How are you planning to tackle the issue of constant version updating? It is hard to constantly check 300 or so mods for updated versions, and updating the xml's is crucial.
I take a three-pronged approach:
- Track all the Nexus mods in the Nexus File Tracking Center and keep an eye on it every day or so.
- Rely on user reports to let me know if something falls through the cracks (notably, Boris has updated ENBSeries semi-quietly a few times since I've released 1.0, and I don't have an easy way to detect that).
- Keep this up until finding a better solution (which was initially going to be something I was planning to write "later", though now I'm waiting for the Mod Picker utility).
Also how are you planning to avoid inexperienced modder problems from people who have never actually used any of the tools by themselves and thus when they want to install a new mod over the packs will have to immediately learn to run all the utilities?
That's not a problem I think this can / should try to solve. Once you go off the rails, then StepperUpper-style automation is pretty much off the table. The best I think that this can do in that world is give the user a solid "known-working" foundation (at least to the extent that you can trust that I've got it working... any mistakes I make will virtually always be seen by everybody who installs that same configuration, e.g., #27 back before I fixed that) and make it easier for them to start over from a clean slate without having to copy off a "clean" version of everything to go back to in case things go pear-shaped.
The solid "known-working" foundation actually has the potential to be very useful... minimally, you can be fairly confident that mistakes are probably with something you've done. And if you can't figure it out yourself, a support request could reasonably have repro steps that look like this:
- Install STEP Core + STEP Extended with StepperUpper (pack file versions 126.96.36.199, software version 188.8.131.52)
- Do X custom thing
- Do Y custom thing
- (steps for rebuilding the bashed patch)
- (steps for generating DSR)
- (steps for generating FNIS)
- (steps for DynDOLOD TexGen)
- (steps for DynDOLOD Worlds)
- (steps to reproduce the thing in Skyrim)
Then someone can actually have a reasonable chance of following along and helping out. Otherwise, helpers can easily find themselves on a wild goose chase if you missed some weird important step in the STEP guide or did it improperly (maybe you put a wrong input in one of the FOMOD installers).