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#1 Dovahkiin

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:06 PM

Hi all,

 

was not sure where to post this, but...well. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Just discovered S.T.E.P. and I have absolutely no idea where (and how) to start.

 

I did find this guide, but as you can see, there is a warning attached. Now, I don't know what to do.

 

 

I want to start from scratch. I did use Mods in the past via Nexus Mod Manager, want to switch to Mod Organizer now. I saved the URLs, names and a short description (with compability if I could find it) of all mods I would like to use or want to take a closer look at in a .doc file. But, well, stability. Knowing which Mods I want does not make my game safe and there's still the issue with graphic mods, which I haven't included in my list.

 

In short: I want to use the S.T.E.P. method. Where do I start???


Edited by Dovahkiin, 20 September 2016 - 06:07 PM.

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#2 Audley

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:19 PM

Hello Dovahkiin! I would like to welcome you to the STEP forums. I can recommend what I think would be best for someone new to the more advanced aspects of modding, but since I deal mostly with Fallout modding I would also wait to see what some of the other members recommend as well. First, all the guides that STEP encomposses are held over on the Wiki. This includes both the official STEP guide as well as guides created by other members of the community. I understand the feeling of being overwhelmed - modding can go from being very basic to quite advanced very quickly. I would suggest you at least read over the official guide (linked above) and perhaps even follow it through before beginning a guide like Skyrim Revisited; which is a bit more advanced than the STEP guide. One big thing I like to tell people who are new to STEP is that these guides are just that: guides. They are not commandments or things you have to follow to the letter (though of course you can). What I think is important is to take what you have learned while following a guide and make it so you can come up with your own custom mod list as everybody's tastes are different. There are also several guides for other Bethesda games (New Vegas and Fallout 3) as well as some guides for other games like the Witcher 3. So my advice is to start with the official STEP guide and then see what you think after you have done that. And remember: ask questions! That's what this community is for! Any questions you have please feel free to ask. And remember: have fun. 

 

Cheers, 

Audley


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#3 Dovahkiin

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:34 PM

Hello Audley,

 

thank you so much for the Guide. Will go through it ASAP (could take a bit, RL :;): ).

 

I will definitely create my personal mod list once I feel confident enough. ^^ (Already am a bit, although it's more a collection of mods I like).

 

Thank you for your quick answer and I will definitely ask questions.

 

Here's one quick question: Should I start a new thread for each question (if I don't find it via the search function that is) or is it better to create one Thread for all my questions?

 

 

Greetings,

Dovah ::):


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#4 baronaatista

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 07:13 PM

The real question is, where do you want to end up?  100% agree the official STEP guide is a wonderful tool to learn about the more advanced aspects of modding, and these forums and the various STEP wiki pages expand upon that incredibly.  

 

I began by installing STEP: Extended 2.2.9.2, and then turned to the Packs for additions.  What I found was most of what I wanted to use came from a user 'Dreadflopp'.  I initially only wanted to use certain mods, but after continually re-working my setup and play testing I found that I saw the sense in what he was putting together, and kept installing more mods from his packs - Dovahkiin Reborn, Deleveled Loot, Gameplay Rebalance, and Survival.  From there, I found his Dreadflopps Modular Patches page, which led me to SRLE & SRLE Extended.

 

So yeah I'm probably not helping with the confusion.  I have found it extremely helpful though using all the guides for information on compatibility, mod combinations, install (MO left pane) order, etc.  If none of the guides is really containing the additions you want though, you will likely have to become very familiar with MO, xEdit, LOOT and Wrye Bash tools at the least, and probably Merge Plugins if you're planning on doing anything big.  Sort of worth considering where you might end up, I feel, so you can know what to pay attention to as you go through the guide.  Though the true answer there is everything, as the more you know the more you can do.


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#5 GrantSP

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 07:15 PM

Welcome @Dovahkiin.

Be sure to do your searches from the top level of the forum, sometimes the bit of information you are after is not in the specific sub-forum you are expecting it to be in, also change your search criteria if at first you find nothing. Many, many users have installed the same set of mods that you will be installing and the chances that you stumble upon something entirely new are not great.

Having said that if you want to ask something feel free to create a new specific thread and if there are related questions to that you can tack them on later.

If you haven't yet done so please read the STEP Citizenship guidelines (link at the bottom right of every page), this will help you structure your questions and some common obstacles will also be explained.



#6 Aeradom

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 07:28 PM

Hi all,

 

was not sure where to post this, but...well. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Just discovered S.T.E.P. and I have absolutely no idea where (and how) to start.

 

I did find this guide, but as you can see, there is a warning attached. Now, I don't know what to do.

 

 

I want to start from scratch. I did use Mods in the past via Nexus Mod Manager, want to switch to Mod Organizer now. I saved the URLs, names and a short description (with compability if I could find it) of all mods I would like to use or want to take a closer look at in a .doc file. But, well, stability. Knowing which Mods I want does not make my game safe and there's still the issue with graphic mods, which I haven't included in my list.

