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#1 SabreCat

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:18 AM

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STEP Users:
Please post your feedback on this thread.


Even better: Help implement your ideas by becoming a contributing member!

SabreCat's post following is what started this thread. SabreCat is a new member with great ideas.
- STEP admin 
I found STEP after several Google searches for "essential Skyrim mods" and "Skyrim modding FAQ". I was bowled over when I did discover it--the rigorous approach to producing a Skyrim experience that's stable, optimized, bugfixed, and true to the spirit of vanilla Skyrim, is exactly what I was looking for!

That said, there is always room for improvement in a project like this, so I'd like to share a few of my frustrations trying to follow the guidance of STEP 2.2.6, and ideas for how those frustrations could be mitigated. Take this in the spirit intended: "This is awesome, but it could be EVEN MORE SO."

1. The steps of STEP are not in sequential order.

I struggled mightily with understanding just what I was supposed to do with respect to the HRDLC. The Skyrim installation guide has an HRDLC tab, which talks about a mod to install, but it branches from a point in STEP where the user hasn't even installed any mod managers. I wanted to try "Repair the HRDLC textures," since my machine qualifies for baseline STEP at best, so I followed that link. It took me to an anchor talking about "Vanilla Extracted" folders and similar, which turned out to have been discussed earlier in the overall guide about DDSopt, which had not been previously mentioned following along with STEP.

The very acronym STEP suggests a step-by-step experience. It's fine and to be expected that there are a lot of steps--that's not my issue. It's that I can't proceed down the page line by line doing things, but instead have to wander and research any time I make a decision.

Suggestion: Make the flow of the page something like this...

  •  
  • Install Steam & Skyrim (link to detailed steps, starting from the beginning where the user hasn't installed the game)
  •  
  • or Reset Skyrim to Vanilla Install (link to detailed steps)
  • Optional: Install and Optimize HRDLC (link to detailed steps, starting from claiming the free DLC and installing optimization tools)
  • Set Skyrim Launcher Options (link to detailed steps)
  • ...
    [/list]
    Two principles to my suggestion: (1) Make the main STEP release page a barebones outline. Introductions and so forth are fine, of course, but I should be able to easily copy-paste a list that represents actions to check off. (2) Include links to details at every turn, and have those links take you to the beginning of that sub-process, not somewhere in the middle.

    2. STEP includes a great deal of extraneous commentary.

    Technical details about the why and how different tools function is interesting, and important for the modder who seeks greater expertise and a deeper understanding of the guts of Skyrim and of mods. However, the kind of information that user wants is so much noise for the user who just wants a how-to on building an awesome Skyrim experience. It helps to know that a BSA is a compressed folder and that unpacking them improves performance; that much explanation can curb any "why the hell are they making me jump through this hoop?" reaction. I don't, however, need to know the intricacies of what a mipmap is, how many different resolutions of textures exist, and exactly what mistakes Bethesda made in packaging up their game. Those things just slow me down in getting to the how-to information I really want.

    Suggestion: Move those things to sidebars and deeper links wherever possible. Approach each paragraph from the perspective of your most typical user, and ask the hard question "does this really need to be here?" Be ruthless!

    3. STEP isn't making full use of its standardized terminology.

    "Baseline STEP", "Performance STEP", and "Extreme STEP" are brilliant. I want to give them hugs and buy them presents on their birthdays. But there are places where STEP rehashes the differences between these approaches and makes the user choose from them over and over again.

    Suggestion: Use your established schemes wherever you can! That is, get all the discussion of VRAM and whatnot into that choice, up front, and never talk about specific system requirements ever again or elsewhere. There should not be a separate discussion of VRAM in my best buddy the HRDLC guide, for instance, just Performance STEP: do this, Baseline STEP: do that, Extreme STEP: do this other thing.

    4. STEP muddies the waters with unnecessary decision points.

    I'm mainly thinking about the mod-manager question here. Choose a mod manager solution and stick with it, relegating the other options to "here's how to tweak the STEP process for this other MM" pages. No "if using Wrye Bash, do this" in the middle of some other piece of setup procedure. If an optional process requires a specific mod manager, make that clear at the beginning of the page about that optional process, not halfway through.

    ...

