Difference between revisions of "User:DrPharmDawg/SkyRem Guide Home"

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<div style="border-top:1px solid #333; border-bottom:2px solid #262729; background-color:#3d3838; padding:2px 10px; text-shadow:none;color:#7F7A76; font-size:95%; font-weight:bold;box-shadow: inset 0 -1px 1px 1px rgba(46,46,46,0.75);"> [https://wiki.step-project.com/User:DrPharmDawg/SkyRem_Guide_Changelog Changelog] &nbsp;&nbsp;|&nbsp;&nbsp; Release Date: {{fc|#B2A69F| September 20, 2019| }}</div></div>
 
<div style="border-top:1px solid #333; border-bottom:2px solid #262729; background-color:#3d3838; padding:2px 10px; text-shadow:none;color:#7F7A76; font-size:95%; font-weight:bold;box-shadow: inset 0 -1px 1px 1px rgba(46,46,46,0.75);"> [https://wiki.step-project.com/User:DrPharmDawg/SkyRem_Guide_Changelog Changelog] &nbsp;&nbsp;|&nbsp;&nbsp; Release Date: {{fc|#B2A69F| September 20, 2019| }}</div></div>
  
<div style="text-align: center;"><font size="3">Current Version: 4.2.1</font></div>
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<div style="text-align: center;"><font size="3">Current Version: 5.0.0</font></div>
 
<div style="text-align: center;"><font size="3">Created and maintained by DrPharmDawg</font></div>
 
<div style="text-align: center;"><font size="3">Created and maintained by DrPharmDawg</font></div>
 
<div style="text-align: center;"><font size="3">Last Update: {{ #time: G:i:s j F Y|+1 hours| {{REVISIONTIMESTAMP}} }} (GMT)</font></div>
 
<div style="text-align: center;"><font size="3">Last Update: {{ #time: G:i:s j F Y|+1 hours| {{REVISIONTIMESTAMP}} }} (GMT)</font></div>
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Alone, Skyrim is a great game. With the involvement of the modding community, it has become a phenomenal game. This guide, along with the few mods I have authored, is my attempt to give back to that community (or at least contribute in some way).
 
Alone, Skyrim is a great game. With the involvement of the modding community, it has become a phenomenal game. This guide, along with the few mods I have authored, is my attempt to give back to that community (or at least contribute in some way).
  
SkyRem Concept: Add to the Skyrim experience by incorporating elements of strategic roleplay that focus on character creation, growth, and development that works seamlessly with the base (vanilla) game. While this began with the desire to tweak character creation, it has since grown into two (currently) series of mods and now a guide as I work to put it all together.
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SkyRem Concept: Add to the Skyrim experience by incorporating elements of strategic roleplay through a focus on character creation, growth, development, and survival that works seamlessly with the base (vanilla) game. While this began with the desire to tweak character creation, it has since grown into two (currently) series of mods and now a guide as I work to put it all together.
  
 
There are great guides available already, with different focuses, different objectives, and varying degrees of difficulty (both difficulty of game and difficulty of guide). After countless hours of using other guides, adding, subtracting, altering, combing through category by category every mod on the Nexus, and reading and researching... this guide is my "finished product" based on the concept above, with the following priorities in mind:
 
There are great guides available already, with different focuses, different objectives, and varying degrees of difficulty (both difficulty of game and difficulty of guide). After countless hours of using other guides, adding, subtracting, altering, combing through category by category every mod on the Nexus, and reading and researching... this guide is my "finished product" based on the concept above, with the following priorities in mind:
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This is not a difficulty or beautification mod guide by design. One could argue that difficulty is incorporated simply by the nature of the roleplay focus and modifications, but the intent of the guide goes far beyond just making Skyrim more difficult. As for beautification - there are plenty of mods specifically for this included in the guide, but is not the primary focus. I have also incorporated these into the guide in a way that will make it easy for you to add / subtract / substitute... whatever you prefer (or whatever your system allows).  
 
This is not a difficulty or beautification mod guide by design. One could argue that difficulty is incorporated simply by the nature of the roleplay focus and modifications, but the intent of the guide goes far beyond just making Skyrim more difficult. As for beautification - there are plenty of mods specifically for this included in the guide, but is not the primary focus. I have also incorporated these into the guide in a way that will make it easy for you to add / subtract / substitute... whatever you prefer (or whatever your system allows).  
  
SkyRem is also relatively new and under continual development, and may be better suited to those with some degree of modding experience (beginners beware). Having said that, as SkyRem continues to grow based on suggestions/questions/requests, more detailed info will be included. While not intended to "hold your hand", the goal is to ultimately allow any level of modder to be able to complete the guide successfully.
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SkyRem will remain under continual development, and may be better suited to those with some degree of modding experience (beginners beware). Having said that, as SkyRem continues to grow based on suggestions/questions/requests, more detailed info will be included. While not intended to "hold your hand", the goal is to ultimately allow any level of modder to be able to complete the guide successfully.
  
A word of caution: It is best to peruse the guide and determine what kind of install you wish to do before starting (core or extended). Then complete that install prior to customizing your mod load (adding, subtracting, changing... any deviation from the guide). Following the guide exactly will help prevent issues down the road. The vast majority of issues is due to skipping a step, missing a tag, not following each note precisely, etc. The guide contains a lot of information and it is easy to miss something.
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A few words of caution:
 +
- Read this Home Page thoroughly to decide if this is the setup for you before beginning.
 +
- Complete the guide as-is first and ensure everything is working before making personal changes (adding, subtracting, or just general deviation from the guide).
 +
- The vast majority of issues is due to skipping a step, missing a tag, not following each note precisely, etc. The guide contains a lot of information and it is easy to miss something.
  
 
While updates will be made as frequently as necessary to fix issues and/or provide needed clarification, there will be times of guide inactivity. The intent is to create a modded Skyrim, and play. It is easy to get caught in a perpetual cycle of updating, adding, and removing mods. The same goes for maintaining a guide. Do not forget to enjoy the game!
 
While updates will be made as frequently as necessary to fix issues and/or provide needed clarification, there will be times of guide inactivity. The intent is to create a modded Skyrim, and play. It is easy to get caught in a perpetual cycle of updating, adding, and removing mods. The same goes for maintaining a guide. Do not forget to enjoy the game!
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== {{Fc|#ddd|GUIDE INFO}} ==
 
== {{Fc|#ddd|GUIDE INFO}} ==
  
The guide is organized into several sections by priority:
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The guide is organized by Priorities (see above), Sections, and Parts:
* Home Page: Introduction, general information, preparing your setup, and some basic "how to's" for modding.
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* Home Page: Introduction, guide info, and some basic "how to's" and troubleshooting.
 
* Priority I: Stability - Making a fresh install, setting up tools and INIs, cleaning masters, installing SKSE plugins, and getting your base game ready.
 
* Priority I: Stability - Making a fresh install, setting up tools and INIs, cleaning masters, installing SKSE plugins, and getting your base game ready.
 
* Priority II: Mechanics - Interface changes, fixes and tweaks, audio mods, gameplay enhancements, environment overhauls, and large retexture mods.
 
* Priority II: Mechanics - Interface changes, fixes and tweaks, audio mods, gameplay enhancements, environment overhauls, and large retexture mods.
 
* Priority III: Content - Quest additions, location overhauls, immersion mods, character mods, creature mods, and equipment mods.
 
* Priority III: Content - Quest additions, location overhauls, immersion mods, character mods, creature mods, and equipment mods.
 
* Priority IV: Aesthetics - Visual mods not covered in previous Priorities. Completely optional mods that can be added/removed based on preference (and your rig's abilities).
 
* Priority IV: Aesthetics - Visual mods not covered in previous Priorities. Completely optional mods that can be added/removed based on preference (and your rig's abilities).
* Final Steps: Patching and in-game setup, such as recommended MCM settings.
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* Final Steps: Patching and in-game setup, such as recommended MCM settings and tips on how to start your SkyRem adventure.
  
 
This guide provides:
 
This guide provides:
 
* A stable and Performance Friendly setup.
 
* A stable and Performance Friendly setup.
 
* Installation directions and instructions for using various modding tools and techniques.
 
* Installation directions and instructions for using various modding tools and techniques.
* Patches to make mods included work together (via Nexus): Custom settings designed for the SkyRem setup, NPC Patch to resolve visual conflicts, and a consistency/conflict resolution patch (SkyRem Patch).
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* Patches to make mods included work together (via Nexus).
 
