Click the save you want recover, and you'll see a screenshot of what the game looked like when you saved that game, and you'll also see a list of Missing ESPs... You can then use this list to rebuild the pugins that you were using for Danielle by reinstalling all the mods that Danielle is asking for. Now just start up the game while the Resurrection of Danielle profile is active, and you can even click Continue because Danielle will be the only saves that are accessible in-game, and your old character will be back to the way she was... well almost, the Missing ESPs list doesn't tell you what skin you were using and other things that doesn't use ESPs and ESMs, so you probably have some work to do, but this should be a very solid start.


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#8
Sacremas

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Kinda late for me (I work on 40ish hour days then sleep for 12-16 hours, so this is kinda on the latter part of it), but I'm going to try for one more. Apologies in advance for masses of spelling errors and messups.

 

Mod Conflict Resolutions (Part 1)

 

Okay, what we're going to do with this is try to find out when two mods are conflicting with each other, this is a bit more of an art than a science so you won't be able to use these tips to find every conflicting mod and resolve them, but it'll solve 95 % of them at least.

 

First off try not to install ever two mods that do the same thing, do not install Amazing Follower Tweaks and Extensible Follower Framework, at the same time for example, pick only one of them. In this case it's very hard for me to decide because EFF has a much smaller system imprint so you can have more other mods active at the same time, but I just really like AFT and all the things it can do. Try them out both and pick one, and leave the other out. Same goes for horses, you don't want multiple mods managing and tracking the horses you ride, and for Defeat mods like Death Alternative, Sexlab Defeat, Sexllab Submit and Sanguine's Debauchery, you do not want multiple of these active becuase it will mess up your saves, pick one of them and stick with it and whatever similar mods that mod specifically says works for it. Keep this in mind when installing mods and you'll save yourself a lot of pain.

 

Next up, LOOT, and Mod Organizer's Sort Mods button which is a shaved-down version of LOOT. When you run LOOT you want to go to the Details panel of the LOOT report that is generated, look through this list and MO will often tell you things like Error: This plugin is incompatible with "dD - Enhanced Blood Main.esp", but both are present. when you try to load both Crimson Tide - Blood and Enhanced Blood Textures at the same time, these mods are not compatible clearly so you should pick one (I pick EBT for much less system impact myself). If you want to make looking through your sorted plugn list faster to look for actual problems, use the "Filters" setting in the upper right corner of the LOOT interface, and select "Hide Messageless Plugins", this will only tell you then about the things that actually require your attention.

 

Now for skin and texture mods, things work a bit different, and the rest of this post is going to be referring heavily to Mod Organizer so those who skipped that can skip to the next post, which is part 2 of this section, building a Merge Patch.

 

Let's say that you are installing SG Female Textures Renewal, and you also want the makeup of Better Females by Bella. Say you installed SG Female Textures first, then Better Females, went in game and found yourself looking at a very nice body texture, and a very nice face texture with very defined makeup... but a gray face and mismatched seams with two textures obviously not fitting together like a Bride of Frankenstein thing. Going back to Mod Organizer, if you looked up the load order on the two on the left panel, you'd find SG Female Textures first, then Better Females by Bella. Neither has an ESP or ESM so this would be impossible in Nexus Mod Manager, you'd have to reinstall until you got it right then hope you didn't mess it up later, but in MO what you can do is simply drag Better Females by Bella to above SG Female Textures so BF's loaded first, then SG. You'd know that SG Female Textures was being overwritten by the lighting bolt icon next to the mod, a white lighting bolt means it's redundant, it's not adding anything that's not later overwritten in total so the mod can be disabled, a yellow lighting bolt with a green + sign means that mod has overwritten something, a yellow bolt with a red - sign means it's had files overwritten, and if it has both then it has both files that it has overwritten and that it has been overwritten by others. In this case SG Female Textures has been overwritten by something, and now we know it's Better Females but if you have a 500 active mod list (remember that not even half of them needs to have ESPs or ESMs) that is going to be a lot harder to tell. To find out what's overwritten and what it has overwritten right click SG Female Textures and click the "Information" tab at the bottom, then go to "Conflicts". Previously with the load order as it was you would see that SG was overwriting base Skyrim, maybe Dawnguard and USKP, but Better Females would overwrite all of it's head textures, leading to the mismatched head.

 

So what we want to do is to drag Better Females by Bella above SG Female textures (or manually set their load orders by writing in what number it should be). Then to be sure everything works, (this is important in case of texture mods you'd really notice the difference in) disable both mods that you're changing the load order of, and reenable them. Now SG Female Textures is only showing a green sign from having overwritten other mods (unless you have others that overwrite it later, such as SOS Futa's SG Renewal patch, or Vampire Texture Framework for Porcelain Skin, or simply SG's own optional skins or eyebrow packages), and better Females by Bella is showing a red sign from having been overwritten. If you open Better Females by Bella you'll see that now 12 of it's 27 files have been overwritten by SG Female Textures, but 15 other files have not been overwritten and still applies to your character. Now if you start up the game and make a new female character you'll see that she has a well-matched head and body, and she has more makeup definiton than she could have with just SG female textures active alone, but not as much as she did when Better Females by Bella won. To me this is the best medium to come by, and I use warpaints like WG Warpaints to finish up the makeup if I'm making a goth girl or simply want to use the lip texture in that mod, like if I'm giving her glowing lips or the like.

 

Incidentally this reminds me of something I forgot when we set up our UI mods, Racemenu and overlays plugin! DOH! Editing in that part into the previous post now, scroll up to the Edit paragraph below the UI mods to see that, sorry folks! Experienced, not an expert!

 

While you're inside the Information part, I want you also to look at the Filetree header, this allows you to not only look through a mod and find out if it contains scripts or a BSA that make it dangerous to uninstall later, you can also go into each individual file or entire folders inside the mod, and manually disable them. As an example for this I'm going to use UNP Minidresses Collection, which I use and like a lot. It's very sexy without overly so, but it does make some changes that make things just not work. For example I find it immersion breaking that mage apprentices like Brelyna Maron who live in the coldest part of Skyrim should have a tiny skimpy mage robe, it just looks too cold and breaks my immersion. Likewise the brown monk robes that are used for some mage robes such as that worn by Sybille Stenthor (vampire court mage of Solitude) comes with shoes that are just really badly made and leave her with decapitated claves hanging in the air above the shoes. So what I do is that I go into the Information tab on that mod, then to the Filetree, then I find mage apprentice and monk robes (and I pick Necromancer and Warlock robes while at it to have all mages covered) and left click the folders in both Textures and Meshes and choose the Hide function. That texture and mesh is now disabled form this mod while the rest of the mod is working fine without you having to reinstall it, and if you later find that you really want your necromancers and witches to be walking around with their legs showing (turns out they actually use different shoes than Sybille does so dont' get the same problem), you go back into the mod, and you unhide those files again, and it's set up in your game. All this without ever uninstalling the mod once.