    Does all that make sense? I'm still working through STEP installation, so I will no doubt come up with further ideas. If so, I'll add them in further posts here!
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#2 skaryzgik

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:29 AM

Hello, hope this isn't "necroing" an old thread, since it's pinned. ;-)

 

I had a much more long-winded reply typed out last night, but wanted to read it in the morning before posting, so i pasted it into an open Notepad window, but then windows decided it had to reboot to apply updates while I slept, and it looks like Notepad is the only one of microsoft's writing tools that doesn't keep that weird recovery-copy-thingy when the program gets shut down in a weird way (like when windows decides to close itself for updates and the program is still open). Either that or newer windows actually closes things right so notepad didnt know to freak out and save the weird reocovery-copy-thingy. So this version will hopefully be both somewhat shorter as well as much more awake than what I otherwise might have subjected you to. ;-) (though I have a tendency to be a bit long-winded anyway)

 

But OT ranting aside, I find the original post on this thread very interesting. Most of the points made here appear to be in the progress of being resolved as a result of the paradigm-change currently in progress in preparation for version 2.3.0. (I think the word being used by the team actually is "paradigm" but if I say "paradigm-shift" it reminds me a bit too much of the Pointy Haired Boss from Dilbert... it is my hope that either "paradigm-change" approximates a happy middleground, or that someone will chime in with what phrase I should be using here.) From what I am seeing, most of the point of the change is specifically to make the extra information be out of the way but still easily found (Point 2 above). It seems it might even be possible to interpret part of the "Packs" idea, at least with respect to making the "Extended" STEP into a Pack, as part of the process of putting the extra things on other pages.

 

Points 3 and 4 don't appear to be directly related to the paradigm-change, but it seems plausible that this would be a very good time to make these changes, to fit in these stylistic chanegs at the same time as making the stylistic changes already in progress. I am not sufficiently familiar with the history of the project to know if version 2.2.6 the paradigm-change was already in progress, or if perhaps this post above was part of what precipitated the change.

 

Point 1 looks like it will be fixed by the time 2.3.0 comes out, but 2.2.8 is still in that awkward transition phase. In particular, the part about the HRDLC is still a little confusing to a first-time attempt to follow the guide. For example, I wanted to pay particular attention to the "Skyrim Installation" section, since I needed to revert to a clean vanilla install and hadn't been using MO. The Skyrim Installation Guide then goes on to discuss the HRDLC and the HRDLC Optimized mod, so I thought I was supposed to go ahead and install that then. And while I was at it, I thought the "Optional Steps" to optimize the textures further sounded like a good idea, since with my 1GB VRAM it looks like I'm at the border between "Baseline" and "Performance" so I figured I'd go for every performance boost I could get. But that links to the DDSopt quick-start that says not to even touch ddsopt until after doing step "1.B." from the main guide, when I thought I wasn't even done with "1.A." yet. While I'm confident this specific issue is due to the awkward transition phase the guide as a whole is still in, and that the ancillary guides will be cleaned up and made more clear once the main guide has been, it may be good to remember this, and possibly while cleaning up the ancillary guides, have something about "If you came here from section ___ of the main guide, you probably now want to go back and continue with ______". Or possibly once things have settled out in the main format maybe some other change will be made that will make this unnecessary. I am neither psychic nor (yet) involved in the process.

 

A point of my own I would like to raise is that I think it could go a long way to help with the "rigor" alluded to in the mantra if there was a slight change in what "version" meant. There are two parts to this that I see from looking at the guide itself and from the changelog. For example, if I say "I got _____ benchmark results with STEP:Core 2.2.8." That doesn't necessarily tell us quite as specifically what is meant if we're going for the most rigorous analysis.

 

One reason, is that the guide itself has changes without changing the version number. Note the whole section "Post-Release Changes". If I just say "version 2.2.8" that doesn't, by itself, tell you if I mean 2.2.8 as it was when it first came out, or if it means as it is on May 3 2014. My recommendation here would be to use new version numbers for these. Not like, "oh, we can't remove the redundant Argonian Sneak Tail Twist Fix until 2.2.9 because we already released 2.2.8." More like "We made this change, so the current version is no longer 2.2.8.0, but rather, 2.2.8.1". You can always add more specific micro-versions. You can have the version string be as long as you need to specify as much as is needed. And it will help with clarity, so when comparisons are made, it is known what precisely is being compared.

