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basic advice - mod setup recommendation and other questions


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Original Post:

 

 

Aloha, fans.

 

Now, before you *facepalm* and roll your eyes up thinking "Here we go again."...

I know that feeling, so please believe me when I say that I am sorry, okay? ;)

 

 

Basic Premise:

 

I had bought and played Skyrim back when it was first released, completing 2 PTs more or less vanilla.

Eventually I uninstalled and did not look back until now, when a friend recommended me I should take another look.

(I'll be honest, I first did not believe him, but after browsing Youtube and the Skyrim Nexus... I changed my tune pretty quickly.)

 

Now I have a vanilla install of Skyrim sitting on my HDD (plus the DLCs) waiting for mods.

 

 

 

The Problem:

 

There are so many mods (38.000+ on Nexus alone) that, to someone more or less completely new, it is simply overwhelming and daunting.

 

As I was made aware, a couple of "guides" exist to help the process of getting a basic modded Skyrim running. Stuff like the "Skyrim Beautification Project" or "S.T.E.P.". Though in the same vein I was warned that maybe non-Nexus mods may be incompatible to those two.

 

 

 

My Question:

 

If I want to ensure maximum compatiblity with the adult mods from this place (you know, LoversLab, you may have heard of it), would people recommend me following "S.T.E.P." or "S.B.P." ? Or maybe a completely different guide (to which I would, of course, need a link)?

 

 

 

Additional Info:

 

My goal is a "Fun Run", so I don't really care about "lore-friendly" or challenging difficulty or any such thing. I want gorgeous girls in an equally gorgeous landscape with a lot of fun options, basically. :angel:

 

 

 

My thanks for reading this far. I am impressed, actually. :)

 

Looking forward for all hints, tips and ridicule that may (or not) come of this. Thank you.

 

4-4-8

 

 

 

-----

 

 

 

EDIT:

 

Please be aware that by now, I have the STEP: Core pack installed and am currently troubleshooting a few problems.

I will not update this OP to reflect any additional questions I may have at a later date. So, if you reply, please be sure to make certain to have read my latest post in this topic. Wo knows, maybe the thematic shifted somewhat. :)

Edited by Twycross448
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Always use  a mod manager.

If something goes south... you can uninstall the mod.

Install one mod (wit the proper requirements) at a time and do some play with it. Then install some more.

 

I used Gophers mods list and tutorial to get my base up and running. He does a good job describing them and helping me understand what I want from those mods and make proper decisions.

 

In the end YOU have to start installing and fixing the mods and yes have conflicts issues etc. It is part of the learning process. It is necessary. In the end you will learn to look at various mods and what they should change etc and start to get a good feel on what might or might not work together. Eventually perhaps even learning so much as to be able to fix minor conflicts and even simple mods yourself. ;).

 

We all have had to go through this process. You are a member here and will get support when you do come across some strange unexplainable. (at least to you) problem.

 

 

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Thank you for your reply, rc.

 

For now, I have decided to use Mod Organizer. I will see about that Gopher thing you mentioned once I have the time again (one big hurdle, sadly - I have only 2-3 hours a week to put into my hobby at the moment :-/ , so progress will be terribly slow on my part).

 

My gratitude again *bows*,

 

and should anything come up, I'll post about it. ;)

 

4-4-8

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Mod organizer is a good start. Gopher gives good beginning and some advanced tutorials good to start with as well. There is a thread here for MO which is watched and answered quite quickly so that is where you should go for MO related mod installation questions. MO will allow you to activate and deactivate mods, assets even run exe's.

 

It will be a long road but if you have patience and willing to work and answer the correct questions you will go far.

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It can be installed. Support by the author might be limited because they will only support use on that manager.

 

Installation of a mod is basically simple.

Manual process( not advised of course)

means that you install the texture folder, Meshes folder, BSA, and any esp or esms. They files have to be in the same order as wht is reported in the ESM. That is it. The esp/esm accesses any textures or scripts etc when ran.

