New to Skyrim, any Mod recommendations?

#1 Edited by StarvingGamer (8127 posts) -

I really, really want to like the Elder Scrolls series but none of the games have clicked with me yet. I picked up Skyrim today on the cheap, though, so now I'm looking for mods that will hopefully tweak my experience in the right direction so that I'll finally be able to say that I'm a fan of the series. Here's what I've been looking at so far:

Is there anything I've missed? Any other must-haves? Any selections I've made that are a bad idea? Keep in mind I don't plan on picking up Dragonborn or Dawnguard until they see a significant price drop and also won't bother with Hearthfire unless you really think I should.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Updating list of mods in the OP, more for my personal use than anything else

#2 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I'm about to do a big ass list of the mods I'm using in blog form, with a bunch of links, better descriptions, info on load order, maybe even a couple of videos showing it all in effect together, so I'll link that to you when I get that gone but in the meantime I'll list some needed stuff:

Into the Depths, Wyrmstooth, and Moonpath to Elsweyr are all really good community made content addons. They add new areas and quests, and in some cases I believe even custom gear.

JaySuS's Swords, Immersive Armor/ Weapons, Skyforge Shields, Insanitys Dwemer Weapons, Bandoliers, and Weapons of the Third Era all add a pretty sizeable chunk of lore-friendly gear. More gear is a must, and it's all really good and fits the world. It's not all super crazy bad ass anime bullshit, it's pretty grounded and most of it is actually less fantastical than the higher end stuff in the vanilla game.

Unique Weapons Redone: New meshes for unique weapons to make them actually unique. Unique Uniques does the same, not sure if they are both complete, it may be that one has some that the other does not. If that's the case it should be easy to pick the one you like best and as long as you install that over the other, you should have mostly the ones you wanted, and then the few it doesn't do will be from the other mod.

Open Cities. Does what it says, makes the cities open which means no loading when you want to walk into a stronghold. You just open the gate. It's really awesome.

Frostfall. This is a survival type mod which adds a lot of mechanics and has pretty robust customization. It adds stuff like hypothermia (you'll get cold over time, and different gear has different protection against the cold. So you have to actually bundle up in furs and a cloak to travel in the snow, which is awesome) and other similar mechanics. It's sort of like the Hardcore mode from New Vegas, but more awesome. I use a few other hunting/immersion mods to enhance and add to the survival mechanics, but I'll leave those out for now. Check out Frostfall if you want. This is basically what I built my current mod setup around, wanting to make it very survival heavy.

Skyrim Redone or "SkyRE" is an awesome mod that overhauls most of the gameplay, and is customizable for things like leveled zones instead of scaled zones, fixes the biggest shortcomings of the combat (like any AI using magic) and reworking a lot of the perks and adding a little more depth (such as different branches for different kinds of weapons like blades and axes instead of just one handed and two handed). It does some more stuff, but you should check out the description for more. There are a couple of suggested mods that you can combine with that as well like locational damage that further increase the intensity and complexity of gameplay.

Keep in mind you'll need to be careful of the version you download, as the most recent version requires Dragonborn, but the version before that has all of the features and should work for you. Just read the description and it'll tell you which version is right for you.

As far as I know, Morrowloot doesn't conflict per-say with gear mods, but it may change how you see those in the game, or if you do at all. Honestly, I don't think Morrowloot is really worth it. You get uneven loot drops without having to earn it by going into more or less dangerous areas, and it will probably limit your ability to really get a benefit from community made gear, which is in my opinion WAY better than having gear drops not scale. Some may have compat patches but I wouldn't count on it.

How's your PC? There are some pretty good mods to pickup if you have a decent PC, and I'd say that getting a proper texture for the Dwarven Shield (Best one I've found is "Hectrol DWARVEN SHIELD DELUXE HighRes Retex") is essential because jesus fucking christ it's bad in vanilla even with the high res DLC. Dragon Glyphs HD is also essential, as it makes the dragon text look less like complete fucking garbage, and obviously won't hit performance much. Those are two of the worst forward facing textures in vanilla, so do yourself a favor, especially if you plan on being a shield bearer in first person.

Hvergelmirs Armor and Shield retextures are pretty easy to run assuming you're already running the game at high settings, and they make the armor look ohhhhhh so much better. Book of Silence can be used to round out the armor that isn't covered by Hverelmirs and also has a weapon mod as well. They aren't too intense because they are for gear and usually there aren't a million dudes on screen or whatever and they are only double vanilla. They do have a lot more details and look a lot better though, especially in specific cases. I would say the Shields one at the very least is essential because man they can be bad in vanilla.

#3 Edited by Tru3_Blu3 (3201 posts) -
#4 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@tru3_blu3: I actually think you should avoid CoT. I really didn't like a lot of what it did to colors and stuff as I recall. I believe there are better ways to get dark nights without weird contrast issues that CoT gave. There are smaller mods that can enhance the weather stuff too. Or maybe I'm thinking of the other big weather overhaul, and CoT has compat issues with a lot of worthwhile games? I forget. Either way, I didn't much like CoT, as I never felt it really added all that much.

Mike Foxs Darker Nights is awesome, come to think of it. Makes nights really dark without horrible post-processing.