 

The other reason, which would be easier to smoothly include if the first change is made, is that the guide itself does not specify version numbers of the mods included. For clarity and rigor, it seems each specific version of the guide should be "frozen" to specific version numbers of each mod, so that when we take benchmarks, we know exactly what we are working with. I did see this mentioned in the other thread about the semi-automatic installer (which sounds amazing, btw, and I'm very excited about it) but it applies for the guide itself too. Sure, the user may want to use a newer version of a mod than the one that was available when the guide came out, but if that newer version has not yet been tested as rigorously, it seems that information and decision should be placed in the hands of the user, so that they can decide themselves how much of that risk they want to take. If some mod gets an update tonight it may plausibly have a performance impact, and especially from a guide empasizing rigor as much as this one does, even if I do decide the newer version looks prettier or has more textures I want, or some other new feature I want, I would at least like to know when I am using a version that has not yet been tested.

 

My suggestion for this, is simply to put the version numbers of the mods in the chart. Explain at the beginning that newer versions of mods may well be fine, but that they haven't been tested yet. Then, once the newer versions have been tested, make a new micro-version. Then make sure each micro-version has a combination of mod versions that work and are stable. And as far as extra work benchmarking and testing each time a mod comes out, some of that can be skipped for small updates. Say texture mod ___ adds five more textures. If you open it up and look and that's all that changed, and adding those textures to those things is very unlikely to cause issues (in combination with the other mods in the guide), you can say "mod x updated from version y to version z in version 2.2.8.5 of the guide". If there isn't time to test it, since everyone is always busy, you can wait until there is time "Hmm lots of my mods are higher versions than the ones in the current guide version. Do they work? Can I verify with testing that this version combination is acceptable? Yes, because otherwise I wouldn't still be playing? Then I shall submit this combination to be added to a micro-update." If there isn't time to test each mod version update every single time (with this many mods that seems unlikely) then you can wait til there is time and test the new combination all at once.

 

Some of this sounds like work that could detract from the project's current goal of settling into the new format. I do not want to take away from this effort, as I think the new format is extremely beneficial for many reasons. I do think that there are a couple small changes that probably can already be made. They are:

1) When a change is made to the guide (or the mod list; it seems these are currently considered separate from the looks of the changelog), make a new version number.

2) Put the mod versions on the charts in the guide.

 

I think these two changes (which look small) can probably be made already without detracting from the current major efforts, and will set the stage for a lot greater rigor once the new format settles out. Or, I might be being a lot more pedantic than this project is going for, and the amount of rigor this would be needed for might be unnecessary. I leave the call in the capable hands of those who are actually working on the project, but offer here my recommendation.

 

I am very excited about this project and would like to become helpful to it, but think I should at least install it once or twice before committing to anything specific. ;-) That is my project for today, though, so maybe later today or tomorrow I may have even more to say.


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#3 skaryzgik

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 08:18 PM

I'm not sure if this is the right thread for this thing I noticed either, but currently (2.2.8) there is a discrepancy regarding BOSS installation.

 

In section 1.C.1: "Download BOSS and install according to the instructions provided by the author."

 

In section 2.B: link to Detailed Information -> Recommendations: "It is recommended to install BOSS directly to your skyrim game directory instead of its default location at the top of your system drive."

 

I suggest making a note of the installation location recommendation in 1.C.1.

 

If this is the wrong place for this comment please let me know. It seems to follow along with the first point SabreCat makes, and since that is the post that was moved here to become a thread-starter it seems at least a somewhat plausible place to note similar issues that may need ironing out.


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#4 DoubleYou

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:23 PM

This is fixed in the 2.2.9 guide, but I think we will keep the 2.2.8 guide the same. Installing BOSS to the skyrim directory (not skyrim/Skyrim) is preferable for two reasons: 1. So that Mod Organizer can automatically detect it and add it to the executables list. 2. To potentially prevent UAC issues. It is a recommendation, not a requirement. There is no reason to change this if you already have BOSS set up and running through Mod Organizer manually somewhere else.

#5 Tarvok

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 05:43 PM

Among the listed Core mods is Ruins Clutter Improved. There are two options for that mod: Ruins_Clutter_Improved_v2-7 and Ruins_Clutter_Improved_v2-7 NMM Installation. The description says that the first is for manual install, the second for NMM... but they both have a "Download With Manager" link. I'm going to assume the NMM one is correct... but this could use some clarification in the guide.


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#6 DoubleYou

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 08:07 PM

Among the listed Core mods is Ruins Clutter Improved. There are two options for that mod: Ruins_Clutter_Improved_v2-7 and Ruins_Clutter_Improved_v2-7 NMM Installation. The description says that the first is for manual install, the second for NMM... but they both have a "Download With Manager" link. I'm going to assume the NMM one is correct... but this could use some clarification in the guide.

