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Post S.T.E.P. Guidance/Advice

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I am quite new to all this, but have some questions. 


I did search for each individual mod I use on these forums, but a lot of this is really confusing and mixing the post S.T.E.P. mods is a disaster... I will link the forum posts just to prove I am attempting to not be entirely lazy, I just really want this setup to work and I know you guys have TONS of experience.


I completed my game in vanilla quite a while back, and now have hearthfire, dragonborn, and dawnguard. This time I wanted something a little more flashy, balanced, and lore friendly. Before I found STEP I was about ready to quit trying with all the seemingly pornish and critically theme-breaking mods that I assumed did what I thought I was looking for, but STEP seems to address most of that. My only complaint is animations, but I am an animator so it is a little hard to meet my expectations on that. Why do i get the feeling Daz3D & Poser are taking over Skyrim... lol - I'm an Autodesk + Pixelogic + Adobe animator... not a fan of Daz... sorry to those who are. Additionally, I work film, not games, or I would so be looking for a mod team if I had a life with a lot more spare time at least :( 


I am running EXTREME STEP 2.2.5 this time (I used SOME lower res texture files for smaller objects as 2k-4k maps for some objects seemed rediculous), but I wanted some additional variations while attempting to start true to lore, such as:


Realistic Wildlife Loot - love to hunt, so I went with Realistic Wildlife Loot and the optional for the expansions (4 mods after installing)

Immersive Settlements - I chose this in hopes that town layouts might have some variations, kinda changing the linear feel to things

Immersive Patrols - more people is always awesome (I felt that game was missing a lot of "traffic" so-to-speak", just hope it doesn't alter the off-road experience)

Immersive Armor and Immersive Armor for NPCs - Variations... I wanted some more options, just praying it is relatively lore-friendly (NOT weapons, those were not lore-friendly and some even seemed buggy or inconsistent ie: spears?

The Dance of Death - I like the cinematic killshots and epic "feel" while hunting with a bow... 

Windy Skyrim - I thought this might add to immersion with the flora animation with the overhaul in STEP and I dont think my pc struggles too much with any of the extra load

Deadly Serious Shrouded Armor - this is totally optional, i just wanted the hood to look a little more "roguish"(?)... Seems it is outdated, is there another option that achieves something similar?

Armored Skeletons and The Walking Dead - really? I can't pass that up, especially the detail in the skeletons with the STEP enhancements + armor... I am not clear on the lich and nether lich STEP incompatibility though... If it truely breaks lore, i dont want it.

Dual Wield Parrying and the Animations (Now listed and STEP accepted) - 2 separate files, but claims to do what I'd expect (Dual wield sneaker with daggers + bow huntsman on this playthrough)

Sliced Cheese - ... more food...? not sure, but taking a block of cheese and making multiple eatable pieces would be a plus.


I don't want to run the mod(s) that makes you need to eat and sleep, etc... I do like realism, but not that far :) The Realistic Wildlife Loot mod is majorly for the realistic loot and cooking/immersion.


SkyRealism ENP Evolved - "Fantasy" - though i liked cinematic more, but didn't know how to disable letterbox. I dont know if it is supposed to letterbox or not on non-standard resolutions, but I am running the game on a 54.6" TV and it, with the quadro 6000s, doesnt seem to support 1920x1080, its 1800sx1000s due to the HDMI defilter port I guess, not sure the exact res atm. The Skyrim Particle Patch is in my mod list though the S.T.E.P. Guide says not to download it as it is included in the ENP. I am just wondering if I am still supposed to have that particular mod in my list or if that is supposed to have been merged into the ENP files somehow... :(


On the ENP note, my visuals just seem VERY ... desaturated and I don't quite know why. 


Now, to the good part with defines my total ignorance... I got all these installed in STEP order (STEP clean worked perfectly well on test), I then installed these mods and it seems fine until I get to the first town - when loading that cell, I CTD or freeze if i disable Improved Settlements.


In Wrye when I run BOSS some of these mods are unrecognized as well and I have no idea where to put them in load order. 


I apologize for not attempting to research further myself, but time is not on my side and I really wanted to get this going so I can play a little after work lol.