 

You can use the method of just looking through your load order of mods and looking for those pointer lighting bolts that tell you something's going on at any time to resolve conflicts, maybe you want to edit a vanilla armor to have a sexy mesh for your female body replacer but you're also using aMidianBorn Book of Silence to replace all armor textures (mainly for males if you're replacing all female armors with skimpy ones), but loaded BoS after your sexy armor mock up, so you ended up with a vanilla looking armor with a better texture instead of the sexified armor you wanted.

 

For mods that have a plugin (unlike the Better Females + SG example) Mod Organizer can however help you figure out a few of these load order problems for you. If you hit Sort Mods and it sorts all your plugins the way LOOT thinks it should be done, you'll end up with a red exclamation mark stopsign button on the top right of the MO interface. If you click this it now has a "Sort mods" button, this will sort the mods in your left panel according to the load orders that LOOT put their ESPs and ESMs. However this is not always reliable, one easy problem that you're going to run into; Schlongs of Skyrim contains an outdated version of the PapyrusUtil that Sexlab Framework needs in order to work properly, however LOOT will always sort SOS to load after the framework, then the Sort Mods button behind the exclamation mark that the program claims you absolutely have to click will put SOS after the framework on the left side as well. This will cause Sexlab Framework to not work simply put, and this is the main reason I included in the UI mods on the previous post Papyrus Util and told you to keep it at the bottom of the load order. MO will not auto-arrange this, and as long as this is as low as possible on the left panel, you can let MO sort SOS and Sexlab Framework just fine without error messages.


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#9
Sacremas

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Mod Conflicts, part 2: Merge Patch

 

By now you know a few easy ways to make sure that as much of your changes get through as possible and in the right order, and you know how to easily look up and change how your mods interract with each other. This part unlike most of the previous post is good regardless if you installed MO or not.

 

These ways to resolve conflicts do not work however if multiple mods want to edit the same character or monster or spell or item. Let's say you have Unofficial Skyim Patch of course, and you also have Immersive Armors and Immersive Weapons, two must have mods for me, and you have a NPC overhaul that changes the look of NPCs to be much nicer like Inhabitants of Skyrim or Bijin Warmaidens, and you also have some other mod that adds perks and end-game enhancements to a lot of these NPCs. Only one of these mods are going to be able to work on your NPC at once, you either get the Unofficial Skyrim Patch bug fixes, the extra armors from Immersive Armors, the NPC overhaul's look, or you get the new perks, whichever mod wins in your load order (and LOOT is always going to let perk and AI mods win) will be the only mod that can edit your NPCs. If you want all of those things at the same time, you need a Merge Patch. And that's what this step is about.

 

What we're going to do now is to start up TES5Edit again, this time leave your entire load order selected. You want to make sure you've either taken out or cleaned any mods that LOOT told you needed cleaning (the Details part of the LOOT report will pop up with things like "12 ITM changes, clean with TES5Edit", clean these the same way you cleaned your masters, and more importantly if LOOT tells you a mod like Convenient Horses has dirty edits that you specifically should not clean, don't clean it or you'll break the mod), and that your entire load order can load. This is going to be a complicated step so while it's good to learn to do now, you'll only want to do this for real for your set of mods when you have actually settled on what mods you are going to use through your next playthrough, and that includes probably having let Prisoner check them out if need be to make sure you wanted them in your game, because at this point your load order will be locked, you are never going to change it again except by adding more plugins, and you are never taking out even a weapon mod.

 

When you get the Background Loader: Finished message in TES5Edit from having successfully loaded your entire load order, what you want to do next is to right click anywhere in your mods, scroll down in the pane to "Other" and then to "Create Merged Patch". You'll get an error message saying that a Merge Patch is unsupported for Skyrim, in my younger and more supid days (as in a couple of months ago :P) I though this meant blankly that merge patches actually didn't work for Skyrim and should only be used for Oblivion and the Fallout games, and so I never made one. What it actually means is that the TES5Edit support team is unable to provide support for managing your merge patches, and you'll have to manage them yourself, simply because everyone's merge patch is completely different, unlike every other plugin in your load order except possibly SkyProc patchers like that of Skyrim Redone, Wintermyst or Automatic Variants. So we are going to ignore that warning and make one anyway. Note by the way on this that the use of TES5Edit through Mod Organizer is not user supported at all from the team that manages TES5Edit because none of them for some reason use MO. However you're hopefully not going need much MO specific help beyond what I give you in this thread, and the rest can be applied to normal uses of TES5Edit.

 

Once your Merge patch is ready you want to name this patch TES5Merged without the extension (the program puts an .esp at the end of it). The reason for this is simply because that specific title is more often recognized and well ordered by LOOT. Once you click okay the program will spend a while counting through all your mods and cross checking them for what things multiple mods edit. Once it's done, you want to go into TES5Merged, and expand it. First of all we want to make sure that your load order was good before making it (as in good beyond just being able to load it at all); go into things like the Races column, and look up Non-Player Characters and click on any of the red fields and make sure as many of the edits made it over correctly. To end up with a good easy to make Merge Patch you want to put things like apperance changes like those of Inhabitants of Skyrim as low on your load order as possible rather than what LOOT prefers (as said LOOT prioritizes perk mods assuming you don't use a merge patch and so want the thing that will actually affect your game the most). If you find that you have a lot of races being edited wrongly, or that NPCs are just not getting the changes they need automatically, exit TES5Edit without saving your merge patch and redo your load order. As an example, the Mage Nails mod is really beautiful, it's not immersive at all that your nails should be that pretty after swinging a waraxe all day, but those nails just make my inner fetishist tingle a little bit. However that mod in order to work properly make a single change to all the playable races to enable the nails being visible in first person, but in the process it'll reset the racials otherwise back to their vanilla state, so if you have a race overhaul mod like Imperious changing races around Mage Nails will overwrite that mod and change the racials back to vanilla, or the mod just won't work. How to fix this specific problem as well as enable the nails for custom races I detailed in Mage Nails for Everyone!, but it involved the use of TES5Edit.