* Support via Discord and regular updates.
 
* Support via Discord and regular updates.
  
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* Include Dead Mods: Mods that need updating or mods with excessive (or unanswered) bug reports/comments without simple solutions.
 
* Include Dead Mods: Mods that need updating or mods with excessive (or unanswered) bug reports/comments without simple solutions.
 
* Include CBBE: What little I do in this regard is UNP.
 
* Include CBBE: What little I do in this regard is UNP.
* Include 4k+: Whenever possible, I use 2k at the most. There are a few exceptions in which 2k is not available however.
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* Include 4k+: Whenever possible, I use 1k and 2k at the most.
 +
* Include Player Homes (I feel the vanilla options and those provided by Quest mods are sufficient).
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Guide Organization}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Guide Organization}} ===
  
The guide is organized as follows: Priorities >> Steps >> Parts
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As stated above, the guide is organized as follows: Priorities >> Steps >> Parts
  
 
These three levels are used to organize the guide into increasingly smaller and more specific groups of information and mods.
 
These three levels are used to organize the guide into increasingly smaller and more specific groups of information and mods.
 
In addition to this three tier approach, mods are further distinguished (by outline color) as follows:
 
In addition to this three tier approach, mods are further distinguished (by outline color) as follows:
  '''{{Fc|#ff7878|Red (Core)}}''': Required as they are '''''key''''' to the concept of SkyRem, or needed by the provided patches as a Master.
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  '''{{Fc|#ff7878|Red}}''': Required as they are '''''key''''' to the concept of SkyRem, or needed by the provided patches as a Master.
  '''{{Fc|#9eb8ee|Blue (Extended)}}''': Recommended because they '''''build''''' on the concept of SkyRem. Not required, but more difficult to incorporate if not installed in the order provided.
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  '''{{Fc|#9eb8ee|Blue}}''': Recommended because they '''''build''''' on the concept of SkyRem. Not required, but more difficult to incorporate if not installed in the order provided.
  '''{{Fc|#78c888|Green (Visual)}}''': Optional as they only contribute to the appearance of your game.
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  '''{{Fc|#78c888|Green}}''': Optional as they only contribute to the appearance of your game.
  '''{{Fc|#c0c840|Yellow (Testing)}}''': Mods currently in my build primarily for testing purposes (not necessarily accepted for the guide yet). Use at your own risk.
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  '''{{Fc|#c0c840|Yellow}}''': Mods currently in my build primarily for testing purposes (not necessarily accepted for the guide yet). Use at your own risk.
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Mod Legend}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Mod Legend}} ===
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* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Tool}} : Tool utilized during the modding process. Not always an actual Mod, but required for proper guide installation.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Tool}} : Tool utilized during the modding process. Not always an actual Mod, but required for proper guide installation.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|New}} : Newly added Mod since previous version.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|New}} : Newly added Mod since previous version.<br />
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Update}} : Mod with an updated version since previous SkyRem version.<br />
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* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Update}} : Mod with an updated version since previous guide version.<br />
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Bsa}} : During installation, select YES to extracting the BSA.<br />
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* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Bsa}} : During installation, select {{ui|YES}} to extracting the BSA.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Cao}} : Run the Cathedral Asset Optimizer (CAO) to properly convert the files for use with SSE.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Cao}} : Run the Cathedral Asset Optimizer (CAO) to properly convert the files for use with SSE.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Esl}} : Plugin (ESP) can safely be tagged as an ESL using SSEEdit.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Esl}} : Plugin (ESP) can safely be tagged as an ESL using SSEEdit.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Merge}} : Plugin will be included in a Merge using zEdit.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Merge}} : Plugin will be included in a Merge using zEdit.<br />
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Port}} : Mod needs to be completely converted from LE to SSE using the CK, and possibly CAO.<br />
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* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Port}} : Plugin needs to be converted from LE to SSE using the CK.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Clean}} : Mod needs to be cleaned using SSEEdit.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Clean}} : Mod needs to be cleaned using SSEEdit.<br />
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Patch}} : Mod is a patch for previously installed mod (either separate files or part of a FOMOD) that need to be installed separately.<br />
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* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Patch}} : Mod is a patch for a previously installed mod (either separate files or part of a FOMOD) that need to be installed separately.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Set}} : Mod containing settings included in the '''''SkyRem Custom Settings''''' file.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Set}} : Mod containing settings included in the '''''SkyRem Custom Settings''''' file.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Core}} : Mod required for the use of the '''''SkyRem Patch''''', which handles consistency and conflict resolution not included elsewhere.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Core}} : Mod required for the use of the '''''SkyRem Patch''''', which handles consistency and conflict resolution not included elsewhere.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Npc}} : Mod required for the use of the '''''SkyRem NPC Patch'''''.<br />
 
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Npc}} : Mod required for the use of the '''''SkyRem NPC Patch'''''.<br />
* {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Mcm}} : Mod required for the use of the '''''SkyRem MCM Settings'''''. This is a "convenience" mod with many preset MCM values.<br />
 
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Installing Mods}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Installing Mods}} ===
  
 
A few notes on installing mods:
 
A few notes on installing mods:
* Download mods via the {{Fc#|White|'''''MOD MANAGER DOWNLOAD'''''}} button on the Nexus, unless otherwise stated.
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* Download mods via the {{Fc#|White|'''''MOD MANAGER DOWNLOAD'''''}} button on the Nexus, unless otherwise noted.
* Unless otherwise stated, select {{Fc#|White|'''''Merge'''''}} when prompted if installing multiple files for a single mod.
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* Select {{Fc#|White|'''''Merge'''''}} when prompted if installing multiple files for a single mod, unless otherwise noted.
 
* When updating a mod, select {{Fc#|White|'''''Replace'''''}}. If updating multiple files from a single mod, use {{Fc#|White|'''''Replace'''''}} for the first file, and {{Fc#|White|'''''Merge'''''}} for subsequent files of the same mod.
 
* When updating a mod, select {{Fc#|White|'''''Replace'''''}}. If updating multiple files from a single mod, use {{Fc#|White|'''''Replace'''''}} for the first file, and {{Fc#|White|'''''Merge'''''}} for subsequent files of the same mod.
 
* Once installed, {{Fc#|White|'''''activate'''''}} each mod, one at a time, as you go, in the order of the guide. This is critical for the desired result, as well as for the patches to work correctly.
 
* Once installed, {{Fc#|White|'''''activate'''''}} each mod, one at a time, as you go, in the order of the guide. This is critical for the desired result, as well as for the patches to work correctly.
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Upon completing each Part, use LOOT to sort your Load Order.
 
Upon completing each Part, use LOOT to sort your Load Order.
 
This includes Merge Parts, however do not LOOT between installing mods that are to be part of a merge and completing the merge itself to ensure zEdit keeps the install order correct. Example:
 
This includes Merge Parts, however do not LOOT between installing mods that are to be part of a merge and completing the merge itself to ensure zEdit keeps the install order correct. Example:
* Complete Priority I
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* Complete installing mods in Priority I
* Use LOOT to sort your Load Order
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* LOOT
* Begin Priority II > Step 2 > Part A (Mechanics > Interface > Interface).
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* Complete installing mods in Priority II > Step 2 > Part A (Interface)
* After installing the final mod of II-2-A ('''''Wider MCM Menu for SkyUI''''' at the time of this writing), LOOT.
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* LOOT
* Begin Priority II > Step 2 > Part B (Mechanics > Interface > Merged Interface).
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* Complete Priority II > Step 2 > Part B (Merged Interface)
* Do not LOOT again until the Merged Interface mod is completed.
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* Use zEdit to create the Merged Interface mod before you LOOT (doing so may result in issues with the load order for zEdit)
 +
* LOOT
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Merging Mods}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Merging Mods}} ===
  
Merging is essential to adhere to the 255 plugin rule. ESLs help with this also, but not all tools are setup to handle ESL files, so keep the total number of plugins under 255 (not just the ESPs + ESMs). To accomplish this, some Parts of the guide include {{Fc|White|Merged}} in the header. Mods to be merged within that Part will include the {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Merge}} tag - this includes most if not all of the mods listed in that Part, but there are few exceptions so be mindful of this. Following Parts that include mods intended to be merged will be a {{Fc|White|Merged *****}} "mod". At most there will be one merge per Step (one merge for Fixes, one for Gameplay, one for Immersion, etc.) Some of these are quite large merges, so expect to spend some time waiting for zEdit.
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Merging is essential to adhere to the 255 plugin rule. ESLs help with this also, but not all tools are setup to handle ESL files, so keep the total number of plugins under 255 (not just the ESPs + ESMs). To accomplish this, some Parts of the guide include {{Fc|White|Merged}} in the header. Mods to be merged within that Part will include the {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Merge}} tag - this includes most if not all of the mods listed in that Part, but there are few exceptions. In general, the last mod in these Merged Parts be a {{Fc|White|Merged *****}} "mod". Some of these are quite large merges, so expect to spend some time waiting for zEdit.
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Guide Versions}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Guide Versions}} ===
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=== {{Fc|#ddd|Testing}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Testing}} ===
  
The worst thing you can do is complete a guide and load up your game only to find a game-breaking issue. Testing is strongly recommended [required].
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The worst outcome: Complete a guide and load up your game only to find a game-breaking issue. Testing is strongly recommended [required].
 
