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If you originally bought Skyrim Legendary Edition off steam then...

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Then you automatically get Skyrim 64-bit Second Edition for free.

That's not new news, but what IS newer news is that the famed SKSE (script extender script engine by Silverlock) and SkyUI mod have also been released in alpha and are pretty functional right outta the box. In case you're needing a multiplayer gaming break like me, and wanted to check out Skyrim again. If you played before but never modded Skyrim before then you're missing the boat Big Time. Tens of thousands of mods have been released for the original and most of the best ones were converted over to the SE version.

If interested, I would recommend playing with the SE version if you have a power-house computer and mod it with heavy impact mods along with some convenience ones. Most mod "builds" fall under three types - some players want the total nex-gen graphics look with 4K texture packs, and the NPCs to have customized looks and animations so these players focus on mods that accomplish that specifically. Other players focus on mods that add to the immersion. Then some want the best of both worlds. Then there's actually a 4th "faction" of Skyrim players that are in love with the old school feel of a "deleveler" mod like Requiem, Morrowloot, etc... The latter makes the game much much harder.

- If stuck with a partial original 32-bit Skyrim (Didn't buy the Legendary version therefore you don't own the free SE version) then I would not bother installing mods from Steam workshop. I would install mods from Nexus Skyrim using their mod manager (NMM) or another manager called Mod Organizer (See youtube for how to's). The original Skyrim required a lot more time and effort, then one day I stumbled on a site where someone aka RottenDub, has spent hundreds of hours perfecting an obscene amount of mods into one installable package. Many in the community have mixed feelings about this, but I am For It because he still gives credit to all the mod authors. His method called "Skyrim Perfectly Modded" is for the rest of us who don't have time to mod skyrim and certainly don't have time to learn how to do it. Link to that site: http://perfectlymodded.weebly.com
If you don't own the 64 bit SE version, it's WELL worth it - check the video demos, it's unreal and I run it just fine on my machine (still have the 32-bit installed with his package alongside my 64-bit SE custom modded version - so I can run two different Skyrims with two different mod builds Wow Wee!)

- If you have the SE version, then I suggest you download NMM from Nexus and only use Nexus Skyrim Second Edition site to download and install mods. The nice thing about the SE version is, no more memory patches are needed. No more 4GB memory limit the 32-bit version had. Now I can add and run all the NPC adding mods I want and make Skyrim so much more populated and interesting.

Although I have not had a crash with the below mod build after about 5 hours of play, I am still testing it. I wanted a small number of mods this time, with focus on immersion and add a little Requiem-like feeling to it to make it much more hardcore. When you start out, you are nothing - you can barely swing a sword, and even a wolf can devour you. The center-piece mod that makes this happen is called "Yash", since Requiem is not out yet for the SE version. Requiem has always been extremely picky working with other mods so the builds could never be that large. With Yash, it's not nearly as strict yet almost accomplishes the same thing - so I am able to add the immersion mods to make this a truly awesome mod build, maybe my best yet. No bouncing female jigglies, no back shed romance animations, no bazillion other armors. I'm going for ZERO crashes and just awesome gameplay. If I did this right, it will take a player 50-100 hours to even begin the main quest, as in, be able to survive a fight in a dungeon. (See Nexus Yash page for the full description). Surrounding the mod mix, immersive citizens adds awesome AI to the town NPCs, ordinator adds tons of new perks to truly customize a character, Open Cities makes it so that there are no loading screens when entering or leaving the main cities and WOW, that is awesome to actually see.

I added exactly three of the best follower mods so you can only ever have a maximum of 3 followers (4 person party), each with their own custom follower options. I've always had mixed results mixing in the generic follower engine mods with the custom follower ones, and the custom followers are SO much more interesting (and I guess "smarter" in a way). Two are relatively close (Riverwood/Whiterun) and the third is in prison in Riften, got go pay his bail LOL. With this build, you will need at least one follower otherwise you'll be a milk drinker stuck doing town jobs for a long time before you can survive out there. Don't even think about going into a dungeon/cave alone with this build during the first 20-30 levels.

Because this build is harder, I also added tons of NPCs and mobs outside the cities. You can follow along the road from city to city and run into tons of wildlife and creatures, or factions already fighting each other (free loot!). I decided at the last moment to not add a dragon mod - like deadlier dragons and such. I think I may consider to add that later. As I mentioned before, I wanted to keep the overall number of mods on the lower side this time.

Anyhow, here is the mod build and Load Order. Load Order is important in Skyrim because you can have some benign conflicts between mods but the last mod in the load order WINS. You will want to download LOOT from nexus and let it sort the load order, then you will need to use NMM to manually move some mods around in the list because LOOT doesn't always get it right.
Turbo's Mod Load Order:
Spoiler: Show
Just explaining a few of the mods here, the others one can easily be looked up on Nexus by name.