 

Once you've resolved conflicts a bit better than previously, fire up TES5Edit again and redo your patch, look through the entires quick to make sure as many of the changes followed over as possible, this will make the next steps a lot easier. Now open the Non-Player Characters folder again, this is the most important one most likely for you as it's the one with the most changes (your weapons and the like will just have basic bugfixes and things that can be resolved automatically); you'll see that while the majority of your NPCs are hopefully in green text, several will have red text instead. Go into each of these, and first off right click the main panel where you see all the system read out and select "Hide No Conflict Rows", this will make your job a lot easier. Most likely what you'll find is that USKP changes have been left out of your apperance changes, so things like body cleanup scripts won't be attached to your Bijin Warmaidens for example. Now this is an extremely trivial matter because all of those Bijin Warmaidens are marked essential and will never die, but we're going to use that example to show you how to resolve such conflicts. Grab ahold of the body cleanup script in the upper line of that section of the form, and drag and drop it over into your merge patch. To save yourself having to do this ever again later (unless the mod is updated) you can even drag an drop that body cleanup script onto the Bijin Warmaidens mod. In both of these cases you'll get that familiar huge "WARNING: Are you sure you want to edit a mod?" question, but as it's your own mod or Unofficial Skyrim Patch changes that you're editing in, this can be completely ignored again.

 

Keep doing the drag and drop routine, if you have Revenge of the Enemies for example there's a good chance that your appearance changes will overwrite what that mod wants to do to boss characters like Ulfric Stormcloak you could end up fighting. In that case drag and drop their entire AI packages over. In the case of Duuhrneviir the Dawnguard undead dragon a mod like Deadly Dragons wants to reset his appearance back base Dawnguard look instead of the updated Unofficial Dawnguard look, so in that case you're going to drag and drop Duhrnevir's chosen model from Unofficial Skyrim Patch and over into your Merge Patch. You can actually do that for Deadly Dragons as well as that means you won't have to do this again later on, but it does make Deadly Dragons having Unofficial Dawnguard patch now as a Master file, this isn't a negative thing in this case because you're always going to be loading Unofficial Dawnguard Patch as long as you have Dawnguard installed (if you know what's good for you), so it's something you're not going not notice, but if you're not careful you could add masters to some mods that really shouldn't have them because you're not going to be including all those masters in all the same profiles as those other mods. Be careful whenever TES5Edit throws up a warning about adding masters to a file and think on it carefully because it means always loading that mod's new master on every profile you're using that mod for.

 

Once you're satisifed everyone gets both their appearance, their armors, their perks, their AI packages and their correct level mult and health, magicka and stamina and skills (note you can at this point actually edit the latter here manually, maybe you think Alduin as the god of destruction really needs 500 destruction, it's not going to matter one bit because he's not in game using a single ability that relies on the Destuction skill, but it's just one example of what you can change, but you really will notice it if you give him a million health... but a million stamina just means he'll be using his shouts more often), there's one last thing you need to do; as we're also going to later make a Wrye Bash patch (next post) and that will handle our leveled lists, what you want to do now is right click and select Remove on Leveled Lists and Leveled NPCs section of your Merge patch as you don't want two patches handling the same thing. Exit TES5Edit and in the process save TES5Merged for sure, and possibly the other mods you made edits to in the process of this.

 

Now back to Mod Organizer, if you're using Nexus Mod Manager or the like still you'll now simply have a new "TES5Merged.esp" at the bottom of your load order, so that's done and you can skip down to the Wrye Bash bits. For Mod Organizer users however that new plugin you just worked so hard on is actually left in the "Overwrite" section of Mod Organizer; whenever a program makes an edit on your files that would perhaps normally be put in Data/SKSE/Logs instead for example, it ends up in the Overwrite folder with no changes having been made to your installed mods. In that case what you want to do is to double click the Overwrite folder and open it, now at this point you will hopefully only see TES5Merged.esp in the Overwrite folder, but if you've done anything else that could put files in there you're going to have more. Normally what you'd do if for example TES5Edit put a new version of Deadly Dragons with the new look for Duurhneviir in the overwrite folder is to keep that folder open, then find your Deadly Dragons mod, then drag and drop the new Deadly Dragons.esp over into your main mod and let it overwrite. Alternately you could create a new mod acts as a patch to Deadly Dragons and overwrites it's ESP while it's being used. That depends on if you want the changes permanently for all profiles or just some profiles. If you change your mind later and want the default Dawnguard look for Duuhrneviir back, what you'd do is to reinstall Deadly Dragons (and deadly monsters) and when it comes up with a question that it looks like you have this mod already, what do you want to do? You select "Replace" as you want to replace the old files with the fresh install. For making a new mod, use the same procedure as we'll use to move our TES5Merged out of our overwrite folder since it doesn't have a parent mod to toss it into.

 

We'll want to exit your Overwrite folder once it only has your TES5Merged.esp in it and nothing else, if it has something else move it out or delete it except for those changed ESPs if you want to keep them separate from the main mod. Right click your Overwrite folder and select "Create New Mod", now name your new mod perhaps "TES5Merged for Resurrection of Danielle" so you'll be able to diffrentiate all the TES5Merged on the different profiles (do the similar when you make your FNIS behaviour files and Automatic Variants patch, if everything's named "for Resurrection of Danielle" you only have to search in MO for Danielle to find all of her patches). Enable your new mod, and TES5Merged will appear at the bottom of the load order. Note that if you decided to keep your edited Deadly Dragons.esp as a separate overwrite mod you can include this esp and other new ones made during your edits in your TES5Merged mod, they'll activate when you activate TES5Merged and replace the plugins that they overwrite.

 

 

 

Now final step, this is a different program and one we haven't used so far but this will actually be much shorter. You removed those Leveled Lists and Leveled NPCs from your TES5Merged because you actually want Wrye Bash to handle those. Wrye Bash communicates much better with LOOT than TES5Edit does (it doesn't at all in fact). When you run LOOT in addition to error messages you also on various mods get notes like "Bash Tags: Relev, Delev", when Wrye Bash builds it's Bashed Patch, 0.esp it uses LOOT's findings to assign these tags to the various mods automatically without you having to do anything, and ends up with much better leveled lists than TES5Edit is able to. Wrye Bash also has the benefit that it's able to merge some mods into your new Bashed Patch, 0.esp, an example for this is the Frostfall patch for the Hunterborn mod, this is done automatically if you have plugins that can easily be folded in (aside from that, another mod I've found folds in easily is ERSO's "Wait more time before random dragon encounter" plugin, and there's probably many more) as long as you leave them checkmarked.

