The Elder Scrolls

Review of mod list and help understanding potential merged/bashed/smashed solutions

Content of the article: "Review of mod list and help understanding potential merged/bashed/smashed solutions"

Hey everyone,

First time posting here but long time reader while modding Skyrim LE an SE over the last 9 years. I'm planning on doing some playthroughs over the course of this year on stream as this will be the 10th year of Skyrim although naturally it won't be original game, it will be with mods as usual.

This time however I decided to go all out adding/changing as much as possible going further than combat tweaks and new quests/lands.

Over the past month I have been doing testing in SE with a larger number of mods recommended to me by various parties to cover certain areas of modding. Aside from the aforementioned Combat, Gameplay and Quest mods, I have been testing on a small scale mods and patches by type that cover Visual overhauls (Texture mods, ENB plugin, Weather effects), Spells and Weapons, NPC Overhauls (Visual mostly to complement World visual changes) and other game tweaking to improve performance and combat against inevitable crashes (Ini tweaks and Engine Fixes).

I am now at the point where I feel comfortable I have the mods I would like to add into the game. I've listed them at Modwatch and wondering if anyone would like to comment on what is there and give possible suggestions of mods that can be swapped out for possibly better (read, more stable) alternatives that do same/similar job or even say to outright remove for some reason (I know there will be some conflicts and multiple edits with most plugins, will be covering that in next question).

My current list of mods

A few notes:

Immersive Creatures is noted as being rather unstable however I haven't found anything that matches what it offers while also bringing their own stability issues. I believe I've managed to calm the mod down by disabling things like additional spawns, certain creature appearing at all and it's own cell reset options.

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Nemesis is animation plugin solution over FINS. Requirement for CGO. Nothing to suggest other mods with new animations such as Flying Mod have had issue with Nemesis so far.

Textures have been limited to 2K when offered the choice. Trying to strike balance of better quality but trying to keep performance at a good level too. (1050 Ti Nvidia, 16GB of System RAM and Intel I5 6500 4 core 3.2Ghz CPU)

I'm also using Skill Uncapper and have a modified ini based from a one made with Ordinator in mind and working in harmony with Experience ini settings in a way that I am really happy with now for subsequent playthroughs. Probably not an important note but mentioning it just in case.

No World De-leveling mods installed – I tried various mods and tweaks associated but in the end got rid of them as I was sick of having a character start over at Riften with the Thieves Guild with Alt Start but having to take on Lv 50+ enemies that laughed at my stealth and attacks while one shotting me. Even when I made a character in the "Vanilla Starting Area" of Riverwood and Bleak Falls Barrow I was running into titanium re-enforced brick walls with only a lollipop stick in my hand. In the end I'm back to world scaling with me which appears to work better for alt start characters. If there is a solution you know that can force enemies like Skeevers and Wolfs to cap at a certain level but other enemies of greater threats continue to scale in level with my characters, I am willing to learn about them.

I am aware of what DynDOLOD is even though I've never heard or used it before. However I've already figured out how to put a file together for that if necessary (And apparently is is for some of the texture mods I have) so I have no problem with that and will be making a new file once mod list is finalised and any merge patching etc is completed.

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So now I move onto my second query and something else I've never done with Skyrim (Or Fallout) before. Merged/Bashed patching is something I've largely ignored because I've never really had a large enough plugin list that warranted considering it. Now however I don't have a choice given that my plugin list is way over the 255 limit and there is a lot of conflicting edits to pacify.

I have to admit my own failings here though because despite a week of delving all sorts of reading material and watching a number of videos, I still can't get my head around it all. I understand the concepts somewhat of why one needs to do merge/bash/smash (For example choosing which NPC mod I want highlighted for Lydia but another mod listed for Kaliyah) but still not clear with what solution I needs for which plugins aside from understanding that bashed is clearly for level listed items such as weapon additions.

This is where I am hoping for someone to clear the fog as it were on what I should be doing based on my plugin list. Do I make merges based on type so one for Textures and another for NPC's or do I merge even more into one file? What should be done first, merge then bash/smash? What was your best guide you read that help you as a beginner of merging/bashing mods or are you able to offer a guide in reply?

Thanks ahead of time for any replies and assistance.

Source: reddit.com

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