BSAssets and associated mods are actually all a part of a newer DLC sized mod called Beyond Skyrim - Bruma SE, Bruma was a major town from the Oblivion game! A whole new land for free - with its own NPCs, quests, story, etc...

Falskaar is another DLC sized new lands mod with its own NPCs, quests, story, etc.. These new lands are typically gotten to from tavel by ship, from one of the major port cities.

Other esp names in the load order making the original mod name not so obvious:
*SMIM-SE-Merged-All.esp = Static Mesh Improvement Mod
*Dr_Bandolier.esp = Bandolier - Bags and Pouches Classic
*aessmeltdown.esp = Smeltdown
*TGBC.esp = Thieves Guild Bounty Clearer
*The TES mods = Legendary Cities - TES Arena. I *think* this one adds a few cities into Skyrim that were only mentioned in one of the older Elder Scrolls series (Daggerfall??)

Veteran Skyrim modders might have noticed I didn't have a bashed patch at the end of the load order. This is a patch that is created by a program tool called WyreBash that will essentially make sure the mods that need their item levels sorted will all be consistent with each other. In this case, Yash is a major deleveler and intended to be that way on purpose. I'm not so certain a bashed patch would be healthy for this type of mod build. Mod builds not containing a deleveler mod - then Yes, a bashed patch is beneficial in most cases.

The beauty of modding skyrim is, of course, you can go a thousand different directions and no two custom mod builds are the same. You basically make the game you want to make... I still have ideas for future mod builds. For example, I'd like to do one surrounding the Admiral Thrawn (yes Star Wars on Skyrim) mod - then I might try a build that focuses on being a thief. So many ideas, so little time. If you think you're good at fighting, good at COD 4 for example, the above listed mod build would be a good challenge for you, and thousands of added NPCs to make all of Skyrim come alive.


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When you mentioned "Second Edition" I immediately jumped to conclusions and got excited for a new Skyrim update and was quickly disappointed when I saw it was just the Special Edition you were referring to.

I might have to give this a shot; the last time I modded Skyrim I ran into problems left and right and eventually decided it wasn't worth it because the mods I wanted didn't quite work properly.


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Ah yes, I always make that mistake - sorry to wrongfully excite you Lunar. :)

For the quickest way to the "Wow" factor with the least amount of modding or modding experience needed, I'd recommend checking out that "Skyrim Perfectly Modded" site and give that a try for the original Skyrim.

Otherwise for Skyrim SE, let me know if you have any questions. The main thing is I have a huge backup hard drive, so everytime I have built up a great mod load that is stable, I back up the entire steam skyrim directory, the skyrim folder in ../appdata/local (mod load order files), and the save game folder in ../my documents/my games/skyrim folder (which also contains the skyrim and skyrimprefs ini files) - basically 3 folders that "capture" the mod build into a backup.

- Very important to download and install each mod's patches if there are any. For example, two excellent mods (by the same author) Ordinator and Apocalypse Magic, require a patch to use so one of the two mod's download files area will have the patch. Sometimes a patch will be made by someone that isn't associated to either mod's authors so you may have to search Nexus for it. For example, Alternate Start - Live another Life, you might find patches for it by searching for LAL or Live Another Life - the results should reveal... Sometimes I'll just put in search string "patch" and go through them. Most mods don't require patches.

- Some mods like Alternate Start, need to most likely be at the end of the overall mod order.

- Overhauls can be game breaking if mixed with other mods. The major overhauls off the top of my head are: Requiem (original Skyrim only), Sands of Time (original Skyrim only), Morrowloot Ultimate, The People of Skyrim,. Skyrim Unleashed, Skyrim Reborn (aka SkyRe)... But the overhauls are the "exciting" mods, often huge overall game changes.

Since my last post, I expanded the mod load I listed above. Still the "Yash" build except now I installed all the graphics mods I could find. Based on this guys video:

The results so far look promising. I only installed the 2K texture versions whereas the video author went 4K.. but my game looks... stunning! Now I'm testing to see if "I can have the cake AND eat it too". This mod load would have never worked in regular Skyrim because my load contains too many NPC adding mods PLUS the graphic textures and resolutions kicked up. The ENB install procedure took me a little while to understand but once I did, it made sense. In this case, I did create and use a Wyrebash bashed patch.

- Minor annoyances I've seen so far:
- Town Guard's helmets disappeared but soldiers from factions still have helmets. I decided I actually like this. I think It may be a load order issue after adding immersive armors. But immersive armors is so awesome, a must have.
- Once in a great while, an NPC might teleport a bit. But the NPC ends up doing the right things, and zero crashes so far.

