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Dread's Skyrim Build (a STEP build)


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#1 dreadflopp

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 02:08 AM

I posted a couple of weeks ago about a STEP SE guide addon. It has developed into a proper STEP build, which is why I decided to start a new topic. This is a guide based on STEP SE and you use it instead of STEP SE. It is in a finished state and I am currently game testing.  I will add the guide to the STEP wiki soon, which is as easy as cut and paste some text. It is currently on Github only.

On the todo-list:

 

 

___________________________________

 

 

Introduction: Welcome to Dread's Skyrim Build

Link: https://dreadflopp.g...adsskyrimbuild/

 

This guide is a STEP build based on the STEP: Core build. The STEP team has built a base with mods that enhances and fixes Skyrim without breaking the vanilla look and feel. This guides further enhances Skyrim, adds to it and alters elements of it in several ways.

 

The mods featured in this build are chosen to be immersive and realistic. Realistic in a fantasy setting means believable. The mods should feel like they expand or enhances vanilla Skyrim, like they could have been there from the beginning.

 

What to expect

  • Support for the Survival mode from Bethesda Creation Club.
  • HD textures for landscapes, structures and buildings that keeps the vanilla look and feel.
  • HD textures for clutter, armors, weapons other items.
  • Bigger trees for a truly immersive forest.
  • Enhanced visuals with Cathedral Weather, Relighting Skyrim and Luminosity Lighting Overhaul.
  • New unique armors are added to the game.
  • New weapons types with custom animations.
  • More adventures with new quests and new lands to visit.
  • Overhauled cities, towns and villages.
  • Expanded character creation with the CBBE female body with realistic presets.
  • Overhauled character leveling and skill system:
    • Overhauled skill trees with new perks.
    • Overhauled magic with new spells.
    • A new class system.
    • New experience system that encourages exploration.
    • Slower leveling to allow you to experience the dlc-sized added content before maxing out your character.
  • New, tougher bandits and dragons.
  • New NPC's and followers.

This build is made to be easy to install

  • No LOOT rules, every conflict is resolved with the patches. Run LOOT and you are done.
  • No bashed patch. All level list conflicts are resolved by the patches.
  • No merging of plugins. Every patch is esl-flagged to make sure the plugin limit count is not reached.
  • Advanced FOMOD installer for the patches. No need to choose which patches to use, the installer does the work for you.

Almost all mods are optional

 

All mods in this build are optional, except for:

  • Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch.
  • Cloaks of Skyrim and Winter is Coming. Use them both or not at all.

Edited by dreadflopp, 18 September 2020 - 09:00 AM.

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#2 baronaatista

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 06:23 PM

Looks great Dread!

 

Unfortunately I'm just about finishing my own recent build so I can't install / test this at all, but I do love to use guides for wisdom on what to do in certain areas.  Just finished looking through your guide and noticed a couple things;

 

You have 'Smooth Running Animations' listed twice in the Audiovisual section, with no particular notes associated.  I'm assuming this is an oversight.

 

No ICAIO or AI Overhaul, looks like you're basically going with 'Tavern AI Fix' instead?  Would love to hear your thoughts?  I do love ICAIO, and am loathe to get rid of it... looked into AI Overhaul, but it requires patching with many mods, and with town overhauls... the patching is not easy.  Easier than ICAIO (navmeshes), but still not easy.  I don't want to drop ICAIO but I think it would likely ensure a more stable and consistent experience with all the rest of my mods, as I shall not be patching any navmeshes...............................  I'm definitely asking you to tell me I should just drop it, lol.

 

Also no Wet and Cold! Get Snowy instead.  Blasphemous!  I'm assuming that's a script-load issue?  My game is consistently at least a little laggy with scripts, with every setup I've done...

 

And then I think my final question is how do you find the ease and results from automatically generating armor meshes with Bodyslide?  I like the Frankly HD armor retextures but can't use most of them cause I use UNP and the 'UNP Body Fit Armors and Clothing' mod.  Always assumed generating armor / clothing meshes with Bodyslide was a more involved process.