#5 Posted by Jaqen_HGhar (877 posts) -

I recently "cleaned" my mod list and restarted the game. Haven't played with that configuration much, but I am having a lot of fun.
First of all you should get the Unofficial Skyrim Patch. And if you don't already use it, get the Nexus Mod Manager and something called BOSS.
Now, here are the few mods I use:

  • Realistic Ragdoll and Force - I used the one in the Steam Workshop though.
  • Bandoliers - Looks neat and adds possible carry weight.
  • More Carriages
  • Imps More Complex Needs - With this you'll need food, water and sleep. Or blood if you are a vampire. If you put it to complex you also need to balance proteins and stuff. For some reason I love these kinds of "realism" mods.
  • Frostfall - Here you need to keep warm. Getting caught in a blizzard with no warm clothes after swimming will surely kill you, unless you set up a tent and make a fire. Again, for realism and roleplaying.
  • Clanking Armor
  • Katixas Ciderhouse - Run your own ciderhouse!

I use some more mods, but these are the ones I wouldn't play without right now. Oh, and those sound mods you use? They are really cool, but the also seem to cause a lot of issues. Just a heads up if your came becomes more unstable than normal.

#6 Posted by Capum15 (4852 posts) -

I love Warzones, and SkyUI is really great.

And I did not know that guy made a Civilization sound mod! I have the other two. I should probably update a lot of my mods sometime soon.

I have a bunch of spell mods (Apocalypse Spell Package, I Put A Spell On You, Midas Magic), Deadly Dragons (adds more, stronger dragons), Water - Get Wet (water droplets), Run For Your Lives / When Vampires Attack (makes citizens run from Dragons and Vampires, instead of shedding their normal, boring day jobs and turning into Mr. Random: Dragon Puncher). Just some immersion-like stuff.

Honestly, after playing for a while, I'd go take a good look at the Nexus top 100 or so, and just browse for a little while. Maybe dig into the categories. I quite like Deadly Dragons. I think I have the More Creatures Mod, though I need to update that.

If you want a lot of videos on various, random Skyrim mods, Brodual do a pretty great job of it. Man, this thread made me think of my mods and realize how badly I should update...well, all of them.

#7 Posted by smokeyd123 (329 posts) -

You need... clean faces... *slurp*

But seriously, Most of the mods I use have already been mentioned including Skyre, but I haven't seen anyone mention the Reproccer.

It's an automated compatibility patch generator for Skyre and it really helps if you end up using it and installing a lot of other things on top.

Otherwise just grab the Nexus Mod Manager and all the other goodies that the beautiful people above me have listed.

#8 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

ENB if you can handle it. Play the game normally first though as I personally think it still looks pretty good with HD base textures, but then be blown away with one of the various ENB mods around and some of the big texture mods that either pop in the workshop or SkyrimNexus. Even with only ENB you won't be disappointed in the graphics department.

#9 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5352 posts) -

Apart from using mods you should fuck around with the ingame console as much as possible, by far the most enjoyable aspect of the game.

#10 Posted by McTangle (157 posts) -
#11 Posted by StarvingGamer (8127 posts) -
#12 Edited by Bane (396 posts) -
#13 Posted by BaconGames (3358 posts) -

After a while I ended up just going down this list, seeing which was the most updated, stable, and interesting, and moving on down the line: http://www.skyrimgems.com/

Honestly if you want to start playing Skyrim I would avoid hardcore/realism mods that involve new survival mechanics thrown in there. While I look forward to trying them myself, I would wait on it to see if you feel the need to add an extra layer of potential tedium when you don't feel like it. Looking at your list there are two essential graphics mods which are part of the G.E.M.S. collection:

SMIM

W.A.T.E.R.

#14 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@bacongames said:

After a while I ended up just going down this list, seeing which was the most updated, stable, and interesting, and moving on down the line: http://www.skyrimgems.com/

Honestly if you want to start playing Skyrim I would avoid hardcore/realism mods that involve new survival mechanics thrown in there. While I look forward to trying them myself, I would wait on it to see if you feel the need to add an extra layer of potential tedium when you don't feel like it. Looking at your list there are two essential graphics mods which are part of the G.E.M.S. collection:

SMIM

W.A.T.E.R.

All of them can easily be enabled, disabled, and customized in game through simple menus. If there are particulars you don't want to deal with, you can just turn those mechanics on and off as you please.

#15 Posted by AlexW00d (6227 posts) -

I have 92 mods installed for Skyrim, I don't think listing them is a good idea.

#16 Edited by BaconGames (3358 posts) -

@mordeaniischaos: Rather, I guess I should have said, I would recommend turning them all off except for a few and easing into it as you play along. Important point though.

#17 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6139 posts) -

It would be great to have some sort of spot (maybe under the game's guide?) for people to list out their favorite mods as well as descriptions of what they do. There's some great looking stuff in here, and I certainly wish I had a rig that could handle Skyrim and all these mods.

And if anyone hasn't watched it, the Gamespot Skyrim mod videos are usually a lot of fun, particularly when stuff goes sideways.

Moderator Online
#18 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3201 posts) -

@capum15: @jaqen_hghar: @tru3_blu3: @mordeaniischaos: Thanks for the great rec's, and now I have a list that seems way too big and potentially overloaded with conflicts. I've revised my list if you want to give it a looksee.

Best thing you can do to solve conflicts is download Wryebash.

It's an outstanding mod organizer that tells you what's working and what's not. Anything checkmarked as red indicates that there is a compatibility issue or a bad mod list placement.

#19 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@mordeaniischaos: Rather, I guess I should have said, I would recommend turning them all off except for a few and easing into it as you play along. Important point though.

That's fair, starting a new game with all of that stuff can be a bit rough.

@alexw00d said:

I have 92 mods installed for Skyrim, I don't think listing them is a good idea.

I have 132, and I'm doing a blog on what all of those mods do, and how to install them. Don't be a pussy! :p

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