* There are several {{Fc|#e6b69e|Priority Checks}} throughout the guide. A few things to check are included in each of these.
 
* There are several {{Fc|#e6b69e|Priority Checks}} throughout the guide. A few things to check are included in each of these.
 
* In the event something goes wrong (CTDs, ILRs), work backwards starting in the Step you just completed by deactivating a few mods at a time and retesting.
 
* In the event something goes wrong (CTDs, ILRs), work backwards starting in the Step you just completed by deactivating a few mods at a time and retesting.
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=== {{Fc|#ddd|Guide Stats}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Guide Stats}} ===
  
Upon completing the SkyRem Guide (assuming a full install of Core + Extended + Visuals) as of v4.2.1:
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Upon completing a full guide install as of v5.0.0:
* Total Mods (Left Pane of MO2): {{Fc|#78c888|826}}
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* Total Mods (Left Pane of MO2): {{Fc|#78c888|815}}
* Total Plugins (Right Pane of MO2): {{Fc|#78c888|229}}
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* Total Plugins (Right Pane of MO2): {{Fc|#78c888|234}}
 
* Total ESMs + ESPs: {{Fc|#78c888|207}}
 
* Total ESMs + ESPs: {{Fc|#78c888|207}}
* Total ESLs: {{Fc|#78c888|22}}
+
* Total ESLs: {{Fc|#78c888|27}}
* Available Plugin Slots: {{Fc|#78c888|48}}<br />
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* Available Plugin Slots: {{Fc|#78c888|47}}<br />
 
----
 
----
  
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=== {{Fc|#ddd|Difficulty}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Difficulty}} ===
  
SkyRem is not intended to be a "difficulty" setup. However, by the nature of many of the mods used it offers a more challenging experience. Combat needs more strategy. Adventuring requires more planning. NPCs act and react more realistically. Character development is more dynamic. While you can play SkyRem on any difficulty, keep in mind that the vanilla difficulty settings impact (primarily) how much damage you deal and receive, but may have little to no impact on other functions altered by the mods included.
+
SkyRem is not designed to be a "difficulty" setup. However, by the nature of many of the mods used it offers a more challenging experience. Combat needs more strategy. Adventuring requires more planning. NPCs act and react more realistically. Character development is more dynamic. While you can play SkyRem on any difficulty, keep in mind that the vanilla difficulty settings impact (primarily) how much damage you deal and receive, but may have little to no impact on other functions altered by the mods included.
  
 
You will not be able to rush up to a group of 10 bandits and hack and slash your way through. Setting out on a quest ill prepared without food, water, a tent, tools, etc. can lead you to a quick demise or inability to perform some tasks. If you go after collecting every Daedric Artifact, do not expect Vigilants of Stendarr to be cordial. Making choices regarding Attributes, Abilities, and Perks without giving thought to how you want to build your character may result in a character fated for failure.
 
You will not be able to rush up to a group of 10 bandits and hack and slash your way through. Setting out on a quest ill prepared without food, water, a tent, tools, etc. can lead you to a quick demise or inability to perform some tasks. If you go after collecting every Daedric Artifact, do not expect Vigilants of Stendarr to be cordial. Making choices regarding Attributes, Abilities, and Perks without giving thought to how you want to build your character may result in a character fated for failure.
 
Is SkyRem more difficult... by design - no. It is more challenging, regardless of how you set difficulty.
 
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Leveling}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Leveling}} ===
  - Experience to Level has nothing to do with your 18 Skills.
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  - Experience to Level is minimally impacted by increasing the 18 Skills. Level experience is primarily gained by adventuring, completing quests, and defeating opponents.
- Experience to Level is gained by adventuring, completing quests, and killing.
+
- Skill leveling is capped by your character Level. You cannot reach Skill 100 at low levels. If you see a skill is no longer advancing, it may be that you need to level up again.
  - Leveling will not provide a set 10 points to H/M/S. These will grow naturally based on how you play and your attributes.
+
  - Leveling will not provide a set 10 points to H/M/S. You will receive a minimum of 1 point in the stat you select. The rest of the gain (if any) is based on your attributes and how you play.
 +
- The previous applies to carry weight as well. Your CW increase at level up is 100% dependent on your attributes.
 +
- As with Vanilla, you will gain 1 perk each level, but at every 15 levels you will gain an additional perk (2 perks at levels 15, 30, 45, etc)
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Equipment}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Equipment}} ===
  - Deleveled: Any non-unique item can be found anywhere at anytime - Loot is based on Rarity and Abundancy.
+
  - Deleveled: Any non-unique item can be found anywhere at anytime - Loot is based on Rarity and Abundance.
  - Bosses and Locks: You will still receive better stuff based on Boss and Lock difficulty, or at least have a much better chance of doing so.
+
  - You have a higher chance of receiving better stuff based on the difficulty of the challenge, such as a Boss vs a non-boss enemy.
 
  - The ability to use a Weapon properly is governed by its Skill (One Handed, Two Handed, Archery).
 
  - The ability to use a Weapon properly is governed by its Skill (One Handed, Two Handed, Archery).
 
  - The ability to use Armor properly is governed by its Skill (Block, Heavy Armor, Light Armor).
 
  - The ability to use Armor properly is governed by its Skill (Block, Heavy Armor, Light Armor).
  - If unskilled, Weapons can be dropped, cause you to stagger on impact, and/or be ineffective at blocking.
+
  - If unskilled, Weapons will deal less damage and can be dropped, cause you to stagger on impact, and be ineffective at blocking. Armor may not provide as much protection.
- If unskilled, Armor may not provide as much protection.
+
 
  - Both Weapons and Armor can break (be prepared). Tempering improves the item as normal, but also increases its longevity.
 
  - Both Weapons and Armor can break (be prepared). Tempering improves the item as normal, but also increases its longevity.
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Factions}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Factions}} ===
  - You must spend time in a faction to advance within that faction.
+
  - You must spend time in a faction to advance within their ranks.
 
  - You will no longer become Harbinger/Archmage/Guild Master after 3 days. You must work for it (do more side quests for instance).
 
  - You will no longer become Harbinger/Archmage/Guild Master after 3 days. You must work for it (do more side quests for instance).
  - You must be skilled appropriately to advance within factions.
+
  - You must be skilled appropriately to advance within factions (Stealth Skills for the Thieves Guild, Combat Skills for the Companions).
- Advance your combat skills to advance with the Companions, advance your stealth skills to advance in the Thieves Guild, and so on.
+
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Combat}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Combat}} ===
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  - Crafting (and other activities) require the proper tools. This includes chopping wood, mining ore, forging, tempering, even cooking.
 
  - Crafting (and other activities) require the proper tools. This includes chopping wood, mining ore, forging, tempering, even cooking.
 
  - If you are unable to perform a task due to lack of a tool, you can either find one or buy one from an appropriate NPC.
 
  - If you are unable to perform a task due to lack of a tool, you can either find one or buy one from an appropriate NPC.
  - You cannot spam potions, so choose wisely. You need time to recover from potion use before another potion will be effective.
+
  - You cannot spam potions, so use them wisely. You need time to recover from potion use before another potion will be effective.
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Character Development}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Character Development}} ===
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  - Use the '''''Reflect''''' power to choose your background and provide an immediate boost to a single skill.
 
  - Use the '''''Reflect''''' power to choose your background and provide an immediate boost to a single skill.
 