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Just get a few basics. Maybe just a couple of the ones from the first or second video from Gopher to get your feet wet. You can play with that for awhile. Best of all with MO you can create a profile with these few mods and play to your hearts content, download afew more, create a different profile and play some more on that one. ;)

 

This is where on the MO thread they go

 

YEA MO..

 

LOL>

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Alright, a little

 

Addendum

 

Can anybody please tell me where Skyrim is supposed to put its log files? I have activated logging in the .ini because I need to find out what is causing a crash on the way from the Guardian Stones towards Riverwood right after the tutorial... but I cannot find any relevant log files anywhere on my machine(*). o_O? (I run SKSE via Mod Organizer to start the game, if that is important.)

 

(*) I looked in "\Users\*username*\Documents\My Games\Skyrim" as well as in "\Steam\SteamApps\common\Skyrim" and the corresp onding subdirectories 

 
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Just start with the http://wiki.step-project.com/Main_Pageif you are absolutely clueless till you understand and go from there. Its the *safest* bet for your first modding experience.

 

When they say its *incompatible* they mean it doesn't fit within their "vision" of how the game should be modded. STEP is about making a modded *vanilla* like game.

 

Otherwise incompatibilities are when mods conflict by changing the same values. For example two mods that replace certain trees will conflict because they change the same tree file, and overwrite each other.

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Aydoo, I appreciate your answer, but I fear that doesn't have anything to do with my latest question, really. ^_^" You are answering the initial posting in this thread.

 

Believe me, it is highly appreciated, but I already have the entire STEP:Core pack installed... and now I need to find the reason for the crashing. That is why I am on the search for the log files. ;-) I am pretty sure I must have messed something up somewhere, but to find the boo-boo,I need to know at what point the game goes KIA.

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Have you added the memory patch into your SKSE.ini file yet? If not then you've discovered what it's for anyway. :lol: That area can be a crashfest because of how much is going on there (running water, jumping fish, ambushing wolves, baddies at the mine entrance, etc.).

 

Thank you for the tip. I was indeed not using that ini setting yet. :)

 

Though, so far, I do not see a difference. Still reliably crash when walking that route after going through the tutorial with a new character. ^_^"

 

I'll keep chugging. Now, if I could just find some way for it to actually log stuff... since the skyrim.ini settings in the [Papyrus] section don't seem to do anything... :-/

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Yeah sorry I was half asleep and missed your other reply.  Hopefully I can be a bit more useful this time. Few things to cross off your list:

 

Do you have Official High Resolution textures installed?

If yes, did you optimize them with DDsopt?

If no, uninstall them or optimize them.

 

Are you using an ENB for the RAM hack?

If no you probably should, even if you don't use it for graphics.

 

Have you correctly set up your Skyrim/Pref Ini files? (PS turn papyrus logging off because the papyrus log, which is found under users/user/MyDocuments/MyGames/Skyrim won't tell you much of why you are crashing)

On that note did you mess with uGrids? If so put it back to default (5).

 

In the MO window for the plugins, do any have what looks like a light or broom symbol next to them? If you mouse over the symbol it'll say its a fake plugin and thus not needed to be activated. Its safe to check them off to disabled because MO handles the BSA.

 

Did you make a Bashed Patch with Wyre Bash?

Did you sort your Load Order with Loot?

 

 

Did you install mods that make world edits to that area? (Like buildings/foliage/etc)

If so test disabling them to see what may be making it crash there.

 

Following that note, disable all mods and enable them one by one running through that area until one makes you crash.

Addendum, if it happens with a vanilla game then its an INI/driver/install issue.

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Do you have Official High Resolution textures installed? Yes.

 

If yes, did you optimize them with DDsopt? No.

 

Are you using an ENB for the RAM hack? ENBoost as per STEP:Core instructions, nothing else. Oh, and the SKSE.ini mod gvman suggested earlier in this thread.