Thanks. /done

#7 ninjagaidenguy

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 06:58 PM

Hi I just got done with a STEP Core and a STEP Extended install as well as several Pack installs (Weather and Lighting, A Real Explorer's Guide to Skyrim and  Immersive Survival) and I though I would throw my suggestions out there.

 

LOOT sorting was a little annoying, By that I mean that when I started and went to the detailed instructions for the first mod and it had a LOOT option I tried to run LOOT and add the rule it worked since I had the esp installed but when I tried to do it with the next mod (Complete Crafting Overhaul Remade) it took me a minute to realize that LOOT did not have the MOD listed like BOSS would have so I had to wait till I had aMidianBorn installed to set it up.

 

It might be nice to have a note about that on mods that need LOOT sorting rules and then have a section at the end to remind you of the rules, I did see the part in setting up the Bashed Patch about it but it might be better to have it on the main page rather then a sub page since I almost missed it.

 

I'm a long time Mod Organizer user and when I was setting this up I created new Categories for the different sub-steps and I found it useful for organization, probably not needed but I though I would mention it. (Image of what I did here: https://dl.dropboxus...1244/ModOrg.JPG). I also setup different profiles for CORE, Extended and then played a test character up to the point where I got a dragon shout to see what version I wanted to use and decided on a CORE base with a couple Extended Mods I liked as well as a different body mod since I'm not a fan of XCE. I made a new profile with my preferred setup and then started to test the Packs to see how well they worked, I used the default CORE version of step for all the pack testing by duplicating the CORE Profile and renaming it to something like  CORE + Weather and Lighting Pack and then adding it to the end of the install. I also setup a new category for each pack and manually added the category to each mod in the pack. This saved a lot of time after I got done testing the packs by making it easy to enable all the mods in the pack on a new profile where I combined all the packs and my custom STEP install as well as being able to see install order issues.

 

I just got done playing the game for about 6-7 hours with out crashing and not noticing any errors and that's with 215 esp's and 289 mod's installed.

I also get between 45-60 fps everywhere with very little drops below 60 (only thing I am using an enb for is the shadow fix and ENBoost.

 

I'm going to stop modding for a while and actually play the game now.

 

Thanks for the most comprehensive mod install guide as well the most stable my game has been since playing with no mods!


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#8 edemircistep

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 05:27 PM

I'd like to say a few things if I may:

 

I am a Data Analyst and write SQL selects all day for reporting and ad-hoc requests.  I know what (great) customer service is; I know what a [great] community looks like; I also know quality when I see it.

 

It's obvious that a lot of work went into this guide (the reading, the testing, the modding, the re-testing, the voting, the implementation, changes and logs).  That doesn't even include (support, maintenance, on-going evaluations, and your FREE TIME)!!!

 

When I first found STEP, I was overjoyed that such a community existed.  Aside from the guide, the organization of the forum itself linked from each mod in the guide was an excellent thought!  This makes it so easy to post [whatever] directly to that mod's forum. Its apparent how much thought, creativity and TIME went into this.  The STEP guide is laid out very well and easy to follow.  Every nook and cranny was sought out and developed here.  It's not just a list of mods to use; it's install order, using utilities, how to set up the graphics driver, suggested customization, what DLC is required, baselines, configuration.. I can go on and on.

 

What I liked most about this community is the mandate.  It's very easy to see that the mandate is thought about with every post, every mod suggestion, every costomizable feature.  This is what truly makes a "community"; sticking to the primary objectives.  I talked about this community to a co-worker (sys admin) and he said a funny thing: "Imagine having that community support our ERP".  Why?  Because even at the very places we work, this type of organized structure, patience, support, enthusiasm is rarely found.  It's actually found with YOUR FREE TIME!!!

 

I'd like to say THANK YOU to all who have contributed to this WIKI/Forum/Guide/Community.  This is the kind of community companies like Bethesda go to when looking for ideas on their next game.  I'd be surprised if they didn't reach out to a single leader on this site.  You obviously have some very talented and thorough individuals here. 

 

I'd like to give a special thank you to TechAngel85.  I must be the most annoying person on the planet (I'm originally from Long Island NY) when it comes to getting answers.  NY'ers have no patience and make no sense when trying to explain themselves on forums. A funny little story actually; I started posting more and more on the forums and Tech stopped me.  Why?  Because even though I was following instruction, I wasn't following instruction (IE, not trusting the instruction).  Tech really helped me through some questions I had and suggestions I made.  Tech's patience and response time is what great customer service is made of!!  Spending his own free time to help the most anal and annoying person on the planet says a lot and he should be recognized for a job well done!!