I realize that these are NOT STEP approved, but someone out there is running these I hope.


Is there anyone that runs a similar setup that can help advise? 




Edit - The only thing I did was move the 3 additional hearthfires, dawnguard, and dragonborn "Wildlife Loot" mods up under the main "Wildlife Loot" mod in the load order because BOSS couldnt recognize them (they are still orange with their respective expansion esps as orange, the main mod is fine though), ran the Build Patch in Wrye (seemed common sensical), then ran the Dual Sheath SkyProc thing. I then loaded at the cell prior to first town/resaved/reloaded and walked to town CTD; disabled settlements (only common sense conflict I saw) and when loading the cell, froze this time.


Wildlife Loot was orange because I was using the wrong settings (reduced wont work with current mod setup, which is actually noted in his notes)... Trying again, all green across wrye this time.

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I was able to get it working fine so far (to Riverwood)... It took forever because with the wildlife mod in Realistic = a LOT of weight in meat... lol, guess that's what would balance it out, but still... 42 meat from a bear is a little overkill and reduced isn't compatible. I still feel like it is much better than vanilla though.


The wildlife mod needed to be set to realistic rather than reduced and I had to start a new game... Now, issues are somewhat remedial.


I haven't run across any patrols or anything indicating that the immersive patrols or settlements mods are active, but man... that was really great. On the way to Riverwood (obviously walking slowly and forced to admire the surroundings), a rooster ran out and literally followed me the whole way, side-by-side, while "hunted" wildlife ran. It was amazing and with all the S.T.E.P. mods active, it was just amazing. I have seen better, but a game this scale to look and play like S.T.E.P. provided Skyrim with is really nice.


There are only 2 issues so far, red lights from lanterns of skyrim (looking for fix now and that wont be a problem), and I cannot use "backspace" key or I instantly lockup... I have no clue what would cause that. 


The LoDs for trees also seem to be loading too close or just way too low of a resolution and still suffering from a desaturated experience, but the flora in Riverwood made it almost unnoticeable. Additionally, I dont have any FPS issues running mostly EXTREME STEP, but I will say I dont think my vc likes mipmaps or w/e, when I load a new cell I stutter slightly, but then fps rockets back up, although I can't verify or even accurately assume what the stuttering could be caused by, it is nearly unnoticeable anyway.


It really appears to be the shadows are too transparent or they are blurred causing the desaturated feeling, but I cannot really tell.


Is there a .ini setting to control shadow opacity?

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This post has some support questions but since it primarily about non-STEP mods it is more relevant to the Skyrim thread and should receive more replies there, so it is being moved.


The Skyrim Revisited threads includes discussion of some of these mods, so I suggest looking there in addition to this thread.


I use Immersive Patrols and like it. I have combined all of the esps into a single esp; the mod author says a version of this mod with a single esp will be available soon.

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I don't know how to combine them, but they "seem" to be working. I saw a hunter with a dog a moment ago and I cant think of any other mod that would be from. I don't plan to add any more mods except UFO (referring to the "need" to combine the esps into 1), but UFO really seems like it will break the experience/balance :( Be nice to scale difficulty or spawns with the number of party members when using UFO maybe.


I tried warzone w/UFO before STEP with the Tamriel weather plugin (not sure the exact name), problem with that combination was that I didn't know friend from foe (sight); too many poeple (fps was fine, just... too many people to focus on), couldn't see anything and was always snowing or raining lol.

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There are only 2 issues so far, red lights from lanterns of skyrim (looking for fix now and that wont be a problem)

You have to download one of the presets for LoS (see optional files), depending on what lighting solution you use (ROL, COT, RCRN etc.)or what brightness you require if you don't use any lighting solution.


Also, consider using Hunterborn as an alternative to RWL.


Why do you say RWL reduced is incompatible (and with what?)? I use RWL reduced with full STEP install + SkyRe + Frostfall + many other mods (360 in total) and it works fine.

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You might be running the other mod needed to support the "Reduced" option. If I try to enable it in NMM it actually even says it's incompatible (wrye just colors it orange). I think you need the Realistic needs installed in order to set it to reduced.