 

In short: I want to use the S.T.E.P. method. Where do I start???

Tell me something, what level of experience do you have with modding? Have you modded Skyrim or another game before? The reason I ask is because when dealing with a guide as extensive as STEP for beginners it can definitely be overwhelming. You might want to start by watching one of the many video series about modding Skyrim. I find that Gopher's videos are the most beginner friendly so you can start here: 

 

https://www.gophersv...d=mod-organizer

While it was made in 2014, the lart majority of the content is still very relevant as it walks you through how to go about modding and using the various tools. Once you are comfortable, you can then come back to STEP with a firmer footing of what people are talking about when they reference different things. 


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#7 Bandy

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:27 AM

To the OP,

 

I hear your pain :).  I'm late to TES series and was overwhelmed by the mod choices available.  What a community!  The problem is for late comers like us is that there is a mountain of, at times, conflicting information in old threads and a lot of speculation about "clean saves" and "script cleaning scalpels"...

 

After prematurely ending the career of my first beloved lvl 50 character because of self-induced instability, I stumbled upon STEP and the guide.  If I have any advice as a relative noob to installing mods (modders make mods, we just install them...)  if you really want to have a stable game experience, you have to learn how to use the tools properly.  There are no short-cuts you won't pay for in the end.

 

Mod Organizer I think is the best base tool, and while a bit more difficult to learn, once in hand you'll be running with it. All the other supporting tools can be run from within its structure.  Read, watch vids, learn, there is no substitute. 

 

Then practice good modding procedures, don't install invasive game altering mods mid-play (textures and meshes generally not a problem AFAIK), and never uninstall a mod without going back to a save before it was installed.  Back up the entire game folder to another drive before making changes is good advice, HD's are cheap now, just do it.

 

Maybe just me, while not computer illiterate, but did manage to follow the STEP Extended install as I picked up the tools because hands-on experience as you go is a natural way to learn.  After STEP-X I've installed many mods to suit my taste and have played through 2 other characters.  I'm still learning, I can see how modding becomes a hobby by itself.


Edited by Bandy, 21 September 2016 - 06:33 AM.

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#8 Dovahkiin

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 02:06 PM

Thank you guys for all the nice answers! 

 

I will read the Citizenship guidelines now ;)

 

 

@baronaatista + Aeradom: well, I am a huge fan of immersion and realism (I know, the word is abused a lot), so mods like Frostfall, Campfire, Footprints, Hunterborn, Nock-to-Tip, Real Bows, Follower Stealth AI, Immersive Patrols, Immersive Citizens, Civil War Overhaul, Dragon Combat Overhaul, Ultimate Combat, Enemy AI Overhaul and Enhanced Blood Textures are mods I want to use. Mods introducing new content are always interesting too, so long as I feel they are lore-friendly/or that it is content I believe should have been in-game from the start. Interesting NPCs, Inconsequential NPCs, a few animal follower-mods, Immersive Armors, JaySus Swords, Lean Wolfe's Better Shaped weapons, Mods that enhance stealth gameplay and mods that enhance playing as a Werewolf, like Moonlight Tales and Heart of the Beast. Immersive Horses, Left Hand Rings, Immersive Creatures and Immersive Sounds Compendium/Skyrim Audio Overhaul, or Better Thieves Guild Requirements, RS Children Overhaul, Community Uncapper and High Level Enemies. (The list goes on) And last but not least- Mods that make Skyrim look as real as possible and High quality textures. Especially the last part is...well, my system is not very good. 

 

My experience with Modding? I still view myself as a complete newbie, and my very first experience was that I completely shot my game. I installed too many mods, too fast and didn't watch out for compabilities at all. Afterwards, I watched Tutorials from Gopher, installed SKSE and Nexus Mod Manager (want to switch to Mod Organizer, though and for that I'll also use Gopher's videos) and began to use LOOT and TES5Edit. I also tried to read through everything before installing a mod, checking compability and stuff. Tried being the keyword. As far as I know, I indeed have no conflicting Mods currently (not according to LOOT anyway), but I made the mistake of installing quickly and many with the result that I don't really know which mod does what. No, actually, the far bigger problem is that I've found so many mods I like, that tweak the game how I want it and my PC being as low-end as it is simply cannot take so much new content. It's lagging, a lot.

 

That is how I eventually came to STEP. So my goal is to make a stable game with as many mods as I can. Preferably with all those Grafics and Texture Packs but more likely without those. At first. Because I am saving up for a good gaming processor and Graphics card. And I am assuming that I can install the graphic/texture mods onto an existing save.

 

At the moment, I still have mods installed through Nexus Mod Manager, but I am not playing and I am going to delete them, and reinstall Skyrim. Don't know whether I can reinstall Steam, but I'm hoping that will not be necessary? I ask because the STEP Guide  wants new users to begin with new and clean installations of Steam and Skyrim.