 

Have you correctly set up your Skyrim/Pref Ini files? (PS turn papyrus logging off because the papyrus log, which is found under users/user/MyDocuments/MyGames/Skyrim won't tell you much of why you are crashing) I did all the changes STEP recommends, but nothing else.

 

On that note did you mess with uGrids? If so put it back to default (5). I did not change anything relating to uGrids (Skyrim.ini does not have the uGridsToLoad= command in it), so I assume Skyrim is still running using its default values.

 

In the MO window for the plugins, do any have what looks like a light or broom symbol next to them? If you mouse over the symbol it'll say its a fake plugin and thus not needed to be activated. Its safe to check them off to disabled because MO handles the BSA. I have already done so, as per the STEP tutorial.

 

Did you make a Bashed Patch with Wyre Bash? Yes, as per STEP.

 

Did you sort your Load Order with Loot? Yes, as STEP recommends.

 

Did you install mods that make world edits to that area? (Like buildings/foliage/etc) I have installed the entire STEP:Core "pack", which includes such mods, yes.

 

If so test disabling them to see what may be making it crash there. I disabled some of the more heavy ones, like Flora Overhaul. Funny result: I crashed on the cart drive towards Helgen in the very beginning, even before you actually reach Helgens gates. After turning them back on, I can get as far as the approach to Riverwood again. ^_^"

 

Following that note, disable all mods and enable them one by one running through that area until one makes you crash. That will likely take a while.... STEP:Core has something like 270 mods in it.... o_O *chuckles*

Addendum, if it happens with a vanilla game then its an INI/driver/install issue. Completly vanilla seems to be fine. At least up to Riverwood.

 

Well, it is getting later here, so let me just give you a profound "Thank you!" for your efforts. I will continue trying tomorrow. :-)

 

Oh, btw. my machine specs:

 

Intel I7 4960x 6x4Ghz

64GB DDR3-1866 RAM

AMD R290x 4GB

Asus Rampage Black Edition Mainboard

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

System is Liquid Cooled

 

Of course all the drivers are up-to-date (just to ention this, too.)

 

Be seeing you folks. (No, not a threat. Honest.)

 

4-4-8

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Id highly suggest getting Alternate Start: Live Another Life, that way you can test more efficiently and not have to deal with the intro EVERY time.

 

I'd also suggest that you should not install EVERY mod listed in the STEP core, and realize that some will conflict with each other.

 

Start with basics like patches. Then move on to enhancements that seem like things you would like. Remember STEP is someone *else's* vision of Skyrim. There are quite few mods there tbh I wouldn't recommend.

 

For example: Main Menu Spinning Emblem18px-Wikilink.png is a waste of an ESP slot.

 

Footprints18px-Wikilink.png can cause some pretty bad script lag and bloating eventually.

 

What you should do instead of blindly installing everything listed is weigh what each mod actually does and decide if its right for you.

 

Remember STEP is a general guide.

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"Id highly suggest getting Alternate Start: Live Another Life, that way you can test more efficiently and not have to deal with the intro EVERY time."

 

Mh, alright, I'll look into it. But what happens if it runs fine with that "Alternate Start", but once I switch back to "Normal", it starts crashing again? Because the conflict is caused by something in the original Bethesda Opening? Is that a realistic possibility?

 

 

"I'd also suggest that you should not install EVERY mod listed in the STEP core, and realize that some will conflict with each other."

 

Conflict? Forgive me, but isn't the whole point of the STEP:Core Pack that it is meant to be a stable basis for future modding? I admit I am a bit confused now. ^_^"

 

 

"Start with basics like patches. Then move on to enhancements that seem like things you would like. Remember STEP is someone *else's* vision of Skyrim. There are quite few mods there tbh I wouldn't recommend.

 

For example: Main Menu Spinning Emblem18px-Wikilink.png is a waste of an ESP slot.