Yes, I realized I missed the note in the STEP mod installation process for the preset. I figured that would be an easy fix. I just downloaded the Default, im not clear on all the ENB suggestions and such, I run SkyRealism I think its called (the guide suggested default, but if you suggest alternative, I will change it).


Ah man... thanks for Huntsman link, that sounds truly amazing, but I dont wanna restart again lmao... :(


Is there a way to increase shadow opacity that you know of? I think that is might increase the visuals a bit more; the shadow resolutions look fine, just too transparent.


Just froze up at the spider boss :( gonna try this again... first freeze since the new game.

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I'm sure the shadows can be manipulated via ENB config files, but I am lack expertise to give any further info on this I'm afraid :(


You can play with settings in enbseries.ini file - this is the only one I touch when adjusting ENB's to my liking. There is really user friendly PDF guide included within this ENB package, have a read and play with it. SkyRealism ENB is really good I think - I was using it myself, until recently I moved to Real Vision ENB, as I use RLO lighting + COT weathers solution, and RV ENB is designed to work really good with that.


If you want to remove the letterbox in SkyRealism Cinematic preset, just open enbeffect.fx file in any text editor and add "//" before the following record:


#define ENABLE_LETTERBOX_BARS // Enable cinematic bars (black bars at top and bottom).

So it should look like this:


// #define ENABLE_LETTERBOX_BARS // Enable cinematic bars (black bars at top and bottom).

Double-slash tell ENB to ignore that entry in the config file, that's it :)


Now, for the tree LODs, search the forums using advanced search function, I'm sure I've seen someone asking about this and someone else offering a solution.


And, lastly, Immersive Patrols is a great mod, I used to use it and loved it! Adds a lot to immersion. You may also want to consider this one: Travellers of Skyrim.



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Thanks rootsrat,


Man, I really like the idea of Travellers mod too; would I have to restart again?


I will attempt to play with the shadows through the ENB .ini rather than the skyrim settings then; assume that's going to require some reading and I am omw to Whiterun atm, lol.


I actually don't mind the "Fantasy" ENB settings, but I will be swapping back to "Cinematic" once I need to restart Skyrim again.


Additionally, by adding other mods on top of this... like Traveller mod or even huntsman (IF they dont need a game restart :(  ), would i need to rebuild the wyre bash patch AND reinitialize the skyproc thing for dual sheath?


... on a side note, all these mods has really impacted how much time I spend just looking around wasting time... and the windy mod doesn't appear to be doing anything anymore. On the way to Helgen (i think) in the cart, it looked like it was subtle and now I cant notice anything at all.


WOW... so as SOON as I open the enbseries.ini... I see " ;; BACKSPACE - Reload configuration file ;; " - that's prob why i was crashing... holding backspace to erase "Prisoner".

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For Travellers mod no restart is required, you can just add it to an existing game. You may want to wait 24 days though (I think that's how long at least) for the travellers to appear on the roads...


You don't need to restart your game to swap ENBs. Just remove all the files from the given preset and then copy files from different one. Remember to keep backups of any files you amended (i.e. enbseries.ini).


As a side note - you can amend enbseries.ini while IN GAME. Once you edit a record within the file, switch back to the game and press Backspace to apply new settings. This way you can adjust the ENB to your liking while in game, it's really easy :)


As for the waste of time... When you become addicted to modded Skyrim (because you realise that modded Skyrim is SO MUCH BETTER than vanilla) you tend to spend more time modding than playing :) It's a trap that all of us fall into, so don't worry, you're not the only one!

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Ok, I am installing Travellers, still curious about Huntsman, but Wrye seems to think the Wildlife mod is a "Master", so not sure how that would affect a save file and I doubt running those 2 mods together would be ideal.


As for shadows, I havent looked at the readme link yet, but upon initial enbseries.ini look, I automatically want to test out ambient lighting value, I think that might be the culprit (ambient lighting is usually a global issue in my animation files, so let's see if it is in Skyrim too! lol).


P.S. Wish I knew more about the Skyrim rigging and animation information, and had more freetime, but I seriously doubt I could get both rig and animations into Skyrim without a serious team or I would really like to redesign the rigs and the animations along with hair (assuming planar hair could be rigged and animated primitively; looks like hair is static mesh though :( ). Apologies, but I can't stand the major hair mod everyone endorses, it's way too clean; I'd like to revamp or see a revamp of the original hairstyles with some dynamics.