 

After starting up Wrye Bash (through Mod Organizer if you're using that) it will automatically generate a new mod called as mentioned "Bashed Patch, 0.esp", what you want to do now is to simply right click that patch, then select from the drop down menu "Rebuild Patch". At this point those mergable mods will appear, click okay to that, and in the next panel with the large amount of lists you'll first want to scroll down to Leveled Lists and make sure all the mods that edit leveled lists (the ones who got the appropriate bash tags) is listed here. This is what's going to end up in your treasure chests and in NPCs inventories. The next step is made kinda redundant because I had you install Sky Tweak that can do all of this from in-game in a smother way, but the STEP project also suggests that you go into Tweak Settings, and checkmark Crime: Alarm Distance and right click it's number and change it to 1000, this will make crime report rates be much smaller and more realistic than in the normal game. You may also want to change the Timescale at this point, I like leaving it at 8 for a more realistic and believable speed of the day passing by than the default 20. However as said these changes are redundant as you can do these changes in game if you installed Sky Tweak and adjust for yourself not only crime distance but long guards will be searching for you before giving up, and so on. But at least by setting these things in here it's one less thing to remember to set yourself each time on a new game using Sky Tweak, as you can still edit these things in-game freely. Note that changes you make on this panel will carry over into every time you use Wrye Bash until you change it later, if you changed your preferred timescale to 4 on Herman the Dragonborn it'll remember that when you build your Bashed Patch for Danielle. Once you're done with your tweaks, hit build patch. It'll take a while to build the patch up then give you a really long detailed report on what you did, feel free to read it or like me ignore it.

 

Back into your mod manager if you were using NMM you'll now have Bashed Patch, 0.esp at the bottom of your load order after TES5Merged.esp, and you'll be done. If you're using MO, then go through the exact same procedure for moving it out of your Overwrite folder, and name it something like "Wrye Bash Patch for Resurrection of Danielle" so you'll find it and diffrentiate it later.

 

Make sure you always make your TES5Merged.esp and your Bashed Patch, 0.esp before you run things like Patchus Maximus or the patcher for Skyrim Redone, ASIS, and even Dual Sheath Redux and Automatic Variants, all of these things should only be run once you have your merge patches done.

 

EDIT:

 

Here's an installation order that you want to follow to get the most out of your mods that aren't as easy to solve as above;

 

Optimized vanilla textures

SMIMM and patches, and any mod that optimizes existing things like ruin clutters, as well as things like Project Parallax Remastered

Texture mods like SFO, HD IVy, cave walls, moss rocks, and Tamriel Reloaded HD. if you use TRHD leave out all the other texture mods from this category.

Water mod

Weather Mod

Ligthing Mod

ENB (this is the main reason why if the ENB has a data folder portion you should always add that to MO, as if it's in the normal Data folder it's the first thing to get overwritten)

 

Everything that comes after TRHD or other texture mods needs to overwrite it or you get bugs. Lighting mods like ELFX and COT needs to be as low as possible because there's no such thing as a "lighting mod" other than the ENB itself, just another texture mod that instead add shaders on what you already have. If you try clicking in console in-game with PapyrusUtil on aorund inside an inn with a roaring fire you'll see ELFX inviisble bits that's there to provide shaders to your other textures. The ENB on the other hand actually changes how your shadows and light work rather than add existing things, but it needs to be as low as possible on your load order because many ENBs come with custom weather effects or sun overlays that would get overwritten by your (older, less quality) weather mods instead, hence why it's so important to install the Data folders in your ENB via your manager instead of manually.

 

Doesn't matter at all because none of their assets are touched or touch others from your mods;

Fire FX (followed by Realistic Smoke and Embers, this should be after the lighting mod as it's really another lighting mod)

JK's Skyrim (uses all vanilla assets, most of which gets overwritten by TRHD, hence it doesn't overwrite, just adds more)


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#10
Mimirue17

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omg this is amazing work, thank you so much.  even without removing anything yet but adding what you have put in here I removed all the ctd's I was getting zoning into towns.   While I have had no crashes since I did all of this my papryus log is showing some serious issues which I have no idea how to fix.

 

things I have done, loaded up a new start in live another life.   loaded that then my save.   I did the fight you suggested in windhelm and it went off without a hitch.   here are the results.   that log looks kind of scary to me.

 

Attached File  Papyrus.0.log   568.64KB   74 downloads

 

and the skse file to see load order after running loot

 

 

Attached File  skse.log   16.38KB   33 downloads

 


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#11
Sacremas

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omg this is amazing work, thank you so much.  even without removing anything yet but adding what you have put in here I removed all the ctd's I was getting zoning into towns.   While I have had no crashes since I did all of this my papryus log is showing some serious issues which I have no idea how to fix.

 

things I have done, loaded up a new start in live another life.   loaded that then my save.   I did the fight you suggested in windhelm and it went off without a hitch.   here are the results.   that log looks kind of scary to me.

 

attachicon.gifPapyrus.0.log

 

and the skse file to see load order after running loot

 

 

attachicon.gifskse.log

 

Hey, good initiative following some of the advice, glad to see it's helped you some!

 

When looking at your Papyrus file, the program you should be using for it is Notepad++ rather than the normal one, the normal one doesn't do line swapping very well in these auto generated documents like papyrus logs and block lists.

 

First part/half of your log is actually just your mods counting up for things that are installed, including residual stuff in your save. I'm seeing a lot of traces from uninstalled mods and badly installed mods, I can tell you right away that you will be best off and won't see the end of these problems until you start a new game. But let's see if we can salvage your current one.

 

The actual problems and in-game logging doesn't happen until the log comes up with

 

[02/12/2015 - 06:56:04PM] VM is freezing...
[02/12/2015 - 06:56:04PM] VM is frozen
[02/12/2015 - 06:56:05PM] Saving game...
[02/12/2015 - 06:56:05PM] VM is thawing...

 

That's the end of counting up your installed mods/residual scripts.

 

It's kind of a long log from just 5 minutes of play, but you don't actually have any direct errors in it, no stack dumps, nothing failing out right just things protesting about missing functions which by themselves is pretty harmless as long as you think things are working in game.

 

What I would do is download Save Game Cleaner, use that and drirect it to your save (this needs to be a proper save, not an autosave or quicksave!), it'll once it's loaded tell you on the left list how many scripts are active in various instances and on the main panel tell you about any errors like unattched script instances. First you sould hit "Fix ScriptInstances", then you should hit "Clean Other", then save and exit, including making a backup. Now load up your save and run around and make another papyrus log and post here, see if that changed anything.

 

If you didn't already (I'm guessing you did and that fixed your main crashing) put in those SKSE values, either the ones I have quoted or the 256 scrap and 768 default if you can't make it work with 1024, that is the main thing that will stop memory related crashes. Also make sure to clean your masters, and use LOOT to find other problem mods that need cleaning and clean them likewise.

 

And still consider starting a new game once you've settled on a full playthrough, if you're using Fishburger's Sex Slaves I'd delay that for a few days until the full non-beta version of that comes out, then start over again with a new character and run aorund and see if things have improved. Keep your old save and go back to that if you have exactly the same problems on the new character.