 

Thank you very much.  Please consider me for help in anything you need help in, even if it's simple proof reading!!  I'd love to give back to this community any way I can!


Edited by edemircistep, 01 September 2014 - 05:29 PM.

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#9 theblackman

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 03:25 AM

Dear STEPCrew, STEPbrothers & STEPsisters
 
I have completed installing STEP:Extended and have started Skyrim.  The game is running fine.  
 
And that's just not right.  
 
I mean, even Bethesda find it difficult to do that out-of-the-box.
 
You see, back in the good old days of Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout etc, the best game in the world was actually modding those games.  It was the best game in the world because it never ended.  There was always some incompatibility to address, some random CTD to determine the cause of.  It was like squeezing a balloon:  if you tried to tighten up one part, another part would fall out of alignment.  It was also the most rewarding game in the world because once you got it right, on those rare-as-hens-teeth occasions, it felt like you'd won the lottery because here was the game just as you wanted it and it was glorious!! 
 
Right up until the next crash...
 
But you have ruined that frustrating, soul destroying endeavour.  Now, you've got us "following the instructions", complying with the "we recommend", cleaning those dirty little .esps and it's just NOT the same. There's no phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes moment here.
 
Oh sure, I've now got more time to actually play the game, but it just doesn't feel like I've earned it, it doesn't feel like I've suffered enough to deserve this.
 
In all seriousness though, I do owe the team here a big THANK YOU for your efforts.  What you have achieved as a community is quite outstanding. 

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#10 monkeycid

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 07:40 PM

One Sunday and plenty of pizza and I've managed to follow the STEP 2.2.9 guide from start to finish and I am pleased with the results. This video is a great representation of what STEP achieves with minimal effort. I opted for the baseline variations of every mod to help with performance and I can report a solid 40-60 FPS throughout the game with a slight boost when indoors and that is with ultra settings and a laptop!

 

For anyone reading this and feeling unsure, TRY IT! It may seem daunting but it really isn't. The instructions provided by the guide for each individual mod, tool or patch are clearly explained and very easy to follow. The great thing about Mod Organizer is that it doesn't interfere with your Skyrim directory and a few clicks can revert any change and avoid unnecessary disasters and following this guide is a great way to familiarize yourself with the program. GIVE IT A GO!

 

And with that I say a massive THANK YOU to the entire STEP team and everyone within the STEP community for your continuous work. I look forward to spending another Sunday when version 3 of the STEP guide is released!


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#11 z929669

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 12:21 PM

Thanks guys ;)



#12 Leto

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 02:03 PM

Here is my feedback from playing Skyrim with Step Extended to character level 30:

 

I tried several times to run DDSopt on the vanilla Skyrim game & DLC, but always wound up screwing it up somewhere along the way.  That is a manual process with a lot of steps and a lot of room for error.  Then I googles "is DSOpt worth it" and the consensus seemed to be no - not unless you are running out of video memory".  It seems to me that most of the textures are replaced over and over by subsequent mods so why optimize textures that are just going to be replaced anyway?

 

I removed Follower Trap Safety because Amazing Follower Tweaks already has logic to make followers avoid traps and it breaks immersion for me to have them unable to ever trigger a trap.

 

I didn't install RaceMenu because it crashed my game at the character creation screen.  I didn't install SKSE-Elys-AltF4 because it wasn't worth the hassle of constantly deleting files from the overwrite folder.

 

Instead of installing "Traps Make Noise", I installed "Traps Make Noise and Are Dangerous" because the damage of the vanilla traps is pathetic and easily ignored.  I also installed "Mining Makes Noise CCO Version" because that mod makes sense and improves gameplay with no downside that I can see.

 

I never installed XP32 maximum skeleton and Dual Sheath Redux because running "Fores New Idles in Skyrim" seemed to complicated and risky to me.

After installing Skyrim Extended, I installed Pack: Companions, most of Pack: Explorers Guide, and most of Pack: Survival.  I wound up uninstalling "Fires Hurt" because it spoiled my game by killing me at the very beginning when you have to jump from the tower to the burning inn.  I chose iNeed over Realistic Needs and Diseases because it seemed safer and more elegant. 

 

I didn't install Frostfall because it seemed too complex and risky, but I don't like the cold having no effect either.  I'm going to givie Hypothermia a try instead.