So the following is based on the video (graphics mods) plus my original load order listed above. Then I added some more followers (to increase choices), and a few other goodies. A lot of people in Nexus Skyrim forums claim to have 200+ mod order and unless they know how to actually edit things like and expert in SSEdit or Xedit, I tend to not believe those braggarts/

New "Have Cake and Eat it Too Mod Load"
Spoiler: Show

Wow wow wow! This load is one of my best yet, I added Wildcat (and put after YASH2) - Added Convenient Horses, plus the Celtic music addon/ I spent over an hour just relaxing in first person view outside Whiterun and running around the praries listening to celtic music. On my 46" screen, the scenery was so breathtaking with all the graphics mods added - the new music just made me feel like I was running around in Scotland or something LOL.

Oh dear, I need to stop typing now. (Wrote another book)

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By the time enough mods make it to SkyrimSE for me to do it, Elder Scrolls 6 will be out.

Alternatively, Skyrim will have been ported to your toasters OS with better mod support than consoles. But by that time you'll be paying per slice of toast, and getting your butter from loot boxes.

Nice write-up btw.


""Don't quote my quotes!" - Fruits" - Rattle

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My experience modding Skyrim was pretty good until I moved. Now my internet is so bad it'd take me literal hours to make my game look super sexy again, or have added content. I usually just installed ENB's though. Haven't tried modding the Special Edition yet because of said internet.

Lunar, most mods have load orders that you can prioritize as the game is booting up. These are very important and can cause crashes or mods to not work if not done properly. A lot of the mods have installation guides or scripts that automatically organize them for you.




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Gryph - Thanks man, but I kind of doubt '6' is coming out anytime soon. Hope I'm wrong of course!

Slow download speed is a bummer for sure! I have to say, loving the Yash2 mod... I'd say for anyone with a slow download speed - maybe get all small sized mods that make big changes. For example, I'd recommend an ENB, then for the mods - Unofficial path, Yash2, Wildcat, and alternate start. Maybe AFT (follower engine like UFO) then some generic followers added (since their mod file sizes are much smaller lacking the added voice acting files). I found that I need 2 followers to even have a hope of surviving in my current game due to Yash2 deleveling all the NPCs/monsters. In my current playthroughI still die a lot despite the follower "buffer" action but at least the fights are such a challenge now, have had to make a run for it on many occasions LOL. With a small of a number of mods, wouldn't need to know the modding quirks, no patches needed, and wouldn't even need LOOT (just manually sort the mods)

Order would be something like this:
Original Skyrim ESM/ESPs
Unofficial Patch mod
AFT mod
Generic Follower mods
Alternate Start - Live Another Life
Alternate Start - New Beginnings

Then the ENB isn't really a mod of course... *I personally always need SkyUI but if the original UI doesn't bother you, can live without it. Anyone claiming he or she can handle a new start to say, level 10, without using followers to survive in the Skyrim world with the Yash2 mod loaded - well, I wouldn't believe it!
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  • 2 weeks later...
No crashing! Now I've gone off the deep end and installed all the "extra" mods that enhance NPC bodies, added some adult themes for laughs... added mods that allow me to build my own forts outside a castle I added - I'm such a lordly stud now.

Ultimate mod list:
Spoiler: Show
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  • 1 month later...
I've been delving into some video recording of my skyrim se gameplay if anyone's interested in watching.

Current Mod List:
Spoiler: Show

Video Links:
1st run

2nd run

3rd run

*I am still learning and currently working through a slight sybcing issue with audio and video at times. I know it has to do with dialing in the right FPS mode in both MSI Afterburner (Rivatuner) settings and also the encoder program when converting to a more compressed format. Also, I noticed the overall quality is much less but can't really do much more without a capture card.
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Yea, no shadowplay. If that's what I think it means, I had to sacrifice certain settings because at the end of the day - AMD FX 8350. It was one of AMD's best during a time when they were so far below Intel's CPUs. But the price was right, 4Ghz per core * 8 for $200...

Right now, I think I get 65% max on the 1060 6GB GPU so yeaaa, CPU is my current bottleneck. Once my new job is finalized and I see that I've lasted a couple months, I'm gonna get into a new PC in April as soon as I see what the high-end second gen top Ryzen CPU offers.. Rumor has it that it's supposed to crack the 5Ghz barrier. Still, i7-8700k is on my top 2 list...unless the next top Ryzen literally WoWs me. the 8350, with the 1060 GPU and SSD has done me right for the most part, can participate in any game out there with no problem. But you know how we do....want more, faster!
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