  - If a devout follower, use the Pray power daily to increase favor with your diety.
 
  - If a devout follower, use the Pray power daily to increase favor with your diety.
  - You are limited - you cannot learn every class and combination. Again - choose wisely.
+
  - You are limited - you cannot learn every class and combination. Choose wisely.
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Survival}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Survival}} ===
  - You must sleep, eat, drink, and bath to be fully effective.
+
  - You must sleep, eat, and drink to be fully effective, and avoid dying from exhaustion, hunger, or thirst.
 
  - Consider your quest before starting - will you need a tent, food, water, tools?
 
  - Consider your quest before starting - will you need a tent, food, water, tools?
  - Craft a tent, buy some tools, stock up on water at the well, and cook some food before leaving.
+
  - Craft a tent, buy some tools, stock up on water at the well, and cook some food before setting out.
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Your Adventure Begins}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Your Adventure Begins}} ===
Line 253: Line 255:
 
  - Everything good? Load the save and set up the MCMs (this takes a little while) and save again. This can serve as your starting point going forward.
 
  - Everything good? Load the save and set up the MCMs (this takes a little while) and save again. This can serve as your starting point going forward.
 
  - Develop your character before running out to tackle the Main Quest. You will find jumping right in to be somewhat difficult.
 
  - Develop your character before running out to tackle the Main Quest. You will find jumping right in to be somewhat difficult.
  - Do some small jobs to gain septims for supplies (food, water, tent, tools).
+
  - Do some small jobs to gain septims for supplies (food, water, tent, tools) and find some trainers and/or practice on some dummies to hone some basic skills.
- Find some trainers and/or practice on some dummies to hone some basic skills.
+
 
  - Explore and mingle with the locals, helping out where you can. Completing some simple quests and discovering locations will help raise your level early on.
 
  - Explore and mingle with the locals, helping out where you can. Completing some simple quests and discovering locations will help raise your level early on.
 
----
 
----
Line 263: Line 264:
  
 
Mods tagged with {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Clean}} need to be ran through SSEEdit's Auto Quick Clean function.
 
Mods tagged with {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Clean}} need to be ran through SSEEdit's Auto Quick Clean function.
   - Open MO2.
+
   - In MO2, launch {{Fc|White|SSEEdit QuickAutoClean}} in the executables drop-down box.
  - Select {{Fc|White|SSEEdit QuickAutoClean}} in the executables drop-down box and click {{ui|Run}}.
+
 
   - In the mod list that opens, check the mod that you want to clean and click {{ui|OK}}.
 
   - In the mod list that opens, check the mod that you want to clean and click {{ui|OK}}.
 
   - SSEEdit will run for a few moments. Once you see the the completed message, {{Fc|White|Close}} SSEEdit.
 
   - SSEEdit will run for a few moments. Once you see the the completed message, {{Fc|White|Close}} SSEEdit.
Line 275: Line 275:
  
 
To sort your Load Order:
 
To sort your Load Order:
   - Open MO2.
+
   - In MO2, launch {{Fc|White|LOOT}} in the executables drop-down box.
  - Select {{Fc|White|LOOT}} in the executables drop-down box and click {{ui|Run}}.
+
 
   - In the window that opens, click the {{Fc|#e6b69e|Sort Plugins}} button in the upper right (three lines).
 
   - In the window that opens, click the {{Fc|#e6b69e|Sort Plugins}} button in the upper right (three lines).
 
   - If LOOT determines any mods need to be rearranged, {{ui|Apply}} will appear in the tool bar where the Sort Plugins button was.
 
   - If LOOT determines any mods need to be rearranged, {{ui|Apply}} will appear in the tool bar where the Sort Plugins button was.
Line 316: Line 315:
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Port Mod [from LE]}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Port Mod [from LE]}} ===
  
Mods that are flagged {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Port}} need to be completely converted to SSE. This is a two step process.<br />
+
Mods that are flagged {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Port}} need to have the plugin converted for SE.
  
 
  Fix the Form Number (from 43 to 44):
 
  Fix the Form Number (from 43 to 44):
   - In MO2, use the executables drop-down to run the {{ui|Creation Kit}}.
+
   - In MO2, launch {{Fc|White|Creation Kit}} in the executables drop-down box.
 
   - Once open, select {{ui|File}} and {{ui|Data}} in the tool bar.
 
   - Once open, select {{ui|File}} and {{ui|Data}} in the tool bar.
 
   - In the window that comes up, double click the mod you are converting, and click {{ui|Set as Active}} and {{ui|OK}}.
 
   - In the window that comes up, double click the mod you are converting, and click {{ui|Set as Active}} and {{ui|OK}}.
Line 326: Line 325:
 
   - Make sure you see {{Fc|White|Saving... Done!}} in the bottom bar. If you do not, the plugin did not save in Form 44.
 
   - Make sure you see {{Fc|White|Saving... Done!}} in the bottom bar. If you do not, the plugin did not save in Form 44.
 
   - Exit CK.
 
   - Exit CK.
 
Optimize Assets:
 
  - Use the procedure above for optimizing NIFs.
 
  - If the mod has a BSA, check the {{ui|BSA}} option with {{ui|Extract old BSA}} and {{ui|Create BSA}} checked.
 
  - Exit optimizer when complete.
 
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Merge Mods}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Merge Mods}} ===
Line 337: Line 331:
  
 
  In MO2:
 
  In MO2:
   - Run {{ui|zEdit}} from the executables drop-down.
+
   - In MO2, launch {{Fc|White|zEdit}} in the executables drop-down box.
 
   - On the opening screen, select {{ui|zMerge}} in the first drop-down and click {{ui|Start Session}}.
 
   - On the opening screen, select {{ui|zMerge}} in the first drop-down and click {{ui|Start Session}}.
 
   - Click the {{ui|Create Merge}} button.
 
   - Click the {{ui|Create Merge}} button.
Line 353: Line 347:
 
Mods flagged with {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Esl}} can be flagged as an ESL, thereby keeping it from counting towards your plugin limit of 255.
 
Mods flagged with {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Esl}} can be flagged as an ESL, thereby keeping it from counting towards your plugin limit of 255.
 
It is safe (and faster) to wait until the end and flag all plugins at one time. This does not have to be done as you install them (just do not forget to do so).
 
It is safe (and faster) to wait until the end and flag all plugins at one time. This does not have to be done as you install them (just do not forget to do so).
  - In MO2, open SSEEdit.
+
  - In MO2, launch {{Fc|White|SSEEdit}} in the executables drop-down box.
 
  - Select the plugin in the left pane.
 
  - Select the plugin in the left pane.
 
  - Right click the field next to {{ui|Record Flags}} in the right pane (do not click on Record Flags, but the field to the right of it).
 
  - Right click the field next to {{ui|Record Flags}} in the right pane (do not click on Record Flags, but the field to the right of it).
Line 362: Line 356:
  
 
While not technically something that is required for the guide, this is a good tool to use if you are nearing the plugin limit and want to find plugins that can be flagged as ESL to reduce the count. Handy if you are adding to the guide (or doing an extensive amount of the Core + Extended).
 
While not technically something that is required for the guide, this is a good tool to use if you are nearing the plugin limit and want to find plugins that can be flagged as ESL to reduce the count. Handy if you are adding to the guide (or doing an extensive amount of the Core + Extended).
  - Ensure all your plugins are activated in the Right Pane of MO2.
+
  - In MO2, ensure all your plugins are activated in the Right Pane and launch {{Fc|White|SSEEdit}} in the executables drop-down box.
- Launch SSEEdit from MO2.
+
  - In the pop-up, hold {{ui|Shift}} and click {{ui|OK}}.
  - In the pop-up, hold {{ui|Shift}} and click {{Fc|OK}}.
+
 
  - Once loaded, right click anywhere in the left pane and select {{ui|Apply Script}}.
 
  - Once loaded, right click anywhere in the left pane and select {{ui|Apply Script}}.
 
  - In the pop-up, find {{ui|Find ESP plugins which could be turned into ESL}} in the {{Fc|#e6b69e|Script}} drop-down box and click {{ui|OK}}.
 
  - In the pop-up, find {{ui|Find ESP plugins which could be turned into ESL}} in the {{Fc|#e6b69e|Script}} drop-down box and click {{ui|OK}}.
Line 370: Line 363:
 
  - Use the {{Fc|#e6b69e|How To >> Flag Plugin as ESL}} to flag all plugins with this message.
 