 

Oooooh and just remembering; no Morrowloot, or your Loot mod!  Double blasphemy!

Just over patching leveled lists and worrying about maintaining strict distribution rules?  Or not seeing the purpose anymore?


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#3 baronaatista

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Posted 10 April 2020 - 07:13 PM

...Oh and I could be wrong but I'm fairly certain?  We still need to download the 'dawn guard meshes for vampire NPCs' file for 3DNPC?


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#4 dreadflopp

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 01:19 AM

Thanks!

1) Smooth Running Animations: Fixed!

2) I use Tavern AI fixed + Closing Time. This doesn't do anything to the overall AI of the NPCs of the game world. My first concern with both ICAIO and AI Overhaul is compatibility. I personally care more about mods that adds to or alter city buildings and layouts than about what ICAIO does. I haven't really looked into AI Overhaul but I know that it conflicts a lot. The conflicts that ICAIO has are probbly much fewer, but are harder to test and resolve. Most conflicts may be non issues but I'm going for stability here, I don't want any issues later on and I want to be free to add city altering mods. Personally, I don't pay too much attention to the everyday life thing the people of do. I haven't noticed too many differences in the game when I have played without ICAIO.

One thing that ICAIO does is giving NPCs schedules. They walk around doing stuff. Sometimes far away. Probably immersive, certainly annoying if that NPC is a quest marker walking around in a deep forest greeting you when you get close as if you were passing by in the city. I actually like it more when the NPCs stay put and stick to their more limited vanilla schedules. In one playthrough, and I'm not sure this was ICAIO but I suspect it, an NPC with a quest marker was supposed to wait in the end of a dungeon. I believe he was supposed to be trapped and I was going to rescue him. Suddenly he walks off and the quest consisted of fast travelling and running tryin to catch up with a quest marker moving around the map.

I have patches for ICAIO (not navmesh patches) so I might add it as an optional if people want it. I'll also take a closer look on AI Overhaul.

3) I forgot about Wet And Cold. I'll add it to the guide soon. It is actually compatible with Get Snowy. Some obvious overlap between the two, comes down to which effect you like the best.

4) BodySlide is real easy to use with proper instructions. In the guide there are several presets available, ranging from vanilla-ish and realism to UNP to ridicolous. Creating your own preset is quite easy too. I have played with vanilla body, with UNP and UNPB and CBBE. CBBE looks far better than all else imo. When tempered skins for females gets a CBBE version it will be added to the guide.

Generating armor meshes is just a few clicks since the armor mods included provides bodyslides, which means the mesh generation is automated. Really easy!. There is actually one armor mod included that doesn't have bodyslides, scout armor. My plan is to create these myself. This is a little more involded process since it has to be done it Outfit Studio. But it will be a one time thing and will take about 30 min. Mesh generation will be automated after that.

5) Morrowloot: Great mod. I have used it a lot as you know. It's my favorite loot/item balancing mod. The problem is consistency. This guide focus more on content than my previous guides, like A Real Explores Guide to Skyrim did. I want to add city overhauls, new villages, more people and new quests, lands and regions. A mod like Moonpath to Elsewyr, which is a decent quest mod, destroys the tight rebalance that Morrorloot introduces. Glass weapons in one of the first dungeons. Treasures galore in one of the new main areas. I don't think Morrowloot works well together with quest mods at all.

My own loot mod works better. It was included for a while as a tweak in the installer. It will be added back when I have made a patch for Animated Armory. Or when I have learned to create scripts for SSEEdit.

6) The dawnguard meshes for 3DNPC are integrated into the main file, according to the nexus page. I just noticed that a lot  of patches for interesting NPC's has been posted on the main nexus page. I'll dig into that. Including AI Overhaul.


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#5 baronaatista

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 01:12 PM

I can see the wisdom of a lot of things you're doing here, and I have to be honest the Simon Magus mods look like an interesting, possibly lighter-weight version of EnaiRim.

If I weren't just finishing up my most recent build and having spent many hours researching and patching everything, I would definitely be using your guide whole cloth, and look forward to checking it out maybe when I finish a play-through or two with my set up.

