First off, thanks so much for creating STEP! What an amazing resource.
I'm about to embark on my first install of Skyrim and STEP, and I have a few questions that cropped up from the setup reading I've done here:
1) The Core and Legendary Edition guides seem geared around using BOSS/BUM, but I'm reading elsewhere here that BOSS is outdated and we should be using LOOT. Is it OK to use LOOT instead? Any gotchas?
2) The guides also say to use DDSopt. Is using DDSopt a suggestion or a requirement? For reference my machine has SLI GTX 780M with 4GB GDDR5.
3) I read in the Core guide that Wrye Bash has been largely superseded by Mod Organizer... But that Wrye Bash is still used to make "bashed patches". I tried wading through the Wrye Bash guide, but I still don't have a good understanding of what a bashed patch is and why we need to make them.
4) When I spend the 10-15(?)+ hours to download and install Skyrim and all these STEP mods and the related utilities for managing them, is there a way to back up all this work so that I can transfer the freshly completed STEP install package to a new machine? I might trade in my laptop for a desktop in a couple months, and the idea of starting all this from scratch is kind of horrific. I understand the concept of making a backup of the vanilla Skyrim Directory per the Skyrim Installation Guide. But what about after I install MO, BOSS/BUM (or LOOT?), Wrye Bash, SKSE, TES5Edit, ENB, and a huge pile of mods? Is there a way to snapshot all this stuff to an external drive so it can be transferred to a new machine easily? (I have the wonderful program Beyond Compare if that helps.)
5) I find the 'cleaning ESMs' sections in the Legendary guide to be fairly confusing. Is there a way to avoid having to do this by opting out of using certain mods?
6) The Core guide references ENBoost, but I've read that the lastest ENB already has ENBoost incorporated. Just wanted to make sure that's true, i.e. that I don't need to separately install ENBoost. Also it's a bit unclear which exact files I should download from enbdev.com. Do I need this Antifreeze one? Do I need the generic injector? Or is this 0.254 file all I need? If it matters, I plan to use the Vividian ENB recommended in the Legendary guide unless there's an updated recommendation forthcoming.
7) Lastly, the Core guide warns against installing the latest Mod Organizer. Since several new versions of MO have been released since 1.1.2, I just wanted to ask if the STEP update that would allow the latest MO to be used was planned in the near future (and thus worth waiting for), or whether it's a ways off. If it's a ways off, can I use the latetest MO if I don't use STEP patches or DDSopt?
Thanks in advance for any guidance. It's very much appreciated.