  - Use the {{Fc|#e6b69e|How To >> Flag Plugin as ESL}} to flag all plugins with this message.
 
  - Exit SSEEdit.
 
  - Exit SSEEdit.
 +
 +
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Add Plugin As A Master}} ===
 +
 +
As of this writing (v5 of the guide), there is one instance in which you need to add a plugin as a master for another mod - RDO-CRF+USSEP Patch needs to have Relationship Dialogue Overhaul.esp as a master in order for LOOT to sort the patch correctly.
 +
- In MO2, with both mods (plugin that needs a master added and the mod to be the master) selected, launch {{Fc|White|SSEEdit}} in the executables drop-down box and click {{ui|Run}}.
 +
- In the pop-up, hold {{ui|Shift}} and click {{ui|OK}}.
 +
- In the left pane, select the mod that needs a master added. {{ui|Right-Click}} the mod and select {{ui|Add Masters}}.
 +
- Tick the mod that needs to be added as a master, and click {{ui|OK}}.
 +
- Exit SSEEdit, allowing the mod to be saved.
 +
 +
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Change / Update A Master}} ===
 +
 +
On rare occasions, you may need to change a Master from one plugin to another. While not currently necessary as of v5, it has been needed in the past when the name of a plugin is changed and a patch requiring that plugin has not been updated to reflect the new name. This is currently the only process for which Wrye Bash is a necessary tool.
 +
- In MO2, launch {{Fc|White|Wrye Bash}} in the executables drop-down box and click {{ui|Run}}.
 +
- In the left pane, select the mod for which a master needs to be changed/updated.
 +
- In the right pane, under the {{Fc|White|Masters:}} section, find the master plugin that needs to be changed/updated, {{ui|Right-Click}} and select {{ui|Change to...}}.
 +
- In the pop-up, navigate to the plugin and {{ui|Double-Click}} the new plugin.
 +
- Close {{Fc|White|Wrye Bash}}.
 +
 
----
 
----
  
Line 376: Line 388:
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Game Won't Start}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Game Won't Start}} ===
 
If you are experiencing an issue with MO2 locking, loading the VFS, and instantly unlocking without a game start, you most likely have a Missing Master. Check the right pane for any errors (! in a red and white triangle). Roll your mouse over any mod(s) with this symbol and check if any plugins are listed under the '''''Missing Masters''''' section of the pop-up.
 
If you are experiencing an issue with MO2 locking, loading the VFS, and instantly unlocking without a game start, you most likely have a Missing Master. Check the right pane for any errors (! in a red and white triangle). Roll your mouse over any mod(s) with this symbol and check if any plugins are listed under the '''''Missing Masters''''' section of the pop-up.
 +
 +
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Splash Screen Loads, But No Menu}} ===
 +
Some problems may manifest as an infinite menu - the game appears to launch, you see the splash screen, but the menu never shows up.
 +
The most common reason this has occurred with the guide is an issue with merges - most prominently with the provided NPC Patch and/or SkyRem Patch. These patches require certain mods to "win" over others in the merges (Merged Creatures, Merged Equipment, Merged Patches, etc).
 +
You must first identify the offending merge by using SSEEdit to {{Fc|White|Check for Errors}} on the NPC/SkyRem Patch. If errors appear, locate the merge causing the issue by using the first two characters of the FormID. Once identified, use zEdit to rebuild this merge, making sure the necessary plugins are present and in the correct order (use the Merged ... sections as a reference). You may also want to revisit {{Fc|White|Priority I}} to ensure zEdit is setup correctly, and the {{Fc|White|Merge Mods}} section of this {{Fc|White|How To}} to check your zEdit options (such as the {{Fc|White|Use game load order}} option being set in each merge).
 +
While some of these issues may result in a stable game, just with inconsistencies based on the intended result, some can cause the game to not load properly if the patch is looking for a record that has an error due to the wrong mod in the merge winning over the one intended based on load order.
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Crashing (CTDs)}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Crashing (CTDs)}} ===
Line 382: Line 400:
 
* Extended UI
 
* Extended UI
 
* Enhanced Skyrim Factions - The Companions Guild
 
* Enhanced Skyrim Factions - The Companions Guild
* Skyrim Realistic Overhaul
 
 
* Thieves Guild Requirements
 
* Thieves Guild Requirements
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Face Bugs}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|Face Bugs}} ===
In short, Face Bugs occur when one mod change the appearance of a NPC, then another mod changes another aspect of the same NPC and ends up overwriting the appearance changes. This is a very over-simplified explanation, but the intent here is to help determine a solution if you run in to this problem.
+
In short, Face Bugs occur when one mod changes the appearance of a NPC, then another mod changes another aspect of the same NPC and ends up overwriting the appearance changes. This is a very over-simplified explanation, but the intent here is to help determine a solution if you run in to this problem.
Following the instructions in NPC Appearance part of the guide is crucial: Load Order, BSA Extraction, Plugin Hiding, and the NPC Patch which is installed near the end. If you notice a face-bug, try reinstalling the last appearance mod to touch the NPC (as instructed). Be sure to extract the BSAs where indicated by the {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Bsa}} tag as well. These two steps will fix the majority of face-bugs. Check your Load Order to ensure the mods are in the correct order (left pane) and the plugins are hidden where indicated by a '''''note'''''.
+
Following the instructions in the NPC Appearance part of the guide is crucial: Load Order, BSA Extraction, Plugin Hiding, and the NPC Patch which is installed near the end. If you notice a face-bug, try reinstalling the last appearance mod to touch the NPC (a file is in the Discord file-repository channel that provides info on which mods change which NPCs). Be sure to extract the BSAs where indicated by the {{User:DrPharmDawg/Tag|Bsa}} tag as well. These two steps will fix the majority of face-bugs. Check your Load Order to ensure the mods are in the correct order (left pane) and the plugins are hidden where indicated by a '''''note'''''.
If you are only experiencing face-bugs on children, try extracting the '''''The Kids Are Alright''''' main BSA.
+
If you are only experiencing face-bugs on children, make sure you extracted '''''The Kids Are Alright''''' main BSA.
  
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|LOOT - So many problems}} ===
 
=== {{Fc|#ddd|LOOT - So many problems}} ===
Follow the guide - the messages, errors, warnings, and anything else LOOT throws your way will be handled as we go. In some cases, these will not go away as many of the alerts are handled via patches that are within merges (and therefore not detected by LOOT). LOOT is great at helping at get your load order right. This is its main function and the primary reason we use it. Anything else you see in LOOT is added based on mod author/user feedback. While they are great at pointing you in the right direction for cleaning, incompatibilities, etc... all of this has been handled within the guide even if not explicitly stated.
+
Follow the guide - the messages, errors, warnings, and anything else LOOT throws your way will be handled as we go. In some cases, these will not go away as many of the alerts are handled via patches that are within merges (and therefore not detected by LOOT). LOOT is a fantastic tool to help get your load order right - this is its main function and the primary reason we use it in the guide. Anything else you see in LOOT is added based on mod author/user feedback. While great at pointing you in the right direction for cleaning, incompatibilities, etc... all of this has been handled within the guide even if not explicitly stated.
  
 
<br />
 
<br />

Revision as of 12:03, August 5, 2020

Skyrim Roleplay Enhancement Mod Guide for Special Edition
(SkyRem Guide)
Changelog   |   Release Date: September 20, 2019
Current Version: 5.0.0
Created and maintained by DrPharmDawg
Last Update: 8:02:10 27 September 2020 (GMT)

Contents


SkyRem Guide Pages

Home Page <-----
Priority I: Stability
Priority II: Mechanics
Priority III: Content
Priority IV: Aesthetics
Final Steps

SkyRem Guide Support

Discord: Discord Channel for all things SkyRem (Guide and Mods).
Patreon: Support SkyRem development via Patreon.
PayPal: Support with a one-time donation via PayPal.
Trello: See guide development progress on Trello.

Home Page


INTRODUCTION

What is SkyRem? Yes - SkyRem is an acronym (if you have delved into any of my mods, this is probably very apparent) for Skyrim Roleplay Enhancement Modding.
Alone, Skyrim is a great game. With the involvement of the modding community, it has become a phenomenal game. This guide, along with the few mods I have authored, is my attempt to give back to that community (or at least contribute in some way).