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#12
Mimirue17

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omg this is amazing work, thank you so much.  even without removing anything yet but adding what you have put in here I removed all the ctd's I was getting zoning into towns.   While I have had no crashes since I did all of this my papryus log is showing some serious issues which I have no idea how to fix.

 

things I have done, loaded up a new start in live another life.   loaded that then my save.   I did the fight you suggested in windhelm and it went off without a hitch.   here are the results.   that log looks kind of scary to me.

 

attachicon.gifPapyrus.0.log

 

and the skse file to see load order after running loot

 

 

attachicon.gifskse.log

 

Hey, good initiative following some of the advice, glad to see it's helped you some!

 

When looking at your Papyrus file, the program you should be using for it is Notepad++ rather than the normal one, the normal one doesn't do line swapping very well in these auto generated documents like papyrus logs and block lists.

 

First part/half of your log is actually just your mods counting up for things that are installed, including residual stuff in your save. I'm seeing a lot of traces from uninstalled mods and badly installed mods, I can tell you right away that you will be best off and won't see the end of these problems until you start a new game. But let's see if we can salvage your current one.

 

The actual problems and in-game logging doesn't happen until the log comes up with

 

 

 

[02/12/2015 - 06:56:04PM] VM is freezing...
[02/12/2015 - 06:56:04PM] VM is frozen
[02/12/2015 - 06:56:05PM] Saving game...
[02/12/2015 - 06:56:05PM] VM is thawing...

 

That's the end of counting up your installed mods/residual scripts.

 

It's kind of a long log from just 5 minutes of play, but you don't actually have any direct errors in it, no stack dumps, nothing failing out right just things protesting about missing functions which by themselves is pretty harmless as long as you think things are working in game.

 

What I would do is download Save Game Cleaner, use that and drirect it to your save (this needs to be a proper save, not an autosave or quicksave!), it'll once it's loaded tell you on the left list how many scripts are active in various instances and on the main panel tell you about any errors like unattched script instances. First you sould hit "Fix ScriptInstances", then you should hit "Clean Other", then save and exit, including making a backup. Now load up your save and run around and make another papyrus log and post here, see if that changed anything.

 

If you didn't already (I'm guessing you did and that fixed your main crashing) put in those SKSE values, either the ones I have quoted or the 256 scrap and 768 default if you can't make it work with 1024, that is the main thing that will stop memory related crashes. Also make sure to clean your masters, and use LOOT to find other problem mods that need cleaning and clean them likewise.

 

And still consider starting a new game once you've settled on a full playthrough, if you're using Fishburger's Sex Slaves I'd delay that for a few days until the full non-beta version of that comes out, then start over again with a new character and run aorund and see if things have improved. Keep your old save and go back to that if you have exactly the same problems on the new character.

 

thank you for the reply.   I have gone back and fixed all warnings in loot for cleaning.   I also ran the save game cleaner and then made a new 'cleaner' save to load when anything goes wrong.   I am indeed using the beta for sex slaves and will likely just start over with a new game once that does hit release.   I am adding as much stuff to the game as I can now to avoid adding things midgame like I have this one.   as you noted, I have probably installed and uninstalled about 30 mods on this save, and all that being said your tricks here have keep the game going with very little ctd.   The next step is switching to MO, which might be difficult with 149 mods currently installed....

Thanks for this whole thing, I have directed all the people I know to it to help their games as well.   It is very hard to manage all this stuff and having a step by step process makes it so much nicer.


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#13
Sacremas

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149 mods isn't that much actually in my experience, I have over 6-800 mods installed with about 400 of them active to some degree or another in my save, and I'm running perfectly, my computer crashes more often than my game does. Without having too many mods this is what I can suggest for your transition to MO, it's going to be painful and a lot of work but at least this way you'll be absolutely sure everything gets right;

 

First open NMM, now use it's tool to disable all active mods. Now go into steam and uninstall Skyrim completely, once that's done go to your skyrim install directory (Program Files/Steam/steamapps/common/skyrim) and delete the entire Skyrim folder. Now redownload skyrim in a fresh virgin state, then start with your load. Most likely you installed Nexus Mod Manager to something like Games (I had it on disc E Games), go into that directory and find your Mods folder, and cut out all of your mods and put them in a folder that you'll remember, like C: Games or E: Games/Skyrm Mods. Next when you install Mod Organizer instead of redownloading mods (make sure to look them up in case their version have changed), hit the upper left "disc" button that reads "Install a New Mod from an Archive", and then go to where you put your nexus mods, and install them into MO one by one. Now go through my thread and the various steps, like cleaning your masters, setting up your ENB and graphical mods, and so on and then start reenabling mods one by one. By the end of this unfortunately very long procedure (I've done it so I know) you will have a well modded game that is hopefully a lot more stable and with much fewer errors than you have now, and it'll be the end of your crashing permanently.


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#14
Sacremas

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Just ran into in my own game a mod conflict that I resolved, here's how I did this and how you can do it yourself;

 

I'm using Seranaholic for Serana by the same guy who did Bijin Warmaidens (damn I love that mod), it makes her look like an ethereal vampire princess, and I use Queen of the Damned - Deadlier Serana's patch for Seranaholic to then give her some real teeth, including vampire spells, gargoyle summonings, and a custom sword, she's badass with this.

 

However when I finally reached Serana in my current playthrough on my Futa Breton girl, Serana had a round kinda pudgy face that looked nothing like the Seranaholic look, and she had a gray face and a mismatched body. So what I did was I oppened both Seranaholic's "Serana.esp" and Queen of the Damned "UD_Serana.esp" in TES5Edit, first off there were no conflicts on serana but when I unchecked "Hide no clonflicted rows" and looked through the list I saw that Seranaholic's 20 weight on her had been changed to 80 weight on UD_Serana, this caused her rouder face. I manually edited that to 20 weigth again, then saved. Then I moved Seranaholic and the Queen of the Damned patch to the very end of my Mod Organizer mods load order (It was in the 100's, I put it in the 800s) and moved them likewise to just above my Merge Patches and Sexlab mods in my Plugins list likewise, went into the game, and poof, she's got a face that looks exactly like Seranaholic's author intended, and no more gray face! And she's still badass and using vampire spells and the Coldharbour's Daughter sword.

 

By the way, when making changes to textures of things that you are actually looking at, be it a gray face, a short robe or Moss Rocks, always make sure that when you load up your save again, you load it manually by hitting Load, do not use Continue as this will crash your game, but it loads fine even with the textures being different than in your save's screenshot if you use the Load function.


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#15
Sacremas

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Awesome, just noticed this guide has been pinned! Thank you for the stamp of approval moderators, and thank you for your good work!


