It seems I have reached an end point of my endeavor. I have a mostly stable build, though I did experience one crash today, after about four hours of play, which seems acceptable. I have all my favorite mods installed and most of them work fairly issue-free. So, after this post, this "diary" is probably going to be updated much less frequently. In this entry, I want to sum up the important things I have learned, present you with a final list of my mods, and also list all the issues that persist, which are unlikely to be resolved any time soon.
Please, take my guide with a grain of salt. As the title suggests, I am an absolute noob in modding. All you'll find here, is a collection of the conclusions I have come to, when it comes to getting all these mods running in VR, all of the solutions to the individual problems have been addressed much better by much more experienced modders elsewhere, but I did not find any single place which would bring all of this together in an all-in-one solution for someone like me two weeks ago, who just got the game and wants the mods running as soon as possible. Credit goes to all those authors whose names I have long forgotten.
First, you'll need a mod organizer. And make your peace with having to download and install 20+ mods prior to running anything. But once you get the essentials, most mods will rely on these and the more you have, the less of a hassle it will be to add new ones. Also prepare yourself that your first attempts will most likely fail. Only through persistence and trial and error will you succeed. Expect to lose a few days, before you get satisfactory results.
Another important note is that you have to prepare at least one (I made multiple, just in case of overwrites) clean save right at the beginning of the game (at and after Helgen), before you mod the game, because once you do, the intro scene will glitch (spinning camera hanging in the air, wagon and NPCs missing) and you won't be able to get to character creation.
This time I am not going to try to list the mods in their deploy and/or install order, as I am too lazy to type them all out again, and the LOOT export feature seems to only list plugins. So I'll use an updated list from two posts back. I stress again, the load order is completely different from what you will see here. Use common sense during installations, i.e. install patches after what is being patched, mods that rely on other mods after their respective masters, SKSEVR and FNIS first, of course.
I use Vortex as my mod manager, and though I have noticed many people cursing this tool, I did not find anything particularly annoying about it. One of the things I really like about it, for instance, is the FNIS integration. Make sure you have the VR version of FNIS installed and don't forget to set up the ini. Instruction on how to do that is provided by FNIS itself, when you run it and the ini isn't set up. After you install FNIS, and before you install any other mods, in the Vortex settings tab, you should enable the "Run FNIS on Deployment Event" option. Under Configure FNIS in the Mods tab, check only the first two boxes. The VR version of SkyUI should probably also be among the first mods installed.
After these essentials, I proceeded to install all of the HDT physics, extended skeleton, and body enhancement mods, this time I went again with CBBE, and then of course Bodyslide. I intentionally won't provide the exact installation and load order, for one, as stated above, because it's too much work, and also, because it probably isn't the optimal order anyway. The LOOT tool pretty much takes care of this. Seems to work every time, even with varying load orders.
One of the major hassles and one thing I won't help you with, is collecting the right mod files. Those are scattered all over Nexus and Loverslab, and some are a real pain to find, as the Nexus search feature is totally broken and the searches here also often yield irrelevant results. Unfortunately, I never collected the links, so you will have to go through that same ordeal. But at least you'll know what you're looking for. The mod names I'll list here mostly correspond to the file names, though I have clipped the long numerical codes (builds?) at the end of some of them, leaving only the version number (because I had to type everything by hand). One file was only named "data.7z". Here I'll add a note how I found it. Make sure you really have the FNIS activation feature enabled. If not, you'll have to run it manually every time you add something that has something to do with animation, or just every time you add any mod, just to be sure. If you fail to do this, your game probably won't start, or you'll get really weird glitches.
I highly recommend putting the downloaded files for which you have verified that they actually work with VR (i.e. the list below), in a separate folder, to avoid accidentally installing anything else.
Now, with that out of the way, let's see the list (again, the order here is totally random):
- Caliente's Beautiful Bodies Enhancer - v1.6.1 (I lean towards recommending CBBE in favor of UNP, seems to have more support and fewer issues)
- Bodyslide and Outfit Studio (build all objects with the CBBE + HDT option selected – I have still a lot to learn on how exactly this tool works)
- FNIS Behavior VR 7_6 XXL (make sure you have the VR version)
- FNIS Creature Pack SE 7.6
- SL Defeat SSE
- SexLabFrameworkSE_v163_BETA8SLSSE 163 (IMPORTANT: unpack this mod, delete the PapyrusUtil.dll, repack again, and only then install!)
- ZaZ Animation Pack+ CBBE HDT V.8.0+SEREV3
- Rydin Animations SLAL Pack_Complete_SSE v0.5a
- SexLab Body Search 2019814
- XP32 Maximum Skeleton Special Extended-1988-4-72
- XP32 First Person Skeleton CTD Bugfix for VR-34301-4-71
- Devious Devices SE 5.0 (IMPORTANT: unpack this mod, delete the DeviousDevices.dll, repack again, and only then install!)
- MfgFix-vr-11669-1-0vr (this little mod most likely fixed the issue with gagged NPCs having their mouths closed)
- Fuz.Ro.D.oh.VR.-.Alpha.3 (I remember this one was really hard to find (unfortunately, I don't remember where or how) and it's the only one working, without it, Simple Slavery ++ (and other mods presumably) won't work)
- SE_kal_LolaAddon_V111 (a very nice addon for Submissive Lola: the Resubmission, linked in the SLR download post, you should probably disable the Slave's Attire feature, as it will conflict with SLR's dresscode demands, breaking the game, at least in VR, or maybe I have messed something up. A pity, because it's a really nice feature)
- HDT-SMP for VR 1.4.15 v2.2 (BETA)
- JContainers VR-16495-4-1-13
- Kozakowy 1760 Black Stays Outfit CBBE 1.3-beta (from Nexus, a fitting outfit for the mistress)
- DeviousDevices VR Release
- Laura's Bondage Shop v3.21 SSE version - by tznvlw
- Papyrus Extender - VR - 2.3-22854-2-3
- PapyrusUtil VR - Scripting Utility Functions-13048-3-6b
- RaceMenu Special Edition v0-4-16 (IMPORTANT: unpack this mod, delete the sksee64.dll and the sksee64.ini files, pack again, and only then install!)