SkyRem Concept: Add to the Skyrim experience by incorporating elements of strategic roleplay through a focus on character creation, growth, development, and survival that works seamlessly with the base (vanilla) game. While this began with the desire to tweak character creation, it has since grown into two (currently) series of mods and now a guide as I work to put it all together.

There are great guides available already, with different focuses, different objectives, and varying degrees of difficulty (both difficulty of game and difficulty of guide). After countless hours of using other guides, adding, subtracting, altering, combing through category by category every mod on the Nexus, and reading and researching... this guide is my "finished product" based on the concept above, with the following priorities in mind:

(1) Stability
(2) Mechanics
(3) Content
(4) Aesthetics

This is not a difficulty or beautification mod guide by design. One could argue that difficulty is incorporated simply by the nature of the roleplay focus and modifications, but the intent of the guide goes far beyond just making Skyrim more difficult. As for beautification - there are plenty of mods specifically for this included in the guide, but is not the primary focus. I have also incorporated these into the guide in a way that will make it easy for you to add / subtract / substitute... whatever you prefer (or whatever your system allows).

SkyRem will remain under continual development, and may be better suited to those with some degree of modding experience (beginners beware). Having said that, as SkyRem continues to grow based on suggestions/questions/requests, more detailed info will be included. While not intended to "hold your hand", the goal is to ultimately allow any level of modder to be able to complete the guide successfully.

A few words of caution:

- Read this Home Page thoroughly to decide if this is the setup for you before beginning.
- Complete the guide as-is first and ensure everything is working before making personal changes (adding, subtracting, or just general deviation from the guide).
- The vast majority of issues is due to skipping a step, missing a tag, not following each note precisely, etc. The guide contains a lot of information and it is easy to miss something.

While updates will be made as frequently as necessary to fix issues and/or provide needed clarification, there will be times of guide inactivity. The intent is to create a modded Skyrim, and play. It is easy to get caught in a perpetual cycle of updating, adding, and removing mods. The same goes for maintaining a guide. Do not forget to enjoy the game!

SYSTEM INFO

DrPharmDawg's Rig Spec
Motherboard ASUS® G751JY
CPU Intel® Core i7 4710HQ @2.50GHz
GPU Nvidia® GeForce GTX 980M 4GB GDDR5
System RAM 24 GBs
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit
Monitor Resolution 1920x1080

GUIDE INFO

The guide is organized by Priorities (see above), Sections, and Parts:

  • Home Page: Introduction, guide info, and some basic "how to's" and troubleshooting.
  • Priority I: Stability - Making a fresh install, setting up tools and INIs, cleaning masters, installing SKSE plugins, and getting your base game ready.
  • Priority II: Mechanics - Interface changes, fixes and tweaks, audio mods, gameplay enhancements, environment overhauls, and large retexture mods.
  • Priority III: Content - Quest additions, location overhauls, immersion mods, character mods, creature mods, and equipment mods.
  • Priority IV: Aesthetics - Visual mods not covered in previous Priorities. Completely optional mods that can be added/removed based on preference (and your rig's abilities).
  • Final Steps: Patching and in-game setup, such as recommended MCM settings and tips on how to start your SkyRem adventure.

This guide provides:

  • A stable and Performance Friendly setup.
  • Installation directions and instructions for using various modding tools and techniques.
  • Patches to make mods included work together (via Nexus).
  • Support via Discord and regular updates.

This guide does not:

  • Include ENB or Reshade: I do not use them nor do I care for them. The trade-off for performance is (IMO) not worth it.
  • Include Dead Mods: Mods that need updating or mods with excessive (or unanswered) bug reports/comments without simple solutions.
  • Include CBBE: What little I do in this regard is UNP.
  • Include 4k+: Whenever possible, I use 1k and 2k at the most.
  • Include Player Homes (I feel the vanilla options and those provided by Quest mods are sufficient).

Guide Organization

As stated above, the guide is organized as follows: Priorities >> Steps >> Parts

These three levels are used to organize the guide into increasingly smaller and more specific groups of information and mods. In addition to this three tier approach, mods are further distinguished (by outline color) as follows:

Red: Required as they are key to the concept of SkyRem, or needed by the provided patches as a Master.
Blue: Recommended because they build on the concept of SkyRem. Not required, but more difficult to incorporate if not installed in the order provided.
Green: Optional as they only contribute to the appearance of your game.
Yellow: Mods currently in my build primarily for testing purposes (not necessarily accepted for the guide yet). Use at your own risk.

Mod Legend

Each mod utilizes this template:

Mod Name & Link

  • Author of Mod
  • Version used by SkyRem Guide
  • Tags (See below)

FILES: File(s) to Download and Install

Note: Any additional installation instructions or steps to take following installation.
Info-Logo.png Notice: Unless otherwise indicated within a Note line, always select [Merge] when prompted if installing multiple files for a single mod.

Mod Tags

Read through each mod's "card" prior to starting installation of that mod to prevent having to back track. Dark Tags with Light lettering indicate new or updated mods and download and/or installation needs.
Light Tags with Dark lettering indicate post-installation needs.

  • TOOL
     : Tool utilized during the modding process. Not always an actual Mod, but required for proper guide installation.
  • NEW
     : Newly added Mod since previous version.
  • UPDATE
     : Mod with an updated version since previous guide version.
  • BSA
     : During installation, select [YES] to extracting the BSA.
  • CAO
     : Run the Cathedral Asset Optimizer (CAO) to properly convert the files for use with SSE.
  • ESL
     : Plugin (ESP) can safely be tagged as an ESL using SSEEdit.
  • MERGE
     : Plugin will be included in a Merge using zEdit.
  • PORT
     : Plugin needs to be converted from LE to SSE using the CK.
  • CLEAN
     : Mod needs to be cleaned using SSEEdit.
  • PATCH
     : Mod is a patch for a previously installed mod (either separate files or part of a FOMOD) that need to be installed separately.
  • CUSTOM
     : Mod containing settings included in the SkyRem Custom Settings file.
  • CORE
     : Mod required for the use of the SkyRem Patch, which handles consistency and conflict resolution not included elsewhere.
  • NPC
     : Mod required for the use of the SkyRem NPC Patch.

Installing Mods

A few notes on installing mods:

  • Download mods via the MOD MANAGER DOWNLOAD button on the Nexus, unless otherwise noted.
  • Select Merge when prompted if installing multiple files for a single mod, unless otherwise noted.
  • When updating a mod, select Replace. If updating multiple files from a single mod, use Replace for the first file, and Merge for subsequent files of the same mod.
  • Once installed, activate each mod, one at a time, as you go, in the order of the guide. This is critical for the desired result, as well as for the patches to work correctly.
  • Do not activate multiple mods at one time (select multiple mods, right-click, activate). MO2 offers the option, but does not always order correctly.

Upon completing each Part, use LOOT to sort your Load Order. This includes Merge Parts, however do not LOOT between installing mods that are to be part of a merge and completing the merge itself to ensure zEdit keeps the install order correct. Example:

  • Complete installing mods in Priority I
  • LOOT
  • Complete installing mods in Priority II > Step 2 > Part A (Interface)
  • LOOT
  • Complete Priority II > Step 2 > Part B (Merged Interface)
  • Use zEdit to create the Merged Interface mod before you LOOT (doing so may result in issues with the load order for zEdit)
  • LOOT

Merging Mods

Merging is essential to adhere to the 255 plugin rule. ESLs help with this also, but not all tools are setup to handle ESL files, so keep the total number of plugins under 255 (not just the ESPs + ESMs). To accomplish this, some Parts of the guide include Merged in the header. Mods to be merged within that Part will include the
MERGE
tag - this includes most if not all of the mods listed in that Part, but there are few exceptions. In general, the last mod in these Merged Parts be a Merged ***** "mod". Some of these are quite large merges, so expect to spend some time waiting for zEdit.

Guide Versions

  • The format for the Guide version is X.Y.Z.
  • Z indicates minor changes such as: installation note fixes, mod moved to different section or reordered, non-intrusive and minor mod version updates.
  • Y indicates moderate changes such as: updates requiring merge/patch rebuilding, mods added or removed, major mod version updates.
  • X indicates major changes such as: larger overhauls of the guide, mod changes that require a new game.

Testing

The worst outcome: Complete a guide and load up your game only to find a game-breaking issue. Testing is strongly recommended [required].