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#16
joemonco

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[General]

ClearInvalidRegistrations=1

 

 

Regardless it makes your game run smoother, with less chance of CTD.

 

It just removes orphaned scripts from save files, which limits the actual save file size on disk.


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#17
Sacremas

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Amazingly written guide Sacremas. I do 99% of the same things and came to do them by reading way too many guides and way too much trial and error, pain and misery. Had i read this 6 months ago, it would have spared me so much time investment.

 

Some minor ideas i had while reading it:

- I have good experience with this diagnostic tool http://www.nexusmods...im/mods/62346/?as it lets you check if you installed skse and other things right, as well as do performance tests like script lag.

- In terms of pure preference, i recently removed grass on steroids in favour of Verdant, which does the same grass performance tweak, but adds variety and is more up to date.

- Lastly, i heard from the Sands of Time community that Deadly Creatures which comes with Deadly Dragons is conflicting with alot of mods, so maybe thats an ambiguous choice, highly dependant on load order. Maybe not, i never tried it myself, but trust those SoT guys to be competent.

 

Kind Regards

 

Snares

 

Thanks for the tip on Verdant, I'll see if I can smoothly transition over, then change my above recommendation if it works out.

 

I hate Sands of Time, it alone was responsible for ruining three of my saves, so personally I don't trust them. I've used Deadly Monsters now for 2 years and I have not run into a single case of incompatibility with other mods, and I use ERSO, Revenge of the Enemies and swap between Skyrim Immersive Creatures and Skyrim Monster Mod, and not once have I run into a creature that didn't act the way it should and traced it back to Deadly Monsters.
 

 

 

 


[General]

ClearInvalidRegistrations=1

 

 

Regardless it makes your game run smoother, with less chance of CTD.

 

 

It just removes orphaned scripts from save files, which limits the actual save file size on disk.

 

 

Aha! Thank you for that, I'm adding that back in.

 

It doesn't however remove those orphaned scripts from your papyrus or from your actual save, or Save Game Cleaner would have nothing to do, which isn't the case and I've had it on that setting for a while now. My save game has never gotten significantly bloated on the other hand so it may help out there.

 


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#18
Sacremas

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Okay, I checked out Verdant and it's actually somewhat more resource drawing on my system at least than Grass On Steroids was, but it looks better. It's not really doing the GOS thing with blocking a lot of your view in most places that I visited so you don't really get the same kind of performance gain. As such I'm reluctant to remove my recommendation for Grass on Steroids + SFO above, but personally I'm going to be using it because my GPU and VRAM is kinda overpowered (most expensive part of my computer, taking up about 1/3 of it's worth) and so performance isn't much of an issue for me.

 

I also decided to add in Unique Grasses and Groundcovers as well as it's plugin, let Verdant overwrite it (tried it with UG overwriting Verdant and the performance hit was too great even if it looked awesome), and these are my Grass ini settings now;

 

[Grass]

iGrassCellRadius=2

bAllowCreateGrass=1

bAllowLoadGrass=0

bDrawShaderGrass=1

bGrassPointLighting=1

b30GrassVS=1

iMaxGrassTypesPerTexure=15

iMinGrassSize=75

 

Note that DrawShaderGrass kinda hurts FPS, and you might get away with setting Max Grass Types to 8 instead for better performance.

 

EDIT: Okay I tried turning Draw Shader off and setting max grass to 8, got much better FPS results from that, ran into the forest north of solitude with a lot of grass and trees around, spawned 20 stormcloaks and 5 dragons and had them all fight each other while I used scripted spells, everything worked well, so that's the setting I'll be using it on.

 

 

 

By now I think I've done all I can to guide people in setting up their basic mods as well as the main performance and stability tips as well as all conflict resolution ways I can think of, so really that ends the modding guide for the cleanly objective way. From this on  you should be good with finding your own mods to add to the game, and should be able to look them up in MO, Papyrus and TES5Edit to find out if they'll hurt your system.

 

As such from this point on the recommendations I add will be highly subjective, it'll really just be a list of my favorite mods and things that work very well, and how to use some of those mods for best effect. Those who are perfeclty competent with the search function on Nexus and willing to spend a day or two looking through the huge amount of mods available by now can stop reading this guide, you've learned all you can. For the rest of you... to be continued!

 

Note that aside from the stuff good anyway like Show Armor Slots and Papyrus Util I will not be covering Sexlab related mods in this, your fetishes are your own thing, and it's not mine or anyone else's buisness to tell you to expand from your sappy romance mods to hardcore animal porn and gang rapes by hordes of undead or creative uses of certain skin and meshes mods, use whatever you feel like really, just keep the worst of it limited to the game world only whenever possible. ;)

 

By the way, if I'm wrong in this and there's still stuff you're unfamiliar with and need instructions on like making Fores New Idles work for Mod Organizer, running SkyProc Patchers and such, let me know and I'll see what I can do. If anyone else out there has other ideas on how to make a modding experience better like nice settings to use or even more performance friendly ENBs and graphical mods, feel free to post them here.

 

If anyone needs help with a specific mod post questions here as well and I'll try to help out if I can. For Sexlab specific help however, it's better if you post in the Sexlab Troubleshooting thread, and try to keep this as "clean" as we can possibly get on this forum.


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#19
Sacremas

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BIG EDIT:

I'm going to stuff here the merged mods and various mods that I have uploaded that people have asked for, if I add a new one I'll post a link here, these are all MEGA links.

 

EDIT: Removed ALL of my files, I removed the UNO, ERSO and Bijin Combined mods because by now they are outdated or had some bugs to them, I removed KS Hairdos 400 because a version of Ultimate NPC Overhaul - the only mod that really needed it - has been posted on the Nexus using the new KS Hairdos Renewal instead.

 

I may post a new Bijin merger later, but probably not.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, first mod on this list of cool mods that actually work very well when you wouldn't expect it; Flying Mod, and Animated Dragon Wings.

 

First off a screenshot of my map screen from playing just now. This was taken over Riften.

 

http://cloud-4.steam...F907021B46E82A/

 

As you can see, I'm actually in space, because no part of Thedas can be seen.

 

As for the animated wings, here's what they look like, both inside Solitude, and underwater.

 

http://cloud-4.steam...5988F5EFDF21B4/

 

http://cloud-4.steam...B0F31E7C6F8E33/

 

The wings move very realistically and smoothly around, you can glide through the air, rapidly shoot like a bolt, flap away carefully and just hover.

 

Both of these mods rely on FNIS, so I'm going to show how to install that in the process.