 

I installed "No Cleared Cell Respawn and Slow other Respawn" from Nexus because when I clear a dungeon I want it to stay cleared and Skyrim is so big that there is no need for herbs, ore, and other things to respawn quickly.  Plus, when things respawn too quickly it makes it seem like my efforts in Skyrim are having no real effect in the world. 

 

I also installed Helgen Reborn because it is an awesome and popular mod - even if disabling it at the start of a game is annoying.  Helgen REborn is on most of the lists of "Best Skyrim Mods".  I'm surprised it's not included in STEP.

 

Cheers, Silvermane


Edited by Leto, 21 October 2014 - 02:43 PM.

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#13 TechAngel85

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 08:57 PM

Here is my feedback from playing Skyrim with Step Extended to character level 30:   I tried several times to run DDSopt on the vanilla Skyrim game & DLC, but always wound up screwing it up somewhere along the way.  That is a manual process with a lot of steps and a lot of room for error.  Then I googles "is DSOpt worth it" and the consensus seemed to be no - not unless you are running out of video memory".  It seems to me that most of the textures are replaced over and over by subsequent mods so why optimize textures that are just going to be replaced anyway?

There are thousands of vanilla textures not replaced by any mod. We know this because we're prepping a way for users to not have to deal with DDSopt as long as their running a complete STEP install with all DLCs. I have one of the test files installed and there are literally 15,000+ files that have no conflicts so that's 15,000+ optimized files you'd be using. Also, DDSopt has always been an optional process and not a mandatory part of the Guide. I've ran without optimized textures for quite some time before this test file.  

I removed Follower Trap Safety because Amazing Follower Tweaks already has logic to make followers avoid traps and it breaks immersion for me to have them unable to ever trigger a trap.   I didn't install RaceMenu because it crashed my game at the character creation screen.  I didn't install SKSE-Elys-AltF4 because it wasn't worth the hassle of constantly deleting files from the overwrite folder.   Instead of installing "Traps Make Noise", I installed "Traps Make Noise and Are Dangerous" because the damage of the vanilla traps is pathetic and easily ignored.  I also installed "Mining Makes Noise CCO Version" because that mod makes sense and improves gameplay with no downside that I can see.   I never installed XP32 maximum skeleton and Dual Sheath Redux because running "Fores New Idles in Skyrim" seemed to complicated and risky to me. After installing Skyrim Extended, I installed Pack: Companions, most of Pack: Explorers Guide, and most of Pack: Survival.  I wound up uninstalling "Fires Hurt" because it spoiled my game by killing me at the very beginning when you have to jump from the tower to the burning inn.  I chose iNeed over Realistic Needs and Diseases because it seemed safer and more elegant.    I didn't install Frostfall because it seemed too complex and risky, but I don't like the cold having no effect either.  I'm going to givie Hypothermia a try instead.   I installed "No Cleared Cell Respawn and Slow other Respawn" from Nexus because when I clear a dungeon I want it to stay cleared and Skyrim is so big that there is no need for herbs, ore, and other things to respawn quickly.  Plus, when things respawn too quickly it makes it seem like my efforts in Skyrim are having no real effect in the world.    I also installed Helgen Reborn because it is an awesome and popular mod - even if disabling it at the start of a game is annoying.  Helgen REborn is on most of the lists of "Best Skyrim Mods".  I'm surprised it's not included in STEP.   Cheers, Silvermane

Thanks for the feedback!

#14 sbroadbent

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 08:18 AM

I came across STEP about a year ago.  I believe 2.2.8 was the current version.  STEP definitely convinced me that Mod Organizer was the better Mod Manager.

 

I had actually come across STEP several months before that, but for some reason when I first came across it, I actually couldn't find the guide.  I don't know how much the STEP main page has changed in the last year, but I remember coming to the main page to find the guide, saw something like "Go straight to the guide: STEP v2.2.8 (Changelog)" and didn't realize that that was the link to the guide because I thought it was a link to the Changelog, not realizing "STEP v2.2.8" and "Changelog" were two separate links.  It was perhaps a random click where I finally discovered that the STEP guide was a rather long and detailed process.  Even knowing what I know now, and just looking at the main page, I still think that link to STEP v2.2.9 in the top section is still a link to the Changelog and not the guide itself.  If this is my first time here, I don't care what has changed since the previous version... just give me the guide ;)

 

Instead, I think that under Core Guides an entry under "STEP v2.2.9 - The STEP Guide" should be a link to the Changelog, such as "STEP v2.2.9 Changelog".