 

Thanks for all the work you've put into guides and patches over the years!  It was interacting with you and your guides that helped me learn to manage my own builds and introduced a ton of great mods to me.  Hope all is well with you and yours in these strange times.


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#6 dreadflopp

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Posted 13 April 2020 - 04:20 AM

I really like Simon Magus's mods, well thought out and restricted. No extra features that goes beyond the scope of the mod. As you suggested, I added Wet And Cold and removed Get Snowy. Simon's new combat mod, Blade and Blunt, has been released, I added that too. I also added AI Overhaul. It was quite easy to patch, not as much conflicts as I had anticipated. Combined with Run for your lives and a combat mod it should do similar things as ICAIO but wothout the navmesh conflicts. I haven't tried it in-game yet.

Also, a heads up, I tried Immersive World Encounters. I doesn't play well with some other mod I have. I don't know which mod but I had ctd's with it.

Thanks for your kind words. All is well with me, hope all is well with you too. Even if you don't use this guide, the patches may still be a help. They aren't actually depending on this guide, they can be used by anyone that uses some of the included modd. Just referer to my patches section at the end of the modlist to see if any additional patches are needed.

Edited by dreadflopp, 13 April 2020 - 04:23 AM.

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#7 Ghostwise

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Posted 13 April 2020 - 08:03 AM

Looks fairly close to what I'm looking for. And heh, no UNPB !  :cool:

 

Potentially silly question since I'm out of practice with Skyrim modding. Would it make sense to present it a "layer" that comes on top of a S.T.E.P. installation ? That would also mean you don't have to maintain your guide for what is already covered by S.T.E.P., once the new version is out.


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#8 baronaatista

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Posted 13 April 2020 - 04:20 PM

Oh hey one note on Falskaar;  As far as I can tell, tree LOD is non-existent for Falskaar SE.  I could be wrong, but last build I did when I was testing... no matter whether I used DynDOLOD or not, had LOD Billboards installed or not... No tree LOD whatsoever in Falskaar.  

 

It feels like that's the type of thing that would be pointed out and known, so I'm open to the possibility that I'm just too stupid to understand what I screwed up... 


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#9 dreadflopp

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 10:39 AM

Looks fairly close to what I'm looking for. And heh, no UNPB !  :cool:

 

Potentially silly question since I'm out of practice with Skyrim modding. Would it make sense to present it a "layer" that comes on top of a S.T.E.P. installation ? That would also mean you don't have to maintain your guide for what is already covered by S.T.E.P., once the new version is out.

The first iteration of this guide was actually a layer, or add on, to the STEP 0.1b/.2b guide. A proper STEP build though, should be a complete mod list with detailed instructions to install the game. If nothing changes regarding the properties of STEP builds, this is how the guide will be presented.
 


Oh hey one note on Falskaar;  As far as I can tell, tree LOD is non-existent for Falskaar SE.  I could be wrong, but last build I did when I was testing... no matter whether I used DynDOLOD or not, had LOD Billboards installed or not... No tree LOD whatsoever in Falskaar.  

 

It feels like that's the type of thing that would be pointed out and known, so I'm open to the possibility that I'm just too stupid to understand what I screwed up... 

I'll do some research about this, I have no idea actually. But maybe xLODGen fixes this.


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#10 JordoC

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Posted 14 April 2020 - 03:19 PM

Hello,

 

I've been away from the modding scene for a few years now and am using this guide to create a core build. If I was interested in the new Combat Gameplay Overhaul Mod (https://www.nexusmod...tab=description), what mods should I exclude? I understand this new combat mod is not compatible with FINIS, so does that mean skip all the animation mods?

 

Thanks.


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#11 dreadflopp

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 01:42 AM

Hello,

 

I've been away from the modding scene for a few years now and am using this guide to create a core build. If I was interested in the new Combat Gameplay Overhaul Mod (https://www.nexusmod...tab=description), what mods should I exclude? I understand this new combat mod is not compatible with FINIS, so does that mean skip all the animation mods?