 

First off you're going to need a skeleton to make FNIS work properly, for maximum compatibility I suggest you use XP 32 Maximum Skeleton Extended Maximum Compatibily from Lover's Lab, this is ready for both SOS and SOS Futa without you needing to use those mods, and is the most compatible skeleton for your Lover's Lab adventures. Skeletons should be kept as low as possible on your list to keep things like Schlongs of SKyrim from overwriting it.

 

Next up you want the two mods we're installing this for (Other than whatvever Sexlab mods you want of course, which also use FNIS, get the creature files in the next step if you're going to do beastiality or werewolf/vampire lord sex) , these are Flying Mod Beta, and Animated Dragon Wings. Now note that while FLyign Mod may be "beta" the only beta part of it is the beta collisions, which you should disable after installing the mod as they can hurt your save and cause crashes, but with that turned off the mod works perfect, I've used it now from level 5ish to level 67 without a single flying related crash. Install them the normal way.

 

Now download Fores New Idles in Skyrim, or FNIS, you specifically want the Behaviour files, the spell is not needed unless you're looking for poses or dances. Install it first as a normal mod in Mod Organizer, enable it, and then go to the plugins section, look for the Data tab, and click it, now scroll all the way down to the end of this list and look for the "tools" folder, expand that, then expand "Generate FNIS for Users", then right click Generate FNIS For Users.exe and select "Add as Executable" leave the name as it is as it's simple enough. Now go the section where you pick what you run (Skyrim, SKSE, TES5Edit etc) and pick your new executable, and choose Run. For now you only need to tag "Skeleton Arm Fix" of the patches, but if you later install something like FNIS Sexy Move (which I love) you'll also want to tag "Gender specific animations", and if you install xp32's animations (which you can find packaged here you'll want to tag those, and same if you use Horsemen which I have actually never tried. Click "Update FNIS Behaviour" when you are done with picking your patches, and let it run. You should hopefully end up with no error messages, and to be sure you got consistency in your behaviour files click "Consistence check", if you get anything else than 0 from that check you should look through the log and see what went wrong and what you are missing.

 

Back in Mod Organizer your files have ended up in the Overwrite folder, so double click that, make sure that the only folders you have in it are "Tools", "Scripts" and "Meshes" (you may not have all of these depending on your mods). Presuming this is the first time you're installing FNIS (or you wouldn't need this guide) exit out of your Overwrite folder, then rigth click it and choose Create New Mod again, name it something like "FNIS Files for Herman the Dragonborn" so you can diffrentiate them as each profile will have different FNIS files. Once that's done enable your new mod, and FNIS will be installed properly.

 

If you at some point install a new version of a mod that uses these files, or remove something like Flying Mod or Sexy Move, all characters in game will be frozen. To fix this re-run FNIS, open your Overwrite folder, then drag and drop your FNIS generated files into your previously made FNIS Files mod (Or just delete that and make a new one, doesn't really matter since all files are replaced).

 

Now let's head in game. First of all you want to pull up the console and type

 

help "Flying tome"

 

including the quotation marks, add all three books this finds to your inventory by using  Player.additem and the ref ID that you found on those Flying TOmes. Read them and you will have three new powers, Flying Spell, Flying Spell Configuration and Flying Spell Companion. Flying Spell is what makes you fly, rather than the wings, Favorite that and use it to both take off and land. Flying Spell Companion gives you a power (a line shot) to put on your companions to make them fly after you. For now use "Flying Spell Configuration" and in the menu go into "Beta Collisions" and disable them, that makes the mod safe to use. Do what you want with the speed and stamina consumption, but I don't recommend putting a SFX on or a dragon soul requirement (though for RP games this might be good, I have not tried this).

 

Next go back to the console and type "help mutagen" then add to your inventory whatever potion you want of the Control type, try out the various wings for look, I like Dead dragon wings on my vampire necromancer, Evil dragon wings goes very well with daedric armor, and normal dragon wings on my current character to go with her Dragonbone Barbarian armor. Drink the potion(s) of your choice, and two things will happen, first you'll sprout wings, and second on your Alteration list you have a Control spell to turn the wings on and off, use that when they are in the way or get dispelled (they count as a magic effect rather than equipment). The wings by themselves make your jumps go 2-3 times as high with a "Woosh" sound, and you have a constant feather fall effect, meaning you're immune to all falling damage and you fall slightly slower through the air.

 

Now go into third person, activate the flying spell, and use jump and crouch to ascend and descend, and just enjoy! A few things to keep in mind; try not to fly inside since you turned off collisions so you will go through walls, outisde you'll also fly through mountains. Try not to fly above cities, and do not drop into cities as you'll drop into a bottomless hole unless you have Open Cities installed (which you shouldn't, it's cool but it breaks a lot of quests). Also until you are actually allowed to go see Paarthunax, do not fly up to the top of the Throat of the World, or even that high, as that can cause crashes as the game tries to load Paaarthunax then without you having the necessary quest and dialogue.

 

One last note; if you are installing this or a teleport mod like Bat Travel which I also use a lot and has it's own flying ability, you are probably going to spend very little time on horseback. As such try to avoid installing riding specific mods that you're now never going to need, as even Convenient Horses actually spend quite a bit of resources tracking your horses that can be spent for other things.

 

If my instructions on this were crappy, you can also check out Gopher's videos on it;

 

 

 

EDIT: Changed my Skeleton recommendation.

 

 

 

Big edit, because people have asked for it here's a list of recommended landscape and skin texture mods.

 

For me the only choice when it comes to landscape textures are Tamriel Reloaded HD. It's gorgeous, and even at 1k (which is the only thing I would recommend with Win 8 or 10 with Microsoft's memory fuckup) it looks gorgeous. Take out ALL other landscape mods, basically install this and see what it conflcits with, take all of that out if there is not a patch for those files in TRHD's optionals. Specifically the only mods I leave behind is Complete Alchemy and the mod it recommend (it includes textures for below water plants and such), a water mod (I prefer Realistic Water 2, use whatever of the three options) and one mod for mountains specifically, One Mountain which is patched by TRHD and has superior textures of the same parallax type as TRHD. Beyodn this I would not install anything that conflicts with TRHD and is not patched, such as a lighting overhaul like ELFX, this means that combined with ELFX changes Static Mesh Improvement is OUT entirely, just disable it, and use instead the SMIMM meshes optionals in TRHD and ELFX which puts it back in with the changes of thsoe mods. Likewise delete and unsubscribe from the shit Bethesda Official High Res DLC, horrible crap. Try to use as few texture packs as possible, if two of them interfere - as Verdant will with most texture, forest etc changes - you will see a much greater FPS drop than their mere VRAM cost should imply. A few very big replacer packs will ALWAYS be better and provide better FPS as well as look more consistent than

 

Other than this, I use Gamwich's textures, every single one of them except ESO armor (because I don't use the armor, if I did I would use them) and Rustic Children, otherwise put in everything (errr... including One Mountain! I just noticed he's the one who has that, heh!), because the guy is just genius and you get such a massive impact in your game. The first time you install Rustic Clothing (which do me a favor and vote for Nexus File of the Month on that?) and go in game, your eyes will pop open just as hard as with Tamriel Reloaded HD, but for characters.