 

Footprints18px-Wikilink.png can cause some pretty bad script lag and bloating eventually.

 

What you should do instead of blindly installing everything listed is weigh what each mod actually does and decide if its right for you.

 

Remember STEP is a general guide."

 

Alright. Point taken. I will then go through the list and see if there are any mods where I myself would say "Nah, not that important."

 

A new day, a new take on Skyrim. :cool:

 

Thanks for all your input, Aydoo. In case I have not done so in the last hours, let me thanks you profoundly. :)

(Answers are inline in the quote again.)

 

Anyways, off I go.

 

4-4-8

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"Id highly suggest getting Alternate Start: Live Another Life, that way you can test more efficiently and not have to deal with the intro EVERY time."

 

Mh, alright, I'll look into it. But what happens if it runs fine with that "Alternate Start", but once I switch back to "Normal", it starts crashing again? Because the conflict is caused by something in the original Bethesda Opening? Is that a realistic possibility?

 

 

"I'd also suggest that you should not install EVERY mod listed in the STEP core, and realize that some will conflict with each other."

 

Conflict? Forgive me, but isn't the whole point of the STEP:Core Pack that it is meant to be a stable basis for future modding? I admit I am a bit confused now. ^_^"

 

 

"Start with basics like patches. Then move on to enhancements that seem like things you would like. Remember STEP is someone *else's* vision of Skyrim. There are quite few mods there tbh I wouldn't recommend.

 

For example: Main Menu Spinning Emblem18px-Wikilink.png is a waste of an ESP slot.

 

Footprints18px-Wikilink.png can cause some pretty bad script lag and bloating eventually.

 

What you should do instead of blindly installing everything listed is weigh what each mod actually does and decide if its right for you.

 

Remember STEP is a general guide."

 

Alright. Point taken. I will then go through the list and see if there are any mods where I myself would say "Nah, not that important."

 

A new day, a new take on Skyrim. :cool:

 

Thanks for all your input, Aydoo. In case I have not done so in the last hours, let me thanks you profoundly. :)

(Answers are inline in the quote again.)

 

Anyways, off I go.

 

4-4-8

 

 

There is no reason not to use Alternate Start anymore with the current build of the mod. It even has the option to run the original intro if you so please (caught crossing the border.) What it does though, its offers a safer way to get your scripts, and mods running, instead of being caught up in the mess of the opening that Bethesda created, which can cause tons of issues with many mods.

 

My last part in the quote basically answers your second question. STEP lists mods they recommend. TBH I wish they would cut a lot of mods out that are really superfluous. The example I gave, the spinning icon, is only seen when you start the game, before you load a save on the main menu. Sure its a cool effect. I used it ages ago when I was new to modding as well, but now I'm like, who the fuck cares. It takes up a precious ESP slot (you only get 254 btw) and I only ever see it for about 2 seconds. So instead of some stupid effect that does nothing for my gameplay experience, I can have say extra outfits, or effects or a billion other things that I'll actually see the other 99% time I'm playing.

 

The biggest thing about modding is priority and what you want out of your game.

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There is no reason not to use Alternate Start anymore with the current build of the mod. It even has the option to run the original intro if you so please (caught crossing the border.) What it does though, its offers a safer way to get your scripts, and mods running, instead of being caught up in the mess of the opening that Bethesda created, which can cause tons of issues with many mods.

 

So the original Intro of Skyrim is known to be ... less than optimized, to put it nicely?

 

 

My last part in the quote basically answers your second question. STEP lists mods they recommend. TBH I wish they would cut a lot of mods out that are really superfluous. The example I gave, the spinning icon, is only seen when you start the game, before you load a save on the main menu. Sure its a cool effect. I used it ages ago when I was new to modding as well, but now I'm like, who the fuck cares. It takes up a precious ESP slot (you only get 254 btw) and I only ever see it for about 2 seconds. So instead of some stupid effect that does nothing for my gameplay experience, I can have say extra outfits, or effects or a billion other things that I'll actually see the other 99% time I'm playing.