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From what I remember reading on Hunterborn page, you can't run both RWL and Hunterborn together, it's either or...


I'm pretty sure you can safely remove RWL if you want, just make a clean save (go somewhere safe, usually player home, save the game, quit, uninstall the mod, load that save, save again -> this is your clean save). Then you can safely install Hunterborn.

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First off... ENP is wrong .. it is ENB :P


As for the letterbox issue... it continues to amaze that people never read the manual... especially Skyrealism which has one of the best around. But we all have to learn! So here goes.


Open the file enbeffect.fx in notepad.

file the line with #define ENABLE_LETTERBOX_BARS

put // in front of it to comment it out. Now you will no longer have bars.


As for the desaturated look that is a bit strange... especially in the fantasy preset. My guess would be that your monitors color setup is altering what is shown.

But well also in the enbeffect.fx file

Look for

float fColorSaturationMultDay = 1.4; // Controls the color saturation multiplier. Range: 0.0 (greyscale) to 2.0 (hypercolor).

Just increase this value and you will get overall more saturated colors.


Also the particle patch is a good idea to keep if you are using an ENB... just because otherwise there are a few issues that might annoy you down the road.


If you have any further questions about ENB just throw them my way in a PM! :)

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Err, I am glad you mentioned that... I am pretty sure my color profile is the issue now. I am set for up for a linear color space workflow for texturing on this monitor; that might explain a few things.


I will admit that I didn't much read the doc as the ENB was one of the last steps and I was really anxious to get into the game. I still feel pretty good about only having 1 issue through the entire mod installation process though - that turned in to about 6 hours of downloading and installing (I had to break some of those up because a lot of the mod archives we not properly setup: ie: Data/Data/Textures...ect)


I really hope someone aside from me has a ****ton of trouble with the countless acronyms :D


The wind mod appears to have been causing quite a few of my stuttering and CTD issues, now I only rarely get CTD during loading (only once so far, but no more random CTDs running around). Honestly seems like it might have something to do with 3 esps, imp_helm_imp.esp, imp_helm_dawn.esp, or hothtrooper44_ArmorCompilation.esp, but I am not sure how to really figure it out. Not only that, but I have no clue how to figure out what esps belong to what mods ie: MVABasic.esp <--- another acronym ****it! Doesn't look like any of the mod titles I am using though and was definitely after S.T.E.P. because it's not recognized by BOSS.


I just spent what felt like an hour walking to Whiterun because the wildlife mod MIGHT actually be pretty "realistic"... 800lbs of meat... lol. Although, it is sadly not nearly worth the trouble/income.

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Is it possible that the HRDLC packs could really cause CTDs? I just read through the initial steps pretty thoroughly and I am optimizing all of them now, just curious if those would have been causing the crashes.


Earlier I noticed flickering in a shield from IAv6 on a mob i was fighting; the NORMAL map flickered ie: texture map displayed, flashed to normal map, then back to texture. I see a lot of people running IAv6 and several more mods on top of S.T.E.P., I am just hoping maybe it wasn't as much a mod compatibility issue as a HRDLC compatibility issue :(







6. (optional) Type "*.txt" into the filter field in the center of the Browser Tab and click [Apply]. Untick all of the "placeholder.txt" files, remove the filter text, and click on [Apply] again (these are workflow files that should not have been included in the BSAs).


My "HighResTexturePack01.bsa" doesnt appear to have an "Actors" subdirectory as show here in the image provided, nor can i use the "*.txt" filter. This only applies to the first HRDLC1 shown in that image, and holy cow is this a pain! :D hopefully worth the effort though.

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MVABasic is More Village Animals. As for whether the HR DLC is responsible for CTDs? I doubt that very much -- if a texture is messed up it'll either be wonky looking or not show up at all (purple item).


What shield from IA was having issues? One using vanilla texture resources or a custom one? I've been using IA for a good while and never seen anything like that but it almost sounds like a (missing) mip-map issue.


The actors folder is in the HR DLC #3 and if I remember correctly #1 doesn't have any rogue text files.

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