Hey Shadriss, I wanted to let you know that USLEEP has negated the Conjuration and Summoning Fixes, you can confirm here (go to find on page, type "Conj" and look at the 5th entry).
Also, wanted to know if you still got Immersive Winterhold working and if you still recommended those other mods? Finally, based on the revelations here, are you still recommending Balanced Magic or Better Magic?
Finally, to anyone here, I really want a mod that hotkeys casting, not equipping, spells from the keyboard; no more (idealy) no less. I am planning on using AH Hotkeys unless someone can recommend a better mod. I am almost done with my STEP installation and thinking about mods to round out my Spell Sword character.
Thanks for that confirmation - I tend to get lost in the walls of text on the USLEEP threads.
To your other questions, I have gotten it working, but I haven't made it up to Winterhold yet to look around. It's not a stroll in the park to get there in my line up because of Frostfall, and I have to make sure I can survive the cold before I make that trip. I dropped Better Magic from my lineup in favor of Mighty Magic, and so far that seems to be working well. I feel like a regular Darth Sidious right now, dual casting sparks at everything and watching them fall before me. Once I've played a bit deeper into the game, I'll make my own recommendations, but I'm not at that stage yet.
As the the last, the only hotkeys I use are part of SkyUI, and those don't do what you are looking for, so no can help, I'm afraid.
This is one of the main issues. I think most expect the TES games to be more like other games based more deeply in D&D. We all have experiences with these games (mine lay heavily in the Neverwinter Nights series) so we all expect the mage aspect of TES to be similar because those D&D games pull off these aspects so well. I know when I think of mages, I certainly think back to my wonderful experiences with those games. Fact is, the TES games haven't been build in this manner so we likely need to shift our thinking that the developers may not have expected users to be able to play as strict mages. Though there's plenty of evidence that would lead us to think that they did since there are strictly mage NPCs in the game. Regardless, it's certainly broken. My first playthrough of these types of game are always mage characters...my first playthrough of Skyrim was a mage in God Mod because I died everywhere I went.
Mages are almost universally the opposite of the warrior... weak where they are strong, smart where they are no-so-much, and so forth. There are always exceptions to this - it's been done before, of course - but the general image of the Mage, even withing TES, if of a person who spends all their time in books and study to master a form of applied science that allows little time for other martial pursuits. In a lot of books and the like, what TES would call a spellsword is usually a former Mage who left their studies for whatever reason, and not a warrior who picked up a few spells here or there. Skyrim paints this same picture, given that the Mages are in a COLLEGE. I agree that the Devs may not have been thinking in this line... at least some of them. There seems to be something of a split-personality psychosis going on here.
But honestly Vanilla Perks are really done in rush and you feel it while playing a mage.
Ordinator is the best choice, but most of EnaiSiaion mods are really worth, tested and perfectioned over years.
Also for STEP i don't see the need to keep vanilla Perks, you don't lose the general vanilla feel and you get more balance by using Ordinator.
Plus it open up a lot of variation and lot of new possible viable builds.
Just my 5 cents
Alot of the Vanilla Perks are out of balance, poorly thought through, rushed, or some combination of all three, I agree. I'm not saying that I don't use a few perk tree mods - I do. Kryptopter has a pair of them to address the Stealth and Blacksmithing issues which work quite well for me. However, your comment regarding STEP is... well, it's showing a lack of understanding of it's intent, I think.
STEP is designed to augment vanilla, not replace it. By which I mean we want it to look better as much as possible, run as smooth as possible, and fix as many bugs as possible without straying too far from the base game. That's it's intent, it's purpose, it's mandate. Ordinator or any other perk tree mod substantially veers from this. Bad design, which is what we are seeing here, I think, is not a bug. Therefor, rebalancing or altering goes beyond the purposes of STEP, so they aren't included for consideration.
That said, I'd be surprised if any of the regulars here DIDN'T have a perk alteration or two tucked away in their personal builds.
I don't disagree with anything you said - apart from Ordinator being the best choice because YMMV.