Edited by Dovahkiin, 25 September 2016 - 02:19 PM.

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#9 Greg

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 03:02 PM

You shouldn't have to reinstall Steam. After you clean out the Skyrim data folder of any lingering files that don't come with the game, go into Steam and verify integrity (it can be a pain in the butt to find so go to Library, Installed, right click The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in the Favorites list, click Properties, click the Local Files tab, and click Verify Integrity of Game Cache). This way if you accidentally delete anything needed by the game, Steam will restore the game folder back to factory settings.

 

Once you get used to it, I think you'll find Mod Organizer is a lot cleaner and easier to use than Nexus Mod Manager.



#10 Dovahkiin

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 03:10 PM

You shouldn't have to reinstall Steam. After you clean out the Skyrim data folder of any lingering files that don't come with the game, go into Steam and verify integrity (it can be a pain in the butt to find so go to Library, Installed, right click The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in the Favorites list, click Properties, click the Local Files tab, and click Verify Integrity of Game Cache). This way if you accidentally delete anything needed by the game, Steam will restore the game folder back to factory settings.

 

Once you get used to it, I think you'll find Mod Organizer is a lot cleaner and easier to use than Nexus Mod Manager.

You have no idea how relieved I am now. Thank you so much. I really feared I'd have to reinstall Steam -glad I won't have to. :-)


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#11 baronaatista

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 04:51 PM

LOOT is not capable of detecting mod conflicts, so you are aware.  For conflict resolution your best tools are MO and xEdit, with xEdit being perhaps the most important.  If you intend to deviate from the guides in any way, becoming familiar with xEdit will be critical to understanding where mods are conflicting, and with just a little bit of knowledge you can at least begin to solve those conflicts yourself.  


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#12 Dovahkiin

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:17 AM

LOOT is not capable of detecting mod conflicts, so you are aware.  For conflict resolution your best tools are MO and xEdit, with xEdit being perhaps the most important.  If you intend to deviate from the guides in any way, becoming familiar with xEdit will be critical to understanding where mods are conflicting, and with just a little bit of knowledge you can at least begin to solve those conflicts yourself.  

Ok, thank you. I didn't know that. I'll watch Gophers video tutorials before I do anything ;-)


Regarding texture mods- I want to use this tool (Ordenator) to compress them eventually (before installing any other mods or starting a new game)...or should I keep well away from this?

 

Another quick question...the step guide requires a nvidiainspector? Is that to find out what my graphics card does?


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#13 Bandy

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:39 AM

Nvidia inspector in order to adjust custom game GFX settings within the card's driver.  If you have an ATI card forget it, use CCC if it still exists (I haven't used ATI/Radeon in a looong while).

 

I've read about optimizing the DDS textures (DDSopt), but have never done as it seems very laborious, and in truth have not noticed any issues that I am aware of (ie don't know what I'm missing?).  That said, I'm fortunate to have a wife who didn't mind that I picked up a GTX 980Ti with 6 GB of vRAM, so no shortage of memory for me. 

 

And as far as I've read opinions, Skyrim is simply going to microstutter in places, and nothing will overcome that.  It is a DX9 game after all, pushed to its limits.


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#14 Dovahkiin

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 01:47 PM

Nvidia inspector in order to adjust custom game GFX settings within the card's driver.  If you have an ATI card forget it, use CCC if it still exists (I haven't used ATI/Radeon in a looong while).

 

I've read about optimizing the DDS textures (DDSopt), but have never done as it seems very laborious, and in truth have not noticed any issues that I am aware of (ie don't know what I'm missing?).  That said, I'm fortunate to have a wife who didn't mind that I picked up a GTX 980Ti with 6 GB of vRAM, so no shortage of memory for me. 

 

And as far as I've read opinions, Skyrim is simply going to microstutter in places, and nothing will overcome that.  It is a DX9 game after all, pushed to its limits.

Ok, thank you.

 

One last question- for now, I'm bound to have more- I have an external hard disk drive with 1000Gb, is it wise to install Skyrim, MO, TES5Edit and Steam onto that? Not sure whether 1000Gb is enough - want to use a LOT of Mods. Or should I use the external Hard Disk for Mods (and backup saves) only (if at all)?


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#15 GrantSP

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 07:19 PM

I'd generally advise against installing onto an external drive any system files such as Steam. The same would probably apply with the games as well. Since you're using MO there is an easier way to keep storage problems under control. In MO's settings point the 'Mods' storage to your external drive, or your largest internal drive.

 

I have 3 drives, 2 SSD's @240Gb and a HDD@2Tb. I have a ton of games installed and all the mods from all the guides hosted here on STEP installed and stored and I am nowhere near getting close to a drive limit.

All my downloads and game mods are on the HDD and Steam, MO and all my games are on a SSD.




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