  • There are several Priority Checks throughout the guide. A few things to check are included in each of these.
  • In the event something goes wrong (CTDs, ILRs), work backwards starting in the Step you just completed by deactivating a few mods at a time and retesting.
  • If you find a mod having issues, double check the mod's card for proper installation. Sometimes, a simple reinstall is all that is needed.
  • Expect some "issues" along the way with the priority checks. For example, once you complete the character section, you will have face-bugs until you install the NPC Patch from the Final Steps.

Guide Stats

Upon completing a full guide install as of v5.0.0:

  • Total Mods (Left Pane of MO2): 815
  • Total Plugins (Right Pane of MO2): 234
  • Total ESMs + ESPs: 207
  • Total ESLs: 27
  • Available Plugin Slots: 47

STARTER GUIDE [WIP]

This section aims to explain some of the major changes made by this guide. Before using the guide, read through to make sure this is how you want your Skyrim to behave. This guide is not for everybody - it is geared toward those looking for a more realistic and immersive roleplay experience. After completing the guide, refer to this for unexpected behaviors to check whether they are intended by the guide.

Difficulty

SkyRem is not designed to be a "difficulty" setup. However, by the nature of many of the mods used it offers a more challenging experience. Combat needs more strategy. Adventuring requires more planning. NPCs act and react more realistically. Character development is more dynamic. While you can play SkyRem on any difficulty, keep in mind that the vanilla difficulty settings impact (primarily) how much damage you deal and receive, but may have little to no impact on other functions altered by the mods included.

You will not be able to rush up to a group of 10 bandits and hack and slash your way through. Setting out on a quest ill prepared without food, water, a tent, tools, etc. can lead you to a quick demise or inability to perform some tasks. If you go after collecting every Daedric Artifact, do not expect Vigilants of Stendarr to be cordial. Making choices regarding Attributes, Abilities, and Perks without giving thought to how you want to build your character may result in a character fated for failure.

Leveling

- Experience to Level is minimally impacted by increasing the 18 Skills. Level experience is primarily gained by adventuring, completing quests, and defeating opponents.
- Skill leveling is capped by your character Level. You cannot reach Skill 100 at low levels. If you see a skill is no longer advancing, it may be that you need to level up again.
- Leveling will not provide a set 10 points to H/M/S. You will receive a minimum of 1 point in the stat you select. The rest of the gain (if any) is based on your attributes and how you play.
- The previous applies to carry weight as well. Your CW increase at level up is 100% dependent on your attributes.
- As with Vanilla, you will gain 1 perk each level, but at every 15 levels you will gain an additional perk (2 perks at levels 15, 30, 45, etc)

Equipment

- Deleveled: Any non-unique item can be found anywhere at anytime - Loot is based on Rarity and Abundance.
- You have a higher chance of receiving better stuff based on the difficulty of the challenge, such as a Boss vs a non-boss enemy.
- The ability to use a Weapon properly is governed by its Skill (One Handed, Two Handed, Archery).
- The ability to use Armor properly is governed by its Skill (Block, Heavy Armor, Light Armor).
- If unskilled, Weapons will deal less damage and can be dropped, cause you to stagger on impact, and be ineffective at blocking. Armor may not provide as much protection.
- Both Weapons and Armor can break (be prepared). Tempering improves the item as normal, but also increases its longevity.

Factions

- You must spend time in a faction to advance within their ranks.
- You will no longer become Harbinger/Archmage/Guild Master after 3 days. You must work for it (do more side quests for instance).
- You must be skilled appropriately to advance within factions (Stealth Skills for the Thieves Guild, Combat Skills for the Companions).

Combat

- Combat is more realistic in how damage is dealt and how NPCs behave.
- Different enemies have natural resistances to different attacks, both physical and magical. If something is not working, try something else.
- Animals behave more realistically. Many can simply be avoided and will not become aggressive unless provoked.
- Bosses are tougher. Sometimes much tougher.
- Encounter Zones - there may be a twist so do not expect being 10 levels higher than the minimum will result in a quick run through, even if it was last time...

Crafting

- Crafting (and other activities) require the proper tools. This includes chopping wood, mining ore, forging, tempering, even cooking.
- If you are unable to perform a task due to lack of a tool, you can either find one or buy one from an appropriate NPC.
- You cannot spam potions, so use them wisely. You need time to recover from potion use before another potion will be effective.

Character Development

- Characters can develop and be enhanced in many ways and in many combinations.
- Things to consider for developing your character: Standing Stones, Diety, Attributes, Shouts, Perks, Class, Race (including Werewolf, Vampire, or Lich).
- Once you accept your Attributes, they are set. Attributes will grow and improve based on the skills you develop, but this takes time.
- Use the Reflect power to choose your background and provide an immediate boost to a single skill.
- If a devout follower, use the Pray power daily to increase favor with your diety.
- You are limited - you cannot learn every class and combination. Choose wisely.

Survival

- You must sleep, eat, and drink to be fully effective, and avoid dying from exhaustion, hunger, or thirst.
- Consider your quest before starting - will you need a tent, food, water, tools?
- Craft a tent, buy some tools, stock up on water at the well, and cook some food before setting out.

Your Adventure Begins

- If you are familiar with Alternate Start - Live Another Life, you know the beginning. Start a new game in the LAL Cell, and WAIT. It takes a few minutes for all mods to initialize.
- Once the messages are done scrolling, Save. Before you begin setting up MCMs (Final Steps), choose a start and sleep to leave the cell and make sure everything loads correctly.
- Everything good? Load the save and set up the MCMs (this takes a little while) and save again. This can serve as your starting point going forward.
- Develop your character before running out to tackle the Main Quest. You will find jumping right in to be somewhat difficult.
- Do some small jobs to gain septims for supplies (food, water, tent, tools) and find some trainers and/or practice on some dummies to hone some basic skills.
- Explore and mingle with the locals, helping out where you can. Completing some simple quests and discovering locations will help raise your level early on.

HOW TO

Clean Mod

Mods tagged with
CLEAN
need to be ran through SSEEdit's Auto Quick Clean function.
  - In MO2, launch SSEEdit QuickAutoClean in the executables drop-down box.
  - In the mod list that opens, check the mod that you want to clean and click [OK].
  - SSEEdit will run for a few moments. Once you see the the completed message, Close SSEEdit.
  - In the final pop-up, make sure the mod you cleaned is selected so it will save.

Sort Load Order

It is recommended to sort your load order and test your setup following each step. LOOT will do the majority of your sorting automatically, and any manual adjustments needed will be noted in the final steps prior to the final sorting. Note that LOOT will identify plugins that need to be cleaned and keep a tally by the Dirty Plugins header near the top. If this number is anything other than 0, scroll through your mods in the right pane and find which mod requires cleaning and take the necessary steps. Also research any Errors noted. The Warnings can be ignored as they pertain to compatibility which is largely addressed with Merges throughout the guide, and because they are merged, LOOT will not find them.

To sort your Load Order:

  - In MO2, launch LOOT in the executables drop-down box.
  - In the window that opens, click the Sort Plugins button in the upper right (three lines).
  - If LOOT determines any mods need to be rearranged, [Apply] will appear in the tool bar where the Sort Plugins button was.
  - Click [Apply].
  - Exit LOOT.

Extract BSA

Mods tagged with
BSA
contain at least one BSA (Bethesda Archive files). A BSA contains various assets that need to be extracted from the archive.

There are several options to extract a BSA file.

Allow MO2 to extract BSAs during install:
  - Open the Configure settings and workarounds (wrench and driver icon) and go to the [Plugins] tab.
  - In the upper-left window, click [BSA Extractor].
  - In the window directly to the right, update [enabled] to [true].
With this set to true, any mod you install that contains a BSA will prompt you whether to extract it or not. If a mod is tagged
BSA
, select [Yes]. If not, select [No]. The downside to this method is you have to remember to turn this on and off, or you have to answer the prompt every time a mod is installed containing a BSA, the majority of which you do not need to extract. I prefer to keep it enabled and sacrifice the time of one additional click.
Extract BSA within MO2:
  - Click the [Archives] tab in the right pane.
  - Locate the BSA you want to extract. Right-click it and select [Extract].
  - Navigate to the location you want to extract the BSA (extract to the mods folder).
  - Delete the BSA.
This option is good as you do not have to remember to turn a setting on/off or constantly be asked, but the navigating to the mods folder can be even slower, and you must delete/hide the BSA afterwards.
Utilize external BSA extractor. I will not be covering these, but there are a couple out there. Their respective pages provide all the information you need to install and utilize the tool.