 

In order to make STEP a little more streamlined, I think some adjustments to what goes in the "Notes" section of the mod listing would help.  A lot of the mods have a "Detailed Instructions available" link which is great to provide an indepth install process, but I think we need some additional icons or flags to describe what detailed information exists.

 

A few Examples:

Complete Crafting Overhaul Remade has a "Detailed Instructions Available" link, but when you go to the page, it just provides a set of LOOT Meta Rule Instructions.  Point the Way is the same.  I really don't need to know this when installing and instead would rather only see this at the end when I do a mass configuration of LOOT.  Since there are no special instructions or configurations relating to installing CCOR, what would make sense is that instead of the "Detailed Instructions Available" link, there is a LOOT icon link which takes you to that section.  In other words, I can see from the mod listing that it only contains LOOT instructions, and so I can download and install without checking if there are any special installation instructions.  The last time I installed STEP, I ended up having a separate Chrome window with open tabs to several of these mods that only had LOOT rules, so that when I was ready to run LOOT and update those meta rules, I wouldn't have to dig back through the Mod Listing to make sure I wasn't missing a meta rule.  I think I later found a page that provided every LOOT rule on one page, but it'd be more useful to have that icon, rather than a "Detailed Instructions Available" link which doesn't have any actual detailed instructions related to installation.

 

Related to wanting to have a Loot Icon, there are also some mods that only include recommended MCM settings, such as "Lightning During Thunder Storms".  Including the MCM icon as a link for these would save having to open these pages when installing.

 

Brawl Bugs Patch: According to the mod listing, the Brawl Bugs Patch is a STEP Core mod, but when you go to the "Detailed Instructions available" page there is information that it is not required if you're installing Enhanced Blood Textures in Extended.  It would be useful if that information was under the Notes section on the main mod list.  To use an example, Consistent Older People specifies under it's Notes section separate install instructions for STEP Core and for STEP Extended.  If I know I'm installing STEP Extended, I can read that and skip it completely.

 

Related to this, "No Spinning Death Animation" should include in it's note section: "Included in every version of the STEP Patches, STEP Core Patch, STEP Extended Patch, and both versions of the STEP Combined Plugin", so those users should know that they can skip it if they plan to install one of the STEP patches.  I remember installing this and then uninstalling it because I decided to install one of the STEP patches...

 

Which leads me to another point.  Within the Final Pre-Installation Notes section under "A Final Consideration", there should be some information or discussion regarding the STEP Patches, why they exist (to reduce the number of esp's, etc) and that there are several mods in the list that are unnecessary if a user plans to install a STEP Patch, to prompt the reader to have in their mind while going through STEP whether they want to install STEP with (or without) the STEP Patch.  In the same way it makes the process easier if the reader goes into the process knowing that they are going to just install STEP Core, or if they are going to install Core plus the additional Extended mods.  The first time I installed STEP, I downloaded, installed and configured the entire list of mods and then when I finally got to the STEP Patches and learning more about them, I ended up going back and removing those that were covered by the STEP Patch.

 

One note on the "Bethesda Hi-Res DLC Optimized", I'd expand the note on the main mod listing page saying "Users who have more than 1.5GB of VRAM can skip this.  Detailed Instructions available".  It saves those people who have a sufficient amount of VRAM some time by knowing they can skip it without checking the Detailed Information page.

 

A lot of the above have to do with the fact that I don't want to have to open a bunch of different pages if I don't actually need to while download and building my STEP install.  Later on when I want to configure LOOT or MCM settings, having those icons makes it easy to quickly scan through the list and pop those open into new tabs.  It might save me a half hour or more when building a new STEP install, which is relevant given that it can take anywhere from 8 to 10 hours to download and install from start to finish.


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#15 TechAngel85

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 11:01 AM

I came across STEP about a year ago.  I believe 2.2.8 was the current version.  STEP definitely convinced me that Mod Organizer was the better Mod Manager.
 
I had actually come across STEP several months before that, but for some reason when I first came across it, I actually couldn't find the guide.  I don't know how much the STEP main page has changed in the last year, but I remember coming to the main page to find the guide, saw something like "Go straight to the guide: STEP v2.2.8 (Changelog)" and didn't realize that that was the link to the guide because I thought it was a link to the Changelog, not realizing "STEP v2.2.8" and "Changelog" were two separate links.  It was perhaps a random click where I finally discovered that the STEP guide was a rather long and detailed process.  Even knowing what I know now, and just looking at the main page, I still think that link to STEP v2.2.9 in the top section is still a link to the Changelog and not the guide itself.  If this is my first time here, I don't care what has changed since the previous version... just give me the guide ;)
 
Instead, I think that under Core Guides an entry under "STEP v2.2.9 - The STEP Guide" should be a link to the Changelog, such as "STEP v2.2.9 Changelog".