- RaceMenu VR 0.4.14-19080-0-4-14
- Radiant Prostitution_Gigolo SE v4.1.1
- Raven's Luxurious Seduction - Main Version (skimpy outfits for the purposes of prostitution)
- SL VRpatch Beta8 38 - test
- SL VRpatch hotfix for v38
- SLSFFameComments v2.0 SE
- Sex Lab - Sexual Fame Framework SE V0.99 (you should probably disable the wearing of outfits in the NPC section, or otherwise almost every NPC will be wearing a collar do this as early as possible, or the change might break your savegame)
- Simple Slavery Plus Plus 6.3.4 [SE]
- SubmissiveLolaResubmission 2.0.9
- VRIK Rift-Index-WMR Controller Bindings V2.1.0 (again, this should load after the master)
- VRIK V0.8.1 In-Dev Build 28
- Skyrim Script Extender VR (SKSEVR)
- Skyrim - Utility Mod 153 (required for Prison Overhaul Patched, but very useful in any case)
- xazPrisonOverhaul - Patched 452
- FNIS Data (this data mod is automatically generated by FNIS, via Vortex)
- spin fix (this mod was named "data" originally, I found it on a forum on a mod named Flower Girls. This fix will make the spinning camera problem somewhat bearable – essential!)
- C5Kev's Sexy Bondage Armor CBBE NoHS-102761-1 (another skimpy prostitution outfit)
Make sure you deleted the dlls from the mods in all of the three instances listed above, or you'll get a compatibility error.
When done installing mods, don't forget to run Bodyslide and build all models, or some NPCs will have invisible bodies.
Check that all plugins in the plugins tab are actually enabled. If not, enable.
Exit Vortex and run LOOT. Let loot sort the mods and click apply. Leave LOOT and start Vortex again.
Deploy mods from the orange bar in the Mods tab
Just to be sure, run FNIS one last time (only the first two boxes checked)
Run the game through SKSEVR in the Dashboard of Vortex
Unless I have forgotten to mention something, set up like this, the game should start up right on the first attempt. If it crashes, try again. If it crashes a second time, try restarting your computer (this actually helped me, after some tinkering, when I thought I broke the game completely, again. It would not start at all, attempt after attempt, but after the restart, it started reliably, every single time)
Now for the issues:
- I have mentioned the broken intro. It seems, other players, using completely different mods, are experiencing the same. It seems to be related to just the amount of mods loaded, and as far as I can tell, nothing can be done about it. I haven't tried the alternate start mod, but others have reported it doesn't work either. So, as said, make sure you have a reserve of clean saves, before you mod. The fix I mentioned in my previous entry, by the way, did absolutely nothing.
- The single biggest issue now is the ZAZ leash and ZAZ animations. The leash barely works. When you are able to move, make sure you stay close to your captor, or you'll get stuck. you should get teleported if you're stuck, but that breaks the immersion. In the Prison Overhaul Patched mod, I get stuck every time when I am supposed to enter a cell. This can luckily be solved by clicking the "teleport to cell" (or something to that effect) debug option in the POP MCM menu a couple of times, it's not perfect, but it works.
The animations on the other hand, are really bad. Every time a BDSM-related scene plays, unlike in standard SexLabs sex animations, you're stuck in 1st person and your head starts spinning like crazy (like in the intro). This can be made bearable by installing the spin fix mentioned in the list. With it, you will be better able to stop the spin by positioning your head correctly, but most of the scenes will not be very enjoyable.
I contacted t.ara, the creator of ZAZ, and I have learned that this is a known issue and there are no plans/there is no way to solve this. An upcoming update to version 9 should hopefully repair at least some of the animations (pray to Namira). I was also told that pressing "3" might switch you to 3rd person, though I doubt it will work, as none of the SL controls work. I haven't tried this yet.
This is unfortunately a major downside to playing this type of mods in VR. But you should try anyway, as t.ara said that every individual computer handles this differently, so you might be luckier than I am.
- In the inventory and dialogue menus, the thumbsticks are still way too sensitive, so it's very difficult to select items or options, but with patience and practice, it is possible, just enough, not to be game-breaking. Probably related to one or more of the installed mods, but I do not have the energy to figure out which, right now. This phenomenon was present in the previous build, too, so it's likely not a one-off. I could only find very little on this issue on the Internet, and nothing useful.
- Submissive Lola: the Resubmission does not support owner selection in VR, at least with VRIK, because the crosshair is missing. I never tried it without VRIK, so that might be worth a shot. I suppose you would have to take out the bow to get the crosshair. It does appear in VRIK when you cast targeted spells, so I tried that, but that didn't work. So if you want to connect Simple Slavery ++ and SLR, you will have to do it through the dialogue option.
As this is a very long post, I have probably forgotten something important, so I might revisit it and edit.
I hope this was helpful, and if it was, I would appreciate if you let me know, because right now, I do not know, if anyone is actually reading these posts. I can see there are views, but those might be just from searches looking for something else. Feedback will encourage me to write more.