 

The biggest thing about modding is priority and what you want out of your game.

 

For now, I kicked out some stuff like Flocks of Birds, the mod that retextures insects (they are so small one won't likely notice anyways), and some supposedly script heavy stuff, like Wet&Cold, Convenient Horses, Mintys Lightning and the Footprints one you mentioned etc.

 

 

(you only get 254 btw)

 

Uh, what? How is that possible? The STEP:Core pack, if installed completely, is already like 271 mods or so... if there is a limit of 254, then no wonder it gets unstable. (Not to mentioned that I already did some windowshopping on asian sites for custom CBBE armours.... and those alone add a considerable number of mods. ^_^"

 

Thank you for the additonal tips. :-)

 

4-4-8

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MOD =/= ESP.

A texture/model replacer is a Mod, but doesn't use an ESP.

 

ESP's are script files that 1.) add items to the game through a non active inventory/placement/level list script or 2.) add effects through an active script (like say Wet or Cold.)

 

Skyrim supports 255 ESPs (including the skyrim.esm file.) Which means you can only add 254 more, or 251 if you have all 3 DLCs.

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MOD =/= ESP.

A texture/model replacer is a Mod, but doesn't use an ESP.

 

ESP's are script files that 1.) add items to the game through a non active inventory/placement/level list script or 2.) add effects through an active script (like say Wet or Cold.)

 

Skyrim supports 255 ESPs (including the skyrim.esm file.) Which means you can only add 254 more, or 251 if you have all 3 DLCs.

 

Ah, okay, my bad. On that front, I am now at 136 (not counting the ones I have deactivates because MO takes care of the .bsa files for those).

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Normally, I do not answer to myself, but a quick update:

 

After deleting a couple of mods (Convenient Horses, Flocks of Birds, Footprints, Wet&Cold, Mintys Lighting and Lanterns of Skyrim) my crash issues seem to be fixed for now. :)

 

Now I'll move on to scour the web for armour and clothing mods with CBBE Bodyslide support... Muahahaha. :D

 

Laters,

 

4-4-8

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Yep. you got the idea. Install some system of mods a few at a time. Test to be sure they work and not crash and then move on to the next type or small group of mods.. Rinse and repeat. Soon you will be running into your own plugin limit wich is below the actual 254 limit that the engine can handle. Textures will not work, random scripts will fail and if you uninstall various mods it will start to work again. Don't mater what mods you uninstall it will start to work again.. keep this in mind when you start to run into problems when you start to go above 80/100 mods.

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Normally, I do not answer to myself, but a quick update:

 

After deleting a couple of mods (Convenient Horses, Flocks of Birds, Footprints, Wet&Cold, Mintys Lighting and Lanterns of Skyrim) my crash issues seem to be fixed for now. :)

 

General suggestion for MO: Be sure to allocating each of your installed mods to an appropriate category inside the MO.

Right click on a mod -> Add/Remove categories.

You're then able to filter your installed mods easily and (de)activating them in groups alltogether.

Right click on a mod -> All Mods -> Enable/Disable all visible

 

So it's then easier (and much, much faster of course) to pin the down the cause of your problems.

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Thanks for the addtional insight, you two. :)

I'll keep looking...

 

Btw. out of curiousity. A lot of custom armours seem to come with their own .esp, inflating the number of ESPs quite dramatically.

From my days in Morrowind (has it really been that long?), I vaguely remember the possibility to combine non-conflicting mods (like armours) into a singular custom .esp/mod to safe room in the mod list. Is that still possible in Skyrim (other/more advanced engine and all that)?

 

Oh, and ritualclarity.... right now I am sitting at 331 mods (175 esm/esp). Although it must be said that that number includes the official Bethesda stuff, as well as many Sexlab rleated things, the CBBE body and a lot of addons for it, the HDT specific stuff.... it adds up. ^_^

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