This has been discussed and something will be done for the next release of STEP.

 

In order to make STEP a little more streamlined, I think some adjustments to what goes in the "Notes" section of the mod listing would help.  A lot of the mods have a "Detailed Instructions available" link which is great to provide an indepth install process, but I think we need some additional icons or flags to describe what detailed information exists.
 
A few Examples:
Complete Crafting Overhaul Remade has a "Detailed Instructions Available" link, but when you go to the page, it just provides a set of LOOT Meta Rule Instructions.  Point the Way is the same.  I really don't need to know this when installing and instead would rather only see this at the end when I do a mass configuration of LOOT.  Since there are no special instructions or configurations relating to installing CCOR, what would make sense is that instead of the "Detailed Instructions Available" link, there is a LOOT icon link which takes you to that section.  In other words, I can see from the mod listing that it only contains LOOT instructions, and so I can download and install without checking if there are any special installation instructions.  The last time I installed STEP, I ended up having a separate Chrome window with open tabs to several of these mods that only had LOOT rules, so that when I was ready to run LOOT and update those meta rules, I wouldn't have to dig back through the Mod Listing to make sure I wasn't missing a meta rule.  I think I later found a page that provided every LOOT rule on one page, but it'd be more useful to have that icon, rather than a "Detailed Instructions Available" link which doesn't have any actual detailed instructions related to installation.
 
Related to wanting to have a Loot Icon, there are also some mods that only include recommended MCM settings, such as "Lightning During Thunder Storms".  Including the MCM icon as a link for these would save having to open these pages when installing.
 
Brawl Bugs Patch: According to the mod listing, the Brawl Bugs Patch is a STEP Core mod, but when you go to the "Detailed Instructions available" page there is information that it is not required if you're installing Enhanced Blood Textures in Extended.  It would be useful if that information was under the Notes section on the main mod list.  To use an example, Consistent Older People specifies under it's Notes section separate install instructions for STEP Core and for STEP Extended.  If I know I'm installing STEP Extended, I can read that and skip it completely.
 
Related to this, "No Spinning Death Animation" should include in it's note section: "Included in every version of the STEP Patches, STEP Core Patch, STEP Extended Patch, and both versions of the STEP Combined Plugin", so those users should know that they can skip it if they plan to install one of the STEP patches.  I remember installing this and then uninstalling it because I decided to install one of the STEP patches...
 
Which leads me to another point.  Within the Final Pre-Installation Notes section under "A Final Consideration", there should be some information or discussion regarding the STEP Patches, why they exist (to reduce the number of esp's, etc) and that there are several mods in the list that are unnecessary if a user plans to install a STEP Patch, to prompt the reader to have in their mind while going through STEP whether they want to install STEP with (or without) the STEP Patch.  In the same way it makes the process easier if the reader goes into the process knowing that they are going to just install STEP Core, or if they are going to install Core plus the additional Extended mods.  The first time I installed STEP, I downloaded, installed and configured the entire list of mods and then when I finally got to the STEP Patches and learning more about them, I ended up going back and removing those that were covered by the STEP Patch.
 
One note on the "Bethesda Hi-Res DLC Optimized", I'd expand the note on the main mod listing page saying "Users who have more than 1.5GB of VRAM can skip this.  Detailed Instructions available".  It saves those people who have a sufficient amount of VRAM some time by knowing they can skip it without checking the Detailed Information page.
 
A lot of the above have to do with the fact that I don't want to have to open a bunch of different pages if I don't actually need to while download and building my STEP install.  Later on when I want to configure LOOT or MCM settings, having those icons makes it easy to quickly scan through the list and pop those open into new tabs.  It might save me a half hour or more when building a new STEP install, which is relevant given that it can take anywhere from 8 to 10 hours to download and install from start to finish.

The problem with this is our underlying structure. When "Detailed Instructions" are enabled, the notes on the main Guide are automatically replaced with that "Detailed Instructions Available" link. That is how it was designed so there is currently no (easy) way to provide both a short note on the main Guide as well as a link to more detailed instructions. It's either one or the other. It is a good idea though for the reasons you point out and might be something that could possibly be developed.

Good feedback!


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