v3.0 Progress Update...
I just wanted to give you all a bit of an update as to where I am with the next version of this guide.
For the most part, the guide is finished. The patches are made and it loads up in the game just fine. However, there are a few gaps in the guide's coverage that I'd like to address.
Most recently, I've been looking at the character overhaul gap. I have several mods that address random things, mostly rolled over from the STEP:SE Core Guide. What it was lacking was any mods addressing the NPCs bodies. So I dove into Nexus to see what was available. I quickly discovered 'Total Character Makeover'. After checking it out, it was perfect! Even for STEP inclusion. It had a lot of the old mods STEP used at one point already included and packaged up! I got excited! However, after running around for a while looking at NPCs, one thing was obvious...neck seams. I had read that there might be some seams, but I wasn't expecting them to be as common as they were. Some NPCs looked great, but others with certain skin tones and/or face tints would have seams. I don't envy the author! I know how hard those seams are to get rid of. The textures and normals have to to be perfect and doing that is a real task.
So Total Character Makeover wasn't going to work. I knew some of the most I needed to include, however finding the right textures to fit over these mods will be the real chore. The one thing I don't like doing is replacing the bodies with meshes that also require new armors and clothing to fit the new meshes. No, if it's included in this Pack, it has to be vanilla compatible. For the males, this is an easy choice; Better Males. Currently SkySight Skins in installed for that. I'm noticing a seam with just this mod installed, though, so I'm not settled on it just yet. You can even see the seam in the author's shots on Nexus. Most noticeable on the paler skin. There's a texture difference at the neck seam so it's standing out. SkySight also isn't including any meshes other than feet. I'm going to re-test 'Tempered Skins' and will likely be sticking with it.
Females is the challenge because there aren't any good body meshes out there that are fully compatible with vanilla. SparrowPrince fixed some issues with the vanilla body, but that mesh is not fully compatible with FemFeet. FemFeet is a must for me, so I found 'FemFeet Redesigned SSE'. That's in the mod list for now. The next bit is finding textures that work. Currently, I have Mature Skin installed and it looks good, but its not exactly my tastes. However, I have yet to test out how it's looking with FemFeet installed...because I'm having to use the vanilla version to eliminate the neck seams. I will also likely test out 'Tempered Skins for Females' (UNP version) to see out it maps to the body and feet.
And....that's where I am right now. Final decisions have not been made yet. Testing is still taking place.
Once all this is nailed down I may look at a few extra texture mods and then it'll be on to a real test run. Once I feel the test run is free of any major and most minor issues, I'll get the mod list up on Mod Picker and share it here.