Optimize Meshes

One of the most common causes of CTDs - Meshes. This step needs to be done with any mod flagged
CAO
. Generally this is due to NIF files (mesh files) that need to be optimized to be used with SSE (particularly, but not exclusively, LE mods containing NIFs).
Optimize NIF Files:
  - Navigate to your Tools/Asset Optimizer folder.
  - Run [Cathedral_Assets_Optimizer.EXE].
  - Click [Open Directory], navigate to the mods folder, and click [Select Folder].
  - Unless otherwise explicitly stated, you only want the [Necessary optimization] option checked under both [Meshes] and [Textures].
  - Click [Run].
  - When complete, simply close the window.

Port Mod [from LE]

Mods that are flagged
PORT
need to have the plugin converted for SE.
Fix the Form Number (from 43 to 44):
  - In MO2, launch Creation Kit in the executables drop-down box.
  - Once open, select [File] and [Data] in the tool bar.
  - In the window that comes up, double click the mod you are converting, and click [Set as Active] and [OK].
  - This may take a few moments to load. Ignore any errors that show in the additional window.
  - After the mod is loaded, re-save the file by going to ([File] and [Save].
  - Make sure you see Saving... Done! in the bottom bar. If you do not, the plugin did not save in Form 44.
  - Exit CK.

Merge Mods

Mods tagged
MERGE
will contain at least one plugin that will ultimately be merged with zMerge to condense your plugin count. Several steps will contain a merge card instructing you to merge all of the tagged files in that Step / Part.
In MO2:
  - In MO2, launch zEdit in the executables drop-down box.
  - On the opening screen, select [zMerge] in the first drop-down and click [Start Session].
  - Click the [Create Merge] button.
  - In pop-up's [Details] tab, name the merge (the filename will update automatically. Leave the Merge Method as the default (Clobber).
  - Go to the [Plugins] tab, select all the plugins to be merged, and click [OK].
  - Under the [Load Order] tab, check the [Use game load order] option.
  - Under the [Data] tab, make sure all options under the headers are selected, with the exceptions of [Bethesda Archives] and [General Assets].
  - Select [OK].
  - Find the box containing the merge you just created. In the upper-right area of that box, click [Build].
  - When zEdit finishes running, exit.
  - In MO2, the new merged mod will be located at the bottom (you may have to [Refresh] your view.

Flag Plugin As ESL

Mods flagged with
ESL
can be flagged as an ESL, thereby keeping it from counting towards your plugin limit of 255.

It is safe (and faster) to wait until the end and flag all plugins at one time. This does not have to be done as you install them (just do not forget to do so).

- In MO2, launch SSEEdit in the executables drop-down box.
- Select the plugin in the left pane.
- Right click the field next to [Record Flags] in the right pane (do not click on Record Flags, but the field to the right of it).
- Select [Edit], check the [ESL] box in the pop-up, then click [OK].
- Exit SSEEdit.

Find Plugins That Can Be Flagged ESL

While not technically something that is required for the guide, this is a good tool to use if you are nearing the plugin limit and want to find plugins that can be flagged as ESL to reduce the count. Handy if you are adding to the guide (or doing an extensive amount of the Core + Extended).

- In MO2, ensure all your plugins are activated in the Right Pane and launch SSEEdit in the executables drop-down box.
- In the pop-up, hold [Shift] and click [OK].
- Once loaded, right click anywhere in the left pane and select [Apply Script].
- In the pop-up, find [Find ESP plugins which could be turned into ESL] in the Script drop-down box and click [OK].
- Review the output messages for any plugins that include Can be turned into ESL by adding ESL flag in TES4 header.
- Use the How To >> Flag Plugin as ESL to flag all plugins with this message.
- Exit SSEEdit.

Add Plugin As A Master

As of this writing (v5 of the guide), there is one instance in which you need to add a plugin as a master for another mod - RDO-CRF+USSEP Patch needs to have Relationship Dialogue Overhaul.esp as a master in order for LOOT to sort the patch correctly.

- In MO2, with both mods (plugin that needs a master added and the mod to be the master) selected, launch SSEEdit in the executables drop-down box and click [Run].
- In the pop-up, hold [Shift] and click [OK].
- In the left pane, select the mod that needs a master added. [Right-Click] the mod and select [Add Masters].
- Tick the mod that needs to be added as a master, and click [OK].
- Exit SSEEdit, allowing the mod to be saved.

Change / Update A Master

On rare occasions, you may need to change a Master from one plugin to another. While not currently necessary as of v5, it has been needed in the past when the name of a plugin is changed and a patch requiring that plugin has not been updated to reflect the new name. This is currently the only process for which Wrye Bash is a necessary tool.

- In MO2, launch Wrye Bash in the executables drop-down box and click [Run].
- In the left pane, select the mod for which a master needs to be changed/updated.
- In the right pane, under the Masters: section, find the master plugin that needs to be changed/updated, [Right-Click] and select [Change to...].
- In the pop-up, navigate to the plugin and [Double-Click] the new plugin.
- Close Wrye Bash.

BASIC TROUBLESHOOTING [WIP]

Game Won't Start

If you are experiencing an issue with MO2 locking, loading the VFS, and instantly unlocking without a game start, you most likely have a Missing Master. Check the right pane for any errors (! in a red and white triangle). Roll your mouse over any mod(s) with this symbol and check if any plugins are listed under the Missing Masters section of the pop-up.

Splash Screen Loads, But No Menu

Some problems may manifest as an infinite menu - the game appears to launch, you see the splash screen, but the menu never shows up. The most common reason this has occurred with the guide is an issue with merges - most prominently with the provided NPC Patch and/or SkyRem Patch. These patches require certain mods to "win" over others in the merges (Merged Creatures, Merged Equipment, Merged Patches, etc). You must first identify the offending merge by using SSEEdit to Check for Errors on the NPC/SkyRem Patch. If errors appear, locate the merge causing the issue by using the first two characters of the FormID. Once identified, use zEdit to rebuild this merge, making sure the necessary plugins are present and in the correct order (use the Merged ... sections as a reference). You may also want to revisit Priority I to ensure zEdit is setup correctly, and the Merge Mods section of this How To to check your zEdit options (such as the Use game load order option being set in each merge). While some of these issues may result in a stable game, just with inconsistencies based on the intended result, some can cause the game to not load properly if the patch is looking for a record that has an error due to the wrong mod in the merge winning over the one intended based on load order.

Crashing (CTDs)

The most common reason for experiencing CTDs with the guide: Improperly porting LE mods and failing to optimize mesh files with CAO. During the Priority Checks, if you experience CTDs, the first step is to review the Part of the guide you just completed for any
CAO
and
PORT
tags to ensure these were completed correctly. This has fixed the vast majority of CTD issues reported. Mods most commonly reported for this:
  • aMidianBorn Book of Silence
  • Extended UI
  • Enhanced Skyrim Factions - The Companions Guild
  • Thieves Guild Requirements

Face Bugs

In short, Face Bugs occur when one mod changes the appearance of a NPC, then another mod changes another aspect of the same NPC and ends up overwriting the appearance changes. This is a very over-simplified explanation, but the intent here is to help determine a solution if you run in to this problem.

Following the instructions in the NPC Appearance part of the guide is crucial: Load Order, BSA Extraction, Plugin Hiding, and the NPC Patch which is installed near the end. If you notice a face-bug, try reinstalling the last appearance mod to touch the NPC (a file is in the Discord file-repository channel that provides info on which mods change which NPCs). Be sure to extract the BSAs where indicated by the
BSA
tag as well. These two steps will fix the majority of face-bugs. Check your Load Order to ensure the mods are in the correct order (left pane) and the plugins are hidden where indicated by a note.

If you are only experiencing face-bugs on children, make sure you extracted The Kids Are Alright main BSA.

LOOT - So many problems

Follow the guide - the messages, errors, warnings, and anything else LOOT throws your way will be handled as we go. In some cases, these will not go away as many of the alerts are handled via patches that are within merges (and therefore not detected by LOOT). LOOT is a fantastic tool to help get your load order right - this is its main function and the primary reason we use it in the guide. Anything else you see in LOOT is added based on mod author/user feedback. While great at pointing you in the right direction for cleaning, incompatibilities, etc... all of this has been handled within the guide even if not explicitly stated.



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