 

For skins I have also settled on some choices I will use whenever I can;

 

Demoniac for the ladies, this skin is AMAZING, and I would say that it is the ONLY choice you have. When you install you can install versions (improved that is) of Fair Skin, SG Skin, Mature Skin, Real Girl or a custom skin that is blended SG and Real Girl (this is the same skin used by the Bijin mods, except rx improves it and fits it to each girl), as well as a separate choice of head, all blended, with a lot of addons like makeup, freckles, muslce maps, seat, specular etc. This will lead to both a beautiful face for both humans and elves (evne Orcs get a little reshaping, basically think ESO for all races rather than the harsher Skyrim anglular faces for elves and such), with NO SEAMS for neck or anywhere. This is also PRE-FITTED for HDT Vagina, so if you use such a mod (I recommend HDT Bounce and Jiggles UNP Edition (or CBBE, look up the author, but UNP offers more choices) then it will automatically work with no patches or blending necessary. If you use HeroedeLeyenda's mod (which also adds HDT pussy to Bijin) which you can find here it's likewise compatible with no patches needed, you just need the meshes and XML, overwrite with Demoniac and/or jiggly (depends on which XML weighing or body mesh you prefer) and Demoniac skin and everything will work, including your UNP Schlong and SOS strapon. Compliment with whatever hair, eye and NPC overhaul mods you prefer, as long as they don't chnage the meshes and textures (like Bijin does) they will work with your choices. Note that HeroedeLeyenda's mod will in version 3 be the superior choice of these two and actually includes the XML files of Bounce and Jiggles as well as work with SOS Light, as well as other bodies already set up for the pussy like SevenBase in the base mod (Manually change them by opening the zip file rahter than try to install via manager, then replace the meshes in appropriate folders).

 

For males the best choice until FadingSinal finishes his SkySight Skins mod (which looks fantastic and really much more my choice, but incompatible for now with any mod that adds a dick, even favoredsoul's permanently erect one) I would recommend Smooth Male Body as well as Fine Face Textures. Note that Smooth is not compatible with SOS Light, only full, and Fine Face will lead to really really ugly neck seams. There is supposed to come a new mod from the author of Complete Male Overhaul (which has been taken down), but most likely the best choice will be SkySight Skins as said. However the benefit of Fine Face is that it fixes male elves like your female ones are fixed by Demoniac, and you can still make your Nord or Orc look rugged and harsh using beards, scars and facepaint if you prefer the more brutal type of hero. As an example of more rugged men with this skin, take a look at this Vilkas and Farkas replacer.

 

Now with these mods beast races are the same as before. So here's some mods to fix them;

Feminime Khajiit Textures Gray Cat results in HDT Kitty with Bounce and Jiggly. You could use CoverKhajiits as well but I think you will get very ugly seams. How do you make a beast race sexually appealing anyway without making it more human catgirl style like in anime? Beast races freak me out.

Feminime Argonian Textures, Chameleon is the choice for HDT Lizzy, or whatever you'd call a lizard vagina if you're into that.

FAR - Forgotten Argonian Roots is your choice for male argonians, it includes female skin as well, use that if you don't care about HDT Lizzy.

Extra Furry Khajiit Skin for SOS is probably best for male cats.

SOS Leito Schlongs Addon is in my book the best choice for dicks if you have to use SOS Full, this provides foreskin for males, and cat dicks and lizard dicks for beasties, and has an option for either hairless or hairy in installation, Hairless will fit fairly well with Smooth Male Body. Install one of the Vector Plexus SOS dicks of your choice and assign to redguards or others who should be circumcised, as well as any werewolves if you do not use More Nasty Critters. Note that HeeroeLynda's HDT vagina works with non MNC werewolf dicks, as well as other MNC beasts, but if you leave that (optional install in the FOMOD, not an auto one) installed without MNC you get blue dicks on all animals it would affect. Note that MNC has similar issues like SOS, just worse because it includes every NPC, not just humanoid ones. These are also things that really can't be fixed with the mods themselves without radically changing how they work, like swapping Schlongification for a Skyproc Patcher.


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#20
Sacremas

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One important revision and note I need to make here; I suggested kinda carefree on using whatever version of Ewi's inis you thought your system could load, and while it is true that I load Ugrids 7 without any problems... this is a very individual thing and depends on your system. It's been made aware to me just how unstable that can be for some, and while I have never had problems with it, others easily can. If you think your game is likely to be unstable even after following all the advice here, then I suggest that you go for Ugrids 5.

 

Now here's an important bit; because I messed up and didn't include an important SKSE plugin that I use in the install, you cannot revert from a ugrids to load 7 to 5 and keep your old save. It's just not possible, your save is going to be corrupt if you try to change ugrids. If you downgrade your ugrids to 5, you must start a new game and this is no way around, this isn't something that can be fixed.

 

Now what you can do, and what I have done ages ago and just plain forgot about it because it's such a small mod is to include Stable Ugrids to Load, or "Cell Stabilizer" in your SKSE plugins. These go into Skyrim/Data/SKSE/Plugins, and I really suggest you install all SKSE plugins through Mod Organizer, this is done as with any mod as long as you keep that file structure. Stable Ugrids to Load simply allows you to revert your save back from ugrids 7 or 11 or whatever you put it on back to 5. I have never had a problem with my ugrids 7 since I started using it, and due to this I just plain forgot about how risky it is. I have never changed it back to 5 so I don't know if I've ever had any advantage of this plugin, or if it's this plugin that's made it so that I didn't have any problems.

 

For more information you can watch Gopher's videos on this following, and pay especially attention to the second video where he kinda chickens out and revises everything he said in the first because people complained. I don't know if it's a valid complaint as I'm flying from Riften to Solittude with my dragon wings regularily and I never see issues, I've never had mods not work due to this or act strange or quests completing when I'm nowhere in the area, and that included when I just used a horse and my legs instead of wings to get around.... but everyone's system is different and this may end up being a problem for you. So if you've increased your uGrids and you have an unstable game that sometimes won't load, I would consider changing back to default 5 as the first thing you do if you're starting over again anyway.

 

 

 

I'm editing in this information into the previous post where I suggested ugrids to load 7 casually. My deepest apologies if this has affected your game already.


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