 

Thanks.

This guide uses Nemesis instead of FNIS. I believe CGO also uses Nemesis. I have looked into CGO but it has issues with Animated Armoury, so you need to exclude Animated Armouryor live with the issues (search for Combat Gameplay Overhaul on Animated Armoury's Nexus discussion forum for more information). You should probably exclude Immersive Animations, Blocking Animations and Dual Wield Improved too.


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#12 dreadflopp

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Posted 15 April 2020 - 03:29 AM

Since at least a few people use this guide, here some additional information for people unfamiliar with Github that I'll add to the guide and the first page:

Git is a system for version control during software development. A project that is version controlled using git is called a repository. A repository may have different branches, which are different development versions of the software. Branches may be merged, commonly into the master branch. I will only use the master branch. Saving file changes to git is called to commit. Git tracks all commits and lets you revert to previous commits. Github is a cloud based repository. I synchronize my local repository against Github. When users download the repository as a zip-file, it can be installed using Mod Organizer 2's fomod-installer (i.e. how you usually install mods). I am not prviding a changelog since the commit history works as a changelog. The commit descriptions has been a little vague during development but will be more precise from now on. To see the commit history in Github, make sure you are viewing the code tab and click on xxx commits (where xxx is a number) or click on this link: https://github.com/d.../commits/master

 

Today I will be adding JK's interior mods to the guide. I have tested them and they seem to work well with Relighting Skyrim. If you see anything odd, please report it. I have made patches that reverts changes that Relighting Skyrim does to lighting in the cells that JK's edits, but I rather not use them if it isn't necessary.

 

I am also investigating Simply Bigger Trees. The tree foliage shimmers when moving the mouse. This seems to be a lighting/texture/aliasing-maybe issue. If I can't solve it I'll have to switch out Simply Bigger Trees for Enhanced Vanilla Trees, which also has a bigger trees option. But I rather not, I think SBT looks much better than EVT.

 

I have tried a survival mod that I want to add, The Frozen North. It uses Survival Mode's icons and sleep to level up feature but is much more compatible and lightweight. I can't get it to work though but I'll try to solve that. The mod is made by a talented mod author that makes small, lighweight but clever mods. I will look into more of them.


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#13 JordoC

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Posted 16 April 2020 - 12:23 PM

This guide uses Nemesis instead of FNIS. I believe CGO also uses Nemesis. I have looked into CGO but it has issues with Animated Armoury, so you need to exclude Animated Armouryor live with the issues (search for Combat Gameplay Overhaul on Animated Armoury's Nexus discussion forum for more information). You should probably exclude Immersive Animations, Blocking Animations and Dual Wield Improved too.

Thanks for the reply!

 

I ended up going with the modlist you uploaded instead of trying to incorporate CGO. Its working pretty well so far.

 

I am curious though. Is the Unlimited Bookshelves Patch process redundant? It seems to me that I've ended up with 2 copies of UnlimitedBookshelvesPatch.esp. One in Unlimited_Bookshelves_Patch_Generator_Output and the same file in the dedicated mod created from the Overwrite.


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#14 JordoC

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Posted 16 April 2020 - 12:39 PM

Also,

 

I am getting crashes every once and a while when walking around outdoors though. The game freezes while the audio continues, and needs to be force closed. After this happens I have some files in overwrite. (SKSE/Plugins/CampfireData/... common.json and profile1.json)


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#15 dreadflopp

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Posted 16 April 2020 - 02:30 PM

I am curious though. Is the Unlimited Bookshelves Patch process redundant? It seems to me that I've ended up with 2 copies of UnlimitedBookshelvesPatch.esp. One in Unlimited_Bookshelves_Patch_Generator_Output and the same file in the dedicated mod created from the Overwrite.


It is not redundant. The Unlimited Bookshelves patcher should always place it's resulting patch in the overwrite folder and you will have to manually move it to the mod output folder that you have created. My guess is that you have done just that and then generated another patch, which has ended up in the overwrite. Simply move that to the output folder, overwriting the old patch.
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